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Sudhir Vasudeva

20Oct

Sudhir Vasudeva will be the chief of Oil and Natural Gas Corporation -ONGC. He will take over as Chairman and Managing Director of ONGC. Vasudeva is currently Director (Offshore) in ONGC. M Narendra 29Oct M. Narendra will be joining Indian Overseas Bank as Chairman and Managing Director with effect from November 1. He is currently the Executive Director of Bank of India and prior to it was Chief General Manager at Corporation Bank.

Nobel Prize in Medicine 4Oct Robert Edwards of Britain won the 2010 Nobel Prize in medicine. He was awarded for developing in-vitro fertilization, a breakthrough that has helped millions of infertile couples worldwide have children. Edwards a professor emeritus at the University of Cambridge, started working on IVF as early as the 1950s. He developed the technique, in which egg cells are fertilized outside the body and then implanted in the womb, together with gynocologist surgeon Patrick Steptoe. On July 25, 1978, Louise Brown in Britain became the first baby born through the groundbreaking procedure, marking a revolution in fertility treatment. The medicine prize committee in Stockholm said in its citation that the achievements of Edwards have made it possible to treat infertility, a medical condition afflicting a large proportion of humanity, including more than 10 percent of all couples worldwide. Nobel Prize in Physics 5Oct Russian-born scientists Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov shared the Nobel Prize in physics for "groundbreaking experiments" with a new material expected to play a large role in electronics. The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences cited Geim and Novoselov, who are both linked to universities in Britain, for experiments with graphene, a flake of carbon that is only one atom thick. Experiments with graphene could lead to the development of new material and the manufacture of innovative electronics. Since it is practically transparent and a good

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conductor, graphene is suitable for producing transparent touch screens, light panels and maybe even solar cells. Geim is a Dutch national while Novoselov holds British and Russian citizenship. Kishore Kumar Award 5Oct The prestigious national Kishore Kumar award will be presented to noted film maker Yash Chopra for the year 2009-10 while national Lata Mangeshkar award will be given to noted play back singer Anuradha Paudwal. These awards are given by the Madhya Pradesh government every year. A jury constituted by the Madhya Pradesh government unanimously chose names of Yash Chopra and Anuradha Paudwal. Both the awards consist of two lakh cash and a citation. Chemistry Nobel 7Oct American Richard Heck and Japanese researchers Ei-ichi Negishi and Akira Suzuki won the 2010 Nobel Prize in chemistry for developing a chemical method that has allowed scientists to test cancer drugs and make thinner computer screens. The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said the award honors their development of palladium-catalyzed cross couplings in organic systems. The academy called that one of the most sophisticated tools available to chemists and one that is used by researchers worldwide and in commercial production of pharmaceuticals and molecules used to make electronics. Heck is a professor emeritus at the University of Delaware. Negishiis a chemistry professor at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana, and 80-year-old Suzuki is a professor at Hokkaido University in Sapporo, Japan.

The awards were established by Swedish industrialist Alfred Nobel the inventor of dynamite and are always handed out on Dec. 10, the anniversary of his death in 1896. Indira Gandhi Award for National Integration 7Oct A.R. Rahman and the Ramakrishna Mission Ashram, located in Chhattisgarh's Narainpur, have jointly won the 25th Indira Gandhi Award for National Integration for the year 2009 for their services in promoting and preserving national integration. The award, which consists of a citation and Rs.2.5 lakh, will be presented by Sonia Gandhi on October 31, the death anniversary of the former Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi. The award was instituted by the Congress in 1985 to recognise distinguished persons for outstanding contributions to the cause of national integration. Literature Nobel 8Oct Mario Vargas Llosa has won the Nobel Prize for Literature for his cartography of structures of power and his trenchant images of the individual's resistance, revolt, and defeat. Llosa is known for his prolific writing that included comedies and murder mysteries, his most powerful novels have contained commentary on historical and political conditions in his native Peru and other parts of Latin America. The “monumental” work that Conversation in the Cathedral (1969) represents for example, was deeply concerned with the ravaging of Peruvian politics and government under the dictatorship of Manuel A. Odría in the 1950s. Llosa's first major international breakthrough came in 1963, with the publication of the novel The Time

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of the Hero. However the book which drew upon his military school experiences also raised a controversy back in Peru and “a thousand copies were burnt publicly by officers” of the school. His other profoundly influential novel was The Feast of the Goat (2000). This major work was again a political thriller and was loosely based on the dictatorship of Rafael Trujillo of the Dominican Republic between 1930 and 1961. Other well known works include Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter (1977), The War of the End of the World, (1981) and, more recently, Death in the Andes (1993). Born in Arequipa, Peru, Llosa grew up with his mother in Bolivia after his parents were divorced. After his family moved back to Peru in 1946, his parents were reunited and they settled in Lima. Llosa attended both a Catholic school in Lima as well as Leoncio Prado Military Academy the place that gave him material for The Time of the Hero following which he studied law and literature in Madrid. Nobel Peace Prize 8Oct A Chinese dissident, Liu Xiaobo won the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize for championing reform and human rights. At present, Liu Xiaobo is behind the bars and he was unaware of Nobel Peace Prize. The Nobel Committee president, Thorbjoern Jagland, announced his name for the Pece Prize. He said that the writer and university professor has been honoured "for his long and non-violent struggle for fundamental human rights in China. The 54-year-old dissident was sentenced 11year-jail last year.

SCOPE Award 9Oct Partha S. Bhattacharyya, Chairman, Coal India Limited (CIL) has won the SCOPE “Special award of the jury”. Standing Conference of Public Sector Enterprises (SCOPE) excellence awards have been conceptualised and instituted to recognise the contribution of public enterprises and to encourage outstanding persons for their hard work and leadership qualities. Earlier, under the chairmanship of Bhattacharyya, Coal India had won the “SCOPE gold trophy 2007-08 for excellence and outstanding contribution to the public sector management” in institutional category. Economic Noble Prize 11Oct The US researcher Peter A Diamond, Dale T Mortensen and British Cypriot citizen Christopher A. Pissarides shared the Noble prize for Economics. The trio was awarded the prize for their "analysis of markets with search frictions", in relation to the labour market. They are to share the award, worth 10 million kronor ($1.5 million) equally. The prize - formally called The Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel - was last year awarded to US researchers Elinor Ostrom and Oliver Williamson for their work in the field of economic governance. Ostrom was the first woman to win the economics prize that was first awarded in 1969. Finance Minister of Asia Award 12Oct Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee has won this year's ‘Finance Minister of the Year for Asia' award. This award is based on nominations from public and private sector

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economists, analysts, bankers, investors and other experts. This award unequivocally signals the confidence the Minister has inspired in key stakeholders, by virtue of his fuel price reforms, fiscal transparency and inclusive growth strategies. The award is from ‘Emerging Markets', the daily newspaper of record for the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF). It may be recalled that Mukherjee was rated one of the best Finance Minister in the world in 1984 as well. Man Booker Prize 14Oct British writer and journalist Howard Jacobson's novel The Finkler Question, a semi-autobiographical comic take on Jewish identity, is the surprise winner of this year's Man Booker Prize. It was not the unanimous choice of the jury. Manchester-born Jacobson, who lives in London, beat two of the bookies' favourites Tom McCarthy's C and Emma Donoghue's Room to win the £50,000 prize. SASTRA Ramanujan Prize 14Oct The 2010 SASTRA Ramanujan Prize will be awarded to Wei Zhang, a Benjamin Pierce Instructor at the Department of Mathematics, Harvard University, United States. According to a release from the Shanmugha Arts, Sciences, Technology, Research Academy (SASTRA) University, Dr. Zhang was the unanimous choice of the SASTRA Ramanujan Prize Committee, comprising a panel of international experts, chaired by University of Florida's Professor Krishnaswami Alladi, for making a profound influence at the young age of 29 in a wide range of areas in mathematics. Established in 2005, this annual prize is for

outstanding contributions by very young mathematicians in areas influenced by Indian mathematician Srinivasa Ramanujan. The age limit for the prize has been set at 32 because Ramanujan achieved so much in his brief life of 32 years. The $10,000 prize will be awarded at the International Conference on Number Theory and Automorphic Forms at SASTRA University in Kumbakonam, on December 22, Ramanujan's birthday. Dr. Wei has made far-reaching contributions by himself, and in collaboration with others, to a broad range of areas in mathematics, including number theory, automorphic forms, Lfunctions, trace formulas, representation theory and algebraic geometry. Born in China, Dr. Wei has a 2004 bachelor's degree from Beijing University, and completed his Ph.D in Columbia University under the supervision of Shou Wu Zhang in 2009 and joined Harvard University as a post doctoral fellow. Yale Award 19Oct Ratan Tata will be conferred with the Yale School of Management's prestigious "Legend in Leadership" award. Ratan Tata will be conferred with the Yale School of Management's prestigious "Legend in Leadership" award. Tata Sons Chairman Ratan Tata will be conferred with the Yale School of Management's prestigious "Legend in Leadership" award in Mumbai. The award will be presented to Tata at a conference of renowned business leaders from all over the world who will meet in Mumbai Oct 25. Organized by the Yale School of Management, the conference will see the world business leaders discussing "Leading Global Enterprises across Global Cities: Aspirations, Realities and Alternatives." Past winners of the Yale Legend in

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Leadership Award include Alan Mulally of the Ford Motor Company, Jamie Dimon of J.P. Morgan Chase, Robert Iger of The Walt Disney Corporation, Stephen Schwarzman of Blackstone Group, Roger Enrico of PepsiCo, John Pepper of Proctor & Gamble; Don Keough of The Coca Cola Co., and McKinsey founder Marvin Bower.

Human Rights Prize 21Oct The European Parliament has awarded its Sakharov human rights prize to Cuban dissident Guillermo Farinas. Farinas has staged more than 20 hunger strikes and spent more than 11 years in prison during his campaign for human rights. In July, he ended a hunger strike after Cuba's communist government announced it was freeing 52 political prisoners. Doctors said Farinas, a psychologist, journalist and former soldier, had been near death while on hunger strike this year. The Sakharov Prize was named after the late Soviet dissident Andrei Sakharov and was first awarded in 1988. It includes a cash award of 50,000 euros. Bhatnagar Prizes 21Oct Prime Minister Manmohan Singh gave away the coveted Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prize for 2009 and 2010 to 20 scientists for their achievement in the field of science and technology. For the first time in the 53-year-old history of the Prize, three awards were bagged by women scientists for the year 2010. The Prize was instituted in 1957 by the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) in honour of its founder

Director. Dr Singh also presented CSIR's award for S&T Innovations for Rural Development for 2009 to Indian Oil Corporation's Research and Development Centre at Faridabad. The awardees for 2010 include G K Ananthasuresh of Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore, Swapan K Pati and Umesh Vasudeo Waghmare of Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research (JNCASR), Bangalore, Shubha Tole and Kalobaran Maiti of Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai. U.S. Award 23Oct The San Francisco-based Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), a leading civil liberties group, will confer the 2010 Pioneer Award on researcher Hari Prasad, who was recently released on bail after having been jailed for his security work on electronic voting machines. Hari Krishna Prasad Vemuru is a security researcher in India who recently revealed security flaws in India's paperless electronic voting machines. Prasad hopes to help his country build a transparent and verifiable voting system. The EFF's Pioneer Awards recognise leaders who are extending freedom and innovation on the electronic frontier. Prasad is the first Indian to receive the prestigious award. Top international Award 26Oct A committed Indian nurse has been honoured with the first International Neonatal Nursing Excellence Award, in recognition of her commitment for working on the frontlines of newborn care in resource-challenged countries, where the majority of newborn deaths occur.

