Current Affairs Update – 6-8 May, 2017

Hello and welcome to exampundit. Here are the important Current Affairs update of 6, 7 and 8 May, 2017. These are important for the upcoming SBI PO Mains, NIACL Assistant Mains, BOB Manipal, NICL AO Mains and other exams in 2017 July and August.

Current Affairs at a Glance – 6-8 May, 2017

  1. Telecommunications services
    provider Bharti Airtel on 8 May 2017 partnered with taxi app aggregator Ola Cabs to offer a range of exciting
    digital services to customers.
  2. State Bank of India has announced a 25 basis points cut in home loans
    rate to 8.35 per cent per annum, the lowest in the market
    . The new rate is
    effective from May 9.
  3. Global technology giant Oracle has signed an agreement with the
    government of Jharkhand and will
    explore partnerships intended at improving citizen services, transparency in
    governance along with setting up of start-up incubation hubs and data centres.
  4. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI)
    on 5 May 2017 tightened the rules of Joint Lenders’ Forum (JLF) under “Framework for Revitalising Distressed
    Assets in the Economy – Guidelines on Joint Lenders’ Forum (JLF) and Corrective
    Action Plan (CAP)
    ”. The new JLF rules are more effective and direct banks
    not to break any rules and to meet all deadlines. Moreover, it also directs
    that any breach of rules would attract a monetary penalty.
  5. The country’s first, and perhaps the simplest life insurance product
    that can be bought at a point of sale (PoS) has finally been launched
    .
    Edelweiss Tokio Life Insurance has recently launched PoS Saral Nivesh — the
    first product to be approved by the Insurance Regulatory and Development
    Authority of India’s (IRDAI) guidelines on point of sale-life insurance
    products.
  6. Nitin Gadkari, the Union Minister
    for Road Transport and Highways inaugurated India’s first biorefinery plant that produces ethanol from a variety of
    biomass in Pune
    on 7 May 2017.
  7. President Pranab Mukherjee on 5
    May 2017 gave his assent to an ordinance to amend the Banking Regulation Act for resolution of the non-performing asset (NPA)
    crisis in banking system
    .
  8. Two Indian warships INS Mumbai and INS Aditya arrived in
    Alexandria, the Mediterranean port city in Egypt on 5 May 2017.
  9. In Haryana, detailed data will be collected of every resident and
    every house would be allotted a smart house ID under a special mission.
  10. SS Rajamouli’s Baahubali 2: The Conclusion became the first Indian film to cross the RS
    1000 crore mark
    with its worldwide collections. Reports suggest that
    trade analysts have reported that the film has made over Rs 800 crore in India
    and more than Rs 200 crore in the international markets.
  11. Usha Ananthasubramanian has been appointed
    as the MD & CEO of Allahabad Bank. She took charge from May 6.
  12. Pro-European centrist leader Emmanuel Macron has been
    elected as President of France after winning 20.7 million votes on 8 May 2017.
  13. Konkona Sensharma has been named the best director for her
    directorial debut “A Death in the
    Gunj
    ” and the best actress for “Lipstick Under My Burkha” at
    2017’s New York Indian Film Festival (NYIFF).
  14. Harry Potter fame star, Emma Watson was conferred the first
    ever ‘Genderless Acting Award’ for Best Actor category on 7 May 2017 at the
    annual MTV Movie and TV Awards ceremony held at the Shrine Auditorium in Los
    Angeles, California.

Financial & Banking News –
Bharti Airtel and Ola Cabs tie-up to offer integrated digital services

  • Telecommunications services
    provider Bharti Airtel on 8 May 2017 partnered with taxi app aggregator Ola
    Cabs to offer a range of exciting digital services to customers.
  • Both the companies will
    collaborate to deliver enhanced convenience for customers by leveraging the
    strengths of their respective portfolios.
  • Ola will leverage Airtel’s
    integrated suite of enterprise services to power its operations, while Airtel
    will leverage Ola’s vast network of hundreds and thousands of driver partners.
  • Ola will also be benefitted from
    Airtel’s extensive retail network and its integrated suite of world-class
    connectivity solutions for businesses that help them drive growth through
    better efficiency.
  • Airtel Payments Bank will also be
    integrated with Ola app to offer convenient digital payments solutions to customers
    for their rides.
SBI cuts low-cost home loan rates by 0.25% to 8.35%

