|QA->The Keralite who resigned the post of Governor of Mizoram-....|
|QA->Which team was defeated by Mizoram in thefinal of 2014 Santosh trophy?....|
|QA->Governer of Madhya Pradesh....|
|QA->Who Is The First Woman Governer Of India ?....|
|QA->Who is the The first and the last Indian Governer General of free India ?....|
|MCQ->Who has been recently appointed as Governer of Mizoram?....|
The conventional wisdom says that this is an issue-less election. There is no central personality of whom voters have to express approval or dislike; no central matter of concern that makes this a one-issue referendum like so many elections in the past; no central party around which everything else revolves — the Congress has been displaced from its customary pole position, and no one else has been able to take its place. Indeed, given that all-seeing video cameras of the Election Commission, and the detailed pictures they are putting together on campaign expenditure, there isn't even much electioning: no slogans on the walls, no loudspeakers blaring forth at all hours of the day and night, no cavalcades of cars heralding the arrival of a candidate at the local bazaar. Forget it being an issue-less election, is this an election at all?Perhaps the ‘fun’ of an election lies in its featuring someone whom you can love or hate. But Narasimha Rao has managed to reduce even a general election, involving nearly 600 million voters, to the boring non-event that is the trademark of his election rallies, and indeed of everything else that he does. After all, the Nehru-Gandhi clan has disappeared from the political map, and the majority of voters will not even be able to name P.V.Narasimha Rao as India's Prime Minister. There could be as many as a dozen prime ministerial candidates ranging from Jyoti Basu to Ramakrishna Hegde, and from Chandra Shekar to (believe it or not) K.R.Narayanan. The sole personality who stands out, therefore, is none of the players, but the umpire: T.N.Seshan. .As for the parties, they are like the blind men of Hindustan, trying in vain to gauge the contours of the animal they have to confront. But it doesn't look as if it will be the mandir-masjid, nor will it be Hindutva or economic nationalism. The Congress will like it to be stability, but what does that mean for the majority? Economic reform is a non-issue for most people with inflation down to barely 4 per cent, prices are not top of the mind either. In a strange twist, after the hawala scandal, corruption has been pushed off the map too.But ponder for a moment, isn't this state of affairs astonishing, given the context? Consider that so many ministers have had to resign over the hawala issue; that a governor who was a cabinet minister has also had to quit, in the wake of judicial displeasure; that the prime minister himself is under investigation for his involvement in not one scandal but two; that the main prime ministerial candidate from the opposition has had to bow out because he too has been changed in the hawala case; and that the head of the ‘third force’ has his own little (or not so little fodder scandal to face. Why then is corruption not an issue — not as a matter of competitive politics, but as an issue on which the contenders for power feel that they have to offer the prospect of genuine change? If all this does not make the parties (almost all of whom have broken the law, in not submitting their audited accounts every year to the income tax authorities) realise that the country both needs — and is ready for-change in the Supreme Court; the assertiveness of the Election Commission, giving new life to a model code of conduct that has been ignored for a quarter country; the independence that has been thrust upon the Central Bureau of Investigation; and the fresh zeal on the part of tax collectors out to nab corporate no-gooders. Think also that at no other point since the Emergency of 1975-77 have so many people in power been hounded by the system for their misdeeds.Is this just a case of a few individuals outside the political system doing the job, or is the country heading for a new era? The seventies saw the collapse of the national consensus that marked the Nehruvian era, and ideology took over in the Indira Gandhi years. That too was buried by Rajiv Gandhi and his technocratic friends. And now, we have these issue-less elections. One possibility is that the country is heading for a period of constitutionalism as the other arms of the state reclaim some of the powers they lost, or yielded, to the political establishment. Economic reform free one part of Indian society from the clutches of the political class. Now, this could spread to other parts of the system. Against such a dramatic backdrop, it should be obvious that people (voters) are looking for accountability, for ways in which to make a corrupted system work again. And the astonishing thing is that no party has sought to ride this particular wave; instead all are on the defensive, desperately evading the real issues. No wonder this is an ‘issue-less’ election.Why does the author probably say that the sole personality who stands out in the elections is T.N.Seshan?|
