Current Affairs 11th March 2017 - Banking, SSC, UPSC Affairs

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2017 IEEE Spectrum Technology in the Service of Society Award won by the Indian Institute of Technology-Madras(IIT-M) for its solar-direct current (DC) inverter system.The solar inverter system was developed by Centre for Decentralised Power Systems at IIT-M.It is based on micro grid technology and it 230V Analog Current to 48V DC to directly power appliances and devices.Now the system model has been deployed in 4,000 off-grid homes in Jodhpur and Jaisalmer in Rajasthan and is being deployed in around 7,200 homes in Assam.This system has been installed in villages in Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Odisha, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.

The commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps announced that the Iranian military successfully test-fired a Hormuz-2 ballistic missile this week. The missile destroyed a floating target at a distance of approximately 155 miles Hormuz-2 is a naval strike ballistic missile intended to hit moving targets at sea with high precision, and has a range of nearly 300 kilometres (186 miles), Press TV reported. The missile is similar in appearance to the anti-ship Khalij-e-Fars (Persian Gulf) ballistic missile. Missiles Tested by Iran this week:S-300 surface-to-air missile defence system.Fateh-110 short-range ballistic missiles.Khorramshahr medium-range ballistic missile

Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) has developed the first genetically modified (Bt) cotton seeds that can be reused, resulting in saving of input cost to farmers.  The new cotton variety is among few others identified by Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) for cultivation in North region. The three Bt cotton varieties include PAU Bt 1, F1861 and RS 2013. PAU Bt 1 and F 1861 were developed by PAU, whereas, RS 2013 was developed at Rajasthan Agricultural University (RAU), Bikaner. While the PAU Bt 1was completely developed at Punjab Agricultural University, the F 1861 and RS 2013 varieties were converted to Bt version by Central Institute for Cotton Research (CICR), Nagpur. Cotton is the only genetically-modified seed legally allowed in India. Punjab alone needs around 20-25 lakh packets of Bt cotton seed for the sowing of the crop which roughly amounts to around Rs 225 crores. What is Bt cotton?Bt cotton is a genetically modified organism (GMO) cotton variety, which produces an insecticide to bollworm. Bt cotton has been genetically modified by the insertion of one or more genes from a common soil bacterium, Bacillus thuringite NSIS. These genes encode for the production of insecticidal proteins, and thus, genetically transformed plants produce one or more toxins as they grow.

Women working in the organised sector will now be entitled to paid maternity leave of 26 weeks, up from 12 weeks, as Parliament today passed a bill in this regard that will benefit about 1.8 million women.The new law will apply to all establishments employing 10 or more people and the entitlement will be for only up to first two children. For the third child, the entitlement will be for only 12 weeks.The Maternity Benefit Act, 1961, protects the employment of women during the time of her maternity and entitles her full paid absence from work, to take care of her child.Among other things, the bill provides for 12 weeks of maternity leave to a woman who legally adopts a child below three months of age and a commissioning mother (defined as a biological mother) who uses her egg to have a surrogate child.The amendments would ensure that full maternal care is provided during the full bloom period and will encourage more women to join the workforce in the organised sector, he added.The central government has already amended its service rules and is providing 26 weeks maternity leaves to its employees.

46th National Safety Day/National Safety Week Campaign commenced on 4th March 2017 and concluded on 10th March 2017.The idea of commemorating the Foundation Day of the National Safety Council, 4th March; and the first National Safety Day (NSD) Campaign was launched in 1972 and has since been organised every year. The Campaign now entering its 46th year, Started for a single day on 4th March as NSD, the Campaign has now been spread over a week from 4-11 March.The Campaign is aimed at renewing the commitment of employees and the general public to work safely throughout the year. The ultimate objective of the Campaign is to ensure integration of OSH in work culture and lifestyle.

Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) Chief Mohan Bhagwat on 9 March 2017 was conferred honorary degree of Doctor of Science (DSc) by the city-based Maharashtra Animal and Fishery Sciences University.Vidyasagar Rao, Governor of Maharashtra, handed over the honorary degree to Bhagwat at the convocation of the varsity. Bhagwat is a veterinary doctor by training.The RSS chief was honoured with the degree for his contribution in the field of veterinary sciences and social work. About Mohan Bhagwat:Born on 11 September 1950, Mohan Bhagawat is the current Chief of the Hindu nationalist organisation Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh.In March 2009, he was chosen as the successor to K. S. Sudarshan.He is one of the youngest leaders to head the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh after Dr. K. B. Hedgewar and M.S.Golwalkar.He completed his schooling from Lokmanya Tilak Vidyalaya.He graduated in Veterinary Sciences and Animal Husbandry from Government Veterinary College, Nagpur.Towards the end of 1975, he dropped out of his postgraduate course in Veterinary Sciences and became a pracharak of the RSS.From 1991 to 1999, he became Akhil Bharatiya Sharirik Pramukh for India.Later, he was promoted as Akhil Bharatiya Pracharak Pramukh.At Z+ VVIP security cover, he is one of the most protected Indians today.

