RBI UPDATES --- upto August 2015
EXTENDS THE DEADLINE TO EXCHANGE NOTES
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI), extended the deadline on June 25, 2015, for exchanging pre-2005 currency notes of various denominations, including 500 and 1000 by six months, till December 31, 2015. It is easy to identify pre-2005 notes.
The currency notes issued before 2005 do not have the year of printing on the reverse side. In notes issued post 2005, the year of printing is visible at the bottom on the reverse. The Central Bank said that the notes can be exchanged for their full value.
The RBI also clarified that all pre-2005 notes continue to remain legal tender. Over 164 crore pre-2005 currency notes of various denominations, including of 1000 were shredded in regional offices of RBI in 13-month period ending January.
ISSUED FINAL GUIDELINES FOR INTEREST RATE FUTURES
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) issued the final guidelines on June 12, 2015 for the 6-year and 13-year cash settled Interest Rate Futures (IRF) on Government securities with residual maturity of 4-8 years and 11-15 years, respectively under the Interest Rate Futures (Reserve Bank) (Amendment) Directions, 2015.
For this purpose, the RBI amended the Interest Rate Futures (Reserve Bank) Directions, 2013 dated December 5, 2013. For the 6-year cash settled IRF contracts, the underlying shall be a coupon bearing government security of face value of 100 and the residual maturity of 6-year IRF is between 4 and 8 years on the expiry of futures contract.
For the 13-year cash settled IRF contracts the underlying can be a coupon bearing government security of face value of 100 and residual maturity will be between 11 and 15 years on the expiry of futures contract. Moreover, the RBI also expanded the residual maturity for the existing 10-year cash settled IRF from 9-11 years to 8-11 years to provide market participants a greater choice and flexibility to hedge their interest rate risk across different tenors.
An interest Rate future (IRF) is a financial derivative (a futures contract) with an interest-bearing instrument as the underlying asset it is a particular type of interest rate derivative.
ALLOWED NRIS TO INVEST IN CHIT FUNDS
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on June 11, 2015 allowed non-resident Indians (NRIs) to invest in Chit Funds on non-repatriation basis without any ceiling, a move that will encourage flow of capital into the country. However, the subscription to the chit funds should be brought in through normal banking channel, including through an account maintained with a bank in India.
Earlier in May, 2000, non-residents were barred from investing in a company or firms engaged in the business of chit fund. Revising the extant guidelines for subscription to the chit funds, RBI said, “It has been decided to permit NRIs to subscribe to the chit funds, without limit, on non-repatriation”. It further said, the Registrar of Chits or an officer authorized by the State Government may permit any chit fund to accept subscription from NRIs on non-repatriation basis.
A chit fund is a scheme under which a person enters into an agreement with a specified number of persons that every one of them shall subscribe a certain sum of money in installments periodically over define time and that each subscriber is entitled to prize amount, which is determined by lot or by auction specified in chit agreement.
NEW STRATEGIC DEBT REVAMP SCHEME
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has provided banks, which are struggling to cope with a mountain of bad debt, new ammunition to deal with defaulting companies. On Monday, the banking regular issued new norms for Strategic Debt Conversion (SDR) which will give lenders the right to convert their outstanding loans into majority equity stake if the borrower fails to meet conditions stipulated under the restructuring package.
RBI announced the scheme against the backdrop of huge surge in bad loans on Non Performing Assets (NPAs) in the banking system. As per an estimate, the Gross NPAs may rise to 5.9% of total advances during 2015-16 against 4.4% during 2014-15.
A non-performing asset (NPA) is defined as a credit facility in respect of which the interest and / or installment of principal has remained `past due’ for a specified period of time in simple terms an asset is tagged as non performing when it ceases to generate income for the lender.
CROSS HOLDING OF BONDS ISSUED FOR INFRASTRUCTURE PERMITTED
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) permitted banks to invest in long term bonds for financing of infrastructure and affordable housing issued by other banks on June 1, 2015. Earlier, banks were not permitted to cross-hold such bonds among themselves.
