Current Affairs Current Affairs - 12 October 2017 - Vikalp Education

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Current Affairs - 12 October 2017

General Affairs 

Nitin Gadkari Hopeful Of Change In Ganga Waters By March 2019
  • Union Water Resources Minister Nitin Gadkari today said there will be a lot of improvement in water quality of the Ganga by March 2019, though he remained non-committal on whether the river will be cleaned completely in the time frame.

    Mr Gadkari's predecessor in the ministry, Ms Uma Bharti, had earlier stated that the government had resolved to make Ganga a clean river by October 2018 by completing the first phase of its Namami Gange initiative.

    Addressing an event in New Delhi, Mr Gadkari said efforts are being made to float tenders for all the works relating to Namami Gange by December-end this year and issue work orders by March next year. He also said that the government will ensure transparent and corruption-free work.

    "It (cleaning Ganga) is a difficult task. It is not an easy task. Our effort is to see that, when you will calculate the COD and BOD levels of Ganga waters in March (2019), you will see lot of change (improvement) in it," Mr Gadkari said.

    The chemical oxygen demand (COD) and biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) are valuable tests for assessing pollution levels.

    The minister said, "Let's try for it, think for the best. And it is a difficult task, this is not my commitment and I am not saying I will accomplish it. (but) I am saying I will try to accomplish it."

    Mr Gadkari made the remarks during signing of a tripartite agreement with private sector concessionaires for two hybrid annuity-based public private partnership mode projects in two Ganga cities: Varanasi (Uttar Pradesh) and Haridwar Uttarakhand).

    The minister said that the government has resolved to complete the works and the chief ministers of all Ganga basin states were co-operating on the issue.

    On the tanneries in Uttar Pradesh's Kanpur polluting Ganga waters, Mr Gadkari said the ministry has discussed a new technology to curb pollution with the tanneries association there.

    He said the association has responded positively to the proposal, which will be discussed with the Uttar Pradesh government too before a tender is floated.

    Mr Gadkari also said that the ministry has convened a meeting of top officials from six Ganga basin states on October 30 to review "each water recycling/purifying project" there.

    Minister of State for Water Resources Satyapal Singh will also be attending the meeting, he said.

    "After that, each month a meeting will be held with state ministers, officials to review progress of the projects. There will be a performance audit," he added.

    Mr Gadkari also said that ensuring a 'nirmal Ganga' (Clean Ganga) was the government's priority. He said an "unfettered flow" in the river will be ensured automatically once the river is clean.

    He also urged the media to spread awareness about social- cultural programmes relating to the Ganga for ensuring that the campaign becomes a social movement.

    "This is not just a government programme, but of all those who love the river," he added.

    At one point, Mr Gadkari said officials will have to work in a "do or die" mode and also said that contractors will be dealt with sternly if they put up a poor show.

    According to an official statement, the tripartite agreement for Varanasi was signed among National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG), Uttar Pradesh Jal Nigam and Essel Infra Projects Limited.

    The contract for Haridwar was signed among NMCG, Uttarakhand Peyjal Nigam and HNB Engineers Private Limited.

    The work for setting up 50 million litres daily capacity sewage treatment plant in Varanasi will be carried out at an estimated cost of Rs. 153.16 crore.

    In Haridwar, two STPs of 68 MLD and 14 MLD will be developed, spending around Rs. 171.53 crore, the statement said. Both the projects are 100 per cent centrally-funded.

    After the signing ceremony, the minister also launched a website to enable corporates undertake social responsibility activities.

    The first quarterly newsletter titled Namami Gange was also released by Mr Gadkari.

Rahul Gandhi To Become Congress Boss After Diwali, No Challenger Yet
  • Rahul Gandhi is set to take over as Congress chief from his mother Sonia Gandhi after Diwali, sources have said, with the party now wrapping up an elaborate process of electing state chiefs, members of central bodies and the president. Unless an intrepid Congress leader suddenly decides to take on Mr Gandhi, he is expected to be elevated unopposed like his mother has been for the last 19 years.

    Congress leaders say a contest is highly unlikely given how overdue most in the party consider Mr Gandhi's accession to the top post. "Only two people can be Congress president, mother or son," said senior leader Mani Shankar Aiyar earlier this week. Rahul Gandhi is also expected to name his new team, once he his formally elected, though that is likely to be delayed to after key assembly elections in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh this year.