  • State Bank of India has announced
    a 25 basis points cut in home loans rate to 8.35 per cent per annum, the lowest
    in the market. The new rate is effective from May 9.
  • The bank, in a statement, said
    the effective interest rate for all eligible salaried customers will be 8.35
    per cent for loans up to Rs. 30 lakhs. Besides, an eligible home loan customer
    can also avail of an interest subsidy of Rs. 2.67 lakhs under the Pradhan
    Mantri Awas Yojana scheme.
  • India’s largest bank also said
    the interest rates for customers availing of home loans above Rs. 30 lakhs has
    also been reduced.
  • Further, to supplement the
    affordable housing push, SBI has come out with special offerings for
    Construction Finance to builders for affordable housing projects.
Jharkhand government partners with Oracle to boost IT infrastructure

  • Global technology giant Oracle
    has signed an agreement with the government of Jharkhand and will explore
    partnerships intended at improving citizen services, transparency in governance
    along with setting up of start-up incubation hubs and data centres.
  • The scope of the agreement
    includes investment in training through the Oracle Academy, developing
    prototypes and applications that will help citizens in accessing various
    government services and incubating start-ups among others.
  • Oracle had signed a similar
    agreement with the government of Maharashtra in April last year.
  • As per the agreement, Jharkhand
    government intends to use Oracle’s technology solutions especially the cloud to
    encourage innovation and entrepreneurship among its youth. The mineral rich
    state received investment support from the Central government earlier this year
    for a venture capital fund to support start-ups.
RBI tightens JLF rules, directs banks not to break any norms

  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI)
    on 5 May 2017 tightened the rules of Joint Lenders’ Forum (JLF) under
    “Framework for Revitalising Distressed Assets in the Economy – Guidelines on
    Joint Lenders’ Forum (JLF) and Corrective Action Plan (CAP)”.
  • The new JLF rules are more
    effective and direct banks not to break any rules and to meet all deadlines.
    Moreover, it also directs that any breach of rules would attract a monetary
    penalty.
Highlights of new JLF Rules

  • It calls for early identification
    of stressed assets and timely implementation of a Corrective Action Plan (CAP)
    to preserve the economic value of stressed assets.
  • In order to ensure that the CAP
    is finalised and formulated in an expeditious manner, the new rules specifies
    various timelines within which lenders have to decide and implement the CAP.
  • It reiterates that lenders must
    scrupulously adhere to the timelines prescribed in the JLF Framework for
    finalising and implementing the CAP. This came after RBI witnessed delays in
    finalising and implementation of the CAP.
  • To facilitate timely decision
    making, the decisions agreed upon by a minimum of 60 per cent of creditors by
    value and 50 per cent of creditors by number in JLF will be considered as basis
    for deciding the CAP.
  • The stand of the participating
    banks while voting on the final proposal before the JLF shall be unambiguous
    and unconditional.
  • Any bank which does not support
    the majority decision on the CAP, may exit subject to substitution within the
    stipulated time line.
  • Any non-adherence to these rules
    and timelines specified under the Framework will attract monetary penalties on
    the concerned banks under the provisions of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949.
Edelweiss Tokio launches India’s first insurance that can be bought at
PoS

  • The country’s first, and perhaps
    the simplest life insurance product that can be bought at a point of sale (PoS)
    has finally been launched. Edelweiss Tokio Life Insurance has recently launched
    PoS Saral Nivesh — the first product to be approved by the Insurance
    Regulatory and Development Authority of India’s (IRDAI) guidelines on point of
    sale-life insurance products.
  • PoS Saral Nivesh is a non-linked,
    non-participating endowment life insurance plan which offers both protection
    and saving. The benefits are guaranteed and are payable in case of maturity or
    death, whichever is earlier. The sum assured ranges from Rs 50,000 to Rs 10
    lakh. Customers can choose any sum assured in between in multiples of Rs
    10,000. The policy tenure ranges from 10 to 20 years. The premium payment terms
    are five, seven, 10 and 12 years.
  • The policy comes with a waiting
    period of 90 days. If anything happens during this period, barring an
    accidental death, the premium is not paid.
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Gadkari inaugurated country’s 1st bio refinery plant

