Current Affairs 17th March 2016 - Banking, SSC, UPSC Affairs

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India's public sector oil companies led by Oil and Natural Gas Corporation's (ONGC) foreign arm ONGC Videsh Limited (OVL) on Wednesday inked pacts to buy stakes in two lucrative Russian oilfields in Siberia for an estimated $4.2 billion (around Rs 28,253 crore).Russia's national oil company Rosneft, which needs to pay off debts incurred in its $55-billion acquisition of TNK-BP in 2013, is selling almost half of its most promising assets to Indian firms in the deal.Under the agreements, OVL will increase its stake in Rosneft's Vankor project to 26 per cent while Oil India Limited (Oil), Indian Oil Limited (IOL) and Bharat Petroresources will buy up to 23.9 percent between them in the same field.Vankor has recoverable reserves of 2.5 billion barrels. Indian public sector oil companies are expected to get access to about 12 million tonnes of oil a year once they complete acquisition of the 49.9-per cent stake of Rosneft, the world's top listed oil producer by output.The agreements were signed in the presence of petroleum minister Dharmendra Pradhan on the second day of Rosneft chief executive officer Igor Sechin's two-day visit to India.Once the deals go through, Rosneft will retain 50.1-per cent stake in Vankor while Indian companies will hold 49.9 per cent. Acquisition is subject to relevant Board, government and regulatory approvals and expected to close by September 2016.Rosneft holds 80 per cent shares while BP PLC (UK) holds 20 per cent in TYNGD through their respective subsidiaries. TYNGD produced 20,000 barrels of oil per day (bopd) with expected peak production of 100,000 bopd by 2021.Rosneft also said it had made progress in talks with Essar Oil Ltd towards a deal to buy a 49% stake in the Indian company and an announcement is likely by June. Essar Oil operates the country’s second biggest private sector oil refinery at Vadinar in Gujarat.

Four Indians - Kanika Dewan, Dhivya Suryadevara, Shaurya Veer Himatsingka and Sheetal Amte-Karajgi - have made it to the list of over 121 young global leaders recognised by the World Economic Forum. WEF recognised 121 scientists, government leaders, future business leaders, social activists and artists, aged under 40, as the Young Global Leaders Class of 2016. According to WEF, these people are shaking up policy, society and the world around them. Over half of the Young Global Leaders Class of 2016 are women and the majority are from emerging economies. The individuals who represented India in the list include three women, Kanika Dewan, President of Bramco Group, Dhivya Suryadevara CEO of GM Asset Management, one of the largest pensions in the US, where she manages USD 80 billion in assets and Sheetal Amte-Karajgi, CEO of Maharogi Sewa Samiti, who is making a significant impact on the lives of the marginalised. Shaurya Veer Himatsingka, Deputy Managing Director, India Carbon, was the other Indian who made it to the coveted list. The list includes 15 young leaders from the Asia-Pacific, 4 from Eurasia, 23 from Europe, 14 from Greater China, 7 from Latin America, 11 from the Middle-East and North Africa, 24 from North America, 12 from South Asia and 11 from sub-Saharan Africa. The Young Global Leaders Class of 2016 also includes Amal Clooney, a barrister who specialises in international criminal law and human rights, Ashton Kutcher, the actor and emerging technology investor who launched an innovation lab to fight child sexual exploitation, and Nina Tandon, who founded Epibone, the world's first company growing living human bones for skeletal reconstruction. Others who have been named Young Global Leader (YGL) in the past include British Prime Minister David Cameron, Alibaba Group chief Jack Ma, Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer, Google chief Larry Page and Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi. 

As part of efforts to spread the message of energy conservation, Delhiites will join a billion people in over 6,000 cities across the globe to observe the Earth Hour this Saturday by switching off electrical appliances between 8.30 PM and 9.30 PM.Power distribution companies (discoms) in the city are gearing up for 10th edition of the event by sending text messages on mobile phones and memos to individual households, Residents' Welfare Associations (RWAs), business houses and communities urging them to switch off all lights for an hour to conserve energy.As the Earth Hour coincides with the India-Pakistan match in ongoing T20 World Cup, BSES urged Delhiites to cheer for India while observing the Earth Hour.Earth Hour is an annual international event created by WWF (World Wide Fund for Nature/World Wildlife Fund) that urges households and business establishments across the world to turn off their non-essential lights and electrical appliances for an hour at the appointed time to raise awareness towards the need to take action on climate change.In India, the focus of the campaign this year is on the potential of solar energy as a viable and renewable source of power.The campaign is being endorsed this year by cricketer Shikhar Dhawan.

