Current Affairs Update – 1-2 November, 2016

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Hello and welcome to exampundit . Here are the important Current Affairs of 1st and 2nd November, 2016. These are important for the upcoming IBPS PO Mains, IPPB Mains, IBPS Clerk Mains, NIACL AO Mains and other important exams.

Current Affairs at a Glance – 1-2 November, 2016

  1. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has
    asked banks to dispense more Rs 100 notes through
    ATMs within the next 15 days
    . In a notification on Wednesday, RBI asked
    banks to calibrate 10% of their ATMs to dispense Rs 100 notes exclusively on a
    pilot basis.
  2. In a bid to boost ties with
    India, the Australian
    government on Wednesday announced 19 grants worth $6,30,000 dollars for several projects in the
    field of education, science, sports, arts and culture
    .
  3. The Indian government and three state-run firms
    will jointly set up an equity fund of up to $2 billion for renewable
    energy companies to tap into to help New Delhi meet its clean energy goals
    ,
    two government sources told Reuters on Wednesday.
  4. ICICI Bank has launched a credit facility against home loans for salaried customers. Customers
    can avail themselves of minimum 10 per cent of the total amount as term loan
    and maximum 90 per cent as overdraft.
  5. The Benami Transactions (Prohibition)
    Amendment Act, 2016 came into effect on 1 November 2016
    . The Act was
    formulated to curb black money. An official release of Central Board of Direct
    Taxes said, after coming into effect, the existing Benami Transactions
    (Prohibition) Act, 1988 will be renamed as the Prohibition of Benami Property
    Transactions (PBPT) Act, 1988.
  6. Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), India’s largest IT Services provider on Wednesday
    said that University
    of New South Wales (UNSW) Australia
    and
    TCS have signed a memorandum of understanding to pursue technology research
    collaboration.
  7. Himachal Pradesh on 28 October 2016 was declared India’s second Open Defecation Free (ODF) State. The
    first state to achieve the feat was Sikkim.
  8. Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi
    Vijayan  on 2 November 2016 declared Kerala as Open
    Defecation Free” (ODF) state
    . With this, Kerala became third state
    to achieve this status.
  9. Microsoft-owned social network
    for work LinkedIn
    has signed an MoU with the Ministry of Human Resource Development for all
    colleges affiliated with the All India Council for Technical Education
    to
    use its platform for their placement process.
  10. NITI Aayog on 31 October 2016
    launched the first ever Agricultural
    Marketing & Farm Friendly Reforms Index
    . The index was topped by Maharashtra.
  11. Arnab Goswami on 1 November 2016
    resigned as the Editor-in-Chief of Times Now, the Bennett Coleman & Co.
    Ltd-run news channel.
  12. Indian Revenue Service Officer Sushil Chandra on 1 November 2016 took over as the Chairman of
    the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT).
  13. Rashtriya Ekta Diwas was observed across India on 31 October
  14. The International Day to End Impunity for
    Crimes against Journalists
    was
    observed globally on 2 November 2016.
  15. Vigilance Awareness Week was observed across India beginning from 31
    October 2016 to promote probity in public life and achieve a corruption free
    society.

Finance/Industry/Banking –
Tweak ATMs to dispense more Rs100 notes, RBI tells banks

  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI)
    has asked banks to dispense more Rs 100 notes through ATMs within the next 15
    days.
  • In a notification on Wednesday,
    RBI asked banks to calibrate 10% of their ATMs to dispense Rs 100 notes
    exclusively on a pilot basis.
  • “In keeping with the objectives
    of Clean Note Policy and to ensure that genuine requirement of members of
    public for Rs100 denomination banknotes are met, the banks should increase
    dispensation of Rs100 banknotes through ATMs which are widely used for
    distribution of banknotes for retail use,” RBI said.
  • The move comes after the
    regulator observed that very few banks have taken steps to dispense lower
    denomination notes post RBI’s circular dated 5 May 2016. As per the circular,
    RBI introduced a scheme called the Currency Distribution & Exchange Scheme
    (CDES) under which the regulator agreed to incentivize banks for installing
    ATMs which dispense notes of denominations upto Rs100. As per the scheme, RBI
    had promised to reimburse 50% of the cost of ATM machine or Rs 2 lakh whichever
    is lower.
  • RBI has now asked banks to speed
    up the process of configuring the ATMs in the next two weeks as it believes
    that this process is not complex. The regulator has also asked banks to share
    the feedback of the pilot project after a lapse of two months.
Australia announces 19 grants worth $6.3 million for projects with
India

