Hello and welcome to exampundit. Here are the Important Current Affairs Update of 5th and 6th January, 2017. These are important for the upcoming RBI Assistant Mains, IPPB Mains and Other exams.
Financial and Banking News:
RBI to give Nepal Rastra Bank Rs 1 bn in 100-rupee notes
- The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has agreed to provide Rs 1 billion to the Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB) after its request that the country was facing a shortage of INR 100 denomination banknotes.
- The NRB's plan to import Rs 100 denomination notes was delayed due to the Indian government's move to demonetise Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency notes on November 8, according to a report in the Himalayan Times on Friday,.
- The RBI had earlier told the Nepali central bank to wait till the situation normalises post demontisation.
- NRB officials have now said that the central bank is preparing to bring the amount from India within January.
- After demonetisation in India, the Nepal Rastra Bank had also lowered exchange limit of Indian banknotes in Nepal.
- Currently, it is providing an exchange facility of up to Rs 2,000 on basis of citizenship identification.
- Similarly, it is providing Rs 10,000 to those who submit a copy of air or train ticket to travel to India and Rs 25,000 for those travelling to India for medical check-up.
UCO Bank launches Suvidha prepaid card
- State-run UCO Bank has launched its ‘UCO Suvidha (e) Prepaid Card’.
- The card was launched earlier this month by R.K. Takkar, MD & CEO, UCO Bank, and Executive Directors, Charan Singh and G. Subramania Iyer.
- According to a release by the bank, the prepaid card is “a hassle-free” alternative to cash, which can be used for cash withdrawals, purchase at Points of Sale (POS) or, over the Internet.
- The bank’s own customers as well as walk-in customers can avail of the card from all branches of the bank.
- The prepaid card offers the flexibility to load/ reload amount as and when required and is targeted at corporates, government departments, institutions and other organisations.
Patanjali, state govt to sign MoU for herbal forest project in Haryana
- Haryana government will soon sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with yoga guru Ramdev's Patanjali Yogpeeth for the development of a herbal forest at Morni in Panchkula district, Health Minister Anil Vij said on Friday.
- The central government has assured its full assistance to develop the World Herbal Forest, he said.
- 76 per cent of the department's budget has already been utilised and the remaining budget would be utilised by March 31 for completion of various works which were in the pipeline, he said.
- Vij, who also holds the portfolio of Sports and Youth affairs department, said a committee has been constituted for providing jobs to sports persons and it has been decided that jobs would be provided to all eligible candidates as per the policy.
Union Government grants assistance of over 1782 crore rupees for drought-hit Karnataka
- The Union Government on 5 January 2017 approved a grant of about Rs 1782 crore to drought-hit Karnataka under the National Disaster Relief Fund (NDRF).
- The assistance came after the Karnataka Government had asked a central relief of Rs 4702 crore for loss of 2016 Kharif crops due to severe drought in the state.
- The government also approved assistance of Rs 209 crore to Uttarakhand, which had been hit by floods in 2013.
- The decision was taken during a meeting of the High Level Committee (HLC) presided by Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh. The Committee examined the proposal based on the reports of the Inter-Ministerial Central Team that visited the states. Arvind Panagariya, Vice Chairman, NITI Aayog, Rajiv Mehrishi, Home Secretary, and senior officers of the Union Ministries of Home Affairs, Finance and Agriculture were present in the meeting.
- Karnataka has been facing severe drought from the last six years. The state was hit by the worst drought ever in 40 years in 2016-2017.
SIDBI ties up with LIC for capital support to enterprises
- Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) on Thursday said it has tied up with Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) for augmenting capital support to enterprises in the country.
- The idea behind tying up with the state-run insurance behemoth is to give a boost to the venture capital ecosystem for MSMEs, it said.
- Under fund of funds operations, SIDBI handles various schemes, namely India Aspiration Fund (corpus of Rs 2,000 crore, ASPIRE Fund (Rs 60 crore) and Fund of Funds for Startups (FFS) (Rs 10,000 crore).
- In April 2016, SIDBI and LIC had signed a Memorandum of Understanding to supplement funds under India Aspiration Fund. Under the MoU, the insurance major had earmarked an amount of Rs 200 crore for investment.
- Under the MOU, as part of first phase, LIC and SIDBI signed Contribution Agreements on January 03 in New Delhi with 7 Venture Capital Funds (VCFs), with an aggregate commitment of Rs 99.50 crore from LIC. This is over and above commitment of Rs 162.75 crore already given to these funds by SIDBI.
Google unveils My Business and Digital Unlocked tools for small and medium businesses
- Google India on 5 January 2017 launched new tools, My Business Website and Digital Unlocked, for the Small and Medium Businesses (SMBs) in India.
- The tools were launched by Sundar Pichai, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Google, in New Delhi. He announced that they have been launched first in India and would be taken to other countries gradually.
About My Business Website
- My Business Website will help small and medium businesses create a free and mobile optimised website.
- It will offer simple, templated, editable websites for small businesses. These websites will be created from the data and photos on Google Maps and will be available in 9 Indic languages.
About Digital Unlocked
- Digital Unlocked is a training programme.
