Hello and welcome to ExamPundit. Here are the Important Current Affairs Update of 4th December, 2015. These are important for the upcoming IBPS Clerk Mains and Insurance Exams. On the other hand, RBI announcing PSL norms for RRBs is VERY IMPORTANT for IBPS PO V Interview.
Books For 2015 Banking/Insurance Exams
RBI announced revised Priority Sector Lending norms for Regional Rural Banks
- The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on 3 December 2015 announced revised Priority Sector Lending (PSL) norms for Regional Rural Banks (RRBs).
- Among other things, the PSL target was increased to 75 percent of total outstanding from the existing 60 percent. The revised target will be effective from 1 January 2016.
- The PSL norms have been revised considering the growing significance of RRBs in pursuit of financial inclusion agenda
- As on March 2015, there were 56 RRBs operating in the country with a network of 20059 branches. They cover 644 notified districts in 26 states and the Union Territory of Puducherry.
Key features of revised PSL Norms
- Medium enterprises, social infrastructure and renewable energy were included under PSL category.
- Agri-Loans: Loans to individual farmers, for the purpose of PSL, was increased to 50 lakh rupees from the present 10 lakh rupees against pledge/ hypothecation of agricultural produce (including warehouse receipts) for a period not exceeding 12 months.
- Aggregate limit loan was doubled to 2 crore rupees per borrower in the case of loans, among others, to corporate farmers, farmers’ producers organisations/ companies of individual farmers, farmers partnership firms/ co-operatives engaged in agriculture and allied activities.
- Housing Loans: The RBI has lowered the quantum of loans that will qualify as PSL. Against the earlier limit of 25 lakh rupees, loans to individuals up to 20 lakh rupees only are considered as PSL as per revised guidelines. Housing loans to banks’ own employees will be excluded from this limit.
Himachal Pradesh became first state to launch Rotavirus vaccination project
- Himachal Pradesh on 3 December 2015 became the first state of India to launch Rotavirus vaccination project.
- The vaccine will help in controlling the child mortality rate (under five years of age) due to diarrhoea.
- Rotavirus vaccines are administered orally to infants in three dose course at ages of six, ten and fourteen weeks and are part of Universal Immunisation Programme (UIP).
Highlights of the Rotavirus Vaccination Project
- The project was launched by the state Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh at Dharamsala in Kangra district.
- Singh administered the Rotavirus drops to children aged under five years.
- International Clinical Epidemiological Network will provide technical assistance and will also bear the entire cost of the vaccines.
- The project will soon be launched in Vellore in Karnataka and Pune in Maharashtra.
GAIL, ISRO launch satellite-based portal to monitor pipelines
- GAIL (India) Limited in collaboration with National Remote Sensing Centre, a unit of Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), has launched a surveillance geo-portal – ‘Bhuvan-GAIL Portal’ – that utilises space technology for its pipeline safety application.
- The launch took place in the presence of B.C. Tripathi, Chairman GAIL (India) Ltd, V.K. Dadhwal, Director NRSC, ISRO and senior officials from GAIL and ISRO, according to a statement issued here.
- GAIL is deploying space technology to monitor the pipeline’s Right of Use (RoU). It has more than 13,000 km of pipeline network, wherein monthly monitoring of pipeline is presently done via helicopter surveys. By January 2016, GAIL will begin live satellite monitoring of its pipeline RoU. It is also seeking alternative methods such as advanced Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV), which can be integrated with this system.
Delhi Assembly passed MLA of NCT of Delhi (Salaries, Allowances, Pension, etc) (Amendment) Bill, 2015
- Delhi Assembly on 3 November 2015 passed the Members of the Legislative Assembly of the National Capital Territory of Delhi (Salaries, Allowances, Pension, etc) (Amendment) Bill, 2015.
- The bill seeks around 400 percent hike in the salaries of the MLAs.
- The Bill is based on the recommendations of three-member PDT Achary panel. The panel on 6 October 2015 in its report on MLA’s salary packages recommended 400% hike in basic salary of Delhi MLAs. The other two members of the panel were KV Prasad and Balraj Malik.