  • Nitin Gadkari, the Union Minister
    for Road Transport and Highways inaugurated India’s first biorefinery plant
    that produces ethanol from a variety of biomass in Pune on 7 May 2017.
  • Speaking on the occasion, Gadkari
    stated that such projects will help stage a great revolution in India’s
    agriculture sector. The project is located at Rahu, a village in Daund Taluka
    in Pune District of Maharashtra.
  • The newly set up plant is capable
    of producing one million litres of ethanol per annum by processing a variety of
    agricultural residue including rice and wheat straw, cotton stalk, cane trash,
    corn cobs with superior product yields.
PepsiCo India forays into Dairy Products with Oats-Based Milk Beverage

  • PepsiCo India Holdingss Pvt Ltd,
    the maker of Quaker Oats, Lays chips and carbonated beverages like Pepsi, on 5
    May 2017 entered the Indian dairy market by launching Quaker Oats Milk, a
    ready-to-drink beverage that combines milk and oats.
  • The company will initially sell
    two flavours of Quaker Oats Milk in 180 ml on-the-go cartons and will market
    them in India’s top cities and towns.
  • Besides Quaker Oats, PepsiCo is
    considering launching dairy-based beverages under other brands, including Tropicana.
    The company is also working on “fusions” (a mixed beverage with milk, fibre,
    fruits, and more), Indian dairy-based products like chhaas and lassi, and
    beverages catering to regional tastes.
President gives assent to ordinance for resolution of non-performing
asset crisis in banking system

  • President Pranab Mukherjee on 5
    May 2017 gave his assent to an ordinance to amend the Banking Regulation Act
    for resolution of the non-performing asset (NPA) crisis in banking system.
  • The Ordinance, which is an
    amendment in the Banking Regulation Act and sent to the President for an
    approval, was earlier approved by the Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister
    Narendra Modi.
  • The new ordinance passed by the
    President Mukherjee will be known as Banking Regulation (Amendment) Ordinance,
    2017. The ordinance amends the Section 35A of the Banking Regulation Act 1949
    and provides greater powers to the Reserve Bank to tackle mounting bad loans.
    The amendments to the Act will help in effectively resolving the bad loans
    problem.
Key Facts of the Ordinance

  • Section 35AA of the Banking
    Regulation Act 1949: As per the new rules RBI is entitled to issue directions
    to any banking company or banking companies to initiate insolvency resolution
    process in respect of a default under the provisions of the Insolvency and
    Bankruptcy Code.
  • Section 35AB: As per the new
    rules, the RBI can issue directions to the banking companies for resolution of
    stressed assets.
  • Bad loans have ballooned in the
    system over the past few years, with gross NPAs for state-owned banks at 6.07
    lakh crore rupees at the end of December 2016.
  • The Finance Minister Arun Jaitley
    said, in the last few years, the government has taken several structural
    reforms towards the economy but the stressed assets remains a challenge. He
    said, the government and RBI will work together on expeditious resolution of
    stressed assets.
  • The government has enacted
    insolvency and Bankruptcy Code to consolidate and amend the laws relating to
    reorganization and insolvency resolution of companies, partnerships firms and
    individual.
New related to India and states –
Two Indian warships visit Egyptian port city

  • Two Indian warships INS Mumbai
    and INS Aditya arrived in Alexandria, the Mediterranean port city in Egypt on 5
    May 2017.
  • The warships visited Egypt as a
    part of Indian Navy’s overseas deployment to the Mediterranean Sea and the west
    coast of Africa. They are a part of Indian Navy’s Western Naval Command based
    in Mumbai.
  • Upon their arrival, the warships
    engaged extensively in professional interactions with the Egyptian navy.
  • The ships also engaged in a
    number of sports and social engagements with their Egyptian counterparts.
Every house in Haryana to get a smart ID

  • In Haryana, detailed data will be
    collected of every resident and every house would be allotted a smart house ID
    under a special mission.
  • It was announced by the state’s
    Chief Secretary, D.S. Dhesi while presiding over a meeting of the Deputy
    Commissioners of the state through video conferencing on 7 May 2017 in
    Chandigarh. Dhesi stated that the smart house ID would be generated through a
    tablet by visiting every house.
  • The work on the project is
    expected to commence from 15 June 2017 and would be completed by 15 August
    2017.
  • A real time-based survey would be
    conducted to gather the socio-economic data.
  • The teams of Saksham and
    e-Numerator would be visiting each house to feed their GPS location in the
    tablets and create a smart house ID online thereby linking the houses with
    biometric.
Baahubali 2 becomes first Indian film to collect Rs 1000 crore
worldwide

