Current Affairs: 9 September 2017

National Events

Karnataka tops in manufacturing excellence: ASSOCHAM

  • Karnataka stands at top among the states of the country in terms of manufacturing excellence, according to a study by industry chambers ASSOCHAM
  • Karnataka has the best manufacturing process ratio of 2.63, with maximum value of goods being converted into finished goods valuing over Rs 2,000 crore
  • The study was conducted by ASSOCHAM's Economic Research Bureau.
  • Karnataka ranks third in attracting investments in the manufacturing sector, leaving states like Gujarat behind
  • Of the total investments attracted by states across the country which are worth Rs.169 lakh-crore as of 2016 fiscal year, Karnataka accounted for 6.3 percent share with Rs 10.7 lakh-crore worth investments.

Govt plans national no-fly list for passengers with ‘disruptive behaviour’

  • The government is planning a national “no-fly” list to keep unruly passengers off flights, junior civil aviation minister Jayant Sinha said on Saturday, defending a decision to revoke an air travel ban on controversial Shiv Sena MP Ravindra Gaikwad
  • Unruly / disruptive behaviour will result in severe consequences. This includes police action for a specific incident as well as being placed on a no-fly list
  • The airlines had demanded a no-fly list that exists in some countries such as the United States but which many say is biased against people of particular races religions. 

Joint Committee on The Financial Resolution and Deposit Insurance Bill, 2017

  • The Financial Resolution and Deposit Insurance Bill, 2017 has been referred to a Joint Parliamentary Committee of both the Houses, under the Chairpersonship of Shri Bhupender Yadav
  • The Bill seeks to provide for the resolution of certain categories of financial service providers in distress; the deposit insurance to consumers of certain categories of financial services; designation of systemically important financial institutions; and establishment of a Resolution Corporation for protection of consumers of specified service providers and of public funds for ensuring the stability and resilience of the financial system and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.
  • The proposed legislation together with the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016 is expected to provide a comprehensive resolution mechanism for the economy.
  • It has been decided by the Joint Committee to seek views and suggestions from various stakeholders and public at large on the provisions of the aforesaid Bill.
  • The Memoranda submitted to the Committee would form part of the records of the Committee and would be treated as Confidential and not circulated to anyone, as such an act would constitute a breach of privilege of the Committee.

Naini inaugurates first water ATM

  • Home Minister Naini Narasimha Reddy inaugurated the first water ATM that would dispense clean and safe drinking water in Hyderabad
  • The initiative is supported by the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) and Safe Water Network, a global NGO. As part of the plan, 50 ATMs would be set up in the first phase and 200 such are planned across the twin cities.
  • Supported by USAID under the Urban Wash Alliance Partnership and funded by Honeywell India, these water ATMs deploy water after a six-step treatment process to purify water that prescribes to national norms.
  • The water ATMs are connected via cloud-based technology for real time monitoring and analyses of operational parameters, thereby minimising downtime. Hyderabad Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewerage Board (HMWS&SB) is supplying water for these ATMs.

Nestle sets up first food safety institute in India at Manesar

  • More than two years since the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) banned Nestle India Ltd’s Maggi instant noodles over health and safety worries, the new FSSAI CEO Pawan Kumar Agarwal inaugurated the Nestle Food Safety Institute that will provide guidance and training on food safety.
  • This partnership is very well thought strategy. Nestle Food Safety Institute will conduct training programmes, on food safety management systems, testing methods and regulatory standards. Partnerships with private parties on food safety and standards are an imperative for FSSAI. This is our effort to implement a first world regulatory ecosystem in India
  • The FSSAI has been working with Nestle India for setting up the institute at Manesar, where Nestle has its research and development centre, for the past seven months.
  • While this is the first such institute in India, Nestle already runs a similar institute each in China and Lausanne, Switzerland.