The FICCI-KPMG India Aviation Report launched on the second day of India Aviation Show here said the country is well on its way to become the third largest aviation market by 2020.With 81 million trips, India's domestic aviation market grew at over 20.3% during Janurary-December 2015, the highest ever growth rate recorded in the world.In January, 2016, the passenger growth is 22%. Some people attribute this growth to fall in crude prices, but no other country in the world had achieved this kind of growth during the period According to the report, the Indian civil aviation industry has exhibited tremendous resilience to the global economic slowdown and ranks ninth in the global civil aviation market. This is largely attributed to the growing economy, increased competition among airlines, especially among low cost carriers, modern airports, greater use of technology, foreign direct investment and increased emphasis on regional connectivity.According to Amber Dubey, partner and India head of aerospace and defence at KPMG, the positive impact of NCAP 2016, rise in disposable incomes and the fall in ATF prices are likely to help India leapfrog into the top three of the world.India registered a growth of 17.1% in total passengers throughput financial year 2015-16 till January, 2016, standing at 184 million. Passenger throughput is expected to reach around 370 million by 2020, with domestic traffic constituting around 80% of the total throughput .According to International Air Transport Association, passenger traffic on international routes showed an increase of 6.5% in 2015 compared to 2014.  In comparison, during April-December 2015, international passenger throughput at Indian airports grew at 7.7%. The report strongly suggests that in order to ensure high-geared growth, it is imperative to broaden the base of domestic flyers through greater air connectivity in Tier-2 and Tier-3 cities. Many Indian states have taken positive initiatives, largely in the field of development of airports, reduction in sales tax rates on ATF and direct subsidy to airlines for improvement of connectivity, according to the report. 

Punjab Finance Minister, Parminder Singh Dhindsa on 15 March 2016 presented the Annual State Budget 2016-17 in the legislative assembly. The size of budget is 86 thousand 387 crore rupees.The tax free budget focuses on social farmers with agriculture, welfare sector, youth and women as the priority areas.The revenue deficit in the financial year 2015-16 (RE) stood at 1.85 percent of Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP), whereas for the year 2016-17 (BE) it has been estimated at 1.76 percent of GSDP.On the other hand, fiscal deficit in the financial year 2015-16 (RE) stood at 2.99 percent of GSDP, whereas for the year 2016-17 (BE) it has been estimated at 2.88 percent of GSDP.Women’s Empowerment:Swasth Kanya Yojna: Provide free school bags containing stationery items to girl students. Bags will contain “benefit eligibility card” showing benefits being provided to girls under various schemes.Mai Bhago Women Empowerment Scheme: Loan at subsidized rate of 5% per annum will be provided to women members to establish small business enterprises.Special women patrolling teams will be created.Women safety application, Shakti will be launched.Youth.200 skill development centres will be opened for training in rural areas.Employability allowance of 1000 rupees per month will be provided.Interest free education loan up to 5 lakh rupees for the duration of the course to EWS.Financial Assistance will be provided to Start-ups.Farmers: Interest free crop loan of 50000 rupees per crop to small and marginal farmers having land holding up to 5 acres.Education 400 middle Schools will be upgraded to High Schools.400 High Schools will be upgraded to Senior Secondary Schools.An education channel, Vidya TV will be started.Power.1.65 lac tube well connections will be provided to various categories of AP applicants to whom demand notices have been issued. Tube well connections on priority to all those farmers who have applied for the same and have land holding below 2.5 acre.HealthBhagat Puran Singh Sehat Bima Yojana will be launched for providing health insurance cover of 50000 rupees per annum to 10 lakh rupees to farmers and 2 lakh rupees construction workers & small traders in the year 2016-17.Heritage and Culture For promoting Punjabi language and culture, entertainments tax on cultural and theatre shows will be abolished.Mukh Mantri Tirath Darshan Yatra will be launched.350th Birth Anniversary of Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji will be celebrated at an expense of 50 crore rupees.Preservation of Biodiversity:Inami Bagh will be acquired and declared as a National Biodiversity Heritage site, first of its kind in the state

