Current Affairs Business & Economy : November 24-30, 2009

November 24, 2009: MOU between Indian Oil & Nuclear Power Corp of India Ltd. for Nuclear Power Plant
Indian Oil Corporation and Nuclear Power Corp of India Ltd. have recently signed an MOU for setting up at least one 1,000 MW nuclear power plant. NPCIL will be the operator and take at least 51 per cent stake while IOC is contemplating taking either 49 per cent or 26 per cent interest. Source of nuclear fuel and site would be decided over the next six months. The project will be constructed by 2014.

November 24, 2009: Intellectual Property Rights agreements between India and USA
India and United States have signed two inter-governmental agreements recently as follows:

  1. Traditional Knowledge Digital Library (TKDL) Access Agreement signed between the Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR) and US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).The agreement will enable the USPTO to search the extensive database of India’s traditional knowledge compiled under TKDL. Under this agreement CSIR would provide training to the USPTO examiners and staff to help them use TKDL tools for search and examination. This would help prevent misappropriation of traditional knowledge through mistaken issuance of patents.
  2. Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between the office of the Controller General of Patents, Designs and Trade Marks, Department of Industrial Policy and India’s Commerce Ministry.

November 26, 2009: World’s most outrageous CEO’s : Raju is among them
Raju has been ranked as the world’s fourth most outrageous CEO in 2009 on the list compiled by the Forbes, known for its rankings of the richest and the most powerful the world over. The list has been topped by Goldman Sachs’ Lloyd Blankfein, followed by Merrill Lynch CEO John Thain & Sri Lankan-origin American hedge fund manager Raj Rajarathnam.

November 26, 2009: ICWAI renamed as Institute of Cost and Management Accountants of India
Government has in principle allowed ICWAI to change its name to Institute of Cost and Management Accountants of India (ICMAI).

What is ICWAI ?
The Institute of Cost and Works Accountants of India was setup up in 1959 through an Act of Parliament. It has over 47,000 members and two lakh students. It has been requesting for the change of name for long. The cost accountants feel like younger cousins of Chartered accountants , however they are not cost accountants only but help companies keep record of things, assist them to manage costs, analyze how well resources are utilize in the process of producing something. The role is much bigger.

November 27, 2009: Global Hunger Index 2009: India’s Rank 65
According to the 2009 Global Hunger Index, India ranks 65th out of 88 countries, with a hunger rate of 23.9. The index ranked countries on a 100-point scale, with zero being the best score having no hunger and 100 being the worst. Countries that have scored between 20 and 30 points are in an alarming condition. Almost 21 per cent of the Indian population was undernourished (between 2003 and 2005), 43.5 per cent Indian children under the age of five were underweight (between 2002 and 2007) and the under five-year-age infant mortality rate in 2007 was 7.2 per cent.

November 28, 2009: Canada Best nation for expats: HSBC Bank International survey.
As per an HSBC Bank International survey, Canada is the world’s best country for expats while United Kingdom is among the worst. India is ranked at the 25th position. The following countries are Australia, Thailand, Singapore and Bahraini.

November 30, 2009: India’s Largest Gas producer: Reliance
Reliance Industries is now largest natural gas producer in the country. Reliance with its over 50 million standard cubic meter per day (mmscmd )output have surpassed the Oil and Natural Gas Corp’s output. The change comes as RIL’s gas production from its D6 fields in the Krishna Godavari basin recently touched 50.15 mmscmd as it surpasses ONGC’s 49.6 mmscmd output.

November 30: Indian Economy , Quarter 2 Growth 7.9%
India’s economy grew by a significant 7.9 per cent in the second quarter of 2009-10. The growth was 6.1 % in the last quarter. The predicted growth rate was between 6-7 %. Please note that manufacturing sector grew by 9.2% & mining and quarrying by 9.5 %. However farm sector grew only by 0.9 % due to low monsoons. Community, social and personal services expanded by 12.7%. Trade, hotels, transport and communication sector grew by 8.5%. Financing, insurance, real estate, and business services rose by 7.7 %. Construction rose by 6.5 %. Overall Economy rose by 7 per cent in the first half of fiscal compared to 7.8 per cent in the year-ago period.

November 30, 2009: Government planning to put 10% cap on TFA in vegetable Oil in packaged Foods
The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India which is an autonomous statutory body administered by the ministry of health and family welfare has come up with a draft which includes a cap of 10 per cent on TFA in partially hydrogenated vegetable oils. Lower TFA in vegetable oils will automatically bring down the TFA content in packaged foods (fried in oil). The cap may be introduced in January 2010.

What is TFA?
The consumption of trans fats increases the risk of coronary heart disease by raising levels of “bad” LDL cholesterol and lowering levels of “good” HDL cholesterol. Health authorities worldwide recommend that consumption of trans fat be reduced to trace amounts. Trans fats from partially hydrogenated oils are more harmful than naturally occurring oil. Denmark, Canada , the United States and some other European countries already have a protocol on TFA. Industrially-manufactured TFA is formed during partial hydrogenation — a process used by the vanaspati industry to harden and stabilise liquid vegetable oils. The TFA level in vanaspati oils can be as high as 40 per cent.

November 30, 2009: Murrah Breed is highest yielding variety of Buffalo.
A Murrah breed of Buffalo has yielded more than 31 kgs of Milk in a day in Haryana (Faridabad) which itself is a record.

November 30, 2009: Cameco is world’s largest mining company : Now in India
Canada’s Cameco is the world’s biggest mining company and accounts for 15 percent of the world’s uranium production has opened its office in Hyderabad, as India and Canada agree to sign a civil nuclear deal.

November 30., 2009: MV Aquamarine Flagged off

Union Tourism Minister Kumari Selja launched a cruise liner, MV Aquamarine, owned by the Cyprus-headquartered Louis Cruises, the fifth largest cruise operator in the world with Kochi as home port and targeted at Indian tourists.

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