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Rekha Kashinath Samant from Mumbai and Regina Obeng from Kumasi in Ghana were selected from nominations sent from all over the world to receive the award at the opening ceremony of the 7th International Conference of the Neonatal Nurses at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre in Durban. Regina and Rekha were selected over many outstanding candidates for their unwavering leadership and passion for ensuring every new-born has a chance to survive and thrive. Norman Wisdom 5Oct British comedy actor Norman Wisdom, famous for his slapstick film roles in his trademark cloth cap and ill-fitting jacket, has died. Wisdom rose to stardom with a string of hits in the 1950s and 1960s, such as "Trouble in Store" and "A Stitch in Time", which usually involved his cheery cloth-capped "Gump" character as an underdog battling adversity. P. Pendharkar 10Oct Film director and writer Prabhakar Bhalji Pendharkar passed away. Pendharkar, son of legendary Marathi filmmaker Bhalji Pendharkar, recently received a special mention at the National Film Awards 2009 for his book Eka Studioche Atmavrutta. The award was to be conferred on him on October 21. His books include Rarang Dhang, Pratiksha, Sansar Sansar, and Ani Chinar Lal Zala. Rarang Dhang had won a State award. Farooq Leghari 21Oct Farooq Ahmed Khan Leghari, Pakistan's eighth President, died night in a Rawalpindi hospital after a prolonged illness. Leghari was President from November 14, 1993, to December 2, 1997. Leghari began

his political career with the Pakistan People's Party but fell out with it when he dismissed then Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto's government in 1996. Born on May 2, 1940, Leghari did his schooling and graduation in Pakistan before going to Oxford University for postgraduation. He returned to Pakistan to join the Civil Services from which he resigned in 1973 to join the PPP. David Thompson 25Oct Prime Minister David Thompson of Barbados died. Thompson, who became prime minister of the Caribbean nation of 270,000 people in January 2008, died.

FTTH Tech 4Oct Bhartiya Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) launched the FTTH (Fibre-To-The-Home) technology in Vadodara. The FTTH network has been built on the Gigabyte Passive Optical Technology (GPON) concept. It has a downlink speed of 2.5 Gbps and uplink speed of 1.25 Gbps. Single optical fibre will cater to 32 customers with the above stated band with. Now, BSNL will offer high speed broadband access (internet) upto 100 Mbps with facilities of multi channel IPTV, Video/Audio on demand, interactive gaming, conferencing, high speed lease line, voice services etc on this technology. FTTH is very useful technology to meet demands of TNF areas, new developing commercial /residential areas, corporate bulk demands,etc. It is the latest technology and offers replacement to existing copper network with better reliability and high speed data transmission. Fifth Gen Fighter Aircraft 4Oct

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The Chief of Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal P.V Naik has said that the country will be acquiring 200 to 250 Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft in a few years time. These ultra modern aircraft will have all round situation-awareness with advanced avionics and stealth capability. It can be achieved by 2017. Judicial Accountability Bill 5Oct The Cabinet gave its approval for a Bill which will provide a mechanism for inquiry into the complaints against the Judges of the Supreme Court and the High Courts. The proposed Judicial Standards and Accountability Bill has been given a go ahead with some amendments. The Bill lays down judicial standards and requires the judges of the Supreme and the High Courts to declare their assets and liabilities. The Bill seeks to replace the Judges Inquiry Act, 1968 while retaining its basic features. She also said that a five-member National Judicial Oversight Committee to be chaired by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court will be set up. It will have the Attorney General, the Supreme Court Judge nominated by the Chief Justice, the Chief Justice of the High Court nominated by the Chief Justice of India and an eminent person nominated by the President on the panel. The Bill provides for complaints to be made to the Oversight Committee which will then be sent to a three-member scrutiny panel for investigations. The investigations will have to be completed in three months time and the report submitted to the Apex Oversight Committee. The cabinet has also approved an expenditure of

upto 3,000 crore rupees during the 11th plan for the setting up of 13 new Central Universities and conversion of three state universities into central universities. Bilateral Cooperation 5Oct India and Belgium have agreed to enhance bilateral cooperation in the fight against terrorism and in the fields of science and technology. The matter came up for discussion during discussions between visiting Vice President Hamid Ansari and Belgian Prime Minister Yves Leterme in Brussals. In the other bilateral discussion, India and Greece agreed to increase bilateral cooperation in the fields of shipping, terrorism, piracy and tourism. Post-Matric Scholarship 5Oct The government has released over 120 crore rupees as a central assistance to the Government of Andhra Pradesh under the centrally sponsored scheme of Post-Matric Scholarship to students belonging to the Scheduled Castes. The anticipated expenditure during this financial year under this scheme is about 578 crore rupees out of which, the committed liability of the State of Andhra Pradesh is about 258 crore rupees. The objective of the scheme is to provide financial assistance to the Scheduled Caste students studying at post matriculation or post-secondary stage to enable them to complete their education. Defence Deals 8Oct India and Russia inched closer to two mega defence deals that have been under negotiation for a while. The two sides also decided to step up the tempo of joint exercises by making them an annual event. Both sides will hold the Indra exercises after a gap of three years, and moves are on to hold the next edition in Russia next year.

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India will receive 250-300 Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft (FGFA), that both countries intend developing together. The announcement comes against the backdrop of bleak chances for the MiG-35 of making it to the top, in another $10 billion tender for 126 multi-role fighters. The 10th Meeting of the India-Russia InterGovernmental Commission on Military Technical Cooperation (IRIGC-MTC) also tied up the loose ends of another ambitious co-development project the multirole transport aircraft (MTA), for which the shareholder agreement was signed in September. These two projects are the “major achievements of this year, and for the next 10 years these two projects, the FGFA and the MTA, will be shining examples of India-Russia defence cooperation. Power Project 8Oct The Punjab government had signed a Memorandum of Understanding with National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) for setting up a 2640 Mw Coal based Thermal Power Project at Gidderbaha with an estimated outlay of Rs 15,000 crore. This will be the biggest thermal power project in Punjab in terms of capacity. The MoU was signed by Power (Punjab) Principal Secretary Arun Goel and NTPC Director I J Kapoor. Agni-II Plus 10Oct Director-General of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) V.K. Saraswat said that Agni-II Plus, a modified version of the Agni-II strategic missile, would be launched next year. It would have a higher range, higher

performance, with respect to the thrust and weight ratio than Agni-II, which has a range of 2,000 km. Saraswat said the DRDO was developing ballistic missiles with both short and longrange radars which were highly manoeuvrable. On the indigenous light combat aircraft (LCA) Tejas, negotiations were going on to acquire the GE4141 engines and this would be completed within a month. Projects for Urban Amenities 11Oct The government will launch ten pilot projects from January next year with a view to provide Urban amenities in the rural areas of the country. These pilot projects are proposed in the states of Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Kerala, Orissa, Puducherry, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Uttarakhand. The project will be expanded further after asserting the ground reality. These projects are being launched through private-public partnership mode with an average investment of 100 crore rupees in each project. The project aims to improve the livelihood opportunities and holistic development of the rural areas. 248 crore rupees are proposed to be ear-marked in the next five year plan. India & Vietnam 14Oct India and Vietnam had decided to extend the frontiers of their defence-related cooperation. As the centrepiece, New Delhi agreed to expand assistance to Hanoi in its ongoing military modernisation. The modalities of toning up cooperation were discussed, from a broad political perspective, by Defence Minister A. K. Antony and his Vietnamese counterpart Phung Quang Thanh in Hanoi. Their talks followed India's participation in the firstever Asia-Pacific Defence Ministers'

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meeting, which ended in the Vietnamese capital. Both countries expressed satisfaction at the progress made so far under their defence cooperation memorandum of November 2009. Specifically, India now agreed to share its expertise in defence-related information technology and the usage of English for military purposes. Such cooperation was seen as a promising possibility. However, it was not immediately clear whether the model of India's assistance to Indonesia, specifically an army-oriented IT lab, would apply to Vietnam as well. There was no authoritative word on whether Vietnam would, like Malaysia, seek to capitalise on India's expertise in the training of pilots for Russian-made combat aircraft. The two sides discussed military training, as different from joint exercises, as a key aspect of cooperation. New Delhi agreed to host the Vietnamese Army for joint training in mountain and jungle warfare at a suitable Indian location next year. India offered to help Vietnam in mastering the art of United Nations peace-keeping operations. Cooperation between the defence institutes of the two countries was also agreed upon. Vietnam, for its part, wanted more port-calls by the Indian warships and offered maintenance-and-repair facilities at its ports. Joint Venture 14Oct Union IT and Communications Minister A. Raja said that India will be seeking Russia's assistance in setting up a national disaster management centre modelled on a Russian facility. The Minister was ‘highly impressed' by the high-tech National Emergency Management Centre he visited. The centre gathers online information about natural and manmade

disasters all over Russia and coordinates relief and mitigation efforts. We badly need such a centre in India and our Home Minister will be visiting Russia soon to firm up specific agreements. The two sides agreed to explore the possibility of setting up a joint venture in India to produce silicon chips and telecom equipment. The idea came up during the Minister's visit to the Moscow-based Micron Company, which boasts an integrated chipmaking facility. Priority areas We are looking to Russia, which is among the few countries manufacturing 3G and WiMax chips, to assist India in achieving self-sufficiency in this field. India and Russia are planning to sign an MoU in the field of IT and Telecom when Shchegolev visits India. We have identified three priority areas for cooperation in IT: egovernance, telemedicine and techno parks. Interestingly, the same areas were identified during the previous visit of an Indian IT and Communications Minister to Russia in 2001. However, there has been no follow-up since then. Military Drills 15Oct After a gap of three years, India and Russia will conduct a 10-day joint anti-terrorism exercise starting in the picturesque setting of Uttarakhand's Ranikhet district, home of the highly-decorated Kumaon Regiment as well as elements of the Gorkha and Naga Regiments. Termed Indra 2010, Indian and Russian military personnel will form a joint task force and plan and carry out a series of mock anti-terrorism missions in the mountains. Kalpeni Commissioned 15Oct

