Current Affairs for BANK, IBPS Exams - 29 November 2017

Bank Exam Current Affairs

Current Affairs for BANK, IBPS Exams - 29 November 2017

::NATIONAL::

Need for an early resumption of negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians

  • India reiterated the need for an early resumption of negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.
  • PM Modi presented his government’s position and said that India will continue to support nation building activities by the Palestinians, and urged for the creation of a Palestinian state that will co-exist ‘peacefully’ with Israel.
  • “We hope for early realisation of a sovereign, independent, united and viable Palestine, co-existing peacefully with Israel,” said the Prime Minister.
    The special day marks Resolution 181 of the United Nations which called for creation of independent Israeli and Palestinian states and was adopted on this day in 1947.
  • The two-state solution of the Israeli-Palestinian dispute is based on this resolution. The day is being marked in the backdrop of the ongoing diplomacy to bring the two sides to the negotiation table.
  • The statement was sent to the United Nations a few days ago through the Permanent Mission of India at the UN.
  • Mr. Modi’s statement adds India’s support to the global push for a negotiated settlement of the longstanding demand for a Palestinian state next to Israel.
  • The statement is the first occasion that the Prime Minister has spoken about the need for a viable Palestinian state since his visit to Israel last July.
  • However, the India-Israel Joint Statement issued during his visit this year did not mention the need to create a Palestinian state but had mentioned the need for ‘mutual recognition’ and ‘security arrangements’ as the basis for a peaceful solution to the issue.

First phase of the Chabahar port development project to be inaugurated

  • Iranian President Hassan Rouhani will inaugurate the first phase of the Chabahar port development project, with senior Afghan and Indian Ministers travelling for the event.
  • “The building of Phase 1 of the Chabahar port has been completed by the Iranian side,” an official said. “President Rouhani will inaugurate the port with all regional beneficiaries and neighbouring countries.”
  • Iranian media quoted President Rouhani as saying that the port “will enhance trade in the region”, with a final aim to connect not just to Afghanistan via rail but also to the 7,200-km International North-South Transport Corridor to Russia.
  • Iran’s parliament, or Majlis , recently ratified the trilateral trade agreement signed by Prime Minister Narenda Modi, President Rouhani and Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani in May 2016, officials said.
  • The inauguration of the port will effectively pave the way for India to carry forward the next phase of construction and development of two berths for its use, particularly for trade with Afghanistan.
  • Next, the government, which has committed $500 million to the port project, will develop a free-trade area around the port, and finally will complete the loop with a $1.6-billion railway line to Zahedan.
  • India has already completed the Zaranj-Delaram highway in Afghanistan, which would facilitate the trade to Kabul and eventually beyond to Central Asia. Mr. Gadkari, who visited Iran in August, said the first part of India’s construction would be finished in 2018.
  • At present, India is using the port’s existing commercial route to transport more than 1.1 million tonnes of wheat to Afghanistan, of which the first consignment of 15,000 tonnes from the Kandla port came to Zaranj, via Chabahar, on November 11.

level playing field are necessary for entrepreneurship to flourish

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi said his government understands that an environment of transparent policies and a rule of law providing a level playing field are necessary for entrepreneurship to flourish.
  • He said this calling upon entrepreneurs from across the globe to “come make in India, invest in India, for India and for the world.”
  • “I invite each one of you to become a partner in India's growth story... assure you of wholehearted support,” he told the gathering of participants from nearly 150 countries, a good chunk from India and the US.
  • Describing young entrepreneurs from India as vehicles of change and instruments of the country's transformation, he said each of them have something valuable to contribute towards creating a new India by 2022.
  • The three-day GES, co-hosted by the US and Indian governments is the first in the annual series to be travelling to South Asia, has ‘Women First, Prosperity for All’ as the theme. More than 50% delegates are women.
  • The Prime Minister also highlighted how the government was focused on reducing the regulatory burden and providing support to start-ups.
  • “Our 1,200 redundant laws have been scrapped. 87% rules for foreign direct investment have been eased in 21 sectors, and several government procedures have been taken online. The process is yet not complete”.
  • Listing various other programmes of his government, he said “we are working on development of a national gas grid. A comprehensive national energy policy is also in the pipeline,”he added.

