Friday, July 24, 2015

Current Affairs Update – 24th July, 2015

Hello and welcome to ExamPundit. Here are the Important Current Affairs of 24th July, 2015. These are Important for the 2nd phase of RBI Assistant 2015 Exam.


RBI/Industry –

IDFC Gets RBI Nod for Starting Banking Operation


  • Infrastructure financing firm IDFC Ltd today said the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has granted banking licence to IDFC Bank for undertaking banking business in the country.
  • "The RBI on July 23, 2015 has granted Banking Licence to IDFC Bank Limited for undertaking banking business in India under Section 22(1) of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949," IDFC said in a stock exchange filing.
  • IDFC and Bandhan Financial Services Pvt Ltd emerged successful out of 25 contenders for new bank licences issued by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in April last year. Bandhan Financial got RBI approval last month.
  • IDFC Bank plans to start operation from October 1 with an initial loan book of around Rs 55,000 crore. The bank proposes to start operations with 20 branches.
  • It has almost completed the process of demerger of financial undertaking into IDFC Bank.
  • The demerger was in accordance with RBI conditions which require IDFC to transfer the relevant business activities to the proposed IDFC Bank.


WTO members sealed a deal to cut tariffs on $1 trillion worth IT products

  • World Trade Organization (WTO) members on 24 July 2015 struck a deal to add more than 200 products to the list of goods covered by zero-tariff and duty-free trade.
  • In value terms, the deal cuts tariffs on 1 trillion US dollar worth of information technology (IT) products, which is equal to global trade in iron, steel, textiles and clothing combined.
  • The deal was agreed as part of need to update the 18-year old Information Technology Agreement (ITA) as it has become redundant.
  • Products added range from advanced computer chips to GPS devices, medical equipment, printer cartridges and video-game consoles.
  • This will give a major boost to producers of goods ranging from video games to medical equipment. Technology manufacturers such as General Electric, Intel, Texas Instruments, Microsoft and Nintendo are among the many companies expected to benefit from the deal.


Reliance Group, Augur Overseas Operation signed MoU to manufacture Aerostats and Airships

  • Anil Ambani-led Reliance Group through its entity Reliance Unmanned Systems on 23 July 2015 signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Augur Overseas Operation of Singapore to manufacture Aerostats and Airships in India.
  • As per the MoU, both the parties will collaborate on new technologies for the civil and military market as part of the Make in India initiative of Union Government. The two companies have agreed to form a joint venture (JV) firm with Reliance having 51 percent stake as per Government’s policy.
  • The joint venture will be involved in development, production, sales, modification and life support for different sizes of Aerostats and Airships. This JV will address the requirements of domestic market and also addressable regional/global markets.
  • The Augur Overseas Operation is a wholly owned subsidiary of Augur Aeronautical Centre.



Lupin acquired US generics company GAVIS Pharmaceuticals LLC

  • Indian drug company Lupin on 23 July 2015 acquired US generics company GAVIS Pharmaceuticals and Novel Laboratories (GAVIS) for 880 million US dollars to strengthen its presence in the United States.
  • The deal is cash-free and debt-free and it will be funded by a bridge loan, with 10 crore rupees from existing cash reserves deployed for it.
  • With this acquisition, Lupin will get access to a host of specialty generic drugs and niche products, mainly in dermatology, gastro-intestinal and injectables. GAVIS’s New-Jersey based manufacturing facility will become Lupin’s first manufacturing site in the US.
  • Both the companies will now have a portfolio of 101 in-market products, 164 cumulative filings pending approval and a deep pipeline of products under development for the US. The acquisition creates the fifth largest portfolio of ANDA filings with the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).



CSC, HCL form joint venture to provide technology services, solutions to banks


  • IT companies CSC and HCL Technologies have signed an agreement to form a banking software and services company to provide technology services and solutions to the banking industry.
  • The joint venture will invest in platform modernisation and product functionality enhancement and will capitalise on the proven capabilities of both companies in addressing the multi-billion-dollar, global core banking software market.
  • CSC, which serves over 100 premier banking and financial services clients in 15 countries, will provide its core banking, cards, payments and default management industry talent, software and product development expertise, the release added.
  • HCL will provide capital investment, its experience in product engineering and application implementation services, as well as banking sales and client engagement expertise.



India –

FSSAI proposed Draft on regulating sale of Health Supplements and Nutraceuticals

  • Food Safety Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) on 23 July 2015 proposed draft Food Safety and Standards Regulations, 2015. The draft in its ambit seeks to regulate Health Supplements, Nutraceuticals, Foods for Special Dietary Uses, Foods for Special Medical Purpose, Functional Foods, and Novel Food.
  • FSSAI may ban the trade of these foods if it is found that the food being placed in the market is nor clearly distinguishable from the foods for normal consumption or are not suitable for their claimed nutritional purpose or may endanger the human health.


