Hello and welcome to ExamPundit. Here are the Important Current Affairs of 9th July, 2015. These are Important for the upcoming SBI PO Mains 2015 and RBI Assistant 2015 Exams.
Books For 2015 Banking/Insurance Exams
India, US Sign FATCA to Fight Tax Evasion
- To check offshore tax evasion, India and the US today signed an agreement to implement FATCA that will facilitate exchange of information between the two countries from October 1.
- The Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) was signed here by Revenue Secretary Shaktikanta Das and US Ambassador Richard Verma.
- US law FATCA seeks to facilitate flow of financial information between countries. Under the inter-governmental agreement, Indian financial institutions would have to reveal information about US tax payers to the revenue department which would be passed on to the US tax authorities.
- Under the pact, US will also share with India financial information.
- The current reporting period beginning October 1 would be for July-December 2014.
- If a financial institution does not comply to FATCA, it will have to pay 30 per cent penalty tax on all its US revenues, including dividend, interest, fees and sales.
- FATCA will help India deal with the black money menace. The country has stepped up efforts to tackle it. Under the multilateral agreement India will start receiving information from other countries under automatic exchange of information (AEOI) route from 2017 onwards.
World Bank released State of Safety Nets 2015 report
- The World Bank on 7 July 2015 released the State of Safety Nets 2015 report. It aggregated spending on social safety net programs and beneficiaries in 157 countries, economies and territories and presented a comparative analysis of those programmes.
- As per the report, only 1/3rd of the world's poor are covered by safety nets program with largest gaps in Sub-saharan Africa and South Asia.
Report on India
- Janani Suraksha Yojana (JSY) is the largest in Conditional Cash Transfers (CCT) category with 78 million beneficiaries.
- Mid Day Meal programme is the largest in the School feeding category with 105 million beneficiaries.
- Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGs) is the largest in the Public Works Programme (PWP) category with 182 million beneficiaries.
- Indira Gandhi National Old Age Pension Scheme (IGNOAPS) is the second largest in the Unconditional Cash Transfers (UCT) category with 21 million beneficiaries.
- Spending on public distribution system (PDS) accounts for 0.6 percent of GDP.
- Total spending on social safety nets is 0.72 of GDP with 0.09 percent of GDP in Unconditional Cash Transfer schemes, 0.11 percent in school feeding, 0.29 in public works and 0.23 percent in fee waivers.
- More than 1.9 billion people in 136 low- and middle-income countries benefit from social safety net programs.
- The combined spending on social safety nets amounted to about 329 US billion dollars between 2010 and 2014.
- Some 718 million people are enrolled in cash transfer programs, including public works, and constitute 36 percent of social safety net globally.
- Cash transfers constitute the highest share of spending in all regions except in Sub-Saharan Africa, where food and other in-kind transfers dominate.
India’s economic growth to beat China in 2016: IMF
- India will be the world’s fastest growing economy, for the second consecutive year in 2016 at 7.5 per cent, International Monetary Fund said, even as it lowered its current year global economy growth forecast to 3.3 per cent.
- In its World Economic Outlook Update released, IMF retained India’s growth projection for current year at 7.5 per cent, which will be higher than China’s 6.8 per cent. It forecast a growth rate of 7.5 per cent for India in 2016 as well, as against China’s 6.3 per cent.
- China was the fastest growing economy in 2014, at 7.4 per cent as against India’s 7.3 per cent, as per the IMF data.
- IMF’s growth projection for India, however, is lower than the estimates of the Indian Finance Ministry and the Reserve Bank of India. The Finance Ministry expects GDP growth to be 8-8.5 per cent in 2015-16, while the Reserve Bank of India estimated it at 7.6 per cent.
- For India, IMF follows data for fiscal year ending March, while for other countries it considers the December-ending periods.
- In case of both India and China, IMF retained the projection made earlier in April, while it had lowered global growth forecast from 3.5 per cent to 3.3 per cent for 2015.
- The global growth projection for 2016 has been retained at 3.8 per cent.
Russian Investment Fund to set up joint mechanism for financing infrastructure in BRICS countries
- Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) on 8 July 2015 signed framework agreements for equity investments in infrastructure projects in BRICS countries. The agreement was signed at the BRICS summit in Ufa.
