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Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Current Affairs Update - 30 November, 2016

Hello and welcome to exampundit . Here are the important Current Affairs of 30 November, 2016. These are important for the upcoming IPPB PO Mains, NIACL AO Mains, IBPS Clerk Mains, IBPS RRB OS-I Mains and RBI Assistant Mains 2016-17.


Current Affairs at a Glance - 30 November, 2016
  1. YES Bank has launched a digital banking service, ‘SIMsePAY’, whereby any account holder can do money transfers, pay utility bills, and other mobile banking services without the need for a smartphone or Internet.
  2. The Centre has constituted a 13 member Committee of Chief Ministers headed by Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu to promote digital payment systems to promote transparency, financial inclusion and also prepare a roadmap in this regard.
  3. To ease the pain of its customers queueing up to withdraw cash at its ATMs and branches, HDFC Bank has tied up with Federation of Retail Traders Welfare Association (FRTWA), a trade body representing shop owners, to offer cash withdrawal facility of up to 2,000 at over 50 large, prominent retail stores across metros.
  4. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on 29 November 2016 reduced the cash withdrawal limit from the  Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY) accounts to Rs 10000 a month only with an aim to protect farmers and rural Jan Dhan account holders from money launderers.
  5. CoutLoot, an end-to-end fashion re-commerce platform, has been selected for Facebook's developer-focused "FbStart" programme, receiving access to $40,000 worth of credits and services from the social networking giant.
  6. Private sector RBL Bank on Wednesday said it has launched 'Aadhaar Payment Bridge System' (APBS) for small ticket micro-finance loan disbursements.
  7. Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) will launch 83 satellites, 80 of them being foreign, in one go in January next year, the Lok Sabha was told on Wednesday.
  8. For promoting cooperation and collaboration between Arunachal Pradesh and Thailand, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between Surindra Rajabhat University Regional Development Strategies (SRRURDS) Foundation of Surin Province, North East of Thailand and Mahabodhi Lord Buddha College (MLBC) in Arunachal Pradesh.
  9. Asia’s first and longest cycle highway was on 26 November 2016 inaugurated in Uttar Pradesh by UP Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav. It is also India’s first cycle highway.
  10. Donald Trump, the new President-elect of the United States, nominated Seema Verma to the post of Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.




Finance/Banking –

YES Bank launches digital service SIMsePAY for feature phone users


  • YES Bank has launched a digital banking service, ‘SIMsePAY’, whereby any account holder can do money transfers, pay utility bills, and other mobile banking services without the need for a smartphone or Internet.
  • The private sector bank has launched the service with the District Co-operative Bank, Dehradun, and plans to launch it across the country.
  • SIMsePAY is a wafer-thin sticker that can be pasted on to any type of SIM card (standard, micro or nano) of any telecom service provider. This sticker installs a SIM Tool Kit (STK)-based application which can be accessed by the customer on any mobile phone without the need for Internet connectivity.
  • The bank, in a statement, said the sticker would be linked to a co-branded pre-paid wallet or a pre-paid card (which can be loaded up to Rs. 50,000) issued by it or the co-operative banks’ account by the consumer to perform transactions such as national electronic funds transfer/ immediate payment service based fund transfers, check balances and generate mini-statements, payments to merchants, bill payments, top-ups and recharges.


Chandrababu Naidu to head panel of CMs to boost digital payment systems


  • The Centre has constituted a 13 member Committee of Chief Ministers headed by Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu to promote digital payment systems to promote transparency, financial inclusion and also prepare a roadmap in this regard.
  • Apart from Mr. Naidu, Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik, M.P. CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan, Sikkim CM Pawan Kumar Chamling, Puducherry CM V. Narayanasamy, Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis are also members of the committee along with NITI Aayog Vice-Chairman Arvind Panagariya, and Amitabh Kant CEO, NITI Aayog.
  • UIDAI former Chairman Nandan Nilekani, Boston Consulting Group Chairman Janmejaya Sinha, netCORE Managing Director Rajesh Jain, iSPIRIT Co—founder Sharad Sharma and IIM (Ahmedabad) Professor (Finance) Jayant Varma are special invitees.
  • According to officials, the terms of reference of the committee are identifying global best practices for implementing an economy primarily based on digital payment and examine the possibility of adoption of these global standards in the Indian context.
  • The panel will also outline measures for rapid expansion and adoption of the system of digital payments like cards (Debit, Credit and pre-paid), Digital-wallets/ e-wallets, internet banking, Unified Payments Interface (UPI), banking apps, etc and shall broadly indicate the roadmap to be implemented in one year.
  • It shall evolve an action plan to reach out to the public at large with the objective to create awareness and help them understand the benefits of such a switchover to digital economy and would prepare a roadmap for the administrative machineries in the States to facilitate adoption of digital modes of financial transactions.