  • SS Rajamouli’s Baahubali 2: The
    Conclusion became the first Indian film to cross the RS 1000 crore mark with
    its worldwide collections. Reports suggest that trade analysts have reported
    that the film has made over Rs 800 crore in India and more than Rs 200 crore in
    the international markets.
  • The two films in the series
    namely Baahubali: The Beginning and Baahubali 2: The Conclusion had a budget of
    around Rs 450 crore.
  • The film that stars Prabhas, Rana
    Daggubatti, Ramya Krishna, Anushka Shetty and Tamannaah in lead roles and
    released in four languages not only succeeded in India but also drew audiences
    from abroad.
  • Four languages in which the film
    was released include Hindi, Tamil, Telugu and Malayalam.
India organises festival in Egypt to mark Tagore’s birth anniversary

  • To mark the 156th birth
    anniversary of the famous Indian poet, Rabindranath Tagore, India is organising
    a cultural festival in Egypt. Being hosted by the Maulana Azad Centre for
    Indian Culture, the cultural wing of the Indian Embassy in Cairo, the function
    started on 8 May 2017.
  • The cultural festival will
    feature a dance show, film screening, a play and painting competition.
  • The festival will showcase the
    movie ‘Kabuliwala’ directed by Hemen Gupta on 8 May 2017 at the Hanager Cinema,
    Opera House Complex. The film is based on a novel written by Tagore and tells
    the story of an immigrant from Kabul.
  • It will showcase a dance drama by
    Dancers’ Guild, which will be based on Tagore’s work, ‘Chitrangada’, who is a
    warrior princess in the ancient epic, Mahabharata. It will be performed at the
    Sayed Darwish Theatre in Alexandria on May 9 and at the Arab Music Institute in
    Cairo on May 11.
Assam declared as ‘Disturbed’ Area Under AFSPA for 3 More Months

  • Assam state was on 6 May 2017
    declared as a ‘Ddisturbed’ area under the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act
    (AFSPA) for another 3 months. The entire state of Assam besides the bordering
    areas of Meghalaya were declared as “Disturbed Areas”.
  • Moreover, the Union Government
    also placed three districts of Arunachal Pradesh- Tirap, Changlang and Longding
    and other areas falling under 16 police stations bordering Assam as ‘disturbed’
    area under the AFSPA.
  • The decision was taken after the
    government observed various violent activities carried out by certain insurgent
    groups like ULFA, NDFB and others in these areas.
  • In Assam, 75 incidents of
    violence were reported in 2016 and 9 in 2017. Assam was placed under AFSPA in
    November 1990.
Appointments –
Usha Anathasubramanian appointed as Allahabad Bank MD, CEO

  • Usha Ananthasubramanian has been
    appointed as the MD & CEO of Allahabad Bank. She took charge from May 6. Her
    term ends on August 13, 2018.
  • Rakesh Sethi was previously the
    Chairman and Managing Director of the Kolkata-based lender.
  • Prior to her joining here,
    Ananthasubramanian was the MD & CEO of Punjab National Bank, the lender told
    in a release to the bourses.
  • Ananthasubramanian had joined the
    industry in 1982 as a specialist officer with Bank of Baroda.
  • An industry veteran, she was
    tasked with setting up of the first women focussed bank and was part of the
    core management team constituted by the Finance Ministry for coordinating the
    setting up of the Bharatiya Mahila Bank.
  • She also served as CMD of
    Bharatiya Mahila Bank (BMB) between November 2013 and August 2015.
Emmanuel Macron elected as President of France

  • Pro-European centrist leader
    Emmanuel Macron has been elected as President of France after winning 20.7
    million votes on 8 May 2017. Thirty-nine-year-old former investment banker, who
    has never held elected office, becomes the youngest President and occupant of
    the Élysée Palace.
  • He is France’s youngest leader
    since Napoleon Bonaparte.
  • With this win, Macron, who was
    unknown to the world three years ago, will become the first President from
    outside the two traditional main parties, namely center-left or center-right,
    since the modern republic’s foundation in 1958.
  • To win the election, Macron
    defeated his far-right opponent Marine Le Pen, who took about 10.6 million
    votes in the Presidential elections’. He won the elections by securing 66.06
    per cent votes; while Le Pen got 33.94 per cent of the votes.
Pratap Bhanu Mehta appointed Vice Chancellor of Ashoka University

