Forbes’ top Asia’s richest families list out: 3 Indian names make the cut
- South Korea’s Lee family, which controls the formidable Samsung conglomerate, topped an inaugural list of Asia’s 50 richest families published Thursday by Forbes Asia magazine.
- The Samsung empire, founded in 1938 by wealthy landowner’s son Lee Byung-Chull, has diversified interests ranging from mobile phones to construction and shipbuilding.
- The second richest is the Hong Kong Chinese family, also surnamed Lee, which controls Henderson Development and boasts a fortune of $24.1 billion.
- The third richest are the Ambanis of India’s Reliance Group with a combined net worth of $21.5 billion, followed by Thailand’s Chearavanont family with $19.9 billion, generated from the agriculture-based Charoen Pokphand group.
- Rounding out the top five is the Kwok family, which controls Hong Kong’s Sun Hung Kai property empire, with a combined net wealth of $19.5 billion.
- Only families with business involvement extending to at least three generations were included in the survey, the magazine said.
- Premji from India (Wipro)worth $17 billion came 7th.
- The Hinduja’s originally from India but now in Britain worth $15 billion came on 9th followed by Mistry’s of Shapoorji Pallonji Group at no. 10 with a net worth of $14.9 billion
Svetlana Alexievich of Belarus wins Nobel for literature
- Belarusian writer Svetlana Alexievich won the Nobel Prize in literature on Thursday for works that the prize judges called “a monument to suffering and courage.”
- Alexievich, 67, used the skills of a journalist to create literature chronicling the great tragedies of the Soviet Union and its collapse: World War II, the Soviet war in Afghanistan, the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster and the suicides that ensued from the death of Communism.
- Her first novel, “The Unwomanly Face of the War,” published in 1985 and based on the previously untold stories of women who had fought against the Nazi Germans, sold more than 2 million copies.
- Her books have been published in 19 countries. She also has written three plays and the screenplays for 21 documentary films. The Swedish Academy cited Alexievich “for her polyphonic writings, a monument to suffering and courage in our time.”
- The academy’s permanent secretary, Sara Danius, told that Swedish broadcaster SVT that she reached the writer just before the announcement.
- Last year’s literature award went to French writer Patrick Modiano.
Nationwide review of rural job scheme NREGS ordered by government
- The NDA has ordered a nationwide review of the Rs 35,000 crore rural employment programme, a flagship of erstwhile UPA government to see if it meets the objectives of generating jobs and creating durable assets.
- The government has received complaints of corruption and pilfering of funds even after an electronic funds management system and biometric authentication of workers were put in place for disbursal of payments to workers. In several cases, states used machines instead of hiring workers. Besides, only 28 per cent of the payments were made on time to workers during 2014-15.
- The Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act is aimed at ensuring 100 days of employment in a financial year to adult members of a rural household who volunteer to do unskilled manual work.
- To take stock of the on-ground situation, the government has decided to send teams to all states to verify the work done, a senior rural development ministry official said. It has already taken note of a large number of incomplete works and lack of awareness among many households regarding their entitlements.
- These teams of four officials each will visit the gram panchayats, talk to the local people and evaluate the impact of the National Rural Employment Generation Scheme (NREGS) and other rural development projects. The first phase of the exercise will be carried out in 76 districts across all states and Union Territories. “The advantages of NREGS have not reached the poorest.
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been critical of NREGS, calling it a living example of six decades of failure of the Congress party. “It has to pay people to dig ditches,” Modi had said in an address in Parliament in February.
- Although the NDA government has taken steps to overhaul the scheme, it is yet to see results. Already under criticism from the opposition about not doing enough for rural India, the Modi government wants to ensure that its social sector schemes don’t just remain on paper. It is pushing the financial inclusion plan of Jan Dhan Yojna primarily meant for the poor, while also converging other schemes including Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojna and Swachch Bharat Mission with NREGS
6 companies in fray for 2 transmission projects worth Rs 8,000 crore
- As many as six companies including state-run Power Grid (PGCIL), Sterlite and Adani have qualified on technical grounds for submitting financial bids for Vemagiri II power transmission project worth around Rs 6,300 crore.
- Besides, PGCIL, Sterlite Grid, Adani, Kalpataru and Essel Infra Projects have qualified on technical ground to submit financial bids for Alipurduar power transmission project estimated at around Rs 1,800 crore.
- REC Transmission Projects Co Ltd (RECTPL) is conducting the auction these two transmission project. It is a wholly owned subsidiary of state-run Rural Electrification Corporation Ltd.
- The Vemagiri II project will strengthen transmission system beyond Vemagiri and will be called Vemagiri II Transmission Ltd. It will traverse through Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka.
- Similarly, the Alipurduar project will strengthen transmission system in India for Transfer of Power from new hydro electric projects in Bhutan. It will traverse through Bihar and West Bengal.
- Power sector regulator CERC has stated its Tariff Adoption orders that tariffs discovered through competitive bidding are 30-45 per cent lower than cost-plus route.
GK QUESTIONS OF THE DAY
1.Who has been elected Chairman of Inter-governmental Panel for Climate Change (IPCC).
A) Tim Ferris
B) Raja Mohanty
C) Hoesung Lee
D) Hilary Clinton
Answer: Hoesung Lee of South Korea
2. Which Ingeniously built warship was recently inducted in Indian Navy ?
A) INS Chakra
B) INS Sindhurakshak
C) INS Astradharani
Answer: INS Astradharani
3. Who won 2015 World Chess Championship?
A) Sergey Karjakin
B) Andrew Sorkin
C) Bill Gary
D) Vishwanathan Anand
Answer: Sergey Karjakin