General Awareness Updates (December 2014)media. General Awareness Updates (December 2014) GA Updates

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Transcript of General Awareness Updates (December 2014)media. General Awareness Updates (December 2014) GA Updates

  • Bank Test Prep

    General Awareness Updates (December 2014)

    GA Updates (December 2014) Page : 1


    Kisan Vikas Patra: a re-launch with very few justifications

    Despite some criticism and misgivings in certain quarters, the government has decided to re-introduce the Kisan Vikas Patra (KVP), a savings instrument that was discontinued three years ago. Positioned as a savings instrument in line with other continuing ‘small savings schemes’ such as the Public Provident Fund (PPF) and the National Savings Certificates (NSCs), the new KVP, like its predecessor, has certain advantages as well as disadvantages over these.

    Ranbaxy launches arthritis drug Infimab

    Ranbaxy Laboratories launched the first biosimilar version of Johnson and Johnson’s Remicade, a drug used for treating various conditions including rheumatoid arthritis. Infimab has been introduced in the domestic market through a licensing partnership with Epirus Biopharmaceuticals.

    Vijay Mallya quits MCFL board

    UB group Chairman Vijay Mallya has resigned from the board of directors of Mangalore Chemicals & Fertilizers Ltd (MCFL) with immediate effect.

    Assam tops in pulses production

    Assam has been selected as the “Best Performing State” in production of pulses. It was chosen for the Krishi Karman award for 2013-14. This was the third consecutive year that Assam has been selected for Krishi Karman award of the Government of India for its achievement in production of pulses.

    IOC is India's biggest company: Fortune 500 list

    State-run Indian Oil Corporation is the country's largest company in terms of revenue, followed by Reliance Industries and Bharat Petroleum in the second and third place respectively, according to the Fortune 500 list of Indian companies for 2014. Indian Oil Corp (IOC) tops the chart with an annual revenue of ` 5,00,973 crore, while Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries Ltd's (RIL) full-year revenue is ` 4,44,021 crore. Bharat Petroleum (BPCL) is at the third spot with a revenue of ` 2,67,718 crore. Hindustan Petroleum's (HPCL) ` 2,36,797 crore revenue earned the fourth place in the Fortune 500 list.

    Arunachal Pradesh signs pact with Russian power company

    Arunachal Pradesh has roped in RusHydro International, a company partly owned by the Russian government, to explore collaboration prospects in creating manpower for the several hydro-electric projects coming up in the state.

    RTGS business hours increased to 12 hours on weekdays

    To promote electronic payments, the Reserve Bank of India has increased the Real Time Gross Settlement (RTGS) business hours to 12 hours from 8 am to 8 pm on weekdays which will come into effect from December 29, 2014. The RBI in a circular said that the RTGS system of online fund transfer will be open on Saturdays from 8 am to 3.30 pm. The existing business hours are 9 am to 4.30 pm on weekdays and till 2 pm on Saturdays. To keep enhancing the systems and procedures to meet the growing needs of

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    General Awareness Updates (December 2014)

    GA Updates (December 2014) Page : 2

    markets/customers and to cater to the expanding volume and to provide liquidity, the RBI launched the new RTGS system in October 2013.

    Cooptex launches e-commerce portal

    Hoping to tap the growing e-commerce business potential, Tamil Nadu Handloom Weavers' Cooperative Society 'Co-optex' has launched its online shopping portal offering a range of silk and cotton saris. Cooptex markets handloom fabrics produced in Tamil Nadu. The State run organisation has a network of 203 showrooms spread all over India with an annual turnover of around 1000 Crore rupees.

    RBI imposes penalty on ICICI bank, Bank of Baroda

    The Reserve Bank of India has imposed monetary penalty on ICICI bank and Bank of Baroda for violation of its instructions regarding norms on KYC-know your customer and AML-anti money laundering etc. RBI press release informed that ` 5 million and ` 2.50 million were imposed on the respective banks.

    Cabinet approves GST Constitutional Amendment Bill

    The Union Cabinet has approved the Constitutional Amendment Bill on Goods & Services Tax (GST), inching closer to the rollout of an ambitious indirect tax reform expected to raise revenues and boost growth. The government aims to implement GST by April 1, 2016 and has been working overtime to get states on board.

