Hello and welcome to exampundit . Here are the important Current Affairs from 27th of October to 31st of October, 2016. These are important for the upcoming IBPS PO Mains, IBPS Clerk Mains as well as Insurance & Banking Exams.
Banks to report frauds of Rs one crore and above to CVC
- With several high-ticket alleged frauds like Vijay Mallya loan default case coming to fore, Central Vigilance Commission has now made it mandatory for the public sector banks to report to it all such matters involving funds over Rs one crore.
- Based on the reports, the anti-corruption watchdog, which has hired four General Manager ranked officers from bank as advisors, will recommend whether or not a CBI probe can be ordered.
- According to CBI data, in 2015, the agency had probed 171 cases of bank frauds involving funds of Rs 20,646 crore. In addition, CBI is also investigating the Ponzi schemes involving funds of over Rs 1.20 lakh crore.
- The Commission will also call regular monthly meetings of senior officials of Reserve Bank of India (RBI), CBI and banks to monitor probe in suspected bank frauds of Rs 50 crore and above.
- The banks have been asked to share their reports of Fraud Monitoring and Reporting (FMR) mechanism with the CVC in the suspected fraud cases of Rs one crore and above.
- Till now this report was shared with the RBI only, Vigilance Commissioner T M Bhasin said.
- The banks will also now have to report the modus operandi of all the alleged frauds to the CVC which will share these details with other banks to ensure that systemic changes can be brought in to prevent such cases being repeated, he said.
RBI’s home price index rises 7.3 per cent in first quarter
- Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is any indication, home prices have gone up during the first quarter ended June 2016 when compared to the same period of last year. Analysts and bankers are attributing the rise to the fall in interest rates and the retail push by lenders.
- The RBI’s all-India home price index (base 2010-11=100) has sequentially increased by 5.5 per cent to 231.1 in Q1 of 2016-17 from 219.1 in Q4 of 2015-16. All major cities in the country witnessed an increase in HPI in the first quarter of 2016-17.
- The All-India HPI recorded annual increase of 7.3 per cent in the first quarter of 2016-17 after moderation over four consecutive quarters from 17.5 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2014-15 to 3.3 per cent in Q4 of 2015-16.
- According to the RBI, on an annual basis, Chennai witnessed the maximum increase of 23.9 in the first quarter whereas Jaipur witnessed maximum contraction (-4.4 per cent). On a sequential basis (first quarter of 2016-17 over fourth quarter of 2015-16), Kochi recorded highest home price index increase of 17.6 per cent whereas Jaipur recorded the lowest increase of 0.6 per cent.
- According to the RBI data, housing loans have shot up to Rs 786,900 crore as of August 2016 as against Rs 674,500 crore in August 2015, a rise of 16.7 per cent. Public sector banks have started focussing on home loans in a big way as the sector has witnessed very low level of non-performing assets.
MOU signed between India and Palestine for setting up of Palestine-India Techno Park in Ramallah
- India and Palestine signed the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for setting up of Palestine-India Techo Park in Ramallah on 31 October, 2016.
- During the visit of Hon’ble President of India to Palestine in October, 2015, the announcement for setting up of park was made. Government of India has announced grant of US$ 12 million for setting up the Park with payment of US$ 3 million each on half-yearly basis for 2 years.
- Palestinian side has made the land available for the project. Once completed, the Technopark will serve as an IT hub in Palestine with complete IT facilties offering a one-stop solution to all IT-related service requirements, providing state-of-the-art technology, hosting IT companies and foreign companies benefitting local business,Universities and other institutions.
- The assistance is part of Government of India’s strong commitment to support Palestinian cause. The project will help job creation, business and other opportunities for young Palestinians.
Finance Ministry releases Rs 1,093 cr for restoration of infra in Jammu and Kashmir
- The finance ministry on Monday released first instalment of special assistance of Rs 1,093.34 crore for repair and permanent restoration of damaged public buildings in Jammu and Kashmir in pursuance of the announcement made by the Prime Minister last November.
