Current Affairs 24th November 2016 - Banking, SSC, UPSC Affairs

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The Union Defence Ministry is planning to relook at defence blacklist guidelines for dealing with global defence firms engaged in corruption in arms deals.  Thus, under recently released new policy called ‘Guidelines of the Ministry of Defence for penalties in business dealings with entities’ the Union Defence Ministry will “re-ascertain” the list of companies banned from doing business in India. The blacklisting policy was approved by the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) on November 7, 2016 and the policy was released by the Ministry on 21 November 2016. The new policy has moved away from blanket banning of blacklisted firms which has adversely affected defence preparedness. Instead of ban, it imposes heavy penalties. It has reduced the period of blanket ban to 5 years from 10 years.  However the upper limit of the ban period has not been specified. It allows doing business with a blacklisted firm for support of critical spares and maintenance in view of national security. However, it will be through prior approval from the Defence Minister, i.e. the designated competent authority. Many global defence firms have been banned from doing business in India because of allegations of corruption against them. However, blacklisting such firms has skewed the competition, with the Indian military not able to access many of the global products.  

Andhra Pradesh Government has launched the ‘Smart Water Distribution Monitoring’ web interface. The monitoring portal is a part of from where it can be accessed.  It was formally launched by Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu. Using this portal people can check the status of drinking water in the water tanks nearby.  The portal has Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) system. This system helps in reduction of water wastage as well as ensures seamless supply to the households.

The upgraded Jaguar DARIN III twin-seat aircraft has received Initial Operation Clearance (IOC). It is considered as a significant milestone for the country’s military aviation sector. The satisfactory completion of IOC was announced by Deputy Chief of IAF, Air Marshal RKS Bhadauria who had flown the aircraft at HAL airport in Bengaluru. Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) has upgraded 3 DARIN I Standard Jaguars to DARIN III Standard. The aircraft is now equipped with world class avionics system. HAL’s Mission and Combat System Research and Design Centre (MCSRDC) had carried out total design and development of aircraft and modification was done at Overhaul Division.  Besides HAL, certification agencies, trial team of ASTE and other agencies were also involved in the upgrade programme. The upgraded aircraft incorporates new state-of-the-art avionics architecture including the Open System Architecture Mission Computer (OSAMC), Fire Control Radar. It also has Solid State Digital Video Recording System (SSDVRS), Autopilot with Alt Select & HNAV and Identification of Friend or Foe (IFF) and more. DARIN I Standard Jaguar is an Anglo-French jet attack aircraft. It was originally used by the French Air Force and British Royal Air Force in the close air support and nuclear strike role. It is still in service with the Indian Air Force and its fleet is based at the Ambala air force station.

Union Cabinet has approved the introduction of Merchant Shipping Bill, 2016 in the Parliament. Simultaneously, the cabinet also approved repealing of the Merchant Shipping Act, 1958 and the Coasting Vessels Act, 1838. The Merchant Shipping Act, 1958 has been amended 17 times between 1966 and 2014 resulting in an increase in the number of sections to more than 560 sections. However, these provisions have been shortened to 280 sections in the Bill. Provisions of the Bill  : It allows substantially-owned vessels and vessels on Bare Boat-cum-Demise (BBCD) to be registered as Indian flag vessels. It recognises Indian controlled tonnage as a separate category.  It provides for issuing the licences to Indian flag vessels for coastal operation and for port clearance by the Customs authorities.It calls for making separate rules for coastal vessels to develop and promote coastal shipping. It introduces welfare measures for seafarers by providing them with the wages till they are released from hostage captivity of pirates and reach back home safely.It directs owners of vessels to take insurance of crew engaged on vessels including fishing, sailing, etc. This applies for the vessels whose net tonnage is less than 15 tons. It says that the requirement of signing of articles of agreement by the crew will no longer be necessary. It calls for registration of few residuary category of vessels not covered under any statute and makes provisions for security-related aspects.It adds provisions relating to seven different conventions- Intervention Convention 1969, Search and Rescue Convention 1979, Protocol for Prevention of Pollution from Ships Annex VI to Marine Pollution Convention, Convention for Control and Management of Ships Ballast Water and Sediments 2004, Nairobi Wreck Removal Convention 2007, Salvage Convention 1989 and International Convention for Bunker Oil Pollution Damage, 2001. It also provides for survey, inspection and certification of vessels to enable simplified regime for convenience of Indian shipping industry.  

