Current Affairs Today - Current Affairs 2015

Union Government to sell up to 10% stake in Coal India Limited (CIL)

Union government has announced to sell up to 10 per cent stake in state owned Coal India Limited (CIL) on 30 January 2015.

This decision was cleared by high-powered ministerial panel headed by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.

It will help the government to raise revenue of 24,000 crore rupees at the current market price and meet the fiscal deficit.

Government is planning to divest 5 per cent stake in the company via share sale and the remaining 5 per cent through the green-shoe option.

Currently, the government holds 89.65 per cent stake in CIL. As per the minimum shareholding norms for listed companies, the government needs to lower its stake to 75 percent.

Coal India Limited (CIL)

  • It is a state-controlled coal mining company, headquartered in Kolkata, West Bengal.
  • It is the largest coal producer company in the world and contributes around 81% of the coal production in India.
  • Union Government of India owns 90% of the shares in CIL and controls the operations of CIL through Ministry of Coal.
  • In April 2011, CIL was conferred the Maharatna status by Government of India. It is India’s 5th most valuable company in terms of market value.

Nation pays tributes to Lala Lajpat Rai on his 150th birth anniversary

On 28 January 2015, nation paid tributes to national martyr of freedom movement, Lala Lajpat Rai on his 150th birth anniversary.

Events marking this day: Various seminars and symposia were organised at many places in Punjab to remember Lala Lajpat Rai. Special programme and sports meet was organised in his ancestral village Dhudi ke of Moga district where thousands of people paid their tributes to national martyr at the memorial. While, intellectual’s apprised young generation about Lala and his sacrifice for the nation.

About Lala Lajpat Rai

  • He was born on 28 January 1865 in Dhudike (now Moga district) of Punjab.
  • He was popularly known as Punjab Kesari meaning The Lion of Punjab also known as Sher-E- Punjab in Punjabi for his contribution to the freedom movement.
  • He was part of the Lal Bal Pal trio i.e. assertive nationalists Lala Lajpat Rai, Bal Gangadhar Tilak, and Bipin Chandra Pal from 1905 to 1918. Lal Bal Pal trio had advocated the Swadeshi movement involving the boycott of all imported items and the use of Indian-made goods in 1907 during the anti-Partition agitation in Bengal which began in 1905.
  • He was lawyer by profession and had practiced his legal profession for few years but later curtailed it to focus on all his efforts to the freedom struggle.
  • He was also associated with the foundation of Punjab National Bank in 1895 and later Lakshmi Insurance Company.
  • He also had helped to establish the nationalistic Dayanand Anglo-Vedic School and became a follower of Dayanand Saraswati (founder of the Arya Samaj).
  • In 1888 and 1889 he was a delegate to the annual sessions of Indian National Congress (INC) and was elected as its President in the Calcutta Special Session of 1920.
  • In 1921, he had founded Servants of the People Society, a non-profit welfare organisation, in Lahore, which shifted based to Delhi after partition, and has branches in many parts of India.
  • His books: As an author he had written many books which includes The Story of My Deportation (1908), Arya Samaj (1915), The United States of America: A Hindu’s Impression (1916), Unhappy India (1928) etc.
  • Death: He died on 17 November 1928 after sustaining serious injuries in lathi charge carried by the police when he leading a non-violent protest against the Simon Commission.

US tech giant Apple reports largest quarterly profit in history

US technology giant Apple, has reported the biggest quarterly profit of 18 billion US dollar.

It is the biggest quarterly profit ever made by any public company in World and broke the previous record of ExxonMobil which had earlier topped by making $15.9 billion profit in 2012.

Apple’s revenue had grown to $74.6 billion in 2014 from $57.6 billion in 2013 i.e. reporting 30% increase in profit.

The main reason for Apple’s profit is record sale of iPhones. The company has sold 74.5 million iPhones in quarter ending December 2014 with 39.9% profit per product.

Apple’s impressive profit comes after it shifted towards the massive untapped potential of Chinese market and partnering with China Mobile Limited the largest global mobile carrier.

Company sales in China had hit $16 billion in 2014- a 70% increase from 2013 and almost equalling the $17 billion in sales the company recorded in Europe 2013.