Current Affairs for BANK, IBPS Exams - 03 December 2017

Bank Exam Current Affairs

Current Affairs for BANK, IBPS Exams - 03 December 2017

::National::

Bitcoin implicated in several crimes being investigated by police

  • Bitcoin, dubbed a bubble by economist Joseph Stiglitz, has been implicated in several crimes being investigated by police, the Narcotics Control Bureau and the Enforcement Directorate.
  • The value of the cryptocurrency soared from $1,000 a unit to $10,000 last week, before dipping. India’s policy on Bitcoin regulation is still evolving and no legal framework exists.
  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has cautioned against its use, informing users, holders, investors and traders dealing with virtual currencies that they are doing so at their own risk.
  • Investigating agencies worry about the absence of controls. They see any transaction using cryptocurrency and involving foreign exchange as a contravention of the FEMA and the FEM (Manner of Receipt & Payment) Regulations.\
  • Yet, domestic digital exchanges and platforms have been facilitating sale of cryptocurrency, while the Reserve Bank of India says it has not licensed any entity for this.
  • The role played by such virtual currency payments in crime has been recorded by the global Financial Action Task Force, an inter-governmental body. It says these are potential modes for money laundering and funding of terrorist activities.

High level bilateral consultation between US and India continues

  • As part of continuing high-level bilateral consultations, U.S. President Donald Trump spoke with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, a press release from the White House announced.
  • he two leaders discussed the just-concluded Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES) in Hyderabad in which Ivanka Trump, daughter of the U.S. President, participated as chief guest.
  • The telephone conversation was the first since the two leaders met in Manila on the sidelines of the ASEAN and East Asia Summit on November 13.
  • Mr Trump’s phone call came hours after former U.S. President Barack Obama was hosted by Mr. Modi in Hyderabad House.
  • The GES in Hyderabad highlighted women entrepreneurs and supporting economic growth globally.
  • “For all of our progress, gender divides on access to technology, nutrition, and health, preventing women, their families, and their communities from reaching their full potential,” State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert had said.

Salil S. Parekh will be the new CEO of Infosys

  • Infosys Ltd. named Capgemini veteran Salil S. Parekh as Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director, filling the vacancy created at the top following the sudden resignation of Vishal Sikka on August 18.
  • Mr. Parekh, who holds Master of Engineering degrees in Computer Science and Mechanical Engineering from Cornell University and was a member of the Group Executive Board at Capgemini, will join Infosys on January 2, 2018.
  • Mr. Parekh will need to tap all of that experience given that he would be taking the helm in the wake of a trying period for the company that saw its co-founder N.R. Narayana Murthy engage in a very public spat with Mr. Sikka and Infosys’s erstwhile board over issues of corporate governance.
  • Following Mr. Sikka’s abrupt departure, Infosys had restructured its board and brought back Mr. Nilekani, another co-founder and former CEO, as non-executive chairman with a mandate to help find a new executive leader and restore confidence among customers and employees.

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::International::

China-Myanmar economic corridor is a step closer

  • Beijing and Naypyidaw have moved a step closer to negotiating the China-Myanmar economic corridor, an initiative being given high priority on account of the stalled Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar (BCIM) connectivity proposal.
  • Chinese President Xi Jinping on Friday advocated that Beijing and Naypyidaw should “nurture new growth points, such as discussing the construction of China-Myanmar economic corridor, so as to advance bilateral ties,” Xinhua reported.
  • Mr. Xi made these remarks during a meeting with visiting State Counsellor from Myanmar Aung San Suu Kyi. On her part, Ms. Suu Kyi “agreed with China’s proposal of building the Myanmar-China economic corridor,” the report said.
  • President Xi’s backing for the corridor followed last month’s announcement of the plan in Myanmar by Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi. During his visit to Myanmar, Mr. Wang said the Y-shaped corridor could start from China’s Yunnan province and head towards Mandalay in Myanmar.
  • From there, it could extend towards the east and west to Yangon New City and Kyaukphyu Special Economic Zone in the Rakhine province.
  • Mr. Wang had also proposed a three-point plan to resolve the Rohingya refugee crisis, for which Ms. Suu Kyi has been widely criticised in the West.
  • Ethnic Rohingya have flooded into neighbouring Bangladesh amid allegations of human rights abuses by Myanmar’s military.

