Sunday, November 06, 2016

Current Affairs Update – 4-5 November, 2016

Hello and welcome to exampundit . Here are the important Current Affairs of 4th and 5th November, 2016. These are important for the upcoming IBPS PO MAINS, IBPS CLERK MAINS, NIACL AO Mains and Other Mains Exams.


Current Affairs at a Glance – 4-5 November, 2016
  1. Earthport Plc, the leading payment network for cross-border transactions, has received the Reserve Bank of India’s permission to provide outbound cross border payment services to banks in India.
  2. Construction major HCC's Rs 5,000 crore debt recast has become the first case to get approval of a high-level panel set up under RBI's new Scheme for Sustainable Structuring of Stressed Assets (S4A).
  3. Telecom Sector Skill Council (TSSC), a not-for-profit public-private partnership between National Skill Development Corporation and the industry, has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Taiwan to strengthen cooperation in the field of corporate job vacancies and recruitment services post skilling in India and internationally.
  4. Indo-Bangla joint military training exercise SAMPRITI commenced on 5 November 2016 at Tangail, Dhaka.
  5. An Inter-Ministerial Committee of the Information and Broadcasting Ministry in the first week of November 2016 asked for one-day ban on a leading Hindi News Channel, NDTV India from 12.01 A.M. of 9 November to 12.01 A.M. of 10 November 2016.
  6. Google on 3 November 2016 tied up with Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) for 360 degree virtual tour of 280-odd monuments across the country.
  7. Sanjiv Arora appointed as India's Ambassador to Lebanon.
  8. Praveen Kumar Sharma was today appointed as Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Central Registry of Securitisation Asset Reconstruction and Security Interest of India (Cersai).
  9. Indian actor Rekha will be honoured by the upcoming Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF) with a Lifetime Achievement Award. The festival will commence on 7 December 2016 and will conclude on 14 December 2016.
  10. The First World Tsunami Awareness Day was observed across the world on 5 November 2016.
  11. Global Media and Information Literacy Week 2016 observed from 31 October to 5 November 2016



Finance/Banking –

Earthport gets RBI nod to operate cross border payments service to India


  • Earthport Plc, the leading payment network for cross-border transactions, has received the Reserve Bank of India’s permission to provide outbound cross border payment services to banks in India.
  • The approval is part of both RBI and Indian government’s move to facilitate the cross border payments to and from India which is the largest remittance-receiving country in 2015, with an estimated $69 billion.
  • India, which is one of the fastest growing market for cross border payments, had an estimated volume of $266 b in exports and $396 b in imports in the financial year 2015-16.
  • Earthport has been facilitating inbound payments into India on behalf of its overseas clients. Now, with this approval from the RBI, Earthport can also process outbound cross border payments for banks in India. The RBI approval was preceded by an extensive review of Earthport and its business model by the Indian Banks’ Association (IBA) following which the later recommended the approval to the RBI.

HCC gets relief under RBI 's S4A sheme


  • Construction major HCC's Rs 5,000 crore debt recast has become the first case to get approval of a high-level panel set up under RBI's new scheme for Sustainable Structuring of Stressed Assets (S4A).
  • The scheme, which was passed by an ICICI Bank-led joint lender forum in September, has been approved by the RBI- mandated overseeing committee and can be implemented now, banking sources said.
  • Under this recast of HCC's Rs 5,000 crore debt, which has become the first successful resolution case under the RBI's highly-ambitious S4A tool, 52 percent of debt worth Rs 2,600 crore was found to be sustainable. This would be serviced as per the original terms and conditions, including about interest rate and tenure.
  • Out of the remaining 48 percent totalling up to Rs 2,400 crore, debt of Rs 1,000 crore would be converted into equity for the banks, which could eventually give them 25 percent stake in the company's post-scheme equity capital.

Telecom Sector Skill Council inks MoU with Taiwan


  • Telecom Sector Skill Council (TSSC), a not-for-profit public-private partnership between National Skill Development Corporation and the industry, has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Taiwan to strengthen cooperation in the field of corporate job vacancies and recruitment services post skilling in India and internationally.
  • Under the MoU, TSSC will provide rightly trained/skilled workforce to Taiwan for employment in Taiwan and in return Taiwan’s Ministry of Economic Affairs will provide the details of opportunities to serve various organisations that seek the service of professionals trained by TSSC, a company release said.

GST Council fixes four tier tax structure under Goods and Services Tax


  • The GST council on 3 November 2016 approved four tier tax structure of 5, 12, 18 and 28 percent under the proposed Goods and Services Tax (GST).
  • There will be two standard tax rates- 12 percent and 18 percent under the GST. Under the tax structure of 5, 12, 18 and 28 percent, the lower rates will be applicable for essential items and the highest for luxury and de-merits goods that will also attract an additional cess.
Main Highlights

  • Essential items including food, which presently constitute roughly half of the consumer inflation basket, will be taxed at zero rate.
  • The lowest rate of 5 percent will be for common use items while there will be two standard rates of 12 and 18 percent under the Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime.
  • Most white goods like washing machines, air conditioners, refrigerators, shampoo, shaving stuff and soap will be taxed at 28 percent (with riders).
  • The highest tax slab will be applicable to items which are currently taxed at 30-31 percent (excise duty plus VAT).
  • Demerit goods or sin goods such as luxury cars, pan masala, aerated drinks, and tobacco and tobacco products, will invite a tax of 28 percent plus the cess which could vary between 40 percent and 65 percent.
  • There has been no consensus yet on tax rate for gold.
  • The collection from this cess as well as that of the clean energy cess will create a revenue pool which will be used for compensating states for any loss of revenue during the first five years of implementation of GST.
  • The cess will be lapsable after five years.

India –

6th Indo-Bangla joint military exercise SAMPRITI commences


  • Indo-Bangla joint military training exercise SAMPRITI commenced on 5 November 2016 at Tangail, Dhaka.
  • This is the sixth edition of the exercise which is hosted alternately by both countries. The exercise is an important bilateral defence cooperation endeavour between the two countries.
  • The exercise will simulate a scenario where both nations are working together in a counter insurgency and counter terrorism environment under the UN Charter.
  • The participants will initially get familiar with each other’s organizational structure and tactical drills during the exercise.




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India, China agree to maintain high-level exchanges


  • India and China have agreed to maintain the pace of their high-level exchanges in counter-terrorism and other fields after "friendly and open" discussions between their National Security Advisors.
  • NSA Ajit Doval and his Chinese counterpart Yang Jiechi, State Councillor, concluded their discussions in Hyderabad yesterday in a "friendly, open and cordial environment", it was officially stated here today.
  • Ministry of External Affairs said their discussions covered a wide agenda spanning bilateral, regional and international issues of mutual interest. It was Yang's third visit to India in the last two months.
  • The two sides agreed to maintain the pace of high-level exchanges in political, economic, defence and counter- terrorism fields.

NDTV India ordered to be taken off air for 24 hours


  • An Inter-Ministerial Committee of the Information and Broadcasting Ministry in the first week of November 2016 asked for one-day ban on a leading Hindi News Channel, NDTV India from 12.01 A.M. of 9 November to 12.01 A.M. of 10 November 2016.
  • The channel is facing the possibility of a complete blackout for 24 hours for revealing strategically-sensitive information during its coverage of the anti-terror operations at the Pathankot airbase in January 2016. The telecast under scanner was aired on 2 January 2016 when Indian military forces were preparing their counter attack strategy at the Pathankot airbase.
  • The order by the Inter-Ministerial Committee claimed that the channel revealed several confidential details like location of the ammunition depot, details of arms cache and fighter planes, details of schools and residential areas located around the airbase, endangering lives of both civilians and defense personnel.

Google ties up with ASI for virtual tour of monuments


  • Google on 3 November 2016 tied up with Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) for 360 degree virtual tour of 280-odd monuments across the country.
  • Out of 280 monuments, 30 are in West Bengal. Some of the major monuments are Taj Mahal, Victoria Memorial and the ruins of Hampi.
  • Recently, Google also launched an array of products in India like offline view of maps, live traffic alerts and inclusion of unknown places on the maps by local guides.

India to host Seventh Session of the Conference of Parties


  • The Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India, will be hosting the Seventh Session of the Conference of Parties (COP7). The Conference will be inaugurated by J P Nadda, Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare.
  • The Conference will be held from 7 November to 12 November 2016, at India Exposition Mart, Greater Noida, District Gautam Buddha Nagar, Uttar Pradesh.
  • It is the first occasion that a Conference of Parties meeting is being held in India. It signals a strong commitment of the Government of India to increase international co-operation and awareness of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) globally and especially in the WHO South-East Asia Region. The Conference will lead into Delhi Declaration for supporting measures for tobacco control.

Appointments –

Sanjiv Arora appointed as India's Ambassador to Lebanon


  • Sanjiv Arora, an Indian Foreign Service (IFS) officer, was on 31 October 2016 appointed as the Ambassador of India to the Republic of Lebanon by Ministry of External Affairs (MEA). Lebanon, officially known as the Lebanese Republic, is a sovereign state in Western Asia.
  • He is expected to take up the assignment shortly.


Praveen Kumar Sharma appointed MD and CEO of Cersai


  • Praveen Kumar Sharma was today appointed as Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Central Registry of Securitisation Asset Reconstruction and Security Interest of India (Cersai).
  • Sharma is General Manager, State Bank of India.
  • The Appointments Committee of Cabinet has approved his appointment for three years, an order issued by Department of Personnel and Training said.
  • Cersai is providing the platform for filing registrations of transactions of securitisation, asset reconstruction and security interest by the banks and financial institutions.

Awards & Honors –

Dubai International Film Festival to honour Rekha with a Lifetime Achievement Award


  • Indian actor Rekha will be honoured by the upcoming Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF) with a Lifetime Achievement Award. The festival will commence on 7 December 2016 and will conclude on 14 December 2016.
  • Rekha will be honoured for her 40-year career and participation in more than 180 films.

Shamik Chowdhury wins the German Green Talent award


  • Indian researcher Shamik Chowdhury in the last week of October 2016 was awarded the German Green Talent Award. His name is among the list of 25 young researchers who have been honoured with the award.
  • The award was conferred to Shamik Chowdhury by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research for his innovative approach in sustainable development, resource efficiency, cleaner production and eco-innovation.

Days –

First World Tsunami Awareness Day observed


  • The First World Tsunami Awareness Day was observed across the world on 5 November 2016. The theme for the year is Effective Education and Evacuation Drills.
  • In December 2015, the United Nations General Assembly designated 5 November as World Tsunami Awareness Day.

Global Media and Information Literacy Week 2016 observed


  • Global Media and Information Literacy Week 2016 observed from 31 October to 5 November 2016. The Global MIL Week was organised under the theme Media and Information Literacy: New Paradigms for Intercultural Dialogue.
  • This was the sixth MIL Week and was jointly organised by UNESCO, UNAOC, Global Alliance for Partnerships on Media and Information Literacy (GAPMIL) and the Media and Information Literacy and Intercultural Dialogue (MILID) International University Network, in partnership with the University of Sao Paulo.
  • The Sixth MILID Conference and the First General Assembly of GAPMIL
  • The Global MIL Week 2016 was hosted by the University of Sao Paulo, Brazil, and it took place from 2 to 5 November 2016

Obituaries –

Sri Lankan singer Pandit Amaradeva passes away


  • Legendary Sri Lankan singer and composer Pandit Amaradeva passed away on 3 November 2016 following a cardiac arrest. He was 88.
  • He had been the recipient of many international honours including Padma Shri for his contribution to music.

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