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Saturday, November 07, 2015

Current Affairs Update – 6th November, 2015

Hello and welcome to ExamPundit. Here are the Important Current Affairs of 6th November, 2015. These are important for the upcoming RBI Grade B Officer Phase I exam.

Finance/RBI –

RBI issued Uniform Guidelines on Internet Banking for Cooperative Banks

  • Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on 5 November 2015 issued revised and uniform guidelines on Internet Banking for all licensed cooperative banks including Urban Cooperative Banks (UCBs), Cooperative Banks (StCBs) and Districts Co-operative Banks (DCBs).
  • These guidelines relate to Internet Banking (View Only) facility and Internet Banking with Transaction facility.

Revised guidelines for Internet Banking (View Only) facility
  • All licensed StCBs, DCCBs and UCBs which have implemented Core Banking Solution (CBS) and migrated to Internet Protocol Version 6 (IPv6) may offer Internet Banking (View only) facility to their customers, without prior approval of RBI.
  • In case, any service offered under ‘view only’ facility requires two-factor authentication or One Time Password (OTP), banks may adopt the security features related to internet banking as prescribed by RBI, as appropriate to such services.
  • The cooperative banks offering this facility to their customers should ensure that the facility is strictly for non-transactional services such as balance enquiry and balance viewing among others.
  • The cooperative banks have to report commencement of the service to the concerned Regional Office of RBI (and also NABARD in case of StCBs/DCCBs) within one month of operationalisation of this facility.

Earlier in 2014, only Urban Cooperative Banks (UCBs) were permitted to offer this facility to their customers.

Revised guidelines for Internet Banking with Transaction facility
  • Only those licensed StCBs, DCCBs and UCBs, which have implemented CBS and have also migrated to IPv6 can offer this facility to their customers with prior approval of RBI if they fulfill the following criteria:
  • Credit to Risk Adequacy Ratio (CRAR) of not less than 10 per cent
  • Net worth is 50 crore rupees or more as on 31 March of the immediate preceding financial year
  • Gross Non-Performing Assets (NPAs) less than 7 % and Net NPAs not more than 3%
  • The bank should have made a net profit in the immediate preceding financial year and overall, should have made net profit at least in three out of the preceding four financial years.
  • It should not have defaulted in maintenance of Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR)/Statutory Liquidity Ratio (SLR) during the immediate preceding financial year.

Union Cabinet approved UDAY for financial turnaround and revival of DISCOMS

  • The Union Cabinet on 5 November 2015 gave its nod to Ujwal DISCOM Assurance Yojna (UDAY), a new scheme proposed by the Ministry of Power.
  • The scheme aims at alleviating the financial crunch faced by Power Distribution companies (DISCOMs) that has impaired their ability to buy electricity. The scheme targets the revival of DISCOMs. It will also ensure a sustainable permanent solution to the problem.

The debt on DISCOMs
  • As on March 2015, the country’s DISCOMs have accumulated losses of approximately 3.8 lakh crore rupees and outstanding debt of approximately 4.3 lakh crore rupees.
  • Outstanding debt of DISCOMs increased from about 2.4 lakh crore rupees in 2011-12 to about 4.3 lakh crore rupees in 2014-15, with interest rates of upto 14-15 percent.
  • Due to the financial hassles, DISCOMs are not able to supply adequate power at affordable rates, which turned out to be one of the hurdles in the overall economic growth and development.

How UDAY will revive the DISCOMS?
  • UDAY will empower DISCOMs with the opportunity to break even in the next 2-3 years through four initiatives:
  • Improving operational efficiencies of DISCOMs.
  • Reduction of cost of power.
  • Reduction in interest cost of DISCOMs.
  • Enforcing financial discipline on DISCOMs through alignment with state finances.
  • Key features of UDAY
  • States will take over 75 percent of DISCOM debt as on 30 September 2015 over two years.
  • Union Government will not include the debt taken over by the states n the calculation of fiscal deficit of respective states in the financial years 2015-16 and 2016-17.
  • States will issue non-SLR including SDL bonds in the market or directly to the respective financial institutions holding the DISCOM debt to the appropriate extent.

Govt to Impose 0.5% Swachh Bharat Cess on Services From Nov 15

  • All services, including air travel, telephony, eating out and banking will become expensive from November 15 as the government today decided to impose a 0.5 per cent cess on all taxable services to fund the Swachh Bharat programme.
  • The additional cess would be over and above the 14 per cent Service Tax rate which is already being levied and may yield the government an additional about Rs 400 crore during the remainder of the current fiscal.
  • "The government has decided to impose, with effect from November 15, 2015, a Swachh Bharat Cess at the rate of 0.5 per cent on all services, which are presently liable to service tax," a Finance Ministry statement said.
  • Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had in Budget 2015-16 proposed to levy a Swachh Bharat cess of up to 2 per cent "on all or certain services, if need arises".
  • The decision to impose 0.5 per cent cess will translate into a tax of 50 paise only on every Rs 100 worth of taxable services.

