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Daily Current Affairs – 12/07/2017

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National News:-

1)Extension of NPS Fortnight:-

  • To promote and create awareness about the National Pension System (NPS) and improve the quality of services provided to the subscribers, PFRDA is observing NPS fortnight from 27th June, 2017 to 11th July, 2017 successfully.
  • NSDL has developed a link which encapsulates all the information and functionalities related to NPS subscriber, including ‘NPS Mobile App’.

2)Finance Minister Launches ‘Aaykar Setu’:-

  • Finance Minister Arun Jaitley launched a new tax payer service module called Aaykar Setu.
  • It compiles various tax tools, live chat facility, dynamic updates, and important links to various processes within the Income Tax Department in a single module.
  • This e-initiative would help in reducing physical interface between assesses and tax assessing authorities and thereby minimizing the chances of any tax harassment.

3)Health ministry, signs MoU with WB:-

  • Ministry of Health and Family Welfare signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Government of West Bengal to set up a state-of-the-art Centre of Excellence in Transfusion Medicine at Kolkata.
  • Government of India has approved this important initiative with an outlay of approximately Rs.200 Crores towards equipment, manpower and running costs.
  • The move intends to strengthen the blood transfusion services in the State and the surrounding region.

4)Odisha to set up international standard sports city:-

  • Chief minister Naveen Patnaik announced to set up the Kalinga International Sports City in the state capital to organize mega international events in future.
  • “The proposed sports city would make eligible to bid for most international competitions including Commonwealth and Asian Games.
  • With an aim to provide best of the sports infrastructures in other parts of the state, CM also announced to set up four satellite stadiums with world class infrastructures in four other municipal corporations– Cuttack, Berhampur, Sambalpur and Rourkela.

5)Gujarat government to take out Narmada Rath Yatra:-

  • The Gujarat government has decided to celebrate the completion of Sardar Sarovar dam work on river Narmada by taking out a ‘Narmada Rath Yatra’ covering 10,000 villages across the state under the ‘Maa Narmada Mahotsav’ programme.
  • Gujarat CM launched a website having all the information related to the entire project, such as Narmada river basin, Sauni scheme, Sujalam Sufalam irrigation scheme and canal network.

6)President launches three digital initiatives in education sector:-

  • President Pranab Mukherjee launched two programmes and ‘National Academic Depository’ to take education to the remotest corners of the country with the help of technology.
  • The programmes Swayam and Swayam Prabha — for making education more accessible — and the depository were conceived and executed by the Ministry of Human Resource Development.
  • Under Swayam, courses would be offered through digital classrooms with online study material available free of cost in videos.
  • Swayam Prabha would tap into the potential of Direct to Home Service wherein a person can install a dish antenna for about Rs 1,500 and have access to 32 digital educational channels run by the HRD Ministry.
  • ‘National Academic Depository’ verified educational records would be digitally stored by universities or a board to counter forgery.

7)First Edition of WINGS 2017 – “Sab Uden, Sab Juden” Hosted in New Delhi:-

  • The First edition of WINGS 2017 – “Sab Uden, Sab Juden”- Expanding Regional Connectivity was hosted in New Delhi by the Ministry of Civil Aviation.
  • The Plenary session was chaired by the Union Minister of Civil Aviation, Shri P. Ashok Gajapathi Raju and the Union Minister of State for Civil Aviation, Shri Jayant Sinha was also present on this occasion.
  • India is one of the fastest growing aviation markets and currently the ninth largest civil aviation market in the world.It is projected to be the third largest aviation market by 2020.

International News:-

1)Okinoshima island gains UNESCO World Heritage status:-

  • A men-only island in Japan where women are banned has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage site.
  • The tiny landmass of Okinoshima is permanently manned by a Shinto priest who prays to the island’s goddess, in a tradition that has been kept up for centuries.
  • Limited numbers are permitted to land on the island in the Sea of Japan (East Sea).

Economic News:-

1)India to import US crude for first time:-

  • India, the world’s third-largest oil importer, has sealed a first deal to import crude oil from the US.
  • IOC have bought 2 million barrels of crude oil from North America comprising 1.6 million barrels of US Mars crude and 400,000 barrels of Western Canadian Select.
  • US Mars is a heavy, high-sulphur grade which will be processed at IOC’s newest refinery at Paradip in Odisha.

2)GMR gets Rs. 1,330 cr loan from Axis Bank:-

  • GMR Goa International Airports Limited (GGIAL), subsdiary of GMR Airports has successfully executed a debt facility arrangement for the development of the greenfield project at Mopa in north Goa by signing a common loan agreement with Axis Bank.
  • The bank will provide the company with Rs 1330 crore. The Greenfield airport will be developed in stages and will be scaled up as per traffic growth demands.
  • This airport will be a full service airport catering to domestic and international passenger besides freight services.

Sports:-

1)India tops medal tally at Asian Athletics:-

  • India topped the medal tally for first time in the history of Asian Athletics Championships, pushing China to second spot.
  • India ended the four-day championships on top with their highest ever medal haul of 29 medals (12 gold, 5 silver and 12 bronze.
  • China ended this edition on second position with 8 gold, 7 silver and 5 bronze.
    Asian Athletics Championship 2017 was held in Kalinga Stadium, Bhubaneswar.

2)Harinder wins South Australian Open title:-

  • India’s Harinder Pal Sandhu beat Rhys Dowling of Australia 11-8 12-10 11-4 in the final to lift South Australian Open squash title.
  • It was Sandhu’s eighth title at the PSA level and the third this season after winning two in Malaysia in the month of May.

Awards:-

1)IROAF won Golden Peacock Award 2017:-

  • Indian Railways achieves a major landmark in the field of Eco friendly fuel technologies at Indian Railways Organization for Alternate Fuel (IROAF) which has been awarded the coveted National level “Golden Peacock Award for the Year 2017 for Eco-Innovation” for substitution of fossil fuels (Diesel) by environment friendly CNG in DEMU passenger train services.
  • Use of CNG in Train Sets for passenger transportation has been done for the first time in the world.
  • The CNG based dual fuel 1400 HP engine used in DEMU trains developed by IROAF has successfully substituted diesel fuel with CNG upto 20%.

