Saturday, January 21, 2017
Friday, January 20, 2017
Hello and welcome to exampundit. RRBs has released a notice for the candidates appearing in the RRB NTPC 2nd Stage CBT.
Question Papers, Answer Keys and Candidates’ Response for the 2nd stage Exam (CBT) will be available on the website of RRBs from 24.01.2017 to 30.01. 2017.
Candidates can download and print the Question Paper, if needed. Objections to Question(s) and Key(s) can be raised during the above period only.
Objections raised, if any, will be examined before processing of the result. The decision of the Railway Recruitment Boards will be final in this regard.
Official Notice Link
Thanks disqus ID Virat K.
Hello and welcome to exampundit. Here are the list of all the important features, rate of Interest and objectives of Kisan Vikas Patra and Senior Citizen Savings Scheme Account.
Kisan Vikas Patra
Kisan Vikas Patra (KVP) is a saving instrument launched by the Government for individual savers, wherein invested money doubled during the maturity period. This savings scheme was first launched by the Government on 1 April, 1988 and was distributed through post offices. It was discontinued in 2011 and later reintroduced in 2014.
Rate of Interest of KVP as of 20 January 2017 is 7.7%.
Highlights of Kisan Vikas Patra
- KVP is considered a part of the National Small Savings Fund.
- The amount invested in Kisan Vikas Patra would get doubled in 112 months or nine years and four months.
- Kisan Vikas Patra (KVP) certificates are available to the investors in the denomination of Rs. 1000, 5000, 10,000 and 50,000.
- The certificates can be issued in single or joint names and can be transferred from one person to any other person / persons, multiple times.
- The minimum amount that can be invested is Rs 1000. However, there is no upper limit on the purchase of KVPs.
- KVP is not a tax saving instrument as it does not offer any income tax exemption.
- The amount of KVP can be withdrawn after 100 months (8 years and 4 months).
- The maturity period or lock-in period of a KVP is 2 years 6 months(30 months).
- Reintroduction of Kisan Vikas Patra (KVP) was to provide a safe and secure investment avenue to the investors so as to help in augmenting the savings rate in the country.
- The scheme is also aimed at safeguarding investors from fraudulent schemes, considering the number of ponzi schemes that have surfaced particularly after the closure of KVP.
Senior Citizen Savings Scheme (SCSS) Account
Designated for individuals above the age of 60, the Saving Schemes for senior citizens in India are effective, long term saving options and offer unmatched security and features that are usually associated with any government sponsored savings program.
Rate of Interest of Senior Citizen Savings Scheme (SCSS) Account as of 20 January, 2017 is 8.5%.
Highlights of Senior Citizen Savings Scheme (SCSS) Account
- An individual of the Age of 60 years or more may open the account.
- An individual of the age of 55 years or more but less than 60 years who has retired on superannuation or under VRS can also open account subject to the condition that the account is opened within one month of receipt of retirement benefits and amount should not exceed the amount of retirement benefits.
- Maturity period is 5 years.
- After maturity, the account can be extended for further three years within one year of the maturity by giving application in prescribed format.
- There shall be only one deposit in the account in multiple of INR.1000/- maximum not exceeding INR 15 lakh.
- Account can be opened by cash for the amount below INR 1 lakh and for INR 1 Lakh and above by cheque only.
- Premature closure is allowed after one year on deduction of an amount equal to1.5% of the deposit & after 2 years 1% of the deposit.
- TDS is deducted at source on interest if the interest amount is more than INR 10,000/- p.a.
Hello and welcome to exampundit. Here is a set of English Quiz for the upcoming Exams in 2017.
DIRECTIONS (Q. 1-5): Read each sentence to find out whether there is any error in it. The error, if any, will be in one part of the sentence, the name of the part is the answer. If there is no error, the answer is (e).