India –

India, China Ink Pacts on Water Resources, Culture

  • India and China today signed two agreements including one in the field of water resources on sharing hydrological data on Satluj river after talks between Vice President Hamid Ansari and his Chinese counterpart Li Yuanchao here.
  • Li is the first Chinese Vice president to visit India in more than six decades.
  • While the pact in water resources was renewal of an agreement dealing with sharing hydrological data on Satluj, under the cultural pact, India will hold exhibition of art from the Gupta period, which was known as "golden period" in the country and during which famous Chinese traveller Fa Hien came, the Spokesperson said.
  • Li has visited Aurangabad and Kolkata before his travel to the national capital.
  • In Aurangabad, the Chinese Vice President visited the Ajanta Caves and also met the city mayor.

Rajasthan government launched the Agro-Processing and Agri-Marketing Promotion Policy 2015

  • Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje on 5 November 2015 launched the Rajasthan Agro-Processing and Agri-Marketing Promotion Policy 2015. The policy seeks to promote agro-processing and to reduce post harvest losses at the farm gate.
  • The Agriculture Department of Rajasthan Government will be the nodal department for the policy and Rajasthan State Agricultural marketing Board will act as nodal agency for the policy.
  • The policy aims to promote agro-processing and to reduce post harvest losses at the farm gate thus ensuring maximum prices of farmer’s agri produce. The state government also signed 112 MoUs with private companies in different sectors during the launch of policy.


MP Government proposed 1656 crore rupees AMRUT Action Plan

  • The Madhya Pradesh (MP) Government on 5 November 2015 proposed to improve basic infrastructure relating to water supply, sewerage network services, storm water drainage, urban transport and parks and green services.
  • The plans were proposed for 32 cities and towns under Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) during 2015-16 at a cost of 1656 crore rupees.
  • The State Annual Action Plan (SAAP) was submitted by the State Government to the Union Ministry of Urban Development. SAAP was formulated based on Service Level Improvement Plans for each of the 32 mission cities.
  • Out of the proposed investment of 1656 crore rupees, the Union Government will invest 672 crore rupees while the state government will contribute 756 crore rupees. The remaining 228 crore rupees will be met from the resources of respective urban local bodies.

21st INCOFYRA to be organised in Bengaluru in 2016

  • The 21st International Conference on Frontiers in Yoga Research and its Applications (INCOFYRA) will be held from 3 to 7 January 2016 at Prashanti Kutiram, Bengaluru.
  • The summit will be organized by the Vivekananda Yoga Anusandhana Sansthana. The 21st INCOFYRA will bring together the traditional and modern medical systems.
  • The theme of the conference is Yoga in Integrated Healthcare Systems.
  • The conference targets to promulgate the research findings in the field of integrative medicine and give directions to future research on Dialectology, Oncology, Cardiology, Mental Health, and so on.
  • The Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi will inaugurate the conference.

Appointments –

Tanzania’s first female Vice President Samia Suluhu sworn in

  • Tanzania's first female Vice President Samia Hassan Suluhu on 5 November 2015 was sworn into office. She was sworn in along with the new President John Pombe Magufuli at the swearing-in ceremony held in the country’s economic capital Dar es Salaam.
  • Magufuli, the ruling Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) party's candidate, emerged victorious on 29 October 2015 in the presidential elections of Tanzania. The National Electoral Commission (NEC) declared that Magufuli won the election with 58.46 percent of votes.
  • Born on 27 January 1960, Suluhu started her career by working as a clerk in the Ministry of Planning and Development.

V Sivaramakrishnan appointed as Managing Director of Oxford University Press India

  • V Sivaramakrishnan (Siva) was on 5 November 2015 appointed as the Managing Director of the Oxford University Press India (OUPI) with regional responsibilities including Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and Nepal. He will also join the Asia Education Divisional Board of OUP.
  • He succeeds Ranjan Kaul, who will retire in November 2015 end after working with OUP for 14 years.
  • Prior to this appointment, Sivaramakrishnan was working in Manipal Global Education Services where he has overseen seven years of strong business development, improved quality assurance, and the effective delivery of supporting technology platforms.

Awards & Honors –

Veteran actor Vikram Gokhale honoured with Vishnudas Bhave Award

  • Renowned film, television and stage actor Vikram Gokhale on 5 November 2015 was conferred with the prestigious Vishnudas Bhave Award.
  • Gokhale was honoured with the award at a ceremony held in Sangli, Maharashtra on the eve of Marathi Rangbhumi Din. Prominent actress-singer Faiyaz Shaikh presented the award to him.
  • The actor was felicitated with the award for his outstanding contribution to Marathi theatre.
  • In 2011, Gokhale was awarded with the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award for his Acting in Theatre. In 2013, he was facilitated with the National Film Award for Best Actor category for his Marathi film Anumati.

Books & Authors –

Rebooting India authored by Nandan Nilekani & Viral Shah released

  • The book titled Rebooting India: Realizing a Billion Aspirations authored by Nandan Nilekani and Viral Shah was released on 4 November 2015.
  • The book talks about the demographic dividend of India, which is expected to be the world’s youngest country by 2020 with 64 percent (roughly 800 million) of its population of working age.
  • It also suggests that India may fail to become a global powerhouse, if it fails to resolve the contradictions and bridge gaps that distort our society.
  • Through the book, the authors Nilekani and Shah say that challenge before us is to enable every one of India’s 1.2 billion citizens to realize their aspirations. According to them, it can be achieved only by using technology to radically reimagine government itself.


Team ExamPundit


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