September, 2017

RBI to sell sovereign bonds

Reserve Bank of India would sell govt bonds worth Rs. 10,000 crore through Open Market Operations to mop up liquidity from the system. As part of the OMO, the RBI will sell government securities maturing in 2019, 2021, 2022, 2024, & 2030. Open market operations refer to buying & selling of govt securities in open market in order to expand or contract the amount of money in the banking system.

Saudi Authorises Women to Issue Fatwas

Saudi Arabia women can now issue fatwas after the historic recommendation was approved by 107 votes in the Shoura Council. With this, the 45 years old tradition of only specialist men being able to issue fatwas in the Kingdom ended. The ruling comes just days after Saudi Arabia lifted a ban on women’s driving.

President appoints 5 new Governors

President Kovind has appointed 5 new Governors for the states of Arunachal Pradesh, Bihar, Tamil Nadu, Assam & Meghalaya. BD Mishra was appointed as the Governor of Arunachal Pradesh while Satya Malik & Jagdish Mukhi were appointed as the governors of Bihar & Assam respectively. Banwarilal Purohit was appointed as the Governor of Tamil Nadu while Ganga Prasad was made the governor of Meghalaya

Paper trail machines in all future polls

Election Commission has issued a formal direction to use VVPAT or paper trail machines in all future Lok Sabha & assembly elections. VVPAT is a machine which dispenses a slip with a symbol of the party for which a person has voted for. The slip drops in a box but the voter cannot take it home. Several parties have been pressing for the use of these machines to dispel doubts about EVM tampering.

Govt extends deadline

Govt has extended the deadline to sell pre-GST goods by 3 months till Dec 31 this year. The decision came after companies & CAIT, the retailers body, highlighted that they were still left with huge unsold stocks of pre-GST goods & needed more time to clear that. Under the GST, stocks as on 30th of June with mandatory MRP labeling could be sold only up to Sept 30 by pasting new MRP stickers.

Tata Motors bags order for 10,000 e-cars

Tata Motors has won the first contract to supply electric vehicles to replace petrol & diesel cars used by govt & its departments as part of a plan to cut demand for fossil fuels. First 500 electric vehicles will be supplied to EESL in Nov & the remainder will be delivered in the 2nd phase. Tata Motors will supply the electric version of its Tigor sedan, for which batteries will be imported.

Green Masala Bond in the UK

Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency has launched a new Green Masala Bond on London Stock Exchange’s new International Securities Market to raise funds to finance renewable energy projects across India. The 5 year dated bond raised approximately $300 million, with a coupon of 7.125%. It is the first Green Masala Bond to be listed on the International Securities Market.

Indian football team qualifies for AFC

Indian football team has qualified for AFC U-16 Championship to be held next year in Malaysia after finishing 2nd in their group qualifying round played in Kathmandu. India qualified as one of the six best second-placed teams from the group matches of qualifying round. India defeated Palestine (3-0) and drew against Nepal (2-2) and group toppers Iraq (0-0) to collect 5 points & finished 2nd.

HDFC partners top education institutes

HDFC Bank will be partnering with 50 technology & business schools to tap into emerging fintech ideas. The objective is to identify potential fintech ideas at incubation & entrepreneurship cells in the institutes at a nascent stage & help them evolve into a consumer-ready product. Start-ups will get bank’s platform to test their ideas in real world, in addition to expert insights & knowledge

First Indian woman to scale Mt Manaslu

An Indian Police Service Officer of UP Cadre, Aparna Kumar became the first Indian woman to scale Mount Manaslu, which is the 8th highest mountain peak in the world. Exactly at 10.00 am on September 25, Kumar took up a mission to climb Mount Manaslu in the west-central part of Nepal. She has already successfully scaled the highest peaks of six continents out of seven continents.

‘Hall of Fame’ national tourism award

Gujarat Tourism has won “Hall of Fame” award for being the Best State in Comprehensive Development of Tourism category at National Tourism Award function. Gujarat was awarded for its performance in previous years where it won several accolades in this category for consecutively 3 years. Gujarat has been organizing Navaratri & Kite Festival, etc due to which inflow of tourists has increased 18%

New wetland rules

The environment ministry has notified the new Wetland (Conservation and Management) Rules 2017 which prohibit a range of activities in wetlands. The rules prohibit activities like the conversion of wetland for non-wetland uses including encroachment of any kind, setting up of any industry and expansion of existing industries. The new rules will replace the 2010 version of the rules.

