Hello and welcome to exampundit. Here are the Daily Current Affairs of 4 January, 2018. These are important for Syndicate Bank PGDBF, ECGC PO and IBPS Clerk Mains 2017.
Finance and Banking
Govt notifies 7.75% bond scheme for retail investors
- The government has notified a new 7.75% taxable bond scheme to replace the earlier 8% scheme for retail investors.
- The interest would be payable half-yearly and the cumulative value of Rs1,000 at the end of seven years will be Rs1,703. These taxable bonds to be issued at par are meant for individual other than Non-Resident Indians, it said, adding these are not tradeable in the secondary market and are not eligible as collateral for loans from banking institutions, non-banking financial companies or financial institutions.
- In 2003, the government came out with bonds offering 8% interest to encourage retail investors to invest. The bond was open for subscription from 21 April 2003, and had a fixed tenure of six years. There was no upper limit for investment.
RBI puts Allahabad Bank under prompt corrective action
- India’s Allahabad Bank said the central bank has initiated ‘prompt corrective action’ (PCA) against the state-run lender over its high bad loans.
- High net non-performing assets (NPA) and a negative Return On Assets (ROA) for two years in a row has prompted the action, the bank said in a statement late on Wednesday, although it added the action would help improve its risk management, asset quality and profits.
- The central bank has so far ordered corrective action for about 10 lenders, mostly due to their high bad loan ratios.
- Depending on the risk thresholds set in the Reserve Bank of India corrective action rules, lenders can be asked by the regulator to restrict branch expansion and make higher provisions on sour loans, among other curbs.
New ₹10 notes to be chocolate coloured
- The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is going to issue new Rs 10 notes under the Mahatma Gandhi series with chocolate brown colour as the base. The new note will bear the picture of the Konark Sun Temple.
- The apex bank has already printed around 1 billion pieces of the new note, according to people familiar with the matter.
- The design received the go-ahead from the government last week, said the two of the people cited earlier. The change in design in the old Rs 10 note was last made in 2005. In August last year, RBI had introduced the new Rs 200 and Rs 50 notes under the Mahatma Gandhi series. An RBI spokesperson declined to comment.
- The move to reintroduce lower denomination notes in a new design comes after the government’s move to rework the currency mix in order to combat counterfeiting and promote a less-cash economy.
FinMin clears two FDI proposals involving Rs. 532 crore investment
- The Department of Economic Affairs (DEA) has approved two Foreign Direct Inevstment (FDI) proposals involving investment to the tune of Rs. 532 crore in December 2017.
- One of the investment proposals sought approval for foreign investment of up to 49 percent in the form of non-voting equity shares by two foreign investors, M/s Canada Pension Plan Investment Board and M/s Pantheon-HK Project Universe, LP, in Metaffinity Private Limited, an investment holding company, which will make downstream investment in Religare Health Insurance Company Ltd., an Indian company engaged in health insurance business.
- The other one, the ministry noted, was made by M/s SMAS Auto Leasing India Pvt. Ltd. to undertake financial lease business in addition to the existing operating lease business.
Air India ties up with foreign banks to acquire three B777 planes
- State-owned Air India has tied up with UAE-based First Abu Dhabi Bank as well as Standard Chartered Bank and Mashreq Bank to avail short-term loans for acquiring three Boeing 777 aircraft, Union minister Jayant Singh said today.
- Two of the aircraft are to be used for ferrying VVIPs, the minister of state for civil aviation said in a written reply in the Lok Sabha.
- The delivery of the three B777-300 ER planes is scheduled to be completed next month — two in January and one in February.
- In early November, the disinvestment-bound airline issued a revised tender (after first floating it in October), soliciting interest from lenders for a loan worth up to USD 535 million (around Rs 3,460 crore).
- Last month, the airline also floated tenders for securing loans worth over Rs 1,100 crore for modification of two Boeing aircraft for ferrying VVIPs — the president, vice-president and prime minister.
Paytm Mall parterns with Samsung India to strengthen O2O channel
- Paytm Mall on Thursday announced a landmark partnership with consumer electronics brand, Samsung India, aiming to strengthen its offline-to-online (O2O) model.
- As part of the arrangement, Paytm Mall will now be hosting Samsung brand store on its platform to drive immediate discovery and instant purchases of the brand’s flagship range of smartphones.
- Moreover, Samsung’s authorized retail outlets are also being on-boarded.
- This will enable customers to buy and receive faster deliveries of smartphones from their nearest stores.
MoU signed between ofo, Pune Municipal Corporation
- ofo, a station-free app based bike-sharing platform signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) to support the Pune Cycle Plan – a comprehensive bicycle master plan for integrated city-wide cycle tracks across Pune.
