Current Affairs Current Affairs - 16 November 2017 - Vikalp Education

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Current Affairs - 16 November 2017

General Affairs 

CRPF heroes Chetan Cheeta, Pramod Kumar to get featured in a comic book series
  • CRPF commandants Pramod Kumar and Chetan Cheeta, recipients of Kirti Chakra, the second highest peacetime gallantry medal, this Independence Day, will soon be featured in a comic book about brave exploits of heroes in the war against terrorism in Kashmir.
    The comic book series called 'Shaurya Gathayein', published by the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), was started in 2015 as a bid to connect with the younger generation by telling them about the paramilitary force's big battles.
    "The series have been a huge hit," said a senior officer of the CRPF. The comics are modelled on the likes of GI Joe and Commando comics.
    Pramod Kumar, commanding officer (CO) of the Srinagar-based 49th battalion of the CRPF, was decorated with the Kirti Chakra posthumously. He was killed on August 15 last year after a fierce encounter with terrorists.
    Chetan Cheeta, CO of the 45th CRPF battalion, braved nine bullets in an anti-terror operation against militants in the Hajin area of Kashmir valley on February 14 this year, surviving "miraculously".
    Cheeta has since then faced an arduous battle with multiple injuries, and is currently undergoing a treatment for his arm in Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu.
    The comic series will also feature retired Punjab Police IGP Khubi Ram, now a security adviser to Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh. Khubi Ram, a 1984-batch CRPF officer, got absorbed in the Punjab Police in 1991 and is known for taking on Sikh militants.
    Speaking to India Today over phone, Khubi Ram said, "I am glad that CRPF has recognised my efforts. It was a really difficult time then and we faced lot of risk."
    The first of the comic series, published in September 2015, was called 'Sardar Post--Ek Shaurya Gatha'. It was based on the 1965 attack on Sardar Post by 3,000 Pakistani soldiers and how 150 CRPF men bravely fought against them.

