Tuesday, April 05, 2016

Current Affairs Update – 5th April, 2016

Hello and welcome to ExamPundit. Here are the important Current Affairs of 5 April, 2016. These are important for the upcoming SBI Clerk and NABARD Assistant Manager exam 2016.


Current Affairs at a Glance – 5th April, 2016
  1. The Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 5 April 2016 launched Stand Up India Scheme to promote entrepreneurship among Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribes and Women entrepreneurs. On this occasion, the Prime Minister also inaugurated a Kaushal Kendra (Skilling Center) under Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojna in Noida. It provides for refinance window through Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) with an initial amount of 10000 crore rupees.
  2. In its first monetary policy review for the financial year 2016-17, the Reserve Bank of India announced a 25 basis point reduction in the repo, or repurchase rate, which is the rate at which banks borrow from the central bank. The repo rate now stands at 6.5%, the lowest it has been since March 2011.
  3. DCB Bank on 3 April 2016 launched an Aadhaar-based Automatic Teller Machine (ATM) usage facility wherein a customer can transact using his biometric details instead of the PIN. The step is first of its kind in India.
  4. YES Bank has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with T-Hub, a technology incubator set up by Telangana government, to set up a centre of excellence for startups in fintech space.
  5. Private lender Yes Bank today inked a tripartite agreement for on-lending $50 million loan from World Bank arm IFC to women entrepreneurs.
  6. India has signed an agreement with the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) for a possible $100 million line of credit to facilitate exports to IDB's member countries
  7. The Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship Rajeev Pratap Rudy on 5 April 2016 launched Transnational Skill Standards in New Delhi.
  8. Rail Minister Suresh Prabhu on 5 April 2016 flagged off India's fastest train, the Gatimaan Express from Delhi's Hazrat Nizamuddin station.
  9. Indian Air Force (IAF) will participate in Red Flag air exercise along with US, NATO and allied forces that are scheduled to be conducted from 28 April to 13 May 2016 in Alaska.
  10. Apollo Hospitals has partnered with Google to provide additional healthcare information to Google's Knowledge in India.
  11. Indian Manish Sharma appointed to Panasonic’s Global Executive Council
  12. Tomohiko Okada Appointed Toshiba India Managing Director
  13. The President of India Pranab Mukherjee on 5 April 2016 presented the National Geoscience Awards - 2014 at a function held at Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi. For the year 2014, Prof. Ashok Kumar Singhvi was conferred with the highest honour National Geoscience Award for Excellence for his outstanding contributions in the field of sedimentary technologies.
  14. The Philippines on 4 April 2016 launched world’s first public immunization programme for dengue fever. 





Finance/Banking/Economy –

Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched Stand Up India Scheme


  • The Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 5 April 2016 launched Stand Up India Scheme to promote entrepreneurship among Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribes and Women entrepreneurs.
  • On this occasion, the Prime Minister also inaugurated a Kaushal Kendra (Skilling Center) under Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojna in Noida.
  • The Scheme is intended to facilitate at least two projects per bank branch, on an average one for each category of entrepreneur. It is expected to benefit at least 2.5 lakh borrowers within 36 months.

Highlights of the Stand Up India Scheme
  • It provides for refinance window through Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) with an initial amount of 10000 crore rupees.
  • It will create credit guarantee mechanism through the National Credit Guarantee Trustee Company (NCGTC).
  • It will provide support for borrowers both at the pre loan stage and during operations.
  • Its focus is on handholding support for both SC/ST and Women borrowers.
  • The aim is to leverage institutional credit structure to reach out under-served sectors of the population by facilitating bank loans repayable up to 7 years and between 10 lakh rupees- 100 lakh rupees for greenfield enterprises in nonfarm sector set up by such SC, ST and Women borrowers.
  • The loan under the scheme would be appropriately secured and backed by a credit guarantee through a credit guarantee scheme for which Department of Financial Services would be the settler.


