Today Current Affairs 17th January 2017

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Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), the market regulator of India, in January 2017 tightened the norms for mergers and amalgamation of an unlisted company with a listed entity.The step is SEBI’s effort to make a listing process more transparent and provide a big say to public shareholders in consolidations of companies.  Objective: The norms were released with an aim to prevent the large unlisted company to get listed by merging with small company/ies and to have a wider public shareholding. Highlights of the norms • The unlisted company will have to disclose all the material information in form of an abridged prospectus, similar to what companies file before launching initial public offering (IPO). • In a case of merger or amalgamations, the holdings of public shareholders post the merger should not be less than 25 per cent, which is similar to norms available in case of mergers in the case of listed entities. • The unlisted company can be merged with a listed company only if the listed company is listed on a stock exchange and have nationwide trading terminals. • It also facilitates e-voting system mandatory in cases where the stake of shareholders reduces by more than 5 per cent in the merged entity. It was done to ensure larger say for the public shareholders. • The pricing formula for stocks for merger and acquisitions will be based on the SEBI’s Issue of Capital and Disclosure Requirements (ICDR) norms. This will help in providing an equitable treatment to shareholders by stopping companies from issuing shares to select group of shareholders. • The stock exchanges were empowered and this empowerment will allow them to act against listed firms through suspension of trading, the imposition of fines and more for violation of certain sections of ICDR norms.

A financing agreement for IDA credit of US$ 48 million (equivalent) for the ‘Nagaland Health Project’ was signed with the World Bank . The Financing Agreement was signed by Mr. Raj Kumar, Joint Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs on behalf of Government of India and Mrs. Genevieve Connors, Acting Country Director, World Bank (India) on behalf of the World Bank. A Project Agreement was also signed by Dr. L. Watikala, Principal Director, Directorate of Health & Family Welfare, Government of Nagaland and Ms. Genevieve Connors, Acting Country Director, World Bank. The Objectives of the project are to improve health services and increase their utilization by communities in targeted locations in Nagaland. 

Kiran Doshi, a retired diplomat and educationist from Gujarat, won The Hindu Prize 2016 for his third major work of fiction, Jinnah Often Came to Our House, a book set against the political turmoil of the subcontinent from the early part of the 20th century, ending with the Partition and Independence. Mr. Doshi was among the five authors shortlisted from nearly 60 entries for the seventh edition of the prize. The shortlisted works included Anil Menon’s Half Of What I Say, Hansda Sowvendra Shekhar’s The Adivasi Will Not Dance, Kunal Basu’s Kalkatta and Manjula Padmanabhan’s The Island of Lost Girls. 

Poet Jacob Polley on 16 January 2017 won the 2016 T.S. Eliot prize for his collection, 'Jackself.' The award ceremony was organised at the Wallace Collection Gallery in London.Polley is the 23rd winner of the prestigious USD 24000 award. Jackself is a sequence of narrative poems partly inspired by his childhood in Cumbria, England. The book was chosen from a 10-strong shortlist that included Measures of Expatriation by Vahni Capildeo, winner of the 2015 Forward prize, and Falling Awake by Alice Oswald, previous T S Eliot prize winner.Ruth Padel, one of the judges of the panel, stated that Jackself was "a firework of a book; inventive, exciting and outstanding in its imaginative range and depth of feeling."The coveted award was founded by T.S. Eliot's widow Valerie in 1993. T.S. Eliot was one of the 20th century's major poets. About Jacob Polley: • Jacob Polley is an English poet from United Kingdom. • His first four books of poems are The Brink, Little Gods, The Havocs and Jackself. • Born in 1975, he obtained his masters in Creative Writing from Lancaster University in 1997. • In 2002, he won an Eric Gregory Award and the BBC Radio 4/Arts Council ‘First Verse’ Award. • His first book, The Brink, was shortlisted for the 2003 T.S. Eliot Prize, the Forward Prize and the John Llewellyn Rhys prize. • His first novel titled Talk of the Town was published in June 2009. The book won the 2010 Somerset Maugham Award. • His third poetry book, The Havocs, won the 2012 Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize. It was also shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best Collection and for the T.S. Eliot Prize.