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The indigenous Water Jet Fast Attack Craft (FAC), INS Kalpeni, was commissioned by Chief Justice of the Kerala High Court Jasti Chelameswar at a formal ceremony held at the Navy's Southern Naval Command. It is the seventh of the 10 new generation Car Nicobar class FACs designed and built by Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers (GRSE), Kolkata. Kalpeni, propelled by three powerful water jets, can achieve speeds in excess of 35 knots. Based at the Southern Naval Command, it will bolster the capabilities of the Command in coastal surveillance and search and destruction of fast moving targets. Its main armament is a 30mm CRN-91 gun with an Optronic Pedestal Sight as its director. It has also been fitted with 11 machine guns of various types and shoulder-fired IGLA surface-to-air missiles. Commanded by Lieutenant Commander Subhal Nathan, it has a crew of three officers and 38 sailors. Diamond Bours17Oct The world's largest diamond exchange opens in the Mumbai's business district BandraKurla Complex, taking India from a manufacturing to a trading hub and challenging the dominance of traditional centres like Belgium and Israel. Bharat Diamond Bourse (BDB), designed by eminent architect Balakrishna Doshi and spread over 20 acres with nine interlinked nine-storey towers each, has been set up at a cost of Rs.1,100 crore (over 200 million USD). The objective is to establish necessary infrastructure facilities for the promotion of diamonds, diamond jewellery from India and provide all support and service facilities to the traders, importers, exporters and other stakeholders. India's diamond processing industry

accounts for 70-75 percent of total diamond exports and employs 850,000 people, making it the largest cutting centre by value and number of employees. All top 400 exporters are over here (at the bourse), which accounts for 90 percent of the turnover. Incorporated in 1984 with a group of diamond exporters in the city, the exchange expects the turnover to rise 10-15 percent annually the next five years. Currently, it has a turnover of $27-28 billion and hopes to grow substantially on higher participation from diamond traders across the globe. We expect diamond traders from Israel and Belgium to start trading over here. The diamond industry is one of the fastest growing in the world. India is leading in every aspect of the trade, whether it be the number of pieces manufactured, maximum carats being exported and highest volumes. And the BDB will now afford it the best equipped infrastructure in the world. India is a major diamond manufacturing centre with 11 out of 12 diamonds in the world being cut, polished and processed. The BDB will ultimately help make India an international trading centre for ms and jewellery and take the step towards creating a Brand India in the world of diamonds. With state-of-the-art facilities and security, the centrallyairconditioned BDB would have an inflow of over 20,000-27,000 people a day when it is fully operational in the next few months. Youth Festival 19Oct National Youth Festival (NYF) would be organized in Udaipur city of Rajasthan on January 12 next year. The sixteenth annual National Youth Festival (NYF) would be organized in Udaipur city of Rajasthan on January 12

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next year in collaboration with the State and Central governments. Indian Military Deals 19Oct With the Indian armed forces looking at a possible $50-billion worth of purchases in the next five years, US major Boeing has set its eyes on garnering a large chunk of that pie which includes the Indian Air Force’s (IAF) and Navy’s requirements of airborne early warning system and mid-air refuellers. Boeing’s vice-president and India head Vivek Lall said here that his company had already carried out a briefing for the Navy and IAF on its B 737-700 platform airborne early warning and command aircraft (AEW&C), apart from receiving the IAF’s tenders for the refuellers. The two deals are estimated to be worth over $1- billion each. The AEW&C system that provides for long distance beyond horizon radar coverage encompasses both the B 737-700 aircraft platform and a variety of aircraft control and advanced radar systems. Comprising components created by Boeing and Northrop Grumman, the B 737 AEW&C represents the future in this force multiplier system. IAF plans to have at least 10 AEW&C, apart from developing its own system through the Defence Research and Development Organisation to be fitted on the Embraer platform. Boeing has received RFP for IAF’s requirement of refuellers. Boeing has the KC-767 tanker/transport refueller based on its commercial 767 platform. Boeing is also contemplating developing a variant of its larger 777 design. European consortium EADS’ Airbus A330 multi role tanker transport (MRTT) is Boeing’s competitor for the contract. India has already bought three Israeli
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Phalcon early warning systems and plans to get two more of it soon. Social Security Agreement 22Oct A reciprocal social security agreement (SSA) and protocol that will benefit a huge number of Indians particularly those working in the fields of Information Technology, medicine and finance was signed in Seoul. Overseas Indian Affairs Minister Vayalar Ravi and Korean Minister for Trade Kim Jong-hoon signed the pact. An SSA with Korea would enhance the movement of professionals, and strengthen the trade and investment, between the two countries. Small Dam 25Oct An expert committee formed after a tripartite meeting of the Centre, State govt, and AASU has prescribed construction of a small dam instead of the 2000 MW hydel dam at Lower Subansiri in Arunachal Pradesh. Interacting with locals after visiting the Lower Subansiri dam project at Gerukamukh, members of the expert committee were of the opinion that a small dam was feasible in the area. Committee Coordinator Dr Jatin Kalita of Gauhati University said that the sand structure, seismic and earthquake report does not favour a dam of 2000 MW capacity and so we have suggested construction of a small dam. The members said the dam will not contain flood as it was not a run of the river project and that the model of the mega dam for lower Subansiri had to be changed.

Shunglu Panel 26Oct The high-level committee set up by the

Centre to look into the conduct of the Commonwealth Games would have a much broader mandate, going beyond allegations of corruption and misappropriation of funds. Even while focusing on “alleged misappropriation, irregularities, wasteful expenditure and wrongdoings in the conduct of the Games,” the terms of reference of the panel approved include examination of “weaknesses” in management and issues relating to coordination among various agencies involved in the development of infrastructure and conduct of the Games. The panel, headed by the former Comptroller and Auditor-General of India, V.K. Shunglu, would look at planning and execution of development projects and contracts for service delivery, with reference to time, cost and quality and the role of advisers, consultants and officials of the Organising Committee. India & Japan 2Oct India and Japan has decided to extend their cooperation to areas such as joint ventures in rare earth minerals, some hitherto unexplored areas in defence, and transport and industrial corridors in south India. These will build on a recently finalised economic pact, more intimate security ties, two mega infrastructure projects in northwestern India and ongoing talks on a nuclear agreement. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his Japanese counterpart Naoto Kan, during restricted and delegation-level talks, resolved to continue the talks on a civil nuclear agreement. They instructed officials to ensure the smooth implementation of the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) and accelerate discussions on the reform of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), to which both countries are aspirants as permanent members.

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Both India and Japan would move towards long-term cooperation including the implementation of joint ventures in rare earth minerals. Joint Exercise 26Oct After a two-day break, fliers of the Indian Air Force and the Royal Air Force were back in the skies as part of Indradhanush, the joint exercise between the two countries that started in the Kalaikunda Air Force Station in West Bengal's Paschim Medinipur district. While pilots would continue with missions related to Large Force Engagements for now, the next phase of the exercise will begin on October 27, which includes RADAR denial. The missions in this exercise are focussed on air defence. The first phase is ‘Large Force Engagement,' deals with the deployment of a large number of aircraft within a limited air-space, a situation that can be a nightmare for air traffic controllers, but commonly faced in combat situations. Since the attack and defence aircraft come in waves, planes come into close proximity in the skies and the skills of both the fighter pilots and fighter-controller (the person manning the RADAR) are tested. The second phase of the exercise, RADAR denial, deals with a situation when due to unforeseen circumstances, the RADAR stops functioning. Number Portability 26Oct Haryana will experience India’s first mobile number portability (MNP) on November 25. MNP allows mobile subscribers to change their service providers without changing phone numbers. It has been delayed thrice in less than a year, with the deadline now being December 20 for pan-India rollout. The Department of Telecommunications

(DoT) will begin MNP testing for the Haryana circle on November 8 and go live on November 25. For the rest of the circles, it will be implemented in phases. Number portability was scheduled to be started in metros and category-A circles on December 31, 2009, and for the rest of the country it was slated for April 1, 2010. It was to be fully operational by October 31. But issues related to operators testing their networks and a Foreign Investment Promotion Board clearance to Telcordia being stuck due to security issues derailed the schedule. DoT had given licences to Syniverse Technologies and MNP Interconnection Telecom Solutions, for 74:26 joint venture between USbased Telcordia and Deepak Talwar Consultants Pvt Ltd to implement MNP. In March 2009, the Ministry of Home Affairs revoked the FIPB approval to Telcordia, citing security concerns. DoT has now asked Syniverse to get ready to implement MNP across the country, as it may have to withdraw the licence to Telcordia. C-130J Plane 26Oct The US will hand over the first of the six C130Js ordered by India to its Air Force in December and it is expected to reach its base near here by February next year. The C-130J made for India by American aerospace major Lockheed Martin at its Marietta facility had recently carried out its first flight successfully after it was painted in IAF colours. The first of the six C-130Js ordered by India will be handed over in December this year in Georgia and it will reach its Indian base by February next year. India had bought the C-130Js from the US through an agreement signed in 2007

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for USD 950 million. International Airport 31Oct Himachal Pradesh chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal has said that the first international-level airport in the state would be set up near Shimla under the PPP mode at an initial cost of Rs 1,000 crore. He also announced that that 10 more helipads would be set up in Sirmour, Kinnaur and Mandi districts thereby increasing the total number of helipads in the state to 70. He also said that heli-taxis services in the state would be started soon. The government had finalised the names of three heli-taxi operators and a formal MoU with them would be signed. In the initial stage, all district headquarters would be connected by heli-taxis services. India-Nepal 31Oct India and Nepal have inked a pact to boost cooperation in the education sector as New Delhi pledged to provide Rs 25 million to improve infrastructure in one of the oldest institutions in the country's eastern Taplejung district. An MoU was inked between the Embassy of India and the Department of Urban Development and Building Construction, Ilam district. New Delhi's financial grant of Rs 25 million for the construction of hostels of Shri Sinam Higher Secondary School comes under Nepal-India Economic Cooperation. Established in 1950 as a primary school and later upgraded as higher secondary school in 2001, the school is one of the oldest educational institutions in Nepal. The new infrastructures would cater to the educational need of over 1,200 students, about half of them girls. Civil nuclear Cooperation 31Oct India and South Korea have reached an agreement on civil nuclear cooperation,

marking the ninth such pact that New Delhi has finalised since getting the NSG waiver in 2008. This announcement was made after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh met South Korean President Lee Myung-bak in Hanoi on the sidelines of the ASEAN Summit. Korea will be the ninth country with which India will be signing the nuclear agreement after it got the waiver from the Nuclear Suppliers' Group (NSG) in 2008. The others are the US, France, Russia, Canada, Mongolia, Kazakhstan, Argentina and Namibia. The NSA noted that the two countries have made considerable progress in various aspects of the relations, including civil aviation and space. The two leaders also discussed issues relating to G-20 and stressed that it is important not only to take decisions but have a system of systematic implementation so that they are carried forward over several years. Both agreed to work together in G-20, whose Summit is taking place in Seoul, the capital of South Korea, next month.

