Daily Current Affairs Update – 7 to 9 January, 2017

Hello and welcome to exampundit. Here are the Important Current Affairs Update of 7th, 8th and 9th January, 2017. These are important for the upcoming RBI Assistant Mains, IPPB Mains and Other exams.

Daily Current Affairs at a Glance- 7 to 9 January, 2017

  1. If next time you walk into a
    branch and get greeted by a human shaped robot offering help, do not be
    surprised, the country’s second largest private sector lender HDFC Bank is in
    the process of introducing ‘Ira’ at its branches to help customers in their transactions
  2. Private sector Axis Bank on Monday
    became the third lender in the country to announce usage of block chain
    solutions for its operations
    , after its peers ICICI Bank and Yes Bank. The
    Shikha Sharma-led bank, the third largest private sector lender, will be using
    the upcoming technology for cross-border remittances, it said in a statement.
  3. The Union Finance Ministry on 8 January 2017 amended the Income-tax
    Rules, 1962 to allow banks to obtain and link PAN or Form No 60 (where PAN is
    not available)
    in all existing bank accounts (other than BSBDA) by 28
    February 2017.
  4. Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 8
    January 2016 announced that the government is planning to launch Pravasi Kaushal
    Vikas Yojana
    to train Indian
    youth for overseas employment. The
    announcement was made at the inauguration of the 14th Pravasi Bhartiya Divas
    Convention in Bengaluru, Karnataka
    .
  5. India and Portugal on 7 January 2017
    signed seven agreements to boost the
    bilateral relations between the two nations. The signed agreements include
    support in defence cooperation and renewable energy
    .
  6. The 16th meeting of the Financial Stability and
    Development Council (FSDC)
    was
    held on 5 January 2017 in New Delhi. The meeting was chaired by Union Finance
    Minister Arun Jaitley.
  7. Mobile handset brand Gionee has roped in Indian test captain Virat Kohli as the brand ambassador.
  8. Flipkart today named Kalyan Krishnamurthy as its new Chief Executive Officer to run operations of
    India’s largest e-commerce company, while elevating co-founder Binny Bansal to
    the position of Group CEO.
  9. Reliance Power on 5 January 2017
    announced the appointment of Suresh Nagarajan as the Chief Financial Officer
    (CFO) of the company
    .
  10. Aamir Khan is on a spree to break
    all possible records with ‘Dangal’. Adding another feather to the
    already loaded cap, the flick has now become the biggest blockbuster of Bollywood
    earning Rs. 345 crore.
  11. The United States army has issued
    new regulations, allowing servicemen and women sporting turbans, beards or hijabs to enroll
    in the military effective immediately.
  12. Pakistan’s recently retired Chief of Army
    Staff General Raheel Sharif
    on 6
    January 2017 was appointed the first Commander-in-Chief of the Islamic Military
    Alliance (IMA).
  13. Novak Djokovic on 7 January 2017 won the
    2017 Qatar Open Men’s Singles title
    . He defeated Andy Murray to grab
    the title that also ended the latter’s winning streak of 28 consecutive ATP
    Tour matches.
  14. Spain’s Roberto Bautista Agut on 8 January 2017 clinched the Men’s Singles
    title of the 2017 Chennai Open.
  15. Indian tennis players Rohan
    Bopanna
    and Jeevan
    Nedunchezhiyan
    on 8 January 2017
    won the 2017 Chennai Open Men’s Doubles title.

Financial and Banking News:
HDFC Bank unveils its first Humanoid Banking Assistant “Ira”

  • If next time you walk into a
    branch and get greeted by a human shaped robot offering help, do not be
    surprised, the country’s second largest private sector lender HDFC Bank is in
    the process of introducing ‘Ira’ at its branches to help customers in their transactions.
  • The bank said that depending on
    customer reaction they would install more such robots across its branches in
    the country. However with the current wave of digitisation across the financial
    sector banks are also looking at ways to be up with the time by introducing
    automation to ensure quick decision making on their part.
  • Chugh said that even Ira was a
    customer facing physical form of all sorts of automation that the bank was
    undertaking at its back end.
  • While introducing Ira the bank
    also launched the second edition of its Digital Innovation Summit, and said
    that it was betting on blockchain technology, artificial intelligence, internet
    of things and technology services aimed at smoothening processes in rural
    banking to drive customer services from their end in the near future.