Japan ramping up its interest in India’s talent pool

  • Increasing protectionism in the U.S., combined with the trend of Western firms choosing to retain Indian talent locally, means that global opportunities for Indian IT professionals are getting squeezed.
  • But even as the technology sun may be setting in the West, it could be rising in the East, with Japan ramping up its interest in India’s talent pool.
  • Japan’s shrinking demographics are causing a rethink of the archipelago’s notoriously immigrant-averse outlook. In 2016, only 9,80,000 babies were born in Japan, down from 2 million in 1975.
  • The working age population is predicted to decline from 77 million in 2015 to 67 million in 2030. Unsurprisingly, more than half the companies surveyed recently by Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, say they have an interest in recruiting from overseas.
  • To boost skilled immigration, Tokyo now allows foreign professionals to get permanent residency in Japan after living in the country for one to three years.
  • Japan’s shortfall in talent in the IT sector is acute. The country already suffers a lacuna of 2,00,000 IT engineers, which is expected to grow to 8,00,000 by 2030.
  • India is a fertile hunting ground for new talent. Yohei Shibasaki, CEO of Fourth Valley Concierge Corp, a headhunting firm based in Tokyo, says he has begun recruiting from 30 Indian universities, including the IITs.
  • Some of these challenges have eased. In particular, a few Indian schools have opened in Tokyo. Housing with simpler rules for renting is also increasingly available, and areas with a preponderance of Indians, like Nishikasai in eastern Tokyo, have emerged.

::Business and Economy::

Much higher investment in retail sector in Tier-2 and Tier-3 cities

  • The retail sector in Tier-2 and Tier-3 cities has witnessed a much higher investment of $6.2 billion between 2006 and 2017, as against $1.3 billion of the same in Tier-1 metro cities during the same period, according to a CII-JLL report.
  • Factors including lack of space in retail malls in metro cities, increasing lease rentals in metro malls, and high land prices in Tier-1 cities have made it difficult for retailers to own real estate in metros, it said.
  • These factors, the report added, had become a deterrent for expansion and growth of malls in big cities. The report said various global and local brands plan their expansion in Tier 2 cities due to factors like international airport connectivity and rising levels of disposable income.
  • The report identified 20 cities, including Tier-2 cities such as Lucknow, Jaipur, Chandigarh, Kochi, Patna, Bhubaneshwar, Indore and Nagpur among the leading cities, as the next retail destinations in the country.
  • Releasing the report, Commerce and Industry Minister Suresh Prabhu said, “Retail business must take into account the social issues. The organised retail should be done in a manner that it does not affect the social challenges.
  • "They should create more employment, should not displace the retailer who already are in business for years.”
  • Organised retail armed with huge capital and unorganised retail should create a win-win situation for the growth of the sector. Citing the huge wastage of fruits and vegetables due insufficient cold storage facilities, he asked the retail industry to consider setting up a proper supply chain.
  • The Minister said that the government was considering a proposal to set up a hub for exports of vegetables and fruits, adding that his ministry was in discussions with the Civil Aviation ministry in this regard.
  • The e-commerce sector had the potential to create millions of jobs and that the government was keen to ensure mobile connectivity across the country in this regard, Mr. Prabhu said.

::Science and Tech::

All about bio-informatics

  • The human body is made up of cells, tiny factories that perform much of the action in the body. They make up tissues, which make up organs, which in turn make up the body.
  • The cell is thus the ultimate action site. What cells do is governed by the information packed inside its head office — the nucleus. The information there is packed in the collection of chromosomes, each of which has this information written in the collection of genes.
  • Genes contain this information for what a cell does, and hence the tissues and organs do, and the body itself does. An error in the information contained in one or several of the genes can reflect itself in the form of a malfunction in the tissue, organ or the body.
  • This information in the genes is written in the form of DNA molecules, each of which is a long sequence of four molecules, known as ‘bases’, strung together in a long polymeric chain.
  • While the English alphabet has 26 letters and punctuation marks, the alphabet of the genes has four bases, called A, G, C and T, as letters. The sequence in which these are arranged makes the genetic words and punctuation marks.
  • The human genome is the collection of information contained in the genes packed into the chromosomes, which in turn are packed inside the nucleus of cells.
  • Our genome is thus our book of life containing chromosomes as chapters, each packed in sentences written in the genes, which in turn are coded in the collection and sequence of the four-letter genetic alphabet.
  • It is an interesting fact of biological history that we had already started learning about and identifying genes before we understood the nature and chemical structure of DNA and the genetic code.
  • That certain traits such as haemophilia run in families was understood as faults in genes, though how to read them in molecular terms was still far away.
  • Proteins in the body are made from the message inscribed in the genes. While it became possible to read the sequence of bases in the DNA of genes only in the last 50 years or so, reading the sequence of amino acids in protein chains became popular even by the 1950s.
  • Errors of this type in protein sequences often arise due to errors in the sequence of the parent genes. Once it became possible to read the sequence of the DNA in genes, it led to an understanding of the genetic basis behind the disease, and the field of medical genetics was born.
  • With the rapid pace in which gene sequencing has developed in the last two decades, medical genetics has flowered fast. Cancer genetics is a busy area, and a study of the genes associated with cancer has become popular.
  • So has the field of understanding the genetic connection to Alzheimer’s and similar neural disorders.

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