Annual Conference of ANRPC 5Oct India will be hosting the the third Annual Rubber Conference, the 33rd Assembly and other committees of the Association of Natural Rubber Producing Countres (ANRPC). The theme of this year's confernce is 'Natural Rubber Industry in the New Decade Opportunties, Challenges and Strategies'.. About 400 delegates including rubber Industry players, policy makers, researchers and analysts are among those who would be participating. The first session focusing on the theme

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'Outlook for Global Supply and Demand of Rubber' will be chaired by Dr Asoka Nugawela, Director, Rubber Research Institute of Sri Lanka, Prof Djoko S Damardjati, Secretary General ANRPC and Jom Jacon, Senior Economist of ANRPC will jointly present the paper titled 'Global Supply and Demand of Rubber'. Another paper 'Outlook for Global Demand for Natural and Synthetic Rubber' will be chaired by Dr Stephen V Evans, Secretary General International Rubber Study Group, Singapore. The focus of the second session will be on 'Natural Rubber Industry in ANRPC member Countries: Present Status, Opportunties, Challanges and Strategies for the Future'. Another session on 'Developments in Rubber Market and Downstream Sectors in Natural Rubber Producing Countries' will also be held besides a panel discussion of 'Supply and Demand of Rubber in the new Decade-Emerging issues and Strategies'. ANRPC is an intergovernmental organisation having 11 mebers presently including China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Sri Lanak, Thailand besides India. The committee's aim is to improve productivity of rubber holdings, reduce cost, increase value addtiion in downstream rubber sector among others. ASEM 5Oct The two day Asia-Europe Summit which concluded in Brussels has admitted Russia, Australia and New Zealand as the new partners of ASEM. With this, the number of partners in ASEM has gone up to 48.

These include 27 countries from the European Community, ten ASEAN countries and six NESA countries, besides the three newly admitted members. The European Commission and the ASEAN Secretariat are also partners in the group. U.N. Security Council 13Oct India was elected as a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council with an overwhelming number of countries endorsing its sole candidature from the Asian group. In polling for 10 seats that took place at the U.N. headquarters in New York, India received the highest number of votes 187 out of 192 among all countries in the fray. This resounding endorsement of India's candidature at the United Nations reaffirms the overwhelming support India enjoys in the international community. Longest Tunnel 17Oct A giant drilling machine punched its way through a final section of Alpine rock to complete the world's longest tunnel, after 15 years of sometimes lethal construction work. The 57 Km high-speed rail link, which will open in 2017, will form the lynchpin of a new rail network between northern and southeastern Europe and help ease congestion and pollution in the Swiss Alps. It is the third tunnel to be built through the snowbound St Gotthard area but it is much the longest and three Km longer than a rail link between two Japanese islands, the

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current record holder at 53.8 Km. Nuclear Plant in Venezuela 17Oct Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez reached a deal with Russia to build the South American country's first nuclear plant, as questions arose why a nation rich in oil and gas would feel the need to venture into atomic energy. The two nations also signed other energy agreements. Russia has cultivated close ties with Chavez's government to expand its global clout and counter US influence in Latin America. Russia plans to build two 1,200 megawatt nuclear reactors at the Venezuelan plant. APEC Meet 17Oct The first-ever ministerial meeting on food security of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) was kicked off in the Japanese port city of Nigata. Ministers from the APEC member countries started talks on issues, including the sustainable development of agriculture to ensure long-term food security. Japanese minister of Agriculture, Foresty and Fisheries, Michihiko Kano said at the opening ceremony that increasing the availability of food was necessary not only for APEC region but also for the food security in the world. An action plan aimed at preventing food shortages is set to be drawn up in the twoday meeting along with a declaration. Megi 19Oct

A super typhoon has struck the northern Philippines with heavy rain and winds of up to 260 kilometers an hour leaving at least three people dead. Typhoon Megi made landfall in Isabela province at 1125 destroying buildings and crops, cutting power and telecommunications. Thousands sheltered in public buildings or fled to higher ground, and a "state of calamity" was declared in Isabela. Privatisation Plans 21Oct Russia has announced further details of plans for its biggest privatisation since the 1990s - which could rise up to 1.8 trillion roubles. The sale could involve the total or part-sale of stakes of up to 900 companies, including the oil giant Rosneft and Russian Railways. The announcement was made by Russia's First Deputy Prime Minister, Igor Shuvalov. Among the details given, Shuvalov said Russian airline Aeroflot may form part of the sell-off. Fastest Train 27Oct China has unveiled what it described as the world's fastest bullet train, which will connect two of the country's industrial hubs travelling at an average speed of 350 km per hour. The rail link between Shanghai and Hangzhou, the latest addition to China's fast-expanding high-speed rail network that is already the world's largest, covers the 200-km distance in only 45 minutes, reducing the travelling time from 78 minutes. The home-built CRH380 bullet train has been recorded travelling at 420 km per hour,

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a world record. It will, however, travel between the two cities at less than full tilt, at an average speed of 350 km per hour. China's high-speed rail network now stretches over 7,431 km. The government plans to expand the network to over 16,000 km by 2020. Investment in the high-speed rail network has gathered pace since the first line, connecting Beijing with the port city Tianjin, opened in 2008. Following the $586billion stimulus plan that was announced in November 2008, spending on infrastructure projects has increased substantially. China is investing an estimated $300 billion on its high-speed rail network. Biodiversity Aid 27Oct Japan plans to give about $60 million to help developing countries protect species and habitats at a UN conference on biodiversity it is hosting. The government is preparing to announce aid worth roughly five billion yen to developing countries. The fund, to be announced during the 193nation meeting of the UN's Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) in Nagoya, would be offered to the CBD secretariat between now and 2014. The aid aims to help developing countries draft national strategies for biodiversity conservation, and pay for expert training and cooperation in scientific data-gathering. The aid would also promote Japan's "Satoyama Initiative" a worldwide effort to help preserve so-called socio-ecological production landscapes such as the semi-wild

woodlands traditionally found around Japanese villages. The 12-day UN conference aims to secure agreement on how to stop the rapid loss of the world's plant and animal species, as well as their habitats, to stem what biologists say is a global extinction crisis underway. EAS 29Oct The United States and Russia will be the new members of the East Asia Summit (EAS), a forum of native states of the region and their dialogue partners among major powers of the world. This follows a decision taken by the leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) at their latest annual summit in Hanoi. Washington and Moscow will be invited to attend the annual meetings of the EAS from 2011. Founded over four years ago, the EAS now has 16 members all the 10 ASEAN countries, Australia, China, India, Japan, New Zealand, and the Republic of Korea. The ASEAN leaders emphasised the need for “ensuring centrality” to an expanded EAS as well. Currently, the ASEAN Chair presides over the EAS meetings. As “a leaders-driven strategic forum,” the EAS functions as a key organisation for regional cooperation on a range of issues including security. “An effective regional architecture should be based on existing processes which are complementary to each other,” the ASEAN leaders decided. These processes include the ASEAN+3 forum, the +3 countries being China, Japan, and the Republic of Korea.

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Portfolio Management 5Oct The Securities and Exchange Board of India has streamlined the norms for charging of fees by portfolio managers, a move that will check the practice of levying arbitrarily by them. Under the proposed norms, a portfolio manager, who manages the wealth, will be allowed to charge performance fee on the basis of increase in the value of portfolio. It has come to the notice of SEBI that the clauses relating to fees and charges in the portfolio manager-client agreement do not always clearly reflect the fees and charges payable by the client and the manner of computation of the same. The new norms for portfolio managers will apply from November 1. As regards the existing customers, the portfolio managers will be required to implement the norms from January 1, 2011. “Henceforth, profit/performance shall be computed on the basis of high watermark principle (the highest level achieved during a period) over the life of the investment, for charging of performance/profit sharing fee. Divestment in SCI 6Oct The Centre has embarked on a two-pronged strategy, allowing disinvestment of 10 per cent of its stake in Shipping Corporation of India (SCI) and allowing it to raise additional equity of like quantum. The disinvestment in this Navratna company is expected to generate about Rs.1,300 crore. The Cabinet Committee on Economic

Affairs has allowed a discount of 5 per cent to retail investors on the issue price and allowed reservation of shares of 0.50 per cent of the issue size along with discount of 5 per cent on the offer price for employees of the largest shipping company in the country owning 75 vessels. The ownership of the government in SCI will come down to 63.75 per cent from the current 80.12 per cent after the sale and further issue of shares. The government hopes to develop a road map for higher public participation in the company while ensuring that government equity did not fall below 51 per cent. Textile parks The Union Cabinet has cleared a proposal to sanction more integrated textile parks under the Textile Ministry's Scheme for Integrated Textile Parks. The number of additional parks would, however, be limited so that the committed liability for the new projects were within the balance amount of Rs.200 crore available under the scheme for the XI Plan. The Cabinet cleared a modification of the guidelines for appraisal of proposals under the scheme. There will be now a two-tier system, an inter-Ministerial project scrutiny committee to appraise the proposals. Its recommendations would be then processed by a Project Approval Committee for the final approval. The new system is expected to provide for a deeper and a more incisive appraisal. Funds for 10 sick PSEs The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has approved Rs.70.76 crore for payment of salaries, provident fund, gratuity, pension and other dues to employees of 10 sick central public sector enterprises (CPSEs). The CCEA approved

