Thursday, 3 August 2017


Current Affairs :- 2 Aug (financial)

Reserve Bank announces its third bi-monthly policy review of current fiscal

On August 2, 2017, Reserve Bank of India (RBI) announced Third Bi-Monthly Monetary Policy Statement for financial year 2017-18. This time, RBI has cut the policy repo rate by 25 basis points (bps) to 6 percent.

Post the Third Bi-Monthly Monetary Policy Statement announcement, the policy rates and reserve ratios are as follows:
Policy Repo Rate
Reduced by 25 basis points. Earlier it was 6.25%
Reverse Repo Rate
Reduced by 25 basis points. Earlier it was 6.00%
Marginal Standing Facility Rate
Reduced by 25 basis points. Earlier it was 6.50%
Bank Rate
Reduced by 25 basis points. Earlier it was 6.50%
Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR)
Unchanged – since 9th February 2013
Statutory Liquidity Ratio (SLR)
Unchanged – since 7th June 2017

SBI, Samsung collaborate to advance Digital India initiative

The State Bank of India (SBI) and Samsung India has announced the availability of Samsung Pay for higher variants of SBI debit card to advance Digital India initiativeon 1st of August 2017.
Key Points:

i. Samsung Pay is currently available on Samsung smartphones. It enables consumers to make offline payments without the need for a physical Card.
ii. Samsung Pay works on 2.5 million Point of Sale (PoS) Card machines across the country through its Magnetic Secure Transmission (MST) technology.
iii. The Bank aimed to be the Banker to Digital India and has been at the fore-front of all digital initiatives in the banking space.
iv. Samsung Pay consumers holding eligible SBI Debit Cards can avail a flat Rs. 100 cashback on minimum transaction amount of Rs. 500.
v. The cardholder can avail maximum cashback of Rs. 500 per card, during the offer period from 1st August to 31st August.
vi. With this collaboration, 130 million SBI debit cardholders will be able to tap and pay using a Samsung smartphones at merchant outlets having card acceptance machines.
About SBI:
State Bank of India (SBI) is an Indian multinational, public sector banking and financial services company.
♦ Headquarters :Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
♦ Chairman: Arundhati Bhattacharya
♦ Tagline of SBI:With you all the way Pure banking nothing else,The nation’s bank on us

India gets permission from World Bank

·         World Bank has allowed India to construct hydroelectric power facilities on tributaries of Jhelum & Chenab rivers with certain restrictions under 1960 Indus Waters Treaty.

·         World Bank’s comments came as officials from India Pakistan concluded secretary-level talks over IWT.
·         The 2 countries disagree over whether the technical design features of the 2 hydroelectric plants contravene the treaty.
PayPal launches innovation labs in India
·         PayPal has opened 2 innovation labs in India to support projects in the field of machine learning, artificial intelligence and other new technologies.

·         The labs in Bangalore and Chennai are company’s first in India. PayPal has labs in the US and Singapore.
·         Labs will also be integrated PayPal Incubator, which was launched in 2013, to develop & nurture the next generation of fintech startups.
         Govt stops $1.3bn Chinese bid
·         Centre has stalled a $1.3-billion bid by Shanghai Fosun Pharmaceutical Group to acquire an 86% stake in Hyderabad-based Gland Pharma

·         Govt cited “genuine concerns” over proprietary technology developed by the Indian company going over to a Chinese pharma major.

·         Gland Pharma has a lead in injectibles, an area where Chinese firms lag Indian pharma companies.

Current affairs :- 2 Aug (National)

Justice B.N Srikrishna headed committee to study issues related to data protection

The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) has appointed an expert panel committee that would study various issues relating to data protection in the country and will suggest a draft data protection Bill. 

