Daily Current Affairs 14th April, 2017

Daily Current Affairs 14th April, 2017 

INTERNATIONAL

Mother of all Bombs

  • The GBU-43/B – dubbed the ‘Mother of all bombs’ – has been dropped on an Islamic State complex in Afghanistan by the US forces.
  • The Moab or GBU-43/B is the world’s largest non-nuclear weapon.
  • It is designed to destroy heavily reinforced targets or to shatter ground forces and armour across a large area.
  • Its blast is equivalent to 11 tons of TNT. By comparison, the nuclear weapon dropped on Hiroshima had a blast yield of 15 tons of TNT.
  • While it has a blast radius that stretches a mile in each direction the bomb leaves no lasting radiation effect because it is non-nuclear.
  • MOAB was first tested in March 2003 at the time of US led invasion of Iraq. The test resulted in a huge mushroom cloud that could be seen as far away from 32 km.
  • MOAB, however, is not the largest bomb ever made. Russia in 2007 tested ‘Aviation Thermobaric Bomb of Increased Power’, nicknamed as the “Father of All Bombs”. It is estimated to be 4 times more powerful than MOAB.

NATIONAL

Right to access Internet cannot be curtailed, says SC

  • The Supreme Court has clarified that a general prohibition on all online content about pre-natal sex determination will curtail the fundamental right to know of a genuine information-seeker. The clarification came based on a petition demanding for strict adherence by search engines to Section 22.
  • Section 22 is about prohibition of advertisement relating to pre-natal determination of sex.
  • The court held that the prohibition should kick in only if the content found online is violative of Section 22 under the Pre-conception and Pre-natal Diagnostic Techniques (Prohibition of Sex Selection) (PCPNDT) Act of 1994.
  • Citizens have the right to access the Internet to gain information, wisdom and knowledge and their right cannot be curtailed unless it encroaches into the boundary of illegality.
  • Calling the Internet a “virtual world” and a “world which is invisible in a way,” the Supreme Court observed that the fundamental right of expression includes “the right to be informed and the right to know and the feeling of protection of expansive connectivity” the Internet offers on the click of a button.
  • The three Internet search engines — Microsoft, Google India and Yahoo! India — gave their assurances to the Supreme Court that they would neither advertise nor sponsor advertisements violative of the PNPCDT Act. The trio said they had already appointed ‘in-house’ experts to spot illegal content.
  • Nodal officers have already been appointed at State levels to keep tabs on the Net for offensive material contravening Section 22 of the Act.
  • In case the nodal officers detect illegal online content, they would communicate with the search engine’s experts, which would take it off within the next 36 hours of receiving the information. These experts would then follow it up by providing the nodal officers concerned with an action taken report.

Cisco launched 5th global and 1st in India cyber range lab in Gurugram

  • US-based tech giant Cisco launched its fifth global cyber range lab in Gurugram, Haryana with an aim to train Indian firms and government agencies on real-world cyber attacks.
  • This is the first cyber range lab in India. The facility was inaugurated by National Cyber Security Coordinator Gulshan Rai.

ASCI issues guidelines for celebrities endorsing products

  • The advertising industry watchdog Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) has come up with a set of guidelines for celebrities endorsing products.
  • As per the guidelines, celebrities are personalities from the field of entertainment and sports and also includes other well known personalities like doctors, authors, activists and educationists who gets compensation for appearing in advertisements.
  • Celebrities must exercise due diligence to make sure that all description claims and comparisons made in the advertisements that they endorse are not misleading and deceptive.
  • It will be the duty of the advertiser and the advertising agency to make sure that celebrities are aware about the ASCI guidelines. A
  • SCI have barred celebrities to endorse product/treatment/remedy that is prohibited under The Drugs & Magic Remedies Act (Objectionable Advertisements) and the Drugs & Cosmetic Act.
  • Celebrities should not endorse those products which by law require a health warning on its packaging or advertisement.
  • Celebrities seeking the advice of ASCI to ascertain whether the advertisement potentially violates any provision of the ASCI code or not would be considered of having completed due diligence.
  • Also, the advertising advice of ASCI cannot be construed as pre-clearance for an advertisement.

ECONOMY, BANKING AND FINANCE

Bank Boards Bureau evolves ‘GRAF’ for PSBs

  • The Bank Boards Bureau (BBB) has evolved a Governance, Reward and Accountability Framework (GRAF) for public sector banks to ensure that they have the ability to compete successfully with private sector banks, small finance and payments banks, foreign banks and non-banking finance companies.
  • The framework is guided by the latest global benchmarking on governance practices provided by the Basel Committee on Banking Supervisions guidelines on corporate governance principles for banks released in July 2015.
  • The GRAF seeks to ensure that corporate governance at PSBs is in keeping with various pieces of legislation, including the Companies Act, 2013, Banking Regulation Act, 1949, and Securities and Exchange Board of India (listing obligations and disclosure requirements) Regulations, 2015.
  • Further, the framework abides by the guidelines of the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision on corporate governance principles for banks. Among others, the principles deal with the board’s overall responsibilities, board qualifications and composition, senior management, risk management function, compliance, internal audit and compensation.