1. She asked me (a)/ Where I was going to (b)/ and what I had done (c)/ the previous day. (d)/ No error (e)
2. Yesterday in the night (a)/ he came (b)/ by bus (c)/ and was disturbed. (d)/ No error (e)
3. Within two hours (a)/ we will approach (b)/ near Agra (c)/ by car. (d)/ No error (e)
4. Throughout the whole year (a)/ there was (b)/ not a single day (c)/ without any incidence of violence. (d)/ No error(e)
5. The P.M. said (a)/ that it was his decision (b)/ and that nobody (c)/ could get it changed. (d)/ No error (e)
DIRECTIONS (Q. 6-10): There are six sentences marked S1, S6, P, Q, R, S. The positions of S1 and S6 are fixed as the first and last sentence of the passage. You are required to choose one of the five alternatives given below every passage which would be most logical sequence of the sentences in the passage.
6. S1 : There are numerous kinds of superstitions in different parts of the country.
S6 : A dog’s howling predicts death– this is a typical superstition.
P: But people go on respecting it through force of blind custom.
Q: Most of them have a bearing on ‘luck’–good or bad.
R: Superstitions usually have their origin in fear and ignorance.
S: Nobody remembers now how a superstition first started in remote ages.
The proper sequence should be
7. S1 : A spider’s web, after a shower of rain, is a very beautiful thing.
S6 : They are also feared because their bites may have unpleasant effects like a rash on the skin.
P: This party explains why spiders are thoroughly disliked.
Q: But no poet has ever sung of the beauty of the spiders, for most spiders are not beautiful.
R: On the contrary, most of them are rather unattractive, if not ugly!
S: Poets have sung about the beauty of the spider’s webs, comparing the water drops on them to ropes of pearls. The proper sequence should be
8. S1 : Unhappiness and discontent spring not only form poverty.
S6 : We suffer from sickness of spirit and hence we should discover our roots in the internal.
P: Man is a strange creature fundamentally different from other animals.
Q: If they are undeveloped and unsatisfied, he may have all the comforts of the wealth, but will still feel that life is not worthwhile.
R: He has far horizons invariable hopes, spiritual powers.
S: What is missing our age is the soul, there is nothing wrong with the body.
The proper sequence should be
9. S1 : On vacation in Tangier, Morocco, my friend and I sat down at a street cafe.
S6 : Finally a man walked over to me and whispered, “ Hey buddy .... This guy is your waiter and he wants your order.”
P: At one point, he bent over with a big smile, showing me a single gold tooth and dingy fez.
Q: Soon I felt the presence of someone standing alongside me.
R: But this one wouldn’t budge.
S: We had been cautioned about beggars and were told to ignore them.
The proper sequence should be
10. S1 : In 1934, William Holding published a small volume of poems.
S6 : But Lord of the flies which came out in 1954 was welcomed as ‘a most absorbing and instructive tale’.
P: During the World War II (1939-45) he joined the Royal Navy and was present at the sinking of the Bismarck
Q: He returned to teaching is 1945 and gave it up in 1962, and is now a full-time writer.
R: In 1939, he married and started teaching at Bishop Wordsworth’s School in Salisbury.
S: At first his novels were not accepted.
The proper sequence should be
Answers with Solutions:
- (b) Delete ‘to’. It is superfluous.
- (a) Replace ‘Yesterday in the night’ by last night.
- (c) Replace ‘will approach’ with ‘will be approaching’.
- (a) Use of whole is superfluous.
- (c) Use of that is superfluous
Hello and welcome to exampundit. Here is a set of Quantitative Aptitude Questions based on Series and Data Interpretation.
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DIRECTIONS (Q. 1-5): What should come in place of question mark (?) in the following number series?
1. 13, 14, 30, 93, 376, 1885, ?
(e) None of these
2. 4, 6, 9, 13.5, 20.25, 30.375, ?
(e) None of these
3. 400, 240, 144, 86.4, 51.84, 31.104, ?
(e) None of these
4. 9, 4.5, 4.5, 6.75, 13.5, 33.75, ?
(e) None of these
5. 705, 728, 774, 843, 935, 1050, ?
(e) None of these
DIRECTIONS (Q. 6-10): Answer the questions based on the following two graphs, assuming that there is not fixed cost component and all the units produced are sold in the same year.