  • In a bid to boost ties with
    India, the Australian government on Wednesday announced 19 grants worth
    $6,30,000 dollars for several projects in the field of education, science,
    sports, arts and culture.
  • The successful grants include an
    exchange between TAFE NSW and India’s Centurion University to share expertise
    for training indigenous learners, collaboration between University of New South
    Wales and Indian scientists to develop effective new water purification systems
    for the country’s water supply.
  • It also includes development of a
    website by Women’s Legal Service Tasmania and TRS Law Offices in India to
    provide young Indian women with information about their rights.
  • Sports programme will also be
    undertaken jointly in India by Hockey Australia and Dabang Mumbai Hockey Club
    to share expertise in hockey training.
  • The grant has also been assigned
    to a project by Soft Tread Enterprises to tell the story of historical links
    between Australia and India through theatrical and literary performances and
    for a collaboration between Queensland University of Technology and KM Music
    Conservatory Chennai to develop new approaches to music curriculum and
    facilitate ongoing exchanges with New Colombo Plan students.
Govt to launch clean energy equity fund of up to $2 billion

  • The Indian government and three
    state-run firms will jointly set up an equity fund of up to $2 billion for
    renewable energy companies to tap into to help New Delhi meet its clean energy
    goals, two government sources told Reuters on Wednesday.
  • Private and public companies will
    be able to dip into an initial amount of more than $1 billion starting next
    fiscal year, said the sources with direct knowledge of the decision taken after
    a meeting of government officials more than a month ago. India’s government
    hopes the Clean Energy Equity Fund (CEEF) will attract pension and insurance
    funds from Canada and Europe.
  • Around $600 million of the
    initial pool will come from the National Investment and Infrastructure Fund,
    under the finance ministry, and the rest from state entities NTPC Ltd, Rural
    Electrification Corp and the Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency, according
    to one of the sources.
  • The sources declined to be named
    as they are not authorised to talk to the media. Officials at the finance
    ministry, new and renewable energy ministry, NTPC, Rural Electrification, and
    Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency did not immediately respond to
    requests for comment.
ICICI Bank launches overdraft facility for salaried home loan borrowers

  • ICICI Bank has launched a credit
    facility against home loans for salaried customers.
  • The Home Overdraft facility will
    enable a salaried customer to seek loans up to Rs. 1 crore for personal needs
    against his/her property.
  • In a statement, the bank said:
    “This offering provides customers with the dual advantage of a term loan
    and an overdraft facility.”
  • “While the term loan
    provides customers with quick funds for immediate needs, the overdraft facility
    offers them the flexibility to access funds instantly for expenses, as and when
    required.”
  • Customers can use the funds for
    an array of personal requirements, including education, medical treatment, home
    renovation, marriage and overseas travel, the statement added.
  • The minimum and maximum loan over
    the Home Overdraft facility is Rs. 5 lakh and Rs. 1 crore, respectively.
  • Customers can avail themselves of
    minimum 10 per cent of the total amount as term loan and maximum 90 per cent as
    overdraft.
  • The bank said for term loan,
    equated monthly instalment (EMI) will be applicable. For overdraft, interest is
    charged only on the utilised amount for the period the funds are used.
Benami Transactions Amendment Act to curb black money comes into effect

  • The Benami Transactions
    (Prohibition) Amendment Act, 2016 came into effect on 1 November 2016. The Act
    was formulated to curb black money.
  • An official release of Central
    Board of Direct Taxes said, after coming into effect, the existing Benami
    Transactions (Prohibition) Act, 1988 will be renamed as the Prohibition of
    Benami Property Transactions (PBPT) Act, 1988.
  • The new legislation provides for
    seven years imprisonment and fine for those indulging in illegal transactions.
    The previous Act provided for up to three years if imprisonment or fine or
    both. It says that properties held as Benami are liable for confiscation by the
    government without payment of compensation.
  • The act has amended the
    definition of benami transactions and establishes adjudicating authorities and
    an Appellate Tribunal to deal with benami transactions.
Highlights of Benami
Transactions (Prohibition) Amendment Act
Definition

  • It expands the definition of
    benami transaction by including following
  • Transaction is made in a
    fictitious name
  • Owner is not aware of and denies
    knowledge of the ownership of the property
  • Person providing the
    consideration for the property is not traceable
  • Earlier, it defined benami
    transaction as a transaction where a property is held by or transferred to a
    person, but has been provided for or paid by another person.
Exemptions

  • Specific cases will be exempted
    from the definition of a benami transaction. These include cases when a
    property is held by
  • A member of a Hindu undivided
    family, and is being held for his or another family member’s benefit, and has
    been provided for or paid off from sources of income of that family
  • A person in a fiduciary capacity.
  • A person in the name of his
    spouse or child, and the property has been paid for from the person’s income.
  • Section 58 empowers government to
    exempt the genuine properties of religious organisation like a church or a
    mosque or a gurdwara or a temple from the action.  But the exemption to such entities cannot be
    a pretext for tax evasion.

