Daily Current Affairs 29th March, 2017

Centre to give Rs 10,000 cr relief to banks for sour loans of power projects

The Centre is set to clear an estimated Rs 10,000 crore relief package for banks, which are facing the prospect of loans to 25 mega power projects turning sour, because promoters are unable to find buyers for their capacity in the current surplus market condition.

SBI to raise stake in SBI Card to 74% by June-end

The country’s largest lender State Bank of India (SBI) has announced it will increase its stake in SBI Card to 74 per cent by June end.

SBI to offer ‘zero annual fee’ credit cards to accounts with Rs 20,000

State Bank of India has announced that it will offer credit cards to every account holder who has a balance of Rs 20,000-25,000, without going into credit history.

  • This is the first major joint collaboration between Arundhati Bhattacharya-led SBI and SBI Card after the bank hiked its stake in the joint venture to 74% by buying out part of its partner GE Capital’s stake for Rs 1,168 crore.
  • In an attempt to encourage adoption of credit cards and facilitate expansion in the reach of digital payments, SBI Card “Unnati” will be offered free, at zero annual fee, for four years.

Axis Bank ties up with Wells Fargo for Inward remittances

Axis Bank has tied up with Wells Fargo, the third largest American bank by assets, to offer real time remittances from the Indian diaspora to their relatives back home.

  • Under the arrangement between the two banks, any member of the Indian diaspora with an account with the Wells Fargo will be able to transfer money to their relatives back home and there will be no transaction fee applicable to the money transfers from USA.

UCO Bank staff unions sign MoU to implement turnaround plan

UCO Bank employees and officers’ unions signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the management with some conditions for implementing its turnaround plan.

  • UCO Bank Employees’ Association General Secretary Kamal Kr. Chatterjee said the unions agreed to sign the MoU in view of the need for capital infusion by the government for undertaking a turnaround plan to be implemented collectively at the bank level.

IRDAI slaps penalty on ICICI Pru Life

The insurance regulator has imposed a penalty of Rs 20 lakh on ICICI Prudential Life Insurance Company on various charges, including free look cancellations not being in line with regulations, among others.

Govt. of India, RBI host 3rd Meeting of G-20 FWG in Varanasi

The Ministry of Finance, Government of India along with Reserve Bank of India (RBI) hosted the two day third meeting of the G-20 Framework Working Group (FWG) in Varanasi (UP) on March 28th and 29th.

  • The G-20 FWG deliberates on matters related to global economy and on the policy co-ordination that is required between the major economies of the world to face global economic challenges. India co-chairs this group with Canada.
  • The fourth meeting of G-20 FWG under the German Presidency will be held in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

India becomes net exporter of Electricity for 1st time

For the first time, India has turned around from a net importer of electricity to net exporter of electricity.

  • As per Central Electricity Authority, which is the designated authority of the government for cross border trade of electricity, India has exported around 5,798 million units to Nepal, Bangladesh and Myanmar during the current financial year.

Himachal launches Centre’s energy efficiency scheme

In an initiative to promote energy efficiency, Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh has launched a scheme to distribute light-emitting diode (LED) tubelights and energy-efficient fans.

  • The scheme Ujala or ‘Unnat Jeevan by Affordable LEDs and Appliances for All’ is an extension of the state’s domestic efficient lightning programme.

Uttarakhand HC bans river mining across state for four months

The Uttarakhand high court has banned mining across the state for four months while directing the state government to form a “high level committee” to recommend guidelines to stop illegal mining and reclaim mined areas.

Maharashtra celebratesMarathi New year Gudi Padwa

Maharashtrians celebrated Gudi Padwa, which marks the arrival of Spring, across the globe with pomp and fervour. This day is celebrated with different names in different states.

  • In Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Telengana this festival is called Yugadi or Ugadi. This festival also marks the beginning of a New Year according to Hindu calendar.

Reliance Infra InvIT fund first to get NHAI approval

Reliance Infrastructure InvIT Fund has got a crucial approval from National Highway Authority of India (NHAI). This is the first approval granted by NHAI for any InvIT fund.

  • The RInfra InvIT Fund, with a proposed issue size of Rs 3,000 crore and an option to retain over-subscription up to 25 per cent, will own 10 toll road assets connecting major urban centres, with an option to acquire further assets in future.

AAI wins India Pride Award for infrastructure development

Airports Authority of India won Dainik Bhaskar’s India Pride Awards – 2016 -17 for “Excellence in Infrastructure Development” in the category of Public Sector Undertaking – Central.

DataWind launches Punjabi Education Tablet ‘VidyaTab-Punjabi’ in India

DataWind announced its collaboration with Vismaad Inc., the leading developer of educational and animated Punjabi content, to launch the first ever Punjabi education Tablet, Vidya-Tab Punjabi in India.

Indian Navy inducts surveillance ship INLCU L51

Indian Navy’s latest surveillance ship, INLCU L51 has been commissioned and it will be part of the fleet deployed to check poaching, illegal fishing, drug trafficking and other unlawful activities in the Indian Ocean region.

  • It is the first of the eight ships of the LCU Mk IV Class and has been built by M/s Garden Reach Ship Builders & Engineers Ltd, Kolkata.

NASA, ISRO jointly working on project NISAR

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) are jointly working on the development of Dual Frequency (L and S band) Synthetic Aperture Radar Imaging Satellite named as NASA-ISRO Synthetic Aperture Radar (NISAR).

  • The L-band SAR is being developed by JPL/NASA, while ISRO is developing S-band SAR.

Google rolls out Knowledge Graph in Bengali language

Aimed at helping Bengali speakers discover new information quickly, Google has announced the introduction of Knowledge Graph in the Bengali language on Google Search.

  • The Knowledge Graph enables users to search for things, people or places that Google knows about — landmarks, celebrities, cities, sports teams, buildings, geographical features, movies, celestial objects, works of art and more.

US Senate votes to approve Montenegro as NATO’s 29th member

U.N. picks former U.S. state governor to run World Food Programme

United Nations chief Antonio Guterres has appointed former South Carolina Governor David Beasley to run the Rome-based World Food Programme (WFP).

  • Beasley will run the affairs of the world’s largest humanitarian organization, serving more than 90 million beneficiaries in 80 countries. He will replace another American, Etharin Cousin, who has been the WFP executive director since 2012.

Virat Kohli presented Test mace as India finishes No.1

Virat Kohli, the Indian captain, was presented with the Test mace by India legend and International Cricket Council Hall of Famer Sunil Gavaskar in Dharamsala on March 28 as his side finished No. 1 in the ICC Test rankings ahead of the April 1 cut-off date.

  • India replaced Pakistan at the top of the ICC Test rankings in October 2016 after completing a convincing 178-run win over New Zealand in the second Test at Eden Gardens in Kolkata.

R Ashwin receives Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy

India’s off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin received Garfield Sobers Trophy for being named the ICC Cricketer of the Year as well as the ICC Test Cricketer of the Year.

Chennai’s Srinath set to become India’s 46th GM

Chennai’s Srinath Narayanan is set to become India’s 46th Grandmaster after he defeated Spanish GM David Anton Guijarro at the ongoing Sharjah Masters 2017 chess tournament.

FIFA bans Messi for four World Cup qualifying games

With less than six hours before kick-off, FIFA has banned Lionel Messi from Argentina’s World Cup qualifier away at Bolivia.

  • The action has been taken against Messi for his insults aimed at – and comments about the mother of – Brazilian assistant referee Dewson Silva during Argentina’s win over Chile.


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