Current Affaris July 2014 - Competitive Exams

101.The RBI Governor has conveyed his approval to the Andhra Pradesh Government’s request for rescheduling of crop loans.
102.Railways made it clear that it would continue with the fuel adjustment component (FAC) to revise passenger fares every six months.
103.A statue of Mahatma Gandhi would be installed in Parliament Square in London by early next year.
104.The much‐awaited verdict on the dispute regarding the delimitation of the maritime boundary between India and Bangladesh was delivered, with a United Nations tribunal awarding Bangladesh 19,467 sq. km of the 25,602 sq. km sea area of the Bay of Bengal.
105.People can now book a coach or even a train on the Internet as part of Railways’ efforts to expand the scope of online booking.
106.According to a recent report of the National Crime Records Bureau Maharashtra recorded
highest number of suicides in 2013.
107.Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley tabled the Economic Survey 2013‐14 in Parliament. It projects that the GDP growth this fiscal year will be in the range of 5.4 to 5.9 percent.
108.Amit Shah was named the next BJP president.
109.Maharashtra Governor K. Sankaranarayan approved the ordinance granting reservation to Maratha and Muslim communities in Maharashtra. Marathas will get a 16 percent quota and Muslims five percent in government jobs and educational institutions.
110.Senior Advocate Pinky Anand has been appointed Additional Solicitor‐General.
111.The Securities and Exchange Board of India imposed a fine of Rs.1.03 crore on Apollo Tyres for allegedly failing to comply with buyback regulations.
112.Top U.S. diplomat Bill Burns met Prime Minister Narendra Modi to deliver U.S. President Obama’s invitation for him to visit Washington at the end of September, when he attends the U.N. General Assembly.
113.Germany expelled the U.S. intelligence station chief in Berlin over alleged spying by Washington.
114.Intensifying its offensive, Israeli jets hit more than 780 targets in the Hamas‐ruled Gaza Strip.
115.Finance Minister Arun Jaitley proposed hiking the foreign direct investment limit in insurance and defence sectors to 49 per cent.
116.Indian engineers are toiling in the Himalayas to build the world’s tallest railway bridge which is expected to be 35 metres taller than the Eiffel Tower when completed by 2016. The arch shaped steel structure is being constructed over the Chenab River to link sections of the spectacular mountainous region of India's northern Jammu and Kashmir state. The bridge is expected to be 359 metres high when
completed — surpassing the world’s current tallest railway bridge over the Beipanjiang River in China's Guizhou province, which stands at 275 metres high.
117.If all goes well, a U.S. couple may become the first humans to travel to Mars by as early as 2021. Founders of an Arizona‐based private space company called Paragon Space Development Corporation, Taber MacCallum and his wife Jane Poynter are planning a round‐trip flyby of the Red planet for themselves.
118.Air India formally became a member of Star  Alliance, a conglomeration of 26 overseas airlines.
119.India and Sri Lanka reiterated their commitment to finding a long‐term solution to the issue of Indian fishermen running into trouble with the Sri Lankan authorities in the Indian Ocean. The issue figured prominently in discussions between External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and her Sri Lankan counterpart, G.L. Peiris, who concluded his three‐day visit to India.
120.Delhi is now the world’s second most populous city with 25 million inhabitants. Tokyo remains the world’s largest city with 38 million inhabitants. Among the other most populous cities, Mumbai is in the top six with a population of 21 million.
121.Election Commission has asked senior Congress parliamentarian and the former Maharashtra Chief Minister Ashok Chavan, to explain why he should not be disqualified under Section 10A of the Representation of the People Act in a case pertaining to ‘paid news.’
122.The government has imposed an additional penalty of $579 million (Rs. 3,475 crore) on Reliance Industries for producing less than the targeted natural gas from its KG‐D6 block in 2013‐14.
123.China’s President Xi Jinping invited Prime Minister Narendra Modi to visit China in November. Mr. Xi said he was looking forward to his September visit to India, and also welcomed Mr. Modi to visit China in November when Beijing will host the APEC leaders’ meeting.
124.The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) barred erstwhile Satyam Computer Services chairman B. Ramalinga Raju and its former top officials from accessing the securities market for 14 years, with immediate effect.
