BY: D.K Choudhary
Karang Island in Manipur Becomes India’s First Cashless Island
i. Contributing to the Government’s Digital India Campaign, a small lake island Karang in Manipur has been declared as the country’s first cashless island by the Union Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology on January 13, 2017.
ii. The island fulfilled the Centre’s necessary criteria to be named as the cashless island. A campaign was organized from January 9 to 12 by the Karang Island Boat Association and Panthoibi Khoyol Standard Association in the island to promote cashless transactions.
iii. As many as 400 beneficiaries, 16 merchants, including six motor boat service providers registered themselves under the cashless capmaign. The island would also install a card swipe machine so that the island families can become 100% cashless society.
iv. Earlier, Akodara village in Gujarat became India’s first digital village in 2015.
30 More Countries to Join Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank
♦ The Foreign Ministry spokesperson of China, Hua Chunying on January 17, 2017 informed that thirty more countries have applied for joining the Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) besides 57 founding members.
About Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB)
i. The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) is an international financial institution that aims to support the building of infrastructure in the Asia-Pacific region.
ii. It was officially established with 57 founding members and authorized capital of USD 100 billion.
iii. China is the largest shareholder of the bank having 26.6 percent voting shares. India is the second largest shareholder with 7.5 percent followed by Russia 5.93 percent and Germany with 4.5 percent.
iv. In June 2016 the bank approved its first four loans, totalling USD 509 million to fund power, housing and transportation projects in Bangladesh, Indonesia, Pakistan and Tajikistan.
♦ President: Jin Liqun
♦ Headquarters: Beijing, China
♦ Founded: December 25, 2015
UN Report Estimates India’s GDP to grow by 7.7% in 2017
i. Based on the United Nations report on World Economic Situation and Prospects (WESP) 2017 released on January 17, 2017, India’s economy is projected to grow by 7.7 percent in the fiscal 2017 because of being the fastest growing large developing economy.
ii. The UN report projected that India is going to be benefitted due to its strong private consumption and gradual introduction of significant domestic reforms.
iii. Besides, the growth estimate for 2018 has been projected at 7.6 percent. However, it also stated that low capacity utilization and stressed balance sheets of banks and businesses will have negative effect on strong investment revival in the short term.
iv. The report estimated the growth prospect of China to remain stable at 6.5 percent for fiscal years 2017 and 2018 due to favourable domestic demand and accommodative fiscal measures.
v. Earlier the International Monetary Fund cut India’s growth rate for the current fiscal year to 6.6 percent from its previous estimate of 7.6 percent while the World Bank too lowered India’s GDP growth for 2016-17 fiscal to 7 percent from its previous estimate of 7.6 percent.