BS-VI norms to be introduced next April in Delhi, 2 years ahead of schedule
  • The Petroleum Ministry will introduce Bharat Stage VI norms (Euro-VI emission norm) next year to curb pollution in the national capital, Petroleum minister Dharmendra Pradhan said Wednesday.
    "Taking into account the serious pollution levels in Delhi and adjoining areas, Petroleum Ministry in consultation with public sector oil marketing companies has decided for preponement of BS-VI grade auto fuels in national capital territory of Delhi with effect from April 1, 2018 instead of April 1, 2020," the Petroleum Ministry said in a statement.
    The next big switch, which come in April 2020, is when vehicles sold in Delhi need to be BS-VI compliant to be eligible for registration. 
    Since introduction of cleaner fuel in Delhi alone can't end the national capital's woes, the Petroleum Ministry has asked oil manufacturing companies (OMCs) to explore the possibility of introducing BS-VI fuels in all of NCR - which includes areas of Haryana and Uttar Pradesh - by April 1, 2019. Introduced in 2000, Bharat Stage norms are emission standards set up the Centre to regulate the output of air pollutants from internal combustion engine equipment. The norms are enforced in accordance with the timeline and standards set up by the Central Pollution Control Board, which comes under the Ministry of Environment and Forests and Climate Change
    The higher the fuel standard a vehicle complies with, the less polluting it is.
    Euro-VI grade fuel contains 10 parts per million (ppm) of sulphur. Euro-IV fuels contain 50 ppm.
    As well, particulate matter emission for diesel cars and nitrogen oxide levels are way lower in BS-VI norms.
    Implementation of the BS-V standard was earlier scheduled for 2019. This has now been skipped.
    BS VI, originally proposed to come in by 2024, was first advanced to 2020. Now, the deadline is April 1, 2018.
    There's good news in the short-term. Vehicle owners who now drive BS-IV-compliant vehicles can shift to BS-VI fuels without changing their engines, or making any new investments.
    But eventually, a rule that requires vehicles to be BS-VI fuel-compliant will kick in. Then, buyers will have to shell out Rs 15,000-Rs 30,000 more than they do now.
    Oil manufacturing companies are making large investments for the switch from BS-IV to BS-VI.
    The petroleum ministry hasn't yet said whether the cost of investment will be transferred to the consumer in form of a fuel price hike.
    When the government began discussions on the possibility of a leapfrog in emission norms, automobile companies were reluctant. They said a speedy switch to BS-VI norm vehicles - with a change in technology - would need time and investment.
    But Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari put his foot down. He said car-makers must follow the same standards in India that they do elsewhere.
    "I do not agree with auto-manufacturer associations. When the same car manufacturers can build cars following the same norms across the globe, then why can't they build it here? The government is not reconsidering its decision," he said.
    The switch isn't going to be easy. In April 2010, the existing BS-IV norms were introduced in 13 cities excluding the NCR. And it has taken seven years for the whole country to get fuel with the same emission levels.
    April 1, 2017 was the deadline for the complete nationwide switch to BS-IV.
    The automobile industry challenged the "mandatory switch" clause in court, claiming that the order meant that only BS-IV vehicles could be manufactured from the said date, while sales of BS-III stocks may continue.
    In September 2016, the EPCA (Environment Pollution Control Authority) issued a warning that the order was explicit - that manufacturing of BS-III compliant vehicles (sales and registration included) had to end completely before the deadline.
    And when the EPCA put its foot down, auto-makers announced discounts and offers to clear BS-III stocks.
    Since the court's order in 2014 endorsed two deadlines (April 1, 2016 for BS-IV compliant new models and April 1,2017 for existing models), auto companies earned time.
    But the next stage will be different. Manufacturing, sales and registration of BS-IV vehicles may not be permitted after March 31, 2020.
    To begin switching car, bike truck and other auto models to BS-VI, the industry will need to begin introducing them in the months preceding the deadline. This means auto makers need a clear timeline - especially from oil companies - on BS-VI fuel availability across the country. 
    Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal met his Haryana counterpart Manohar Lal Khattar in Chandigarh today to discuss ways to check stubble burning and vehicular pollution.
    At a joint press conference, Kejriwal said he and Khattar had "a very positive discussion," and that they would "take all steps possible to tackle the situation."
    Khattar said Haryana would work to ensure that air quality levels in the capital improved, and noted that satellite data showed stubble burning had "significantly reduced" in his state.
    However, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh refused to meet Kejriwal. He asked the Delhi CM to refrain from "trying to politicise" a serious issue.

