Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Initial public offering

Initial public offering is the process by which a private company can go public by sale of its stocks to general public. It could be a new, young company or an old company which decides to be listed on a stock exchange and hence goes public.
The company which offers its shares, known as an ‘issuer’, does so with the help of investment banks. After IPO, the company’s shares are traded in an open market. When the shares trade freely in the open market, money passes between public investors.

The company which wants to raise its funds generally goes for an IPO. So it is simply a money making process. The money can be used in various ways, such as re-investing in the company’s infrastructure or expanding the business.
A public company can always issue more stocks and they get better rates also when they issue debt.

A company going for an IPO needs an investment bank to serve a number of purposes.
  • One of the primary roles of an investment bank is to serve as a sort of intermediary between corporations and investors through initial public offerings (IPOs).
  • They do the required asset management for large investment funds.
  • The bank evaluates the company and determines a price at which to offer the stock shares.
  • It also advises the company to whether go public or raise funds through any alternative means.
  • It also advises the company for mergers and acquisitions and to evaluate the fair price of acquisitions.
  • There can be more than one investment bank.

Apart from the various advantages
, there are some disadvantages too of going for an IPO.
  • The cost associated with the process is the first factor.
  • Private companies do not have to disclose their information to anyone, but being after IPO they will have to disclose certain business and financial information which can prove helpful to their competitors.
  • For the management, efficient attention and effort is required.
  • There is also a risk that required funds will not be raised.
  • There is also a loss of control over the company because of the addition of new shareholders.

Monday, 27 February 2017

Quadratic Equation

aX2+bX +c =0
a = coefficient of X2
b = coefficient of X
c = constant term
There will be five problems from this topic. It is the easiest one, so you can solve all problems within 5 to 7 minutes.
In this kind of problems two equations will be given as question, you have to solve the equation and find the relation between them
1.P > Q
2.P < Q
3.P ≥ Q
4.p ≤ Q
5.P = Q or relationship cannot be established
Example 1:P2+13P+40=0
Step1: let us take equ 1. P2+13P+40=0 in this equation coefficient of p, 13 should be split into two numbers in such a way that multiplication of both numbers should be equal to constant term 40 and addition of numbers should be equal to 13
13 can be split into (1,12) (2,11) (3,10) (4,9) (5,8) (6,7)
In these combination 5 and 8 only can give 40 while multiplying, so this is the number we are searching for,and since the coefficient of P2 is 1 and there is no negative sign in the equation, we can directly write value of P by simply changing the sign
 P= -5,-8
( just for reference Actual procedure is  P2+5P+8P+40=0
P=-5,-8 )
Step 2: Now equ2. Q2+7Q+12=0 similar process applicable for this equation to find Q, here coefficient of Q should be split into two numbers and multiplication of the numbers should give 12
7 can be split up into (1,6) (2,5) (3,4)
Combination of 3 and 4 alone satisfy our need i.e. giving 7 and 12 while adding and multiplying the numbers respectively, since there is no negative sign in the equation,we can directly write value of Q by changing sign .
Q=-3, -4
P= -5,-8
Obviously P < Q
Example 2: 2p2+12p+16=0
Step 1: let us take equ1 since coefficient of p2 is 2,we have to multiply 2 with constant number 16 , now as usual 12 should be split up into two numbers and multiplication of the numbers should give ( 2*16=) 32 .
4+8 =12
 12 can be split up into 4 and 8,
 now change the sign of numbers and divide it by 2 since the coefficient of p2 is 2 ,
Thus the value of  p = -2,-4
Step 2: now take equ2. And follow the same procedure multiply 2 with constant number 24 . So addition of two numbers should be 14 and multiplication of numbers should be 48 (24*2)
6+8 =14  ;  6*8=48
Numbers are 6 and 8, now divide by 2, since the coefficient of q2 is 2 so the value of q is -3,-4
here, one of the numbers of p and q are same but other number of p is greater than other number of q 
so ans is p ≥ q
If you have doubt in finding which one is greater, use this technique.
Number which is 1st from right hand side is greater one.
Example 3:  x2-x-6=0
Step1: Here constant number and coefficient of x are negative so the combination of numbers will be positive and negative.
Combination is 2,-3
Value of x=-2 , 3
Step2: proceed with equation 2
Combination is (6,7) ,
since the coefficient of y2 is 2 divide the value of y by 2  
Y=  -(6/2) , -(7/2)
Y= -3 , -3.5
Relation is X > Y
Example 412x2+11x+12=10x2+22x
Step1: convert this into normal quadratic equation form
Step2: now as usual normal procedure , here coefficient of x is negative and constant term is positive so both numbers will be negative
 Combination is -8,-3
And value of x= 4, 3/2
 Step3: proceed with equ 2
Combination is (-2,-6)
since coefficient of yis 4 divide the value of y by 4 ,
And value of y = ½ , 3/2
 Relation is x ≥ y
 Example 5: 18/x2 + 6/x -12/x2 = 8/x2
                    Y3+9.68+5.64 =16.95
Multiply x2 in equ1 it becomes 18+6X -12 =8
Solving this equations we get x = 1/3 = 0.33
Solving equ2 we get y3 = 1.63
          Y = 1.17
Relation is x < y
Example 6: (x+18)1/2 = (144)1/2 – (49)1/2
                   Y2 +409 = 473
By solving equ1, we get x = 7
Solving equ2 we get y = ± 8
Relation cannot be formed between x and y since x is both highest and lowest one.
TIPS to find combination:
  1. If the coefficient of x or y and constant term is negative, then one number will be positive and other will be negative.
  2. If the coefficient of x or y and constant term is positive, combination will be positive.
  3. If the coefficient of x or y and constant term are positive and negative then the combination of numbers will be both positive and negative.

Sunday, 26 February 2017

Different codes used in Banking Context

IFSC (Indian Financial System Code)

Is is an alphanumeric code that uniquely identifies a bank-branch participating in the two main Electronic Funds Settlement Systems in India: the Real Time Gross Settlement (RTGS) and the National Electronic Funds Transfer (NEFT) Systems. It is an 11-character code assigned by Reserve Bank of India for the identification of the bank branches.

The components of IFS code are:

  • The first four alphabetic characters representing the bank name,
  • The fifth character is 0 (zero) and reserved for future use, and
  • The last six characters (usually numeric, but can be alphabetic) representing the branch.
A list of IFS Code for all the banks can be find out on the RBI website. It is also generally available on your bank account passbook, cheque book.
Example: IFS Code of a branch of Punjab National Bank in Delhi is PUNB0614800.

MICR (Magnetic Ink Character Recognition) Code

A unique code used to identify the particular branch of a particular bank. It is used mainly by the banking industry to ease the processing and clearance of cheques and other documents. The technology allows MICR readers to scan and read the information directly into a data-collection device. Unlike barcodes and similar technologies, MICR characters can be read easily by humans. It is a 9-digit code.

The components of MICR code are:

  • The first three digits represent the city code of the bank branch – generally the pin code initials,
  • The next three digits represent the bank code, and
  • The last three digits represent the bank branch.
Example: MICR-No of a branch of Punjab National Bank in Delhi is 110024490
The MICR encoding, called the MICR line, is at the bottom of cheques and other vouchers as shown below:

BSR (Basic Statistical Returns) Code

BSR code  is used by the Income Tax department in order to identify a bank branch for submission of returns to the RBI. It is allotted to banks by Reserve Bank of India. While filling TDS/TCS (tax deducted at source/ tax collected at source) returns, BSR code is used in details related to challan and deductee. It is a 7-digit code.
Example: BSR Code of a branch of Punjab National Bank in Delhi is 305066.

SWIFT (Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication) Code

It is a unique identification code for both financial and non-financial institutions approved by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). SWIFT Standards, a division of The Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication, handles the registration of these codes. It is an 11-character code.
SWIFT Codes are used when transferring money between banks, particularly for international wire transfers, and also for the exchange of other messages between banks in a secure standardized and reliable environment.
So to do Overseas funds transfer, the SWIFT Code of the particular bank is required.

The components of SWIFT code are:

  • The first four alphabetic characters representing the bank name,
  • The next two alphabetic characters represent the country name
  • The next two letters or digits represent the location code, and
  • The last 3 letters or digits represent the branch code.
Example:  SWIFT Code of a branch of Punjab National Bank in Delhi is PUNBINBBDRG
*Note: Not all bank branches have individual SWIFT codes, so if it is not available for your branch, you can use the SWIFT code of a nearby branch of same bank. SWIFT code is also known as Bank Identifier Code (BIC).

Saturday, 25 February 2017

 Types of Cards in Banking System

Cards can be classified on the basis of their issuance, usage and payment by the card holder. There are three types of cards: Debit cards, Credit cards and Prepaid cards.
These cards can be issued by banks or other entities too. We will discuss each type of card and the issuance authority for particular type of card.

Debit Card

  • Debit Card means the card which can be used to withdraw cash up to the limit present in customer’s bank account.
  • So to get issue a debit card, one should have a bank account.
  • This means that debit cards are only issued by banks which are linked to the customer’s bank account number.
  • So, in the case to use a debit card, one should have enough balance in his bank account.
  • They are used to withdraw cash from ATM, purchase of goods and services at Point of Sale (POS)/E-commerce (online purchase) both domestically and internationally (provided it is enabled for international use).
  • It can also be used only for domestic fund transfer from one person to another.

Credit Card

  • Unlike debit cards, in case of credit cards, a customer can also withdraw beyond the amount of money present in his bank account.
  • But there is a limit for each credit card up to which extra money can be withdrawn.
  • And also there is a time limit up to which the extra money withdrawn should be paid back. This amount of money is paid back along with interest charges as applied by the issuer of card.
  • They are issued by banks / other entities approved by RBI.
  • The credit cards are used for purchase of goods and services at Point of Sale (POS) and E-commerce (online purchase)/ through Interactive Voice Response (IVR)/Recurring transactions/ Mail Order Telephone Order (MOTO).
  • These cards can be used domestically and internationally (provided it is enabled for international use).
  • The credit cards can be used to withdraw cash from an ATM and for transferring funds to bank accounts, debit cards, credit cards and prepaid cards within the country.

Prepaid Card

  • The usage of prepaid cards depends on who has issued these cards. They can be issued by banks/non-banks.
  • To get issue a prepaid card, the customer has to pay the amount in advance which is then stored in his prepaid card to be used whenever required.
  • So a prepaid card is never linked to an account.
  • The maximum value that can be stored in a prepaid card at any point of time is Rs 50,000.
  • The prepaid cards issued by the banks can be used to withdraw cash from an ATM, purchase of goods and services at Point of Sale (POS)/E-commerce (online purchase) and for domestic fund transfer from one person to another. Such prepaid cards are known as open system prepaid cards.
  • However, the prepaid cards issued by authorised non-bank entities can be used only for purchase of goods and services at Point of Sale (POS)/E-commerce (online purchase) and for domestic fund transfer from one person to another. Such prepaid cards are known as semi-closed system prepaid cards.
  • These cards can be used only domestically.