    A new Congress Working Committee or CWC, the party's highest decision making body and office-bearers are expected to be in place before the next batch of assembly elections next year and before the 2019 national election, when the Congress hopes to rebound after its debacle of 2014 when it could win only 44 parliament seats, its lowest ever by far. Last month, Rahul Gandhi said on a trip to the US that he is "ready" to lead the Congress, which hopes to also position him to take on Prime Minister Narendra Modi when he seeks re-election in 2019.

    In the last two days, most state units of the Congress have rushed single-line resolutions urging the 47-year-old Mr Gandhi to take over as party chief.

    They have also authorised the Congress president to announce new state chiefs, an exercise that was to have been completed by all Pradesh Congress Committees or PCCs by yesterday, but some like the Uttar Pradesh Congress and the Haryana Congress are expected to do only by Friday. Sonia Gandhi is expected to call a CWC meeting and decide on a date after Diwali, October 19, for the elections. If there is a contest for the post of party chief, then PCC delegates will vote.

    The Congress has assured the Election Commission that it will finish internal polls by December. It is supposed to hold elections every three years, but it last did in 2010, when Sonia Gandhi, who has served the longest in that post, was elected for the fourth time. She only faced a contest once, in 2000, when senior leader Jitendra Prasada challenged her.

    Sonia Gandhi, 70, has indicated that she wants to step down and the CWC had made several requests to Mr Gandhi to take over as party chief. It did so earlier this year soon after assembly elections in four states, including Uttar Pradesh, swept by the BJP and where the Congress fared poorly. The Congress's recent losses in elections have been blamed by political rivals and analysts on Mr Gandhi's leadership, but leaders of his party have staunchly supported him.

    The key challenge for Rahul Gandhi is to project his party as a viable alternative to the BJP-led NDA and prove that he is capable of leading not just the Congress, but a coalition of opposition parties to take on PM Modi in 2019.

ISRO To Launch Third Cartosat Satellite In Mid-December
  • The Indian Space Research Organisation plans to launch a satellite on board Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle or PSLV in December, the first since its unsuccessful mission to orbit a navigation spacecraft nearly one-and-a-half months ago.

    The ISRO is getting ready for the Cartosat-2 series satellite mission in mid-December from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre or Sriharikota High Altitude Range (SHAR), an official of the space agency told news agency PTI.

    This would be the third satellite in the Cartosat-2 series.

    In February this year, PSLV-C37 launched the first Cartosat-2 series satellite along with 103 co-passenger satellites in a single flight.

    In June, India's workhorse launch vehicle launched the second one along with 30 co-passenger satellites -- the 39th consecutively successful mission of PSLV.

    But a PSLV-C39 flight carrying IRNSS-1H navigation satellite on August 31 was unsuccessful, in what is seen as a setback to ISRO.

    "We plan to launch Cartosat-2 series satellite 3 mission, which is a follow-on mission in the Cartosat-2 series with the primary objective of providing high-resolution scene specific spot imagery, in mid-December," the official said.

    "There will be a few foreign co-passenger satellites...about 15 to 20 (nano satellites)," he said.

    The total number of customer satellites from abroadplaced in orbit by PSLV so far is 209, according to ISRO.

Godhra Carnage Was Not An Act Of Terrorism: High Court
  • The Gujarat High Court, in its judgement on the 2002 Godhra carnage, has upheld the conspiracy theory but said the crime of the 11 convicts whose death sentence was commuted to rigorous life imprisonment was neither terrorism nor an act of waging war against the state.

    The division bench of Justice Anant S Dave and GR Udhwani, in the order made available on Tuesday, pulled up the state government for failing to maintain law and order, saying the state failed to apprehend the trouble considering the circumstances prevailing then.

    It also said that the Ministry of Railways did not take "measures to ensure safety of the passengers or to provide alternatives" considering that the Sabarmati Express, a coach of which was burnt killing 59 kar sevaks, was "overcrowded."

    The court on Monday commuted the death sentence of 11 convicts to rigorous life imprisonment, while upholding the life sentence of another 20 in the case.

    The court commuted the death sentence of 11 convicts to life imprisonment relying on observations made by the Law Commission of India which recommends that the death penalty be abolished for all crimes other than terrorism related offences and waging war.

    "The cases on hand have no genesis in the act of terrorism or waging war against the state," the court said.

