1. RBI approves 10 entities to set up Small Finance Banks
i. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has granted in principle approval to 10 entities to set up small finance banks to provide basic banking services to small farmers and micro industries.
ii. The in-principle approval will enable these entities comply with the guidelines on Small Finance Banks and will be valid for 18 months.
iii. The 10 entities are
Au Financiers (India) Ltd
Capital Local Area Bank
Disha Microfin Private Ltd
Equitas Holdings P Limited
ESAF Microfinance and Investments Private Ltd
Janalakshmi Financial Services Private Limited
RGVN (North East) Microfinance Limited
Suryoday Micro Finance Private Ltd
Ujjivan Financial Services Private Ltd
Utkarsh Micro Finance Private Ltd.
iv. As per RBI guidelines, the small finance banks can provide basic banking services in order to promote financial inclusion.
v. It will include services like accepting deposits and lending to the unbanked sections such as micro business enterprises, small farmers, micro and small industries and unorganised sector entities.
2. Nepal approves new constitution
i. Nepal's parliament has overwhelmingly approved a new constitution, which is due to come into effect on Sunday. As it was passed by 507 votes to 25, cheers broke out in the assembly.
ii. It comes after years of political wrangling, while Nepal was governed by an interim constitution after the monarchy was abolished in 2008. It will see Nepal divided into seven provinces but it angered minority ethnic groups who fear discrimination and sparked protests in which 40 died.
iii. Hindu groups have also been demonstrating, demanding that Nepal be declared a Hindu state - it became a secular republic after the monarchy was scrapped. Members of the Constituent Assembly broke out in cheers on Wednesday night after the vote was passed.
iv. Prime Minister Sushil Koirala later tweeted that it was "an issue of pride for all Nepalis that the people's constitution has been passed". Some small opposition parties boycotted the vote.
3. Union Cabinet approves additional employment of 50 days over and above 100 days under MGNREGA
i. The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has given its ex-post facto approval to provide an additional 50 days of unskilled manual work in the financial year over and above the 100 days assured to job card holders, in such rural areas where drought or natural calamities have been notified.
ii. This will enable States to provide additional wage employment to the rural poor in drought affected areas. The poorest rural households will benefit from this, as it will help in immediate absorption of rural seasonal unemployment, and reduce rural distress.
iii. To provide immediate relief to farmers, in view of the deficit monsoon during Kharif 2015, the Government of India has already taken a number of decisions. Orders on these measures have already been issued to all State Governments, which will implement them on the basis of assessed need.
iv. The various decisions are:
- Diesel Subsidy Scheme for farmers in affected areas
- Enhancement of ceiling on Seed subsidy
- Interventions for saving perennial horticulture crops
- Implementation of additional fodder development programme
- Flexible allocation under RKVY and other centrally sponsored schemes
- Crop contingency plan
4. Union Cabinet approves Shyama Prasad Mukherjee Rurban mission for rural development
i. The Union Cabinet has approved Shyama Prasad Mukherjee Rurban mission (SPMRM) for its ambitious bid to spur social, economic and infrastructure development in rural areas. In this regard, Union Government has earmarked over 5,000 crore rupees for the mission to develop 300 clusters over next three years across the country.
iii. It seeks to achieve of strengthening rural areas and de burdening the urban areas. Thus it seeks for balanced regional development and growth of the country by simultaneously benefiting the rural as well as urban areas of the country.
iv. The State Governments would identify the clusters which have latent potential for growth in accordance with the Framework for Implementation. This framework will be prepared by the Union Ministry of Rural Development.
v. States government will prepare Integrated Cluster Action Plans for Rurban Clusters. It will be comprehensive plan documents detailing out the strategy for the cluster development.
5. India, Cambodia ink 2 MoUs for bilateral cooperation in Tourism, Mekong Ganga Project
i. India and Cambodia have signed two Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) to boost bilateral cooperation in the field of Tourism and another related to umbrella projects under Mekong Ganga Cooperation initiative.
ii. These MoUs were signed in the presence of Indian Vice President M.Hamid Ansari and his Cambodian counterpart Prime Minister Hun Sen in Phnom Penh.
iii. The second MoU for umbrella projects under Mekong Ganga Cooperation initiative covers five Quick Impact Projects.
iv. It also included 50,000 US dollars grant for the Cambodia-India Entrepreneurship Development Centre (CIEDC) which was launched in February 2006.
6. South Indian Fertilisers to set up Kissan Kendra, agri super markets in Kerala
i. The Kochi based South Indian Fertilisers, an organic fertiliser manufacturing company, has plans to set up Kissan Kendra’s and agri super markets across Kerala.
ii. The Kissan Kendra will provide all information on agriculture and make available organic fertilisers, different varieties of seeds, organic pesticides, grow bags etc under one roof.
iii. Besides promoting organic farming, the company will extend information on the usage of latest farming technologies at Kissan Kendras. Kendras will be started under the guidance and supervision of agricultural experts, says Sunil Kumar, Managing Director, South Indian Fertilisers.
7. Manpreet Kaur breaks national shot put record on road to Rio Olympics
i. Railways shot putter Manpreet Kaur today became the latest Indian athlete to qualify for next year's Olympics when she shattered an 18-year-old national record en route to a sixth title at the 55th National Open Athletics Championship today.
ii. The Patiala-based shot putter threw 17.96 metres in her second attempt to claim the gold medal, a hat-trick of titles at the National Open after she returned to field in 2013 following a three year hiatus because of the birth of her daughter Jasnoor.
iii. The 25-year-old, who had the previous best of 16.39 at last year's Delhi National Open, said she was confident of breaking the 19m-mark before next year's Olympics so as to give herself some chance at the quadrennial extravaganza.
iv. The IAAF entry standard for 2016 Rio Olympics in women's shot put is 17.80m, while the top three in London 2012 threw 20m plus. It was also an emotional moment for Manpreet as the previous record holder too worked in the same department of Railways where she's currently posted.
8. Chanderpaul receives Icon Award
i. Veteran Test cricket left-hander Shiv Chanderpaul has been honoured with the Icon Award by the Indo-Caribbean Alliance. In a ceremony held in New York recently, the 41-year-old was given the New York City-based organisation’s highest award and was one of four persons honoured in a five-hour-long ceremony in Flushing, reports CMC.
ii. The others receiving awards were television personality Lakshmee Singh, New York City council member Eric Ulrich and businessman Dave Kadernauth.
iii. Chanderpaul has been one of the most prolific run-scorers in West Indies cricket, amassing 11,867 runs from 164 Tests at an average of 51. He is only second to Brian Lara in aggregate. However, he was sacked in May for poor form ahead of the Australia series and was also recently overlooked for the tour of Sri Lanka beginning next month.