Home Daily Updates IMPORTANT CURRENT AFFAIRS & DAILY NEWS UPDATES : 25 - NOVEMBER - 2016
IMPORTANT CURRENT AFFAIRS & DAILY NEWS UPDATES : 25 - NOVEMBER - 2016
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Saturday, 10 December 2016 05:40

 

 

 



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DAILY NEWS UPDATES

25- NOVEMBER - 2016


:: NATIONAL ::

EXCHANGE OF HIGH VALUE NOTES OVER THE COUNTER AT BANKS HAS BEEN STOPPED

  • In further modifications to use and exchange of the demonetised Rs. 500 and Rs. 1,000 notes, the Centre extended the exemptions for the use of Rs. 500 notes till December 15.
  • These can still be used to pay fees at government schools and colleges as well as for the purchase of pre-paid mobile top-ups.
  • The exchange of the high-value notes of Rs. 500 and Rs. 1,000 over the counter at banks and post-offices has, however, been stopped with immediate effect.
  • This effectively means that those hold-ing Rs 1,000 notes can only deposit them into bank accounts.
  • Regarding the exchange facility for old notes, which was initially allowed up to Rs.4,000 per person, then enhanced to Rs.4,500 before be-ing restricted to Rs.2,000.
  • RBI issued an advisory to banks to ensure adequate cash to meet the likely demand of government officials and pensioners and similarly, provide adequate supply at the military out-posts for the cash requirements of armed forces personnel.
  • Purchases from consumer co-operative stores with old currency notes have now been limited to Rs 5000 at a time, while foreign citizens can now exchange foreign currency up to Rs 5000 per week.
  • The RBI has informed banks that they must facilitate the opening of new accounts for unbanked people, and en-courage those who approach them for exchanging the old currency notes to deposit them into bank accounts.

AFTER INDIA’S RESPONSE PAKISTAN ASKED UN TO ACT

  • Alarmed by the escalation of tension with India along the Line of Control (LoC), Pakistan asked the U.N. to act before the situation be-came a “full-fledged crisis.”
  • Pakistan's Ambassador to the U.N., Ms Lodhi, met Deputy Secretary-General and Chef de Cabinet of the Secretary-General, and alleged that the situation posed a “grave threat to international peace and security.”
  • Ms. Lodhi alleged that escalating tension “was a deliberate attempt” by India to “divert the attention of the international community from the gross human right violations being committed” by it in Kashmir.
  • U.N. Department of Peace Keeping Operations was separately asked to mobilise the UN Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan to effectively monitor the LoC and the working boundary as a step to help ease the tension, a statement said.

GOVT PUSHING FOR DIGITALISATION OF TRANSACTIONS IN THE BANKING SYSTEM

  • In a push for digitisation of transactions in the banking system, Finance Minister told chief executives of public sector and private banks that a task force under the Additional Secretary in the Finance Ministry will be set up to oversee the process.
  • The committee, comprising government officials and bankers, will periodically re-view the progress by individual banks. Ministry also set targets for individual banks on how many transactions they should convert into digital before December 30.
  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) had directed banks to waive the merchant discount rates (MDR) at the shops etc. till the end of December.
  • MDR is the charge paid by a merchant for every swipe at his PoS terminal. Bankers said this move will encourage more mer-chants to accept card payments.
  • Banks will now be focussing on significantly stepping-up transactions in mission mode through alternate banking channels. Apart from urban areas, banks will increase and sustain their focus on semi-urban and rural areas.
  • This outreach would be backed-up by an advertising campaign from Indian Bankers Association (IBA), including demonstration videos, on how to use cards and other modes for cash less trans-actions,” the Finance Ministry statement said.

INCREASE IN CYBER FRAUD CASES SEEN ACROSS INDIA

  • Even as financial institutions are busy grappling with various challenges thrown up by the government’s decision to recall Rs. 500 and Rs.1,000 notes, instances of cyber fraud seem to have gone up in the past few days.
  • BugsBounty.com CEO said two banks have approached it to probe over 3,000 suspected in-stances of diversion of funds under Rs.10,000 per transaction to unknown Digital wallets without the knowledge of account holders.
  • There was a KYC requirement for transactions of Rs.10,000 and above be-fore demonetisation.
  • As a preventive measure, the Reserve Bank of India recently set up a cyber security task force, Reserve Bank Information Technology Private Limited, and has issued instructions to banks to report all instances of breach.
  • The RBI also organises regular meetings with senior bank representatives to discuss cyber security is-sues.
  • With a huge increase in the number of people using plastic cards following de-monetisation, instances of cyber frauds will go up.
  • The first-time users of plastic cards and online trans-actions are susceptible to committing mistakes which may provide an opportunity to steal their banking credentials.