India and Mauritius on 16 January 2017 signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to facilitate cooperation in the cooperative sector.The MoU was signed by Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh and Business, Enterprise and Cooperatives Minister of Mauritius Soomilduth Bholah.The MoU will enable the two countries to collaborate in the cooperative and related sectors and benefit thousands of Mauritians.Under the MoU, India will extend its expertise and technology to Mauritius in agro industry, fisheries and dairy sectors. India-Mauritius relations Mauritius maintained contacts with India through successive Dutch, French and British occupation. Diplomatic relations between India and Mauritius were established in 1948. Political Relations: Following independence of Mauritius on 12 March 1968, the first Prime Minister and the Father of the Mauritian Nation Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam accorded centrality to India in Mauritius’ foreign policy.Subsequently, successive Mauritian leaders ensured that India occupies a position of significance and importance in the foreign policy orientation and activities of Mauritius.Prime Minister Navinchandra Ramgoolam was the only non-SAARC leader to be invited to witness the swearing in ceremony of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in May 2014.Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Mauritius in March 2015 as the chief guest at the Mauritian National Day celebrations. During this visit, both the countries signed five Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs).

Rajeev Singh, Member (Finance) in Prasar Bharati Board, will take charge as interim CEO of the public broadcaster after S C Panda retires in February. The previous CEO Jawhar Sircar had quit in October last year, a few months before his tenure was due to end, following which Panda, who is Member (Personnel), was made the acting CEO. However, Panda is also due to retire in February. The issue of vacancies arising due to Panda’s retirement was discussed in a meeting headed by Prasar Bharati chairman A Surya Prakash in Hyderabad yesterday, sources said. “In a key decision, the public broadcaster decided that its Member Finance Rajeev Singh will take over as interim CEO, after the present incumbent S C Panda retires in February 

It’s all Dangal with the Indian Women’s boxing team as they went on to finish 3rd in the 6th Nations Cup in the Serbian city of Vrbas. India finished 3rd just after Kazakhstan and Russia in the elite category wherein the tournament also featured School Girl, Junior and Youth Division competition. The medal tally for India stands at one gold, four silver and four bronze. The solo gold for India goes to Neeraj of Haryana. This exceptional talent acquired the gold by defeating the top-seeded Jaina Shekerbekova of Kazakhstan. Surprisingly this is Neeraj’s first International appearance. The four silvers were acquired by Sarjubala Devi (48 Kg), Priyanka Chowdhary(60kg), Pooja(69 Kg). They lost to Russia’s Yulia Chumgalakova, Kazakhstan’s Rimma Volosenko, Valentina Khalzova respectively in their bouts. 

Urging his countrymen to stand against religious intolerance, US President Barack Obama has proclaimed January 16 as Religious Freedom Day in accordance with a yearly tradition. Each year, by Presidential Proclamation, January 16 is declared Religious Freedom Day in the US. Obama urged the country’s citizens to reject politics that seeks to target people because of their religion 

The Reserve Bank of India on Monday more than doubled the daily withdrawal limit from automated teller machines (ATMs) to Rs 10,000 but retained the weekly ceiling at Rs 24,000 with the supply of more five hundred notes. RBI has increased the limit on withdrawal from current accounts from the existing limit of Rs 50,000 per week to Rs 1,00,000 per week. This hike will be applicable to overdraft and cash credit accounts.

