Current Affairs 29th November 2016 - Banking, SSC, UPSC Affairs

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently had launched the ‘Indian Police at Your Call’ mobile app at a national police conference held in Hyderabad. It was organised by the Intelligence Bureau (IB). The app is a GIS Map based interface for the citizens to locate police stations near to their current location so that they can easily reach the police station in case of emergency. The app was developed by Nation Information Centre (NIC). It has been developed on Android and iOS platforms. It was launched as part of the Digital India initiative aimed at the safety and security of the citizen anytime anywhere.  The app provides the names of the police stations, distance from the place where you are and how much time it will take to reach police station one wants to go to.  It provides the police station number, number of control room and also the SP office number. However, no mobile phones numbers are provided. It also promotes facility to “Tap to Call” any of these police stations and know the route and road distance to reach there.

The book titled Conflicts of Interest: My Journey through India's Green Movement was in news in the last week of November 2016 as it was acquired by Penguin India. The book is Narain’s personal account. The book includes an “environmental manifesto” in which she lays out an outline for the direction India must take, if it is to deal with the exigencies of climate change and environmental degradation. In the book, Narain goes on to discuss how corporate lobbies and political interests often scuttle effective resolution of environmental issues. Sunita Narain : Sunita Narain is an Indian environmentalist and political activist. She is also a proponent of the Green concept of sustainable development. She is Director General of the India-based research institute the Centre for Science and Environment, Director of the Society for Environmental Communications.She is also the Editor of the fortnightly magazine, Down To Earth. In 2005, the Government of India honoured her with the Padma Shri.In 20009, she was awarded an honorary Doctor of Science by the University of Calcutta. In 2016, she was named in 100 Most Influential People of Time Magazine.In 2016, she received the IAMCR Climate Change Communication Research in Action Award.  

The website named the word 'Xenophobia' as the Word of the Year for 2016. According to, there was a massive surge in lookups for the word 'Xenophobia' that was larger than any of the peaks seen in 2016. This rise in lookups was connected to attacks on foreign workers and overall rising xenophobia in South Africa. The largest spike in’s data for the word was in the month of June 2016 with a 938 per cent increase in lookups. tymology of Xenophobia The word Xenophobia has Greek roots. The etymology of the word can be broken down to 'xenos,' which means 'stranger' or 'guest,' and 'phobos,' meaning 'fear' or 'panic.' What does the word mean The word has two definitions on the fear or hatred of foreigners, people from different cultures, or strangers. fear or dislike of the customs, dress, etc., of people who are culturally different from oneself. Earlier in November 2016, the word ‘Post Truth’ was named as word of the year 2016 by Oxford Dictionaries. The word was selected after research conducted by Oxford Dictionaries unraveled the fact that the use of the word post-truth saw an increase of about 2000 per cent over its usage in 2015.  

An aeroplane carrying 81 people on board including Brazilian first division soccer team crashed on its way to Medellin's international airport. The Brazilian soccer team was travelling to Colombia for a regional tournament final. The cause of the incident is yet to be ascertained. As per reports, about 25 bodies have been recovered from the site of the air crash, while five people were rescued alive. Three players are among the five survivors. According to Medellin's airport officials, the aircraft, which embarked from Bolivia, was transporting the Chapecoense soccer team from southern Brazil, which was scheduled to play the Copa Sudamericana finals against Atletico Nacional on 30 November 2016 in Medellin. Reports say the British Aerospace 146 plane declared an emergency at 10 pm on 28 November 2016 due to an electrical failure. This short-haul plane was operated by a Bolivian charter airline named Lamia.  

