Current Affairs Update – 7 December, 2016

Hello and welcome to exampundit . Here are the important Current Affairs of 7 December, 2016. These are important for the upcoming IPPB PO Mains, NIACL AO Mains, IBPS Clerk Mains, IBPS RRB Office Assistant Mains and RBI Assistant Mains 2016-17.

Current Affairs at a Glance – 7 December, 2016

  1. Indian Oil Corporation, Bharat
    Petroleum Corporation
    and Hindustan
    Petroleum Corp
    today signed
    a pact to build India’s biggest oil refinery at
    a cost of $30 billion on the west coast
    .
  2. RBI kept Repo rate unchanged at 6.25%, Reverse repo at 5.75%.
  3. Bangladesh and India
    will be signing a memorandum of
    understanding (MoU) on Wednesday which permits New Delhi to use Chittagong and
    Mongla seaports to ferry goods
    .
  4. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on 6 December 2016 relaxed the norms for Additional Factor of Authentication (AFA) for
    online card transactions of up to Rs 2000
    .
  5. ISRO successfully launched its own earth observation satellite Resourcesat-2A on 7 December 2016. The
    observation satellite Resourcesat -2A was launched with PSLV C36/
    RESOURCESAT-2A from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota, Andhra
    Pradesh.
  6. The Indian Navy’s offshore patrol vessel
    Sumitra
    on 6 December 2016 reached
    Darwin, Australia
    . The vessel is on a three day visit to the country and
    will return to India after participating in the Royal New Zealand Navy
    International Naval Review 2016.
  7. Konkan 16, the 2016 edition of the annual bilateral maritime exercise between the
    Indian Navy and the Royal Navy of Britain
    , commenced in 5 December 2016 at
    Mumbai. The exercise will conclude on 16 December 2016 in Goa.
  8. Dr BR Ambedkar’s birthday, 14 April, will
    be observed as “Water Day” across India
    . The day will be observed to
    mark Ambedkar’s contribution in water resource management of the country.
  9. Multimedia artist Helen Marten on 5 December 2016 won the Turner Prize, which is
    Britain’s top award for contemporary art. The prize comes with a cash award of
    about USD 31800.
  10. The European Union (EU) on 6 December 2016 approved Microsoft’s USD 26
    billion acquisition of LinkedIn Corporation.

Finance/Banking –
IOC, BPCL, HPCL sign deal to set up India’s biggest oil refinery

  • Indian Oil Corporation, Bharat
    Petroleum Corporation and Hindustan Petroleum Corp today signed a pact to build
    India’s biggest oil refinery at a cost of $30 billion on the west coast.
  • The three firms signed the pact
    for the 60-million tonne a year refinery in Maharashtra with IOC as leader of the
    consortium, officials said.
  • IOC will hold a 50 per cent stake
    in the project while BPCL and HPCL will have 25 per cent each. The consortium
    agreement was signed on the sidelines of the Petrotech conference here.
  • Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan
    said oil majors like Saudi Aramco of Saudi Arabia are interested in taking a
    stake in the project, but nothing has been finalised as yet.

RBI monetary policy highlights

Following are the highlights
of RBI’s fifth bi-monthly monetary policy statement, 2016-17:
  • Repo rate unchanged at 6.25%,
    Reverse repo at 5.75%
  • Cash reserve ratio or CRR
    unchanged at 4%
  • Cuts growth forecast to 7.1%,
    from 7.6% for this fiscal
  • Inflation target remains 5% for
    March 2017, upside risk
  • Demonetisation to lower prices of
    perishables, could reduce inflation by 10-15 basis points by December
  • All MPC members voted in favour
    of status quo in policy
  • Demonetisation to result in
    short-run disruptions in cash-intensive sectors
  • Crude price volatility, surge in
    financial market turbulence could put March end inflation target at risk
  • Foreign exchange reserve rose to
    all-time high of $364 billion on December 2
  • RBI injected Rs. 1.1 lakh crore
    liquidity through OMO purchases this fiscal
  • Next monetary policy on February
    8.

Bangladesh-India to sign MoU on use of Chittagong, Mongla ports

  • Bangladesh and India will be
    signing a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on Wednesday which permits New
    Delhi to use Chittagong and Mongla seaports to ferry goods.
  • The two Asian neighbours will
    sign the MoU during the Bangladesh-India shipping secretary-level meeting,
    which is to be held at the secretariat on Wednesday.
  • Bangladesh’s Shipping Secretary
    Ashok Madhab Roy, before the meeting, said that they have already given
    permission to India to use Chittagong and Mongla seaports but have not decided
    on the fee yet.

