Current Affairs Update – 9th July, 2015

Hello and welcome to ExamPundit. Here are the Important Current Affairs of 9th July, 2015. These are Important for the upcoming SBI PO Mains 2015 and RBI Assistant 2015 Exams.


India, US Sign FATCA to Fight Tax Evasion

  • To check offshore tax evasion, India and the US today signed an agreement to implement FATCA that will facilitate exchange of information between the two countries from October 1.
  • The Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) was signed here by Revenue Secretary Shaktikanta Das and US Ambassador Richard Verma.
  • US law FATCA seeks to facilitate flow of financial information between countries. Under the inter-governmental agreement, Indian financial institutions would have to reveal information about US tax payers to the revenue department which would be passed on to the US tax authorities.
  • Under the pact, US will also share with India financial information.
  • The current reporting period beginning October 1 would be for July-December 2014.
  • If a financial institution does not comply to FATCA, it will have to pay 30 per cent penalty tax on all its US revenues, including dividend, interest, fees and sales.
  • FATCA will help India deal with the black money menace. The country has stepped up efforts to tackle it. Under the multilateral agreement India will start receiving information from other countries under automatic exchange of information (AEOI) route from 2017 onwards.

World Bank released
State of Safety Nets 2015 report
  • The World Bank on 7 July 2015 released the State of Safety
    Nets 2015 report.  It aggregated spending
    on social safety net programs and beneficiaries in 157 countries, economies and
    territories and presented a comparative analysis of those programmes.
  • As per the report, only 1/3rd of the world’s poor are
    covered by safety nets program with largest gaps in Sub-saharan Africa and
    South Asia.

Report on India
  • Janani Suraksha Yojana (JSY) is the largest in Conditional
    Cash Transfers (CCT) category with 78 million beneficiaries.
  • Mid Day Meal programme is the largest in the School feeding
    category with 105 million beneficiaries.
  • Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme
    (MGNREGs) is the largest in the Public Works Programme (PWP) category with 182
    million beneficiaries.
  • Indira Gandhi National Old Age Pension Scheme (IGNOAPS) is
    the second largest in the Unconditional Cash Transfers (UCT) category with 21
    million beneficiaries.
  • Spending on public distribution system (PDS) accounts for
    0.6 percent of GDP.
  • Total spending on social safety nets is 0.72 of GDP with
    0.09 percent of GDP in Unconditional Cash Transfer schemes, 0.11 percent in
    school feeding, 0.29 in public works and 0.23 percent in fee waivers.

Key findings
  • More than 1.9 billion people in 136 low- and middle-income
    countries benefit from social safety net programs.
  • The combined spending on social safety nets amounted to
    about 329 US billion dollars between 2010 and 2014.
  • Some 718 million people are enrolled in cash transfer
    programs, including public works, and constitute 36 percent of social safety
    net globally.
  • Cash transfers constitute the highest share of spending in
    all regions except in Sub-Saharan Africa, where food and other in-kind
    transfers dominate.

India’s economic
growth to beat China in 2016: IMF

  • India will be the world’s fastest growing economy, for the
    second consecutive year in 2016 at 7.5 per cent, International Monetary Fund
    said, even as it lowered its current year global economy growth forecast to 3.3
    per cent.
  • In its World Economic Outlook Update released, IMF retained
    India’s growth projection for current year at 7.5 per cent, which will be
    higher than China’s 6.8 per cent. It forecast a growth rate of 7.5 per cent for
    India in 2016 as well, as against China’s 6.3 per cent.
  • China was the fastest growing economy in 2014, at 7.4 per
    cent as against India’s 7.3 per cent, as per the IMF data.
  • IMF’s growth projection for India, however, is lower than
    the estimates of the Indian Finance Ministry and the Reserve Bank of India. The
    Finance Ministry expects GDP growth to be 8-8.5 per cent in 2015-16, while the
    Reserve Bank of India estimated it at 7.6 per cent.
  • For India, IMF follows data for fiscal year ending March,
    while for other countries it considers the December-ending periods.
  • In case of both India and China, IMF retained the projection
    made earlier in April, while it had lowered global growth forecast from 3.5 per
    cent to 3.3 per cent for 2015.
  • The global growth projection for 2016 has been retained at
    3.8 per cent.

Russian Investment
Fund to set up joint mechanism for financing infrastructure in BRICS countries
  • Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) on 8 July 2015 signed
    framework agreements for equity investments in infrastructure projects in BRICS
    countries. The agreement was signed at the BRICS summit in Ufa.

