Current Affairs Update - 15 March, 2017

Hello and welcome to exampundit. Here are the Important Current Affairs Update of 15 March, 2017. These are important for the upcoming SBI PO Mains, NIACL Assistant Mains as well as other insurance and bank exams.



Current Affairs at a Glance - 15 March, 2017 - Tap to show
  1. State Bank of India and real estate developers’ body CREDAI have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to jointly conduct various initiatives towards development of the realty sector. The MoU will be in force for a period of 3 years.
  2. HDFC Bank Ltd is offering loans against shares in about two-three minutes by completely digitising the loan mechanism. This is a first-of-its-kind initiative in India and probably the first in the world as well. HDFC Bank and NSDL had consulted the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) before developing the product.
  3. Power equipment maker BHEL has commenced commercial operations of its first 800-MW unit, a supercritical thermal plant. It also marks the company's foray as a developer into the field of power generation. Karnataka Power Corporation Ltd (KPCL) and BHEL are the main equity partners of RPCL, the owner and operator of this power plant.
  4. The State Bank of India (SBI) has announced a one-time farm loan settlement scheme worth Rs 6000 crore primarily for tractors. In a tweet, the State Bank of India said, One Time Settlement (OTS) is announced for Agriculture Loans and the Scheme is valid until 31 March 2017.
  5. IndusInd Bank has entered into an agreement with Infrastructure Leasing and Financial Services Ltd (IL&FS) to acquire 100 per cent stake in IL&FS Securities Services Ltd (ISSL).
  6. Reliance Communications today said it has received approvals from markets regulator SEBI and the stock exchanges for proposed demerger of its wireless business into Aircel Ltd.
  7. Shreya Ghoshal has become the first Indian singer to make it to Madame Tussauds, with her wax figure set to be showcased at the upcoming Delhi wing of the musuem.
  8. The Committee, constituted under the Chairmanship of former Home Secretary Madhukar Gupta, submitted its report to the Union Government. The Madhukar Gupta Committee was constituted to strengthen border protection and address vulnerabilities in fencing along the Indo-Pakistan border.
  9. Nongthombam Biren Singh was on 15 March 2017 sworn in as the Chief Minister (CM) of Manipur at the Raj Bhawan in Imphal. He will succeed outgoing CM Okram Ibobi Singh.
  10. Justice Ramalingam Sudhakar was on 14 March 2017 appointed as the Acting Chief Justice of Jammu & Kashmir (J&K) High Court.
  11. World Consumer Rights Day is being observed on 15 March 2017. The theme of the day for the year 2017 is 'Building a Digital World Consumers can Trust’.
  12. The Commonwealth Day 2017 was observed by the 52 countries of the Commonwealth on 13 March 2017, the second Monday of March 2017.





Financial and Banking News:

State Bank of India signs MoU with CREDAI for real estate development


  • State Bank of India and real estate developers’ body CREDAI have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to jointly conduct various initiatives towards development of the realty sector.
  • The MoU will be in force for a period of 3 years.
  • Each of them will leverage their individual strengths and collaborate in areas to promote housing for all, which will be beneficial to the sector, SBI said in a statement here today.
  • SBI will be a national partner for all CREDAI activities and both will jointly work together for various marketing activities like conclaves, seminars, exhibitions, campaigns and CSR activities as well.

HDFC Bank becomes first bank to offer loan against shares


  • HDFC Bank Ltd is offering loans against shares in about two-three minutes by completely digitising the loan mechanism.
  • For this, the bank has tied up with National Securities Depository Ltd (NSDL). Shares dematerialised by NSDL and executed through HDFC Bank demat account could be used for pledging. This is a first-of-its-kind initiative in India and probably the first in the world as well. HDFC Bank and NSDL had consulted the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) before developing the product.
  • An HDFC Bank customer can now login to the bank website and pledge her shares, dematerialised by NSDL, and can get instant loans, deposited in a freshly opened current account. The customer doesn't have to fill any form or visit any branch of HDFC Bank. The bank, on its part, has identified more than 400 widely traded shares that are acceptable for pledging. The loan can be roughly 50 per cent of the value of shares pledged or more, depending on the credibility and float of the underlying company. The maximum regulatory ceiling for the loan is Rs 20 lakh.
  • Earlier, the process was a lengthy one that required the customer to visit the bank branch and fill up forms, which would then take days to process.