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the non-plan support for sick or loss making CPSEs for the nine months from January 2010. The CPSEs which will benefit from the decision are: Hindustan Cables (Rs.20.93 crore), HMT (5.6 crore), HMT (Watches) (Rs.14.31 crore), HMT (CW) (Rs.96 lakh), Hindustan Photo Films (Rs.3.10 crore), Triveni Strucurals (Rs.71 lakh), Tungbhadra Steel Products (Rs.60 lakh), Nepa (Rs.11.46 crore), Scooters India (Rs.11.01 crore) and HMT Bearings (Rs.2.32 crore). The CCEA also delegated its power to Minister of Heavy Industry and Public Enterprises Vilasrao Deshmukh to sanction budgetary support, through re-appropriation from out of the approved non-Plan budget outlay, to loss-making public sector enterprises. It was considered essential that the interim financial support from the government be provided so that the operations of the companies will not be affected. The salary or wages support is being provided to these CPSEs since May 2004. Earlier, an amount of Rs.1,883 crore was sanctioned on 16 occasions. In 2004, there were 24 CPSEs which had defaulted in payment of wages and salaries. Reservation quota for ITI extended. The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has approved the continuation of 30 per cent reservation quota of the requirement of Bharat Sanchar Nigam and Mahanagar Telephone Nigam for procurement of equipment from debt-ridden ITI, Bangalorebased public sector undertaking under the Ministry of Communication and IT. The extension has been granted for two years. The two telecom firms will also give 70 per cent advance against the orders placed on ITI so that it does not face the

problem of working capital for the execution of the orders. The extension of the benefit of 30 per cent reservation quota with 70 per cent advance from BSNL and MTNL will ensure enough orders for ITI for the production activities. RBI Panel 8Oct The Reserve Bank of India has constituted an Expert Committee headed by Y. H Malegam for studying the advisability of granting new urban co-operative banking licences. Some of the issues the committee will look into include the role and performance of UCBs over the last decade, the need for organisation of new UCBs in the context of the existing legal framework and the existing regulatory policy on setting up of new UCBs. It will also examine whether licensing could be restricted only to financially sound and well managed co-operative credit societies through conversion route. The RBI had announced in the Annual Policy Statement 2010-11 that it would set up a committee comprising all stakeholders for studying the advisability of granting new UCB banking licences. Exchange of Tax Info 8Oct India had entered into an agreement with the Caribbean tax haven Bermuda for exchange of information to check tax evasion and money laundering. The Tax Information Exchange Agreement (TIEA), as it is known under the parlance of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development

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(OECD), is the first such pact signed by India with any country. Under the agreement, signed here by the Prime Minister of Bermuda Ewart Brown and India's Minister of State for Revenue in the Ministry of Finance S S Palanimaickam, both countries can share details on banking, ownership and past information in tax matters. There is a specific provision for providing banking and ownership information...The agreement also allows exchange of past information in criminal tax matter. It also provides for the two countries to share information relevant to the administration and enforcement of the domestic laws of India and Bermuda. The requesting side has to provide some minimum details about the information requested and any information provided is to be treated as secret and can be disclosed only to relevant tax authorities and oversight bodies. There is a specific provision that the requested party shall use its information gathering measures to obtain the requested information even though the part may not need such information for its own tax purposes. During that visit, Brown had expressed Bermuda's interest in signing a comprehensive Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement with India. The concept of TIEA was developed by the Paris-based Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Global Forum Working Group on Effective Exchange of Information for promoting international co-operation in tax matters through exchange of information. It grew out of the work undertaken by the

OECD to address harmful tax practices. Bermuda is a British overseas territory in the North Atlantic ocean with an population of little less than 70,000. It is one of the world's most famous 'tax havens' or offshore financial centre. Indian Exports 8Oct Though Indian exports rose for the 10th consecutive month in August, growing an annual 22.5 percent to $16.64 billion (Rs.77,509 crore), the trade deficit widened to a huge $56.62 billion, underlining the need to increase the country's outbound sale of goods. India is targeting a 15 percent growth in this fiscal's exports at around $200 billion, having seen a 4.7 percent dip in 2009-10, owing to the global financial crisis. The trade deficit for April-August, 2010 was estimated at $56.62 billion which was higher than the deficit of $40.27 billion during the previous corresponding period. Imports during August rose 32.2 percent at $29.67 billion (Rs.138,211 crore), resulting in a gap of $13.04 billion between exports and imports in the month. Cumulative value of exports increased 28.6 percent during first five months of 2010-11 at $85.27 billion compared to $66.3 billion in the same period last fiscal. Value of imports for the period AprilAugust rose 33.1 percent at $141.89 billion against $106.6 billion the likewise period in 2009-10. Innovation Fund 9Oct A $1-billion fund to facilitate innovations

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for inclusive economic growth in India has been proposed. The proposal, yet to be approved by the Centre, was agreed to at a recent meeting of the National Innovation Council , according to Sam Pitroda, Adviser to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Information Infrastructure and Innovations. Pitroda said 20 industry clusters and 20 university clusters would be identified to help “seed innovations” for promoting inclusive economic growth under this new initiative. The modalities of creating and operating the proposed investment fund were now being explored. Tracing the “do-able” projects for the development of information infrastructure in India he said: “We are a nation of a billion connected people now.” Nearly 700 million cell-phones were in use across the country. “Pretty soon, we will have 800 million.” And, the “real challenge now is to provide broadband.” The current 10-million broadband connections should be scaled up to the required 100-million mark. “We can capitalise on the [existing] 800,000-km of fibre [optics] to connect broadband facilities to our companies, government, homes and all that. That's one do-able. In the next three years, we should have pretty much100 million connections and started rolling out 3G.” Some of the other “do-able” initiatives were the UID process, which has started; the prospective connectivity among the IITs, IIMs, and some CSIR labs; the programme of linking 2,50,000 panchayats; and the computerisation of all the court cases. Following the Supreme Court's recent intervention on the issue of public distribution, the NIC is going to put together a software package to develop real data.

Foreign Exchange Market 11Oct Amid Indian rupee's rising to two-year high last week, Reserve Bank said, it may intervene in the foreign exchange market if FII inflows are volatile. Foreign institutional investors FIIs have pumped a record 96,000 crore rupees so far this year into Indian stock markets. Taking part in a panel discussion in Washington, RBI Governor D. Subbarao said, intervention will come if the inflows are volatile or if they disrupt the macroeconomic situation. He said, such a move will be able to help keep liquidity conditions consistent with activity in the real economy and to maintain financial stability. However, RBI Deputy Governor Subir Gokarn had said the central bank could intervene in forex markets if capital surge leads to any disruptions. Market regulator SEBI had last week exuded confidence that there would not be any reversal of foreign fund flows into equity markets as long as Indian economy is on a strong wicket. FSDC Panel 13Oct Even as the Financial Stability and Development Council (FSDC) is to be headed by the Finance Minister, the government has sought to allay the apprehensions of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) over the autonomy of regulators by appointing the apex bank's Governor as the head of a subcommittee of the body being set up to maintain financial stability. FSDC will be announced shortly,” Finance

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Minister Pranab Mukherjee said after his meeting with various regulators in the financial sector, namely, the RBI, SEBI (for markets), IRDA (for insurance) and PFRDA (for pensions) on the proposed FSDC. The Council would have one sub-committee which would be headed by RBI Governor. Ostensibly, the move to appoint the RBI Governor as head of the FSDC subcommittee to look into inter-regulatory issues has come about in the wake of the apex bank expressing concerns over breach of the regulators' autonomy. Axis Bank 13Oct Axis Bank has received Reserve Bank of India's nod to set up a subsidiary in the UK. It has also got the central bank's permission to upgrade its presence in Shanghai from a representative office to a branch. Currently, Axis Bank has a branch in Singapore, Dubai and Hong Kong besides a representative office in Shanghai. Small Bank 14Oct With the Reserve Bank of India giving it approval to open offices in nine international locations, Canara Bank expects to ramp up its overseas operations. The third largest public sector bank is open to buying a small bank in the US. S. Raman, Chairman and Managing Director, Canara Bank, told that to expand in the international market, it would look at acquiring a small bank in the US essentially to have a foot hold. However, he clarified that there are no immediate plans to take over a US bank. It will have to work on two criteria for a takeover to happen first, the

acquisition cost and second, how the acquisition would supplement the strengths of the bank. Although the bank has had limited overseas presence, it has been able to garner nonresident Indian deposits. The bank has two branches in the UK and one branch each in Hong Kong and Shanghai. The bank is in the final stages of deciding to expand its presence to include Bahrain, Sharajah and Qatar. Setting up branches in African countries like Nigeria and Kenya, apart from South Africa and Sri Lanka, are still in the embryonic stage. ATM Facility 14Oct Customers of regional rural banks, urban cooperative banks and other co-operative banks will be able to withdraw cash and make balance enquiries at any of the 63,000odd ATMs across the country in a few months. The National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) will allow standalone RRBs and cooperative banks with core banking solution platform and an ATM switch to be connected to the National Financial Switch through a sponsor bank which is already linked to the NFS. Mainstream banks can enrol RRBs and cooperative banks as their sub-members for offering the customers of the latter all-India ATM connectivity after profiling them for potential risks. Meanwhile, NPCI handled 111 million transactions during September against 100 million transactions in August. The rise in volume of transactions was mainly due to increase in the number of

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ATMs in the NFS network (from 61,000 plus to 63,000), dissolution of bilateral agreements between banks and increase in consumers' spending. Stake in Nabard 15Oct Amid debate over whether the Reserve Bank of India should hold stake in lending institutions or only be a regulator, the central bank has sold almost all its holding in the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (Nabard), to the Central Government. The RBI divested its stake amounting to Rs.1,430 crore in Nabard on October 13. With this, the RBI's holding in Nabard has come down to one per cent of shareholding in the bank. The Central Government now holds 99 per cent of the stake. The move comes more than three years after the central bank sold its entire stake in the country's largest lender State Bank of India to the government. The RBI held 72.5 per cent of equity in Nabard, amounting to Rs 1,450 crore. The remaining shareholding worth Rs.550 crore was with the Centre. The Union Cabinet, in May 2008, had approved the RBI's proposal to transfer its share holding in Nabard to the government. Now, the only major institution where the RBI holds a stake is the National Housing Bank (NHB). The central bank holds 100 per cent stake in the housing finance regulator. Nabard is the apex rural and farm development bank, whose role is to promote credit growth in these areas. In its biggest ever cash purchase, the

government in July, 2008, acquired the RBI's entire 59.73 per cent stake in State Bank of India at over Rs.35,531 crore. The move was in line with the Narasimham Committee II report which held that it was inconsistent with the principles of effective supervision that the regulator was also an owner of a bank. On the same principle, it was decided that the government would also acquire RBI's shareholding in NHB and Nabard. Supplementary demand For buying stake of RBI in Nabard and NHB, the government had earlier this year, provided for Rs.1,900 crore in the first supplementary demand for grants. The buying of stake in these institutions would enable the government to have greater say in the boards of these institutions and issue directions to meet its credit objectives for targeted areas. Index for no frills Accounts 15Oct Credit Rating and Information Services of India (Crisil) is developing an index to analyse the management of over 5 crore no frills accounts operated by Indian banks in rural and semi-urban areas. There are about 5 crore no frills accounts in the country and the operational nature of these accounts varies from bank to bank. In order to assess the operational nature of the banks, Crisil is developing an index for financial institutions on how much these accounts are operational," Department of Financial Services Secretary D Gopalan told .Gopalan said, "When the government evaluates the bank's performance, the index

