August 9, 2018




  1. Paytm, the digital payments provider run by One97 Communications Pvt. Ltd, has acquired savings management application Balance Tech for an undisclosed sum.


  1. The number of vehicles with FASTags has grown from 700,000 last December to 1.5 million in April 2018 to 2.6 million now.
    • The system cuts travel time by automatically deducting toll fees as vehicle pass toll gates.
    • And even though users have experienced teething troubles, the system is operational at 405 of the 479 toll plazas on various national highways.
    • ICICI Bank said it has issued over a million FASTags, the first entity to cross the million mark.
  1. Flipkart has launched its grocery offering called Flipkart Supermart in Bengaluru to start with and plans to expand it to five-six other major cities by the end of the year.
    • The company’s foray into the grocery business comes a little over two years after the e-commerce giant shut down its grocery app Nearby, which failed to take off.
  1. The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India launches integration & availability of TRAI Mobile Apps namely DND 2.0 & MyCall on UMANG platform.
    • MyCall – It helps Mobile phone users to rate their experience about voice call quality in real time.
    • DND 2.0 – DND (Do Not Disturb) Services App enables smart phone users to register their mobile number under DND.
    • UMANG (Unified Mobile Application for New-age Governance) – It provides a single platform for all Indian Citizens to access pan India e-Gov services ranging from Central to Local Government bodies.


  1. Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar launched Mukhyamantri Kanya Utthan Yojana for empowerment of women.
    • It will be run by three departments — education, health and social welfare.
    • Under this, on birth of a girl child her family would get Rs 2000.
    • After preparation of her Aadhaar card, the family would get an additional amount of Rs 
    • If the whole range of immunisation is completed within two years of a girl’s birth, a sum of Rs 2000 will be given.
    • After entry into class one in a school, a girl will get Rs 600 for purchase of uniform. Similarly, she will get Rs 700 for uniform in between class three to five and it will be scaled up to Rs 1000 when she reaches 6th to 8th standard and Rs 1500 in between 9th to 12th standard.
    • On clearance of Intermediate, a sum of Rs 10,000 will be given to encourage her to pursue higher education. (unmarried girls only)
    • After doing graduation, she will get Rs 25,000. (married and unmarried girls).
  1. Non-Resident Indians cannot file RTI applications to seek governance-related information from the Central government departments.
    • Only citizens of India have the right to seek information under the provisions of Right to Information Act, 2005.
  1. High Court quashed provisions in the law that made begging a punishable offence.
    • The act of begging in the national Capital was made a criminal offence after the Bombay Prevention of Begging Act, 1959, was extended to Delhi by a Central government amendment in 1960.
    • The law prescribes a penalty of three years of detention in beggar homes in case of first conviction for begging and the person can be ordered to be detained for 10 years in subsequent conviction.
    • In India, 20 States and two Union Territories have either enacted their own legislations or adopted the legislations enacted by other States.
    • The Bench declared 25 different sections of the Bombay Prevention of Begging Act as “unconstitutional” and struck them down. It said that the law does not make any distinction between types of begging: voluntary or involuntary.
    • It has made the state realise that it is the duty of the State to provide a decent life to its citizens which it has failed with respect to beggars.



  1. For the first time, Pakistani soldiers will undergo training at Russian military institutes after the two countries signed an agreement related to it, in a sign of further strengthening their defence ties.
    • The agreement was signed at the conclusion of the first meeting of Russia-Pakistan Joint Military Consultative Committee (JMCC), the highest forum of their defence collaboration.