Debit card and Credit card

  • Both can be used to withdraw cash from ATM, purchase of goods and services at Point of Sale (POS) and online purchase.
  • Debit card only issued by banks and linked to bank account while credit cards can be issued by banks/other entities approved by RBI. If issued by banks, can be linked to account
  • By debit card one cannot withdraw extra money than available in his account while by use of credit card one can withdraw extra money as permitted by the issuer.

Debit card and Prepaid card

  • Both are used for withdrawing up to the amount present in these cards.
  • Both can be used for purchasing goods and services at Point of Sale (POS) and online purchases.
  • Debit card can store any amount (i.e. amount present in bank account) while Prepaid card at a time can store only up to Rs 50,000.
  • Debit cards are only issued by banks while prepaid cards by both banks and non-bank entities.
  • Debit cards can be used at ATMs to withdraw cash while prepaid cards cannot be used at ATMs.

Credit card and Prepaid card

  • Both can be issued by banks/non-banks.
  • Both can be used for purchasing goods and services at Point of Sale (POS) and online purchases.
  • Crdit card can store any amount (i.e. amount present in bank account + extra amount permitted to be drawn) while Prepaid card at a time can store only up to Rs 50,000.
  • Credit cards can be used at ATMs to withdraw cash while prepaid cards cannot be used at ATMs.
  • If one withdraws extra amount by use of credit card, then he has to pay back the amount afterwards with rate of interest while in case of prepaid cards, amount is paid in advance and no rate of interest is to be paid.
  • Credit cards can be linked to account when issued by bank while prepaid cards are never linked to account.

Thursday, 23 February 2017

Tricks to solve Train Problems

Problems on Trains
A train is said to have crossed an object (stationary or moving) only when the last coach (end) of the train crosses the said object completely. It implies that the total length of the train has crossed the total length of the object.

In case of Train, The Distance covered by the Train = Length of Train + Length of Object

You have to keep in mind some Formulae which are given below:

Problems on Trains

Conversion of  km/hr into meter/sec

Following formula is used in this case
Problems on Trains

Conversion of meter/sec into km/h 

The formula is:
Problems on Trains

We can find the basic formula for the time required for a train to cross different type of objects.

Problems on Trains

Problems on Trains

Different types of Objects

On the basis of various types of objects that a train has to cross, we find the following different cases:
Problems on Trains

A train 110 meter long travels at 60 km/h. How long does it take to cross,
a) a telegraph post
b) a man running at 6 km/h in the same direction
c) a man running at 6 km/h in the opposite direction
d) a platform 240 meter long
e) another train 170 meter long standing on another parallel track
f) another train 170 meter long, running at 54 km/h in same direction
g) another train 170 meter long, running at 80 km/h in opposite direction
a) We have to convert the speed of train from km per hour to meter per second by applying following formula:
Speed of Train = 60 km/h × 5/18 m/sec 
The telegraph post is a stationary object with negligible length  so following formula will be applied:
t = Length of Train/Speed of Train
Crossing Time =
        Problems Based on Trains

b) The man is running in the same direction that means object is moving but of negligible length. Hence, formula will be:
Time = Length of Train / Speed of Train - Speed of Man
Crossing Time = 
Problems Based on Trains
c) The man is running in the opposite direction so following formula will be applied:
Crossing Time = Length of Train / Speed of Train + Speed of Man
Crossing Time = 
Problems Based on Trains
d) The platform is stationary but of some length so, following formula will be applied:
Crossing Time = Length of Train + Length of Platform / Speed of Train
Problems Based on Trains
e) Another Train is standing (stationary), so following formula will be applied:
Crossing Time = Length of First Train + Length of Second (Stationary) Train / Speed of Train
Problems Based on Trains
f) Another train is running in the same direction, then following formula will be applied:
Crossing Time = (Length of First Train + Length of Second Train) / (Speed of First Train - Speed of Second Train)
Crossing Time = 
Problems on Trains
168 Seconds = 2 minutes 48 seconds
g) Another train is running in opposite direction so following formula will be applied
Crossing Time = Length of First Train + Length of Second Train / Speed of 
Problems on Trains

Tricky Question 

You have to learn the basic formulae only then you can easily solve any question from this chapter.
A train passes a platform in 36 seconds and a man standing on the platform in 20 seconds. If the speed of the train is 54 km/h, find the length of the platform.
Speed = Distance /Time
Because Time is given in seconds so we have to convert the speed into meter/second.
Speed (Velocity) = 54 × 5/18 = 15 meter per second
Problems Based on Trains

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Formula used in Mensuration

Mensuration is one of the topics in Quants. Now a days questions coming from this chapter also. Here we are providing you Some important formulas which is used in mensuration which are useful in SSC, Railways and other exams.

Rectangle :

  • Area = lb
  • Perimeter  = 2(l+b)

Square :

  • Area = a×a
  • Perimeter = 4a


  • Area = l × h
  • Perimeter = 2(l+b)

Triangle :

  • Area =b×h/2 or √s(s-a)(s-b)(s-c)…………….where s=a+b+c/2

Right angle Triangle :

  • Area =1/2(bh)
  • Perimeter = b+h+d

Isosceles right angle triangle :

  • Area = ½. a2
  • Perimeter = 2a+d……………………….where d=a√2

Equilateral Triangle :

  • Area = √3. a2/4 or  ½(ah)….where h = √3/2
  • Perimeter = 3a

Trapezium :

  • Area = 1/2h(a+b)
  • Perimeter = Sum of all sides

Rhombus :

  • Area = d1 × d2/2
  • Perimeter = 4l


  • Area =1/2 × Diagonal × (Sum of offsets)

Kite :

  • Area  = d1×d2/2
  • Perimeter  = 2 × Sum on non-adjacent sides

Circle :

  • Area =  πr^2 or πd^2/4
  • Circumference = 2πr  or πd
  • Area of sector of a circle = (θπr^2 )/360

Frustum :

  • Curved surface area = πh(r1+r2)
  • Surface area = π( r12+ h(r1+r2) + r22)

Cube :

  • Volume: V = l3
  • Lateral surface area = 4a2
  • Surface Area: S = 6s2
  • Diagonal (d) = √3l

Cuboid :

  • Volume of cuboid: lbh
  • Total surface area = 2 (lb + bh + hl) or 6l2
  • Length of diagonal =√(l^2+b^2+h^2)

Right Circular Cylinder :

  • Volume of Cylinder = π r2 h
  • Lateral Surface Area (LSA or CSA) = 2π r h
  • Total Surface Area = TSA = 2 π r (r + h)
  • Volume of hollow cylinder = π r h(R2 – r2)

Right Circular cone :

  • Volume = 1/3 π r2h
  • Curved surface area: CSA=  π r l
  • Total surface area = TSA = πr(r + l )


  • Volume: V = 4/3 πr3
  • Surface Area: S = 4πr2

Hemisphere :

  • Volume = 2/3 π r3
  • Curved surface area(CSA) = 2 π r2
  • Total surface area = TSA = 3 π r2

Prism :

  • Volume = Base area x h
  • Lateral Surface area = perimeter of the base x h


  • Volume of a right pyramid = (1/3) × area of the base × height.
  • Area of the lateral faces of a right pyramid = (1/2) × perimeter of the base x slant height.
  • Area of whole surface of a right pyramid = area of the lateral faces + area of the base.

Tetrahedron :

  • Area of its slant sides = 3a2√3/4
  • Area of its whole surface = √3a2 
  • Volume of the tetrahedron = (√2/12) a 3

Regular Hexagon :

  • Area =  3√3 a2 / 2
  • Perimeter  = 6a

Some other Formula :

  • Area of Pathway running across the middle of  a rectangle = w(l+b-w)
  • Perimeter of Pathway around a rectangle field = 2(l+b+4w)
  • Area of Pathway around a rectangle field =2w(l+b+2w)
  • Perimeter of Pathway inside a rectangle field =2(l+b-4w)
  • Area of Pathway inside a rectangle field =2w(l+b-2w)
  • Area of four walls = 2h(l+b)

Participatory Notes (P Notes)


P Notes

Financial instruments used by investors or hedge funds that are not registered with the Securities and Exchange Board of India to invest in Indian securities. Indian-based brokerages buy India-based securities and then issue participatory notes to foreign investors. Any dividends or capital gains collected from the underlying securities go back to the investors.
* Note –> P-notes are no need to register with SEBI , they are derivates of FIIs

P-NOTES working

Participatory notes are instruments used for making investments in the stock markets. However, they are not used within the country. They are used outside India for making investments in shares listed in the Indian stock market. That is why they are also called offshore derivative instruments.
In the Indian context, foreign institutional investors (FIIs) and their sub-accounts mostly use these instruments for facilitating the participation of their overseas clients, who are not interested in participating directly in the Indian stock market.
For example, Indian-based brokerages buy India-based securities and then issue participatory notes to foreign investors. Any dividends or capital gains collected from the underlying securities go back to the investors.
* p-notes pool the individuals into derivate of FIIs
Example — P-NOTES — applicants are 100 people with short investments
Example of each 10 lakh can make into pool and investment in stock market as combined form
* overseas clients showing interest on buying shares like blue chip companies


they will invest in the p-notes –> It leads to money laundering & black money curbs into the stock market ( As it having no  registration to sebi and participants details )

RECENT P-NOTES in news & SIT clarification

  • P-notes are popular as it allows the idenity of the investor to be kept anonymous. FIIs are required to register with SEBI, but P-notes who trade through them are not.
  • No wonder P-notes have been controversial instruments from the start and every time the government wants to regulate them, market start falling preventing the government to take the harsh step. The government fears that P-notes are being used as instruments for money laundering.
  • Even listed company promoters are believed to re-route their investments in their own companies through the P-note route. This allows them to flout the stringent insider trading norms that regulate such proprietary investments.
  • P-notes however, have other inherent advantages. They are easy to operate rather than the cumbersome rules that India has for its foreign investors. P-notes are like contract notes transferrable by endorsement and delivery. This nature of P-notes has attracted the SIT’s attention and rightly so.
  • P-notes are freely traded overseas, and is done without any jurisdiction or control of SEBI over it. This nature of P-note is like that of an informal ADR (American Depository Receipt) where the stocks are held by brokerages for their foreign investors.
  • Since P-notes are opaque and the identity of the owner is known only to the FII, trading them freely makes it very difficult to find the original owner of these P-notes.
  • However, SIT’s decision to seek a clarification is a welcome move. For the markets, knowing the identity of the participant is healthy, but the initial reaction to the news seems to be a knee-jerk reaction. Further, SIT has asked for stricter compliance norms of P-notes and has said nothing on banning them.
  • Share of P-notes has already come down from 50 per cent in 2007 to around 11.5 per cent presently. However, memories of the sharp 1744 point fall on October 17, 2007 and subsequent volatilities on following days when SEBI first proposed curbs on P-notes is enough to spread fear in the mind of investors and government alike.