The Commerce Ministry in January 2017 launched a mobile app named SEZ India under its broader e-Governance initiative. The app was launched by the Commerce Secretary.The app will help the Special Economic Zone (SEZ) Units and Developers to find information easily and track their transactions on Online System. It will also facilitate them to file all their transactions digitally through SEZ Online system and track the status on the go through the SEZ India mobile app.Union Government launches mobile app for Haj Pilgrimage.The app that can be used by SEZ Developers, Units, officials and others is available on Android platforms.  Salient Features of the four sections are as under:- SEZ Information: It is a compendium of the SEZ Act, 2005, MOCI Circulars, SEZ Rules, 2006, details of SEZs and Units among others. This section will provide up to date comprehensive details on all the above aspects.Union Government launches Stanpan Suraksha mobile app to promote breastfeeding. Trade Information: This section will help the developers, units and others to access all important information or tools like handbook of procedure, foreign trade policy, customs & excise notification, duty calculator and MEIS Rates. SEZ online Transaction: This dynamic submenu will help the developers and units to track the Bill of Entry or Shipping Bill processing status and verify the same. It will also help the importers or exporters to track the status of the bill of entry, integration and processing in the EDI system of the ICEGATE.

India dropped to 92nd rank in the Global Talent Competitiveness Index (GTCI) released by INSEAD in partnership with The Adecco Group and the Human Capital Leadership Institute of Singapore (HCLI). Last year India stood at 89.The global index of talent competitiveness measures the ability of the countries to grow, attract and retain talent. The list was topped by Switzerland. Global Talent Competitiveness Ranking of Cities For the first time the index also released a global talent competitiveness ranking of cities on the basis of their reputation and growing efforts in attracting, growing, and retaining global talent.Among the Indian cities, only Mumbai made it to the list which was topped by Copenhagen.

Top seeded Grandmaster Farrukh Amonatov on 16 January 2017 won the 15th edition of the Delhi International Chess tournament.In the 10th and final round of the tournament, Amonatov settled for a draw with Grandmaster Diptayan Ghosh. Amanotov scored 8.5 points out of a ten and stayed a half point ahead of Ghosh and Dzhumaev Marat of Uzbekistan.Ghosh and Dzhumaev Marat tied for the second spot on eight points. However, Ghosh was declared the runner-up based on his better tiebreak.Amanatov received Rs. 4 lakh in prize money, while Ghosh and Dzhumaev received Rs. 3 lakh and Rs. 2 lakh respectively. About Farrukh Amonatov: • Born 13 April 1978, Farrukh Amonatov is the only chess grandmaster of Tajikistan. • He lives and trains in Moscow; however, he represents Tajikistan in international tournaments. • In 1992, he won the Asian under-16 champion. • In 2005, he won the inaugural Moscow Open. • Later in 2005, he competed in the FIDE World Cup, where he knocked out Michal Krasenkow in the first round. However, he was eliminated in the second round by Magnus Carlsen. • He qualified for the Superfinal of the Russian Chess Championship in 2007 and ended up on the 10th position. • In 2008, he tied for 1st place with Anton Filippov and Vitaly Tseshkovsky in the 2nd Georgy Agzamov Memorial in Tashkent, winning the tournament on tiebreak. • In the 2009 FIDE World Cup, he reached the second round, in which he lost to the eventual winner, Boris Gelfand. • In 2016, he won the Agzamov Memorial for the second time (on tiebreak from Rauf Mamedov). • He also won the Eurasian Blitz Cup of the President of Kazakhstan, held in Almaty.

Election Commission on 16 January 2017 recognised Akhilesh Yadav faction as the Samajwadi Party and permitted it to use the name of the party and its symbol Bicycle. In addition to this, the commission also rejected party patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav's claim to the party and the symbol.In its order, the commission observed that the Akhilesh group enjoys overwhelming majority support both among the legislative and organisational wing of the party. Akhilesh Yadav named Samajwadi Party's national president: The decision of the commission is based on the individual affidavits of the members of the legislative and organisational wings, which was submitted to the commission by Ramgopal Yadav on behalf of Chief Minister's faction. The affidavits supported Akhilesh as the party leader.On the other hand, Mulayam Singh Yadav did not file any affidavit of MPs, MLAs or any delegates except his own. Mulayam Yadav also failed to claim any support among the MPs, MLAs and MLCs and party delegates for his group. Earlier, the commission directed Mulayam Yadav to file such affidavits.The poll body applied the test of majority supported as approved by the Supreme Court while deciding the case in favour of Akhilesh Yadav.