Daily Current Affairs - 02nd Mar 2017

Cash transactions at HDFC, ICICI, Axis banks to attract charges

  • Banks including HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank and Axis Bank began charging a minimum amount of
  • `150 per transaction for cash deposits and withdrawals beyond four free transactions in a month.
  • The move is aimed at reducing cash transactions at banks – at the rate of `5 for every `1,000 transacted or `150, whichever is higher.
  • The transaction charge is applicable on all basic savings and salary accounts.

Drive to make all savings bank accounts internet enabled by March 31

  • The government may make all savings bank accounts automatically internet-enabled by March 31, In another step to further ease the process of cashless transactions. Also, plans are afoot to provide RuPay cards to the maximum population through a mass circulation drive.
  • Currently, 65 per cent of bank-account holders are linked to internet banking.
  • According to the Reserve Bank of India press release in March 2016, the total number of savings bank accounts in 2015 was 1,170 million, compared with 978 million in 2014.
  • RuPay, the card scheme launched by the National Payments Corporation of India, was created to fulfil the RBI’s move to provide a multi-purpose payment card to all citizens.

Financial hubs DIFC, GIFT tie up.

  • Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) has announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with Gujarat International Finance Tec-City (GIFT) to encourage cooperation and collaboration between the two financial hubs.
  • The MoU covers areas such as best practices of mutual interest, exchange of information on banking, financial service and securities, legislation and regulation besides cooperation in the areas of training, seminars and conferences.
  • Indian institutions make up the third-largest community of financial firms at DIFC after the US and the UK and account for more than a quarter of the current employed workforce.

Furnishing of Aadhaar mandatory for final settlement of Pension claims

  • The EPFO has clarified that obtaining of Aadhaar should be mandatory for the time being only for final settlement of Pension and not in withdrawl cases.
  • The EPFO had extended the date of submission of Aadhaar Number authentication by the members of Employees’Pension Scheme 1995 upto 31st March 2017.
  • The EPFO is under the administrative control of Ministry of Labour and Employment.

India's Internet user base to cross 450 million by June 2017: IAMAI

  • The number of Internet users in the country is expected to cross the 450 million mark by June 2017.
  • According to a report 'Internet in India' by the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI), the number of Internet users in India was estimated to be 432 million in December 2016 and the users are expected to reach between 450-465 million by June 2017.
  • The study which has been jointly published by the IMRB said that while user base in urban areas has started showing signs of saturation, the growth of internet usage is mainly being fuelled by the rural areas.

India’s first integrated heliport opened in Delhi

  • A Joint initiative of Civil Aviation Ministry and Pawan Hans
  • The country’s first integrated heliport, a dedicated landing facility for helicopters, was opened in New Delhi.
  • The heliport will provide all helicopter operational facilities and will de-congest the busy Indira Gandhi International Airport. It will also promote regional air connectivity in the northern part of the country for regular passenger services.
  • The heliport will also have services such as helicopter maintenance, disaster management, helicopter emergency medical services (HEMS) and law-and-order surveillance.

Interceptor missile test successful

  • The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) successfully carried out a test of an interceptor missile, further validating the reliability of the under-development, two-layered Ballistic Missile Defence (BMD) in shooting down enemy missiles.
  • Defence sources said the endo-atmospheric missile, which can intercept missiles at ranges of 15-30 km, was launched , from the Abdul Kalam Island off the Odisha coast in response to an incoming ‘enemy’ missile which was launched from the Integrated Test Range (ITR) in Chandipur.
  • The BMD consists of two interceptor missiles, the Prithvi Defence Vehicle (PDV) for exo-atmospheric ranges and the Advanced Area Defence (AAD) missile for endo-atmosphere or lower altitudes.
  • The BMD is critical to protect the country from the long-range ballistic missiles proliferating in the neighborhood. DRDO expects to have shield ready for deployment by 2022.

ISSF World Cup: Jitu Rai wins 50m air pistol gold, Amanpreet bags silver

  • Jitu Rai clinched a gold medal in 50m men's air pistol event in the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) World Cup.
  • Rai shot a world record score of 230.1 to bag the number one spot. Whereas, his compatriot Amanpreet Singh also won a silver medal in the same event.
  • Jitu Rai had earlier won a Bronze medal in 10m air pistol event of ISSF World Cup.

J.S. Deepak is India’s WTO ambassador

  • Telecom Secretary J.S. Deepak was named India’s next Ambassador to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) from June this year.
  • During his earlier stint in the Commerce Ministry, he was India’s chief negotiator at the WTO and for the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement, the mega Free Trade Agreement being negotiated by 16 countries.

Jindal Stainless, DRDO sign deal on high nitrogen steel

  • The DRDO and Jindal Stainless (Hisar) Ltd (JSHL) inked a licence deal for manufacturing High Nitrogen Steel, which has potential application in armoured vehicles, including infantry combat vehicles, the Main Battle Tank, the Future Ready Combat Vehicles (FRCV), as well as aviation and naval systems.
  • The DMRL is the lead DRDO laboratory for researching complex metals and materials required for modern sophisticated warfare weapons systems.
  • The alloy has significant applications in the defense sector, but currently the country is largely dependent on imports.