6. In which year per unit cost in highest?
7. What is the approximate average quantity sold during the period 2004-2014?
(a) 64 units
(b) 70 units
(c) 77 units
(d) 81 units
(e) 87 units
8. If volatility of a variable during 2000-2014 is defined as Maximum value – Minimum value/Average value , then which of the following is true?
(a) Price per unit has highest volatility
(b) Cost per unit has highest volatility
(c) Total profit has highest volatility
(d) Revenue has highest volatility
(e) None of the above
9. If the price per unit decrease by 20% during 2004-2008 and cost per unit increase by 20% during 2009-2014, then during how many number of years there is loss?
(a) 3 yr
(b) 4 yr
(c) 5 yr
(d) 7 yr
(e) None of these
10. If the price per unit decrease by 20% during 2000-2004 and cost per unit increase by 20% during 2005-2010, then the cumulative profit for the entire period 2000-2010 decrease by
(e) Data inadequate
Hello and welcome to exampundit. Sukanya Samriddhi Account stays in news throughout the year. Mainly due to the changing interest rates. So we are giving 15 Important Points for Sukanya Samriddhi Account along with the Current Interest Rate as of 20 January, 2017.
The scheme was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 22 January 2015 as a part of the Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao campaign.
Sakshi Malik is the brand ambassador of Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao campaign in Haryana.
15 Important Points to Remember about Sukanya Samriddhi Account:
- The scheme encourages parents to build a fund for the future education and marriage expenses for their female child.
- The account can be opened at any India Post office or branch of authorised commercial banks.
- The account may be opened by the natural or legal guardian in the name of a girl child from the birth of the girl child till she attains the age of ten years and any girl child.
- Natural or legal guardian of a girl child shall be allowed to open the account for two girl children only. (In case of Twins, three accounts are allowed)
- The account can be transferred to anywhere in India.
- A minimum of ₹1,000 must be deposited in the account annually.
- The maximum deposit limit is ₹150,000.
- If the minimum deposit is not made in a year, a fine of ₹50 will be levied.
- The girl can operate her account after she reaches the age of 10.
- The account allows 50% withdrawal at the age of 18 for higher education purposes.
- The account reaches maturity at the age of 21.
- If the account is not closed, then it will not earn interest at the prevailing rate.
- No interest shall be payable once the Account completes twenty-one years from the date of its opening.
- If the girl is over 18 and married, normal closure is allowed.
- The Account may be transferred anywhere in India and from or to post offices and from or to Banks and between post office and Bank, free of cost on furnishing of proof of shifting of residence of either the guardian or the Account holder and otherwise, on payment of a fees of one hundred rupees to the post office or the Bank to which the transfer is made.
Hello and welcome to exampundit. Today we are sharing all about the MUDRA Bank and MUDRA Yojana launched by our Union Government. This article covers the purpose, features, functions and all the other important information on PM MUDRA Yojana and MUDRA Bank.
Pradhan Mantri MUDRA Yojana
The Pradhan Mantri MUDRA Yojana (PMMY) is a scheme launched by the Union Government on April 8, 2015 for providing loans upto ₹ 10 lakh to the non-corporate, non-farm small/micro enterprises.
Under PMMY, all banks viz. Public Sector banks, Private Sector Banks, Regional Rural Banks (RRBs), State Co-operative Banks, Urban Co-operative Banks, Foreign Banks and Non-Banking Finance Companies (NBFCs)/Micro Finance Institutions (MFIs) - are required to lend to non-farm sector income generating activities below ₹10 lakh.
These loans are classified as MUDRA loans under PMMY.
PMMY was announced through Union Budget 2015-16, which proposed to create MUDRA bank with a corpus of ₹ 20,000 crore made available from the shortfalls of priority sector lending, to refinance Micro-Finance Institutions through Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana.
Further, budget supported a credit guarantee corpus of ₹3,000 crore for guaranteeing loans being provided to the micro enterprises.
The purpose of PMMY is to provide funding to the non-corporate small business sector. Non- Corporate Small Business Segment (NCSBS) consists of millions of proprietorship/ partnership firms running as small manufacturing units, service sector units, shopkeepers, fruits/ vegetable vendors, truck operators, food-service units, repair shops, machine operators, small industries, artisans, food processors and others, in rural and urban areas.
