Current Affairs Update – 8th October, 2015

Hello and welcome to ExamPundit. Here are the Important Current Affairs Update of 8th October, 2015. These are Important for the upcoming IBPS PO V Mains and IBPS Clerk Exam.

Finance/Banking
In a first, Kotak
launches an offline funds transfer facility

  • Kotak Mahindra Bank launched a fund transfer service for its
    offline mobile app ‘Bharat’ in Ahmedabad on Thursday. With this, Kotak has
    become the first bank in India to offer a funds transfer facility that does not
    require an internet connectivity or a beneficiary.
  • It has also launched Kotak Bharat app in Gujarati and is
    planning to release the app in other regional languages in the coming months.
    At present, this app is available in English, Hindi, Marathi, Tamil, Telugu and
    Kannada.
  • To make offline transactions secure, the bank has an
    encryption code process to enable users to transfer funds.
  • According to Kotak Bank, saving account holders use mobile
    banking the most, having recorded monthly transactions worth Rs 1,700 crore via
    the mobile app.
  • About 90 banking services are available on the mobile app,
    while in the Bharat app, the bank provides 23 services and will add more in the
    offline app.

ICICI launches
‘mVisa’ mobile payment service

  • Top private sector lender ICICI Bank today launched a mobile-payment
    solution based on ‘mVisa’, that will allow its customers pay for services using
    their smartphones.
  • The service, which can be used by customers, who have
    installed an app of the bank’s mobile wallet ‘Pockets’, works by scanning QR
    codes.
  • They can make electronic payments from smartphones at
    physical stores, accept e-commerce deliveries, pay radio taxis and utility
    bills among others, the bank said in a statement.
  • The service is based on ‘mVisa’, a new mobile payment
    solution from Visa, and ICICI Bank is the first to launch a mobile-app based
    ‘mVisa’ solution for consumers and merchants, it said.
  • At present, customers pay either in cash or have to swipe
    cards at a point of sale (POS) machine to complete a transaction.

RBI liberalises norms
for booking of forward contracts

  • As mentioned in the fourth bi-monthly monetary policy
    review, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has allowed all resident individuals,
    firms and companies who have actual or anticipated foreign exchange exposures
    to book foreign exchange forward and foreign currency and rupee options
    contracts up to $1 million without any requirement of documentation on the
    basis of simple declaration.
  • “While the contracts booked under this facility would
    normally be on a deliverable basis, cancellation and rebooking of contracts are
    permitted,” said RBI on Thursday.
  • RBI also said that based on the track record of the entity,
    the concerned bank may however call for underlying documents, if considered
    necessary at the time of rebooking of cancelled contracts.

Aircel ties up with
Tech Mahindra for new service offering
  • Mobile service provider Aircel today announced that it has
    selected Tech Mahindra to roll out a comprehensive set of Internet-of-Things
    (IoT) service offerings. Tech Maihindra is providing these services in association
    with Aeris Communications, a Silicon Valley-based IoT specialist, it said.
  • According to Aircel statement, its strong presence in
    enterprise market combined with the IoT solutions from Tech Mahindra will give
    an edge to position the company as one of the leaders in machine-to-machine(M2M)
    and IoT services in India.
  • Aircel intends to launch vertical specific solutions in IoT
    space and will cater to market requirement for comprehensive service offerings
    across several vertical market segments such as Smart Energy, Connected
    Vehicle, and Smart city among others.

India’s GDP to grow
at 7.5 percent in 2015: UNCTAD
  • The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development on 6
    October 2015 (UNCTAD) on 6 October 2015 projected that India’s gross domestic
    product (GDP) is expected to grow at 7.5 per cent in 2015.
  • It was revealed by the UNCTAD in its Trade and Development
    Report 2015 entitled Making the international financial architecture work for
    development.
  • As per the report, the growth rate for world in 2015 is
    expected to remain more or less unchanged from last year, at 2.5 per cent.

Highlights of the
report with respect to India
  • India’s gross domestic product (GDP) is expected to grow at
    7.5 per cent in 2015 compared to China’s 6.9 as China rebalances the structure
    of its demand by concentrating more on exports.
  • India’s upward growth will be possible because of lowering
    oil prices in the international market that will ease pressure on current
    account deficit.
  • India’s export growth (by volume) slowed down from 8.5 per
    cent in 2013 to 3.2 per cent in 2014.