What are Participatory Notes (or P-Notes, as they are commonly referred to)   

In 1992, India allowed Foreign Institutional Investors (FIIs) to buy stocks listed on Indian exchanges. However, all investors, whether institutions or individuals, were required to register themselves with the capital markets regulator, Sebi. To get around these restrictions, FIIs started to issue so-called participatory notes (or PNs) to investors who, for various reasons, wanted to remain anonymous
Since PNs tracked the value of Indian stocks, their values rose or fell according to the movement of the markets.
Initially, nobody complained, as FIIs generated a lot of business from monies routed through them and their accounts. These monies fuelled the market boom from the early period of liberalisation. At their peak during 2007, the value of PNs constituted well over 50 per cent of the outstanding assets in the custody of FIIs

Participatory Notes Crisis of 2007

On the 16th of October, 2007, SEBI (Securities & Exchange Board of India) proposed curbs on participatory notes which accounted for roughly 50% of FII investment in 2007. SEBI was not happy with P-Notes because it is not possible to know who owns the underlying securities and hedge funds acting through PNs might therefore cause volatility in the Indian markets.
However the proposals of SEBI were not clear and this led to a knee-jerk crash when the markets opened on the following day (October 17, 2007). Within a minute of opening trade, the Sensex crashed by 1744 points or about 9% of its value – the biggest intra-day fall in Indian stock-markets in absolute terms. This led to automatic suspension of trade for 1 hour. at that time –>Finance Minister P.Chidambaram

What has the SIT on black money said?

Why is the stock market worried?

In its third report, contents of which were released on Friday, the SIT recommended that the government should obtain details of beneficial ownership — or identity of the final holder or investor — of P-Notes, and make it non-transferable. The SIT wants investors due diligence — or KYC — details to be known to the regulator. It has also made the point that a bulk of P-Notes investments were from overseas jurisdictions such as the Cayman Islands, a tax haven that accounted for 31 per cent of all foreign inflows from offshore derivative instruments. The worry is on account of the fact that the outstanding value of PNs at the end of February 2015 was  2.85 lakh crore — which, if unwound, can lead to carnage in a market where local institutional investors are not as influential. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has, however, assured that there would be no kneejerk reaction.
“kneejerk reaction” –> By finance minister —Arun Jaitley
To soothe nerves of foreign investors after an SIT on black money suggested stricter norms for P-Notes, the government today said it will not take any “knee-jerk” reaction that will will adversely impact country’s investment climate.
With markets tanking on the recommendations of the Supreme Court-appointed SIT on black money last week that Sebi should tighten norms related to Participatory Notes (P-Notes) investments into India, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said the government will study the suggestions before taking a stand.
Finance minister, Arun Jaitley, who was heavily criticised on the issue of application of MAT on FIIs, seems to be a quick learner. His ministry has issued statements assuring investors that the government will not take steps that will affect investments, following the SIT report.

U.K.SINHA –> on P-notes

  • Sebi has progressively tightened rules governing participatory notes (PN) and is aware of the identity of their owners, the market regulator’s chairman UK Sinha has said.
  • Sinha pointed out that both issuers and buyers of PNs have to be from countries compliant with regulations of the financial action task force (FATF). FATF is an inter-governmental body tasked with curbing illicit finance at a global level.

What are the broad concerns about P-Notes?

Concerns have been expressed over anonymous investors who are beyond the reach of Indian regulators or taxmen, and over indications that wealthy Indians, including promoters of Indian companies, have been using this route to bring back unaccounted funds and to rig their stocks. The concerns were first flagged by the Joint Parliamentary Committee on the 2001 securities market scam, which said that P-Notes enabled their holders to conceal their identities. The committee also pointed to the links that stock market player Ketan Parekh had with foreign entities, which allowed him to allegedly rig stocks, and to the role of Overseas Corporate Bodies or OCBs owned predominantly by Indians in the stock market crash. The JPC wanted action on these issues.

What has Sebi done so far to regulate P-Notes?  

In 2004, Sebi tightened rules to ensure PNs were issued — and transferred — only to regulated entities. On October 16, 2007, against the backdrop of a surge in capital flows and excess liquidity, the regulator banned P-Notes. M Damodaran was Sebi chief then, and
P.Chidambaram was Finance Minister. The markets crashed immediately, but recovered after the regulator unveiled rules a week later, saying FIIs could not take any fresh exposure, and their existing investments would have to be wound up in 18 months. But exactly a year later, during the tenure of Damodaran’s successor, C B Bhave, all restrictions on PNs were removed in the wake of the global financial crisis, amid fears of capital outflows. But rules were tightened again subsequently.

Why is it difficult to ban P-Notes?

The RBI may be pushing hard, but the government, which has the final say in foreign investment rules, appears to be reluctant to impose a full ban, presumably because of a fear that the stock markets would tank, and there would be a flight of capital.
With FIIs now controlling 20 per cent of the free float in listed Indian companies, policymakers would want to think several times, especially in a country which runs a current account deficit and needs foreign investment to bridge the gap in savings.
During the UPA government’s tenure, a committee headed by the then Chief Economic Advisor, Ashok Lahiri,  released a report in November 2005 on encouraging FII flows and checking the vulnerability of capital markets to speculative flows.
The committee suggested measures such as greater broadbasing of foreign entities investing in the Indian market, and a ceiling on FIIs and their sub-accounts. The majority view, however, was that the existing dispensation for PNs ought to continue. In a move that was rare for a situation in which a government-led panel was involved, the RBI dissented, arguing that PNs should not be permitted because it remained difficult to identify their final holders.

 So, what policy options are available on PNs?

With more broadbased flows and greater global pressure now on checking illicit fund flows, it should be possible to phase out PNs over the medium term. That is, if it is grandfathered — or, in other words, spread out over a specified period with a sunset clause. That should go hand in hand with reforms in taxation, including greater clarity, easier norms, lowering of transaction costs, and encouraging more local institutional investors — especially pension funds and FDI — to reduce reliance on volatile flows.

Sunday, 19 February 2017

Negotiable Instruments

Negotiable instrument is a document which guarantees the payment of a specific amount of money, either on demand, or at a set time, with the payer named on the document. A negotiable instrument can be transferred from one person to another.
Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881 is an Act to define and Law relating to negotiable instruments. The act gives the definitions of all the related terms. The act also deals with the offence pertaining to dishonor of cheque on account of insufficiency of funds in the drawer’s account.
According to Section 13 of the Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881, “A Negotiable Instrument means a promissory note, bill of exchange or cheque payable either to order or to bearer.”
A “promissory note” is an instrument in writing that promises to pay a definite sum of money from one party to another party either on demand or at a specified future date. The person who makes the Promissory Note and promises to pay is called the drawer or maker and the person to whom the payment is to be done is called the drawee or payee. So there are two parties in a promissory note.
  • It bears the sign of the drawer.
  • It contains a date
  • It contains a definite amount plus the rate of interest and this total sum will be paid to the payee.
  • It contains the required stamp.
  • The promise to pay should be unconditional. For e.g. if I have written in the promissory note that it will be payable after my marriage, then addition of this condition does not make it a promissory note.
  • It should be returned back to drawer after the payment.

An example of promissory note:

A “bill of exchange” is an instrument in writing that contains an order to pay a definite sum of money from one party to another party either on demand or at a specified future date with an intermediary to pay the sum. So there are three parties in a bill of exchange. But all may not be distinct persons as a drawer may pay on himself payable to his own order.
  • It is primarily used in international trade.
  • It bears the sign of the drawer.
  • The order to pay should be unconditional.
  • It contains a date
  • It contains a definite amount that is to be paid unlike in promissory note which contains rate of interest also.
  • It contains the required stamp.
  • In case of dishonor, a notice is sent to the drawer which is in contrast with promissory note.

An example of bill of exchange:

A “cheque” is bill of exchange drawn on a specified banker and not expressed to be payable otherwise than on demand and cheque also includes the electronic image of a truncated cheque and a cheque in the electronic form.
  • ‘a cheque in the electronic form’ means a cheque which contains the exact mirror image of a paper cheque, and is generated, written and signed in a secure system ensuring the minimum safety standards with the use of digital signature and asymmetric crypto system.
  • ‘a truncated cheque’ means a cheque which is truncated during the course of a clearing cycle, either by the clearing house or by the bank whether paying or receiving payment. After the generation of an electronic image for transmission, the image substitutes the physical movement of the cheque in writing.

An example of cheque:

The government has notified the Negotiable Instruments (Amendment) Bill, 2015 which allows filing cheque bounce cases in a court at a place where the cheque was presented for clearance and not the place of issue so that there is a fast prosecution of offenders.

Masala Bonds

When any entity wants to raise money or we can say want to borrow money, it can issue bonds worth that value. So, now when an Indian company wants to borrow money from a foreign company, there are many methods like FDI, ECB, etc. and one of them is issuing bonds. All methods of borrowing have their own advantages and disadvantages. In the same way are Masala bonds which are named by the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the investment arm of the World Bank. We will read later that how the word masala attached with these bonds.

Now what are these Masala Bonds?

Masala bonds are the rupee-denominated bonds which can be issued by the Indian entities to raise money from overseas markets. By rupee-denominated bonds, it meansthat the money borrowed will be in Indian rupees and not any foreign currency. Let’s take an example: Suppose an Indian entity issues masala bonds worth Rs 10 crores with a promise to pay Rs 11 crores the next year. Now the foreign investor will lend the dollar equivalent of Rs 10 crores. Now after a year, the Indian entity will return the dollar equivalent of Rs 11 crores.
Now what is the advantage of using these new masala bonds over the initial methods?
The advantage is that that of the currency risk. Since the Indian entity will return the dollar equivalent of Rs 11 crores, this means that if in a year if there is any fluctuation in the currencies whether large or small, the risk lies with the overseas investor and not the Indian entity.

How the name came?

  • IFC issued a Rs 1,000 crore bond to fund infrastructure projects in India. These bonds were listed on the London Stock Exchange (LSE).
  • IFC then named them Masala bonds to give a local flavour by calling to mind Indian culture and cuisine.
  • This kind of naming has been done before also. IFC’s Chinese yuan-denominated bonds are called Dim sum bonds, Japanese yen-denominated bonds are called Samurai.
  • Before the word masala, some names like Samosa, Ganga, and Peacock were also in line to be attached to these rupee-denominated bonds.

The Reserve Bank of India has issued certain guidelines allowing the Indian entities to issue masala bonds:

  • Any corporate or body corporate as well as Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) and Infrastructure Investment Trusts (InvITs) can issue such off-shore rupee denominated bonds.
  • Banks incorporated in India will not have access to these bonds.
  • Indian banks, however, can act as arranger and underwriter.
  • The minimum maturity period is 3 years.
  • Companies can raise under the automatic route (i.e., without prior approval) an amount equivalent to USD 50 billion (till April 2016 it was USD 750 million) per annum.
  • Cases beyond this limit would require prior approval of the Reserve Bank.

Some facts:

  • Masala bonds are a step to help internationalize the Indian rupee and also deepen the Indian financial system.
  • They are the first rupee bonds listed on the London Stock Exchange.
  • They can be issued for three or five or seven-year maturities.
  • The first Masala bonds were issued on 10 November 2014 under IFC’s $2 billion offshore rupee program.
  • They are different from External Commercial Borrowings (ECB) in a way that in ECB the currency risk lies with the Indian issuer while in case of masala bonds, the currency risk lies with the overseas investor.
  • Like ECB, masala bonds also provide cheaper funding as compared to domestic markets.
  • Though currency risk lies with the investor, but then also the overseas investor has many advantages like they have very few investment options in other countries due to weak economic conditions globally.
  • Coinciding with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the UK last year, organisations such as HDFC, Yes Bank, and the Railways had announced they were going to raise funds through this route from the London market.

