Thursday, 23 February 2017

Current Affairs-GK Update 23rd February 2017

Current Affairs and GK Update 23rd February 2017
1. India's GDP projected to slow to 6.6% due to demonetization Strains: IMF
  • India's growth is projected to slow to 6.6% in 2016-17 fiscal due to the strains that have emerged in the economy as a result of temporary disruptions caused by demonetization.
  • The post November 8, 2016 cash shortages and payment disruptions caused by the currency exchange initiative have undermined consumption and business activity, posing a new challenge to sustaining the growth momentum. India's economy grew at 7.6% in 2015-16.
2. Indian digital payments market to reach $500 bn by 2020:
  • According to the global telecom body report, more than 50% of India's Internet users will use digital payments by 2020.
  • The size of digital payments industry in the country will be 500 billion dollars.
  • In India, BCG estimates that digital technologies will influence up to 45% of all retail sales by 2025.
  • The report counts government's plans to build 100 smart cities across the country and 'Digital India', which aims to increase the optical fibre network to thousands of villages where two-thirds of the population lives.
  • The report appreciated India for the use of digital and mobile technologies for creating educated and digitally literate user base.
3. Bharti Airtel to acquire Telenor India:
  • Bharti Airtel will acquire the business of Telenor India for an undisclosed sum in all seven circles Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Maharashtra, Gujarat, UP (East), UP (West) and Assam.
  • Airtel will take over Telenor India’s spectrum, licenses, and operations, including its employees and customer base of 44 million.
  • Telenor India’s operations and services will continue as normal until the completion of the transaction.
  • Airtel is India’s largest wireless operator with over 269 million subscribers and a revenue market share of over 33 per cent.
4. N Chandrasekaran elected chairman of Indian Hotels:
  • N Chandrasekaran has been elected as the Chairman of its board of directors. N Chandrasekaran has been elected as the Chairman of the board of directors of the company with effect from February 22, 2017 vide a written resolution of the Board.
  • He was initially appointed as a Member of the board on January 27, 2017 Chandrasekaran had taken over as Chairman of Tata Sons on February 21, becoming the first non Parsi Chairman of the USD 103 billion Tata Group after heading its crown jewel TCS for years.
5. Govt doubles maternity leave for women workers in industries:
  • The government has allowed women working in industries to take six months maternity leave pre-empting parliamentary approval on the maternity benefit amendment bill that is pending in the Lok Sabha.
  • Through an executive order the labour and employment ministry has doubled maternity leave to six months from three for industrial women workers. 
  • However the benefit will be restricted to women who make a monthly contribution to the employees’ state insurance corpus from their salaries. This means about 2.9 million women working across various industries will get the benefit.
6. Pak army launches nationwide military ops 'Radd-ul-Fasaad' to eliminate terrorists:
  • The Pakistan army has launched nationwide military operation 'Radd-ul-Fasaad' to eliminate terrorists and consolidate gains of its counter-terrorism operations.
  • The operation aims include the elimination of the residual and latent threat of terrorism, consolidating gains of operations made so far and ensuring the security of Pakistan's borders.
  • The operation came after a wave of suicide attacks across Pakistan last week.
7. Adidas Ties Up With FIFA U-17 World Cup For Mission XI Million:
  • German Sportswear giant Adidas announced its ties up with FIFA U-17 World Cup Local Organizing Committee for the Mission XI Million programme. 
8. Karnataka Bank bags 2 awards:
  • Karnataka Bank has bagged two ‘IBA-Banking Technology’ awards. The bank was the winner in ‘Best financial inclusion initiatives (small bank)’ category, and was runner-up in ‘Best use of digital and channels technology (small bank)’ category. 
  • IBA-Banking Technology award recognises and rewards individuals, professionals and banks who have recorded noteworthy technology and business benefits in 2016.
9. India to host 2019 Combined World Cup for shooting:
  • The National Rifle Association of India(NRAI) announced that India will be hosting the Combined World Cup for shooting in 2019 during the meeting held in New Delhi.
  • Combined World Cup will a qualifying event for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. It will comprises all the three categories shotgun, rifle and pistol.
10. Maneka Gandhi announces compensation fund for children:
  • The union Minister of the Women and Child Development Maneka Gandhi has announced the setting up of a compensation fund under Nirbhaya scheme to provide financial help to children who are victims of sexual crimes.
  • The money for this fund will be drawn from “Nirbhaya Scheme” and will be monitored directly by the Women and Child Development Ministry.
11. 7 new Earth-like exoplanets discovered, NASA announced:
  • Astronomers of NASA have discovered seven Earth-sized planets orbiting a star called TRAPPIST-1. Three of them are in the habitable zone  the happy place where liquid water can exist on the surface of rocky planets, as it’s not too hot or cold. 
  • The space agency calls the discovery of the fascinating solar system record-breaking. The three planets in the habitable zone, also known as the Goldilocks Zone, are called TRAPPIST-1e, f, and g. Exoplanet “e” is about the same size as Earth and even gets around the same amount of star light as we do.
12. WTO's trade facilitation agreement comes into effect:
  • The WTO's trade facilitation agreement, which seeks to ease customs norms, came into effect from with its two-thirds members ratifying the pact. 
  • The TFA, which has been ratified by India, will give a boost to the global trade, which has been impacted due to slowdown in the world economy. 
  • According to experts, the agreement comes at a time when India's efforts to improve exports are gaining momentum.
  • The 164-member World Trade Organisation (WTO) in a statement stated that a major milestone for the global trading system was reached as the first multilateral deal concluded in the 21-year history of the multi-lateral trade body entered into force.

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