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Monday, May 08, 2017

Current Affairs Update – 6-8 May, 2017

Hello and welcome to exampundit. Here are the important Current Affairs update of 6, 7 and 8 May, 2017. These are important for the upcoming SBI PO Mains, NIACL Assistant Mains, BOB Manipal, NICL AO Mains and other exams in 2017 July and August.


Current Affairs at a Glance - 6-8 May, 2017
  1. Telecommunications services provider Bharti Airtel on 8 May 2017 partnered with taxi app aggregator Ola Cabs to offer a range of exciting digital services to customers.
  2. State Bank of India has announced a 25 basis points cut in home loans rate to 8.35 per cent per annum, the lowest in the market. The new rate is effective from May 9.
  3. Global technology giant Oracle has signed an agreement with the government of Jharkhand and will explore partnerships intended at improving citizen services, transparency in governance along with setting up of start-up incubation hubs and data centres.
  4. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on 5 May 2017 tightened the rules of Joint Lenders’ Forum (JLF) under “Framework for Revitalising Distressed Assets in the Economy – Guidelines on Joint Lenders’ Forum (JLF) and Corrective Action Plan (CAP)”. The new JLF rules are more effective and direct banks not to break any rules and to meet all deadlines. Moreover, it also directs that any breach of rules would attract a monetary penalty.
  5. The country's first, and perhaps the simplest life insurance product that can be bought at a point of sale (PoS) has finally been launched. Edelweiss Tokio Life Insurance has recently launched PoS Saral Nivesh -- the first product to be approved by the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India's (IRDAI) guidelines on point of sale-life insurance products.
  6. Nitin Gadkari, the Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways inaugurated India’s first biorefinery plant that produces ethanol from a variety of biomass in Pune on 7 May 2017.
  7. President Pranab Mukherjee on 5 May 2017 gave his assent to an ordinance to amend the Banking Regulation Act for resolution of the non-performing asset (NPA) crisis in banking system.
  8. Two Indian warships INS Mumbai and INS Aditya arrived in Alexandria, the Mediterranean port city in Egypt on 5 May 2017.
  9. In Haryana, detailed data will be collected of every resident and every house would be allotted a smart house ID under a special mission.
  10. SS Rajamouli's Baahubali 2: The Conclusion became the first Indian film to cross the RS 1000 crore mark with its worldwide collections. Reports suggest that trade analysts have reported that the film has made over Rs 800 crore in India and more than Rs 200 crore in the international markets.
  11. Usha Ananthasubramanian has been appointed as the MD & CEO of Allahabad Bank. She took charge from May 6.
  12. Pro-European centrist leader Emmanuel Macron has been elected as President of France after winning 20.7 million votes on 8 May 2017.
  13. Konkona Sensharma has been named the best director for her directorial debut "A Death in the Gunj" and the best actress for "Lipstick Under My Burkha" at 2017's New York Indian Film Festival (NYIFF).
  14. Harry Potter fame star, Emma Watson was conferred the first ever ‘Genderless Acting Award’ for Best Actor category on 7 May 2017 at the annual MTV Movie and TV Awards ceremony held at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, California.





Financial & Banking News –

Bharti Airtel and Ola Cabs tie-up to offer integrated digital services


  • Telecommunications services provider Bharti Airtel on 8 May 2017 partnered with taxi app aggregator Ola Cabs to offer a range of exciting digital services to customers.
  • Both the companies will collaborate to deliver enhanced convenience for customers by leveraging the strengths of their respective portfolios.
  • Ola will leverage Airtel’s integrated suite of enterprise services to power its operations, while Airtel will leverage Ola’s vast network of hundreds and thousands of driver partners.
  • Ola will also be benefitted from Airtel’s extensive retail network and its integrated suite of world-class connectivity solutions for businesses that help them drive growth through better efficiency.
  • Airtel Payments Bank will also be integrated with Ola app to offer convenient digital payments solutions to customers for their rides.

