Current Affairs for BANK, IBPS Exams - 02 December 2017
Current Affairs for BANK, IBPS Exams - 02 December 2017
Financial Resolution and Deposit Insurance Bill of 2017 to be tabled
Bank depositors’ fears about the safety of their savings — once the
Centre enacts the proposed new law for resolving financial entities’
bankruptcy — may be premature as the legislation is still at the drafting
stage Finance Minister said.
Expected to be tabled in winter session, the Financial Resolution and
Deposit Insurance (FRDI) Bill of 2017 proposes scrapping the Deposit
Insurance and Credit Guarantee Corporation (DICGC) that guarantees repayment
of all bank deposits up to Rs. 1,00,000 in case a stressed bank is
There is ambiguity on how depositors’ savings will be protected in
stressed banks and other financial entities under the new law, which also
includes a ‘bail-in’ option to resolve financial entities’ stress.
A bail-in option entails a bank issuing securities in lieu of the money
deposited in its coffers. Asked about the implications of this clause, Mr.
Jaitley said the drafting process of the Bill was still under way and it
could be reviewed as part of the regular drafting process for new
Instead of the DICGC, the Bill envisages a Resolution Corporation under
the Finance Ministry with representatives from the stock market and banking,
insurance and pension fund regulators.
Lenders, which have to pay a premium to the DICGC for insuring deposits
of up to Rs. 1 lakh, would have to pay a sum to the Resolution Corporation
as per the proposed Bill. But it is silent on the insured amount.
“The Corporation shall, in consultation with the appropriate regulator,
specify the total amount payable by the Corporation with respect to any one
depositor, as to his deposit insured under this Act, in the same capacity
and in the same right,” the draft Bill states.
The Corporation will be given a year’s time to resolve problems facing
firms in trouble.
Polavaram project to be kept on held
The State government, which is pushing the envelope to complete the
Polavaram project as per schedule, was caught off guard when the Centre
indicated that it needed to put everything on hold.
Though the State government is giving top priority to the project, the
Centre is showing in more than one way that it does not share the enthusiasm
of the State.
After telling the State government that it had to make adjustments at
several meetings, it is now writing letters asking it to literally stop
Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu has said time and again that water
will be released into the right and left main canals of the project by
gravity in June 2018.
Most of the spillway and the coffer dam built upstream the ECRF should
be completed to be able to fulfil the promise.
The 174-km right main canal (PRMC) is complete, and this year over 100
tmcft water lifted by the Pattiseema Lift Irrigation Scheme was used to
irrigate Krishna delta. Work however needs to be done on the left main
The efforts of the State government notwithstanding, the Central Water
Resources Department (WRD) wrote to the NHPC to look into the design of the
coffer dam and asked the corporation to see if there was a need for a coffer
dam at all.
It also ordered the A.P. government to ‘put on hold’ work on seepage
cutoff wall and any other structure of the coffer dam “till advice of NHPC
Since then an expert committee of the NHPC has visited the site once,
but it is yet to give its advice.
Unless the ECRF dam and the spillway are built simultaneously, water
cannot be sent into the canals by gravity. As per schedule, work on the
coffer dam should begin not later than December 1, but in the changed
situation it may take a while before the NHPC experts come out with a
The State government tried to go ahead with the coffer dam as
recommended by the Dam Design Review Panel (DDRP).
The reasons cited for keeping on hold part of the tenders are unfounded,
irrigation officials said. “The Centre seems to be afraid of the existing
contractor,” said a senior engineer.
Centre asks views of state on a draft law on triple-talaq
The Centre wrote to the States asking for their views on a draft law
that imposes a maximum of three-year jail term on a Muslim man for giving
instant triple talaq — or talaq e biddat — to his wife.
The government was set to introduce the Bill in the winter session of
Parliament, which starts on December 15. Once the proposed Muslim Women
Protection of Rights on Marriage Bill is approved by Parliament, it will
cover all cases of instant triple talaq across the country, except in Jammu
The draft has been prepared by a Group of Ministers, headed by Home
Minister Rajnath Singh. Other members are External Affairs Minister Sushma
Swaraj, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad and
his deputy P.P. Chaudhary, and the junior Minister in the PMO Jitender
As per the provisions of the draft bill, a husband who resorts to
instant triple talaq can be jailed up to three years and fined.
Union Cabinet approved the launch of National Nutrition Mission
The Union Cabinet approved the launch of National Nutrition Mission with
a target to reduce malnutrition and low birth weight by 2% each year. The
government has budgeted Rs. 9,046 crore for the mission for a period of
More than 10 crore people will be benefited by this programme. All the
States and districts will be covered in a phased manner; to begin with, the
worst-affected 315 districts will be targeted this financial year.
The core idea behind the mission is to converge all the existing
programmes on a single platform.
“One Ministry alone working in its own silo can’t achieve this,” Women
and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi said.
For example, the Pradhan Mantri Matruvandana Yojana, which provides
support to pregnant and lactating women, works under the Ministry of Women
and Child Development; while Mission Indradhanush, which seeks to increase
rates of complete immunisation of women and children, is under the Ministry
The mission targets to bring down stunting in children. As per the
National Family Health Survey, 38.4% of children in India have stunted
The mission plans to bring this down to 25% by 2022. It also aims to bring
down anaemia among children, women and adolescent girls by 3% every year.
There remains confusion over whether or not Aadhaar is mandatory for all
beneficiaries, many of who are children below the age of three years.
Women and Child Development secretary R.K. Shrivastava said it was
mandatory, but no beneficiary would be denied benefits for the lack of
Navy is alive to threat from Chinese submarine in Gulf of Aden
Referring to the Chinese deployment of submarines for anti-piracy
patrols in the Gulf of Aden, the Chief of the Naval Staff, Admiral Sunil
Lanba, on Friday said it was an “odd task” for a submarine to perform.
