Economy Current Affairs
December 3rd week 2015 current affairs
Category : Economy Current Affairs
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1) Indian economy grew by 7.4% in Quarter2 of Financial Year 2015-16.

  • CSO announced that India’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew by 7.4 per cent in the second quarter (July-September) of 2015-16 financial year compared to the same period during 2014-15.
  • The manufacturing sector also grew by 9.3 percent compared to 7.9 per cent in Q2 of FY 2014-15.
  • With 7.4 per cent growth, India continues be the fastest growing large economy in the world in 2015.
  • In early 2015, India had overtaken China as the world’s fastest growing major economy.
  • GDP at constant (2011-12) prices in Q2 of 2015-16 is estimated at 27.57 lakh crore, as against 25.66 lakh crore in Q2 of 2014-15, showing a growth rate of 7.4 per cent.
  • India further continued the growth momentum in the April-June quarter with 7 percent.
  • CSO stands for Central Statistical Office and is a part of the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation.
2) Pro Wrestling League looks to ring in 22 crore.
  • ProSportify Pvt Ltd, the co-promoter of the Pro Wrestling League (PWL), expects to get revenues of 22 crore in the first year. The company is targeting both male and female enthusiasts of the sport.
  • Corporates such as GMR Group, JSW Group, Lotus Greens, Maverick Industries, Mafatlal, Garudacharya and Bollywood veteran Dharmendra have invested in the league.
  • The revenue generation for the six franchises will be largely from sponsorships.
  • All the teams will get 60 per cent of the revenue from the central sponsorship pool, and the balance from sale of media rights and ticket sales.
3) Aricent tied-up with Nasscom Foundation to launch Aricent Employability Programme.
  • Aricent, a US-based product engineering firm, tied-up with Nasscom Foundation to launch Aricent Employability Programme.
  • This programme is CSR initiative to create employability opportunities for 2500 engineering graduates.
  • The programme will be offered to under graduate students across Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Delhi NCR and Rajasthan.
  • It will train students in oral, written communication skills, problem solving, time management, customer orientation, business etiquettes and other soft skills.
  • Nasscom Foundation along with Aricent has identified two training partners- iPRIMED and Global Talent Track that will train on- campus skill development under this project
4) Brazil entered longest recession since 1930s.
  • Brazil’s economy contracted by 1.7 per cent during July-September 2015 compared to April-June period in 2015.
  • It was Brazil`s third consecutive quarter of contraction starting from January 2015 and thus, making it the country`s longest recession since the 1930s.
Facts related to Brazil’s economy
  • Inflation rose to over 10 per cent, the highest in 12 years.
  • Unemployment rate was pegged at 8.9 per cent during July-September 2015 up from 6.8 per cent.
  • Foreign and domestic investments in Brazil have declined for nine straight quarters.
  • Bovespa, Brazil`s main stock index, has been decelerated by about 27 per cent since September 2014.
  • Real, Brazil`s currency was down about 31 percent against the dollar between January-November 2015.
5) volkswagen to recall 3.23 lakh cars in india.
  • German auto giant Volkswagen will recall 3.23 lakh vehicles in India after a government-ordered probe found the company using diesel engines equipped with a device which helps cheat emission tests, as it had done in the US and other global markets.
  • A meeting was held between the company executives and officials of the Department of Heavy Industries today after the submission of report by apex automotive testing agency ARAI.
  • The company will voluntarily recall 3.23 lakh vehicles which have been fitted with the E189 engines that are equipped with defeat device.
  • Volkswagen has already admitted that 11 million diesel engine cars worldwide were fitted with the software that helped in manipulating emission tests.
6) IIT Madras Helps KoPT Slash Dredging Costs by Rs. 250 Crore.
  • The Kolkata Port Trust may implement a technology that will help it save Rs. 250 crore annually through reduced dredging costs.
  • Dredging costs at the country’s only riverine port is likely to get reduced from around Rs. 400 crore to around Rs. 150 crore due to a new process of dredging suggested by the IIT-Madras on the basis of recommendations made by the Boston Consulting Group.
  • The two port systems of KoPT at Kolkata and Haldia have a draft of around 7.5 metres.

7)  SEBI proposes new norms for transparency in Green Bonds.

