July 3, 2018

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NATIONAL NEWS

  1. The government has further deferred the Reverse Charge Mechanism under Goods and Services Tax to September 30.
    • Under the reverse charge mechanism, entities (registered under GST) that purchase goods from small unregistered dealers have to pay a tax on behalf of the latter.
    • This is expected to add to the compliance burden of all involved and discourage purchases from unregistered dealers
    • According to government estimates, around 1% of the 11.2 million taxpayers under GST pay around 80% of the taxes.
    • This is an anti-tax-evasion measure to ensure that transactions by unregistered people don’t escape tax.
    • In a normal transaction, the supplier of goods or service charges the tax and pays to the government, but in this case, the responsibility reverses and falls on the buyer.
  1. The Government agreed to a five-pronged strategy to resolve toxic loans, with the larger ones among them going to an Asset Management Company (AMC) or an Alternative Investment Fund (AIF).
    • The strategy is known as Project Sashakt.
    • It will help retain the value of the asset through Operational Turnaround.
    • It is often used to re-engineer the balance sheet of a business, usually to the detriment of a mixture of creditors, shareholders and customers
    • A committee has been set up headed by Sunil Mehta.
    • Project Sashakt outlines the resolution of bad loans depending on their size.
    • Bad loans of up to ₹50 crore will be managed by a focused vertical to be set up at the bank level itself, which will ensure the loan is resolved within 90 days.
    • For bad loans of ₹50-500 crore, banks will enter into an Inter-Creditor Agreement, authorizing the lead bank to implement a resolution plan within 180 days, which includes appointing turnaround specialists.
    • If the lead bank does not complete the process in time, the asset would be referred to the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT).
    • For loans above ₹500 crore, the Committee has recommended setting up an independent AMC supported by institutional funding in stressed assets or an AIF.
    • The idea is to help consolidate stressed assets under the AMC model for better and faster decision making.
    • Bigger loans which cannot be resolved through any of the above methods will be transferred to the NCLT for resolution under the Insolvency & Bankruptcy Code (IBC).
  1. Monthly transactions through the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) crossed the 200-million mark for the first time in June, show data released by the National Payments Corporation of India.
    • Under the UPI, 37 million transactions amounting to ₹40,834.03 crore was carried out during the month, which is an increase of 30% in transaction volume compared with the 189.4 million transactions worth ₹33,289 crore in May.
    • Of the total UPI transactions recorded in June, 3 million transactions amounting to ₹6,261.3 crore took place through the Bharat Interface for Money (BHIM) platform.
    • UPI is a payments system launched by the NPCI, which facilitates instant fund transfer between two bank accounts on a mobile platform, without requiring any detail of the Beneficiary’s bank account.
  1. India has agreed to provide tariff concessions on 3,142 products to Asia-Pacific Trade Agreement members, including Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, from 1 July.
    • The member countries are Bangladesh, China, India, Laos, Korea and Sri Lanka and Mongolia.
  1. The government has proposed to set up an Authority for Advance Ruling (AAR) on a National basis so that there is uniformity in the interpretation of law and passing the rulings.
    • The objective of an advance ruling is to make a taxpayer aware of the treatment of a transaction in advance, so that there is full clarity at the outset itself.
    • Currently, there have been certain divergent rulings by the Authority for Advance Rulings, constituted in each state, which has fuelled confusion on the classification and application of tax rate.
  1. India’s Carnival Cinemas and a partner in the Emirates National HoldingsUnited Arab Emirates (UAE) are in talks to buy Qatar-based Novo Cinemas’ theatres in the UAE and Bahrain.
  1. Nestlé India Ltd, the maker of Maggi instant noodles, entered the packaged breakfast market in India with the launch of
    • Nesplus is a brand owned by Nestlé Breakfast Cereals from Cereal Partners Worldwide (CPW), a joint venture between Nestle SA and US firm General Mills.
    • India’s breakfast cereal market is projected to touch ₹2,610 crore by 2020.
  1. The Union government has granted another extension to the K. Kasturirangan Committee tasked with drafting a New Education Policy.
    • The Kasturirangan Committee was established after the HRD ministry disagreed with the S.R. Subramanian Committee’s education policy report two years ago.
    • The proposed National Education Policy will be the first in over three decades, addressing the needs of the entire education system from elementary and tertiary education, to technology-enabled education, besides embedding the vocational stream with the formal system.
  1. The Karnataka government will roll out the Arogya Karnataka Health Scheme that promises better healthcare for millions of households in full this year.
  1. The Cauvery Water Management Authority (CWMA) directed Karnataka to release water to Tamil Nadu and other States.
  1. Vedanta Resources is set to delist from the London Stock Exchange after the family trust of Anil Agarwal agreed to buy the remaining 47% minority stake in the company, valuing the firm at £2.325 billion.
  1. The data collected during the 2021 Census will be stored electronically, the first time since the Decennial Exercise was conducted in 1951 in Independent India.
  • According to an amended rule notified by the Registrar General of India (RGI) on June 19, “The schedules and other connected papers shall be disposed of totally or in part by the Director of Census Operations, after creating an electronic record of such documents.”
  • Earlier, data used to be stored for 10 years and then destroyed. But, now it can be stored forever in electronic format.
  • Enumerators will start “house listing” in 2020 and the headcount will begin from February 2021 onwards.