Amazon creates B2B marketplace

30 : Amazon India has launched Amazon Business, a B2B marketplace on, to enable small and medium businesses to procure products through the platform. Amazon Business will act as a pure marketplace and will have over 100 million products across all categories. The B2B business will ensure free shipping on eligible purchases for business customers as well as doorstep delivery.

India, EU to hold 14th summit talks

President of European Council, Donald Tusk & President of European Commission, Jean-Juncker will be on a 3-day visit to India to hold 14th India-EU Summit in New Delhi. Summit aims at deepening India-EU Strategic Partnership & advance collaboration in priority areas for India’s development. EU is India’s largest regional trading partner with bilateral trade in goods standing at $88bn in 2016.

Global Wildlife Programme

Environment Minister Harsh Vardhan will inaugurate the Global Wildlife Programme on 2nd of October. India is hosting the programme jointly with World Bank & UNDP to address illegal wildlife trade across 19 Asian and African countries. The Conference will act as a platform for knowledge exchange & coordination on the action taken on the ground to combat illegal poaching of wildlife.

Govt keeps interest rates unchanged

The government has kept the interest rates unchanged on small savings schemes like PPF, Kisan Vikas Patra & Sukanya Samriddhi for October-December quarter. Investments in public provident fund scheme will fetch annual rate of 7.8%, while Kisan Vikas Patra investments will yield 7.5%. Since April last year, interest rates of all small saving schemes have been recalibrated on a quarterly basis.

India International Science Festival

The 3rd India International Science Festival will be held in Chennai next month. The festival is being organised by Ministry of Earth Sciences & Ministry of Science and Technology. The event will be jointly inaugurated by science & technology ministers of Nepal, Bangladesh, Afghanistan & Portugal. This is the 3rd IIS festival, which has been organised since NDA govt came to power in 2014.

Tom Alter dies of skin cancer

Veteran theatre and film personality Tom Alter died after losing his battle against stage four skin cancer. Apart from acting in over 300 movies and numerous TV shows, Alter was a sports journalist for a brief while at the start of his career. In 2008, he was bestowed with the Padma Shri, the fourth highest civilian honour of India, for his service to the field of arts and cinema.

India launches Access India Programme

India has launched a new initiative to attract investments from small & medium enterprises in the UK. Access India Programme will work as a market entry support system for smaller companies with a potential to expand into the Indian market. The new AIP initiative will be geared towards implementing ‘Make in India’ concept by facilitating investments from the UK.

VNL signs pact with BSNL

Telecom equipment & solutions provider VNL has signed a MoU with BSNL to provide solutions for disaster management. ‘Relief 123’ service will restore connectivity at disaster sites, help locate affected & integrate information across platforms to enable informed decision-making for quick relief. It has been designed to work in different scenarios, including natural disasters such as tsunamis

India, Norway extends cooperation

India & Norway have extended bilateral cooperation in health sector through Norway-India Partnership Initiative for 3 years starting 2018. It will also focus on areas related to reproductive, maternal, child, adolescent health & strengthening of health system. Cooperation b/w the 2 countries will continue to be aligned with development goals of India as outlined in National Health Policy 2017

India jumps to 14th rank

India leapt up the global rankings by 12 places to take 14th spot in terms of best country for expats to live & work in, says an HSBC survey. Driven by strong ratings across a range of economic & family measures, India shines in this year’s league table, moving up 12 places since 2016. 71% expats reported high levels of confidence in the economy, while 58% exuded optimism on political stability

Agreement to train Afghanistan police

After training Afghan Army officers & soldiers for 4 years, India will now train Afghan police officers. India & Afghanistan have exchanged a memorandum of understanding, which will see Afghan police forces trained in India for the 1st time. It follows a reworking of US Afghan strategy, outlined by President Trump in which he called on India to play a larger role in stabilizing Afghanistan

Swiggy’s first-ever CFO

Swiggy has appointed former Olam International executive Rahul Bothra as its 1st chief financial officer. A chartered accountant by qualification, Bothra was previously divisional CFO & vice president – finance at agricultural commodity trading company Olam International Appointment is part of Swiggy’s strategy to strengthen its top deck as it looks to scale its business beyond just delivery

First big state to use EVMs with VVPAT

Gujarat will be the 1st big state where Assembly elections will be conducted with Electronic Voting Machine equipped with Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT). Gujarat will be the 2nd state after Goa to use VVPAT system for assembly elections. VVPAT machines during the poll will allow voters to experience transparency & will allow them to see if their vote has been registered correctly

Mou Between Indian Army and JMIU

Indian Army & Jamia Millia Islamia University has signed a Memorandum of understanding for academic collaboration, technical advancement & progression of Army Personnel. It would facilitate admission of defence personnel in 2nd or 3rd-year Graduation / P.G / Doctorate programme via distance learning. It would enable soldiers to enhance their academic qualification for a better future.