The prohibition on cross-holding inhibited the liquidity and tradability of these bonds, as banks are the major participants in the debt market. The Central Bank also stated that banks’ investment in such bonds will not be treated as ‘assets with the banking system in India’ for the purpose of calculation of Net Demand and Time Liability (NDTL).
A situation in which a publicly-traded corporation owns stock in another publicly – traded company. So, technically, listed corporations own securities issued by other listed corporations.
ISSUED DRAFT BASEL III GUIDELINES ON LIQUIDITY STANDARDS\
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) released on May 28, 2015, the draft guidelines on the net stable funding ratio (NSFR) under Basel III framework on liquidity standards for banks and sought comments from all stakeholders by June 26, 2015. The NSFR is defined as the amount of available stable funding relative to the amount of required stable funding.
The objective of the NSFR is to ensure that banks maintain a stable funding profile in relation to the composition of their assets and off-balance sheet activities. In draft guidelines released, the Central Bank said that banks will have to maintain Net Stable Funding Ratio (NSFR) from January, 2018.
The RBI has sought comments on NSFR guidelines by June 26, 2015. As part of Basel III reforms, the NSFR is a new prudential liquidity rule aimed at limiting excess maturity transformation risk in the banking sector and promoting funding stability.
ISSUED DRAFT NORMS FOR MTP CARDS
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) issued draft guidelines on May 28, 2015 for pre-paid payment instruments to be used in mass-transit systems which will also enable shopping inside the transport hubs. One area where a large number of small-value cash payments take place related to mass-transit systems.
Therefore, based on a review, it has been considered necessary to issue additional guidelines for a new category of prepaid payment instruments, the Central Bank said. The `semi-closed’ prepaid instruments will be issued by the mass-transit operators like the Delhi Metro, and will be regulated under the Payment and Settlement Systems Act, 2007. Minimum validity for the PPI-MTS (prepaid payment instrument for mass-transit system) will be six months. The Know your Customer (KYC) requirements for issuing the instruments have been left for the issuer to decide.
Mass transit systems (MST) may be owned by private, profit-making companies or by governments or quasi-government agencies that may not operate for profit whether public or private many mass transportation services are subscribed because. They cannot cover all their costs from fares charged to their riders.
BANNED THREE FIRMS
Market regulator `SEBI’ has barred three firms (Matribhumi Projects, Jugantor Realty and Waris Finance and Investment) and their directors from mobilizing money from investors through the issuance of securities for allegedly violating public issue norms on June 24, 2015.
The move follows Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) receiving complaints against threes companies alleging non-repayment of amount in respect of Non-Convertible Secured Redeemable Debentures (NCDs).
The regulator observed that allotment of NCDs by the firms were a public issue, which under the rules require a compulsory listing on a recognized stock exchange. It was also required to file a prospectus, among others, which they failed to do.
Debentures are long-term financial instruments which acknowledge a debt obligation towards the issuer some debentures have a feature of convertibility into shares after a certain point of time at the discretion of the owner. The debentures which cant be converted into share or equities are called non-convertible debentures (or NCDs).
ISSUED DETAILED ESOP DISCLOSURE NORMS
Market Regulator SEBI on June 16, 2015 came out with detailed disclosure norms for listed firms while exercising Employee Stock Options Programmes (ESOP) to address concerns regarding potential market abuse.
As per the norms the compensation committee constituted by companies for ESOP schemes will be required to formulate detailed terms and conditions.
In addition, they have to disclose information about the trust, powers and duties of trustee. These disclosures are part of Securities and Exchange Board of India’s (SEBI) efforts to improve governance and transparency of such schemes. The SEBI circular details wide ranging disclosures that listed firms are required to make with regard to Employee Stock Option Scheme (SAR) and description of the schemes, among others.
Employee stock option scheme (ESOS) means the option given to the whole time Directors officers and employees of the company which gives them a right or benefit to purchase or subscribe the securities offered by the company at a predetermined price at a future date.
Stock appreciation right (SAR) is a method for companies to give their management or employees a bonus if the company performs well financially.
