Current Affairs Updates - 10 November 2017
New Appointments: National
Sanjeev Kaushik, a Kerala cadre IAS officer, has been appointed as SEBI whole-time member
- He has been appointed for a period of three years or till the age of 65 years, whichever is earlier. The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has approved Kaushik's appointment.
- Kaushik will come in the place of S Raman, who retired from the post of a whole-time member in early September after completing his five year term.
- An MBA in finance from London Business School, Kaushik has over two decades of experience in the financial sector.
RBI to launch public awareness campaign through SMSes to educate public about various banking regulations and facilities available.
- In an official release RBI said, to begin with, it will send messages cautioning the people against falling prey to unsolicited and fictitious offers received through emails, SMSes and phone calls. The caution messages will be sent from ‘RBISAY’ sender id.
- The apex bank has been alerting members of the public against such offers through press releases issued from time to time. This is the first time it will use the same media – SMS and emails – as those used by the fraudsters. Public can give a missed call to 86919-60000 to get more information through Interactive Voice Response System (IVRS) on fake calls and emails as well as investing wisely and cautiously in chit funds. They can also send their feedback on the campaign by email.
Syndicate Bank formed a human chain to create awareness among the public to fight corruption.
- Syndicate Bank formed a human chain to create awareness among the public to fight corruption. Melywyn Rego, Managing Director and CEO, SS Mallikarjuna Rao and S Krishnan, Executive Directors, Prabhakara Rao, Chief Vigilance Officer, Bhaskar Hande, General Manager and also other General Managers, Regional Managers and staff took part.
HDFC Bank has announced the launch of its SmartUp Zone in Kochi, an exclusive area inside the branch dedicated for start-ups.
- In the first phase, SmartUp Zones will be set up at two branches in the city at Infopark and Kakkanad. The SmartUp Zones were inaugurated by Srikumar Nair, Zonal Head, HDFC Bank, and Shilen Sagunan, Chief Executive, SS Consulting.
- Nationally, there are over 47,000 start-ups doing business in India. SmartUp Zones will be launched in over 65 branches in 30 cities across India, including tier 2 and 3 cities that are emerging as start-up hubs.
IDFC Bank has entered into a “strategic alliance” with mobile wallet major MobiKwik to launch a co-branded virtual Visa prepaid card for customers of MobiKwik.
- The novelty here is that a user need not go through the five step process to generate a card, which was the case in previous efforts of other players in the payment industry.
- Within the MobiKwik App, a user will be able to generate a Visa pre-paid card. You can not only be able to pay where the MobiKwik wallet is accepted, but also all the locations where Visa cards are accepted.
In a report on the top 100 city destinations that highlights the growth in Asian tourism, market research firm Euromonitor International said that Hong Kong is the World's Top City for International Visits
- Euromonitor expects the downturn to be short-lived and that growth will pick up again from next year and that arrivals to Hong Kong will reach a massive 45 million by 2025.
- Unlike Hong Kong, the Thai capital of Bangkok posted further increases in arrivals this year largely linked to tour packages targeted at first-time travelers from China. Its arrivals in 2017 are expected to be 9.5 percent higher at 21.3 million, a rise that's pushed it further ahead of London, which remains in third spot with 19.8 million arrivals.
- Visits to London rose 3.4 percent in 2017, largely due to the 15 percent fall in the value of the pound since the country's vote last year to leave the European Union. That has helped shift perceptions about Britain being an expensive place to visit.
India has slipped to the 7th position this quarter in business optimism ranking in Grant Thornton’s International Business Report (IBR) survey.
- The survey was conducted in September before the government had announced its major reforms like bank recapitalisation and infrastructure investments among others. The sample size of the survey is 2,500 businesses spread across 37 economies.
According to a study by The Economist Intelligence Unit, three Indian cities bagged top 4 ranks. India's Silicon Valley -Bengaluru -has been ranked first, San Francisco is ranked at No. 2, followed by Mumbai and New Delhi.
- India's Silicon Valley -Bengaluru -has been ranked first, ahead of San Francisco, for the confidence of businesses in their ability to do digital transformations based on the skills and infrastructure available in their immediate environment.