RBI cuts repo rate by 25 bps to 6.5%, lowest in 6 years


  • In its first monetary policy review for the financial year 2016-17, the Reserve Bank of India announced a 25 basis point reduction in the repo, or repurchase rate, which is the rate at which banks borrow from the central bank. One basis point is one hundredth of a percentage point.
  • The repo rate now stands at 6.5%, the lowest it has been since March 2011. However, it reduced the minimum daily maintenance of the cash reserve ratio (CRR) from 95% of the requirement to 90% with effect from the fortnight beginning April 16, 2016.
  • However, the RBI cut the reverse repo, or the rate at which banks park excess funds with the central bank, to 6%, narrowing the policy corridor between the repo and reverse repo by 50 bps, bringing the marginal standing facility (MSF) rate to 7.0%. The Bank Rate which is aligned to the MSF rate also stands adjusted to 7.0%. But the CRR has been kept unchanged at 4.0 per cent of net demand and time liabilities (NDTL).
  • The rate cut had been widely expected, although the quantum of the cut had had mixed backers. A Reuters poll had predicted an interest rate of 25 basis points.


India's first Aadhaar enabled ATM launched by DCB Bank


  • DCB Bank on 3 April 2016 launched an Aadhaar-based Automatic Teller Machine (ATM) usage facility wherein a customer can transact using his biometric details instead of the PIN. The step is first of its kind in India.
  • The ATM will accept Aadhaar number and Aadhaar fingerprint (biometric) instead of ATM/Debit Card and PIN to dispense cash from the bank account. It is a Cardless and PIN less ATM.  The user can key-in the 12-digit Aadhaar number or swipe the card at an ATM to start a transaction, but at the stage of confirming the identity, it requires biometric details rather than the PIN.
  • This ATM is currently placed in pilot site at DCB Bank at Peninsula Business Park, Lower Parel, Mumbai.


Yes Bank Signs MoU With T-Hub To Set Up Center Of Excellence For Fintech Startups

  • YES Bank has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with T-Hub, a technology incubator set up by Telangana government, to set up a centre of excellence for startups in fintech space.
  • Under the agreement, the association will help create a conducive business environment and support system for a large number of fintech startups. Besides, YES Bank will offer its various products and payment gateways and open APIs (application programme interface) to the startup community.
  • The bank will also work with startups in segments such as agritech, healthcare, and ecommerce.
  • T-Hub is a public-private partnership initiative between Telangana government, three academic institutes including IIIT-H, ISB, NALSAR, and key private sector leaders. Apart from Yes Bank, companies like CISCO and ParadigmIT will also set up smart cities centre of excellence at T-Hub. They will set up a PoC of smart parking and smart lighting solutions while working with companies and startups in developing innovative solutions using IoT.



Yes Bank inks pact to 'on-lend' $50 million to women


  • Private lender Yes Bank today inked a tripartite agreement for on-lending $50 million loan from World Bank arm IFC to women entrepreneurs.
  • The bank will engage Goldman Sachs for identification and lending methodology to reach out to credit worthy businesswomen, the lender said in a statement.
  • The agreement will be crucial in supporting growth in India as it will promote job creation and also in having a multiplier effect, International Finance Corporation (IFC) Global Director (Financial Institutions Group) Marcos Brujis said.
  • The project is part of the Women Entrepreneurs Opportunity Facility (WEOF), a global facility dedicated to expanding access to capital to about 1 lakh women entrepreneurs. It was launched by IFC through its Banking on Women programme and 'Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women' in 2014.
  • The 'Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women' has also invested in the WEOF along with IFC, the statement said.


India signs $100 million draft export pact with ICD


  • India has signed an agreement with the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) for a possible $100 million line of credit to facilitate exports to IDB's member countries.
  • The memorandum of understanding (MoU) was inked between the IDB's private sector arm, the Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD) and the Export-Import Bank of India (EXIM Bank), a specialised financial institution, wholly owned by the government of India to finance and facilitate foreign trade.
  • ICD's mandate is to support economic development and promote the development of the private sector in its member countries through providing financing facilities and investments which are in accordance with the principles of Sharia.
  • The MoU envisages cooperation to explore the feasibility of extending a commercial line of credit of $100 million to ICD with the aim of facilitating the export of goods and services from India to ICD's member countries.
  • Saudi Arabia, UAE, Egypt, Kuwait and Qatar are among the 56-members of the IDB.


Union Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship launched Transnational Skill Standards

  • The Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship Rajeev Pratap Rudy on 5 April 2016 launched Transnational Skill Standards in New Delhi.
  • On this occasion, 2 Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) were signed between National Skill Development Council (NSDC) and Association of Colleges (UK) and NSDC and UK Awarding Organization City & Guilds and Pearsons Education.
  • These MoUs were signed to enable sharing of best practice, staff exchange and development of new models to increase employer engagement and investment in skills in India.

