1) The first meeting of the Governing Council of NITI (National Institution for Transforming India) Aayog was held in New Delhi on 8 February 2015. The meeting was presided by NITI Aayog’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He used to the term “Team India” in this meeting for describing a combination of three vital teams in the structure of NITI Aayog. This term ‘Team India” stands for which three constituents? – a) The Prime Minister and Chief Ministers b) The Union Council of Ministers and c) The bureaucracy at the Centre and in States
Explanation: The term “Team India” thus stands for the Centre and the States. In this first meeting of NITI Aayog’s Governing Council, the Prime Minister reiterated that States and the Centre, or “Team India”, must work to forge a model of cooperative federalism for resolving differences and charting a common course to progress and prosperity. He said “Team India” must work to forge a model of cooperative federalism.
2) The Finance Ministry on 7 February 2015 announced that it will soon provide capital infusion worth Rs. 6,990 crore to nine public sector banks. This infusion will be made from the Rs. 11,200-crore provided for in this year’s budget for capitalisation of banks. Which bank would get highest capital infusion? – State Bank of India (SBI)
Explanation: SBI would get capital infusion amounting to Rs. 2,970 crore, followed by Bank of Baroda (Rs. 1,260 crore) and Punjab National Bank (Rs. 870 crore). For this year’s allocation, a new criterion has been adopted by the Government. Only banks that are more efficient would be rewarded with extra capital for their equity so that they can further strengthen their position. The methodology for arriving at the amount to be infused into these banks has been based on efficiency parameters. First, the weighted average of return on assets (ROA) for all public sector banks, for the last three years put together, was arrived at and all those who were above the average were considered. The second parameter that has been used is return on equity (ROE) for these banks for the last financial year.
Break-up of Capital Infusion
Name of Bank Amount (in Rs. Crore)
Bank of Baroda 1,260
Punjab National Bank 870
Canara Bank 570
Syndicate Bank 460
Allahabad Bank 320
Indian Bank 280
Dena Bank 140
Andhra Bank 120
3) Union Government on 8 February 2015 gave clarification on the nuclear deal signed with the United States and spelled out the maximum compensation that nuclear suppliers will have to pay in case of a mishap. What is this maximum compensation in Indian currency? – Rs. 2,160 crore
Explanation: The Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage Act of 2010 (CLND) presently prescribes that the maximum amount of liability in respect of each nuclear incident shall be the rupee equivalent of 300 million Special Drawing Rights (SDRs). As the current value of 1 SDR is about Rs. 87, three hundred million SDRs are equivalent to about Rs. 2,610 crore. On the other hand the operator’s maximum liability shall be Rs. 1,500 crore. In case the total liability exceeds Rs. 1,500 crore, this gap of Rs. 1,110 crore will be bridged by the Central Government. Beyond Rs. 2,610 crore, India will be able to access international funds under the Convention on Supplementary Compensation for Nuclear Damage (CSC) once it is a party to that Convention. The CSC was set up to establish a worldwide liability regime and to increase the amount of compensation available to victims of nuclear accidents.
4) ‘Fire Volcano’, which started erupting on 8 February 2015, is situated in which Latin American country? – Guatemala
Explanation: The volcano is near the Pacific Ocean coast about 60 miles from the capital, Guatemala City. ‘Fire Volcano’ is the so-called name of the volcano and it is known locally as Fuego Volcan. It started erupting on 7 February and spewed ashes to an altitude reaching 5,500 meters (18,000 feet) above sea level. The smoke and ash forced Guatemala’s La Aurora International Airport to stop all air traffic around the area. It is one of Central America’s most active volcanoes and has an elevation of 12,343 feet. The last eruption of this volcano took place on 13 September 2012.
5) Three Indian cities recently made into the 67 cities chosen worldwide for the 100 Resilient Cities project, run by the New York-based non-profit organisation Rockefeller Foundation. Which are these 3 cities? – Bengaluru, Chennai and Surat
Explanation: “The 100 Resilient Cities Project” is aimed at helping cities organise themselves around their key challenges and helping them access resources or best practices efficiently to meet those challenges. It will give guidance on decision-making and funds to recruit the chief resilience officer (CRO). Other than that, support would be in the form of tools, people and the network.