- A total sum of Rs 2,000 crore has been provided for permanent restoration of damaged Infrastructure such as schools, colleges, hospitals, bus stations and other critical public infrastructure under Prime Minister Reconstruction Plan for J&K, the finance ministry said in a statement.
- The central government gave its approval on October 27 to one-time relaxation of Mission for Integrated Development of Horticulture (MIDH) cost norms for restoration of damaged horticulture areas and development of horticulture in the state.
- A total sum of Rs 500 crore has been provided under this head as part of PM Reconstruction Plan for J&K.
Union Cabinet approves New Productivity Linked Reward Scheme for port and dock workers
- The Union Cabinet on 27 October 2016 approved the New Productivity Linked Reward (PLR) Scheme for all Major Port Trusts and Dock Labour Board employees and workers for the years 2015-16 to 2017-18.
- This PLR scheme will benefit about 38 thousand Port and Dock workers in all the Major Port Trusts and the yearly outgo will be over 49 crore rupees.
- The PLR will be calculated on the enhanced wage ceiling for calculation of Bonus at seven thousand rupees per month.
- PLR shall be paid annually on the basis of 50 per cent weightage given to all India Performance and 50 per cent weightage given to the individual Port Performance.
- The arrear payments of PLR for the year 2014-15 to the employees will be calculated on the enhanced wage ceiling of seven thousand rupees per month for calculation of Bonus instead of 3500 rupees per month on the existing methodology of combined All India Port Performance.
- The new PLR Scheme will foster better industrial relationship and congenial work atmosphere in the Port Sector, apart from stimulating better productivity.
Union Cabinet gives in-principle approval for strategic sale of over dozen PSUs
- Union Cabinet on 27 October 2016 gave its in-principle approval to NITI Aayog’s proposal for strategic sale of over a dozen public sector undertakings (PSUs).
- Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said the names of PSUs that are up for strategic stake sale would be made public once they are going to be put up for the auction. This list does not include PSUs for closure.
- The recommendations of the NITI Aayog on disinvestment and strategic sale came up for consideration and the Cabinet in principle approved the recommendations with regard to some of the units.
- Highlights of the Decision
- Each case would be considered separately after it has been examined by the Department of Disinvestment and the Ministries concerned.
- The strategic sale will involve a management control transfer as the shareholding of the government would come down to below 50 per cent.
Union Cabinet approves Cadre Review of Indian Posts & Telecommunications Accounts and Finance Service
- The Union Cabinet on 27 October 2016 approved the first Cadre Review of Indian Posts & Telecommunications Accounts and Finance Service (IP&TAFS).
The key features of the Cadre Review of IP&TAFS:
- Reduction of the total strength of the cadre from 420 to 376.
- Creation of one Apex level post of Controller General of Communication Accounts (CGCA).
- Creation of one additional HAG+ level post taking the grade strength to 2.
- Creation of two additional HAG level posts taking the grade strength from 6 to 8.
- Creation of 18 additional SAG level posts taking the grade strength from 37 to 55.
- Reduction in JAG level posts from 111 to 90.
- Reduction in STS level posts from 198 to 86.
- Creation of 21 JTS level posts taking the grade strength from 67 to 88.
- Creation of 46 Posts to be operated as Reserves.
Union Cabinet approves agreement on Trade, Commerce and Transit between India and Bhutan
- The Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on 27 October 2016 approved the agreement on Trade, Commerce and Transit between India and Bhutan.
- The agreement was renewed on 29 July 2006 for a period of ten years. The validity of this agreement was later extended with effect from 29 July 2016, for a period of one year or till the new agreement comes into force through exchange of Diplomatic notes.
- The agreement provides for a free trade regime between two countries. It also provides for duty free transit of Bhutanese merchandise for trade with third countries.
Union Cabinet approves establishment of National Academic Depository
- The Union Cabinet on 27 October 2016 gave its green signal for establishment and operationalisation of a National Academic Depository (NAD).
- The National Academic Depository aims at bringing another dimension and enhancement of the vision of Digital India.
- The Budget Speech of 2016-17 of the Finance Benefit, Arun Jaitley, incorporated the commitment to establish a Digital Depository for school learning certificates, degrees and other academic awards of Higher Education Institutions, on the pattern of a Securities Depository.
