Current Affairs for BANK, IBPS Exams - 10 November 2017

Bank Exam Current Affairs

Current Affairs for BANK, IBPS Exams - 10 November 2017

::National::

Constitutional bench to look after the case involving Orissa Judge

  • A Constitution Bench of the “first five judges of the Supreme Court in the order of seniority” will hear on November 13 a petition seeking an independent investigation by a special team, supervised by a former CJI, into a corruption case involving a former Orissa High Court judge.
  • The judge allegedly conspired with a “hawala dealer” to influence the outcome of a case pending in the Supreme Court in favour of a debarred private medical college.
  • The medical college case in question was heard by a Bench, led by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, in August-September this year.
  • It remains to be seen whether the Constitution Bench will be led by Chief Justice Misra or Justice Chelameswar, the number two judge in the court.
  • Significantly, the petition filed by Supreme Court advocate Kamini Jaiswal, represented by senior advocate Dushyant Dave and advocate Abhimanue Shrestha, urged that Chief Justice Misra not be part of the Bench hearing the case as he had previously dealt with the case under the scanner.
  • The petition asked the Supreme Court to shift the case from the CBI to a Special Investigation Team led by a retired CJI to ensure a fair investigation.

one of the biggest crackdowns on suspected shell companies

  • In one of the biggest crackdowns on suspected shell companies and tax evasion, simultaneous searches were carried out at over 187 locations across the country on companies and private properties linked to V.K. Sasikala.
  • Over 1,800 officials were involved in the searches in Tamil Nadu, Bengaluru and Puducherry that began early in the morning and continued till the time of going to press.
  • Among the premises searched were the offices of Jaya TV, AIADMK party organ DrNamadhu MGR, Midas Golden Distilleries, Jazz Cinemas and the Kodanad Estate in the Nilgiris.
  • Properties owned by Sasikala’s family members — nephew T.T.V. Dhinakaran, husband M. Natarajan, brother Dhivaharan, sister-in-law Ilavarasi and children Vivek and Krishnapriya — also came under the I-T scanner.
  • The I-T Department also searched the premises of the Surana Group, Binny Limited (a splinter group was searched) and properties belonging to a former sand mining baron in Coimbatore.

GST council to tighten norms against splitting of Business

  • The twenty-third meeting of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council is set to tighten the noose on players who, authorities believe, have started splitting their business operations into smaller entities to avoid higher tax liabilities.
  • The Council is also set to cut tax rates on a large number of product lines.The Council is expected to further liberalise the Composition Scheme for small businesses and traders to pay a flat and low tax on their turnover.
  • The annual turnover eligibility threshold is likely to be raised to Rs. 1.5 crore from the Rs. 1 crore limit, imposed at the Council’s October meeting.
  • Tax rates are also likely to be rationalised from 5% for restaurants and 2% for manufacturers, to 1% of turnover.
  • However, the government is concerned about the emergence of a parallel economy despite the restrictions on the Composition Scheme, whose original threshold limit was just Rs. 75 lakh a year.
  • A Group of Ministers tasked with simplifying the Composition Scheme is learnt to have recommended a new regulation that would bar all associated enterprises from participating in the scheme, if their combined turnover crossed the specified threshold limit.
  • He stressed that this not only meant a loss of revenue for the exchequer but also dents the ease of doing business in the country.

::India and World::

US programme need to conform to legal processes and Govt sought more details

  • A day after the United States announced a funded programme for organisations interested in fighting religious intolerance in India, MEA said such funding would have to conform to legal processes at home and sought more details.
  • The statement from the MEA came even as the U.S. Embassy in India maintained that the fund would improve civilian security.
    The MEA would look into the context in which the U.S. had pledged the amount, he said.
  • The Ministry’s response came a day after the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor announced a competition-based programme through which suitable organisations willing to counter religious intolerance in India would get funds amounting to $4,93, 827.
  • The programme which has called for applications from interested organisations is understandably aimed at countering majoritarian acts of discrimination and violence targeting the minority communities.
  • The MEA spokesperson refused to interpret the announcement at the moment but it is understood that those who will win the grant for their programmes will have to seek clearance from the Indian government before undertaking any work.

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::International::

United States highlighted its special ties with China

  • The United States highlighted its special ties with China in managing global problems, including nuclear tensions in North Korea, instability in Afghanistan and tackling the scourge of international terrorism.
  • Visiting U.S. President Donald Trump, signalled at a joint press conference that Washington and Beijing will be the main pillars of a more inclusive international system.
  • Some Chinese scholars were quick to the point out that with Mr. Trump’s visit, the U.S. and China were becoming the main pillars of an emerging new global order.
  • President Xi was equally upbeat about the unfolding relationship, saying Beijing-Washington ties now stood “at a new historic starting point”, which had global implications.
  • The remarks by the two leaders were preceded by a ceremony, where massive deals worth $253 billion dollars, focussed on shale energy, aviation, and computer chips were signed.
  • State-owned China Petroleum and Chemical Corp signed a $43-billion joint natural gas exploration contract in Alaska. China National Petroleum Corporation inked an initial agreement with Cheniere Energy, specialising in shale gas, for long-term supplies of liquefied natural gas.
  • Yet, there were differences in the fine-print, highlighted by President Xi’s advocacy of a dialogue with North Korea to supplement UN-backed economic pressure that was being imposed on Pyongyang.

