Current Affairs for BANK, IBPS Exams - 06 March 2018

Bank Exam Current Affairs

Current Affairs for BANK, IBPS Exams - 06 March 2018


Saposhi: A New Malware threat

  • A new threat looms large on the horizon of cyberspace.
  • After Mirai and Reaper, cybersecurity agencies have detected a new malware called Saposhi, which is capable of taking over electronic devices and turning them into bots.
  • These can then be used for any purpose, including a Distributed Denial of Service attack which, with enough firepower, can cripple entire industries.
  • A senior cyberpolice officer that Saposhi was detected around 15 days ago, and is currently being watched and studied.
  • “Saposhi is similar in its intensity to Reaper, which was taking over millions of devices at the rate of 10,000 devices per day. Various cybersecurity agencies are currently keeping tabs on it to get a better idea of what it is capable of,” he said.
  • In October last year, the Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT), a Central government body that deals with cyberattacks, had issued an alert about Reaper.
  • It is a highly evolved malware capable of not only hacking devices like Wi-Fi routers and security cameras, but also hiding its own presence in the bot — a device taken over by a malware.
  • Sources said that while the CERT has not yet issued any alert regarding Saposhi, guidelines for protecting devices from Saposhi are likely to be issued in the days to come.
  • Malwares like Saposhi, Reaper and Mirai are primarily aimed at DDoS attacks, in which the malware first creates a network of bots — called a botnet — and then uses the botnet to ping a single server at the same time.
  • As the number of pings are far beyond the server’s capacity, the server crashes and denies service to its consumers.
  • For example, if a large botnet attacks the server of a fleet cab provider, its server will crash, and scores of consumers will be unable to avail of its services, causing chaos in daily commuting as well as massive losses to the company.
  • In July 2016, small and medium internet service providers in Maharashtra fell prey to a DDoS attack, which caused disruption in the services of several Internet Service Providers (ISP) in the State.
  • Another malware, Mirai, using a botnet of 5 lakh devices, had caused the servers of Dyn, a leading domain name service provider, to crash, affecting services of popular websites like Twitter, Netflix and Reddit.

‘Ama Gaon, Ama Bikas’ programme by Odisha Govt.

  • In a new initiative, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Monday launched the ‘Ama Gaon, Ama Bikas’ (Our village, Our development) programme from the State Secretariat to reach out to people in rural areas and involve them in the development process.
  • The programme was launched on the occasion of the birth anniversary of former Chief Minister Biju Patnaik, which is observed as Panchayati Raj Day in the State every year.
  • Mr. Patnaik reminded the people about Biju Patnaik’s contribution to strengthen the Panchayati Raj institutions in the State.
  • He interacted with people of four gram panchayats -- Narayanpatna panchayat in Koraput district, Khairabad panchayat in Jajpur district, Sasana panchayat in Sambalpur district and Sanakuda panchayat in Ganjam district – through videoconferencing during the inaugural session.
  • During his interaction with Panchayati Raj representatives, Mr. Patnaik sanctioned a sum of ₹2 crore for as many as 32 projects in the four panchayats and stressed the need for their early completion.
  • The panchayats were selected on the basis of performance of the Panchayati Raj institutions and the need for development work in those areas.
  • Video vans were sent in advance to the panchayats concerned to facilitate the programme.
  • According to official sources, Mr. Patnaik will hold such interactions twice a week to discuss with the people at the panchayat level about development of villages and pass orders as necessary.
  • A series of mini-marathons and meetings were organised by different government and voluntary organisations as well as the ruling Biju Janata Dal in Bhubaneswar and other places during the day to pay tribute to the memory of Biju Patnaik.

