Home Daily Updates IMPORTANT CURRENT AFFAIRS & DAILY NEWS UPDATES : 22 - NOVEMBER - 2016
IMPORTANT CURRENT AFFAIRS & DAILY NEWS UPDATES : 22 - NOVEMBER - 2016
Saturday, 10 December 2016 05:36

 

 

 



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DAILY NEWS UPDATES

22- NOVEMBER - 2016

 

:: NATIONAL ::

ONE THIRD OF COUNTRIES ATM’S RECALIBRATED SO FAR

  • It has been over 10 days since the demonetisation process started. Till date, over 32 per cent of ATMs in the country have been recalibrated to dispense the newly introduced Rs. 500 and Rs. 2,000 notes.
  • Chairman of the Cash Logistics Association of India, told that out of the 2-lakh-odd ATMs in the country, over 65,000 have been recalibrated.
  • In a few more weeks, the job will be completed. We have roped in all the ATM engineers for this job. They are criss-crossing the country to complete this task.
  • Ever since the demonetisation process began, the 60,000-plus personnel in more than 10 cash logistics companies in the country have been busy transporting cash from the Reserve Bank of India to ATMs and banks.
  • Cash logistics companies are involved in three main steps — remove the demonetised cash from ATMs, recalibrate ATMs and replenish them.
  • The focus is on rural areas. “We are ensuring that cash reaches all the ATMs so that no one is put to difficulty,” he explained.

GOVT TO FOCUS ON RURAL INDIA

  • Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley directed commercial bank chiefs to focus their attention on rural India’s cash crunch over the next 40 days, with a war chest of Rs. 35,000 crore for providing credit to farmers by December.
  • The Centre also relaxed its demonetisation policy for high-value currency notes further by allowing farmers to buy seeds for the rabi sowing season using the old Rs. 500 notes.
  • Mr. Jaitley, who held a video conference, also asked banks to provide Rs. 5,000 crore to the currency chests of district central co-operative banks to ensure farmers face no cash shortages for the rabi season.
  • Separately, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) eased asset classification norms for loans less than Rs. 1 crore to allow businesses, home loan borrowers.
  • RBI also gave farmers 60 more days to pay instalments for November and December, to prevent them from being classified as non-performing assets owing to the ongoing cash crisis.
  • The RBI issued a notification to operationalise the Centre’s announcement that farmers will be allowed to withdraw up to Rs. 25,000 a week from their loan or deposit accounts, including kisan credit card limits.
  • It allowed firms to withdraw up to Rs. 50,000 a week from their cash credit accounts to continue operations, in line with the limit set for current accounts and traders registered with agriculture produce marketing committees (APMCs).
  • However, the RBI is yet to notify another relaxation announced for farmers, allowing withdrawal of Rs. 25,000 a week from payments received in bank accounts against sale of kharif produce in APMCmandis.

BIHAR CM SAYS SUPPORT PM ON DEMONETISATION

  • Emphatically reiterating his support for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s demonetisation move, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has said, “We should all respect the decision”. Mr Kumar’s support has set off ripples in political circles.
  • Breaking ranks with his political allies — the RJD and Congress — and rejecting the demands against the move by his counterparts in West Bengal and Delhi, Mr. Kumar has openly supported Mr. Modi on the issue.
  • However, he admitted that demonetisation had hit rural India and caused hardship to people living in remote areas.
  • Saying that the issue may cause differences among the NDA partners too, he reiterated that, “We should support the brave move”, a party leader said.

:: INTERNATIONAL ::

ALL PRIESTS WOULD HAVE THE RIGHT TO FORGIVE ABORTION

  • Pope Francis declared that all priests would have the right to forgive abortion, making permanent a temporary measure put in place for the Vatican's jubilee year.
  • “I henceforth grant to all priests, in virtue of their ministry, the faculty to absolve those who have committed the sin of procured abortion,” the Pope wrote in an apostolic letter marking the end of the ‘Year of Mercy’.
  • The Argentine, 79, said he had to “restate as firmly as I can that abortion is a grave sin, since it puts an end to an innocent life”.
  • But he said the end of the special year did not mean the end of mercy itself, and so-called sinners must be given a chance to repent. The Catholic Church considers abortion to be a sin.
  • The forgiveness stretches not only to women who have abortions but also those who carry them out or are involved in any way.
  • The Pope hopes greater compassion from a more open-minded Church will not only counter xenophobia but also draw people to pews.