 

Consolidated Press Information Bureau (PIB) News for Mains

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1)National Level Conference on “Capacity Building of SDRFs-2017”:-

(Disaster management, GS-3)

  • National Level Conference on “Capacity Building of SDRFs-2017.
  • The conference was organised by National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) to develop a synergy and to highlight way ahead to strengthen the response capabilities of State Disaster Response Forces (SDRFs).
  • National level conference on capacity building of SDRF-2017, the Union Home Secretary, Shri Rajiv Mehrishi addressed the delegates from the states. He emphasized that NDRF and SDRFs to work together on Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) by educating the community and adopt new technologies to tackle the new emerging challenges besides their primary role.
  • The strengthening of SDRF by specialized training and equipping with latest gadgets for prompt and timely response to disaster.
  • The Home Secretary also assured State representatives to provide every possible help for making SDRF a self- contained response Force.

2)India signs the Multilateral Convention to implement Tax Treaty Related Measures to Prevent Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) in Paris:-

(Internation Relation GS-2, Economy GS-3)

  • Commitment to co-operate in the global efforts to tackle aggressive tax planning.
Significance of this move:-

The event marks a milestone in the global efforts to check tax evasion and tax planning strategies that exploit gaps and mismatches in
tax rules to artificially shift profits to low or no-tax jurisdictions where there is no or little economic activity resulting in no or little overall
corporate tax being paid.
The Multilateral Convention aims at swift and consistent implementation of the treaty related BEPS measures. India has been a very
active player in this global initiative and has significantly contributed to the development of the new international standards under the BEPS
package.
India would welcome more and more jurisdictions to become signatories the Multilateral Convention and also include more of their bilateral
treaties as Covered Tax Agreements.

Convention:-

The Convention will ensure that the minimum standards regarding prevention of treaty abuse and amelioration of the international tax dispute
resolution process are implemented in all Covered Tax Agreements quickly.
Other BEPS outcomes such as amendment of the definition of the term ‘Permanent Establishment’ to plug unintended interpretation leading to
fiscal evasion, prevention of double non-taxation of hybrid entities, time threshold for treaty benefits to dividend and capital gains transactions
will be incorporated in the Covered Tax Agreements where all Contracting Parties agree.

Background:-

Signatories representing 68 jurisdictions signed the Convention which will have the effect of amending most of the bilateral tax treaties of the
signatory jurisdictions in respect of treaty related measures under the Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) package for preventing
artificial tax avoidance, prevention of treaty abuse, and improve dispute resolution.

3)‘DigiYatra’- A New Digital Experience for Air Travellers:-

(Human geography GS-1, Sci & Tech GS-3)

  • The Ministry of Civil Aviation is adding a Digital experience for Air Travellers through DigiYatra Platform.
  • The ‘DigiYatra’ is an industry-led initiative co-ordinated by the Ministry in line with the Prime Minister Digital India’s vision to transform the nation into a digitally empowered society.
  • This follows Air Sewa which brings together all the stakeholders on a common platform for handling customer grievances and disseminating real-time data.
DigiYatra:-

The Minister of State for Civil Aviation, the report on ‘DigiYatra’.
‘DigiYatra’ initiative aims to bring together entire industry to develop a digital ecosystem that will deliver Indian customers a seamless,
consistent and paperless service experience at every touch point of their journey.
DigiYatra initiative envisages providing airline travellers in India, a pioneering ‘digitally unified flying experience’ across all stages of their
journey.

4)Augmenting Cancer treatment facilities in the North East:-

(Social Development GS-1,2,3)

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved the following:-

  • Taking over Dr. B. Borooah Cancer Institute, Guwahati by Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) and bringing it under the administrative control of Tata Memorial Centre, an Aided institution of DAE;
  • The decision comes in the wake of the increasing instances of cancer, limited cancer treatment facilities and the need for a hospital support to carry out further research in North Eastern Region.
  • The approximate non-recurring expenditure for strengthening of institute is estimated at Rs. 150 crore and annual recurring expenditure is estimated at Rs. 45- 50 crore.
Background:-
  • Borooah Cancer Institute was established in 1974 in Guwahati with the aim and objective of investigation, diagnosis and treatment of cancer in the North Eastern region of India by a voluntary organization.
  • Government of Assam took over the institute with all its assets and liabilities in
    1986 and entered into a tripartite agreement with the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) and North Eastern Council for management of the institute.
  • The institute is presently a 209 bedded hospital with 8 bedded ICU. Tata Memorial hospital under DAE is a premier research institution in the field of cancer research and treatment.
  • TMC under the aegis of DAE has been extending financial and technical support to the institute since 1989. Chief Minister of Assam in October 2013 had proposed that DAE
    should take over the institute to develop it as a center for excellence for cancer treatment, education and research for the entire North East.

5)SATH program launched by NITI Aayog:-

(Governance GS-2, Social Development GS-3)

  • Furthering the agenda for cooperative federalism, NITI Aayog has launched SATH, a program providing ‘Sustainable Action for Transforming Human capital’ with the State Governments.
  • The vision of the program is to initiate transformation in the education and health sectors. The program addresses the need expressed by
    many states for technical support from NITI.
SATH program:-
  • SATH aims to identify and build three future ‘role model’ states for health systems.
    NITI will work in close collaboration with their state machinery to design a robust roadmap of intervention, develop a program governance structure, set up monitoring and tracking mechanisms, hand-hold state institutions through the execution stage and provide support on a range of institutional measures to achieve the end objectives.
  • The program will be implemented by NITI along with McKinsey & Company and IPE Global consortium, who were selected through a
    competitive bidding process.
Selection of states:-
  • To select the three model states, NITI defined a three-stage process – expression of interest, presentations by the states and assessment of commitment to health sector reforms.
  • States will be selected on the basis of evaluations and objective assessment of criteria affecting the potential for impact and likelihood of success.
  • Metrics such as MMR, IMR, incidence of malaria and others have been considered for determining potential impact while density of doctors and nurses, compliance to IPHS norms are some of the metrics used to determine likelihood of success.

