Current Affairs Update – 29th September, 2015

Hello and welcome to ExamPundit. Here are the Important Current Affairs of 29th September, 2015. These are important for the upcoming IBPS PO Mains 2015.


Finance/RBI –

RBI Fourth Bi-Monthly Policy: Lowest Repo After 4 years


  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) lowered the benchmark repo rate by 50 basis points to 6.75 percent. It kept the CRR unchanged at 4 percent.
  • This marks the fourth repo rate cut by the RBI since January 2015. 
  • However, it has lowered its FY16 GDP growth target to 7.4 percent from 7.6 percent. It also said the focus should now shift to bringing inflation down to 5 percent by FY17-end.

Types
Current Rate
Repo
 6.75% (Reduced by 50 bps)
Reverse Repo
 5.75 %
Bank rate
 7.75%
MSF
 7.75%
CRR
 4% (UNCHANGED)
SLR
 21.50%

  • The repo rate was last at 6.75 percent in March 2011.
  • However, the RBI cautioned that since the third bi-monthly statement of August 2015, global growth has moderated, especially in emerging market economies (EMEs), global trade has deteriorated further and downside risks to growth have increased.
  • However, as far as India is concerned, a tentative economic recovery is underway, but is still far from robust, the RBI statement states. 
  • The RBI has also said that foreign investment cap in government bonds will be relaxed in phases to 5 percent by March 2018. A hike in foreign investment limit in bonds will be announced every March, September.



RBI allows corporates to raise up to $750 mn via rupee denominated bonds overseas

  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) had allowed corporates to raise $ 750 million under the automatic route per annum by way of rupee denominated bonds overseas. "Cases beyond this limit will require prior approval of the Reserve Bank," said the central bank on 29 September, 2015.
  • The regulator has also allowed Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) and Infrastructure Investment Trusts (InvITs) to raise funds under this route. According to RBI the proceeds can be used for all purposes except for purchase of land, investing in capital market.
  • The proceeds cannot be used for equity investment domestically, real estate activities other than for development of integrated township or affordable housing projects etc.



Microsoft launches data centres in India at cost of $200 million


  • Microsoft India on 29th September, 2015 launched commercial cloud services from local data centres in India.
  • The company has invested around $200 million to set up three centres in Pune, Chennai and Mumbai. The Chennai Centre was inaugurated by Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa.
  • Karan Bajwa, managing director, Microsoft India, who was in Chennai to be part of the inauguration, said that the company will offer Microsoft Azure services via local data centres in India.
  • In addition to the Microsoft Azure services launching, Office 365 services will be available from October 2015. Dynamics CRM Online services will follow in the first half of 2016.
  • The current market share of Microsoft in the Indian public cloud market is 30%. Research firm Gartner estimates the FY15 cloud market at around $838 million. It says the sector is growing at 68-72%.



SBI cuts lending rate by 0.4%


  • Soon after reduction in repo rate by the Reserve Bank, country’s largest lender State Bank of India (SBI) on 29th September, 2015 slashed minimum lending or base rate by 0.4 per cent to 9.3 per cent, setting the trend for benign interest rate regime.
  • With the reduction in the base rate, all loans, including home, auto and corporate, would become cheaper by at least 0.40 per cent.
  • The bank has decided to reduce the base rate by 0.40 per cent to 9.3 per cent with effect from October 5, SBI said in a statement.
  • Meanwhile, Andhra Bank also reduced its base rate by 0.25 per cent to 9.75 per cent effective today.
  • Base rate is the minimum rate below which a bank can’t lend to consumers.
  • RBI cut benchmark repurchase (repo) rate from 7.25 per cent to 6.75 per cent, lowest in four-and-half-years.



India signed 123.51 Million US dollar Loan Agreement with Asian Development Bank


  • India on 28th September 2015 signed a 123.51 million US dollar loan agreement with Asian Development Bank (ADB) to upgrade tourism infrastructure and services in Punjab, Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh.
  • The agreement was signed by M Teresa Kho, Country Director for ADB in India and Raj Kumar, Joint Secretary (Multilateral Institutions), Department of Economic Affairs, Union Ministry of Finance.
  • The loan will be used for development and conservation of the places of tourist attractions. It will also be used to improve basic tourism facilities and to build the capacity of sector agencies and local communities in the States of Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Punjab.
  • This is the third tranche loan agreement and it is a part of the 250 million US dollar multi-tranche financing facility named Infrastructure Development Investment Program for Tourism that was approved by ADB in 2010.