The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) on 15 March 2016 appointed Ashley Judd as its Goodwill Ambassador. Judd is an acclaimed humanitarian, actor, writer and political activist.As a UNFPA Goodwill Ambassador, the American actress will support the agency’s efforts to stop women dying giving life and to empower women to choose when and how often to become pregnant.Her appointment is also aimed at generating awareness about the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Agenda that was adopted by the UN General Assembly in September 2015.The agenda through its Goals 3 and 5 seeks to end discrimination against women in all forms and promote their well-being.It is the lead UN agency for delivery a world where every pregnancy is wanted, every childbirth is safe and every young person’s potential is fulfilled. It is formerly known as the United Nations Fund for Population Activities that was established in 1969.It supports programs in more than 150 countries, territories and areas spread across 4 geographic regions.The four regions are Arab States and Europe, Asia and the Pacific, Latin America and the Caribbean, and sub-Saharan Africa.Its headquarters is located in New York, the USA.

The Department Of Health and Family Welfare, Punjab on 16 March 2016 notified the disease of swine flu (H1N1) under the Epidemic Disease Act.Before issuing the notification, the department had constituted a state advisory committee under the chairmanship of Dr. D Behera. The committee observed that swine flu patients, who suffered from other chronic diseases, had a high mortality rate as compared to patients who did not have chronic diseases.It was also observed that patients who were treated by private doctors were referred to higher centres only when they became critical, thereby increasing the death rate.The notification stated that all government and private hospitals will have to inform the Department of Health about a case of ILI (Influenza like Illness) having chronic diseases. It also stated that such cases should be treated at the earliest and proper guidelines of the government should be followed.All hospitals will have to keep a suspected as well as confirmed case of swine flu in isolation in order to contain the spread of the disease.All hospitals will have to inform the Health department in case a suspected or confirmed case of swine flu is reported.The treatment of swine flu will be provided free of cost to all the patients as recommended by the Government.

TIME magazine on 16 March 2016 unveiled its second annual 30 Most Influential People on the Internet list. The list has been topped by the artist and entrepreneur Kanye West.India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi boasting more than 18 million Twitter followers and over 32 million Facebook likes stood at 15th in the list. The list says, unlike some of his contemporaries, he often uses social media to break news and conduct diplomacy.Editors from TIME compiled the list based on two primary criteria that are global impact through social media and overall ability to drive news.30 Most Influential People on the Internet list are 1. Kanye West,2. Joy Cho,3. James Corden,4. Laci Green,5. Josh Holz and Daniel Lara,6. DJ Khaled,7. Johnetta Elzie and DeRay Mckesson,8. J.K. Rowling,9. Felix Arvid Ulf Kjellberg (a.k.a. PewDiePie),10 Donald Trump,11. Lele Pons,12. Cristiano Ronaldo,13. Caitlyn Jenner,14. Essena O’Neill,15. Narendra Modi,16. Elise Andrew,17. Ken M,18. Lilly Singh (a.k.a. Superwoman),19. Matt Drudge,20. Angie Nwandu,21. Andrew Bachelor (a.k.a. King Bach),22. Kayla Itsines,23. Peter Bouckaert,24. Kim Kardashian West,25. Josh Ostrovsky (a.k.a. The Fat Jew),26. Drake,27. Tess Holliday,28. Helen Van Winkle (a.k.a. Baddiewinkle).

Gamesa, a renewable energy firm based in India, has won a new solar order from Laugfs Power Limited in Sri Lanka.Gamesa will  deliver 20 MW of Solar Power in Baruthankanda Village of Hambantota Province, Srilanka.Under this contract, Gamesa will provide complete turnkey EPC solutions that include engineering & design, supply of Gamesa Electric inverters, erection and commissioning of the 20 MW photovoltaic solar plants. The plant will commence operation by October 2016.Gamesa is already a major player in the wind energy market in Srilanka.Ramesh Kymal, chairman and managing director, Gamesa India, said, “Sri Lanka has a strong focus towards increasing the share of renewable energy in the country’s energy mix. The Sri Lankan Government is taking encouraging steps towards propelling clean energy. Having established our market leadership in the wind sector in the country, we look forward to contributing significantly towards harnessing solar power.