HDFC Bank ties up with trade body to offer cash withdrawal facility at retail outlets

  • To ease the pain of its customers queueing up to withdraw cash at its ATMs and branches, HDFC Bank has tied up with Federation of Retail Traders Welfare Association (FRTWA), a trade body representing shop owners, to offer cash withdrawal facility of up to 2,000 at over 50 large, prominent retail stores across metros.
  • The move seeks to widen the ambit of cash being dispensed only at branches and ATMs.
  • Withdrawal may be done by swiping debit cards at the PoS machines installed at Roopam, Benzer, Amarsons, Kalaniketan, Premsons, Asiatic, Libaz, Seasons, Roopmilan, Metro, Catwalk, and Mochi, to name a few.
  • These stores will use cash collected from their sales for the purpose of these withdrawals. FRTWA is a trade body representing over 2 lakh shop owners in Mumbai.


RBI limits cash withdrawal from Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana accounts


  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on 29 November 2016 reduced the cash withdrawal limit from the  Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY) accounts to Rs 10000 a month only with an aim to protect farmers and rural Jan Dhan account holders from money launderers.
  • It applies to know your customer (KYC) compliant PMJDY accounts funded through deposits of new bank notes after 9 November 2016.

Key Highlights
  • PMJDY account holders, who want to withdraw more than Rs 10000 a month, will have to furnish appropriate documents to prove why they need the money.
  • The branch managers can allow further withdrawals beyond Rs 10000 only after ascertaining the genuineness of such withdrawals and duly documenting the details on bank’s record.
  • Limited or Non-KYC compliant PMJDY account holders will be allowed to withdraw Rs 5000 per month from the amount deposited in new currency notes after 9 November 2016. These account holders can withdraw up to Rs 10000.


Facebook pumps $40,000 into Indian fashion start-up CoutLoot

  • CoutLoot, an end-to-end fashion re-commerce platform, has been selected for Facebook's developer-focused "FbStart" programme, receiving access to $40,000 worth of credits and services from the social networking giant.
  • Launched last year, "FbStart" helps developers grow their startups by leveraging valuable tools and services, worldwide events and opportunities to engage with the Facebook team.
  • Under the programme, CoutLoot would also receive mentoring from Menlo Park-headquartered tech giant's engineering teams, the company said in a statement on Wednesaday.


RBL Bank launches Aadhaar-based disbursment of mirco loans


  • Private sector RBL Bank on Wednesday said it has launched 'Aadhaar Payment Bridge System' (APBS) for small ticket micro-finance loan disbursements.
  • The bank said it is the first bank to launch the APBS on its platform and the intent is to meet the government's target on digital banking.
  • "This was achieved by doing the first successful cashless disbursement to various beneficiaries in the rural segment across the country," the bank said in a release.
  • The bank said it is a drive towards cashless loan disbursements, which otherwise is dominated by physical cash.
  • The APBS system can now enable MFIs to disburse loan amounts directly in Aadhaar-enabled bank accounts through RBL Bank.
  • It has been developed by NPCI mainly to process government subsidies or direct benefit transfer (DBT) to various government scheme beneficiaries.


Lok Sabha passes Taxation Laws (Second Amendment) Bill, 2016

  • The Lok Sabha on 29 November 2016 passed the Taxation Laws (Second Amendment) Bill, 2016 to amend the Income Tax Act, 1961 and Finance Act, 2016.
  • The Bill was introduced in Lok Sabha on 28 November 2016. It imposes a higher rate of tax and penalty in respect of undisclosed incomes.
  • The Bill proposes to introduce the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan (PMGK) Yojana, 2016.  Under the scheme, taxpayers will be required to declare their undisclosed income possessed in the form of cash or deposited in banks, post offices or Reserve Bank of India before a notified date. 
  • The money from PMGK will be used for projects in irrigation, infrastructure, primary education, primary health, housing, toilets and livelihood.

Provisions of the Bill
  • The cess will be known as the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Cess and will be used for welfare of weaker sections.
  • The taxpayer has to deposit 25 percent of the undisclosed income into the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Deposit Scheme, 2016. The deposit will not earn any interest and can be withdrawn only after four years from the date of deposit.
  • People, who will declare their undisclosed wealth in denominations of banned Rs 1000 and Rs 500 currency notes under the PMGKY scheme, will have to pay a tax at the rate of 30 percent of the undisclosed income.
  • Additionally, 10 percent penalty and PMGK Cess at the rate of 33 percent of tax will be levied on the undisclosed income.
  • If taxpayer does not admit his undisclosed income, he will be levied with flat 60 percent penalty plus a cess of 25 percent of tax, which will amount a levy of 75 percent tax in total.