BHEL's first 800-MW supercritical plant becomes operational in Karnataka


  • Power equipment maker BHEL has commenced commercial operations of its first 800-MW unit, a supercritical thermal plant.
  • It also marks the company's foray as a developer into the field of power generation. Karnataka Power Corporation Ltd (KPCL) and BHEL are the main equity partners of RPCL, the owner and operator of this power plant.
  • BHEL said it has completed this latest supercritical project on a turnkey basis.
  • The company has supplied and executed 4,010 MW of coal-based sets for KPCL and its joint ventures, which account for 95 per cent of the utility’s coal-based installed capacity.
  • BHEL is also executing KPCL’s first gas-based combined cycle power project of 370-MW capacity involving a fuel-efficient advanced-class gas turbine at Yelahanka, Bengaluru.

SBI announces Rs 6000-cr tractor loan settlement scheme


  • The State Bank of India (SBI) has announced a one-time farm loan settlement scheme worth Rs 6000 crore primarily for tractors.
  • In a tweet, the State Bank of India said, One Time Settlement (OTS) is announced for Agriculture Loans and the Scheme is valid until 31 March 2017.
  • Apart from this, the largest lender of India also urged to farmers to contact their branch for details and benefits.
  • Loans that will be considered under the scheme are the loans, which were disbursed before 2011 and at present, falls under the doubtful or loss category accounts as of September 2016.
  • The scheme will also cover other agricultural loans like Kisan credit cards and other term loans for tractors and farm loans
  • Besides, Rajnish Kumar, the Managing director of the bank, told a news channel that the scheme will help the bank in taking 40 per cent haircut on outstanding tractor loans as of September 2016. He also informed that a circular in this regard was sent to branches on 2 February 2017.

IndusInd Bank to acquire IL&FS Securities Services


  • IndusInd Bank has entered into an agreement with Infrastructure Leasing and Financial Services Ltd (IL&FS) to acquire 100 per cent stake in IL&FS Securities Services Ltd (ISSL).
  • The private sector bank, however, did not disclose the cost of acquisition or the price at which ISSL shares were acquired.
  • ISSL, which was incorporated in 2007 as a subsidiary of IL&FS, is a capital market intermediary for professional clearing, depository and custodial Services.
  • The proposed transaction, which is expected to be completed in three months, is conditional on definitive agreements and approvals, including regulatory approvals, the bank said in a statement.
  • ISSL services both retail and institutional clients including over 1,000 Brokers, foreign portfolio investors and foreign institutional investors.

Cabinet approves additional 2% Dearness Allowance from Jan 2017


  • The Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved release of an additional instalment of Dearness Allowance (DA) to Central Government employees and Dearness Relief (DR) to pensioners w.e.f. 01.01.2017. It has increased by 2% over the existing rate of 2% of the Basic Pay/Pension, to compensate for price rise.
  • This increase is in accordance with the accepted formula, which is based on the recommendations of the 7th Pay Commission.
  • The combined impact on the exchequer on account of both Dearness Allowance and Dearness Relief would be Rs 5,857.28 crore per annum and Rs 6,833.50 crore in the Financial Year 2017-18 (for a period of 14 months from January, 2017 to February, 2018).
  • This will benefit about 48.85 lakh Central Government employees and 55.51 lakh pensioners.

Reliance Comunications gets Sebi nod for merger with Aircel


  • Reliance Communications today said it has received approvals from markets regulator SEBI and the stock exchanges for proposed demerger of its wireless business into Aircel Ltd.
  • Pursuant to the same, Reliance Communications has filed an application with National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT), Mumbai Bench, for approval of the said Scheme. The proposed transaction is subject to other necessary approvals.

Non-financial news related to India and states:

Shreya Ghoshal first Indian singer at Madame Tussauds


  • Shreya Ghoshal has become the first Indian singer to make it to Madame Tussauds, with her wax figure set to be showcased at the upcoming Delhi wing of the musuem.
  • Ghoshal’s statue will be seen striking a singing pose.
  • The installation seeks to celebrate her 15-year-long illustrious career, since her debut in 2002 with songs like “Silsila Ye Chahat Ka” and “Bairi Piya” from the film “Devdas”.
  • The museum, which will be housed in the iconic Regal Building, also will also have wax statues of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Bollywood actors Amitabh Bachchan and Shah Rukh Khan.

Krishi Unnati Mela 2017 inaugurated in New Delhi


  • The Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers' Welfare Radha Mohan Singh on 15 March 2017 inaugurated the Krishi Unnati Mela 2017 in New Delhi. The mela is jointly organised by the Indian Council of Agriculutral Research (ICAR) and the Union Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare.
  • For the Krishi Unnati Mela 2017, thousand invitations are being sent to ICAR Institutes, SAUs, KVKs, ATARIs, Public Sector Undertakings, NGOs, private organisations and farmers.
  • During the mela, technical sessions on various themes are planned to educate farmers on various agricultural technologies and government schemes for agricultural development.
  • Besides, a women empowerment workshop will be organised to sensitise farm women on latest agricultural technologies and their rights.