- The NAD will be established and operationalised within the next three months.
- It will be rolled out throughout the country in 2017-2018.
- It will be operationalised by NSDL Database Management Limited (NDML) and CDSL Ventures, Limited (CVL) - two of the wholly owned subsidiaries of the Depositories registered under Securities Exchange Board of India (SEBI) Act, 1992.
Salim Gangadharan named non-executive Chairman of South Indian Bank
- South Indian Bank on Monday said Salim Gangadharan will be its new non-executive/ part-time Chairman for three years with effect from November 2, 2016.
- Gangadharan is currently an Independent Director on the board of the private sector bank headquartered in Thrissur (Kerala).
- In a stock exchange notice, the bank said Amitabha Guha would demit the office of non-executive/ part-time Chairman on November 1, 2016, on completion of his tenure.
Ashok Chawla takes over as non-executive Chairman of YES Bank
- Former finance secretary and Competition Commission of India chairman Ashok Chawla has taken charge as Non-Executive Chairman of YES Bank from today.
- Chawla took over after non-executive part-time Chairperson Radha Singh completed her tenure as the bank’s director yesterday, YES Bank informed the stock exchanges.
- A former IAS officer, Singh was non—independent director on the bank’s board since April 2008 and was appointed chairperson in 2014.
- In March this year, Chawla was appointed additional non executive director on the bank’s board. He was to be appointed as non executive chairman of the bank after the end of Singh’s term, the bank had then informed the bourses.
Sunil Bharti Mittal appointed as Chairman of GSMA
- Sunil Bharti Mittal, Founder and Chairman of Bharti Enterprises, was on 27 October 2016 appointed as Chairman of GSMA. As GSMA Chairman, Mittal will oversee the strategic direction of the organisation.
- Mittal will succeed Jon Fredrik Baksaas, who will step down from the GSMA board at the end of 2016.
- On the other hand, the company re-elected Mari-Noëlle Jego-Laveissiere, Executive Vice President, Innovation, Orange Group as Deputy Chairman. It also elected the new members of the 26-member Board of the company.
Andhra Pradesh, Telangana top in ease of doing business
- Andhra Pradesh and Telengana have jointly topped the 2016 all-India State/Union Territory-wise Ease of Doing Business rankings, while last-year's topper Gujarat slipped to the third spot.
- The rankings, announced on Monday by Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, are on the basis of a 340-point business reform action plan and their implementation by the States. This covers the period from July 1, 2015 to June 30, 2016.
- Meanwhile, the World Bank said what was interesting this year was that four of the seven states with the lowest income levels in India have found a place in the top ten ranks, while all the seven such states had an implementation rate of over 75 per cent.
- These low-income states included Chhattisgarh (97.32 per cent implementation rate regarding the 340 reform measures, and fourth rank), Madhya Pradesh (97.01 per cent and fifth), Jharkhand (96.57 per cent and seventh), Rajasthan (96.43 per cent and eighth), Odisha (92.73 and 11th), Uttar Pradesh (84.52 per cent and 14th), Bihar (75.82 per cent and 16th rank).
- The Bank, along with the Centre's Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion (DIPP) was involved in the process of reviewing the evidence submitted by states/UTs regarding implementation of reforms for the rankings.
- The World Bank said it was looking into India's suggestion that the World Bank Group's global Doing Business rankings need to consider reforms undertaken across the country and not just in Mumbai and Delhi as is being done currently.
- India's rank in the recently released global Doing Business rankings was a lowly 130th, just one rank up from the previous year's 'revised' ranking of 131st. Prime Minister Modi is keen to ensure that India finds a place in the top 50 countries within a year or two.
Dhoni most valued athlete among Indians, Federer globally: Forbes Fab 40
- Team India’s limited-overs cricket skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni remains the most valued Indian athlete in 2016, despite a drop in his brand value when compared with last year, shows the Forbes Fab 40 list released recently.