Read the passage given below and answer the questions that follow:-Brazil is a top exporter of every commodity that has seen dizzying price surges - iron ore, soybeans, sugar - producing a golden age for economic growth Foreign money-flows into Brazilian stocks and bonds climbed heavenward, up more than tenfold, from $5 billion a year in early 2007 to more than $50 billion in the twelve months through March 2011.The flood of foreign money buying up Brazilian assets has made the currency one of the most expensive in the world, and Brazil one of the most costly, overhyped economies. Almost every major emerging- market currency has strengthened against the dollar over the last decade, but the Brazilian Real is on a path alone, way above the pack, having doubled in value against the dollar.Economists have all kinds of fancy ways to measure the real value of a currency, but when a country is pricing itself this far out of the competition, you can feel it on the ground. In early 2011 the major Rio paper, 0 Globo, ran a story on prices showing that croissants are more expensive than they are in Paris, haircuts cost more than they do in London, bike rentals are more expensive than in Amsterdam, and movie tickets sell for higher prices than in Madrid. A rule of the road: if the local prices in an emerging market country feel expensive even to a visitor from a rich nation, that country is probably not a breakout nation.There is no better example of how absurd it is to lump all the big emerging markets together than the frequent pairing of Brazil and China. Those who make this comparison are referring only to the fact that they are the biggest players in their home regions, not to the way the economies actually run. Brazil is the world‘s leading exporter of many raw materials, and China is the leading importer; that makes them major trade partners - China surpassed the United States as Brazil's leading trade partner in 2009 f but it also makes them opposites in almost every important economic respect: Brazil is the un-China, with interest rates that are too high, and a currency that is too expensive. It spends too little on roads and too much on welfare, and as a result has a very un-China-like growth record.It may not be entirely fair to compare economic growth in Brazil with that of its Asian counterparts, because Brazil has a per capita income of $12,000, more than two times China's and nearly ten times India's. But even taking into account the fact that it is harder for rich nations to grow quickly, Brazil's growth has been disappointing. Since the early 19805 the Brazilian growth rate has oscillated around an average of 2.5 percent, spiking only in concert with increased prices for Brazil's key commodity exports. While China has been criticized for pursuing "growth at any cost," Brazil has sought to secure "stability at any cost." Brazil's caution stems from its history of financial crises, in which overspending produced debt, humiliating defaults, and embarrassing devaluations, culminating in a disaster that is still recent enough to be fresh in every Brazilian adult's memory: the hyperinflation that started in the early 19805 and peaked in 1994, at the vertiginous annual rate of 2,100 percent.Wages were pegged to inflation but were increased at varying intervals in different industries, 50 workers never really knew whether they were making good money or not. As soon as they were paid, they literally ran to the store with cash to buy food, and they could afford little else, causing non-essential industries to start to die. Hyperinflation finally came under control in l995, but it left a problem of regular behind. Brazil has battled inflation ever since by maintaining one of the highest interest rates in the emerging world. Those high rates have attracted a surge of foreign money, which is partly why the Brazilian Real is so expensive relative to comparable currencies.There is a growing recognition that China faces serious "imbalances" that could derail its long economic boom. Obsessed until recently with high growth, China has been pushing too hard to keep its currency too cheap (to help its export industries compete), encouraging excessively high savings and keeping interest rates rock bottom to fund heavy spending on roads and ports. China is only now beginning to consider a shift in spending priorities to create social programs that protect its people from the vicissitudes of old age and unemployment.Brazil’s economy is just as badly out of balance, though in opposite ways. While China has introduced reforms relentlessly for three decades, opening itself up to the world even at the risk of domestic instability, Brazil has pushed reforms only in the most dire circumstances, for example, privatizing state companies when the government budget is near collapse. Fearful of foreign shocks, Brazil is still one of the most closed economies in the emerging world - total imports and exports account for only 15 percent of GDP - despite its status as the world's leading exporter of sugar, orange juice, coffee, poultry, and beef.To pay for its big government, Brazil has jacked up taxes and now has a tax burden that equals 38 percent of GDP, the highest in the emerging world, and very similar to the tax burden in developed European welfare states, such as Norway and France. This heavy load of personal and corporate tax on a relatively poor country means that businesses don’t have the money to invest in new technology or training, which in turn means that industry is not getting more efficient. Between 1986 and 2008 Brazil’s productivity grew at an annual rate of :about 0.2 percent, compared to 4 percent in China. Over the same period, productivity grew in India at close to 3 percent and in South Korea and Thailand at close to 2 percent.