Islamic State militants withdrew from their last stronghold

Islamic State militants withdrew from their last stronghold in Syria, a strategic town near the border with Iraq, following a government offensive that has effectively left the extremist group’s fighters dispersed in villages and small towns in the desert.

The Syrian military declared the town liberated after intense battles that killed a large number of militants, including leaders. The military said they are still chasing other IS militants in different directions in the desert.

Syrian pro-government media said Syrian troops had clashed with remnants of IS militants in the town after they entered it late Wednesday.

Pro-Syrian media reported the town was liberated. Al-Ikhbariya TV’s journalist reported from the road to the town, joyfully breaking out on camera- “Daesh is finished. Live.”

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said government forces and allied troops, including Iraqi forces who linked from across the border, are combing through Boukamal after IS militants withdrew.

With the collapse of IS in Boukamal, Islamic State militants have no major territorial control in Syria and Iraq and are believed to have dispersed in the desert west and east of the Euphrates River.

::Business and Economy::

RBI has simplified the Foreign Exchange Management rules

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has simplified the Foreign Exchange Management Regulations, by putting all the 93 amendments under one notification, a move that will significantly make it easier for foreign investors to invest in the country.

The Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA), introduced in 1999, was amended 93 times.

The new notification combines two regulations on foreign investments — one which is popularly called investment in an Indian company or a partnership, or in a limited liability partnership, or FEMA 20, and the other — FEMA 24, which is investment in a partnership firm.

Another significant change is the introduction of a late submission fee that could allow an investor to regularise any contravention due to non-reporting, by paying the fee.

The person/entity responsible for filing the reports provided in regulation shall be liable for payment of late submission fee, as may be decided by the Reserve Bank, in consultation with the Central government, for any delays in reporting,” the notification said.

“It is going to impact in a very big manner because 60-70% of the contravention cases which RBI receives are due to delays in reporting,” said another banker.

In addition, any transfer of investment from non-resident Indians to any non-residents has been brought under the automatic route, subject to reporting.

SBI ruled out any possibility of interest rate cuts in the near term

The head of the country’s largest bank, State Bank of India, on Thursday ruled out any possibility of interest rate cuts in the near term, citing a sharp rise in bond yields and the fear of hurting depositors’ interests.

Indian Bank managing director and CEO Kishor Kharat seemed to back the SBI chief’s assessment when he said that banks could provide funds at lower rates to start-ups if the government provided a subvention on such loans just as it did for farmers.

With the bond yields having gone up in the recent past, I think the headroom available for a rate cut for both depositors and borrowers is no longer there. Unless you cut deposit rate, you can’t cut the lending rate. For the time being, I think we are headed for a much more stable interest rate regime,” Mr. Kumar said.

Mr. Kumar said that the usual notion of expecting a spurt in capital spending by firms as the key to economic revival needed a rethink, and job creation in both manufacturing as well as services sectors was likely to see lower growth rates due to the advent of technology.

India will release a concept paper on its Data Protection Act

  • India will release a concept paper on its Data Protection Act within a week seeking stakeholders’ comments as government experts grapple with issues concerning inter-operability, security and privacy of new emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence and cloud computing, said Gulshan Rai, chief of cybersecurity.
  • To keep data of Indians “secure” and “protected” the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, on July 31, formed a committee of experts headed by B.N. Srikrishna, a former Supreme Court judge.
  • The experts, who include members from the government, academia and industry, will identify data protection issues and recommend methods for addressing them. It will also suggest a draft Data Protection Bill.
  • There are nine billion IoT devices worldwide and by 2020 “we expect almost an increase by factor of three.”
  • Today, the entire turnover of IoT devices is about $150 billion and “we expect it to go up by a factor of four in the next four years,” he said, quoting a report.
  • The committee’s view was that before the technology was implemented in the smart cities one needs to have a security architecture and framework in place, Mr. Rai said.
  • A whole new world, not only for the development of technology, but for security will also emerge. The investment on device is much lesser as compared to the investment planned on security in both architecture or security application,” Mr. Rai said.
  • A UN Group of Governmental Experts, tasked with examining cyberthreats and making recommendations, was unable to reach a consensus on its final report in June.

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