Key Points:
i. It is a 10 member panel and it is headed by Supreme court Judge (retired) Justice B N Srikrishna.
ii. The panel includes the members from government, academia and industry will study and identify key data protection issues and recommend methods to address them.
iii. The committee will design a broader framework which will cover all other kinds of data and ensure that the deliberations on the issue start as soon as possible.
iv. The panel includes the following members:
(a)Rajat Moona, Director, IIT Raipur, is a key member in the panel.
(b)Ajay Bhushan Pandey is CEO of Unique Identification Authority of India, (UIDAI). UIDAI is the nodal agency for implementing Aadhaar.
(c)Aruna Sundararajan is Secretary, Department of Telecom.
(d)Rama Vedashree is CEO of Data Security Council of India.
(e)Arghya Sengupta is Research Director of Vidhi Centre for Legal Policy.
(f)Rajat Moona, Director of IIT Raipur.
(g)Ajay Kumar, Additional Secretary, IT Ministry.
(h)Gulshan Rai, National Cyber Security Coordinator.

India – Somali signed an agreement on transfer of sentenced persons

India and Somalia has signed an agreement on1st of August 2017. The agreement has been signed for transfer of sentenced persons.
Key Points:
i. The agreement was signed between External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Foreign Minister of the Federal Republic of Somalia Yusuf Garaad Omar.

ii. It will deepen the humanitarian cooperation between the two nations.
iii. The Foreign Minister of the Federal Republic of Somalia Yusuf-Garaad Omar arrived in New Delhi on 31 July 2017 on a five-day visit. 
iv. He also held talks on regional issues pertaining to developments in the Gulf region.
v. Both the ministers discussed the entire gamut of bilateral relations as well as regional and international issues of mutual interest.
vi. The agreement will help Indian inmates imprisoned in Somalia or vice versa and also facilitate their social rehabilitation.
About Somalia
♦ Capital:Mogadishu
♦ Currency: Somali shilling (SOS)
♦ President: Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed
♦ Prime Minister:Hassan Ali Khayre

Modi to inaugurate ‘Rajaswa Gyansangam’

·         Prime Minister Modi will inaugurate 2 day ‘Rajaswa Gyansangam’ on September 1, during which central & state tax officers will brainstorm on major issues.

·         To be held in New Delhi, focus of the discussion will be on GST as well as on unearthing black money
·         This will be for the first time that the tax officers of state governments will also be invited for discussion on the GST related issues.

Govt launches portal e-RaKAM

·         Govt has launched a portal e-Rashtriya Kisan Agri Mandi  which will provide a platform to sell agricultural produce.
·         It is developed by MSTC Limited & supported by marketing & logistics partner CRWC Limited.

·         E-RaKAM is a first-of-its-kind initiative that leverages technology to connect farmers of the smallest villages to the biggest markets of the world through internet and e-RaKAM centres.

 U'khand to get first skywalk for tourists

A wooden bridge in Nelong Valley of Uttarkashi district, which was once part of the Indo-Tibetan trade route, has been developed as a skywalk track which will likely open to tourists on World Tourism Day on September 27. Located 10,500 feet above sea level, the 105-metrelong bridge, popularly known as Gartang Gali, has not been in use since the Sino-India war in 1962.

Satpal Maharaj, state tourism minister, said, “Gartang Gali is ideal to be developed as a skywalk track. One can see the immense natural beauty of Nelong Valley while walking over the wooden bridge. The track is unique in the country since it has been cut through a single rock.“

Current Affairs :- 2 Aug

India permitted to construct Kishanganga and Rattle Projects – World Bank

World Bank has said that India is allowed to construct hydroelectric power facilities on tributaries of the Jhelum and Chenab rivers with certain restrictions under the 1960 Indus Waters Treaty (IWT). World Bank’s comments came as officials from India and Pakistan concluded the secretary-level talks over the IWT.

i. This week World Bank said the IWT designates Jhelum, Chenab and Indus as the “Western Rivers” to which Pakistan has unrestricted use, however India is permitted to construct hydroelectric power facilities on these rivers subject to constraints specified in annexure to the treaty.
ii. World Bank added that India and Pakistan have agreed to continue discussions and reconvene in September 2017 in Washington DC.

