October 24, 2018

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NATIONAL NEWS

 

  1. India and Myanmar signed a MoU for the appointment of a private Port Operator for the Operation and Maintenance of Sittwe Port, Paletwa Inland Water Terminal and associated facilities included in the Kaladan Multi Model Transit Transport Project in implementation of India’s Act East Policy.

 

  1. The Supreme Court allowed the manufacture and sale of only “green” and reduced-emission or “improvedcrackers, while banning those that are loud and toxic to man, animal and the environment.
    • The judgment reduced the time for bursting crackers during Deepavali and other festivals to two hours: between 8 p.m. and 10 p.m.
    • For Christmas and New Year, the time slot allowed is half-an-hour, between 11:55 p.m. and half-past midnight.

 

 

  1. The Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS) is likely to release the technical norms for operating full-body scanners to screen passengers at airports next month.
    • Body scanners would use active and passive millimetre wave technologies instead of back-scatter and full transmission X-ray technologies.
  1. Delhi-based defence analyst Abhijit Iyer-Mitra, who courted controversy over his alleged unsavoury remarks about the Konark Sun Temple and legislators of Odisha, was arrested under various Sections of the IPC, including 294, 295A and 500, and Section 67 of the Information Technology Act.
    • Section 294 – Makes it an offence to do any obscene acts, or utter obscene words or songs in public places to the annoyance of others
    • Section 295A – restraining anyone from doing such act which will outrage the religious feelings of any class.
    • Section 500 – Defamation
    • Section 67 – makes it an offence to publish or transmit obscene content in electronic form.

 

INTERNATIONAL NEWS

 

  1. The 12th ASEAN Defence Ministers Meeting (ADMM) was held in Singapore.
    • The theme of this year’s dialogue was ‘Strengthening Cooperation, Building Resilience’.

 

BANKING AND ECONOMY

 

  1. Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) is the only Indian company among top 10 firms to get foreign labour certification for the H-1B visas for the fiscal year 2018, according to data from the US Department of Labour.
    • The H-1B visas are the most sought-after among Indian IT professionals.
    • London-headquartered Earnest and Young, a multinational professional services firm, has emerged as the Top Employer to have received the certification.

 

  1. Moody’s Investors Service in its report stated that profitability of Indian banks is “distinctively weak” compared to the other BRICS nations.
    • In India, the system-wide asset quality is weak due to stressed public sector banks, which dominate the sector.
    • Indian banks have a tangible common equity ratio of 8.percent at the end of 2017.

 

  1. Indian IT industry’s apex body Nasscom has entered into a partnership with the Hiroshima government for co-creating a Japan-India IT Corridor in Hiroshima.
    • The objective of this partnership is promoting business-to-business cooperation and talent transfer from India to Japan.

 

  1. Fino Payments Bank gets RBI nod to enrol new customers.
    • RBI prohibited Fino Payments Bank from opening any new accounts on account of violations of certain licensing conditions and operating guidelines.
    • However, no restrictions were placed by RBI on the bank for servicing existing customers.
    • In August, a few Fino Payments Bank accounts had deposits in excess of the stipulated amount.
    • And according to RBI’s operating guidelines for payments banks, a customer can make deposits of up to ₹1 lakh per account in a year.
    • Such banks cannot accept deposits beyond this limit.
    • A payments bank is a differentiated bank providing a limited range of products, such as acceptance of demand deposits and remittances of funds. These banks cannot issue loans and credit cards.

 

  1. The capital market regulator, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), has put out rules that further tighten the mutual fund industry norms to take care of the loopholes found and misused by the industry. There are four changes –
    • One, for costs related to the scheme, mutual funds will now pay only out of the scheme account and not from any other source or account.
      1. The higher profits could have led to lowering of costs, but were instead used to pay distributors upfront commissions totally ignoring the industry association (Association of Mutual Funds in India, or Amfi) norm to keep upfronting of commissions at 1% only.
    • Two, Sebi is banning all upfronts except for a small carve out for the Systematic Investment Plans (SIPs).
      1. Front commissions incentivise sharp sales of financial products.
      2. There is enough evidence globally of this practice and SEBI’s step to ban all incentives for making the first sale, other than a transaction cost (that already exists), is a step in the right direction.
    • Three, that all fees and expenses in a direct plan under various heads, including the investment and advisory fees, should not be higher than the same expenses in a regular plan.
      1. What this means is this: those investing directly into mutual funds will benefit from lower costs.
    • Four, SEBI found that the additional cost of 30 basis points being allowed for the smaller towns and cities (called B30, Or Beyond The Top 30 Cities), was being misused by institutional and high net worth investors.
      1. SEBI is curbing this practice by removing all upfronts from the B30 costs and the commissions will be trail only.
      2. SEBI is prohibiting corporate and institutions from buying via the B30 route.
      3. The B30 higher cost was being paid by all investors.
      4. The closing of this loophole will mean lower costs finally for an average investor.

 

APPOINTMENTS

  1. Paul Biya, won the 7thterm as President of Cameroon.

IMPORTANT DAYS

 

  1. On 24th October 2018, World Polio Day was observed all over the world.
    • This day aims to create awareness on polio and efforts taken to eliminate this disease.
  1. On 24th October 2018, United Nations (UN) Day 2018 was celebrated all over the world.
    • This day marks the anniversary of UN Charter’s entry into force in 1945.
    • With the ratification of this founding document by the majority of its signatories, the United Nations officially came into force.

 

  1. On 24th October 2018, World Development Information Day was observed all over the world.
    • This day highlights development problems and the need to strengthen international cooperation to solve them.

 

AWARDS

 

  1. The ‘Invest India’ initiative of the Union Government won the top United Nations Investment Promotion Award in recognition of its efforts to boost investments in the renewable energy sector in India.
    • As the national investment promotion and facilitation agency, Invest India focuses on sector-specific investor targeting and development of new partnerships to enable sustainable investments in India.
  1. Former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda will be conferred with the Maharshi Valmiki Jayanti Award.
    • He will be awarded for his contribution to the welfare of Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes communities.
  1. Haryana girl Nishtha Dudeja won the Miss Deaf Asia 2018 title at an international pageant held in 
    • She is the first Indian to have won any title at the Miss Deaf World Pageant.
    • Nishtha had also won the Miss Deaf India title in February in Jaipur.
  1. Athletics Federation of India will be awarded the FICCI (Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry) India Sports Awards 2018 for the category of Best National Sports Federation (NSF).

 

MISCELLANEOUS

 

  1. Indian researchers have developed a gel when applied on the skin, can inhibit some pesticides from getting absorbed into the body, and would help preventing serious adverse effects and even death.