Keeping over 10 old notes to attract fine

  • The government has notified the law making it a criminal offence to possess more than a certain number of the old ` 500 and `1,000 notes.
  • The Specified Bank Notes (Cessation of Liabilities) Act, 2017, was passed by Parliament in February and received President Pranab Mukherjee’s approval on February 27.
  • Now, possessing more than 10 pieces of old notes by individuals and more than 25 pieces for study, research or numismatics purposes would attract a fine of Rs. 10,000 or five times the value of the cash held, whichever is higher.
  • The decision to demonetize high value currency notes was announced on November 8, 2016.

Manufacturing PMI improves for second straight month in February

  • An expansion in manufacturing business activity strengthened in February as compared to January, with data showing an increase in new orders, according to a private sector survey.
  • The Nikkei India Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) registered a value of 50.7 in February, an increase from January’s 50.4. A reading above 50 implies an expansion while a value below that shows a contraction.

Rural innovation and start-up conclave to be held in Hyderabad

  • The National Institute of Rural Development and Panchayat Raj (NIRDPR) will hold a Rural Innovation and Start-up Conclave in Hyderabad on March 23 and 24.
  • The conclave will provide a platform for start-ups to showcase their products and services. It aims to encourage start-ups to learn and strengthen the capacities of young, rural innovators.
  • The conclave will also feature awards in six categories — agriculture and allied; green energy technologies; drinking water, health and sanitation; waste to wealth; sustainable housing and other livelihoods.

Thiruvananthapuram first in Urban Governance

  • Thiruvananthapuram, Pune and Kolkata have emerged as the top three Indian cities that were tested on various urban governance parameters, according to a 21-city survey by Bengaluru-based advocacy group Janaagraha Centre for Citizenship and Democracy.
  • According to the fourth edition of the Annual Survey of India’s City Systems 2016, Delhi that has a population of about 18 million has been ranked at a distant 9.
  • Mumbai and Ahmedabad with a score of 4.4 top the list of cities that have invested adequate funds in public infrastructure and services.

Virat Kohli to receive Polly Umrigar Award

  • Indian captain Virat Kohli has been chosen for the BCCI’s International Cricketer of the Year (2016) for the third time.
  • The BCCI award winners (2015-16):
  • Col. C.K. Nayudu Lifetime Achievement award: Rajinder Goel and Padmakar Shivalkar.
  • BCCI Lifetime Achievement award for women: Shantha Rangaswamy.
  • BCCI Special awards: V.V. Kumar and the late Ramakant Desai.
  • Polly Umrigar award: Virat Kohli.
  • Dilip Sardesai award (India’s best cricketer in the West Indies series, 2016): R. Ashwin.
  • Lala Amarnath award (best all-rounder in the Ranji Trophy): Jalaj Saxena (Madhya Pradesh).
  • Lala Amarnath award (best all-rounder in domestic limited-over competition): Axar Patel. (Gujarat)
  • Madhavrao Scindia award (highest scorer in the Ranji Trophy): Shreyas Iyer (Mumbai).
  • Madhavrao Scindia award (highest wicket-taker): Shahbaz Nadeem (Jharkhand).
  • Raj Singh Dungarpur award (highest scorer in the u-16 Vijay Merchant Trophy): Abhishek Sharma (Punjab).
  • Jagmohan Dalmiya award [(best woman cricketer (senior)]: Mithali Raj (Railways).
  • Best performance in BCCI domestic tournaments: Mumbai Cricket Association .

World’s biggest banks fined a whopping $321 billion since financial crisis

  • Banks globally have paid $321 billion in fines since 2008 for an abundance of regulatory failings from money laundering to market manipulation and terrorist financing, according to data from Boston Consulting Group.
  • That tally is set to increase in the coming years as European and Asian regulators catch up with their more aggressive U.S. peers, who have levied the majority of charges to date, BCG said in its seventh annual study of the industry published.
  • Banks paid $42 billion in fines in 2016 alone, a 68 percent rise on the previous year, the data showed. Almost 10 years after the onset of the financial crisis, the banking industry still hasn’t completely recovered from the losses it suffered by one measure, BCG said.

YouTube TV all set for debut in U.S. market

  • Google launched YouTube TV, which will cost $35 a month and offer access to content from broadcast networks as well as YouTube.
  • The new service will allow subscribers in U.S. markets to get access on any connected device to networks such as ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC, along with “sports networks and dozens of popular cable networks.
  • YouTube TV will also combine user-created content from the Google-owned online video sharing service, with delivery customised for viewing screens from smartphones to big-screen televisions.
  • The service will launch first in major U.S. markets where local television content can be provided. YouTube TV will be accessible on Internet-linked mobile devices, and can be streamed to television screens using Google Chromecast.