Key points in proposed draft
  • No person shall manufacture, pack, sell, offer for sale, market or otherwise distribute or import any food products referred to in the draft regulations unless they comply with the requirements laid down under these regulations.
  • The formulation of the foods shall be based on sound medical or nutritional principles and supported by validated scientific data, wherever required.
  • Every package of food or health supplements shall carry the words FOOD or HEALTH SUPPLEMENT and the term ‘NOT FOR MEDICINAL USE’ shall be prominently written on the label.
  • It is proposed to fix the limit on maximum usage levels per day for the milk of cow, buffalo and camel, ghee, curd, butter, honey, gold, gold foil, silver, pearl in ayurveda, siddha and unani ingredients based products.
  • Benefits of specialty foods containing ingredients based on ayurveda, unani and siddha and other traditional health systems of India, should be shown by science based evidence.
  • No hormones or steroids or psychotropic ingredients shall be added in these foods.



No citizen or institution has a fundamental right to affiliation or recognition: SC

  • The Supreme Court on 23 July 2015 held that fundamental right given under Article 19(1)(g) of the Constitution does not give an institution or a person or a citizen the fundamental right to affiliate or recognition of their institutions within the meaning of the Article 19(6).
  • Article 19(6) providing for reasonable restrictions on fundamental rights reads, “Nothing in the 19(1)(g) shall prevent the State from making a law with respect to providing necessary professional or technical qualification for practising any profession or carrying on any occupation, trade or business.”
  • On the other hand, Article 19(1)(g) says that the citizens have been conferred the right to practice any profession or carry on any occupation, trade or business.
  • The decision of the SC bench comprising of Justice MY Eqbal and Justice Arun Mishra relied on 1993 judicial case which said that “education has always been treated in this country as religious and charitable activity and making it commercial is opposed to the ethos, tradition and sensibilities of this nation. A citizen of this country may have a right to establish an educational institution but no citizen, person or institution has a right, much less of fundamental right, to affiliation or recognition.”



Maharashtra cabinet approved scheme for development of villages around Tiger reserves


  • Maharashtra Cabinet on 23 July 2015 approved Shyamaprasad Mukherjee Jan Van Vikas Scheme. The scheme proposed by Forest Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar in the state’s annual budget 2015-16 aims at creation of comprehensive development of villages in the buffer zones of tiger reserves and around them.
  • Its objectives are to reduce the man-animal conflict and achieve sustainable development of these villages. The scheme also aims at reducing the dependence of villagers on the forest.
  • The scheme will seek to boost the supplementary businesses to farming activities and create alternative employment possibilities in these areas. The scheme will be launched on project basis from 2015-16 to 2019-2020.



IMI Kolkata signs pact with Sinchuan University of China

  • International Management Institute (IMI) Kolkata has signed an agreement with the Sinchuan University of China for exchange of students and researchers and joint work programmes.
  • The agreement was signed by Arindam Banik, Director, IMI Kolkata, and Xie Heping, President, Sinchuan University, last week, IMI said in a release.
  • Based on the agreement, four students from Sinchuan University shall be spending a trimester in IMI Kolkata.


World –

Earth-like exoplanet Kepler 452b discovered

  • Earth-like exoplanet Kepler 452b was discovered by Kepler Mission. The discovery of it was made public during the NASA press conference on 23 July 2015. It resides in a year-long orbit in the habitable zone of a Sun-like star in the constellation of Cygnus some 1400 light-years away.
  • The planet is a near-twin of Earth orbiting Sunlike Star and is estimated to 1.6 times (60 percent) larger than Earth.
  • It is likely rocky and could have a mass of anywhere between one to five times that of our own planet.
  • In addition to Kepler 452b, the Kepler Mission also discovered 11 yet-to-be-confirmed candidate planets that appear to be small, rocky and potentially suitable for life.
  • One of them, presently known only as KOI-7235.01, looks to be only 15 percent larger than Earth, and orbits right in the middle of its star’s habitable zone. If confirmed, it would surpass even Kepler 452 b to become the most Earth-like world astronomers have ever found beyond our solar system.