6)President of India launches mobile app ‘Selfie with Daughter”:-

News:-
  • The President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee launched a mobile Application ‘Selfie with Daughter’ at Rashtrapati Bhavan (June 9, 2017). The ‘Selfie with Daughter’ campaign was started by Shri Sunil Jaglan in June 2015 in village Bibipur, Jind, Haryana. A former
    Sarpanch, Shri Jaglan has been working in the field of women empowerment and village development.
  • The aim of the campaign is to motivate society to feel proud to be parents of a girl child which will result in improving the child sex
    ratio.
  • Selfie-with-Daughter has become a world-wide movement against female foeticide and sex selection.
  • This would eventually help in dealing with the problems arising out of gender imbalance and will promote woman empowerment in Society.
  • The App is an innovative concept and an act of gentle persuasion.
Sex ratio in India:-
  • In the Population Census of 2011 it was revealed that the population ratio of India 2011 is 940 females per 1000 of males.
  • The Sex Ratio 2011 shows an upward trend from the census 2001 data. Census 2001 revealed that there were 933 females to that of 1000 males.

7)22ND APEDA Annual Award:-

(Food Processing GS-3)
News:-
  • In order to felicitate the exporters for their distinguished service in exportsof Indian Agro and Processed Food, 82 awards were presented for the years 2014-15 and 2015-16. The awards were in the following categories: Diamond – 2 Gold – 33 Silver – 29 Bronze –
    18.
  • Allanasons Ltd. got the “Diamond Trophy” for both years for their outstanding export performance and overall contribution in food sector.
About APEDA:-
  • Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authoritypopularly known as APEDA is an apex body of the Ministry of Commerce, Government of India, to promote the export of agricultural commodities and processed food products.
  • APEDA links Indian exporters to global markets besides providing comprehensive export oriented services. APEDA provides referral services and suggest suitable partners for joint ventures.
  • APEDA’s export basket ranges from typically Indian ethnic products like pickles, chutneys, sauces, curries etc. to rice, honey, fresh and processed fruits and vegetables, beverages, guar gum, poultry, livestock products, confectionery, cut flowers, food grains, aromatic plants and other Indian delicacies.

India’s agro-product exports:-

(Agriculture & Food Processing GS-3)
  • India has emerged as 7th largest exporter of agro-products.
  • APEDA in association with the concerned line Ministries is addressing issues relating to market access. The total merchandise exports during 2016-17 stood at 276.28 billion US$ out of which agri exports comprised of 33.38 billion US$ representing 12.08% of the total exports.
  • Exports of food products monitored by APEDA during 2016-17 stood at 16.28 billion US$ (Rs.1,08,867.17 crore) representing 48.77% of Agri exports from the country.
  • Vietnam, UAE, Saudi Arabia, USA, Iran, Iraq and Nepal are the major destinations for export of food products from India.
  • India has signed the Memorandum of Understanding(MoU) for Participation in the ANUGA Exhibition with Ms Katharina C Hamma, Chief
    Operating Officer, Koelnmesse GmBH (Organizers of ANUGA).
ANUGA:-
  • ANUGA – an acronym for Allgemeine Nahrungs Und Genußmittel Ausstellung (General Food and Non- essential Provisions Exhibition) is the world’s biggest and most important trade fair for Food and beverage trade. It is Organised in every 2 years. ANUGA 2017 is the 34th edition.
  • ANUGA offers an extensive supporting programme with Lectures, Special exhibition and attractive industry events ANUGA is the leading export platform with 7,189 exhibitors from 109 countries with over 85% of Exhibitors from abroad.
  • 1,60,000 decision makers from the retail and out-of-home market from 192 countries visited during last ANUGA. 66% of the industry visitors
    are foreigners.

8)Successful Flight Test of ATGM Nag:-

(Defence GS-3)

  • The Anti-Tank Guided Missile Nag was successfully flight tested in the desert ranges of Rajasthan.
  • Nag is a third-generation, fire-and-forget, anti-tank guided missile developed by India’s state-owned Defence Research and Development
    Organisation (DRDO) to support both mechanised infantry and airborne forces of the Indian Army.
  • The missile incorporates an advanced passive homing guidance system and possesses high single-shot kill probability. It is designed to destroy modern main battle tanks and other heavily armoured targets.
  • Nag can be launched from land and air-based platforms. The land version is currently available for integration on the Nag missile carrier (NAMICA), which is derived from a BMP-2 tracked infantry combat vehicle.
  • The Nag missile was indigenously developed under the Indian Ministry of Defence’s integrated guided missile development programme (IGMDP), which also involved the development of four other missiles that are Agni, Akash, Trishul and Prithvi.

Daily Current Affairs – 10/07/2017

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National News:-

1)India, Bangladesh to construct bridge along Mizoram border:-

  • India and Bangladesh have decided to construct a bridge over Mizoram’s Khawthlangtuipui river (also known as Karnaphuli river) to facilitate trade and improve communication between the two neighbours.
  • Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina had given the approval to construct the bridge and linking roads.

2)Chhattisgarh tops list of states in issuance of soil health cards:-

  • Chhattisgarh has topped the list among all the states in the country for having issued over 43 lakh soil health cards (SHCs) to farmers in the past two years.
  • As against the target of providing 38,90,709 SHCs in the first phase of the scheme between 2015 and 2017 financial years, as many as 43,37,595 SHCs were issued to farmers in the state.

3)India’s first university for Dalit students to come up in Hyderabad:-

  • A proposal to establish an exclusive university for Dalit students in Hyderabad is under active consideration of the Telangana government.
  • The university is said to be part of the government’s policy of providing education free of cost to students from weaker sections from kindergarten to post-graduation (KG to PG) level.
  • The proposal was mooted by a government arm – Telangana Social Welfare Residential Educational Institutions Society (TSWREIS).