In an exclusive association, e-commerce giant Amazon is going to sell popular Indian dairy brand Amul’s products online in the United States. The alliance is a part of Amazon’s Global Selling Programme, which was launched in India in May 2015. It will bring the brand’s products within reach of American consumers. Initially, Amazon will only be putting up Amul Ghee and Gulab Jamun for sale but more would be following suit. Amul Ghee according to the website is one of the top stock units in its ‘butter and margarine’ category.  This would mark the dairy brand’s first official entry into the online space in the US. Though it is already selling its products there through traditional retail channels for the past 20 years, this move would expand its reach to a larger audience.  Amazon’s ‘Global Selling Program’ : The program is aimed at making it easy for Indian sellers to sell their ‘Make in India’ products to consumers across the world.   It offers an end-to-end solution to each seller such as assisting them with imaging, logistics, tax advisory and remittance.  It covers all sellers, including small and medium-sized enterprises, manufacturers, entrepreneurs and large brands. After the launch of the program, there has been a 70 percent increase in online sellers in comparison to last year. A total of almost 18000 Indian sellers have started selling globally across the e-tailer’s 9 global marketplaces.  Some of the retail brands that fall under the category include Biba, Fab India, Himalaya, Organic India and Liberty Shoes. These sellers have to though pay commission equivalent to a local seller of the country in which they plan to sell.  

Lt-General A K Bhatt was appointed as the Director-General of Military Operations (DGMO) on 28 November 2016 . Lt-Gen Bhatt will succeed Lt-General Ranbir Singh, who declared at a press briefing that Army Special Forces had conducted surgical strikes against terror launch pads in Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir on 29 September 2016. While, Lt-Gen Ranbir Singh will now head the 1 Corps (headquarters at Mathura), which is one of four strike corps among the 14 corps of the 1.3 million strong Army. He will replace Lt-Gen Shokin Chauhan, who in turn has been appointed as the director-general of Assam Rifles. General Dalbir Singh Suhag and Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha will retire from their posts on 31 December 2016.  Lt-General A K Bhatt : Bhatt belongs to the Gorkha Rifles.He has earlier served in the Military Operations Directorate as a Brigadier. He is currently posted as the Additional Director General of the Complaints and Advisory Board at the Army Headquarters after he commanded the 21 Division in Assam.

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has relaxed the cash withdrawal limit from the bank accounts with an aim to spur the deposits on 28 November 2016. The depositors, who have made the deposits in the current legal tender notes, can now withdraw that amount over and above the weekly limit of Rs 24000. This move comes as a relief for certain depositors who were hesitating to deposit their monies into bank accounts due to the current limits on cash withdrawals from accounts. The withdrawals will be available in higher denominations bank notes of Rs 2000 and Rs 500. The move will also encourage small businesses and shopkeepers to deposit cash in legal tender which they can withdraw at the same point of time.  The Union Government on 8 November 2016 banned the legal tender of Rs 1000 and Rs 500 currency notes. Since then, this demonetisation plan has fetched Rs 8.1 lakh crore in bank accounts. On the other hand, around Rs 34000 crore had been exchanged till date. In terms of total cash withdrawals, around Rs 2.16 lakh crore had been withdrawn as cash till date as per RBI record of 27 November 2016.

Amidst the confusion created by demonetization, the Indian state of Goa prepares itself to become the first state to operate cashless in the country from 31 December 2016.  This announcement was made by Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, who is also the former Chief Minister of the state, during a rally at Sankhali on 25 November 2016. The plan includes making even small vendors selling perishable goods accustomed to mobile payment. All vendors would be given Mobile Money Identifier (MMI) codes when they register at the bank. Customers would be able to make the transaction by dialing *99# and following the instructions that appear on the screen. The information to be filled by them would include their bank account details, the total amount that is to be transferred along with the MMI code of the vendor. The mobile required to make the payment wouldn’t have to be a Smartphone.  There will be no minimum limit on the cashless transfer of money and these transactions will also be immune from any sort of fees. This way the money will directly be debited from the sender’s account and credited to the receiver’s account. It will take away the hassle of installing swiping machines, especially in the case of small retailers and vendors.  A drive to educate people on the working of the same system has already been initiated in Mapusa and Panaji. However, such a move will not nullify the usage of debit/credit and ATM cards, as their usage will continue as usual and it also doesn’t mean a ban on cash transactions. The effort just aims to encourage the society to go cashless. According to Goa’s Chief Secretary, RK Srivastava, the state has an added advantage due to its small size. With a population of 15 lakh, it already has around 17 lakh registered mobile connections and 22 lakh bank accounts. Srivastava also added that most people in Goa already use debit or credit cards to make their purchases.