    "Death penalties eliminates a person to a point of no return. While considering the question of sentence to death, a duty is cast upon the court to deliberate on various facets of sentence and to immunise itself to avoid branding imposition of death sentence as 'judge centric' or 'blood thirsty'," said the judgement.

    The court said the fact that the coach of Sabarmati Express Train that was set on fire killing 59 kar sevaks was overcrowded, and that more than 100 persons could disembark safely on the other side.

    "Overcrowdedness in the coach contributed to the enhancement of number of casualties which, in our judgement, might have been far far low in absence of the coach being overcrowded with double the official capacity of the passengers and the luggage," it said.

    The fact that 100 passengers could escape suggested that while "the accused had the intention to cause death and maximum damage, they did not intend to enhance the number of casualties," the court said, adding that it would rather settle for rigorous imprisonment for life.

    While ordering compensation to the kin of the deceased victims to the tune of Rs. 10 lakh, the court pulled up the state over the law and order situation.

    "Constitutional obligation to maintain law and order obligated the state to ensure safety of the persons who ventured to go to Ayodhya for Aahuti, etc. Furthermore, Signal Faliya, Godhra is highly sensitive communal riots prone zone to the knowledge of the state," the court said.

    "In the above factual scenario, the government ought to have apprehended the trouble at least in sensitive areas like Signal Faliya wherefrom the train was scheduled to pass," the court said while ordering compensation of Rs. 10 lakh to the kin of the deceased. It said the Ministry of Railways was also "negligent in performing the duties for providing safety to the passengers travelling in the trains."

    The court upheld the conspiracy theory, saying that emergence, pattern, nature, ignition, colour of flames and temperature in centigrade along with smoke and fire in coach S/6 of ill-fated train based on replies by experts "persuade us to reject theories canvassed by learned counsel for the defence about fire in the coach was due to unknown cause other than the conspiracy for which proper method of investigation in the cases of arson was not followed."

    The court was hearing a batch of petitions challenging the special SIT court which had on March 1, 2011 convicted 31 people and acquitted 63 others in the case.

    The lower court had accepted the prosecution's contention that there was a conspiracy behind the incident. The Justice Nanavati Commission, appointed by the Gujarat government to probe the carnage, had concluded that the fire in the S-6 coach of Sabarmati Express was not an accident, but the coach had been set ablaze.

Supreme Court's Judgement On Privacy Protects Aadhaar: Arun Jaitley
  • The recent Supreme Court order on the right to privacy lays down the correct exemptions which protects Aadhaar, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has said.

    Mr Jaitley, who is in the US to attend the annual meetings of the IMF and the World Bank, was responding to a question at the prestigious Columbia University on how the government is planning to handle Aadhaar after the recent Supreme Court decision on the right to privacy.

    In its judgement in August, a nine-judge bench decreed that that right to privacy is part of the fundamental rights to life and liberty enshrined in the Constitution.

    The judgement has been interpreted by many as a setback to the Aadhaar card, under which the government collects vital personal information of the citizens.

    "I do believe that the Supreme Court judgement on the privacy matter in accordance with the current timing is a correct judgement. It lays down the correct exceptions which protects Aadhaar," Mr Jaitley told students.

    "Article 21 reads that no person can be deprived of his right to life and liberty without procedures established by the law. That procedure has to be fair and just," he said.

    Mr Jaitley said that some of the judges also went into what would be the exceptions to the law of privacy.

    "The first exception they say is national security. The second exception they say is detection and prevention of crime. And the third exception judges say is distribution of socio-economic benefits," he said.

    He said the third exception had been carved out specifically to protect Aadhaar.

    "For instance, nobody can see that I spent Rs. 1 crore in cash and you can t ask me the source, because it violates my privacy...So I think, these exception have been well brought out in the judgement itself," he said.

    There is a chapter in the Aadhaar law which deals with certain aspects like the manner in which data is to be protected and the consequences of violation, he said.

    "So all those safeguard provisions have been brought into the law," he asserted.