4)Goa gets Rs 100 crore for tourism infrastructure:-

  • Goa has been allotted Rs 100 crore by the Union ministry for tourism under phase II of the Swadesh Darshan Scheme.
  • The funds will be used for developing the state’s coastal circuit from Panaji to Palolem.
    While the initial allotment of Rs 100 crore under phase I for coastal circuit development is being utilized for developing the coastal belt in North Goa from Sinquerim to Keri, the phase II allotment of Rs 100 crore will be utilized for developing the South Goa coastline from Panaji to Palolem.

5)Naqvi inaugurates first Gharib Nawaz Skill Development Centre in Hyderabad:-

  • Minister of State for Minority Affairs (Independent Charge) & Parliamentary Affairs Shri Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said that besides providing various job-oriented skill development courses, Gharib Nawaz Skill Development Centres of Ministry of Minority Affairs will also offer certificate course in Goods and Services Tax accounting/programming and other related subjects.
  • While inaugurating the first Gharib Nawaz Skill Development Centre at Vijayanagar Colony in Hyderabad, Shri Naqvi said that the youths, after completing about three-months duration Goods and Services Tax course, will not only be able to help small-medium traders and the common people, but they will also immensely benefitted by this course as it will open vast job opportunities in the related sectors.

International News:-

1)12th G20 Summit held in Hamburg, Germany:-

  • The 2017 G20 Hamburg summit was the twelfth meeting of the Group of Twenty (G20), which was held on 7–8 July 2017, at Hamburg Messe, in the city of Hamburg, Germany.
  • As well as permanent members of the committee, the leaders of Guinea, the Netherlands, Norway, the Philippines, Senegal, Singapore, Spain and Vietnam were also in attendance.
  • THE G20, or group of 20, is an international meeting between heads of states, finance ministers and central bank governors from the world’s leading economies.
  • Founded in 1999 to give developing countries a more powerful voice in the global economy, the summit brings together industrialised and emerging economies.
  • The group makes up 85 per cent of the world’s GDP and two-thirds of its population.
    Next G-20 summit will be held in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

2)Petroleum Minister to represent India at 22nd World Petroleum Congress:-

  • Minister of State (I/C) for Petroleum and Natural Gas, Shri Dharmendra Pradhan will be visiting Istanbul, Turkey from 10 – 12 July 2017 to represent India at the 22nd World Petroleum Congress (WPC) International Conference.
  • During his participation at the Conference, Shri Pradhan will be chairing a Ministerial Session on the subject “Current Economic Strategies in Indian Oil & Gas Sector” and a Plenary Session on ‘Supply and Demand Challenges for Oil, Gas and Products’.
  • He is scheduled to hold several bilateral meetings with visiting Petroleum Ministers.
  • The tri-annual WPC Conference is widely recognized as the `Olympics` of the oil and gas industry.

Economic News:-

1)SBI in Nepal launches digital village:-

  • The digital village initiative has been launched in Jarisingpouwa in Shankarapur Rural Municipality, 25 km east from Kathmandu.
  • The cash counter enables the villagers to deposit and withdraw money through the automatic machine.

2)GST intelligence agency gets new chief:-

  • Joseph, a 1983 batch officer of Indian Revenue Service (Customs and Central Excise), has worked in the Finance Ministry’s important departments, including the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI).
  • The DG GSTI is the new name given to the Directorate General of Central Excise Intelligence (DGCEI), mandated to check service tax and central excise duty evasion.

3)Centre launches GST Rates Finder app:-

  • The Union Finance Minister Shri Arun Jaitley launched a mobile app “GST Rates Finder” in his chamber in the national capital which is now available on android platform and will soon be available on iOS platform as well.
  • This Mobile app helps users to find rates of GST for various goods and services.
    CBEC has also provided a GST rate finder on its portal to help the taxpayers know the applicable GST rate on their supplies of goods and services.
  • A taxpayer can search for applicable CGST, SGST, UTGST rate and Compensation Cess on a supply.

Daily Current Affairs – 08/07/2017

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International News:-

1)Trilateral Malabar exercise to kick off on July 10:-

  • The Malabar naval exercise involving Indian, American and Japanese navies will kick start on July 10 in the Bay of Bengal, amid China’s growing military assertiveness in the disputed South China Sea.
  • A sizeable number of aircraft, naval ships and nuclear submarines of the navies of the three countries will be part of the annual exercise.
  • India and the US have regularly conducted the annual exercise since 1992.

2)Italy passes bill to make torture illegal:-

  • Italian lawmakers have finally passed a bill making torture a crime under national law, after years of parliamentary back-and-forth.
  • Rome signed the UN Convention Against Torture in 1984 but had never transferred it into national legislation.

3)India slips to be 4th largest investor in:-

  • India has slipped by one spot to become the fourth-largest foreign investor into the UK, according to the official figures released.
  • The US remains on the top, investing in 577 projects in the UK, with China (including Hong Kong) remaining in second place with 160 projects.
  • India set up 127 new projects in Britain last year.
  • However, it lost its position as the third largest investor in the UK to France which set up 131 projects last year, according to the data.

National News:-

1)India declares itself free from Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (H5N1 and H5N8):-

  • India has declared itself free from Avian Influenza (H5N8 and H5N1) from 6th June, 2017 and notified the same to OIE.
  • India had reported outbreaks of Highly Pathogenic Avian influenza at various epicenters in Delhi, Gwalior (MP), Rajpura (Punjab), Hissar (Haryana), Bellary (Karnataka), Allappuzha and Kottayam (Kerala), Ahmedabad (Gujarat), Daman (Daman) and Khordha and Angul (Odisha during October, 2016 to February, 2017.
  • All the outbreaks of Avian Influenza (HPAI) mentioned above were notified to OIE and the control and containment operations were carried out as per the Action Plan on Preparedness, Control and Containment of Avian Influenza.

2)“JIGYASA” – Student-Scientist connect programme launched:-

Jigyasa, a student- scientist connect programme was officially launched in the national capital.
Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), has joined hands with Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan (KVS) to implement this programme.
The focus is on connecting school students and scientists so as to extend student’s classroom learning with that of a very well planned research laboratory based learning.