Prime Minister launches BHIM-Aadhaar platform

  • Prime Minister has launched BHIM-Aadhaar platform from
  • BHIM-Aadhaar platform is the merchant interface of the BHIM App that has been launched for making digital payments using the Aadhaar platform.
  • BHIM App was launched in December 2016 to provide a one-stop solution for all digital payments.
  • The App created a new world record by registering 1.9 crore downloads within four months since its launch. the newly launched BHIM-Aadhaar platform will help people to pay digitally using their biometric data like thumb imprint on a merchant’s biometric enabled device like a smart phone or a biometric reader.
  • The App needs to be installed only by merchants and they need to connect their smartphones to the biometric scan machine to accept the payments from customers
  • The customers who want to pay using this app needs to link Aadhaar number and biometic fingerprint to complete a transaction.

RBI tightens norms on bank performance

  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has come out with a revised prompt corrective action (PCA) framework for banks, spelling out certain thresholds, the breach of which could invite resolutions such as a merger with another bank or even shutting down of the bank.
  • The revised norms have set out three thresholds. The thresholds are based on capital, net non-performing assets, profitability and leverage ratio.

What happens when there is breach of any threshold?

  • The breach of the first threshold will invite restriction on dividend distribution or require parents of foreign banks to bring in more capital. This will get triggered if capital adequacy ratio (including capital conservation buffer) falls below 10.25{be19e8fcc7081f751eba9e03bd22e904e5cf3e86733381e655a03b1ab7839769} or common equity tier-I (CET1) capital ratio falls below 6.75{be19e8fcc7081f751eba9e03bd22e904e5cf3e86733381e655a03b1ab7839769}. Breach of either CAR or CET1 would trigger corrective action. The trigger for net NPA is 6{be19e8fcc7081f751eba9e03bd22e904e5cf3e86733381e655a03b1ab7839769} and 4{be19e8fcc7081f751eba9e03bd22e904e5cf3e86733381e655a03b1ab7839769} for leverage ratio. Two consecutive years of negative return on assets (RoA) will also be classified in threshold one.
  • The breach of the second threshold will occur when the capital adequacy ratio falls below 7.75{be19e8fcc7081f751eba9e03bd22e904e5cf3e86733381e655a03b1ab7839769} or CET1 goes below 5.125{be19e8fcc7081f751eba9e03bd22e904e5cf3e86733381e655a03b1ab7839769}. The net NPA threshold is breach of 12{be19e8fcc7081f751eba9e03bd22e904e5cf3e86733381e655a03b1ab7839769} and leverage ratio below 3.5{be19e8fcc7081f751eba9e03bd22e904e5cf3e86733381e655a03b1ab7839769}. Three consecutive years of negative ROA will also trigger threshold two. Breach of threshold two will result in restrictions on expansion of branches and higher provisions.
  • The breach of the last threshold happens when CET1 falls below 3.625{be19e8fcc7081f751eba9e03bd22e904e5cf3e86733381e655a03b1ab7839769} and net NPA goes above 12{be19e8fcc7081f751eba9e03bd22e904e5cf3e86733381e655a03b1ab7839769}. Negative ROA for four consecutive years will also be considered as a breach of the third threshold vis-a-vis the profitability parameter. Restrictions, in addition to that of threshold one and two, will be put on management compensation and directors’ fees if the third level is breached.
  • Corrective action that can also be imposed on banks includes special audit, restructuring operations and activation of recovery plan.
  • The banks can also be asked to bring in new management, or even can supersede the bank’s board, as a part of corrective action.

Postal department, SBI join hands to promote cashless transactions

  • Department of Posts has joined hands with State Bank of India to promote ‘SBI buddy e-wallet’ and Point of Sale (POS) machines for cashless transactions at post office counters while booking speed post and registered post items.
  • Higher officials have dedicated SBI buddy e-wallet and SBI POS machines at Chandigarh General Post Office for the general public.

IRDAI launches web portal for insurers

  • The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) has launched a web portal for insurers that will allow them to register and sell policies online.
  • The portal ‘isnp.irda.gov.in’is also open to intermediaries in the insurance business.

Income Tax Department launches Operation Clean Money-II

  • The Income Tax department has launched the second phase of the ‘Operation Clean Money’ to investigate over 60,000 individuals with an aim to detect black money generation post demonetisation.
  • The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT), the policy-making body of the income tax department has detected flow of black money into the banks amounting to over Rs 9,334 crore between November 9, 2016 and February 28 this year.
  • Under the second phase of Operation Clean Money, more than 60,000 persons including 1,300 high risk persons has been identified for detailed investigation.
  • The department has deducted more than 6,000 transactions of high value property purchase and 6,600 cases of outward remittances.
  • The first phase of ‘Operation Clean Money’ was launched on January 31, 2017.
  • In the first phase, the department went through e-verification of large cash deposits into the banks after the demonetisation and had sent online queries and investigated around 17.92 lakh persons.
  • This operation will help in eliminating black money and widen the tax base.
  • The impact of the operations carried out by the income tax department has resulted in a 21.7{be19e8fcc7081f751eba9e03bd22e904e5cf3e86733381e655a03b1ab7839769} increase in the income tax returns in the financial year 2016-17.
  • Also, 16{be19e8fcc7081f751eba9e03bd22e904e5cf3e86733381e655a03b1ab7839769} growth in the gross collection has been observed, which is the highest in the last five years. Besides, 14{be19e8fcc7081f751eba9e03bd22e904e5cf3e86733381e655a03b1ab7839769} growth in net collection has been realized, which is the highest in the last three years.

