Hello and welcome to ExamPundit. Here are the important Current Affairs of 5th May, 2016. These are important for the upcoming SBI PO 2016, SBI Clerk 2016 and UIIC AO 2016.
SBI launches card-less payment solution for offline transactions
- State Bank of India, the country's largest public sector bank, has launched a mobile payment solution that will enable customers to make digital payments at offline stores by scanning a QR (quick response) code on their smartphones. The service has been launched in Bengaluru with a sizable number of merchants and will soon expand into other cities.
- Dubbed mVisa, the solution is a card-less way for customers to pay for goods at offline stores, and will be available to all SBI credit card, debit card and net banking users. The solution which is bank agnostic will be accessible to customers through the company's SBI Anywhere app.
- Merchants too will be able to initiate transactions through the SBI mVisa merchant app which will display a dynamic QR code that a customer will be able to scan to authenticate the transaction. The payment process is completely cashless and enhances security as users don't have to share their card or details with the merchant.
- SBI's mVisa solution will do away with POS (point of sale) systems, effectively reducing the cost for merchants to accept digital payments. The solution is aimed at small merchants who will be able to utilise the app to view further transaction details etc and keep a track on their digital income.
New Development Bank inks deal with ICICI Bank for business partnership
- New Development Bank (NDB), headed by K V Kamath, has chosen ICICI Bank, which he used to head, for its first tie-up with any bank in India to explore opportunities around bond issuances, co-financing, treasury management and human resources.
- On Thursday, the two lenders announced that they have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) as per which they will consider each others as "preferred partners" to work in the aforementioned areas.
- The lenders said that this MoU will help NDB in exploring bond issuance opportunities in the Indian and international bond markets, particularly in the rupee-denominated bonds. NDB, won't be the first multi-lateral funding agency that is looking at tapping the rupee-denominated bond market. Recently, IFC, part of the World Bank group also raised about Rs 180 crore by issuing rupee-denominated 'Maharaja' bonds.
- Apart from this, the two lenders will also be working together for funding development projects in the country. In fact, in 2014, the leaders of the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) countries had decided to establish NDB with the intention to fund infrastructure projects.
Maharashtra Govt partners with Autodesk to offer free design tools to MSMEs
- 3D design company Autodesk on Thursday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Government of Maharashtra to provide advanced design technology to - local MSMEs from the manufacturing sector in the state.
- As per the agreement the company will offer Fusion 360, Autodesk’s cloud-based software tool for Computer Aided Design (CAD) and Computer Aided Manufacturing (CAM) for free to MSMEs registered with the Department of Industries, Government of Maharashtra, and with annual turnover less than Rs. one crore.
- Additionally for MSMEs in Maharashtra with annual turnover over Rs. one crore it will be available at a price of Rs. 1,999 (plus taxes) with a two years validity, through the Mahaonline portal of the Maharashtra Govt. The cost of the software in open market is about Rs. 22,000 per year.
- The Government of Maharashtra announced its intention to introduce a dedicated industrial policy for MSMEs, providing necessary incentives and facilities for setting up their businesses in the state. The MSME sector is a major focus area for the government as it is also the largest employment generating sector in the state. Initiatives such as this, would help MSMEs in the state to become internationally competitive with easy access and availability of proven technology and tools and give a boost to Chief Minister’s Make in Maharashtra efforts.
Cabinet approves MoU between RBI and Central Bank of UAE
- The Union Cabinet today gave its ex-post facto approval to the memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the Reserve Bank and the Central Bank of United Arab Emirates (UAE) on co-operation on currency swap agreement.
- As per the MoU signed in February, RBI and the Central Bank of UAE will consider signing a bilateral Currency Swap Agreement on mutually agreed terms and conditions after undertaking technical deliberations, subject to concurrence of respective governments.
- The MoU will further strengthen the close economic relationship and cooperation between India and the UAE, an official statement said after the Cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
- The swap agreement is also expected to facilitate invoicing of bilateral trade in local currencies.
Portal for Contract Labour Payment Management System launched
- Piyush Goyal, Minister of State (IC) for Power, Coal and New & Renewable Energy on 4 May 2016 launched ‘Contract Labour Payment Management System’- a portal of Coal India Limited (CIL).
- This web portal will help the government to curb problems like corruption and exploitation of contractual workers by contractors. It will also help in providing proper and timely wages to contractual workers.
- It has been planned to make payment to the contractors only after submitting a system generated declaration of compliance.
- The web portal is created for monitoring compliance of labour payment and other benefits to the contract workers under the Contract Labour (Regulation & Abolition) Act, 1970.
- It is an integrated system for all subsidiaries of CIL.