Business Affairs

7th Pay Commission: Cabinet approves pay hike for 8 lakh university, college teachers
  • The teachers and equivalent academic staff working with state-run universities, college, and other technical institutions have another reason to smile this festive season. The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday has approved revision of pay scales for about 8 lakh teachers and other equivalent academic staff under the recommendations of Seventh Central Pay Commission.
    The pay hike will be applicable for academic staff in higher educational institutions under the purview of the University Grants Commission (UGC) and in centrally-funded technical institutions, in line with the suggestions made under the 7th Pay Commission for central government employees.
    This pay hike as per the pay panel recommnedations is set to benefit 7.58 lakh teachers and equivalent academic staff in the 106 universities or colleges which are funded either by the UGC or the Ministry of Human Resource Development. Moreover, teachers and academic staff in 329 Universities across the nation which are funded by state governments, and 12,912 government and private-aided colleges affiliated to state public universities also stand to benefit from the rise in salary from 7th Pay Commission recommendations.
    In addition to this list, the revised pay package will also cover teachers engaged with 119 centrally-funded technical institutions, like IITs, IISc, IIMs, IISERs, IIITs, NITIE, among others.
    The revised pay scales will be implemented with retrospective effect from January 1, 2016. The additional presure on the state exchequer to make this pay hike possible is estimated to be close to Rs 9,800 crore. Hiking college teachers' pay in accordance to the recommendations of 7th Pay Commission will make it increase in the the range of Rs 10,400 and Rs 49,800, according to a government statement, in comparison to the existing entry pay put into effect by the 6th Central Pay Commission for the pay of teachers. This revision would register an entry pay growth in the range of 22 per cent to 28 per cent. The measures proposed in the revised pay structure are expected to improve quality of higher education, and also attract and retain talent, the government statement said.
    For the higher education institutions funded by state governments, the revised pay scales will have to adoption by their respective state governments. The additional financial burden incurred by the state governments in implementing the recommendations of 7th Pay Commission for teachers will be borne by the Central government.
    Meanwhile, the Tamil Nadu state Cabinet consented to implement recommendations under the 7th Pay Commission for around 10 lakh of its state government personnel and teachers today. The salaries of government employees will increase by 20 per cent after this decision.

Strong rupee hits textile exporters hard
  • Indian textile exporters are facing difficult times since the past few months which have led to constrained growth as well as pressures on profitability, which has been aggravated by a strong rupee. Exporters have been facing subdued demand trends in the key importing countries as well as intense competitive pressures from nations such as Bangladesh and Vietnam over the past few years. In addition, unfavourable currency movements and high raw material prices in the past six to nine months as well as recent revision in duty drawback rates have only added to their woes. With exports accounting for more than one-third of the Indian textile market, this is a matter of concern, notwithstanding a large domestic market, says a new report from ratings firm ICRA.
    The slowdown in apparels segment has mainly been on account of subdued demand conditions in key textile-consuming regions of United States of America (US) and European Union (EU) which account for a majority of exports from India. This apart, cotton-yarn exports have been under pressure on account of a decline in demand from China, which used to account for more than 40 per cent of total cotton yarn exports from India till last year and accounted for only around 17  per cent of India's cotton yarn exports in the first four months of FY2018. India appears to be the worst-affected nation amongst cotton-yarn suppliers to China, as is evident in a decline in India's share in China's cotton yarn imports to 8 per cent in Q1 FY2018 vis-a-vis 20 per cent and 25 per cent in Q1 FY2017 and Q1 FY2016, respectively.
    The pressures on textile exporters have become more severe with strengthening of Indian Rupee against currencies of key competing nations during the current calendar year, which reduced competitiveness of Indian exporters vis-a-vis their counterparts.
    Jayanta Roy, Senior Vice-President and Group Head, Corporate Sector Ratings, ICRA says, "Notwithstanding the 2 per cent depreciation in the Indian Rupee vis-a-vis the dollar in the month of September 2017, the Indian Rupee sustained its strong performance against currencies of most of the countries competing in the global textile space during much of the current calendar year."
    While the Indian currency has strengthened by around 5 per cent against the dollar in the eight months of calendar year 2017, currencies of other key nations competing in the textile space such as Vietnamese Dong, Bangladeshi Taka as well as Pakistani Rupee depreciated by around 0.5-2 per  cent against the dollar during the same period.
    Further, higher input prices (primarily cotton) this year vis-a-vis last year put pressure on the profitability pressures for exporters during H1 FY2018, given the dominance of cotton in textile exports from India. While cotton prices have corrected to an extent from mid-September 2017 onwards which is expected to provide respite during H2 FY2018, recent revision in duty drawback rates is likely to exert some pressure on margins. The Government of India has recently notified revised duty drawback rates under the GST regime which are applicable to exporters with effect from October 2017 onwards.  There is a downward revision in duty drawback rates for most product categories in the textile sector under the GST regime, when compared with duty drawback rates for exporters claiming Cenvat under the earlier tax regime.
    "Considering that GST rates for most product categories in textiles are in line with effective tax rates under the earlier tax regime and the extent of benefit from improved input credit chain post GST implementation remains to be seen. The overall impact of GST and the revised duty drawback rates on the sector is uncertain at present." Adds  Roy.
    Notwithstanding the pressures being witnessed on profitability, debt levels across the sector are expected to decline with the industry focusing on sweating the existing assets and thereby undertaking limited debt-funded capacity additions. Further, with cotton prices easing out from mid-September 2017 onwards, profitability pressures are likely to subside from Q3 FY2018 onwards. As a result, ICRA expects the financial and credit risk profiles of most textile exporters to remain stable.