Interpol votes to admit Palestine

Interpol has voted to admit Palestine as a full member, dealing a blow to Israel, which has strenuously lobbied against Palestinian admission. Interpol is designed to help countries share police intelligence & cooperate against crime that crosses international borders. Palestine gained observer status at UN in 2012 & since then has joined more than 50 international organisations & agreements

Agreement with Ethiopia in media field

The Union Cabinet has approved the signing of an agreement with Ethiopia to increase cooperation in the field of information, communication, and media. The agreement would provide an opportunity to both the nations to share best practices and innovations in the field of information, communication, and media. It will also help enhance people-to-people contact through exchange programmes.

Rajiv Sabharwal to take charge

Tata Capital has announced the appointment of Rajiv Sabharwal as Managing Director & CEO designate of the company. Sabharwal would be taking over from the company’s current Managing Director & CEO Praveen P Kadle, who will be assuming other responsibilities in the Tata Group. Sabharwal is currently a partner at True North Managers LLP, formerly India Value Fund Advisors.

ADB loan to Himachal Pradesh

Asian Development Bank has approved a loan of $80mn for modernisation of Himachal Pradesh’s technical & vocational education & training institutions The total cost of project is $100mn, with Centre contributing $20mn. Project is expected to be completed by the end of 2022 It will align Himachal Pradesh’s TVET programmes to national skills certification standards, thereby, improving employability

World’s most affordable technology city

Bengaluru is the world’s most affordable technology hub, according to a study conducted by Knight Frank LLP. Among the top 29 global technology hubs covered by the study, Bengaluru emerged the cheapest in office rentals. Gurugram, another Indian city, comes second. Bengaluru is also the most valued destination on the employment and property cost index.

Aeris Communications partners with BSNL

Aeris Communications has entered into a partnership with BSNL to provide packaged Internet of Things solutions & services to small, medium businesses & PSUs in India. Collaboration is aimed at propagating IoT projects across India as part of digital transformation drive. Aeris will leverage BSNL’s wide network coverage, to provide end-to-end IoT services platform for OEMs & service providers

PC among highest paid female TV actors

Priyanka Chopra has made it to Forbes’ annual top 10 highest paid female TV actors list that has Sofia Vergara on the No.1 spot. With her earning of $10 million, she is on the eighth position on the list, nudging House of Cards star Robin Wright ($9 million) to the ninth spot. Priyanka made her acting debut in the West with TV show Quantico.

Free mobile phones

Chhattisgarh CM Raman Singh has planned to give free mobile phones to 55 lakh 60 thousand people within two-and-a-half-years in the state. A plan of Rs. 230 crore has been prepared in order to provide free mobile phones to 55 lakh 60 thousand people within two-and-a-half-years in the state. Free phones will be provided to the youth of every rural household, urban poor families & colleges.

Malaysia bans travel to North Korea

Malaysia has banned its citizens from traveling to North Korea as the country faces increasing diplomatic pressure over its weapons programs. Malaysia’s foreign ministry cited North Korea’s missile tests and related developments as the reasons for the travel ban and said it would last until further notice. Malaysia is one of the North Korea’s few remaining diplomatic partners in the world.

Indian Internet firms create lobby group

India’s top Internet companies led by Flipkart have created a lobby group called that will represent the interests of Indian Internet start-ups to fight their international rivals. Co-founder and executive chairman Sachin Bansal will lead the lobby group. Apart from Flipkart, Ola, Hike and some other Indian Internet companies will be part of the lobby group.

Nasa delays launch of James Webb

NASA has pushed the planned launch of its $8.8 billion James Webb Space Telescope from October 2018 to spring of 2019, citing spacecraft-integration issues. It will be the world’s most powerful space telescope ever built, serving thousands of astronomers worldwide. The 6.5 meter diameter infrared-optimised telescope is designed to study an extremely wide range of astrophysical phenomena

Significant decline in Infant Mortality

India has registered a significant decline in Infant Mortality Rate, the IMR declined by 3 points (8% decline), from 37 per 1000 live births in 2015 to 34 per 1000 live births in 2016 India also recorded a major drop in birth cohort, which has for the 1st time come down to below 25mn Gender difference between female & male IMR has reduced to <10%, giving a boost to Beti Bachao Beti Padhao scheme

Ways to tackle cybercrime

29 : The committee, headed by former Secretary General of Lok Sabha, T K Viswanathan, has recommended appointing cybercrime coordinators in all states & establishing cybercrime cells in each district. It has also suggested replacing some clauses of IT Act and amending some sections of IPC. The committee was formed after the Supreme Court struck down Section 66 A of the Information Technology Act.