  • SEBI proposed new norms for issuance and listing of green bonds.
  • The regulator has approved a proposal for issue of draft regulation, for disclosure requirements for issuance and listing of green Bonds.
  • The issuance and listing of green bonds in India does not require any amendment to the SEBI (Issue and Listing of Debt Securities) Regulations.
  • The issue, listing and disclosure requirements as prescribed will continue to be applicable, like any regular corporate bond issuance.
  • SEBI has approved a proposal to issue public consultation on introduction of "Primary Market Debt Offering through private placement on electronic Book".
  • It is proposed that such an electronic book may be created by entities to be named as Electronic Book Providers (EBPs).
  • The entities such as stock exchanges, depositories and merchant bankers with net worth above Rs 100 crore may apply to SEBI for setting up EBPs.
8) MMI to invest 196 crore in JV with Aditya Birla Nuvo.
  • South Africa’s MMI Holdings is planning to invest INR 196 crore to raise its shareholding in its health insurance joint venture with the Aditya Birla Group to 49 per cent.
  • As per the agreement, Aditya Birla Nuvo will hold a 51 per cent stake in the health insurance joint venture, which will be named Aditya Birla Health Insurance Co. Ltd.
  • The deal will need approval from the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI).
  • Aditya Birla Health Insurance will be the sixth standalone health insurance firm operating in the country.
  • Aditya Birla Nuvo announced that Canadian insurer Sun Life will invest Rs. 1,664 crore to increase its life insurance joint venture Birla Sun Life Insurance to 49 per cent from 26 per cent.
9) US-India business meet.
  • Bangalore Chamber of Industry and Commerce (BCIC) will hold an interactive session on US-India business: Opportunities and Challenges.
  • The session is addressed by Ron Somers, Founder & CEO, India First Group of the US, and Clifford Samuel, SVP, Access Operations and Emerging Markets, Gilead Sciences in the US.
  • The session will highlight on the strategic consulting based on extensive experience in the US-India business/ government arena.
10) China announces $60 billion package to Africa.
  • Chinese President Xi Jinping has announced a 60 billion dollars package to African nations during the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) held in Johannesburg, South Africa.
  • The summit, in which over 50 African countries participated, is also expected to unveil the contours of China’s security partnership with Africa, focused on counter-terrorism, peacekeeping and funding to train troops within the framework of the African Union (AU).
  • The package will benefit Africa in 10 major areas (sectors) such as industry, infrastructure, agriculture, financial services, trade and investment facilitation, green development, poverty reduction and public welfare, public health, peace and security and people-to-people exchanges.
  • With this package, China is seeking to expand its investments in resource-rich Africa which can help it to absorb its excess manufacturing capacity
11) China’s APUS sets up 300 crore India Fund.
  • APUS Group, a mobile internet company, has set up a fund in India with an initial investment of Rs. 300 crore to focus on mobile Internet innovation projects in India.
  • The fund will focus on mobile internet innovation projects in the Indian market and will be led by APUS Group along with Northern Light Venture Capital, Redpoint Ventures, Chengwei Ventures LLC, SIG Global and Qiming Venture Partners.
  • APUS plans to back start-ups with financial support, user resource, traffic support, marketing promotion and brand building along with financial aid.
  • Approxmately, 160 million users surfed Internet through smartphones, making the Internet penetration 23.4 per cent.
  • Internet users will be 638 million and Internet penetration will be 48.4 per cent.
  • APUS has netted more than 30 million users in India and set up local team for business promotion, strategic cooperation and research.

12) GMR infra inks 300 million bond deal with kuwait investment body.

  • GMR Infrastructure has inked a foreign currency convertible bond private placement deal with Kuwait Investment Authority (KIA), a sovereign wealth fund, for $300 million.
  • The FCCBs, with a 60-year tenure and due by the year 2075, will carry a 7.5 per cent coupon rate.
  • The bonds can be converted into shares after 18 months, according to the terms of the agreement with the investor.
  • The initial conversion price of the optional conversion is 18 a share, according to a regulatory filing made with the stock exchange.
  • GMR Infra has a consolidated debt of about 45,000 crore, the funds being raised are aimed at addressing the standalone debt of the company, which is about 6,900 crore.

13) Arvind Subramanian-led panel recommended standard rate for GST at 17-18%.