PM Modi's Economic Advisory Council puts jobs, growth in 10-point agenda to revive economy
  • In its first meeting, the Economic Advisory Council to Prime Minister (EAC-PM) agreed to focus on 10 areas of interest in order to help the slowing Indian economy get some of its lost steam back. The panel of economists and experts was handpicked by PM Narendra Modi last month to find measures to boost economic growth.
    The chosen areas include economic growth, job creation, informal sector and integration, fiscal framework, monetary policy, public expenditure, institutions of economic governance, agriculture and animal husbandry, patterns of consumption and production, and social sector.
    A detailed report structured around these 10 aspects of Indian economy will be tabled before PM Modi after being finalised on the basis of consultations from relevant ministries and departments, stated EAC Chairman Bibek Debroy while addressing a press briefing after the meeting.
    We will come out with implementable solutions for economic problems and present them to the Prime Minister," Debroy said after the meeting.
    The Coucil will be working closely with the Reserve Bank of India on monetary policy and fiscal framework. The EAC-PM can also opt for professional consultation from private sector and other key stakeholders to find solutions to India's economic troubles.
    "There is a consensus amongst us that there are various reasons that have contributed to slowdown of growth rate. Our entire thrust would be on implementable decisions. Our views on the 10 identified areas would be of specific things that you can change tomorrow, "Debroy said.
    The EAC-PM was formed under the chairmanship of NITI Aayog Vice Chairman Bibek Debroy, with Ratan Watal, Principal Advisor to the planning body, named Member Secretary of the Council. Other members on the panel include economists Ashima Goyal, Surjit Bhalla and Rathin Roy.
    The EAC-PM will have informal meetings and will use resources sourced from NITI Aayog, informed Watal during the press briefing. The ten chosen economic concerns have been evenly distributed among each of the five members of EAC-PM. Progress on these ten topics will be appraised when the EAC-PM formally meets again in November.
    The EAC-PM also agreed on the need for effective tracking of key economic parameters, through possible mechanisms for instituting an Economy Track Monitor, using lead indicators and triggers for action, based on informed assessment and analysis. The members will also bring specific issue papers addressing key concerns and linkages will be established with key national institutions.
    Prior to the first formal meeting of the EAC-PM, Chief Economic Advisor Arvind Subramanian made a presentation on accelerating economic growth, including investments and exports using a combination of different policy levers.
    Notably, the meeting happened just after International Monetary Fund (IMF) decreased India's growth forecast for the upcoming financial year 2017-18 to 6.7 per cent as opposed to 7.2 per cent it had quoted earlier. Earlier today, even World Bank stated that economic growth for India will come down from 8.0 seen in 2015 to 7.6 in 2017 on account of disruptive effect from demonetisation and GST.

