Friday, 4 August 2017

Daily Update On Current Affairs - August 04, 2017

current affairs

Here's your daily summary of Current Affairs.

Lok Sabha passes Banking Regulation (Amendment) Bill for resolution of non-performing assets

The Lok Sabha has passed the Banking Regulation (Amendment) Bill, 2017 by voice vote. The bill seeks to amend the Banking Regulation Act, 1949 to insert provisions for handling cases related to stress assets of banks. Stressed assets are loans where the borrower has defaulted in repayment or where the loan has been restructured. The bill will replace the Banking Regulation (Amendment) Ordinance, 2017 which was promulgated on 4th of May this year. The legislation will enable the Central government to authorize the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to direct banking companies to resolve specific stressed assets by initiating insolvency resolution process.

More than 25 cr LEDs bulb distributed under UJALA Scheme    

More than 25 crores LEDs bulb has been distributed in 36 States and Union territories across the country under UJALA Scheme. Power Minister Piyush Goyal stated this in a written reply in Lok Sabha. He said Energy Efficiency Services Limited has distributed 25.28 crores LED bulbs and the private sector has also sold more than 41 crores LED bulbs up to June this year. Mr Goyal said the government has set a target to replace 77 crore incandescent bulbs with LED bulbs by March 2019. He also informed that under the UJALA Scheme, Energy Efficiency Services Limited aggregates the demand and procures LED bulbs through a competitive bidding process to get the lowest price compared to the retail market.

Maha govt launches two online portals MahaDBT, MahaVASTU

Maharashtra Government has launched two online portals MahaDBT and MahaVASTU to streamline the process of direct benefit transfer and to bring in more transparency in the construction sector. Expanding the DBT ambit from MGNREGA wages, old age pension, gas and food grain subsidies, the MahaDBT portal will enable direct transfer of benefits for over 40 schemes currently implemented by state’s Higher and Technical Education, Tribal Affairs, Social Justice and Women and Child departments. MahaDBT’s design is based on central government's direct transfer benefit scheme and Aadhaar will be mandatory to claim benefits through this portal. On the other hand, MahaVASTU portal is an online building permission management system, through which construction approvals will be sanctioned with full transparency.

IRRI’s Regional Centre to be opened in Varanasi    

The Government has decided to open a Regional Centre of the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) in Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh. The Institute will develop high yielding rice varieties. The Institute will be set up at the National Seed Research and Training Centre in Varanasi.

Ceasefire in Syria  

A ceasefire between Syrian forces and rebels north of Homs has been agreed and will come into effect from 3rd August. Russia's Defence Ministry said it would be the third such de-escalation zone put in place since July after talks between powers backing and opposing the Syrian government. It said the latest ceasefire was agreed with the moderate Syrian opposition and covered an area encompassing more than 147,000 people. Syria's war has raged since 2011. The conflict has left more 330,000 people dead and displaced millions more.

Trump blames Congress as Russia ties hit dangerous low

U.S. President Donald Trump said on Thursday that relations with Russia had hit an all-time and “very dangerous” low, putting the blame on Congress after he reluctantly approved sanctions against Moscow. After Moscow called the sanctions a declaration of “economic war” that had exposed the U.S. president’s weakness, an angry Trump lashed out at his own lawmakers who had overwhelmingly approved the measures. “Our relationship with Russia is at an all-time & very dangerous low,” Mr. Trump wrote on Twitter. “You can thank Congress, the same people that can’t even give us HCare!” he added in reference to a recent defeat in the Senate on his health care reform plans. Mr. Trump’s outburst came a day after he grudgingly signed off on the sanctions, calling the legislation “significantly flawed” and adding that some of its provisions were unconstitutional. Mr. Trump’s Presidency has been overshadowed by allegations that his campaign team colluded with Moscow during last year’s U.S. presidential campaign in which he defeated Hillary Clinton.

United States issues Travel ban to North Korea     

The United States has issued a travel ban on its citizens from travelling to North Korea, with effect from 1st September 2017. The ban will be in force for a period of one year. Exemptions will be given for humanitarian reasons and for journalists.