Dr. (Ms.) Mukulita Vijayawargiya takes charge as Whole Time Member of IBBI

  • (Ms.) Mukulita Vijayawargiya took charge as Whole Time Member of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (IBBI) in New Delhi.
  • She will look after the fields like Administrative Law Wing, Information Technology, Limited Insolvency Examination, National Insolvency Examination, Finance Accounts and  Communication.

GOVT SCHEME

Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana (PMMY)

  • Loans extended under the Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana (PMMY) during 2016-17 have crossed the target of Rs. 1,80,000 crore for 2016-17.:
  • Sanctions currently stand at Rs. 1,80,087 crore with final data still awaited from some of the smaller non-banking lenders.
  • Of this amount, Rs. 1,23,000 crore was lent by banks while non-banking institutions lent about Rs. 57,000 crore.
  • Data compiled so far indicates that the number of borrowers this year were over 4 crore, of which over 70{be19e8fcc7081f751eba9e03bd22e904e5cf3e86733381e655a03b1ab7839769} were women borrowers.
  • About 20{be19e8fcc7081f751eba9e03bd22e904e5cf3e86733381e655a03b1ab7839769} of the borrowers were from the Scheduled Caste Category, 5{be19e8fcc7081f751eba9e03bd22e904e5cf3e86733381e655a03b1ab7839769} from the Scheduled Tribe Category, while Other Backward Classes accounted for almost 35{be19e8fcc7081f751eba9e03bd22e904e5cf3e86733381e655a03b1ab7839769} of the borrowers.

About the Pradhan Mantri MUDRA Yojana (PMMY) scheme:

  • The PMMY Scheme was launched in April, 2015. The scheme’s objective is to refinance collateral-free loans given by the lenders to small borrowers.
  • The scheme, which has a corpus of Rs 20,000 crore, can lend betweenRs 50,000 and Rs 10 lakh to small entrepreneurs.
  • Banks and MFIs can draw refinance under the MUDRA Scheme after becoming member-lending institutions of MUDRA.
  • Mudra Loans are available for non-agricultural activities upto Rs. 10 lakh and activities allied to agriculture such as Dairy, Poultry, Bee Keeping etc, are also covered.
  • Mudra’s unique features include a Mudra Card which permits access to Working Capital through ATMs and Card Machines.
  • There are three types of loans under PMMY:
  • Shishu (up to Rs.50,000).
  • Kishore (from Rs.50,001 to Rs.5 lakh).
  • Tarun (from Rs.500,001 to Rs.10,00,000).

DEFENCE

Nepal and China to conduct Sagarmatha Friendship-2017

  • Nepal and China is all set to hold their first ever joint military exercise named ‘Sagarmatha Friendship-2017’ from April 17 to April 26.
  • The 10 day long joint exercise will focus on combating terror and disaster management.
  • Although, Nepal conducts joint exercises with other countries like India and United States, this is the first time it is holding a joint exercise with China.

IMPORTANT DAYS

126th Birth Anniversary of Dr.Bhimrao Ambedkar Celebrated

  • 126th birth anniversary of Bharat Ratna Dr. B.R.Ambedkar was celebrated at the Parliament House complex. The President, Vice President and Prime Minister paid floral tributes to the statue of Ambedkar present in the Parliament House Lawns. The celebrations were organized by Dr. Ambedkar Foundation, Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment.

AWARDS

Himachal Pradesh bags Krishi Karman Award 2015-16

  • The Union Ministry of Agriculture has selected Himachal Pradesh for the Krishi Karman Award 2015-16 for the commendable increase in food grains production.
  • Himachal Pradesh is being selected for this award for the third time.  The award would carry a trophy, citation and cash prize.

Indian wins top prize at UN challenge for open source tool

  • An Indian software engineer Abdulqadir Rashik has won the top prize at a global challenge for an open-source tool that enables users to interactively view UN General Assembly resolutions and gain a deeper understanding of the voting patterns of member states.
  • He also won the ‘Unite Ideas UNGAViz Textual Analysis and Visualisation Challenge’ for his Global Policy.

BOOK RELEASE

Pranab Mukherjee released book on Draupadi by Veerappa Moily

  • A book on Draupadi named ‘The Flaming Tresses of Draupadi’ written by senior Congress leader M Veerappa Moily was released by President Pranab Mukherjee at Rashtrapati Bhavan, New Delhi.
  • The book is an English translation by D A Shankar of Moily’s original work in Kannada.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *