Wednesday, 8 February 2017

Current Affairs-GK Update 8th February 2017

Current Affairs and GK Update 8th February 2017
1. RBI keeps key rates unchanged in 6th bi-monthly monetary policy review:
  • The Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) headed by RBI Governor Urjit Patel has kept the key policy rates unchanged.  
  • It was central bank’s sixth bi-monthly and last policy for the financial year 2016-17 and overall the third by the MPC. 
  • All six members of the MPC voted in favour of holding rates. Besides, RBI also changed its stance from accommodative to neutral. 
  • It also lowered GDP growth forecast for the current fiscal to 6.9%. However the apex bank expects a rebound in GDP growth to 7.4% in 2017-18.
Policy rates:
Repo Rate- 6.25%
Reverse Repo Rate- 5.75%
Marginal Standing Facility Rate- 6.75%
Bank Rate-  6.75%
CRR- 4%
SLR- 20.50%

2. Global conference on Nuclear Terrorism to begin in New Delhi today:
  • Today, three -day Implementation and Assessment Group (IAG) conference of the GICNT (Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism) partner countries has begun in New Delhi.
  • Indian’s Foreign Secretary Jaishankar has inaugurated the meet organized by the Ministry of External Affairs and the Department of Atomic Energy.
  • The meeting highlights India’s commitment to global nuclear non-proliferation and peaceful uses of nuclear energy.
  • Nearly 150 delegates from various partner countries and international organizations are taking part in the event.
3. International Conference & Exhibition on Terrestrial & Satellite Broadcasting held in New Delhi:
  • The 23rd edition of International Conference and Exhibition on Terrestrial & Satellite Broadcasting was held in New Delhi. The 3-day conference was organized by the Broadcast Engineering Society (India). 
  • The theme of the conference is 'Hybrid Technologies in Broadcasting New Opportunities'. 
  • In this EXPO, nearly 300 companies from 25 countries displayed their products directly or through their dealers and distributors in India. 
4. Arunachal Pradesh becomes first NE State to implement e-Cabinet Solution:
  • Arunachal Pradesh became the first state in the northeast to implement e-Cabinet solution for the state cabinet members.  
  • It is a powerful governance tool that will be used to streamline its decision-making process.
  • Using this system, state cabinet members can access the cabinet notes before the meeting.
  • The e-Cabinet system is being implemented by the state department of Information Technology and Communication.
5. Indian-origin British sculptor Anish Kapoor wins USD 1 million Israeli prize:
  • Renowned Indian-origin British sculptor Anish Kapoor (62-year) honored with the prestigious $1 million Genesis Prize by Israel for his utmost contribution for Jewish community.
  • The money received by the innovative artist would be contributed by him to help the Syrian refugees and expand Jewish engagement in the global effort to reduce the refugee crisis.
  • He was chosen by the prize committee headed by Jewish Agency Chairman Natan Sharansky.
6. Qatar Airways launches world's longest scheduled commercial airline route:
  • Qatar Airways has launched the world's longest scheduled commercial airline route with the arrival of its flight from Doha to Auckland, New Zealand.
  • The airliner 777-200LR is 259-seat Boeing crossed 10 time zones before landing in Auckland after taking off from Doha covering distance of 7848 nautical miles.
  • Emirates previously held the record for its route between Dubai and Auckland.
7. SC clears plan to verify mobile phone users through Aadhaar:
  • The Supreme Court has approved the government‘s plan to record the identification details of mobile subscribers through an e-KYC (Know Your Customer) mechanism linked to Aadhaar in a bid to enhance national security and prevent fake users.
  • A Bench led by Chief Justice of India J.S. Khehar asked the government, represented by Attorney-General Mukul Rohatgi, to put in place the mechanism within a year. 
  • The mechanism would cover at least 100 crore mobile phone subscribers, 90% of whom use pre-paid cards.
8. Japan's Scientists have developed terahertz (THz) transmitter technology:
  • Japan's Scientists have announced the development of a terahertz (THz) transmitter which can transmit digital data at a rate exceeding 100 gigabits per second over a single channel using the 300-gigahertz band
  • It is a next generation system which can transmit digital data over 10 times faster than 5G mobile networks expected to appear around 2020.
9. Salman Rushdie's 'The Golden House' to release in September:
  • British-Indian Novelist and essayist Salman Rushdie’s new novel titled "The Golden House" will release in September 2017.
  • The book will be published in India by Penguin Random House.
  • The novel is a modern-day thriller, tells the story of a wealthy family from Mumbai desperately seeking to forget the tragedy of 26/11 as they try to reinvent themselves in New York City.
  • Rushdie’s last novel Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights was published in 2015.
  • He won the Booker Prize for his novel Midnight’s Children in 1981.
10. Education Secretary nominee Betsy DeVos wins Senate confirmation vote:
  • The United States Senate has confirmed President Donald Trump's controversial nominee for Education Secretary, Betsy DeVos, by the slenderest possible margin.
  • US Vice-President Mike Pence cast the tie-breaking vote to secure her cabinet role, splitting the chamber 50-50.
  • It was the first time ever that a Vice- President has interceded in such a way for a Cabinet Secretary.
  • Mrs DeVos has no experience with public schools, faced a rocky confirmation hearing last month.
11. ‘Samsung Pay’ to Launch in India:
  • The technology giant Samsung will launch its mobile payment wallet “Samsung Pay” in India.
  • The launch is expected to happen in the first half of 2017.
  • According to reports, Samsung will be partnering with American Express (Amex) to bring its mobile payment solution to India.
  • The company is also exploring the possibility of pairing with the two global financial services companies, ‘Visa’ and ‘MasterCard’.
12. ICICI Securities partners with Saxo Bank:
  • ICICI Securities, a subsidiary of ICICI Bank, has entered into a strategic partnership with Saxo Bank, an online multi-asset trading and investment specialist.
  • This partnership will offer Saxo's trading and investment capabilities via a digital platform to Indian investors.
  • It will enable ICICI Securities' 4 million clients of ICICIdirect.com to diversify their investments outside of the domestic Indian market and access multi-asset investment opportunities on 36 stock exchanges across 24 countries, through SaxoTraderGo.
13. Axis Bank ties up with Earthport:
  • India’s Axis bank has tied up with a cross-border payment network Earthport Plc. to enable faster outbound cross-border payments for its customers.
  • Earthport Plc has a state-of-the-art global payments network, which spans over 60 countries.
  • Now, Axis bank has become the first bank in India, who connects with Earthport.
14. Bank of Baroda, IFFCO launch co-branded debit card for farmers:
  • In a novel initiative that would push digitalisation and cashless economy, Bank of Baroda (BOB) has tied up with IFFCO, a cooperative, to provide co-branded debit cards with inbuilt overdraft facilities to the farmers.
  • In this regard, a memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed between G.B.Panda, General Manager (government relationship) BOB and Yogendra Kumar, General Manager (Marketing) IFFCO.
  • Under this MOU, two lakh co-branded debit cards will be issued to the farmers beginning with the state of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh. Subsequently more cards will be issued across rest of India.
  • These co-branded debit cards will be exclusively used for the purchase of IFFCO products only.
  • BOB will also provide 2500 PoS machines initially at the various locations across India recommended by IFFCO at mutually agreed terms and conditions.
15. National Badminton Championship: Sourabh Verma clinches Men’s Singles title:
  • Sourabh Verma (24-years) has won the Men’s singles title of the 81st senior national Badminton Championships tournament plyed at Patliputra sports complex Patna.
  • He defeated Lakshya Sen in straight sets 21-13, 21-12.

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