G.K Update 17,June 2016 (English)
By: D.K Choudhary
1. President Mukherjee receives the highest civilian award of Ivory coast
i. President Pranab Mukherjee has been awarded the highest civilian award of Ivory Coast, ‘the National Grand Crois’.
ii. The award was bestowed upon Pranab Mukherjee during his two days visit to Ivory Coast on the second leg of his three-nation African tour.
iii. His visit is the first ever high-level visit from India to Ivory Coast. He was invited by Ivory Coast President Alassane Ouattara.
i. A cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved the takeover by State Bank of India (SBI) of several subsidiaries.
ii. As earlier proposed, SBI wants to take over five units that had been running at arms-length, as well as state-run Bharatiya Mahila Bank, a bank for women set up in 2013. This is the first move to consolidate the country’s struggling public sector banks.
iii. The merged entity will create a banking giant, which can compete with the largest in the world with an asset base of almost Rs 37 lakh crore, with 22,500 branches and 58,000 ATMs as on December 2015. SBI alone has close to 16,500 branches, including 198 foreign offices spread across 36 countries.
3. India to provide Rs 48 mn aid for college building in Nepal
i. India has pledged a financial assistance of Rs 48.84 million to Nepal for the construction of a college building in the capital Kathmandu. This Koteshwor Multiple Campus was established in 1990.
ii. For the project, ambassador of India to Nepal Ranjit Rae laid the foundation stone of the building the Campus in Kathmandu district. The campus building is constructed with financial aid from India and the project is being implemented through District Development Committee of Kathmandu.
iii. This project assistance comes under the India-Nepal Economic Cooperation Programme which has an outlay of over Rs 76 billion with more than 529 large and small development projects completed or being implemented in almost all the districts of Nepal. These development projects, mainly in the sectors of education, health, and infrastructure development have been undertaken in response to local needs and in partnership with the Government of Nepal.
4. Jal Marg Vikas Project on river Ganga to enable commercial navigation
i. Jal Marg Vikas is a project on the river Ganga that is being developed between Allahabad and Haldia to cover a distance of 1620 kilometers.
ii. The project is being implemented with technical and investment support from World Bank and would be completed over a period of six years at an estimated cost of 4200 crore rupees.
iii. It envisages the development of a fairway with three metres depth which would enable commercial navigation of at least 1500 ton vessels on the river. The construction of multimodal terminals, jetties, river information system, channel marking, navigational lock, river training and conservancy works are to be undertaken as part of the project.
5. Union Government Launches Scheme for setting up 1000 MW CTU- connected Wind Power Project
i. The Union Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has launched a scheme for setting up of 1000 Mega Watt (MW) Wind Power Project connected to transmission network of Central Transmission Utility (CTU).
ii. The objective of the scheme is to facilitate the supply of wind power to the non-windy states at a price discovered through the transparent bidding process.
iii. The Scheme will encourage competitiveness through scaling up of project sizes and introduction of transparent and efficient e-auctioning and e-bidding processes. It will also facilitate fulfillment of Non-Solar Renewable Purchase Obligation (RPO) requirement of non-windy states. Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) has been designated nodal agency for implementation of the scheme. The Scheme will be implemented for setting up 1000 MW capacity of CTU connected Wind Power Projects by Wind Project Developers on build, own and operate (BOOT) basis. However, if there is higher demand from Discoms of non-windy states the capacity may go higher than 1000 MW.
6. Railway Ministry signs an agreement with Odisha Govt for the development of railway infrastructure
i. Ministry of railways has signed an agreement with Government of Odisha for the formation of a joint venture Company to develop the railway infrastructure in the state.
ii. A K Mittal, member engineering, Railway board presided over the signing function. The agreement was signed by V. P Dudeja, ED/Works on behalf of Ministry of Railways and Sanjay Rastogi, Pr. Secretary/ Transport, Govt. of Odisha.
iii. The MoU envisages formation of a Joint Venture company having 51% stake of the State Government and 49% stake of Ministry of Railways. The company will primarily identify projects and possible financing avenues in addition to Govt. of India and the State Government.
7. Haryana government approves Rs. 25 Cr agriculture project
i. Haryana government has approved a Rs 25 crore project that will benefit 75,000 farmers.
ii. The decision has been taken by the state level steering committee, which met under the chairmanship of Chief Secretary D S Dhesi.
iii. The project will be implemented in northern part of the state. This project proposes to sustainably intensify crops and cropping systems in Haryana for enhancing and sustaining production at less cost by adopting climate resilient technologies, without deteriorating soil health while maintaining the flow of environmental services. The Climate resilient agriculture practices include all possible methods that are required to make agriculture production system more flexible to climate change.