Global Entrepreneurship Summit

NITI Aayog, in partnership with US administration, will host the 8th annual Global Entrepreneurship Summit in Hyderabad on Nov 28-30. The event will be addressed by Prime Minister Modi & the US delegation will be led by Ivanka Trump. This is the first time the Global Entrepreneurship Summit is being held in South Asia. The theme for this year’s summit – Women First, Prosperity for All.

5th Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games

The 5th Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games concluded at Ashgabat in Turkmenistan. On the concluding day Indians grabbed 4 medals, including a gold through tennis player Sumit Nagal, to end at 11th place. With 9 gold, 12 silver & 19 bronze, India finished at 11th position in the Games. Hosts Turkmenistan topped the medals tally with 89 gold, 70 silver & 86 bronze, followed by China and Iran.

NeSL gets registered

Insolvency & Bankruptcy Board of India has registered National E-Governance Services Limited as an Information Utility under the IBBI Regulations, 2017. With this NeSL has become the first IU registered by the IBBI and the registration is valid for 5 years from the date of registration. IU stores financial information that helps to establish defaults as well as verify claims expeditiously.

Hugh Hefner dies at 91

Hugh Hefner, the founder of Playboy magazine, has died aged 91. Hefner founded Playboy in 1953 with $600 of his own money and built the magazine into a multimillion-dollar entertainment empire. The magazine’s “progressive” approach to sexuality made it a controversial publication. Born in Chicago, Hefner was a writer for a military newspaper while in the U.S. Army.

Syndicate Bank cuts interest rate

Public sector Syndicate Bank has cut savings account interest rate by 0.50 per cent to 3.50 per cent for deposits up to
Rs. 25 lakh. For the deposits above Rs. 25 lakh, the interest rate is unchanged at 4 per cent. With this, Syndicate Bank has joined over two-dozen banks, both from public and private sector, who have cut interest rate on deposits in various quantum.

Scientists detect 4th gravitational wave

Scientists have made the 4th detection of gravitational waves – ripples in fabric of space & time formed by the collision of 2 massive black holes. For the first time, the detection was made jointly with Virgo observatory from Europe. LIGO-Virgo collaboration includes more than a thousand scientists from different countries, setting a great example in international scientific cooperation.

‘Adopt a Heritage’ project

President Kovind launched ‘Adopt a Heritage’ initiative, under which heritage sites will be entrusted to public & private enterprises & individuals for maintenance. The initiative is an attempt to boost Indian tourism with “greater focus on digital presence & social media”. Under it, those entrusted with development of tourist amenities at the adopted sites would be known as Monument Mitras.

First space station near Moon

Russia & US have agreed to cooperate on a NASA-led project to build the 1st lunar space station, part of a long-term project to send humans to Mars. Deep Space Gateway will allow mankind to eventually undertake space flights to Mars & elsewhere in the Solar System. The project envisages building a crew-tended spaceport in lunar orbit that would serve as a gateway to deep space & lunar surface

ICICI Bank launches cashback home loans

ICICI Bank has announced a new home loan scheme that offers borrowers the benefit of 1% cashback on every EMI, for the entire tenure of the loan. The offer will be valid for home loans with a minimum tenure of 15 years and maximum tenure of 30 years. This offer is available for other mortgage products like loan against property, lease-rental discounting & top-ups on existing mortgage loans.

Retirement age of govt doctors raised

Union cabinet has increased the retirement age of central govt doctors to 65 years with an aim to meet the shortage of medical staff in the country. Govt’s decision will be applicable to all AYUSH & central govt doctors and dentists except those in the Central Health Service. India has a little more than 1 million modern medicine doctors to treat its population of 1.3 bn people.

Air India ties up with PNB, IndusInd

Air India has tied up with PNB & IndusInd to secure loans to the tune of over Rs. 3,000 crore for meeting working capital requirements. Funds will be used for repayment of dues to airport operators, oil companies & other vendors. Under a turnaround plan approved by previous govt, Air India is to receive up to Rs. 30,231 cr from govt subject to meeting certain performance thresholds.