3)Garib Nawaz Skill Development Centres to be established in 100 districts of the country:-

  • The Minister of State for Minority Affairs (Independent Charge) & Parliamentary Affairs, Shri Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said that Garib Nawaz Skill Development Centres will be established in 100 districts of the country which will effectively ensure employment oriented skill development of youth belonging to Minority communities.
  • Naqvi, that in next six months, Garib Nawaz Skill Development Centres, providing job oriented skill training in various fields, will be established in 100 districts.

Economic News:-

1)EPFO ties up with 5 banks to collect PF dues:-

  • Retirement fund body EPFO has inked pacts with five banks for collections of PF dues.
  • The tie-ups with Bank of Baroda, ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank, Axis Bankand Kotak Mahindra Bank will help EPFO save around Rs 125 crore a year and expedite its investments as well as payment of benefits to its members.
  • Employers having bank account with these banks can now deposit PF dues directly in EPFO’s account using internet banking in real time basis instead of going through the aggregator mode.

2)Indus OS partners with YES Bank to launch OS-integrated UPI platform:-

  • Indus OS has partnered with YES Bank to launch OS-integrated UPI (Unified Payment Interface) payment platform in India.
  • Users with Indus OS will be able to use this UPI payment platform on SMS/ messaging, dialler interface, and on third party apps like WhatsApp.
  • This means P2P transactions as well as utility payments can be made via SMS or messaging. The platform is expected to launch in this quarter.

3)India likely to clock GDP growth of 6.9 pc this fiscal:-

  • Indian economy is expected to recover in the coming quarters and the country is expected to clock a real GDP growth of 6.9 per cent in this financial year.
  • According to a report by BMI Research, India’s growth is expected to pick up following the negative ramifications from the demonetisation drive in November 2016, but weak public banks will likely cap the recovery.

4)Srei Teams Up With Russian Development Bank To Create $200 Mn IT Fund:-

  • Srei Infrastructure Finance Limited has joined hands with Russian Government-owned Vnesheconombank to create a $200 Mn fund.
  • The fund aims to facilitate innovation in the field of information technology (IT).
    Headquartered at Kolkata, the family-run company signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the development bank last month, as part of the Indian government’s continued efforts to foster cooperation with Russia.

De-registered frim faces Money Laundering probe

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  • Three lakh more suspected shell companies to get show-cause notice Allegedly, 300,000 companies have been identified by the government as indulging in unlawful transactions since demonetization Out of these 300, 000 companies, 100,000 have been de-registered.
  • And another 37,000 shell companies has been identified that has been involved converting black money in to white, these steps are part of the Government’s action to ensure regular flow of data from the Swiss national bank to keep check fraudulent transactions.
  • The attempt is to restrict Chartered Accountants to come up with ways of helping their clients but to be diligent in their accounting.

Inquiry to be done:-

If companies de-registered have been found to be involved in money laundering, they would be brought under the probe radar of the Enforcement Directorate (ED)
Concurrently, the Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA) decided to send show-cause notice to over three lakh more firms for striking off their names from the ‘register of companies’
The MCA has acted against the companies for not filling returns.
It will further approach banks with the list of companies where action has been taken to ensure that they are unable to operate their bank accounts or access loans.
Also the ministry is writing to the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) to scan for any violation of provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act.

RoC’s Notice can be Challenged:-

Section 252 of the Companies Act points out that persons aggrieved by the RoC order — notifying a company as dissolved under Section 248 of the Act — may file an appeal to the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) within three years from the RoC’s order.
If the NCLT finds that the removal of the company’s name was unjustified, it may order its restoration in the register.

The Directorate of Enforcement:-

It is a law enforcement agency and economic intelligence agency responsible for enforcing economic laws and fighting economic crime in India.
It is part of the Department of Revenue, Ministry of Finance. It comprises officers of the Indian Revenue Service, Indian Police Service and the Indian Administrative Service.
The origin of this Directorate goes back to 1 May 1956, when an ‘Enforcement Unit’ was formed, in Department of Economic Affairs, for handling Exchange Control Laws violations under Foreign Exchange Regulation Act, 1947. In the year 1957, this Unit was renamed as ‘Enforcement Directorate.

Objectives:-

Enforcement of,

  • The Foreign Exchange Management Act 1999 (FEMA).
  • The Prevention of Money Laundering Act 2002 (PMLA)

 

TB is higher among children than expected

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  • While detection of tuberculosis (TB) in children remains a challenge, it has now emerged that Multi-Drug Resistant (MDR) TB is higher among children than expected. This has been described as a “worrying trend” by the Union Health Ministry.
  • As many as 5,500 of over 76,000 children tested in nine cities have been diagnosed with TB. Nine per cent of these paediatric TB cases have been diagnosed to have MDR TB, according to the Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics (FIND) that conducted the tests in collaboration with the Central TB Division under the Revised National TB Control Programme (RNTCP).
  • Communicable Disease (Any disease transmitted from one person or animal to another) Children who were more prone to primary MDR infection as they were in close contact with their parents and grandparents, who would have been infected.
  • “A considerable number of the 9% diagnosed to have MDR-TB are primary infections.

Reporting Agency:-

  • Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics (FIND) that conducted the tests in collaboration with the Central TB Division under the Revised National TB Control Programme (RNTCP).
  • FIND initially started a unique initiative for diagnosing paediatric TB in four cities of Delhi, Chennai, Hyderabad and Kolkata from April 2014 with funding from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
  • It has now scaled up the project to include additional five cities —Nagpur, Surat, Visakhapatnam, Bengaluru and Guwahati.
  • The project will start in Indore next week.

Objective:-

  • The aim of the project is to provide rapid access to quality TB diagnosis for all presumptive paediatric TB patients in the project intervention areas.
  • RNTCP is committed to providing increasing access to quality TB diagnostics for the paediatric population.

RNTCP:-

  • Revised National Tuberculosis Control Program (RNTCP) is the state-run tuberculosis (TB) control initiative of the Government of India.
  • As per the National Strategic Plan 2012–17, the program has a vision of achieving a “TB free India”, and aims to achieve Universal Access to TB control services.
  • The program provides, various free of cost, quality tuberculosis diagnosis and treatment services across the country through the government health system.
  • The Revised National TB Control Programme (RNTCP) thus formulated, adopted the internationally recommended Directly Observed Treatment Short-course (DOTS) strategy, as the most systematic and cost-effective approach to revitalise the TB control programme in India.