Major highlights of the Bill
- It will allow the basic salaries of MLAs to go up from 12000 rupees to 50000 rupees.
- The bill proposes to hike in constituency allowance from current 18000 to 50000 rupees.
- The bill also provides for a reimbursable sum of 70000 rupees per month as allowance under 'Secretarial, Research and Office Assistance' which is 30000 rupees at present.
First India International Science Festival began at IIT-Delhi
- The first India International Science Festival (IISF) began on 4 December 2015 at IIT-Delhi.
- The five day festival will explore ways to translate academic research into industrial applications benefiting the common man and encourage culmination of scientific temperament among youngsters, especially school children.
The objectives of IISF 2015 are as follows:
- Exposing the fruits of Science & Technology to the masses
- Building strategy to instill scientific temper among the masses
- Showcasing Indian contributions in the field of Science and Tech over the years
NTC signed Integrity Pact with Transparency International India
- National Textile Corporation (NTC) Limited on 3 December 2015 signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Transparency International India (TII) for adopting Integrity Pact (IP).
- With this signing, NTC became the 51st Public Sector Undertaking (PSU) and 49th Central PSU to sign a MoU with TII.
- Integrity Pact is a tool which ensures that all activities and transactions between a Company or Government Department and their Suppliers are handled in a fair, transparent and corruption-free manner. It also prohibits any kind of bribing, favour or any other unethical practice, which is closely monitored by honorary Independent External Monitors (IEMs). The IEMs
Lok Sabha passed bill to establish BIS as National Standards Body
- The Lok Sabha on 3 December 2015 passed the Bureau of Indian Standards Bill, 2015 to establish the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) as a National Standards Body.
- The bill seeks to establish harmonious development of standardization and assessment and quality assurance of goods, processes and services.
Highlights of the Bureau of Indian Standards Bill, 2015
- The bill broadens BIS’ ambit, and allow the Union Government to make it mandatory for certain notified goods, articles and processes to carry the standard mark.
- It allows multiple types of conformity assessment schemes in tune with best global practices.
- It contains provision to make misuse of Standard mark as a cognizable offence.
Union Government launched Accessible India Campaign for differently-abled
- Union Minister of Finance, Arun Jaitley, and Minister of Social Justice & Empowerment, Thaawarchand Gehlot, on 3 December 2015 launched Accessible India Campaign or Sugamya Bharat Abhiyan.
- Accessible India Campaign is a nationwide campaign that aims at enabling persons with disabilities to gain universal access, equal opportunity for development, independent living and participation in all aspects of life in an inclusive society.
Highlights of Accessible India Campaign
- The initiative is in line with the Article 9 of UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) to which India is a signatory from 2007.
- By July 2018, at least 50 percent of all the government buildings of National Capital and all the State capitals will be made fully accessible for persons with disabilities.
November 2015 Edition of FIFA World Rankings announced; Belgium topped the list
- The November edition of the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Rankings was released on 3 December 2015. In the final rankings of 2015, While Belgium topped the list, Indian team jumped six places to reach the 166th spot.
- In the October 2015 edition, India was at the 172nd position due to five consecutive defeats in 2018 World Cup qualifiers.
- But, Indian team could improve its ranking with 1-0 victory against Guam in their last World Cup qualifier at Bengaluru on 12 November 2015.
- On the global stage, Belgium will end the year as the world’s top-ranked team for the first time in their history.
44th Navy Day observed on 4 December
- 4th Navy Day was observed on 4 December 2015. Prime Minister Narendra Modi extended greetings to naval personnel and commended their dedication to protect the maritime interests of nation.
- The occasion saw screening of Navy Telefilm 2015 titled Empowering India Through Maritime Security and Indigenisation on DD National.
- The Navy day is celebrated every year to commemorate the success of Operation Trident of Indian Navy on Karachi Harbour during the 1971 Indo-Pak war.