- Prepared with support from the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, Government of India, the Pune Cycle Plan sets out to create the necessary infrastructure for proper cycle tracks, a city-wide cycle network, seamless public sharing bicycle schemes and development of cycle promotion activities for encouraging the use of this eco-friendly mode of transport.
- Mobility has become a major civic issue in Pune recently as facilities for public commuting have not kept pace with the city’s growth. As per PMC’s Environment Status Report 2016-17, with 700 private vehicles being added to the roads every day, the city’s vehicle population is now equal to its human population.
NIIT acquires Eagle Productivity Solutions for $8.1 million
- Skills and talent development firm NIIT Ltd said on Thursday it has acquired Eagle International Institute (EII) for $8.1 million.
- The acquisition will help NIIT expand its training capability for global rollout of cloud-based enterprise applications in the pharmaceutical and life sciences industry, NIIT said in a statement.
- Eagle was incorporated in 1988 and is engaged in the business of providing technology training and work process consulting. EII — which operates as Eagle Productivity Solutions — is headquartered in Rochester, US. Its consolidated turnover (provisional) for the financial year ended December 2017 stood at $10.7 million.
CCEA approves mandatory packaging of foodgrains in Jute Materials
- The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) on 3 January 2018 approved mandatory packaging of foodgrains and sugar in the jute material for the Jute Year 2017-18. The Jute Year 2017-18 period is from 1 July 2017 to 30 June 2018.
- The above decision of the Cabinet is aimed at sustaining the core demand for the jute sector and supporting the livelihood of the workers and farmers dependent on the sector.
- CCEA approved the mandatory packaging norms under the Jute Packaging Material (JPM) Act, 1987.
- The approval mandates that 90 per cent of the food grains and 20 per cent of the sugar products shall be mandatorily packed in jute bags.
- Its provision for 100 per cent packing of food grains in jute bags is subjected to the ability of the jute industry to meet the requirement.
- The decision will benefit farmers and workers located in the Eastern and North Eastern regions of the country in West Bengal, Bihar, Odisha, Assam, Andhra Pradesh, Meghalaya and Tripura.
Union Cabinet approves revised Model Concession Agreement for building ports
- The Union Cabinet on 3 January 2018 approved amendments in the Model Concession Agreement (MCA) to make the Port Projects more investor-friendly and make investments more attractive in the Port Sector.
- The amendments in the MCA call for setting up of the Society for Affordable Redressal of Disputes – Ports (SAROD-PORTS) as dispute resolution mechanism, similar to provision available in Highway Sector.
- Providing exit route to developers by divesting their equity up to 100 per cent after completion of 2 years from the Commercial Operation Date(COD).
- Under provision of additional land to the Concessionaire, land rent has been reduced from 200 per cent to 120 per cent of the applicable scale of rates for the proposed additional land.
- Concessionaire will be free to deploy higher capacity equipment or technology and carry out value engineering for higher productivity and improved utilization of Project assets.
- The Actual Project Cost will be replaced by the Total Project Cost.
India and state
BSF launches ‘Operation Alert’ along 200 km border to curb militant movement
- The Border Security Force (BSF) has launched “Operation Alert” along the over 200 kilometer long International Border (IB) in Jammu and Kashmir to curb the increasing movement of infiltrating militants from across the border.
- The BSF gave a military send off by organising Wreath- laying ceremony at Frontier headquarters here in the honour of the late Head Constable Radha Pada Hazara, who was killed in sniper firing by Pakistan rangers along the IB in Samba sector yesterday.
Centre launches online tutorial to train doctors in detecting cancers early
- A first-of-its kind online tutorial, meant to train doctors in small towns and far-flung areas in early detection, prevention, palliation, rehabilitation and treatment of various cancers was launched by the Centre on Wednesday in collaboration with the Tata Memorial Hospital, Mumbai.
- The course is intended for physicians, gynecologists, dentists and other healthcare professionals who are not oncologists, but can help in early detection and diagnosis of cancers. The online video lectures, as part of seven-week course, are also designed to update oncologists with the evidence based guidelines and skill for the management of cancer.
- The tutorial comprises of 14 hours of comprehensive e-learning through more than 40 video lectures, case studies, assessment questionnaires and periodic interactive Webinar sessions with respective TMH consultants.
- Launching the program, health secretary Preeti Sudan said that this initiative will help the doctors upgrade their knowledge and skills regularly and will help in taking care of obsolescence.
India’s first multi-petaflops supercomputer launch at Pune
- India’s first multi-petaflops supercomputer would be inaugurated at the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM) in Pune.
- Union Minister of Earth Sciences, Dr Harsh Vardhan, will dedicate it to the nation on January 8.