UDAY covers 97% of discom debt

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  • The Union Ministry of Power has announced that about 97% of the total outstanding debt of all state power distribution companies (discoms) has been covered under the Ujwal DISCOM Assurance Yojana (UDAY).
  • 86% of the restructurable debt has been revamped under the scheme till date.
    As on September 30, 2015, the total debt of all state-owned discoms was ₹3.95 lakh crore,” according to a statement by the Ministry of Power.
  • “The 26 states and 1 UT which have joined the UDAY scheme account for total outstanding debt of ₹3.82 lakh crore. Hence, about 97% of the total outstanding debt of all State discoms has been covered under UDAY,” the statement added.
  • The Ministry also added that the total liability opted for restructuring by the states through the issuance of bonds was ₹2.69 lakh crore.

Ujjwal Discom Assurance Yojana:-

  • UDAY provides for the financial turnaround and revival of Power Distribution companies (DISCOMs), and importantly also ensures a sustainable permanent solution to the problem. It has ambitious target of making all discoms profitable by 2018-19.
  • The scheme will ease the financial crunch faced by power distribution companies, that has impaired their ability to buy electricity.
  • It is based on the premise that it is states’ responsibility to ensure that discoms become financially viable.

Functions:-

  • The State govt. will takeover the discom liabilities over 2-5 year period.
    This will allow discoms to convert their debt into State bond. These bonds will have a maturity period of 10-15 years.
  • It will allow transfer of 75% outstanding debts incurred by stressed discoms to States’ debt, 50% in 2015-16 and 25% in 2016-17.
  • The central government will not include the loans of the discoms in calculation of the state’s deficit till 2016-17.

UDAY may face following challange:-

  • Electricity is not a central subject, states’ cannot be made to participate in the programme.
  • Finding buyers for such bonds might prove difficult, as these would enjoy the SLR status.
  • It has not laid down a specific performance-monitoring and compliance mechanism.
  • It does not cover inadequate investment in network & poor supply, which is essential for reliable and quality supply.
  • No central monetary assistance is provided, rather states’ will be provided subsidised funding from the central govt.’s power schemes as well as priority in supply of coal.

MERIT app and e-Bidding portal for utilization of domestic coal in IPP Power Stations launched

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  • Union Minister of State for Power, Coal, New & Renewable Energy and Mines, Piyush Goyal has launched the ‘MERIT app (Merit Order Despatch of Electricity for Rejuvenation of Income and Transparency)’ and the e-bidding portal for offering an e-Bidding solution to States.
  • The app and the portal would help the states to select Independent Power Producers (IPPs) for procurement of power by transferring their domestic coal under the scheme of flexibility in utilisation of domestic coal.

Objective:-

  • The launch of the app and the portal is aimed at promoting the vision of ‘Minimum Government and Maximum Governancee’ through ‘Speed, Skill and Scale’.
  • It would result in optimum utilisation of Coal and would save the consumer around Rs.
  • 20,000 crores in the next five years.
  • It would increase the transparency and accountability.
  • 24×7 Power for All.

The advantages of MERIT app:-

  • Empowerment of the Consumer and participative governance
  • Transparent information dissemination pertaining to marginal variable cost and source wise purchase of electricity.
  • Promotes economy and efficiency in operations
  • Helps understand the utility portfolio and its complexity
  • Optimization of the power procurement costs
  • Facilitates renewable integration and handling of the variability and uncertainty of renewables
  • Indication of supply side reliability, adequacy.
  • The flexibility in utilization of domestic coal scheme envisages transferring coal to more efficient IPPs generating stations, leading to lower generation costs and ultimately lesser cost of electricity for the consumers.

E-bidding:-

  • An eBidding is an electronic bidding event (without awarding commitment) according to defined negotiation rules (eAgreement). A buyer and two or more suppliers take part in this online event.
  • It has been designed to facilitate States in inviting bids for procurement of power from the prospective IPPs in transparent and fair manner.

Background:-

  • The Cabinet, on 4 May 2016, approved the proposal for allowing flexibility in utilization of domestic coal amongst power generating stations.
  • Central Electricity Authority (CEA) has issued the methodology for utilization of domestic coal within State/Central generating stations on 8 June 2016, followed by the issuance of a memorandum by the Ministry of Power on 10 June 2016.
  • The methodology for use of transferred coal in Independent Power Producers (IPPs) generating stations was issued by Ministry of Power on 20 February, 2017.

Daily Current Affairs – 07/07/2017

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National News:-

1)PM Modi to participate in G20 summit at Hamburg:-

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived at Hamburg in Germany last night for the 12th meeting of the G20 nations which begins later today. He will also hold bilateral discussions with leaders of Canada, South Korea, Mexico, Argentina, UK and a few more nations on the sidelines of the summit.
  • Deliberations on counter terrorism, climate change and global trade are likely to dominate the two-day Summit.
  • A closed door meeting of the BRICS leaders will also take place on the side lines of the meeting in which the Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be meeting the leaders including Brazil, Russia, and South Africa.
  • The summit will focus on -Shaping an Interconnected World- as it is the main theme for this edition. The deliberations will also focus on global growth and trade, sustainable development, environment and energy, Partnership with Africa, Migration, and women’s empowerment and employment in four working sessions.

2)President gives nod to order on GST in J&K:-

  • President Pranab Mukherjee gave nod to an order pertaining to implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime in Jammu and Kashmir, the President cleared the order and sent it to Union Home Ministry for further action.
  • Jammu and Kashmir Assembly had passed a resolution in this regard after which the state cabinet under the chairmanship of Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti cleared a draft order for concurrence of the President.
  • The presidential order relates to the application of certain provisions of the Constitution of India through an order of the President issued under Article 370 that gives special status to the state.
  • Meanwhile, Jammu and Kashmir Assembly today passed State Goods and Services Tax (SGST) law amid boycott by opposition.