Winter Session of Parliament to begin from Dec first week, delay due to Gujarat polls
  • After a long delay in the Winter session of Parliament and protests by the Opposition over it, government sources say that the Winter session, which usually starts from November third week, may start from or just after December first week.
    Top sources told India Today that the Cabinet Committee on Parliamentary Affairs (CCPA), which decides the dates of the session, is all set to meet on November 17, thus ending days of suspense over when it would begin. 
    If the Winter session starts as late as the first week of December, it can't be a long one as the precedent is that the session ends before December 25 on account of Christmas. This means that the session may not get more than 12 to 13 sittings. A short session will mean another year of low sittings for Parliament. This year, the Budget session went on for 29 sittings while the Monsoon session had just 19. Adding 12 more sittings of the coming session would mean just 60 sittings of the two Houses in 2017.
    The delay in the start of the Winter session is largely because of the Gujarat Assembly election. The polls will be held in two phases on December 9 and 14. Sources in the government say that much of the campaigning for Gujarat polls would be over by December 7 and that would free ministers, MPs and leaders to take part in the Winter session.
    BJP's top guns, including virtually half the Council of Ministers, are going to be extremely busy with Gujarat polls. In its bid to win a fifth straight term to power in Gujarat, BJP doesn't want to be distracted by a Parliament session.
    BJP is said to be waiting for the gazette notification of Gujarat election, after which it will announce the date for the first in a series of blitzkrieg of rallies which are expected to involve 30-odd ministers, who will be campaigning in a single day along with chief ministers of BJP-ruled states.
    Cabinet ministers like Rajnath Singh, Nitin Gadkari, Arun Jaitley, Smriti Irani along with chief ministers Yogi Adityanath, Vasundhara Raje and Shivraj Chouhan are expected to address 3 rallies each in a single day.
    The BJP top brass will visit several constituencies in a single day for an unprecedented show of strength to send a message to the voters.
    The date for this carpet bombing is expected to be around 25 November.
    Apart from Rajnath, Jaitley, Smriti Irani and Gadkari, other leaders likely to be a part of this exercise include Piyush Goyal, Dharmendra Pradhan, Prakash Javadekar, Yogi Adityanath, Vasundhara Raje, Shivraj Singh Chouhan, Devendra Fadnavis, Raman Singh and Manohar Lal Khattar.
    The Opposition is not happy with the delay in the Winter session due to Gujarat polls. Leaders of some Opposition parties have started talks to formulate a strategy to corner the government on the delay in calling for the Winter session. Some are of the view that the delay should be raised with the President of India.
    A senior Congress leader said, "The government is delaying the session due to Gujarat polls. During the session, it has to respond to uncomfortable questions from the Opposition on a host of controversies. There is a risk that the govt wants to avoid."
    Another Opposition leader said, "The BJP is ignoring the reality on the ground. In Gujarat, it is making Vikas or development a big issue. The Opposition is cashing in on the resentment of demonetisation and GST. During the session, we will demand a debate on job losses, slowing growth and hardships for businesses. The government doesn't want this debate before Gujarat polls."
    Speaking to India Today, Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari called the delay in calling the Winter session an "attempt to subvert the parliamentary system."
    The Congress, however, can't complain. The trend of declining sittings of Parliament started when the party was in power. During the heady days of post-independence India with Jawaharlal Nehru as Prime Minister, there used to be an average of 127 days of sittings in the 1950s in the Lok Sabha. Compared to that, the Lok Sabha met only 74 times in 2012. In the 50s, Rajya Sabha on an average met 93 days a year. But in 2012, it came down to 74.

France to deepen cooperation with India in Indian Ocean, Indo-Pacific Region
  • Ahead of the visit of France's Minister of Foreign Affairs Jean-Yves Le Drian, French envoy to India Alexander Ziegler briefed the media on the importance both nations attach to defence and security cooperation in the Indian Ocean Region.
    "The issue will figure prominently in the upcoming high-level talks between the two sides", the French envoy said on Wednesday.
    This comes only days after the quadrilateral meeting of officials from India, US, Japan and Australia that took place on the sidelines of the India-ASEAN Summit in Manila. Separately, a French diplomatic source said that such multilateral meetings are welcome but France would continue to rely on bilateral cooperation between the two sides rather than be a part of any multilateral forum initiated by a third nation.
    "What is important to bear in mind is that Indian authorities are keen on working bilaterally with us. We are more comfortable to work bilaterally with them", the source said. He also added that "The idea for India and France is not to join what others are doing, but for others to join what we (India and France) do in the region."
    Ziegler emphasised the fact that there were two specificities that made this bilateral stand out from the other multilaterals in the region. One, that India and France are the oldest strategic partners with their Naval Exercise 'Vahuna' dating back to 1983. Secondly, the geographical factor where France happens to be the only western country with an Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and territory in the Indian Ocean. "Of France's global EEZ of 11 million square km, more than 9 million square km is in the Indo-Pacific and several islands in the Indian Ocean", said the diplomat.
    The quadrilateral meeting has been keenly watched by all with this move being considered an alternative to Chinese aggression in these waters. On whether China and its Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) would be discussed during the Foreign Minister's visit, the French official said, "We will discuss all kinds of issues, including the Chinese initiative on which our stand is clear. We support all connectivity initiatives as long as they respect international norms and sovereignty. We will discuss connectivity."
    Briefing reporters on the French foreign minister's visit, Ambassador Ziegler said he will also travel to Jaipur on Saturday where he will inaugurate a four-month-long mega 'Bonjour India' festival which will have performances, debates, seminars and exhibitions.
    The French Minister will discuss the upcoming visit of French President Emmanuel Macron in early 2018 which the envoy said "will coincide with the International Solar Alliance" to be held in India.
    Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian will hold formal talks with Sushma Swaraj and meet other ministers, including Arun Jaitley and Prakash Javadekar, this Friday.
    France has around 10 islands in the region with Reunion being the biggest one with a population of over one million. It has military bases in Reunion as well as Djibouti, which borders the Indian Ocean.
    The move to set up the quadrilateral comes in the backdrop of growing Chinese assertiveness in the South China Sea.
    The use of the term "Indo-Pacific" by US President Donald Trump has led to speculation that Washington may be preparing the ground for a revival of the quadrilateral alliance between the United States, Japan, Australia and India to counter China's rise.

