Current Affairs Update – 17th July, 2015

Hello and welcome to ExamPundit. Here are the Important Current Affairs of 17th July, 2015. These are important for the upcoming RBI Assistant 2015 Exam.

Finance/RBI/Insurance
RBI permitted
CBS-enabled Cooperative Banks to issue ATM cards in tie-up with a sponsor bank
 
  • Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on 16 July 2015 permitted
    Cooperative Banks with Core Banking Solution (CBS) to issue ATM
    cards/ATM-cum-debit cards in tie with a sponsor banks.
  • The decision was taken by the RBI in an attempt to move
    towards a less-cash economy and with an aim to inculcate the habit of using
    electronic payment channels among bank customers.
  • Further, these cooperative banks by virtue of being a
    sub-member of National Financial Switch (NFS) are required to fulfil the risk
    management requirements prescribed by the sponsor bank and meet expenses
    devolving on them under the agreement with the sponsor bank.
  • Also, banks should set up their own arrangement for issuing
    cards, authorization of cards and customer support/redressal mechanism and
    ensure to provide uninterrupted services to their customers.
  • The RBI took the decision after it received representations
    from cooperative banks not having their own ATMs and sought permission to issue
    ATM-cum-debit cards to their customers in tie-up with banks having their own
    ATM network.

Following are the
criteria to become a sub-member of NFS:
  • Core Banking Solution (CBS) fully implemented
  • Licence for conducting banking business
  • Introduction from sponsor bank (a bank having ATM network
    connectivity)
  • Connectivity with National Payment Corporation of India
    (NPCI)

The decision is in addition to the earlier decision of the
RBI taken on 16 April 2015 to allow State Cooperative Banks (StCBs) to install
offsite/ mobile ATMs as per their need and potential in their area of
operation.

However, they were allowed to install mobile ATMs only with
prior permission of the RBI and subject to satisfying
the following criteria:
  • CRAR not being less than 9 per cent
  • No default in maintenance of CRR/SLR during the preceding financial
    year
  • Net NPA being less than 5 per cent
  • The bank should have a track record of regulatory compliance
    and no monetary penalty should have been imposed on the bank on account of
    violation of RBI directives/guidelines during last two financial years

Overall direct
lending to farmers should not fall below average of past 3 years: RBI

  • Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on 16 July 2015 directed banks
    to ensure that their overall direct lending to farmers should not fall below
    the average of last three years.
  • The direction was given by RBI against the backdrop of
    government expressing concern over adverse impact of any reduction in direct
    credit, given the adverse weather conditions.
  • Further, the RBI warned the banks that direct lending below
    the target set for priority sector lending will attract usual penalties.
  • The apex bank also said that banks should also continue to
    maintain efforts to reach the level of 13.5 percent direct lending to
    beneficiaries who earlier constituted the direct agriculture sector.
  • In an effort to increase direct lending to agriculture, the
    RBI in April 2015 revised the target for direct lending to small and marginal
    farmers under priority sector norms to 7 percent for 2015-16 and to 8 percent
    for 2016-17.

CCI imposed Rs 671
crore penalty on 4 state-run insurance companies
  • The Competition Commission of India (CCI) on 17 July 2015
    imposed penalty of 671.05 crore rupees upon four Public Sector Insurance
    Companies.
  • The penalty was imposed for manipulating the bidding process
    initiated by Government of Kerala for selecting insurance service provider for
    Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojna for the years 2010-11, 2011-12 and 2012-13. The
    beneficiaries of the schemes were BPL and poor families.
  • These companies and their penalties are National Insurance
    (162.80 crores rupees), New India Assurance (251.07 crores rupees), Oriental
    Insurance (100.56 crores rupees) and United India Insurance (156.62 crores
    rupees).
  • The orders were passed on anonymous information in Suo Moto
    case received by CCI under Section 19(1) of the Competition Act, 2002 against
    the four Insurance companies. The information alleged contravention of the
    provisions of section 3 of the Act which deals with anti-competitive agreements
    including bid rigging.

RBI tightens norms
for credit card billing

  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Thursday asked banks to
    levy any late payment penalty on credit card customers, or report them to
    credit information companies, only if the payment has been due for more than
    three days.
  • For banks, RBI said they can treat a credit card as
    non-preforming asset if the ‘minimum amount due’ has not been paid within 90
    days from the due date.
  • To bring in greater credit discipline as also to provide
    operational flexibility to credit card issuers, RBI said the ‘past due’ status
    of a credit card account for the purpose of asset classification would be
    reckoned from the payment due date mentioned in the monthly credit card
    statement.
  • It further asked banks to report a credit card account as
    ‘past due’ to credit information companies (CICs) or levy penal charges, such
    as late payment charges only when a credit card account remains ‘past due’ for
    more than three days.
  • The number of ‘days past due’ and late payment charges
    should be, however, computed from payment due date mentioned in the credit card
    statement, it added.
  • In credit card accounts, the amount spent is billed to the
    card users through a monthly statement with a definite due date for repayment.
  • Banks give an option to the card users to pay either the
    full amount or a fraction of it or a minimum amount on the due date and roll
    over the balance to the subsequent month’s billing cycle.