One of the biggest hurdles to the growth of entrepreneurship in the Non-Corporate Small Business Sector (NCSBS) is lack of financial support to this sector and a vast majority belonging to this sector do not have access to formal sources of finance.
Loan offerings under PMMY
Under the aegis of PMMY, the MUDRA has already created its initial set of products/ schemes. The interventions have been named ‘Shishu’ (meaning infant), ‘Kishor’ (meaning child) and ‘Tarun’ (meaning adolescent) to signify the state of growth/development and funding needs of the beneficiary micro unit/entrepreneur and also provide a reference point for the next phase of graduation / growth to look forward to:
- Shishu: covering loans upto ₹ 50,000/- provided with no collateral, @1% rate of interest/month repayable over a period of 5 years
- Kishor: covering loans above ₹50,000/- and upto ₹ 5 lakh
- Tarun: covering loans above ₹ 5 lakh to ₹ 10 lakh
Approach of PMMY
A minimum of 60% of support would flow to enterprises in the smallest segment. Partner intermediaries of MUDRA Bank have to endeavor to adhere to the following broad framework :
First time entrepreneurs, youth entrepreneurs (i.e. entrepreneurs aged up to 30 years) and women entrepreneurs shall be encouraged and special schemes shall be designed for such entrepreneurs,
Emphasis shall be on cash flow based lending and not security based lending. Collateral securities, etc. shall be avoided.
Repayment obligations shall be flexible and shall be framed keeping in view the business cash flows of the entrepreneur.
Micro Units Development Refinance Agency (MUDRA) Bank
Micro Units Development Refinance Agency (MUDRA) Bank is a refinance institution for micro-finance institutions. As on date, MUDRA is conceived not only as a refinance institution and but also as a regulator for the micro finance institutions (MFIs).
- Kshatrapati Shivaji – Chairman of MUDRA Bank
- Pankaj Jain - Government Nominee Director
The MUDRA Bank is primarily be responsible for –
- Laying down policy guidelines for micro/small enterprise financing business
- Registration of MFI entities
- Regulation of MFI entities
- Accreditation /rating of MFI entities
- Laying down responsible financing practices to ward off indebtedness and ensure proper client protection principles and methods of recovery
- Development of standardized set of covenants governing last mile lending to micro/small enterprises
- Promoting right technology solutions for the last mile
- Formulating and running a Credit Guarantee scheme for providing guarantees to the loans which are being extended to micro enterprises
- Creating a good architecture of Last Mile Credit Delivery to micro businesses under the scheme of Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana.
Government has decided to provide an additional fund of ₹1 trillion (US$15 billion) to the market and will be allocated as
- 40% to shishu
- 35% to kishor
- 25% to Tarun
Those eligible to borrow from MUDRA bank are
- small manufacturing units,
- service sector units,
- fruits/ vegetable vendors,
- truck operators,
- food-service units,
- repair shops,
- machine operators,
- small industries,
- food processors
MUDRA Card is an innovative product which provides working capital facility as a cash credit arrangement. MUDRA Card is a debit card issued against the MUDRA loan account, for working capital portion of the loan. The borrower can make use of MUDRA Card in multiple withdrawal and credit, so as to manage the working capital limit in a most efficient manner and keep the interest burden minimum. MUDRA Card will also help in digitalization of MUDRA transactions and creating credit history for the borrower.
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Thursday, January 19, 2017
Hello and welcome to exampundit. Here are the Important Current Affairs Update of 18th and 19th January, 2017. These are important for the upcoming IDBI PGDBF, IPPB Mains and Other exams.
Financial and Banking News:
India Innovation Index to measure performance of Indian states
- The World Economic Forum, NITI Aayog, the World Intellectual Property Organization and the Cornell University will work together to develop an India Innovation Index that will provide impetus to Indian states to drive the innovation spirit.
- "Prime Minister Modi believes that competitive and cooperative federalism is key to India's progress. This index will encourage states to compete with each other and, in turn, lead to better policies for inclusive growth," said Amitabh Kant, CEO of NITI Aayog.
