Here is the list of Top 30 Economic Development between January – September, 2015. The whole work is compiled and customized for civil services examination, from various sources like The Hindu, Indian Express, Economic Times & other relevant resources.
30. ONGC picks 15% in Russia’s 2nd biggest oil field
- State-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) agreed to buy 15 per cent stake in Russia’s second biggest oil field of Vankor from Rosneft for USD 1.268 billion, its fourth biggest acquisition ever.
- The field, which has recoverable reserves of 2.5 billion barrels, will give OVL 3.3 million tonnes per annum of oil production.
29. Indian healthcare BPO facing stiff competition: Study
- Indian companies operating in the business process outsourcing (BPO) in healthcare sector are facing stiff competition from their Filipino counterparts.
- The Philippines and other low-cost locations are emerging as a big challenge to Indian BPO industry including the healthcare vertical,” a finding from the study conducted jointly by industry body Assocham and global professional services organisation.
28. India, US sign FATCA; pact to help detect and discourage offshore tax evasion
- India and the United States have inked an accord that will help detect and discourage offshore tax evasion and shield Indian financial entities such as banks, insurance companies, custodians and broking houses from facing penal taxes in the US for failing to disclose the dealings of American citizens and US entities.
- The Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act or FATCA was signed by Revenue Secretary Shaktikanta Das and US Ambassador Richard Verma.
27. Economic census bares impact of cuts in social sector spend
- The recently concluded socio-economic caste census (SECC) is an exercise that draws considerable amount of awe for its sheer reach.
- The census surveyed 23.49 crore households across India using 6.4 lakh electronic handheld devices to arrive at a database of all households.
- It then ranked them on a relative scale of deprivation, after accounting for automatic inclusion (16.5 lakh) and exclusion of households (7.05 cr) based on a set of predetermined indicators.
26. India is now a $2-trillion economy
- According to a World Bank report, India’s GDP crossed the $2-trillion mark in 2014 and at present stands at $2.067 trillion.
- In just seven years, India has added one trillion to its economy.
- Going by income, India is still in the lower middle income category. India is among the world the fastest growing economies this year.
25. Over one-third population in rural areas illiterate in India: Socio-economic census
- Over one-third of Indian population living in rural areas is illiterate even after 68 years of independence, according to the Socio Economic and Caste Census (SECC) 2011.
- Around 64 percent of the rural Indian population is literate, the Census data showed.
- Rajasthan leads the pack of illiterate states with 47.58 percent of its population falling in that category, followed by Madhya Pradesh with 44.19 percent of its people in rural areas being illiterate.
24. Quarter of the world’s poor live in eight Indian states: Report
- A little over a quarter of people living in extreme poverty in the world live in eight Indian states, says a new Oxford university analysis, sparking concerns about social and economic development in Asia’s third-largest economy.
- The 2015 global multidimensional poverty index (MPI) of the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative says Bihar, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Rajasthan and West Bengal account for nearly 440 million of the world’s 1.6 billion poverty-stricken people — equivalent of 25 African countries together.
23. BRICS bank to start by April
- New Development Bank (NDB), also known as the BRICS Bank, is expected commence operations and start financing projects by April 2016.
- The bank would introduce capital market products and would be open for equity infusion.
- Kamath, former Chairman of ICICI Bank and Infosys Ltd., will take over as the head of the multilateral development institution in July at Shanghai in China.
22. Arun Jaitley pushes for ‘plastic’ currency
- The developed world has moved substantially to plastic currency and payment gateways.
- To popularize the use of plastic money, the government had launched the RuPay debit card in 2012 through the National Payments Corp of India (NPCI).
- The card enables electronic payments at all banks and financial institutions, competing with MasterCard, Visa and American Express.
21. Unconventional monetary policies to have negative effect
- Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has said unconventional monetary policies (UMP) of developed countries can have negative spill overs on emerging economies.
- Emerging market economies face a high risk of negative spill-overs from un-conventional monetary policy actions of advanced economies.
