Telangana Bill cleared by the Cabinet
- The Union Cabinet cleared the Bill for the creation of Telangana, paving the way for its introduction in Parliament on February 11 or 12.
- The key demands of Seemandhra leaders that Hyderabad be made a Union Territory and Rayala Telangana be created were rejected, putting a question mark on the fate of the Bill in Parliament.
- While the Bill as sent by the Andhra Pradesh Assembly would be commended to Parliament for consideration and passage, the government would move 32 official amendments, amplifying some administrative aspects on the bifurcation of the State.
Attempt to hijack Turkish jet to Sochi
- A passenger aboard a commercial airline flight from Ukraine to Turkey tried to hijack it to Sochi, Russia, after the Winter Olympics started. He threatened to set off a bomb with a cellphone if his demands were not met, but the crew fooled him - and the other passengers - into thinking the plane had landed in Sochi when it was actually in Istanbul.
- The government scrambled two F-16 warplanes, which escorted the jetliner as it landed, reflecting the heightened fears of terrorism as the Sochi Olympics got underway.
- The hijacker's possible organizational links and motives were yet to be investigated.
- As it happened, the Turkish prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, was in Sochi to attend the opening ceremony of the Games.
5 satellites to be launched by India in 2014-15
- India is to launch into space at least five foreign satellites this year and next year.
- All these satellites will be launched by the state-owned Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) from the spaceport of Sriharikota in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh.
- The commercial arm of ISRO has signed deals with Britain's DMC International Imaging, a subsidiary of the Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd, to launch three 350 kg disaster monitoring satellites and with ST Electronics of Singapore to launch a 400 kg TeLEOS-1 Earth observation satellite.
- The ISRO will also launch SPOT-7, a French satellite in the next two to three months.
Asset quality of banks
- A Reserve Bank of India (RBI) working paper has warned banks of further strains on their asset quality.
- The working paper titled, “Re-emerging stress in the asset quality of Indian banks: Macro-financial linkages,” said if the current adverse macro-economic condition persisted, the system level gross NPA (non-performing assets) ratio could rise to 4.4 per cent by end-March 2014. This ratio could go up to 7.6 per cent under the severe risk scenario.
- Public sector banks, might continue to register highest NPA ratio.
- While the credit growth in the recent period had ebbed, the RBI projected the non-food credit growth to be around 15 per cent in 2013-14.
- If one were to go by the RBI working paper, coal and textiles had contributed substantially to the recent deterioration in asset quality. The other industries that contributed to the rise in NPAs included iron and steel, other textiles, jute textiles, cotton textiles, computer software, leather and leather products, sugar, tobacco, rubber, metals, construction and vegetable oils and vanaspati industry.
White label ATMs in India
- The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has permitted four non-bank entities to set up white label ATMs in India.
- The RBI has issued Certificate of Authorisation to Tata Communications Payment Solutions Ltd., Prizm Payment Services Pvt. Ltd., Muthoot Finance Ltd., and Vakrangee Ltd. for setting up and operating white label ATMs.
- Of these, three have already launched their services. Vakrangee is likely to commence its service shortly.
- The objective of permitting non-banks to operate white label ATMs was to enhance the spread of ATMs in semi-urban and rural areas,where bank-owned ATM penetration has not been growing.
Chennai Challenger final
- Yuki Bhambri and Somdev Devvarman set out to discover that in their semifinal match-up at the Shriram Capital-P.L. Reddy Memorial ATP $50,000 Challenger.
- At the end, Bhambri came up trumps winning 6-2, 6-4 to book a place in the final. He will meet World No. 238 Alexander Kudryavtsev who beat World No. 130 and second seed Evgeny Donskoy 7-6(4), 6-3.
- The seventh seeded Indian also made the doubles final giving himself a chance to earn a grand double. For that he will have to overcome the pair of Sriram Balaji — another of the Indian success stories — and Blaz Rola of Slovenia.
- The results (Semifinals): Singles: Yuki Bhambri bt Somdev Devvarman 6-2, 6-4; Alexander Kudryavtsev (Rus) bt Evgeny Donskoy (Rus) 7-6(4), 6-3.
- Doubles: Sriram Balaji & Blaz Rola (Slo) bt Ti Chen (Tpe) & Marek Semjan (Svk) 6-3, 7-6(5); Yuki Bhambri & Michael Venus (Nzl) bt Ruben Gonzales (Phi) & Artem Sitak (Nzl) 6-2, 6-1.
India fail to qualify for Group I of Fed Cup
- Indian girls hopes of moving into Group I of the Fed Cup tennis came crashing with a 1-2 loss over Hong Kong in the Group II Asia/Oceania promotional play-off at the National Tennis Centre .
- Prarthana Thombare lost the first singles tie 2-6, 1-6 to Eudice Chang while Ankita Raina lost 4-6, 3-6 to Ling Zhang in the second singles.
- But Ankita and Rishika Sunkara pulled back a consolation win for India by winning the doubles 6-2, 6-1 against Kwan Yau Wang and Ho Ching Wu.
Source : upscportal