FOREIGN SECRETARY SAYS SOUTH ASIA WILL BLOCK PAK IF IT CONTINUES LIKE THIS

  • South Asian nations will begin to look at other “alternatives” if Pakistan continues to “block” SAARC initiatives, Foreign Secretary S.Jaishankar warned.
  • In comments just ahead of a regional conference in India that Pakistan will attend, Mr. Jaishankar said Pakistan risks relations with other SAARC countries if it doesn’t follow “basic standards of regional cooperation.”
  • South Asian nations will begin to look at other “alternatives” if Pakistan continues to “block” SAARC initiatives, Foreign Secretary S.Jaishankar warned here on Monday.
  • “If you (Pakistan) say that you will be a member of a regional grouping but won’t allow regional trade, won’t allow regional connectivity, won’t allow regional motor ways or railways, than what is it about? You cannot be a member of a region and block every possible regional initiative and still say ‘I am good member’.
  • Mr. Jaishankar said, referring to Pakistan’s decision to reject MFN status for India as well as India’s proposal for a SAARC motor vehicle agreement.
  • However, he said SAARC countries could opt for “sub-regional initiatives and will look at other initiatives like Bimstec” that India hosted in October instead of SAARC, and that could be “heavily damaging” to the region.
  • Mr. Jaishankar’s comments are significant as they come after Pakistan that they will visit India to attend the ‘Heart of Asia’ regional conference of 14 nations, due to be held in Amritsar on December 3 and 4.
  • No bilateral meeting has been planned as yet, say officials, even as tensions at the LoC have increased with a sharp increase in artillery fire causing casualties on both sides.
  • Dr. Jaishankar had visited Washington to meet with U.S. Administration officials and Congressmen in a visit seen as an early reach out to the team of President-elect Trump.

:: SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY ::

PRITHVI-II TEST-FIRED IN SALVO MODE

  • Two Prithvi-II missiles were successfully test-fired in salvo mode on Monday morning from the launch complex-III of the Integrated Test Range near Balasore in Odisha.
  • A gap of 35 seconds separated the launch of the two surface-to-surface missiles. The Strategic Forces Command (SFC) fired the missiles from a road-mobile launcher.
  • The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) designed and developed the Prithvi-II.
  • The missile, capable of reaching targets 350 km away, can carry a 500-kg nuclear warhead.
  • Preparations are under way for the launch of the Agni-I strategic missile from Balasore. Agni-I has a range of 750 km and carries a nuclear warhead.

:: INDIA AND WORLD ::

CHIEF OF ARMY STAFF OF INDIA AND CHINA REITERATE CALL TO MAINTAIN PEACE

  • The Chief of Army Staff, and top Chinese military officials have reiterated their call to maintain peace and tranquillity along the India-China border, and to keep up the momentum of high-level military exchanges between the two countries.
  • General Singh called on General Xu Qiliang, Vice-Chairman of the powerful Central Military Commission (CMC).
  • General Singh called on General Xu Qiliang, Vice-Chairman of the powerful Central Military Commission (CMC).
  • During talks with Gen. Li, both sides welcomed the ongoing sixth India-China Joint Training Exercise ‘Hand-in-Hand’ 2016, in India. They also agreed to further expand defence exchanges between the two armies.
  • China has revamped the CMC on the watch of President Xi Jinping, who also heads the organisation. Fan Changlong, who had invited Gen. Singh and Gen. Xu are Vice Chairmen of the CMC.
  • China’s military reforms have also included formation of combat-focused theatre commands, capable of projecting force over longer distances, using integrated assets on land, sea, air and space.