- The annual Forbes Fab 40 list, which estimates the brand value of top sports labels, athletes, teams and events, reveals that Dhoni’s brand value reduced from $21 million in 2015 to $11 million this year, and his rank slipped from fifth to 10th during the same period. However, he remains the only Indian among the top 10 athletes globally.
- Swiss tennis legend Roger Federer toppled golf great Tiger Woods as the most valued athlete globally. With a brand value of $36 million, Federer gained two notches from third last year, while Woods dropped four spots to stand fifth on the latest edition of the list. Among other top athletes on the list is Argentine football star Lionel Messi, ranked eighth. He was not among the top 10 last year.
- In the sports business category, Nike, ESPN and Adidas continued to hold the top three spots, even as the individual brand values of Nike and Adidas -- $27 billion and $7 billion, respectively -- improved from last year, and ESPN’s declined marginally from $17 billion to $16.5 billion.
Colombo to host ICC Women’s World Cup Qualifier 2017
- With 100 days to go for the ICC Women’s World Cup Qualifier 2017, Colombo was today unveiled as the host of the 10-team event, which will be staged from February 7 to 21 next year.
- The tournament will see the bottom four sides from the ICC Women’s Championship along with Bangladesh, Ireland, Papua New Guinea, Thailand, Scotland and Zimbabwe go head to head for the four remaining spots in the ICC Women’s World Cup in the United Kingdom from 26 June to 23 July.
- While hosts Sri Lanka are certain to feature in the qualifier, the remaining three sides will be confirmed following the final round of matches to be played in November.
- World champion Australia have already won the ICC Women’s Championship and with it became the first side to book a ticket for next year’s World Cup, while England, West Indies, New Zealand, South Africa, India and Pakistan are fighting for the remaining three automatic spots in the pinnacle women’s 50-over event.
- The 10 sides in Colombo will be divided into two groups of five with the top three from each progressing to the Super Six stage, thus securing One-Day International (ODI) status until the next ICC Women’s World Cup Qualifier.
India beat Pakistan to lift their second Asian Champions Trophy
- India's hockey team gifted the country on Diwali its second Asian Champions Trophy hockey tournament title after defeating arch foes Pakistan 3-2 in the final at the Wisma Belia Hockey Stadium here on Sunday.
- India's two second-half goals from Rupinder Pal Singh (18th minute) and Affan Yousuf (23rd) were cancelled out by Aleem Bilal (26th) and Ali Shan (38th) but Nikkin Thimmaiah (51st) scored the winner for the reigning Asian Games champions.
- In the third-place match, hosts Malaysia got their fourth bronze medal as they edged out South Korea via penalty shootout.
Goa, Jarkhand sign cultural MoU
- The Goa cabinet has approved the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the government of Goa and the government of Jharkhand for the implementation of 'Ek Bharat - Shreshtha Bharat', an initiative that will permit a cultural exchange and other exchange programs between Goa and Jharkhand.
- The signing of the MoU is expected to promote and spread traditional cultural forms and practices as well as artistic manifestations including folklore, indigenous crafts and allied cultural expressions of both the states, including helping in the promotion of tourism.
- One of the highlights of the cultural exchange will be an 'Ekta Carnival' in each state where people from other states will participate and understand its culture.
Union Cabinet approves agreement between India and Estonia on the transfer of sentenced persons
- The Union Cabinet on 27 October 2016 approved the signing and ratification of agreement between India and Estonia on the transfer of sentenced persons.
- The Agreement will facilitate the Indian prisoners imprisoned in Estonia or vice-versa to be near to their families, for serving remaining part of their sentence and shall facilitate their social rehabilitation.
UN lights up for Diwali for the 1st time
- Diwali was commemorated for the first time at the United Nations, with the world body's imposing headquarters here lit up especially on the occasion of the Indian festival of lights.
- The facade of the UN headquarters was lit in bright hues and the words 'Happy Diwali', along with the image of a traditional 'diya', projected onto the building.
- It is for the first time that the Indian festival of lights is celebrated at the world body after the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution in December, 2014 that acknowledged the "significance of Diwali".
- Noting that the festival is observed in many UN member states, the resolution had called on UN bodies to avoid holding meetings on Diwali, declaring it a no-meeting day.
