Current Affairs Today - Current Affairs 2014

Oscar-winning director and actor Richard Attenborough passed away

Richard AttenboroughEminent Oscar-winning British director and actor Richard Attenborough (90) passed away.

In his six-decade long career, he appeared in movies including Brighton Rock, World War Two prisoner of war thriller The Great Escape and later in dinosaur blockbuster Jurassic Park. As a director he was best known for Gandhi, which won him two Oscars.

General Prayuth Chan-ocha is new PM of Thailand

Thailand’s military’s top official, General Prayuth Chan-ocha (60), has been named the new Prime Minister of the country. Gen Prayuth was nominated in a legislature chosen by the junta and consisting mostly military and police figures. The general was the head of the army when he led a coup in May 2014. The coupled to the ouster of Yingluck Shinawatra’s civilian government. The General had claimed that military intervention was needed to restore stability to the nation.

Hanuman Akhara selected for Rashtriya Khel Protsahan Puraskar

Guru Hanuman Akhara, a wrestling academy based in Delhi, has been chosen for Rashtriya Khel Protsahan Puraskar (RKPP) for year 2014. As per Sports Ministry, Guru Hanuman Akhara has been chosen for ‘establishment and management of sports academies of excellence.’ President Pranab Mukherjee will honor the RKPP awardees along with Arjuna, Dronacharya and Dhyan Chand award winners at the National Sports Awards function in Delhi on August 29, 2014. Other RKPP awardees:

  • Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC): Chosen for employment of sports persons and sports welfare measures
  • Jindal Steel Works (JSW): Chosen for its contribution in identification and nurturing of budding/young talent

Child Link Foundation of India: Chosen for its ‘Magic Bus’

Overseas payment gateway for credit card transactions within India is now closed: RBI

The RBI has shut the overseas payment gateway for credit card transactions within India, saying that the rules need to be followed with respect to e-commerce credit card transactions “essentially taking place between two residents in India”. This means that firms such as Uber will have to follow the two-step authentication procedure that it was able to evade by virtue of having an overseas payment gateway. Its competitors welcomed the move. The apex bank asked banks to make sure that payments should be in rupees in cases when the credit card is not presented physically.

The move from RBI will have an immediate impact on the much contended taxi business, especially Uber, which has swiftly attracted users in India. The San Francisco based company has so far been able to charge credit cards of users without authentication. The users of Uber are automatically charged at the end of their ride based on card details furnished at the time of enrollment. They are able to do so because authentication is not needed when someone buys from websites based overseas. This loophole has now been closed by the central bank.

The RBI has clarified that “such camouflaging and flouting of extant instructions on card security, which has been made possible by merchant transactions (for underlying sale of goods / services within India) being acquired by banks located overseas resulting in an outflow of foreign exchange in the settlement of transactions, is not acceptable as this is in violation of directives issued under the Payment & Settlement Systems Act 2007 besides the requirements under the Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999”.

In order to prevent fraudulent activities the central bank had made it mandatory for banks to put in place additional authentication based on information not visible on the cards for all online transactions.

Noted Kanada writer U.R. Ananthamurthy passes away

Eminent Kannada writer and one of the most heralded public intellectuals in the country, U.R. Ananthamurthy (82) passed away.

He was a contemporary writer and critic in the Kannada language and is considered as one of the path-breakers of the Navya movement.

Awards and Honors:

He was conferred Jnanpith Award- the highest literary honor in India- for the Kannada language. He is the sixth person among eight recipients of the Jnanpith Award for the Kannada language. In 1998, he was honored with the Padma Bhushan award from the Government of India.

Navya Movement

In the 1950s, a new modernist school of writing called Navya evolved even as the Pragatishila merged back into the Navodaya mainstream. A new (Navya) movement, the Navya Movement (Modernist Movement) was born around 1950. Though formally introduced by V. K. Gokak with his Navya Kavitegalu (“Modern Poems”, 1950), it was Gopalakrishna Adiga who best illustrated the spirit of the movement. Gopalakrishna Adiga is known as the father of this form of expression with his Nadedu Banda Dari (“The Path Traversed”, 1952).

The most effective vehicles of the movement were Poetry and short story. The Navya authors questioned the time-honoured standards of plot of the Navodaya; life was seen not as a pursuit of already existing values, but as an introspective search for them, at times narrated in stream of consciousness technique.

The study of Kannada literature is divided into 3 movements:

  1. Navodaya (1926-47)
  2. Pragatisheela (1945-55)
  3. Navya (1950-75)