Current Affairs Daily Updates: 15 and 16 January 2018

Mentor for Bank Exams
Current Affairs Daily Updates: 15 and 16 January 2018
1. IDFC Bank Capital First to merge in Share Swap Deal
  • IDFC Bank and Capital First approved a merger of Capital First with IDFC Bank.
  • Pursuant to the merger which is subject to regulatory and shareholder approvals, IDFC Bank will issue 139 shares for every 10 shares of Capital First.
  • The deal values Capital First - owned more than a third by private equity firm Warburg Pincus - at Rs. 938.25 a share based on the two companies' price and giving the company a market value of Rs. 9,278 crore ($1.46 billion), Reuters calculations showed.
2. India, Top Borrower from China-Sponsored AIIB in 2017
  • India emerged as a top borrower from the China-sponsored Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) with USD 1.5 billion worth of loans last year and USD three billion more in the pipeline.
  • India's Ambassador Gautam Bambawale met AIIB President Jin Liqun in Beijing and held in-depth talks on deepening India's engagements with the bank.
  • Next, to India, Indonesia has emerged as the second largest borrower with about USD 600 million loans.
3. Federal Bank ties up with Hedge Equities
  • Federal Bank entered into a strategic partnership with Hedge Equities Ltd for providing Portfolio Investment Scheme (PIS) services to NRIs.
  • A formal agreement was executed in which Jose K Mathew (EVP & Head Retail Business, Federal Bank) and Alex Babu (MD, Hedge Equities Ltd) exchanged the MoU announcing the tie-up.
  • Federal Bank is authorized by the RBI to issue permission letter to NRIs on behalf of the RBI to transact in the secondary market.
4. BSE's India International Exchange Lists IRFC's First Green Bond
  • The Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE)'s India International Exchange listed the first bond on its Global Securities Market.
  • The bonds issued by Indian Railways Finance Corporation (IRFC) are one of the highest credit rated bonds issued by an Indian corporate and has been IRFC's first foray into the Green Bond market.
5. Anil Khanna to Head IOA Finance Commission
  • Senior sports administrator Anil Khanna was named Chairman of the Finance Commission of the Indian Olympic Association, which also formed a four-member advisory committee.
  • The advisory committee comprises Tarlochan Singh, GS Mander, S Regunathan and BS Landge.
  • The IOA also formed a Medical Commission and Games Technical Conduct Committee and nominated office bearers of IOA and National Sports Federations (NSFs) to the Committees.
6. Seventh Army Day is celebrated on 15th January 2018
  • The 70th Army Day is being celebrated today (15th January 2018).
  • The day is celebrated to pay homage and salute to the courageous and brave Indian soldiers who have been sacrificing their lives for protecting the country.
  • Every year on this day, the ‘Army Day’ is celebrated to commemorate the day when General (later Field Marshal) K.M Carriappa took over the command of Army from General Sir F.R.R Bucher, the last British Commander-in-Chief in 1949 and became the first Commander-in-Chief of Indian Army post Independence.
7. WEF Ranks India 30th on Global Manufacturing Index
  • The World Economic Forum (WEF) ranked India at 30th position on a global manufacturing index - below China’s 5th place but above other BRICS peers, Brazil, Russia, and South Africa.
  • Japan has been found to have the best structure of production in the Geneva-based WEF’s first ‘Readiness for the future of production report’ and is followed by South Korea, Germany, Switzerland, China, Czech Republic, the US, Sweden, Austria and Ireland in the top 10. Among BRICS nations, Russia is ranked 35th, Brazil 41st, and South Africa at 45th place.
8. Indias first agri-Options unveiled for doubling farmers income
  • Finance Minister Arun Jaitley the development of the agriculture sector is a priority for the NDA government.
  • He launched country's first agri-commodity options.
  • India is one of the fastest growing economies in the world and the growth is benefitting people in different sectors.
  • But maximum population is dependent on agri-sector and unless the gains are clear and evident, the (economic) growth is not justifiable and equitable.
  • The Ensuring the benefits reach the agri-sector and growth is visible this is among the priority areas for us.
  • We see in some places the problem of falling prices because of higher production. Farmers are not getting the price for their produce.
9. Indias first-ever FDI in fertiliser sector: Yara acquires Tata Chemicals urea plant
  • Norwegian fertilizer giant Yara International announced the completion of its acquisition of Tata Chemicals’ 1.2 million tonnes per annum production capacity urea plant at Babrala in Uttar Pradesh.
  • The Rs. 2,682-crore acquisition deal includes the transfer of all assets and liabilities (including work) relating to Babrala unit.
  • It marks first foreign direct investment (FDI) in India’s highly regulated urea sector.
  • The acquisition represents a major step of Yara as it deepens its footprint in India, world’s second largest fertiliser market after China.
10. India contributes $50,000 to UN Youth Envoys office
  • India contributed $50,000 to United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’s Office of Envoy on Youth to help with its mission of involving young people in the world body’s goals.
  • The contribution was handed over by Paulomi Tripathi, a First Secretary in India’s UN Mission to the Youth Envoy Jayathma Wickramanayake.
  • India contributes $50,000 to UN Youth Envoy’s office January 15, 2018.
  • India has contributed $50,000 to United Nations (UN) Secretary General's Envoy on Youth in June 2017 at the age of 26.
  • The Youth Envoy’s works to raise international awareness and attention to youth issues among others.Its mission aims to promote engagement of youth and advocate for them across all the four pillars of UN’s work –human rights, peace and security, sustainable development and humanitarian action.

