President Pranab Mukherjee inaugurated Nagaland’s famous Hornbill Festival. Hornbill (name of a bird) Festival, considered one of the biggest events in the state, puts on display the rich tradition and cultural heritage of the Naga people. Nagaland is also observing the golden jubilee (50 years) of its formation as a state.
Hornbill Festival is a festival celebrated in Nagaland every year in the first week of December. The festival showcases rich culture of Naga tribes which includes shows of music and dance. The festival is organized by the State Tourism and Art & Culture Departments, at Naga Heritage Village, Kisama which is about 12 km from Kohima the state capital.
The Hornbill Festival provides a colourful mixture of dances, performances, crafts, parades, games, sports, food fairs and religious ceremonies. The festival both exposes the culture and tradition of tribal peoples, and reinforces Nagaland’s identity as a unique state in India’s federal union.
RBI makes punching PIN mandatory for debit card transactions done every time
December 2, 2013
With an aim to minimize frauds, RBI has made it mandatory for debit card holders to punch in their PIN numbers every time they use the card. In June 2013, the central bank had extended the deadline for implementation of mandatory PIN punching at Point-of-Sales (PoS) and merchant outlets till November 30, 2013 following representation of banks.
Why this step by the RBI to make punching PIN mandatory for debit card transactions done every time?
The PIN functions as another layer of security for the debit card which reduces the chances of fraud. While using it at PoS, merchants will first swipe the cards at a PIN enabled PoS terminal and punch in the transaction amount. That will be followed by customers punching their PINs to complete the transaction.
In a bid to foster regional consciousness and bring member states closer, Kathmandu-based Indian diplomat Abhay Kumar composed an anthem for the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC). SAARC Anthem by Kumar will be translated in Hindi, English, Nepali, Bengali, Pashto, Urdu, Sinhala, Dzongkha and Dhivehi, languages spoken in the South Asian region.
Who is Abhay Kumar ?
Indian poet, artist and diplomat.
First secretary, Press, Information and Communication, Indian Embassy.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh dedicated to the Nation GAIL India Ltd’s 1,000 km long natural gas pipeline from Dabhol to Bangalore during the inaugural ceremony of the 8th Asia Gas Partnership Summit (AGPS).
About Dabhol-Banglore Gas Pipeline:
Constructed in a period of 19 months
Investment of 4500 crore (US$690 million)
Design capacity of 16 MMSCMD of natural gas which can produce 3,000 MW of clean energy
Starts at Dabhol in Maharashtra and passes through Belgaum, Dharwad, Gadag, Bellary, Devanagere, Chitradurga, Tumkur, Ramanagaram, Bangalore Rural and Bangalore Urban districts.
Connects South India to the national gas grid for the first time.
Traverses via 18 National Highways, 382 roads, 20 railway tracks, 11 major rivers and 276 water bodies, including Asia’s largest river crossing in the rocky terrain at Ghatprabha.
Construction involved pipeline laying in some of the world’s steepest slopes of 60 to 70 degrees and sharp elevations of upto 700 meters in a 3.5 km stretch.
India’s CAD improves to $ 5.2 billion in second quarter
December 5, 2013
India’s Current Account Deficit (CAD) has improved significantly to$ 5.2 billion (1.2% of GDP) in the second quarter (July-September) of this fiscal mainly due to decrease in gold imports and increase in exports.
As per the RBI, the (CAD), the difference between outflow and inflow of foreign exchange, stood at $ 21 billion, or 5% of the GDP, in the second quarter of last fiscal. On a Balance of Payment (BoP) basis, there was a narrowing of foreign exchange reserves of $10.4 billion in second quarter as compared to that of USD 0.2 billion in the same period of last fiscal.
Improvement in trade deficit combined with a surge in net invisibles receipts resulted in a reduction of the CAD to $26.9 billion (3.1% of GDP) in H1 of 2013-14 from $37.9 billion (4.5% of GDP) in H1 of 2012-13.
The government has set a target to contain theCAD at$70 billion or 3.7% of GDP andthe fiscal deficit at 4.8% of the GDP this fiscal (2013-14). At present, both the government and RBI are expecting the CAD to be below $56 billion in the current fiscal compared to the record high of USD 88.2 billion, or 4.8% of the GDP last fiscal.
In addition to rise in exports, a number of steps taken by the RBI paid off in improving the CAD. The central bank reduced the import of gold by hiking the import duty to 10% and restricting import of gold bars and medallions. During the period when rupee was depreciating, it took measures to boost exports.
As a result, gold imports have declined from 142 tonnes in April and 162 tonnes in May to 23.5 tonnes in October, 11.16 tonnes in September, 3.38 tonnes in August and 47.75 tonnes in July. In 2012-13, India imported an estimated 835 tonnes of gold, a key reason for the record CAD of $88.2 billion, or 4.8% of GDP.