  1. IMF retained its growth projection for India at 7.3% for 2018-19 and 7.5% for 2019-20.
    • To achieve accelerated fiscal consolidation, IMF suggested India cut subsidies gradually by 0.5% of GDP over four years, with a 0.3% of GDP cut in fertilizer subsidies, elimination of fuel subsidies and a modest cut to food subsidies.
    • Further reforms and continued measures to raise tax collections will also help fiscal consolidation.
  1. A study done by Care Ratings Ltd, titled “Impact of RBI’s rate change on scheduled commercial banksinterest rates”.
    • The study has assessed the impact of RBI’s policy rate changes, between October 2011 and August 2018, on banks’ lending and deposit rates.
    • In the last six years, RBI increased rates on six occasions, including on 1 August this year; the hikes were 25 basis points (bps) each. 
    • One bps is one-hundredth of a percentage point. Other than the most recent policy announcement, in the previous five instances, banks raised lending rates faster than they raised deposit rates.
    • Then, there have been 11 instances in the past six years when RBI decreased interest rates.
    • Till June 2010, banks used the Benchmark Prime Lending Rate (BPLR), but there was no rule saying banks could only lend at BPLR. Often, banks would artificially keep BPLR high and then lend below BPLR.
    • Then came the Base Rate, which was the minimum rate at which commercial banks could lend to customers. Individual banks changed it depending on cost of funds and other parameters.
    • From April 2016, MCLR was adopted as the benchmark rate for new loans, though older loans continue to be on base rate.
    • MCLR is the minimum rate at which a bank can lend. MCLR is linked to deposit rates, and typically when deposit rates rise, banks hike MCLR and lending rates as well.
    • There is consensus among bankers that MCLR is better than base rate and that the transmission is happening at a much faster pace now.
  1. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) will transfer 50,000 crore of its surplus money to the government, the highest since 2015-16, in a partial relief for the latter struggling to replenish public sector banks.
    • The transfer gives the government more elbow room to infuse capital into the banks it owns.
    • In October 2017, the government had said it would infuse ₹2.11 trillion into public sector banks through a mix of recapitalization bonds (1.35 trillion), direct infusion from budgetary allocations (18,000 crore) and market borrowing (58,000 crore).
    • During the tenure of former governor Raghuram Rajan, RBI transferred over 65,800 crore to the government for two consecutive years.


  1. State Bank of India launched a payments machine called MOPAD.
    • The full form of MOPAD is Multi Option Payment Acceptance Device.
    • It is a Point of Sale (PoS) terminal that will allow to facilitate transactions from cards to QR code based payments.
    • It would accept payments through UPI, Bharat QR, and SBI Buddy wallet which till now require different tools to receive payments.
    • Customers won’t have to carry cards and can just scan the QR code to make the payment.



  1. S Gurumurthy and Satish Marathe were appointed as part-time directors on the Reserve Bank of India board by The Cabinet’s Appointments Committee for a four-year
  2. Rashida Tlaib is set to become the first Muslim woman elected to Congress after comfortably winning her Democratic primary election in the US state of Michigan.




  1. It was announced that the Tokyo 2020 will be the first Olympics to deploy facial recognition technology to increase security.
    • The Olympic organizers have partnered  with NEC, a Japanese telecommunications and information technology firm, to develop the first system of this kind.
    • It is the fastest system where the technology takes only 0.3 seconds to match up face with pre-registered photo.
  1. The Indian under-16 national football team maintained its winning streak, defeating Yemen 3-0 in the five-nation West Asian Football Federation (WAFF) u-16 football championship at Amman, Jordan.




  1. Fall Armyworm – The Indian Council for Agricultural Research (ICAR) has sounded the alarm after the invasive agricultural pest Fall Armyworm (Spodoptera frugiperda) was discovered in Karnataka this July.
    • A major maize pest in North America, the Fall Armyworm arrived in Africa in 2016. Since then, it has threatened the continent’s maize crop, a staple which feeds 300 million people.
    • The discovery is more worrisome because the pest feeds on around 100 different crops, such as vegetables, rice, and sugarcane.
    • Its discovery in Karnataka means its spread to the rest of the country, as well as neighbouring countries, could be just a matter of time.
    • The first line of defence against the Fall Armyworm will be insecticides like lambda-cyhalothrin.
    • A fungal species called Nomuraea rileyi also infects the Fall Armyworm. But these natural enemies may not be as effective as insecticides.
    • In India, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu are at immediate risk. And even though the pests reported in Shivamogga and Chikballapur, Karnataka, are only feeding on maize and sorghum at the moment, they are likely to spread to other crops.