- It has been built "across online, offline, and mobile."
- It offers offline training that will be spaced over the next three years.
- The training will be conducted in partnership with FICCI. It will be conducted at 5000 workshops located in 40 Indian cities.
- In addition, Google has released 90 self-paced video tutorials that have been curated specifically for India. They will be available at g.co/digitalunlocked.
- The trainings will be certified by Google, Indian School of Business and FICCI.
- The Internet giant also launched a free mobile app, named Primer. It is designed to teach digital marketing skills in a quick, easy and interactive way.
Japan to associate with India in its Smart Cities Mission
- Japan has decided to associate itself with the development of Chennai, Varanasi and Ahmedabad as smart cities.
- This decision was announced on 5 January 2017 when the Japanese Ambassador to India, Kenji Hiramatsu met the Union Urban Development Minister, M Venkaiah Naidu. Kenji said that Japan was interested in the urban development initiatives of the Indian government and had decided to be its partner.
- He further added, replying to Naidu’s observation about the need for a speedy action that Japan would like to match the action-oriented approach of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government.
- Japan is however not the only country to express interest in being associated with India’s initiative of developing over 100 smart cities. Recently, Dominic Asquith, the British High Commissioner also met Naidu and discussed the implementation of the MoU signed between the two nations on cooperation in the urban development sector. The MoU was signed during the British Prime Minister, Theresa May’s recent visit to India.
Virat Kohli named ODI captain
- Indian cricket entered a new era as Virat Kohli was today officially anointed captain for all three formats as he took over leadership for the limited-overs series against England where veterans Yuvraj Singh and Ashish Nehra will make a comeback.
- While Mahendra Singh Dhoni, after more than nine years at the helm, will play only as keeper-batsman, the national selection committee under MSK Prasad’s chairmanship named rookie Delhi keeper Rishabh Pant in the T20 squad giving an indication as to whom they consider Dhoni’s successor.
- The selection committee meeting today had its share of drama and was delayed by three hours on technical grounds before a go ahead from the Lodha panel set the proceedings rolling.
- Today’s meeting was convened by BCCI CEO Rahul Johri after joint Secretary Amitabh Chaudhary stood disqualified owing to the Supreme Court verdict, which sacked the entire BCCI top brass last week.
NASA to send first African-American to space station in 2018
- The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) on 4 January 2017 announced the assignment of veteran astronaut Andrew Feustel and first-flight astronaut Jeanette Epps to missions aboard the International Space Station in 2018.
- With this, Epps will become the first African-American space station crew member when she launches on her first spaceflight in May 2018.
- Feustel will launch in March 2018 for his first long-duration mission. He will serve as a flight engineer on Expedition 55. Later, he will be assigned as commander on Expedition 56.
- On the other hand, Epps will join Feustel as a flight engineer on Expedition 56, and remain on board for Expedition 57.
Days & Observance:
World Braille Day observed on 4 January 2017
- World Braille Day was observed across the world on 4 January 2017 to commemorate the birth anniversary of Louis Braille.
- To celebrate the day, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), health institutions, policy makers across the world came together to raise awareness about the problems of visually impaired people.
- To mark this occasion, Union Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment Thaawarchand Gehlot distributed 270 smartphones and 40 daisy players to students with visual impairment.
- The assistive devices were distributed under the Assistance to Disabled Persons for Purchase/Fitting of Aids and Appliances (ADIP Scheme) of the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (Divyangjan).
- The minister also distributed scholarships cheques worth Rs 5 lakhs to each of 66 students with visual impairment under National Scholarship Scheme of National Federation of the Blind.
Veteran actor Om Puri died at 66
- Om Puri, the veteran actor of Bollywood, died on 5 January 2017 in Mumbai. He passed away after a massive heart attack. He was 66.
- Hailing from Ambala, Haryana, Om Puri, was a recipient of Padma Shri, the fourth highest civilian award of India as well as Order of the British Empire (OBE).
- Bollywood films with Om Puri’s appearance include Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro, Chachi 420, Hera Pheri, Chor Machaye Shor, and Malamaal Weekly, Singh Is Kinng, Mere Baap Pehle Aap, Billu, Don 2, and The Hangman. He also acted in art films of the 1980s and 1990s like Bhavni Bhavai, Sadgati, Ardh Satya, Mirch Masala and Dharavi.
- Om Puri appeared in Hollywood films like City of Joy, Wolf, The Ghost and the Darkness, Charlie Wilson's War, My Son the Fanatic, Such a Long Journey, The Mystic Masseur, The Parole Officer, West Is West, A Million Rivers and Gandhi directed by Richard Attenborough (1982) among others.
Eminent British economist Tony Atkinson died
- Eminent British economist Tony Atkinson died in January 2017 in Oxford, the United Kingdom. Atkinson was Centennial Professor at the London School of Economics (LSE) and Fellow of Nuffield College at Oxford.
- His research in the field of income distribution influenced studies of poverty and inequality in India.
- He was a Fellow of the British Academy and a past president of the Econometric Society, the European Economic Association, the International Economic Association and the Royal Economic Society.