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has 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 :  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. 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.  

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has ordered environment audit of all the government buildings, including offices and hospitals, in Delhi to control pollution. The purpose behind the move is to make every government building to take necessary precautions to control pollution so that no hazardous result follows in relation to public health. The order was issued by the NGT bench, which was conducting a hearing in the petition filed by Vardhaman Kaushik over toxic air of the National Capital. The bench included judicial members, justices UD Salvi and Raghuvendra S Rathore, and expert members Bikram Singh Sajwan and Ajay A Deshpande. The bench directed the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) and the Ministry of Environment and Forest (MoEF) to issue guidelines in this regard within two weeks. It asked them to issue guidelines under the provisions of the Environment Protection Act, the Air (Prevention and control of pollution) Act and the Water (Prevention and control of pollution) Act. The bench passed the directions while observing that “right to clean environment is a fundamental right and every citizen, wherever he goes, has a right to receive decent environment”. Green audit : The term ‘Green Audit’ signifies the assessment of a business in terms of its impact on the environment. It is also widely known as Environmental Audit.  A green audit of a building can unfold ways in which one can reduce energy consumption.  

The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board (IBBI) of India on 23 November 2016 notified three sets of regulations- (Insolvency Professional) Regulations, 2016; Regulations inter alia provide for registration, Regulation and oversight of insolvency professionals. These regulations were notified under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016 and will come into effect from 29 November 2016.  All these regulations provide for registration, regulation and oversight of insolvency professionals under the Code.  Individuals eligible for registration as an insolvency professional Advocates, Chartered Accountants, Company Secretaries and Cost Accountants with 10 years’ of practice or employment. A Graduate with 15 years of post-qualification managerial experience on passing the Limited Insolvency Examination. Any individual who has passed the National Insolvency Examination. However, Advocates, Chartered Accountants, Company Secretaries and Cost Accountants with more than 15 years of practice experience can register without any examination till 31 December 2016 and such registration shall be valid for a limited period of six months. There will be National Insolvency Examination and Limited Insolvency Examination. The syllabus and format of these examinations will be published on the website of the Board at least one month before the examination. A limited liability partnership, a registered partnership firm or a company can be recognised as an insolvency professional entity if a majority of the partners or a majority of the whole-time directors are registered as insolvency professionals under the Code.  An insolvency professional can use the organisational resources of a recognised insolvency professional entity subjected to the condition that the entity as well as the insolvency professional will be liable for all acts of omission or commission of its partners as insolvency professionals.  

The 24th edition of Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit concluded on 20 November 2016 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. 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.

UN International Telecommunication Union (ITU) released the 2016 edition of the Measuring the Information Society Report. The report was launched on 22 November 2016 during the World Telecommunication/ICT Indicators Symposium (WTIS).  WTIS was held in Botswana, South Africa from 21 November to 23 November 2016. The ITU index prepared after surveying 175 economies of the world was topped by the Republic of Korea with IDI of 8.84. The Sub-Saharan Africa’s Niger with an IDI of 1.07 ranked lowest. India was placed at 138th rank with IDI score of 2.69. In 2015, it stood at 135th position with IDI score of 2.50. The Republic of Korea led the IDI for the second year. Asian economies that featured in the top 10 in the list were Hong Kong, China (6) and Japan (10). The other seven others were in Europe. Top Six Countries Republic of Korea (1) Iceland (2) Denmark (3) Switzerland (4) United Kingdom (5) Europe and countries in the Americas: ICT development in the region made significant progress.Asian and Pacific countries: Nine out of the 34 countries in the Asian and Pacific countries remained least concerned. These countries include several with large populations. Same diversity was seen in the Arab region. Worst Performing region: with an average ISI score of 2.48 points for 2016, Africa was named as the worst performing region. Its IDI score, which was just over half the global average (4.94), reflects the lower level of economic development that inhibits ICT development. Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) region: ICT development in the region made significant progress. Highlights : The report highlights that the average global ICT Development Index (IDI) saw an improvement from 4.74 in 2015 to 4.94 in 2016.The data says that the world is more connected than ever, but it also highlights that many in the world are still without the internet. It suggests that reduction in socio-economic inequalities, mainly in education and income levels, will help in bringing more people online. It reveals that cost of the mobile-phone handset is one of the main barriers in owning a mobile phone. It says that stronger improvements in ICT (information and communication technologies) use during 2015-16 periods have helped in growing the mobile-broadband uptake globally. This led to increasing in a number of people, in particular from the developing world. The ITU index also says that by the end of 2016, about 95percent of the global population will be living in an area that is covered by a mobile-cellular signal. It also says that mobile-cellular subscriptions will equal the number of living people. ITU, however, cautioned that since many people have multiple subscriptions or devices, other metrics need to be produced to accurately assess mobile uptakes, such as the number of mobile phone users or mobile phone owners.

