Hello and welcome to exampundit. Here are the important Current Affairs for 28, 29 and 30 January, 2017 for General Awareness section in the Banking and Insurance Exams 2017. These are important for the upcoming Syndicate PGDBF and other insurance exams.
Financial and Banking News:
India Post Payments Bank launched in Raipur and Ranchi, offers up to 5.5% interest rate on deposits
- India Post Payments Bank (IPPB) on Monday kicked off its operations by rolling out pilot services in Raipur and Ranchi. The bank will offer an interest rate of 4.5% on deposits up to Rs25,000; 5% on deposits of Rs25,000-50,000 and 5.5% on Rs50,000-1,00,000, its chief executive officer A.P. Singh said.
- The paid up equity of the new bank is Rs800 crore, of which the government has already infused Rs275 crore, he added. “The idea is to have a branch in every district and make 3 lakh postmen come alive in payment bank function,” he said.
- Also 1,000 ATMs of India Post will be transferred to IPPB, Singh added. Telecom minister Manoj Sinha said that IPPB plans to have 650 branches across the country by September 2017.
- Terming IPPB as a mechanism for financial inclusion and a milestone, Sinha said the payments bank—the third one to get a permit after Airtel and Paytm and the first one promoted by the government—will not just conduct business but also serve people. India Post Payments Bank is the third entity to receive payments bank permit after Airtel and Paytm.
RBI lifts cash withdrawal limits from ATMs from February 1
- In a big relief to people and small businesses, RBI today announced lifting of restrictions on daily withdrawal of money from ATMs and from current accounts but the weekly limit of Rs. 24,000 on savings bank accounts will continue.
- The Reserve Bank also promised to review the weekly limit in the near future depending on the pace of remonetisation. “On a review of the pace of remonetisation, it has been decided to partially restore status quo ante,” RBI said adding, cash withdrawal limit from ATMs stands withdrawn from February 1, 2017.
- Banks, however, have been asked to fix their own limits, as has been the case before November 8, 2016, the day government scrapped high denomination currency notes of Rs. 500 and 1,000.
- RBI has also removed all limits on cash withdrawals from current accounts/ cash credit accounts/ overdraft accounts with immediate effect. “The limits on Savings Bank accounts will continue for the present and are under consideration for withdrawal in the near future,” it said.
- It further said that banks have been “urged to encourage their constituents to sustain the movement towards digitisation of payments and switching over of payments from cash mode to non-cash mode.”
- Government and RBI had imposed limits on withdrawal of money from ATMs and bank branches in view of currency shortage following demonetisation.
Telangana inks MoU with AEROCAMPUS for aero skills academy
- The Telangana government has signed a memorandum of agreement with French firm Aerocampus Aquitaine, known for aircraft maintenance skill training, here today to create a world-class aero skill academy.
- The project deliverables include identifying skill gaps, designing courses and enabling European Aviation Safety Agency and Directorate General of Civil Aviation certifications for the academy and its courses.
- This partnership focuses on developing skills among the youth as well as experienced professionals. The new academy will offer specialised aeronautical courses in engineering, manufacturing and maintenance domains.
- The academy proposes to offer long duration basic training programmes for young students and vocational training and short duration courses tailor-made to industry requirements for experienced technicians.
- The MoU was signed between Jerome Verschave, General Manager, Aerocampus and Jayesh Ranjan, TS Secretary, IT&C, in presence of Advisor to Government, Papa Rao and Florence Forzy Raffard, Councillor for International Economic Affairs, Bordeaux.
Reliance Defence bags Rs 916 crore contract from Indian Coast Guard
- Industrialist Anil Ambani-led Reliance Defence on Monday said it has signed a contract with the Ministry of Defence for the design and construction of 14 Fast Patrol Vessels for the Indian Coast Guard valued at Rs 916 crore, the company said on Monday.
- These ships are medium range, high speed vessels, and primarily used for patrol within the exclusive economic zone, costal surveillance, and anti-smuggling, anti-piracy, search and rescue operations. They also support front-line warships in the hour of need.