The Union Government has decided to constitute a sub-committee of Chief Ministers of five states in the wake of demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 denomination notes.  The committee will be headed by Andhra Pradesh CM N Chandrababu Naidu.  It will  suggest measures to normalise the situation. Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has called up Bihar CM Nitish Kumar, Karnataka CM Siddharamaiah, Assam CM Sarbananda Sonowal and Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis to be part of the committee.  Since demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 denomination notes was announced by the Union Government, Andhra Pradesh CM N Chandrababu Naidu government has been effectively tackling the cash crisis in the state.  He has come up with several alternatives to encourage mobile and online transactions besides distributing small change at vegetable markets as an immediate relief to the people. As a long-term measure, Andhra Pradesh government has roped over 90 lakh members from co-operative sector in villages and towns to undertake statewide campaigns on online transactions.   Under it, as many as 5,000 women are being trained as master trainers to train 90 lakh women. The state government is also designing a mechanism that makes ordinary phones do money transactions. The government will distribute such phones to families which do not have one.

Iranian film “Daughter” has won the coveted Golden Peacock award at the 47th International Film Festival of India (IFFI). It has been directed by Reza Mirkarimi. It is a family drama set in southern Iran. It brings out intergenerational conflict between a strict father and a young daughter. Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore conferred these awards during the concluding ceremony of IFFI held in Goa. Special jury award: The Throne (South Korea) directed by Lee Joon-Ik. Best Actor Female award: Elina Vaska (Latvia) for Mellow Mud.  Best Actor Male award: Farhad Aslani (Iran) for Daughter.  Best Director award: Jointly-shared by Soner Caner and Baris Kaya for Turkish film “Rauf”.  ICFT UNESCO Gandhi Medal Prize: Turkish director Mustafa Kara for his film “Cold of Kalandar”.  Special Jury mention award: Tiffany Hsuig for the Korean movie “The Apology”.  Centenary Award for the Best Debut Feature of the director: Pepa San Martin for the film “Ra Ra”.

Akodara village in Sabarkantha district of Gujarat has earned the coveted tag of becoming India’s first digital village in India. The village with a total population of 1,191 people and 250 households uses a various cashless system for payments of goods and services.  All transactions in the village are carried out through digital modes like SMS, net-banking or debit cards. The village was adopted by ICICI Bank under its Digital Village Project in 2015 and made cashless by adopting digital technology.  The project was launched in January 2016 by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and ICICI Bank MD and CEO Chanda Kochar to mark 60-year-celebration of the ICICI group’s existence. All households in village have savings account in local ICICI Bank branch.  The bank has provided training to villagers to embrace digital technology to reduce dependence on cash. The village has almost 100% financial rate and all mobile banking is done in Hindi, English and Gujarati languages.  It also has its own official website. The villagers’ most important transactions selling agri-produce at the local market or mandi or selling milk at the co-operative society have been made cashless. It has primary, secondary and higher secondary schools equipped with smart boards, computers and tablets.  It can be said that this village has become prime example of how e-banking can be practically implemented in Indian villages without much difficulty to make India cashless economy.

Lewis Hamilton win his 53rd Grand Prix title , while Rosberg, Sebastian, Verstappen claims the second, third and fourth position respectively on November 27, 2016 in Abu Dhabi, UAE. After Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Nico Rosberg win the Formula One championship with 385 points (9 wins) and Hamilton hold the second position with 380 points(10 wins) Rosberg become Germany’s third champion after Graham Hill and Briton Damon Hill

US space agency NASA will work with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Space Agency to put communications capability on the UAE's Mars spacecraft Hope that will reach the Red Planet in 2021. Dr Gale Allen, NASA's Deputy Chief Scientist, in an interview to Gulf News said that the development is part of an umbrella agreement for collaboration between the two agencies. For the Mars probe, one of things that is very interesting to us is an opportunity to put communications capability on the probe. The importance for us is that we really want to send humans to Mars in the 2030s On the agreement, she pointed out that it was an umbrella agreement, which meant that NASA wanted to collaborate in future space exploration missions. The Hope spacecraft will travel more than 60 million km in its nine-month journey, coinciding with the UAE's 50th anniversary in 2021. The mission will be supervised by the UAE Space Agency and developed by Mohammad Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC), with support from international partners.