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. 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. 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.  

The Reserve bank of India (RBI) has increased the per month limit of Prepaid Payment Instruments (PPIs) to Rs. 20,000 from Rs. 10,000 and to Rs. 50,000 for merchant bank.  This decision was taken due to sudden increase in demand for digital wallets (especially mobile wallets) after Government announced demonetisation of Rs. 500 and Rs. 1000 notes. The prepaid PPIs could be also issued to merchants if they provided a self-declaration in respect of their status and bank account and also to be kept on record by the issuer.  Funds transfer from such PPIs will be permitted only to the merchant’s own linked bank account and upto an amount of Rs. 50,000 per month, without any limit per transaction. Thus, this decision will boost mobile wallet transactions following the withdrawal of high-value notes. The measures will be applicable till December 30, 2016. PPIs are methods that facilitate purchase of goods and services against the value stored on such instruments. The value stored on such instruments represents the value paid for by the holder, by debit, by cash to a bank account or by credit card.  These prepaid instruments can be issued as online wallets, mobile accounts, mobile wallets, smart cards, magnetic stripe cards, internet accounts, paper vouchers and any such instruments used to access the prepaid amount.

Yadav courted controversy after his name cropped up in the Vyapam recruitment scam during investigations. During the course of investigation of the Vyapam scam, the MP police's Special Task Force (STF) registered an FIR against Ram Naresh Yadav which was later quashed by the High Court. Ram Naresh Yadav : Yadav had recently completed his term in the Raj Bhawan in Bhopal in September 2016.He served as the Madhya Pradesh Governor from August 2011 to September 2016.  He was also Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister from 1977-79.  In 1977, he was elected to the Lok Sabha from Azamgarh as a Janata Party candidate.  He was a Rajya Sabha member from 1988 to 1989 from the Lok Dal, and from 1989 to 1994, he was with the Congress.  He served as Deputy Chief Minister of UP under the Babu Banarasi Das government from 1979 to 1980. Participating in the socialist movement, he was imprisoned for 19 months during the Emergency. Born in Azamgarh in eastern UP in 1928, Yadav secured MA and LLB degrees from the esteemed Banaras Hindu University.  

China has successfully launched its fourth data satellite to achieve global network operation that will provide data relay, measurement and control services for its manned spacecraft. The satellite, Tianlian I-04, was launched on a Long March-3C carrier rocket at 11:24 pm Beijing time from the Xichang Satellite Launch Centre . Developed by the China Academy of Space Technology under the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation, the satellite will join its three predecessors to achieve global network operation. The network is expected to provide data relay, measurement and control services for Chinas manned spacecraft, space labs and space stations, according to the centre. The network will also offer data relay services for the countrys medium- and low-Earth orbiting resources satellites, as well as measurement and control support for spacecraft launches. China launched its first data relay satellite, the Tianlian I-01, in April 2008. The second satellite was launched in July 2011, and the third was launched in July 2012. The launch of the Tianlian I-04 marked the 241st mission of Chinas Long March series of rockets. Since Chinas first experimental communications satellite was launched in the Xichang Satellite Launch Centre in 1984, it has sent more than 100 spacecraft into space in recent decades, including over 20 BeiDou navigation satellites and the countrys first lunar probe, Change-1. According to the centre, 10 or more satellites will be launched there next year. 