March 17,2017: Bharti Airtel announced that it had entered into a definitive agreement with Videocon to acquire the rights to use 1800 MHz spectrum in six circles for Rs 4,428 crore. The development comes a day after Idea Cellular had called off its agreement with Videocon. Idea had agreed to pay Rs 3,300 crore for spectrum in two circles. The six circles where Bharti gets access to 1800 MHz spectrum are Bihar, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, UP (East), UP (West) and Gujarat (Transaction). The spectrum is valid up to December 18, 2032.Bharti needed the additional spectrum in Haryana and Bihar circles. The acquisition will give Bharti the ability to offer high-quality data services. The company has strongest spectrum holdings in the industry today other than Reliance Jio. It has 18% spectrum of the total airwaves available in the country. In the sub-1 gigahertz band, it holds 15% of the total, while it holds 17% in the 1,800 MHz band. In the 2100/2300 MHz band, Bharti holds 21%, but these bands are not as efficient for data propagation as the lower bands are. Vodafone launched its 4G services on 1800 MHz band in several circles. Late last year, Idea Cellular stunned the industry by agreeing to pay Rs 3,310 crore to Videocon Telecommunications for the right to use spectrum in the 1800 MHz band in Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh West (2x5 MHz contiguous blocks of 1800 MHz in each service area). What came as a surprise to the industry was the price that Idea has paid for this spectrum, which was three times the price that Videocon paid in November 2012 (Rs 1,330 crore).Idea Cellular now holds 1800 MHz 4G spectrum in 10 telecom circles which cover 50% of telecom market, but over 60% of Idea’s gross revenue. 

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) on 15 March 2016 appointed award-winning action heroine Michelle Yeoh as its Goodwill Ambassador.With this, Yeoh joined the current roster of UNDP Goodwill Ambassadors that include Spanish actor Antonio Banderas, US actress Connie Britton, Japanese actress Misako Konno, soccer legends Didier Drogba, Iker Casillas, Ronaldo, Marta Vieira da Silva and Zinedine Zidane.As an ambassador, Yeoh’s mission is to mobilize support for the Sustainable Development Agenda 2030 that was approved by the United Nations General Assembly in September 2015.She will also leverage her influence as an actress and advocate on global development issues, including gender equality and the eradication of poverty.She is internationally acclaimed for her roles in the James Bond film Tomorrow Never Dies, Ang Lee’s Academy Award-winning Crouching Tiger and Hidden Dragon.Her previous engagements concerning development issues include appointments as Global Ambassador for Live to Love and Make Roads Safe campaign in 2012, advocacy during the Zero Discrimination Campaign (UNAIDS) in 2013.She also participated in the Live to Love humanitarian aid trip to Nepal in 2015 in support of earthquake victims that killed around 10000 people.She is a Malaysian born actress and was chosen by People magazine as one of the 50 Most Beautiful People in the World in 1997.