- Each partnering organisation will nominate a working group member to work on the index. The first ranking is expected to be released at the India Economic Summit in New Delhi on October 4-6, 2017.
- The index will be based on key pillars of innovation and sub-indices that together will assist in tailoring policies that promote inclusive growth. The pillars include the strength of institutions, capacity of human capital and research, supporting infrastructure and the level of business sophistication among others.
- The index will measure and rank the innovation performance of all Indian states with the aim of moving India towards an innovation-driven economy.
HDFC Bank to train 25,000 people in cashless transactions in Madhya Pradesh
- Private sector HDFC Bank has set a target to provide training to 25,000 people, including businessmen, in Madhya Pradesh in carrying out cashless transactions at special camps.
- For this purpose, "Digital Literacy Camps" will be organised at 275 different places in the state.
- Jaisinghani informed that at present there are 130 branches of HDFC Bank in the State and 50 per cent of them are in semi urban and rural areas.
- The leading private lender will open five new branches in the State in near future, he added.
Banks to report cash deposits above Rs 10 lakh to I-T
- The tax department has asked banks to report deposits in any account aggregating Rs. 10 lakh in a year, as well as cash payments of Rs. 1 lakh or more on credit card bills.
- In a January 17 notification, the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) listed cash transactions which need to be reported to tax authorities and set up an e—platform for doing so.
- It reiterated its November 2016 instruction asking banks to report all cash deposits of Rs. 2.5 lakh or more made in one or more accounts of a person during November 9 to December 30, 2016.
- Post-demonetisation of old 500 and 1,000 rupee notes, the government had allowed the junked currency to be deposited in bank accounts during a 50-day window ending December 30, 2016.
- “Cash deposits during the period November 9, 2016 to December 30, 2016 aggregating to Rs. 12.50 lakh or more in one or more current account of a person (and) Rs. 2.5 lakh or more in one or more account (other than a current account) of a person” will have to be reported to tax authorities, it said.
- Also, cash deposits during April 1, 2016 to November 9, 2016 in any account that are reportable should also be intimated to the the tax authorities by January 31, 2017, the notification said.
- It made it mandatory for a banking company or a cooperative bank to report cash deposits aggregating to Rs. 10 lakh or more in a financial year, in one or more accounts (other than a current account and time deposit) of a person.
- Payments made by any person of an amount aggregating to Rs. one lakh or more in cash towards credit card dues will have to be reported. Also to be reported are Rs. 10 lakh or more of payments made by any mode (including cheque or wire transfer) to settle credit card dues in a financial year, CBDT said.
Union Cabinet approves the exclusion of States from National Small Savings Fund
- The Union Cabinet on 18 January 2017 excluded States and Union Territories except Arunachal Pradesh, Delhi, Kerala and Madhya Pradesh from National Small Savings Fund (NSSF) investments with effect from 1 April 2016.
- On the occasion, the cabinet also approved one-time loan of Rs 45000 crore from NSSF to Food Corporation of India (FCI) to meet its food subsidy requirements.
- Arunachal Pradesh will be given loans to the tune of 100 per cent of NSSF collections within its territory, while Delhi, Kerala and Madhya Pradesh will be provided with 50 percent of collections.
- Servicing of interest and principal of debt will be extended to Food Corporation of India through the budget line of Department of Food and Public Distribution.
- The repayment obligation of the FCI in respect of NSSF Loans will be treated as the first charge on the food subsidy released to the Food Corporation of India.
- Moreover, FCI will be required to reduce the amount of its current Cash Credit Limit with the banking consortium to the extent of the NSSF loan amount.
- An agreement will also be signed between FCI, Department of Food and NSSF on the modalities for repayment of interest rate and the restructuring of FCI debt will be made possible within 2-5 years.
Google acquires Twitter app platform Fabric
- Google is acquiring Twitter's mobile application developer platform Fabric, a move which could give some breathing room for the social network after charting an independent path without a suitor.
- Terms of the deal were not announced.
