Current Affairs 15th July 2016 - Banking, SSC, UPSC Affairs

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The World Youth Skills Day (WYSD) was on 15 July 2016 observed globally with the theme Skills Development to Improve Youth Employment. On the occasion, United Nations organised the event facilitated by the UN Envoy on Youth Ahmad Alhendawi. The event was co-organized with the Permanent Missions of Portugal and Sri Lanka to the United Nations, UNESCO and the International Labour Organization (ILO).The day is observed to create more awareness and a discussion on training and the development of skills for the youth of today, in hopes of creating a better opportunity for them when it comes to employment. The World Youth Skills Day was established by the United Nations (UN) General Assembly on 11 November 2014. The Assembly designated 15 July as the World Youth Skills Day in order to raise awareness about the importance of investing in youth skills development.

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has constituted an inter regulatory Working Group (WG) to study the entire gamut of regulatory issues relating to Fin Tech (financial technology) and Digital Banking in India on 14 July 2016. It will view the growing significance of Fin Tech innovations and their interactions with the financial sector as well as the financial sector entities. The 13-member working group will be headed by Sudarshan Sen, the executive director of RBI. It has been asked to submit its report within six months from the date of its first meeting. Term : To undertake a scoping exercise to gain a general understanding of the major Fin Tech innovations/developments, counterparties/entities, technology platforms involved and how markets and the financial sector in particular, are adopting new delivery channels, products and technologies. To assess opportunities and risks arising for the financial system from digitisation and use of financial technology, and how these can be utilised for optimising financial product innovation and delivery to the benefit of users / customers and other stakeholders. To assess the implications and challenges for the various financial sector functions such as intermediation, clearing, payments being taken up by non-financial entities.To examine cross country practices in the matter, to study models of successful regulatory responses to disruption across the globe. To chalk out appropriate regulatory response with a view to re-aligning / re-orienting regulatory guidelines and statutory provisions for enhancing Fin Tech / digital banking associated opportunities while simultaneously managing the evolving challenges and risk dimensions.Any other matter relevant to the above issues. The Working Group may invite views from representatives from any area relevant to its terms of reference and may also, at its discretion, co-opt entities in the payment, telecom, software and start up ecosystem. Earlier on 26 April 2016, the Financial Stability and Development Council - Sub Committee (FSDC - SC) at its meeting decided to set up such a Working Group to look into and report on the granular aspects of Fin Tech and its implications. The decision was made to review and appropriately reorient the regulatory framework and respond to the dynamics of the rapidly evolving Fin Tech scenario.  

The Union Government and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) has signed a 100 million US dollars loan agreement to strengthen key irrigation and drainage system and improve water management in the Vennar sub-basin of the Cauvery delta in Tamil Nadu on 14 July 2016 . The financing will be used to strengthen embankments of six major irrigation water channels in the Vennar system and rehabilitate 13 irrigation pumping schemes.  Highlights : The project aims to improve existing infrastructure and will provide flood protection and renewed access to irrigation. Flood forecasting and warning systems will be installed and a flood risks map drawn up to help communities respond more effectively to extreme events. The Water Resources Department of the State of Tamil Nadu is responsible for implementing the project.The loan from ADB’s ordinary capital resources has a 25-year term.The project is expected to be completed by December 2020.  

Rare Marbled Map butterfly was sighted in Eastern Ghats near PM Kota village of Maredumilli mandal in East Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh. This is the first time that the Marbled Map butterfly species, usually found in the north-east, was sighted in South India.  The butterfly was found by a group of green enthusiasts including N. Chandramohan Reddy, an Indian Forest Service officer, while they were exploring the thick forest of the Eastern Ghats of the region. At present, Reddy is working as the managing director of AP Urban Greening and Beautification Corporation Ltd. A book by Issac Kehimkar titled ‘The Book of Indian Butterflies’ says that the Marbled Map (Cyrestis cocles) is listed as a rare butterfly species. Its availability is confined to forested hills in the region between Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Bhutan and Myanmar. Marbled Map (Cyrestis cocles) : The Marbled Map is a species of nymphalid butterfly found in parts of Asia.This species is pale green with faint vertical lines and rounded wings.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared India as Maternal and Neonatal Tetanus free. In this regard on 14 July 2016, WHO presented certificates to the Union Health and Family Welfare Minister J P Nadda. Previously in May 2016, WHO certified India yaws-free after a team of experts verified interruption of disease transmission in the country. India is the first country under the 2012 WHO neglected tropical diseases (NTD) roadmap to eliminate yaws. Yaws is a chronic bacterial infection that affects the skin, bones and cartilages.  The Maternal and Neonatal Tetanus Elimination (MNTE) has been the result of India's focused approach on making maternal and newborn care accessible to all. Reducing maternal and neonatal tetanus to less than one case per 1 000 live births in all 675 districts has helped improve access to immunization, antenatal care services and skilled birth attendance in the most vulnerable populations. Both yaws and maternal and neonatal tetanus eliminations were achieved using the existing health system and health workforce.

Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq has scored 110 against England at Lord's on 14 July 2016. With this, the 42 years and 47 days old cricketer became the oldest captain to score Test hundred. Misbah is also the oldest visiting player to play a Test on English soil in the last 31 years. The previous oldest was Somachandra de Silva of Sri Lanka, who was 42 years & 73 days old when he played against England at Lord's in 1984. Misbah-ul-Haq : Misbah-ul-Haq is a Pakistani cricketer.He is the current Test captain of the Pakistan national cricket team. He was also the One Day International (ODI) captain until his retirement from ODI cricket after the 2015 Cricket World Cup.He holds the record of the fastest test half century.He also scored fastest test century, equalling the record of Sir Vivian Richards, which was later broken by Brendon McCullum.  

A book titled Who Moved My Interest Rate? authored by Duvvuri Subbarao, the former Governor of Reserve Bank of India (RBI), will be released on 27 July 2016. The book gives an account of the dilemmas Subbarao confronted while leading the Reserve Bank through the extraordinary economic and political challenges India and world faced from 2008 to 2013. The book is a chronicle of Subbarao’s attempts to demystify the RBI and explain to the public its impact on their everyday lives. Subbarao’s term as the Governor of the RBI from 2008 to 2013 saw a turbulent period for the world and for India. The global financial crisis erupted within a week of his assuming office. Duvvuri Subbarao : Duvvuri Subbarao is an Indian Economist, Central Banker and Civil Servant.He was the 22nd Governor of Reserve Bank of India from 5 September 2008, with an extension in 2011 till 4 September 2013.He is a 1972 batch Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer of Andhra Pradesh cadre.

The Supreme Court-constituted Special Investigation Team (SIT) on black money on 14 July 2016 submitted its fifth report to the apex court. The SIT was headed by retired Justice M B Shah. The SIT in its fifth report recommended the following: Cash transactions : It has recommended ban on cash transactions above 3 lakh rupees in a day. It recommended enacting a law to declare such transactions as illegal and punishable. Cash holding : It also suggested capping the cash holding of an industry or individual at 15 lakh rupees. In case any person or industry required holding more cash, it may obtain necessary permission from the Commissioner of Income Tax of the area. The SIT felt that the cash transaction limit can only succeed if there is a limitation on cash holding. The Justice MB Shah led SIT was constituted in 2014 to look into the ways to curb generation of black money, unaccounted, untaxed wealth, and bring back funds stashed away overseas. Apart from this, to catch the undisclosed foreign assets and curb the domestic black money, the Union Government has enacted two different laws and they are Black Money (Undisclosed Foreign Income and Assets) and Imposition of Tax Act, 2015 Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Amendment Bill, 2015, which the government hopes will get passed in the upcoming monsoon session of parliament.

The Union Government has revised the time schedule for making payments under the Income Declaration Scheme 2016 on 14 July 2016. As per the revised schedule, a minimum amount of 25 percent of the tax, surcharge and penalty can be paid by 30 November 2016 and further amount of 25 percent by 31 March 2017. The balance amount can be paid on or before 30 September 2017. The decision was taken following practical difficulties expressed by various stakeholders that the time period available under the Scheme up to 30 November 2016 for making payment of tax, surcharge and penalty is very short.

Rajesh Kumar Chaturvedi was appointed as the Chairman of the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) for a five-year term on 14 July 2016. The post had been lying vacant since December 2014.Until now, Joint Secretary of the Union Human Resource Development Ministry Y S K Seshu Kumar was holding the additional charge of Chairman of the CBSE. Chaturvedi was appointed after the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) decided that CBSE Chairperson will be appointed through Central Staffing Scheme and not through Search-Cum-Selection Committee method. Chaturvedi is a 1987- batch IAS officer from Madhya Pradesh cadre. Chaturvedi has wide-ranging experience in the revenue and commerce departments. However, he has never worked in the education sector.  Chaturvedi's appointment came just after the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) rejected former Human Resource Development Minister Smriti Irani's choice Sarvendra Vikram Bahadur Singh for the crucial post and divested the Ministry of the power to send a panel of names for the appointment. This was the second time that the name of CBSE chairperson recommended by HRD ministry has been rejected by the ACC. In early 2015, a search-cum-selection committee had sent the name of Satbir Bedi for the post of Chairman of CBSE, but DoPT rejected him as well on the grounds that he didn't fulfil the basic qualification of having been education administrator for three years.  