Anti-superstition Bill

The Karnataka Cabinet has cleared the Karnataka Prevention and Eradication of Inhuman Evil Practices and Black Magic Bill, 2017, known as anti-superstition Bill. Bill has provisions to deal strongly with cruel practices, such as human sacrifice, witchcraft, & sexual exploitation by invoking supernatural powers. The bill explicitly exempts vaastu & astrology from being considered superstition

Bank of Baroda cuts base rate

Public sector Bank of Baroda has slashed the bank rate and has revised BPLR. he base rate, minimum rate below which a bank cannot lend, has been revised downward from existing 9.50 per cent per annum to 9.15% per annum from October 1, 2017. Benchmark prime lending rate, the method which charges interest on credit worthiness of customers, has been cut to 13.45% per annum from next month.

First woman chief proctor

Under the scanner for an unsafe atmosphere for women on the campus, the Banaras Hindu University has appointed a woman as its chief proctor. Professor Royana Singh, who will hold the post, is a professor in the Anatomy Department of the Institute of Medical Sciences. She takes charge after O.N Singh resigned from the post, taking “moral responsibility” for the lathi charge on students.

‘Best Tourism State’ award

Madhya Pradesh has won the ‘Best Tourism State’ national award for the third consecutive year. The state bagged total 10 awards in this programme, organised on the occasion of World Tourism Day. While Chanderi was adjudged as the Best Heritage City, the Best Tourist-Friendly Railway Station award was given to Ujjain Railway Station.

Mobile towers to come up in cantonments

Union Cabinet has approved installation of telecom towers in all army cantonments to improve mobile phone connectivity in the Cantonments and Military Stations. The revised policy will cover allotment of defence land on lease and grant of permission in defence areas to companies registered with DoT. The move will improve the quality of communication services in cantonment and military areas.

190th Raising Day

The Regiment of Artillery, which has proved its mettle in various operations during war times, today celebrated its 190th Raising Day. The second largest arm of the Indian Army was raised on this day in 1827. Since 1980s, gunners – as artillery men are referred to have been fighting shoulder to shoulder with infantrymen in counter-insurgency operations in Punjab, Jammu & Kashmir & North East

First woman to senior government post

A Saudi woman has been named to a senior government post for the first time, shortly after a ban on women drivers was lifted. Eman Al-Ghamdi was appointed as the assistant mayor of Al Khubar governorate. Al-Ghamdi was given the post “as part of plan to boost the number of females in leadership positions in line with Vision 2030.

Makhan Lal Fotedar passes away

Veteran Congress leader Makhan Lal Fotedar passed away. A close associate of former PM Indira Gandhi, Fotedar was her political secretary from 1980 to 1984. He also served as Rajiv Gandhi’s political secretary for 3 years. Fotedar also was a member of the powerful Congress Working Committee, the highest decision-making body of the party. He also authored a book called ‘The Chinar Leaves’.

Destruction Of Chemical Weapons

Russia has liquidated the last arsenals of chemical weapons in the Southwest of the country, 3 years ahead of schedule. In 2010, Moscow set a 2015 target date for eliminating its chemical stockpile and later extended it to 2020. Russia & United States are parties to the Chemical Weapons Convention, which required them to destroy their stockpiles by 2007 with a potential extension until 2012.

MoU signed between BSNL and ZTE

28 : BSNL has signed a MoU with Chinese gear maker ZTE at Indian Mobile Congress 2017. Both the parties will work together & prove key technologies like Pre5G & 5G wireless systems to make a virtual network architecture of a 5G eco system for research & commercialization in India. 4G/5G technologies & smartphone usage in India is developing quickly towards building of an IoT & AI centric ecosystem

IDBI Bank launches ‘Project Nishchay’

IDBI Bank has launched ‘Project Nishchay’ in partnership with The Boston Consulting Group to accelerate its turnaround programme and improve financial performance. The Bank will focus on four key areas – revenue enhancement, cost control and reduction, asset productivity and overall program management in consultation with BCG. IDBI Bank posted a net loss of Rs. 853 crore in the June quarter.

Flipkart acquires F1 Info Solutions

E-commerce major Flipkart has acquired mobiles and IT products repair services company, F1 Info Solutions for an undisclosed amount. F1 is a service partner of brands like Apple, Samsung, HP, Lenovo, Sony and Asus among others. The company will be a part of Jeeves, a Flipkart firm that provides third party service for large and small home appliances and furniture.