- Virtually all the private sector and public sector Shipyards had bid for the project, including Larsen and Toubro, Cochin Shipyard, Goa Shipyard, and Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers.
NEC and Union Ministry of Textiles sign MoU to harness the hidden potential of Cane & Bamboo
- The North Eastern Council (NEC) on 29 January 2017 signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Development Commissioner (Handicrafts) of the Union Ministry of Textile in Shillong to harness the hidden potential of Cane and Bamboo of North Eastern Region (NER).
- The MoU was signed by Ram Muivah, Secretary of NEC and Development Commissioner(Handicrafts) Alok Kumar.
Highlights of the MoU
- It will provide a push for the integrated and inclusive development of Cane & Bamboo Sector of NRE through skilled manpower, marketing support, technology dissemination and institutional support.
- This will altogether mobilise the masses and promote Bamboo sector as a whole throughout the country.
- The NEC and the Development Commissioner (Handicrafts) will promote Cane and Bamboo Technology Centre (CBTC) of Assam and the Bamboo & Cane Development Institute (BCDI) of Tripura as the Centres of Excellence in South East Asia.
- CBTC will be transformed into a Regional Centre of Excellence and the BCDI will be converted as a separate entity under the name Indian Institute of Bamboo Technology (IIBT).
Non-financial News – India and states:
ISRO successfully tests Cryogenic Engine for Upper Stage of GSLV Mk III
- The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on 25 January 2017 successfully ground tested its indigenously developed Cryogenic Upper Stage for GSLV Mk III rocket.
- The cryogenic upper stage, designated as C25, was tested for 50 seconds at ISRO Propulsion Complex (IPRC) at Mahendragiri in Tamil Nadu demonstrating all the stage operations. It was the first test in a series of two tests. The second test is planned for flight duration of 640 seconds.
- This first flight stage for GSLV Mk III D1 mission is in an advanced stage of realisation. It is scheduled to launch GSAT-19 during first quarter of 2017.
Indian Navy’s Theatre Level Exercise TROPEX 17
- The Indian Navy’s annual Theatre Readiness Operational Exercise (TROPEX) began on 24 January 2017 off the Western Seaboard. The exercise will be held till the fourth week of February 2017.
- Ships and aircraft of both the Western and Eastern Naval Commands are participating the exercise.
- The exercise is aimed at testing the combat readiness of the combined fleets of the Indian Navy and the assets of the Indian Air Force, Indian Army and the Indian Coast Guard.
- It will also strengthen inter-operability and joint operations in a complex environment.
- The aircraft carrier Vikramaditya, nuclear submarine Chakra, Landing Platform Dock (LPD) Jalashwa, the recently commissioned destroyer Chennai, the P-8I will participate in the exercise.
Karnataka set to celebrate Kambala festival
- Kambala festival was in news in January 2017 as the Indian state of Karnataka is all set to celebrate the festival. Kambala is an annual buffalo race held traditionally under the patronage of local landlords and households in the state.
- The buffalo race in Karnataka takes place annually between November and March. The places where the festival takes place are Baradi Beedu, Kolatta, Majalu, Bolantur, Kamalakettu, Puttur and Uppinagadi.
- The two-day celebration starts with a display of the participating buffaloes with their respective farmers. During the festival, when the fields are wet, the buffaloes are made to race on the tracks, guided by the farmer. Each team consists of two buffaloes and a farmer who controls the buffaloes. Two teams are made to race down two mushy paddy fields to conclude on the fastest team. The winner of the race is awarded with a coconut and other gifts.
Appointments – India and World:
P Vishwanath Shetty sworn in as Karnataka Lokayukta
- P Vishwanath Shetty, retired judge of Karnataka High Court, was on 28 January 2017 sworn in as the Lokayukta of Karnataka, a seat that had been vacant since December 2015. He succeeds Y Bhaskar Rao, who left the seat in 2015.
- Shetty will be responsible for clearing all the pending cases and will work to re-establish the credibility of the anti-corruption ombudsman after the disgraceful exit of his predecessor Y Bhaskar Rao.