India’s largest drug maker Sun Pharma, facing an uncertain US market over pricing issues, launched an attempt to move into emerging markets and announced has the acquisition of Biosintez, a Russian company making and marketing pharmaceutical products in the Common Wealth of Independent Countries.  Sun Pharma picked up 85.1% of the company for US$ 24 million and also the debt of approximately US$ 36 million as part of the transaction. Biosintez is a Russian pharmaceutical company focusing on the hospital segment with annual revenues of approximately US$ 52 million for 2015 . It has a manufacturing facility in Penza region with capabilities to manufacture a wide variety of dosage forms including pharmaceuticals for injections, blood substitutes, blood preservatives, ampoules, tablets, ointment, creams, gels, suppositories and APIs.  Emerging markets have become a much needed growth driver for large companies like Sun Pharma and Dr Reddy’s who have been reeling under regulatory flak in US markets for quality issues and price hikes. The acquisition in Russia also comes as part of the mandatory 2020 plan of localization in Russia that stipulates companies to have a local base in the country.  Though hit by the currency fluctuation, the $10-billion Russian market is a pull for Indian drug companies. For the quarter ended September 2016, Sun Pharma consolidated profit was up 90.2% yearon-year to Rs 2,471 crore in the quarter ended September 2016, Sun Pharma’s manufacturing units at Halol is under investigation from the USFDA, besides the Department of Justice that is looking at price hikes by generic companies. On Wednesday, Sun pharma’s shares rose 1.64% to close at Rs 701, though a year ago the shares of Sun Pharma were trading at Rs 718 around the same date.   

Donald Trump, the President-elect of the United States of America (USA), on 23 November 2016 named South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley as the US Ambassador to the United Nations. With this, Haley becomes the first non-white female cabinet-level official to be appointed within the Trump administration. She will be serving Carolina as its Governor until her nomination is not confirmed by the Senate. Besides Nikki Haley, President-elect Trump also named Betsy DeVos as education secretary of the country. DeVos is a billionaire education philanthropist and activist. While naming the two, Trump praised the two appointees. In a statement he said, ‘Haley was a proven deal maker and we look to be making plenty of deals’ and ‘Devos was a brilliant and passionate education advocate’. Interesting Fact: Both, Haley and DeVos, opposed Trump during the campaign. De Vos spent much of the year raining money for other Republicans’ for the election. Nikki Haley : She is the daughter of Indian immigrants She was a vocal critic of Trump on the campaign trail ,The 44-year-old has been characterised as a rising star within the Republican Party is the youngest Governor in the US.She has served America as the 116th Governor of South Carolina since 2011. She is also the first woman and first minority governor of South Carolina. She is the second Indian-American, after Bobby Jindal, to serve as governor in the US.She was the prominent leader, who pushed for the removal of the Charleston battle flag from the South Carolina State House after the deadly church shooting in Charleston in June 2015.

The government has appointed Yudhvir Singh Malik as the Chairman of National Highways Authority of India (NHAI). Malik, an 83 batch Haryana cadre IAS officer, was earlier posted as special secretary in Niti Aayog. The outgoing chairman Raghav Chandra, an 82 batch Madhya Pradesh cadre IAS officer, has been moved to the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes as secretary.  Malik will have a huge task at his hands meeting government’s ambitious road construction target of 10,000 km for the current year. Malik will also have to get the work started on the Delhi-Meerut expressway. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been personally monitoring this project and has already told the roads ministry to finish the work within the timeline of two years.  The NHAI has a budgetary funding of Rs 22,000 crore and has been given permission to raise bonds worth Rs 50,000 crore. In the current year, the authority plans to undertake highway construction works of around Rs 70,000 crore. 

Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) has commissioned a 93 MW steam turbine-based captive power plant (CPP) for Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) at Hazira in Gujarat. Notably, this is the second unit of the 4x93 MW steam turbine-based CPP, being set up by BHEL for Reliance Industries, at Hazira. BHEL is also setting up a 3x93 MW steam turbine-based CPP for RIL at Dahej in Gujarat. The CPPs are being set up to meet the power requirements of RIL’s refinery projects at Hazira and Dahej. With the commissioning of the second unit at Hazira, BHEL has so far commissioned two units each at the Hazira and Dahej projects. The remaining three units are also planned for commissioning during the current financial year. Reliance Industries has been sourcing steam turbines as well as gas turbines from BHEL for their Jamnagar, Dahej, Hazira and Patalganga refineries and petrochemical complex. In FY 2016-17, BHEL has so far added 600 MW capacity in its captive power plant segment till date, in addition to the power utility segment capacity addition of 2,180 MW BHEL is aggressively pursuing opportunities in its industrial segments, apart from conventional power utilities. the company industry segment includes captive power plants, defence equipment, transportation, solar, compressors, oil rigs, HT motors, etc.

