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India to buy Boeing’s Apache and Chinook helicopters
- Indian cabinet has approved a $2.5bn (£1.7bn) deal to buy 37 military helicopters from the US aviation company Boeing.ndia will buy 22 Apache attack helicopters and 15 Chinooks
- The main objective of the purchase by India is to replace its ageing Soviet-era helicopter fleet
- The Indian Air Force picked the Apache and Chinook helicopters over Russian competitors in 2012, but budget constraints had held back the deal until now.
- The deals have direct commercial contracts with Boeing as well as a direct government to govenment component between the two governments.
India, U.S. look at expanding horizons
- The first India-U.S. Strategic and Commercial Dialogue kicked off in Washington headed by U.S. Vice-President Joe Biden, Secretary of State John Kerry, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Union Minister of State for Commerce Nirmala Sitharaman and attended by 400 business leaders from both countries.
- The U.S. corporate sector continued to flag weak contract enforcement, unpredictable policy and tax regimes, opaque regulatory mechanisms and rigid labour laws
- The Indian external affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj sought to reassure U.S. investors that the Modi government was taking measures to ease doing business in India
- Secretary of State Kerry stated that that the climate for bilateral investment and trade has never been better. And that is true in everything from clean energy to aerospace to financial services and movies, where, obviously, Hollywood and Bollywood reign supreme.
- Shobhana Bhartia, chairperson and editorial director of HT Media, and Indra Nooyi, chairman and CEO of PepsiCo, received the USIBC Global Leadership awards at the function for the contribution to the global economy.
- A Memorandum of Understanding on climate change was also signed by the two countries.
Volkswagen emissions cheating probe
- Volkswagen (VW)AG ‘s admission cheating diesel vehicle emissions tests in the U.S spread like wildfire as South Korea said it would investigate three of the maker’s diesel models
- Volkswagen shares plunged by 19 per cent on Monday after the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said on Friday that the world’s biggest carmaker by sales used software that deceived regulators measuring toxic emissions and could face penalties of up to $18 billion.
- U.S. Department of Justice has started a criminal probe into the allegations, which cover several VW and Audi-branded diesel models including the Audi A3, VW Jetta, Beetle, Golf and Passat.
- VW’s U.S. head Michael Horn, who was attending a lavish event in New York to promote the 2016 VW Passat, admitted the company had ‘totally screwed up’ and vowed to make amends.
PM Modi to visit Ireland and United States
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi left on Tuesday evening for Ireland, expected to be the first stop in a trip, which will end with his visit to the Silicon Valley in the West Coast of the United States.
- He will be the first Prime Minister after Jawaharlal Nehru to visit Ireland.
- Ireland has a significant number of Indian health professionals many of whom represent pharma majors like Reliance GeneMedix and Ranbaxy Ltd.
- The MEA stated that information technology, smart agriculture and food processing industry provide other areas for closer cooperation for mutual advantage.
RBI to soon come out with draft on relaxing ECB norms
- Seeking to attract overseas investments, the Reserve Bank will soon come out with a draft paper on liberalising external commercial borrowings (ECB) norms after consultations with the Finance Ministry.
- Economic Affairs Secretary Shaktikanta Das stated that the government is also planning to remove various conditionalities and restrictions to make the foreign direct investment (FDI) policy more progressive and make the country an attractive investment destination.
- The liberalised ECB norms would be finalised after inviting comments from stakeholders
- ECB has implications for monetary stability as it adds to the country’s overall external debt and future repayment liability.
ARCs need capital infusion to tackle Indian Banks’ non performing assets(NPAs)
- Asset reconstruction companies (ARC)which are playing a limited role in absorbing the booming non-performing assets (NPAs) of the Indian banks need capital infusion to be more effective, India Ratings and Research (Ind-Ra) stated.
- Capital is constrained due to higher investment requirements in security receipts for ARCs and shareholding ceiling for sponsors at below 50 per cent.
- ARCs are now tapping debt markets to raise funds, which is a shift to leverage from the near zero debt model earlier
Currently banks’ stressed loans (NPAs+restructured) as of March 2015 stood at 11.1 per cent of the outstanding credit, while all ARCs put together have a capital base of mere Rs 4,000 crore.
GK QUESTIONS OF THE DAY
1. Who interprets the constitution?
2. In which of the following cities Shanghai Cooperation Organisation summit 2015 was held ?
3. Which of the following countries has recently set up the world’s largest cancer registry system ?
(3) United States of America
4. What is the stock market index of Metropolitan Stock Exchange ?
(D) NYSE Composite Index