Daily GK Update 3rd September 2015 Important Current Affairs

1. Union Government released 2000 crore rupees to EPS-95 as contribution for 2015-16
i. The Union Government on 1 September 2015 released 2000 crore rupees to Employee Pension Scheme, 1995 (EPS-95) as its contribution for the year 2015-16.
ii. Further, a sum of 250 crore rupees was contributed as grant-in-aid for providing minimum pension of 1000 rupees to the pensioners of EPS-95.
iii. The additional grant-in-aid became necessary as the Union Government directed the Employees' Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) in September 2015 to provide for guaranteed minimum pension of 1000 rupees per month.
iv. Employee Pension Scheme (EPS)-95 came into effect on 16 November 1995 and the scheme was launched under the Employees' Provident Funds and Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 1952.
v. It applies to the employees of all factories and other establishments to which the Employees' Provident Funds and Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 1952 applies.
vi. The Union Government and employers contribute 1.16 percent and 8.33 percent of the monthly wages of the members respectively.
vii. Under the scheme, monthly benefits for superannuation/ retirement, disability, survivor, widow(er), children is provided and the amount of pension is based on average salary during the preceding 12 months from the date of exit and total years of employment.
vii. It also provides for minimum pension on disablement and also provides for past service benefit to participants of erstwhile Family Pension Scheme, 1971.

2. NSE seals pact with Stock Exchange of Mauritius for synergy
i. NSE today announced that it has formalised a memorandum of understanding with the Stock Exchange of Mauritius (SEM) to facilitate co-operation between the two exchanges. 
ii. "We have entered into an MoU with the Stock Exchange of Mauritius (SEM) with the objective of fostering a deeper and more strategic relationship between the two institutions, facilitating development of channels for knowledge sharing and developing mutual synergies for growth and development," NSE said in a statement here. 
iii. SEM started its operations in July 1989 as a domestic equity-centric exchange and has since seen an overhaul of its operational and regulatory framework to become one of the leading bourses in Africa and a multi-asset class international exchange. 
iv. SEM operates a multi-currency capital raising, listing and trading platform in four international currencies, namely USD, euro, pound sterling and ZAR. 
v. The areas of co-operation under the MoU will encompass education, training and knowledge transfer in securities markets, product development and indice creation as well as capacity development in surveillance and investigation. 
vi. Anerood Jugnauth, the Prime Minister of Mauritius, and S Bhadain, Minister of Financial Services, along with other dignitaries, met the NSE delegation on this occasion. 

3. Forward Markets Commission to be merged with SEBI with effect from 28 Sept 2015
i. Union Government on 28 August 2015 notified the merger of commodities market regulator Forward Markets Commission (FMC) with Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI). Its merging will be effective from 28 September 2015. 
ii. For this purpose, the government repealed the Forward Contracts Regulation Act (FCRA) 1952 and made a way to shift the Regulation of Commodity Derivatives Market to SEBI under Securities Contracts Regulation Act (SCRA) 1956.
iii. An official press release said, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, in his Budget speech, had announced the merger of FMC with the capital market regulator SEBI to strengthen the regulation of commodity futures market.
iv. A unified regulator for commodities and capital markets will help streamline monitoring of commodity futures trading and curb wild speculations.

4. ABB elevates India head Bazmi Husain as global chief technology officer 
i. ABB has elevated Bazmi Husain, managing director of ABB India, as the global chief technology officer, the Swiss-engineering major announced Wednesday. 
ii. Husain, a power and automation expert who has been with ABB for 30 years, will take over the new position in the beginning of 2016. He will be the first Indian on this position. Prior to him, Ravi Uppal had occupied a top position at ABB group level as the president of global markets. Uppal is now the managing director and chief executive officer of Jindal SteelBSE 1.40 % and Power. 
iii. The $42 billion-ABB said that the company will appoint a new head for India operations soon. Husain will now report to Group CEO Ulrich Spiesshofer.
iv. Heads of research and development operations at the group and division level as well as ABB's venture capital arm, ABB Technology Ventures would be reporting to Husain. ABB spends $1.5 billion annually on R&D and employs some 8,500 technologists. 

5. ICICI Lombard in bancassurance tie-up with CSB
i. ICICI Lombard General Insurance has tied up with Catholic Syrian Bank(CSB) for sale of its products through 431 branches of the bank.
ii. Through the bancassurance tie-up, the company will able to offer general insurance solutions to the bank's customer base in Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Maharashtra. The 94-year-old Kerala-based bank has a strong presence in the southern and western parts of the country.

iii. The bank had distribution network of 431 branches across 15 states and 4 union territories as on December 31, 2014. ICICI Lombard would be able to offer its risk solutions to the bank's customer base of 16 lakh clients (as on December 31, 2014). 
iv. The bank's focus is on the small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and retail client segments apart from NRI customers.

6. West-Central Railway becomes first zone to eliminate Unmanned Level Crossings
i. The West-Central Railway (WCR) zone headquartered in Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh has become the first Railway Zone in Indian Railways to eliminate all unmanned level crossings.

ii. The target was achieved after all 118 unmanned level crossings of WCR zone were eliminated in phase manner by August 31, 2015. 80 crossings were eliminated in the financial year 2014-15 and the remaining 38 crossings were eliminated in August 2015.
iii. This target was achieved by constructing 33 Limited Height Sub Ways (LHs) and manning of 30 level crossings.
iv. It is a being considered as a big success in the safety initiative of Indian Railways as unmanned railway crossings continue to remain a deathtrap in India as alone it had killed 126 people in 2014-15.


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