Daily GK update 28th November 2014 - Current Affairs

1.    RBI issues final norms for payment, small banks; Floor capital set at Rs 100 crore
i. The Reserve Bank of India has issued final norms for payment banks and small finance banks that would allow mobile firms and supermarket chains, among others, to enter the banking arena to cater to individuals and small businesses. The move aims at deepening financial inclusion and boost saving habits. 
ii. The RBI aims to push financial inclusion by setting up these niche outfits — small finance banks that can have all-India operations and payments banks, which can accept more deposits.
iii. The guidelines open up an window of opportunity for entities which did not bag new bank licences in April.
iv. Shriram Capital, Janalakshmi Financial Services, Magma Fincorp and Muthoot Finance, among others, are expected to throw their hats into the ring to set up small banks.
v. The Department of Posts, Bharti Airtel, Vodafone India, Tata Teleservices, Western Union and online digital payment players such as Paytm, Oxigen and MobiKwik have expressed interest in floating payment banks.
vi. Companies will have to apply by January 16, 2015, for licences in both categories, and the central bank said it would consider more applications at a later stage. 

Note: The minimum paid-up equity capital for both small and payment banks has been pegged at Rs 100 crore.
Who are eligible?
i. Eligible promoters for a small bank include resident individuals/professionals with experience in banking and finance; and companies and societies.
ii. Existing non-banking finance companies (NBFCs), microfinance institutions and local area banks can also opt to convert into a small bank.
iii. The RBI said proposals from large public sector entities and industrial and business houses, including NBFCs promoted by them, will not be entertained to set up small banks.
iv. A promoter/promoter group can have a joint venture with an existing scheduled commercial bank to set up a payment bank, subject to the stake holding complying with the Banking Regulation Act.
Key activities
i. The small bank will primarily undertake basic banking activities of acceptance of deposits and lending to un-served and under-served sections, including small business units, small and marginal farmers, micro and small industries and unorganised sector entities.
ii. Small banks will be required to maintain a minimum capital adequacy ratio of 15 per cent of the loans on a continuous basis.
iii. In the draft guidelines, the RBI had suggested that small banks would have a restricted area of operations (possibly contiguous districts in a homogenous States). However, in the final guidelines, these restrictions have been removed. The small bank will be required to extend 75 per cent of its credit to the priority sector
Payment Banks:
i. Payments banks can accept deposits — current and savings bank — from individuals, small businesses and other entities but cannot provide loans.. However, they cannot accept non-resident Indian deposits.
ii. The payment bank will initially be restricted to holding a maximum balance of Rs1 lakh per individual customer.
iii. While the bank can issue ATM/debit cards, it cannot issue credit cards.
iv. It can contract outside liabilities (deposits) but not exceeding 33.33 times (against 20 times in the draft guidelines) its net worth.
2.    Economic growth declines to 5.3% in July-Sept quarter
i. Country's economic growth has declined to 5.3 per cent during July to September, from the previous quarter's 5.7 per cent.
ii. According to an official release, the manufacturing sector, which accounts for about 15 per cent of India's gross domestic product rose by 0.1 per cent during the quarter from the previous period's 3.5 per cent. Agriculture sector growth declined to 3.2 percent against 3.8 percent.
3.    India, Mozambique ink MoU for cooperation in oil, gas sector
i. India today signed a Memorandum of Understanding, MoU, with Mozambique for cooperation in the field of oil and gas. The MoU was signed in the presence of Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas, Dharmendra Pradhan in New Delhi. 
ii. It seeks cooperation in the areas of upstream and downstream oil and gas sector. Participation of Indian energy companies in the project will facilitate access to Liquefied Natural Gas, LNG for the growing Indian gas market. 
iii. Mozambique has emerged as a significant hydrocarbon rich nation following offshore gas discoveries in two adjacent offshore blocks. The country is strategically located near India and is ideally suited for bringing natural gas at market determined price.
4.    Anoop Mishra appointed as new Secretary General of Lok Sabha
i. Former Uttar Pradesh chief secretary Anoop Mishra was on 26 November 2014 appointed as new Secretary General of the Lok Sabha. He was appointed by Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan. 