According to the passage, the major concern facing the Brazil economy is:|
|MCQ-> Read carefully the four passages that follow and answer the questions given at the end of each passage:PASSAGE I The most important task is revitalizing the institution of independent directors. The independent directors of a company should be faithful fiduciaries protecting, the long-term interests of shareholders while ensuring fairness to employees, investor, customer, regulators, the government of the land and society. Unfortunately, very often, directors are chosen based of friendship and, sadly, pliability. Today, unfortunately, in the majority of cases, independence is only true on paper.The need of the hour is to strengthen the independence of the board. We have to put in place stringent standards for the independence of directors. The board should adopt global standards for director-independence, and should disclose how each independent director meets these standards. It is desirable to have a comprehensive report showing the names of the company employees of fellow board members who are related to each director on the board. This report should accompany the annual report of all listed companies. Another important step is to regularly assess the board members for performance. The assessment should focus on issues like competence, preparation, participation and contribution. Ideally, this evaluation should be performed by a third party. Underperforming directors should be allowed to leave at the end of their term in a gentle manner so that they do not lose face. Rather than being the rubber stamp of a company’s management policies, the board should become a true active partner of the management. For this, independent directors should be trained in their in their in roles and responsibilities. Independent directors should be trained on the business model and risk model of the company, on the governance practices, and the responsibilities of various committees of the board of the company. The board members should interact frequently with executives to understand operational issues. As part of the board meeting agenda, the independent directors should have a meeting among themselves without the management being present. The independent board members should periodically review the performance of the company’s CEO, the internal directors and the senior management. This has to be based on clearly defined objective criteria, and these criteria should be known to the CEO and other executive directors well before the start of the evolution period. Moreover, there should be a clearly laid down procedure for communicating the board’s review to the CEO and his/her team of executive directors. Managerial remuneration should be based on such reviews. Additionally, senior management compensation should be determined by the board in a manner that is fair to all stakeholders. We have to look at three important criteria in deciding managerial remuneration-fairness accountability and transparency. Fairness of compensation is determined by how employees and investors react to the compensation of the CEO. Accountability is enhanced by splitting the total compensation into a small fixed component and a large variable component. In other words, the CEO, other executive directors and the senior management should rise or fall with the fortunes of the company. The variable component should be linked to achieving the long-term objectives of the firm. Senior management compensation should be reviewed by the compensation committee of the board consisting of only the independent directors. This should be approved by the shareholders. It is important that no member of the internal management has a say in the compensation of the CEO, the internal board members or the senior management. The SEBI regulations and the CII code of conduct have been very helpful in enhancing the level of accountability of independent directors. The independent directors should decide voluntarily how they want to contribute to the company. Their performance should decide voluntarily how they want to contribute to the company. Their performance should be appraised through a peer evaluation process. Ideally, the compensation committee should decide on the compensation of each independent director based on such a performance appraisal. Auditing is another major area that needs reforms for effective corporate governance. An audit is the Independent examination of financial transactions of any entity to provide assurance to shareholder and other stakeholders that the financial statements are free of material misstatement. Auditors are qualified professionals appointed by the shareholders to report on the reliability of financial statements prepared by the management. Financial markets look to the auditor’s report for an independent opinion on the financial and risk situation of a company. We have to separate such auditing form other services. For a truly independent opinion, the auditing firm should not provide services that are perceived to be materially in conflict with the role of the auditor. These include investigations, consulting advice, sub contraction of operational activities normally undertaken by the management, due diligence on potential acquisitions or investments, advice on deal structuring, designing/implementing IT systems, bookkeeping, valuations and executive recruitment. Any departure from this practice should be approved by the audit committee in advance. Further, information on any such exceptions must be disclosed in the company’s quarterly and annual reports. To ensure the integrity of the audit team, it is desirable to rotate auditor partners. The lead audit