India’s largest private sector lender Industrial Credit and Investment Corporation of India (ICICI) Bank has launched voice password facility for users. This service will facilitate its customers to make transactions using their voice rather than using traditional means of authentication like entering id and password. The voice recognition service authenticates customers based on their speech patterns and allows them to execute banking transactions through the bank’s call centre. Thus in this case of transaction customers voice will act as the password through the call centre. The technology solution behind ICICI bank’s voice password facility works on unique voice prints which comprise over 100 characteristics. It also includes voice modulation, accent speed and pronunciation which are impossible to imitate. This voice print will be stored and matched whenever the customer calls from the registered mobile. Thus it will provide highest security potential to its customers. Over 33 million savings bank and credit card customers of ICICI bank will be able to use the service.
Sunil D’Souza was appointed as Managing Director (MD) of India’s home appliances maker Whirlpool. Prior to this appointment he was Head of PepsiCo’s VIMAPS Business Unit located in Malaysia. In his 15 years of career with PepsiCo, he had held various senior management positions in Philippines, Malaysia, Vietnam and India. He also has rich experience in Sunil’s rich and diverse experience across various fields including general management, sales, marketing, strategy and innovation in consumer-driven industries. Apart from this appointment, Whirlpool also announced that Arvind Uppal incumbent President, Asia Pacific, Whirlpool Corporation and WIL CMD will continue as Executive Chairman of the company’s Board of Directors.
Whirlpool is one of the world’s largest consumer durables firms in the world. It has about 20 billion dollar turn over in annual sales and employees around 100,000 people. Till 2014, it had 70 manufacturing and technology research centres globally. Presently company markets brands like Whirlpool, Maytag, KitchenAid, Brastemp, Consul, Bauknecht, Jenn-Air, Amana, Indesit and other major brand names in more than 170 countries.
Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg from Germany has won the Monaco Grand Prix Formula One (F1) World Championship title. It was the final race of F1 season 2015. It is Rosberg’s tenth overall championship title and the second in the 2015 season. First was the Spanish Formula 1 World Championship title won on May 10, 2015. With this victory, he has become the fourth driver in history of F1 to win three Monaco Grand Prix titles in a row. Others were Ayrton Senna, Graham Hill and Alain Prost.
Indian-origin entrepreneur Ranjit Singh Baxi was on 19 May 2015 elected as the Head of the Bureau of International Recycling, a global organisation that facilitates free and fair trade of recyclables in a sustainable and competitive world economy. Baxi succeeded Bjorn Grufman. He will serve a two-year term as President of this global firm. In 2011, Baxi was appointed as the Treasurer of BIR, prior to which he was President of the organisation’s Paper Division from 2007 to 2013. He has also published a book titled Recycling our Future- A Global Strategy.
Ranjit Singh Baxi is a Founder Chairman of J&H Sales (International) Ltd, a major European exporter of recovered fibre to the Far East. He was also a Governor at the University of East London and a Member of British Prime Ministers Trade Delegation to India. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (FRSA), holds a Bachelor of Science (BSc) degree and is a Master of Business Administration (MBA).
Founded in 1948, Bureau of International Recycling (BIR) was the first federation to support the interests of the recycling industry on an international scale. It is a global recycling industry headquartered in Brussels. It is an association representing over 850 member companies from the private sector and 40 national associations in more than 70 countries. It serves as a platform to establish successful business relations and to promote recycling among other industrial sectors and policy makers.
Delhi Government on 24 May 2015 tied up with Rotary Club for revamping government schools in the state by upgrading sanitation and strengthening basic infrastructure facilities like drinking water and toilets. In the first phase of the plan, Rotary Club will launch a hygiene campaign at 300 government schools and improve cleanliness besides working on basic facilities for the students. The hygiene campaign will run in collaboration with Rotary Club in 300 schools. Rotary Club will do a survey of schools from the list of 400 schools to assess infrastructure there and prepare its detailed proposal.
The proposal thereafter will be submitted to the state government for its approval and further action.
Savita (50kg), Mandeep Sandhu (52kg) and Sakshi (54kg) struck gold for the country, while Soniya (48kg) and Niharika Gonella (70kg) settled for silver medals.
Soniya was the first to take the ring for India by defeating American Heaven Garcia. She went down 1-2 to open the Indian account with a silver medal. Savita defeated her Ukrainian rival Kateryna Rohova 2-1 to clinch gold for India.
This was followed by Mandeep’s 3-0 triumph over Ireland’s Niamh Earley before Sakshi made it three in a row by out-punching American Yarisel Ramirez 3-0. However, Niharika proved no match for Russian Anastasiia Sigaeva and lost 0-3 to settle for a silver medal. Earlier in the youth competition, Jamuna Boro (57kg) had bagged a bronze medal after losing in the semifinals.
Expert committee on Health Insurance of Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA) chaired by M Ramaprasad in its report has suggested changing the wordings of disclaimer in advertisements of insurance companies. The report of the Committee was made available on the IRDA’s website on 22 May 2015.
Till date, as per the IRDA mandate all insurance companies issued a disclaimer, “Insurance is a subject matter of solicitation”, in all their advertisements. The Committee recommended the following wordings for the disclaimer “Before buying, know the conditions and exclusions, to make a well-informed decision.”
These recommendations will help to reduce the asymmetry of information that exists among all the parties concerned that is customer, provider, payer and others.