ii. He will hold the rank and status of Cabinet Secretary with effect from 1 December 2014 up to 30 November 2016 or until further orders.
iii. As an accomplished civil servant of 1978 cadre, Mishra has held several important positions at the Centre and in Uttar Pradesh.
iv. He was the Chief Secretary of Uttar Pradesh for a year with the overall responsibility of the state administration, superintendence of law and order and developmental and infrastructure schemes in Uttar Pradesh.
5.    Historian Tapan Raychaudhuri died
i. Tapan Raychaudhuri, a distinguished historian of modern India’s economic and social history, died on 26 November 2014 at his home in Oxford, England. He was 88. 
ii. Raychaudhuri died of a series of strokes. He was bedridden for a year before his death. He is survived by his wife Pratima Raychaudhuri and daughter Sukanya Wignaraja.
iii. He was an Indian historian specialising in British Indian history, Indian economic history and the History of Bengal
6.    Namsai became the 18th district of Arunachal Pradesh
i. Namsai on 25 November 2014 officially became the 18th district of Arunachal Pradesh. The Chief Minister of Arunachal Pradesh Nabam Tuki made the declaration.
ii. The Chief Minister exhorted the officials to prepare a master plan for the new district and the state government would extend all possible help.
iii. The State Legislative Assembly passed the District re-organisation Bill on 20 March 2013 for creation of Namsai district and notification was issued on 15 July 2013. The formal announcement was made during the 68th Independence Day celebration on 15th August 2014.
7.    EU parliament votes to break up Google
i. European Union lawmakers overwhelmingly backed a motion on Thursday urging anti-trust regulators to break up Google, the latest setback for the world's most popular internet search engine.
ii. Google has been in the EU's regulatory sights since 2010, and is also grappling with privacy issues, requests to scrub search results to comply with a court ruling, copyright concerns and tax controversies.
iii. The non-binding resolution in the European Parliament is the strongest public signal yet of Europe's concern with the growing power of US tech giants. It was passed with 384 votes for and 174 against.
iv. Google declined to comment. European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager has said she will review the case and talk to complainants before deciding on the next step.
v. Her predecessor rejected three attempts by the company to settle complaints that it unfairly demoted rival services and stave off a possible fine of up to $5 billion.
vi. The resolution did not mention Google or any specific search engine, though Google is by far the dominant provider of such services in Europe with an estimated 90 per cent market share.
vii. The lawmakers called on the Commission to consider proposals to unbundle search engines from other commercial services.
8.    Book titled Your Dreams Are Mine Now: She Showed him What Love was released
i. The book titled Your Dreams Are Mine Now: She Showed him What Love was authored by Ravinder Singh was released on 20 November 2014. 
ii. The novel Your Dreams are Mine Now is a powerful and poignant love story that explores the romantic relationship between Rupali and Arun. They are complete opposites and have nothing in common when it comes to their interests and priorities in life. 
iii. Rupali is a small town girl and an idealist, whereas Arun is a Delhi guy with keen interest in youth politics. A major scandal on the college campus brings them together and somewhere along the line they fall in love with each other. But their fight against evil comes at a heavy price which becomes the ultimate test of their lives.
9.    Book titled Black Tornado: The Three Sieges of Mumbai 26/11 released
i. The book titled Black Tornado: The Three Sieges of Mumbai 26/11 authored by Sandeep Unnithan was released on 23 November 2014.
ii. Sandeep Unnithan in his book puts together a blow-by-blow account of the 26 November 2011 terrorist attack in Mumbai and how the siege of Mumbai was thwarted by India's security forces.

iii. The 26/11 attack is widely regarded as the world's first hybrid terrorist attack. The attackers achieved through this long-drawn siege what Al Qaeda did through the high-visibility mass-casualty attack on the World Trade Centre of USA on 11 September 2001. 
10.  Crime novelist PD James died at the age of 94
i. Crime novelist Phyllis Dorothy James on 27 November 2014 died at the age of 94 in Oxford, UK.
ii. She was best known for her series of detective novels starring the policeman and poet Adam Dalgliesh.
iii. Her novels include The Children of Men, The Murder Room and Pride, and Prejudice spin-off Death Comes to Pemberley.


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