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developed by Crisil would be applied and it will assess how these no frills accounts are and how they are operational." About 38,000 habitations in rural and semi-urban areas are covered under the banking correspondent’s model, while plans are being unfolded to cover another 73,295 habitations, hitherto uncovered. SBI 16Oct State Bank of India (SBI) will raise up to Rs 1,000 crore through a lower Tier-II bond issue, primarily being hawked to retail investors. This is part of the bank’s Tier-II offering and will comprise an issue of Rs 500 crore with an option to retain oversubscription up to Rs 500 crore for issue of additional bonds totalling Rs 1,000 crore. The bank will launch the bond issue for retail investors next week, and will have a range of such products in future. This bond issue comes as a part of our TierII offerings and to some extent will help the bank meet its capital requirements. It will also increase our ability to raise long-term resources. The bonds will be issued in two series and will have a maturity of 10 years and a face value of Rs 10,000. Per capita Bank Deposits 16Oct The per capita deposits at commercial banks in Orissa has recorded a consistent increase from 2005-06 to 2008-09 and is fast catching up with the national average. The per capita deposit of the commercial

banks in the state has jumped from Rs 7205 in 2005-06 to Rs 17,438 by the end of 200809, a growth of 58.68 per cent. The national average of per capita deposits at the commercial banks stood at Rs 20,146 by the end of 2008-09. The total amount of bank deposits in the state has also surged from Rs 33922.72 crore in 2005-06 to Rs 70,680.66 crore by the end of 2008-09, an increase of 107.47 per cent. The commercial banks had the largest share of deposits by the end of 2008-09 at 95.87 per cent with the balance 4.13 per cent share of the cooperative banks. Among the commercial banks, the total deposits of public sector banks stood at Rs 54817.30 crore, that of private banks at Rs 6390.03 crore, cooperative banks at Rs 2914.30 crore and Regional Rural Banks (RRBs) at Rs 6558.93 crore. Another interesting trend is the declining CD (Credit Deposit) ratio among the public sector commercial banks in the state. The CD ratio of 25 PSU banks operating in the state has plunged from 67.3 per cent in 2006-07 t 56.32 per cent by the end of 200809. The CD ratio of the private sector banks is even lower at 53.24 per cent and that of RRBs at 53.13 per cent. The overall CD ratio of all the commercial banks, including the PSU banks, private sector banks and RRBs is 61.65 per cent by the end of 2008-09. Panel for MFIs' 16Oct The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has formed a sub-committee to look into the functioning of microfinance institutions (MFIs) and what bearing they have on its

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policy to take further action. According to RBI Governor Duvvuri Subbarao, we have discussed the evolving situation of the MFI sector and as part of our responsibility to look at what is happening in the financial sector. According to him, a vast number of MFIs don’t come under the purview of RBI and the apex bank does not have an MFI category of non-banking financial intermediaries. As a part of priority sector lending, MFIs mobilise funds under the realm of organised lending. According to him, MFIs are alternatives to private moneylenders in the unorgansied sector and the apex bank is marshalling this. These bonds are not redeemable at the option of the bondholder or without the consent of the Reserve Bank of India. The bonds are proposed to be listed on the National Stock Exchange of India. The bonds will be open for subscription from October 18. The issue closes on October 25, with an option to close earlier in the event of oversubscription. The allocations of all categories will be made on a first-comefirst-serve basis. Insurance Policies 18Oct Post offices can now distribute insurance products with IRDA, allowing each circle of the Department of Post (DOP) to act as a corporate agent of insurers. Each Circle of India post should be treated a separate unit in order to grant independent corporate agent licence with various insurers," insurance regulator IRDA said while granting permission to postal circles to distribute insurance products. In the case of metropolitan areas, head of

Circle may approach IRDA for prior approval of further division in the circle as separate units to obtain licence to act as corporate agent in view of the large population. The DOP has divided the whole country into 22 postal circles for providing postal services. The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA) allowed each circle to tie up with two non-life insurance companies, two life insurance companies; one agricultural insurance company and one stand alone Health Insurance Company for this purpose. Corporate agents act as insurance agent for insurers and procure business on behalf of the insurance companies through its executives. Gold ATMs 18Oct Indians might soon get a chance to buy gold from ATMs, as Germany's Ex Oriente Lux AG is in talks with Indian entities for setting up gold dispensing automated machines in India. Ex Oriente Lux AG, which also operates an online shop for the yellow metal, is the maker of gold vending machines. The Gold ATM, known as 'Gold to go', made its debut in Abu Dhabi earlier this year. It can issue up to ten different products and their real time prices are updated every ten minutes. Other features include the option to see a selected product before making the purchase decision. Currently, such ATMs are there in four

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countries the UAE (Abu Dhabi), Germany, Italy and Spain. Most of these machines are located in Germany. Divestment 19Oct The Centre aims to raise a minimum Rs 45,000 crore within a year by divesting stake in about half-a-dozen public sector units to pump funds into social and infrastructure sectors. Efforts are on to raise at least Rs 45,000 crore by offloading shares in several PSUs in a year's time for investment in education, health and other social sectors. The government in the Budget for 2010-11 had proposed to raise around Rs 40,000 crore through divestment this fiscal. It has mopped up over Rs 1,000 crore by divesting stake in Satluj Jal Vidyut Nigam, and around Rs 1,000 crore through Engineers India FPO. At least six schemes, including the Rajiv Gandhi Gramin Vidyutikaran Yojana (RGGVY), National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) and Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee scheme, would be funded by the money generated thus. Funds are also required for infrastructure development, technological modernisation and rural development. While CIL's IPO seeks to generate at least Rs 15,000 crore, there are proposals of Rs 8,000 crore through public offer of equities in Powergrid Corporation, Rs 22,000 crore in Indian Oil Corporation, Rs 4,000 in SAIL and Rs 10,000 in ONGC. The government had raised Rs 25,000 crore through stake sale in Oil India, NMDC, REC and NTPC in the last fiscal. SBI Bonds 19Oct Country’s leading private sector bank State Bank of India (SBI) has introduced elevated

returns bond on October 18. The SBI bond, which is available for short period, is expected to produce high returns. The SBI bonds are available for two fixed maturity periods of 10-year and 15 year. The bond is issued at the point of 9.50 percent for 15 years and 9.25 percent for 10 years. P N B JV 19Oct Punjab National Bank said the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has issued certificate of registration to the former's non-banking joint venture (JV) firm India Factoring & Finance Solutions. The state-run lender had entered into JV agreement with three firms - FIM Bank (Malta), Banca IFIS, Italy and Blend Financial Services - on November 4, 2009. The JV would provide factoring, forfaiting and trade finance solutions. Report on MFIs 20Oct Amid growing criticism over the use of coercive ways of micro finance institutions (MFIs) to recover loans, the Reserve Bank of India said its sub-panel looking into the functioning of such lenders would submit its report in three months. The sub-committee will submit its report in three months. The RBI has set up a sub-committee of the Central Board of Directors of the central bank to study the issues and concerns of the microfinance sector, including interest rates charged by the lenders in this area. Y. H. Malegam, a senior member on the Central Board of Directors of the Reserve Bank of India, will chair the sub-committee. The RBI further said that there had been some concerns expressed in the media over high interest rates, coercive recovery

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processes and multiple lending practised by some microfinance institutions. The Reserve Bank regulates only those MFIs which are registered with it as nonbanking finance companies (NBFCs). Although the registered companies cover over 80 per cent of the microfinance business, in terms of number of companies they constitute a small percentage of the total number of MFIs in the country. Basel Committee 20Oct Ahead of the meeting of G-20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank governors at Gyeongju, South Korea, the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision met in Seoul to finalise its reforms programme for ensuring systemic stability of the global financial architecture. The Chairman of the Basel Committee and President of the Netherlands Bank, Nout Wellink, said that “the Basel Committee reforms address the identified weaknesses of the pre-crisis banking sector, thus delivering on the G-20 mandate given at the Pittsburgh summit to develop a more resilient banking sector.” The new global standards to address both firm-specific and broader systemic risks have been referred to as ‘Basel III.' The building blocks of Basel III include higher quality of capital to ensure that banks can better absorb the types of losses such as those associated with this past crisis, better coverage of risk, especially for the capital market activities, an internationally harmonised leverage ratio to constrain excessive risk-taking and to serve as a backstop to the risk-based capital measure. Capital buffers that should be built in good

times to be used in periods of stress, minimum global liquidity standards and stronger standards of supervision, public disclosure and risk management, are some of the other facets. Wellink added that these fundamentals “will substantially reduce the probability and severity of banking crises in the future and help safeguard the financial stability and economic growth and reduce the exposure to the public sector and the taxpayers. The Finance Minister, Mr Pranab Mukherjee, and the Reserve Bank of India Governor, Dr D. Subbarao, will attend the G-20 Finance Ministers and central bank governors meeting on October 22-23 in South Korea. At the end of meeting, the Basel Committee also released a report on its comprehensive regulatory reform programme to address the lessons the crisis. The report said the depth and severity of the crisis were amplified by weaknesses in the banking sector such as excessive leverage, inadequate and low-quality capital and insufficient liquidity buffers. It said the crisis was exacerbated by a procyclical deleveraging process and the interconnectedness of systemically important financial institutions. In response, the Committee's reforms seek to improve the banking sector's ability to absorb shocks arising from financial and economic stress, whatever the source, thus reducing the risk of spill over from the financial sector to the real economy. The proposed reforms, strengthen bank level or micro-prudential regulation, which would help raise the resilience of individual banking institutions in periods of stress. The reforms also have a macro-prudential

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remit, addressing system-wide risks, which can build up across the banking sector, as well as the procylical amplification of these risks over time. “Clearly, these micro and macro prudential approaches to supervision are inter-related, as greater resilience at the individual bank level reduces the risk of system wide shocks. As the Committee's reforms would transform the global regulatory framework and promote a more resilient banking sector, it has undertaken a comprehensive assessment of Basel III's potential effects, both on the banking sector, and on the broader economy. This work corroborates that the transition to stronger capital and liquidity standards is expected to have “a modest impact on economic growth,” while the long-run economic benefits substantially outweigh the costs associated with higher standards. Going forward, the Basel Committee will focus its efforts on the implementation of the Basel III framework and related supervisory sound practice standards. Alongside, it is also conducting work in areas covering review of the trading book, the use and impact of external ratings in the securitisation capital framework, policy response to systemically-important banks and the treatment of large exposures and enhanced cross-border resolution. Trade Deficit 22Oct TRADE BALANCE OF TOP 10 EXPORTERS AND INDIA IN 2009 COUNTRY EXPORT IMPORT BALANCE CHINA 12O1534 1005688 195846 GERMANY 1126383 938295

188088 US 1056043 1605296 -549253 JAPAN 58079 551960 28759 HOLLAND 498330 445496 52834 FRANCE 484725 559817 -75092 ITALY 405777 412721 -6944 BELGIUM 369854 351945 17909 KOREA 363534 323085 40449 UK 352491 481707 -129216 INDIA 162613 249590 -86977 India has the world's third largest merchandise trade deficit after the US and the UK, according to data from the World Trade Organisation's just-released International Trade Statistics 2010. In 2009, the country's trade deficit – arising from its import of goods being more than its exports – amounted to $87 billion, against $549 billion for the US and $129 billion for the UK. The Commerce Ministry has projected India's trade gap to touch $135 billion during 2010-11, though this figure pertains to the fiscal year ended March 31, 2011, whereas the WTO data is based on calendar year. If the $135 billion projection holds for the calendar year as well and there is no change to the UK's $129 billion number both not wholly unrealistic assumptions – India's trade deficit would end up being next only to the US.