BRICS trade ministers meeting held in Shanghai

On 1st and 2nd August 2017, Union Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman attended BRICS Trade Ministers meeting in Shanghai, China. On the sidelines of this meeting she also held meeting with Chinese Minister of Commerce Zhong Shan.

i.Measures to expand e-commerce cooperation among Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) were discussed at this meeting.
ii. Economic and technological cooperation was included in the agenda for the first time in the trade ministers’ meeting’s history to improve the bloc’s capabilities in service trade, e-commerce and other fields.

Sharif loyalist elected interim PM of Pakistan

Shahid Abbasi Bags 221 Of 342 Votes
Pakistan's National Assembly elected Shahid Khaqan Abbasi as the country's new Prime Minister on Tuesday after the Supreme Court disqualified his predecessor, Nawaz Sharif, last week, deeming him unfit to hold office over allegations of concealing his wealth.

Abbasi, 58, bagged 221 votes in the House of 342 (64%).Syed Naveed Qamar of Pakistan Peoples Party got 47 votes, 33 members voted for Imran Khan-led Pakistan Tehreek-iInsaf candidate Sheikh Rashid while Sahibzada Tariqullah of rightwing Jamaat-e-Islami secured only four votes.Several smaller parties also supported Abbasi in the vote.
Following the SC verdict on a Panama Papers case, the PML-N nominated Abbasi -former petroleum minister -as interim PM until Sharif 's brother Shehbaz gets elected as a National Assembly member from the Lahore seat vacated by the ex-PM.The bypoll is on September 17.
“I am grateful to the members, the masses, and Nawaz Sharif, the prime minister of the masses,“ Abbasi said on the floor of the House after being elected. “I am even thankful to Imran Khan despite his party's mudslinging.“ The court verdict, he said, has failed to create any rift within the PML-N. “There's no charge of corruption against Nawaz Sharif. He was punished for the development of this country ,“ he remarked.
He praised Sharif 's leadership and principles and criticised the opposition for accusing him of corruption (according to a report, Abbasi is facing a Rs 220 billion corruption inquiry over an LNG contract). “Justice demands that 1,000 guilty are set free than one innocent is convicted. It is my firm belief Sharif will return to seat of premiership.“ Abbasi also promised there would be no power shortage after December.“Whether I am in power for 45 days or 45 hours, I will work as the PM of the country and will not merely hold the post.“
Abbasi, a true loyalist of Sharif, stood with him when his government was toppled in 1999 by former Pakistani military dictator Pervez Musharraf. Abbasi, who was imprisoned after the coup, spent two years in jail. But unlike many other colleagues of Sharif, Abbasi remained steadfast and did not switch sides. It was one of the reasons that Sharif chose him as the interim leader.
Abbasi's entry into politics was accidental. Educated in the US at University of California and George Washington University , he was destined to become a businessman and look after his family's business interests but the accidental death of his father Khaqan Abbasi, a minister in General Zia-ulHaq's government, brought him into politics.
Since then, he has been elected six times to the national assembly from Murree -Sharif 's favourite hill station where he is residing at his palatial residence since his ouster from power. He is one of the wealthiest parliamentarians in the country Meanwhile, the Pakistan's anti-corruption watchdog NAB, said on Monday that it would be filing cases against Nawaz Sharif, finance minister Ishaq Dar, Sharif 's children and son-in-law related to the acquisition of four apartments in London, two steel mills in Saudi Arabia, and 16 other Sharif-owned companies in the UK.

Terrorists strike Shia mosque in Af, 20 killed

Attackers, including a suicide bomber, killed more than 20 people at a Shia mosque in Afghanistan's western city of Herat on Tuesday , officials said.
“More than 20 bodies, and 30 injured have so far been brought to the hospital,“ hospital spokesman Rafeeq Shirzai said, referring to the attack on the Jawadya mosque.

Herat police spokesman Abdul Ahad Walizada said terrorists struck the mosque at 8pm. “Based on our initial information two terrorists were involved. One of them was wearing a suicide vest, who detonated himself, while the second one was armed with a rifle. They are both dead,“ Walizada added.

Wednesday, 2 August 2017


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Current Affairs :- 2 Aug (financial)

Reserve Bank announces its third bi-monthly policy review of current fiscal On August 2, 2017, Reserve Bank of India (RBI) announced  ...

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