RBI, Central Bank of
Sri Lanka Ink Currency Swap Agreement
  • The Reserve Bank today signed a special currency swap
    agreement with the Central Bank of Sri Lanka that will allow the latter to draw
    up to USD 1.1 billion.
  • Under the arrangement, the Sri Lankan bank can draw up to
    USD 1.1 billion for a maximum period of six months.
  • This special arrangement is in addition to the existing
    Framework on Currency Swap Arrangement for the SAARC member countries.
  • In March, RBI had signed a Currency Swap Agreement with the
    Central Bank of Sri Lanka for USD 400 million under the existing SAARC Currency
    Swap Framework within the overall limit of USD 2 billion.
  • The proposal to extend the additional currency swap facility
    of USD 1.1 billion for a limited period was decided by the government in April
    based on the recommendation of RBI.
  • It was intended for mitigating the possible currency
    volatility in the spirit of strengthening India’s bilateral relations and
    economic ties with Sri Lanka, RBI said.

India and World Bank
signed Financing Agreement for Andhra Pradesh Disaster Recovery Project
  • India and World Bank on 16 July 2015 signed Financing
    Agreement for assistance of 250 million US dollars for Andhra Pradesh Disaster
    Recovery Project. It is a loan for an implementation period of 5 years and
    Andhra Pradesh Government will be the implementing agency of project.
  • The Financing Agreement was signed by S Selvakumar, Joint
    Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs in Union Government and Onno Ruhl,
    Country Director (India) of World Bank on behalf of the World Bank.
  • While, the Project Agreement was signed by Jagdish Chander
    Sharma, Principal Secretary, Land and Disaster Management on behalf of
    Government of Andhra Pradesh.

India
Union Government
approved signing of India-Canada Civil Aviation Pact
  • The Union Cabinet on 16 July 2015 approved the signing of
    Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Canada in the field of
    Civil Aviation. The MoU will help in enhancing the experience and technical
    knowledge in the field of Civil Aviation between India and Canada.
  • It will also deepen the bilateral cooperation between the
    two countries.

Highlights of the
Agreement
  • Under the MoU, an appropriate platform shall be formalized
    for exchange of views on the possibilities of fostering economic cooperation
    between the two countries in the areas of civil aviation.
  • There will be a cooperation programme in the areas of safety
    of aircraft operations and related issues that will provide more up-to-date
    knowledge to the Directorate General of Civil Aviation.
  • Apart from the above, India firms will also be benefited
    from the exchange of technical knowhow with Canadian companies as the aviation
    industry is far more developed in Canada.
  • Canadian companies will gain from enhanced access to the
    fast developing civil aviation industry in India.

Identity Proof Not
Required to Book Tatkal Ticket From Sept 1: Railways

  • Passengers booking tatkal train tickets would not be
    required to produce identity proof anymore as Railways have decided to discontinue
    with this provision.
  • The modified provision could come into effect by September
    1.
  • “Under the modified rules, there will be no need to
    furnish photocopy of proof of identity while booking Tatkal ticket from
    computerised reservation counter or to indicate its number at the time of
    booking of tatkal ticket at the counter or through internet,” said a
    railway statement.
  • However, one of the passengers has to produce the original
    proofs of identity during the journey to avoid being penalised.
  • Officials said the decision to do away with producing
    identity card while purchasing tatkal ticket was taken to avoid any duplicity
    as the passengers had to produce identity proof at the time of the journey too.
  • The present provision also led to harassment of those
    passengers carrying a different identity proof at the time of the journey than
    the one produced at the time of booking tickets, thus being penalised in the
    process, they said.
  • Currently, passengers at the time of booking a ticket has to
    provide a photocopy of identity card which he/she will carry during the
    journey.

White-Fi technology
of Microsoft to boost Digital India Initiative
  • White-Fi technology or TV White Space Technology was in news
    in the second week of July 2015 as Microsoft announced plans to introduce this
    technology in India to providelast mile connectivity and give a boost to the
    Digital India initiative of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
  • According to Microsoft, its technology can provide free
    Wi-Fi connectivity to the roughly one-billion Indians who don’t have any net
    access and it plans to start with International Institute of Information
    Technology (IIIT) Bangalore campus.
  • White-Fi technology uses the unused spectrum in frequencies
    utilised for broadcasting of television signals and use it for the internet. In
    technology parlance, these unused spectrum spaces are called White Space and
    thus it is also called TV White Space technology.

