Monday, March 06, 2017

Current Affairs Update - 6th March, 2017

Hello and welcome to exampundit. Here are the Important Current Affairs Update of 6 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 - 6th March, 2017 - Click/Tap to show
  1. State Bank of India has decided to increase manifold the minimum balance required for maintaining savings account from April 1, hitting 31 crore depositors including pensioners and students. The monthly average balance (MAB) requirement has been increased to as high as Rs 5,000 for branches in six metros.
  2. The Union Minister of Electronics and Information Technology Ravi Shankar Prasad on 4 March 2017 inaugurated training of self organized small & medium traders on digital payment initiatives.
  3. The Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council on 4 March 2017 approved the draft Central Goods and Services Tax (CGST) Bill and the Integrated Goods and Services Tax (IGST) Bill.
  4. Jammu and Kashmir and Punjab on 3 March 2017 agreed to resume works on Shahpur Kandi Dam project in Gurdaspur district of Punjab. The agreement was reached ahead of the annual Indus Water Commission meeting that will be held in Lahore, Pakistan.
  5. The world’s oldest aircraft carrier in active service, INS Viraat will be decommissioned on 6 March 2017. The iconic carrier will receive a ceremonial send off in Mumbai.
  6. Anil Joshi, the Cabinet Minister of Punjab, on 5 March 2017 inaugurated tricolour on the tallest flag post at Indo-Pakistan Attari border. The flag was hoisted on the Indian side, which is located just at a stone throw away distance from Pakistan.
  7. The West Bengal Government granted official language status to endangered tribal language Kurukh.
  8. Chandigarh will be hosting ‘Destination North East 2017’, a three-day event from 6 March 2017 to showcase North East as a potential destination for investment.
  9. Andy Murray of the United Kingdom on 4 March 2017 won the men’s singles titles at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships 2017.
  10. USA’s Sam Querrey on 4 March 2017 defeated second-seeded Rafael Nadal 6-3, 7-6 to win the ATP Mexico Open Men’s Singles title. The match was held in Acapulco, Mexico.
  11. The book titled Rekha: The Untold Story authored by Yasser Usman was in news in the first week of March 2017. The book that was published in August 2016 by Juggernaut suddenly came into news after few reports claimed that Rekha was secretly married to Sanjay Dutt.



Financial and Banking News:

SBI to hike minimum balance for savings account


  • State Bank of India has decided to increase manifold the minimum balance required for maintaining savings account from April 1, hitting 31 crore depositors including pensioners and students.
  • The monthly average balance (MAB) requirement has been increased to as high as Rs 5,000 for branches in six metros.
  • Savings bank account holders of SBI and its five associates (merging with it on April 1) will have to maintain the monthly balance or else they will invite a penalty ranging from Rs 20 (rural branches) to Rs 100 in (metro cities).
  • SBI has 31 crore savings bank accounts.
  • As of now, monthly average balance (MAB) for a savings bank account is Rs 500 without facility of cheque book and Rs 1,000 with cheque book across the country.
  • India's largest bank has now decided to fix separate MABs for 'metro', 'urban', 'semi-urban' and 'rural' areas from the beginning of next financial year.
  • The benchmark for MAB and penalties are likely to be followed by other public sector banks.
  • MAB for metro branches will be Rs 5,000 and penalty for non-maintenance of minimum balance will be between Rs 50 and Rs 100. For urban and semi-urban branches, the MAB has been fixed at Rs 3,000 and Rs 2,000 respectively.
  • In case of rural branches, the minimum balance has been fixed at Rs 1,000. Breach of MAB will attract a penalty ranging between Rs 20 and Rs 50.
  • Five associates banks of SBI — State Bank of Bikaner and Jaipur (SBBJ), State Bank of Mysore (SBM), State Bank of Travancore (SBT), State Bank of Patiala (SBP) and State Bank of Hyderabad (SBH) — will merge with the parent on April 1.
  • With the merger of all the five associates, SBI is expected to become a lender of global proportions with an asset base of Rs 37 trillion (Rs 37 lakh crore) or over USD 555 billion, 22,500 branches and 58,000 ATMs. It will have over 50 crore customers.


Union Government inaugurates training of Small & Medium Traders on Digital Payment Initiatives


  • The Union Minister of Electronics and Information Technology Ravi Shankar Prasad on 4 March 2017 inaugurated training of self organized small & medium traders on digital payment initiatives.
  • On the occasion, the Minister appealed to the business community to turn digital transaction into a national movement.

Highlights of the Project of Training of Small & Medium Traders
  • The project is entrusted to the National Institute of Electronics and Information Technology (NIELIT) by the Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology.
  • Its objective is to usher transparency in the system along with reducing corruption with evolved participation of all sections of the society.
  • It aims to understand and adopt simplified digital payment mechanisms like UPI, USSD, BBPS, AEPS etc. in a convenient manner.
  • It will contribute towards establishing digital economy and convey the benefits of digital payments to traders through capacity building programs.
  • Around 13500 small and medium unorganized, self organized businesses and traders are targeted through this training project.
  • The Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) will mobilize the traders and trade union leaders for training on digital payment initiatives.
  • NIELIT will organize 5 Regional Workshops at Delhi, Jaipur, Kolkata, Mumbai, Chennai and 30 State Workshops and 100 DigiDhan Camps all over India.