The partners in
the BRICS member-states include
  1. India’s IDFC (Infrastructure Development Finance Company)
  2. Brazil’s BTG Pactual
  3. China’s Silk Road Fund
  4. The Development Bank of Southern Africa

Under this joint mechanism, the parties will work together
to identify and finance infrastructure projects that will improve trade,
economic and investment cooperation between BRICS countries.
This initiative, which was first announced by RDIF at the
2014 BRICS summit in Fortaleza (Brazil), was also supported by the BRICS
Business Council.
Wipro acquires
Denmark-based design firm Designit for €85 million

  • Wipro Digital, the digital business unit of India’s third
    largest IT services provider Wipro on Thursday announced its intention to
    acquire Denmark-based design firm Designit.
  • The company specialises in designing transformative
    products-service experience, Wipro said in a regulatory filing to the BSE.
    According to the company statement, the purchase consideration is of €85
    million (about Rs 590 crore) which includes a performance based contingent consideration
    payable over three years.
  • The acquisition is subject to customary conditions and
    regulatory approvals and is expected to be closed in the current quarter, added
    Wipro. Final Payout could range between 70 -105 per cent of purchase
  • Designit’s expertise in experience-driven design complements
    Wipro Digital’s capabilities in technology, digital strategy, design, and
    digital architecture, the company said.
  • Founded in 1991, Designit employs more than 300 people in
    its nine offices globally, it delivers transformative product-service
    experiences for various sectors like healthcare, telecom, banking, automotive,
    and retail. In calendar year 2014, the company had a revenue of € 27 million.

Healthcare firm
Practo acquires tech start-up Genii

  • Practo, that provides an app and web service for scheduling
    appointments with doctors has acquired Genii, a technology services start-up
    focused on product design and development.
  • The founders of the Mumbai-based firm Varun Vohra and Aditya
    Anand and their 11 member team will move to Bengaluru to join Practo.
  • An alumni of Birla Institute of Technology and Science,
    Pilani Dubai, Vohra and Anand will lead product teams at Practo. They will help
    Practo tap the enterprise space with products focused around hospitals and
    diagnostic centers. Practo which already lists over 8,000 hospitals on its
    platform aims to reach to 20,000 hospitals by the end of this year.
  • Genii is the second acquisition for Practo which raised $30
    million (Rs. 190 crore) in February from venture capital firms Sequoia Capital
    and Matrix Partners. In April it acquired Delhi-based fitness tech start-up
    FitHo for an undisclosed amount.

Essar Oil to sell 49%
stake to Russia’s Rosneft for $3.2 bn

  • Russia’s top oil producer Rosneft will buy 49 percent stake
    in Essar Oil for about $3.2 billion after excluding the Mumbai-based firm’s
    flourishing coal-bed methane (CBM) business.
  • Rosneft, the world’s top listed oil producer, will get a
    hold in India’s second biggest oil refinery as well as its 1,600 petrol pumps
    that will more than triple to 5,000 in two years.
  • The Russian firm will also supply 10 million tonnes a year
    of crude to Essar Oil’s 20 million tonnes per annum Vadinar refinery in Gujarat
    for 10 years.
  • The proposed transaction is conditional upon various factors
    such as due diligence, determination of the transaction price, execution of
    definitive transaction documents and receipt of requisite approvals, it said
    without disclosing the deal size.
  • Sources privy to the development said Rosneft will pay $3.2
    billion for the 49 percent stake.

eMudhra launches
eSign services

  • eMudhra Limited, a leading certifying firm in the country
    for digital signatures, today launched eSign services.
  • eSign is an online electronic signature service which can
    facilitate an Aadhaar holder to digitally sign a document within seconds. The
    signatures generated by eSign are legally valid and secure under the
    Information Technology Act, 2000, the company said.
  • As part of the Digital India Vision, Prime Minister launched
    eSign services in the country on July 1.
  • eSign can “revolutionise” the way business and
    governance is conducted in the country and pave the way for a digital
    transformation into a paperless environment, eMudhra said in a statement.
  • The firm which claims to be the first to start eSign
    services has also launched eMlocker – eMudhra’s Digital Locker.
  • By using eMlocker along with eSign, one can store documents
    such as PAN cards, Aadhaar cards, electricity bills or any other documents
    electronically. One can also sign and attest them using eSign and send to
    anybody, it said.