Electronic Clearing Service (ECS)

The Reserve Bank of India offers the Electronic Clearing System (ECS) for faster payments and collections. ECS is an electronic mode of payment / receipt for transactions that are repetitive and periodic in nature. By repetitive and periodic, it is meant that the transactions occur repetitively and after a fixed time interval.ECS is used by institutions for making bulk payment of amounts or for bulk collection of
. Examples for bulk payment of amounts include paying of interest, salary, pension, etc. Examples for bulk collection of amounts includes telephone / electricity / water bills, cess / tax collections, loan installment repayments, periodic investments in mutual funds, insurance premium, etc.

Variants of ECS:

We studied above that ECS is used for either making bulk payment of amounts or for bulk collection of amounts. Based on that there are two variants:
  • ECS Credit: ECS Credit is for making bulk payment of amounts. Under this scheme, a single account is debited and then multiple accounts are credited. Example: A company has 50 employees and at the start of month it gives salary to all the employees so instead of crediting each account separately, the company can use the ECS Credit Scheme.
  • ECS Debit: ECS Debit is for bulk collection of amounts. Under this scheme, multiple accounts are debited and then a single account is credited. Example: Many people go for insurance policies and they have allowed the payment of their premiums from their account.  Now it is possible that on a single day, many customer accounts are to be debited to have the premium from them. So in the case where multiple accounts are going to be debited and then a single account is to be credited, ECS Debit scheme can be used.

ECS scheme is distributed based on the geographical location of branches as:

  • Local ECS – this is operating at 81 centres / locations across the country generally covering one city and/or satellite towns and suburbs adjoining the city.
  • Regional ECS – this is operating at 9 centres / locations at various parts of the country and covers a State or group of States and can be used by institutions desirous of reaching beneficiaries within the State / group of States.
  • National ECS – this is the centralized version of ECS Credit which was launched in October 2008. The Scheme is operated at Mumbai and facilitates the coverage of all core-banking enabled branches located anywhere in the country.
So if an institution opted for Local ECS service, it can credit to or debit from the same accounts in same geographical location. The institutional User has to register with an ECS Centre.
The RBI has deregulated the charges to be levied by sponsor banks from user institutions. However, in case banks apply any charges they should keep it transparent.

Some of the benefits of ECS scheme:

  • ECS Credit and Debit schemes can be initiated by institutions who apply for it.
  • There is no need to go to bank branches/ collection centres after all formalities are completed while applying.
  • Freedom from paper handling as all credits and debits are done electronically.
  • So it avoids the loss and fraudulent of papers in transit.
  • Cost effective.
  • Customers need not keep track of due date for payments.

Types of Bank Account

Bank Accounts are classified into four different types. They are,
1) Current Account
2) Savings Account
3) Recurring Deposit Account
4) Fixed Deposit Account

What is Current Account?

Current account is mainly for business persons, firms, companies, public enterprises etc and are never used for the purpose of investment or savings.These deposits are the most liquid deposits and there are no limits for number of transactions or the amount of transactions in a day. While, there is no interest paid on amount held in the account, banks charges certain  service charges, on such accounts. The current accounts do not have any fixed maturity as these are on continuous basis accounts.

What is Savings Account? 

Savings Account is meant for saving purposes. Any individual either single or jointly can open a savings account. Most of the salaried persons, pensioners and students use Savings Account. The advantage of having Savings Account is Banks pay interest for the savings. The saving account holder is allowed to withdraw money from the account as and when required.
The rate of interest ranges between 4% to 6% per annum in India. There is no restriction on the number and amount of deposits. But withdrawals are subjected to certain restrictions. Some banks recommend to maintain a minimum amount to keep it functioning.

What is Recurring Deposit Account?

Recurring deposit account or RD account is opened by those who want to save certain amount of money regularly for a certain period of time and earn a higher interest rate. In RD account a fixed amount is deposited every month for a specified period and the total amount is repaid with interest at the end of the particular fixed period. 
The period of deposit is minimum six months and maximum ten years. The interest rates vary for different plans based on the amount one saves and the period of time and also on banks. No withdrawals are allowed from the RD account. However, the bank may allow to close the account before the maturity period.
These accounts can be opened in single or joint names. Banks are also providing the Nomination facility to the RD account holders. 

What is Fixed Deposit Account?

In Fixed Deposit Account (also known as FD Account), a particular sum of money is deposited in a bank for specific period of time. It’s one time deposit and one time take away (withdraw) account. The money deposited in this account can not be withdrawn before the expiry of period. 
However, in case of need,  the depositor can ask for closing the fixed deposit prematurely by paying a penalty. The penalty amount varies with banks.
A high interest rate is paid on fixed deposits. The rate of interest paid for fixed deposit vary according to amount, period and also from bank to bank.


Deposit Schemes for NRIs and PIOs

Not only the Indians living in India can have their accounts in the banks of India, but the people who leave India and reside in some other country or become NRIs (Non-Resident Indian) and PIOs (Person of Indian Origin) can also maintain their accounts in India enjoying the various benefits of the accounts as applicable.

Three forms of such bank accounts in India are:


Non Resident Ordinary (NRO) account is a Savings Account or Current Account or Fixed Deposit Account or Recurring Deposit account opened by NRIs and PIOs.
It is a rupee denominated account i.e. the amount in the account is maintained in Indian Rupees.

Facilities and Advantages of NRO account:

  • The NRIs and PIOs who transfer from India and have funds gathered in India like rent income, pension, etc. can enjoy the benefits of NRO account.
  • If the residents who leave India have account in India, then that account can be converted to NRO account with the same account number.
  • So the account is efficient for maintaining local rupee earnings in India while living abroad.
  • Joint account facility and nomination facility is available with Indian residents.
  • Cheque book and ATM card facility is available for joint accountee in India.
  • The credit balances in NRO account are subject to respective income tax bracket.
  • The funds are not repatriable except for the following:
    (i) all current income and
    (ii) up to USD 1 (one) million per financial year (April-March), by A NRI/ PIO.


Non Resident External (NRE) account is a rupee denominated account which can be Savings Account or Current Account or Fixed Deposit Account or Recurring Deposit account opened by NRIs and PIOs.

Facilities and Advantages of NRE account:

  • The NRIs and PIOs who want to transfer their foreign earnings to India can enjoy the benefits of NRE account.
  • So the account is efficient to use foreign earnings in India while living abroad.
  • It is a safe and simple online money transfer service.
  • Joint account facility and nomination facility is available with other NRIs or Indian Residents.
  • Loan facility is also available against funds in NRE account.
  • The principal amount and the interest paid on the amount are not taxable in India.
  • It is a repatriable account i.e. the funds in account can be converted to any foreign currency.


Foreign Currency Non Resident (FCNR) account is a term deposit account that can be maintained by NRIs and PIOs in foreign currency. So this means it is not a savings account. Authorized dealer banks in India can allow deposits in any of the permitted currency (currency freely convertible).

Facilities and Advantages of FCNR account:

  • The NRIs and PIOs who want to keep their savings as fixed deposits in Indian banks can apply for FCNR account. They can gain more rate of interest in India than abroad.
  • The maturity period of term deposit ranges from 1 year to 5 years.
  • The account is maintained in foreign currency so the money is not converted to Indian Rupees as in case of NRO account.
  • So there is no Foreign Exchange risk, for example: if you deposited $100 in the account with 1% rate of interest, after 1 year on maturity you will get $ 101 irrespective of what the previous or current currency rates are.
  • Funds in FCNR account can be used for making local payments in India.
  • Joint account facility and nomination facility is available with other NRIs or Indian Residents.
  • Loan facility is also available against funds in FCNR account.
  • The principal amount and the interest paid on the amount are not taxable in India.
  • It is a repatriable account i.e. the funds in account can be converted to any foreign currency.

Simple notes on Demat Account

Demat account is an account in which the shares and securities are held in dematerialized form i.e. electronically without any physical papers held.
It is not like your savings or current account in which the cash is held and cards are issued.
For getting a demat account open, one needs to go to one of the Depository Participants or DPs. DPs could be banks, brokers or financial institution that have been allowed to provide this service. The Dps act as intermediary between central depository and the investor.

Some facts about Demat Account:

  • To carry out transactions in the stock market, one should get open a demat account.
  • To open a demat account, KYC procedure is also followed.
  • Multiple demat accounts can be opened.
  • Demat accounts are held by a single person i.e. no joint accounts can be operated.
  • There is no need of any minimum balance in demat account.

Benefits of having Demat Account:

  • When the transactions are done, like buying or selling securities in the market, they get automatically updated.
  • It provides paperless transactions.
  • It provides security in holding securities in the account.
  • Provides reduction in transaction cost.
  • No stamp duty on transfer of securities.
  • Traders can work from anywhere

Basic Saving Bank Deposit Account 

A Basic Savings Bank Deposit Account (BSBDA) can be opened with simplified KYC document and also with nil balance.
It is like a Savings account with some modifications in it. A person having BSBDA in a bank cannot have a Savings Account in the same bank. But he can have other accounts such as fixed deposit and recurring deposit accounts.
A person having savings account can open a BSBDA in the same bank. But he will have to close the savings account within 30 days from the date of opening of BSBDA.
With the introduction of BSBDA, ‘no-frills’ account with ‘nil’ or very low minimum balances have been converted to BSBDA.

Highlights of BSBDA:

  • All types of customers can open a Basic Savings Bank Deposit Account having age above 10 years.
  • There is no requirement for any initial deposit for opening a BSBDA.
  • The services available free in the ‘Basic Savings Bank Deposit Account’ include deposit and withdrawal, transfer funds, cheque facility, passbooks, ATM cards and number of withdrawals to 4 using any mode in a month.
  • The respective banks can also offer other services as free apart from mentioned above.
  • Accounts enjoying additional facilities under the reasonable pricing structure for value added services, exclusively for BSBDA customers should not be treated as BSBDAs.
  • BSBDAs can be opened in any commercial banks and also in foreign banks.
  • Opening these accounts is a part of Financial Inclusion.
If a customer want to get open an account without KYC norms, then also a bank account can be opened for him but that will be treated as BSBDA-Small Account with conditions as:
  • Total credits in such accounts should not exceed one lakh rupees in a year.
  • Maximum balance in the account should not exceed fifty thousand rupees at any time.
  • In a month, the total of cash withdrawals and transfers cannot exceed Rs 10,000.
  • Foreign remittances cannot be credited to Small Accounts without completing normal KYC formalities.
  • Small accounts are valid for a period of 12 months initially which may be extended by another 12 months if the person provides proof of having applied for an Officially Valid Document.
  • Small Accounts can only be opened at Core Banking System (CBS) linked branches of banks or at such branches where it is possible to manually monitor the fulfillments of the conditions.

Difference between Cheque and Demand Draft

Cheque and Demand Drafts both are used for the purpose of payments. Since it is not always possible to give the money in cash to another person or party, they are popular for doing the payments. Since the banks are involved in between the payment process, the currency paid is considered to be authentic.