Definition of Benamidar

  • It defines benamidar as the
    person in whose name the benami property is held or transferred, and a
    beneficial owner as the person for whose benefit the property is being held by
    the benamidar.
  • Under the Act, an Authority to
    acquire benami properties was to be established by the Rules.
Four Authorities for
conducting Inquiry
The Act establishes four
authorities to conduct inquiries or investigations regarding benami
transactions and they are

  • Initiating Officer
  • Approving Authority
  • Administrator
  • Adjudicating Authority
Work of Initiating Officer

  • In any case, if he/she believes
    that a person is a benamidar, he may issue a notice to that person.
  • The Initiating Officer may hold
    the property for 90 days from the date of issue of the notice, subject to
    permission from the Approving Authority.
  • At the end of the notice period,
    the Initiating Officer may pass an order to continue the holding of the
    property.
  • If an order is passed to continue
    holding the property, the Initiating Officer will refer the case to the
    Adjudicating Authority.
Work of Adjudicating Authority

  • The Authority will pass an order
    on whether or not to hold the property as benami after examining all documents
    and evidence relating to the matter.
  • Based on an order to confiscate
    the benami property, the Administrator will receive and manage the property in
    a manner and subject to conditions as prescribed.
Appellate Tribunal

  • The act also established an
    Appellate Tribunal that will hear appeals against any orders passed by the
    Adjudicating Authority
  • Appeals against orders of the
    Appellate Tribunal will lie to the high court.
Penalty

  • Rigorous imprisonment from one
    year to seven years, and a fine which may extend to 25% of the fair market
    value of the benami property. The previous penalty under the Act for entering
    into benami transactions was imprisonment up to three years, or a fine, or
    both.
  • Specifies the penalty for
    providing false information to be rigorous imprisonment of six months up to
    five years, and a fine which may extend to 10% of the fair market value of the
    benami property.
  • Certain session courts would be
    designated as Special Courts for trying any offences which are punishable under
    the Act.
TCS signs MoU with University of New South Wales

  • Tata Consultancy Services (TCS),
    India’s largest IT Services provider on Wednesday said that University of New
    South Wales (UNSW) Australia and TCS have signed a memorandum of understanding
    to pursue technology research collaboration.
  • The agreement will enable the
    University and TCS to work together in areas of common interest such as machine
    learning, virtual reality, robotics, data analytics and cloud computing.
  • The MoU also opens the prospect
    of exchanges of scholars and internships for UNSW students at TCS’s global
    research facilities. The agreement was signed by TCS’ Chief Technology Officer
    Ananth Krishnan and UNSW’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor Enterprise Professor Brian
    Boyle, at the TCS Asia-Pacific Summit in Sydney.
Zensar to acquire UK-based design agency Foolproof

  • Zensar Technologies, an RPG
    Company, today announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to
    acquire Foolproof Ltd. along with its two wholly-owned subsidiary companies in
    UK and one wholly-owned subsidiary Company in Singapore for an undisclosed sum.
  • Under the terms of the agreement,
    Foolproof will now be a wholly-owned subsidiary of Zensar Technologies (UK)
    Ltd. The deal will be financed by internal accruals, and will be EPS positive
    for the company.
  • Foolproof is one of Europe’s
    leading experience design agencies, headquartered in London with other offices
    in Norwich and Singapore. The company helps global brands design better, and
    more relevant, digital products and services, and counts many Global500 firms
    amongst its clients.
Sponsored


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Union Government notifies rules for Real Estate Act for five UTs

  • The Union Government on 31
    October 2016 notified the rules for Real Estate (Regulation and Development)
    (General) Rules, 2016 that seeks to regulate the housing sector besides bringing
    transparency and ensuring timely completion of projects in five Union
    Territories.
  • The rules notified by the Housing
    Ministry will be applicable to Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Chandigarh, Dadra
    and Nagar Haveli, Daman and Diu, and Lakshadweep.
  • Ministry of Urban Development
    will come out with such rules for the National Capital Region of Delhi while
    the other States and UTs will come out with their own rules.
  • The Act, which is touted as a
    major reform measure to regulate the vast real estate sector, requires
    registration of all projects with state-level Real Estate Regulatory
    Authorities to ensure protection of the interests of both buyers and builders.
India –
Himachal Pradesh becomes India’s second open defecation free state