  • The Chief Economic Advisor Arvind Subramanian led panel submitted its report on Possible Tax rates under Goods and Services Tax (GST) to Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.
  • GST rate and dropping of the 1 per cent additional tax on inter-state sales.
Key highlights:
  • CEA headed panel recommends eliminating all taxes on inter-state trade.
  • Revenue neutral rate of 15-15.5% for GST.
  • Two options for states that is Single rate of 15% or 17-18%.
  • Removal of the 1 per cent additional tax aimed to benefit the producing states like Gujarat and Tamil Nadu.
  • Higher GST rates on tobacco, luxury cars, pan masala and aerated drinks.
  • Alcohol, real estate out of GST to achieve 15% rate.
  • The key standard rate will translate into a structure of rates, a low one of 12 per cent and a high rate of 40 per cent for things like luxury products.
Revenue-neutral rate:
  • To preserve current revenues that is at which there will be no loss to both state and central governments. 
14) Tata Group invests at $350 billion market capitalization by 2025.
  • With its listed firms adding over $100 billion to market capitalization in the last 15 years, the Tata Group is looking at an increase of nearly $250 billion by 2025.
  • The Tata group has over 100 independent operating companies out of which 29 are publicly-listed. The listed entities had a combined market capitalization of about $134 billion as on March 31, 2015.
  • Tata group companies, include Tata Steel, Tata Motors, Tata Consultancy Services, Tata Power, Tata Chemicals, Tata Global Beverages, Tata Teleservices, Titan, Tata Communications and Indian Hotels.
  • By 2025, if we want to be amongst the 25 most valuable companies in the world, the number we would need to hit would be around $350 billion.
15) Tata Trusts ties up with Khan Academy for free online education.
  • Tata Trusts, the principal shareholder of the $109b Tata group is endeavouring to break out of its `traditional brick and mortar` approach to education by partnering with Khan Academy, an American online teaching provider that already reaches out to 2.6 crore student worldwide.
  • The core focus areas of the partnership will be the creation of adaptive learning platforms, developing an android- based smartphone app that incorporates major functionality of the desktop experience and improving platform performance.
Key highlights of the tie-up
  • The five-year partnership will be divided into two phases.
  • The first two years will focus on designing a robust set of educational resources tuned to the needs of middle- and low-income students in urban environments.
  • The next phase will see diversification into other content areas, including offering classes in regional languages such as Marathi, Tamil and Bangla.
About Khan Academy:
  • Khan Academy is US-based non-profit educational organization which was founded in 2006.
  • It was founded by educator Salman Khan to provide a free, world-class education for anyone, anywhere.
16) African nations aim to restore 100 million hectares of land by 2030.
  • Ten African countries have committed to restore 31 million hectares of degraded and deforested land, under a new push to make 100 million hectares productive again by 2030.
  • The initiative was unveiled at United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC) COP-21 in Paris.
  • The coalition consists of 10 African countries, 9 Financial partners and 10 technical support partners.
  • The World Bank pledged $1 billion while Germany`s Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development is providing support for development of AFR100 initiative.
  • Other investors and partners include, Eco planet Bamboo, Sustainable Forest Investments, Terra Global Capital, Green World Ventures etc.
17) Dr. Reddy’s inks MoU for skill development.
  • Pharma major Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories Ltd has entered into a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Life Sciences Sector Skill Development Council (LSSSDC) and the Vishnu Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research (VIPER).
  • The partnership is aimed at addressing the shortage of skilled and certified manpower in the industry and to strengthen the skilled labour pool and create standards for certification and accreditation in line with the requirements of the life sciences sector.
  • Skill intensive industries such as the pharmaceutical life sciences sector are poised to contribute significantly to India`s GDP growth in the coming years.
  • It facilitates market research collaboration between LSSSDC and industry partners, which will help align educational courses to industry requirements.
18) Value Labs ties up with Red Hat.
  • ValueLabs, a Hyderabad-based IT company with focus on enterprise consulting and system integration services, has tied up with Red Hat, a leading provider of open source solutions.
  • The collaboration will use Red Hat’s technology to offer business process management-based industry solutions to ensure that companies are better prepared to compete in the digital era.
  • ValueLabs is developing technical solutions like a mobile BPM for financial services customers, which will enable faster customer on-boarding, driving superior client experience and relationships.