- From 2016 onwards, Diwali was made an optional holiday for the UN, India's Permanent Mission to the world body said in a special video message.
Russia voted out of UN Human Rights Council
- Russia, facing allegations of war crimes in relation to its policies in Syria, lost its seat on the UN Human Rights Council as the UN General Assembly voted to elect 14 members to the Geneva-based organ.
- The 193-member General Assembly on Friday elected 14 nations by secret ballot to serve on the Human Rights Council, the United Nations body responsible for the promotion and protection of all human rights around the globe.
- Brazil, China, Croatia, Cuba, Egypt, Hungary, Iraq, Japan, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Tunisia, United Kingdom and the United States were elected for three-year terms beginning January 1,2017. India is a member of the 47-member human rights body and its term will expire in 2017.
- Russia was seeking re-election to the human rights body, competing with Hungary, Croatia and Bulgaria for two seats in the Eastern European bloc. Russia was edged out in a close vote, getting 112 votes, just two shy of the 114 that Croatia polled, Hungary got 144 votes.
US, UK, and China re-elected to UN Human Rights Council
- The United Nation (UN) General Assembly elected China, the United States, the United Kingdom among other countries to the UN Human Rights Council for a three-year term of office starting from January 1, 2017.
- The other elected members are Tunisia, South Africa, Rwanda, Japan, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Hungary, Croatia, Cuba, Brazil, Xinhua news agency reported.
- The Human Rights Council is the main UN intergovernmental body responsible for promoting and protecting all human rights and fundamental freedom.
- It was established by the General Assembly in 2006 to replace the 60-year-old UN Commission on Human Rights.
- The UN council addresses human rights violations and makes corresponding recommendations. It responds to human rights emergencies, works to prevent abuses.
World's largest Marine Protected Area declared in Antarctica
- The Ross Sea, a deep bay of the Southern Ocean in Antarctica, was declared as world’s largest Marine Protected Area (MPA) on 28 October 2016. With this, there will be a blanket ban on commercial fishing across about three quarters of that area for 35 years.
- It will be the world's largest marine protected area and covers 1.6 million square kilometers.
- The deal was clinched after the meeting of Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) consisting of 24 countries and European Union in Hobart, Australia. All the participant nations including the European Union unanimously agreed to create the world's largest Marine Protected Area (MPA) in the ocean next to Antarctica.
- The agreement comes after years of negotiations brokered by the UN's Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources. It also saw high-level talks between the US and Russia, which was rejected in the past. Environmentalists have welcomed the move to protect the Earth's most pristine marine ecosystem.
Awards & Honors –
Daughters of Mother India wins at CAM International Film Festival
- Indian National Award winning documentary ‘Daughters of Mother India’ won the first prize in the Documentary Film category at the sixth CAM International Film Festival in Cairo, Egypt.
- The CAM International Film Festival was organised by Arabic Egyptian Society for Culture, Media and Arts (CMA). The fest was held from 8 October to 13 October 2016.
- The fest is organised annually to promote cinema as a means of combating ignorance, poverty and terrorism. The 2016 edition featured around 92 films from 33 countries in three categories: Short Fiction, Documentary and Animation.
- India was the Guest of Honour in the film gala with 12 entries.
Nadia Murad and Lamiya Aji Bashar wins 2016 Sakharov Prize
- Two Yazidi women, Nadia Murad Basee and Lamiya Aji Bashar, who escaped sexual enslavement by Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in Iraq, have won Europe's top human rights award, the Sakharov prize.
- The announcement of the year's joint laureates was made following a decision by European Parliament on 27 October 2016.
- The Sakharov award ceremony will be held in Strasbourg on 14 December.
World Cities Day observed with theme Inclusive Cities, Shared Development
- World Cities Day was observed on 31 October 2016 with theme Inclusive Cities, Shared Development. The year’s theme highlights the important role of urbanization as a source of global development and social inclusion.
- Recognizing the significance of urban basic services as a foundation for the overall social and economic development, the UN General Assembly by resolution 68/239 designated 31 October as World Cities Day.