Pakistan not wearing bangles, India couldn't get PoK in 70 years, says Farooq Abdullah
  • Less than a week after his 'PoK belongs to Pakistan ' remark, former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah on Wednesday sparked off another controversy by saying that Pakistan was "not weak to allow India to take that part of Jammu and Kashmir under its occupation."
    The National Conference leader was addressing party workers in Uri area of north Kashmir's Baramulla district. He said, "How long shall we keep saying that (PoK) is our part? It (PoK) is not their father's share. That (PoK) is Pakistan's and this (J-K) is India's. As many as 70 years have "passed but they (India) could not get it (PoK)".
    Farooq added, "Today, they (India) claim it is their part. So take it (PoK). We are also saying please take it (from Pakistan). We will also see. They (Pakistan) are not weak and are not wearing bangles. They too have atom bombs. Before we think about war, we should think how we will live as humans", Abdullah said.
    The Lok Sabha member from Srinagar had raked up a controversy last week when he said that PoK belongs to Pakistan and it won't change even if the two countries fight wars against each other.
    "In plain terms, I tell not only the people of India, but also to the world that the part (of J-K) which is with Pakistan (PoK) belongs to Pakistan and this side to India. This won't change. Let them fight as many wars as they want to. This won't change," he had said.
    His comments had drawn the wrath of the BJP and a case was also filed against him in Bihar.
    "A case has been filed against me. That too by a Muslim. May God protect him. Look at his situation. He does not know Kashmir. He does not know our situation. They (Pakistan) drop a bomb, common people and soldiers die here (in Kashmir). When a bomb is dropped from here, our people and soldiers die in PoK. For how long will this storm continue? Till when will the blood of innocents continue to flow", he told his party workers.
    He said that he hoped a day would come when people move freely across the Line of Control (LoC).
    "Hopefully, a day will come when you may cross the Line of Control (LoC) like someone crossing from one house to another. Believe that such a day will come. Without that, there will be no peace in the country", he said.
    Reacting to Farooq's statement, Congress spokesperson RPN Singh said in Delhi that Jammu and Kashmir was an integral part of India and would always remain so.
    "Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India. We do not any certificate from any person on this", he said.
    The NC president also said the time had come to start "reversing all central laws that were extended to the state after 1953 in continuation of the spirit of the state's unique political arrangement with the rest of the country".
    He said the "erosion of the state's autonomy is the genesis of the political problem in Jammu and Kashmir that had created a sense of disenchantment and disillusionment among people".
    "The restoration of autonomy to Jammu and Kashmir is non-negotiable", he asserted.
    The former chief minister sought to remind Prime Minister Narendra Modi of his Independence Day speech where he underlined the need to embrace the people of Kashmir.
    "Modi should now take concrete steps to engage with the people of Kashmir with full dignity and respect for their sentiments in a sustained effort to resolve the Kashmir issue", Farooq added.