- Twitter last year was in talks to sell itself with several firms including Google parent Alphabet, but without a deal decided to continue on an independent path, cutting jobs and refocusing on its core services.
- The sale of Fabric will shift to Google the platform used by developers for mobile apps.
Railway Ministry launches Mission 41K to save energy worth Rs 41000 crore
- Union Railway minister Suresh Prabhu on 17 January 2017 launched Mission 41k, a programme that will save energy worth Rs 41000 crore over 10 years through an integrated energy management system.
- This programme will be aimed at revamping the Indian railways.
Highlights of the Mission 41k
- Under this initiative, Indian railways will electrify 24000 km of rail tracks over the next five years.
- It will double the annual rate of electrification from 2000 km to 4000 km in the next two years.
- The railways will award contracts on Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) Model for railway electrification projects in order to achieve this target.
- It will also mechanise the execution of the project through self-propelled wiring trains.
- Under Mission 41k, more green energy will be used through 1000 megawatt (MW) solar and 200MW wind plants.
- LED lights and bulbs will be also be installed across all the railway stations, trains and offices.
Union Cabinet approves listing of General Insurance Companies at the stock exchanges
- The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) on 18 January 2017 gave its in-principle approval for listing five government-owned General Insurance Companies in stock exchanges. The approval was given at a cabinet meet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
- The companies are National Insurance Company, New India Assurance Company, Oriental Insurance Company, United India Insurance Company and General Insurance Corporation of India.
- The listing will open a way for the companies to raise resources from the capital market to meet their fund requirements. Shareholding of these PSGICs (Public Sector General Insurance Companies) will be divested from 100 per cent to 75 per cent.
- This disinvestment process will be carried on as per the existing rules and regulations of Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDA) and Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) will be followed.
Benefits that can be generated by listing these General Insurance Companies are
- It will necessitate compliance to disclosures and accounting requirements of SEBI. These disclosures will act as an additional oversight mechanism and bring equity and transparency in the companies functioning.
- It will lead to improved corporate governance and risk management practices in the companies, which will lead to improved efficiency. It will also help in focusing on earnings and growth.
- It is expected that this listing will also help the companies in raising resources from the capital market and meet the requirements of funds when they think of expanding their businesses. At present, they depend on government for capital infusion.
Union Cabinet approved amendment in Modified Special Incentive Package Scheme
- The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 18 January 2017 gave its approval for an amendment in the Modified Special Incentive Package Scheme (M-SIPS).
- The proposed amendment seeks to further incentivize investments in the electronic sector and will help India in achieving the goal of Net Zero Imports in Electronics by 2020.
Salient features of the amendment are -
- The applications will be received under the scheme up to 31 December 2018 or till such time that an incentive commitment of Rs 10,000 crore is reached, whichever is earlier.
- In case the incentive commitment of Rs 10,000 crore is reached, a review will be held to decide further financial commitments.
- For new approvals, the incentive under the scheme will be available from the date of approval of a project and not from the date of receipt of application.
- The incentives will be available for investments made within 5 years from the date of approval of the project.
- Approvals will normally be given to eligible applicants within 120 days of submission of the complete application.
All India Institute of Medical Sciences signed 3 MoUs worth Rs 7670 crore
- All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi on 17 January 2017 signed three Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs). The three MoUs have a cumulative net worth of Rs 7670 crore.
- The signing ceremony was presided over by Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare J P Nadda and Union Minister for Urban Development, Urban Poverty Alleviation and Information and Broadcasting Venkaiah Naidu.
- On this occasion, both the ministers also presented All India Institute of Medical Sciences Leadership Excellence awards.
Details related to MoUs
- All India Institute of Medical Sciences signed the Memorandums of Understanding with NBCC (India) Limited, HSCC (India) Limited and HITES HLL Life Care Ltd.
- The Memorandums of Understanding seek to expand infrastructure and other facilities in the AIIMS, New Delhi with an investment of Rs 7670 crore.
- This is the largest ever health sector investment commitments made by government in a public health project at one event.
- The MoU with NBCC is of worth Rs 4441 crore. The amount will be utilized for construction of 3060 residential apartments at Ayur Vigyan Nagar campus and 868 apartments at West Ansari Nagar campus.