Mosquirix, world's first malaria vaccine, approved by European Medicines Agency

  • The world’s first malaria vaccine called RTS,S or Mosquirix on 24 July 2015 got approval from European Medicines Agency (EMA).
  • The vaccine was licensed for use on babies aged between 6 weeks and 17 months in Africa, which is at the highest risk of the mosquito-borne disease.
  • The vaccine developed by British drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline in partnership with the PATH Malaria Vaccine Initiative, would be the first licensed human vaccine against a parasitic disease and could help prevent millions of cases of malaria.
  • The vaccine is also part-funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and it was in development since 1987 under a team of researchers led by Joe Cohen, a GSK scientist.



First All Women Trans Continental road expedition from Delhi to London flagged off

  • First All Women Trans Continental Road Expedition from Delhi to London was flagged off on 23 July 2015. The expedition, which started from Major Dhyanchand Stadium of New Delhi, was flagged off by Union Minister of Chemical and Fertilizers, Ananth Kumar and Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Youth Affairs & Sports Sarbananda Sonowal.
  • The three woman participants, namely Nidhi Tiwari, Rashmi Koppar and Soumaya Goel, will reach United Kingdom in 55 days. During the journey they will cover a distance of 15000 kms via Myanmar, China, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Russia, Ukraine, Poland, Czech Republic, Germany, Belgium and France.
  • This all women team will be travelling in one vehicle without any backup vehicle and the journey will be sponsored by Mahindra First Choice Wheels Limited.



Awards & Honors –

Peter Higgs received Royal Society’s Copley Medal, the world's oldest scientific prize


  • Nobel Prize winner Professor Peter Higgs on 20 July 2015 won the world’s oldest scientific prize, the Royal Society’s Copley Medal. With this, 86-year old Higgs joined the ranks of Charles Darwin, Albert Einstein and Stephen Hawking.
  • He was awarded the medal for his fundamental contribution to particle physics and his pioneering work on the theory of the Higgs boson that explains the origin of mass in elementary particles. The presence of Higgs boson was confirmed by the experiments at Large Hadron Collider (LHC) in 2012.
  • Modern physics suggests that matter consists of a set of particles that act as building blocks and that between these particles lie forces that are controlled by another set of particles. A fundamental property of the majority of particles is that they have a mass.


Appointments –

Suresh Narayanan appointed new Nestle India MD after Maggi scare


  • Swiss food group Nestle has replaced the head of its Indian operations as the company battles its worst ever public relations crisis in the country, following a food scare that forced it to withdraw its popular instant noodles.
  • Nestle India said in a statement on Friday that its managing director for India, Etienne Benet, would move to the group’s head office in Switzerland.
  • He will be replaced by Suresh Narayanan, a former Nestle India executive and currently chief executive of the company’s Philippines unit. He will take the reins on Aug. 1.
  • Nestle has been at the centre of India’s worst food scare in a decade, after a regulator in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh in May found excess lead in a sample of its hugely popular Maggi noodles.



Sports –

Shubham Jaglan won IJGA World Stars of Junior Golf event 2015

  • 10-year old Shubham Jaglan on 22 July 2015 won the IJGA World Stars of Junior Golf event in Las Vegas. Jaglan is the son of a milkman from rural Haryana, India.
  • He shot a three round score of 106 winning by a five-stroke margin, ahead of two Americans Justin Dang and Sihan Sandhu and Thailand's Pongsapak Laopakdee for the Boys 9-10 years category title.
  • He also scripted a scintillating one-stroke win at the Junior World Golf Championships that was held at Welk Resort Fountain Course in California.



List –

Forbes Asia's Fabulous 50 List of the year 2015 released

  • The Forbes Asia's Fabulous 50 list of the year 2015 was released on 22 July 2015. The Fab 50 list is an annual honor roll highlighting some of the brightest stars in the Asia Pacific. The companies from China dominate this year’s list that depicts the region’s best big publicly traded companies.
  • The list was dominated by 25 Chinese firms, while India claimed the second-highest number of companies in the list with a total of 10 firms. South Korea stood at third place with four companies in the list.
  • Four countries Philippines, Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore each have two companies listed in the list and Taiwan, Japan and Indonesia have one each.
  • Indian Companies in the list
  • The list depicts India’s HDFC Bank as the brightest star. HDFC is the second-largest bank in India’s private sector, after ICICI Bank. The bank now has a market capitalisation of 43 billion US dollar, nearly 32 million customers and a network spanning more than 4000 branches in almost 2500 towns and cities.


The Indian companies on the list are:
  1. Aurobindo Pharma
  2. HCL Technologies
  3. HDFC Bank
  4. Lupin
  5. Motherson Sumi Systems
  6. Sun Pharmaceutical Industries
  7. Tata Consultancy Services
  8. Tata Motors
  9. Tech Mahindra
  10. Titan




Regards



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