  • Himachal Pradesh on 28 October 2016
    was declared India’s second Open Defecation Free (ODF) State. The first state
    to achieve the feat was Sikkim.
  • Himachal Pradesh successfully
    achieved total rural sanitation coverage of 100 per cent in the state, with all
    12 districts in the state being both, declared as well as verified as ODF.
  • The state is also the first among
    bigger Indian states to become ODF under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Swachch
    Bharat Abhiyan.
Kerala becomes third open defecation-free state of India

  • Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi
    Vijayan  on 2 November 2016 declared
    Kerala as Open Defecation Free” (ODF) state. With this, Kerala became third
    state to achieve this status.
  • Over 1 lakh villages across the
    country have become ODF. The Kerala government had constructed about 175000
    toilets in the last four months to make Kerala the first among the big states
    to claim ODF status.
  • About  800000 people benefitted from the
    Edamalakkudy initiative to free Kerala of open defecation, including those in
    tribal hamlets in inaccessible hilly areas like Edamalakkudy in Idukki
    district. Everyone from local politicians to college students pitched in their
    support to construct toilets.
  • So far, two other states Sikkim
    and Himachal Pradesh were officially declared as free from open defecation.
  • On the occasion, the state also
    launched four major programmes- Parippida Mission, Haritha Keralam, Ardram and
    Life in the education, health, housing and sanitation sectors.
LinkedIn signs MoU with HRD Ministry for students to use its Placements
platform

  • Microsoft-owned social network
    for work LinkedIn has signed an MoU with the Ministry of Human Resource Development
    for all colleges affiliated with the All India Council for Technical Education
    to use its platform for their placement process.
  • Placements, a product that
    LinkedIn has built for India, allows students and placement officers at
    colleges maximise their reach when searching for prospective jobs. Students
    will also be able to take an online assessment test which will give them access
    to openings in partner corporates.
  • The company says adoption of
    Placements, which was launched in September has been great, with over 200,000
    students registering on the platform and making over 1.2 million job
    applications. So far LinkedIn has signed up 35 companies for its online test programme
    and plans to add more.
10th Indo-Nepal joint exercise Surya Kiran commences

  • Indo-Nepal joint military
    exercise Surya Kiran-X commenced on 31 October 2016 at Army Battle School,
    Saljhandi, Nepal. The exercise will conclude on 13 November 2016.
  • The joint military exercise is
    the tenth in the series of such exercise between the two nations.
  • The Surya Kiran series of
    exercises are being conducted annually, alternatively in Nepal and India.
  • In the series of military
    training exercises undertaken by India with various countries, Surya Kiran
    series with Nepal is the largest in terms of troop’s participation.          
Key highlights of the exercise

  • Indian Army is represented by the
    elite Kumaon Regiment.
  • Jabar Jung Battalion of Nepal
    Army is participating in the tenth edition of the joint exercise on behalf of
    Nepal Army.
  • The aim of the exercise is to
    conduct battalion level joint training with emphasis on Counter Terrorism in
    mountainous terrain.
Index –
Maharashtra most farmer friendly state: NITI Aayog Index

  • NITI Aayog on 31 October 2016
    launched the first ever Agricultural Marketing & Farm Friendly Reforms
    Index. The index was topped by Maharashtra.
  • Maharashtra implemented most of
    the marketing reforms and offers best environment for doing agribusiness among
    all the states and Union Territories (UTs). 
Key highlights of the index

  • Maharashtra topped the index with
    a score of 81.7 out of 100.
  • Gujarat ranks second with a score
    of 71.5.
  • Rajasthan stood third with a
    score of 70.0 and Madhya Pradesh scored 69.5.
  • Almost two third states could not
    reach even halfway mark of reforms score. Major states like Uttar Pradesh,
    Punjab, West Bengal, Assam, Jharkhand, Tamil Nadu and Jammu and Kashmir are in
    this group.
  • Some states and UTs either did
    not adopt APMC Act or revoked it. They include Bihar, Kerala, Manipur, Daman
    and Diu, Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Andaman and Nicobar. Therefore, they are not
    included in the ranking.
Appointments/Resignations –
Arnab Goswami resigns as Editor-in-Chief of Times Now