AICC has announced Sheila Dikshit as its chief ministerial candidate for the assembly polls slated for early 2017. She returns to UP politics, the state of her late husband, after two decades' stint in Delhi state politics.  Party General Secretary Janardan Dwivedi along with Ghulam Nabi Azad has announced Dikshit's name at a press conference in All India Congress Committee headquarters, New Delhi.  Sheila Dikshit : Sheila Dikshit  is an Indian politician who was the Chief Minister of Delhi from 1998 to 2013. She is a member of the Indian National Congress. Dikshit led the Congress to three consecutive electoral victories in Delhi. In December 2013 elections to the Delhi Legislative Assembly, Dikshit was defeated in New Delhi constituency by Aam Aadmi Party leader Arvind Kejriwal, who briefly replaced her as Delhi's chief minister. Subsequently she was sworn in as Governor of Kerala on 11 March 2014. However, she resigned on 25 August 2014

President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom has appointed seasoned diplomat Dr Mohamed Asim as the new foreign minister. Dr Asim joined the foreign service in 2004 and was serving as the High Commissioner of Maldives for Bangladesh prior to his appointment as the country’s top diplomat. He had also served as the Ambassador at Large at the foreign ministry, Maldives High Commissioner to UK, and Sri Lanka, and as non-resident Ambassador to EU, Pakistan and Bangladesh. Dr Asim has a PhD in Political Science and International Relations from the Australian National University. Dhunya’s sudden resignation comes in the wake of a widening rift between her father former president Maumoon Abdul Gayoom and her uncle, president Yameen.The rift between the two brothers widened over a government proposed controversial amendment to the Tourism Act. Gayoom had moved quickly to assume full control of the party amid a fallout from his failed attempt to get his party lawmakers to vote down the amendment which sought to bypass the bidding process in island lease for tourism. The PPM parliamentary group’s decision to oust Gayoom who is now 80 came shortly after a sit-down with president Yameen.

The Karnataka Region Economic and Trade Organisation (KRETO) and the Sanya People Municipal Government, China, signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to foster trade between Sanya City and Karnataka. The agreement allows for large and medium delegations from Sanya to visit Karnataka and vice-versa. This agreement also allows for Sanya city to be certified as an approved destination for delegation visits from Karnataka. The delegations visiting Karnataka from China, in turn, will be exposed to the traditional values of yoga, apart from encouraging tourism and bilateral trade.  This MOU with the picturesque city of Sanya. Both cities have a lot in common starting with the vibrant coastlines to the salubrious climate, not to mention enterprising populations of both these cities. 

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has also given its ex-post facto approval for the Official amendment to the Rajendra Central Agricultural University Bill, 2015 for change of name from “Rajendra Central Agricultural University” to “Dr. Rajendra Prasad Central Agricultural University”. Dr. Rajendra Prasad Central Agricultural University, situated in Pusa is to fulfill the desired goal and achieve excellence in teaching and produce the much-needed manpower educated in agriculture and allied sciences.  This would help in getting over the shortage of technical manpower and infrastructural facilities and would contribute to the development of agriculture, including animal husbandry, horticulture, and fisheries in the region.  The existing colleges will help familiarize the farmers with new techniques, thereby contributing to the production and productivity of agriculture in the region.  

India's Grand Master Harika Dronavalli won the Fide Women’s Grand Prix trophy in Chendu, China on 14 July 2016. This was the first Grand Prix Chess title for the Grand Master from Guntur. Harika defeated Russia’s Olga Girya to win the title. Harika finished on 7 points in the round robin tournament featuring the world’s top 12 players to be crowned the champion. Other Indian Grand Master Koneru Humpy defeated Antoaneta Stefanova to catch up with her compatriot Harika Dronavalli on the shared first place with 7/11 points each. Harika, however, was declared winner for finishing with a better tie-break record in the tournament. Ju Wenjun was awarded the trophy for third place, after edging Stefanova and Anna Muzychuk on tie-break.

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