20. Cellular Operators Association roots for net neutrality
- Industrial body Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) today reaffirmed its support for ‘net neutrality’, but also made a strong pitch for ‘net equality’ that will enable access to Internet for a billion Indians as part of the governments’ digital India vision.
- In a statement today, COAI urged all stakeholders in net neutrality to have a comprehensive and informed debate on the subject, keeping in mind the requirements of India and its citizens.
19. Bank account penetration in India increased: World Bank
- Bank account penetration in India increased from 35 per cent to 53 per cent between 2011 and 2014, but the country also suffers from high dormancy rates, says a World Bank report.
- Translated into absolute numbers, this growth in number of bank accounts means that 175 million in India became account holders between 2011 and 2014.
- According to the World Bank, the rise in number of bank accounts was to a large extent due to government’s push for financial inclusion.
18. FDI in services sector up 47 per cent during April-January
- With government taking steps to improve the ease of doing business and attract foreign investments, FDI inflows into services sector grew by about 47 per cent to $2.64 billion in April-January last fiscal.
- The sector, which includes banking, insurance, outsourcing, R&D, courier and technology testing, had received foreign direct investment (FDI) worth $1.80 billion during April-January 2013-14.
- The government has announced a series of steps such as fixing timelines for approvals to improve ease of doing business in the country and to attract domestic and foreign investments.
17. India’s GDP growth rate to reach 8 pc by 2017: World Bank
- The World Bank has predicted 8 per cent GDP growth rate of India by 2017 and said that a strong expansion in the country, coupled with favorable oil prices, would accelerate the economic growth in South Asia.
- The bank in its semi-annual report said, in India, GDP growth is expected to accelerate to 7.5 percent in fiscal year 2015 -16 and India’s economic growth could reach 8 per cent in fiscal year 2017-18, on the back of significant acceleration of investment growth to 12 per cent during 2016 to 2018.
16. India’s first IFSC becomes operational
- India’s first International Financial Services Centre (IFSC) at GIFT City near here became operational.
- Finance Minister Arun Jaitley unveiled rules and regulations for this global financial hub.
- Jaitley also attacked the previous UPA government for being “lethargic” in giving permission to the IFSC.
15. Full rupee convertibility in a few years
- Reserve Bank Governor Raghuram Rajan today said the central bank is looking at allowing full capital account convertibility in a few years.
- Full capital convertibility means a foreign investor can repatriate his money into his own local currency at will, which is not allowed in the country now.
- Stating that the RBI is fairly open to capital inflows, the Governor said: “The only place today that we have some restrictions is inflows into debt, especially very short-term debt.
14. 46 nations to join AIIB as founding members
- The number of countries applying to be founding members of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank rose to 46 by the Tuesday deadline.
- The AIIB is a multilateral development bank proposed by China to provide financing to infrastructure projects in the Asia region.
- The growing infrastructure demand in cash-strapped Asian countries will necessitate the need for more than 700 billion dollars each year by 2020.
13. Wheat imports highest in 5 years as rains damage crop
- Indian millers have bought up to 80,000 tonne of Australian wheat in recent deals, three trade sources said on Tuesday, the biggest such imports in five years as unseasonal rains damage the crop at home.
- Purchases could buoy benchmark Chicago prices , which rallied more than 6% in the past two sessions and are currently near a one-week top amid concerns over dry weather and rising temperatures hurting the US winter crop.
12. Climate change costs
- India has been hit by unusual weather. Much of the country has endured unseasonal rain, even hailstorms.
- In the process, nearly 30 per cent of the rabi planting seems to have been spoiled, with adverse implications for food availability and inflation, as well as farmer distress.
- The first half of March has been unusually cool, besides being the wettest for 100 years; this weirdness is likely a product of climate change.
11. SBI composite index for March shows significant uptrend
- The SBI Composite Index, an indicator for tracking India’s manufacturing activity, has shown a significant growth in output both in terms of month-on-month and yearly basis in March.