President Pranab Mukherjee will formally inaugurate the fifth edition of the India Aviation 2016 on March 15,2016.and the five-day biennial aviation show is being jointly organised by the Union Civil Aviation Ministry and the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) at the Begumpet airport at the heart of the city.About 25 countries are taking part this time in the India Aviation show, being held with the theme of Indian civil aviation sector: Potential as global manufacturing hub.The passenger traffic in the country is expected to increase to 450 million by 2020 from the present about 160 millionBy the end of the 12th five year plan, the country's aviation sector is likely to see investments of more than 12 billion US Dollars, with major contribution from the private sector.The officials also informed that 200 low-cost airports are planned to be built in the next 20 years to connect tier-II and tire-III cities and about 1.3 billion Dollars planned to be spent on non-metro projects during in next two years, focussing on modernisation and upgradation of airports.Currently more than 85 international airlines operate to India and 5 Indian carriers connect over 40 countries. It is also one of the least-penetrated air markets in the world with 0.04 trips per capita per annum as compared to 0.3 in China and more than 2 in the US.Aviation Industry leaders, foreign delegates including ministers and ambassadors, officials, representatives of industry associations and other stakeholders from about 40 countries will be taking part. Leading aircraft and helicopter manufacturers like Boeing, Airbus, Textron, AA Embraer, Gulfstream, Dassault, Agusta Westland, Bell Helicopters, Russian Helicopters will take part in the show. As many as 30 aircrafts, including small business jets and big aircrafts will be on display.These include B777 by Air India, Dornier by HAL, TAC-003 by Thrust Aircraft Co., MI-172 by Pawan Hans, A 350 by Qatar Airways; A0330-300 by Air Asia; Legacy 500, 650, Phenom 200 and 300 by Embraer, B-787 by Etihad, A380 by Emirates. IndiGo will display A320 Neo, which recently made its debut in India and supposed to be the first eco-friendly and fuel efficient aircraft built by Airbus.The first three days will be only for business visitors while on the last two days it will be thrown open to general public.

The world’s first fully electric-powered double-decker bus has been unveiled in London a month ahead of its road release.The five models, built by Chinese manufactures BYD, will be able to travel 180 miles on a single charge.The buses can stay in service all day without needing to recharge.Transport for London (TfL) say the electric buses will lower carbon emissions and help improve London’s air quality, and will enter operation in April as part of a pilot project.The buses are expected to cost more than £350,000.The electric mode of public transport is the latest addition to TfL’s fleet, following the launch of New Routemaster buses, which use a “hop-on-hop-off” system.The New Routemaster buses were criticised after passengers discovered the windows on the top deck did not open, which caused problems in the heat of the summer months.Other problems included battery failures, while it recently emerged 468 of the 700 buses needed the wiring in the power steering replaced.The electric buses will be the same in their layout as the more traditional bus, with two doors and no back hop-on-hop-off entrance and windows that open.The new bus will begin on route 98, between Willesden and Holborn.TfL director of surface transport Leon Daniels said: “Lessons have been learned, like with every new model.This is the first fully electric double decker bus in the world.

IDBI Bank customers can now invest in government bonds through the bank's automated teller machines.This is the first of its kind initiative for retail customers and could popularise debt investment as both the government and the Reserve Bank of India is trying to push retail participation in government bonds, which is negligible currently.IDBI already has a portal for retail investors, where the minimum size for investment is Rs 10,000.The facility of investing in G-Sec through ATM is an extension of Bank's Samriddhi G-Sec Portal to enable retail investors to transact in government securities. The retail customers of the Bank can register, one time, for this facility and invest in G-Sec through any of the Bank's ATMs.

London & Partners, the official promotional company for London, on 15 March 2016 announced that India has emerged as the second biggest investor in London after the US.The company revealed that there has been a 117 per cent increase in Indian companies across all business sectors investing in London since 2005. Also, there has been a 133 per cent increase in tech companies investing in the city, which accounts for 46 per cent of all projects.Software testing service Cigniti Technologies and customer support company Kayako and many others invested majorly in technology sector.The figures were released at the inaugural India Emerging 20 (IE20) event that brought together leading entrepreneurs from India and Britain.The 20 Indian companies were selected to come to London to meet and interact with senior business leaders, venture capital investors and decision makers from major global companies. The winners come from a broad range of categories including life sciences, artificial intelligence, IT services, cyber security, sports tech, travel tech, ad tech, e-commerce and analytics.The IE20 offers an opportunity for companies to test themselves against the best and win recognition on the international stage. The benefits include opportunities to meet and network with peers, industry experts and investors, which offers the opportunity to maximise a company’s global potential