India –

ISRO will launch 83 satellites in one go in Jan 2017


  • Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) will launch 83 satellites, 80 of them being foreign, in one go in January next year, the Lok Sabha was told on Wednesday.
  • Eighty satellites weighing 500 kg belonged to five foreign countries -- Israel, Kazakhstan, Netherlands, Switzerland and the US.
  • It will be the first of its kind mission in ISRO's space history.
  • Three Indian satellites are namely Cartosat-2 series weighing 730 kg as primary payload, INS-IA and INS-1B, total weighing 30 kg.


Arunachal Pradesh and Thailand sign MoU for cultural exchange between two states


  • For promoting cooperation and collaboration between Arunachal Pradesh and Thailand, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between Surindra Rajabhat University Regional Development Strategies (SRRURDS) Foundation of Surin Province, North East of Thailand and Mahabodhi Lord Buddha College (MLBC) in Arunachal Pradesh.
  • The MoU was signed yesterday in line with the development of friendly international cooperation with mutual interests in developing programmes of academic exchange and for establishing a long-term mutually beneficial association between the two institutes for fostering cordial relations between the people of Arunachal Pradesh and Thailand, an official release said here today.
  • The MoU was signed by Associate Professor Achara Phanurat, Ex-President of Surindra SRRURDS Foundation and Ven Bhikkhu Panyaloka, Director of MLBC in presence of the Deputy Chief Minister Chowna Mein and Tharadol Thongruang, Minister Councillor, Royal Thai Embassy, New Delhi.
  • As per the MoU, both the institutes agreed to carry out the activities in academic and research cooperation, cultural activities for international development in educational institutions using international journals, magazines as a stage for academic exchange.


Asia’s first and longest cycle highway inaugurated in Uttar Pradesh


  • Asia’s first and longest cycle highway was on 26 November 2016 inaugurated in Uttar Pradesh by UP Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav. It is also India’s first cycle highway.
  • This 207 kms cycle highway connects the Taj City Agra and the Lion Safari at Etawah.

Highlights of the cycle highway
  • This 7-feet-wide cycle highway was constructed by the UP public works department.
  • It runs parallel to the main highway, but is separated by a divider which ensures the safety of cyclists.
  • The track begins from the lion safari in Etawah and passes through 92 villages across the two districts.
  • It also crosses the natural beauty of the Chambal and Yamuna rivers on its way.
  • It has tourist destinations like Naugava ka Quila, Raja Bhoj ki Haveli and Bateshwarnath Temple.


Cabinet approves Rs 2,000 cr package for refugees from PoK


  • A Rs 2,000-crore development package for displaced people of Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) living in the country was on Wednesday approved by the government.
  • The Union Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, approved the Home Ministry's proposal to provide enhanced financial aid to 36,384 families, who are mostly living in Jammu region after their displacement from PoK post Independence.
  • Each of these families will get around Rs 5.5 lakh as aid, a senior official said.
  • The refugees from West Pakistan, mostly from PoK, settled in different areas of Jammu, Kathua and Rajouri districts. However, they are not permanent residents of the state in terms of Jammu and Kashmir Constitution.


Sports –

Virat Kohli vaults to career best No.3 spot in ICC Test rankings


  • After leading India to an unassailable 2-0 lead in the five-match Test rubber against England, skipper Virat Kohli on Wednesday vaulted to a career-best third spot in the latest International Cricket Council (ICC) rankings for Test batsmen released here.
  • The 28-year-old Kohli, who scored 62 and six not out to help India crush England by 8 wickets in the third Test against England at Mohali, moved to 833 points, within 14 points of second-ranked England's Joe Root in a list led by Australia captain Steve Smith.
  • Starting the series in 15th position, Kohli has risen at a fast pace scoring 405 runs in the three Tests against England, according to an ICC release.
  • Kohli, who is top-ranked in Twenty20 internationals and second in One-Day Internationals, looks determined to top the table in Tests, the only format in which he has never been top-ranked.
  • The remaining two Tests provide more opportunity to Kohli, who had led India to victory in the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup in Malaysia in 2008.


Appointments –

Trump nominated Seema Verma to head Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services



  • Donald Trump, the new President-elect of the United States, nominated Seema Verma to the post of Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
  • She is the second Indian-American to be placed in one of the top administration positions, only after Nikki Haley, who created history by becoming the first-ever Indian-American to be appointed to a cabinet-level position under any US president.
  • Seema Verma will be expected to work along with the newly elected Health and Human Services Secretary- Tom Price.


Parliament of Thailand invites Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn to become king

  • The Parliament of Thailand on 29 November 2016 invited Crown Prince Vajiralongkorn to be the new king of the country. The invitation completes a formal step for the heir apparent to take the throne following the death of his father, King Bhumibol Adulyadej, in October 2016.
  • As per the established procedure, the prince will have to accept parliament's invitation in order for him to be proclaimed king.






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