Ratan Tata Joins Hand With Tripura Govt, Pledges Support to Community Development
  • Tata Trusts Chairman Ratan Tata today pledged support to community development work in Tripura as Tata Trusts joined hands with the state government.
  • Speaking at the MoU signing between Tripura government and Tata Trusts for community development in the state, Tata said: “Our aim is to encourage prosperity, not by being exploitive, not by taking natural resource or assets from here and developing them outside, but by creating livelihoods for the people that we work with.”
  • A steering committee will be the guiding force for implementation of this joint programme and would comprise of representatives from the Government of Tripura and Tata Trusts.

Electronic Nose for
environmental monitoring jointly developed by CSIR-NEERI & C-DAC

  • An Electronic Nose (E-Nose) was jointly developed by
    Nagpur-based National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI) of
    CSIR and Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC). The development
    was announced by CSIR-NEERI and C-DAC on 8 July 2015.
  • E-Nose technology will help monitor the surrounding
    environment to sniff out dangerous gases.

Key Features of
  • It is a portable device and measures odour concentration as
    well as odour intensity.
  • It uses an array of sensors that function on the principle
    similar to that of human olfaction (sense of smell). The sensor array generates
    a pattern based on the type of aroma.

Union Railway
Ministry launched Mobile ticketing app for suburban commuters
  • Union Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu on 8 July 2015 launched
    a mobile ticketing app for unreserved tickets that will cover 35 stations
    between the 123 km long Churchgate-Dhauroad suburban section in Western
  • The ministry also launched two other IT-based initiaves
    including a SMS destination alert service for premier trains and an e-ticketing
    portal in Hindi.

About Mobile
Ticketing Application
  • The mobile ticketing application for unreserved tickets aims
    to facilitate a hassle free travel for lakhs of daily passengers in Mumbai.
  • Developed by Centre for Railway Information Systems, the
    paperless unreserved ticketing feature in mobile application aims to eliminate
    the need for printing of unreserved tickets.

Indian Army dedicated
Prerna Sthal at Hussainiwala to the nation
  • Indian Army on 8 July 2015 dedicated the monument named
    Prerna Sthal at Hussainiwala to the nation. The commemorative monument was
    built to honour the sacrifice of soldiers of India.
  • The newly constructed Prerna Sthal is located at the gateway
    of the memorial to Shaheed Bhagat Singh at Hussainiwala, a village in Firozpur
    district of Punjab, India, where Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev and Rajguru were
    cremated on 23 March 1931.
  • The monument was dedicated to the nation amidst the musical
    notes played by the buglers of the Last Post from the roof of the historical
    Hussainiwala railway station. General Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Western
    Command, Lt Gen KJ Singh laid the inaugural wreath and observed a two minute
    silence as a mark of respect to the martyrs.

Climate Change to be
the theme of Science Express in 2015
  • Climate Change was announced as the theme of 2015 Science
    Express. This was announced during the first meeting of Science Express Climate
    Change Special (SECCS) chaired by Union Minister of Science and Technology Dr
    Harsh Vardhan on 8 July 2015 in New Delhi.
  • The meeting was held to decide the overall contours of the
    theme and elicit suggestions from volunteers and experts involved in the
    running of the Express.

About Science
  • It is a unique science exhibition mounted on a 16-coach AC
  • Its focus is on spreading awareness about science and
    technology among students from schools and colleges and general public at
  • It has been travelling across India successfully since 2007.            

Telangana government,
ICRISAT signed MoU to improve profitability of farmers
  • Telangana government and International Crops Research
    Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) on 7 July 2015 signed Memorandum
    of Understanding (MoU) to improve profitability of farmers.
  • The MoU was signed by C Parthasarathi, Secretary and
    Agri-Production Commissioner; Jayesh Ranjan, Secretary, IT, Electronics &
    Communications; and ICRISAT Director General David Bergvinson.

Highlights of the
  • Under this MoU, the organisation will provide Information
    and Communication Technology (ICT)-based knowledge sharing platforms and other
    agricultural innovation initiatives to farmers in order to improve their

Operation Smile led
to tracing of 44 missing children in Uttarakhand
  • Operation Smile, a unique initiative of Ghaziabad Police to
    track missing children, was in news in second week of July 2015. It came in
    news after Uttarakhand police under the operation was able to trace at least 44
    missing children from various parts of the state within a week.
  • In another development, the police and the district
    administration of Dharmapuri, Tamil Nadu has constituted five special teams to
    spearhead ‘Operation Smile.’
  • The Operation Smile was launched by the Ghaziabad Police in
    2014 with an aim to search and restoration of missing children with their
    families. Under the operation, the police was able to recover 227 missing
    children within 30 days of launch.

