Current Affairs Update – 5th July, 2015

Hello and welcome to ExamPundit. Here are the Important Current Affairs of 5th July, 2015. These are very Important for the upcoming SBI PO Mains 2015 and RBI Assistant 2015.

Finance/Banking –

SBI Group's share in debit card payments touches 25% in FY15

  • Riding on the booming e-commerce space and increasing adoption of non-cash transactions, the combined share of SBI and its five associate banks in the debit cards space has touched 25 per cent in the financial year 2015.
  • "Debit card spends at points of sale and e-commerce transactions of the State Bank Group crossed Rs 30,000 crore in FY15, an increase of 38.8 per cent, which resulted in the group topping the market share at 25 per cent of total debit card spends," SBI said in its annual report for FY15.
  • State Bank of Bikaner & Jaipur, State Bank of Hyderabad, State Bank of Patiala, State Bank of Travancore and State Bank of Mysore form the SBI Group.
  • As of March end, the SBI Group has issued over 20.59 crore debit cards, which is highest in the country.
  • State Bank of India itself has been actively promoting debit card usage by running various promotional and cashback campaigns.
  • It has recently launched loyalty programme for its customers for doing various banking transactions through debit cards, personal banking, alternate channels like internet and mobile banking, among others.
  • In terms of the number of mobile banking transactions, SBI continues to be market leader with a 46 per cent share.

Bandhan to start banking operations from Aug 23

  • Micro-finance institution Bandhan Financial Services, which got the final licence from Reserve Bank of India to start universal banking, would formally start operations as a banker from August 23.
  • "We will start banking operations under Bandhan Bank from August 23 with the inauguration of 600 branches in 27 states across the country along with 250 on-site ATMs," Bandhan chairman Chandra Sekhar Ghosh told PTI.
  • He said 247 branches would be opened in West Bengal, while Bihar, Orissa and Assam would also have a good share in terms of the number of branches.
  • Ghosh said 65% of the branches would be rural, while the rest 35% would be opened in urban areas.
  • The logo for Bandhan Bank has been designed by advertising agency O&M, Ghosh said adding that all the branches would be on core banking platform.
  • Bandhan is also in the process of obtaining separate RBI licences for RTGS, NEFT, payments gateways and CTS, he said.

Corporation Bank launches first MUDRA card

  • The MUDRA (Micro Units Development and Refinance Agency) card under the Pradhan Mantri MUDRA Yojana (PMMY) scheme was launched by the Corporation Bank on Saturday. Hasmukh Adhia, Secretary, Department of Financial Services, Ministry of Finance, released the card.
  • Mr. Adhia presented the cards to a few customers in the presence of Corporation Bank CMD S.R. Bansal and Executive Director Bibhas Kumar Srivastav. The card facilitates the withdrawal and use of the working capital finance by micro entrepreneurs. Corporation Bank was the first bank to launch the MUDRA Card based on the RuPay platform, said a release from the bank.
  • Three loan schemes are offered to the entrepreneurs based on their capacity to repay. “Shishu” scheme provides loan up to Rs.50,000. while a loan amount up to Rs. 5 lakh will be lent under “Kishore” scheme. Under “Tarun” scheme loan up to Rs. 10 lakh will be offered.
  • As a part of the digital India programme of the Government of India, the bank also launched a high-tech paperless point of sales (PoS) terminal in association with MRL POSNET and the “Remit to India” portal for inward remittance by NRIs.

Mastercard tries selfies to verify online payments

  • MasterCard is experimenting with a smartphone app which allows people to confirm their identity and authenticate online transactions via a facial scan.
  • Users will have to download the MasterCard phone app and at checkout they will be asked to hold up their phone to stare and blink at it.
  • “The new generation, which is into selfies...I think they’ll find it cool. They’ll embrace it,” said Ajay Bhalla, security expert at the American financial services company MasterCard.
  • Currently, users can set up something called “SecureCode,” which requires a password when shopping online.
  • However, passwords can be forgotten, stolen, or intercepted.
  • MasterCard is launching a small pilot programme involving 500 people that uses fingerprints — but also facial scans to verify online transactions, ‘CNN Money’ reported.
  • MasterCard said it has partnered with every smartphone maker to make this method of verification possible.
  • MasterCard said a pop-up will ask for authorisation after people buy something. They can choose fingerprint or facial recognition. Users who choose facial recognition have to stare at the phone and blink once.