:: BUSINESS AND ECONOMY ::

RBI RELAXED NORMS FOR REPAYMENT OF LOANS

  • Realising that small borrowers may fall behind on repayment of their loan dues following the cash crunch triggered by demonetisation of ₹500 and ₹1,000 notes.
  • The Reserve Bank of India has temporarily relaxed prudential norms for banks and non-banking finance companies, allowing short-term deferment of classification of such loans as sub-standard.
  • By allowing regulated entities (REs), such as banks and NBFCs, an additional 60 days beyond what is applicable to them for recognition of a loan account as sub-standard, the central bank has saved them the burden of provisioning.
  • Once the loan is classified as sub-standard, the lenders have to make a general provision of 15 per cent on the total outstanding; this could have adverse implications for their bottomline.
  • The RBI said the relaxation in income recognition and asset classification norms is applicable in the cases of working capital accounts with any bank, where the sanctioned limit is ₹1 crore or less.
  • Further, the norm is applicable to term loans, whether business or personal, secured or otherwise, the original sanctioned amount whereof is ₹1 crore or less, on the books of any bank or any NBFC, including NBFC (Micro Finance Institution).
  • REs have been asked to ensure that this is a short-term deferment of classification as sub-standard due to delay in payment of dues arising during the specified period and does not result in restructuring of the loans.
  • The additional time will only apply for the deferment of the classification of an existing standard asset as sub-standard and not for delaying the migration of an account across sub-categories of NPA.

NITI AAYOG PROPOSES TAX BREAK FOR DIGITAL PAYMENTS

  • Niti Aayog has proposed giving tax breaks to consumers and merchants for debit or credit card payments.
  • The government think-tank has also suggested levying surcharge for cash transactions beyond a set limit to encourage electronic transactions.
  • Niti Aayog Chief Executive Officer Amitabh Kant pitched for encouraging e-payments for driving online commerce as well as bringing in greater transparency and higher tax collection for the government.
  • At the same time, Niti Aayog has suggested discouraging use of cash by levying a surcharge on cash transactions beyond a certain threshold.
  • It has also been recommended that mobile wallets be allowed to participate in one of the government’s key reforms – Direct Benefit Transfer Scheme – for subsidies, minimum wage payments for various government schemes and other payments, using JanDhan, Aadhaar and Mobile (JAM),”.
  • In the meeting, Mr. Kant had pointed out that while there was a sharp uptick (50 per cent rise) in e-payments in the past few years, 78 per cent of transactions were still cash-based.
  • The number of transactions in digital channels increased from 1.1 billion in 2012-13 to 1.7 billion in 2013-14 and 2.3 billion in 2014-15.
  • Stating that e-commerce was a growth driver for the economy, Mr.Kant, during the meeting, observed it contributed about only one per cent to the total retail market as compared to 14 per cent in China, the official said.
  • The government think-tank has also pitched for stronger policy for protection of interests of online shoppers.
  • For example, in China, on one hand, online shoppers can return goods within seven days without assigning any reason and on the other, it is mandatory for sellers to be registered and compensate users in case of fraud, among other things.

REPORT SUGGESTS UNUSUAL SPIKE IN DEPOSITS DUE TO IDS

  • The unusual increase in bank deposits in September is mainly due to the Income Disclosure Scheme (IDS) of the government apart from seventh pay commission arrears, said a research report by Chief Economist, State Bank of India.
  • The average increase in deposits in September in the last 12 years had been about Rs.1 lakh crore. In the month of September 2016, there was a substantial increase in deposits by Rs.2.87 lakh crore which is remarkably different from the trend.
  • The report said about Rs.45,000 crore came in the form of arrears from the seventh pay commission recommendations which were deposited in the bank accounts in the first week of September.
  • It assumed Rs. 1.56 lakh crore was incrementally added in September if the average of last three years were considered.
  • He said given that the disclosure scheme attracted a penalty of 45 per cent, people may prefer to disclose the income as deposits/advance tax payments so as to pay a tax of 30 per cent and not 45 per cent.
  • Interestingly, a report by the same author in April hinted at demonetisation which could have been a reason for a deposit surge in March.

:: IMPORTANT DETAILED NEWS ::

SCIENTISTS DISCOVER A SUPER-EARTH ORBITING AROUND RED DWARF STAR

A team of scientists has recently discovered a super-Earth orbiting around a red dwarf star just 32.7 light years away. The discovery was published in the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics.

