Current Affairs February 16, 2017
SBI Associate banks’ merger with SBI will be completed by FY 2018
The merger of five associate banks with State Bank of India will be completed in the fiscal year 2018 even as the cabinet has given a green signal for it
- After the merger, the bank would be among the top 50 banks globally.
- The combined entity will have a mammoth network of nearly 23,000 branches and 21000 ATMs.
- The Cabinet has approved the merger of five associate banks with State Bank of India (SBI), however merger of Bharatiya Mahila Bank with SBI is under consideration.
RRBs can now lend up to Rs 2 lakh against gold
The Reserve Bank of India doubled the quantum of loan that Regional Rural Banks (RRBs) can give against security of gold/ gold ornaments to Rs 2 lakh with bullet repayment option.
RBI to reimburse banks MDR charges effective January 1, 2017
The Reserve Bank will start reimbursing MDR charges to banks for payments made since January 1 through debit cards by citizens, in line with the government’s move to further digital solutions.
Canara Bank signs MoU with HRD Ministry to start higher education financing agency
Canara Bank has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) to operationalise the Higher Education Financing Agency (HEFA).
- In September 2016, the Union Cabinet had approved the establishment of HEFA to give a major push for the creation of high quality infrastructure/capital assets in premier educational institutions.
- HEFA has been jointly promoted by the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) and Canara Bank with an authorised capital of Rs. 2,000 crore.
HDFC life launches ‘Pragati’, a trad plan for low income group
HDFC life launched Pragati, a traditional life insurance plan that has been specifically designed to empower low income families.
Citi Bank launches instant chat service for customers
Citi has launched instant chat services for customers logged in to Citibank Online (CBOL) in India. The real-time chat facility focuses on resolving queries instantly, in a safe environment, across cards, domestic and non-resident accounts, and loans, for clients as they transact online.
Airtel Payments Bank teams up with Mastercard as its payments processor
Mastercard will provide payment processing solutions to Airtel Payments Bank.
- Both have also teamed up to launch an online debit card to enable Airtel Payments Bank customers make digital payments at over one lakh online merchant outlets.
Karnataka Bank launches NPS
Karnataka Bank has launched National Pension System (NPS) for its customers.
- Any individual between 18 and 60 years can register his/her name with the bank branch to contribute and to get the pension benefit under this scheme.
SIB bags award for tech security practices
South Indian Bank has been awarded with ISO 27001: 2013 certification for its Information Security Management System (ISMS).
India joins UN network to halve number of maternal, newborn deaths by 2030
India is among nine countries that will be part of a global health network focused on improving the quality of care for new mothers and babies and strengthen national efforts to end preventable deaths of pregnant women and newborns by 2030.
- The nine countries are India, Bangladesh, A Cote d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Ghana, Malawi, Nigeria, Tanzania and Uganda.
- The Network aims to strengthen national efforts to end preventable deaths by 2030
India ranks 143rd in economic freedom index
India ranked a dismal 143rd in an annual index of economic freedom by a top American thinktank, behind its several South Asian neighbours including Pakistan, as progress on market-oriented reforms has been “uneven”.
- Hong Kong, Singapore and New Zealand topped the index.
Vikas Swarup appointed as India’s High Commissioner to Canada
Vikas Swarup, who is currently serving as the official spokesperson of Ministry of External Affairs, is appointed as High Commissioner of lndia to Canada.
Palanisamy takes oath as new Tamil Nadu CM
Edappadi K. Palanisamy took oath as Tamil Nadu’s 29th Chief Minister.
- After Sasikala was sent to jail following her conviction in the disproportionate asset case by the Supreme Court, his loyalist Palanisami met the governor with the list of AIADMK MLAs supporting him.
Kerala gives in-principle nod for Sabarimala airport
The Kerala cabinet gave in-principle approval for setting up a greenfield airport at Sabarimala to cater to lakhs of devotees who visit the famous Lord Ayyappa hill shrine every year.
Himachal Pradesh Governor launches campaign against drug addiction
Stating that drugs distort society and lead to heinous crimes, Himachal Pradesh Governor Acharya Devvrat called for an “all out war” against the menace in the state. Inaugurating the campaign against drug addiction organised by Shimla Press Club in Shimla, he said the state should be made “drug free” as it was ruinous for people, especially for youth and society at large.
‘Chardham’ highway project will be completed by 2018
The Rs 12,000 crore ‘Chardham’ highway project in Uttarakhand will be completed by the end of 2018 irrespective of which party comes to power in the state, Union minister Nitin Gadkari has assured.
J&K govt launches e-Prison project
The Jammu and Kashmir government launched the e-Prison project to enumerate jail inmates in the State, where numbers of detainees keep swelling during unrest.
World’s largest handicrafts and gifts fair opened in Noida
Recognised by the Limca Book of World Records as “the world’s largest congregation of handicrafts exhibitors under one roof,” Indian Handicrafts and Gifts Fair (IHGF)- Delhi Fair Spring 2017 will be held at at India Expo Centre and Mart, Greater Noida Expressway.
UAE to build ‘first city on Mars by 2117’
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) will build the first city on the Red Planet as part of the 2117 Mars project in collaboration with specialised international organisations and scientific institutes.
- The 100-year plan will involve scientific research programmes to nurture national cadres specialised in space sciences at universities in the UAE.
Usain Bolt wins Laureus ‘Sportsman of the Year’ award
World’s “greatest” sprinter Usain Bolt won the ‘Sportsman of the Year’ trophy for a record-equalling fourth time, while gymnast Simone Biles clinched the top honour in the women’s category at the Laureus World Awards at a glittering ceremony.
Annual ‘Cobra Gold’ Exercise Commences In Thailand
Cobra Gold is the largest theater security cooperation exercise in Asia.
- Nearly 30 nations are taking part in the Thailand-hosted exercise.