- Business leaders in Bengaluru expressed the highest confidence in their digital environment based on innovation and entrepreneurship, people and skills, development of new technologies, financial environment, and ICT infrastructure. In each of these categories, the city ranked No. 1.
Central Government has given its principle approval of 500 crore for linking historical religious places of Sri Fatehgarh Sahib and Sri Chamkaur Sahib with the National Highway paving way to connect the sacred places of younger Sahibzadas - Baba Zorawar Singh and Baba Fateh Singh, and elder Sahibzadas - Baba Ajit Singh and Baba Jujhar Singh.
- “With the approval of the project, long awaited dream has become reality. The national highway would be constructed at the cost of Rs 500 crore for connecting both the religious places,” said Punjab Cabinet Minister and Congress MLA from Sri Chamkaur Sahib Charanjit Singh Channi on Tuesday.
The government has notified the third protocol between India and New Zealand for the avoidance of double taxation and prevention of fiscal evasion with respect to taxes on income.
- The government has notified the third protocol between India and New Zealand for the avoidance of double taxation and prevention of fiscal evasion with respect to taxes on income.
- The protocol updates the existing framework of the exchange of tax-related information to a latest international standard which will help curb tax evasion and tax avoidance between the two countries and will also enable mutual assistance in collection of taxes, a finance ministry statement said.
Indian Commodity Exchange (ICEX), the world's first diamond derivatives exchange, today said it has successfully completed first-ever diamond futures contracts settlement with the total traded quantity in November expiry for 5,382.08 carats valued at Rs 173.32 crore.
- ICEX had commenced operations on August 28 with the launch of three monthly diamond futures contracts - of November 2017, December 2017 and January 2018 expiry, respectively.
- "We have successfully completed first-ever diamond futures contracts settlement on November 3. The total traded quantity in November expiry since the launch of the contracts stood at 5,382.08 carats, valuing at Rs 173.32 crore.
- Percentage of delivery against the total traded quantity has been 0.53 per cent," ICEX said in a statement here.
The Maharashtra government has decided to set up Village Climate Resilient Agriculture Management Committees (VCRMCs) under the Nanaji Deshmukh Krushi Sanjivanee Project to focus on climate resilience in over 5,000 villages of 15 districts in the state.
- As per a Government Resolution (GR) issued yesterday, under the Nanaji Deshmukh Krushi Sanjivanee Project, Village Climate Resilient Agriculture Management Committees (VCRMCs) would be set up at a cost of Rs 4,000 crore.
- The project would be funded by the World Bank, said the GR.
- It also said that 4,210 villages in the state are most vulnerable to climate change hence, they have been selected for the project. Besides, 932 villages facing the challenge of salinity of water are also included in the project.
The International Boxing Association (AIBA) unveiled an official song, a logo, and a mascot for the first World Championship to be held in Guwahati. Assam’s famed one-horn Rhino was expectedly picked the official mascot, named ‘Gappi’, while a peppy number sung by Sunidhi Chauhan and composed by Shaan — ‘we’re here to knock you out’ — was unveiled as the official song for the event.
- The team is yet to be finalised but the fanfare was hard to miss as Boxing Federation of India unveiled an official song, a logo, and a mascot for the first World Championship to be held in the country in over a decade, featuring close to 200 boxers from 38 countries.
A committee headed by M Vinod Kumar begins review of GST laws to remove glitches
- A committee of government officials has started a review of the laws governing goods and services tax (GST), signalling there is no reluctance to make the regime smoother for businesses, especially the smaller players who have been complaining of a significant increase in compliance burden.
American digital payments company PayPal launched domestic operations in India
- Indian consumers will be able to make transactions at select online merchants. Merchants offering PayPal will be able to process both local and global payments through the platform, getting access to PayPal’s more than 200 million customers around the world and in India through a single integration.
- However, customers in India will not be able to store any money in their PayPal accounts as the company is yet to receive a prepaid payment instrument (PPI) licence from the RBI.
Bank of China has formally launched its operations in Pakistan, with its first branch inaugurated in Karachi
- Speaking to the inauguration ceremony in Islamabad, Bank of China Chairman Chen Siqing said it was "a great honour" for the bank to be launching in Pakistan, observing that the Karachi branch was its first in South Asia.