RBI relaxes norms for online card transactions of up to Rs 2000
  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI)
    on 6 December 2016 relaxed the norms for Additional Factor of Authentication
    (AFA) for online card transactions of up to Rs 2000.
  • However, only authorised card
    networks will provide such payment authentication solutions for online CNP
    (Card Not Present) transactions.
  • Customers opting for this facility
    will go through a one-time registration process by entering the card details
    and additional factor authentication by the issuing bank. Thereafter, the
    registered customers will not be required to re-enter the card details for
    every transaction at merchant websites or apps.

However, the relaxation in the
process of online card transactions comes with some conditions. Have a look:
  • Only authorised card networks can
    provide such payment authentication solutions with participation of card
    issuing and acquiring banks.
  • Customer consent shall be taken
    while making this solution available to them.
  • The relaxation for AFA under such
    solutions shall be applicable for card not present transactions for a maximum
    value of Rs 2000 per transaction across all merchant categories.
  • Banks and card networks are free
    to facilitate their customers to set lower per transaction limits.
  • If the transaction limit goes
    beyond Rs 2000, then the card not present transaction will be processed as per
    the extant instructions with mandatory AFA; this goes same for the transaction
    value of below this limit.
  • Banks and card networks will
    decide the number of such small value transactions in a day, week or month.
  • There will be no change in the
    existing chargeback process.

Advise for banks and
authorised card networks
  • To make customers aware that this
    solution is an optional facility for CNP transactions of up to Rs 2000 only and
    they are free to make payments using other forms of AFA as well.
  • To educate the customers about the
    use of this means, risk involved in it and the mechanism for customer grievance
    redressal and how they can report complaints through multiple channels.
  • To indicate the maximum liability
    that falls in on the customer’s part and the responsibility of the customer to
    report any frauds while transacting.
  • To bear the full liability in the
    event of any security breach or compromise in the authorised card network.

RBI to issue of Rs 100 Banknotes
  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI)
    on 6 December 2016 announced to issue Rs 100 denomination banknotes in the
    Mahatma Gandhi Series-2005.
  • The new notes will be printed
    without inset letter in both the numbering panels. Moreover, the notes will
    bear the signature of Dr Urjit R. Patel, Governor of Reserve Bank of India.
  • The year of printing, that is
    ‘2016’, will be printed on the reverse side of the banknote.
  • The design of these banknotes
    will be similar in all respects to the previous Rs 100 banknotes in Mahatma
    Gandhi Series- 2005. The previous notes had ascending size of numerals in the
    number panels, bleed lines and enlarged identification mark on the obverse
    side.
  • However, the old banknotes in the
    denomination of Rs 100 issued by the Bank in the past will continue to be the
    legal tender.

India –
Earth observation satellite Resourcesat-2A launched

  • ISRO successfully launched its
    own earth observation satellite Resourcesat-2A on 7 December 2016. The
    observation satellite Resourcesat -2A was launched with PSLV C36/
    RESOURCESAT-2A from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota, Andhra
    Pradesh.
  • The PSLV-XL variant rocket
    standing 44.4 meters tall and weighing 321 tonne tore into the morning skies at
    10.25am with a reverberating sound breaking free of the earth’s gravitational
    pull. The Resourcesat-2A weighing 1235 kilograms was injected into an 817 km
    polar Sun Synchronous Orbit (SSO) at around 20 minutes into the destination.

INS Sumitra visits Australia to strengthen bilateral ties

  • The Indian Navy’s offshore patrol
    vessel Sumitra on 6 December 2016 reached Darwin, Australia. The vessel is on a
    three day visit to the country and will return to India after participating in
    the Royal New Zealand Navy International Naval Review 2016.
  • The ship’s visit to Australia is
    aimed at strengthening bilateral ties and enhancing maritime security
    cooperation between the two nations.

Key highlights
  • During INS Sumitra’s stay in
    harbour, various activities are planned towards enhancing cooperation and
    mutual understanding between the two navies. Such activities include
    professional interactions with Royal Australian Navy (RAN) and discussions
    towards further enhancing inter-operability.
  • Calls on senior Government and
    military authorities, sporting and cultural interactions and sharing of best
    practices would also be undertaken.
  • On departure, the ship would also
    undertake a Passage Exercise (PASSEX) with RAN ships.