 

  1. A special laddu made of ragi, ghee, jaggery, dry fruits and nuts would be distributed among girls in government schools of
    • This will make Hyderabad the first city to implement the mandate of providing additional nutritional support under the Centre’s Beti Bachao Beti Padao scheme.
    • The decision came after a health check-up of girl students in June this year found that 24% of them suffered from severe anaemia, with a haemoglobin count of less than 8 g/dL.
    • Moreover, 72% of the approximately 26,000 girls in government schools were found to have a haemoglobin count of less than 10 g/dL, indicating mild anaemia.
  1. The Union Ministry of Finance has amended Intellectual Property rules to withdraw the power vested with Customs authorities to seize hold of the imported products based on complaints of patent infringement.
    • The Ministry made two amendments to the Intellectual Property Rights (Imported Goods) Enforcement Rules, 2007.
      1. Firstly, the Intellectual Property Rights (Imported Goods) Enforcement Amendment Rules, 2018, omits all reference to the Patents Act, 1970.
      2. Another amendment incorporates further conditions that oblige the right-holder to notify the Commissioner of Customs of any amendment, cancellation, suspension or reaction that concern Intellectual Property rights, and require the Customs authorities to accordingly amend, suspend or cancel the corresponding protection provided by them.
  1. Bharti Infratel has received the clearance from the Competition Commission of India (CCI) for its merger with Indus Towers.
    • It will create a $14.6 billion company that will be among the largest mobile tower entities worldwide.
  1. The government has set up a 13-member committeefor Sub-National Accounts will be headed by Ravindra H Dholakia to change the base year to 2017-18 for the calculation of GDP and IIP numbers from the current 2011-12 with an aim to capture changes in the economy.
  1. Numaligarh Refinery Ltd (NRL)in Assam has become the first oil public sector undertaking (PSU) to adopt an online legal compliance system by introducing ‘Legatrix’.

 

 

BANKING AND ECONOMY

  1. In April this year, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), through a circular, gave a window of three months to banks and other RBI-regulated entities to wind up existing relationships with firms or individuals dealing in
    • The three-month window will come to an end on 5 July.
    • The government does not consider cryptocurrencies as legal tender.
    • However, cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin have not been banned
    • A committee headed by Subhash Chnadra Garg was set up in December to make recommendations to regulate them.
  1. The National Stock Exchange and NASDAQ have signed an agreement wherein the global bourse will deliver a customised real-time clearing, risk management and settlement technology to NSE.
    • This technology would enable all asset classes to be cleared and settled in one system.
    • Earlier, NSE’s current clearing and settlement system operated by National Securities Clearing Corporation Limited (NSCCL).
  1. The Government notified the Electoral Bond Scheme 2018 via Gazette Notification.
    • An electoral bond is designed to be a bearer instrument like a Promissory Note — in effect, it will be similar to a bank note that is payable to the bearer on demand and free of interest.
    • It can be purchased by any citizen of India or a body incorporated in India.
  1. The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) approved Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) of India’s proposal to hike its stake to 51 per cent in IDBI Bank from 8 per cent.
    • LIC is expected to infuse Rs 13,000 croreinto IDBI Bank.
    • LIC would be exempted from the provisions in the Insurance Laws (Amendment) Act, 2015, and the Life Insurance Corporation Act, 1956, that bar insurers from holding more than 15% in any company.
  1. Indian public and private banks have started using AI improve efficiency, detect human behaviour and reduce operational costs.

Bank

New AI/Technology deployed

Uses

SBI

SBI Intelligent Assistant (SIA).

A smart chat assistant that efficiently resolves queries of NRI customers .

Innovation Centre

Will explore AI Robotic Process Automation (RPA) to make banking process more efficient.

Bank of Baroda

Baroda Brainy

artificial intelligence robot.

Digital Lab

hi-tech digital branch equipped with advanced gadgets.

Allahabad Bank

emPower app

App will have Chatbot and artificial intelligence based e-commerce payments.

 

 

 

APPOINTMENTS

  1. Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has been elected as the President of Mexico.
  2. Saraswati Prasad has been appointed as the Chairman and Managing Director of Steel Authority of India Ltd. (SAIL).
  3. The country’s largest lender, State Bank of India (SBI) has selected Arijit Basu as Managing Director of the bank.

 

 

IMPORTANT DAYS

  1. July 2, 2018, World UFO (Unidentified Flying Objects) day was observed all over the world.
    • World UFO day is celebrated on 2nd July every year. The first World UFO Day was celebrated in 2001.
    • This day is dedicated to the existence of Unidentified Flying Objects (UFO). This day is celebrated to create awareness about the existence of UFO’s.

 

 

AWARDS

  1. Milan Shankar Tare, a resident of Satapati village has been nominated to receive the prestigious National Maritime Search and Rescue award for saving the lives of dozen fishermen.
  2. Himachal Pradesh has been named first among states for its performance under the Pradhan Mantri Surakshit Matritav Abhiyan (PMSMA) in India.
    • Himachal Pradesh has been given this award for bringing maximum number of women for ante-natal check-up to the PMSMA

 

SPORTS

  1. Indian para-athlete Yogesh Kathuniya broke the world record in the men’s discus F36, while winning gold in the Para-athletics Grand Prix in Berlin.
  2. Former captains Rahul Dravid of India and Australia’s Ricky Ponting have been inducted into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame for their stupendous achievements in International Cricket.
    • Dravid has become the fifth Indian to be listed in Hall of Fame.
    • Other four are – Anil Kumble, Kapil Dev, Sunil Gavaskar and Bishan Singh Bedi.
  3. India won the six-nation Kabaddi Masters Dubai title in Dubai.

 

 

MISCELLANEOUS

  1. The International Space Station got its first robot with artificial intelligence, along with some berries, ice cream and identical brown mice.
    • There are genetically identical mice for a study of gut bacteria, and super-caffeinated coffee aboard the Dragon to go with the fresh blueberries and ice cream.