SEBI BOARD MAY FINALISE DETAILED E-IPO NORMS
The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) is expected on June 13, 2015 to come up with a detailed guidelines on electronic Initial Public Offers (e-IPOs), where investors can bid for shares through internet. The introduction of e-IPO would help eliminate the printing of application forms, help in reducing the overall cost of public issuance and support companies in reaching more retail investors in small towns.
Initially, investors would be able to place bids through internet and by using broker terminals across the country as against the current practice of filing long documents. The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) may drastically cut the timeline for listing of shares within two-three days of the IPO as against 12 days at present.
NSE TO BEGIN OVERNIGHT INVESTMENT FACILITY
Country’s top stock exchange National Stock Exchange (NSE) introduced an overnight liquid transaction facility on its web-based Mutual Fund platform, from June 23, 2015. The facility will enable traders, especially small investors, to invest even for a single night in liquid funds.
The facility allows the participants to place purchase and redemption orders simultaneously in liquid schemes. This facility will only be available on Mutual Fund Service System (MFSS) Web based platform and in Physical mode only.
Further, all liquid schemes allowed by respective asset management companies will be available for placing orders. A similar product was introduced last month by BSE. The exchange has been daily transactions worth 400-500 crore in the product so far.
Mutual Fund Service System (MFSS) is an online order collection system provided by NSE to its eligible members for placing subscription or redemption orders.
NCDEX LAUNCHED `GOLD NOW’ PLATFORM
National Commodity and Derivatives Exchange (NCDEX) launched `Gold Now’ platform on May 28, 2015, an online market for buying and selling gold. The platform, which has been launched with a focus to reduce dependence on imports, will accept gold recycled in exchange – approved refineries.
NCDEX will also launch forward contracts within six months for gold coins in 5 gm and 50 gm denominations to be traded at the platform. The delivery unit of the contract is 100 gm and 1 kg. The contract will have six delivery centres – Delhi, Mumbai, Ahmadabad, Hyderabad, Cochin and Chennai. Currently, the contract has Delhi as delivery centre, with the exchange adding one centre every week.
National Commodity & Derivatives Exchange Limited (NCDEX) is an online commodity exchange based in India. It has an independent Board of Directors and professional management, who have interest in commodity market. It is a public limited company, incorporated on April 23, 2003 under the Companies Act, 1956.
AIRTEL LAUNCHED 4G SERVICES
Telecom major Bharti Airtel launched 4G services on June 23, 2015 in Mysore that will allow its customers to access high speed access to the Internet. In April, 2012, Airtel had launched India’s first 4G services in Kolkata. Its 4G services in Kolkata. Its 4G services are now available in Delhi, Chennai, Bengaluru, Mangalore, Pune, Chandigarh and Amritsar.
With this launch, Airtel customers in Mysore can now access high speed access to the Internet using 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology and enjoy the most advanced Internet experience in India. It should be noted that Bharti Airtel is first Telecom major in India to launch 4G LTE services in the country. 4G technologies are designed to provide IP (Internet Protocol) – based voice, data and multimedia streaming at high speed. 4G LTE can provide internet speed of at least 100 Mbit per second (Mbps) to 1 GBit per second (Gbps).
CIL, IBA LAUNCHED `FINANCIAL CONDITIONS INDEX FOR ECONOMY’
The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and Indian Banks’ Association (IBA) have launched a Financial Conditions Index on June 15, 2015 for the Indian economy to make an assessment of the overall financial conditions on a quarterly basis.
For the first quarter of FY 2015-16, the CII-IBA Financial Conditions Index shows that the overall financial conditions for the Indian economy are favorably poised, as banks and financial institutions see significant improvement in the cost of credit and funding liquidity in the banking system with external financial linkages and economic activity witnessing relatively moderate improvement.
Highlighting the key objectives of introducing the Index, Arun Kaul, Deputy Chairman, IBA and Chairman & Managing Director, UCO Bank said that the CII-IBA Financial Conditions Index will
i) Serve as a key indicator in assessing the short term financial conditions in the Indian economy,
ii) Provide effective monitoring of current financial conditions for facilitating regulatory and policy decisions
iii) Provide early signals on turning points in financial conditions,
iv) Help tracking credit flow conditions for industry & service sectors from various channels.
IREDA AWARDED MINIRATNA (CATEGORY-1) STATUS
Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency Limited (IREDA) was on June 2015, awarded the Miniratna (Category-I) status by the Department of Public Enterprises under the Union Ministry of Heavy Industry and Public Enterprises. The proposal for conferring Miniratna status for IREDA was recommended by the Union Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE).
At present, there are 55 Public Limited Companies in Mini Ratna (Category-1) and 17 are in Mini Ratna (Category-2). Besides, there are 7 Maharatna Companies and 17 Navratnas Companies. IREDA was established as Public Limited government Company in 1987 to promote, develop and extend financial assistance for renewable energy and energy efficiency conservation projects with the Motto Energy for Ever.
The Chairman and Managing Director (CMD) of IREDA is KS Popli. The Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSEs) that have made profits in the last three years in a row and have positive net worth are eligible to be considered for grant of Miniratna status.
FORTUNE RELEASED 61ST EDITION OF LIST OF TOP COMPANIES
The Fortune 500 list for 2015 has been released on June 4, 2015. The list includes the top companies that are located in, or operate in the USA. These companies were ranked based on their total revenue for the fiscal year ending on December 31, 2014.
This is the 61st list of the top 500 countries that the magazine has released. Here are the top 10 companies from the Fortune 500 list for 2015.
1) Walmart 2) Exxon Mobil 3) Chevron 4) Berkshire Harthaway
5) Apple 6) General Motors 7) Phillips 66 8) General Electric
9) Ford Motors 10) CVS Health
The Fortune 500 is an annual list complied and published by Fortune magazine that ranks the top 500 US closely held and public corporations as ranked by their gross revenue after adjustments made by Fortune to exclude the impact of excise taxes companies incur. The first Fortune 500 list was published in 1955.
INDIAN NUCLEAR INSURANCE POOL (INIP)
The government has launched on June 14, 2015 an insurance pool to the tune of 1500 crore which is mandatory under the Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage Act (CLND) in a bid to offset financial burden of foreign nuclear suppliers.
This was announced by Minister of State in the Department of Atomic Energy Jitendra Singh in the national capital, nothing that several projects such as the long-pending Gorakhpur Haryana Anu Vidyut Pariyojana (GHAVP) that were held up in its absence, are now expected to move forwards after setting-up of the pool.
With this lunch, INIP became 27th nuclear insurance pool in the world that manages nuclear liabilities. India also has joined an exclusive list of countries having nuclear pools. A clause in the CLND Act empowers the operator the Right to Recourse and allowed it to sue the suppliers in case of any accident.
This was seen as a major hindrance to the growth of the nuclear industry. These concerns led to the formation of the nuclear insurance pool. India’s Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage Act, 2010 (the ‘Act) damage caused by a nuclear accident, allocating liability and specifying procedures for compensation.
LIC GOT CLEARANCE FOR BANGLADESH
Bangladesh has granted permission to India’s state-owned insurance group Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) to do business in the country on June 3, 2015. It was announced by M. Shefaq Ahmed, Chairman of Bangladesh Insurance Development and Regulatory Authority (IDRA)
LIC will start its operations in Bangladesh as a joint Venture (JV) entity to be called LIC Bangladesh currency). In this Joint Venture entity LIC will hold half of the amount while the rest would be owed by its Bangladeshi Partners.
50 LAKH PENALTY ON FUTURE GENERALI
The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) has imposed a penalty of 50 Lakh on Future General Life Insurance Company on June 12, 2015. The regulator, which had examined 34 charges on a variety of aspects related to business, said the company had violated many norms, including not settling `huge’ number of claims in respect of the group insurance schemes, continuation of corporate agency even after expiry of licence, use of unlicensed entities for procuring business and distribution of gift vouchers procured from Big Bazar, one of the group companies. It has been asked to pay the penalty within 15 days, according to an order issued by IRDAI Chairman TS Vijayan.
FIRST ‘INTERNATIONAL DAY OF YOGA’ OBSERVED
The First international Day of Yoga (IDY) was observed in all 192 countries except strife-torn Yemen, where we do not have an embassy, the Union Cabinet was informed on June 24, 2015. India had shut down its embassy in strife-torn Yemen a few months ago.