A cheque is a negotiable instrument drawn on a specified banker and not expressed to be payable otherwise than on demand and cheque also includes the electronic image of a truncated cheque and a cheque in the electronic form.
  • a cheque in the electronic form‘ means a cheque which contains the exact mirror image of a paper cheque, and is generated, written and signed in a secure system ensuring the minimum safety standards with the use of digital signature and asymmetric crypto system.
  • a truncated cheque‘ means a cheque which is truncated during the course of a clearing cycle, either by the clearing house or by the bank whether paying or receiving payment. After the generation of an electronic image for transmission, the image substitutes the physical movement of the cheque in writing.

Demand Draft

Also known as DD, it is kind of a pre-paid negotiable instrument that is used to direct payments from one bank to another bank or one of its own branches to pay a certain sum to the specified party.
  • When a bank gets request for the issue of a DD by any individual or party, it either deducts the money from the bank account (if the individual/party has bank account in that bank) or individual/party has to give the amount in cash not exceeding Rs 50,000. In case of amount exceeding Rs 50,000, the payment is to be made by cheque along with giving the PAN No.
  • Like a cheque, DD also contains DD number and MICR No. at the bottom. DDs can also be used for making payments abroad by issuing a draft in foreign currency.

Demand Draft (DD)
It is issued by an individual It is issued by a bank
So they are orders of payment from an account holder to the bank They are orders of payment by a bank to another bank
Payment is made after presenting cheque for encashing Payment is paid before presenting DD for encashing
Three parties are involved – Drawer, Drawee, Payee Two parties are involved – Drawer, Payee
Drawer and Drawee are different persons, can be same also if cheque is drawn on self Drawer and Drawee are same bank with different branches
Drawer is  customer of the bank Drawer is the bank itself
In case of insufficient balance in the account, it can be dishonoured It cannot be dishonoured because payment is already done for it
They can be paid to either bearer  (who presents the cheque to bank) or order (whose name is specified on the cheque) They are always payable to the specified party
It is defined in the Negotiable Instrument Act, 1881 Although a type of negotiable instrument only, it is not defined in the act.
It requires a sign of individual/party It requires a sign of banking authority and stamp of bank
There are no bank charges to issue a cheque Different banks can charge differently for the issue of DD.
Individual/Party issuing cheque muct have a savings or current account in the bank Individual/Party getting issued a DD may not necessarily have bank account in the bank

Current Affairs February 2017

Feb 1

Union Budget 2017

i.Finance Minister Arun Jaitley presented the Union budget 2017-2018 in Lok Sabha today (01 February 2017). 
ii.This is the fourth budget by the Narendra Modi government. It was broadly focused on 10 issues farming sector, rural population, youth, poor and health care for the underprivileged, infrastructure, financial sector for stronger institutions, speedy accountability, public services, prudent fiscal management and tax administration for the honest.

Basant Panchami is being celebrated today (01st February 2017)

i.Basant Panchami is being celebrated today (1 February 2017). The festival marks the beginning of the spring season. The festival is celebrated every year on the fifth day of the month of 'Magha'. Basant means spring and Panchami means "the fifth day".
 ii.On this day, Hindus wearing yellow clothes visit temples and pray to Goddess Saraswati the goddess of knowledge, and celebrate the day as Saraswati Puja. Schools and educational institutes celebrate Saraswati Puja. Kite flying competitions will also be held. iii.The festival is mostly celebrated mostly in northern states of Punjab and Bihar.In Allahabad, Basant Panchami bathing is taking place at the confluence of Ganga and Yamuna and other Ghats of holy rivers from this morning. Besides elaborate arrangements for the bathing, security has been tightened at the Sangam area. Police and paramilitary forces are keeping vigil and drones and CCTV cameras have been put into service in the area.

Fiscal deficit reaches 94% of the budget estimate

i.Fiscal deficit in the first nine months of 2016-17 touched 93(point)9 per cent of the Budget estimate. The fiscal deficit had stood at 87.9% in the corresponding nine months a year ago. The fiscal deficit is the gap between expenditure and revenue. 
ii.According to data released by the Controller General of Accounts, tax revenue was 71.4% of the full-year budget estimate. Total expenditure, Plan and Non-Plan, was 74.3% of the government's full-year estimate. The revenue deficit during April-December 2016 stood at 100.1% of the budget estimate.

Rajasthan, Telangana bag eGov awards

i.This year (2017), under the State category, Rajasthan and Telangana emerged Winners of Excellence while the Award of Recognition went to Odisha and Nagaland.
ii.Instituted by the Computer Society of India’s (CSI) Special Interest Group with sponsorship from Nihilent Technologies, these awards help recognise the efforts of eGovernance practitioners from across central and state departments, projects and in district administrative units as well.

 Railway Ministry Requests Separate Fund for Rashtriya Rail Safety Fund

i.The Ministry of Railway has proposed the Finance Ministry to create a non-lapsable safety fund named ‘Rashtriya Rail Sanraksha Kosh’ over five years with initial corpus of Rs. 20000 crore and contribute a portion to fund it in the Budget 2017 .
ii.The decision to set up the safety fund is based on the recommendation of a high-level safety review committee under the chairmanship of Dr. Anil Kakodkar, former chairman of Atomic Energy Commission.

SAARC programming committee meeting begins in Kathmandu

i.The programming committee meeting of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) has began at Kathmandu.Senior officials of all eight member countries are participating in the meeting.
ii.Indian delegation is lead by Shri Prashant Agarwal, Joint Secretary (SAARC).During the two day meeting number of issues including budget of SAARC secretariat and its 5 regional centres and regular activities of the Associtation will be discussed.
iii.This is the first senior level meeting of Association since postponement of 19th SAARC Summit in November last year. Nepal, the current chair of SAARC had postpone the summit after Afghanistan, Bhutan, Bangladesh and India had decided to boycott SAARC summit scheduled in Islamabad last year.

Ministry of Defence to Set up Rs 1500 cr Defence Unit in Madhya Pradesh

i.The Union Minister for Panchayati Raj and Rural Development, Narendra Singh Tomar stated that the Ministry of Defence is set to open its Defence Unit in Morena district of Madhya Pradesh.
ii.The unit would be set up in Kailaras and Sabalgarh tehsil areas and span over 969.735 hectare of land at a cost of Rs. 1500 crore.

E-Paathsala Launches Unique Technology-Backed Services for Educational Institutions in India

Bangalore based Start-up firm E-paathsala has launched an integrated accreditation and ERP technology solution for the colleges and universities to enable them better manage their multiple accreditation standards in an easy, efficient and fast manner and bridge the gap identified for specific accreditations.

Income Tax Department (ITD) launches Operation Clean Money 

 i.Income Tax Department (ITD) lead by Sushil Chandra has launched Operation Clean Money to verify the cash deposited in the banks during November 9th to December 30th 2016.
ii.An online Verification process will be carried out by comparing the demonetisation data CBDTwith information in ITD databases.This information will be available at the portal https://incometaxindiaefiling.gov.in.
iii.The PAN holder can view the information using the link ‘Cash Transactions 2016’ under ‘Compliance’ section of the portal.

Textile Ministry Inaugurates Meghalaya’s First Ever Apparel and Garment Centre at Ampati

i.Meghalaya’s  first ever Apparel and Garment Making Centre was inaugurated on January 30, 2017 jointly by Union Textiles Minister Smriti Zubin Irani and Chief Minister of Meghalaya Dr. Mukul Sangma near Ampati in South West Garo Hills.
ii.The centre would enable to create job opportunity for both men and women of the region and make them economically empowered.The facility has been set up in an area of 45,000 sq feet at an approximate cost of Rs 14.26 crore. It has been set up under North East Region Textiles Promotion Scheme (NERTPS).

Lakshmi Vilas Bank Partners with Fisdom for Mission FINFIT

i.The private sector lender Lakshmi Vilas Bank in partnership with Bangalore based fin-tech startup firm Fisdom, has launched a mobile application Mission FINFIT to offer the customers of the bank financial planning and personal wealth management services based on Robo advisory.
ii.The mobile app would enable the customer of the bank to plan their finances in an effective manner using the online platform for wealth management thus encouraging them to invest smarter.

ICRA Estimates Banks Credit Growth to Remain Subdued at 5-6% in FY17

i.As per the report of the rating agency, ICRA, the bank credit growth rate is likely to float between 5-6% in the current fiscal year (2017).
ii.The reason cited includes weak loan demand as the rate of return offered by debt market is better in comparison to banks.Besides, the deposit rate was also projected to drop to 12% from the current 14.7% this fiscal ending March 2017 due to better cash flow in the system and cut in the deposit rate by the banks.

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh Presents 2016 National Entrepreneurship Awards

i.The First ever National Entrepreneurship Awards 2016 was presented by the Union Home Minister Shri Rajnath Singh at Indian Institute of Technology, New Delhi on January 30, 2017.
ii.Shri Rajiv Pratap Rudy, Minister of State (I/C) for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship was the guest of honour on the occasion.The National Entrepreneurship Awards was instituted by the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MoSDE) to recognize and honor the entrepreneurial spirit of India’s youth and encourage more and more young Indians to become entrepreneur.
iii.The awards were given in 11 different categories divided into two groups: Award Track and Recognition Track.

UNICEF launches 3.3 bln USD to aid millions of children

i.UN children's agency UNICEF has launched an appeal for 3.3 billion US Dollar to help 48 million children caught up in crises worldwide amid fears of a funding cut from top donor the United States. This year's appeal represents a 18% increase from the initial request for funding in 2016.
ii. Donors contribute to the appeals on a voluntary basis. The United States is by far the top donor to UNICEF, followed by Germany, Britain and the European Commission. According to UNICEF, Almost one in four of the world's children now lives in a country affected by conflict or disaster.

Alok Verma takes charge as new CBI Director

i.Former Delhi Police Commissioner Alok Verma today took charge as the new CBI Director. He will hold the charge of the premier investigating agency for a period of two years.
ii. A 1979-batch IPS officer, Mr Verma was selected by a three-member committee comprising Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Chief Justice J S?Khehar and Senior Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge. 

Moussa Faki Mahamat appointed as new African Union AU head 

Chadian foreign affairs minister Moussa Faki Mahamat has been elected as the head of  AU Headthe African Union Commission. He will replace Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma

US House of Representatives Introduces H-1B Visa Reform Bill

i.The US House of Representatives has introduced a legislation on January 30, 2017 making it mandatory to raise the minimum salary of the H-1B visa holders to more than double at USD 1,30,000 from the previous USD 60,000.
ii.If the legislation is passed, it would highly impact American companies as they may face difficulty in replacing the American employees with foreign workers including IT professionals from India.
iii.The High-Skilled Integrity and Fairness Act of 2017 introduced by California Congressman Zoe Lofgren prioritises 

Ireland became the world’s first country to stop investing in fossil fuels

Ireland has become the first country in the world to divest coal, oil and gas investments from Ireland Strategic Investment Fund.The bill was passed in the Irish parliament by gaining 53 votes out of 90. It was introduced by Deputy Thomas Pringle.

Former Minister E Ahamed Dies After Suffering Cardiac Arrest

Former Union Minister E Ahamed, who collapsed in parliament, has died. He was 78. Mr Ahamed was admitted at Delhi's Ram Manohar Lohia (RML) hospital after he suffered a cardiac arrest while both houses of parliament were being jointly addressed by President Pranab Mukherjee.