SBI cuts low-cost home loan rates by 0.25% to 8.35%


  • State Bank of India has announced a 25 basis points cut in home loans rate to 8.35 per cent per annum, the lowest in the market. The new rate is effective from May 9.
  • The bank, in a statement, said the effective interest rate for all eligible salaried customers will be 8.35 per cent for loans up to Rs. 30 lakhs. Besides, an eligible home loan customer can also avail of an interest subsidy of Rs. 2.67 lakhs under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana scheme.
  • India's largest bank also said the interest rates for customers availing of home loans above Rs. 30 lakhs has also been reduced.
  • Further, to supplement the affordable housing push, SBI has come out with special offerings for Construction Finance to builders for affordable housing projects.

Jharkhand government partners with Oracle to boost IT infrastructure


  • Global technology giant Oracle has signed an agreement with the government of Jharkhand and will explore partnerships intended at improving citizen services, transparency in governance along with setting up of start-up incubation hubs and data centres.
  • The scope of the agreement includes investment in training through the Oracle Academy, developing prototypes and applications that will help citizens in accessing various government services and incubating start-ups among others.
  • Oracle had signed a similar agreement with the government of Maharashtra in April last year.
  • As per the agreement, Jharkhand government intends to use Oracle’s technology solutions especially the cloud to encourage innovation and entrepreneurship among its youth. The mineral rich state received investment support from the Central government earlier this year for a venture capital fund to support start-ups.

RBI tightens JLF rules, directs banks not to break any norms


  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on 5 May 2017 tightened the rules of Joint Lenders’ Forum (JLF) under “Framework for Revitalising Distressed Assets in the Economy – Guidelines on Joint Lenders’ Forum (JLF) and Corrective Action Plan (CAP)”.
  • The new JLF rules are more effective and direct banks not to break any rules and to meet all deadlines. Moreover, it also directs that any breach of rules would attract a monetary penalty.
Highlights of new JLF Rules

  • It calls for early identification of stressed assets and timely implementation of a Corrective Action Plan (CAP) to preserve the economic value of stressed assets.
  • In order to ensure that the CAP is finalised and formulated in an expeditious manner, the new rules specifies various timelines within which lenders have to decide and implement the CAP.
  • It reiterates that lenders must scrupulously adhere to the timelines prescribed in the JLF Framework for finalising and implementing the CAP. This came after RBI witnessed delays in finalising and implementation of the CAP.
  • To facilitate timely decision making, the decisions agreed upon by a minimum of 60 per cent of creditors by value and 50 per cent of creditors by number in JLF will be considered as basis for deciding the CAP.
  • The stand of the participating banks while voting on the final proposal before the JLF shall be unambiguous and unconditional.
  • Any bank which does not support the majority decision on the CAP, may exit subject to substitution within the stipulated time line.
  • Any non-adherence to these rules and timelines specified under the Framework will attract monetary penalties on the concerned banks under the provisions of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949.

Edelweiss Tokio launches India's first insurance that can be bought at PoS


  • The country's first, and perhaps the simplest life insurance product that can be bought at a point of sale (PoS) has finally been launched. Edelweiss Tokio Life Insurance has recently launched PoS Saral Nivesh -- the first product to be approved by the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India's (IRDAI) guidelines on point of sale-life insurance products.
  • PoS Saral Nivesh is a non-linked, non-participating endowment life insurance plan which offers both protection and saving. The benefits are guaranteed and are payable in case of maturity or death, whichever is earlier. The sum assured ranges from Rs 50,000 to Rs 10 lakh. Customers can choose any sum assured in between in multiples of Rs 10,000. The policy tenure ranges from 10 to 20 years. The premium payment terms are five, seven, 10 and 12 years.
  • The policy comes with a waiting period of 90 days. If anything happens during this period, barring an accidental death, the premium is not paid.




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Gadkari inaugurated country’s 1st bio refinery plant


  • Nitin Gadkari, the Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways inaugurated India’s first biorefinery plant that produces ethanol from a variety of biomass in Pune on 7 May 2017.
  • Speaking on the occasion, Gadkari stated that such projects will help stage a great revolution in India’s agriculture sector. The project is located at Rahu, a village in Daund Taluka in Pune District of Maharashtra.
  • The newly set up plant is capable of producing one million litres of ethanol per annum by processing a variety of agricultural residue including rice and wheat straw, cotton stalk, cane trash, corn cobs with superior product yields.