  • Arnab Goswami on 1 November 2016
    resigned as the Editor-in-Chief of Times Now, the Bennett Coleman & Co.
    Ltd-run news channel.
  • Goswami was the anchor of
    Newshour, the prime time news programme which he anchored on weekdays at 9 pm
    everyday.
Sushil Chandra takes over as Chairman of CBDT

  • Indian Revenue Service Officer
    Sushil Chandra on 1 November 2016 took over as the Chairman of the Central
    Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT).
  • Chandra replaced Rani Singh Nair,
    who retired on 31 October 2016.
  • The CBDT Chairperson is placed
    above the officers of the rank of Lieutenant-General, Vice-Admiral or Air
    Marshal, CBI Director and Deputy Comptroller and Auditor General in the Order
    of Precedence.
Rishi Jaitly, Twitter’s India head, resigns

  • Twitter India Head Rishi Jaitly
    on 1 November 2016 resigned from the company. He made the announcement on his
    twitter handle.
  • Jaitly, who formerly worked at
    Google India, had joined Twitter in November 2012 to lead the microblogging
    giant’s expansion to India.
  • In 2014, Jaitly took on
    additional responsibility as Twitter’s Market Director for India and South East
    Asia, leading the company’s growth and media partnerships across SE Asia.
  • Prior to joining Twitter, Jaitly
    worked at Knight Foundation as Program Director. However, he is better known
    for his stint as the head of Public-Private Partnerships at Google India.
Days/Weeks –
Rashtriya Ekta Diwas observed across India

  • Rashtriya Ekta Diwas was observed
    across India on 31 October 2016 to commemorate the birth anniversary of Iron Man
    of India Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. 
  • The theme for the 2016 Rashtriya
    Ekta Diwas was Integration of India.
  • The decision to observe 31
    October as Rashtriya Ekta Diwas or National Integration Day was taken by the
    Union Government to reiterate India’s strength and buoyancy against
    adversaries.
International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists
observed globally

  • The International Day to End
    Impunity for Crimes against Journalists was observed globally on 2 November 2016.
  • The Day is celebrated to spread
    awareness against the violence and crimes done to journalists and media workers
    and to bring to justice perpetrators of crimes against journalists and media
    workers, and ensure that victims have access to appropriate remedies.
  • It aims to promote a safe and
    enabling environment for journalists to perform their work independently and
    without undue interference.
Vigilance Awareness Week observed across India

  • Vigilance Awareness Week was
    observed across India beginning from 31 October 2016 to promote probity in
    public life and achieve a corruption free society.
  • The theme of the Vigilance
    Awareness Week 2016 was Public participation in promoting integrity and
    eradicating Corruption.
  • The observance of week commenced
    with pledge taking by public servants in the Ministries, Departments, PSUs,
    Banks and all other Organisations.
  • Several functions were organised
    to create awareness among the people about the corrupt practices as it adversely
    affects the development of the country.
  • In addition to these activities,
    the concept of Integrity Pledge was envisaged for enlisting support and
    commitment of the citizens and corporate and firms to prevent and combat
    corruption.
Sports –
World Cup top-scorer Klose retires at 38

  • Miroslav Klose, the all-time
    World Cup top-scorer, announced his retirement from football on 1 November
    2016. Klose, 38, the leading scorer of Germany with 71 goals in 137
    internationals, was without a club after his Lazio contract expired last
    season.
  • Now, the former world-class
    striker plans to join Germany’s coaching staff after an invitation from head
    coach Joachim Loew. For the purpose, he will have to attend a set coaching
    programme for the national team as well as the required qualifications for an
    A-license.
  • His first match of the coaching
    team for national side will be on 11 November 2016 for the World Cup qualifier
    against San Marino.
Awards & Honors –
IFFI to honour Im Kwon-taek with Lifetime Achievement Award

  • Union Information and Broadcasting
    Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu on 1 November 2016 announced that renowned South
    Korean director Im Kwon-taek will be honoured with the Lifetime Achievement
    Award at the upcoming 47th International Film Festival of India (IFFI) in Goa.
  • The IFFI will take place from 20
    November to 28 November 2016. The festival will pay a special tribute to late
    Polish filmmaker Andrzej Wajda and late Iranian filmmaker Abbas Kiarostami.
  • The 47th edition of IFFI will
    have its country focus on Republic of Korea under which the best of Korean
    films will be screened.

Regards

Team ExamPundit

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