GST Council approves the CGST Bill and IGST Bill


  • The Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council on 4 March 2017 approved the draft Central Goods and Services Tax (CGST) Bill and the Integrated Goods and Services Tax (IGST) Bill.
  • With this, the Union Government can now take these two Bills to the Parliament for their passage in the Budget Session.

Some Provisions of the Bills
  • A State-wise single registration will be required for a taxpayer for filing returns, paying taxes and to fulfil other compliance requirements.
  • A taxpayer needs to file one single return state-wise to report all his supplies, whether made within or outside the State or exported out of the country and pay the applicable taxes on them.
  • A business entity with an annual turnover of up to Rs 20 lakhs will not be required to take registration in the GST regime, unless he voluntarily chooses to do so to be a part of the input tax credit (ITC) chain.
  • A business entity with turnover up to Rs 50 lakhs can avail the benefit of a composition scheme under which a much lower rate of tax will be paid.
  • In order to prevent cascading of taxes, ITC would be admissible on all goods and services used in the course or furtherance of business, except on a few items listed in the Law.
  • In the Services sector, the existing mechanism of Input Service Distributor (ISD) under the Service Tax law is retained to allow the flow of ITC in respect of input services within a legal entity.
  • To prevent lock-in of capital of exporters, a provision has been made to refund within seven days of filing the application for refund by an exporter.
  • An agriculturist, to the extent of supply of produce out of cultivation of land, will not be liable to take registration in the GST regime.
  • In order to provide certainty in tax matters, a provision has been made for an Advance Ruling Authority.
  • Exhaustive provisions for Appellate mechanism have been made.
  • An anti-profiteering provision has been incorporated to ensure that the reduction of tax incidence is passed on to the consumers.



Work on Shahpur Kandi Dam to resume soon; Punjab and J&K sign agreement to this effect

  • Jammu and Kashmir and Punjab on 3 March 2017 agreed to resume works on Shahpur Kandi Dam project in Gurdaspur district of Punjab. The agreement was reached ahead of the annual Indus Water Commission meeting that will be held in Lahore, Pakistan.
  • The 55.5meter high Shahpur Kandi dam will help in providing irrigation facility to 5000 hectares of land in Punjab and 32173 hectares in J&K besides generation of 206 MW power.
  • The agreement was reached due to the meditation efforts of the Ministry of Water Resources, River Development & Ganga Rejunvenation. The Ministry of Water Resources persuaded the two states so that the country can use its rights on Eastern Rivers of Indus basin in a successful manner.


Non-financial news on India and states:

World’s oldest serving aircraft carrier INS Viraat retires today


  • The world’s oldest aircraft carrier in active service, INS Viraat will be decommissioned on 6 March 2017. The iconic carrier will receive a ceremonial send off in Mumbai.
  • Similar to the decommissioning of INS Vikrant, India’s first aircraft carrier in January 1997, INS Viraat’s send off would also be an emotional moment for the naval officers and other personnel who were deployed on the ship.
  • INS Viraat is the longest serving aircraft carrier in the Indian naval fleet. It was commissioned into the Indian Navy on 12 May 1987.
  • It will be retiring after serving the country for nearly three decades.
  • The decommissioning ceremony will be attended by Manohar Parrikar, the defence minister along with several other dignitaries.


Punjab Minister inaugurates the largest tricolour on tallest flag post at Attari Border


  • Anil Joshi, the Cabinet Minister of Punjab, on 5 March 2017 inaugurated tricolour on the tallest flag post at Indo-Pakistan Attari border. The flag was hoisted on the Indian side, which is located just at a stone throw away distance from Pakistan.
  • The flag post was built at an approximate cost of Rs 3.50 crore was a project of the Amritsar Improvement Trust Authority of Punjab Government. Measurement of the flag post

  • Length - 110 meters
  • Width - 24 metres
  • Height - 360-foot
  • Weight - 55 tonnes


  • Due to the election Code of Conduct is in place in the state, the minister has availed special permission from the Election Commission for the inauguration.
  • The flag post became attraction for thousands of tourists who were present at Wagha border to watch the Beating Retreat Ceremony during the sunset. Even visitors from Pakistan’s gallery were also watching the Indian flag with keen interest touching the sky.


West Bengal grants official language status to Kurukh

  • The West Bengal Government granted official language status to endangered tribal language Kurukh.
  • The official language status was given to the endangered language by the state government in February 2017. However, the announcement was recently made by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. 
  • In west Bengal, the language is spoken by Oraon tribal community, who live in Dooars. The Dooars are the alluvial floodplains in north-eastern India that lie south of outer foothills of Himalayas and north of Brahmaputra River basin.
  • Most of the tribal languages in the West Bengal have their origins in the Austro-Asiatic and Tibeto-Barman families; however, Kurukh is an exception. The origin of the endangered language lies in the Malto, which hails from Dravidian family. Malto is not spoken in West Bengal, but in the Rajmahal hills area in Jharkhand.