The Day was also observed in over 44 Islamic nations, the Minister said. His remarks on celebrations in Islamic countries came against the backdrop of the government stressing that yoga has nothing to do with any particular religion.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi led thousands of participants of all ages at Rajpath yoga event. The celebrations were also held at the United Nations headquarter in New York which was led by External Affair Minister Sushma Swaraj. Numerous mass events were held in various cities across the world including New York London, Tokyo and Sydney.
Two Guinness World Records
India by celebrating the first International Yoga Day in Rajpath, New Delhi created two Guinness World Records on June 21, 2015. The two records include participation of most individuals and individuals from the largest number of nationalities performing asanas at a single venue.
The event at Rajpath established two Guinness world records records awarded to ‘Ministry of Ayush’ received by Ayush Minister Shripad Yesso Naik.
1. Largest Yoga Class having 35985 People
2. Nationalities Participating with 84 Nations.
ESTABLISHMENT OF SIX NEW IIMs
The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, gave its approval for setting-up of six new Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) in the country on June 24, 2015. These new IIMs will be located at Vishakhapatnam (Andhra Pradesh), Bodh Gaya (Bihar), Sirmaur (Himachal Pradesh), Nagpur (Maharastra), Sambalpur (Odisha) and Amritsar (Punjab).
These IIMs will begin functioning from assigned temporary campuses and shift to their permanent sites after construction of their campuses.
It is intended that these six new IIMs will commence their first academic session from 2015-16. Each Institute will start with an intake of 140 students in the Post Graduate Programme (PGP) courses. It is expected that the annual intake will increase to reach a level of 560 students each years.
A commitment was made by the government of India in the Budget speech of the Finance Minister in July, 2014 to establish five new IIMs in Bihar, Himachal Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha and Punjab.
`NUSI’ GOT GLOBAL AWARD
National Union of Seafarers of India (NUSI), India’s oldest and largest shipping trade union, has been honoured with the `Best Welfare Organisation of the year 2015’ award, promoted by the United Kingdom-based International Seafarers’ Welfare and Assistance Network.
At a function held in London recently, the prestigious award was presented to NUSI general secretary-cum-treasurer Abdulgani Y Serang by Secretary General of International Machine Organisation Koji Sekimizu.
NUSI has got around 80000 seafarers as members working aboard Indian as well as foreign cargo ships.
National Union of Seafarers of India (NUSI) is the only Union to celebrate century in the year 1996.
NUSI has now completed 118 years in the dedicated service of seafarers and their families in particular and the Indian shipping in general.
INDIA’S FIRST AIR CONDITIONED DEMU TRAIN LAUNCHED
Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu on June, 21, 2015 flagged-off India’s first Diesel Electric Multiple Unit (DEMU) train service with an air-conditioned coach in Kochi.
The Angamaly-Ernakulam – Tripunithura-Piravom train service is expected to help in reducing traffic congestion in the State’s fastest growing city. The AC coach provides reclining type comfortable cushion seats for 73 passengers similar to air-conditioned chair car of inter-city express trains.
Other coaches of DEMU train are provided with bench type cushion seats and large windows with glass shutters. The train is equipped with bio-toilets and fully vestibule for free movement of passengers between coaches.
COAL INDIA-NOW SIXTH LARGEST MINING COMPANY IN THE WORLD
Country’s top dry-fuel miner Coal India Limited (CIL) has become the sixth largest mining company in the world in terms of market capital, says a recent PwC report on June 14, 2015. Earlier, the company was at the eighth spot among top 40 global mining firms, according to the report. Another state-run company, NMDC, the country’s top iron are miner which also figures in the list, has improved its position by coming to the 21st slot from 24th earlier.
There was greater diversity in share price performance among the top 40 in 2014, with 15 miners seeing their values appreciate, while 25 witnessed a decline. The average Return on Capital Employed (RoCE) is largely below the minimum hurdle investment rate of 15% to 20% set by several companies, the report said.