British mathematician Sir Andrew Wiles on 15 March 2016 was named as the winner of the 2016 Abel Prize by the Norwegian Academy of Sciences and Letters in Oslo.Wiles won the award for solving a centuries-old hypothesis, Fermat's Last Theorem.Crown Prince Haakon will present the award to Wiles in May 2016 for an achievement that the academy described as an epochal moment for mathematics.Sir Andrew John Wiles is a Royal Society Research Professor at the University of Oxford, specialising in number theory.He is most notable for proving Fermat's Last Theorem.He earned his bachelor's degree in mathematics in 1974 at Merton College, Oxford, and a PhD in 1980 at Clare College, Cambridge.In 1985–86, he was a Guggenheim Fellow at the Institut des Hautes Études Scientifiques near Paris and at the École Normale Supérieure.From 1988 to 1990, he was a Royal Society Research Professor at the University of Oxford. He rejoined Oxford in 2011 as Royal Society Research Professor. Fermat's Last Theorem states that no three positive integers a, b, and c satisfy the equation an + bn = cn for any integer value of n greater than two. The cases n = 1 and n = 2 are known to have infinitely many solutions since ancient times.The theorem was first conjectured by Pierre de Fermat in 1637.However, the first successful proof was released in 1994 by Andrew Wiles. It was formally published in 1995, after 358 years of effort by mathematicians.It is among the most notable theorems in the history of mathematics and prior to its proof it was in the Guinness Book of World Records as the most difficult mathematical problem.The Abel Prize is a Norwegian prize awarded annually by the Government of Norway to one or more outstanding mathematicians.It is named after Norwegian mathematician Niels Henrik Abel.The award was established in 2001 by the Government of Norway It comes with a monetary award of 6 million Norwegian kroner.The Abel Prize is described as the mathematician's Nobel Prize.John F. Nash, Jr. And Louis Nirenberg were the winners of the 2015 Abel Prize.

American singer Frank Sinatra Junior died due to heart attack on 16 March 2016 in Daytona Beach in Florida. He was 72.Junior, who carried on his father Frank Sinatra’s legacy with his own career in music, was due to give a concert Sinatra Sings Sinatra at Peabody Audito in Florida.He followed his father in the music business as a teenager, and later became his father's musical director and conductor.He did some acting appearing in several shows like the animated series Family Guy and playing himself in an episode of The Sopranos. He also had a guest appearance in an episode of Son of the Beach.

Bangladesh Government has appointed Former Secretary of Finance Division Fazle Kabir as the new Governor of Bangladesh Bank, country’s central bank. He will succeeds Atiur Rahman who had resigned after taking moral responsibility over the cyber theft from the central bank’s official account with New York Federal Reserve Bank. Fazle Kabir is an economics graduate from the Chittagong University. He had started his career in 1980 with Bangladesh Railway as an assistant traffic superintendent. In 1983, he had joined the administration. He was appointed finance secretary in 2012. He had also served on the board of state-owned Janata Bank.Earlier in February 2016, Unknown hackers had breached the computer systems of Bangladesh Bank’s account at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. They had transferred money valuing around $81million to casinos in the Philippines, making it one of the largest cyber heists in history. However, even after the cyber heists the government of Bangladesh was kept in dark and the case came to notice after it was reported by a newspaper in Philippines.

India ranks 118th out of 156 countries on a global list of the world's happiest nations, coming in behind China, Pakistan and Bangladesh, according to the United Nations' World Happiness Report (WHP) 2016. PTI reported that while Denmark displaced Switzerland at the top slot, Rwanda, Benin, Afghanistan, Togo, Syria and Burundi were the least happy countries this year.Top 10 countries are Denmark (1st), Switzerland (2nd), Iceland (3rd), Norway (4th) and Finland (5th), Canada (6th), Netherlands (7th), New Zealand (8th), Australia (9th) and Sweden (10th).Among BRICS: Brazil (17th), Russia (56th), China (83rd), South Africa (116th) and India (118th).India’s Neighbours: Nepal (78th), China (83rd), Bhutan (84th), Pakistan (104th), Bangladesh (110th), Sri Lanka (117th) and Afghanistan (154th). For the first time, the report has given a special role to the measurement and consequences of inequality in the distribution of well-being among countries and regions. Countries where there was less inequality were happier overall. Top five countries have strong social security systems.The report aims at influencing government policy and is prepared based upon study undertaken by Gallup World Poll. The World Happiness Index ranks nations based upon score of different variables on a scale running from 0 to 10. These variables include real GDP per capita, healthy life expectancy, corruption levels and social freedoms India was ranked 111th in 2013 and 117th in 2015.