PepsiCo India forays into Dairy Products with Oats-Based Milk Beverage


  • PepsiCo India Holdingss Pvt Ltd, the maker of Quaker Oats, Lays chips and carbonated beverages like Pepsi, on 5 May 2017 entered the Indian dairy market by launching Quaker Oats Milk, a ready-to-drink beverage that combines milk and oats.
  • The company will initially sell two flavours of Quaker Oats Milk in 180 ml on-the-go cartons and will market them in India’s top cities and towns.
  • Besides Quaker Oats, PepsiCo is considering launching dairy-based beverages under other brands, including Tropicana. The company is also working on “fusions” (a mixed beverage with milk, fibre, fruits, and more), Indian dairy-based products like chhaas and lassi, and beverages catering to regional tastes.

President gives assent to ordinance for resolution of non-performing asset crisis in banking system


  • President Pranab Mukherjee on 5 May 2017 gave his assent to an ordinance to amend the Banking Regulation Act for resolution of the non-performing asset (NPA) crisis in banking system.
  • The Ordinance, which is an amendment in the Banking Regulation Act and sent to the President for an approval, was earlier approved by the Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
  • The new ordinance passed by the President Mukherjee will be known as Banking Regulation (Amendment) Ordinance, 2017. The ordinance amends the Section 35A of the Banking Regulation Act 1949 and provides greater powers to the Reserve Bank to tackle mounting bad loans. The amendments to the Act will help in effectively resolving the bad loans problem.
Key Facts of the Ordinance

  • Section 35AA of the Banking Regulation Act 1949: As per the new rules RBI is entitled to issue directions to any banking company or banking companies to initiate insolvency resolution process in respect of a default under the provisions of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code.
  • Section 35AB: As per the new rules, the RBI can issue directions to the banking companies for resolution of stressed assets.
  • Bad loans have ballooned in the system over the past few years, with gross NPAs for state-owned banks at 6.07 lakh crore rupees at the end of December 2016.
  • The Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said, in the last few years, the government has taken several structural reforms towards the economy but the stressed assets remains a challenge. He said, the government and RBI will work together on expeditious resolution of stressed assets.
  • The government has enacted insolvency and Bankruptcy Code to consolidate and amend the laws relating to reorganization and insolvency resolution of companies, partnerships firms and individual.

New related to India and states –

Two Indian warships visit Egyptian port city


  • Two Indian warships INS Mumbai and INS Aditya arrived in Alexandria, the Mediterranean port city in Egypt on 5 May 2017.
  • The warships visited Egypt as a part of Indian Navy's overseas deployment to the Mediterranean Sea and the west coast of Africa. They are a part of Indian Navy's Western Naval Command based in Mumbai.
  • Upon their arrival, the warships engaged extensively in professional interactions with the Egyptian navy.
  • The ships also engaged in a number of sports and social engagements with their Egyptian counterparts.

Every house in Haryana to get a smart ID


  • In Haryana, detailed data will be collected of every resident and every house would be allotted a smart house ID under a special mission.
  • It was announced by the state’s Chief Secretary, D.S. Dhesi while presiding over a meeting of the Deputy Commissioners of the state through video conferencing on 7 May 2017 in Chandigarh. Dhesi stated that the smart house ID would be generated through a tablet by visiting every house.
  • The work on the project is expected to commence from 15 June 2017 and would be completed by 15 August 2017.
  • A real time-based survey would be conducted to gather the socio-economic data.
  • The teams of Saksham and e-Numerator would be visiting each house to feed their GPS location in the tablets and create a smart house ID online thereby linking the houses with biometric.

