Quiz 129 Notes & Updates

May 5, 2009 :
China Sweeps World Table Tennis Championships China swept all the gold and silver medals in the eight-day World Table Tennis Championships leaving only three bronzes to be split up by the Hong Kong team, South Korea and host Japan.
May6, 2009
Viswanathan Anand won the Chess Oscar
World No.2 Viswanathan Anand won the Chess Oscar, the sport’s most prestigious award, for the third time. Anand will receive the award in June in Moscow. The worldwide poll involves leading chess writers, critics and journalists from over 50 countries. Anand, who earlier won the award in 1997 and 1998, is only the second non-Russian after Bobby Fischer (1970, 71, and 72) to win the award. Kasparov has won it five times.
The Chess Oscar was founded in 1967 by Jorge Puig and the first winner was the Danish Grandmaster Bent Larssen.

June 01, 2009
Bharti Wal-Mart Pvt Ltd, the joint venture between Bharti Enterprises and retail giant Wal-Mart, opened its first cash-and-carry (wholesale) store in India at Amritsar in Punjab. The joint venture would invest over $100 million (about Rs 470 crore) in setting up 15 more such outlets in the next three-four years.

Spread over 50,000 sq ft, the store offers an assortment of 6,000 products, including fish, meat and fresh produce – all targeted at bulk-customers like hoteliers. The store is located on the outskirts of Amritsar, 6 km from the city centre, on the Jalandhar road. The JV chose Amritsar for its first store as it thinks the town offers good wholesale potential.

June 2, 2009
Power Sector Reforms : Biggest Problem of Indian Economy
Power sector reform is the biggest problem the Indian economy faces. India’s public generation capacity is around 148,000 MW and captive capacities add up to another 55000 MW. The public system has a plant load factor of about 75 per cent (thermals). Transmission and distribution losses are 27 per cent. Collection losses are another 7 per cent.
Financial losses for the sector itself amount to near 4 per cent of GDP -According to MAIT (Manufacturing Association of Information Technology) India Inc lost around Rs 44,000 crore (Rs 440 billion) in 2008-09, due to power outages. Hence, the overall loss may be around 5 per cent of GDP. Roughly 20 per cent of villages remain off-grid.
Around 300-400 million Indians have no access to power. Per capita consumption is 700 units per annum (1 unit = 1 KWH or the power consumed by using a 40W tube for 250 hours). The average first world per capita consumption is around 1,000 units per month.
There’s an independent regulator in the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission. There’s also the carrot-and-stick Accelerated Power Development and Reform Programme, which encourages states to clean up their act. Many states have responded and where unbundling has occurred, there’s a clearer idea of exactly where problems lie. Recent revisions to APDRP could streamline the process and make it more effective. In distribution, the new franchisee model being experimented with in Maharashtra and UP, may prove more politically acceptable than the direct privatisations of Orissa and Delhi.
Power Exchanges : Right now, about 3 per cent of power generated is being traded and the market is growing at over 60 per cent per annum. The average price per unit was around Rs 7-8 in the past 12 months.

Fiscal Deficit Problems:
Government has put forward a proposal to do away with the yearly fiscal deficit target from the next financial year (2010-11). Instead, it wants to fix the target as an average over an economic cycle of five to six years. The government of India has put forward a proposal to have an average fiscal deficit target of 3 per cent spread over an economic cycle of five-six years. Under the Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management Act, the Centre should have eliminated the revenue deficit and brought down the fiscal deficit to 3 per cent of gross domestic product by March 2008. This target was extended by a year. Then, due to the global economic crisis, the government decided to suspend implementation of the FRBMA. As a result, the fiscal deficit for 2008-09 crossed 6 per cent of GDP and is projected at 5.5 per cent in fiscal 2009-10. The Thirteenth Finance Commission has the task of charting a fresh plan for fiscal discipline starting from April 2010. Under the FRBMA, both the Centre and the states together were allowed to have a combined fiscal deficit target of up to 6 per cent of GDP.

World Heritage Nilgiris Mountain Railway to get a facelift
The Unesco-acclaimed World Heritage Nilgiris Mountain Railway, whose train featured in the famous Chhaiyaa, Chhaiyaa song, is all set to get the extensive maintainance. Southern Railway has sketched a two pronged approach to address both track and locomotive issues for the 46.61 km long metre gauge rail line.This approach will include a complete track renewal for close to 17 kms of track which have been identified out of the total section, along with reconditioning of steel sleepers. Tenders would be floated very shortly to choose the contractors for the facelift works of the track.