CCEA approved two laning with formation of four lane of Shimla Bypass on NH-22
- The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs on 4 May 2016 gave its approval for development of two laning with formation of four lane of Shimla Bypass (Kaithlighat to Shimla section) on National Highway-22 in Himachal Pradesh.
- The main objective of the project is to expedite the improvement of infrastructure in Himachal Pradesh and also in reducing the time and cost of travel for traffic, particularly heavy traffic, plying on the Kaithlighat to Shimla section on National Highway-22. However, the approval for the project is in Hybrid Annuity Mode.
- The work will be completed under the National Highways Development Project (NHDP) Phase-III. The total length of the road will be approximately 28 kilometres.
Sunil Lanba to be the next Navy Chief
- Vice Admiral Sunil Lanba, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief (FOC-in-C) of Western Naval Command, has been appointed as the new Chief of Naval Staff and will assume charge on May 31.
- 58-year-old Lanba, a specialist in Navigation and Direction, will have the full three-year tenure as the Navy Chief. He will succeed Admiral R K Dhowan who is retiring.
- An alumnus of Defence Services Staff College, he will be the 21st Indian to be the Navy Chief. The first two were British.
- He will take over from Admiral Dhowan on the afternoon of May 31 and will be in office till May 31, 2019.
SC Collegium recommended transfer of Uttarakhand Chief Justice to Andhra Pradesh
- The Supreme Court (SC) Collegium, headed by Chief Justice of India TS Thakur, on 4 May 2016 recommended transfer of Uttarakhand High Court Chief Justice KM Joseph to Andhra Pradesh High Court.
- Joseph, 57, was appointed as the Chief Justice of the Uttarakhand High Court by President in July 2014. He was elevated to the post of Chief Justice on recommendation of then CJI Rajendra Mal Lodha.
- In April 2016, a bench of Uttarakhand High Court, presided over by him quashed the Union Government’s decision to impose President's rule in the state. However, the ruling was stayed by the Supreme Court.
SC Collegium recommended 4 names for elevation to apex court
- The Supreme Court (SC) Collegium, headed by Chief Justice of India TS Thakur, on 4 May 2016 recommended elevation of three High Court Chief Justices and a senior lawyer to the apex court.
- This is the first set of recommendations made by the SC Collegium for appointment as judges of the apex court after the National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC) Act was struck down by a Supreme Court bench on 16 October 2015.
- NJAC wanted to replace the 22-year-old collegium system and provided equal say to politicians in appointment of judges to the Supreme Court and the High Courts.
The three Justices include
- Justice AM Khanwilkar of the Madhya Pradesh High Court
- Justice DY Chandrachud of the Allahabad High Court
- Justice Ashok Bhushan of the Kerala High Court to the Supreme Court
L Nageshwar Rao: Fourth appointment
Union Cabinet approved signing of MoC between Ministry of Women & Child Development and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
- The Union Cabinet on 4 May 2016 approved the signing of Memorandum of Co-operation (MoC) between Ministry of Women & Child Development (MWCD) and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF).
- The MoC will be signed for the cooperation in Information and Communication Technology Enabled Real Time Monitoring (ICT-RTM) of Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) and other related technical matters.
- The MoC will facilitate the development of CAS for ICT-RTM, training of trainers and other technical matters. ICT-RTM and other components will be rolled out in phased manner.
US Navy tested world's largest unmanned surface vessel, Sea Hunter
- United States of America (US) Navy on 2 May 2016 tested the world's largest unmanned surface vessel named Sea Hunter in San Diego.
- It is a self-driving 132-foot ship able to travel up to 10000 nautical miles on its own to hunt for stealthy submarines and underwater mines.
- It is designed to travel thousands of miles out at sea without a single crew member on board.
ECB decided to end production and issuance of 500 euro banknote
- The European Central Bank (ECB) on 4 May 2016 announced that it will permanently stop producing the 500 euro banknote by the end of 2018. The ECB will also exclude it from the Europa series, taking into account concerns that this banknote could facilitate illicit activities.
- The issuance of the 500 euro note will be stopped around the end of 2018, when the 100 euro and 200 euro banknotes of the Europa series are planned to be introduced.
- However, 500 euro banknote, like the other denominations of euro banknotes, will always retain its value and can be exchanged at the national central banks of the Eurosystem for an unlimited period of time.
- Also nicknamed as the Bin Laden note, the value of the 500 euro banknote is several times greater than many of the largest circulating notes of other major currencies, such as the United States 100 dollar bill. Therefore, a large monetary value can be concentrated into a small volume of notes. This opens the door for crimes that deal in cash, including money laundering, drug dealing and tax evasion.