Current Affairs March 01, 2017
Government asks all banks to have m-banking facility by March 31
The government has asked all banks to provide mobile banking facility to all customers by March 31 in a bid to push digital transactions.
- The reason is earlier mobile banking wasn’t such a priority. And therefore, many customers may not have said they want mobile banking services. But today, it is a need.
SBI sets up a Centre of Excellence (CoE) for training employees with disability
State Bank of India, which is the largest employer of those with disabilities, has taken the lead to set up a Centre of Excellence (CoE) for training employees with disability in Bengaluru.
- The bank has set up the CoE keeping in mind it employs 2,800 people with disability — about 1.4 per cent of its overall employee strength — and also to be of service to other public sector enterprises and banks.
- The CoE has been set up by the SBI Foundation.
SBI forms team to look into fintech opportunities
Country’s largest lender State Bank of India has formed a team which will look into opportunities in financial technology space.
- The team has been set up under a chief general manager who has been made responsible for evaluating opportunities in fintech space.
Reliance General signs bancassurance deal with Catholic Syrian Bank
Non-life insurer Reliance General Insurance — part of Reliance Capital Ltd — has signed a bancassurance deal with private-owned Kerala-headquartered Catholic Syrian Bank.
- Reliance General Insurance said it would target the 1.5 million-strong customer base of Catholic Syrian Bank spread across its 430 branches
India seeks $5-7 bn aid from World Bank
Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has urged the World Bank to grant India $5-7 billion to meet its funding requirements.
- India has decided to seek the aid only through the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) of the World Bank and cease the funding from its affiliate — International Development Agency (IDA).
Govt launches nationwide ‘Swachh Shakti Saptah’
Union Minister Narendra Singh Tomar has launched “Swachh Shakti Saptah” in Gurugram in Haryana to raise awareness on sanitation and cleanliness.
- The Union Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation has decided to observe ‘Swachh Shakti Saptah’ from March 1 to 8, across the country.
Govt survey shows improved sex ratio, decline in IMR
A latest survey by the government has shown positive trends in key health indicators, including an improvement in sex ratio at birth and a decline in infant mortality rate during 2015-16.
- Infant Mortality Rate (IMR) declined from 57 to 41 per 1,000 live births between NFHS-3 (2005-06) and NFHS-4.
- The survey also stated that sex ratio at birth (number of females per 1,000 males) improved from 914 to 919 at the national level over the last decade with the highest in Kerala (1,047), followed by Meghalaya (1,009) and Chhattisgarh (977).
- Haryana also witnessed a significant increase from 762 to 836.
States agree to roll out GST by July: Shaktikanta Das
India’s decade-long wait for a national sales tax that will create one of the world’s biggest single markets could be almost over by July 1.
- As per economic affairs secretary Shaktikanta Das the Goods and Services Tax (GST) will be implemented by July 1 and not later as feared earlier on.
- The GST will replace at least 17 state and federal levies, making the movement of goods cheaper and seamless across a market holding 1.3 billion consumers, about four times the U.S. population. It would be far simpler than the current system, where a good is taxed multiple times at different rates. The underlying principle is to tax goods at the point of consumption rather than production.
AYUSH hospital to come up in each district of country
Union AYUSH Minister Sripad Naik announced that the Central government has decided to set up one AYUSH (ayurveda, homeopathy, unani, siddha and yoga and naturopathy) hospital in each district of the country.
Govt approves Rs 756 cr scheme to treat cataract patients
With an aim to free India from cataract by 2022, the government has approved a Rs 756 crore scheme to treat over 700 lakh such patients in the next five years.
- The scheme would render Rs 2,000 as financial assistance for each operation, including cost of lenses.
Andhra Pradesh mulls $1mn prize for best fintech startup
The Andhra Pradesh government is planning to offer $1 million as the first prize in a competition for the best business plan submitted by a start-up in the financial technology (fintech) domain.
MP announces Deendayal Rasoi Yojna for poor
In order to provide food at subsided rate to the poor in urban areas, Madhya Pradesh government has announced ‘Deendayal Rasoi Yojna’ while presenting Madhya Pradesh’s Budget for 2017-2018.
- Year 2017, the birth centenary year of Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya, is being celebrated as ‘Garib Kalyan Varsh’. To mark the year, ‘Deendayal Rasoi Yojna’ is being launched in selected urban areas.
Kerala tops in GST registrations
Kerala has achieved the maximum number of registrations under the Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime with at least 60 per cent of an estimated 2.5 lakh traders migrating to the new platform.