Brunei’s largest bank and flagship Islamic financial institution, Bank Islam Brunei Darussalam Berhad, has signed a deal with Ramco Systems wherein it will integrate its business processes across HR and enterprise resource planning functions with Ramco Systems’ Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP). Ramco will implement its ERP solution integrated with full suite HCM and Global Payroll, across BIBD’s branches and over 900 employees spread in Brunei’s four districts.  The scope of engagement includes finance and accounting, inventory and procurement, as well as core HR functions, time and attendance, payroll, training and recruitment, says a press release from Ramco.

The Union Government has allowed National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) to disburse Rs 21,000 crore to help cash-starved farmers to sow Rabi crops.  The money will be disbursed by NABARD to District Central Cooperative Banks (DCCBs) which will enable them to pass on grant funds to the primary agriculture cooperatives. The farm cooperatives will further pass it to farmers for meeting crop loan requirements in Rabi season. Besides, banks also have been asked to ensure regional rural banks (RRBs) and district cooperative banks have required cash available to satisfy the sowing needs of farmers. The Union Government’s demonetisation move which has swept away 86% of currency in circulation, has badly hit farmers leaving them without cash just ahead of the Rabi sowing season. Due to restrictions placed on bank withdrawals after demonetisation announcement has badly hit the farmers ahead as they are left with very little cash to buy seeds and fertilisers.  It is estimated that more than 40% of small and marginal farmers take crop loans from cooperative institutions. District Central Cooperative Banks (DCCBs) receive their cash from currency chests of banks and state cooperatives. Thus, disbursement of funds from NABARD will help in the smooth flow of credit for farmers to enable them to undertake Rabi requirements. National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD)  : NABARD is an apex development bank in India. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) holds the majority stake in it. 1982 on the recommendations of Shivaraman Committee to implement the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development Act, 1981. It has been entrusted with matters concerning policy, planning and operations in the field of credit for agriculture and other economic activities in rural areas in India. It is active in developing financial inclusion policy and is a member of the Alliance for Financial Inclusion. Facilitate credit flow for promotion and development of agriculture, small-scale industries, cottage and village industries, handicrafts and other rural crafts.  Support all other allied economic activities in rural areas, promote integrated and sustainable rural development and secure prosperity of rural areas.

Airtel has launched India's first live payments bank on Wednesday, which would provide an interest of 7.25% per annum on deposits.  Aimed at testing systems and processes ahead of a full-scale pan-Indian launch, Airtel Payments Bank has rolled out a pilot of its banking services in Rajasthan. It informs that account can be opened with Aadhaar based paperless e-KYC, with no extra documents required and customer's Airtel mobile number would be his/her bank account number. The company intends to give an interest rate of 7.25% per annum on deposits in savings accounts. Customers in towns and villages across Rajasthan will now be able to open bank accounts at Airtel retail outlets, which will also act as Airtel banking points and offer a range of basic, convenient banking services. Airtel Bank will commence the pilot with banking points at 10,000 Airtel retail outlets. It adds that extra benefits like money transfer to any bank account in India (Free money transfer from Airtel to Airtel numbers within Airtel Bank), personal accidental insurance of Rs 1 lakh with every savings account, easy deposit and withdrawal facility across a wide network of Airtel retail outlets, will be availed to the customers. It also claims that the company will have a network of over 100,000 merchants (shops) across Rajasthan accepting digital payments from Airtel Payments Bank, offering customers the convenience of cashless purchase of goods/services using their bank accounts/ wallets, contributing to the government’s initiative of financial inclusion and banking for all.

The fifth edition of International Tourism Mart began in Imphal on November 23, 2016. The three-day event organized in the capital of Manipur was inaugurated by Chief Minister of the state, Okram Ibobi Singh, and will be held between November 23– 25 2016. The event has been organized by The Union Tourism Ministry, in association with the Northeastern states and West Bengal. To provide a platform for interaction between buyers, sellers, media, government agencies and other stakeholders, to bring together tourism business unity from overseas as well as all northeastern states and West Bengal. About 57 buyers and delegates from ASEAN countries, Australia, New Zealand, Spain, Russia, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Canada, Brazil, South Africa, the UK and the US, along with others are likely to participate in the event. The International Tourism Mart is an annual event organized in the North Eastern region of the country to highlight the tourism potential of that region in both domestic and international markets. The event is organized annually in the North Eastern States on rotation basis. Earlier the event took place in Guwahati, Tawang, Shillong and Gangtok respectively.

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