Business Affairs

Exports plunging, Make in India merely a slogan, will Modi ji answer, asks Congress
  • Expressing concerns over the widening trade deficit, the Congress on Wednesday said Prime Minister Narendra Modi was responsible for creating "economic chaos" in the country. The Opposition party demanded his government take immediate steps to bring the economy back on track and check further price rise.
    Congress spokesperson RPN Singh said the trade deficit was at a 3-year high with a slump in exports, adding that inflation, at a six-month peak, was affecting the common man hard. "India's trade deficit is at a 3-year high. Exports are plunging and 'Make in India' scheme has merely become a slogan. Will Modi ji answer?
    The commerce ministry data released on Tuesday reported a 1.12 per cent decline in the overall export to $23 billion. The data shows 7.6 per cent growth in the trade deficit, which amounts to $37.11 billion in October from $34.5 billion in the year-ago period. After attaining six-month high growth in September, the trade deficit - difference between exports and imports - widened to $14 billion during the month under review as against $11.13 billion in October 2016. Due to less the demand of gold, 16 per cent drop - which amounted to $2.94 billion - was seen in October. The data shows oil and non-oil imports grew by 27.89 per cent and 2.19 per cent to $9.28 billion and $27.83 billion, respectively in October.
    Singh told reporters it was high time the Modi government provided some respite to the common people by taking sound policy decisions on crucial issues like the inflation and exports. The Congress, in an article on its website, alleged that the country's trade deficit had ballooned to a 3-year high which was "alarming" and "a cause for worry" as the world economy was on a recovery path with most inputs like crude oil becoming cheaper. It blamed the "failed" government policy for the increase in trade deficit.
    The party said the GST was acting like a "hand brake" on the economy and preventing it from participating in the global recovery, insisting that the new indirect tax regime being implemented by the Modi government was a far cry from the one the Congress had envisioned. Calling the GST a "complicated mess", the article said nobody was able to comprehend it. "The government itself is struggling in trying to explain it to the traders, so why did the government implement it this way in the first place?  "It is, however, agonising to see that the mistakes of the government are being paid for by the economy and people of India," the article said.
    Singh said rising prices punched holes in the savings of common people, and claimed the Modi government "diminished" India s image abroad as falling exports cast a "dark shadow" on trade and commerce. "Since the BJP leaves no opportunity to project how India's image has been enhanced on the global stage due to its economic policies, we would like to strongly underline its abysmal record on diminishing India's international trade indices," he said. The Modi government delivered one blow after the other and "stuttered" India s economy, he said, adding "Modinomics" weakened the country's strong trade fundamentals and left its image "battered". Singh said India s trade deficit, the gap between imports and exports, stood 25 percent higher compared to last year at USD 14 billion, according to Ministry of Commerce data. The trade gap, he said, stood at $8.9 billion in September.

New GST rates come into effect today; Ram Vilas Paswan directs states to ensure consumers get rate cut benefits
  • Consumer Affairs Minister Ram Vilas Paswan directed state enforcement officers to see to it that benefits are passed on to consumers, as lower GST rates coming into effect from today. The central revenue department has already issued relevant notifications to effect the changes from today.
    In the last GST Council meeting, a total of 178 items of daily use have been shifted from the top tax bracket of 28 per cent to 18 per cent, while a uniform 5 per cent tax was prescribed for air-conditioned restaurants as well as non-AC ones.
    "The reduced GST rates are effective from today. We have activated state legal metrology officers to ensure the rate cuts are passed on to the consumers," Paswan told PTI.
    A mechanism has been put in place to monitor changes in maximum retail price (MRP) on a daily basis, he said
    As per the Legal Metrology (Packaged Commodities) Rules, companies have to give prior information to the public regarding any hike in MRP of the packaged items. However, there is no boundation for them in case of MRP revised downward.
    Paswan further said that the companies would be required to paste stickers of MRP with new GST rates on the products which are ready for retailing. However, a notification in this regard will be issued soon.
    Items on which tax rate has been cut from 28 per cent to 18 per cent include wire and cables, furniture, mattress, trunk, suitcase, detergents, shampoos, hair cream, hair dyes, make up, fans, lamp, rubber tubes and microscope.
    Tax rate on condensed milk, refined sugar, pasta curry paste, diabetic food, medical grade oxygen, printing ink, hand bags, hats, spectacles frame and bamboo/cane furniture has been cut from 18 per cent to 12 per cent.
    That on puffed rice chikki, flour of potatoes, chutney power, fly sulphur recovered in refining crude and fly ash to 6 per cent from 18 per cent.
    Guar meal, hop cone, certain dried vegetables, unworked coconut shell and fish would attract nil GST tax as against 5 per cent now.
    Tax on idli dosa batter, finished leather, coir, fishing net, worn clothing and desiccated coconut has been cut to 5 per cent from 12 per cent.