Union Cabinet
approved Framework for Cooperation in Blue Economy between India and Seychelles
  • The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi,
    on 7 October 2015 gave its ex-post facto approval to the protocol for
    cooperation in the field of blue economy.
  • India and Seychelles signed the protocol to this effect on
    26 August 2015 during the visit of the President of Seychelles James Michel to
    India.
  • The protocol lays down the modalities and mechanism of
    cooperation between the two parties for ocean studies as well as scientific
    exploration and exploitation of sea based resources, for sustainable development
    and economic purposes.
  • The cooperation will enhance India’s strategic cooperation
    in the field of blue economy; commercial benefits from export of human
    resources, expertise and technology and it will increase India’s access to
    ocean-based resources in cooperation with Seychelles.

Union Cabinet
approved Protocol on Double Taxation Avoidance with Israel and Vietnam
  • The Union Cabinet on 7 October 2015 approved the Protocol
    between India and Israel and between Indian and Vietnam for avoidance of double
    taxation and for prevention of fiscal evasion with respect to taxes on income
    and on capital.
  • The Protocol with both the countries provides for
    internationally accepted standards for effective exchange of information on tax
    matters including bank information and information without domestic tax
    interest.
  • With this, the information received from Israel and Vietnam
    in respect of a resident of India can be shared with other law enforcement
    agencies with authorisation of the Competent Authority of both the countries
    and vice versa.
  • Besides, the Protocol with Israel also provides for
    Limitation of Benefits Article as an anti-abuse provision aimed at preventing
    misuse of the Convention. The provisions of this Article enable use of the
    provisions of domestic law and measures concerning tax avoidance or evasion in
    the event of misuse of the Convention.

High Level Anil
Baijal Panel suggested Uniform Tax Treatment for CSR Works
  • Union Government appointed committee chaired by Anil Baijal,
    former Union Home Secretary, on 7 October 2015 submitted its report on how to
    improve monitoring of CSR spending to government.
  • The panel was set up by the Union Corporate Affairs Ministry
    to suggest steps to improve monitoring of CSR spending.
  • The panel in its report recommended uniform tax treatment
    for all CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) activities under Companies Act
    2013 and leniency towards non-compliant companies in the first 2 to 3 years of
    the law.
  • It suggests that under the Companies Act, 2013, certain
    class of profitable entities is required to spend at least 2 percent of their
    three-year annual average net profit towards CSR activities. The first year of
    implementation of Companies Act was financial year that lasted from April 2014
    to March 2015 and compliance reports would be available by the end 2015.

India
Union Cabinet
approved Productivity Linked Bonus for railway employees
  • The Union Cabinet on 7 October 2015 approved the payments of
    Productivity-Linked Bonus (PLB) equivalent to 78 days’ wages for the financial
    year 2014-2015 to about 12.58 lakh non-gazetted railway employees excluding
    RPF/RPSF personnel.
  • It is estimated that the total payment of 78 days’ PLB to
    railway employees will be around 1030.02 crore rupees.
  • The wage calculation ceiling prescribed for payment of PLB
    to the eligible non-gazetted railway employees is 3500 rupees per month. The
    maximum amount payable per eligible railway employee is 8975 rupees for 78
    days. This is in disparity to the productivity-linked bonus equivalent to a
    month’s wage paid to other central government employees and even public sector
    units such as NTPC.

Union Cabinet
approved setting up of three AllMS under Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojna
  • The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra
    Modi on 7 October 2015 approved the setting up of three new All India
    Institutes of Medical Sciences (AllMS) under Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha
    Yojna (PMSSY).
  • These three new AIIMS will come up at Nagpur in Maharashtra,
    at Manglagiri in Andhra Pradesh and at Kalyani in West Bengal.
  • All the three AIIMS will cost 4949 crore rupees to the
    exchequer with AIIMS at Manglagiri costing 1618 crore rupees, at Nagpur costing
    1577 crore rupees and at Kalyani costing 1754 crore rupees respectively.
  • These AIIMS will be established as institutes of national
    importance for providing quality medical education, nursing education and also
    to provide tertiary healthcare facilities to the people of these locations.
  • Further, the proposed institution will have a hospital with
    capacity of 960 beds. In addition, these will also have an AYUSH block, nursing
    college, hostel and residential facilities among others.