“Only six of the top 40 exceeded the 15% benchmark. They include Coal India (coal), Norilsk Nickel (nickel), NMDC (ironore), Randgold (gold), Shandong Gold (gold), and Newcrest (gold)”, the report said, adding that further actions are needed around capital allocation and cost control.
JIND, KARNAL AND MUZAFFARNAGAR INCLUDED IN NCR
Union Urban Development Minister M. Venkaiah naidu announced on June 9, 2015 that Jind and Karnal districts of Haryana and Muzaffarnagar of Uttar Pradesh have been included in the National Capital Region (NCR). In his opening remarks in the National Capital Region Planning Board (NCPRB) meeting in New Delhi, Naidu said there has been an unprecedented scale of urbanization in Delhi.
Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar, Ministers of Delhi and Rajasthan governments, and senior officials of the Uttar Pradesh government were present in the meeting. Naidu said that a committee has been appointed to look into the demands for the inclusion of more areas in NCR. The Union minister said that before including any area, the view of the particular State Government will also have to be taken. He added that a representation had come for the inclusion of Mathura in NCR, which has now been referred to the committee and also to Uttar Pradesh government.
FSSAI ORDERED TESTING OF GSK, ITC FAST FOOD BRANDS
Central food safety regulator, Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) on June 8, 2015 ordered testing of various noodles, pasta and macaroni brands, including Top Ramen, Foodles and Wai Wai, manufactured by seven companies to check compliance of norms in the wake of Maggi controversy.
As per FSSAI order, the companies whose products have been listed for testing are Nestle India. ITC, Indo Nissin Food Limited, GSK Consumer Healthcare. CG Foods India, Ruchi International and AA Nutrition Limited. The approved list doesn’t include some known noodles brands such as Smith and Jones, Reliance Select Instant Noodles and big retailers’ private labels.
FSSAI is a nodal statutory agency responsible for protecting and promoting public health in India through the regulation and supervision of food safety. FSSAI was established under the Food Safety and standards Act, 2006 and operators under aegis of Union Ministry of Health & Family Welfare. It is led by a non-executive Chairperson.
The executive head of FSSAI is the Chief Executive Officer. Headquarters of FSSAI is in New Delhi. It also has 8 regional offices located in Delhi, Gowahati, Mumbai, Lucknow, Chandigarh, Kolkatta, Cochin and Chennai.
FIRST JAN AUSHANDHI MEDICAL STORE LAUNCHED
Indian Medical Association’s (IMA’s) first Aushadhi medical store was inaugurated by Minister of State for Chemicals and Fertilizers Hansraj Gangaram Ahir at IP Estate IMA’s headquarter in New Delhi on June 5, 2015. According to the Minister, about 1000 Stores of Jan Aushadhi would be provide quality generic medicines at affordable rates to the entire population of the country.
The Jan Aushadhi Campaign for Ensuring Access to quality Medicines and Health Care for all. It is well known that due to market led consumer awareness and availability, branded medicines are sold by drug manufacturers at higher prices than their unbranded generic equivalents, which are as good in therapeutic value.
The store, which will offer over 118 commonly used drugs in their generic forms at 80-90% leaser cost than its market price. The store will remain open from 9 : 30 a m to 6.30 pm on all working days of the week.
TIER-I OSRC FOR MUMBAI AND JNPT HARBOUR INAUGURATED
Tackling pollution and oil spills in and around Mumbai will now become much easier, as Union Minister of Road Transport & Highways and Shipping, Nitin Gadkari inaugurated the India’s first of its kind State-of –the-Art-Tier-I Oil Spill Response Centre (ORSC) for Mumbai & Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT) Harbour on June 5, 2015.
The OSRC is equipped with State-of-the-Art equipment in operational readlines for combating Tier-I oil spill up to 700 tones, ensuring adequate protection to the public health and welfare and to the marine environment.
The facility is funded by Participating Oil Companies (POCs) and Mumbai Port Trust will be responsible for monitoring the centre. The Tier-1 Oil Spill Response Centres have pollution response equipment to respond up to 700 tones oil spills.