125.A World Trade Organisation (WTO) Dispute Panel has ruled that the imposition of Countervailing Duty (CVD) by the United States Department of Commerce (US DOC) on India’s exports of hot‐rolled carbon steel flat products is inconsistent with the law on subsidies. 126.India and Russia have commenced naval manoeuvres in the Sea of Japan.
127.A five‐judge Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court will take up for consideration a petition seeking to allow a person suffering from chronic terminal diseases and likely to go into a permanent vegetative state to refuse treatment and pave the way for their death.
128.Former U.S. President Bill Clinton arrived in Jaipur on a three‐day tour of India which will take him to Lucknow as well.
129.Global AIDS‐related deaths and new HIV infections have fallen by over a third in a decade, raising hopes of beating the killer disease by 2030, the United Nations has said.
130.The government cleared 19 foreign direct investment (FDI) proposals worth Rs.2,326.72 crore. The proposals include those from Walt Disney Company and Reckitt Benckiser India.
131.Prime Minister Narendra Modi, during his brief stopover in Frankfurt on his way back from Brazil, called up German Chancellor Angela Merkel and extended greetings on her 60th birthday, congratulated Germany for the World Cup win and exchanged invitations for a bilateral summit next year.
132.India will host the 7th IBSA (India‐Brazil‐South Africa) summit in 2015.
133.RBI has set a minimum paid‐up capital of Rs.100 crore for those who wish to set up payments and small banks. RBI has said that the promoters will have to have an initial minimum capital of at least 40 per cent. According to the draft guidelines, existing authorised non‐bank prepaid instrument issuers (PPIs), non‐banking finance companies (NBFCs), corporate BCs (business correspondents), mobile telephone companies, super market chains, companies, real sector co‐operatives and public sector entities are eligible for setting up a payments bank. The guidelines allow even banks to take equity position in a payments bank as permitted under the Banking Regulation Act, 1949. The activities of a payments bank will be restricted to acceptance of demand deposits, and provision of payments and remittances services. A payments bank, says the RBI, will further the cause of financial inclusion by providing small savings accounts and payments and remittance services to migrant labour workforce, low‐income households, small businesses and other unorganised entities. The idea is to facilitate high volume and low value transactions in a secure and technology‐driven environment. A payments bank cannot set up subsidiaries to undertake non‐banking financial activities. The payments bank, however, has to comply with the SLR (statutory liquidity ratio) and CRR (cash reserve ratio) requirements. The Payments Bank shall be required to maintain a minimum capital adequacy ratio of 15 per cent of its risk weighted assets (RWA) on a continuous basis. The RBI has made it clear that “a payments bank should
ensure widespread network of access points particularly to remote areas, either through their own branch network or BCs or through network provided by others.’’
134.Small bank eligibility ‐ Resident individuals/professionals with ten years of experience in banking and finance, companies and societies are eligible to set up small banks. Existing non‐banking finance companies, microfinance institutions, and local area banks can also convert themselves into small banks after complying with the requisite legal and regulatory requirements. The area of operations of the small bank will be restricted to contiguous districts in a homogenous cluster of States/Union Territories so that the bank has the ‘local feel’ and culture. However, if considered necessary, the bank will be allowed to expand its area of operations beyond contiguous districts in one or more States with reasonable geographical proximity. “Its branch expansion plan for the initial three years will need prior approval of RBI after which, based on experience, the RBI may consider relaxing this condition,’’ the guidelines say. The small bank shall primarily undertake basic banking activities of acceptance of deposits and lending to small farmers, small businesses, micro and small industries and unorganised sector entities,’’ say the guidelines. A small bank also cannot set up subsidiaries to undertake nonbanking financial services activities, and its promoters have to ring‐fence their like activities. A small bank has to comply with the CRR and SLR requirements. The Payments Bank shall be required to maintain a minimum capital adequacy ratio of 15 per cent of its risk weighted assets (RWA) on a continuous basis. And RBI has fixed an upper limit for loan/investment exposure to an individual or group at 15 per cent of its capital funds. Also, a small bank has to comply with the priority sector lending targets.