The study was led by Alejandro Suarez Mascareno from the Instituto de Astrofisica de Canarias (IAC) and the University of La Laguna (ULL) in Spain.

Key Findings

• This exoplanet is named as GJ 536 b.

• It is around 5.4 times the mass of Earth. Planets that are up to 15 times the mass of Earth are classed as super-Earths.

• While the exoplanet is not located with the habitable zone of its star GJ 536 but it has a short orbit period of just 8.7 days.

• This rocky exoplanet is orbiting a star that is much smaller and cooler than the sun but is sufficiently nearby and bright.

• It can be observed from both the northern and southern hemispheres.

The Study

• The planet was detected in a joint effort between the IAC and the Geneva Observatory.

• To detect the planet, the researchers measured the velocity of the star with an accuracy of the order of a metre per second.

• The research was carried out using the HARPS (High Accuracy Radial velocity Planet Seeker) spectrograph on the 3.6M ESO Telescope at La Silla in Chile.

• HARPS North was also used on the Telescopio Nacional Galileo (TNG) at the Roque de los Muchachos Observatory, Garafia in Spain.

THAI PRINCESS MAHA CHAKRI SIRINDHORN CONFERRED FIRST WORLD SANSKRIT AWARD

Maha Chakri Sirindhorn, Princess of Thailand, was conferred with the first World Sanskrit Award. She was honoured for her exemplary contribution for the promotion of Sanskrit language for the year 2015.

On the other hand, American linguist and Indologist Professor George Cardona was also honoured with the award for the year 2016.

Princess Sirindhorn and Professor Cardona were bestowed with the award by Vice President Hamid Ansari at a function held in New Delhi.

The World Sanskrit Award was instituted by the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR).

About Maha Chakri Sirindhorn

Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn is the second daughter of Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej.

She was bestowed with the ceremonial title on 5 December 1977.

She holds degrees in history and a doctorate in educational development.

She teaches at the history department of the Chulachomklao Royal Military Academy.

She speaks fluent Thai, English, French and Mandarin Chinese. She is currently studying German and Latin.

She is also a skilled performer and avid promoter of Thai traditional music.

In 2004, she was awarded the Indira Gandhi Prize for Peace, Disarmament and Development Award.

She was also the Royal Patron of the 16th World Sanskrit Conference, which was held in Bangkok in 2015.

GUIDED MISSILE DESTROYER INS CHENNAI INDUCTED INTO INDIAN NAVY

Guided Missile Destroyer INS Chennai was commissioned into the Indian Navy by Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar at the Naval Dockyard, Mumbai.

The ship was indigenously designed by the Indian Navy’s Directorate of Naval Design and was constructed by Mazagon Dock Limited, Mumbai.

Highlights of INS Chennai

• INS Chennai is the last of the Project 15 A class Destroyers.

• It will be placed under the operational and administrative control of the Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Western Naval Command.

• It measures 163m in length, 17.4m in breadth with a displacement of 7500 tonnes.

• It is propelled by four powerful Gas Turbines, in a Combined Gas and Gas (COGAG) configuration which makes it capable of achieving speeds in excess of 30 knots.

• It also has enhanced stealth features resulting in a reduced Radar Cross Section (RCS) which is achieved through efficient shaping of hull, plated masts and radar transparent materials on exposed decks.

• It contains contemporary and refined weapons and sensors such as Surface to Surface Missile and Surface to Air Missiles.

• It is fitted with a up to date Surveillance Radar which provides data to the gunnery weapon systems of the ship.

• Its Anti Submarine Warfare capabilities are rendered by the indigenously developed Rocket Launchers and Torpedo Launchers.

• It is equipped to fight under Nuclear, Biological and Chemical (NBC) warfare conditions.

• Its unique feature is the high level of indigenised equipment- Combat Management System, Rocket Launcher, Foldable Hangar Doors, Helo Traversing system, Auxiliary Control System and the Bow mounted SONAR.

• It will be under the command of Captain CR Praveen Nair, a Communication & Electronic Warfare specialist.

 

 

 

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Last Updated on Saturday, 10 December 2016 07:53