Axis Bank becomes third lender to offer block chain service

  • Private sector Axis Bank on
    Monday became the third lender in the country to announce usage of block chain
    solutions for its operations, after its peers ICICI Bank and Yes Bank. The
    Shikha Sharma-led bank, the third largest private sector lender, will be using
    the upcoming technology for cross-border remittances, it said in a statement.
  • Block chain solutions is a
    distributed database that maintains a continuously growing list of ordered
    records called blocks. It is said to reduce turnaround times, is transparent
    and also ensures zero errors. Axis Bank has tied up with fintech firm Ripple to
    offer the solution.
  • Axis Bank’s larger peer ICICI
    Bank was the first to announce block chain solutions in for international trade
    finance and remittances last October. This was followed up by mid-sized rival
    Yes Bank last week under which it will be using the technology for vendor
    financing.

Union Government amends Income-tax Rules, 1962 to link PAN in all
existing bank accounts

  • The Union Finance Ministry on 8
    January 2017 amended the Income-tax Rules, 1962 to allow banks to obtain and
    link PAN or Form No 60 (where PAN is not available) in all existing bank accounts
    (other than BSBDA) by 28 February 2017.
  • The amended rules are referred as
    Income-tax (33rd Amendment) Rules, 2016.
  • Earlier in December 2016, RBI
    mandated that no withdrawal will be allowed from the accounts having
    significant deposits, if PAN or Form No 60 is not provided in respect of such
    accounts.
  • Therefore, people, who have bank
    account but have not submitted PAN or Form No 60 yet, will now be required to
    submit the PAN or Form No 60 to the bank.
  • Moreover, the banks and post
    offices were mandated to submit details of cash deposits from 1 April 2016 to 8
    November 2016 in accounts where the cash deposits during the period 9 November
    2016 to 30 December 2016 exceeds the specified limits.

PM Narendra Modi announced Pravasi Kaushal Vikas Yojana

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 8
    January 2016 announced that the government is planning to launch Pravasi
    Kaushal Vikas Yojana to train Indian youth for overseas employment.
  • The announcement was made at the
    inauguration of the 14th Pravasi Bhartiya Divas Convention in Bengaluru,
    Karnataka.

About Pravasi Kaushal Vikas
Yojana
  • The programme seeks to train and
    certify Indians who are seeking overseas employment.
  • The skill training will be given
    in those sectors that have high demand in the global labour market. The
    training will be of international standards.
  • The programme will be implemented
    by the National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) in consultation with Union
    Ministry of External Affairs and the Union Skill Development Ministry.
  • For the effective implementation
    of the programme, the NSDC will leverage various MoUs it signed with agencies
    of the UK, Germany, Australia, the USA, Canada, Singapore, European Union,
    France, Iran and China between 2011 and 2015.
  • The launch of the Pravasi Kaushal
    Vikas Yojana is in tune with the Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of
    making India the Skill Capital of the World. Some of the other skill
    development initiatives announced by the Union Government in recent times are –
  • The Union Budget 2016-17
    identified Education, Skill Development and Employment as one of the nine
    pillars to transform the Indian economy.
  • The objective is to provide
    quality education, better skills and employment opportunities.
  • In March 2015, the Union Cabinet
    approved Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana to impart skill training to youth
    at an estimated cost of 1500 crore rupees.
  • National Mission for Skill
    Development was launched in July 2015 to train a minimum of 300 million skilled
    people by 2022.

India, Portugal signed seven agreements including defence cooperation

  • India and Portugal on 7 January
    2017 signed seven agreements to boost the bilateral relations between the two
    nations. The signed agreements include support in defence cooperation and
    renewable energy.
  • The MoUs were signed after
    bilateral meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Portuguese
    counterpart Antonio Costa in New Delhi. PM Antonio Costa was on a seven-day
    visit to India.

List of agreements signed include
  • MoU in the field of Information Technology and Electronics: This
    agreement aims at promoting cooperation in the area of information technology
    and electronics through specific projects between public and private sector
    institutions on both sides.
  • MoU in the Agriculture and Allied Sectors: It aims to exchange of
    scientific and technical information and 
    the organisation of training programmes. It also seeks to promote
    agricultural trade including market access of agricultural products between the
    two countries.
  • MoU on Renewable Energy: It aims to promote innovative technologies
    in the field of renewable energy. It also seeks for exchange in experts
    training programme and technical visits and workshops, joint seminars,
    conferences in the energy sector.
  • MoU on Marine Research and Resources: The MoU proposes to enhance
    cooperation in Marine Research through subjects such as oceanography, marine
    ecology, technical and scientific development of aquaculture and
    bio-geo-chemistry and ocean acidification.
  • MoU on Defence: The MoU envisages defence cooperation and exchanges
    covering High-level visits
  • MoU on the establishment of an ICCR Chair of Indian Studies in
    University of Lisbon:
    The MoU is regarding establishing an Indian Chair at
    the University of Lisbon
  • Agreement on visa waiver for holders of diplomatic passports: The
    agreement allows visa-free travel for diplomatic passport holders of India and
    Portugal to each other’s countries for short term visits.