The second edition of Windmill Festival– ‘India’s First International Children’s Festival’ is scheduled to be held on January 14th and 15th, 2017 at Reliance Jio Garden, BKC in Mumbai. The festival is a joint initiative of Event Capital and Tribe Asia. Windmill Festival Windmill Festival, is a kind of playful festival that has something to offer for the entire family. It is aimed at children of all age groups, from toddlers to pre-teens and the parents too! WindMill Festival was the first international children’s festival that was started in 2015 and the first edition was held in Bangalore that focused at the age groups of 0-3, 4-7 and 8-11. Similar as in the first edition, the second version of the festival will also include a day care centre, play areas, centre for robotics, centre for art, workshops, music and sports arena, and much more, to suit the needs of different age groups of children. Event Capital  : Event Capital is one of India’s fastest growing live event Intellectual Property (IP) specialist company. It was founded in 2013. Over the past three years, Event Capital has successfully created and acquired over 15 iconic live event IP brands including the Bollywood Music Project, Windmill Festival, Bike Festival of India, India Kids Fashion Week, Manifest, The Edutainment Show and Fulcrum Awards. Tribe Asia : Brand Tribe Asia is an independent media sales agency specialized in travel, food and lifestyle media brands. It helps to reach the most dynamic and engaged audience across Asia through specialist media partners. Headquartered in Mumbai, Tribe Asia has operational offices in Bangalore, Delhi and Kathmandu.

Pune-based company, Finkick Adventures is organizing the India’s First Underwater Festival at the Finkick Adventures SCUBA Diving Center, Divisional Sports Complex, Rahim Shaikh Road, Yerawada, Pune on November 27, 2016. To promote is awareness about the state of marine life and encourage people to conserve it. The underwater festival is organized for both swimmers and non-swimmers above 10 years of age.Regular passes are available for Rs. 1750-2500 while VIP passes for Rs. 4500. Activities organized include: Water activities and dive games exclusively for swimmers; Underwater-chess and hockey; Underwater obstacle course for certified PADI, SSI and CMAS divers in 15-feet-deep pool; Adventurous and underwater photo exhibition focusing marine life; Underwater scribble board to share festival experience Interactive session with professional divers, for folks who are good at swimming and wish to know more about becoming a scuba diver. Finkick Adventures is the first fully-fledged scuba centre in Pune. The company organizes scuba classes, Octopush game sessions, and other diving-related activities in Pune, in addition to conducting multiple outbound trips to diving international destinations like Andamans, Thailand, Bali, Sipadan, South Africa, Phillipines, Mexico, Turks & Caicos, and Kenya.

Private sector lender RBL Bank, has tied up with non banking finance company Bajaj Finance, to launch a series of co-branded credit cards for Indian customers. The first of these credit cards is proposed to be launched in the fourth quarter of FY17.  The co-branded cards are targeted at the large segment of people in metros and non-metros who have no credit cards. These will have many customer-friendly features, including no-cost EMI options, easy borrowing rates, digital payment solutions and more. The cards will also boast attractive offers and deals . With this partnership RBL Bank hopes to strengthen its scale of operations in the credit cards business, and also enable Bajaj Finance, to expand its EMI network, especially in the consumer finance space.  RBL Bank will use digital and API banking technology to offer a flexible and seamless product to customers. On the other hand, Bajaj Finance will offer the co-branded cards to its sizeable base of 18 million customers, which the company said is growing at 25-30% annually. The co-branded credit cards will be available to both existing and new customers of the NBFC. 

Canara Bank and Bajaj Allianz General Insurance  signed a corporate agency agreement for distribution of Bajaj Allianz's general insurance products through Canara Bank's network of 5,920 branches across the country. Under the strategic agreement, Bajaj Allianz General Insurance will offer its industry leading general insurance products to the customers of Canara Bank, Bajaj Allianz. A bouquet of personal lines of products such as Motor Insurance, Home Insurance, Health Insurance, Travel Insurance and commercial line of products such as Fire Insurance, Marine Insurance and Engineering Insurancewill be available through branches of Canara Bank. The partnership aims to provide enhanced customer experience by leveraging technology to augment the comprehensive range of third party products and services distributed by the Bank. This tie-up will especially benefit our customers who will get easy access to a rich bouquet of innovative products to cover their valuable assets created out of Bank finance and also benefit from the expert risk management knowledge of Bajaj Allianz Co. Canara Bank's widespread 6,000 branch network will help Bajaj Allianz to reach out to a much larger customer base and offer comprehensive insurance solutions in Tier - II and III cities and consequently help leverage the existing network of banks to increase insurance penetration.