India –

ISRO to undertake biggest commercial launch on July 10

  • In the heaviest ever commercial mission undertaken by ISRO and its commercial arm Antrix, the country's workhorse the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) will put in orbit five foreign satellites from the spaceport of Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh on July 10.
  • With the overall lift-off mass of the five satellites amounting to about 1,440 kg, this mission becomes the heaviest commercial mission ever undertaken by Antrix/ISRO, the Indian space agency said.
  • In its 13th flight, PSLV-C28 will launch three identical DMC3 optical earth observation satellites built by Surrey Satellite Technology Limited (SSTL), United Kingdom (UK).
  • The three DMC3 satellites, each weighing 447 kg, will be launched into a 647 km Sun-Synchronous Orbit (SSO) using the high-end version of PSLV (PSLV-XL), ISRO said on its website. PSLV-C28 will be the ninth flight of PSLV in 'XL' configuration.
  • The three DMC3 satellites, each weighing 447 kg, will be launched into a 647 km Sun-Synchronous Orbit (SSO) using the high-end version of PSLV (PSLV-XL), ISRO said on its website. PSLV-C28 will be the ninth flight of PSLV in 'XL' configuration.
  • In addition, the rocket will also carry two auxiliary satellites from UK - CBNT-1, a technology demonstrator earth observation micro satellite built by SSTL, and De-OrbitSail, a technology demonstrator nano satellite built by Surrey Space Centre.

Govt to convert 90,000 kms national highways into green corridors

  • The government will convert 90,000 kms of country's national highways into green corridors, for which it is planning to create at least 1,000 contractors responsible for planting trees.
  • The new green policy, he explained, will pave way for creation of employment as well as contribute towards the economic growth of the country.
  • India's road network of 33 lakh kms is the second largest in the world and consists of 92,851 kms of National Highways, which constitute only 1.7 per cent of the road network but carry about 40 per cent of the total road traffic.

ComMin takes steps to boost pharma exports; sets up committee

  • Government has taken several measures, including setting up of an inter-departmental committee to look into export-related issues and awareness programmes in emerging markets like Africa, to boost pharmaceutical exports.
  • Pharmaceutical sector has huge potential in terms of increasing exports, the Commerce Ministry is taking many measures to boost overseas shipments, a ministry official said.
  • The official said an inter-ministerial committee to resolve export-related issues has been set up. Besides, the ministry has prepared a 'guidance document on pharma procurement' to help authorities in Africa, Latin America and South Asia in their purchasing programmes.
  • Awareness programmes about Indian pharma industry have also been started in these markets and workshops are being organised with USFDA for Indian drug regulators and the industry.
  • Recently, the Indian pharma industry has been facing the heat from the US Food and Drug Administration for non-compliance of regulatory framework. In the recent past, many domestic generic drug makers, including Sun Pharma and Wockhardt, have faced actions.
  • The Commerce Ministry is depending on the sector to boost the country's exports, which are in the negative zone since December last year.
  • India's pharma exports grew by about 3 per cent to USD 15.34 billion in 2014-15.

Sports –

Chile beat Argentina to win first-ever Copa America title

  • Chile won the Copa America for the first time in the tournament's 99-year history on Saturday when they beat Argentina 4-1 on penalties after 90 minutes and extra time failed to produce a goal.
  • Alexis Sanchez netted the clinching goal from the spot after Gonzalo Higuain and Ever Banega had missed for Argentina.
  • The nail-biting finish came after a tense 0-0 draw in which neither side dominated and clear-cut chances were few and far between.
  • Chile had beaten Argentina just once in 38 competitive matches before the final and celebrated the triumph in front of an ecstatic home crowd at the National Stadium.
  • Best young player was awarded to Jeison Murillo of Colombia.
  • Man of the match in the final was Arturo Vidal of Chile.


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