Current Affairs Update: 20.2.09
The annual Wholesale Price Index-based inflation rate fell to a 13-month low, dipping below the 4 per cent mark on account of lower inflation in the case of primary articles and manufactured products, stoking expectations of more interest rate cuts by the Reserve Bank of India.
2. Planning Commission has approved an annual plan outlay of Rs 17,322 crore, the highest-ever allocation granted to the state by the commission for Rajasthan.
3. The central government has approved a proposal of Chhattisgarh government to create two elephant reserves in the state . It is worth mentioning that state’s northern region comprising of Surguja, Koria, Jashpur, Raigarh and Korba districts are worst-hit as wild jumbos run amok in villages, First reserve would be set up in Badalkhol forests of Jashpur district combining Timorpingla forests of Surguja. The second elephant reserve is to come up at Lemru forest of Korba district.
4. Former Indian cricket captain Mohammed Azharuddin has formally joined the Congress.
5. A fire broke out in the Gir forest in Gujarat. The fire spread across 70-80 acres of forest but has now been brought under control. There are no reports of any civilian or animal casualties. Gir forest is in the Junagarh district near Rajkot and the biggest fear is to the lion population there. The forest is the only lion sanctuary in Asia.
6. Showcasing a broad spectrum of leather wares, the 23rd Surajkund Crafts Mela has provided a global stage for leather craftsmen as well. This year the theme is Madhya Pradesh.
8. Fertiliser cooperative major IFFCO, along with IPL (Indian Phosphates Ltd) has entered into a landmark agreement with the Phosphate Chemicals Export Association (PhosChem) according to which the latter will supply 1.25 million metric tonnes of DAP between March 1, 2009 and February 28, 2010 initially to the former. This is a first of its kind effort by Indian inudstry to lend stability of supply to the product.
9. In December 2008, about 521,990 tourists came to India – a 12.5 percent decline compared to December 2007. In January this year, 487,262 travellers came to India, 17.6 percent less compared to the same month of 2008
10. Parakh & Co. have been selected as Auditor to carry out the Special Audit of Reliance Communications Ltd. (Stand alone), Reliance Telecom Ltd. and Reliance Communications Infrastructure Ltd. for the year 2006-07 and 2007-08 in the wake of possibilities of insider trading.
11. The government said it will convert market stabilisation (MSS) bonds worth Rs 45,000 crore into regular debt to finance extra expenditure incurred to push the economy during slowdown.
12. Indian wages will increase an average 8.2 percent this year after six successive annual increases of more than 10 percent, Hewitt Associates said in a release in New Delhi today. This follows an increase of 13.3 percent last year, 15.1 percent in 2007, 14.4 percent in 2006 and 14.1 percent in 2005, the Lincolnshire, Illinois-based human resource consultant said.
13. The Bank of Japan said it would maintain its key lending rate at 0.1 per cent.