16th meeting of Financial Stability Development Council held in New
Delhi
  • The 16th meeting of the Financial
    Stability and Development Council (FSDC) was held on 5 January 2017 in New
    Delhi. The meeting was chaired by Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.
  • The meeting, which was attended
    by heads of all financial sector regulators, discussed the problems of the
    Indian economy.
  • The major issues discussed in the
    meeting are non-performance assets (NPAs) of banks, steps taken to improve
    financial literacy, the status of financial inclusion measures andproblems and
    opportunities associated with financial technology.
  • Besides, the participants in the
    meeting also discussed recently announced demonetisation measures and their
    impact on common man and the Indian economy as a whole.
  • Genesis: The idea was mooted by the Committee on Financial Sector
    Reforms in 2008. The committee was headed by former Reserve Bank of India (RBI)
    Governor Raghuram Rajan.
  • After the consideration of the
    committee’s report, the Union Government formed the Financial Stability and
    Development Council (FSDC) in December 2010.
  • Objectives: The objectives of the FSDC include institutionalising
    mechanisms to maintain financial stability, financial sector development,
    inter-regulatory coordination and monitoring macro-prudential regulation of
    economy.

Regional Labour Conference of North-Eastern Region held in Guwahati

  • The Regional conference of State
    Labour Ministers and Principal Secretaries of Labour of North Eastern States
    was held on 5 January 2017 in Guwahati, Assam.
  • The conference was inaugurated by
    Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal. It was held in the presence of Bandaru
    Dattatreya, the Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Labour and
    Employment.
  • In the conference, Bandaru
    Dattatreya highlighted various labour reforms that were under taken by the
    government to ensure job security and social security of workers including the
    National Career Service Project.
  • He stated that out of 100 model
    career centres to be established in India, 18 will be set up in North East
    States.

Appointments – India and World:
Gionee signs Virat Kohli as brand ambassador

  • Mobile handset brand Gionee has
    roped in Indian test captain Virat Kohli as the brand ambassador. The poster
    boy for Indian cricket will be joining Bollywood actor Alia Bhatt who was roped
    in a few months ago. The announcement of Kohli’s appointment was made alongside
    the announcement of Gionee clocking 1.2 crore customers in India.
  • Gionee has two manufacturing
    units in India and is continuously beefing up its brand and marketing
    initiatives with the aim to grow as much as 2.5 times in 2017.
  • As part of this, it will also be
    establishing 500 brand stores in India along with doubling their strength of
    retail representatives to 20,000.

Flipkart appoints former Tiger Global exec Kalyan Krishnamurthy as new
CEO

  • Flipkart today named Kalyan
    Krishnamurthy as its new Chief Executive Officer to run operations of India’s
    largest e-commerce company, while elevating co-founder Binny Bansal to the
    position of Group CEO.
  • The move to make Krishnamurthy, a
    former executive at marquee investor Tiger Global, would mean that Sachin
    Bansal and Binny Bansal, who founded the company in 2007, would lose all
    operational control over Flipkart. Krishnamurthy joined Flipkart in June last
    year as head of its commerce unit.
  • The change in organisation
    structure at Flipkart comes a year after Binny Bansal took over as CEO, while
    co-founder Sachin Bansal was elevated to the position of Executive Chairman.
    The move to rope in Krishnamurthy in June last year was seen as a move by Tiger
    Global, the largest shareholder and investor in Flipkart, exerting more
    control.
  • Nitin Seth, currently the Chief
    Administrative officer, will now be the new COO.

Suresh Nagarajan appointed as Chief Financial Officer of Reliance Power
  • Reliance Power on 5 January 2017
    announced the appointment of Suresh Nagarajan as the Chief Financial Officer
    (CFO) of the company.
  • At present, Nagarajan is working
    as the Senior Executive Vice President of Reliance Power. He was elevated to
    the position of CFO by the Board of Directors at their meeting.
  • Nagarajan is a Chartered
    Accountant and Company Secretary. He holds many years of experience in the
    power sector. He has been associated with Reliance Power since 2006.