Manoj Mishra was on 24 May 2015 appointed as the Chairman and Managing Director (CMD) of state-run National Fertilizers Limited (NFL). The post of NFL’s CMD fell vacant after the retirement of Neeru Abrol in February 2014. Mishra is currently serving as the Director (Finance) at State Trading Corporation (STC). Mishra is a cost accountant by qualification. He began his career from fertiliser company Kribhco and worked there for 23 years.
NFL has five gas-based urea plants at Nangal & Bathinda in Punjab, Panipat in Haryana and two plants at Vijaipur in District Guna, Madhya Pradesh. The company has a total annual installed capacity of 35.68 lakh tonnes and is the second largest producer of urea in the country.
J JayalalithaaTamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa on 24 May 2015 announced development and welfare measures worth over 1800 crore rupees. The measures include improvement of roads and drinking water facilities and extending assistance to needy families headed by women.
The measures were approved a day after Jayalalithaa began her fifth stint as Tamil Nadu Chief Minister. She was sworn in as the Chief Minister on 23 May 2015.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on 24 May 2015 recommended Contract system for Indian women cricket team. The recommendations were released at the finance committee meeting held in Delhi. The Committee recommended to brought India’s international women’s cricketers under the ambit of gradation payment like their male counterparts.
Switzerland bank UBS AG on 20 May 2015 agreed to pay 203 million US dollars in fine and for a three-year term of probation for manipulating London Interbank offered Rate (LIBOR). The bank has reached a settlement in this regard with the Anti Trust Division of the US Justice Department.
The bank took this decision after the Justice Department tore up a non-prosecution agreement (NPA) reached between them in 2012. As part of its prior settlement in 2012, the bank’s Japanese subsidiary pleaded guilty to a criminal charge of wire fraud in the United States, but the parent company was allowed to enter a NPA in return for extending cooperation in the investigation.
LIBOR is a benchmark rate that some of the world’s leading banks charge each other for short-term loans. Every day, it is calculated on the basis of interest rates paid by major 16 banks on their borrowings.
As per the investigations, it was revealed that the UBS AG in collusion with other banks submitted inflated or deflated interest rates to the BBA Libor (administering authority of LIBOR) in order to rig the benchmark rate and subsequently benefit from the transactions.
Uttar Pradesh Government on 16 May 2015 amended State Film Policy to woo tourism. Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh (UP) Akhilesh Yadav inaugurated the UP Film Bnadhus’s Website and signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to set up a film city. Also, UP Government under the amended policy has increased the subsidy given to the film maker to encourage film production in the state. Each film produced in UP is now entitled to a subsidy of 2 crore rupees.
U.P. Film Policy booklet was also launched during the event. On 24 May 2015, Akhilesh Yadav also presented a cheque of 2 crore rupees to Jaanisaar’s filmmaker Muzaffar Ali.
Noted films like Bullet Raja, Ishqiya, Teval, Jaanisar, Dozakh and many more have already been in shot in U.P.
French thriller Dheepan was honoured with the Palme d’Or top prize at the Cannes Film Festival on 24 May 2015. The film brings a spotlight on the plight of traumatised refugees building new lives. Indian film Masaan directed by Neeraj Ghaywan won the Promizing Future Prize Ex-aequo at the festival.
The 20th Law Commission of India on 22 May 2015 submitted the 257th report titled Reforms in Guardianship and Custody Laws in India to DV Sadananda Gowda, the Union Minister of Law and Justice.
The report reviewed the current laws dealing with custody and guardianship and came up with draft legislative amendments in the form of the Hindu Minority and Guardianship (Amendment) Bill, 2015 and the Guardians and Wards (Amendment) Bill, 2015 to the Hindu Minority and Guardianship Act, 1956 and the Guardians and Wards Act, 1890 respectively.
Major amendments deal with the Guardians and Wards Act, 1890 by introducing a new chapter (Chapter IIA) on custody and visitation arrangements including the concept of joint custody.
Welfare principle: The welfare principle in the Guardians and Wards Act, 1890 was strengthened with a continuous emphasis on its relevance in each aspect of guardianship and custody related decision-making.
Abolition of preference: Preference for the father as the natural guardian under Hindu law was removed and both parents are granted equal legal status with respect to guardianship and custody.
Joint custody: Courts are empowered to award joint custody to both parents in circumstances conducive to the welfare of the child or award sole custody to one parent with visitation rights to the other.
Mediation: Parties to a custody matter must ordinarily consider expert-led and time-bound mediation, which can not only promote better outcomes for parents and children, but also reduce the strain on the overburdened court system.
Child support: Courts are empowered to fix an amount specifically for child support, to meet basic living expenses of the child.
Financial resources of parents and the standard of living of the child must be considered when fixing such amounts. Child support must continue till the child turns 18, but may be extended till 25; or longer, in case of a child with mental or physical disability.
Detailed guidelines were evolved to help courts, parents and other stakeholders arrive at the best arrangement to serve the welfare of the child. Several new concepts in this regard, including parenting plans, grand parenting time, visitation rights, and relocation of parents were also mentioned in the report.
The revision of the Hindu Minority and Guardianship Act, 1956 and the Guardians and Wards Act, 1890 has become necessary to ensure these laws are in tune with changes in the social considerations. As per an estimate, divorce rate increased to 13 per 1000 in 2014 as compared to that of 1 in 1000 in 2004. Additionally, in most of the proceedings of divorce and family breakdowns parents use children as pawns to strike their own bargains without considering the emotional, social and mental upheavals that the children may face.
Hence, in order to protect interest of the children, the commission has recommended amendments to laws by giving substantial powers to courts in dealing with such cases.
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