Most powerful’ nuclear icebreaker ship

Russia has floated out the world’s largest nuclear-powered icebreaker ship “Sibir” as the country moves to reinforce its leadership in the Arctic. It is one of the three vessels part of Project 22220 which are to become the world’s largest and most powerful nuclear icebreakers. It is powered by two nuclear reactors and will be able to break ice fields up to three metres thick.

Saudi Arabia to allow women to drive

Women in Saudi Arabia will be allowed to drive, ending their reign as the only nation in the world where women were forbidden from getting behind the wheel of a car. A committee has been formed to implement the ruling & will present recommendations within 30 days. Saudi leaders also hope the new policy will help the economy by increasing women’s participation in the workplace.

World Tourism Day

World Tourism Day is commemorated each year on 27 Sept to foster awareness among international community of importance of tourism & its social, cultural & economic value. The theme of this year’s World Tourism Day is ‘sustainable tourism – a tool for development’. The day will be dedicated to exploring the contribution of tourism to the Sustainable Development Goals.

Lourenco sworn in as president of Angola

Joao Lourenco has been sworn in as president of Angola, becoming the first new leader in the oil-rich southern African nation in almost 4 decades. Lourenco, took over from Jose Eduardo dos Santos, who ruled the former Portuguese colony for 38 years. People’s Movement for Liberation of Angola has governed since Angola’s independence from Portugal in 1975, with Dos Santos taking power in 1979.

India to host South Asian boxing C’ship

India will be hosting the South Asian boxing Championship for the first time in Guwahati from December 6 to 10. Pak, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka & Bangladesh will participate in Championship with other SARCC countries. South Asian Champion-ship will be followed by India International Open tournament, the tournament will witness participation from Uzbekistan & Ukraine among other top boxing nations

‘Incredible India’ campaign launched

India has launched a campaign to woo Egyptian travellers & make them aware of the magnificent holiday options in the country. As part of the campaign, 12 buses of transport authority will showcase various tourist destinations in India, including culture, festivals, monuments, landscape, wildlife, people & food. This campaign also aims to connect tour operators of both the countries.

Kandla Port renamed as Deendayal Port

The Ministry of Shipping has issued a notification renaming Kandla Port Trust as Deendayal Port Trust with effect from 25th of September, 2017. Kandla Port, located on the Gulf of Kutch in Gujarat, is one of the 12 major ports in the country. The port’s journey began in 1931 with construction of a jetty by Maharao Khengarji. It is the largest port of India by volume of cargo handled.

Centre launches ‘Divyang Sarathi’

Social Justice & Empowerment Minister Thaawarchand Gehlot launched the Beta version of ‘Divyang Sarathi’, aiming to provide all relevant information pertaining to persons with disabilities. The app would have every information on acts, rules, schemes, employment opportunities, and the disability market. The unique feature is that it converts the written information into an audio file.

Best places to work in India

Google, BHEL and State Bank of India have been named as the top three best places to work in India by leading global job site Indeed. While Amazon grabbed the 4th place, Marriott International was ranked 5th and Intel 6th. The ranking is on the basis of both overall and across individual categories as determined by reviews left by visitors on individual company pages.

Global competitiveness index.

India has been ranked as the 40th most competitive economy slipping 1 place from last year’s ranking on World Economic Forum’s global competitiveness index. On the list of 137 economies, Switzerland is followed by US & Singapore in 2nd & 3rd places, respectively. India’s performance improved in ICT indicators, particularly Internet bandwidth per user, mobile phone & broadband subscriptions.

Maharashtra signs MoU with South Korea

Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis has signed a MoU with South Korean govt seeking assistance in several infrastructure projects planned in the state. MoU will result in increased cooperation for infrastructure projects like development of smart cities, roads, airports, metro etc. Fadnavis also seeked special assistance for his brain child project the Mumbai-Nagpur Samruddhi Corridor project.

RBI caps bank investments

RBI has capped bank investments in private equity funds at 10% while completely prohibiting investments into hedge funds. RBI also permitted banks’ subsidiaries to provide commodity broking services and be a professional clearing member which are subject to risk control measures. Banks can offer broking services to clients on Sebi registered commodity exchanges like MCX & NCDEX.

Airtel deploys Massive MIMO

Bharti Airtel has announced the deployment of India’s first Massive Multiple-Input Multiple-Output (MIMO) technology which is a key enabler for 5G networks. It is a pre-5G technology that will make network future ready for meeting data demand coming from digital revolution & data explosion in India. It helps in improving coverage & reducing interference across users in different beams.