Baahubali 2 becomes first Indian film to collect Rs 1000 crore worldwide


  • SS Rajamouli's Baahubali 2: The Conclusion became the first Indian film to cross the RS 1000 crore mark with its worldwide collections. Reports suggest that trade analysts have reported that the film has made over Rs 800 crore in India and more than Rs 200 crore in the international markets.
  • The two films in the series namely Baahubali: The Beginning and Baahubali 2: The Conclusion had a budget of around Rs 450 crore.
  • The film that stars Prabhas, Rana Daggubatti, Ramya Krishna, Anushka Shetty and Tamannaah in lead roles and released in four languages not only succeeded in India but also drew audiences from abroad.
  • Four languages in which the film was released include Hindi, Tamil, Telugu and Malayalam.

India organises festival in Egypt to mark Tagore's birth anniversary


  • To mark the 156th birth anniversary of the famous Indian poet, Rabindranath Tagore, India is organising a cultural festival in Egypt. Being hosted by the Maulana Azad Centre for Indian Culture, the cultural wing of the Indian Embassy in Cairo, the function started on 8 May 2017.
  • The cultural festival will feature a dance show, film screening, a play and painting competition.
  • The festival will showcase the movie 'Kabuliwala' directed by Hemen Gupta on 8 May 2017 at the Hanager Cinema, Opera House Complex. The film is based on a novel written by Tagore and tells the story of an immigrant from Kabul.
  • It will showcase a dance drama by Dancers’ Guild, which will be based on Tagore's work, 'Chitrangada', who is a warrior princess in the ancient epic, Mahabharata. It will be performed at the Sayed Darwish Theatre in Alexandria on May 9 and at the Arab Music Institute in Cairo on May 11.

Assam declared as ‘Disturbed’ Area Under AFSPA for 3 More Months


  • Assam state was on 6 May 2017 declared as a 'Ddisturbed' area under the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA) for another 3 months. The entire state of Assam besides the bordering areas of Meghalaya were declared as “Disturbed Areas”.
  • Moreover, the Union Government also placed three districts of Arunachal Pradesh- Tirap, Changlang and Longding and other areas falling under 16 police stations bordering Assam as 'disturbed' area under the AFSPA.
  • The decision was taken after the government observed various violent activities carried out by certain insurgent groups like ULFA, NDFB and others in these areas.
  • In Assam, 75 incidents of violence were reported in 2016 and 9 in 2017. Assam was placed under AFSPA in November 1990.

Appointments –

Usha Anathasubramanian appointed as Allahabad Bank MD, CEO


  • Usha Ananthasubramanian has been appointed as the MD & CEO of Allahabad Bank. She took charge from May 6. Her term ends on August 13, 2018.
  • Rakesh Sethi was previously the Chairman and Managing Director of the Kolkata-based lender.
  • Prior to her joining here, Ananthasubramanian was the MD & CEO of Punjab National Bank, the lender told in a release to the bourses.
  • Ananthasubramanian had joined the industry in 1982 as a specialist officer with Bank of Baroda.
  • An industry veteran, she was tasked with setting up of the first women focussed bank and was part of the core management team constituted by the Finance Ministry for coordinating the setting up of the Bharatiya Mahila Bank.
  • She also served as CMD of Bharatiya Mahila Bank (BMB) between November 2013 and August 2015.

Emmanuel Macron elected as President of France


  • Pro-European centrist leader Emmanuel Macron has been elected as President of France after winning 20.7 million votes on 8 May 2017. Thirty-nine-year-old former investment banker, who has never held elected office, becomes the youngest President and occupant of the Élysée Palace.
  • He is France's youngest leader since Napoleon Bonaparte.
  • With this win, Macron, who was unknown to the world three years ago, will become the first President from outside the two traditional main parties, namely center-left or center-right, since the modern republic's foundation in 1958.
  • To win the election, Macron defeated his far-right opponent Marine Le Pen, who took about 10.6 million votes in the Presidential elections’. He won the elections by securing 66.06 per cent votes; while Le Pen got 33.94 per cent of the votes.