Features of Transnational Skill Standards
  • Aim: It was launched with the aim to support Make in India and Skill India initiatives and to align domestic skill standards with that of best practices recognized globally.
  • India-UK Partnership: These Transnational Skill Standards are benchmarked to United Kingdom across 82 identified job roles.
  • India chose UK standards to benchmark Indian Skills standards since all the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries recognize UK skill certification.


Blackstone inked agreement with Hewlett Packard Enterprise to acquire 60% stake in Mphasis Limited

  • Blackstone India, the Indian arm of global private equity fund Blackstone Group on 4 April 2016 entered into a definitive agreement with Hewlett Packard Enterprise to buy a majority stake in Mphasis Limited.
  • Mphasis is a leading information technology services provider offering applications, business process outsourcing and infrastructure services. This deal represents the largest acquisition by Blackstone in India.
  • As part of the agreement, Blackstone will buy 60.5 percent stake in Mphasis that is currently owned by Hewlett Packard.
  • Blackstone will pay a purchase price of 430 rupees per share and based on the open offer subscription, the purchase price consideration will vary between 5466 crore and 7071 crore rupees.


India –

India’s fastest train Gatimaan Express flagged off


  • Rail Minister Suresh Prabhu on 5 April 2016 flagged off India's fastest train, the Gatimaan Express from Delhi's Hazrat Nizamuddin station.
  • The train completed its maiden journey from Delhi to Agra in 100 minutes as compared to about 2-3 hours that other trains take to cover the distance.
  • The Gatimaan Express, which is indigenously built, will run six days a week, except Friday, in both directions. The train runs at a speed of 160 km per hour, covering the 184 kilometre distance between Delhi and Agra in 105-110 minutes.
  • In October 2014, the India Railways applied for safety certificate from Commission of Railway Safety to start the service. In June 2015, the train was announced officially and numbered 12049/50.
  • Besides, the Gatimaan Express provides free Wi-fi to its passengers. Also, the train will have stewards and hostesses on the lines of flight attendants.


Indian Air Force to participate in Red Flag exercise

  • Indian Air Force (IAF) will participate in Red Flag air exercise along with US, NATO and allied forces that are scheduled to be conducted from 28 April to 13 May 2016 in Alaska.
  • The exercise will see participation of 12 IAF aircraft including the Russian origin Su30 MKI, deep penetration Jaguars, two C17 transport plans and two mid air refuellers IL 78. Before reaching Alaska, the AIF aircrafts will travel through Bahrain, Egypt, France, Portugal and Canada.
  • It will also see over 150 IAF personnel in action, who will undergo some training before being sent to Alaska. According to an estimate, it will cost India over 100 crore rupees.


Apollo Hospitals partners with Google; launches health cards


  • Apollo Hospitals has partnered with Google to provide additional healthcare information to Google's Knowledge in India.
  • The Health Card is standardised and would give information that gets presented on Google search engine. The health card aims to help consumers’ access information swiftly and easily.
  • The hospital chain explained when users’ ask Google about common health conditions, he/she would start getting relevant medical facts right up front.


Appointments –

Indian Manish Sharma appointed to Panasonic’s Global Executive Council


  • Japanese electronics giant Panasonic on 4 April 2016 appointed senior executive Manish Sharma of India to its global executive council. It inducted an Indian onto the coveted decision-making body of the 80-billion dollar company for the first time ever.
  • The global executive council of Panasonic is a key decision-making body that manages the firm’s business plans across the globe.
  • Sharma is the first Indian and fourth non-Japanese member of the 50-member Council headed by a global president.
  • Apart from him, the other international representatives in the executive council include three Americans and one European.


Tomohiko Okada Appointed Toshiba India Managing Director


  • Japanese giant Toshiba Corporation Monday said it has appointed Tomohiko Okada as the Managing Director of its India operations.
  • Okada will lead Toshiba India to the path of next level of growth across the group's storage, social infrastructure, and energy businesses in the country, Toshiba India said in a statement.
  • Okada will replace Kenji Urai, who is moving back to Japan, it added.
  • Toshiba India's operations include businesses like hydro- power systems, social infrastructure systems and community solution systems, semiconductors and storage solutions, multi-functional printers/devices and digital products and services.