Feb 2

Govt to launch TIES to fund export infrastructure

i. A new scheme will be introduced by Govt of India to create infrastructure for exports, a move aimed at reducing transaction costs for traders. A new and restructured central scheme with a focus on export infrastructure namely Trade Infrastructure for Export Scheme (TIES) will be launched in 2017-18.
ii. Indian exporters face huge challenges in terms of infrastructure, particularly in states.Inadequate infrastructure pushes their transactions costs, impacting competitiveness of Indian goods in the global markets.Exporters body Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO) said the scheme will help create modern infrastructure like last mile connectivity to ports, testing labs and certification centres.

Agri credit raised to record Rs 10 lakh crore in Financial Year 2018

i. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley announced a whopping Rs 1 lakh crore hike in the credit target for the next financial year to Rs 10 lakh crore as part of the government's efforts to double farm incomes in the next five years.
ii. The target for agricultural credit in 2017-18 has been fixed at a record level of Rs 10 lakh crore, Jaitley stated in his Budget speech.The government provides short-term crop loans up to Rs 3 lakh at subsidised interest rate of 7% per annum.
 iii. An additional incentive of 3% is provided to farmers for prompt repayment of loans within due date, making an effective interest rate for them at 4%. The Finance Minister noted that the agriculture sector is expected to grow at 4.1% during the current financial year on good monsoon. Sowing of both kharif and rabi crops has been higher.
 iv. Jaitley said the allocation for new crop insurance scheme 'Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana', which was launched in 2016, has been increased to Rs 13,240 crore this financial year from budgeted Rs 5,500 crore. The allocation for the next financial year has been earmarked at Rs 9,000 crore.

Govt to set up dairy development fund with corpus of Rs 8,000 cr

i.To augment income of farmers budget has proposed setting-up of a Dairy Processing and Infrastructure Development Fund with a corpus of Rs 8,000 crores over three years. 
ii.Dairy is an important source of additional income for the farmers. A Dairy Processing and Infrastructure Development Fund would be set-up in NABARD with a corpus of Rs 8,000 crores over 3 years stated Finance Minister Arun Jaitley during his budget speech, 2017.

Rs. 10,000 cr allocated for PSB recapitalisation

i.The Union Budget has allocated Rs. 10,000 crore towards recapitalisation of public sector banks in FY2017-18. 
ii.Under Indradhanush roadmap announced in 2015, the government stated to infuse Rs. 70,000 crore in state banks over four years while they will have to raise a further Rs. 1.1 lakh crore from the markets to meet their capital requirement in line with global risk norms, known as Basel III. 
iii.In line with the blueprint, public sector banks has been given Rs. 25,000 crore in each fiscal, 2015-16 and 2016-17. Besides, Rs. 10,000 crore each would be infused in 2017-18 and 2018-19.

Govt proposes Payments Regulatory Board in RBI

i. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has proposed creation of a six-member Payments Regulatory Board in the RBI, headed by RBI Governor Urjit Patel as part of bringing about structural reforms in the payment eco-system.
 ii. For the purpose, necessary amendments are proposed in the Finance Bill 2017 to create a Payments Regulatory Board in the Reserve Bank of India by replacing the existing Board for Regulation and Supervision of Payment and Settlement Systems.
iii.In his Budget Speech, Jaitley stated a Committee on Digital Payments constituted by Department of Economic Affairs has recommended structural reforms in the payment eco system, including amendments to the Payment and Settlement Systems Act, 2007.

Air India to get Rs. 1,800 cr from govt in 2017-2018

i. National carrier Air India will receive Rs 1,800 crore as equity infusion in 2017-18 under the government’s ongoing financial assistance and the amount is slightly higher than the allocation for 2016-2017. 
ii. The allocation has been made in the Union Budget for 2017-18, which was presented by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.For 2016-17, the government had allocated Rs 1,713 crore to the airline against a demand of Rs 3,911 crore.The government-owned airline has been allocated Rs 1,800 crore as part of the Rs 30,0231 crore financial bailout package.

Budget 2017 pushes Nifty above 8,700 for 1st time since October 25, 2016

i. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley announced in his Budget 2017 speech with Nifty50 reclaiming its crucial 8,700 mark for the first time since October 25, 2016, while S&P BSE Sensex ended comfortably above its key 28,000 level. 
ii. To the relief of investors, Jaitley made no reference to long-term capital gains tax on equities and also set a comfortable fiscal deficit target of 3.2% for the fiscal year 2017-18. The Sensex closed the day at 28,141 up 486 points while Nifty50 settled at 8,716 up 155 points. 

Arun jaitley unveils education reforms, to set up National Testing Agency

i. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley unleashed measures to revamp the country's education system, including setting up of a National Testing Agency to conduct all entrance examinations for higher education institutions.
ii. Unveiling the budgetary proposals for 2017-18 in Parliament, Jaitley stated that government proposes to establish a National Testing Agency as an autonomous and self-sustained premier testing organisation to conduct all entrance examinations for higher education institutions.
iii.This would free CBSE, AICTE and other premier institutions from these administrative responsibilities so that they can focus more on academics.The government proposes to leverage information technology and launch the SWAYAM platform with at least 350 online courses.

Surajkund International Crafts Mela Kicked off in Faridabad, 20 countries to participate

i. The 31st edition of Surajkund International Crafts Mela started with amid tight security.To be inaugurated by Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar, the carnival is a 15-day affair in faridabad, Haryana. 
ii. Over 20 countries are participating in the event with Egypt as a partner country this year, 2017 and Jharkhand as the theme state. Every year, one country becomes the partner country ands an Indian state is selected to set the theme of the mela.

British PM Theresa May receives UK Parliament's approval to begin Brexit process

i.UK Prime Minister Theresa May has received Parliament's first stage approval to begin the process of Britain's exit from the European Union (EU) after winning a crucial vote in the House of Commons last night. 
ii. British MPs voted in favour of the European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill.498 MPs voted in favour of Brexit Bill, while 114 voted against it. 

Researchers Discover Oldest Human Ancestor

i. Researchers have discovered microscopic sea animal Saccorhytus, the earliest known ancestor of humans along with a vast range of other species.
ii. The exquisitely well preserved fossilised traces of this 540-million-year-old creature were discovered. 
iii. This balloon-like sea is the earliest known step on the evolutionary path that led to fish and eventually to humans.

Feb 3 

Rs 10,000 penalty for late filing of income tax returns

i. As with the presentation of the Union Budget 2017, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has made it easier for the small tax-payers, the budget has however proposed a fee for delayed filing of income tax return. If the income tax return is furnished after the due date but on or before the December 31 of the assessment year, there will be a fine of Rs 5,000 imposed. In other cases, there will be an imposition of a fine of Rs 10,000.

ii. However, in a case where the total income does not exceed Rs 5 lakh, the Budget proposed that the fee amount shall not exceed Rs 1,000.

Sanjeev Sanyal appointed Principal Economic Adviser

i. Sanjeev Sanyal, former global strategist and Managing Director of Deutshe Bank, was today appointed as Principal Economic Adviser. The Appointments Committee of Cabinet has approved Sanyal’s appointment for three years on contract basis, an order issued by Personnel Minister said. Sanyal will work under the Department of Economic Affairs.

Lakshya Sen becomes World No.1 Junior Badminton player

i. India's Lakshya Sen has become the World No 1 Junior Badminton player. He achieved the distinction in the latest rankings of the Badminton World Federation (BWF). Fifteen-year-old is the first shuttler from Uttarakhand to attain the numero uno spot at the international level. 

ii. Lakshya, who is considered as the shining future star of Indian badminton, moved ahead of Chia Hao Lee of the Chinese Taipei, to attain the top spot. According to BWF current rankings, Lakshya has 16,903 points in eight tournaments he has played in the season. Chia Hao, who is at the second spot, has 16,091 points.

Apple to start manufacturing in India

i. Tech giant Apple has reached an agreement with the Karnataka government to set up a manufacturing plant in Bengaluru, Karnataka. "Apple’s decision on initial manufacturing in Bengaluru has further enhanced the reputation of Bengaluru as the most preferred destination for foreign investment," the Karnataka government said. Apple is reportedly expected to start production for the Indian market in April.

Tata Motors launches TAMO; to unveil first sportscar on March 7

i. As a core element of its transformation journey 'FutuReady', Tata Motors presented on 02nd February 2017 its new Passenger Vehicle strategy and introduced its new sub-brand - TAMO. 

ii. TAMO will act as an incubating centre of innovation towards new technologies, business models and partnerships in order to define future mobility solutions. The first product developed by TAMO will premiere at the upcoming 87th Geneva International Motor Show on March 7, 2017.

GDP growth likely at 7.1% in 2017-18: HSBC

i. India is expected to clock GDP growth of 7.1 per cent in 2017—18 as the country gets sufficiently remonetised and the schemes in the Budget play a supportive role, says an HSBC report.

ii. The uptick in the growth numbers would be largely driven by the remonetisation process, which is expected by April-end, as this in turn would boost the consumption levels in the country. HSBC expect GDP to grow at 7.1 per cent year-on-year in 2017-18, up from 6.3 percent in 2016-17, as the country gets sufficiently remonetised (by April-end), and consumption moves back to pre-demonetisation levels.

Budget 2017-18 allocation to WCD hiked by nearly 26 pc 

i. The Women and Child Development Ministry has received a nearly 26 per cent increase in budget allocation this year with the total money set aside climbing to Rs 22,095 crore from Rs 17,640 crore last year. 

ii. The amount budgeted for 'Indira Gandhi Matritva Sahyog Yojana' saw a four times jump with Rs 2,700 crore being set aside this year as compared to Rs 634 crore in 2016-17. As per this scheme Rs 6,000 will be provided for mothers who seek institutionalised delivery and vaccination. 

Sula Fest begins in Maharashtra

i. The tenth edition of Sula Fest has began on 03rd February at the Sula Vineyards in Nashik, Maharashtra. The line-up for the three-day festival, which will also feature professional wine tastings and grape stomping, includes artists Infected Mushroom and Nucleya. Tickets for Sula Fest, which is offering a camping stay facility, range from RS. 1500 to Rs. 4900.

India recorded highest domestic air passenger growth in 2016

i. Emerging as a stand-out performer, India witnessed the highest growth of 23.3 per cent in domestic air travel demand worldwide in 2016 twice that of neighbouring China, according to International Air Transport Association (IATA).

ii. The global airlines’ grouping has stated that domestic India market topped the growth chart for the second year in a row with passenger volumes surging twice as that of China. “Domestic air travel rose 5.7 per cent in 2016. Capacity rose 5.1 per cent and load factor was 82.2 per cent, up 0.5 percentage points over 2015.

Survival of India-Pakistan Indus water treaty appears ‘weak’: UN report

i. The 40-year-old Indus Waters Treaty between India and Pakistan has been an outstanding example of conflict resolution but scarcity of water in the basin states since the early 1990s has brought the agreement under strain and its “survival appears weak”, according to a UN report. “The treaty fails to address two issues: the division of shortages in dry years between India and Pakistan, when flows are almost half as compared to wet years, and the cumulative impact of storages on the flows of the River Chenab into Pakistan,” said the UNDP report titled ‘Development Advocate Pakistan’.

ii. Wular Barrage and Kishenganga project on the Jhelum and Neelum rivers present a similar problem whereby water storage during the Rabi season is critical as flows are almost one-fifth of the Kharif season, according the report, which was released on 01st February 2017.

