Daily GK Update – 5th March 2015

1. RBI adopted Inflation Targeting as a policy tool for monetary regulation

i. Inflation targeting was in news recently as Union Government and Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on 20 February 2015 signed an agreement on Monetary Policy Framework. As per the agreement, RBI accepted to focus on flexible inflation targeting.
ii. Inflation targeting is defined as an economic policy in which a central bank estimates or decides for a medium-term target inflation rate. In Indian context, as per the agreement, inflation targeting means that the RBI will have to maintain 

iii. Consumer Price Index (CPI)-based inflation targets below six per cent by January 2016 and four per cent from 2016-17, with a band of plus/minus two per cent.
iv. The transition from monetary targeting suggested by Chakravarty Committee (1988) to Inflation targeting suggested by Urijit Patel Committee is similar to the practice adopted by central banks in developed countries.

Benefits of Inflation Targeting

  • The benefits of inflation targeting are many. Two of the prominent benefits of inflation targeting are enhancement of transparency and reduction of price variability.
  • The most important benefit of inflation targeting is that it helps the central banks to maintain low inflation and low inflation eventually promotes long term growth.
  • Other most important benefits of using inflation targeting include enhanced public understanding of monetary policy, increased central bank accountability, and an improved state for economic growth.

2. Shanghvi is richest Indian: Forbes

i. Dilip Shanghvi of Sun Pharmaceuticals, with a net worth of $21.5 billion, surpassed Mukesh Ambani as the world’s richest Indian on Wednesday, two days after the Reliance Industries Ltd. chief was ranked India’s wealthiest for the eighth consecutive year.
ii. A real-time update by the business magazine Forbes reworked the rankings. On the global rich list, Mr. Shanghvi moved up to the 37th position, while Mr. Ambani slipped to the 43rd.
iii. Earlier on Monday, Forbes released its annual rich list for 2015, ranking Mr. Ambani at the 39th position and Mr. Shanghvi at the 44th. Azim Premji of Wipro was ranked 48th, from which he has moved up one place now. Mr. Shanghvi’s net worth stood at $ 21.5 billion, following a sharp rally in the share prices of his group companies.

3. Union Minister Dadarao Danve resigns
i. Union Minister Raosaheb Dadarao Danve, who was made Maharasthra BJP president a few months back, on Thursday resigned from the Council of Ministers over the principle of ‘one-man, one-post’
ii. Mr. Danve submitted his resignation to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who accepted it and forwarded it to President Pranab Mukherjee, sources said.
iii. Mr. Danve, who held the portfolio of Minister of State for Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, quit the Council of Ministers over the principle of ‘one-man, one-post’, the sources said.
iv. Mr. Danve had taken over as the Maharashtra BJP president after Devendra Fadnavis, under whose leadership the party came to power in the October 15 Assembly polls last year in the state, became the Chief Minister.

4. BBC released a documentary film India’s Daughter
i. British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) on 4 March 2015 released a documentary film India’s Daughter.  The documentary film has been directed by Leslee Udwin.
ii. The film is based on the Delhi gang rape and murder of the 23-year-old female named Nirbhaya that took place on 16 December 2012. The film was simultaneously released in Denmark, Sweden, Switzerland, Norway and Canada.
iii. The documentary includes an interview conducted by British filmmaker Leslee Udwin and BBC of Mukesh Singh, the driver of the bus. Mukesh has made derogatory statements against women.
iv. A Delhi court has restrained the media from publishing, broadcasting, telecasting or uploading the interview on the internet. Also, Indian Parliament witnessed outrage over the interview and demanded to ban the screening of the documentary to which Union Government heeded.
v. The makers of the documentary had earlier decided to release the film on the occasion of International Women’s Day on 8 March 2015. However, they decided it to launch it earlier following the decision by the Indian authorities to ban the film.

5. Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar completed his SAARC Yatra
i. Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar completed his SAARC Yatra of four nations on 4 March 2015. His SAARC Yatra started on 1 March 2015 and ended on 4 March 2015. He undertook the SAARC Yatra with an aim to firm up India’s ties with members of the grouping while reviewing regional and bilateral cooperation.
ii. During the Yatra, he visited four countries namely Afghanistan on 4 March 2015, Pakistan on 3 March 2015, Bangladesh on 2 March 2014 and Bhutan on 1 March 2015.

Jaishankar visit to Afghanistan: During the visit, he called on Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and CEO Abdullah Abdullah and held extensive talks focusing on India’s development projects and the security situation in the war-torn country. Afghan leaders welcomed India being partner of choice for Afghanistan and briefed the Foreign Secretary Jaishankar about their views on India’s involvement in furthering the cause of stability and security in the country.

Jaishankar visit to Pakistan: During the visit, he held Foreign Secretary level talks with his Pakistani counterpart Aizaz Chaudhary, which was cancelled in July 2015. He also met with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his Advisor on Foreign Affairs and National Security Sartaj Aziz. He handed over a letter from Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Pakistan Prime Minister Sharif. 

Jaishankar visit to Bangladesh: During the visit, Jaishankar met with Prime Minister of Bangladesh Sheikh Hasina in Dhaka. He also met with Bangladesh Foreign Minister Abul Hassan Mahmud Ali and Bangladesh Foreign Secretary Shahidul Haque. He held foreign secretary level talks in Dhaka. 

Jaishankar visit to Bhutan: During the visit, he met with Bhutanese Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay and held discussions on SAARC co-operation and bilateral ties. He also met with the 4th King of Bhutan Jigme Singye Wangchuck.

6. Three South Asian women selected for International Women of Courage Award
i. Three South Asian women, namely Niloofar Rahmani, Nadia Sharmeen and Tabassum Adnan on 3 March 2015 were selected for the prestigious International Women of Courage Award for the year 2015 given by the US Secretary of State.
ii. They were among the 10 extraordinary women selected from 10 countries for the award for demonstrating exceptional courage and leadership in advocating for peace, justice, human rights and gender equality.

International Women of Courage Award
  • Established in 2007, the annual Secretary of State’s International Women of Courage Award honours women around the globe who have exemplified exceptional courage and leadership in advocating for human rights, women’s equality, and social progress, often at great personal risk. This is the only Department of State award that pays tribute to emerging women leaders worldwide.
  • Since the inception of this award in 2007, the Department of State has honoured 86 women from more than 50 different countries including India

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