:: INTERNATIONAL ::

EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT SUSPENDS EU MEMBERSHIP TALKS WITH TURKEY

  • The European Parliament voted to suspend talks with Turkey on EU membership, the sharpest response yet to the crackdown by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan against political opponents.
  • The vote is not binding, but it aims to ratchet up the pressure on Erdogan, whose leadership has taken an even more authoritarian turn since a failed coup in July.
  • More than 1,00,000 public workers, including police officers, teachers, soldiers and others, have been fired for what Turkish authorities have said are connections to the coup or to terrorists.
  • Hundreds of organisations have been forced to close, including many news outlets. The vote, in Strasbourg, France, also raised the stakes for EU governments that are loath to cut off the talks with Turkey.
  • So far, only Austria has publicly advocated suspending the talks. Ending the negotiations even temporarily would further jeopardise a deal reached with Turkey that has dramatically stemmed the flow of mi-grants to Greece from Turkey.
  • The influx had threatened to overwhelm some European governments, and it bolstered the fortunes of populist political movements.
  • Many European governments are concerned that the migratory flow could resume unchecked if relations with Turkey sour further.
  • Mr. Erdogan's government has suggested that it may pull out of the membership process altogether if there is no progress by the end of the year.

:: BUSINESS AND ECONOMY ::

RUPEE HOWLERS NEAR 69 PER DOLLAR

  • The rupee slumped to a record low of 68.87 to a dollar in intraday trading as foreign funds continued to sell local stocks and debt amid a broader flight of capital from emerging market assets.
  • Firming expectations that the U.S. Federal Reserve will raise interest rates next month, combined with projections that growth in the world's largest economy will gather momentum have helped the dollar post gains against all major currencies.
  • The rupee's slide tantalisingly close to the 69 a dollar level prompted the Reserve Bank of India to intervene, helping the currency to pare some of its losses and close at 68.73.
  • The rupee's previous record low of 68.85 was touched on August 28, 2013. Currency dealers said state-run banks sold dollars on behalf of the RBI.
  • Foreign institutional investors (FIIs) have dumped a combined $4.2 billion of In-dian equity and debt so far this month, according to data on the NSDL website.
  • This is the highest monthly sales of local assets by FIIs since June 2013 and almost three times the $1.5 billion they sold last month.
  • The rupee is also expected to come under further pressure due to the redemptions of FCNR (B) deposits. Estimates suggest more than half the expected $25 billion of FNCR redemptions are scheduled for the second half of November.

INCREASED TRANSACTIONS THROUGH E-WALLET

  • E-wallet companies are seeing a sudden surge in customer base and trans-actions following the Centre's demonetisation move, according to netCORE Solutions, whose clients include Citrus Pay, Mobikwik and Ola Money
  • Paytm, the market leader, has seen transactions going up by over 300 per cent in the past days.
  • E-wallet companies have increased their market-ing spends both online and offline as cashless transactions is the best choice till the new currency circulates in adequate numbers.
  • The primary objective of the advertising campaigns by e-wallet brands post-de-monetisation has been to get on top of the mind of their consumers with easy money transfer solutions and transaction facilities.
  • E-wallet companies are not just using print as a medium but also have used email, sms and push notifications as channels extensively for installation of their apps for small payments.
  • Currently, approximately 100 million consumers in India are using e-wallets as an option to make transaction.
  • E-wallet transactions are convenient as these are con-ducted through mobile phones with internet connection. In India there are about 25-30 e-wallet companies which are in addition to e-wallets of commercial banks.

MOODY’S SAY DEMONETISATION CAN BOOST REVENUES IN THE LONG RUN

  • Moody's Investors Service said ban on high-denomination currency notes will in the near term significantly disrupt economic activity and lead to weaker growth, but in the long run can boost tax revenues and translate into faster fiscal consolidation.
  • With 86 per cent of the currency in circulation being swept away with the ban on Rs. 500 and Rs.1,000 denomination, households and businesses will experience liquidity shortages for a few months.
  • It also said de-monetisation will “weigh on GDP growth for a few quarters, dampening government revenues.”

:: IMPORTANT DETAILED NEWS ::

TURKEY TO CHAIR 2017 ENERGY CLUB OF SHANGHAI COOPERATION ORGANIZATION

Turkey will chair the Energy Club of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) in 2017. With this, it became the first non full member country to be the chairman of a club in the organisation.

Ankara's proposal for non-SCO member countries to host the term presidency of the Energy Club was accepted in a meeting on 22 November 2016.

The nomination came after officials from Russia and China gave green signal to Ankara after the country’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan pointed to the SCO as Turkey's alternative to the European Union.

About Energy Club of SCO

On 30 November 2006, at The SCO: Results and Perspectives, an international conference held in Almaty, the representative of the Russian Foreign Ministry announced that Russia is developing plans for an SCO "Energy Club".

The need for the club was restated by Moscow at an SCO summit in November 2007. However, other SCO members have not committed themselves to the idea.