135.A bill to remove legal hurdles in the appointment of former TRAI chief Nripendra Misra as Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister has now become an Act with President Pranab Mukherjee giving his assent.
136.The Narendra Modi Government is unlikely to rescind the foreign direct investment (FDI) policy for multi‐brand retail that the Congressled United Progressive Alliance government had notified.
137.Railways has cleared decks for the upgradation of five stations through commercial development. The five stations are Chandigarh, Anand Vihar, Bijwasan (both at Delhi), Habibganj (Bhopal) and Shivaji Nagar (Pune). The Railways had formed the Indian Railway Stations Development Corporation (IRSDC) to
modernise and upgrade passenger amenities at stations by raising finances through commercial development of Railway land and air space at these stations.
138.Manila‐based Asian Development Bank has upgraded India’s economic growth forecast to 6.3 per cent in 2015‐16 on hopes of speedy reform process.
139.Forex reserves rose to $317.036 billion in the week to July 11, due to rise in currency assets.
140.The Indian government is planning to open up a first ever Yoga resource centre in China.
141.International pop star Shakira is officially the most popular person on Facebook with over a 100 million ‘likes’, the most for any public figure.
142.The Defence Ministry has cleared projects worth Rs. 21,000 crore, including replacement of 56 Avro transport planes, demonstrating the government’s intent to fast‐track military acquisitions with an eye on promoting private sector investment in the Defence sector.
143.Close on the heels of the recently concluded $400‐billion mega gas pipeline deal between Russia and China, Moscow wants to work on a pipeline to India “through the Himalayas” that could become the “biggest‐ever energy project in history,” Russian Ambassador Alexander Kadakin told.
144.The Pakistan government has decided to release 57 Indian fishing boats as a goodwill gesture after the release of 150 Indian fishermen in May.
145.The recent decision of the Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee (GEAC) to allow field trials of GM rice, mustard, cotton, chickpea and brinjal has been met with strong opposition from farmers’ groups and environmental activists.
146.The United Nations Security Council unanimously passed a resolution calling for international investigators to have unfettered access to the crash site of Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 in Ukraine.
147.The Civil Aviation Ministry has issued No Objection Certificates (NOCs) to six entities whose applications to start airlines in India were pending for long. These six — Air One, Premier Air, Zexus Air (all national), Turbo Megha, Air Carnival and Zav Airways (all regional) — are in addition to the Tata‐Singapore Airlines joint venture that is likely to start operations by this year‐end. At present, India has eight airlines — Air India, Jet Airways, Jet Lite, IndiGo, SpiceJet, Go Air, Air Costa and AirAsia India.
148.India, the United States and Japan are embarking on joint naval manoeuvres in the Pacific Ocean
as part of the Malabar series of exercises.
149.The proposed India‐Pakistan pipeline, through which India plans to supply natural gas to Pakistan, may be completed within a year. The pipeline, being put in place by the Gas Authority of India Ltd. The pipeline will start at Dahej in Gujarat, pass through Vijaipur in Madhya Pradesh, Dadri in Uttar Pradesh, Bawana in Delhi before reaching Nangal in Punjab.
150.The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has approved of new powers for the SEBI to crack down on Ponzi schemes and illegal deposit schemes such as chit funds.
151.The Union Human Resource Development Ministry has advised all States and Union Territories (UTs), barring Jammu and Kashmir, to take appropriate action for the inclusion of “third gender’’ children among socially and educationally backward classes for admission in educational institutions under the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan.
152.According to the 2014 UNDP Human Development Report with an HDI value of 0.586 out of a maximum possible 1, India is 135th out of 187 countries.
153.Kurdish politician Fuad Masum became the new President of Iraq in a step towards forming a new government.
154.The Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) and the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) signed an agreement, enabling the RBI to access the Sri Lankan government securities market, up to a maximum value of $500 million.
155.Despite India’s objections to the UN observer mission at the Line of Control – UNMOGIP, visiting UN peacekeeping chief Hervé Ladsous made it clear that the mission would remain in India until the UN Security Council removes its mandate, established in 1948 after the first war over Kashmir.
