GA- 11 Aug 2017

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BIMSTEC

GA- 11 Aug 2017

RBI to pay Rs 30,659 cr dividend to govt for 2016-17

  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) will pay Rs 30,659 crore dividend to the govt for the year ended 30 June.
  • The amount is less than half of what paid in the previous year.
  • The cental bank had in the previous year paid Rs 65,876 crore dividend to the govt. 
  • The Reserve Bank’s Central Board approved the transfer of surplus to the Govt of India amounting to Rs 30,659 crore for the year ended June 30, 2017. 
  • RBI had in 2014-15 paid Rs 65,896 crore dividend and Rs 52,679 crore in the year prior to that.
  • The dividend payout was less than Rs 33,010 crore in 2012-13.

PNB introduces biometric attendance register

  • Punjab National Bank (PNB) has introduced biometric attendance in the place of the existing system of signing attendance in the attendance register. 
  • The biometric attendance system has already been integrated with the in-house human resources management system.
  • The biometric attendance device will capture the attendance along with the time of marking the attendance.
  • Every employee shall, immediately on arrival and also while leaving the branch/office, mark his/her attendance in the biometric attendance device. Manual attendance system will run parallel up to August 31, to streamline the process.
  • It is required of every employee to be punctual and mark attendance in time.
  • In exceptional cases, but in no case more than three occasions in a month, an employee may be permitted a grace margin of up to 15 minutes, that is, within 15 minutes of the prescribed time.
  • After the grace margin in a month is exhausted, the employee will be considered late and marked absent. 

National Mission for Clean Ganga approves 10 projects

  • The National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) has approved ten projects in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and West Bengal to the tune of about Rs. 2,033 crore. 
  • These projects were approved in the 5th meeting of the Executive Committee of NMCG.
  • Eight of the ten projects pertain to sewage infrastructure and treatment, one each to ghat development and Ganga Knowledge Centre.
  • In Bihar, three major sewage infrastructure projects were approved in Barh, Kankarbagh and Digha.
  • These projects will create additional sewage treatment capacity in Kankarbagh and Barh.
  • In West Bengal, three projects were approved. Out of these two pertain to sewage infrastructure while the third one is for ghat development.
  • In Uttar Pradesh, sewage infrastructure work in Chunar, district Mirzapur, has also been approved at an estimated cost of around 28 crore rupees.
  • NMCG is the implementation wing of National Council for Rejuvenation, Protection and Management of River Ganga (referred as National Ganga Council).

Parliament passes Banking Regulation (Amendment) Bill, 2017

  • Parliament has passed the Banking Regulation (Amendment) Bill, 2017 with the Rajya Sabha approving it.
  • The Lok Sabha has already passed it.
  • The bill will replace the Banking Regulation (Amendment) Ordinance, 2017 promulgated by President in May 2017.
  • The bill seeks to amend the Banking Regulation Act, 1949 to insert provisions for handling cases related to stressed assets or non-performing assets (NPAs) of banks.
  • Stressed assets (NPAs) are loans defaulted by borrower in repayment or the loan which has been restructured by changing the repayment schedule. 
  • NPAs in the banks stand at Rs. 6.41 lakh crore in the public sector banks while total stressed assets are at Rs. 8.02 lakh crore.

15th BIMSTEC Ministerial meeting begins in Kathmandu

  • The 15th edition of Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) ministerial meeting was held in Kathmandu, Nepal.
  • The two-day meet was inaugurated by Prime Minister of Nepal Sher Bahadur Deuba and will be chaired by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs Krishna Bahadur Mahara.
  • India was represented by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj.
  • The meeting will review the progress and achievements in the identified areas of cooperation and discuss the ways to accelerate the partnership under the BIMSTEC process. 
  • The BIMSTEC is a sub-regional grouping comprising of seven countries of South Asia and South East Asia.
  • It is headquartered at Dhaka, Bangladesh.