    Swiss National Bank imposes negative interest rates

    The Swiss National Bank said it would impose negative interest rates on cash held by other banks at the central bank, seeking to discourage safe-haven buying by investors anxious about the crisis in Russia and oil’s slide. The SNB said it would impose an interest rate of -0.25 per cent on sight deposit account balances of over 10 million Swiss francs and expand its three-month Libor target range to -0.75 per cent to 0.25 per cent. The measures will take effect from January 22, 2015. The franc, the most liquid safe-haven currency after the Japanese yen, has stuck close to the 1.20 limit as fears of a full-blown crisis in Russia and economic weakness globally prompted investors to seek safety.

    CBDT signs first bilateral Advance Pricing Agreement

    The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has signed a bilateral Advance Pricing Agreement (APA) with a Japanese company. This is India’s first bilateral APA. The APA is for five years. APAs will improve the investment climate in the country, it said, adding the APA has been finalised in a period of about one-and-a- half years, which is shorter than time normally taken in finalising APAs internationally. The scheme has been introduced to bring about certainty and uniformity in transfer pricing matters of multinational companies and reducing litigation.

    India’s uranium production dips 15%

    At a time when India is trying to ramp up its uranium import, domestic production of the yellow cake has declined by 10-15% after operations in the country's oldest and richest uranium mine in Jaduguda, Jharkhand, were stopped by the state government. The department of atomic energy sources said it has taken steps to increase production from other mines to maintain supply, but low quality of ore from other mines has led to a rise in production cost. The Jaduguda mine was in uninterrupted operation since 1968. Of its daily production

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    General Awareness Updates (December 2014)

    GA Updates (December 2014) Page : 3

    of 5000 tonnes, UCIL mined 700 tonnes of ore. The Jharkhand government stopped mining of uranium from Jaduguda on September 6, 2014 as UCIL's lease had expired.

    Deutsche becomes India’s top dealmaker

    Deutsche Bank has emerged as India's top dealmaker by fees earned during 2014. The European giant grossed $31 million in investment banking revenue, moving up from the fifth position it held in the previous calendar. Wall Street biggie Citigroup retained the second position collecting $27 million in a year when i- banking fees declined nearly 13% from $398 million to $347 million. Standard Chartered Bank, with $25 million and 7.3% share, came third — up from sixth place last time. Credit Suisse and JP Morgan were neck and neck, clocking $20 million in fees with 5.7% share each, while Axis Bank came in sixth with 4.5% share.

    RBI extends deadline for withdrawal of pre-2005 currency notes

    The deadline for exchanging pre-2005 currency notes of various denominations, including 500 and 1,000 rupees, has been extended by another six months till June 30, 2015. The RBI said that all such notes will continue to remain legal tender, adding that they can be exchanged for their full value. The central bank said that currency notes issued before 2005 do not have the year of printing on the reverse side. In notes issued post 2005, the year of printing is visible at the bottom on the reverse. The RBI said, post-2005 notes have added security features and help in curbing the menace of fake currency.

    S. Bhattacharya appointed Coal India CMD

    Senior IAS officer S. Bhattacharya has been appointed as the Chairman and Managing Director of Coal India Ltd. (CIL). The coal major was without a full time chief for the past six months. The Public Enterprises Selection Board had recommended the name of Mr. S. Bhattacharya, a 1985 batch IAS officer, for the post of Chairman and Managing Director of CIL. Mr. Bhattacharya takes over the charge from Additional Secretary (Coal) A. K. Dubey, who was given the additional charge as CMD of CIL from June 26. Mr. Bhattacharya is currently the CMD of Singareni Collieries Company.

    LPG cash transfers world’s largest social benefit drive

    Pahal, or Direct Benefit Transfer Scheme for LPG (DBTL), has already surpassed Brazil's famous Bolsa Familia programme, the centrepiece of former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva's social policy, and a similar project in China in terms of the number of beneficiaries. Some 2.3 crore LPG consumers were added and 1.8 crore, or 75%, of them brought under the scheme's ambit since it was re-launched in 54 districts with a simplified mechanism on November 15. About ` 549 crore subsidy was transferred. A total of 5.38 crore of the 15.38 crore consumers have their bank accounts or Aadhaar numbers linked for directly receiving cash subsidy. In comparison, Bolsa Familia is estimated to cover about 12 lakh and the Chinese programme 18 lakh.

    Trevor Bull, CEO of Aviva Life

    Aviva Life Insurance said it has appointed Trevor Bull as the Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director for its