3)New anti-hijacking law comes into force:-

  • The new anti-hijacking law, which prescribes capital punishment in the event of death of any person, has come into force following a government notification.
  • The new law, which has come into effect after its notification on July 5, includes several acts within the definition of hijacking including making a threat, attempts or abatement to commit the offence.
  • In the new law, the definition has been expanded to include death of “security personnel on board” or “ground support staff” as well. Those who organise or direct others to commit such offence will also be considered to have committed the offence of hijacking.
  • The new law mandates the central government to confer powers of investigation, arrest and prosecution on any officer of the central government or National Investigation Agency (NIA).

Background:-

  • The 2016 Anti-Hijacking Act replaces a 1982-vintage law, according to which hijackers could be tried only in the event of death of hostages, such as flight crew, passengers and security personnel.

4)India ranks 23rd among 165 nations in cybersecurity index:-

  • India is ranked a high 23rd out of 165 nations in a global index that measures the commitment of nations across the world to cybersecurity.
  • The second Global Cybersecurity Index (GCI) released by the UN telecommunications agency International Telecommunication Union (ITU).
  • India is ranked 23rd on the index with a score of 0.683 and has been listed in the maturing category, which refers to 77 countries that have developed complex commitments to cybersecurity and engage in cybersecurity programmes and initiatives. The index has been topped by Singapore with a 0.925 score.
  • The top 10 most committed countries to cybersecurity are Singapore, United States, Malaysia, Oman, Estonia, Mauritius, Australia, Georgia, France and Canada. Russia is ranked 11th.

5)Navies of India, US and Japan to participate in Malabar exercise:-

  • Naval ships, aircrafts and personnel from India, Japan and the United States will participate in the 10-day long Malabar exercise.
  • The exercise will feature both ashore and at-sea training. Malabar 2017 is the latest in a continuing series of exercises that has grown in scope and complexity over the years to address the variety of shared threats to maritime security in the Indo-Asia Pacific.
  • India’s aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya, Japan’s largest warship JS Izumo and super-carrier Nimitz of the United States will be part of the exercise. A number of other frontline ships, submarines and fighter jets of the three countries will be part of the drill.
    While ashore in Chennai, training will include subject matter expert and professional exchanges on carrier strike group operations, maritime patrol, surface and anti-submarine warfare, damage control and explosive ordnance disposal.
  • The at-sea portions will be conducted in the Bay of Bengal and are designed to advance participating nations’ military-to-military coordination and capacity to plan and execute tactical operations in a multinational environment. Indian, Japanese and U.S. maritime forces have a common understanding and knowledge of a shared working environment at sea.

6)Ministry of Railways reforms recruitment process through induction of digital technology:-

  • Railways Ministry has reformed its recruitment process through induction of digital technology to bring transparency and efficiency.
  • Railway Recruitment Boards have conducted the world’s largest computer based test for about 92 lakh candidates. This examination was conducted in 351 cities across the country, including remote areas like North East, and the Kashmir valley.
  • The second stage written test and third stage Aptitude test for Assistant Station Masters and Typing Skill Test for Ministerial posts have also been conducted in computer based manner for over 45 thousand candidates across India.

International News:-

1)IS on ‘last legs’ in Mosul: Canadian general:-

  • The Islamic State group is on the verge of defeat in its former Iraqi stronghold of Mosul.
    A coalition general has said that the militants will be fully ousted.
  • Canadian Brigadier General Dave Anderson, who oversees the training of local forces for the US-led coalition, said Iraqi security forces have pushed IS into a final, small pocket of Mosul’s Old City by the Tigris River.
  • When asked how many IS fighters were left in Mosul, the general said he did not know but added he had no doubt there would be none left.

2)UN Security Council sanctions splinter group of Pak Taliban:-

  • The UN Security Council has sanctioned a splinter group of the Pakistan Taliban, subjecting it to assets freeze and an arms embargo.
  • The Security Council’s Al-Qaida Sanctions Committee last night added Jamaat-Ul-Ahrar (JuA) to the terror group Islamic State and Al-Qaida Sanctions List.
  • The outfit is also known as Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan Jamaat ul Ahrar and is located in the Nangarhar Province of Afghanistan as well as in Mohmand Agency, a district in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas of Pakistan.
  • Information on the UN website, Jamaat-Ul-Ahrar is the splinter group of the Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan and is associated with the Islamic State terror group.

3)US Senators ask Pakistan to do more to eliminate terrorist safe havens:-

  • Top American Senators have asked Pakistan to do more to eliminate terrorist safe havens in the country. A bipartisan Congressional delegation led by Senator John McCain conveyed this to authorities in Pakistan.
  • Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren, who was the part of the delegation, that the delegation told Pakistani leaders that they must do more to eliminate safe havens & terrorist groups in the region.
  • Ms. Warren, that she met with Pakistan army chief General Bajwa to discuss the critical role Pakistan must play in countering terrorism in the region.

4)UN set to adopt treaty outlawing nuclear weapons:-

  • A global treaty banning nuclear weapons is set to be adopted at the United Nations today despite opposition from the United States, Britain, France and other nuclear powers that boycotted negotiations.
  • Supporters describe the treaty as a historic achievement but the nuclear-armed states have dismissed the ban as unrealistic, arguing it will have no impact on reducing the global stockpile of 15,000 nuclear weapons.
  • Led by Austria, Brazil, Mexico, South Africa and New Zealand, 141 countries have taken part in three weeks of negotiations on the treaty that provides for a total ban on developing, stockpiling or threatening to use nuclear weapons. Advocates hope it will increase pressure on nuclear states to take disarmament.
  • None of the nine countries that possess nuclear weapons — the United States, Russia, Britain, China, France, India, Pakistan, North Korea and Israel took part in the negotiations.

5)Trump, Putin to meet for first time at G20:-

  • US President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin are set to size each other up in person for the first time today in what promises to be the most highly anticipated meeting on the sidelines of the G20 summit.
  • Trump has said he wants to find ways to work with Putin, a goal made more difficult by sharp differences over Russia’s actions in Syria and Ukraine, and allegations Moscow meddled in the 2016 US presidential election. The White House declined to offer details on what Trump would request of Putin and what he might offer in exchange for cooperation.
  • US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Trump wanted to talk about how the two countries can work together to stabilize war-ravaged Syria.
    Chinese President Xi Jinping at the G20 amid an ICBM launch by North Korea.