Non-Financial News – India and States:
Aamir Khan’s Dangal becomes the highest grossing film of Bollywood

  • Aamir Khan is on a spree to break
    all possible records with ‘Dangal’. Adding another feather to the already
    loaded cap, the flick has now become the biggest blockbuster of Bollywood
    earning Rs. 345 crore.
  • Within 17 days of its release,
    the sports biopic has managed to cross even the lifetime business of ‘PK’ and
    is now aiming to become the first film to enter the Rs. 350 crore club.
  • The film collected an astounding
    Rs. 14.33 crore on Sunday which is also the biggest 17th day collection for any
    film. This took the cumulative total to a whopping Rs. 345.3 crore.
  • Mr. Perfectionist is giving a
    tough time to the other Khans as he has moved way ahead of Salman Khan’s
    highest grossing film ‘Bajrangi Bhaijan’ (Rs. 315 crore) or Shah Rukh Khan’s
    ‘Chennai Express’ (Rs. 206.85 crore).
  • ‘Dangal’ is inching towards
    greater heights and Aamir seems to be heading to create unimaginable benchmarks
    for others to even try touching.

World News:
US Army issues new regulations, allows turbans and beards in military
  • The United States army has issued
    new regulations, allowing servicemen and women sporting turbans, beards or
    hijabs to enrol in the military effective immediately.
  • The new sets of rules, which have
    been issued by the Secretary of the US Army, Eric Fanning, are more inclusive
    of minority religious traditions, especially Indian ones. They will allow
    military men with unshorn hair, beard and turbans to enrol in the army unless
    they are not sincere in their beliefs. They will also allow religious
    accommodations to be approved at Brigade-level. Previously it was approved only
    at the level of Secretary.
  • According to Joe Crowley, sitting
    Congressman from New York, this progress is not only major for the Sikh-
    American community but also for the nation’s military. He further added by
    saying that this move will give the Sikh Americans equal opportunity to serve
    America.

Raheel Sharif appointed Commander-in-Chief of Islamic Military Alliance

  • Pakistan’s recently retired Chief
    of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif on 6 January 2017 was appointed the first
    Commander-in-Chief of the Islamic Military Alliance (IMA).
  • The Islamic Military Alliance is
    an intergovernmental military alliance of multiple Muslim Countries. Through
    IMA, these countries come together for military intervention against ISIL and
    other counter-terrorist activities.
  • The Islamic Military Alliance is
    officially named as Islamic Military Alliance to Fight Terrorism (IMAFT).

Sports News:
Novak Djokovic beats Andy Murray to win 2017 Qatar Open

  • Novak Djokovic on 7 January 2017
    won the 2017 Qatar Open Men’s Singles title. He defeated Andy Murray to grab
    the title that also ended the latter’s winning streak of 28 consecutive ATP
    Tour matches.
  • However, Murray remains world
    number one despite the 6-3, 5-7, 6-4 defeat by Djokovic.
  • On the other hand, Murray became
    the first man to reach the final of the Qatar Open four times.

Roberto Bautista Agut beats Daniil Medvedev to win 2017 Chennai Open
  • Spain’s Roberto Bautista Agut on
    8 January 2017 clinched the Men’s Singles title of the 2017 Chennai Open.
  • Agut defeated Russia’s Daniil
    Medvedev 6-3 and 6-4 to claim the first ATP tournament of the season.
  • It was the second time that the
    Spaniard was playing a final at the Chennai Open. In 2013, he ended up as a
    runner-up to Janko Tipsarevic at the Nungambakkam stadium.
  • In 2016, the Chennai Open Men’s
    Singles title was clinched by Switzerland’s Stanislas Wawrinka.

Rohan Bopanna and Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan win Chennai Open Men’s Doubles
title
  • Indian tennis players Rohan
    Bopanna and Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan on 8 January 2017 won the 2017 Chennai Open
    Men’s Doubles title.
  • The duo defeated compatriots
    Purav Raja and Divij Sharan 6-3, 6-4 in the summit clash held in Chennai, Tamil
    Nadu.
  • It is the first time that an Indian
    pair clinched the title after Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi, who won the
    title in 2011.

Sania Mirza wins 2017 Brisbane International Women’s Doubles title
  • Sania Mirza along with her
    American partner Bethanie Mattek-Sands on 8 Janaury 2017 won the 2017 Brisbane
    International Women’s Doubles title.  It
    was the first win of the season for Mirza.
  • However, with the trophy came an
    end to Mirza’s 91-week reign as the world No. 1 doubles player in the WTA
    rankings. She ended up losing the world No.1 ranking to her partner,
    Mattek-Sands.
  • The top-seeded Indo-American duo
    scored 6-2 6-3 against the second-seeded Russian team of Ekaterina Makarova and
    Elena Vesnina in the final of the tournament.
  • In 2016, the women’s doubles
    trophy was won by Sania Mirza and Swiss Martina Hingis.

Obituaries:
Former Iranian President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani dies
  • Former Iranian President Akbar
    Hashemi Rafsanjani passed away on 8 January 2016 following a cardiac arrest. He
    was 82.
  • Rafsanjani served two terms as
    Iran’s president from 1989 to 1997.
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