Public sector lender SBI has tie-up with taxi-aggregator Uber to provide instant vehicle finance to 'driver-partners' on the latter's platform.The scheme would encourage skilled drivers to overcome liquidity crunch and excess documentation requirements to become an entrepreneur.The loans could be sanctioned in one day using an inbuilt digital offering, and would be collateral free as well as carry a very competitive interest rate.All loans will be covered under the government's Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana Scheme, SBI said in a statement.SBI Managing Director Rajnish Kumar said the new facility would enable drivers to apply for loans at the Uber Partner Centre and get loans sanctioned in one day.This is supported by our digitally integrated back-end system, thereby eliminating the long processing time. The partnership with Uber will also help us simplify the documentation requirements thereby eliminating traditional financial statements like income tax returns.Uber is present across 27 cities in the country, more than any other country outside the US.India is a global market priority for us in such a short span of time, we've got over 2,50,000 driver partners on our platform who have become micro-entrepreneurs .Uber Asia Pacific president Eric Alexander said.The tie-up with SBI would create tens of thousands of micro entrepreneurs.Uber India had partnered with the Army Welfare Placement Organisation (AWPO) under the Ministry of Defence to help ex-servicemen transition to civilian life and provide them with entrepreneurial opportunities.

FIFA is seeking to claim tens of millions of dollars in bribe money seized by U.S. federal prosecutors. FIFA submitted a 22-page claim to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in New York that seeks a big share in restitution from more than $190 million already forfeited by soccer and marketing officials who pleaded guilty in the sprawling corruption case.Tens of millions of dollars more is likely to be collected by U.S. authorities when sentences are handed down, and from dozens of officials currently indicted but who have denied bribery charges or are fighting extradition.FIFA claims it is the victim of corrupt individuals, despite widespread criticism that bribe-taking was embedded in its culture in the presidencies of Joao Havelange and Sepp Blatter, who was forced from office after 17 years by the current scandal.FIFA is responsible for the organisation of football’s major international tournaments, notably the World Cup which commenced in 1930 and the Women’s World Cup which commenced in 1991.Although FIFA does not control the rules of football (that being the responsibility of the International Football Association Board), it is responsible for both the organization of a number of tournaments and their promotion, which generate revenue from sponsorshipFIFA is headquartered in Zürich, and is an association established under the Law of Switzerland.

DFC Bank has launched SmartUp, a dedicated solution for startups, to fulfil all their banking needs.SmartUp has been launched in association with Zone Startups India (ZSI), a Mumbai-based start-up accelerator. "SmartUp is tailored to meet all the requirements of a startup, offering banking and payment solutions, along with advisory and forex services."This initiative is part of a larger effort by HDFC Bank to create an ecosystem to nurture the spirit of innovation and enterprise in the startup space.SmartUp for start-ups is a complete banking solution created by HDFC Bank. It not only provides basic banking transactions, but also valuable services like advisory services, forex and payment solutions.The benefits of SmartUp current account include—waiver of AMB (average monthly balance) for the first six months and extendable to 12 months, salary account for employees by waiving the minimum number of employees criteria, 'PayZapp' for business - a payment and collection solution and a dedicated relationship manager.Accountholders can also get recommendations of a chartered accountant for tax, regulatory and compliance issues. They also would have the opportunity to showcase products on SmartBuy to 32 million HDFC Bank customers.This offering has been created after working with them to understand their requirements and will be available across India, even in tier-2 and 3 cities which (are) emerging as start-up hubs.ZSI is a joint venture of Ryerson University Canada and Bombay Stock Exchange Institute. It has been operational for over two years and has helped over 70 startups.

Eminent Shehnai exponent Ustad Ali Ahmad Hussain Khan, one of the best-known players of the instrument after the legendary Bismillah Khan, passed away here today following prolonged illness. He was 77 and is survived by his five sons, five daughters and a number of grandchildren. Representing the Benaras school of Shehnai music, he was felicitated with the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 2009 for his contribution to Hindustani instrumental music. He hailed from a family of renowned Shehnai exponents from Benaras and was known for his innovative style and mastery over the classical and semi-classical and folk music repertoire. Khan had performed in several countries including Belgium, Russia, Switzerland, France, Tunisia, Singapore, Indonesia, Hongkong and the Philippines. The musician had also played at the inauguration ceremony of Doordarshan in 1973. A top graded artiste of All India Radio, Khan also used to teach in the ITC Sangeet Research Academy here and was active before he got hospitalised. A top graded artiste of All India Radio, Khan also used to teach in the ITC Sangeet Research Academy here and was active before he got hospitalised. In 2012, he was felicitated with the 'Bangabhushan' award by the West Bengal government. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee expressed her deep condolences to the family. 

