Current Affairs Updates - 8 December 2017
Retirement fund body EPFO has opened a new facility for its over 4.5 crore members that will allow consolidation or merger of their multiple PF accounts with the current universal portable account number (UAN).
- Under this facility, subscribers can merge as many as 10 previous accounts with their UAN at one go.
Indian Bank revises interest rates on foreign currency non-resident deposits
- For FCNR (B) deposits, in USD, the revised interest rate has been fixed at 2.77 per cent for deposits of one year and above but less than two years from the current 2.63 per cent.
- For deposits of two years and above but less than three years, the interest rate has been fixed at 2.92 per cent from the existing 2.80 per cent, the city-based bank said in a release
- Interest rates were fixed at 3.20 per cent for deposits of upto five years from the current 3.14 per cent, the release added.
Axis Securities, a subsidiary of Axis Bank, has become the first-ever broking arm of a bank to take membership of a commodity exchange by registering itself with NCDEX.
- In September, Reserve Bank of India allowed banks wishing to undertake commodities derivatives clearing to set up a separate subsidiary for the purpose and adhere to the membership norms laid by market regulator Securities Exchange Board of India.
- Banks should also set up internal risk control measures and take board approvals to decide the extent to which they can fulfil pay-in obligations arising out of trades executed by clients and set prudential norms on risk exposure, among others.
ICICI Bank launches a digital service to allow customers to open a (public provident fund) PPF account via internet banking or mobile banking
- The bank said it is the first lender in the country to introduce a fully digital and paperless procedure for opening a PPF account. The facility, available 24x7 and on all days, will require customers to login to their internet banking or mobile banking and apply for a PPF account.
The government has engaged private lender ICICI Bank to enable online payments at 470 mandis integrated with national portal of electronic National Agriculture Market (e-NAM).
- Farmers have started trading online within mandi. We want online payments to be smooth and without any delay. Therefore, ICICI Bank has been roped in as a banker for e- NAM," the official told PTI.
According to a new survey by online travel portal TripAdvisor, the Taj Mahal, India's iconic ivory-white marble mausoleum in Agra, is the second best UNESCO world heritage site in the world after Angkor Wat.
- With over 8 million visitors per year, the monument of love built by mughal emperor Shah Jahan in the memory of his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal, is rated after Cambodia's Angkor Wat.
According to the latest Economist Intelligence Unit, Singapore is the top destination while India has slipped six notches to 37th position among 60 major economies in the world in terms of their attractiveness to Chinese firms
- Among BRIC economies, Russia's index rank moved up by six places to 11th, with its economic prospects having improved owing to higher commodity prices, while South Africa's rank has risen by six places to 44th.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the B R Ambedkar International Centre here and said it would be an important place for research on social and economic issues.
- Union Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment Thawar Chand Gehlot, Minister of State Ramdas Athawale and Union Sports and Youth Affairs Minister Vijay Goel were also present at the event.
- "The centre will prove to be an inspiration for the promotion of the thoughts and teachings of Dr Ambedkar. The centre will be an important place for research on social and economic issues," Mr Modi said.
Border Security Force (BSF) launches computer-assisted test to examine psychological health of personnel
- These were some of the queries posed in a 20-point questionnaire for Border Security Force (BSF) personnel during their health check-up this year. The document was prepared by a team of doctors engaged by the paramilitary force to conduct a psychological analysis of its 2.5 lakh members.
Online food delivery start-up Swiggy (Bundl Technologies Pvt. Ltd) has appointed Vishal Bhatia as chief executive officer for its new supply business.
- Bhatia and his team will work with restaurant partners associated with the platform on plugging gaps on the supply side of Swiggy’s marketplace, the company said.
The Vice President of India, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu inaugurated the 12th Annual Convention of Central Information Commission (CIC).
- The Vice President said that sharing of information and creation of a transparent governance structure accountable to the people of our country are key pillars of democracy. He further said that transparency and accountability are the two key elements for the success of democracy. We need to convert Swarajya in to Surajya and the fruits of the development should reach everyone, he added.
Amazon Web Services (AWS) has become the first global Cloud service provider (CSP) to achieve full empanelment for delivering Public Cloud services to government customers in India
- Amazon Internet Services Pvt Ltd (AISPL), an Indian subsidiary of the Amazon Group which undertakes the resale and marketing of AWS Cloud services in India, has achieved full CSP empanelment by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY).
Sushil Kumar quits as National Sports Observer for wrestling
- As both the top athletes are still active in their respective fields, wrestling (Men) and boxing (Women), they felt that this could be seen as conflict of interest.
- "Keeping in mind the best of the sporting traditions the athletes submitted their resignation. Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports has accepted their resignations as National Sports observers."
The National Commission for Minorities (NCM) formed a three-member committee to study the matter of minority status to Hindus in eight states where their population is less than 50 per cent.
- The committee was formed under the chairmanship of George Kourien. He is also the vice chairman of NCM. Other two NCM members are Sulekha Kambre and Manjeet Singh Rai.
- Ajay Kumar, Additional Secretary of NCM, will be the secretary of this committee. This committee can also take suggestions from the constitutional experts.
The Somali government and the United Nations signed the UN Strategic Framework for Somalia (UNSF), mapping out the world body’s support to the country’s development priorities in the next four years
- The UNSF articulates the collective strategy, commitments and actions of 23 UN agencies and the UN Assistance Mission in Somalia in support of the country’s development priorities, as outlined in the National Development Plan, and towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.
Science & Technologies
Caltech researchers have found a way to make the world's smallest Mona Lisa from DNA.
- The trick was an adaptation of a DNA "origami" method that got the gene strands to fold and assemble into the right shape.
- The Mona Lisa is divided into squares, each of which is folded by using one long DNA strand manipulated by "staples" (short, custom-designed strands) that bind to and pull on it. After that, it's a matter of attaching the squares to a DNA canvas.
India and Cuba signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for enhanced cooperation in the health sector.
- Terming it historic, Shri J P Nadda stated that the relations between Cuba and India are historical and based on shared values of equality and justice, common aspirations and convergence of interests on global issues.
The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Italy for cooperation in Agriculture and Phytosanitary issues.
- The MoU provides for cooperation in the fields of phytosanitary issues, agricultural production and a wide range of other sectors including animal husbandry, agricultural research, food processing and other additional fields as may be mutually decided by both the sides.
The State government and Make in India Korea Center (MIC) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to set up Korea Industrial Complex in the State.
- This is the result of Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu’s three-day Korea tour where he wooed industrialists to come and invest in Andhra Pradesh. As per the MoU, the Andhra Pradesh Centre will be established at Busan in South Korea. The MIC will also conduct outreach programmes in Korea for the promotion of investment and business in AP.
Sports: Awards & Honours
India lift first South Asian Regional Badminton Tournament at the Tarun Ram Phookan Indoor Stadium .
- India who came into the final without losing a single match continued their good run with Aryaman Tandon drawing the first blood in the boys'singles competition.