Bharat Petroleum set to get Maharatna status

  • State-run Bharat Petroleum Corporation(BPCL) is all set to become a Maharatna company. The oil marketing company is at present a Navratna firm. 
  • The decision to elevate BPCL to Maharatna status was taken by a panel headed by the Cabinet secretary and an announcement to this effect is likely soon, according to official sources. Maharatna and Navaratna state-owned units operate in strategic fields such as coal, petroleum, steel, heavy engineering, power supply, telecommunications and transportation services.
  • Under government rules, a firm is eligible for Maharatna status if it is already a listed Navratna firm, has an average turnover, net worth and annual net profit after tax of at least Rs 25,000 crore, Rs 15,000 crore and Rs 5,000 crore, respectively, in the last three years. Moreover, the company should have significant global operations.

FAME India scheme gets another six-month extension

  • The Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Hybrid and Electric Vehicles (FAME)-India scheme is set to receive an extension of six months.
  • Speaking at the SIAM Convention yesterday, Anant Geete, Minister of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises, said that the government is considering extending the scheme to promote electric and hybrid vehicles by another six months.
  • While Phase 1 was effective from April 1, 2015, to March 31, 2017, the FAME India scheme received a six-month extension till end-September, following pressure from the automotbile and auto ancillary industries on renewing the scheme. The objective was to support the market development and manufacturing ecosystem of hybrid and electric vehicles in India. 
  • The FAME India Scheme is learnt to have benefited a total of 148,275 electric and hybrid vehicles (xEVs) from April 1, 2015 till June 30, 2017. These 148,275 xEVs have been given direct support by way of demand incentives amounting to Rs 192.56 crore, resulting in saving of 13,553,917 litres of fuel and reduction of 33,971,052kg of CO2.

International Events

Countervailing duty imposed on some Chinese steel products by India

  • The government has imposed a countervailing duty for 5 years on imports of certain flat steel products from China to guard domestic players from imports that are subsidised by exporting nations.
  • The decision to impose the duty was taken by the finance ministry after the Directorate General of Anti-Dumping and Allied Duties (DGAD) found that despite sufficient demand in India and capacities, the domestic industry has lost sales opportunities, which is a direct consequence of subsidised imports from China.
  • DGAD is an investigative arm of the commerce ministry.
  • Countervailing duty is country specific and is imposed to safeguard domestic industry against unfair trade subsidies provided by the local governments of the exporting nations.
  • While DGAD recommends the duty, finance ministry imposes it. The actual duty imposed will be the difference between the quantum of countervailing duty proposed (which is 18.95 per cent) and anti-dumping duty payable, if any.
  • The central government, after considering the final findings of the DGAD, "hereby imposes" the duty on these items, the revenue department said in its notification.

Hurricane Irma about to hit the US

  • The head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency said US officials were preparing a massive response to Hurricane Irma, which is set to hit Florida as early as Saturday.
  • Hurricane Irma continues to be a threat that is going to devastate the US in either Florida or some of the southeastern states

Pakistan’s Habib Bank to close New York office

  • The Habib Bank Limited has on Monday announced its decision to wind up operations in New York following intimation from the state's financial regulator that it seeks to impose a hefty penalty of nearly $630 million on the bank, it has been learnt.
  • The bank has decided to contest in US courts the notice sent by New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS) about the imposition of a civil monetary penalty amounting to $629,625,000, read a letter filed by HBL to Pakistan Stock Exchange
  • The US Federal Reserve had barred HBL from conducting any dollar-clearing transactions or accepting any new accounts for US dollar clearing in December, 2015. However, HBL had clarified at the time that it maintains its US licence and would continue to provide services as usual.

Sports

Sonam wins gold at World Cadet Wrestling Championship

  • Indian wrestler Sonam Malik won a gold medal in the 56kg category at the World Cadet Wrestling Championship in Athens, Greece. Among other Indians in the fray, Neelam settled for bronze in the 43kg category.
  • 15-year-old Sonam defeated Japanese Sena Nagamoto 3-1 in the final.
  • She took a 2-0 lead in the first round and then conceded a point in the second round before adding one more towards the end of the bout.
  • Neelam defeated Roxana Alexandra of Romania 6-4 in the bronze medal bout.