The partners in the BRICS member-states include
- India’s IDFC (Infrastructure Development Finance Company) group
- Brazil’s BTG Pactual
- China’s Silk Road Fund
- The Development Bank of Southern Africa
Under this joint mechanism, the parties will work together to identify and finance infrastructure projects that will improve trade, economic and investment cooperation between BRICS countries.
This initiative, which was first announced by RDIF at the 2014 BRICS summit in Fortaleza (Brazil), was also supported by the BRICS Business Council.
Wipro acquires Denmark-based design firm Designit for €85 million
- Wipro Digital, the digital business unit of India's third largest IT services provider Wipro on Thursday announced its intention to acquire Denmark-based design firm Designit.
- The company specialises in designing transformative products-service experience, Wipro said in a regulatory filing to the BSE. According to the company statement, the purchase consideration is of €85 million (about Rs 590 crore) which includes a performance based contingent consideration payable over three years.
- The acquisition is subject to customary conditions and regulatory approvals and is expected to be closed in the current quarter, added Wipro. Final Payout could range between 70 -105 per cent of purchase consideration.
- Designit’s expertise in experience-driven design complements Wipro Digital’s capabilities in technology, digital strategy, design, and digital architecture, the company said.
- Founded in 1991, Designit employs more than 300 people in its nine offices globally, it delivers transformative product-service experiences for various sectors like healthcare, telecom, banking, automotive, and retail. In calendar year 2014, the company had a revenue of € 27 million.
Healthcare firm Practo acquires tech start-up Genii
- Practo, that provides an app and web service for scheduling appointments with doctors has acquired Genii, a technology services start-up focused on product design and development.
- The founders of the Mumbai-based firm Varun Vohra and Aditya Anand and their 11 member team will move to Bengaluru to join Practo.
- An alumni of Birla Institute of Technology and Science, Pilani Dubai, Vohra and Anand will lead product teams at Practo. They will help Practo tap the enterprise space with products focused around hospitals and diagnostic centers. Practo which already lists over 8,000 hospitals on its platform aims to reach to 20,000 hospitals by the end of this year.
- Genii is the second acquisition for Practo which raised $30 million (Rs. 190 crore) in February from venture capital firms Sequoia Capital and Matrix Partners. In April it acquired Delhi-based fitness tech start-up FitHo for an undisclosed amount.
Essar Oil to sell 49% stake to Russia's Rosneft for $3.2 bn
- Russia's top oil producer Rosneft will buy 49 percent stake in Essar Oil for about $3.2 billion after excluding the Mumbai-based firm's flourishing coal-bed methane (CBM) business.
- Rosneft, the world's top listed oil producer, will get a hold in India's second biggest oil refinery as well as its 1,600 petrol pumps that will more than triple to 5,000 in two years.
- The Russian firm will also supply 10 million tonnes a year of crude to Essar Oil's 20 million tonnes per annum Vadinar refinery in Gujarat for 10 years.
- The proposed transaction is conditional upon various factors such as due diligence, determination of the transaction price, execution of definitive transaction documents and receipt of requisite approvals, it said without disclosing the deal size.
- Sources privy to the development said Rosneft will pay $3.2 billion for the 49 percent stake.
eMudhra launches eSign services
- eMudhra Limited, a leading certifying firm in the country for digital signatures, today launched eSign services.
- eSign is an online electronic signature service which can facilitate an Aadhaar holder to digitally sign a document within seconds. The signatures generated by eSign are legally valid and secure under the Information Technology Act, 2000, the company said.
- As part of the Digital India Vision, Prime Minister launched eSign services in the country on July 1.
- eSign can "revolutionise" the way business and governance is conducted in the country and pave the way for a digital transformation into a paperless environment, eMudhra said in a statement.
- The firm which claims to be the first to start eSign services has also launched eMlocker - eMudhra's Digital Locker.
- By using eMlocker along with eSign, one can store documents such as PAN cards, Aadhaar cards, electricity bills or any other documents electronically. One can also sign and attest them using eSign and send to anybody, it said.
Ratan Tata Joins Hand With Tripura Govt, Pledges Support to Community Development
- Tata Trusts Chairman Ratan Tata today pledged support to community development work in Tripura as Tata Trusts joined hands with the state government.