TRAI came out in strong support of Net neutrality

  • The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) came out in strong support of Net neutrality in a series of recommendations following a long process of consultations.
  • “The licensing terms should be amplified to provide explicit restrictions on any sort of discrimination in Internet access based on the content being accessed, the protocols being used or the user equipment being deployed,” TRAI said in the recommendations.
  • The content mentioned includes all content, applications, services and any other data, including its end-point information, that can be accessed or transmitted over the Internet.
  • Warning against any “discriminatory treatment” including blocking, degrading, slowing down or granting preferential speeds to any content.
  • The recommendations are based on the pre-consultation paper issued in May 2016 and a detailed consultation paper in January 2017.
  • In February 2016, TRAI had barred telecom providers from charging differential rates for data services in its Prohibition of Discriminatory Tariffs for Data Services Regulations, 2016, effectively blocking such attempts by Facebook and Airtel.
  • Facebook had earlier rolled out its Free Basics service in partnership with Reliance Communications as a “differential service” and lobbied hard for it on social media which put it at loggerheads with the telecom regulator.
  • TRAI has recommended a multi-stakeholder body which would be responsible for developing technical standards for monitoring and enforcement of the principles.

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::BUSINESS AND ECONOMY::

India will not compromise on protecting low income group at WTO

  • At WTO's highest decision-making body, India will not compromise on its interests including ensuring food security as well as protecting its resource-poor and low-income farmers and fisher-folk.
  • India — at the December 10-13 (WTO’s) Ministerial Conference in Buenos Aires, Argentina — will hold firm on its position against the inclusion of new issues such as ‘e-commerce’ and ‘investment facilitation’ into the ongoing round of multilateral trade negotiations, without first resolving the outstanding ones including food security.
  • Besides, he said India will make sure that the ‘development agenda’ (to improve the developing countries’ trading prospects) of the talks, which began in Doha in 2001, is not subverted.
  • Mr. Prabhu said the highest priority for India was to ensure that a ‘permanent solution’ on the issue of public stockholding for food security purposes is a part of the Buenos Aires meeting outcomes.
  • Currently, an interim mechanism called the ‘Peace Clause’ is available for developing nations including India, according to which they cannot be challenged at the WTO Dispute Settlement Mechanism (DSM) even if they breach the cap of the product-specific domestic support (10% of the value of production).
  • Since a country that wants to invoke the Peace Clause has to comply with several stringent conditions (on notification and transparency and commitment on prohibition of exports from public stockholding), India is keen that a ‘permanent solution’ does not have onerous riders.
  • On talks to eliminate ‘harmful’ fisheries subsidies, the minister said “India will protect its small and subsistence fisherfolk, and we want sustainable fishing. We want subsidies for small fisherfolk to continue.”
  • In addition, at the WTO talks, India will also “very aggressively” push its proposal for Trade Facilitation in Services, Mr. Prabhu said.

ADB says India must do more to integrate with the global value chain

  • The manufacturing sector’s share in India’s GDP has remained stagnant despite the government’s efforts to increase it, ADB said, who added that India must do more to integrate with the global value chain in which it currently only plays a small part.
  • Mr. Yokoyama also highlighted problems with the inequality between Indian states, the inadequate investment in the infrastructure sector and the poor planning behind urban development.
  • Mr. Yokoyama said “The heart of the global value chain resides in southeast Asia at the moment, and India plays only a small part in that.
  • We are working with the government to increase this. And, despite increasing per capita GDP growth, the challenge still remains of bridging the wide gap between the Indian states,” he added.
  • “We expect GDP growth this year to be 7%,” Sabyasachi Mitra, Deputy Country Director, ADB, said. “Next year, we expect it to increase to 7.4%. There is an upturn in the global economy, trade is picking up, and the capital expenditure has been front-loaded.”
  • Even lead indicators such as the index of industrial production, sale of commercial vehicles and indirect tax collections all point to higher GDP growth looking ahead, said Abhijit Sen Gupta, Economist at ADB.

B.N. Sharma is the first Chairman of the National Anti-profiteering Authority

  • The government said that it had appointed B.N. Sharma as the first Chairman of the National Anti-profiteering Authority (NAA), which is tasked with ensuring the benefits of the Goods and Services Tax are passed on to consumers.
  • The Union Cabinet had last week approved the creation of the posts of Chairman and technical members of the NAA under GST. Mr. Sharma, an IAS officer of 1985 batch of the Rajasthan cadre, is currently posted as Additional Secretary in the Department of Revenue.
  • The technical members of the NAA include J.C. Chauhan, Chairman, Tax Tribunal, Himachal Pradesh, Bijay Kumar, Principal Commissioner, GST, Kolkata, C.L. Mahar, Principal Commissioner, GST, Meerut, and R. Bhagyadevi, ADG, Systems, Chennai.
  • The appointments help reassure “consumers of Government’s commitment that GST would result in lower prices of goods and services,” a statements said.
  • “Once the Authority confirms there is justification to apply anti-profiteering measures, it has the authority to order the business concerned to reduce prices or return undue benefit availed, with interest at the rate of 18% to consumers .”

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