Chandigarh to host Destination North East 2017


  • Chandigarh will be hosting ‘Destination North East 2017’, a three-day event from 6 March 2017 to showcase North East as a potential destination for investment.
  • The event organised by the Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER), Government of India and PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry will see round table discussions and exhibition stalls, displaying various features of the North East in order to attract investment in different sectors including handloom and handicraft, tourism, horticulture and floriculture, skill development, food processing, organic farming and bamboo development, rural livelihoods and entrepreneurship and microfinance.
  • Destination North East 2017 would be inaugurated by Jitendra Singh, the Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Development of North Eastern Region.
  • The main objective of the event is to showcase the North East region (NER) as a great investment potential by highlighting its rich cultural heritage, customs and traditions.


Sports News:

Andy Murray won men’s singles title at Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships


  • Andy Murray of the United Kingdom on 4 March 2017 won the men’s singles titles at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships 2017.
  • To win the title, he defeated Fernando Verdaso of Spanish 6-3 6-2 at the summit clash held in Dubai, the United Aran Emirates (UAE).
  • With this title, Murray has become the first British champion in the 25 year history of the tournament.
  • For Murray, it was his best win over the Spaniard since the Miami Championships almost exactly eight years ago and comes after he finished as runner-up to Roger Federer in Dubai in 2012.
  • Incredibly, it was his seventh final in his last eight tournaments and 14th in his last 16.


Sam Querrey beats Rafael Nadal to win ATP Mexico Open title


  • USA’s Sam Querrey on 4 March 2017 defeated second-seeded Rafael Nadal 6-3, 7-6 to win the ATP Mexico Open Men’s Singles title. The match was held in Acapulco, Mexico.
  • It is Querrey’s first win over Nadal, improving his FedEx Head2Head record against Nadal to 1-4. Querrey is also the first American champion in 24-year history of the ATP Mexico Open.


Jean-Julien Rojer and Horia Tecau win Dubai Tennis Championships Men’s Doubles title


  • Jean-Julien Rojer from the Netherlands and Horia Tecau from Romania on 4 March 2017 won the Dubai Tennis Championships Men’s Doubles title. It is the 13th doubles title of the duo.
  • Rojer and Tecau defeated India’s Rohan Bopanna and Poland’s Marcin Matkowski 4–6, 6–3, [10–3] in the finals to grab the title.
  • The Dubai Tennis Championships was the second final for Bopanna in the year 2017. He had started the season by winning the Chennai Open with compatriot Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan.


Books & Authors:

Rekha – The Untold Story authored by Yasser Usman


  • The book titled Rekha: The Untold Story authored by Yasser Usman was in news in the first week of March 2017. The book that was published in August 2016 by Juggernaut suddenly came into news after few reports claimed that Rekha was secretly married to Sanjay Dutt.
  • As per reports, she applies vermillion on her forehead as she is married to Sanjay Dutt. It also claims that these details were mentioned in a book named, ‘Rekha- The Untold Story’, written by Yasser Usman.
  • These claims made Yasser Usman come forward and deny such claims that are making rounds on the internet. He said, ‘this is wrong and nothing of this sort is mentioned in his book.’
  • Elaborating the story, Usman spoke about the part that was mentioned in the book and that is, rumours of their affair surfaced in 1984, when they, Rekha and Sanjay Dutt, were working in a film together, probably Zameen Aasmaan. In fact, rumours of that time also claimed that they got married, which later made Sanjay Dutt come out and deny the allegations.


Appointments:

Melody Meyer, Atul Gupta appointed as advisors of Cairn India

  • Oil and gas experts Melody Meyer and Atul Gupta were on 6 March 2017 appointed as advisors of Hydrocarbons major Cairn India. As advisors, they will provide strategic direction and delivery focus to Cairn India.
  • The aforesaid appointments were made in a move to gear up in achieving the aim of contributing 50 per cent of India's overall crude production through 5 billion barrels of oil equivalent reserves.
  • Cairn India seeks to invest Rs 30000 crore in five new projects. These are Enhanced Oil Recovery projects for Bhagyam and Aishwariya, Raageshwari Deep Gas (RDG), Barmer Hill tight oil and Aishwariya Hill tight oil.


Obituaries:

Thomas E Starzl, pioneering liver surgeon, passes away


  • Dr Thomas E Starzl, a surgeon who performed the first successful liver transplant on a human patient, passed away on 4 March 2017 in Pittsburgh. He was 90.
  • Dr Starzl’s death was announced by the University of Pittsburgh. He had been affiliated with the university since 1981.
  • He performed the first human liver transplant in 1963.  He performed the first successful human liver transplant in 1967. He performed both the transplants at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center.


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