The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (IBBI) has set up two high-level advisory committees to gather inputs from experts, including on service providers and corporate liquidation. IBBI has been set up under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016 and is expected to soon operationalize. The two committees have begun their deliberations. The advisory committee on services: It will be headed by educationist Mohandas Pai. It includes National Stock Exchange Vice-Chairman Ravi Narain, SEBI Executive Director J Ranganayakulu, National Institute of Public Finance and Policy’s Professor Ajay N Shah and senior lawyer Amarjit Singh Chandiok. The advisory committee on corporate insolvency and liquidation: It will be headed by noted banker Uday Kotak. It includes Credit Information Bureau Chairman M V Nair, Corporate and Economic Research Group Advisory’s Chairperson Omkar Goswami and BSE CEO Ashishkumar Chauhan. IBBI  : IBBI seeks to consolidate and amend laws relating to reorganisation as well as insolvency resolution of corporate persons, partnership firms and individuals in a time-bound manner. It has been set up by the code to regulate professionals, information utilities (IUs) and agencies engaged in the resolution of insolvencies of companies. It has chairman and 10 members. Present chairman is M S Sahoo. There four government-nominated members.

India hosted the golden jubilee (50th anniversary) celebrations of United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) in New Delhi. The opening address at international conference of the golden jubilee celebrations of UNCITRAL was given by President Pranab Mukherjee. United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL)  :  UNCITRAL was established by the UN General Assembly (UNGA) in 1966 to promote the progressive unification and harmonisation of international trade law. It is the core legal body of the UN system in the field of international trade law. It specialises in reforms in commercial law worldwide for a period of over 40 years. India is a founding member of UNCITRAL.  India is only one of eight countries which have been a member of UNCITRAL since its inception. IT has a membership of 60 States selected from among States Members of the UN.  In 2015, India was re-elected for a term of six years (2016-2022). Out of total 60 members, 14 are Asian states, 14 are African, 10 Latin  American & Caribbean states, 8 Eastern European and 14 Western European and other States. These member states are selected to ensure the representation of various geographic, principal economic and legal systems of the world.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has dropped the term ‘counterfeit’ and retained ‘falsified’ to describe medicines of inferior quality.  This decision was taken by a WHO’s technical working group on draft working definitions of substandard/spurious /falsely-labelled/falsified/counterfeit (SSFFC) medical products. It settles longstanding India, EU medicine dispute and battle about labelling of drugs. It is considered as a significant victory for the global access to medicines campaign. The above mentioned terms were used interchangeably to confiscate Indian made cheap generic drugs exported to other countries by showing that they were in violation of Intellectual Property Rights (IPR). It was also alleged that big pharmaceutical companies were using term ‘counterfeit’ to describe generic medicines and disrupting trade of generic medicines especially from India.  Even the European Union Free Trade Agreement (EU FTA) was derailed after affordable, safe-to-use generic drugs made in India were confiscated as ‘illegal’ and ‘counterfeit.’ Between 2008 and 2009, nearly 20 shipments of generic drugs were detained while in transit from India to several developing countries via Europe. Under the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) — the definition of counterfeit was clearly targeted at one particular area. It clearly mentioned that it is wilful infringement of trademark on a commercial scale.  However in reality, campaigns and legislation against counterfeit drugs often have nothing to do with concerns about drug quality. The major European and US pharmaceutical companies used these rules for vested interest by limiting competition from generic drugs. They were using increased enforcement of IP laws as a tool to clamp down on the legitimate trade in high-quality generic medicines between developing countries The adopted definition will use falsified and drops the word counterfeit. The term falsified is much more in line with public health concerns regarding medicines. It makes false claims about what they contain or where they are from, that represent a genuine problem. It clarifies that the term ‘counterfeit’ will now be used by member States with respect to protection of IPR.  Settles a long-standing battle about labelling of drugs as for far too long, genuine generic medicines have been labelled as counterfeit. Removes confusion on the much needed attention from the substandard medicines — which is a bigger public health problem for developing countries. WHO is a specialized agency of the United Nations that is concerned with international public health.  It was established on 7 April 1948. It is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland.  