After IMF, World Bank downgrades India's growth forecast
  • A day after International Monetary Fund (IMF) lowered India's growth forecast, the World Bank on Wednesday said India's GDP may slow from 8.6 per cent in 2015 to 7.0 per cent in 2017 because of disruptions by demonetisation and the GST, the World Bank has forecast and warned that subdued private investment due to internal bottlenecks could put downside pressures on the country's potential growth.
    The International Monetary Fund yesterday also lowered India's growth projection to 6.7 per cent in 2017, 0.5 percentage points less than its previous two forecasts and slower than China's 6.8 per cent.
    India's economic momentum has been affected by disruptions from the withdrawal of banknotes and uncertainties around the Goods and Services Tax (GST), the World Bank said in its South Asia Economic Focus, a biannual economic update.
    As a result, growth is expected to slow from 8.6 per cent in 2015 to 7.0 per cent in 2017. Sound policies around balancing public spending with private investment could accelerate growth to 7.3 per cent by 2018, it said.
    While sustained growth is expected to translate to continued poverty reduction, more focus could be made to help benefit the informal economy more, said the report released here ahead of the annual meeting of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.
    A slowdown in India's growth rate, the bank said, has also affected the growth rate of South Asia. As a result, South Asia has fallen to second place after East Asia and the Pacific.
    "Real GDP growth slowed to 7.1 per cent in 2016, from 8 per cent in 15/16, and further to 5.7 per cent in Q1 FY2017," it said.
    On the one hand, public and private consumption gained pace: after implementation of the 7th central pay commission recommendations; and due to the revival in rural demand after normal monsoon and agricultural impetus. On the other hand, overall demand slowed as public investments started to wane.
    According to the bank, the GST is expected to disrupt economic activity in early 2018, but the momentum may pick-up.
    Evidence suggests that post-GST, manufacturing and services contracted sharply, it said.
    The growth activity is expected to stabilise within a quarter maintaining the annual GDP growth at 7.0 per cent in 2018.
    Growth is projected to increase gradually to 7.4 per cent by 2020, underpinned by a recovery in private investments, which are expected to be crowded-in by the recent increase in public capex and an improvement in the investment climate (partly due to the passage of the GST and Bankruptcy Code, and measures to attract the FDI), the bank report said.
    The most substantial medium-term risks are associated with private investment recovery, which continues to face several domestic impediments such as corporate debt overhang, regulatory and policy challenges, along with the risk of an imminent increase in US interest rates, it said.
    "If the internal bottlenecks are not alleviated, subdued private investment would put downside pressures on India's potential growth," the report said. Downside risks to the global economy and accordingly to export growth and capital flows are also substantial given the possibility of monetary policy normalisation in the USA and risks of protectionism, it added.

    Analysts see Lupin's acquisition in US positive move but feel benefits may take time
    • Mumbai-headquartered pharma major Lupin announced on Wednesday, October 11th that its US subsidiary, Lupin, Inc., has acquired Symbiomix Therapeutics, LLC. Lupin had entered into an option to acquire the company earlier this year. Symbiomix is a privately held company focused on bringing innovative therapies to market for gynecologic infections that can have serious health consequences. According to a press release issued by the company, "the acquisition has been made for a cash consideration of USD 150 million including a USD 50 million upfront and other time-based payments. In addition, there are sales based contingent payments. The acquisition is funded from internal funds. The transaction was closed on Wednesday."
      Analysts see it as a good opportunity for Lupin but feel the company may need to wait for say another two years or so for benefits to accrue since they may first need to start investing on sales infrastructure, promotion and all the associated investments over the next year or so , which, given the timing,  may put addition pressure on what some refer to as already week earnings.
      The acquisition of Symbiomix and the Solosec franchise, the company release says, "significantly expands Lupin's branded women's health specialty business, which is presently anchored by Methergine (methylergonovine) tablets. On September 15, 2017, the US FDA (US Food and Drug Administration) approved Symbiomix's lead product, Solosec (secnidazole) oral granules, for the treatment of bacterial vaginosis (BV) in adult women. Lupin expects Solosec to be commercially available by mid-2018. Solosec has been designated as a Qualified Infectious Disease Product (QIDP) by the U.S. FDA for the treatment of BV. QIDP designation is for medications intended to treat serious or life-threatening infections and makes Solosec eligible for at least 10 years of exclusivity in the United States."
      The company release also quotes Lupin CEO Vinita Gupta as saying: "We are delighted to complete the acquisition of Symbiomix and its Solosec brand, which immediately expands Lupin's US women's health specialty business into the highly-complementary gynecological infection sector." She also adds: "this transaction is an important milestone in the evolution of our specialty business and gives Lupin a new therapeutic to bring to obstetricians and gynecologists to treat a serious health condition they see frequently in their practices."