11. India and Israel sign 9 agreements in space, defence, cybersecurity
  • India and Israel have signed nine agreements to boost cooperation in the areas of space, cyber security and oil and gas between both countries.
  • The agreements were signed following delegation-level talks headed by Prime Ministers Narendra Modi and his Israeli counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu in New Delhi.
  • Netanyahu is first Israeli Prime Minister to visit India in the span of last 15 years and second one overall.
  • Agreement on Film-co-production. Protocol on Amendments to Air Transport Agreement MoU on Cyber Security Cooperation between India and Israel Memorandum
  • MoU between the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas and the Ministry of Energy on Cooperation inOil and Gas Sector LoI between IOCL and Yeda Research
  • MoU between Central Council for Research in Homeopathy and Ministry of AYUSH and Centre for Integrative Complementary Medicine, Shaare Zedek
  • MoU between Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology (IIST) and Technion- Israel Institute of Technology for cooperation in the field of space.
12. India emerging as a biggest tourism hub across the globe; over 11 lakh tourists arrived New Delhi in Dec 2017
  • Tourism sector of the nation is blooming year by year, as the Foreign Tourists Arrivals have bloomed by 15.2% in December 2017 as compared to December 2016.
  • And also 48.3% Growth in Foreign Tourist Arrivals on an e-Tourist visa in December 2017 Over December 2016.
  • The number of FTAs in December 2017 was 11.76 lakh as compared to FTAs of 10.21 lakh in December 2016 and 9.13 lakh in December 2015.
  • The growth rate in FTAs in December 2017 over December 2016 was 15.2%, compared to 11.9% in December 2016 over December 2015.
  • FTAs in the year 2017 was 101.77 lakh with a growth of 15.6% over 2016, compared to FTAs of 88.04 lakh with a growth of 9.7% is 2016 over 2015.
13. Sixty Fifth meeting of Central Advisory Board of Education held in New Delhi
  • The 65th Meeting of the Central Advisory Board of Education (CABE) was held under Chairmanship of Union Human Resource Development Minister Prakash Javadekar in New Delhi.
  • The Education Ministers of 20 States, representatives of 28 states/UTs, members of CABE, heads of the autonomous organization.
  • The Operation Digital Board will be launched in all schools in five years and will be undertaken jointly by Centre, State, Corporate Social Responsibility.
  • CABE also will ensure to provide Quality, Equity, Accessibility, Accountability and Affordability in education by pro-active action and plan.
14. Digital launch of I4Fund call for proposal website at India-Israel Business Summit
  • The ‘I4Fund Call for Proposal’ was announced with the joint launch of the website and the unveiling of the brochure by the two PMs (Narendra Modi and Benjamin Netanyahu).
  • The "India-Israel Industrial R&D and Technological Innovation Fund (I4F)" was announced in July 2017.
  • Under this, the Department of Science and Technology, India and the National Innovation Authority of Israel have established a 40 million US dollar Fund.
15. India and US join hands to enhance effectiveness of information exchange and transparency
  • To enhance the effectiveness of information exchange and transparency, India and United States of America (USA) signed the Inter-Governmental Agreement (IGA) under FATCA in 2015.
  • The Notably, the two countries are committed to establishing, by January 1, 2017, rules requiring their Reporting Financial Institutions (RFID) to obtain the Tax Identity Number (TIN) of each reportable person having a reportable account as of June 30, 2014 (pre-existing account).
  • The Income-tax Rules, accordingly, provide for reporting of U.S. TIN from the year 2017 onwards in respect of any pre-existing account.
  • The US-IRS has issued guidelines through Notice 2017-46 dated 25.09.2017 providing relaxation to Foreign Financial Institutions (FFIs) with respect to reporting of U.S.TIN for calendar years 2017, 2018 and 2019.
16. Romanian PM Mihai Tudose Resigns after Losing Party Support
  • Romania's left-wing Prime Minister Mihai Tudose resigned after losing the backing of his party due to internal power struggles, barely seven months after his predecessor suffered the same fate.
  • He handed in his resignation after senior members of the ruling Social Democrats (PSD) voted to withdraw their support at a leadership meeting.
17. DIPP arm Launches Competition for College Students
  • Cell for IPR Promotion and Management (CIPAM), under the department of industrial policy and promotion, launched a competition for college and university students to foster a culture of innovation and creativity in the youth.
  • The competition - IPrism - invites students to submit films on piracy and counterfeiting under two categories of 30 and 60 seconds.
  • Another category in the competition is a mobile gaming app on intellectual property (IP). Cash prizes of Rs 4 lakh will be given to the winning teams along with mementos and certificates.
18. Union Minister Rajyavardhan Rathore launches Khelo India Anthem
  • Sports Minister Rajyavardhan Rathore made the announcement during the launch of the official anthem and mascot of Khelo India School Games, beginning January 31. 
  • Now when an athlete wins a medal at Commonwealth Games, Asian Games and Olympics, the coach gets the incentive.
  • The video features India's eminent sports personalities such as Sardar Singh, Sunil Chhetri, Devendra Jhajharia, Baichung Bhutia, Pullela Gopichand, Leander Paes, Mary Kom, Akhil Kumar, Sakshi Malik and Saina Nehwal.
19. Vajra Prahar: Indo-US joint military exercise to be held in Seattle
  • The Indo-US joint military exercise ‘Vajra Prahar’ will be held at Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM) in Seattle in the third week of January in line with the increasing military cooperation between both countries.
  • In this edition of bilateral exercise, Indian Army team from the Southern Command will participate.
  • The exercise will mainly focus on special operations in urban areas.