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The country's $87-billion deficit in 2009 is, incidentally, lower than the record $126 billion for the previous calendar year. That year saw India occupying the No. 4 position, behind the US ($882 billion), the UK ($173 billion) and Spain ($139 billion). But since then, India has overtaken Spain, which registered a much bigger contraction in foreign trade on account of the global economic downturn. The impact of the downturn can be seen from the accompanying table, with every major economy experiencing a decline in both exports and imports in 2009. The end-result has been a reduction in trade surpluses (of countries such as China, Germany, Saudi Arabia and Russia) as well as trade deficits (of the US, the UK, Spain and India). In 2009, India ranked 21st among the world's exporters of goods, while being 14 in imports. The picture was, however, different in services, where the country was placed at No. 12 in exports. At $87.43 billion, its exports were higher than imports of $79.77 billion, thereby translating into a $7.66 billion surplus on this account. Moreover, the WTO's $87.43 billion estimate covers only ‘commercial services'. They do not include private remittances, which stood at $53.90 billion for the fiscal ended March 31, 2009. If this figure – representing export of ‘manpower' – is added, India's services exports would cross $140 billion. That would push it closer to the US ($474 billion), the UK ($233 billion), Germany ($227 billion) and France ($143 billion), though these, it may be noted, exclude private transfers.

WTO Meet 22Oct The World Trade Organisation's eighth ministerial summit will take place from 15th to 17th September, 2011, in Geneva, despite the continuing uncertainty over when Doha Development Agenda (DDA) trade negotiations will be concluded. At a meeting of the WTO's powerful General Council, which oversees day-to-day business of the trade body, Chair Ambassador John Gero of Canada announced the dates for the eight meeting. The last ministerial meeting took place in December, 2009, in Geneva. The current WTO Chief, Pascal Lamy, who was then the European Union Trade Commissioner, and present World Bank President Robert B Zoellick, who was then the United States Trade Representative, worked overnight to launch the Doha Round. Credit Agreement 25Oct India has decided to export 5 lakh tonnes of rice and wheat to Bangladesh despite ban on outward shipments of the foodgrains. Both nations have also agreed to establish ‘Border Haats' along the Meghalaya-Bangladesh border and open the Chittagong and Mongla ports to boost trade ties. The two countries have signed $1 billion Line of Credit agreement and some important pacts for power transmission. Apart from the Line of Credit, the bulk power transmission agreement and an MoU between NTPC and the Bangladesh Power Development Board have also been signed in the power sector. The two-way trade had the potential to touch

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$5 billion in the next two years from the current $3 billion. There is also arrangements for supply of 3-lakh tonnes of par-boiled rice and 2-lakh tonnes of wheat from India to Bangladesh were being put in place and that the supply would take place soon. Out of the quota of duty free export of 80lakh pieces of textiles from Bangladesh to India, around 17-lakh pieces could be exported for the last quarter ending December 2010. A fresh quota of 80-lakh pieces of textiles would be available from January 2011. Both sides had recently visited several land customs stations to review the state of infrastructure. India was now constructing seven integrated check posts and eight land custom stations under a $125-million scheme. The two sides were also in discussion to construct the bridge across Feni to begin trade between Sabroom and Ramgarh. Armoured Vehicles 25Oct Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) has unveiled the armoured range of its Range Rover and Discovery sports utility vehicles (SUVs) that would be priced at Rs.4.75 crore and Rs.3.75 crore, respectively. The Tata Motors-owned company is also looking at launching the armoured version of the Jaguar XJ sedan, which could be priced around Rs.5.50 crore. Retail Limit 26Oct The Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) has increased the application limit for retail investors to Rs 2 lakh, from Rs 1 lakh at present.

If you look at past experience, the complaint from the general investing public and the issuers has been that the retail quota is not being subscribed fully. The issue before the board was that the limit had been fixed long back. If you take inflation into account, it is justification enough (for raising the limit),” said Sebi Chairman C B Bhave. The regulator, however, did not make any changes in the quota of shares reserved for retail investors in public issues. Market players were divided in their opinion on the raise in the retail investor limit. “Sebi’s move limit is better late than never. The market regulator approved an additional set of disclosures for life insurance companies, based on the recommendations of the Sebi Committee on Disclosures and Accounting Standards. MARKET REGULATOR # Enhances retail application limit to Rs 2 lakh from Rs 1 lakh across all issues. # Disclosures of risk factors specific to IPOs by insurance companies. # Tightens preferential allotment framework for promoters # Mandatory for companies to pre-announce dates for dividend payment and bonus shares # QIB status to insurance funds set up by Department of Posts Insurance companies which want to take the initial public offer route will have to disclose the risk factors specific to life insurance entities and provide a glossary of terms and disclosures specific to the sector. Insurers have been exempted from appointing a monitoring agency and disclosure of a disclaimer clause of the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (Irda) in the offer document. Merchant Acquiring Biz 26Oct

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State Bank of India (SBI) has said it will soon start facilitating payments through debit or credit cards at retail outlets and was finalising the shareholding pattern with foreign partners. According to SBI Chairman O P Bhatt we would be finalising the equity ratio with the joint venture (JV) partner soon, post which merchant acquiring would become operational. Merchant acquiring involves the facilitation of payments through debit or credit cards at retail outlets. SBI is planning to place about 1.5 lakh point of sale (PoS) terminals for debit and credit card payments across the country. It plans to deploy six lakh of these terminals in the first five years of its operations. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has already approved the setting up of a whollyowned subsidiary for the bank to conduct merchant acquiring in the name of SBI Payment Services. US-based Elavon Incorporation and Visa International are the JV partners of SBI. The business penetration of the new line of operation is envisaged on a pan-India scale, having metro, urban, semi-urban and rural centres. Last year, the bank had floated a Request For Proposal (RFP) for the selection of JV partners for merchant acquiring business. The business would include acquiring bank identification numbers from schemes, as well as managing services for PoS terminals, among others. The managed services would include deployment of PoS terminals at customer locations, their replacement, merchant

training and maintenance, to name a few. The State Bank Group presently has over 21,000 ATMs across the country and has issued over 60 million debit cards. Banks Borrowings 26Oct Banks borrowed Rs 89,900 crore from the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI’s) repo window to cope with the liquidity shortage. Mutual funds have preferred to remain on the sidelines due to tight liquidity and as most are eyeing the Reserve Bank of India’s policy. Fund houses are mostly restricting their investments to three-month papers on slight inflows in their liquid schemes. Three-month CDs were dealt at 7.6-7.8 per cent, up from 7.57.7 per cent. Three-month commercial papers were dealt at 8-8.1 per cent, up from 7.9-8 per cent. One-year CDs were quoted at 8.45-8.65 per cent, as against 8.4-8.5 per cent. Online Shopping 26Oct Shopping online through foreign websites can come a cropper with the Reserve Bank insisting on an additional password for all kinds of online transactions. The requisition of an additional authentication hampers online shopping when Indian credit/debit cards are used on foreign websites and also when foreign cards are used on Indian sites. In a notification to the banks, RBI made it clear that it's not going to compromise on the security of online transactions. It had on August 1, 2009, made a second factor or an additional authentication

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mandatory for online transaction using credit and debit cards. Before that, users required only the 16-digit card number and the CVV number for online shopping. Bank Vacancies 27Oct The PSBs have a tentative plan of recruitment of around 34,000 officers and 51,000 clerks during the next three years for 2010-13," the government said in a background paper for Economic Editors' Conference prepared by Finance Ministry. The system of recruitment through Institute of banking personnel selection (IBPS) will be transparent, speedier and cost effective. The government also informed that it has been decided to entrust IBPS the responsibility to conduct the common recruitment examination for PSBs. The IBPS, established in 1984, is an autonomous body engaged in recruitment of personnel and internal promotion in banks and financial institutions. During the year 2009-10, IBPS conducted test for around 60 lakh candidates at 125 centres across the country for recruitment in PSBs. The Indian Banks' Association (IBA) had recommended to the government that a common recruitment programme in public sector banks should be conducted by the IBPS. In order to professionalise the human resources of the state-run banks and align them with the new and ever changing requirements of the banking industry, the government had constituted a committee under the chairmanship of A K Khandelwal, former Chairman, Bank of Baroda.

The Committee presented its report to the government on June 30 this year, making a number of recommendations on the HR issues. Canara Bank 27Oct The third largest public sector bank Canara Bank expects to recruit around 4,000 people by June next year. S. Raman, Chairman and Managing Director, Canara Bank, told that human resource would be a challenge with about 5,000 employees retiring in the next three to four years. At present, Canara Bank employs 42,363 people. The bulk of the recruitment would be in the clerk grade around 2,000 employees - and 1,00 employees in the officers' cadre.“Currently, we have about 40 Chartered Accountants but would require more for specialised areas. At present, business per employee is at Rs 10.6 crore in the second quarter of 2010-11 from Rs 8.4 crore last year. Profitability per employee jumped by Rs 3 lakh to Rs 10 lakh in the second quarter of 2010-11 against Rs 7 lakh a year-ago, which the bank expects to enhance further. Canara Bank expects to hire around 700 investment officers who would sell insurance and mutual fund products. Economic Pact 27Oct India and Malaysia has announced completion of negotiations on the Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA), saying it will significantly transform their bilateral engagement. Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his Malaysian counterpart Najib Tun Razak said the agreement will be signed by Jan 31, 2011, and come into force July 1.

