Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Daily News Mail

DRDO chief sacked

  • The government removed Defence Research and Development Organisation(DRDO) chief Avinash Chander, 15 months before his contract was to end.
  • He is sacked without any explanation from Appointments Committee of the Cabinet, which is headed by the Prime Minister.
  • He is the chief architecture of  the Agni series of the ballistic missile systems.
India's trade deficit with China rises to $37.8 billion
  • India's trade deficit with China rose to $37.8 billion in 2014 with the total bilateral trade of $70.59 billion.
  • India-China trade hit all-time high of $73.9 billion in 2011, but declined to $66.57 billion in 2012 and $65.49 billion in 2013, hence bilateral trade increased by 7.9% in 2014, halting the decline in the last two years.
  • The leadership of the two countries have fixed a trade target of $100 billion for this year.
  • The ever-widening deficit has become a major stumbling block, especially for India, whose exports were hit by depreciating rupee and also by declining exports of iron ore which previously was the main stay of Indian exports.
  • Keeping the gap in mind, India has been pressuring China to open up more in IT, pharmaceuticals and agri-products besides stepping up Chinese investments in India to compensate for the trade deficit.
  • While Chinese leadership has been promising to open up more for Indian trade, especially for pharmaceuticals, a sum of $20 billion has been committed for investments in two industrial parks in Gujarat and Maharashtra during the visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping to India in September last.
  • India and China are in talks to step up cooperation in plans to modernise the Indian Railways, which could further increase Chinese investments in the country.
  • China is also keen to market its high-speed railway technology in India, and has committed to do a feasibility study this year for Delhi-Chennai corridor.
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Pakistan Taliban chief Mullah Fazlullah designated a global terrorist

  • Commander of Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) Mullah Fazlullah has been designated a global terrorist by the Department of State, U.S.
  • Under Fazlullah, who took charge of the terrorist outfit(organisation) in November 2013, its militants claimed responsibility for the December 16, 2014 attack on Peshawar school killing at least 148 individuals, mostly students.
  • Even before he rose in TTP’s ranks he was linked to the killing of Pakistani Army Major General Sanaullah Niazi in September 2013, as was said to have ordered the shooting of schoolgirl and Nobel laureate and activist Malala Yousafzai in 2012.

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