Pratap Bhanu Mehta appointed Vice Chancellor of Ashoka University


  • Ashoka University on 4 May 2017 named Pratap Bhanu Mehta as its Vice Chancellor (VC).
  • The varsity announced that Mehta has been appointed "after conducting an extensive global search".
  • Mehta is a renowned public intellectual and head of Centre for Policy Research, a Delhi-based think-tank.
  • Mehta will take charge from 1 July 2017 at the Sonepat, Haryana-based university. He will be the second VC of the liberal arts university since its inception after Rudrangshu Mukherjee.
  • Mukherjee will now assume the responsibility of a Chancellor. He will replace sociologist Andre Beteille as Chancellor, who is near completion of his three-year term.

Awards & Honors –

Konkona Sensharma wins top honours at New York Indian Film Festival


  • Konkona Sensharma has been named the best director for her directorial debut "A Death in the Gunj" and the best actress for "Lipstick Under My Burkha" at 2017's New York Indian Film Festival (NYIFF).
  • Konkona, 37, won the award for directing the drama thriller which stars Kalki Koechlin, Vikrant Massey, Jim Sarbh and Tanuja. The film also features one of the last performances by veteran actor Om Puri, who passed away in January this year.
  • She received the top honour for her performance in Alankrita Shrivastava's "Lipstick Under My Burkha", a film which explores women's sexuality.
  • Alankrita also congratulated Konkona for her win at the festival on the microblogging site.
  • K Kaladharan won the best actor for Malayalam film "Ottayaal n Paatha" ("A Narrow Path") and Shubhashish Bhutiani's "Mukti Bhawan" was declared the best film at the 17th annual film extravaganza.

Emma Watson conferred with the first ever 'genderless' award


  • Harry Potter fame star, Emma Watson was conferred the first ever ‘Genderless Acting Award’ for Best Actor category on 7 May 2017 at the annual MTV Movie and TV Awards ceremony held at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, California.
  • The actor in her acceptance speech praised MTV for making their awards genderless. She further added that for her acting is about the ability to put oneself into someone else’s shoes and that doesn’t need to be separated into two different categories.
  • The 27-year-old actress beat Taraji P. Henson, Daniel Kaluuya, Hugh Jackman and Hailee Steinfeld to take home the award for Best Actor in Film and TV for her performance as Belle in the 'Beauty and the Beast.'

Indian Origin Scientists elected as Fellows of UK Royal Society


  • Three Indian Scientist Krishna Chatterjee, Subhash Khot and Yadvinder Malhi were on 5 May 2017 elected as the Fellows of The Royal Society, a premier scientific academy of the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth, for their outstanding contributions to science.
  • Krishna Chatterjee from Cambridge University was recognised for his discoveries of genetic disorders of thyroid gland formation, regulation of hormone synthesis and hormone action. He was responsible for the development of Clinical Research Facilities at the University of Cambridge.
  • Subhash Khot of New York University was credited for throwing insight into unresolved problems in the field of computational complexity. He is a theoretical computer scientist who is known for his definition of the “Unique Games” problem.
  • Yadvinder Malhi is an ecosystem ecologist from Oxford University who is recognised for his works on understanding the functioning of terrestrial ecosystems and its response to the pressures of global change, including climate change, degradation and loss of large animals.

Obituaries –

First Woman Chief Judge of State High Court Justice Leila Seth passes away

  • Justice Leila Seth, the first woman judge of Delhi High Court, passed away on 6 May 2017 after a brief illness in Uttar Pradesh. She was 86.
  • Seth was the first woman to have topped the London Bar exam, first woman Judge of the Delhi High Court and also the first woman Chief Justice of a State High Court of Himachal Pradesh.
  • She was one of three members of Justice Verma Committee which was constituted in 2012 to recommend amendments to Criminal Law so as to provide for quicker trial and enhanced punishment for criminals accused of committing sexual assault against women, post 2012 Delhi gang rape case.
  • Despite being an eminent jurist, she was also an author and her autobiography 'On Balance' was a bestseller. Seth had also authored 'Talking of Justice: People's Rights in Modern India', in 2014, which talked of several critical issues faced by her in her legal career spanning over 50 years.









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