China has actively deployed ships and submarines in the Indian Ocean in
the name of anti-piracy measures and the frequency has steadily gone up.
Several U.S. military officers too have expressed similar views in the
past. On this note, Admiral Lanba said the Navy had “carried out threat
assessment of PLAN submarines.”
In a related development, India and Singapore are in the process of
discussing the modalities of the overarching naval cooperation agreement
signed in presence of the two Defence Ministers earlier this week.
After much deliberation, the Indian Navy has decided to go ahead with a
conventionally powered reactor instead of a nuclear-powered one for its
second Indigenous Aircraft Carrier (IAC-II).
Govt of Niger has given permission to USA to fly armed drones out of the
The government of Niger has given the Defense Department permission to
fly armed drones out of the capital, Niamey, Pentagon officials said, in a
major expansion of the U.S. military’s footprint in Africa.
A memorandum of understanding between the U.S. and Niger, which was
finalised this week, calls for the remotely piloted aircraft to be armed
initially, by the military’s Africa Command, at the Nigerien air base in
Niamey where they are currently deployed without arms.
The drones, the memo says, will eventually be moved to a Nigerien air
base in Agadez, where U.S. troops will also be deployed.
Pentagon officials said the new mission likely would increase the number
of U.S. troops in Niamey, from the 800 who are there now. About 500 of those
troops now deployed in Niger would move to the base in Agadez.
The Pentagon has been trying for two years to get permission from the
Nigerien government to put precision-guided bombs and missiles on a fleet of
Reapers to be flown out of Niamey.
While the U.S. has been able to reach Yemeni, Somali and Libyan targets
from bases in Djibouti and southern Italy, its reach in West Africa has been
The Niger deployment would be only the second time that armed drones
have been stationed and used in Africa.
Drones now based in Djibouti are used in Yemen and Somalia, where there
have been 30 strikes this year against al-Shabab and Islamic State targets,
twice the number than in all of 2016. Drones used in Libya fly from Italy.
::Business and Economy::
Centre significantly eased the auction rules to rekindle investor interest
More than two years after it introduced auctions as a means to allot
mining rights for major minerals, the Centre significantly eased the auction
rules in a bid to rekindle investor interest in a process that has been
marred by failed auctions.
While 33 blocks of minerals have been successfully auctioned since May
2015, when the mineral auction rules were introduced, as many as 60 auctions
have flopped for lack of interest.
The development assumes significance as the Centre is looking to auction
more than 100 blocks over the next 15 months with a potential value of about
Rs. 2 lakh crore.
States can now allocate blocks even if there are less than three bidders
in the fray during the second round of auction, as opposed to the existing
rule that requires the process to be annulled if there are less than three
bidders in the first three rounds.
In a bid to expand the pool of prospective bidders, net worth
requirements have also been relaxed. For an average annual output of up to
Rs. 2 crore, bidders now need a net worth of just Rs. 0.5 crore.
Similarly, for an average annual output of up to Rs. 20 crore, the net
worth norm has been slashed from Rs. 40 crore to Rs. 10 crore.
Rigid end-use conditions on minerals excavated from a block, have been
done away with. Miners can now dispose of 25% of unused low-grade ore.
The Centre aims to spur increased interest in the upcoming auctions — 34
mineral blocks are in the pipeline for the rest of 2017-18. The new norms
also have a clause to discourage miners from ‘squatting’ on mine leases.
Fitch Ratings said the banking sector outlook could be changed
Fitch Ratings said the banking sector outlook may be revised to stable
from negative in 2018 if the Centre’s Rs. 2.11 lakh crore capital infusion
plan is well executed.
“If the government front-loads a substantial part of the capital
injection — as is generally expected — Fitch may revise the sector outlook
to stable during 2018 — provided there is greater clarity on operational
details and timelines associated with the recapitalisation exercise,” Fitch
It had been maintaining negative sector outlook on Indian banks for many
Fitch also said the exercise should go a long way in plugging the
capital gap amid expectations of more haircuts and subdued earnings.
The timing of injection will be crucial due to the beneficial impact it
can have on both the pace of non-performing loan (NPL) resolution — where
banks have been hesitant to accept large haircuts due to the potential
capital impact — and banks’ ability to raise capital at better valuations.
Fitch said recapitalisation coupled with resolution of some large NPL
accounts could mean that asset-quality parameters may eventually witness
some stability after FY18.
“Credit growth is likely to recover gradually, but a sharp uptick is
ruled out until balance sheets are cleaned up,” it added.
Manufacturing activity improved in November to its highest level in a year
Manufacturing activity improved in November to its highest level since
October 2016 on the back of growth in new orders and output, a private
sector survey showed.
The Nikkei India Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index recorded a
value of 52.6 in November, up from 50.3 in October. A value above 50 denotes
an expansion in activity, while one below 50 implies contraction.
“The Indian manufacturing sector recorded its strongest improvement in
business conditions for 13 months, recording marked and accelerated
increases in output and new orders,” the report said.
“Furthermore, manufacturing companies observed a renewed increase in new
export orders during November.”
On employment, the report said greater production requirements in
November led to the fastest rate in employment creation since September
2012. “The upward movement in the headline index was driven by a marked
increase in output,” it said.
“Furthermore, the rate of expansion quickened to the strongest since
October 2016. A combination of higher order book volumes and a decrease in
GST rates reportedly contributed to greater production.”
However, the report said, the rate of growth in production was still
lower than the long-term trend witnessed since the survey was started in