Home Daily Updates IMPORTANT CURRENT AFFAIRS & DAILY NEWS UPDATES : 09 - MARCH - 2016
IMPORTANT CURRENT AFFAIRS & DAILY NEWS UPDATES : 09 - MARCH - 2016
Wednesday, 09 March 2016 03:30

 

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DAILY NEWS UPDATES

09-MARCH- 2016

 


MUMBAI U-23 TEAM CLINCHED CK NAYUDU TROPHY 2015-16

The Mumbai under-23 team clinched the Col CK Nayudu Trophy by defeating Madhya Pradesh at the Holkar Stadium, Indore.

Mumbai bowled out Madhya Pradesh for 442 and took a first innings lead of 135 runs to be declared the winner.

This was Mumbai’s second big title of the season, having pocketed the Ranji Trophy for the 41st time earlier.

Winning team’s right-arm seam bowler Tushar Deshpande made the most of the third new ball in the closing minutes of the game on 2 March 2016.

The Mumbai team, winners of the 2015, 2016, U23 Col C K Nayudu Trophy, will be awarded with a cash prize of 20 lakh rupees on clinching the title.

WORLD'S COSTLIEST TRAIN STATION OPENED IN NEW YORK AT 9/11 SITE

World's most expensive train station, the World Trade Centre Transportation Hub, opened in New York, the United States of America.

Santiago Calatrava, the Spanish-Swiss architect who unveiled his ambitious design 12 years ago, removed a barrier at the entrance of the Oculus, a giant oval hall with walls of steel ribs and glass.

Built next to the site of the destroyed Twin Towers, the World Trade Centre Transportation Hub is expected to eventually serve more than 200000 daily commuters.

Initially budgeted at 2 billion US dollars, the station ended up costing 3.85 billion US dollars that earned it the title of the most expensive station in the world.

The building has an elliptical shape. The space measures 107 metres long by 35 metres at its widest point.

RBI RELEASED DRAFT DIRECTIONS FOR NON-BANKING FINANCIAL COMPANY - ACCOUNT AGGREGATOR

The Reserve Bank of India released Non-Banking Financial Company - Account Aggregator Directions, 2016.

The NBFC-AA Directions will put in place the regulatory framework to allow a new kind of Non-Banking Financial Company (NBFC), which could act as an account aggregator.

The announcement of draft directions is in tune with July 2015 announcement of the RBI regarding creation of a separate category of NBFC called Non-Banking Financial Company - Account Aggregator (NBFC-AA) to provide account aggregation services.

As per the directions, the RBI will regulate and supervise the activity of account aggregation with a view to ensuring that the services provided and the terms at which these are provided conform to prescribed standards.

Highlights of NBFC-AA Directions, 2016

• Only companies registered with the Reserve Bank as NBFC – AA will be able to undertake the business of an account aggregator.

• Entities being regulated by other financial sector regulators and aggregating only those accounts relating to the financial assets of that particular sector will not need to register with the Reserve Bank.

• The Net Owned Fund of such companies should not be less than 2 crore rupees.

• An account aggregator will not be able to undertake any other business other than the business of account aggregator.

• Business of an account aggregator will entirely be Information Technology (IT) driven.

• Initially, only financial assets whose records are stored electronically and are under the regulation of the financial sector regulators, namely, RBI, SEBI, IRDA, and PFRDA shall be considered for aggregation.

• Account aggregation services will be provided under specific application by the customer for availing such services and would be backed by appropriate agreements/ authorisations.

• Pricing of services would be as per the account aggregator’s Board approved policy.

• No financial asset related customer information pulled out by the account aggregator from the financial service providers should reside with the account aggregator.

• An account aggregator will not support transactions in financial assets.

About Account Aggregator

At present, persons holding financial assets, such as, savings bank deposits, fixed deposits, mutual funds, insurance policies, etc do not get a consolidated view of their financial asset holdings.

This problem is compounded when the entities fall under the purview of different financial sector regulators.

Account aggregators would fill this gap by collecting and providing the information of customers’ financial assets in a consolidated, organised and retrievable manner to the customer or any other person as per the instructions of the customer.

As per the draft directions, the investors will be able to avail the service of an Account Aggregator purely at their option.

IFC LAUNCHED 300 MILLION RUPEE URIDASHI MASALA BONDS IN JAPAN

International Finance Corporation, a member of the World Bank Group, launched its first Uridashi Masala Bond. The bonds are worth 300 million rupees and will be utilised to promote private sector development in India.

The three-year Uridashi Masala Bond is Japan-specific and builds on IFC’s Masala bond Program.

While Masala bonds are rupee-denominated instruments sold only to offshore investors, Uridashi bonds are sold to Japanese household investors.

Earlier, in November 2014, the IFC issued first-ever Masala Bonds in London. The bonds were worth 10 billion rupee and listed in the London Stock Exchange.

So far, the IFC raised 1.7 billion US dollars from international investors under the Masala Bond Program.

MANOJ KUMAR TO BE CONFERRED DADASAHEB PHALKE AWARD FOR THE YEAR 2015

Veteran Film Actor and Director Manoj Kumar will be conferred the 47th Dadasaheb Phalke Award for the year 2015.

A five member jury consisted of Lata Mangeshkar, Asha Bhosle, Salim Khan, Nitin Mukesh and Anup Jalota unanimously recommended Kumar for the prestigious Award.

Manoj Kumar is remembered for his films Hariyali Aur Raasta, Woh Kaun Thi, Himalaya Ki God Mein, Do Badan, Upkaar, Patthar Ke Sanam, Neel Kamal, Purab Aur Paschim, Roti Kapda Aur Makaan, and Kranti. He is known for acting in and directing films with patriotic themes.

He is a recipient of National Film Award for the film Upkaar. In 1992, he was honoured with the third highest civilian award Padma Shri by the Government of India.

About the Award

The award is given by the Government of India for outstanding contribution to the growth and development of Indian Cinema. The Award consists of a Swarn Kamal, a cash prize of 10 lakhs rupees and a shawl.

The 46th Dadasaheb Phalke Award was awarded to the veteran actor Shashi Kapoor for the year 2014.

TERROR ALERTS ACROSS THE COUNTRY

  • Gujarat and the national capital were on high alert with several teams of National Security Guard commandos on standby in the wake of intelligence inputs suggesting that a group of 8 to 10 terrorists may have sneaked into India from Pakistan.
  • The alert came on the eve of Shivratri festival on Monday.
  • National Security Adviser Ajit Doval told the Gujarat police top brass about the input on a team of 10 terrorists sneaking into the State to carry out terror strikes.
  • Senior officials in the State claimed that Pakistan’s National Security Adviser Naseer Khan Janjua informed his Indian counterpart about the group of fidayeen from the Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e Muhammed on a major mission in the State.
  • Gujarat Chief Minister Anandiben Patel told the media in Delhi that the authorities had taken all measures, so there was no need to worry.
  • Meanwhile, all public functions to celebrate Shivratri at the historical Somnath temple have been cancelled.
  • Police have also heightened security at another historical pilgrimage centre, Dwarka, and Bhavnath in Junagadh where a huge fair is organised on Shivratri.
  • The national capital went into alert mode on Sunday, after some inputs suggested that the terrorists could have moved from Gujarat to Delhi.

ROTAVIRUS VACCINE WILL BE LAUNCHED THROUGH THE NATIONAL IMMUNISATION PROGRAMME

  • The Indian Council of Medical Research will be launching the rotavirus vaccine through the national immunisation programme by the month-end.
  • The vaccine will be initially provided to all children in Andhra Pradesh, Haryana, Odisha and Himachal and later expanded across the country.
  • ICMR would soon be undertaking the first phase of trial of malaria vaccine.
  • The challenges in India were different from the West and hence the Western ideas could not be copied here.
  • We need to step up treatment options for malaria, tuberculosis, kala azar – diseases that the West did not have to worry about.
  • The University awarded six honorary doctorate degrees on eminent professionals in the field of engineering, science, medicine, social science and theology.

MODI SAYS GO BEYOND WOMEN DEVELOPMENT TO WOMEN LED DEVELOPMENT

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi stressed the importance of women-led development and said a nation was always empowered by its women.
  • Mr. Modi, addressing the valedictory session of the National Conference of Women Legislators in the Central Hall of Parliament here, said: “We must think beyond “women development,” and move towards “women-led development.”
  • “A country is always empowered by its women. It is she who in different roles — as a mother, a sister and a wife — nurtures citizens and these empowered citizens then play a role in building up an empowered society and country,” said Mr. Modi.
  • Mr. Modi said that multi-tasking, which is considered to be a very important element of modern-day management, comes naturally to women.
  • Women representatives from both Houses of Parliament, State Legislative Assemblies and Councils are attending the two-day.
  • Mr. Modi urged the women legislators to engage with their constituents using technology.

EVIDENCE OF ELEMENT, CURIUM, RELATED TO SOLAR SYSTEM FORMATION FOUND

  • Scientists from University of Chicago have discovered evidence of a rare element named curium that was present during the formation of the solar system.
  • The team found evidence of curium in an unusual ceramic inclusion they called “Curious Marie”, taken from a carbonaceous meteorite.
  • “Curious Marie” and curium are both named after Marie Curie whose pioneering work laid the foundation of the theory of radioactivity.
  • This finding ends a 35-year-old debate on the possible presence of curium in the early solar system and plays a crucial role in reassessing models of stellar evolution and synthesis of elements in stars.
  • Curium became incorporated into the inclusion when it condensed from the gaseous cloud that formed the sun early in the history of the solar system.
  • On Earth, curium exists only when manufactured in laboratories or as a by-product of nuclear explosions.
  • Thanks to this sample, the research team was able to calculate the amount of curium present in the early solar system and to compare it to the amount of other heavy radioactive elements such as iodine-129 and plutonium-244.
  • Scientists find evidence of curium in a ceramic inclusion taken from a meteorite

INDIAN INSTITUTE OF SCIENCE HAVE DEVELOPED A ECO-FRIENDLY LAMP

  • Barely half a litre of water and two spoons of salt is the recipe for light.
  • In a country where electricity is yet to reach millions and where dim kerosene lamps overlook the life of many in villages, researchers from Indian Institute of Science (IISc.) have developed an eco-friendly lamp that runs entirely on salt water.
  • The salt water-run battery is as powerful as four AA batteries, and can power an LED lamp for 1,500 hours (or a little more than two months) at a stretch.
  • The concept is one that most are familiar with in high school chemistry. Electricity can be produced when two electrodes (one that can readily give away its electrons, and another to accept them as easily) are dipped in an electrolyte.
  • Salt water or seawater, which is nearly free, has to be replaced every 100 hours or so; while, after nearly 1,500 hours of use, the magnesium electrode has to be changed.
  • Currently, each electrode costs Rs. 50. It is this kind of conversion of simple technology, using renewable resources, that the fledgling company and the IISc.

CRITICALLY ENDANGERED GREAT INDIAN BUSTARD SEEN ON THE BANKS OF TUNGABHADRA

  • The banks of the Tungabhadra in Karnataka’s Sirguppa taluk have provided a ray of hope for the revival of the critically endangered Great Indian Bustard (GIB).
  • They were among the first to spot the species here in 2006. In the years preceding that, it was assumed that the GIB had been wiped out from Karnataka.
  • The semi-arid and arid grasslands in the interiors of Sirguppa taluk could potentially be a perfect habitat for the Bustard.
  • The sighting of the GIB has spurred the Forest Department into action, with additional anti-poaching units and personnel being deployed in the region.
  • At least six major government agencies and industries, including the DRDO, the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, the Indian Institute of Science (IISc.) and ISRO, have been allotted and for industrial, research purposes.

PRESIDENTIAL NOMINATION RACE STILL OPEN

  • The Republican Party establishment’s efforts to stop real estate developer Donald Trump from winning the party’s presidential nomination appears to have an unintended consequence, if at all.
  • All anti-Trump voters in the party are now gravitating towards Texas Senator Ted Cruz, who won two of the four States that voted in the nomination race.
  • On the Democratic side, front runner Hillary Clinton won only one of the three States that voted but picked up more delegates than Senator Bernie Sanders.
  • Mr. Sanders said after the results that his campaign would continue all the way up to the party national convention.
  • Nomination is secured by winning a majority among the delegates at the respective national conventions of parties.
  • After Saturday, with 27.89 per cent of the total delegates allocated on the Democratic side, Ms. Clinton’s lead appeared unassailable.
  • With 37.37 delegates allocated on the Republican side, the contest remains scattered but Mr. Trump’s advantage is apparent.
  • He has 378 delegates, still a long distance away from the halfway mark of 1,297 needed to secure the nomination. Mr Cruz has won 295 so far.

1.26 MILLION PEOPLE SEEK EU ASYLUM IN PAST YEAR

  • The number of people applying for asylum in the European Union (EU) more than doubled in 2015, reaching a record 1.26 million, according to the EU statistics agency.
  • Syrians accounted for almost a third of the total, with 362,775 people seeking shelter in Europe, followed by Afghans and Iraqis, Eurostat said.
  • The data came as Brussels stepped up warnings to member states to take urgent action to resolve the refugee crisis by agreeing on plans to redistribute asylum seekers around Europe.
  • The European Commission also called on countries to lift all internal border controls by November, while stepping up protection of Europe’s external frontiers.
  • Since September, eight countries have reintroduced border checks, aimed at preventing large numbers of refugees and migrants entering their countries.
  • The latest Brussels plan is based on the assumption that Turkey will take decisive steps to reduce the number of people making the perilous crossing across the Aegean Sea.
  • EU leaders are meeting the Turkish Prime Minister, at an emergency summit in Brussels, where they hope to get a promise of decisive action to reduce numbers, especially targeted at people who do not qualify for EU asylum.

COUNTRY HEADING MORE TOWARDS A CASHLESS ECONOMY

  • E-payments and mobile wallets are getting more popular among the youth in the country.
  • As these are gaining wider acceptance, a major concern of our financial regulator too is getting addressed — the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has started working towards making India a cashless economy and to bring in accountability and transparency in each financial transaction.
  • Last week, the Union Cabinet cleared the implementation of a few short and long term measures to promote digital and card-based payments to curb cash use in the system.
  • Some of the measures include withdrawal of surcharge, service charge or convenience fee on card and other digital transactions. With this, digital payment, which is already gaining traction, is expected to gain momentum.
  • Foreseeing this big opportunity, a bunch of youngsters has kick-started a movement by launching mobile wallets and is slowly changing the way Indians transact.
  • A mobile wallet app is a virtual wallet where a registered customer can pre-load a certain amount of money with any service provider, which can be used for various bill payments and recharges.
  • The major reason for this is the smart phone that enables internet penetration in to rural parts of India. Increasing government support is another catalyst.
  • According to a recent report from TechSci Research titled ‘India Mobile Wallet Market Opportunities and Forecast, 2020’, the mobile wallet market in India is projected to reach $6.6 billion by 2020.
  • In April last, e-commerce major Snapdeal had made one of the biggest acquisitions in the Indian e-commerce industry by buying wallet player Freecharge for about $400 million.
  • As the wallets allow a user to load cash from a very small amount to a maximum of Rs 10,000, the risk associated with the loss of money through transaction is minimal. Apart from this, the wallet companies provide high security standards for customers while transacting.
  • Recently, the RBI had issued certain guidelines that allow the users to increase their limit to Rs 1,00,000 based on a certain KYC verification.
  • The mobile wallet user base in India has even surpassed the total number of credit cards issued in the country.
  • The RBI data shows that till November 2015, around 22 million credit cards have been issued by 55 banks, while a rough estimate shows there are more than 100 million wallet users in India.
  • In a bid to garner market share, almost all players are offering cash back and discounts, which can be used for another transaction. Some players even provide offline way of wallet balance top up.
  • Mobikwik has its 'Cash Pickup' service in select cities that will facilitate cash to be directly added to MobiKwik wallet. There are different types of E-wallets:
  • OPEN WALLETS: The ones that allow you to buy good and services, withdraw cash at ATMs or banks and transfer funds; these services can only be jointly launched with a bank. Apart from the usual merchant payments, it also allows you to send money to any mobile number bank account. M-Pesa by Vodafone is an example.
  • SEMI-OPEN WALLETS: You can't withdraw cash or get it back. In this scenario, a customer has to spend what he loads. Airtel Money is a semi-open wallet, which allows you to transact with merchants having contract with Airtel.
  • CLOSED WALLETS: Quite popular with e-commerce companies, where a certain amount of money is locked with the merchant in case of a cancellation or return of the order, or gift cards.
  • SEMI-CLOSED WALLETS: These do not permit cash withdrawals or redemption, but allow you to buy goods and services from listed merchants and perform financial services at listed locations. Paytm is an example.

THE COMMITTEE APPOINTED TO SUGGEST CHANGES IN THE COMPANIES ACT SUBMITTED ITS REPORT

  • The Committee appointed by the Government of India to suggest changes in the Companies Act, 2013 and Rules made there under, in the interests of various stakeholders, has submitted its report.
  • The Committee has suggested that Section 4 (1)(c) of the Companies Act, 2013 should be amended to allow companies to have a generic object clause to engage in any lawful activity or business as per the law for the time being in force.
  • This proposal is based on Section 31 of the Companies Act, 2006 of the U.K. To supplant this English Law on to the Indian sub soil without regard to the ground realities of Indian business is highly misleading.
  • The Committee has suggested that the present prohibition against more than two layers of subsidiaries for investments should be done away with.
  • While the Committee recognises that numerous layers of subsidiaries are created to hide the source of funds so as to siphon off money, the Committee has sought to omit this provision in the Companies Act, 2013 in order not to impede the efficacy of corporate structuring.
  • When it comes to independent directors, Section 149 of the Companies Act, 2013 says that an independent director cannot have any pecuniary relationship with the company in which he is appointed as an independent director or with its satellites during the last two financial years or in the current year.
  • A similar provision in SEBI Regulations for listed companies says that an independent director should not have material pecuniary relationship with a company or with its satellites in the last two financial years or in the current year.
  • The definition of a managing director under the Companies Act, 2013 is almost identical with the definition under the Companies Act, 1956.
  • However, unlike under the Companies Act, 1956, under the Companies Act, 2013, the proviso saying that the managing director should be allowed to exercise his powers subject to the superintendence control and direction of the Board of directors, has been omitted.
  • When it comes to the National Financial Reporting Authority (NFRA), the following views of the Committee are quite appropriate:
  • As suggested by the Committee, the provisions relating to the constitution of the National Company Law Tribunal and the National Law Appellate Tribunal should be amended to conform to the Supreme Court of India’s order of May, 2015. Otherwise, such a tribunal may become a still born baby.
  • Law is as good as it is administered. The Companies Act, 2013 is a modern law for a rising India. It is important that the administrators of such a law have a mindset keeping with the spirit of such a law.

 

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Last Updated on Thursday, 10 March 2016 03:22
 

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