RBI holds rates
- The repo rate (the rate at which the RBI lends short-term to banks) was left unchanged at 7.75 per cent in the sixth bi-monthly monetary policy on 03rd January.
- However, to encourage banks to lend more, the central bank announced a 50-basis points cut in the statutory liquidity ratio — the investment they necessarily have to make in government securities — to 21.5 % from 22 %.
- The cut in the SLR is expected to make banks liquid to the tune of about Rs. 45,000 crore. The RBI said banks should use this headroom to increase their lending to productive sectors on competitive terms to support investment and growth.
- The central bank doubled the amount of foreign exchange that an individual can remit in a year under a scheme that allows asset purchase outside India.An individual can now remit up to $250,000 a year under the Liberalised Remittance Scheme, which was started in 2004 with a view to simplify foreign exchange avenues available to Indians.
Why is Japan a target of Islamic terrorism?
Recently beheading of two Japanese journalists by Islamic State, and its warning that Japan would be one of its military targets in future, pose a challenge to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s government.
Policy of Japan in past decades
- Japan has largely been insulated from international terrorism in the past decade and radical Islam has little or almost nil hold in the country.
- Japan does not maintain an army with war potential, except for the de facto(in fact, or in effect, whether by right or not) Japan Self-Defence Forces (JSDF) that is intended to maintain peace and order.
- Japan has a pacifist foreign policy that strongly distances itself from militaristic ventures.
Why is then Japan targeted?
- Japan’s foreign policy has been undergoing several changes in the past few years.
- Since Prime Minister Abe re-election in 2012, the pacifist Constitution has been rewritten. The defence budget was considerably enhanced, the ban on arms exports was lifted and the capabilities of the JSDF were expanded. Article 9 of the Constitution has been reinterpreted, which now allows Japan to use force to defend its allies under attack.
- Japan is a resource-poor country and hence is the largest importer of crude oil from Middle East countries. This makes Japan's relation with Middle East countries more central and controversial as well. Mr. Abe, during his recent visits to Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Israel and Palestine, pledged $200 million in non-military aid for countries fighting Islamic State (IS).
- He also promised humanitarian and infrastructure assistance for those fighting terrorism, as well as for refugees displaced from Syria and Iraq following IS activity. Mr. Abe’s attempts to gain fame(prominence) on the international stage by playing a bigger role in the West’s counter-terrorism policy has clearly drawn bitter reactions from IS, as reflected in the outrageous beheadings of two Japanese journalists.
Vijay Kumar won the Gold of 25 metre Centre Fire Pistol event at the 35th National Games
- Silver medalist at 2012 London Olympics in rapid pistol shown his class once again in the 35th National Games and has won the Gold medal in 25 metre Centre Fire Pistol event.
Vijay Kumar holding silver medal at 2012 London Olympics
Virdhawal Khade won 50m freestyle in swimming at the 35th National Games
- Virdhawal Khade has won the 50m freestyle event in swimming at the 35th National Games in Kerala.
- Virdhawal Khade is an Indian swimmer from Maharashtra. He competed in the men's 50 m, 100 m and 200 m Freestyle swimming events at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing setting an Indian national record in 100 m Freestyle while winning his unseeded heat, but failed to qualify for the semifinals in his events. He created history on 16 November 2010 when he won a medal after 24 years for India in swimming in the 50m butterfly category at the 2010 Asian games.
Weighlifter Vikas Thakur won 85kg weightlifting category at the 35th National Games