partner and the audit partner responsible for reviewing a company’s audit must be rotated at least once every three to five years. This eliminates the possibility of the lead auditor and the company management getting into the kind of close, cozy relationship that results in lower objectivity in audit opinions. Further, a registered auditor should not audit a chief accounting office was associated with the auditing firm. It is best that members of the audit teams are prohibited from taking up employment in the audited corporations for at least a year after they have stopped being members of the audit team.A competent audit committee is essential to effectively oversee the financial accounting and reporting process. Hence, each member of the audit committee must be ‘financially literate’, further, at least one member of the audit committee, preferably the chairman, should be a financial expert-a person who has an understanding of financial statements and accounting rules, and has experience in auditing. The audit committee should establish procedures for the treatment of complaints received through anonymous submission by employees and whistleblowers. These complaints may be regarding questionable accounting or auditing issues, any harassment to an employee or any unethical practice in the company. The whistleblowers must be protected. Any related-party transaction should require prior approval by the audit committee, the full board and the shareholders if it is material. Related parties are those that are able to control or exercise significant influence. These include; parent- subsidiary relationships; entities under common control; individuals who, through ownership, have significant influence over the enterprise and close members of their families; and dey management personnel.Accounting standards provide a framework for preparation and presentation of financial statements and assist auditors in forming an opinion on the financial statements. However, today, accounting standards are issued by bodies comprising primarily of accountants. Therefore, accounting standards do not always keep pace with changes in the business environment. Hence, the accounting standards-setting body should include members drawn from the industry, the profession and regulatory bodies. This body should be independently funded. Currently, an independent oversight of the accounting profession does not exist. Hence, an independent body should be constituted to oversee the functioning of auditors for Independence, the quality of audit and professional competence. This body should comprise a "majority of non- practicing accountants to ensure independent oversight. To avoid any bias, the chairman of this body should not have practiced as an accountant during the preceding five years. Auditors of all public companies must register with this body. It should enforce compliance with the laws by auditors and should mandate that auditors must maintain audit working papers for at least seven years.To ensure the materiality of information, the CEO and CFO of the company should certify annual and quarterly reports. They should certify that the information in the reports fairly presents the financial condition and results of operations of the company, and that all material facts have been disclosed. Further, CEOs and CFOs should certify that they have established internal controls to ensure that all information relating to the operations of the company is freely available to the auditors and the audit committee. They should also certify that they have evaluated the effectiveness of these controls within ninety days prior to the report. False certifications by the CEO and CFO should be subject to significant criminal penalties (fines and imprisonment, if willful and knowing). If a company is required to restate its reports due to material non-compliance with the laws, the CEO and CFO must face severe punishment including loss of job and forfeiting bonuses or equity-based compensation received during the twelve months following the filing.The problem with the independent directors has been that: I. Their selection has been based upon their compatibility with the company management II. There has been lack of proper training and development to improve their skill set III. Their independent views have often come in conflict with the views of company management. This has hindered the company’s decision-making process IV. Stringent standards for independent directors have been lacking....|
Read the following passage carefully and answer the questions given below it. Certain words/phrases have been printed in bold to help you locate them while answering some of the questions. The past quarter of a century has seen several bursts of selling by the world’s governments, mostly but not always in benign market conditions. Those in the OECD, a rich-country club, divested plenty of stuff in the 20 years before the global financial crisis. The first privatisation wave, which built up from the mid-1980s and peaked in 2000, was largely European. The drive to cut state intervention under Margaret Thatcher in Britain soon spread to the continent. The movement gathered pace after 1991, when eastern Europe put thousands of rusting state-owned enterprises (SOEs) on the block. A second wave came in the mid-2000s, as European economies sought to cash in on buoyant markets. But activity in OECD countries slowed sharply as the financial crisis began. In fact, it reversed. Bailouts of failing banks and companies have contributed to a dramatic increase in government purchases of corporate equity during the past five years. A more lasting fea ture is the expansion of the state capitalism