Daily Current Affairs - 02nd Jan 2018

2018 may see IT sector add two lakh jobs

  • Hiring scenario looks bright in the new year with likely addition of 2 lakh jobs in the IT industry, experts say. The Indian job market is in a state of flux, thanks to rising adoption of artificial intelligence (AI) and upskilling is the only way employees will be able to survive this transitory phase.
  • While rising adoption of automation technologies will lead to job losses for some segments, sectors like mobile manufacturing, Fintech and startups look bullish going ahead.
  • Improvements in financial services and digital businesses, especially increase in investments in digitisation and automation and conducive investment climate are expected to result in business growth. The Indian IT industry is expected to add around 1.8-2 lakh new jobs in 2018.
  • According to a recent FICCI-Nasscom & EY report, by 2022, 9 per cent of India's 600 million estimated workforce would be deployed in new jobs that do not even exist today.

3,143 court halls coming up

  • The Union government has set aside Rs. 3,320 crore for the completion of a Centrally sponsored scheme to develop infrastructure for the judiciary by March 31, 2020. Currently, 3,143 court halls and 1,682 residences for judges are under construction.
  • As on November 30, 2017, 17,848 court halls and 14,085 residential accommodations have been made available for judicial officers of district and subordinate courts.
  • Union Minister of State for Law and Justice: P.P. Chaudhary

Anand likely for Olympiad

  • Viswanathan Anand is likely to play at the next Chess Olympiad, to be held at Batumi, Georgia, in September. Anand has rarely played at the Olympiad, the chess equivalent of the Davis Cup, and has been vocal about the format.
  • With Anand in the team, India should be one of the serious contenders in the biennial event. It is currently ranked fifth in the world.

Bandhan Bank to offer 11.9 cr. shares

  • The private sector Bandhan Bank Limited has filed a Draft Red Herring Prospectus (DRHP) with the SEBI for its proposed initial public offering of up to 119,280,494 equity shares of face value of Rs. 10 each. The equity shares are proposed to be listed on the BSE and the National Stock Exchange.
  • The IPO consists of a fresh issue of up to 97,663,910 equity shares and an offer for sale of up to 14,050,780 equity shares by International Finance Corporation (IFC); and up to 7,565,804 equity shares by IFC FIG Investment Company.
  • Currently, Bandhan Bank operates across 33 Indian States and Union Territories through a network of 864 branches, 2,485 Doorstep Service Centres and 386 ATMs, catering to more than 11 million customers.
  • Since inception the bank has collected deposits exceeding Rs. 24,500 crore with an outstanding loan book of around Rs. 21,235 crore.
  • It has two divisions general banking and micro banking offering a suite of retail financial solutions, including a variety of savings and loan products.
  • Bandhan Bank Limited
  • Headquarters: Kolkata
  • Managing Director: Chandra Shekhar Ghosh

Bulgaria takes over revolving EU presidency

  • Bulgaria took over from Estonia the European Union's six-month revolving presidency. The presidency, which rotates between different EU member states, will give Bulgaria the opportunity to chair meetings and set agendas, as the bloc grapples with the record influx of migrants, management of its borders, rising populism and Britain's EU divorce.
  • Now Bulgaria will have to manage a June deadline for EU leaders to agree an overhaul of the so-
  • called Dublin Regulation, under which the country where an asylum seeker arrives is responsible for them.
  • Bulgaria:
  • President: Rumen Georgiev Radev
  • Prime Minister: Boyko Metodiev Borisov
  • Capital: Sofia
  • Currency: Bulgarian lev

IBBI registration must for asset valuation

  • Professionals carrying out asset valuations under Companies Act and Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code will have to get themselves registered with Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (IBBI) from April to conduct such activities.
  • A government notification in October had delegated powers and functions to the IBBI under Companies Act and designated it as the authority under the Companies (Registered Valuers and Valuation) Rules, 2017.
  • As per the notification, a valuer needs to have necessary qualification and experience, be a member of a recognised valuer organisation and should be registered with IBBI to carry out such activities.
  • With effect from April 1, 2018, for conducting valuations required under the Companies Act, 2013 and the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016, a person is to be registered with the IBBI as a registered valuer.

India, Pak Exchange List Of Nuclear Installations

  • India and Pakistan exchanged a list of nuclear installations that the two countries have under a three-decade-old bilateral pact to maintain transparency and avoid attacking each other's nuclear facilities.
  • According to the pact, India and Pakistan must exchange an updated list showing nuclear installations and facilities on January 1 every year. The agreement on the "prohibition of attack against nuclear installations" was signed on December 31, 1988, and entered into force on January 27, 1991.
  • India currently has 22 operating nuclear power plants which have an installed capacity of 6,780 megawatts (MW). Of these, the two nuclear plants at Kudankulam in Tamil Nadu are run on uranium imported from Russia.
  • India's Atomic Chief: Dr Sekhar Basu

IndusInd Bank gets $500 mn from overseas lenders

  • Private sector bank, IndusInd Bank had raised a term loan for $500 million (about Rs. 3,193.75 crore) from overseas lending bodies to expand its business. The fundraising, along with the funds raised during the ongoing financial year from multilateral institutions ADB and OPIC of the U.S., will help the bank expand its lending to clients. The tenor of the loan is for three years and the funds will be used for general banking purposes.
  • IndusInd Bank
  • Headquarters: Mumbai
  • Managing Director & CEO: Romesh Sobti