World's most expensive saree was sold for Rs 40 lakh

i. The most expensive silk saree was made by Chennai Silks and was sold for around Rs.40 lakh in January 2008, according to Guinness World Records. The saree featured reproductions of 11 paintings by Indian artist Raja Ravi Varma and took about 4,760 man-hours to produce. The saree, studded with gold, diamond, emerald, and other precious stones, weighed around 8 kilograms. 

Sports Ministry budget hiked by Rs 350 crore

i.The Sports Ministry budget got a substantial hike of Rs 350 crore in the union budget for 2017-18, presented by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in the Parliament. Jaitley allocated a total of Rs 1943 crore, compared to Rs 1592 crore earmarked last year.

ii. The steep increase in the budgetary allocation comes at a time when Indian athletes are preparing for the Commonwealth Games and Asian Games in 2018. The hike also comes in the wake of India’s dismal showing at the Rio Olympics where it won just two medals – a silver and bronze.

Feb 4

04th February: The World Cancer Day 2017

i. A truly global event taking place every year on 4 February, World Cancer Day unites the world’s population in the fight against cancer. Taking place under the tagline ‘We can. I can.’, World Cancer Day 2016-2018 will explore how everyone – as a collective or as individuals – can do their part to reduce the global burden of cancer.

ii. It aims to save millions of preventable deaths each year by raising awareness and education about the disease, pressing governments and individuals across the world to take action. 

HDFC Bank increases cash transaction fees on savings a/cs

i. In a bid to discourage cash transactions, the country’s second-largest private sector lender HDFC Bank has decided to steeply increase the fees for savings account holders on a slew of activities involving cash. HDFC Bank has decided to steeply raise the charges on certain transactions, capping cash component in others and also introducing charges on certain transactions from 01st March 2017.
ii. The bank has capped the third-party transactions at Rs. 25,000 a day, reduced the number of free cash transactions at branches to four from five earlier and also raised the fee for non-free transactions by a steep 50 per cent to Rs.150.
Earlier, it used to allow Rs. 50,000 cash transactions, both withdrawals and deposits per day, the official said, adding the review is only for salary and savings accounts.

Rail Museum celebrates 40th anniversary

i. The National Rail Museum in New Delhi celebrated its 40th anniversary on 01st February 2017. The museum, which houses a large collection of life-size rail exhibits, allows visitors to take a tour on a toy train. Its attractions include the saloons of the Maharajas of Indore and Mysore and Fairy Queen, the oldest working steam locomotive still in operation.

Former CBI chief Joginder Singh passes away

i. Former CBI chief Joginder Singh, who oversaw investigation of several high-profile cases including Bofors scam and Bihar's fodder scam, has passed away at aged 77 years.

ii. Family sources said he breathed his last on 04th February 2017 after the prolonged illness.The 1961 batch IPS officer of Karnataka cadre was chosen to head the premier investigative agency when H D Deve Gowda was the Prime Minister.

IDFC MD Vikram Limaye the new CEO, MD of NSE

i. Leading stock exchange National Stock Exchange (NSE) on 03rd February 2017 has selected IDFC chief Vikram Limaye as its new CEO and Managing Director, two months after the sudden exit of Chitra Ramkrishna from the top post.

ii. NSE's board approved Limaye's name for the top position but a formal announcement would be made later as some formalities need to be completed from his side. The approval of the board, chaired by Ashok Chawla, comes after a four-member search panel suggested Limaye's name from amongst the shortlisted candidates.

Pankaj Advani pockets the National Snooker Championship title

i. Champion cueist Pankaj Advani has won the Indian National Snooker Championship with a 6-0 win over Pandurangaiah of Railways in a one-sided final on 03rd February 2017.

ii. Apart from clinching his 29th national title overall, Advani broke several other records. He became the only Indian men’s cueist to be the holder of all national billiards and snooker titles at the same time – Billiards, 6-red Snooker and 15-red Snooker. After marching into the finals of the snooker nationals with a 5-2 victory over Sundeep Gulati of New Delhi, Advani put on a flawless show of precision in the summit clash, leaving the spectators at the PYC Hindu Gymkhana mesmerised.

UIDAI clamps down on 50 fraud sites offering Aadhaar services

i. In a massive crackdown on unauthorised agencies offering Aadhaar-related services illegally and charging excessive money from the public, UIDAI has got shut down 12 such websites and 12 mobile apps available on the Google Playstore.

ii. The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has further directed authorities for closure of another 26 such fraudulent and illegal websites and mobile applications. “Some websites and mobile apps were luring citizens to share their basic information and Aadhaar number under the pretext of getting them Aadhaar card or offering other Aadhaar related services. We have taken strict action against them,” UIDAI CEO Ajay Bhushan Pandey told.

Feb 5

Govt forms panel to improve Haj policy, look into subsidy issue

i. The Centre has formed a six-member committee to give a report on ways to improve India's Haj policy and also look into the issue of subsidy to the pilgrimage in light of 2012 Supreme Court order on gradually reducing and abolishing it by 2022. 

ii. Former Consulate General of India (CGI), Jeddah, Afzal Amanullah has been appointed as convener of the high-level panel, Union Minister of State for Minority Affairs (Independent Charge) Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi told reporters in New Delhi that the committee will submit its report in a month or two on how India's Haj policy can be improved and how the pilgrims can get maximum concessions.

‘President Pranab’ to bloom at Delhi’s Mughal Gardens by March first week

i. As the Mughal Gardens at Rashtrapati Bhavan has reopened on 05th February 2017, visitors will for the first time see roses named after the Indian President and his wife, growing next to ‘ Abraham Lincoln’, ‘Christian Dior’ and ‘Queen Elizabeth’ . ‘President Pranab’, a crossbred variety of rose which was planted last month along with another variety of rose named ‘Suvra Mukherjee’, will blossom in spring. The President’s wife passed away in August 2015.

ii. The entire complex comprising spiritual garden, herbal garden, bonsai garden and musical garden will remain open from February 5-March 12 (except on Mondays which are maintenance days) between 9.30am to 4.00pm.

BCCI opposes ICC's proposals on financial model, governance structure

i. Despite the change of guard at the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), the Indian board continued to oppose the International Cricket Council's (ICC) new changes to the financial model and governance structure on 04th February 2017.

ii. The changes that the BCCI, represented by Vikram Limaye, a member of the new Committee of Administrators, is currently opposing are amongst the same changes that were recommended in 2014 with respect to a larger share of ICC's revenue to be given to India. 

Startup acquires Google's satellite imaging business

i. American startup Planet Labs, that launches small satellites into orbit and sells the imagery, has announced its acquisition of Google's 'Terra Bella' satellite business. As part of the agreement, 60 Google employees will join the startup founded by ex-NASA scientists. Terra Bella, formerly Skybox, was acquired by Google in 2014 for $500 million.

Alastair Cook awarded Order of the British Empire

i. England Test captain AlastairCook has been honoured with Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (CBE). He was awarded the CBE at the Buckingham Palace by Prince Charles. 

ii. Cook is the only England player to have scored over 10,000 runs in Tests and has also led England in the most number of Tests. Cook said, receiving the CBE was a very proud moment for him, his family and friends.

Alibaba-made app helps find 611 missing Chinese children

i. A mobile app developed by Alibaba helped Chinese authorities recover 611 missing children last year. The 'Tuanyuan' app, which means 'reunion' in Chinese, sends push notifications with photos and descriptions to users who are close to the location of a child's disappearance. The notifications are sent to users farther from the location of the disappearance till the child is found.

Arun Kumar succeeds Richard Rekhy as KPMG India chairman

i. KPMG India board has elected Arun M Kumar as chairman and CEO to lead the India operations of the consulting and accounting major. He succeeds Richard Rekhy, who stepped down in November last year following a large-scale exodus of key people from the advisory team.

ii. Earlier in January 2016, Rekhy had been re-elected for a four-year term. Kumar, who spent the majority of his career with KPMG in the US, will take charge from 05th February 2017 for a five-year term.

Feb 6

Health Ministry launches Measles Rubella vaccination campaign

i. Health Ministry launched Measles Rubella vaccination campaign in the country at a function in Bengaluru.
ii. The campaign against these two diseases Measles and Rubella will start from Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Puducherry, Goa and Lakshadweep, covering nearly 3.6 crore children.
iii. Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare, Faggan Singh Kulaste launched this initiative at a function in Bengaluru, Speaking on the occasion, Mr Kulaste stated that the centre is committed to eradicating Measles and Rubella from the country. 

Vijay Goel lays foundation stone of 1st centre of excellence for differently abled sportsmen

i. The Union Minister for Sports Vijay Goel laid the foundation stone of the country's first centre of excellence for differently abled sportsmen at Gandhinagar, Gujarat.
ii. The centre is proposed with an estimate of 50 crores rupees and will provide World class facilities such as indoor halls, dedicated tracks and 100 bedded hostel where para athletes will be trained for various internationalcompetitions including Paralympics.
iii. The Minister also inaugurated a sports training centre at Sports Authority of India campus in Gandhinagar. Around 50 differently abled sportspersons between age group 8-12 will be imparted training in Athletics, Swimming and power lifting at the training centre.

Sasikala Natarajan to take over as Tamil Nadu's next CM

i.AIADMK chief Sasikala Natarajan will take over as the next Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu from O Panneerselvam, the party announced. 
ii. The AIADMK MLAs also elected Sasikala Natarajan as the Legislative party leader. Notably, the party said in a tweet that current Chief Minister Panneerselvam had himself proposed Sasikala's name as the leader of AIADMK Legislature Party.

Nagaland cabinet to submit memorandum to PM to exempt it from Part IX A of Constitution

i. Nagaland cabinet has decided to submit a memorandum to the Prime Minister to issue an ordinance to exempt the state from the provision of Part IX A of the Constitution which deals with the municipalities. 
ii. According to a communique issued by the media cell of Chief Minister's Office, the decision was taken in an emergency meeting of the state Cabinet, was attended by special invitees comprising legislators from all tribes. 

Sarbananda Sonowal launches CMSGUY in Guwahati

i. In a move to bring about paradigm shift towards holistic development of villages, Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal launched the Chief Minister Samagra Gramya Unnayan Yojana, CMSGUY in Guwahati this evening. 
ii. This scheme is a mega mission with a financial outlay of 30,000 crore rupees and it will be implemented in all the villages of the state. It will culminate in 2021-22. 

Corp Bank pact with Religare

i. Corporation Bank has signed an agreement with Religare Health Insurance Co Ltd to market its products and services through the distribution network of the bank across India. A press release said that Corporation Bank holds around 5 per cent stake in Religare Health Insurance. 
ii. The Executive Directors of the bank Sunil Mehta and Gopal Murli Bhagat, and Managing Director & CEO of Religare Health Anuj Gulati were present at an event to sign the agreement in Mangaluru

Telangana launches India's first social innovation hub in Nizamabad

i. The Telangana government has launched India's first social innovation centre The ‘Kakatiya Hub For Social Innovation’ in Nizamabad, Telangana.
ii. Telangana IT Secretary Jayesh Ranjan made this announcement at the one-day Development Dialogue, an international social entrepreneurship ecosystem conference hosted by Kakatiya Sandbox.
iii. Jayesh Ranjan said the ‘Kakatiya Hub For Social Innovation’ funded by the Telangana government and implemented through Kakatiya Sandbox will function like a rural incubator to encourage entrepreneurship at the grassroots level.

