1) RBI kept key policy rates unchanged in the first bi-monthly monetary policy: As widely expected, the Reserve Bank of India, on Tuesday, kept the indicative policy rate (repo) unchanged at 8 per cent while taking measures to provide longer term liquidity in the system. Repo rate is the rate at which banks borrow funds from the central bank. “On the basis of an assessment of the current and evolving macro-economic situation, we have decided to keep the policy repo rate unchanged at 8 per cent,” said RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan at a a press conferenceto announce the first bi-monthly monetary policy for 2014-15.
2) SC rules out review of Rajiv case commutation: The Supreme Court on Tuesday declined to review its February 18 ruling in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, commuting the death sentence of three convicts — Murugan, Santhan and Perarivalan — to life imprisonment. “We have carefully gone through the review petition. We find no merit in the review petition and the same is dismissed,” a Bench of Chief Justice of India P. Sathasivam and Justices Ranjan Gogoi and Shiva Kirti Singh said in a brief order.
3) Manuel Valls named as New French Prime Minister: France’s president has named 51-year-old Socialist Manuel Valls as the country’s new prime minister. In a prerecorded televised speech, Francois Hollande said Valls, the former interior minister, would lead a “combative government.” Valls, who is consistently voted France’s most popular Socialist in opinion polls, is considered to be part of the right-wing side of the party and is also relatively popular with French conservatives.
4) After 10 years in orbit, INSAT-3E expires: Communications satellite INSAT-3E has completed its life and gone out of service. Built to last 15 years, it has completed ten-and-a-half years in orbit. The third-generation satellite was launched in September 2003 with 36 transponders — 24 C-band and 12 extended C-band transponders — but only 25 of them have been working since 2009.
5) Viswanathan Anand raises to No. 3 in FIDE world chess rankings: Viswanathan Anand ranked World number 3 in the rating list released by FIDE on 1 April 2014. Anand with the Victory at the Candidates Tournament held in Russia in March 2014 has moved five places ahead from 8 to 3 with 2785 Elo points. According the rating list, Magnus Carlsen of Norway with Elo points 2881 ranks no 1 and Levon Aronian of America with 2812 ranks 2.
6) FinMin against raising I-T exemption limit to Rs 3 lakh: The Finance Ministry has rejected the recommendation of the Parliamentary Standing Committee headed by former Finance Minister Yashwant Sinha on raising the income tax exemption limit to Rs 3 lakh. The recommendation was made as part of the Committee’s report on the Direct Tax Code (DTC). Adjusting the slabs will cause tax revenue losses to the tune of Rs 60,000 crore a year to the exchequer, the Ministry has said.
7) RBI to give new bank licences within the next 10-15 days after Election Commission's nod: The Reserve Bank of India is likely to hand out new banking licences within the next 10-15 days after the Election Commission gave its go ahead for the plan despite elections kicking off in a few days. That will set the stage for some such as India Post Bank, L&T Finance Holdings, Infrastructure Development Finance Co and Janalaxmi Financial Services to get the bank licence and unleash competition. There are 25 applicants for the licence, including Reliance Capital, Aditya Birla Nuvo, and Indiabulls Group.
8) India to face South Africa in T20 World Cup semis: Unbeaten Team India will play South Africa in the second semi-final of the ICC World T20 on Friday. India had finished on top of Group two while South Africa finished as the second team in Group one.