- The acquisition of the supercomputer is part of the Ministry of Earth Sciences’ (MoES) endeavour to provide world class services (relating to weather, climate, ocean, seismological forecast) to the people of India, according to a press statement issued here.
- In order to provide useful services, MoES runs several computationally intensive applications on High Performance Computers (HPC). In the last 10 years, the HPC infrastructure at MoES institutes has grown from 40 Tera flops in 2008 to 1 Peta flop in 2013-14.
Ahmedabad surgeon uses robots in coronary surgery first time outside US
- Ahmedabad-based, internationally-reputed cardiologist Tejas Patel on Thursday said he has introduced here vascular robotic technology for the first time anywhere outside the US to perform coronary angioplasty and stenting.
- Patel told reporters here that the new technology, which he had implemented on 57 patients in a month, would make India a frontrunner in the modern healthcare system with almost zero failure rate in angioplasty and stenting.
- He introduced the technology at the Apex Heart Institute here, making the state of the art cardiology centre a “global centre of excellence” outside the US. Patel said the first robot was installed at the institute on December 7 and in less than a month he and his team had carried out 57 surgeries with the robotics technology.
- “The Apex Heart Institute, Ahmedabad, is the first institute in the world outside the US to have the robotics technology for angioplasty and stenting,” he claimed.
Nation-wide cleanliness survey ‘Swachh Survekshan’ launched
- The nation-wide cleanliness survey ‘Swachh Survekshan’ was launched across India on 4 January 2018.
- The announcement for the same was made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 31 December 2017 while addressing the nation in the 39th edition of his monthly radio-address ‘Mann Ki Baat’.
- The main objective of the survey is to evaluate the achievements in the cleanliness level in urban areas.
- Deemed as the world’s biggest survey, it will be conducted in over 4,000 cities with a population of more than 40 crores.
- It will commence on 4 January and will run till 10 March 2018.
Union Cabinet approves setting up of AIIMS in Bilaspur
- The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 3 January 2018 approved the establishment of AIIMS in Bilaspur, Himachal Pradesh.
- The new AIIMS will be set up under Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojana (PMSSY). The cost of the project is Rs 1351 crore.
- The new AIIMS will be completed in a period of 48 months with a pre-construction phase of 12 months, construction phase of 30 months and commissioning phase of 6 months.
- It will consist of a hospital with a capacity of 750 beds and trauma centre facilities.
- It will have a Medical college which will enrol 100 MBBS students every year.
- It will also have a Nursing college with a maximum enrolment of 60 B.Sc. (Nursing) students per year.
Awards and Honors
Indian-origin banker Ravi Menon named central bank governor of the year for Asia-Pacific
- An Indian-origin banker in Singapore has been named as the best central bank governor in Asia-Pacific for 2018, a media report said on Thursday.
- Ravi Menon, managing director of Singapore’s central bank Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), was recognised by the leading UK-based magazine ‘The Banker’ for his contribution in the makeover of Singapore’s financial system.
- The annual recognition is by magazine, a publication under The Financial Times Group, is based on a selection process involving a survey of bankers and economists.
- The article noted that the MAS was among the first regulators to set up a dedicated fintech group that focuses on understanding technology’s risks and benefits.
Raj Kumar Rishi to lead Xerox India
- Xerox India on Thursday announced the appointment of Raj Kumar Rishi as its Regional General Manager and Managing Director of Xerox India.
- In this role, Rishi will focus on driving growth and achieving the business objectives for Xerox India.
- Rishi succeeds Ashraf ElArman, who will take up the role of Regional General Manager, Central and Eastern Europe, Israel, Turkey and Greece (CITG) region.
- In his previous role, Rishi led HP India’s print business. He was also a senior leader in HP’s consumer, inkjet printing, printing consumables, enterprise/commercial and distribution businesses.
- Prior to working for HP, Rishi was Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Samsung’s Audio Visual business.
Samsung overtakes Intel as world’s biggest chip maker: Study
- South Korea’s Samsung has overtaken US rival Intel as the world’s biggest maker of semi-conductors as sales in the sector boom, a study published by consultancy Gartner showed on Thursday.
- Samsung Electronics “gained the most market share and took the number one position from Intel -— the first time Intel has been toppled since 1992,” said Gartner analyst, Andrew Norwood.
- The total global market for semi-conductors grew by 22 percent to $419.7 billion (348 billion euros) in 2017, fuelled by growth in smartphones and other connected devices, Gartner calculated.
- Samsung’s sales jumped by 52.6 percent to $61.2 billion, giving it a market share of 14.6 percent, the study showed.
- Intel’s sales, on the other hand, grew by just 6.7 percent to $57.7 billion, or a market share of 13.8 percent.
- Booming demand for memory chips was the main factor driving growth in the semi-conductors market, Gartner said.