Konkan 16, bilateral maritime exercise between India and UK, begins

  • Konkan 16, the 2016 edition of
    the annual bilateral maritime exercise between the Indian Navy and the Royal
    Navy of Britain, commenced in 5 December 2016 at Mumbai. The exercise will
    conclude on 16 December 2016 in Goa.
  • The 2016 edition of the bilateral
    maritime exercise will familiarise both forces with each other’s planning
    processes and further enhance synergy and inter-operability. Therefore, it will
    play an important chapter in the maritime interactions under the aegis of
    Konkan series.
  • In addition, participation of IN
    Marine Commandos (MARCOs) and Royal Marines would add another dimension to the
    exercise. It will provide valuable opportunity for both navies to interact and
    cooperate in the field of maritime security operations.

Key highlights of the exercise
  • The exercise will be conducted in
    two phases at Mumbai and Goa.
  • The first phase will be held from
    5 December to 9 December 2016.
  • The first phase will include a
    Command Planning exercise involving the two navies. The planners from both
    sides will undertake planning for combined maritime operations.
  • The second phase of the exercise
    is known as a LIVE EXERCISE (LIVEX). It will be held from 12 December 2016 to
    16 December 2016 at Goa.

Indian Railways makes Aadhaar Card mandatory for availing senior citizen
benefits

  • Indian Railways on 5 December
    2016 announced that the reservation of rail tickets for senior citizens will be
    directly linked to Aadhaar or Unique Identification (UID) cards from 1 April
    2017 onwards on a mandatory basis for availing concessions at both counter and
    e-tickets.
  • This Aadhaar-based ticketing
    system for senior citizens will be implemented in a two-phased manner.
    Accordingly, from 1 January to 31 March 2017, requirement of Aadhaar
    verification for getting concessional tickets for senior citizens will be
    optional.
  • However, from 1 April 2017, such
    a requirement will become mandatory.

Days –
Dr Ambedkar’s birthday 14th April to be celebrated as Water Day

  • Dr BR Ambedkar’s birthday, 14
    April, will be observed as “Water Day” across India. The day will be observed
    to mark Ambedkar’s contribution in water resource management of the country.
  • Union Minister for Water
    Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation Uma Bharti announced the
    same while addressing a National Seminar on Marching ahead on Dr Ambedkar’s
    path of water resources management for inclusive growth. She was the Chief
    Guest of the seminar that was organised by Central Water Commission in New
    Delhi.
  • The seminar was organised on 6
    December 2016 to mark the 61st death anniversary of Dr Ambedkar.
  • The day will be observed with an
    aim to sensitise people about managing water resources, which is a precious
    resource for life.

Awards & Honors –
Artist Helen Marten wins 2016 Turner Prize
  • Multimedia artist Helen Marten on
    5 December 2016 won the Turner Prize, which is Britain’s top award for
    contemporary art. The prize comes with a cash award of about USD 31800.
  • The Turner Prize is the second
    prize in a month for Marten, who also won the inaugural Hepworth Prize.
  • The nominees for the 2016 Turner
    Prize were Michael Dean, Anthea Hamilton, Helen Marten and Josephine Pryde.

World –
European Union clears $26 billion Microsoft-LinkedIn deal
  • The European Union (EU) on 6
    December 2016 approved Microsoft’s USD 26 billion acquisition of LinkedIn
    Corporation.
  • The Executive Arm of the European
    Commission stated that it was clearing the deal on the condition that,
    Microsoft, postmerger, will allow other professional networking sites access to
    programming commands for its Office applications and cloud-computing services
    for the next five years. The EU also said that the Microsoft must also grant
    computer manufacturers the option not to install the LinkedIn shortcut on
    desktop devices.
  • The EU’s clearance was the final
    hurdle to closing the deal, following approvals in the U.S., Canada, Brazil and
    South Africa.

Obituaries –
Noted journalist Cho S Ramaswamy passes away

  • Veteran journalist, political
    analyst and comedian Cho S Ramaswamy passed away on 7 December 2016 following a
    prolonged illness at Apollo Hospital in Chennai. He was 82. He is survived by
    his wife, a son and a daughter.
  • He was the first to propose
    Narendra Modi as the Prime Ministerial candidate. He was also known to be very
    close to Late J Jayalalitha, CM of Tamil Nadu who died earlier this week, and
    also mentored her during her film career and continued to do the same even
    after she entered the politics.

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