Lists –

UN Agencies released Global Report on Urban Health 2016

  • The World Health Organisation (WHO) and the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) on 31 March 2016 jointly released a report titled Global report on urban health: equitable, healthier cities for sustainable development, 2016.
  • The report updates the 2010 joint WHO/UN-Habitat global report - Hidden Cities: Unmasking and Overcoming Urban Health Inequities - with the latest evidence on urban health inequity patterns and their social, economic and environmental determinants.
  • The report further documents opportunities for joint action to realize the goals enshrined in the Sustainable Development Agenda 2030 by achieving universal urban health coverage.


Highlights of Global Report on Urban Health 2016
  • National level wealth does not always determine conditions for health at the city level.
  • Megacities in low and middle-income countries (LMICs) have worse conditions for health than smaller cities.
  • India’s urban population is projected to increase from 380 million (33 percent) in 2014 to 600 million (about 40 percent) by 2031.
  • 15–19-year-old migrant girls in both rural and urban areas are less likely to deliver in a medical institution than non-migrants of the same age.
  • Chennai stood at the 2nd place in world in terms of reported traffic fatalities per 1 lakh inhabitants. While Fortaleza (Brazil) stood at the top with 27.2 fatalities, death toll in Chennai was pegged at 26.6.


Aon Hewitt released list of India’s Best Employer 2016

  • The global human resource firm Aon Hewitt on 31 March 2016 released its list of India's Best Employer 2016.
  • A total of 113 organisations representing 12 key industries, cumulatively employing approximately 950000 employees, participated in the 2016 Aon Best Employers India study.
  • In the list released by Aon, Reliance Capital Asset Management is the only asset management company to be named as one of the best employers in India in the Aon list for 2016.


The companies included in the Aon list for India’s Best Employers 2016 are:
  1. AAPC India Hotel Management (Accor Hotels)
  2. Bajaj Allianz General Insurance Co. Bajaj Finance
  3. Becton Dickinson India
  4. Bharti Infratel
  5. Blue Dart Express
  6. DHL Express India
  7. Godrej Consumer Products
  8. Hewlett Packard Enterprise Global Soft
  9. InterGlobe Aviation(IndiGo)
  10. Lupin
  11. Metro Cash and Carry India
  12. Reliance Capital Asset Management (subsidiary of Reliance Capital)
  13. Saint-Gobain India - Gyproc Business
  14. Starwood Hotels & Resorts India
  15. Tata AIA Life Insurance Company
  16. Tata Autocomp Systems
  17. Tata Chemicals
  18. Tata Communications
  19. The Oberoi Group
  20. Whirlpool of India
  21. WNS Global Service

The AGS Health, the SKS Microfinance and the Yash Technologies were named in the Emerging Best Employers of India for the years 2016.

Awards & Honors –

President Pranab Mukherjee presented National Geoscience Awards 2014


  • The President of India Pranab Mukherjee on 5 April 2016 presented the National Geoscience Awards - 2014 at a function held at Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi.
  • The annual awards are presented to honour individuals and team of scientists for their outstanding contributions in the field of fundamental or applied Geosciences, Mining and Allied areas.
  • For the year 2014, Prof. Ashok Kumar Singhvi was conferred with the highest honour National Geoscience Award for Excellence for his outstanding contributions in the field of sedimentary technologies.
  • Along with him, 32 other geoscientists were being given the awards in 13 disciplines including Mining Technology, Basic Geosciences, Geo-Information System, etc.


World –

World’s first mass dengue vaccination programme launched in Philippines

  • The Philippines on 4 April 2016 launched world’s first public immunization programme for dengue fever. 
  • The programme seeks to administer the world's first licensed vaccine against a mosquito-borne disease to a million school children.
  • The fourth-grade students at a public school in metropolitan Manila's Marikina city were given the first of three shots of Dengvaxia.
  • The Philippines had the highest dengue incidence in the WHO's Western Pacific region from 2013 to 2015, recording 200415 cases in 2015.


Obituaries –

Grammy Winner jazz saxophonist Gato Barbieri died

  • Jazz saxophonist Gato Barbieri passed away on 2 April 2016 in New York, the USA. He was 83.
  • Barbieri came in the limelight during the free jazz movement in the 1960s. Latin jazz recordings of the 1970s earned him immense fame.







Regards



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