- Speaking at the MoU signing between Tripura government and Tata Trusts for community development in the state, Tata said: "Our aim is to encourage prosperity, not by being exploitive, not by taking natural resource or assets from here and developing them outside, but by creating livelihoods for the people that we work with."
- A steering committee will be the guiding force for implementation of this joint programme and would comprise of representatives from the Government of Tripura and Tata Trusts.
Electronic Nose for environmental monitoring jointly developed by CSIR-NEERI & C-DAC
- An Electronic Nose (E-Nose) was jointly developed by Nagpur-based National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI) of CSIR and Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC). The development was announced by CSIR-NEERI and C-DAC on 8 July 2015.
- E-Nose technology will help monitor the surrounding environment to sniff out dangerous gases.
Key Features of E-Nose
- It is a portable device and measures odour concentration as well as odour intensity.
- It uses an array of sensors that function on the principle similar to that of human olfaction (sense of smell). The sensor array generates a pattern based on the type of aroma.
Union Railway Ministry launched Mobile ticketing app for suburban commuters
- Union Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu on 8 July 2015 launched a mobile ticketing app for unreserved tickets that will cover 35 stations between the 123 km long Churchgate-Dhauroad suburban section in Western Railway.
- The ministry also launched two other IT-based initiaves including a SMS destination alert service for premier trains and an e-ticketing portal in Hindi.
About Mobile Ticketing Application
- The mobile ticketing application for unreserved tickets aims to facilitate a hassle free travel for lakhs of daily passengers in Mumbai.
- Developed by Centre for Railway Information Systems, the paperless unreserved ticketing feature in mobile application aims to eliminate the need for printing of unreserved tickets.
Indian Army dedicated Prerna Sthal at Hussainiwala to the nation
- Indian Army on 8 July 2015 dedicated the monument named Prerna Sthal at Hussainiwala to the nation. The commemorative monument was built to honour the sacrifice of soldiers of India.
- The newly constructed Prerna Sthal is located at the gateway of the memorial to Shaheed Bhagat Singh at Hussainiwala, a village in Firozpur district of Punjab, India, where Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev and Rajguru were cremated on 23 March 1931.
- The monument was dedicated to the nation amidst the musical notes played by the buglers of the Last Post from the roof of the historical Hussainiwala railway station. General Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Western Command, Lt Gen KJ Singh laid the inaugural wreath and observed a two minute silence as a mark of respect to the martyrs.
Climate Change to be the theme of Science Express in 2015
- Climate Change was announced as the theme of 2015 Science Express. This was announced during the first meeting of Science Express Climate Change Special (SECCS) chaired by Union Minister of Science and Technology Dr Harsh Vardhan on 8 July 2015 in New Delhi.
- The meeting was held to decide the overall contours of the theme and elicit suggestions from volunteers and experts involved in the running of the Express.
About Science Express
- It is a unique science exhibition mounted on a 16-coach AC train.
- Its focus is on spreading awareness about science and technology among students from schools and colleges and general public at large.
- It has been travelling across India successfully since 2007.
Telangana government, ICRISAT signed MoU to improve profitability of farmers
- Telangana government and International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) on 7 July 2015 signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to improve profitability of farmers.
- The MoU was signed by C Parthasarathi, Secretary and Agri-Production Commissioner; Jayesh Ranjan, Secretary, IT, Electronics & Communications; and ICRISAT Director General David Bergvinson.
Highlights of the MoU
- Under this MoU, the organisation will provide Information and Communication Technology (ICT)-based knowledge sharing platforms and other agricultural innovation initiatives to farmers in order to improve their productivity.
Operation Smile led to tracing of 44 missing children in Uttarakhand
- Operation Smile, a unique initiative of Ghaziabad Police to track missing children, was in news in second week of July 2015. It came in news after Uttarakhand police under the operation was able to trace at least 44 missing children from various parts of the state within a week.
- In another development, the police and the district administration of Dharmapuri, Tamil Nadu has constituted five special teams to spearhead ‘Operation Smile.’
- The Operation Smile was launched by the Ghaziabad Police in 2014 with an aim to search and restoration of missing children with their families. Under the operation, the police was able to recover 227 missing children within 30 days of launch.