Argentina won its maiden Davis Cup title after defeating Croatia in the final on 27 November 2016. In the final match, Argentina’s Federico Delbonis defeated Ivo Karlovic 6-3, 6-4, 6-2 to give Argentina its first title. As of 2016, the Argentina Davis Cup team has competed in the World Group since 2002 and reached the finals five times (1981, 2006, 2008, 2011 and 2016). At present, Argentina is Number 1 on the Davis Cup ranking by the International Tennis Federation (ITF).  Davis Cup : The Davis Cup is the premier international team event in men's tennis. It is governed by the International Tennis Federation. It is contested annually between teams from competing countries in a knock-out format. It is described also described as the "World Cup of Tennis." The winners of the competition are referred to as the World Champion team.The tournament was conceived in 1899 by four members of the Harvard University tennis team. The competition first began in 1900 as a challenge between Great Britain and the United States.By 2016, 135 nations entered teams into the competition. The most successful countries over the history of the tournament are the United States, which won 32 tournaments, and Australia, which won 28 times. India was the runner-up of the tournament in 1966, 1974 and 1987.The women's equivalent of the Davis Cup is the Fed Cup.  

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has introduced the Taxation Laws (Second Amendment) Bill, 2016 in the Lok Sabha on 28 November 2016. The Bill that amends tax laws seeks to impose a higher rate of tax and penalty in respect of undisclosed incomes. This amendment bill has proposed to tax at 50 percent the unaccounted demonetised cash that is disclosed voluntary till 30 December 2016. Highlights  :  It says, up to 85 percent tax and penalty will be levied on undisclosed wealth that is discovered by authorities after 30 December 2016. The Bill proposes a Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana (PMGKY) 2016 wherein the unaccounted, now banned 500 and 1000 rupee notes, deposited in banks between 10 November and 30 December 2016, will be taxed at 30 percent plus a 10 percent penalty. A 33 percent surcharge on the tax will take the total levy to 50 percent. The Bill proposes to amend Section 115BBE of the Income Tax Act to provide for a steep 60 percent tax and a 25 percent surcharge on it (total 75 percent) for black money holders who choose to disclose after PMGKY ends. The bill also inserts a new section that calls for an additional 10 percent penalty on being established that the undeclared wealth is unaccounted or black money, taking the total incidence of levies to 85 percent.

Former Prime Minister, Francois Fillon has won France’s conservative presidential primary, defeating opponent Alain Juppe by a landslide.  He will be up against National Front leader Marine Le Pen in the final presidential race, scheduled to be held in 2017.  His vote count amounted to about 69.5% in comparison to Juppe’s 30.5%.  While Fillon’s political campaign mainly revolved around the promise of radical economic reforms, Juppe was more on the moderate side and warned of encroaching populism. Some campaign promises made by Fillon  Cutting down on public spending  Reduce immigration to a minimum Support for traditional family values  Friendlier ties with Russia and its President- Vladimir Putin While Juppe’s ideology was more or less similar to that of Fillon’s when it came to the country’s economy like reducing the number of civil servants, raising the retirement age from 62 to 65 and ending the 35-hour work week, his ideology towards Russia was completely different, as he felt instead of extending a friendly hand, France should put more pressure on Putin.  Juppe also had a more tolerant attitude towards the country’s ethnic, religious and social diversity, which probably played a major role in making him the initial favourite in the race. However, he lost out when there was an unexpected surge in Fillon’s supporters in the last few weeks.  For Fillon, his toughest challenge still remains, as his opponent, Le Pen is running an anti-establishment campaign targeting mainly immigrants, France’s large Muslim minority and the European Union. Current President Francois Hollande is also yet to announce whether or not he will be running in the race next year.  However, as far as the polls go, 62-year-old Fillon, who served as the Prime Minister of France from 2007- 2012, has an incredibly good chance of winning the presidential elections.

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