    General Awareness


    • 1. What is the minimum capital requirement for New Banks in the Private Sector?
      a) Rs. 200 crore
      b) Rs. 300 crore
      c) Rs. 500 crore
      d) Rs. 600 crore
      e) None of these

      2. Many times we read a term "ECB" in financial newspapers. What is the full form of ECB?
      a) Essential Commercial Borrowing
      b) Essential Credit and Borrowing
      c) External Credit and Business
      d) External Commercial Borrowing
      e) None of the above

      3. Which among the following banks has launched "Dhanchayat" an educational film to raise awareness on the dangers of borrowing money from unorganised sources?
      a) Axis
      b) ICICI
      c) HDFC
      d) SBI
      e) YES

      4. What is the maximum monthly pension for the subscribers under Atal Pension Yojana?
      a) Rs 2000
      b) Rs 3000
      c) Rs 4000
      d) Rs 5000
      e) None of these

      5. If a company which is not a non - banking financial company wants to collect public deposits, it is governed by ___ Act:
      a) RBI Act 1934
      b) Banking companies Act
      c) Companies Act 1956
      d) Central Government
      e) None of the above

      6. Which among the following has launched a Smart Humsafar Plan, a unique plan which offers multiple benefits of savings and insurance cover for husband and wife under a single policy?
      a) ICICI Prudential
      b) SBI Life
      c) NIACL
      d) LIC
      e) HDFC ERGO

      7. Which country launched world first Facial recognition ATM?
      a) China
      b) Japan
      c) US
      d) Canada
      e) Brazil

      8. Which type of machine is used by Business Correspondents?
      a) Micro ATMs
      b) POS
      c) Biometric Card Reader
      d) Solar empowered
      e) Water resistant

      9. Which among the following bank has tied up with Chinese ecommerce giant Alibaba to provide easier trade finance to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the country?
      a) HDFC Bank
      b) SBI Bank
      c) Canara Bank
      d) ICICI Bank
      e) Axis Bank

      10. In India, conventionally, bonds are issued by institutions in ____ sector while debentures by corporate in ____ sector.
      a) private, public
      b) public, private
      c) either a or b
      d) cooperative, NBFC
      e) None of the above

      11. What is the name of the platform launched by State Bank of India (SBI) that enables customers to book their foreign exchange transactions online?
      a) SBI eforex
      b) SBI emoney
      c) SBI eonline
      d) SBI eshare
      e) SBI ebuddy

      12. In CDR, "R" stands for ____.
      a) Ratio
      b) Receipt
      c) Regulation
      d) Restructuring
      e) Reserve

      13. Which of the following is not a function of General Insurance?
      a) Cattle Insurance
      b) Crop Insurance
      c) Marine Insurance
      d) Fire Insurance
      e) None of the above

      14. The Bank for International Settlements (BIS) is the world's oldest international financial organization established on 17 May 1930. The mission of the BIS is to serve central banks in their pursuit of monetary and financial stability, to foster international cooperation
      in those areas and to act as a bank for central banks. The head office of BIS is located in ___.
      a) Hong Kong
      b) Switzerland
      d) Mexico
      e) Australia

      15. National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF) is a fund created by the Government of India for enhancing infrastructure financing in the country. To be operational by the year end, the headquarter of NIIF will be located in ____.
      a) Mumbai
      b) New Delhi
      c) Bengaluru
      d) Chennai
      e) Kolkata

      16. Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) are international foreign exchange reserve assets issued by
      a) World Bank
      b) WTO
      c) ADB
      d) IMF
      e) None of these

      17. Which of the following types of accounts are known as "Demat Accounts"?
      a) Zero Balance Accounts
      b) Accounts which are opened to facilitate repayment of a loan taken from the bank. No other business can be conducted from there
      c) Accounts in which shares of various companies are traded in electronic form
      d) Accounts which are operated through internet banking facility
      e) None of the above

      18. According to the Socio Economic and Caste Census (SECC) which among the following states in India has highest per cent of Urban BPL households?
      a) Bihar
      b) Uttar Pradesh
      c) Manipur
      d) Jharkhand
      e) Sikkim

      19. Payment of a cheque may be countermanded by the ___
      a) Payee
      b) Drawer
      c) True owner
      d) Drawee
      e) None of these

      20. Union Government has decided to set up a Bank Board Bureau (BBB) to monitor key performance indicators of two dozen public sector banks (PSBs). BBB will start functioning from ___.
      a) 31st December 2015
      b) 1st January 2016
      c) 31st March 2016
      d) 1st April 2016
      e) 1st June 2016

      21. Identify the well known person related to Banking field in India from the following?
      a) Mrs. Meira Kumar
      b) Mrs. Kiran Shaw
      c) Mr. Arun Jaitley
      d) Dr. D Subbarao
      e) All of the above

      22. A fixed deposit receipt is kept with the bank for its safety, is known as ___?
      a) Safe custody
      b) Safe deposit
      c) Locker
      d) Valid safe deposit
      e) None of the above