8. DCB Bank launches Aadhaar enabled ATM in Bengaluru
i. DCB Bank has launched Bengaluru’s first ATM that accepts Aadhaar number and Aadhaar fingerprint (biometric) instead of ATM/Debit Card and PIN to dispense cash.
ii. The “cardless and PIN less” ATM was launched by former Chairman of the Unique Identification Authority of India, Nandan Nilekani. Nilekani is the Chairperson and Co-founder of EkStep Foundation, a non-profit literacy organisation.
iii. The Bank pilot launched India’s first aadhaar based ATM in Mumbai. This was followed by the launch of Aadhaar based ATM in Odisha and Punjab. The Bank also plans to upgrade all its 400 plus ATMs to provide Aadhaar-based functionality in the next six months or so.
9. Florida bank issues first US credit card for use in Cuba
i. A small regional Florida bank, Stonegate Bank has made history by issuing the first credit card that can be used in Cuba. That could make it easier for Americans to travel and work on an island largely.
ii. Until now, Americans have generally had to bring cash to Cuba and change it either at state institutions that impose a 10 percent penalty on the dollar or in informal exchanges with locals.
iii. But now, with the help of this card, no one has to use cash every day, which is dangerous too. However, this card will be a limited-edition MasterCard and initially, the Pompano Beach-based Stonegate Bank will issue only 1,000 cards only. Each card will feature artwork by celebrated Cuban painter Michel Mirabal.
10. DBS Bank appoints Niraj Mittal as institutional banking head
i. DBS Bank India, a part of Asia’s foremost financial services group DBS Group Holdings Limited, has announced the appointment of Mr. Niraj Mittal as the Managing Director and Head of Institutional Banking for the country.
ii. In his new role, he will be taking care of scaling up business with institutional banking clients by driving both new client acquisition and deepening existing relationships.
iii. Mr. Niraj will report to Jeanette Wong, who is a Group Executive and Head of Institutional Banking Group in Singapore and Surojit Shome, CEO of DBS India. Prior to this appointment, he was working with the Royal Bank of Scotland NV (RBS), where he served as its Managing Director and Head of institutional banking business (North India).
11. Peter Thomson elected as the President of 71st session of United Nations General Assembly
i. Fijian diplomat Peter Thomson has been elected as the President of 71st session of United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).
ii. In the secret ballot election for the post, Peter Thomson defeated Andreas Mavroyiannis of Cyprus by 94 to 90 votes, with one abstention.
iii. With this, Peter Thomson becomes the first representative from the Pacific island states to get elected for the largely honorific post in the UN’s 71-year history. Thomson will begin his tenure in September 2016 at the commencement of the 71st session of UNGA and will replace incumbent President Mogens Lykketoft.
12. RBS India chief Brijesh Mehra to head RBL corporate banking
i. Kolhapur-headquartered, a small sized but fastest growing private sector lender RBL Bank (formerly known as The Ratnakar Bank Limited) has announced the appointment of Brijesh Mehra as the head of corporate banking at RBL.
ii. At present, he is the Country Executive for India as well as the Corporate and Institutional Banking Head at Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), India.
iii. In his new role, he will responsible for developing and managing relationships with large corporates, multinational corporations, public sector undertakings, financial institutions, government departments and local administration. At RBI he will report to the MD and CEO, Mr. Vishwavir Ahuja. iv. Recently, RBL has also changed some other key position which includes Neeta Mukherjee as the Chief Credit Officer and transfer of Gurumurthy R as head of risk and governance after being replaced by Mehra.
13. Deutsche Bank Asia chief executive Gunit Chadha quits
i. Germany’s largest lender, Deutsche Bank has announced that Gunit Chadha, who is serving as Chief Executive officer for Asia-Pacific region would leave the company next month on 17th of July. At present, he is handling 16 countries which include, India, China in Asia Pacific.
ii. He was appointed as a co-chief executive officer (CEO) for the Asia-Pacific in the year 2012 and in the year 2015 he has been promoted as sole CEO.
iii. The decision to quit has come at a time when the bank has decided to restructure the business, including closing down operations in 10 countries, reducing risks, strengthening the capital position and laying off around 15,000 people. As the Deutsche Bank has been under pressure this year globally.
14. Renowned Hindi writer Mudrarakshasa passes away
i. Distinguished Hindi writer, activist, thinker and cultural personality Mudrarakshasa has passed away after following a prolonged illness in Lucknow. He was 82 years old.
ii. Born in Behta near Lucknow in 1931, He graduated from Lucknow University and was then employed as Assistant Editor of Gyanodaya that was published from Calcutta from 1955 to 1958.
iii. He was the editor of Anuvrata, a Calcutta-based magazine. He worked as Editor at All India Radio from 1962 to 1976. His works of theatrical criticism include Rang Bhumikayen and a book on Nemichandra Jain. He has about thirty stage productions to his credit.
15. India set for the maiden show at U17 Futsal World Cup
i. India are set to make their maiden appearance in the Under 17 Futsal World Cup next month, after being invited by the sport’s governing body, the Association Mundial de Futsal (AMF), as a wild card to take part in the event.
ii. The competition, among futsal’s biggest global events, is to be held from July 11-20 in Paraguay, with India one among a total of 12 competing countries.
iii. The team which will take part in U17 Futsal World Cup will be chosen through a selection process which will be organised by Futsal Association of India (FAI) which is the AMF-accredited governing body for futsal in the country.