- Rao resigned in December 2015 after investigations showed that his son Y Ashwin was allegedly running threatening raids. Following this, Rao was arrested, but recently on 28 January 2017, he was granted conditional bail by the special Lokayukta Court.
Amulya Kumar Patnaik appointed Delhi Police Commissioner
- The Union Home Ministry on 30 January 2017 announced the appointment of Amulya Kumar Patnaik as the Delhi Police Commissioner.
- Patnaik succeeds Alok Kumar Verma, who has been made the Director of Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
- Patnaik, a 1985 batch Arunachal Pradesh-Goa-Mizoram and Union Territory (AGMUT) cadre IPS officer, is currently posted as Special Commissioner of Police (Administration).
Ashok Amritraj appointed as UN in India Goodwill Ambassador for the SDGs
- Award-winning Hollywood film producer and Wimbledon tennis player Ashok Amritraj was on 27 January 2017 appointed as UN in India Goodwill Ambassador for the SDGs.
- In this capacity, Ashok Amritraj will work with the United Nations in India to amplify awareness about the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
- He is an internationally-renowned iconic filmmaker. He has made over 100 films during the span of his 30-year extraordinary career.
- During his 9-year career, he competed in doubles at the Wimbledon and the US Open.
Dr Vijay Bhatkar appointed as Chancellor of Nalanda University
- President of India Pranab Mukherjee appointed Dr Vijay Bhatkar as the Chancellor of Nalanda University with effect from 25 January 2017.
- Dr. Bhatkar will hold the office for a term of three years from the date of his appointment as provided under the Section 11 (3) of the Nalanda University Act, 2010.
- He is best known as the architect of India's first supercomputer PARAM.
President appointed Banwarilal Purohit & P B Acharya as acting Governors
- President Pranab Mukherjee on 27 January 2017 appointed Banwarlal Purohit and P B Acharya as acting Governors of Meghalaya and Arunachal Pradesh respectively.
- At present, Banwarlal Purohit is the Governor of Assam, while Padmanabha Balakrishna Acharya is the Governor of Nagaland.
- These appointments come in the backdrop of resignation of V Shanmuganathan as Governor of Meghalaya and Arunachal Pradesh.
- V Shanmuganathan resigned from the office on 27 January 2017 following a controversy, in which he was accused of sexual misconduct.
Reports and Indexes:
India ranked 79 in Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index
- Transparency International on 25 January 2017 released the Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) 2016. The Index measured the perceived levels of public sector corruption in 176 countries and territories across the world.
- While Denmark was adjudged as the most corruption-free country among the surveyed countries, Somalia in Sub Saharan African Region was placed at the bottom of the CPI.
- The CPI 2016 declared India as the 79th cleanest country among the 176 countries surveyed.
- Compared to the CPI 2015, which was released by the Transparency International (TI) on 27 January 2016, India bettered its position by 3 ranks. The CPI 2015 placed India at the 76th position.
- It is prepared by the Transparency International (TI), a global coalition against corruption. The TI is based in Berlin, Germany.
Awards & Honors:
Miss France Iris Mittenaere wins Miss Universe 2016
- France’s Iris Mittenaere on 30 January 2017 was crowned the Miss Universe 2016. The pageant was held at the Mall of Asia Arena, Pasay, Metro Manila, Philippines.
- Pia Wurtzbach of the Philippines crowned her successor Iris Mittenaere at the end of the event.
- Miss Haiti Raquel Pélissier was announced the first runner-up while Miss Columbia Andrea Tovar was named the second runner-up in the pageant.
- India’s Roshmitha Harimurthy could not even make it to the top 15.
Ex-CAG Vinod Rai appointed head of 4-member BCCI panel by Supreme Court
- The Supreme Court on Monday appointed a four-member panel to look after the administration of the BCCI. Former Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) Vinod Rai was appointed as the head of the panel, while noted cricket historian Ramachandra Guha, IDFC official Vikram Limaye, and former Indian women's cricket captain Diana Edulji were made the members of the panel.