India Mobile Congress 2017

Minister of Communication Manoj Sinha will launch DoT’s 1st ever Mobile, Internet & Technology event in India – India Mobile Congress 2017 in New Delhi. It will be a congregation to display, discuss, unveil, educate and recognise the importance of the global and Indian telecommunications. About 150 foreign delegates and 8 embassies including US, UK & Israel are participating in the event.

Viazovska to receive SASTRA Ramanujan

Maryna Viazovska of Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Lausanne, will receive 2017 SASTRA Ramanujan Prize for her contribution to number theory. She was awarded for her stunning & elegant resolution of celebrated sphere packing problem in dimension 8. SASTRA Ramanujan Prize is awarded annually for outstanding contributions by young mathematicians to areas influenced by Ramanujan.

ADB plans to raise annual lending

Asian Development Bank is planning to raise annual lending to India to a max of $4 bn per year during 2018-22 to accelerate inclusive economic transformation. ADB will focus on boosting economic competitiveness to create well paid jobs, improved access to infrastructure & addressing climate change. In private sector, it will support transport, power and affordable housing among others.

Exim Bank under BRICS mechanism

Cabinet has approved signing of interbank local currency credit line agreement & cooperation memorandum relating to credit ratings by Exim Bank with member banks under BRICS Interbank Cooperation Mechanism. It aims to promote multilateral interaction within the area of mutual interest among BRICS nations Exim Bank finances, facilitates & promotes India’s international trade.

Mega internal security scheme

27 : Govt has approved a Rs. 25,000-crore mega internal security scheme to strengthen country’s law & order mechanism, mordernise police forces & effectively fight against terrorism. It would bolster govts ability to address challenges faced in different theatres such as areas affected by LWE, Jammu & Kashmir & Northeast effectively. This is the biggest ever internal security scheme in the country

Banaj Devi to receive Sarala award

Noted Odia poet and short story writer Banaj Devi will be honoured with the 38th edition of the prestigious Sarala award. She will be honoured for her short story compilation ‘Kathapua’. The annual Sarala Puraskar, recognised as one of the foremost literary awards of the State, comprises a cash award of Rs. 5 lakh along with a citation.

ICC’s new rules to come into effect

ICC’s revamped playing rules are all set to become effective in all series starting September 28. Significant changes include a restriction on the dimensions of the bat & changes to Decision Review System. ICC playing conditions will now incorporate relevant clauses from MCC Laws of Cricket (2017 Code), meaning that all the playing regulations will be captured in 1 document for each format.

Mudra Promotion campaigns

To accelerate self-employment opportunities, Finance Ministry has decided to organise Mudra promotion camps across the country beginning Sep 27 from PM’s constituency Varanasi. The campaign will help promote not only Mudra loans but also spread awareness about digital payment method, financial inclusion and social security schemes. 50 camps, including 1 each in state capitals, will be organised.

Govt eyes 5G roll out by 2020

Govt has set up a high-level 5G committee with a mandate to lay down a roadmap for rollout of the technology by 2020. Under the 5G technology, the government aims to deliver about 10,000 megabits per second in urban areas and 1000 Mbps in rural locations. The 5G forum will comprise secretaries from Department of Telecom, Ministry of Electronics and IT & Department of Science and Technology.

INS Tarasa commissioned into Indian Navy

INS Tarasa, a Water Jet Fast Attack Craft has been commissioned into the Indian Navy It is 50 m long & powered by 3 waterjets which give it speeds of over 35 knots It is armed with a 30 mm main gun indigenously built & a no. of medium & heavy machine guns to undertake coastal defence operations It is the 2nd ship of Indian Navy to be named INS Tarasa. The 1st was in service from 1999 to 2014

Railway line between India, Nepal

After remaining non-functional for the last 3 years the Janakpur-Jayanagar Railway line connecting Nepal and India is expected to become functional by 2018. It is the only railway line that once used to link India with Nepal but after 2014 its service got discontinued. The project will be completed in three phases and is estimated to cost Rs. 5.48 billion, mostly aided by Indian Government.

Rajnath Singh launches PENCIL Portal

Rajnath Singh has launched a web portal called ‘PENCIL’ for effective implementation of National Child Labour Project. PENCIL, Platform for Effective Enforcement for No Child Labour, developed by Labour Ministry, is an electronic platform for no child labour. PENCIL portal has 5 components – Child Tracking System, Complaint Corner, State Govt, National Child Labour Project & Convergence.

Warehousing receipts in e-format

Food Minister Ram Vilas Paswan has rolled out negotiable warehousing receipts in an electronic format that farmers can use to avail of bank credit easily. Negotiable warehouse receipt allows transfer of ownership of that commodity stored in a warehouse without having to deliver the physical commodity. These receipts are issued in the negotiable form, making them eligible as collateral for loans.