Satish Pillai appointed as new MD & CEO of CIBIL
- Credit Information Bureau India Ltd (CIBIL), India’s leader in credit information, has appointed Satish Pillai as its new Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer on Thursday.
- Pillai succeeds Arun Thukral who retires this year after a decade.
- Satish Pillai has been serving CIBIL in the capacity of Chief Operating Officer for more than four years where he was responsible for product development and bureau operations. Earlier, Pillai led TransUnion’s operations in India overlooking the creation of the solutions team that supported generic and custom analytics and decisioning technologies, including the launch of the CIBIL TransUnion Score- India’s first generic scoring model, CIBIL said in a statement.
- CIBIL, India’s largest credit information bureau, maintains credit information on more than 406 million consumer accounts and 22 million business accounts and has a membership base of over 1400 banks and credit institutions.
Sriram Kalyanaraman appointed as MD and CEO of National Housing Bank
- Sriram Kalyanaraman was on 8 July 2015 appointed as Managing Director (MD) and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of National Housing Bank (NHB) for a period of Five Years. With this, Kalyanaraman became the first person form the Private Sector to head a Public Sector Financial Institution.
- Presently, Kalyanaraman is Director-Business Development of Equifax Credit Information Services. Prior to joining Equifax, Sriram was Director of Business Clients and Asset Products at Deutsche Bank India.
- National Housing Bank (NHB) is a wholly owned subsidiary of Reserve Bank of India (RBI). It was set up on 9 July 1988 under the National Housing Bank Act, 1987.
Lord Kamlesh Patel became first British-Asian appointee to ECB Management Board
- Professor Lord Kamlesh Patel of Bradford OBE was on 8 July 2015 appointed as an independent member on the 14-member board of the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB).
- With this, he became the first British Asian to join the ECB Management Board which is chaired by Colin Graves and the President of the Board is Giles Clarke CBE.
- Lord Patel, who currently sits in the House of Lords as a Labour Peer will replace Lord Morris of Handsworth who is stepping down from the Board after serving for eleven years as an ECB Director.
- Earlier, he has worked for the Yorkshire Cricket Academy as a part-time coach. In 2014 he served on the judging panel of the inaugural Asian Cricket Awards supported by ECB.
- He has been one of the country’s most influential and authoritative spokesmen on issues relating to health, social care and equality and human rights.
SN Sahai appointed as Home Secretary of Delhi
- Senior IAS officer Sanjeev Nandan (SN)Sahai was on 8 July 2015 appointed as the Home Secretary of Delhi. Sahai is a 1986 batch Union Territory cadre officer.
- Sahai succeeded senior IAS officer Dharam Pal, who was removed as Home Secretary in June 2015 by the AAP government.
- SahaI is the Finance Secretary of Delhi and had played crucial role in preparing budget for Delhi government.
Inderjeet Singh became first Indian to win a Gold Medal at World University Games in Gwangju
- Indian shot-putter Inderjit Singh on 8 July 2015 came up with a best throw of 20.27 meter in the final attempt to win the Gold medal of men's shot put event at the World University Games in Gwangju, South Korea.
- With this, he created history to become the first Indian to win a gold medal at the World University Games. In the last edition of the games in 2013 in Russia he had won silver medal in the shot put event.
- The silver medal of the event was won by Andrei Marius Gag of Romania with a throw of 19.92m while Alexander Bulanov of Russia took the bronze with a throw of 19.84m.
- In the year 2015, the 27-year old shot putter from Haryana has won gold medals in all the international events he has participated thus far.
Union Sports Ministry constituted Ashwini Nachappa committee to study status of SAI training centers
- The Union Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports on 8 July 2015 constituted an eight member committee to study status of Sports Authority of India (SAI) training centers across the country.
- The committee will be headed by former athlete Ashwini Nachappa and includes Pullela Gopi Chand as a member among others.
- The committee was formed against the backdrop of suicide attempt by four girl inmates at the Sports Authority of India (SAI) SAG Water Sports centre at Alappuzha, Kerala in May 2015 that resulted in death of one girl trainee.
- The committee was mandated to recommend measures to ensure that such incidents do not occur in future.