Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Current Affairs Update – 18th May, 2016

Hello and welcome to exampundit. Here are the Important Current Affairs of 18th May, 2016. These are important for the upcoming UIIC AO 2016, SBI PO and SBI Clerk 2016 Mains Exams.


Current Affairs at a Glance – 18th May, 2016
  1. The State Bank of India (SBI) on 17 May 2016 informed the BSE that it is seeking in-principle sanction of the Union Government to enter into negotiation with its 5 subsidiaries and Bharatiya Mahila Bank for acquisition.
  2. HDFC Bank Ltd. on 16 May 2016 launched SmartUp solution. It is a first-of-its-kind dedicated platform for start-ups to fulfill all their banking needs. The SmartUp is tailored to meet all the requirements of a start-up, offering banking and payment solutions, along with advisory and forex services.
  3. Mobile app for transportation Ola today signed an MoU with National Safai Karamcharis Finance and Development Corporation (NSKFDC) established under the aegis of the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment to focus on building a sustainable framework by supporting entrepreneurship, skill development training and self-defence courses for Safai Karamcharis and Scavengers.
  4. Indian two wheeler manufacturer Honda Motorcycle & Scooter has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with IndusInd Bank, offering retail finance to its customers on all company models.
  5. The Union Government on 17 May 2016 constituted a five member committee to comprehensively review and give recommendations on the Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management (FRBM) roadmap for the future. The committee will be headed by former Revenue and Expenditure Secretary NK Singh. It has been asked to submit its report by 31 October 2016.
  6. Indian artist Anjali Chandrashekar on 3 May 2016 won the third prize in UN Poster for Peace contest presented by the UN Office for Disarmament Affairs (ODA) to raise awareness of the need for nuclear disarmament.
  7. Indian-American Syamantak Payra, a 15-year-old from Friendswood, Texas, in May 2016 won Intel Foundation Young Scientist Awards of 50000 US dollar. He was awarded for developing a low-cost electronically aided knee brace that allows an individual with a weakened leg to walk more naturally.
  8. IndiGo has appointed Rohit Philip as its chief financial officer.
  9. Steeplechase athlete Sudha Singh on 14 May 2016 set a national record in women’s 3000m steeplechase event to finish eighth at the IAAF World Diamond League held at Shanghai.
  10. Barcelona FC on 15 May 2016 retained the Spanish league title La Liga with 3-0 score against Granada in the final match.
  11. Andre Brahic, one of the discoverers of Neptune's rings, died on 15 May 2016 in Paris, France. He was 73.



Finance/Economy/Banking –

SBI to merge 5 subsidiaries, Bharatiya Mahila Bank with itself


  • The State Bank of India (SBI) on 17 May 2016 informed the BSE that it is seeking in-principle sanction of the Union Government to enter into negotiation with its 5 subsidiaries and Bharatiya Mahila Bank for acquisition.
  • Besides, the boards of SBI and the subsidiary banks met individually in Mumbai and decided to begin merger talks with the parent.

As per the developments, India’s largest lender is planning to acquire the businesses including assets and liabilities of the following 5 subsidiary banks and the Bharatiya Mahila Bank –
  1. State Bank of Bikaner and Jaipur
  2. State Bank of Hyderabad
  3. State Bank of Mysore
  4. State Bank of Patiala
  5. State Bank of Travancore

  • All the above six banks are Public Sector Banks (PSBs) and among these, State Bank of Bikaner and Jaipur, State Bank of Mysore and State Bank of Travancore are listed.
  • SBI first merged associate State Bank of Saurashtra with itself in 2008. Two years later, in 2010, State Bank of Indore was merged.


HDFC Bank launches SmartUp for start-ups


  • HDFC Bank Ltd. on 16 May 2016 launched SmartUp solution. It is a first-of-its-kind dedicated platform for start-ups to fulfill all their banking needs.
  • The SmartUp is tailored to meet all the requirements of a start-up, offering banking and payment solutions, along with advisory and forex services.
  • It was launched in association with Zone Startups India, a start-up accelerator in Mumbai.
  • Zone Startups India is a collaboration between BSE Institute (a subsidiary of the Bombay Stock Exchange), Ryerson University’s accelerator Digital Media Zone, Ryerson Futures Inc. and Simon Fraser University.

The benefits of SmartUp include
  • Enhanced transaction limit with no minimum balance requirement for first six months
  • Customized Salary Account offering coupled with best-in class services and largest suite of product range
  • PayZapp for Business - for providing invoicing, delivery and collection solutions and secure money transfer
  • Dedicated Relationship Manager for taking care of all banking needs as well as investment advisory


Ola cabs signs MoU with govt, to benefit ‘Safai Karamcharis’


  • Mobile app for transportation Ola today signed an MoU with National Safai Karamcharis Finance and Development Corporation (NSKFDC) established under the aegis of the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment to focus on building a sustainable framework by supporting entrepreneurship, skill development training and self-defence courses for Safai Karamcharis and Scavengers.
  • The Ola–NSKFDC partnership has the potential to generate synergies that will result in a better future for driver entrepreneurs by creating sustainable careers and livelihoods for them.
  • The MoU was signed in the presence of Thaawarchand Gehlot, Union Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment.
  • Aimed at socio-economic development of Safai Karamcharis/ Scavengers, the MoU will aim at benefitting these people and their dependents by enabling livelihood opportunities, especially for women beneficiaries identified by NSKFDC.