New Shareholders of SWIFT India

SWIFT India, that enables trillions of dollars transfers each day has announced that Citibank & Standard Chartered Bank have joined Indian services as shareholders. SWIFT India was formed in 2012 as a joint venture of SWIFT SCRL & 9 banks in India, for domestic financial community & by the community. Shareholders of SWIFT India currently comprise of Axis, BOB, BOI, Canara Bank to name a few.

NAREDCO elects Niranjan Hiranandani

26 : Niranjan Hiranandani has been elected as the new president of realtors body NAREDCO. Niranjan Hiranandani is the founder-chairman of Mumbai- based Hiranandani Group and CMD, Hiranandani Communities. National Real Estate Development Council, a leading industry body of real estate sector, is under the aegis of Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs.

SBI lowers min balance

SBI has lowered the minimum average monthly balance, requirement in a savings account to Rs. 3,000 from Rs. 5,000 and also revised downwards penalties for non-adherence. Bank has decided to treat metro & urban centres in the same category. Bank has also decided to exempt pensioners, beneficiaries of social benefits from govt & minors from the requirement of minimum balance in savings account.

Vision-2025 project

Karnataka govt has launched ‘Vision-2025’ project aimed at evolving a draft policy for the development of the state in next 7 years by seeking an opinion of the public. Officials will collect required information after discussing with public representatives and the general public. They will then bring out a draft vision policy for the year 2025. Karnataka will face the Assembly elections early next year.

Tyagi named among world’s top regulators

According to a report, Sebi Chairman Ajay Tyagi has been named among the top 10 regulators in the world. Tyagi, who took over the reins of SEBI this year, has been ranked at 7th position among the top 10 regulators worldwide. Rankings are part of World’s Most Influential People in Market Structure, also known as Exchange Invest 1000. The list is topped by EU’s Commissioner Margrethe Vestager

Shashi Shankar appointed CMD of ONGC

Shashi Shanker has been appointed as the chairman and managing director of India’s biggest oil and gas producer ONGC. Shankar, at present director (technical and field services), ONGC, will take over the charge as CMD from October 1. He will replace Dinesh K Sarraf, who retires on September 30, upon attaining superannuation age. Shankar will have a nearly 4-year term until March 2021.

SBI opens new branch in Singapore

State Bank of India has opened its sixth branch in Singapore, extending its services in the country’s heartland. The new branch has come up in Ang Mo Kio area, which is popular for its housing estates. The SBI offers the highest interest rates on deposits among other banks in Singapore, handles wealth management, insurance and rupee remittances among a wide range of services.

First social, people-to-people dialogue

The first social & people-to-people dialogue between China & US will be held in Washington. Chinese Vice Premier Liu Yandong will co-chair the dialogue with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. The meeting is one of the four high-level dialogues established during the summit b/w Xi Jinping & Donald Trump. The two sides will exchange views on bilateral issues and cooperation in relevant areas.

Infosys Foundation Signs MoU With IISc

Infosys Foundation has signed a Rs. 5 crore MoU with Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore to enhance infrastructure & broaden research activities at centre for Infectious Diseases Research. The grant will be used towards research, training and creating awareness, about infectious diseases. IISc is a university for research & higher education in all science & engineering disciplines.

ADB Downgrades India’s Growth Projection

Asian Development Bank has downgraded India’s growth projection to 7% for the current fiscal while lowering its forecast for the next financial year as well. In the financial year 2018-19, the forecast has been adjusted down to 7.4%, from 7.6%. Demonetisation and implementation of the new goods and services tax regime have dented consumer spending and business investment.

Mars Orbiter Mission completes 3 years

ISRO’s low-cost Mars Orbiter Mission has completed 3 years in its Martian orbit. The 450 cr MOM mission aims at studying Martian surface & mineral composition. It will scan its atmosphere for methane which is an indicator of life on Mars. ISRO had launched the spacecraft from Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh on Nov 5, 2013. Scientific analysis of data received from the spacecraft is in progress

Nooyi, Kochhar, Shikha on biz women list

2 Indians Chanda Kochhar & Shikha Sharma have made it to the rankings of most powerful women in business outside the US drawn up by Fortune magazine. The list which was topped by Banco Santander group Executive Chairman Ana Botin, placed ICICI Banks Kochhar at 5th spot while Axis Banks Sharma has been ranked 21st. PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi came in at No. 2 on US Most Powerful Women in Business list