- The total augmentation of 3928 units would take the total available residential units of AIIMS to 4505.
- The detailed proposal will be prepared after wide consultations and deliberations by a broad based committee of faculty.
Union Petroleum Ministry launches petroleum awareness programme Saksham 2017
- The Union Minister of State for Petroleum & Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan on 16 January 2017 launched a month long petroleum awareness programme 'Saksham - 2017'.
- On the occasion, the Ministry also distributed awards such as visit to Japan, laptops & cash prizes to National school winners of essay and painting competitions in order to encourage them for continuing their efforts and enhancing their knowledge on energy conservation.
- Saksham - 2017 is also named as Sanrakshan Kshamta Mahotsav.
- It is aimed at creating awareness amongst the masses towards judicious utilization and conservation of petroleum products along with efficient use of energy capable appliances and switching to cleaner fuels.
- The programme will be organized by PCRA (Petroleum Conservation Research Association) and other Oil & Gas PSUs under the aegis of Union Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas.
- During this one-month long programme, various workshops will be held for drivers of commercial vehicles, housewives and cooks on adopting simple fuel saving measures.
- It will also educate the public on various steps for fuel conservation through activities like Saksham Asian Cycling Championship, Quiz Show, Walkathons, concerts and other activities across the country.
Non-financial News – India and States:
ShaGun, a web-portal for Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, launched
- The Union Human Resources Development Minister Prakash Javadekar on 18 January 2017 launched a dedicated web portal ‘ShaGun’ for the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) at New Delhi.
- ShaGun was coined from the words ‘Shala’ that means schools and Gun, which is Gunvatta meaning Quality. It was developed with a twin track approach.
- Aim: ShaGun was created with an aim to capture and showcase innovations and progress in Elementary Education sector of India by continuous monitoring of the flagship scheme - Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA).
- ShaGun will help in monitoring progress in the implementation of SSA by assessing the performance of Union Territories and the states on key parameters. This monitoring will allow the government to plan and deliver its promise of quality education to all.
Union Government empowers EPCA to implement plan to tackle air pollution
- The Union Government has empowered the Supreme Court mandated Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority (EPCA) to enforce the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) to tackle air pollution in Delhi-NCR.
- As per a notification, GRAP can be implemented if the air pollution stays above the emergency level for 48-hours. In such cases, the odd-even scheme may be enforced and construction work can be halted in the national capital.
- First of its kind, the ambitious Graded Response Action Plan envisages to roll out a host of emergency measures like the closure of power plants and schools. It will also issue advisories asking people to avoid polluted areas and restrict outdoor movement.
Union Cabinet approves India’s membership in International Vaccine Institute
- The Union Cabinet on 18 January 2017 gave its approval to the proposal for India’s taking full membership of the International Vaccine Institute (IVI) Governing Council.
- The decision was taken at a meeting of the Cabinet in New Delhi. The meeting was chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
- The Internatioanl Vaccine Institute (IVI) is located in Seoul, the capital city of South Korea.
- Its vision is to make vaccines available and accessible for vulnerable populations in developing countries.
- Its mission is to discover, develop and deliver safe, effective and affordable vaccines for global public health.
- The IVI was established in 1997 on the initiatives of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
J&K Legislative Assembly passes resolution on return of Kashmiri Pandits back to Kashmir
- The Legislative Assembly of Jammu and Kashmir on 19 January 2017 passed a resolution on return and rehabilitation of Kashmiri Pandits and other migrants back to Kashmir valley. The resolution was passed unanimously in the house.
- Various members of the assembly also rendered their full support to the motion. They said with the improvement in situation government should facilitate the return and rehabilitation of Kashmir migrants who have to shun their places due to militancy.
- The issue of return of Kashmiri Pandits was raised in the assembly by the leader of opposition Omar Abdullah. The former Chief Minister of the state said that the Assembly should pass a resolution that calls for the return of Kashmiri Pandits along with other migrants.
- Calling for the resolution, Abdullah also said that 27-years-ago, unfortunate circumstances in the state forced Kashmiri Pandit community, along with Sikh community and few Muslims to the migrant.