Government plans Rs 3000 crore spend to push capital goods manufacture
  • The Central government plans to spend Rs 3,000 crore to implement various programs under the National Capital Goods Policy, Anant G. Geete, Union Minister for Heavy Industries & Public Enterprises has said.
    The government is also coming up with changes and support measures in key sectors including Capital Goods to fasten up employment creation, the minister added.
    Inaugurating the Capital Goods Summit organized by the Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) in Delhi today, Geete wanted the Capital Goods Sector to become the biggest contributor to the ambitious 'Make in India' programme.
    "To make it happen, indigenous investment is equally important alongside inviting foreign investments to spearhead rapid industrialization and creation of Indian Multinationals", he said. The Minister assured to provide all support to domestic companies to help realize their ambition to become multinational companies.
    Addressing the summit, Atul Sobti, CMD, Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd. (BHEL), highlighted the spiral effect Capital Goods sector can have on the growth of many other sectors. "Out of the total domestic market size of $ 70 billion, approximately $ 30 billion worth of capital goods is imported, making it the fourth largest item in the import basket", he said. Sobti pointed out that any reduction in import dependency would immediately translate into additional domestic production demand, a $30 billion opportunity.

GSPs face grim future as GST compliance deadlines keep getting deferred
  • While most businesses are happy with the deferral of dates for filing GSTR 2 and GSTR 3 returns, one section that is not very happy with the continuous deferral is the GST Suvidha Providers (GSPs).

    The revenue of GSPs, which act as facilitators for uploading invoices and filing returns, come from filings made by businesses. They are now looking at a grim future as with every extension of last date, businesses have been deferring these compliances throwing the whole business model of GSPs out of gear.

    The first GST returns were supposed to be filed from September, those dates were then got extended to October, then December. After the recent GST Council meeting, GSTR2 and GSTR3 filings are now put on hold till March 2018.

    Nishank Goyal, CEO, Masters India, a GSP, says that many GSPs are now facing working capital problems because due to deferrals of return filing dates, they are not getting the revenue they expected from September itself.

    GSPs are already facing tough competition from the offline tool launched by the GST Network (GSTN), the company that created and maintains the IT backbone of the new tax system. According to GSTN CEO Prakash Kumar, so far only 16 per cent of the invoices uploaded have come through GSPs, 10.5 per cent have be uploaded directly through the GSTN portal while 73.5 per cent of rest have been uploaded using the offline tool of GSTN. 

    Praksh Kumar says we have no option but to offer the offline tools as taxpayers demand them. "Tax-payers, especially the small businesses, which are prone to making errors while filing retuns, prefer the offline tool," says Kumar.

    GSTR 1 is return form for all the sales made by a business, GSTR 2 is for purchases and GSTR 3 is composite return form for all the sales and purchases. So far only GSTR 1 have been filed.

    Nishank Goyal of Masters India says, "The problem for us is that we have not been able to complete one full circle -- filing of GSTR1, 2 and 3. And now with indefinite extension of filing dates for GSTR 2 and GSTR 3, we have a real problem of revenue at hand. So far, we have seen only outflows and inflows are insignificant."

    Most GSPs charge on per invoice or per return basis. As GSPs offer basic services, they cannot charge 'premium' fees. Neither has the government fixed any minimum fee for any of the services they offer. To reverse that, some of them are working a hybrid model and offering value-added services to earn 'premium' fees. The GSPs are banking on scale, but due to continuous deferral of deadlines, they have not been able to attain the kind of scale they had expected.

    According to GSTN CEO so far 35 crore invoices have been uploaded. Initially, there were expectations of 300 crore invoices being generated every month under the GST.

    There are 34 GSPs and 40 more are waiting for last approvals from the GSTN.