Economic News:-

1)Bank customers won’t have to bear loss from fraudulent transactions: RBI:-

  • The Reserve Bank of India, that customers will not suffer any loss if unauthorised electronic banking transactions are reported to the bank within three days thus putting the onus of such transactions largely on the banks.
  • The amount involved will be credited in the accounts concerned within 10-days. In case the third party fraud is reported with a delay of four to seven working days, a customer will face liability of up to Rs 25,000.
  • In a notification on its website on ‘Customer Protection Limiting Liability of Customers in Unauthorised Electronic Banking Transactions’, the apex bank said in cases where the loss is due to negligence by the account holder such as sharing of payment credentials, the customer will bear the entire loss until the unauthorised transaction is reported to the bank.

2)Academic experts see growing importance to India in G-20:-

  • Academic experts see growing importance to India in G-20. Mr Jan (Yaan) Strese who is working with the South Asian Studies at the Hamburg University says India is going to be one of the major global players especially in the wake of merging powers in the East.
  • Stating that India is the third largest economy of the world, India is going to play greater role in G20 in the days to come due to its concerns on issues like climate change and economic reforms.

3)Centre to issue Sovereign Gold Bonds 2017-18 – Series II:-

  • The Centre in consultation with the Reserve Bank of India, has decided to issue Sovereign Gold Bonds 2017-18 – Series II. Applications for the bond will be accepted from 10th to 14th of this month.
  • The Bonds will be issued on 28th July and will be sold through banks, Stock Holding Corporation of India Limited, designated post offices and recognised stock exchanges National Stock Exchange of India Limited and Bombay Stock Exchange.
  • The Bonds will be restricted for sale to resident Indian entities including individuals, HUFs, Trusts, Universities and Charitable Institutions.
  • The bonds will be denominated in multiples of grams of gold with a basic unit of 1 gram. The tenor of the bond will be for a period of 8 years with exit option from 5th year to be exercised on the interest payment dates.
  • Price of bond will be fixed in Indian Rupees on the basis of simple average of closing price of gold of 999 purity published by the India Bullion and Jewellers Association Limited for the week preceding the subscription period.
  • The issue price of the Gold Bonds will be ` 50 per gram less than the nominal value. Payment for the Bonds will be through cash payment upto a maximum of 20 thousand rupees or demand draft or cheque or electronic banking.

 

Daily Current Affairs – 06/07/2017

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International news:-

1)10th Session of the India- Jordan Trade and Economic Joint Committee (TEJC):-

  • The 10TH India-Jordan Trade and Economic Joint Committee (TEJC) Meeting was held in New Delhi on 4th and 5th July, 2017 under the co-chairs of Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman, Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Commerce and Industry, Government of India, and H.E Eng. Mr. Yarub Qudah, Minister of Industry, Trade and Supply, the Government of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.
  • On this occasion, the two countries emphasized the need for diversification of bilateral trade and deepening their engagements for greater cooperation in investment sector.
  • The two leaders also inked the revised Economic and Trade Cooperation Agreement between the Government of the Republic of India, and the Government of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.

2)5th Meeting of BRICS Education Ministers held in Beijing:-

  • Meeting of BRICS Ministers of Education was held on 5th July, 2017 at Beijing, China.
    The Indian delegation was led by Shri Prakash Javadekar, Minister of Human Resource Development, India.
  • Delegation of all the five BRICS countries participated in the two-day deliberations.
    Before the meeting of Education Ministers, an international conference of Vice-Chancellors of the Universities participating in the BRICS Network University (BRICS-NU), meeting of International Governing Board (IGB) of BRICS-NU and meetings of International Thematic Group (ITGs) of BRICS-NU were held in Zhengzhou, China on July 1-3, 2017.

3)India, Israel to set up $40 mn research fund:-

  • India and Israel announced a strategic partnership between the two countries after a meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Israeli counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu, and signed seven agreements in the fields of water, agriculture, space, including a $40 million joint fund for research and development in innovation.
  • The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and Israel Space Agency (ISA) also agreed for cooperation in atomic clocks.

National News:-

1)AIIB approves USD 329 mn loan to build roads in Gujarat:-

  • China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) has approved USD 329 million loan to build access roads to 4,000 villages in Gujarat.
  • Insufficient road connectivity into these villages limits their ability to access healthcare services, bring their goods to market and access transportation for their children to attend schools.
  • This project will construct and upgrade district and farm-to-market roads for the villagers and provide approaches to educational institutions, schools and hospitals.

2)Karnataka launches ‘Elevate 100’ scheme for start-ups:-

  • The Karnataka government has launched the ‘Elevate 100’ scheme to identify and nurture innovative start-ups.
  • The aim is to identify 100 most innovative start-ups in the state to elevate them to the next level of success.
  • The Elevate scheme is the brainchild of the start-up cell, Karnataka Biotechnology and Information Technology Services (KBITS).

3)India among 5 countries using wastewater for irrigation:-

  • India and four other countries – China, Pakistan, Mexico and Iran — account for the most cropland in the world irrigated by dirty wastewater, putting millions of lives at serious health risks, new research has found.
  • The global use of untreated wastewater from cities to irrigate crops downstream is 50 per cent more widespread than previously thought, according to the study published in the journal Environmental Research Letters.
  • Researchers analysed data with geographic information systems (GIS).

Economic News:-

1)Bank Unions to observe July 19 as ‘Save public sector banks’ day:-

  • The United Forum of Bank Unions has decided to observe July 19, the 48th anniversary of nationalisation of major banks, as ‘Save public sector banks’ day.
  • All members will wear a commemorative badge on the day, display posters in front of all branches, distribute leaflets and hold rallies/demonstrations at all centres across the country.
  • The main challenge that banks face today is the alarmingly increasing bad loans euphemistically known as non-performing assets.