- He said the bank would strengthen the "brotherly relations" between the two countries in the financial sector.
Science & Technologies
Most recently, an international team of astronomers using the Gemini North Telescope in Hawaii were able to spot a spiral galaxy located 11 billion light years away.
- The team relied on the gravitational lensing technique to spot A1689B11. This technique has become a mainstay for astronomers, and involves using a large object (like a galaxy cluster) to bend and magnify the light of a galaxy located behind it. As Dr. Tiantian Yuan, a Swinburne astronomer and the lead author on the research study.
Defence & Railway
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, his Bangladesh counterpart Sheikh Hasina and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today launched a new passenger train service between Kolkata and Khulna, an industrial town in southwestern Bangladesh. The launch was made through video-conference from New Delhi, Dhaka and Kolkata.
- At the launch, PM Modi said the "centuries-old historic bond between the people of India, especially from West Bengal, and Bangladesh, got a fresh boost."
- Speaking in Bengali, he added, "I congratulate the people of the two countries on this auspicious occasion. Our ties of friendship got more strengthened today."
- "Today is a great day for relations between the two countries... This train service is a dream come true for people on both sides of the border," Sheikh Hasina said.
Schemes / Programme
The Kerala government has started a ‘She Pad’ scheme to ensure that girl students get access to free sanitary pads
- The scheme will be applicable to those studying in government schools and aided private schools affiliated to the state board.
- The scheme marks a milestone for the Pinarayi Vijayan-run government as this is for the first time that any state government is distributing free sanitary pads to school students.
- Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said in a Facebook post, “Menstrual hygiene is every girl’s right. The scope of the scheme is not limited to the distribution of sanitary napkins. She Pad scheme aims to raise awareness about the need for menstrual hygiene. It also strives to break the taboo around the subject by helping girls to break free from the beliefs of impurity attached to it.
Government of India inked an agreement with Chennai’s Anna University in order to establish India’s second Technology and Innovation Support Center (TISC). This would be done under the World Intellectual Property Organization’s (WIPO) TISC program.
- The objective of the TISC is to stimulate a dynamic, vibrant and balanced Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) system in India to foster creativity and innovation, thereby promoting entrepreneurship and enhancing social, economic and cultural development by establishing a network of TISCs in India. Over 500 TISCs operate worldwide and establishing a TISC in India will give the host institutions access to the global network. TISC will give an impetus to knowledge sharing, sharing of best practices among the TISCs, capacity building, generation and commercialization of Intellectual Properties.
The Haryana government signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with a training institute Vyakti Vikas Kendra India of the Art of Living Foundation today to help jail inmates to maintain and improve their health and reduce physical and mental stress.
- The state government signed the MoU with Vyakti Vikas Kendra India...in the presence of Chief Minister Manohar Lal and founder of the Art of Living Foundation Sri Sri Ravi Shankar," according to an official statement here.
Awards & Honours
French writer Eric Vuillard’s novel 'L’ordre du jouron' Hitler’s rise wins France’s top book award 'The Goncourt prize'
- Two novels about the Nazis took France’s biggest literary prizes on Monday, with Eric Vuillard’s story of how German industry and finance backed Adolf Hitler winning the top Prix Goncourt.
- L’ordre du jour (Agenda) had been among the favourites for the Goncourt prize – the most prestigious in the French-speaking world.
Sports: Awards & Honours
Senior Badminton National Championships in Nagpur: HS Prannoy beats World No. 2 Kidambi Srikanth to clinch title
- It was the clash of the Titans in Nagpur on Wednesday, when World number two Kidambi Srikanth collided with, the giant slayer, HS Prannoy in the men's singles final of Senior Badminton National Championships (Kidambi Srikanth vs HS Prannoy)
- In the end, the lowly ranked Prannoy emerged victorious with 21-15, 16-21, 21-7 scoreline in the three-game match.
Saina Nehwal beats PV Sindhu in Senior National Badminton Championships in Nagpur
- Saina Nehwal beats PV Sindhu 21-17, 27-25 in the blockbuster final of Senior National Badminton Championships in Nagpur on Wednesday to lift her third nationals title.
- Saina, who has played nationals thrice to win the tournament all three times, led the first game from the very beginning.