NASA’s 2018 missions list includes probe to ‘touch’ Sun

  • NASA's Parker Solar Probe is scheduled for launch in 2018 to explore the Sun's outer atmosphere. The probe will use Venus' gravity during seven flybys over nearly seven years to gradually bring its orbit closer to the Sun.
  • The primary goals for the mission are to track how energy and heat move through the solar corona and to explore what accelerates the solar wind as well as solar energetic particles.
  • The spacecraft will fly through the Sun's atmosphere as close as 6.2 million kilometres to our star's surface, well within the orbit of Mercury and closer than any spacecraft has gone before.
  • The Parker Solar Probe will perform its scientific investigations in a hazardous region of intense heat and solar radiation.

Pankaj Jain assumes charge as IIFCL Managing Director

  • Pankaj Jain, Joint Secretary in the Department of Financial Services (DFS), has assumed charge as the Managing Director of India Infrastructure Finance Company Ltd (IIFCL). He will be holding additional charge of IIFCL along with his present position as Joint Secretary at DFS.
  • Pankaj Jain, a 1990 batch IAS officer of Assam-Meghalaya cadre.
  • IIFCL is a state-owned company focused on infrastructure financing and development.

Saudi Arabia, UAE introduce VAT in first for Gulf

  • Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates were the first countries in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) to implement Value Added Tax (VAT) on Jan 1, 2018. The VAT will add a 5% cost to the majority of goods and services such as petrol, clothes, food, electronics and hotel rooms.
  • Meanwhile, medicine, school fees, residential rents and medical fees will be exempted from the tax.
  • Countries in the GCC have agreed to implement VAT as part of measures to shore up government income, and diversify government revenue.
  • The GCC comprises Saudi Arabia, UAE, Kuwait, Oman, Bahrain and Qatar.

SBI cuts base rate by 30 basis points

  • State Bank of India revised down the base rate to 8.65 per cent for existing customers from 8.95 percent, while the benchmark prime lending rates is down from 13.7 per cent, to 13.4 per cent. However, the bank did not change the marginal cost of funds-based lending rate, MCLR, which would have brought down the cost for all borrowers. The one-year MCLR of the bank stands unchanged at 7.95 per cent.
  • SBI:
  • Chairman: Rajnish Kumar
  • Headquarters: Mumbai

SCCL eyes 85 mt coal production in 5 years

  • Singareni Collieries Company Limited (SCCL), a state-owned miner, said it expects coal production to touch 85 million tonnes per annum in the next five years as it plans to open up 12 new mines. The miner transported 46.7 million tonnes of coal as on December 2017 against 42.7 million tonnes for the first nine months of the previous fiscal.
  • Chairman & Managing Director: N. Sridhar

Star Sports to telecast Khelo India School Games

  • Star Sports has bagged the broadcast rights for the Khelo India School Games (KISG) for a period of five years beginning 2018. The inaugural games will be held from January 31 for under-17 age group (boys and girls) across 16 sports disciplines. It will be the first time that school games will be broadcast Live simultaneously on TV and digital platform,
  • The event is expected to host around 6000 athletes and officials in its first edition. The best talent selected through the competition will be among the 1000 budding athletes eligible for a scholarship worth Rs. 5 lakh each per year for a period of eight years.
  • Every year, new athletes will be added under the Khelo India scheme as the games will be conducted on par with international level competitions.

Steel, cement lead core sector growth to a 13-month high

  • According to data released by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, activity in the eight core sectors of the economy accelerated to a 13-month high of 6.7% in November, with growth being propelled by the steel and cement sectors.
  • In November, the cement sector grew at a record high of 17.3% compared with a contraction of 1.34% in October. The steel sector grew 16.6% in November, the highest growth the sector has seen since October 2016.
  • The crude oil sector grew marginally in November, by 0.22%, whereas growth in the natural gas sector slowed in November to 2.4% compared with 2.9% in October. Growth in the refinery products sector quickened to 8.15% in November from 7.49% in October.
  • Fertilizers sector, growth slowed to 0.27% in November from 3% in October. Growth in the electricity sector similarly slowed to 1.85% in November from 3.24% in the previous month.
  • The eight infrastructure sectors of coal, crude oil, natural gas, refinery products, fertilizers, steel, cement, and electricity constitute 40.27% of the total industrial production.

Trump administration to continue to withhold military aid to Pakistan

  • The US administration has said that it will continue to withhold $255 million in military aid to Pakistan out of frustration over what it has characterized as Islamabad's reluctance in confronting terrorist networks. The President has made clear that the United States expects Pakistan to take decisive action against terrorists and militants on its soil. The money was put on hold until Pakistan agreed to do more to combat terrorist networks.

Vidarbha win their first ever Ranji Trophy

  • Vidarbha claimed their maiden Ranji Trophy after beating Delhi by nine wickets in the final of India's premier domestic tournament here on Monday. Chasing a target of 29, Vidarbha completed the task with loss of skipper's wicket.
  • Opting to field, Vidarbha bowled out Delhi for 295 in the first innings with Rajneesh Gurbani picking up six wickets. In reply, Vidarbha notched up a mammoth 547 all out, as Akshay Wadkar struck his maiden century in first-class cricket.