156.The Reserve Bank of India imposed a monetary penalty on 12 banks for violating central bank rules in the case of Deccan Chronicle Holdings. The central bank has imposed a penalty of Rs.40 lakh on ICICI Bank and Rs.15 lakh each on Axis Bank and IDBI Bank.
157.The Central Bureau of Investigation has instituted a preliminary enquiry (PE) against Google for purported violations committed while organising Mapathon 2013, a nationwide competition during which security‐sensitive installations were allegedly mapped without prior permission.
158.Anil Ambani Group firm Reliance Power said it had signed an initial agreement to acquire all the three hydroelectric power plants of Jaiprakash Associates Ltd.
159.Minister for Women and Child Development Maneka Gandhi has announced that Nirbhaya Centres or One‐Stop Crisis Centres (OSCC) will be set up in all districts. Each will have paramedical staff, ambulance service, a retired police officer to help lodge the FIR, counsellors, lawyers, short‐stay shelter with food and clothing, and video conferencing facility.
160.The CBI arrested Chairman‐cum‐Managing Director of Sydicate Bank, S K Jain and five others for allegedly taking bribe of Rs 50 lakh for enhancement of credit limit to some companies bypassing rules and regulations.
161.NDA government has mooted a proposal to merge two financial institutions aimed at women's empowerment. Set up in the final months of the Congress‐led UPA government, the Bharatiya Mahila Bank (BMB) with an initial corpus of Rs 1,000 crores, and the Rashtriya Mahila Kosh (RMK), which was established way back in 1993 to provide micro‐loans to women, may be merged, the Minister for Women and Child Development Maneka Gandhi said.
162.The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) relaxed the limit of loan that banks can sanction against the pledging of gold ornaments and jewellery. On December 30, banks had restricted the loans of up to Rs 1 lakh against pledge of gold ornaments and jewellery.
163.RBI has started scrutinising credentials of companies suspected of illegally raising money from public as NBFCs.
164.The Reserve Bank has allowed raising foreign investment limit under portfolio investment in private sector Kotak Mahindra Bank to 40 percent.
165.Infrastructure bonds issued by banks will have a minimum maturity period of seven years and will not be considered part of the their net demand and time liabilities (NDTL), RBI said. RBI also gave affordable housing an infrastructure status and laid down guidelines for issuance of long‐term bonds by banks for financing infrastructure project loans and affordable housing and exempted such bonds from regulatory rules such as cash reserve ratio (CRR), statuary liquidity ratio and priority sector lending.
166.The government will retain a majority holding in the public sector banks (PSBs), but will allow them to raise money by selling shares to small investors. The PSBs need a capital infusion of R2.4 lakh crore by 2018 to meet the Basel‐III requirements.
167.The European Banking Authority (EBA) said it had identified more than 70 risks related to trading in virtual currencies, including their vulnerability to crime and money laundering. Virtual currencies, most famously Bitcoin, have come under increasing scrutiny by financial regulators as their popularity has grown. Launched in 2009 by a mysterious computer guru, Bitcoin is a form of cryptography‐based emoney that offers a largely anonymous payment system and can be stored either virtually or on a user's hard drive.
168.State Bank of India has launched six digital branches across the country, as part of a pioneering program to offer next generation banking solutions to India's growing mobile phone and internet‐savvy customer base. Its new branches, branded as sbiINTOUCH, are equipped with interactive wall and table
displays. The branches are located in major metropolitan areas across India, including Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru, Chennai and Ahmedabad.
169.The RBI has said India and the US have agreed to implement a foreign tax compliance act (FATCA)and asked banks and financial institutions to register by this year‐end to report accounts and assets held by US citizens.
170.Switzerland have come across a significant quantum of fake Indian rupee notes in their country ‐‐ the third highest for any foreign currency after Euro and the US dollar.
171.In a move that may discourage firms from defaulting on bank loans, the Supreme Court has allowed lenders to publish names and photographs of wilful defaulters in newspapers in the larger public interest.
172.ICICI Bank in association with Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) launched co‐branded card with host of benefits for metro riders. Unifare Card combines the benefits of a debit/credit card along with a Delhi Metro Smart Card and has the added facility of auto top‐up of fare balance.

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