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US remove Cuba from its list of state sponsoring terrorism paving the way for restoration of diplomatic ties
- In a landmark decision, the United States has removed Cuba from its list of State Sponsor of Terrorism, paving the way for normalizing ties frozen for more than half a century and lifting of additional sanctions against the communist country.
- The US State Department spokesperson Jeff Rathke said that the removal of Cuba’s designation as a State Sponsor of Terrorism reflects their assessment that Cuba meets the statutory criteria for rescission
90 % of global chemical weapons stockpile destroyed: OPCW
- Nobel peace prize winning organisation OPCW (Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons) has achieved major milestone of destroying 90 per cent of the global chemical weapons stockpile.
- OPCW has mentioned that around 65,000 metric tonnes of declared chemical weapons, mostly from US and Russian arsenals of cold war era have been destroyed in a safe manner.
- It also includes total of 1,300 metric tonnes of chemical weapons removed from Syria in 2014.
- Meena Hemchandra appointed as new Executive Director of RBI
- P Kunhikrishn an appointed as Director of Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) SHAR
- K.Sivan appointed as new Director of Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre
Pawan Munjal, new chairman of HERO MotoCorp
- Pawan Munjal took over as the chairman of the Hero Moto Corp, replacing his father Brijmohan Lall Munjal, who will turn 92 next month, he will have no further executive role in the company. Brijmohan had been the chairman of the company since its inception in 1984.
- Pawan Munjal, was elevated as the vice chairman in August last year, who had been the managing director and CEO of the firm since 2001.
- Hero has remained the world’s largest two-wheeler manufacturer in terms of unit volumes sold in a calendar year by a single company, since 2001. The Munjals holds 34.64% stake in the company they had founded in collaboration with Japan’s Honda Motor Corporation, from which Honda exited in December 2010.
Banking & Finance
Service tax to go up to 14 percent
- Service tax will go up to 14 percent from tomorrow. Some of the key services that will attract higher tax and hence become costlier are railways, airlines, banking, insurance, mobile, advertising, architecture, construction, credit cards, event management and tour operators.
- According to railway ministry officials, fares for First Class and AC classes in passenger trains, besides freight charges, will go up by point five per cent. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in his Budget had proposed to raise service tax from 12.36 per cent, including education cess, to 14 per cent. The tax is levied on all services, except a small negative list.
Kellton buys ProSoft Group
- Kellton Tech Solutions Limited, Hyderabad-based publicly listed IT services and solutions company, has acquired US based enterprise solutions and business integration services provider ProSoft Group( Prosoft Technology Group Inc, Intellipeople Inc, Cyber-World Solutions Inc and Prosoft Business Solutions LLC) for $14 Mn as its eighth acquisition.
- This acquisition will add $40 Mn to Kellton Tech’s top line, taking the combined revenue to $80 Mn by March 2016. ProSoft will continue to function as an independent entity under the Kellton. On the other side, ProSoft founder and CEO Raj Gupta will continue to head its operations, and will also be part of Kellton Tech’s board.
- It will reinforce Kellton’s expertise in WSMAC (web, social, mobile, analytics and cloud), and its capabilities in ERP-EAI (enterprise resource planning and enterprise application integration) arena, and will further give Kellton annuity revenues through maintenance contracts that ProSoft has with its clients. He further added that they have maintenance contracts with 12 of its 75 active customers, with annuity revenues of $500,000 to $1 Mn.
Intel to buy Altera for $16.7 billion
- Intel Corp is to buy Altera Corp, based in San Jose, California, for $16.7 billion, the third big deal in the chip industry this year. It seeks to make up for slowing demand from the PC industry by expanding its line-up of higher-margin chips used in data centres.
- By combining with Altera, Intel will be able to bundle its processing chips with the smaller company’s programmable chips, which are used, among other things, to speed up Web-searches, although Intel will continue support and development of Altera’s ARM-based and power management chips.
- Intel would offer $54 per share in cash, a 10.5 per cent premium to Altera’s closing price on Friday. It is Intel’s biggest since it bought security software maker McAfee in 2011 for $7.7 billion.
India to host AFC U-16 final
- India will be hosting the 2016 AFC Under-16 Championship as confirmed by the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) on Tuesday, after All India Football Federation (AIFF) first expressed its interest in hosting the continental championship in May, 2014.
- While India as a host nation has already qualified, the Indian Under-16 national team will also be participating in the AFC Under-16 qualifiers in September 2015, the draw for which will be held on June 5 in Malaysia.
- India is also hosting the 2017 Under-17 football World Cup. Kushal Das : AIFF, general secretary.
- Bahrain will host the 2016 AFC U-19 Championship.
FIFA President Sepp Blatter resigns
- FIFA president, since 1998, Sepp Blatter resigned from his post on Tuesday, just four days after he was re-elected to a fifth term as president, as a consequence of a U.S.-led corruption investigation alleging widespread financial wrongdoing stretching back for years.
- This announcement, at a press conference in Zurich, came six days after the FBI raided a hotel in Zurich and arrested several FIFA officials. There were widespread calls for him to quit, mostly from Western nations.
- FIFA Secretary-General Jerome Valcke, was also implicated in a $10 million payment scandal which is central to a U.S. bribery investigation against FIFA.
Olympian Prem Nath passes away
- Prem Nath, a gold medallist at the 1974 Christchurch Commonwealth Games, breathed his last on Monday evening. He was 64. He left behind his wife, two sons and a daughter.
- He finished fourth in the freestyle bantam weight category, in the 1972 Munich Olympics. Two years later, he bagged the 57kg gold title in the Commonwealth Games, New Zealand. He got the Arjuna Award in the year 1972. Prem Nath, a President’s Medal-winning retired Delhi Police official, was a student of the legendary Guru Hanuman.
- He took over an akhara, now known as the Guru Prem Nath akhara (established by Guru Baijnath in 1948) in the Kamla Nagar area of Delhi in 1976, and ran it for a long time before handing it over to his son Vikram Kumar,who is now a Indian coach, in 2004.
Books & Authors
The China Model: Political Meritocracy and the Limits of Democracy: Daniel A. Bell
- The book seeks to understand the ideals and the reality of Chinese political system.
- In his book, Bell discusses the advantages and pitfalls of political meritocracy of China; he distinguishes between different ways of combining meritocracy and democracy, and argues that China has evolved a model of democratic meritocracy that is morally desirable and politically stable.