Kotak Mahindra Bank retains SB a/c rates at 5-6%

“Borrowers matter, so do savers,” tweeted Uday Kotak, Executive Vice-Chairman and Managing Director, Kotak Mahindra Bank, on Thursday even as his bank decided to keep its savings bank rate steady at 5-6 percent. This decision comes despite the RBI paring the repo rate (the interest rate at which banks borrow funds from the central bank to overcome short-term liquidity mismatches) from 6.25 percent to 6 percent and State Bank of India reducing its savings bank (SB) rate to 3.50 percent from 4 per cent on deposits up to Rs 1 crore. Kotak Mahindra Bank offers 5 percent interest on SB deposits up to ₹ 1 lakh; 6 percent on deposits above 1 lakh and up to 5 crore; and 5.5 percent on deposits above ₹ 5 crore. 

Payback announces Gautam Kaushik as new CEO

Payback India has appointed Gautam Kaushik as the new Chief Executive Officer. Gautam Kaushik will spearhead the India operations and lead all the critical business areas including Strategic Business Planning and Development, Partner Management & Acquisitions and Customer Engagement. The company said in a statement that his primary focus would be towards driving engagement through new touch points and creating transformation customer experiences.

Centre looks to trim drug input imports from China

In the wake of heightened tensions in Indo-China relations, the Centre is working to reduce the Indian pharmaceutical industry’s dependence on Chinese raw material imports. “All government agencies are keen on this. On the directions of the Ministry of Commerce, Pharmexcil and the CSIR-Indian Institute of Chemical Technology (IICT) are working on a Detailed Project Report,” R Udaya Bhaskar, Director-General, Pharmexcil, told Business Line. The Ministry of Commerce recently conducted a meeting and roped in research laboratories and other stakeholders to work on a roadmap to realise this strategic objective. The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) will take up the matter with domain experts on August 12. Indian drug exports to China are insignificant in value terms, but Indian drug manufactures import raw materials worth $6 billion, according to the Pharmaceuticals Export Promotion Council (Pharmexcil).
Govt extends minimum wage to petrol pump attendants  

The government on 3rd April extended Minimum Wage to all fuel retail outlets in the country. In an official statement, Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Petroleum and Natural Gas, Dharmendra Pradhan said, “It is mandatory for all retail outlets to pay Central/State (whichever is higher) Minimum wages to Retail Outlet Attendants. “This will result in a 50 percent hike in wages of all 10 lakh petrol pump attendants.” In order to fortify this, “Salaries of Petrol Pump attendants will be credited directly to their bank accounts.” In order to facilitate this, the dealers’ margin for petrol and diesel has been revised from August 1.

SBI to raise Rs 2000 Cr by issue of BASEL III bonds 
State Bank of India is planning to raise Rs 2000 cr by the issue of BASEL III compliant norms to investors. The bonds will be perpetual, non-convertible in nature and will be issued in the nature of debentures. The bonds will carry a coupon rate of 8.15 % with a call option after 5 years or the anniversary date thereafter.

Patanjali to tie up with Facebook and Google

Herbal products manufacturer Patanjali, promoted by Yoga Guru Baba Ramdev is planning to tie up with Facebook and Google to promote its online digital marketing efforts. Patanjali will be investing in online marketing for the first time. The Haridwar based Patanjali raked in a turnover of Rs 10,561 cr in the financial year 2016-17 and is one of the fastest growing companies in the country.

Jhajharia, Sardar recommended for Khel Ratna Awards   

Two-time Paralympic Javelin Throw gold-medalist Devendra Jhajharia today became the first Paralympian to be recommended for the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award. Former hockey captain Sardar Singh's name has also been recommended for the country's highest sporting honour. The awards selection committee, headed by Justice (Retd.) CK Thakkar nominated the names and suggested that both be considered for the award jointly. The final call on this would be taken by the Sports Ministry.

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