International conference on Occupational, Safety and Health to begin in Delhi


  • The three-day international conference on Vision Zero and its relevance to Occupational Safety and Health is scheduled to begin at Vigyan Bhavan, New Delhi on 15 March 2017.
  • The conference is being jointly organised by Directorate General Factory Advice and Labour Institutes (DGFASLI), Ministry of Labour and Employment, Government of India and the Germany-based German Social Accident Insurance (DGUV) in association with International Social Security Association (ISSA).
  • The conference will be inaugurated by Bandaru Dattatreya, the Minister of State (Independent) for Labour and Employment in the presence of M. Sathiyavathy, Secretary, Labour and Employment, Government of India.

Madhukar Gupta Committee report submitted to Union Government


  • The Committee, constituted under the Chairmanship of former Home Secretary Madhukar Gupta, submitted its report to the Union Government.
  • Kiren Rijiju, Union Minister of State for Home Affairs, announced the submission of the report on 14 March 2017.
  • The Madhukar Gupta Committee was constituted to strengthen border protection and address vulnerabilities in fencing along the Indo-Pakistan border.
  • The Committee has given its recommendations broadly on the issues of Threats and Border Protection, assessment of force level, deployment on the border, infrastructure and technology issues for protection of border and administrative issues.
  • The Government decided to initiate action in light of the recommendations of the Committee in consultation with the stakeholders.

Appointments:

Nongthombam Biren Singh sworn in as Chief Minister of Manipur


  • Nongthombam Biren Singh was on 15 March 2017 sworn in as the Chief Minister (CM) of Manipur at the Raj Bhawan in Imphal. He will succeed outgoing CM Okram Ibobi Singh.
  • After the declaration of the results of Manipur Elections 2017, Manipur Governor Najma Haptullah invited the BJP-led coalition to form the next government in the state after being assured of requisite support from regional parties and Independents.
  • Following this, Biren Singh was elected as the BJP’s legislature party leader, paving the way for his Chief Ministerial post.
  • Although, the Congress emerged as the single largest party with 28 MLAs, but the BJP with 21 MLAs, claims to have the support of other parties on the state including NPP (4), NPF (4), LJP (1), and three others. In all, BJP claims to have the support of 32 MLAs in the 60-member assembly of Manipur.

Justice Ramalingam Sudhakar appointed as Acting Chief Justice of J&K High Court


  • Justice Ramalingam Sudhakar was on 14 March 2017 appointed as the Acting Chief Justice of Jammu & Kashmir (J&K) High Court.
  • Sudhakar was appointed by President Pranab Mukherjee in his exercise of the powers conferred by section 100 of the Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir. Sudhakar is the senior-most Judge of the Jammu and Kashmir High Court.
  • Sudhakar succeeds Chief Justice N Paul Vasanthakumar who attained superannuation on 14 March 2017. Paul Vasanthakumar joined the office of the Chief Justice of the High Court of Jammu and Kashmir in February 2015.
  • Meanwhile, the Supreme Court Collegium recommended the name of Justice Badr Durrez Ahmed for the post of Chief Justice of J &K High Court. The State Government also gave its consent for his appointment as CJ of the Jammu and Kashmir High Court.

Days:

World Consumer Rights Day being observed


  • World Consumer Rights Day is being observed on 15 March 2017. The theme of the day for the year 2017 is 'Building a Digital World Consumers can Trust’.
  • The day is observed with an aim to raise awareness about the basic rights of consumers. The participants of the occasion demand that basic rights of the consumers should be respected and protected. They also protest against the market abuses and social injustices which undermine the rights of the consumer.
  • On this occasion of the Consumer Rights Day, several functions are being organised across India. Consumer Affairs Minister Ram Vilas Paswan will also preside over a function in New Delhi. In India, besides the World Consumer Rights Day, we observe the National Consumer Day on 24 December.

Commonwealth Day 2017 observed by Commonwealth countries


  • The Commonwealth Day 2017 was observed by the 52 countries of the Commonwealth on 13 March 2017, the second Monday of March 2017. The theme of Commonwealth Day 2017 was 'A peace-building Commonwealth'.
  • This year's theme A peace-building Commonwealth is a natural follow-on from 2016 theme 'An Inclusive Commonwealth'. It reaffirms the Commonwealth Charter principle that international peace and security, sustainable economic growth and development are essential to the progress and prosperity of all.
  • This year observation of the day marks 40 years of the Commonwealth Day that became a global celebration in 1977.

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