- The Supreme Court rejected the Centre's suggestion to name the sports secretary as part of the panel, while referring to its 2 January judgment that barred government servants and ministers from holding office in the BCCI. According to a TV channel, the Supreme Court trimmed down the list of administrators rom nine to four.
- BCCI joint secretary Amitabh Chaudhary, who had been performing the duties of the BCCI secretary since Ajay Shirke was removed from the post following the apex court's order of 2 January, will represent the BCCI at the ICC meeting in Dubai in the first week of February.
PV Sindhu, Sameer Verma won Syed Modi International Badminton Championships titles
- 2016 Olympic silver medalist PV Sindhu and Sameer Verma on 29 January 2017 won the men’s singles and the women’s singles titles respectively at the Syed Modi International Badminton Championships.
- To win the title, while Sindhu defeated Indonesia's Gregoria Mariska in the summit clash in straight games 21-13 21-14, Sammer Verma defeated B Sai Praneeth 21-19 21-16.
- For Sindhu, it was her maiden women’s singles title at the tournament.
- Overall, India won three titles out of the five events in the tournament, while the Men’s Doubles title and Women’s Doubles title were won by foreign nationals.
- India won the Mixed Doubles title when Pranaav Jerry Chopra and N Sikki Reddy emerged champions by defeating fellow Indians Ashwini Ponnappa and B Sumeeth Reddy 22-20 21-10 in the summit clash.
Roger Federer beats Rafael Nadal to win 18th Grand Slam title
- Roger Federer on 29 January 2017 won the 2017 Australian Open Men’s Singles title.
- The 35-year-old Swiss defeated Rafael Nadal 6-4 3-6 6-1 3-6 6-3 to claim his 18th Grand Slam and fifth Melbourne title.
- He has won 18 Grand Slam singles titles, which is the most in history.
- He has won five Australian Open titles, seven Wimbledon titles, five US Open titles and one French Open title.
- He has won record six ATP World Tour Finals and played in the finals at all nine ATP Masters 1000 tournaments.
Serena Williams wins 2017 Australian Open Women’s Singles title
- Serena Williams on 28 January 2017 won the 2017 Australian Open Women’s Singles title.
- Serena defeated sister Venus Williams 6-4 6-4 to win her seventh Australian Open and 23rd Grand Slam singles title.
- Margaret Court of Australia, with 24, is the only player ahead of Serena in terms of Grand Slam singles titles.
- She holds a total of 23 Grand Slam singles titles that marks the record for the most Major wins by a tennis player in the Open Era.
Wesley So wins 2017 Tata Steel Chess Tournament
- Wesley So on 29 January 2017 won the 2017 Tata Steel Chess Tournament at Manila, Philippines.
- So defeated Ian Nepomniatchi of Russia in the 13th and final round to grab the tournament.
- It is the third straight tournament victory for So, after winning the Sinquefield Cup and London Chess Classic.
Union Government reconstituted committee to identify athletes under TOP Scheme
- The Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Youth Affairs and Sports Vijay Goel on 27 January 2017 reconstituted Target Olympic Podium (TOP) Committee.
- The primary objective of the reconstituted TOP Committee is to identify and support potential medal prospects for 2020 and 2024 Olympic games under the Target Olympic Podium Scheme.
- For the reconstituted committee, Abhinav Bindra was appointed as the chairman.
Days & Observance:
Anti-Leprosy Day observed on 30 January 2017
- Anti-Leprosy Day was observed on 30 January 2017 across the country to spread awareness about the disease.
- Annually, the day is celebrated in the memory of Mahatma Gandhi to re-memorize his selfless efforts and care for the people affected by leprosy.
- Leprosy is also known as Hansen's disease (HD).
- It is a chronic infection caused by the bacteria Mycobacterium leprae and Mycobacterium lepromatosis.
Russian ambassador to India Alexander Kadakin dies
- Alexander Kadakin, Russian ambassador to India, passed away on 26 January 2017 following a brief illness. He was 67.
- Kadakin was one of the longest serving envoys as he had spent a significant part of his life working to promote Russia's ties with India.