Priyanka Chopra tops
list of most sensational celebrities on internet: Intel Security

  • Bollywood actor Priyanka Chopra has replaced Alia Bhatt as
    the most ‘sensational’ celebrity on the internet in 2015, shows a study by
    Intel Security. Intel Security’s most sensational celebrities (MSC) report
    reveals the riskiest personalities on the web.
  • Among the other entrants are Shraddha Kapoor at second
    position and Kapil Sharma, the only TV personality to make it to the list, at
    the third.
  • While evaluating the top 10 celebrity names this year, Intel
    Security research found that 11.47 per cent of all links generated led to
    malware-ridden or suspicious sites. Cybercriminals keep a lookout for ways to
    take advantage of consumer interest around popular culture events like award
    shows, TV show premieres, film music launches, celebrity break-ups, etc.

Awards
& Honors –
Svetlana Alexievich
wins Nobel Prize for Literature

  • Belarussian writer Svetlana Alexievich today won the 2015
    Nobel Literature Prize, the Swedish Academy said.
  • It honoured the 67-year-old “for her polyphonic writings, a
    monument to suffering and courage in our time.”
  • Alexievich has drawn international acclaim with her
    emotional accounts of the Chernobyl disaster and World War II based on witness
    accounts.
  • Chronicling such horrors in the first person through the
    words of witnesses, Alexievich has seen her works translated into numerous
    languages and scooped international awards.
  • But her books, controversially written in Russian, are not
    published in her home country, long ruled by authoritarian President Alexander
    Lukashenko, amid what the author has described as “a creeping censorship”.
  • Alexievich, only the 14th woman to be awarded the Nobel
    literature prize, takes home the sum of eight million Swedish kronor (around $950,000
    or €855,000).

Indian firm Nualgi
won Popular Choice Award at Climate CoLab of MIT
  • Nualgi, an Indian company with entirely Indian technology in
    the field of nano biotechnology, on 7 October 2015 won the Popular Choice
    Awards at the Climate CoLab of Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT),
    Cambridge.
  • With this, Nualgi became the first Indian company to win the
    annual MIT contest.
  • The Indian company had submitted two proposals to reduce
    power and fuel consumption for sewage treatment and reuse of water built around
    their nano-scale product called Nualgi for the 2015 edition of the contest.

Books
& Authors –
The Courage to Act – A
Memoir of a Crisis and Its Aftermath by Ben S. Bernanke released
  • The book titled The Courage to Act – A Memoir of a Crisis
    and Its Aftermath authored by Ben S. Bernanke was released in the first week of
    October 2015.
  • The author through the book has questioned the inflation
    targeting policy followed by Federal Reserve even during the recession and in
    turn has proposed the adoption Nominal Gross Domestic Product (NGDP) policy to
    better deal with recessions like 2008 Financial Crisis.
  • The Courage to Act recounts and explains the worst financial
    crisis and economic slump in America since the Great Depression, providing an
    insider’s account of the policy response.

Lists
UNCTAD released Trade
and Development Report 2015
  • United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD)
    on 6 October 2015 released the Trade and Development Report 2015 at its
    headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. The report is titled Making the
    international financial architecture work for development.
  • Besides reviewing recent trends in the global economy, the
    report suggested ways to make international financial architecture, including
    IMF and World Bank, work for development.
  • Report with respect to trends in the global economy
  • Following the 2008−2009 crisis and the rebound in 2010, the
    global economy has been growing at around 2.5 per cent.
  • The growth rate for 2015 is expected to remain more or less
    unchanged from last year, at 2.5 per cent.
  • Developed countries are expected to grow at around 1.9 per
    cent, compared with 1.6 per cent in 2014, as growth in the eurozone and Japan
    is experiencing a moderate acceleration, although from very low rates.