Satish Pillai
appointed as new MD & CEO of CIBIL
  • Credit Information Bureau India Ltd (CIBIL), India’s leader
    in credit information, has appointed Satish Pillai as its new Managing Director
    and Chief Executive Officer on Thursday.
  • Pillai succeeds Arun Thukral who retires this year after a
  • Satish Pillai has been serving CIBIL in the capacity of
    Chief Operating Officer for more than four years where he was responsible for
    product development and bureau operations. Earlier, Pillai led TransUnion’s
    operations in India overlooking the creation of the solutions team that
    supported generic and custom analytics and decisioning technologies, including
    the launch of the CIBIL TransUnion Score- India’s first generic scoring model,
    CIBIL said in a statement.
  • CIBIL, India’s largest credit information bureau, maintains
    credit information on more than 406 million consumer accounts and 22 million
    business accounts and has a membership base of over 1400 banks and credit

Sriram Kalyanaraman
appointed as MD and CEO of National Housing Bank
  • Sriram Kalyanaraman was on 8 July 2015 appointed as Managing
    Director (MD) and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of National Housing Bank (NHB)
    for a period of Five Years. With this, Kalyanaraman became the first person
    form the Private Sector to head a Public Sector Financial Institution.
  • Presently, Kalyanaraman is Director-Business Development of
    Equifax Credit Information Services. Prior to joining Equifax, Sriram was
    Director of Business Clients and Asset Products at Deutsche Bank India.
  • National Housing Bank (NHB) is a wholly owned subsidiary of
    Reserve Bank of India (RBI). It was set up on 9 July 1988 under the National
    Housing Bank Act, 1987.

Lord Kamlesh Patel
became first British-Asian appointee to ECB Management Board
  • Professor Lord Kamlesh Patel of Bradford OBE was on 8 July
    2015 appointed as an independent member on the 14-member board of the England and
    Wales Cricket Board (ECB).
  • With this, he became the first British Asian to join the ECB
    Management Board which is chaired by Colin Graves and the President of the
    Board is Giles Clarke CBE.
  • Lord Patel, who currently sits in the House of Lords as a
    Labour Peer will replace Lord Morris of Handsworth who is stepping down from
    the Board after serving for eleven years as an ECB Director.
  • Earlier, he has worked for the Yorkshire Cricket Academy as
    a part-time coach. In 2014 he served on the judging panel of the inaugural
    Asian Cricket Awards supported by ECB.
  • He has been one of the country’s most influential and authoritative
    spokesmen on issues relating to health, social care and equality and human

SN Sahai appointed as
Home Secretary of Delhi
  • Senior IAS officer Sanjeev Nandan (SN)Sahai was on 8 July
    2015 appointed as the Home Secretary of Delhi. Sahai is a 1986 batch Union
    Territory cadre officer.
  • Sahai succeeded senior IAS officer Dharam Pal, who was
    removed as Home Secretary in June 2015 by the AAP government.
  • SahaI is the Finance Secretary of Delhi and had played
    crucial role in preparing budget for Delhi government.

Inderjeet Singh
became first Indian to win a Gold Medal at World University Games in Gwangju
  • Indian shot-putter Inderjit Singh on 8 July 2015 came up
    with a best throw of 20.27 meter in the final attempt to win the Gold medal of
    men’s shot put event at the World University Games in Gwangju, South Korea.
  • With this, he created history to become the first Indian to
    win a gold medal at the World University Games. In the last edition of the
    games in 2013 in Russia he had won silver medal in the shot put event.
  • The silver medal of the event was won by Andrei Marius Gag
    of Romania with a throw of 19.92m while Alexander Bulanov of Russia took the
    bronze with a throw of 19.84m.
  • In the year 2015, the 27-year old shot putter from Haryana
    has won gold medals in all the international events he has participated thus

Union Sports Ministry
constituted Ashwini Nachappa committee to study status of SAI training centers
  • The Union Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports on 8 July
    2015 constituted an eight member committee to study status of Sports Authority
    of India (SAI) training centers across the country.
  • The committee will be headed by former athlete Ashwini
    Nachappa and includes Pullela Gopi Chand as a member among others.
  • The committee was formed against the backdrop of suicide
    attempt by four girl inmates at the Sports Authority of India (SAI) SAG Water
    Sports centre at Alappuzha, Kerala in May 2015 that resulted in death of one
    girl trainee.
  • The committee was mandated to recommend measures to ensure
    that such incidents do not occur in future.


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