Loans worth Rs 1.09 lakh crore have been given to small entrepreneurs under the Pradhan Mantri MUDRA Yojana. the Rajya Sabha, Minister of State for Finance Jayant Sinha said loans worth over Rs 1.09 lakh crore were given to over 2.96 crore beneficiaries. Under Pradhan Mantri MUDRA Yojana, which was launched in April last year, loans between Rs 50,000 and Rs 10 lakh are provided to small entrepreneurs. The Micro Units Development and Refinance Agency Ltd (MUDRA) focuses on the 5.75 crore self-employed who deploy funds totaling Rs 11 lakh crore and provide jobs to 12 crore people. The banking sector has been allocated an overall disbursement target of about Rs 1.22 lakh crore during 2015-16 for MUDRA loans. 

The largest fair on Food & Hospitality Sector in India, AAHAR 2016 was inaugurated by Hon. Union Minister for Food Processing Industries Ms. Harsimrat Kaur Badal on March 15, 2016. It is the 31st edition in this series.Largest show of its kind in South Asia.Organized by India Trade Promotion Organization (ITPO), supported by the respective ministries.The aim is growth propelling event to promote Brand India on a global platform. Surpassing all previous participation, over 1,000 exhibitors from India and abroad will showcase their products in the show. According to India Trade Promotion Organisation (ITPO), the organizers of the show, the participation is 25% higher than the previous edition.As many as 75 foreign participants from Canada, China, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Kyrgyz, New Zealand, Norway, Pakistan, Poland, Spain, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, and USA will exhibit their products in the show. For the first time in Aahar, ITPO has launched a special scheme for promoting ‘New and Young Entrepreneurs’ by offering them space at 50% of the normal tariff. Over 46 such entrepreneurs will be displaying their products and services. The display profile is segregated into three categories, namely, ‘Food Products, Ingredients & Additives’, ‘F & B Equipment’ and ‘House Keeping & Engineering Equipment’. The activities such as technical seminars and the Culinary Art Competition will provide value addition to the show. Seminars are scheduled on the topics including ‘Food & Safety’, ‘Market Access to SAARC Countries’, ‘Food Processing Industry’, ‘Organic Food Industry’ and ‘Growth of Hotel Industry’. The business visitors can visit AAHAR (March15-19, 2016) from 10.00 am to 6.00 pm, however the fair will remain open for all visitors from 2.00 pm to 6.00 pm on the last day

The National Research Development Corporation (NRDC) on 16 March 2016 signed a License Agreement with Kudos Laboratories India for commercialization of Ayush-82, an Ayurvedic formulation for prevention and management of diabetes.The agreement will now allow Kudos Laboratories India to commercialize the drug under their trade name with due acknowledgement to Central Council for Research in Ayurvedic Sciences (CCRAS), Ministry of AYUSH, Government of India.Ayush-82 was developed by CCRAS. The CCRAS is an apex organization for research in Ayurveda under the Ministry of AYUSH. Kudos Laboratories India, a 100 years old organization, is engaged in marketing, manufacturing and exports of the widest range of Ayurvedic / Herbal products and range of Cosmetics.The company holds G.M.P & ISO Certifications.

President Barack Obama on 16 March 2016 nominated appeals court judge Merrick Garland to be the next US Supreme Court Justice. 63-year-old Garland will be 113th Supreme Court justice of the US.Garland, who is the Chief Judge on the US Court of Appeals in D.C. Circuit, will succeed Justice Antonin Scalia who died on 13 February 2016.Justice Garland is viewed as a moderate and has won praise from senior Republican figures. The appointment has to be ratified by the Senate, but its Republican majority has vowed to block a vote on any Supreme Court nominee from Obama.

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