India and US to co-host Global Entrepreneurship Summit

  • India and US are going to co-host the Global Entrepreneurship Summit at Hyderabad, Telangana from 28th to 30th November 2017.
  • American delegation will be led by US President Donald Trump’s daughter Ivanka Trump.
  • The Summit will serve as a unique opportunity for bringing together entrepreneurs and start-ups with global leaders.
  • Earlier it was hosted by the US State Department. 
  • The three-day Global Entrepreneurship Summit will be organised by the NITI (National Institution for Transforming India) Aayog in coordination with Ministry of External Affairs.
  • The summit aims at connecting American entrepreneurs and investors to their international counterparts to form lasting relationships.
  • It seeks to create new opportunities for investment, partnership and collaboration around the world.

NSDC, Google to introduce Mobile Skill Development programme

  • The National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) has joined hands with GoogleIndia to create an Android skill development programme.
  • Under the partnership, both entities will work together to offer mobile development training on Android OS and web platform to enhance the quality of mobile app development ecosystem in India. 
  • Under the initiative, NSDC will introduce a specific course to train developers to create apps for mobile platform that can be used on smartphone and tablets running on Android’s operating system.
  • The 100-hour duration course is designed to be delivered by NSDC’s partner agencies.

Facebook launches YouTube competitor called Watch

  • Facebook has rolled out ‘Watch’ — a redesigned video platform for creators and publishers in an apparent bid to take on Google-owned YouTube.
  • The social media giant last year launched ‘Video’ tab in the US which offered a predictable place to find videos on Facebook. 
  • The shows available include “Nas Daily”, “Gabby Bernstein” and “Kitchen Little”.
  • “Nas Daily” publishes a daily show where he makes videos together with his fans from around the world.
  • Gabby Bernstein, a New York Times bestselling author, uses a combination of recorded and live episodes to connect with her fans and answer questions in real time.
  • Tastemade’s “Kitchen Little” is a funny show about kids who watch a how-to video of a recipe, then instruct professional chefs on how to make it.
  • Facebook has also signed a deal with Major League Baseball to broadcast one live game per week.

NGT bans use of non-biodegradable plastic bags in Delhi

  • The National Green Tribunal (NGT) imposed an interim ban on use of non-biodegradable plastic bags which are less than 50 microns in the entire national capital Delhi.
  • It also slapped a fine of Rs 5,000 on anyone found in possession of non-biodegradable plastic bags less than 50 microns, which is the thickness of a human hair.
  • NGT ordered Delhi govt to seize entire stock of the banned plastic bags within a week.
  • It also imposed an environment compensation of Rs. 10,000 on vegetable vendors and slaughter houses for throwing garbage in public places.

Venkaiah Naidu sworn in as 13th Vice President of India

  • Former Union Minister M Venkaiah Naidu was sworn in as 13th Vice President of India.
  • He was administered the oath of office by President Ram Nath Kovind at a special function at Rashtrapati Bhavan.
  • After the swearing in he took charge as the Chairman of Rajya Sabha.
  • He also chaired the proceedings of the Upper House.
  • He was elected as the Vice President after defeating opposition candidate Gopal Krishna Gandhi.

Amazon Prime Video appoints Vijay Subramaniam as interim head

  • E-commerce giant Amazon’s India head for Prime Video, Nitesh Kripalani, has quit the company.
  • Amazon has, meanwhile, appointed Vijay Subramaniam, Director, Content for Prime Video India, as his replacement in the interim.
  • Kripalani had quit citing personal reasons. 
  • Amazon Prime Video was launched in December 2016.

Pahlaj Nihalani sacked as CBFC chief, to be succeeded by Prasoon Joshi

  • The govt replaced Pahlaj Nihalani with songwriter-poet Prasoon Joshi as the chairperson of the censor board.
  • Joshi was appointed with immediate effect for a period of three years or until further orders.
  • Nihalani has been embroiled in controversies since his appointment as the chief of the 23-member board in January, 2015.
  • For one, he has drawn flak for his prudish views and making his political leaning clear by calling PM Modi his “action hero”.

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