About Shanghai Cooperation Organization

The Shanghai Cooperation Organization is also known as Shanghai Pact.

It is a Eurasian political, economic and military organisation.

It was founded in 2001 in Shanghai by the leaders of the China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. These countries, except for Uzbekistan, had been members of the Shanghai Five, which was founded in 1996. After the inclusion of Uzbekistan in 2001, the organisation was renamed by the organisation.

India, Pakistan, Mongolia, Iran and Afghanistan are observers of the SCO. On the other hand, Belarus and Turkey is a dialogue partner.

24TH APEC SUMMIT CONCLUDES IN PERU

The 24th edition of Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit concluded in Lima, Peru. The summit ended with adoption of the 2016 Leaders Declaration.

The summit also closed with a joint pledge to work toward a new free trade agreement that would include all 21 members as a path to “sustainable, balanced and inclusive growth.”

The theme of the 24th APEC Summit was “Quality Growth and Human Development”. The architecture of Caral, an ancient city of Peru, served as the inspiration for the official logo of the APEC summit.

What was the agenda of the summit?

The four pointers were laid out as topics to be discussed for the 2016 APEC summit. These were:

Human Capital Development

Upgrading Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs)

Upgrading Regional Food Market

Regional Economic Integration Agenda

Key highlights of the 2016 Leaders Declaration

• Quality Growth and Human Development: The world leaders committed to strengthen their efforts to ensure decent work and work life quality for all, especially socially vulnerable groups. It will be done by providing access to quality education and vocational training, boosting entrepreneurship, improving social protection and enhancing regional cooperation.

• Challenges and opportunities for free trade and investment in the current global context:The leaders reaffirmed their commitment to keep their markets open and to fight against all forms of protectionism. They also welcomed the implementation of the Information Technology Agreement (ITA) expansion.

• Towards real and functional connectivity in the region: The leaders committed to promote investment with a focus on infrastructure in terms of both quantity and quality.

• Food security, climate change and access to water: The world leaders committed to enhance their cooperation on implementing policies to address the relationship between food security and climate change in ways that respect varying conditions in each economy. They welcomed the APEC Program on Food Security and Climate Change.

CCEA APPROVES SETTING UP OF JAWAHAR NAVODAYA VIDYALAYAS IN 62 DISTRICTS

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) approved the setting up of Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya (JNV) in 62 uncovered districts with an outlay of Rs 2871 crore.

The expenses for this purpose will be Rs 109.53 crore during the 12th Plan with the total outlay of Rs 2761.56 crore from the year 2017-18 to 2024-25.

It is expected that nearly 35000 students will be benefitted from these JNVs.

Highlights of the Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya (JNV)

• It will provide good quality modern education to the talented children notably from rural areas.

• A full-fledged JNV provides employment to 47 people and in view of that, 62 JNVs will provide direct permanent employment to 2914 individuals.

• JNVs are residential and co-educational in nature, thereby, all the staff and students will reside in the Vidyalaya campus.

• Due to its residential nature, JNVs will also generate opportunities for the local vendors for supply of food, consumables, furniture, teaching material, etc.

• It will also create large opportunity for local service providers such as barber, tailor cobbler, manpower for housekeeping and security services.

Background
• Presently, there are 598 Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya in 576  districts spreading across all the States and Union Territories.  Out of these, 591 are functional.

• Each JNV has classes from VI to XII standard with a sanctioned strength of 80 students per class and total strength of 560 students.

• Admissions to JNVs in class VI are done through an entrance examination.

• At least 75% of the seats in a district are filled by candidates from rural areas of the district.

• One third of the total seats in the JNVs are reserved for girls.

MALINI SUBRAMANIAM WINS 2016 CPJ INTERNATIONAL PRESS FREEDOM AWARD

Indian journalist Malini Subramaniam won the International Press Freedom Awards given by Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York City.

Along with Subramaniam, three other journalists won the prestigious award.  They are Mahmoud Abou Zeid from Egypt, Can Dündar from Turkey and Oscar Martinezfrom El Salvador.

The CPJ chose these four journalists as “they have risked their freedom – and their lives – to report to their societies and the global community about critical news events.”

Subramaniam reports on buses by police and security forces, sexual violence against women, the jailing of minors, shutdown of schools, extrajudicial killings, and threats against journalists in the Bastar region in Chhattisgarh.

About International Press Freedom Award

The CPJ International Press Freedom Awards honours journalists or their publications around the world who show courage in defending press freedom despite facing attacks, threats or imprisonment.

The award was established in 1991.

They are administered by the Committee to Protect Journalists, which an independent, non-governmental organization based in New York City.

The CPJ seeks to focus local and international media coverage on countries where violations of press freedom are particularly serious.

 

 

 

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Last Updated on Saturday, 10 December 2016 07:39
 

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