Appointments –

Neelesh Garg appointed MD and CEO of Tata AIG General Insurance


  • Neelesh Garg has been appointed as the new managing director and chief executive officer of Tata AIG General Insurance. Garg takes over from K K Mishra, who retires this month.
  • Prior to this, Garg was executive director at ICICI Lombard General Insurance, where he spent over 12 years. He was instrumental in setting up the retail division in 2003 and in his role, he was responsible for all personal lines business as well as leading ICICI Lombard's foray into international markets.



Meghalaya Governor Shanmuganathan got additional charge of Governor of Manipur


  • Governor of Meghalaya V. Shanmuganathan was appointed as the Governor of Manipur by the President Pranab Mukherjee on 28 September 2015.
  • He was given the additional duties of Manipur after the demise of incumbent Dr. Syed Ahmed Khan.
  • He will discharge the functions of the Governor of Manipur, in addition to his own duties, until regular arrangements are made.
  • 64-year-old Shanmuganathan, who joined BJP in 2003, was appointed as Governor of Meghalaya on 20 May 2015.
  • Ahmed, a former congress leader from Maharashtra, was appointed as the Governor of Manipur on 16 May 2015. He was shifted to the north-eastern State from Jharkhand, where he was holding the post of Governor from August 2011 when the UPA Government was in power at the Centre.



Awards & Honors –

Indo-British van driver Dee Patel honoured with Pride of Britain Award


  • Prince Charles of Britain on 28 September 2015 awarded Indo-British van driver Dee Patel with the Pride of Britain Award. Patel had risked his life to save others.
  • Daily Mirror newspaper organised a ceremony at the Governor House in London where Patel was given the award in the outstanding bravery category.
  • When Patel set off for his routine job on 18 May 2005, he noticed a car ahead of him that was dangerously out of control on the M25 motorway.  Soon, he realised that the driver of the car, a young woman, slumped unconscious over the steering wheel. It was when Patel, without wasting any time, came for the rescue of the woman.



India –

Indo Sri Lanka Joint Exercise MITRA SHAKTI 2015 Commenced from 29 Sep


  • In continuation with the series of Joint Exercise between India and Sri Lanka to build Military to Military co-operation and interoperability, Exercise MITRA SHAKTI-2015 will be conducted shortly at Pune with the scheduled arrival of the Sri Lankan contingent at Aundh Camp on 29 September 2015. This will be the third joint training exercise between the two Armies.
  • The exercise is planned for a duration of 14 days with the basic objective of enhancing confidence and trust between the two militaries, which are often called upon to engage in anti terrorism operations including those under the UN mandate. The conduct of Joint Military Exercise is also an important step to uphold the values of Peace, Prosperity and Stability in the region. Senior military observers of both the countries will be attending the Final Tactical Exercise scheduled to be held at Aundh Military Station on 10 and 11 Oct 2015.
  • Exercise MITRA SHAKTI-2015 will contribute immensely in developing mutual understanding and respect for each other’s military.


Obituaries –

Twin Peaks star Catherine Coulson Dies at 71


  • Actress Catherine E Coulson, who playsed the Log Lady on David Lynch's hit TV show Twin Peaks, has died at the age of 71.
  • Coulson was set to return to the new Showtime revival of of the show, reported Variety.
  • Coulson worked with Lynch as assistant director on his 1977 debut feature Eraserhead where they first started discussing the idea of a woman who carried around a log.
  • She appeared in Lynch's 1974 short film The Amputee as a woman with both legs amputated.
  • Coulson also worked as first or second assistant camera on Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, Modern Romance, Youngblood and Night on Earth.
  • Coulson was married to Eraserhead and Twin Peaks star Jack Nance. She later married Marc Sirinsky, with whom she had a daughter.





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