practised by China and other emerging economic powers. Governments have actually bought more equity than they have sold in most years since 2007, though sales far exceeded purchases in 2013. Today privatisation is once again “alive and well”, says William Megginson of the Michael Price College of Business at the University of Oklahoma. According to a global tally he recently completed, 2012 was the third-best year ever, and preliminary evidence suggests that 2013 may have been better. However, the geography of sell-offs has changed, with emerging markets now to the fore. China, for instance, has been selling minority stakes in banking, energy, engineering and broadcasting; Brazil is selling airports to help finance a $20 billion investment programme. Eleven of the 20 largest IPOs between 2005 and 2013 were sales of minority stakes by SOEs, mostly in developing countries. By contrast, state-owned assets are now “the forgotten side of the balance-sheet” in many advanced economies, says Dag Detter, managing partner of Whetstone Solutions, an adviser to governments on asset restructuring. They shouldn’t be. Governments of OECD countries still oversee vast piles of assets, from banks and utilities to buildings, land and the riches beneath (see table). Selling some of these holdings could work wonders: reduce debt, finance infrastructure, boost economic efficiency. But governments often barely grasp the value locked up in them. The picture is clearest for companies or company-like entities held by central governments. According to data compiled by the OECD and published on its website, its 34 member countries had 2,111 fully or majority-owned SOEs, with 5.9m employees, at the end of 2012. Their combined value (allowing for some but not all pension-fund liabilities) is estimated at $2.2 trillion, roughly the same size as the global hedge-fund industry. Most are in network industries such as telecoms, electricity and transport. In addition, many countries have large minority stakes in listed firms. Those in which they hold a stake of between 10% and 50% have a combined market value of $890 billion and employ 2.9m people.
The data are far from perfect. The quality of reporting varies widely, as do definitions of what counts as a state-owned company: most include only centralgovernment holdings. If all assets held at sub-national level, such as local water companies, were included, the total value could be more than $4 trillion. Reckons Hans Christiansen, an OECD economist. Moreover, his team has had to extrapolate because some QECD members, including America and Japan, provide patchy data. America is apparently so queasy about discussions of public ownership of -commercial assets that the Treasury takes no part in the OECD’s working group on the issue, even though it has vast holdings, from Amtrak and the 520,000-employee Postal Service to power generators and airports. The club’s efforts to calculate the value that SOEs add to, or subtract from, economies were abandoned after several countries, including America, refused to co-operate.
Privatisation has begun picking up again recently in the OECD for a variety of reasons. Britain’s Conservative-led coalition is fbcused on (some would say obsessed with) reducing the public debt-to-GDP ratio. Having recently sold the Royal Mail through a public offering, it is hoping to offload other assets, including its stake in URENCO, a uranium enricher, and its student-loan portfolio. From January 8th, under a new Treasury scheme, members of the public and businesses will be allowed to buy government land and buildings on the open market. A website will shortly be set up to help potential buyers see which bits of the government’s /..337 billion-worth of holdings ($527 billion at today’s rate, accounting for 40% of developable sites round Britain) might be surplus. The government, said the chief treasury secretary, Danny Alexander, “should not act as some kind of compulsive hoarder”. Japan has different reasons to revive sell-offs, such as to finance reconstruction after its devastating earthquake and tsunami in 2011. Eyes are once again turning to Japan Post, a giant postal-to-financial-services conglomerate whose oftpostponed partial sale could at last happen in 2015 and raise (Yen) 4 trillion ($40 billion) or more. Australia wants to sell financial, postal and aviation assets to offset the fall in revenues caused by the commodities slowdown. In almost all the countries of Europe, privatisation is likely “to surprise on the upside” as long as markets continue to mend, reckons Mr Megginson. Mr Christiansen expects to see three main areas of activity in coming years. First will
be the resumption of partial sell-offs in industries such as telecoms, transport and utilities. Many residual stakes in partly privatised firms could be sold down further. France, for instance, still has hefty stakes in GDF SUEZ, Renault, Thales and Orange. The government of Francois Hollande may be ideologically opposed to privatisation, but it is hoping to reduce industrial stakes to raise funds for livelier sectors, such as broadband and health.
The second area of growth should be in eastern Europe, where hundreds of large firms, including manufacturers, remain in state hands. Poland will sell down its stakes in listed firms to make up for an expected reduction in EU structural funds. And the third area is the reprivatisation of financial institutions rescued during the crisis. This process is under way: the largest privatisation in 2012 was the $18 billion offering of America’s residual stake in AIG, an insurance company.Which of the following statements is not true in the context of the given passage ?|