Current Affairs – July, 2014

S S Mundra assumes office as RBI deputy governor

S S Mundra (60) has taken charge as deputy governor Reserve Bank of India. As a deputy governor of the central bank, he will be responsible for banking supervision, currency management, financial stability and rural credit. The government has notified his appointment for a period of 3 years.

The veteran banker had begun his career as a probationary officer, and served for a short time at Union Bank of India, where he was executive director. In a rare move, he returned as the CMD of his parent bank (Bank of Baroda) and was seen as a surprise choice for the prestigous regulatory job. In fact, Mundra would have never been offered this post had it not been for K C Chakrabarty’s decision to resign before the end of his tenure as RBI deputy governor.

Now, RBI has four deputy governors– H R Khan, Urijit Patel, R Gandhi and S S Mundra.  

RBI is planning to have one more deputy governor, but this will require a change in the rules of RBI. Till the time the changes in rules are made, the RBI has suggested the Government to appoint an Officer on Special Duty or Chief Operating Officer (COO) with the rank of a deputy governor. Government is yet to take a call on any of these proposals put forward by the RBI. Normally, an RBI deputy governor can be appointed for 5 years or till the age of 62, whichever is earlier. To be eligible for the post, a candidate needs to be less than 60 years of age while assuming charge.

Bees choose best flowers even before landing just from the color of petals

As per a scientific study, Bumblebees select most nutritious flowers for providing best food for their young simply by looking at the colour of the petals even before landing on the flower. As bees do not ingest pollen unlike nectar while foraging on flowers, it has been unclear whether they are able to form associative relationships between what a flower looks like and the quality of its pollen.  The study used bumblebee foragers housed under controlled conditions to test whether they do learn about flowers during pollen collection.

The findings showed that bumblebees can individually evaluate pollen samples and differentiate between them during collection, quickly forming preferences for a particular type of pollen.  They are able to detect differences in pollen, even before landing, which means they may be able to discriminate, just from the colour of the petals, which flowers are richer in nutritious content.