INS Astravahini
decommissioned after 31 years of service
  • INS Astravahini, indigenously built Torpedo launch and
    recovery vessel (TLRV), was on 16 July 2015 decommissioned after its 31 years
    service to the nation. The vessel had immensely contributed in the trials of
    indigenous torpedoes developed by Naval Science and Technological Laboratory
    (NSTL).
  • It was decommissioned at a ceremony presided over by
    Commodore K A Bopanna, Naval Officer-in-Charge ( Andhra Pradesh Division) at
    the Ship Building Centre, Andhra Pradesh.

Global Emergency
Response Network to be launched In India
  • A new decentralized and personalized mobile app called
    MUrgency is being set up to create a global emergency response to help people
    in distress in developing countries.
  • Brain child of Indian social entrepreneur Shaffi Mather,
    MUrgency is being launched by MUrgency Inc. in global partnership with Business
    Call to Action at the United Nations Development Program, Young Global Leaders
    at the World Economic Forum, Stanford ChangeLabs, Harvard Asia Center and MIT
    Global Health.
  • MUrgency is a cloud platform and mobile application which
    will connect people who need emergency response with their trusted network,
    other users of the app and/or credentialed medical, safety, rescue and
    assistance professionals as the situation requires and the individual in
    emergency requests. It will make the nearest emergency responder (doctor,
    nurse, EMT, paramedic, ambulance etc.) available to a person facing an
    emergency.
  • MUrgency Inc., the San Francisco based tech company which
    has developed this emergency cloud platform and mobile app joined the Business
    Call to Action (BCtA) with a commitment to assist half a million people at the
    base of the pyramid by the end of 2015 through the MUrgency platform.

Appointments
Parineeti Chopra
named brand ambassador of girl child campaign

  • Haryana government named Bollywood actress Parineeti Chopra
    as the brand ambassador for the ‘Beti Bachao-Beti Padhao’ campaign to promote
    the cause of girl child.
  • Parineeti Chopra, hailing from Ambala in Haryana, has won
    several awards, including the Filmfare and National Film Award, a Haryana
    government release said.
  • A mega event has been planned in Gurgaon on July 21 to push
    the campaign to new heights, that will be attended by the actress, it said.
  • ‘Beti Bachao-Beti Padhao’ campaign, aimed at ensuring
    survival, protection and empowerment of the girl child, was launched by Prime
    Minister Narendra Modi from Panipat in the state in January this year.

Neeraj Kumar
appointed chief security advisor for World T20

  • Former Delhi Police Commissioner Neeraj Kumar was today
    appointed as the Chief Advisor of Security and anti-corruption unit (ACSU) of
    BCCI for next year’s T20 World Cup to be hosted by India.
  • Kumar was already roped in by the BCCI for a one-year period
    in the anti-corruption unit during the IPL. “The Board of Control for Cricket
    in India today announced the names of the organising committee for the mega
    event with Dr M V Sridhar as the General Manager for Cricket Operations,” the
    BCCI said in a statement.
  • Amrit Mathur has been appointed as the Principal Coordinator
    while R P Shah will be the Tournament Manager, Finance.
  • In other positions, KVP Rao will be the Manager for Cricket
    Operations, while Nishant Jeet Arora, Media Manager of the BCCI, will double up
    as Tournament Media Manager.
  • Mayank Parikh has been nominated as Manager — Logistics and
    hospitality and Professor Ratnakar Shetty, who was the Tournament Director of
    the ICC Cricket World Cup-2011, has been appointed as an advisor to the
    Committee.

FlipKart appointed
Eric Lange as Vice President of Product Management
  • India’s largest online retailer Flipkart on 15 July 2015
    appointed Eric Lange as the vice president of product management for its
    customer experience division.
  • He is expected to take charge in August 2015 at the
    company’s headquarters in Bengaluru.
  • Lange is a Silicon Valley veteran and earlier worked with
    Yahoo and search engine major Google.
  • He was the third high-profile Silicon Valley technology
    executive to join Flipkart in 2015.

Awards
& Honors –
Indian American
Sunita Viswanath honoured as Champions of Change by US White House
  • Indian American woman Sunita Viswanath was on 16 July 2015
    honoured as Champions of Change by the White House of United States (US). She
    was among 12 other faith leaders who were awarded for their efforts in
    protecting environment and communities from the effects of climate change.
  • Sunita was selected for her work to encourage Hindus to take
    care of the environment. Sunita is co-founder and active board member of the
    14-year-old front-line women’s human rights organisation, Women for Afghan
    Women.
  • Born in Chennai, she has been working with women’s and human
    rights organisations for almost three decades.



Regards

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