Current Affairs Analysis

2nd December 2015 Current Affairs Analysis

December 02, 2015


Social Issues

  • India launches GIAN scheme to boost higher education

Polity & Governance

  • Labour Laws (Gujarat Amendment) Bill, 2015 gets Presidential Assent

International Relations

  • IMF admitted China’s Yuan into its reserve currency basket

Social Issues

India launches GIAN scheme to boost higher education

Govt. of India approved a new program titled Global Initiative of Academic Networks (GIAN) in Higher Education.

About the Scheme:

  • GIAN Scheme aims at improving the quality of higher education in the country through international collaboration.
  • GIAN aims at tapping the talent pool of scientists and entrepreneurs to engage with the institutes of higher education in India to augment the country’s existing academic resources, accelerate the pace of quality reform, and elevate India’s scientific and technological capacity to global excellence.
  • Provide opportunity to our faculty to learn and share knowledge and teaching skills in cutting edge areas.
  • To provide opportunity to our students to seek knowledge and experience from reputed International faculty.
  • Initially 500 international faculties will be engaged in conducting courses and later in subsequent years 1000 faculties would be engaged under GIAN throughout India. Under this scheme, academicians will cover 13 disciplines and 352 courses to be taught in 68 national institutions.
  • These courses will vary in duration from one to three weeks depending on the subject and will be free for students of the host institution and available for nominal fees for others.
  • These courses will be webcasted live for students across the country through web portal www.gian.iitkgp.ac.in designed by IIT Kharagpur.

Polity & Governance

Labour Laws (Gujarat Amendment) Bill, 2015 gets Presidential Assent

President Pranab Mukherjee has given assent to the contentious Labour Laws (Gujarat Amendment) Bill, 2015

The Labour Laws (Gujarat Amendment) Bill, 2015 passed in the state assembly amending 10 labour laws to give an impetus to industrialisation in the State.

Key Features:

  • The new law allows employers to change the nature of job of the employees without prior notice.
  • The govt. can now ban strikes in public utility services for up to one year the first time. The ban can subsequently be extended by up to two years any number of times.
  • The bill provides for “out of court” settlement between the labourers and management by paying certain fee to the government.
  • The law has amended the definition of “contractor” to include “outsourcing agencies”, which in some cases, is the government itself.
  • The bill proposes to lift restrictions on sacking of workers and payment of compensation for units located in Special Investment Regions and National Investment and Manufacturing Zones like permitted in Special Economic Zones.

International Relations

IMF admitted China’s Yuan into its reserve currency basket

The International Monetary Fund admitted China’s Yuan into its benchmark currency basket with an effect from October 2016. It is a victory for Beijing’s campaign for recognition as a global economic power.

 Along with the US Dollar, British Pound, Japanese Yen and Euro. Yuan also known as the Renminbi will be the fifth freely usable currency.

How to be a part of SDR basket?

  1. Export Criteria:

To be included in the SDR basket, Exports of a particular country must have the largest value over a 5 year period and should play a central role in the global economy.

  1. “Freely usable”:

The currency has to be “freely usable” i.e. widely used to make international payments and widely traded in foreign exchange markets.

The new SDR formula gives more weight to financial variables and less to exports, reflecting long-standing criticism of the methodology.

IMF’s Special Drawing Rights (SDR or XDR):

  • SDRs are supplementary foreign exchange reserve assets defined and maintained by the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
  • Their value is based on a basket of key international currencies reviewed by IMF every five years or earlier if the IMF finds changed circumstances warrant an earlier review.
  • The XDR was created in 1969 to supplement a shortfall of preferred foreign exchange reserve assets, namely gold and the U.S. dollar.
  • XDRs are allocated to countries by the IMF. Private parties do not hold or use them.
  • After adding Yuan in SDR basket, current scenario is:

U.S. dollars ($)                    41.73%

Euro (€)                                  30.93%

Chinese Yuan (¥)                10.92%

Japanese Yen (¥)                 8.33%

British pound (£)                8.09%


  • The Yuan’s inclusion from October 2016 is largely symbolic, with few immediate implications for financial markets.
  • The addition is likely to fuel demand for China’s currency and for renminbi-denominated assets as central banks and foreign fund managers adjust their portfolios to reflect the Yuan’s new status.
  • But analysts said investors would likely remain cautious as long as China did not fully liberalize capital controls or allow the currency to float freely.
  • The IMF said China’s comparatively higher interest rates would likely increase the SDR interest rate, potentially pushing up the cost of IMF loans for some borrowers.
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