Daily Current Affairs - 01st Sep 2018

Aadhaar authentication: 13 banks face penalties

  • The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), slapped monetary penalty on 13 banks for violating norms pertaining to authentication of Aadhaar. For some banks, the penalties are as high as Rs. 1 crore. Banks from both public and private sectors were penalised.
  • The banks penalised include ICICI Bank, IndusInd Bank, IDBI Bank, Ratnakar Bank, Karnataka Bank and Lakshmi Vilas Bank.
  • The measures taken include disincentives against a few authentication user agencies and banks that did not comply with the directions of UIDAI issued under Aadhaar Act/Regulations from time to time.
  • Meanwhile, UIDAI has relaxed norms for banks on the minimum number of Aadhaar enrolments and updations, till November 1.

Asian Games: India settles for silver in Women's Hockey losing 1-2 to Japan in final

  • Women's hockey team settled for silver after losing to Japan in the final. Japan defeated India 2-1.
  • In Boxing, Vikas Krishnan had to settle for a bronze after being declared medically unfit to fight his semifinal bout in 75 kilogram due to a cut he sustained earlier in the event.
  • In Squash, India got bronze as Saurav Ghosal and Harinder Pal Singh Sandhu lost their respective matches in men's team event. They lost to Hong Kong, China 0-2.
  • India clinched three medals in sailing with Varsha Gautham and Sweta Shervegar clinching silver in the 49er FX women’s event and Harshita Tomar claiming bronze in the Open Laser 4.7 here
  • Currently, India is placed 8th in the medals tally with 65 medals including 13 Gold, 23 Silver and 29 Bronze. China continues to top the table followed by Japan and South Korea.

Badrinath hangs up his boots

  • Former India and Tamil Nadu batsman S. Badrinath announced his retirement from all formats of the game. A prolific scorer in the first-class arena with more 10,000 runs, the middle-order batsman played in two Tests, seven ODIs and one T20 for India between 2008 and 2011. His valuable contributions for Chennai Super Kings in the IPL and also been part of the two title winning sides (2010 and 2011).

Census 2021 to collect OBC data, use maps

  • The Centre said the Census 2021 for the first time will collect data on Other Backward Classes (OBC)
  • The decennial exercise will involve 25 lakh trained enumerators and the use of maps/geo-referencing at the time of house listing. The enumerators will start “house listing” in 2020 and the headcount will begin from February 2021 The final figures are expected to be out in three years instead of the usual seven.
  • The decision to count the OBCs in the next Census was to get a correct perspective on the social status in the country.
  • The 2011 caste data collected as part of the Socio-economic Caste Census (SECC) is yet to be released by the Centre. The National Commission for Backward Classes says there are 2,479 entries on the Central list of the OBCs.

Court refuses to extend motor insurance deadline

  • Longer duration motor third party insurance cover is all set to become mandatory for new cars and two-wheelers as scheduled from September 1, with the Supreme Court refusing to extend the deadline. A bench of Justices dismissed an application filed by the General Insurance Council (GIC) seeking extension of the deadline set by the apex court.
  • A few insurers are ready with long term comprehensive motor cover, comprising both MTP and own damage, as well as a bundled product.

Environment Ministry releases India’s National REDD+ Strategy

  • The Union Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Dr. Harsh Vardhan has released ‘National REDD+ Strategy India’ and emphasized that the cooperation and involvement of the tribals, other forest dwelling people and the society as a whole, is crucial for the implementation of the REDD+ strategy.
  • REDD+ means “Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation”, conservation of forest carbon stocks, sustainable management of forests, and enhancement of forest carbon stocks in developing countries.
  • It aims to achieve climate change mitigation by incentivizing forest conservation. The strategy seeks to address drivers of deforestation and forest degradation and also developing a roadmap for enhancement of forest carbon stocks and achieving sustainable management of forests through REDD+ actions.

Germany to give Rs 990 crore loan for Ganga clean-up

  • In an effort to clean the Ganges, Germany is providing a soft loan of euro 120 million (Rs 990 crore approximately) to India to strengthen sewage water treatment infrastructure in Uttarakhand. The project would focus on extension and replacement of sewerage system (around 360 kilometres) including complete house connection, construction of sewage treatment plants of around 15 million litres per day (mld). The initiative also includes construction of 13 sewage pumping stations.
  • The purpose of the project is to reduce the inflow of untreated wastewater in River Ganga and, thus, to improve the water quality of the river.

India invites Pak. experts to hydel sites in J&K

  • India has invited Pakistan to visit sites of the Pakal Dul and Lower Kalnal hydro-electric projects on the Chenab. India and Pakistan recently concluded the 115th meeting of the India-Pakistan Permanent Indus Commission (PIC) in Lahore from August 29-30. The last meeting of the Permanent Indus Commission was held in New Delhi in March.
  • The Indian delegation was led by P.K. Saxena, the Indian Commissioner for Indus Waters.
  • As per the provisions of the Indus Waters Treaty 1960, technical discussions were held on implementation of various hydroelectric projects including Pakal Dul (1000 MW) and Lower Kalnai (48 MW) in Jammu and Kashmir.

No need for uniform civil code now: Law panel

  • The Law Commission has urged the union legislature to “first consider equality within communities’ between men and women rather than equality between communities”.
  • Submitting a consultation paper on “reform in family laws”, the Commission has dealt with laws that are discriminatory “rather than providing a uniform civil code which is neither necessary nor desirable at this stage”.
  • Observing that there’s “absence of consensus on uniform civil code”, the Commission has underlined the need to eradicate discrimination.
  • The Commission has suggested a range of amendments to existing family laws and also suggested codification of certain aspects of personal laws so as to limit the ambiguity in interpretation and application of these personal laws.