IMF released Global
Financial Stability Report October 2015
  • International Monetary Fund (IMF) on 6 October 2015 released
    the Global Financial Stability Report October 2015 entitled Vulnerabilities,
    Legacies, and Policy Challenges-Risks Rotating to Emerging Markets.
  • The report assessed key risks facing the global financial
    system and came up with suggestions to the policy makers to counter them.
  • The report pointed out that as the advanced economies are on
    recovery path the time is ripe for them to normalize domestic interest rates.
    This will result in volatility in the emerging economies that are more
    integrated with global financial architecture.
  • With respect to India, the report pointed out that though
    the credit expansion was relatively more moderate that has not prevented high
    formation of new stressed loans.

Sports
Cyclist Deborah
Herold became first-ever Indian to win five medals at Taiwan Cup
  • Indian cyclist Deborah Herold in the first week of October
    2015 bagged one gold, three silver and one bronze medal at the 2015 Taiwan Cup
    held at the Hsin Chu Velodrome, Hsin-Chu city in Taiwan. With this, she became
    the first ever Indian cyclist to win in women’s elite section.
  • Deborah fetched the gold medal in Taiwan Cup Track
    International Classic I by defeating the Malaysian top rider. On the other
    hand, she ended on second place in the keirin event and 500m time trial.
  • In November 2014, the Indian cyclist had won four gold
    medals at the Track Asia Cup Cycling Championship 2014.

NCC National Games
declared open
  • The Director General of the National Cadet Corps Lt. General
    Aniruddha Chakravarty on 7 October 2015 inaugurated the NCC National Games-2015
    at DG NCC Camp, Delhi Cantt. The game will witness nearly 2000 cadets from all
    17 state directorates in action.
  • The NCC Games aims at identifying the sportsperson in the
    cadets and provide them with a feel of a major sporting event and prepare them
    with essential match temperament and further their sporting careers.
  • In addition, the game showcases and promotes low cost
    indigenous games such as Kabbadi and Kho-Kho among the youth.

Russia retained 2015
Women’s European Volleyball Championship
  • Russia on 4 October 2015 won the Women’s European Volleyball
    Championship title. In the final played at the Sportpaleis Ahoy Arena in
    Rotterdam, Russia defeated Netherlands, 3–0 (25-14, 25-20, 25-20).
  • This was the 19th title for Russia.

Medal Tally
  • Gold: Russia
  • Silver: Netherlands
  • Bronze: Serbia

Appointments
Hoesung Lee elected
as the Head of Inter-governmental Panel for Climate Change
  • Hoesung Lee, a Korean professor of economics of climate
    change, energy and sustainable development, was on 6 October 2015 elected as
    the Head of the Inter-governmental Panel for Climate Change (IPCC) at its 42nd
    session in Dubrovnik, Croatia.
  • Lee was elected by 78-56 votes in a run-off with
    Jean-Pascale van Ypersele of Belgium. A total of six candidates had been
    nominated for the post.
  • He succeeded RK Pachauri of India, who stepped down in
    February 2015 after a female researcher accused him of sexual harassment.

Amit Gossain
appointed as Kone India MD
  • Elevator and escalator manufacturer Kone has appointed Amit
    Gossain as new managing director in India effective September 28, 2015.
  • He has taken over responsibility of the Indian subsidiary
    from Neeraj Sharma, who joined Executive Board of Kone as Executive Vice
    President, Asia Pacific & Middle East.
  • Gossain’s last assignment was with JCB India Limited as
    Executive Vice President, where he was responsible for both India and SAARC
    countries.
  • Based in Chennai, Kone India serves customers all over the
    country through its 40 branches and employs over 3,600 people in the country.

Days
83rd Air Force Day
observed across India

  • The Air Force Day 2015 was on 8 October 2015 observed across
    India. This is the 83rd celebration of the Day that began in 1932.
  • This prestigious occasion was marked with celebrations at
    the Hindon Air Force Station in Ghaziabad. The event began with a fly past of
    three Mi-17 V5 helicopters with ensign of the Air Force in a V-shaped formation
    at the air base in Ghaziabad in Uttar Pradesh.
  • The parade saw Hercules formation comprising three C-130J
    aircraft in the same formation.



Regards

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