2% reservation to sports persons in govt jobs: CM Raghubar Das

i. Jharkhand Chief Minister Raghubar Das stated that state will give two per cent reservation to sports persons in government jobs and nutritious food to them. 
ii. He said efforts were also being taken to give nutritious food to the sports persons, an official release in Ranchi.

Bureau of Civil Aviation Security suspends IndiGo's security training centre licence

i. Bureau of Civil Aviation Security, BCAS has suspended the licence of budget carrier IndiGo's aviation security training facility.
ii. The regulatory authority took the decision after several lapses were detected in the examination procedure that it was following. PTI quoting sources stated, the orders issued by the apex aviation security agency BCAS the Gurgaon-based airline from conducting security training programme for its employees any further.
iii. The training academy is run by IndiGo's parent company, InterGlobe Aviation. 

Uber launches taxi hiring service UberHIRE

i. Global taxi-hailing platform Uber announced it has launched a new category UberHIRE that allows customers to hire a taxi for the day, to cover several destinations, and is targetting senior citizens, business travellers and tourists.
ii. Currently, UberHIRE works only on cash payments.After a pilot run in Kochi,UberHIRE will go live in New Delhi, Bangalore, Chennai, Mumbai, Pune, Ahmedabad, Vizag and Nagpur, with more cities slated for launch in the weeks to come, it added.

CESC wins Bikaner power distribution franchise

i. CESC Ltd, a part of the Rs. 19,000-crore RP-Sanjiv Goenka Group, has received a letter of intent for appointment as a power distribution franchisee to supply electricity in Bikaner, Rajasthan.
ii. This is the group’s third distribution operation in Rajasthan, the other two being in Kota and Bharatpur

World’s longest flight lands in New Zealand

i. The world’s longest commercial flight landed in New Zealand on 6 February 2017 with the arrival of Qatar Airways’s 14,535km (9,032-mile) Doha-Auckland service.
ii. The long-range Boeing 777-200LR crossed 10 time zones on its marathon flight. 
iii. There were four pilots on board as well as 15 cabin crew who served 1,100 cups of tea and coffee, 2,000 cold drinks and 1,036 meals during the flight.

Renowned Urdu author Bano Qudsia passes away

Renowned Pakistani Urdu novelist and playwright Bano Qudsia has passed away here. She was 88. She was awarded Sitara-i-Imtiaz in 2003 and Hilal-i-Imtiaz in 2010. 

India to host FIBA Women's Asia Cup basketball tournament

i. India to host FIBA Women's Asia Cup basketball tournament at Bengaluru in July, 2017. Basketball Federation of India (BFI) President KGovindaraj stated that continental flagship tournament for women will be hled from July 23 to 29, 2017.
ii. India has also been given another continental level tournament-the FIBA U-16 Women's Asian Championship - which will be held from October 22 to 28, 2017 in Hyderabad.
iii. This will be the first time since 2009 that India will host a major FIBA (International Basketball Federation) event.

Virat Kohli features in latest cover star of Wisden Cricketers' Almanack

i. Indian skipper Virat Kohli, who led his side to victory against England in all three formats of the game recently, has featured in the latest cover star of the bible of cricket - Wisden Cricketers' Almanack. 
ii. Kohli becomes only the third Asian origin player after Tendulkar and England all-rounder Moeen Ali to be featured on the cover of the magazine.

Feb 7

HRD Ministry to set up NTA to Conduct Exams for Higher & Secondary Education

i. The Union Human Resource Development Ministry led by ‎under Prakash Javadekar is set to constitute a National Testing Agency (NTA) which will be responsible for conducting examinations for higher and secondary education.
ii. The announcement was made in the Union Budget 2017-18  by the Finance Minister who proposed to set up NTA as an autonomous and self-sustained premier testing agency to conduct all entrance exams to higher education. 
iii. The main aim of setting NTA is to ease the work of the bodies like CBSE, AICTE, from the responsibilities of conducting exams, and eventually enable them to focus more on academics.

5.8 magnitude earthquake hits Uttarakhand, tremors also felt in Delhi-NCR

i. A moderate intensity earthquake measuring 5.8 on Richter scale hit Uttarakhand last night (06 February 2017), with tremors also felt in Delhi and other parts of northern India.
ii. Operations head at National Seismological Bureau JL Gautam said, the epicentre of the quake was Rudraprayag district in Uttarakhand.

Andhra Pradesh: First Smart Police Station inaugurated

i. In Andhra Pradesh, the first Smart Police Station, having look and feel of a corporate-style office, started functioning. 
ii. Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu inaugurated the first model police station at Nagarampalem in the capital region Amaravati.He also inaugurated the second model police station in old Guntur town. 

Railways Approves Rail Project in Andaman and Nicobar

i. The Railway Ministry is set to develop the first ever railway line in Andaman and Nicobar Island that currently has no rail network.
ii. The Ministry of Railway is set to approve the project that will construct 240-km broad gauge railway line connecting Port Blair with Diglipur, the largest town on Andaman Island. It will connect the two islands with bridges and stations along the coast.

Tripartite MoU signed among M/o of Tourism, M/s NPCC & NBCC and Govt of J&K for Implementation of Tourism Projects In J&K

i. A Tripartite Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed among the Ministry of Tourism, M/s NPCC & NBCC and Government of J&K on  for the implementation of Tourism projects in Jammu and Kashmir.
ii. As a part of the new initiative, Development of Tourism in the State New Projects, the Ministry of Tourism has sanctioned two projects, one each to NPCC and NBCC in the J&K which will be implemented by September 2017.
iii. The first project sanctioned to M/s NBCC includes Integrated Development of Tourist facilities at Gulmarg Baramulla  Kupwara Leh. The total outlay of the project is Rs. 96.62 Crore.
iv. The project under M/s NPCC includes Integrated Development of Tourist facilities at Mantalai Sudhmahadev  Patnitop in Jammu & Kashmir. The total outlay of the project is Rs. 97.82 Crore.

Bank of Maharashtra ties up with Cigna TTK

i. Public sector lender Bank of Maharashtra has partnered with insurance company Cigna TTK Health to market the insurer’s products in the bank’s branches across the entire country.
ii. Under the agreement, the bank will offer the all of Cigna TTK’s superior health insurance products to its 2 crore customers through its network of over 1,896 branches, its 14,000 bank employees across the country as well as through its digital platforms.

Axis Bank ties up with Earthport 

i. India’s third largest private bank, Axis Bank has tied up with Earthport Plc, a cross-border payment network, to enable faster outbound cross-border payments for its customers through Earthport’s state-of-the-art global payments network.
ii.  Axis Bank has become the first bank in India to connect with Earthport’s global payments network, which spans over 60 countries.

Ujjivan Small Finance Bank Starts Pilot Operation in Bengaluru

i. The Ujjivan Small Finance Bank officially started its operation with 5 pilot branches in Bengaluru. Samit Ghosh is the MD and CEO of the Ujjivan Small Finance Bank.
ii. The five pilot branches of the Ujjivan SFB would offer full services to its customers. The  Ujjivan Small Finance BankSmall Finance Bank will test its technology, channels, people and processes for a period of one month as a part of its pilot launch.
iii. The Bank aims to launch about 14 branches by March 2017 and extend services across 457 branches in 24 states in a planned and phased manner over the next few months.

Indian Coast Guard to have Joint Exercise with UAE Coast Guard

i. In an effort to strengthen the bilateral relations between India and UAE, the Indian Coast Guard Ship (ICGS) Samudra Pavak made a goodwill visit at the Mina Al Rashid (Dubai Port) from February 4 to 7, 2017.
ii. The Indian Ambassador in UAE Navdeep Suri visited the Indian Navy ship on February 5, 2017. During the stay at port Rashid, a series of activities is scheduled to take place between Indian and UAE coast guard. 
iii. As a part of the visit, a joint exercise is scheduled to take place between Indian coast guard and UAE coast guard to enhance co-operation and exchange of operational expertise.

Indian-Origin British Sculptor Anish Kapoor Wins $ 1 Million Israeli Prize

i. Renowned Indian-origin British sculptor Anish Kapoor was honored with the prestigious $1 million 2017 Genesis Prize by Israel for his utmost contribution for Jewish community.
ii. However, the money received by the innovative artist would be contributed by him to help the Syrian refugees and expand Jewish engagement in the global effort to reduce the refugee crisis.
iii. The 62-year-old Anish was chosen by the prize committee headed by Jewish Agency Chairman Natan Sharansky.

Queen Elizabeth II marks Sapphire Jubilee

i. Queen Elizabeth II, the world’s longest reigning sovereign, has became the first British monarch to reach her Sapphire Jubilee, with 65 years on the throne.
ii. The 90-year-old monarch is marking the landmark as a day of private contemplation at her Sandringham estate in Norfolk as it also coincides with the day her father, George V who has died

UN Agency Calls for International Collaboration on Wheat Rust to Curb Threat to Global Supplies 

i. According to a new study conducted by scientists in collaboration with the UN Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), two new groups of wheat rust have been identified that posed threat to wheat produced in Africa, Asia and Europe in 2016.
ii. As per the data, the two new groups have been identified as yellow rust and stem rust. The finding calls for the need for early detection and rapid action to keep the fungus under control.

India to host World Billiards Championship for next four years

i. The Billiards and Snoooker Federation of India (BSFI)informed that India will host the World Billiards Championship for the next four years.
ii. In 2016, the World Billiards Championship was held in Bengaluru.In the prestigious tournament, Pankaj Advani won in the 150-UP format beating Peter Gilchrist of Singapore.
iii.The Billiards and Snooker Federation of India (BSFI) is the central authority that deals with the growth and development of cue sports in India.

Alastair Cook resigns as England Test captain

i. Alastair Cook has resigned as England Test captain after a record 59 matches in the role. Cook tendered his resignation to England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) chairman Colin Graves, but intends to continue playing Test cricket. 
ii. Cook, England's leading scorer in Tests with 11,057 runs, became captain in August 2012.He has led England in a record 69 one-day internationals between 2010 and 2014. He has been the country's most capped Test skipper and has scored more Test centuries than any previous captain.

Iran Lifts Ban on American Wrestling Team

i. Iran lifted up the ban it had imposed on United States Wrestlers, thus allowing them to participate in the Freestyle World Cup to be held in Iran in February 2017.
ii. Iran had banned the American team on February 3, 2017 after the decision of US President Donald Trump to temporarily suspend Visas to seven Muslim majority countries including Iran. 
iii. However, the United States Federal Judge suspended the ban imposed by US Government on Iranian Nationals travelling to the U.S. But the Trump administration is again appealing to reinstate the travel ban.The Freestyle World Cup is to be held in the Iranian city of Kermanshah from February 16 to February 17, 2017.