Former Indian cricketer and captain Sachin Tendulkar has roped as an ambassador of Women’s Cricket World Cup 2017 which will begin from 24th June, 2017 in England and Wales said by International Cricket Council (ICC).8 cricket teams from different  countries will play 21-day tournament having 28 matches to win the coveted trophy.

William B Thomas(49) has been elected as the global Chairman of Netherlands based KPMG International for a four-year term.Thomas will take charge from John B Veihmeyer on October 1, 2017.Presently he is working as Chairman of KPMG’s American region since 2014 and has been a member of the Global Board since 2009.

The Reserve Bank of India has amended the provision for disbursement of loan by NBFC against the gold on March 9, 2017 in line with the provisions of the Income Tax Act.As per the new provision, the Non-banking Financial Company (NBFC) cannot lend more than Rs 25,000 in cash against gold as against the earlier Rs 1 lakh.The earlier provision for NBFC was that high value loans against gold of Rs 1 lakh and above must only be disbursed by cheque.The decision was taken in the backdrop of government’s focus on less cash economy and promoting digital payments. About NBFC:A Non-Banking Financial Company (NBFC) is a company registered under the Companies Act, 1956. Functions:Giving loans and advances, acquisition of shares/ stocks/ bonds/ debentures/ securities issued by Government or local authority or other marketable securities.NBFCs lend and make investments similar to that like a banks.NBFC cannot accept demand deposits.NBFCs do not form part of the payment and settlement system and cannot issue cheques drawn on itself.Deposit insurance facility of Deposit Insurance and Credit Guarantee Corporation is not available to depositors of NBFCs, unlike in case of banks.

Indian payment and commerce company Paytm has withdrawn the 2 percent fee on adding money to mobile wallets using credit cards on March 10, 2017, just two days after imposing the fees.The Alibaba-backed company had introduced the fee on March 8, 2017 after it came to learn that multiple users are using the platform to get free credit by using credit cards to top up their mobile wallets and then transferring the money back to their bank accounts at zero Paytmtransaction cost.The decision to remove the 2 percent fees was taken keeping in mind the convenience of its users. It also announced to bring in new features to prevent misuse of its system in the future.

President Pranab Mukherjee has inaugurated the two day 12th CII-EXIM Bank Conclave on India Africa Project Partnership on March 9, 2017 in New Delhi.The first conclave has held in 2005.The Conclave was organized by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) in partnership with the EXIM Bank of India with the support of the Ministry of External Affairs and the Ministry of Commerce & Industry, Government of India. Objective : To discuss cooperation in Trade, Regional Integration & Infrastructure Development, Finance & Consultancy, Mining & Minerals, Agriculture & Agro-Processing,  Power & Alternative Energy, Healthcare, Small & Medium EnterpCII Exim Bankrises, Human Capital Development and People-to-People Contacts.More than 400 international delegates, including over 30 Ministerial level delegates, from 37 African countries, participated in the conclave. India & Africa Relationship :Over the years, 2,915 projects worth $327.12 billion have been discussed.During the 11th edition , 381 projects worth about $70.49 billion were discussed leading to many landmark India-Africa business and project partnerships The India-Africa partnership is a stellar example of multi-pronged South-South Cooperation, straddling the traditional and emerging areas of cooperation alike.India-Africa bilateral trade volumes grew from $28.9 billion in 2007-08 to $56.7 billion in 2015-16.

The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MEITY) has issued draft Information Technology (Security of Prepaid Payment Instruments) Rules 2017 for Prepaid Payment Instruments (PPI) company or e wallet firms.The draft rules seek to ensure integrity, security and confidentiality of electronic payments made through PPIs. It covers an entire spectrum for protecting consumer information, especially financial data. Key Features of the Rules: Definition of e-PPI issuer: Person operating a payment system issuing prepaid payment instruments to individuals or organisations under the aegis of Reserve Bank of India (RBI). Information security policy: Mandatory for e-PPI issuers to develop an information security policy that ensures that the systems operated by them are secure.Privacy policy and terms: Mandatory for e-PPIs to publish on their websites and mobile applications both their ‘privacy policy’ and terms for use of their payment systems.Risk assessment: Mandatory for e-PPI to carry out risk assessment to spot security risks and also ensure adequate due diligence is done before issuing PPIs.Chief grievance officer: e-PPIs should appoint a chief grievance officer with his contact details prominently displayed on website. The officer must act upon any complaint within 36 hours and close it in a month’s time.End-to-end encryption e-PPIs shall ensure that end-to-end encryption is applied to safeguard the data exchanged. It shall retain data relating to electronic payments only till necessary.CERT-In’s responsibility: CERT-In (Indian Computer Emergency Response Team) shall notify the categories of incidents and breaches that are required to be reported to it mandatorily.

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