1st Day of budget Session in Haryana

  • The Haryana Government announced that a Cooperative Election Authority would be set up in the State for supervising the election process in cooperative bodies.
  • Haryana Governor Kaptan Singh Solanki, addressing the Assembly on the first day of the budget session, said that the government believes in strengthening the cooperative sector to enable people to capitalise on their collective strength.
  • “The government has taken a historic step by approving establishment of a Cooperative Election Authority for superintendence, direction and control of the election process in the cooperative organisations,” he said.
  • He said that during this year, cooperative banks had extended loans amounting to ₹5,414.01 crore to the State’s farmers up to January 2018; 1.23 million Kisan Credit Cards have also been issued till December 2017.
  • Mr. Solanki said that the State government was giving final touches to a comprehensive State action plan on sexual and gender-based violence to address all major components of crime afflicting women and children in the State.
  • “The action plan would clearly delineate the responsibilities of various stakeholders on the steps to be taken by them in a time-bound manner. The government is committed to empowering women so that they may live with dignity and contribute as equal partners in the development process in an environment free from violence and discrimination,” the Governor said.
  • On the controversial issue of the Sutlej-Yamuna Link canal, Mr. Solanki said the “concerted efforts” of the government have resulted in a favourable verdict from the Supreme Court on a presidential reference.
  • Since then has been vigorously pursuing the matter for initiation of the long-pending construction work on the remaining portion of the canal.

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India-China Engagement

  • India and China are seeking to step up the pace in improving ties, with two high-level ministerial meetings this month leading to a summit meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping, and a slew of engagements through the year.
  • “The leaders had decided during their [post-Doklam] Xiamen meeting in August last year that they must heighten the frequency and level of meetings, and we hope to see many more engagements in 2018 than before,” a senior diplomat said.
  • He referred to 2017 as a “difficult year” for ties, with the 73-day Doklam standoff and differences over Masood Azhar and the Nuclear Suppliers Group membership raising temperatures.
  • In signs that the two sides are also setting the stage for more harmonious dealings ahead, China agreed to Pakistan’s nomination to the FATF grey list on terror finance last month, while New Delhi has reportedly asked officials to be careful of China’s sensitivities.
  • Sources said the Defence Ministry had put off its Institute of Defence Strategic Analysis (IDSA) Asian Security Conference scheduled for March 6 to 8 ,which was expected to take a more hawkish line on Chinese security policy and the Belt and Road initiative (BRI).
  • “It appears India doesn’t want hard opinions on China aired from the government’s most prominent defence think-tank,” a source privy to the decision said.
  • Later this month, the government will host Guo Yezhou, Vice- Minister of the International Department of the Communist Party of China (CPC), a key figure in the party overseeing foreign policy formulation.
  • The dates of Mr. Guo’s visit, who will be part of a high- level delegation, have not been confirmed yet, primarily because of the ongoing session of the National People’s Congress (NPC), China’s parliament, which will continue till March 20.
  • Meanwhile, Chinese Commerce Minister Zhong Shan or his deputy are expected to visit for talks with Commerce Minister Suresh Prabhu aimed at improving trade imbalances.
  • Officials hope they will attend an informal ministerial meeting of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) organised by the Commerce Ministry on March 19 and 20.
  • The WTO ministerial meeting is being seen as a significant platform of countries worried by the U.S.’s tough position on tariffs and President Donald Trump’s threats of a “trade war”, even as he called the WTO a “disaster for America”.
  • The next important engagement will be the India-China strategic economic dialogue, held between officials of the NITI Aayog and China’s top planning body, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC).
  • “This is a highly important dialogue where the nuts and bolts of specific projects in five different areas will be discussed threadbare,” a diplomatic source said.
  • Five working groups will hold detailed discussions on infrastructure, energy, hi-technology, investments and resource conservation.
  • Mr. Modi is expected to meet President Xi in June at the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit in Qingdao.
  • But at least two officials did not rule out the possibility of an “informal summit” before that.
  • All eyes are also on India’s participation at the Boao Forum for Asia (BFA) meeting in Beijing from April 8 to 11, which is China’s equivalent of the World Economic Forum.
  • In November, India has agreed in principle to participate in the high-profile import exhibition in Shanghai, despite reservations about China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).