Telangana Govt. launches ‘ANMOL’ to enable patient data digitally
Telangana Health Minister launched a Tab with custom-made software ANMOL (ANM Online) that will enable them to go paperless while recording vital health care statistics and other records of patients.
Samsung, Jio launch project to up LTE communication pan-India
In a bid to upgrade the current long-term evolution (LTE) mobile communication services across India, Samsung announced its innovative “I&G (Infill & Growth) Project” for Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd that will help expand both the current network capacity as well as network coverage.
- The project will extend Jio services in rural areas by expanding its reach to over 90 per cent of the population and enable seamless indoor and outdoor coverage in dense urban areas
Samsung, Jio win ‘Best Mobile Innovation for Emerging Markets’ award
Samsung Electronics and Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd on Wednesday won the “Best Mobile Innovation for Emerging Markets” at ‘Global Mobile Awards 2017’ during the Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona for the digital movement they had brought to India.
Lipstick Under My Burkha Wins Award at Glasgow Film Fest
Indian filmmaker Alankrita Shrivastava’s Lipstick Under My Burkha, which has been denied a certificate by the country’s movie censor board, has bagged the Audience Award at the Glasgow Film Festival 2017.
Kohli to be honoured with Polly Umrigar Award; Aswhin nominated for Dilip Sardesai Award
India’s cricket team captain Virat Kohli, given to the International Cricketer of the Year, would be presented with the prestigious Polly Umrigar Award at the BCCI Annual Awards.
- Kohli, who first received the award in 2011-12 and in 2014-15, will become the first Indian cricketer to be bestowed with the honour on three occasions.
- India’s all-rounder Ravichandran Ashwin will also become the first Indian cricketer to receive the Dilip Sardesai Award twice.
Kripa Bishnoi appointed international match referee
Former India wrestler Kripa Shankar Bishnoi has been appointed an international match referee by United World Wrestling (UWW), the sport’s global governing body.
AIFF appoints de Matos as India U-17 coach
The All India Football Federation (AIFF) has appointed Luis Norton de Matos (from Portugal) as the head coach of the Indian squad for the upcoming FIFA U-17 World Cup
BFI joins hands with SAI to launch international academy
With the aim to further advance the training programme for boxers, the Boxing Federation of India (BFI) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Sports Authority of India (SAI)under which an International Boxing Academy will be set up with eight regional centres.
Australian cricketer Sarah Coyte announces retirement
Australian women cricketer Sarah Coyte, who was also a part of Australia’s 2014 World T20-winning squad, has announced her retirement from all forms of the game.
UK-India Year of Culture 2017 launches at Buckingham Palace
Queen Elizabeth II hosted a reception at the Buckingham Palace to launch the UK-India Year of Culture 2017 with Finance Minister Arun Jaitley representing the Indian government at the historic event.
- Jaitley was joined by an Indian delegation that included the likes of actors Kamal Hassan, Suresh Gopi, cricket legend Kapil Dev, singer and actor Gurdas Mann, fashion designers Manish Arora and Manish Malhotra and sitar maestro Anoushka Shankar
- The event included the projection of a unique artwork on to the Buckingham Palace facade of India’s national bird — the peacock.
Nigeria’s Amina Mohammed sworn in as Deputy UN Secretary-General
Nigeria’s former Minister for Environment, Amina Mohammed, has been officially sworn in as Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations at the headquarters in New York.
Rihanna Receives Harvard University’s Humanitarian Award
Because of Rihanna’s work in her native island of Barbados and the charities she has founded over the years, the Harvard Foundation for Intercultural and Race Relations honored her with the 2017 Harvard Humanitarian of the Year award.
Udacity partners with Google to develop program for aspiring Android developers
As the demand for Android Developers rises in India, Udacity, an educational startup headquartered in Silicon Valley has partnered with Google to introduce an Associate Android Developer Fast Track program for students pursuing intermediate studies and this way, encourage more students to take up Android development as areas of interest and discover its various benefits.
Ukraine region to use Russian ruble as currency
Ukraine’s self-proclaimed Luhansk People’s Republic will now use the Russian ruble as its official currency.
Gujarati Playwright, Humourist Taarak Mehta Passes Away
Renowned Indian humorist and playwright Taarak Mehta breathed his last after suffering from prolonged illness. He was 87 years old.
- The popular series ‘Taarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashmah’ is television adaptation of Taarak Mehta’s column ‘Duniya Ne Undha Chasma’.