India retain top spot, Australia slip in latest ICC Test rankings

  • India continued to be at the top in the ICC Test rankings but Australia slipped one rung to fifth in the latest list after drawing the away series against Bangladesh in Chittagong 
  • India, who whitewashed Sri Lanka 3-0 in the recent away series, have 125 points.
  • Australia are now on 97 points, the same as New Zealand, but are behind on decimal points.

Banking & Finance

Sebi imposes Rs 2,423 cr fine on PACL, 4 directors

  • Regulator SEBI imposed Rs 2,423 crore fine on PACL Ltd and its four directors for illegal fund mobilisation through various schemes that were used by the group to garner over Rs 49,000 crore from the public.
  • While the group, which had collected money in the name of real estate projects among other schemes, was asked by Sebi nearly three years ago to refund Rs 49,100 crore to the investors, the regulator has passed a fresh order to impose a monetary penalty for violation of Sebi’s Prevention of Fraudulent and Unfair Trade Practices Regulations.
  • The refund process is being overseen by a Supreme Court- appointed committee, which has been able to collect “only a few hundred crores”
  • Sebi has asked PACL Ltd and its four directors -- Tarlochan Singh, Sukhdev Singh, Gurmeet Singh and Subrata Bhattacharya -- to “jointly and severally” deposit the penalty amount within 45 days.


Appointments & Resigns

Baijendra Kumar assumes charge as NMDC chief

  • N Baijendra Kumar, an IAS officer of 1985 batch of Chhattisgarh cadre, has assumed charge as Chairman and Managing Director of NMDC Ltd here today.
  • Prior to joining NMDC, he was holding the post of Additional Chief Secretary to the Chief Minister, Chhattisgarh, as well as Commerce & Industries and Energy Departments in the Chhattisgarh government.
  • He has, during his service tenure of over 32 years, held important positions of Collector and District Magistrate, Principal Secretary.
  • He headed the Administration of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) New Delhi.
  • He was the Chairman of Naya Raipur Development Authority (NRDA) and Chhattisgarh Housing Board (CGHB).
  • Kumar was instrumental in streamlining numerous projects of the Chhattisgarh government.

UIDAI chief A.B. Pandey appointed interim GSTN chairman

  • The Unique Identification Authority of India’s (UIDAI) chief executive officer (CEO) A.B. Pandey was appointed interim chairman of the goods and services tax network (GSTN)—the firm providing information technology (IT) backbone and portal for registration and tax returns under the GST regime.
  • Pandey was given additional charge days after GSTN’s first chairman Navin Kumar completed his term on 29 August.
  • Kumar, former Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer from Bihar cadre, was the first chairman of GSTN. He was appointed as the firm’s chairman in 17 May 2013 for three years
  • GSTN is a section 8 (under new companies Act, not-for-profit companies are governed under section 8), non-government, private limited company. It was incorporated on 28 March 2013 with the Government of India holding 24.5% equity.

N. Baijendra Kumar, assumes charge as CMD, NMDC

  • N. Baijendra Kumar, an IAS officer of 1985 batch of Chhattisgarh cadre has assumed charge as Chairman-cum-Managing Director of NMDCBSE -2.29 % Limited on Wednesday, September 6, 2017. His appointment fills in a key leadership position at the helm of affairs at one the country's largest state-owned mining companies. 
  • Prior to joining NMDC, he was holding the post of Additional Chief Secretary to the Chief Minister, Chhattisgarh as well as Commerce & Industries and Energy Departments in the State Government of Chhattisgarh. During his service tenure of over 32 years, he has held important positions of Collector and District Magistrate, Principal Secretary. He headed the Administration of the prestigious All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) New Delhi. 

Sjoerd Marijne named chief coach of Indian men’s hockey team

  • Indian women’s hockey team coach Sjoerd Marijne has been appointed as the chief coach of the men’s outfit, replacing the sacked Roelant Oltmans.
  • Meanwhile, Harendra Singh, who led India to gold at the Junior Hockey World Cup in Lucknow 2016, has been named the chief coach of the women’s team, replacing Marijne.
  • Current Chief Coach of Indian Senior Women Hockey Team, Mr. Waltherus Marijne,will take over as Chief Coach of Indian Senior Men Hockey Team

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