Additional Liquidity of Rs.1 lakh crore to banks

  • The Reserve Bank on Monday said it would inject additional liquidity of Rs. 1 lakh crore in banks through longer tenor instruments to enable flexibility towards meeting their fund needs.
  • This is to address additional demand for liquidity and with a view to providing flexibility to the banking system in its liquidity management towards March-end.
  • It was “prepared to inject adequate additional liquidity using a combination of appropriate instruments.”
  • This will be in addition to normal Liquidity Adjustment Facility (LAF) operations.
  • “After reviewing the current and evolving liquidity conditions in the banking system, it has been decided to conduct additional variable rate repo operations for longer tenors to provide additional liquidity support to banks in March 2018,” it said.
  • The RBI will conduct four variable rate term repo auctions of Rs. 25,000 crore each in March 2018.
  • Karthik Srinivasan, ICRA, said the proposed injection of additional liquidity “should help cap the short-term rates and also aid in lowering the rate volatilities” for the rest of the month.

Aim to enhance entrepreneurship: Committee

  • The Centre has set up a steering committee under the chairmanship of the Economic Affairs Secretary to look into the development and regulation of the fintech sector in India, it said.
  • The move follows an announcement by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in the Budget.
  • The objective of the panel is “to consider various issues relating to development of fintech space in India with a view to make fintech-related regulations more flexible and generate enhanced entrepreneurship in an area where India has distinctive comparative strengths vis-à-vis other emerging economies”.
  • The panel will also focus on how fintech can be leveraged to enhance financial inclusion of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises.
  • The panel will also include among its members
  1. the Electronics and Information Technology Secretary,
  2. the Financial Services Secretary, the MSME Secretary,
  3. the Chairperson of the Central Board of Excise and Customs,
  4. Chief Executive Officer of the Unique Identification Authority of India,
  5. a Deputy Governor of the Reserve Bank of India and
  6. a Joint Secretary Department of Economic

Infosys Report on Digitalisation in India

  • Companies are facing an “ever-increasing” pressure to be more open, responsive and efficient with more ‘hype’ and emphasis being placed on becoming digital.
  • This is according to a report on digitalisation by India ’s second largest software exporter, Infosys.
  • “The rules of the game are changing and traditional players are being dislodged from positions of comfort and familiarity,” the report, titled ‘How digital enterprises are steering through digital disruption,’ stated.
  • Industries are increasingly being disrupted by new entrants with digital technology at the heart of their business.
  • With digital technologies becoming more commonplace in organisations, and “more hype and emphasis being placed on ‘becoming digital,’ there is an ever-increasing pressure on organisations to be more responsive, more open, and more efficient.”
  • Infosys commissioned Vanson Bourne, a firm specialising in technology research, to conduct research for the report. In October and November 2017, the study was carried out, interviewing 1,000 senior IT and business decision-makers in organisations that use digital technologies.
  • Respondents from Australia, China, France, Germany, India, UK and the U.S. were interviewed.
  • “For many, the journey will prove difficult, but for those that can adapt, the benefits will be significant,” it stated.
  • Rapid advancements in digital technologies are allowing corporations to collect and analyse data and new ways of improving flexibility and efficiency are emerging within the firms.

Nekkei India Services Business Index

  • Business activity in the services sector contracted in February due primarily to a decline in new orders, according to a survey.
  • The Nikkei India Services Business Activity Index came in at 47.8 in February compared with 51.7 in January. A reading above 50 implies an expansion while one below 50 denotes a contraction.
  • “Business conditions in India’s service sector deteriorated modestly in February,” the report said. “Activity and new work declined for the first time since November, with rates of contraction the fastest since August.
  • “The seasonally-adjusted Nikkei India Services Business Activity Index fell from 51.7 in January to 47.8 in February, its lowest level since August,” the report added.
  • “The headline figure signalled the first fall in output for three months, but one that was modest. Panellists commented that poor underlying demand conditions had weighed on activity.”
  • The fall in the services index outweighed the upturn seen in the manufacturing index, according to the report, which meant that the seasonally adjusted Nikkei India Composite PMI Output Index fell from 52.5 in January to 49.7 in February.
  • “Service providers remained optimistic towards the 12-month outlook for output,” the report said.
  • “Business confidence was underpinned by expected improvements in demand, according to anecdotal evidence. Nonetheless, the level of positive sentiment fell slightly in February and was below the series average.”
  • “Both activity and new work declined for the first time since November, with rates of contraction the strongest since August,” Aashna Dodhia, economist at IHS Markit, and author of the report, said.

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