About the Train:
It was in 1854, that the first plans were made to build a mountain Railway from Mettupalaiyam to the Nilgiri Hills. But it took the decision-makers 45 years to cut through the bureaucratic red tape and complete the construction and installation of the line. The Mettupalayam Coonoor section of the mountain railway was thrown open to public on June 15, 1899 and the line was extended to Udhagamandalam in 1908. It was operated first by the Madras Railway under an agreement with the Government.Southern Railway runs four pairs of trains per day on the Nilgiris Mountain Railway, of which one pair runs between Mettupalayam and Udhagamandalam and three pairs of trains are operated between Coonoor and Udhagamandalam.

Govt wealth rises by Rs 3.66 lakh crore
In ten trading sessions on stock exchanges after the election results were declared, the government became richer by Rs 3,66,131 crore (Rs 3.66 trillion).
The government has a stake in 66 listed public sector undertakings (PSUs). Out of these, it owns over 80 per cent stake in 26. The combined value of these stakes has appreciated from Rs 8,81,160 crore (Rs 8.81 trillion) to Rs 12,47,291 crore (Rs 12.47 trillion). Reason , A stable government, which does not need support from the Left, is likely to take some bold decisions. One of these is disinvestment of PSUs and reforms in the insurance sector.

On the basis of the current market capitialisation, the government could raise around Rs 37,368 crore (Rs 372.68 billion) by selling just 10 per cent in top ten PSUs in which it owns over 90 per cent. The government owns many of these companies almost entirely. It has 99.59 per cent in Hindustan Copper , 99.33 per cent in MMTC, 98.38 in NMDC and 98.88 per cent in HMT

Azim Premji honoured for being ‘extraordinary humanitarian’
Wipro Chairman Azim Premji and founder of the Azim Premji Foundation has been conferred doctor of humane letters by Wesleyan University, Connecticut, United States. The honorary degree was conferred on Premji in recognition of his achievements as a ‘renowned entrepreneur, global business leader and extraordinary humanitarian who has demonstrated a commitment to education and the well being of fellow citizens. Premji is the second Indian recipient of this award. Nobel Prize winner Amartya Kumar Sen was awarded an honorary doctorate in 1995.

Govt clears 9 SEZ proposals
The government on June, 01 cleared nine fresh proposals for setting up special economic zones, most of which are related to IT and ITES, followed by the bio-technology sector.Since 2006, when the SEZ Act was notified, formal approvals have been granted for setting up 568 SEZs, of which 315 have been notified. Exports from SEZs grew by 36 per cent to Rs 90,416 crore (Rs 904.16 billion) in 2008-09 from Rs 66,638 crore (Rs 666.38 billion) in the previous fiscal.
Green signal was given to Gulf Oil Corporation, L&T;, Emaar MGF and MM Tech to set up IT/ITES tax-free enclave in Bangalore, Mumbai, and Chenagamanadu (Kerala), respectively. Three bio-technology SEZs have been sanctioned for Bangalore, Anantpur (Andhra Pradesh) and Ratnagiri (Maharashtra). Two multi-product and multi-services SEZs would come up at Kotamandal in Andhra Pradesh and Nasik in Maharashtra.
Source Business standard

Few Facts about 2011 World Cup:

  1. The 2011 ICC Cricket World Cup will be the tenth Cricket World Cup, and will be hosted by three South Asian Test cricket playing countries; India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.
  2. It will be Bangladesh’s first time co-hosting a Cricket World Cup.
  3. The World Cup will use cricket’s One Day International format, with fourteen national cricket teams scheduled to compete.
  4. The World Cup will take place during the months of February and March 2011, with the first match being played on 19 February 2011.
  5. The World Cup was originally to have been hosted by Pakistan as well, but in the wake of the 2009 attack on the Sri Lanka national cricket team in Lahore, International Cricket Council (ICC) were forced to strip Pakistan of its hosting rights.
  6. Late in 2007, the four host nations agreed upon a revised format for the 2011 World Cup, in which 14 teams will participate instead of 16. The first round of the tournament will be a round-robin similar to the one held in South Africa in the 2003 edition in which the 14 teams are divided into 2 groups of 7 teams each. The 7 teams play each other once with the top four from each group qualifying for the quarter-finals. The format ensures that each team gets to play a minimum of six matches even if they are ruled out of the tournament due to early defeats.
  7. One semi-final of the tournament was officially handed over to India, after Pakistan were stripped of its rights to host the tournament.
  8. The planned semi-final venues are the R. Premadasa Stadium in Colombo, Sri Lanka and expectedly Eden Gardens in Kolkata, India. The final is scheduled to be played at the renovated Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai, India. (from wikipedia)

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