INDIA’S FIRST RAIL COACH LIT BY SOLAR PANELS
The Delhi division of the Northern Railway rolled out a non-AC coach lit by solar panels mounted on its roof on June 3, 2015.
The eco-friendly solar panels will save fossil fuel as it needs reduced external charging of battery, thus reducing carbon foot print.
The panels also require less maintenance in comparison to existing equipments. This is the first time in the history of Indian Railways, that a solar photovoltaic system has been used for power requirements of light and fan in a broad gauge coach.
The coach, on an experimental basis, was attached to a high speed Self Propelled-Accident Relief Unit (SPART) that travelled from Delhi Cantonment to New Delhi railway station.
LAP HEALTHPHONE PROGRAMME
Union Minister of Women and Child Development Maneka Gandhi launched the Indian Academy of Pediatrics (IAP) HealthPhone programme in Delhi on June 3, 2015.
The programme is the world’s largest digital mass education programme for addressing malnutrition in women and children. This programme has been launched by the Indian Academy of Pediatrics (IAP) in partnership with the Ministry of Women and Child Development, UNICEF and supported by Vodafone India.
This programme aims to tackle the challenge of malnutrition in mothers and children across India. The Ministry of Women and Child Development through its ICDS programme has been providing supplementary nutrition to the pregnant and lactating mothers as well as children up to the age of six years.
MYSORE’S NEW `MAHARAJA’
In a traditional ceremony, Yaduveer Krishnadatta Chamaraja Wodeyar, the adopted son of Pramoda Devi Wodeyar, was on May 28, 2015 crowned as the titular head of the erstwhile Mysuru Royal Family.
The coronation took place at Kalyana Mantap in Amba Vilas Palace amid Vedic chants and slogans hailing the Mysuru royalty and the 23-year –old `King’ as he ascended the silver throne `Bhadrasan’.
Yaduveer, the 27th King of Wodeyar dynasty, will have to wait until Dasara to ascend the golden throne, when he will preside over the `khasa (private) durbar’, which is reminiscent of the bygone era.
Yaduveer has completed his BA in economics and English at Boston University in the US and is the grandson of Princess Gayatri Devi, the eldest daughter of the last Maharaja Jayachamarajendra Wodeyer.
THE CONSTITUTION (100TH AMENDMENT) ACT, 2015
President of India Pranab Mukherjee on May 28, 2015 gave his assent to the Constitution (119th Amendment) Bill, 2013 that related to the Lord Boundary Agreement (LBA) between India and Bangladesh.
Earlier, the bill was unanimously passed by both the houses of the Parliament in May, 2015. It is the 100th amendment to the Indian Constitution and amends its first schedule.
The Constitution (100th Amendment) Act, 2015, as it is called now, is intended to operationalise the May, 1974 LBA that pertains to exchange of certain enclaves of land between both the countries. The enclaves in Asom, West Bengal, Tripura and Meghalaya come under the bill’s ambit.
List of recent amendments to the Indian Constitution
Ø The Constitution (96th Amendment) Act, 2011 Substituted Odia for Oriya
Ø The Constitution (97th Amendment) Act, 2012 Added the words `or cooperative societies’ after the word `or unions’ in Article -19(1)(c) and inserted Article -43B related to promotion of co-operative societies and added Part-IXB that is ‘ The Cooperative Societies.
Ø The Constitution (98th Amendment) Act, 2013 To empower the Governor of Karnataka to take steps to develop the Hyderabad-Karnataka Region.
Ø The Constitution (99th Amendment) Act, 2014 The amendment provides for the formation of a National Judicial Appointments Commission.
DELHI BUDGET 2015
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government has announced a 41129 crore budget with special focus on education, health jobs and women’s security. Here are 10 points from what AAP calls the country’s first `Swaraj Budget’. Deputy Chief Minister and Finance Minister Manish Sisodia’s 41129 crore budget steered clear of any new taxes and sought to present a ‘welfare agenda’ hinged to the vision of “Swaraj” promised in the party’s 70-point election manifesto.
Highlights of `Swaraj Budget’
Ø Pilot project in 11 constituencies with each constituency getting 20 crore
Ø Every District to get a Delhi District Urban Development Agency for micro-management of issues.