PNB plans to divest entire stake in NSE

  • Punjab National Bank is looking to sell its entire holding of 0.11% in the National Stock Exchange (NSE) and expecting to raise more than Rs. 48 crore by divesting the stake. It has set a floor price of Rs. 879 per equity to sell its stake of 0.11% stake equivalent to 5,50,000 shares in the NSE.
  • Bank’s subsidiary PNB Investment Services Limited has invited bids from merchant bankers on behalf of PNB to arrange for investors.
  • Earlier this week, State Bank of India said it would sell 3.89% stake in the NSE.

South Korean President to send special envoy to Pyongyang next week

  • South Korean President Moon Jae-in will send a special envoy to Pyongyang next week to discuss plans to hold a summit with the North's Kim Jong Un. The envoy will have broad discussions over a detailed schedule for the inter-Korea summit, development of bilateral ties and nuclear disarmament of the Korean peninsula.
  • Moon and Kim have met face-to-face twice now, the first during a historic summit at the border truce village of Panmunjom in April.

Telecom panel okays National Trust Centre

  • The Telecom Commission stated that a National Trust Centre would be created for certifying devices and applications for machine-to-machine communication, a new-age technology that is at the heart of concepts like smart homes. Machine-to-Machine (M2M) communications form the basis of automated information exchange between machines.
  • It has also decided to form an apex body for this technology segment and its members will include representatives from other regulatory authorities like National Highways Authority of India and Central Electricity Regulatory Commission.

Trade ministers instructed negotiators to exert utmost efforts for early conclusion of RCEP talks

  • Trade ministers of 16 nations including India and Japan have instructed their negotiators to "exert utmost efforts" for early conclusion of the talks for the proposed mega trade deal Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).
  • A joint statement was issued after the conclusion of the two-day RCEP ministerial meeting in Singapore.
  • The ministers adopted a package of year-end deliverables developed by the trade negotiating committee and welcomed the plans to achieve the targets set out in the package.

U.S. to stop funding UN’s Palestine agency

  • The U.S. government has decided to stop all funding it gives to a UN agency that provides assistance to millions of Palestinian refugees, ending a decades-long policy of supporting it. The move was part of a plan to compel Palestinian politicians to drop demands that many of those refugees be given the right to return to what they call their homeland.
  • Each year, the US State Department transfers money by the end of September to the UN Relief and Works Agency, known as UNRWA, which provides aid to Palestinian refugees across the West Asian region

US & Canada will meet again to resume their talks to revamp NAFTA

  • Negotiators for the United States and Canada will meet again later to resume their talks to revamp the North American Free Trade Agreement, NAFTA. The United States and Mexico reached an agreement to replace NAFTA, a 24-year-old pact involving those two countries and Canada. But the new deal excluded Canada.
  • The North American Free Trade Agreement is an agreement signed by Canada, Mexico, and the United States, creating a trilateral trade bloc in North America. The agreement came into force on January 1, 1994.

Vedanta appoints Srinivasan Venkatakrishnan new CEO

  • Vedanta Resources Plc. (Vedanta) has appointed Srinivasan Venkatakrishnan as the CEO with effect from August 31, 2018. He has joined the company’s board of directors. He replaces Tom Albanese who served as CEO from 2014-17 and Kuldip Kaura, the interim CEO since.
  • Chairman of Vedanta Group: Anil Agarwal

Vodafone, Idea merger overtakes Bharti

  • Idea Cellular has merged Vodafone India with itself to create the country’s largest telco with a subscriber base of 408 million, overtaking Bharti Airtel. The merged entity, Vodafone Idea Ltd., will have Kumar Mangalam Birla as the chairman.
  • Both Vodafone and Idea that have a strong consumer base across metro, urban, rural and interior markets, will continue to exist.

Xiaomi to shift cloud servers to India for local data storage

  • Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi has decided to migrate its cloud servers to India to store data locally. The migration would cover all Indian user data across Xiaomi’s e-commerce platform — (www.mi.com/in/), Mi Community (in.c.mi.com), Mi Cloud, MIUI (Xiaomi Market, feed, Mi Video, advertising, Mi Messaging, push notifications, etc) and Mi TV.
  • All new Indian user data are already being stored in local servers since July 1 and existing data onmi.com/in/will be fully moved to servers in India by mid-September.
  • The move by Xiaomi is seen in the context of India viewing data localisation as a critical component of governance. The RBI too is keen that data related to payment systems are stored in the country.

Yes Bank shares tank; lose 12.6% in 10 sessions

  • Shares of Yes Bank continued to fall declining more than 5% on the BSE. This follows the Reserve Bank approving continuation of Rana Kapoor as the lender’s MD and CEO ‘till further notice’.
  • Yes Bank was the worst performer in the Sensex pack, shedding 5.11%, or Rs. 18.50, to close at Rs. 343.40. During the day it fell nearly 6.7% to a low of Rs. 338.
  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has considerably tightened the criteria for reappointment of a chief executive in a private sector bank after bad loans had surged in the last few years. The RBI’s Department of Banking Regulation (DBR) first examines the reappointment proposal and sends it to the deputy governor in charge of the department with its recommendations.
  • In the case of a major bank, the matter goes to the governor. Appointments of MDs in public sector banks are made by the government.