    SBI starts off sale process of bad loans worth Rs 1,580 crore
    • Country's largest lender State Bank of India (SBI) has begun the process of selling Rs1,580 crore of bad loans to financial institutions, including asset reconstruction companies (ARCs). The bank would be disposing off the non-performing assets (NPAs) through a bidding process. SBI has put on block 11 non-performing assets (NPA), according to a report in Mint.
      The reports states that last month the country's largest lender put Rs 3,554 crore of bad loans up for sale through auction. However, it received bids only for a portion of the total. While in the first half of fiscal 2018, the bank managed to sell Rs 763 crore of bad loans to ARCs.
      In an earnings call on November 10, SBI chairman Rajnish Kumar said the bank will sell only those assets where an intended price is earned
      In case of sale to ARCs, banks are seeking all-cash deals or those with higher cash component because if a bank invests in more than 50% of security receipts created against the sale of its own stressed assets, it has to set aside more money as provision.
      From 2018-19, this threshold of 50% will be reduced to 10%. The proportion of cash component in the deal done with ARCs constitutes only 15 percent of net asset value upfront and security receipts consist 85 percent.

    General Awareness

    31st ASEAN Summit held in Manila, Philippines

    • 31tst ASEAN Summit and Related Summits were held in Manila, Philippines from 10th – 14th November, 2017.Philippines President Rodrigo Roa Duterte chaired the plenary session of the 31st ASEAN Summit. It is to be noted that (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) ASEAN Chairmanship for 2017 is held by Philippines.
      • ‘Partnering for Change, Engaging the World’, has been the theme of Philippines’ Chairmanship of ASEAN in 2017.
      • Leaders from 20 countries, including 10 member countries of ASEAN attended these Summits.
      • On November 12, 2027, on the sidelines of the 31st ASEAN summit, ASEAN ministers inked free trade and investment pacts with Hong Kong. These agreements are expected to come into effect by January 2019.
      • At the Closing Ceremony of the 31st ASEAN Summit and Related Summits, Philippines President Duterte handed over the Chairmanship of ASEAN to Prime Minister of Singapore, Lee Hsien Loong as Singapore will hold the chairmanship of ASEAN for 2018.
      PM Modi attends 15th ASEAN-India Summit and 12th East Asia Summit in Manila
      Prime Minister Narendra Modi represented India at the 15th India-ASEAN Summit and 12th East Asia Summit on November 14, 2017 in Manila, Philippines.
      • At 15th India-ASEAN Summit, PM Modi and other ASEAN Leaders reviewed the commemorative activities undertaken in 2017 to mark the 25 years of India’s dialogue partnership with ASEAN.
      • Besides, broad areas of cooperation between India and ASEAN member countries were also reviewed.
      • It is to be noted that India -ASEAN trade stood at $71 billion in 2016-17, and comprises 85 percent of India’s total trade with the world.
      • East Asia Summit, is a forum held annually (since 2005) by leaders of 18 countries including the ASEAN nations, India, US, and Russia.
      • Leaders from Australia, Brunei, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, New Zealand, Philippines, Russia, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand, US, and Vietnam participated in 12th East Asia Summit.
      • Discussions at 12th East Asia Summit revolved around maritime security, terrorism, non-proliferation, irregular migration, etc.
      India, Philippines ink deals on defence, agriculture
      Prime Minister Narendra Modi was on an official visit to Philippines from 12th – 14thNovember 2017. During the course of this visit, he attended 15th ASEAN-India Summit and 12th East Asia Summit in Manila. He also held bilateral meeting with Philippines President, Rodrigo Duterte.
      • Four agreements were signed between India and Philippines after the meeting between Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte.
      • These agreements covered areas of defence, agriculture, small and medium enterprises and tie-up between think-tanks.
      • Duterte had expressed his desire to enhance defence cooperation with India. The latest defence agreement between India and Philippines, seeks private and public enterprises cooperation in the defence sector, including on the off-shore patrolling vessels.
      • It is to be noted that this was the first bilateral visit by an Indian Prime Minister to Philippines in last 36 years after the visit of then Prime Minister Indira Gandhiin 1981. However, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had visited Philippines in 2007, but it was solely for the ASEAN summit.
      • During the course of this visit to Philippines, PM Modi also visited International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) in Los Banos, near Manila.
      Quick Facts about ASEAN:
      • Formed in – 1967
      • Secretariat – Jakarta, Indonesia

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