GS Paper I- History and Geography of the World and Society.

London Based Organisation SACF Wins Frederick Pincott Award For 2017.

Background

  • South Asian Cinema Foundation (SACF), a London-based organisation has received the Frederick Pincott Award for 2017 from the Indian High Commissioner, Y K Sinha for promoting Hindi cinema in Britain for the last 18 years.
  • The institution has been active in boosting original research and books on Indian films, also inviting and honouring filmmakers from India, along with documentary filmmaking and producing classic silent films with live music at the British Film Institute (BFI).
  • Speaking on the occasion, the Minister for Coordination in the High Commission, A S Rajan said that the SACF has been doing commendable work for nearly two decades to promote Hindi and regional Indian cinema in the UK and as a result has served the cause of dissemination of the Hindi language.

 

Highlights Of The Development-

  • SACF director Lalit Mohan Joshi said the institution will continue exploring Hindi cinema as it would launch a new six-week course at the BFI that will look into the history of Indian cinema through literature.
  • The course will look into the making of iconic films in each decade, like Devdas (1930s, 1950s and 2000s), Chitralekha (1941 and 1964), Teesri Kasam (1965), Guide (1965), Umrao Jaan (1981), Pinjar (2003), Omkara (2006) and Padmaavat (2018), Joshi said.
  • The SACF was set up in London in January 2000 by Joshi, along with film archivist P K Nair, film critic Derek Malcolm and social historian-researcher Kusum Pant Joshi.
  • Besides honouring legendary filmmakers such as Shyam Benegal, Gulzar, M S Sathyu, Saeed Akhtar Mirza, Adoor Gopalakrishnan and Vishal Bharadwaj, the SACF has also taken lead in pioneering research by unearthing the contribution of Niranjan Pal in Indian cinema. They have also published books on Pal, Gopalakrishnan, including “A Biographical Dictionary of Indo-British Cinema”.
  • SACFs documentaries – “Beyond Partition”, “Niranjan Pal” and “Indo-British Cinematic Encounters” have been screened at the BFI and other film festivals.

Sources- India Today.

GS Paper II- Governance.

Cabinet Approves Export Of All Edible Oils In Bulk (Except Mustard Oil).

Background

  • The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved the proposal of Ministry of Commerce & Industry for removal of prohibition on export of all varieties of edible oils except mustard oil. Mustard oil will continue to be exported only in consumer packs upto 5 Kgs and with a minimum export price of US $ 900 per tonne.
  • The CCEA has also approved empowering the Committee, chaired by Secretary, Department of Food & Public Distribution and comprising Secretaries of Department of Commerce, Department of Agriculture, Cooperation & Farmers Welfare, Department of Revenue, Department of Consumer Affairs and DGFT, to review the export/import policy on all varieties of edible oils and consider measures such as quantitative restrictions, prior registration, imposition of Minimum Export Price (MEP) and changes in import duties depending on domestic production and demand, domestic and international prices and international trade volumes.

Highlights Of The Development-

  • The Inter-Ministerial Committee, headed by the Commerce Secretary, mandated to review the export of edible oils in consumer packs & calibrate MEP from time to time, has been discontinued.
  • Removing of restrictions on export of all edible oils is likely to provide additional marketing avenues for edible oils and oilseeds and will benefit the farmers by way of better realisation for oilseeds.
  • Allowing export of edible oils may also result in utilization of idle capacity in India’s edible oils industry and is a step towards Ease of Doing Business by removing confusion arising out of prohibition on export of edible oils and a plethora of exemptions.
  • The production of oilseeds in 2016-17 has seen a quantum jump in comparison to past two years.
  • It is expected that the production of oilseeds in 2017-18 is going to sustain at the same levels. At present, only certain edible oils can be exported in bulk and other oils only in consumer packs upto 5 Kg with MEP. In order to support growing production of oilseeds and to explore additional avenues for marketing of edible oils, it is required to allow bulk export of all edible oils with the exception of mustard oil, which is an item of mass consumption in India.

Sources- Business-Standard.

 

GS Paper III- Technology.

KM Birla To Be Chairman Of Merged Vodafone-Idea Entity; Balesh Sharma New CEO.

Background

  • Telecom operators Vodafone India and Idea Cellular on 23rd March, 2018 announced the leadership team for their soon-to-be-merged entity, with Kumar Mangalam Birla as the non-executive Chairman and Balesh Sharma as the new CEO.
  • The merger – slated to create India’s largest telecom operator in terms of customer base and revenue market share – is expected to be completed by June this year, subject to statutory approvals.
  • Sharma, currently the Chief Operating Officer of Vodafone India, in his new role as the CEO of the combined entity will be responsible for driving the business’ strategy and its execution. He will also oversee the integration of the merged entity that is slated to be worth over $23 billion with a 35 per cent market share. The leadership announcement comes a year after the two companies had said they will join forces to operate in the hyper-competitive Indian mobile telephony market.

 

Highlights Of The Development-

  • The merger – which is set to dislodge the numero uno player Bharti Airtel – was imminent as the incumbent operators have been bruised by aggressive tariffs from newcomer Reliance Jio, which triggered a price war in the industry. The existing leadership teams of Idea Cellular and Vodafone India will continue to manage their separate businesses until the merger becomes effective, Idea said in the regulatory filing.
  • Mr Kumar Mangalam Birla would be the non-executive chairman of the Board of Directors of the merged company, the statement said announcing the composition of the new team that includes over a dozen key executives from the two telecom giants. It is only upon completion that the two businesses will cease to operate as distinct and competing entities, the statement added. The changes will come into effect up to merger of Vodafone’s Indian telecom entities with Idea Cellular and be subject to all requisite approvals, it added.
  • Idea Cellular’s CFO Akshaya Moondra will head the financial operations of the new entity as its CFO. Ambrish Jain (currently the deputy MD at Idea Cellular) is set to become the new COO. The Aditya Birla Group intends to nominate Himanshu Kapania (currently Idea Cellular MD) as non-executive Board member of the merged entity, with a significant assignment in the Group post-merger, the filing said.
  • Sunil Sood (Vodafone India CEO) will join the Vodafone Group AMAP (Africa, Middle East and Asia Pacific) Leadership team and also help governance through Board memberships, Idea filing said. Manish Dawar, who was recently roped in as the CFO of Vodafone India, will get the overall responsibility for integration planning, governance and execution at the merged entity.

Sources- The Indian Express.