1. Reliance teams up with State Bank of India for payments bank
i. Looking to foray into banking business, Reliance Industries has teamed up with state-run behemoth SBI to apply for a payments bank licence.
ii. RIL and SBI put in a joint application to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to set up a payment bank that can offer services such as remittances and deposits but not loans.
iii. The nation's largest lender SBI, which being a commercial bank could not apply for a payment bank license, will hold 30% in the joint venture. RIL will be the promoter and hold the balance 70%.
iv. RIL and SBI partnership comes close on the heels of the recently-announced Airtel-Kotak joint venture.
2. India, China launch Visit India Year in China
i. External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Chinese Vice-Premier Wang Yang jointly launched the Visit India Year in China at a function in Beijing.
ii. The initiative is aimed at enhancing the flow of tourists from China to India and strengthen the people to people bond.
iii. It is agreed to designate 2015 as Visit India Year in China and 2016 as Visit China Year in India.
iv. Under this, the two sides will carry out a series of promotional activities to boost two-way tourism inflow and strengthen people to people bonds.
3. 5-day conference on wildlife poaching begins in Nepal
i. Officials from 13 countries across Asia are beginning a five-day conference in Nepal to discuss wildlife poaching.
ii. Conservationists in the region are battling to save several endangered species including tigers, rhinos, elephants and snow leopards.
iii. The focus of this regional conference is to explore ways of ending poaching altogether.
4. Bharat Rang Mahotsav begins in Delhi
i. The 17th edition of Bharat Rang Mahotsav begins in the national capital.
ii. Organised annually by the National School of Drama, NSD, the theatre festival was inaugurated by Culture Minister Dr Mahesh Sharma and National Award-winning actor and NSD alumnus Om Puri.
iii. Both national and international performances including those from Poland, Israel, USA, France, Bangladesh will figure in the Festival which will continue upto the 18th of this month.
5. Aditya Birla, Future Group apply for payment bank licences
i. Aditya Birla Nuvo Ltd, Future Group and Vakrangee Ltd sought permission from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to set up payments banks.
ii. A payments bank licence will allow companies to accept deposits of up to Rs.1 lakh and increase payment options, especially for people who have no bank accounts.
iii. Aditya Birla Nuvo will hold 51% stake in the proposed payments bank and the remaining 49% will be owned by Idea Cellular
iv. The Kishore Biyani-led Future Group, parent of Future Retail Ltd, also has filed an application for a permit.
6. HIV treatment to be linked to Aadhaar
i. Anti-Retroviral Therapy (ART) Treatment for HIV/AIDS infection will now be linked to Aadhaar.
ii. Even those coming for HIV infection testing will have to produce their Aadhaar cards. This is to avoid duplication of patients going to several ART Centres for testing.
iii. The National Aids Control Organisation (NACO) has created a special software which will identify a patient who goes for testing at different centres and gets registered at all the centres.
7. SIT likely to reinvestigate 1984 anti-Sikh riots cases
i. The government is likely to accept the recommendation of a committee led by former Supreme Court judge G.P. Mathur to set up a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to probe the 1984 anti-Sikh riots.
ii. The riots, which followed assassination of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi on October 31, 1984, claimed over 3,000 lives, of which 2,000 fell prey to violence in Delhi.
8. Kanagasabapathy Sripavan appointed as Chief Justice of Sri Lanka
i. The new president of Sri lanka Maithripala Sirisena has appointed Kanagasabapathy Sripavan as the country's top lawyer. Sripavan sworn in as Sri Lanka's 44th chief justice.
iii. Sripavan is the second Tamil to be the Chief Justice of the Sri Lankan Supreme Court. The first Tamil to hold this highest judicial post in Sri Lanka was Suppiah Sharvananda, who served between 1984 and 1988.