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Tuesday, November 07, 2017

Current Affairs Update – 7 November, 2017


Hello and welcome to exampundit. Here are the Important Current Affairs of 7 November, 2017. These are important for the upcoming IBPS PO, Clerk Mains, NICL Assistant, OICL AO exams.


Banking & Financial News

HDFC Bank makes RTGS, NEFT online transactions free from Nov 1


  • Private lender HDFC Bank has made online transactions through RTGS and NEFT free of cost from November 1, with an aim to promote a digital economy.
  • On the other hand, various charges for cheque-related transactions as well as request for additional leaves will get costly from early next month for non-managed savings and salary accounts.
  • According to the revised fees and charges for savings and salary accounts, customers will not have to pay any charge for doing online transactions through Real Time Gross Settlement (RTGS) and the National Electronics Funds Transfer (NEFT) from November 1, 2017.
  • Earlier, customers were levied Rs. 25 each for Rs. 2–5 lakh online transaction via RTGS and Rs. 50 each for such money transfers over Rs. 5 lakh. Online NEFT transactions attracted a fee of Rs. 2.5 for less than Rs. 10,000, Rs. 5 for Rs. 10,001–1 lakh and Rs. 15 for above Rs. 1 lakh to Rs. 2 lakh.
  • For NEFT transactions of over Rs. 2 lakh, there was a fee of Rs. 25.
  • However, any NEFT or RTGS transaction carried out at the bank branch will be payable.

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India to contribute USD 100 million to UN partnership fund


  • India has pledged an additional amount of USD 100 million towards the UN partnership fund, scaling up its support to sustainable development projects across the developing world.
  • The information was shared by Anjani Kumar, Counsellor at the Permanent Mission of India to the UN on 6 November at the 2017 UN Pledging Conference for Development Activities.
  • Kumar stated that the contribution would be in addition to India's contribution of 10.582 million US dollar to various other UN programmes. He said that India believes that the UN should have the necessary resources to finance its activities, in an appropriate and balanced manner.
  • A total of USD 398.98 million was pledged by about 20 countries during the conference session.
  • The India-UN Development Partnership Fund was set up earlier in 2017 as a partnership between India and the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation (UNOSSC).
  • The first project from the fund is being executed in partnership with seven Pacific Island countries.

World Bank arm IFC to pump $23 mn into Ashiana affordable housing projects


  • The World Bank's investment arm IFC will pump in $23 million in projects by Ashiana Housing Limited (Ashiana) meant for affordable / mid-income housing as well as retirement homes for the elderly.
  • The total project cost of the project is estimated at about $267 million.
  • IFC is one of the few financiers of affordable/mid-income projects in India.
  • IFC said that its long-term capital is not readily available to the real estate sector. IFC's equity investment is a structured 8-year equity investment, which would provide capital with a tenor that matches the project's life.
  • Ashiana's projects will be located across various cities in India, but primarily in Jaipur, Pune and Chennai.

ICIJ releases Paradise Papers: 714 Indians named in the list


  • The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) on 5 November 2017 released the Paradise Papers, a slew of documents revealing the offshore activities of some of the world’s most powerful people and companies.
  • ICIJ investigated around 13.4 million leaked files that were obtained by the German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung.
  • The Paradise Papers documents include nearly 7 million loan agreements, financial statements, emails, trust deeds and other paperwork.

Highlights of the Paradise Papers

  • The investigation revealed that two firms Bermuda’s Appleby and Singapore’s Asiaciti Trust helped the rich and powerful people in moving their money abroad.
  • The leaked files reveal some major international figures including United Kingdom’s Queen Elizabeth, donors of US President Donald Trump, US Secretaries Wilbur Ross and Rex Tillerson, Jordanian Queen Noor al-Hussein, among others.
  • The files reveal the investment of Queen Elizabeth’s private estate in a Cayman Islands fund.
  • It also details Russia’s involvement in Twitter and Facebook through an associate of Jared Kushner, son-in-law of President Trump.
Indian names revealed in The Paradise Papers

  • Among the 180 countries represented in the data, India ranks 19th in terms of the number of names. In all, there are 714 Indians in the list.
  • Interestingly, Indian company Sun Group, founded by Nand Lal Khemka, figures as Appleby’s second-largest client internationally, with as many as 118 different offshore entities.
  • The prominent Indian corporates which figure in the list include Jindal Steel, Apollo Tyres, Havells, Hindujas, Emaar MGF, Videocon, the Hiranandani Group and D S Construction.
  • The list includes the names of Indian firms linked with several cases such as Sun-TV-Aircel-Maxis case; Essar-Loop 2G case; SNC-Lavalin and the Rajasthan ambulance scam.
  • Besides corporates, the data reveals details of famous celebrities such as Amitabh Bachchan’s shareholding in a Bermuda company.
  • Actor Sanjay Dutt’s wife Dilnashin Sanjay Dutt, popularly known as Manyata, also figures in the list.
  • Union Civil Aviation Minister Jayant Sinha was named due to his past association with the Omidyar Network and BJP MP RK Sinha have also been named in the Paradise Papers.
  • The papers also reveal that the loans worth millions of dollars, taken by Vijay Mallya's United Spirits Limited (USL) India, were waived off by Diageo, the company which finally acquired USL.

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Appointments

Revenue Secretary Hasmukh Adhia appointed as new Finance Secretary


  • Revenue Secretary Hasmukh Adhia has been designated as the new Finance Secretary, an official order said on Monday.
  • Adhia is a 1981 batch IAS officer of Gujarat cadre.
  • The vacancy was caused following the superannuation of Ashok Lavasa last month.
  • The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has approved designating Adhia as the Finance Secretary, the order issued by the Department of Personnel and Training said.
  • As per the convention, the senior most secretary in the Finance Ministry is designated as the Finance Secretary.
  • There are five departments under the Finance Ministry — Expenditure, Economic Affairs, Financial Services, Revenue and Department of Investment and Public Asset management (DIPAM).
  • IAS officer Rajiv Kumar of 1984 batch is the Financial Services Secretary. Ajay Narayan Jha is Expenditure Secretary and Neeraj Kumar Gupta Secretary, DIPAM. Both are 1982 batch IAS officers.
  • Subhash Chandra Garg, a 1983 batch IAS officer, is Economic Affairs Secretary.

News related to India & states


Indian telescope AstroSat measures X-ray polarisation of Crab pulsar star in Taurus constellation


  • India’s multi-wavelength space telescope AstroSat has been successful in measuring the X-ray polarisation of the Crab pulsar star in the Taurus constellation. The findings were published in the journal Nature Astronomy on 6 November 2017.
  • The Astrosat team documented the results of their 18-month study of the Crab pulsar in the Taurus constellation and measured the variations of polarisation as a highly-magnetised and exotic object that spins about 30 times every second.
  • Taurus is the second astrological sign in the present zodiac. It spans the 30-60th degree of the zodiac.

Indo-Bangladesh joint military exercise SAMPRITI-7 begins


  • India and Bangladesh armies on 6 November 2017 began the joint military exercise SAMPRITI-7 in Meghalaya’s Umroi cantonment.The exercise began with the inauguration of the up to date Joint Training Node at Umroi Cantonment which is about 25 Km from Shillong, Meghalaya.
  • A total of 14 officers from the Bangladesh Army and 20 Officers from the Indian Army will be taking part in this seventh edition of the Exercise SAMPRITI.
  • The Field Training Exercise (FTX) will see participation of one Infantry company each from the Bangladesh Army and elite Red Horns Division of the Indian Army.
  • The joint exercise will conclude on 11 November 2017.


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