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Razak said the two countries had concluded "very productive" bilateral discussions. He told a joint news conference that when he visited New Delhi in January this year, his desire was to make Manmohan Singh's return trip "equally significant and historic". Reliance Power 29Oct Reliance Power announced that it has given a $8.3-billion contract to Shanghai Electric Group Co Ltd (SEC) for supply of 36 coalfired thermal power generation units, spare parts and related services over a 10-year period. This takes the total deal size between Reliance Power and the Chinese power equipment maker over the past couple of years to $10 billion. SEC will supply boiler, turbine and generator packages for 30,000 MW capacity of coal-based power at six plants including the 3,960-MW ultra mega power project at Krishnapatnam, the 5,940-MW project in Chitrangi, and the 3,960-MW project in Tilaiya. Reliance and SEC have also agreed to set up a `centre of excellence' in India that will work towards deployment of ultra-super critical technology being developed by SEC. Liquidity Adjustment 31Oct Banks have borrowed more than Rs 11,000 crore from the Reserve Bank of India under the special liquidity adjustment facility. RBI received 17 bids for Rs 11,025 crore under the two-day repo auction conducted. The RBI had announced this special facility as part of its liquidity easing measures.

Top Science Official 19Oct Indian-American academician and IIT Madras alumnus, Subra Suresh was sworn in as the director of the National Science Foundation (NSF,) the top US science body that leads scientific research in the country. Nominated by US President Barack Obama, Suresh as Director will lead the USD 7.4 billion independent federal agency that supports all fields of science and engineering research, as well as a wide span of educational programmes that reach more than 2,000 institutions across the US. "We are very grateful to have Subra taking this new task," Obama said in his remarks at the White House Science Fair after Suresh was sworn in yesterday as the 13th NSF director by John Holdren, Obama's science advisor. "He has been at MIT and has been leading one of the top engineering programmes in the country, and for him now to be able to apply that to the National Science Foundation is just going to be outstanding," he said. "So we're very grateful for your service," he said acknowledging the contribution of Suresh in the field of science and technology. The swearing in ceremony took place in the Secretary of War Ceremonial Room of the Eisenhower Executive Office Building of the White House. Suresh was confirmed by the US Senate on September 30, for a six-year term. Suresh, 54, served as dean of the engineering school and as Vannevar Bush Professor of Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. A mechanical engineer, who later became interested in materials science and biology, Suresh has done pioneering work studying the biomechanics of blood cells under the

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influence of diseases such as malaria. From 2000 to 2006, Suresh served as the head of the MIT Department of Materials Science and Engineering. He joined MIT in 1993 as the R P Simmons Professor of Materials Science and Engineering and held joint faculty appointments in the Departments of Mechanical Engineering and Biological Engineering, as well as the Division of Health Sciences and Technology. Suresh holds a bachelor's degree from the Indian Institute of Technology in Madras, a master's degree from Iowa State University, and earned his ScD from MIT in 1981. Suresh was nominated by President Obama to become the new NSF director on June 8, replacing Arden L Bement Jr, who led the agency from 2004 until he resigned in May of this year. NSF's budget for 2010 is USD 6.9 billion. The agency's budget request for 2011 is USD 7.4 billion, an eight-per cent increase over 2010, which supports the President's goal of increasing the nation's total public and private investment in research and development to at least 3 per cent of the gross domestic product.

episodes in the days leading to this spectacular event were forgotten and the audience of around 60,000 at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium carried home memories of a gala evening that presented a fine mix of the country's glorious past, a dynamic present and a promising future.

Commonwealth Games 4Oct India switched on its spotlights to display its new vibrant, energetic and progressive avatar providing its guests from the Commonwealth nations a glimpse of its art and culture at the opening ceremony of the Games. For precisely three hours, all the unsavoury

Most Powerful Women 8Oct At No. 6: Indra Nooyi, Chairman and CEO, PepsiCo, No. 89: Shikha Sharma, CEO and MD, Axis Bank, No.92: Chanda Kochhar, MD & CEO, ICICI Bank. Indian Wealth 10Oct Wealth in India and the Asia-Pacific region is growing faster than that of developed economies in line with their higher growth rates. According to the Global Wealth Report by the Credit Suisse Research Institute, India's total wealth tripled to $3.5 trillion (Rs 154 lakh crore) over the last decade against the global growth rate of 72 per cent at $195 trillion. The report defines wealth as (value of financial assets and non-financial assets (mainly real estate) minus household debt. Going forward, India is expected to almost double its wealth to $6.4 trillion by 2015 against the 61 per cent global growth rate. The report confirms that Asia-Pacific countries, which now make up the bulk of the world's middle class of emerging consumers, are driving the growth of the world's wealth. India, however, has a long way to go as its total wealth is far behind that of the US ($54.6 trillion), Japan ($21.0 trillion) and

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China ($16.5 trillion). However, while several Indians may top the world's rich list, wealth in India is distributed very disproportionately and only 0.4 per cent of the total adult population owns more than $100,000 (R45 lakh) on an average. Global Hunger Index 11Oct India has been ranked 67, way below neighbouring countries like China and Pakistan, in a new global hunger index by the International Food Policy Research Institute. The index rated 84 countries on the basis of three leading indicators -- prevalence of child malnutrition, rate of child mortality, and the proportion of people who are calorie deficient. China is rated much ahead of India at the ninth place, while Pakistan is at the 52nd place on the 2010 Global Hunger Index, released by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) in association with a German group Concern Worldwide and Welthungerhlife. In India, the high Index scores are driven by high levels of child underweight resulting from the low nutritional and social status of women in the country, the report pointed out, adding that India alone accounts for a large share of the world's undernourished children. India is home to 42% of the world's underweight children, while Pakistan has just 5%. Among other neighbouring countries, Sri Lanka was at the 39th position and Nepal ranked 56 by index. Bangladesh listed at the 68th position. The economic performance

and hunger levels are inversely correlated. In South and Southeast Asia, Bangladesh, India, Pakistan and Timor-Leste are among countries with hunger levels considerably higher than their gross national income (GNI) per capita. Undernutrition in the first two years of life threatens a child's life and can jeopardise physical, motor and cognitive development. It is therefore of particular importance that we take concerted action to combat hunger, especially among young children. It further said that the global food security is under stress. Although the world's leaders, through the first Millennium Development Goal, adopted a goal of halving the proportion of hungry people between 1990 and 2015, "we are nowhere near meeting that target." The 2010 world Global Hunger Index (GHI) shows some improvement over the 1990 world GHI, falling from 19.8 points to 15.1 or by almost one-quarter. The index for hunger in the world, however, remains serious. In recent years, however, the number of hungry people has actually been increasing. In 2009, on the heels of a global food price crisis and in the midst of worldwide recession, the number of undernourished peopled surpassed one billion, although recent estimates by the UN body Food and Agriculture Organisation suggest that the number will have dropped to 925 million in 2010. Gender Gap Index 13Oct Europe's Nordic countries remain global leaders in the campaign to close the gender

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equality gap, according to a study released that said women could play a key role in leading the world out of economic crisis. Iceland, Norway and Finland topped the World Economic Forum (WEF) annual gender gap index, while Pakistan, Chad and Yemen were bottom of the 134-nation rankings. The report -- which assesses how equitably income, resources and opportunities are distributed between the sexes -- gave particular praise to the Philippines in Asia and Lesotho in Africa, which were both in the world top 10. The United States surged from 31st last year to 19th, while France dropped more than 25 places to 46th, mainly because of its "poor performance" in women's political empowerment. Many of the world's other top economies also lag. Japan is 94th and China 61st. Britain was unchanged in 15th place, but Germany fell for the fifth straight year to 13th. The report said Iceland had made new gains "because of an increase in the number of women ministers, a near gender-balanced parliament and the continued tenure of a female Prime Minister. The only blemish was "a significant difference between men's and women's salaries." It said new research on the growing "power of the purse" showed how women will be among the drivers of post-crisis growth. "The combined impact of growing gender equality, the emerging middle class and women's spending priorities will lead to rising household savings rates and shifting spending patterns that are likely to benefit sectors such as food, healthcare, education,

childcare... and financial services, particularly in emerging markets." Lesotho rose two places to eighth in the index. It had a top ranking for education and health and was the highest-ranked among the 134 countries on the economic participation sub index. New Zealand at fifth and the Philippines, at ninth, led the Asia-Pacific nations. The Philippines is the only country in Asia this year to have closed the gender gap on both education and health, and is among only eight countries in the world to have done so. The United States entered the index top 20 for the first time mainly because of education improvements, with women outstripping men in higher education. China fell one place to 61st, which the WEF blamed on lower scores on labor force participation, perceived wage equality and the lower number of reported births of girls. China becomes the second-last ranking country on the health and survival sub index (133), the result of its disproportionate sex ratio at birth, which contributes to China's 'missing women' phenomenon.

Commanders’ Conference 25Oct The Army Commanders’ Conference will begin in New Delhi. Defence sources say, the five-day event will review the security situation, emerging challenges, options and strategies. Issues pertaining to operational logistics to include infrastructure development and modernization are the other highlights. The

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deliberations will also focus on training of the forces for attaining a high state of combat readiness. It is likely to address issues impacting enhancement of overall operational efficiency. Matters pertaining to career progression and cadre management will also be discussed. The conference will commence with the address by Defence Minister AK Antony. It is to be chaired by Chief of the Army Staff, General VK Singh. The Army Chief will also present the COAS flight Safety Trophy and release the book, ‘Military Quotations and Humour in Uniform’. nuclear energy, security, economic issues. Economic Editors’ Conference 25Oct Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee will inaugurate the two-day annual Economic Editors' Conference in New Delhi. It will provide the editors a comprehensive view of the overall economy in the country. About 300 editors and financial writers are likely to attend the event.

RESEARCH INSTITUTE CECA- COMPREHENSIVE ECONOMIC COOPERATION AGREEMENT

9OCT- WORLD POSTAL DAY 12 OCT-WORLD SIGHT DAY 17OCT-INTERNATIONAL POVERTY ERADICATION DAY 24OCT-UNITED NATIONS DAY

*CONVERSATION WITH MYSELFNELSON MANDALA *THE FEAST OF THE GOAT-MARIO VARGAS LLOSA *HARMONY- PRINCE CHARLES *GLOBALIZATION AND SUSTIANABLE GOOD GOVERNANCEPERMANAND SINGH

NPCI- NATIONAL
PAYMENTS CORPORATION OF INDIA GPON-GIGABYTE PASSIVE OPTICAL TECHNOLOGY FGFA- FIFTH GENERATION FIGHTER AIRCRAFT NYF- NATIONAL YOUTH FESTIVAL UNSC- UNITED NATIONS SECURITY COUNCIL IFPRI- INTERNATIONAL FOOD POLICY
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