      23. Reserve Bank will issue ___bank notes with 3 additional features to aid the visually impaired in identification.
      a) Rs. 500 and Rs 1,000
      b) Rs. 100 and Rs. 500
      c) Rs. 50 and Rs. 100
      d) Rs. 10 and Rs. 100
      e) None of these

      24. Simply click a card launched by SBI special for ____.
      a) Cash Transfer
      b) Online Shopping
      c) Pay Utility Bills
      d) For Home Loans
      e) None of these

      25. Banking Companies are prohibited under Sec 8 of banking Regulation Act to sell and purchase securities. Yet Banks are selling securities (of the customer) which are under pledge as permitted by:
      a) Indian Contract Act
      b) SARFAESI Act
      c) Government Notification
      d) Banking Regulation Act
      e) None of these

      26. Hypothecation is:
      a) Atransaction of conditional sale
      b) A legal transaction whereby goods may be made available as security for a debt
      c) Transfer of ownership by the borrower to the lender
      d) Either a or b
      e) None of the above

      27. Mortgage is a:
      a) Security on movable property for a loan
      b) Security on immovable property for a loan
      c) Concession on immovable property
      d) Facility on immovable property
      e) Security on loan sanctioned against fixed deposits

      28. What is the minimum amount to be invested under Sukanya Samriddhi Scheme?
      a) Rs. 500
      b) Rs. 1000
      c) Rs. 1500
      d) No ceiling
      e) Rs. 100

      29. The Main activity of the Financial Intelligence Unit India (FIUIND) is to control:
      a) Tax Evasion
      b) Money Laundering
      c) Terrorism
      d) Avoiding NPAs
      e) Avoiding frauds in ATMs

      30. The SARFAESI Act 2002 empowers Banks / Financial Institutions to recover their non-performing assets (bad loans) without the intervention of the Court. In "SARFAESI" second "S" stands for ____.
      a) Securitisation
      b) Security
      c) Statutory
      d) Share
      e) Saving

      31. The main function of an Asset Management Company is to:
      a) hold the securities of various schemes
      b) manage the funds by making investments in various types of securities
      c) hold its property for the benefit of the unit holders
      d) act on behalf of SEBI
      e) All the above

      32. Global Rating Agency Fitch has downgraded Viability Rating (VR) by one notch to 'bb' of which among the following banks?
      a) Bank of Baroda
      b) State Bank of India
      c) Punjab National Bank
      d) Canara Bank
      e) IDBI Bank

      33. The Banking Codes and Standards Board of India was registered on 18th February, 2006 under which of the following RBI Act?
      a) Banking Regulation Act
      b) The Societies Registration Act, 1860
      c) Cooperative Societies Act
      d) None of the above
      e) All the above

      34. As per the Banking Ombudsman Scheme, any person can file a complaint before the Banking Ombudsman, if the satisfied reply is not received from the bank within a period of ____.
      a) one month
      b) three months
      c) two months
      d) six months
      e) None

      35. CIBIL as a credit bureau caters to:
      a) Consumer segments
      b) Commercial segments
      c) Both commercial and consumer segments
      d) Nationalized Banks only
      e) Private Banks only

      36. Infusion of liquidity, by RBI, is done through _____ from / to banks under a _____ transaction.
      a) borrowing, repo
      b) borrowing, reverse repo
      c) lending, repo
      d) lending, reverse repo
      e) None of the above

      37. Some banks are financing big projects like construction of roads, bridges etc. Financing such projects means banks are helping exactly in:
      a) Infrastructural Development
      b) Project Management
      c) Developing core sector Industry
      d) Financial Inclusion
      e) All of the above

      38. A rate of exchange established between any two currencies on the basis of the respective quotation of each currency in terms of a third currency is known as:
      a) Cross rate
      b) Merchant rate
      c) Wash rate
      d) Composite rate
      e) None of the above

      1) c; 2) d; 3) c; 4) d; 5) c; 6) b; 7) a; 8) c; 9) d; 10) b;
      11) a; 12) d; 13) e; 14) b; 15) a; 16) d; 17) c; 18) c; 19) b; 20) d;
      21) d; 22) a; 23) a; 24) b; 25) d; 26) b; 27) b; 28) b; 29) b; 30) b;
      31) b; 32) c; 33) b; 34) a; 35) c; 36) c; 37) a; 38) a.

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