  • Ashoka University on 4 May 2017
    named Pratap Bhanu Mehta as its Vice Chancellor (VC).
  • The varsity announced that Mehta
    has been appointed “after conducting an extensive global search”.
  • Mehta is a renowned public
    intellectual and head of Centre for Policy Research, a Delhi-based think-tank.
  • Mehta will take charge from 1
    July 2017 at the Sonepat, Haryana-based university. He will be the second VC of
    the liberal arts university since its inception after Rudrangshu Mukherjee.
  • Mukherjee will now assume the
    responsibility of a Chancellor. He will replace sociologist Andre Beteille as
    Chancellor, who is near completion of his three-year term.
Awards & Honors –
Konkona Sensharma wins top honours at New York Indian Film Festival

  • Konkona Sensharma has been named
    the best director for her directorial debut “A Death in the Gunj” and
    the best actress for “Lipstick Under My Burkha” at 2017’s New York
    Indian Film Festival (NYIFF).
  • Konkona, 37, won the award for
    directing the drama thriller which stars Kalki Koechlin, Vikrant Massey, Jim
    Sarbh and Tanuja. The film also features one of the last performances by
    veteran actor Om Puri, who passed away in January this year.
  • She received the top honour for
    her performance in Alankrita Shrivastava’s “Lipstick Under My
    Burkha”, a film which explores women’s sexuality.
  • Alankrita also congratulated
    Konkona for her win at the festival on the microblogging site.
  • K Kaladharan won the best actor
    for Malayalam film “Ottayaal n Paatha” (“A Narrow Path”)
    and Shubhashish Bhutiani’s “Mukti Bhawan” was declared the best film
    at the 17th annual film extravaganza.
Emma Watson conferred with the first ever ‘genderless’ award

  • Harry Potter fame star, Emma
    Watson was conferred the first ever ‘Genderless Acting Award’ for Best Actor
    category on 7 May 2017 at the annual MTV Movie and TV Awards ceremony held at
    the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, California.
  • The actor in her acceptance
    speech praised MTV for making their awards genderless. She further added that
    for her acting is about the ability to put oneself into someone else’s shoes
    and that doesn’t need to be separated into two different categories.
  • The 27-year-old actress beat
    Taraji P. Henson, Daniel Kaluuya, Hugh Jackman and Hailee Steinfeld to take
    home the award for Best Actor in Film and TV for her performance as Belle in
    the ‘Beauty and the Beast.’
Indian Origin Scientists elected as Fellows of UK Royal Society

  • Three Indian Scientist Krishna
    Chatterjee, Subhash Khot and Yadvinder Malhi were on 5 May 2017 elected as the
    Fellows of The Royal Society, a premier scientific academy of the United
    Kingdom and the Commonwealth, for their outstanding contributions to science.
  • Krishna Chatterjee from Cambridge
    University was recognised for his discoveries of genetic disorders of thyroid
    gland formation, regulation of hormone synthesis and hormone action. He was
    responsible for the development of Clinical Research Facilities at the
    University of Cambridge.
  • Subhash Khot of New York
    University was credited for throwing insight into unresolved problems in the
    field of computational complexity. He is a theoretical computer scientist who
    is known for his definition of the “Unique Games” problem.
  • Yadvinder Malhi is an ecosystem
    ecologist from Oxford University who is recognised for his works on
    understanding the functioning of terrestrial ecosystems and its response to the
    pressures of global change, including climate change, degradation and loss of
    large animals.
Obituaries –
First Woman Chief Judge of State High Court Justice Leila Seth passes
away
  • Justice Leila Seth, the first
    woman judge of Delhi High Court, passed away on 6 May 2017 after a brief illness
    in Uttar Pradesh. She was 86.
  • Seth was the first woman to have
    topped the London Bar exam, first woman Judge of the Delhi High Court and also
    the first woman Chief Justice of a State High Court of Himachal Pradesh.
  • She was one of three members of
    Justice Verma Committee which was constituted in 2012 to recommend amendments
    to Criminal Law so as to provide for quicker trial and enhanced punishment for
    criminals accused of committing sexual assault against women, post 2012 Delhi
    gang rape case.
  • Despite being an eminent jurist,
    she was also an author and her autobiography ‘On Balance’ was a bestseller.
    Seth had also authored ‘Talking of Justice: People’s Rights in Modern India’,
    in 2014, which talked of several critical issues faced by her in her legal
    career spanning over 50 years.

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