- After end of the question hour, Abdul Rehman Veeri, the Minister for Parliamentary Affairs of the state approved the resolution for presentation in the House. Later, the motion was endorsed and moved by the speaker of the house Kavinder Gupta.
Awards & Honors:
Priyanka Chopra wins People's Choice Awards for Favourite Dramatic TV Actress
- Priyanka Chopra on 18 January 2017 won the Favourite Dramatic TV Actress at the 43rd People’s Choice Award. She won the honour for her role in the American drama TV series Quantico.
- This is the second People’s Choice Award for Chopra. She had won her first award in 2016 in the ‘Favourite Actress in a New TV series’ category for her role in Quantico.
Kapil Dev inducted into Legends Club’s Hall of Fame
- Former Indian skipper Kapil Dev on 17 January 2017 was inducted into Legends Club 'Hall of Fame' in Mumbai, Maharashtra.
- Dev was inducted in presence of former captains Sunil Gavaskar, Nari Contractor and Ajit Wadekar at the Cricket Club of India.
- Madhav Apte, President of the Legends Club and the former Indian cricketer, presented the honour to Kapil Dev.
Alibaba becomes worldwide Olympic partner through 2028
- Chinese online giant Alibaba today became the worldwide Olympic partner through 2028 after signing the first long-term partnership with International Olympic Committee (IOC).
- Alibaba will become the official cloud services and e-commerce platform services partner as well as the founding partner of the Olympic Channel, Alibaba Founder and Executive Chairman Jack Ma announced at a press conference here on the sidelines of WEF Annual Meeting 2017.
- IOC President Thomas Bach said Alibaba will help the organisation move ahead in the new digital era.
- Ma said Alibaba has become the first Chinese company to commit to the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022 and also the first ever company globally to make a long-term commitment to the IOC through 2028.
- He said Alibaba has origins in China but it is a truly global company today.
Books & Authors:
Khullam Khulla: Rishi Kapoor Uncensored authored by Rishi Kapoor and Meena Iyer
- Rishi Kapoor’s autobiography, Khullam Khulla: Rishi Kapoor Uncensored was in news in the second week of January 2016. The book is authored by Rishi Kapoor and Meena Iyer.
- Released on 20 January 2017, the book came in news because it reveals certain facts about Rishi Kapoor’s life, like meeting with Dawood Ibrahim, one of India’s most-wanted men, on two occasions in Dubai.
- For the first time, they met in 1998 when Rishi Kapoor was invited to Dawood’s house in Dubai for tea. Defending his meet with the gangster, the actor says that he met him before 1993 Mumbai bomb blasts took place. At that time, Dawood was not an enemy of the state.
- They, Rishi and Dawood, once again met in 1989, when he was shopping with his wife Neetu Singh in Dubai.
Antonio Tajani is new President of European Parliament
- The Italian conservative Antonio Tajani on 17 January 2017 was elected as the President of the European Parliament. To be elected for the post, Tajani defeated another Italian Gianni Pitella with 71 votes. Tajani secured 351 votes, against 282 for Pittella, a socialist. The contest ran to the maximum four rounds.
- With this election, Tajani succeeds Germany's Martin Schulz. In November Schulz announced that he would return to German politics.
CV Vishveshwara, pioneer in black hole research work, passes away
- Professor CV Vishveshwara who did pioneering work on black holes, passed away on 16 January 2017 in Bengaluru following a brief illness. He was 77. He is survived by wife and two daughters.
- Popularly called Vishu, he was celebrated as the 'Black Hole Man of India'.
- In the 1970s at the University of Maryland, he was among the first to study black holes even before they were named.
- He was also the founding director of the Jawaharlal Nehru Planetarium in Bengaluru.
Eugene Cernan, last man to walk on Moon, passes away
- Astronaut Eugene Cernan, who was the last man to set foot on the Moon, passed away on 16 January 2017. He was 82.
- Currently, there are only six people who have walked on the moon- Buzz Aldrin, Alan Bean, Charles Duke, Harrison Schmitt, John Young and David Scott.