- The monthly index has shown robust growth of 58.5 in March 2015, from 47.6 in February 2015, signalling the highest pace of growth in last 48 months.
- Robust recovery in the month on month index may be attributed to seasonal factors as March sequential momentum is always higher.
10. Centre identifies parameters to ensure ease of doing business
- The Centre has identified 98 parameters to ensure ease of doing business in India, and has shared these with the States for necessary action by May, said Amitabh Kant, Secretary, Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), while speaking at the CII Western Region annual meeting.
- In the following months, the government would evaluate States based on the breakthrough achieved in the suggested areas, he said while urging industry to support the States in this regard.
- India needs to achieve higher growth trajectory and the government is committed for the same.
9. India among top 20 realty investment destinations in world
- Investments in Indian real estate last year jumped more than two-fold to over USD 5 billion, helping the country figure in the list of world’s top 20 property destinations.
- India is amongst the top 20 real estate investment destinations for 2014 with total of USD 5,000 million,” global property consultant Cushman & Wakefield said in a statement.
- India at the 20th rank recorded the third highest growth in investments, with an increase of over 140 per cent in total investment volumes in 2014 at USD 5,050 million against USD 2,100 million in the previous year.
8. No cut in the coverage of National Food Security Act
- Shri Ram Vilas Paswan, Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution has said that the Government has decided not to accept.
- The recommendation of High Level Committee on restructuring of FCI regarding cut in the coverage of the National Food Security Act.
- He clarified that beneficiary coverage at the level of 67 percent as provided by the Nations Food Security Act would continue.
7. Pan-India MNP from May 3, Trai amends regulation
- Mobile subscribers from May 3 will be able to port their numbers anywhere in the country while changing service providers, as telecom regulator Trai has amended the regulation on it.
- Mobile Number Portability (MNP) currently allows consumers to change their service provider while retaining the same number only within a telecom circle, which in most cases, is limited to a State.
- A person, for instance, while shifting from Delhi to Chennai will be able to retain the same mobile number while selecting a service provider
6. Govt accepts majority decision of 14th Finance Commission
- The government has accepted the majority decision of the 14th Finance Commission.
- The Commission has recommended a grant of one lakh, ninety four thousand, eight hundred twenty one crore rupees to meet the deficit of 11 states.
- The Commission has also made recommendations to deal with issues including goods and services tax, fiscal environment and fiscal consolidation roadmap, pricing of public utilities, public sector enterprises and public expenditure management.
5. Asia Financial Forum
- While global investors remain upbeat on India’s growth prospects – eight months after Prime Minister Narendra Modi took charge of a new government
- They qualify their optimism with caution over the pace of reforms in the country, given its chequered history of implementing reforms, especially those pertaining to foreign investment.
- Speaking at the Asia Financial Forum, which commenced in Hong Kong on Monday, Michael Diekmann, chief executive and chairman of Munich.
4. Govt approves Ordinance to hike FDI in insurance to 49%
- Government on Wednesday approved promulgation of an Ordinance to hike Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) cap in the insurance sector to 49 per cent from 26 per cent.
- Because legislation could not be passed in the parliament session that ended on 23rd of December, 2014.
3. Govt. pushes historic tax reform
- The government on Friday took the first step towards switching to a Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime by introducing The Constitution (122nd Amendment) Bill in the Lok Sabha.
- Though in favour of the GST, the Trinamool Congress opposed its introduction as some concerns of West Bengal were not addressed.
2. RBI notifies new FDI policy for defence, railways infrastructure
- The Reserve Bank today notified the government’s decision to increase foreign investment ceiling in defence sector and permitting 100 per cent FDI in railways infrastructure.
- After assuming power, the NDA government has reviewed Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) policy for railways sector as well as defence.
1. No more subsidised kerosene through PDS
- Attacking the subsidy regime, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has scrapped the supply of subsidised kerosene through the Public Distribution System (PDS).
- The Centre plans to write to States asking them to provide subsidised kerosene only to un-electrified households.