Ø E-governance and m-governance to be promoted
Ø 50 crore set aside for free Wi-Fi in all private colleges.
Ø 9836 crore for education. Out of total 1011 schools 50 schools to be developed as model schools.
Ø Special training programmes for teachers as well as exchange programmes.
Ø 20000 new teachers to be appointed and to make teachers more accountable. CCTV cameras will be installed in all classrooms in government schools.
Ø Government school playgrounds to be made available to children from colonies. If provide schools don’t work with transparency, strict action will be taken against them.
Ø Amendment to be made to make private schools more accountable. Planning a `skill university’ to make Delhi into a knowledge and skill hub.
Ø Diploma courses will be started in each government polytechnic college and the number of seats to be increased by 100.
CABINET APPROVED `JP NARAYAN MEMORIAL’ IN BIHAR
The Union Cabinet approved a proposal on June 24, 2015 for a national memorial at the birth place of socialist leader Jayaprakash Narayan in Bihar. The Union Cabinet give its approval to the proposal of the Ministry of Culture for setting-up of a national memorial at Lala Ka Tola, Sitab Diara, District Chhapra (Saran) in Bihar- the birth place of Lok Nayak Jayaprakash Narayan.
The memorial will house a virtual museum and an institute to undertake study and research on democracy, enhancing the role of panchayats in nation building and Gandhian thought. The National Democratic Alliance government’s decision comes months before the Assembly elections in Bihar, as well as a day before completion of 40 years of the Emergency, which was strongly opposed by JP, as he was affectionately called, and during which he was jailed.
HARYANA LAUNCHED VILLAGE MENTORING PROJECT
The Haryana Government launched a Village Mentoring Project (VMP) on June 20, 2015 to improve healthcare and education of the villages with a special emphasis on girl child.
The project would create awareness among the villages about various issues including educating girl child, health, financial matters etc., Deputy Commissioner of Panchkula Vivek Array said after launching the project from Rajjipur Village near Panchkula (Haryana) district of State in collaboration with Indian School of Business (ISB).
The Village Mentoring Project (VMP) is the first of its kind in Haryana under which villages in the state would be mentored by leading corporate houses, educational institutions and other organizations. It will be launched in a phased manner in 5 villages each of the 22 districts in the State.
RAJASTHAN BECAME NEW LEADER IN SOLAR ENERGY
Rajasthan has become the new leader in solar energy, with an installed capacity of 1167 MW as compared to Gujarat’s 1000 MW. Last year, the Rajasthan government had released its solar policy, which aimed at the installation of 25000 MW of solar power through state or private enterprises or through Public-Private Partnership (PPP).
After the policy release, many big private players had shown keen interest in green energy investment in the State. Top five states in India are (in terms of installed capacity) – Rajasthan (1147 MW), Gujarat (1000 MW), Madhya Pradesh (58 MW), Maharashtra (7 MW) and Andhra Pradesh (4 MW).
In 2014, Rajasthan government had released its Solar Policy which aimed at installing 25000 MW of solar power in State. In this policy, State government had introduced numerous investor-friendly measures to tap full potential of solar power.
SELFILE WITH DAUGHTER CONTEST LAUNCHED BY HARYANA
Bibipur village panchayat in Haryana has launched on June 14, 2015 the contest in which parents from across the state have no take selfies with their daughters and send it to village Sarpanch Sunil Jaglan through social messaging app. Whatsapp. The best three selfies would be awarded with trophies, certificates and cash prize, the village panchayat declared.
The selfies would be judged by a delegation of 30 women sarpanchs and aanganwadi workers, who will be visiting the village on June 19. The panchayat is contributing to `beti bachao-beti padhao’ campaign through the initiative which taps on latest selfie craze to encourage through to click pictures with their daughters, added Jaglan. Haryana has always been at the lowest rung when it comes to sex ration. At present, it is amongst the lowest five States in terms of sex ratio and it witnessed a marginal increase from 868 in 2013 to 871 in 2014.
RBI UPDATES --- upto August 2015 Reviewed by sambasivan srinivasan on 5:21:00 PM Rating: