Hello and welcome to exampundit. Here are the Important Current Affairs Update of 17th January, 2017. These are important for the upcoming IDBI PGDBF, IPPB Mains and Other exams.
Financial and Banking News:
Goods and Services Tax rollout deferred to 1 July 2017
- The Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council on 16 January 2017 decided to rollout the nationwide GST on 1 July 2017. The decision was taken at the 9th meeting of the council held in New Delhi.
- The meeting was attended by the Chairperson of the GST Council and the Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and finance ministers of States.
Outcomes of the GST Council meeting
- The GST Council agreed to defer the implementation of the GST by three months to 1 July 2017. The scheduled date for the rollout of the tax was 1 April 2017.
- The bills related to the GST rollout will be discussed by the GST Council at its next meeting on 18 February 2017.
- After the approval of the GST Council, the bills will be introduced in the Parliament and State legislatures.
- The Union Government agreed to the States’ demand of horizontal split with regard to taxpayers.
- States will have powers to assess and administer 90% of taxpayers with less than Rs 1.5 crore annual turnover. The rest of the taxpayers will be under the Union Government’s purview.
- States and the Union Government will control and administer the taxpayers with more than Rs 1.5 crore annual turnover in 50:50 ratio.
- States will have the power to levy tax on economic activity within the 12 nautical miles of territorial waters. This decision is very significant because the territorial waters are under the control of the Union Government.
Housing.com and PropTiger merge in an all-stock deal, raise $55 million in fresh capital
- News Corp-backed real estate website PropTiger has merged with Housing.com in an all-stock deal, bringing to an end the contentious saga of the Mumbai startup and creating one of the country's largest digital platforms for property listings.
- As part of the deal, the combined entity will raise $50 million from News Corp-owned online real estate advertising company REA Group and another $5 million from Japan's SoftBank, the primary investor in Housing.com.
- The fundraising will be executed at a valuation of about $250 million for the merged company, people familiar with the deal terms said, declining to be identified. Housing has been valued at about $70 million, unchanged from two months ago when it raised $5 million in bridge funding from Soft-Bank, two of them said.
SEBI releases norms for merger and acquisition
- Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), the market regulator of India, in January 2017 tightened the norms for mergers and amalgamation of an unlisted company with a listed entity.
- The step is SEBI’s effort to make a listing process more transparent and provide a big say to public shareholders in consolidations of companies.
- Objective: The norms were released with an aim to prevent the large unlisted company to get listed by merging with small company/ies and to have a wider public shareholding.
- The unlisted company will have to disclose all the material information in form of an abridged prospectus, similar to what companies file before launching initial public offering (IPO).
- In a case of merger or amalgamations, the holdings of public shareholders post the merger should not be less than 25 per cent, which is similar to norms available in case of mergers in the case of listed entities.
- The unlisted company can be merged with a listed company only if the listed company is listed on a stock exchange and have nationwide trading terminals.
India, Mauritius signed MoU for cooperation in cooperative sector
- India and Mauritius on 16 January 2017 signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to facilitate cooperation in the cooperative sector.
- The MoU was signed by Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh and Business, Enterprise and Cooperatives Minister of Mauritius Soomilduth Bholah.
- The MoU will enable the two countries to collaborate in the cooperative and related sectors and benefit thousands of Mauritians.
- Under the MoU, India will extend its expertise and technology to Mauritius in agro industry, fisheries and dairy sectors.
- Mauritius maintained contacts with India through successive Dutch, French and British occupation. Diplomatic relations between India and Mauritius were established in 1948.
- Political Relations: Following independence of Mauritius on 12 March 1968, the first Prime Minister and the Father of the Mauritian Nation Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam accorded centrality to India in Mauritius’ foreign policy.
- Subsequently, successive Mauritian leaders ensured that India occupies a position of significance and importance in the foreign policy orientation and activities of Mauritius.
Appointments – India and World:
Mani Palvesan is new MD of State Bank of Hyderabad
- Mani Palvesan has assumed charge as Managing Director of State Bank of Hyderabad (SBH) with effect from Jan 14, 2017.
- Palvesan joined SBH in 1982 as a probationary officer and shouldered responsibilities in various offices of the bank.
- Prior to assuming his current position, he served as Chief Executive Officer of SBI’s Hong Kong branch, Managing Director of SBI Cap Securities and Chief General Manager (OSD) in the office of the Deputy Managing Director, SBI, Mumbai, according to a release.
N Chandrasekaran appointed Tata Motors chairman
- Tata Motors on Tuesday appointed Tata group chief designate N Chandrasekaran as its Chairman with immediate effect.
- In a regulatory filing, the company said "the Board of Directors have on Tuesday appointed Natarajan Chandrasekaran as additional director and Chairman of the board with immediate effect".
- The appointment comes within a week of Tata Sons announcing Chandrasekaran as its Executive Chairman, capping two months of a bitter boardroom battle that followed the unceremonious sacking of Cyrus Mistry and letting of bad blood ever since.