Honda 2Wheelers signs MoU with IndusInd Bank


  • Indian two wheeler manufacturer Honda Motorcycle & Scooter has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with IndusInd Bank, offering retail finance to its customers on all company models.
  • With this Memorandum of Understanding coming into effect from Wednesday, Honda's customers can not only buy a Honda two-wheeler at an attractive rate of interest, but can reap benefits up to Rs 7,500 through this retail finance scheme.
  • Customers can avail loan up to 90 percent of the product value, with a repayment period of 36 months. Other benefits include zero processing fee and quick loan approval in just 1 hour through tab based technology used for field inspection and proposal login.


NK Singh committee formed to review and give recommendations on FRBM roadmap


  • The Union Government on 17 May 2016 constituted a five member committee to comprehensively review and give recommendations on the Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management (FRBM) roadmap for the future.
  • The committee will be headed by former Revenue and Expenditure Secretary NK Singh. It has been asked to submit its report by 31 October 2016.
  • Other members of the Committee are Sumit Bose, former Finance and Revenue Secretary, Dr. Arvind Subramanian, Chief Economic Adviser, Urijit Patel, Deputy Governor, RBI and Rathin Roy, Director, National Institute Public Finance and Policy, NIPFP.


Union Government opened Tatkal Window to expedite examination of patent applications

  • The Union Government on 17 May 2016 opened up a Tatkal Window to expedite examination of patent applications by start-ups as well as entities choosing India for the first filing of patent. The move came in the backdrop of 2.37 lakh patent applications pending in the country.
  • The government is aiming to bring down the time period for initial examination of patent applications from the present 5-7 years to 18 months by March 2018.
  • The move will popularise India as a patent filing hub so that more companies file applications in India.

Highlights of the Tatkal Window for Expedited examination
  • Under the tatkal-like system, applicants can opt for the Expedited Examination Route on the grounds that they have chosen India as International Searching Authority or International Preliminary Examining Authority.
  • The expedited examination route is also available to all entities that qualify as a start-up as per the definition for start-up provided in the Patent Rules.


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Awards & Honors –

Indian artist Anjali Chandrashekar wins award at UN Poster for Peace Contest


  • Indian artist Anjali Chandrashekar on 3 May 2016 won the third prize in UN Poster for Peace contest presented by the UN Office for Disarmament Affairs (ODA) to raise awareness of the need for nuclear disarmament.
  • Her poster titled ‘Cutting Barriers through Peace’ featured a peace dove slicing through a nuclear weapon.

Winners of UN poster contest on N-disarmament
  • The first prize was won by Ivan Ciro Palomino Huamani from Peru for his poster titled ‘Spinning Peace’.
  • Second prize was won by Michelle Li for her poster titled ‘Peace in our Hands’, which had  featured a shadow puppet of a peace dove above a broken nuclear weapon.


Indian-American Syamantak Payra wins Intel Foundation Young Scientist Award


  • Indian-American Syamantak Payra, a 15-year-old from Friendswood, Texas, in May 2016 won Intel Foundation Young Scientist Awards of 50000 US dollar. He was awarded for developing a low-cost electronically aided knee brace that allows an individual with a weakened leg to walk more naturally.
  • He shared the 50000 US dollars award with Kathy Liu of Salt lake City, Utah who was awarded for developing an alternative battery component that could significantly improve battery performance and safety.


Appointments –

IndiGo names Rohit Philip as its new CFO


  • IndiGo has appointed Rohit Philip as its chief financial officer. Philip, who previously worked as corporate vice-president and treasurer of Xerox Corporation, replaces Pankaj Madan who is leaving the airline to pursue other interests. He will assume charge from July 18.
  • Earlier, Philip had worked at United Airlines for 17 years where he was a senior vice-president, corporate strategy and business development.
  • At United, he also held various other senior executive roles including vice-president — financial planning and analysis; assistant treasurer — corporate finance; and vice-president — finance & CFO, Mileage Plus Holdings.


Sports –

Sudha Singh breaks 3000m steeplechase national record


  • Steeplechase athlete Sudha Singh on 14 May 2016 set a national record in women’s 3000m steeplechase event to finish eighth at the IAAF World Diamond League held at Shanghai.
  • Sudha clocked 9 minutes, 26.55 seconds to finish a eighth in the second leg of the prestigious IAAF Diamond League Meet.


FC Barcelona wins La Liga Champions Parade 2016


  • Barcelona FC on 15 May 2016 retained the Spanish league title La Liga with 3-0 score against Granada in the final match.
  • Luis Suárez finished as top scorer, being the first player apart from Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo to do so since the 2008–09 season.
  • The football club finished the tournament with 91 points in total. It is Barcelona FC's fifth straight win and eighth league title in 12 seasons.


Obituaries –

Andre Brahic, discoverer of Neptune's rings, dies


  • Andre Brahic, one of the discoverers of Neptune's rings, died on 15 May 2016 in Paris, France. He was 73.
  • In 1984, Brahic with US astronomer William Hubbard launched a program that led to the discovery of the rings around the gaseous planet Neptune.








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