Current Affairs February 8, 2012
The cost of Somali piracy to world pegged at about $7 bn in 2011
- Somali piracy cost the world economy nearly $7 bn in 2011 of which most part was spent to defend ships from hijackings.
- The Somali pirates command an avg. ransom of $5 million per ship. More
- The UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights), Ms. Navanethem "Navi" Pillay demanded for instant measures to arrest the growth of violence in Syria.
- She held that there is an acute importunity for the world community to pass over the politics and take effectual steps to guard the Syrian population.
- UNHCR was aghast by the Syrian administration's headstrong attack on Homs, and its use of heavy weaponry.
Ties renewed b/w Sahara India and Indian hockey
- Sahara India signed a 5-year deal to sponsor the Indian Men's and Women's Hockey Teams. More
Lakshya-1, successfully Test Fired by India
- As part of a routine trial, India successfully test fired indigenously developed micro-light pilot- less target aircraft 'Lakshya-1' from the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Chandipur near Balasore in Odisha. More
Tax Collection during April-January of the Current Fiscal 2011-2012
- There was a 14.57 % increase in the Direct Tax collected in the current fiscal 2011-12 from Apr to Jan. More
India to offer $250 Million Line of Credit to Mauritius
- During bilateral talks b/w PM M. Singh and his Mauritian counterpart Dr. Navinchandra Ramgoolam, India declared a fresh Economic package of a $250 Mn line of credit and a $20 Mn grant for Mauritius. The bilateral talks were focused on boosting the two-sided relations. 5 agreements were inked in the fields of:
- Science and Technology
- Sports and Youth Affairs
- Both sides reexamined their Double Taxation Avoidance convention, asserting that both countries have a concern in ascertaining that it is not perverted.
Rs 1,700 Crore unclaimed deposits to be located and refunded by Banks: RBI
- In a notification, RBI demanded all banks to locate and refund unclaimed deposits approximated at over Rs 1,700 Crore. It has instructed all banks to act a more pro-active role in discovering the location of the account holders of unclaimed deposits or inoperative accounts in public interest. More
Argentina to move to UN over Falklands (Malvinas) issue
- Argentina to make a formal complaint to the UN over Britain sending one of its most modern destroyers HMS Dauntless to the Falkland Islands (known in Argentina as Malvinas). More
In India, 376 sq. km of Forest cover lessened
- 12 States and UTs of India have demonstrated significant decrement in forest cover to an extent of 867 sq km. The forest cover in India has decreased by 376 sq km in comparison to the year 2009.
- The forest cover of India: Over 78 Mn hectares (23.81% of the geographical area of the country).
- 15 states have registered a cumulative increase of 500 sq km in their forest cover with Punjab leading with increase of 100 sq km.
- 12 states have registered a cumulative decline of 867 sq km.
- Decline of 281 sq km in forest cover of Andhra Pradesh, is largely credited to harvesting of mature plantation of Eucalyptus and other species.
- Decline observed in NE Region due to persisting practices of shifting cultivation in the region.
From March 2012, National Counter Terrorism Centre will become operational
- The Govt to operationalize the aspirational counter-terrorism body National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC) from March 1, 2012.
- NCTC is a favourite project of Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram got consent from the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) in January 2012. More
Oil Payment Issue: Iran to accept part payment from India in Rupees
- In a recent development over the Oil Payment issue, Iran agreed to accept 45% of the payments for its Crude Imports in Rupees via 3 Indian banks to bang the consequence of western sanctions.
- Thus in spite of recurrent U.S. roadblocks and stress on European financial institutions via which India has been routing payments, both nations were resolute to settle the issue of payments for India's crude imports from Iran.
- They agreed on part payment in Rupees and not Gold, as Gold was not an apt alternative.
- As per the accord, 45% of the payment would be made in Rupees via 3 Indian banks and Iran may perhaps make use of this for purchasing Indian machinery, metal products, iron etc. Indian companies could also put in projects in Iran like building up its oil and gas fields, construction roads and railways and extraction of iron ore.
Norway comes to save Telenor
- Going forward with its attempts for the salvage of telecom company Telenor's investments in India, Norway and talked about means to discover a solution over the issue.
- Aghast over the Apex Court's order, striking down all 122 licences released in 2008, Telenor operated in India via a venture with Unitech in Uninor. Telemor has at stake its Rs.14,000 crore vested in its Indian operations. The Norwegian government holds bulk stake in Telenor.
- The company has called for that only fresh players be permitted in the suggested spectrum auction in order to furnish a level-playing field. Norway held that they are supervising the position and will keenly put in to find means to safegaurd Telenor's investments and existence in India.
Reservation for small holders in share buy-back
- These were amendments made in the SEBI (Buy-Back of Securities) Regulations, 1998, which would now be known as SEBI (Buy-Back of Securities) (Amendment) Regulations, 2012.
- SEBI defined small shareholders, for the rationale of buy back of shares by companies.More
Laureus Sports Awards 2012
- Novak Djokovic won the Laureus Sports Award 2012 for the Sportsman of the Year.More