Bharti AXA General appoints Sanjeev Srinivasan as CEO, MD
- Bharti AXA General Insurance today said it has appointed Sanjeev Srinivasan as CEO and Managing Director.
- Srinivasan joined Bharti AXA General Insurance in August 2016 as Chief Commercial and Principal Officer and now takes over the role of CEO and MD.
- His main focus will be to drive Bharti AXA’s go- to-market strategy of creating a balanced portfolio, driving new distribution tie—ups and creating a customer centric brand to drive profitable growth.
Reports & Indexes:
World's most powerful passports: Germany tops list, India at a lowly 78
- Indian passport has been ranked a lowly 78 in a global ranking of the world's most powerful passports which was topped by Germany.
- Germany stands at the top with a visa-free score of 157 while Singapore overtakes South Korea and becomes the highest ranked Asian passport with a visa-free score of 156.
- India stands at 78th position with a visa-free score of 46, ahead of China and Pakistan.
- Afghanistan's is the least powerful passport with a visa-free score of just 23.
- The latest edition of the world's most popular Arton Capital's global ranking 'Passport Index' is based on cross-border access of national passports.
- The world's most popular online interactive tool which collects, displays and ranks the passports globally assigns a "visa-free score" according to the number of countries a passport holder can visit visa-free or with visa on arrival.
Oxfam released report titled An economy for the 99 per cent
- The Oxfam on 16 January 2017 released a report entitled An economy for the 99 percent. The report was released Oxfam to mark the annual World Economic Forum (WEF) meeting of political and business leaders in Davos, Switzerland.
Highlights of the report
- The world’s eight richest people own the same wealth as the 3.6 billion people who make up the poorest half of humanity.
- The report describes that the big business and the super-rich are fuelling the inequality crisis by dodging taxes, driving down wages and using their power to influence politics.
- Oxfam’s report shows how our broken economies are funnelling wealth to a rich elite at the expense of the poorest in society.
Non-financial news – India and States:
Telangana Government announced series of welfare measures for army personnel
- The Government of Telangana on 17 January 2017 announced a series of welfare measures for army personnel and their families living in the State.
- The welfare measures were announced by Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao in the State Legislative Assembly in Hyderabad.
- A Special Army Welfare Fund will be constituted. The State Government will provide Rs 80 crore annually for the welfare of the Army personnel and their families.
- All the ministers of the State, including the Chief Minister, will contribute 25 thousand rupees per annum.
- Members of Parliament (MPs) and Members of Legislative Assembly (MLAs) from the state will contribute 10 thousand rupees each per annum.
Chennai Smashers defeats Mumbai Rockets to win 2017 Premier Badminton League
- Chennai Smashers on 14 January 2017 emerged victorious over Mumbai Rockets by 4-3 in the summit clash to clinch the 2017 Premier Badminton League (PBL) title.
- Chennai Smashers’ T Saensomboonsuk produced a come-from-behind win against Mumbai Rockets’ Ajay Jayaram in the deciding fifth rubber as the former edged out the latter in the final to grab the PBL season 2 title.
- The match was played at Siri Fort Complex in New Delhi.
- Awadhe Warriors, Chennai Smashers, Hyderabad Hunters and Mumbai Rockets had entered the semi-finals after topping the league table.
Farrukh Amonatov wins Delhi International Open chess tournament
- Top seeded Grandmaster Farrukh Amonatov on 16 January 2017 won the 15th edition of the Delhi International Chess tournament.
- In the 10th and final round of the tournament, Amonatov settled for a draw with Grandmaster Diptayan Ghosh. Amanotov scored 8.5 points out of a ten and stayed a half point ahead of Ghosh and Dzhumaev Marat of Uzbekistan.
- Ghosh and Dzhumaev Marat tied for the second spot on eight points. However, Ghosh was declared the runner-up based on his better tiebreak.
- Amanatov received Rs. 4 lakh in prize money, while Ghosh and Dzhumaev received Rs. 3 lakh and Rs. 2 lakh respectively.
Awards & Honors:
Jacob Polley wins 2016 T S Eliot Prize for Poetry
- Poet Jacob Polley on 16 January 2017 won the 2016 T.S. Eliot prize for his collection, 'Jackself.' The award ceremony was organised at the Wallace Collection Gallery in London.
- Polley is the 23rd winner of the prestigious USD 24000 award.
- Jackself is a sequence of narrative poems partly inspired by his childhood in Cumbria, England. The book was chosen from a 10-strong shortlist that included Measures of Expatriation by Vahni Capildeo, winner of the 2015 Forward prize, and Falling Awake by Alice Oswald, previous T S Eliot prize winner.
- Ruth Padel, one of the judges of the panel, stated that Jackself was "a firework of a book; inventive, exciting and outstanding in its imaginative range and depth of feeling."
- The coveted award was founded by T.S. Eliot's widow Valerie in 1993. T.S. Eliot was one of the 20th century's major poets.