GK Update : 17th July, 2016
By: D.K Choudhary
RBI sets up an Inter-regulatory Working Group on Fin Tech and Digital Banking
i. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has constituted an inter-regulatory Working Group (WG) to study the entire gamut of regulatory issues relating to Financial Technology and Digital Banking in India.
ii. The group has been set up in view of the growing significance of Fintech innovations, and their interactions with the financial sector as well as financial sector entities. It will review and appropriately reorient the regulatory framework, and respond to the dynamics of the rapidly evolving Fintech scenario.
iii. The Working Group will be headed by Sudarshan Sen, Executive Director of RBI, and has 12 members. It has been asked to submit its report within six months from the date of its first meeting.
India, ADB sign 100 Million USD loan agreement for Cauvery Delta project in Tamil Nadu
i. The Union Government and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) have signed a 100 million US dollars loan agreement to strengthen key irrigation and drainage system and improve water management in the Vennar sub-basin of the Cauvery delta in Tamil Nadu.
ii. The financing will be used to strengthen embankments of six major irrigation water channels in the Vennar system and rehabilitate 13 irrigation pumping schemes as Cauvery river basin is a critical source of water for agriculture, both within Tamil Nadu and neighbouring states.
iii. The agreement has been signed by Mr. Raj Kumar, Joint Secretary (Multilateral Institutions), Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance, on behalf of the Government of India and Mr. L. B. Sondjaja, Deputy Country Director of ADB’s India Resident Mission.
RBI asks banks to exchange upto 20 soiled notes free of charge
i. The Reserve Bank of India has asked banks to exchange up to 20 pieces of soiled currency notes with a maximum value of Rs. 5,000 over the counter free of charge in an effort to improve customer service. However, if the number of notes to be exchanged is more than 20, banks can levy service charge.
ii. As per RBI, the facility of exchanging mutilated or imperfect notes is available at designated bank branches and also non-chest branches.
iii. In case notes are presented in bulk (where the number exceeds 20 pieces or 5,000 in value per day), banks will accept them, against receipt, for value to be credited later.
WHO declares India as Maternal and Neonatal Tetanus free
i. The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared India as Maternal and Neonatal Tetanus free. In this regard, WHO presented certificates to the Union Health and Family Welfare Minister J P Nadda.
ii. Previously, WHO also certified India yaws-free after a team of experts verified interruption of disease transmission in the country.
iii. The Maternal and Neonatal Tetanus Elimination (MNTE) has been the result of India’s focused approach on making maternal and newborn care accessible to all. Reducing maternal and neonatal tetanus to less than one case per 1 000 live births in all 675 districts has helped improve access to immunization, antenatal care services and skilled birth attendance in the most vulnerable populations.
Over 14 lakh LPG connections released under PMUY
i. Over fourteen lakh LPG connections have been released to the women of BPL families under the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY).
ii. According to the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, the scheme is currently under operation in 487 districts of 17 states.
iii. The scheme, launched in May this year, aims at providing LPG connections to five crore below-poverty-line beneficiaries over the next three years.
74 schemes of 17 Ministries & Departments brought under DBT
i. The GOI has been brought 74 schemes of 17 Ministries and Departments under Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT).
ii. Addressing the members of Consultative Committee of his Ministry in New Delhi, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley stated that DBT is a very important scheme as it transfers the benefit to the targeted beneficiaries.
iii. The scheme also ensures that benefits reach the targeted population and helps reducing leakages.
Indian Naval Ships visit Port Kelang, Malaysia
i. Indian Naval Ships Sahyadri, Shakti and Kirch have arrived at Port Kelang on a four day visit, as part of deployment of the Eastern Fleet to the South China Sea and Western Pacific. The INS Sahyadri is commanded by Captain K S Rajkumar, INS Shakti is commanded by Captain Gagan Kaushal and INS Kirch is commanded by Commander Sharad Sinsunwal.
ii. There, Indian Naval Ships will have professional interaction with the Royal Malaysian Navy for further enhancing co-operation between the two forces. In addition, sporting and cultural interactions and sharing of best practices, aimed at strengthening ties and mutual understanding between the two Navies, are also planned.
iii. The visiting ships are also likely to conduct exercises with the Royal Malaysian Navy, aimed at enhancing interoperability in communication as well as Search and Rescue procedures, post departure from Port Kelang.
Tata Advanced Systems signs deal with Bell Helicopter
i. Tata Advanced System (TASL) and Bell Helicopter, a Textron Company have signed an agreement to work together in support of India’s aviation and defense modernization initiatives. The agreement was inked with an emphasis on ‘Make in India’.
ii. As per the agreement, TASL and Bell Helicopters will join to develop both commercial and government rotary wing markets in India in the light utility and reconnaissance segments.
iii. Tata Advanced Systems Limited (TASL), a wholly owned subsidiary of Tata Sons, is the strategic Aerospace and Defence arm of the TATA Group.
MP Cabinet approves setting up of Happiness Department in state
i. In Madhya Pradesh, the Shivraj cabinet has given its nod to set up Happiness Department in the state. This department will work as knowledge resource centre on the subject of happiness. A state Happiness Institute will also be established under the Happiness Department.
ii. Madhya Pradesh is the first state of the country to set up such a Department. The new department will identify and define the parameters of happiness. It will prepare guidelines for coordination between different departments for propagating happiness in the state.
iii. Initially, it will have a budget of three crore 60 lakh rupees. The state government has also decided to give Simhastha Jyoti medals to officers and employees who made security arrangements in Ujjain during the Simhastha.
Maharastra CM launches virtual, digital classrooms across 32 ITIs in state
i. Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has launched the facility of virtual and digital classrooms across 32 ITIs in the state on the occasion of World Youth Skills Day (15th July).
ii. According to him, the facility of virtual classrooms will bridge the urban-rural divide and open the doors of knowledge. Mr. Fadnavis asked students to master their passion, and assures that jobs will come in plenty due to the power of skill development.
iii. Announcing an initiative called ‘Skill Sakhis’ for women empowerment, Mr. Fadnavis informed that girls comprise half of 40,000 students being also trained for skill development.
Who Moved My Interest Rate authored by Duvvuri Subbarao
i. A book titled “Who Moved My Interest Rate” written by Duvvuri Subbarao, the former Governor of Reserve Bank of India (RBI), will be released on 27 July 2016. The book is a chronicle of Subbarao’s attempts to demystify the RBI and explain to the public its impact on their everyday lives.
ii. It gives an account of the dilemmas Subbarao confronted while leading the Reserve Bank through the extraordinary economic and political challenges India and world faced from 2008 to 2013.
iii. Mr. Subbarao is an Indian Economist, Central Banker and Civil Servant. He was the 22nd Governor of Reserve Bank of India from 5 September 2008, with an extension in 2011 till 4 September 2013.
Misbah-ul-Haq becomes oldest captain to score Test hundred
i. Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq has scored 110 against England at Lord’s and with this, the 42 years and 47 days old cricketer became the oldest captain to score Test hundred. Misbah is also the oldest visiting player to play a Test on English soil in the last 31 years.
ii. The previous oldest was Somachandra de Silva of Sri Lanka, who was 42 years & 73 days old when he played against England at Lord’s in 1984.
iii. Misbah is a Pakistani cricketer. He is the current Test captain of the Pakistan national cricket team. He was also the One Day International (ODI) captain until his retirement from ODI cricket after the 2015 Cricket World Cup.