1. India cancelled its Rs 3,600 crore deal with Anglo-Italian firm AgustaWestland for supply of 12 VVIP choppers to the Air Force in view of charges that kickbacks to the tune of Rs 360 crore were paid in it. The decision to scrap the 2010 deal was taken nearly a year after reports surfaced that two top officials of the company had allegedly paid bribes to bag the contract. Former IAF chief S P Tyagi is one of the accused in the case, which is being probed by CBI. The deal was for supply of 12 helicopters for VVIPs and out of these AgustaWestland has already delivered three.
2. Latvia has formally joined the euro zone with new year, becoming the 18th member of the group of EU states which uses the euro as its currency. Latvia recently emerged from the financial crisis to become the EU’s fastest growing economy as well. This step will improve Latvia’s credit rating and attract foreign investors.
3. Market regulator SEBI has approved the appointment of Saurabh Sarkar as the new MD and CEO of MCX-SX. He now heads the United Stock Exchange (USE), is likely to take charge in February. The appointment of Sarkar comes at a crucial time for MCX-SX, which is seeing a churn in the top management, with the promoter Jigneesh Shah and Joseph Massey stepping down from the board after the Rs 5,600-crore NSEL payment crisis.
4. Former Infosys CFO V Balakrishnan stepped down as Board member of software behemoth Infosys recently creating ripples in the corporate circles, has joined the Aam Admi Party.
5. Kanu Kalsaria, former rebel BJP MLA and farmers’ movement leader, officially joined the Aam Admi Party (AAP), indicating that his new party may contest all 26 Lok Sabha seats in Gujarat in 2014 polls. In recent past, the three-term BJP MLA had led farmers’ movement against the Nirma Group which wanted to set up a major cement manufacturing plant in Bhavnagar district.
6. Chief Scientist & Head of Inorganic and Physical Chemistry Division, CSIR-Indian Institute of Chemical Technology, B. Mahipal Reddy was honoured with the Best Scientist Award of Science-Tech Foundation (STF), Bangalore for the year 2013. He has been selected for his efforts which resulted in the development of novel catalysts for air pollution control, bio-mass conversion to value-added products, synthesis of fine chemicals and solar fuels, and the conversion of greenhouse gases to useful chemicals.
7. V. Kannan has taken charge as Chairman and Managing Director (CMD) of Vijaya Bank. He took charge from H.S. Upendra Kamath, who has demitted the office of CMD on attaining superannuation on December 31, 2013.
8. S.K. Sharma has taken charge as the Chairman and Managing Director of defence public sector Bharat Electronics Ltd. Sharma joined BEL in 1978 after graduating from the University College of Engineering, Bangalore. He completed his Masters in Business Administration while in service.
9. P. Madhusudan, Director (Finance), Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Ltd (RINL) – Vizag Steel Plant, assumed charge on Wednesday as the company’s CMD. Madhusudhan, who had joined RINL in 2009, will hold the new post for the next five years, as the company plans to increase its capacity to reach to 11-12 mtpa and become a “maharatna”.