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National – Across the India:
1. In a bid to provide last mile connectivity in far-flung areas, the biggest impediment towards a digital and cashless economy, the government is embarking on an ambitious project to provide free Wifi hotspots at more than 1000 gram panchayats.
Apart from providing internet connectivity for mass use, the programme seeks to enable delivery of services like health and education.
Called Digital village, the pilot project will initially be rolled out in as many as 1050 gram panchayats.
2. The first edition of Asia -Pacific Broadcasting Union (ABU) International Television Dance festival was held in Hyderabad; the city with royal patronage for arts, literature and architecture, on January 15.
Prasar Bharti hosted the event.
The dance festival is conceptualized so as to bring the cultural diversities from across the world into limelight, by breaking cultural barriers.
3. Tamilnadu Tourism minister Vellamandi N. Natarajan launched the mobile application named “Pinakin” in Tamil and English.
The mobile app (compatible with Android and Apple smartphones) is a part of its efforts to attract more domestic and international visitors to explore the state.
The mobile app will be helpful for both domestic and international tourists with inbuilt audio facilities, featuring information heritage tourist spots like Mamallapuram, Thanjavur Big Temple and Gangai Konda Cholapuram.
4. India was ranked 92nd among 118 countries in the 2017 Global index of talent competitiveness (GTI)
The index measures ability of countries to compete for talent i.e. how countries grow, attract and retain talent.
The index is produced by global business school INSEAD in partnership with Adecco Group and Human Capital Leadership Institute (HCLI) of Singapore.
Switzerland topped the overall index, followed by Singapore and the United Kingdom in second and third place respectively.
5. Kozhikode Corporation has declared as the first Elderly-Friendly Corporation in Kerala.
The Kozhikode Corporation state government has planned to setup Senior citizen’s club, Day care centers as a part of Vayomitram project for the welfare of the elder people in the state.
As part of the elderly friendly status, the Corporation has begun to collect basic details of all the senior citizens in the city through its 543 Anganwa.
6. India ranked 60th among the 79 developing countries in 2017 Inclusive Development Index (IDI) released in World Economic Forum’s (WEF) ‘Inclusive Growth and Development Report’.
The index is based on 12 performance indicators and countries are ranked on IDI scores based on a scale of 1-7.
It has three pillars Growth and Development, Inclusion and Intergenerational Equity, and Sustainability in order to provide a more complete measure of economic development than GDP growth alone.
International – Across the Globe:
1. Standard Chartered had completed three shipping deals worth more than $1.6 billion in recent months.
The deals include in December a $684.5 million up to 12-year facility for BW Gas JuJu LNG, a joint venture between BW Group and Japan’s Marubeni.
In November, the bank also structured a $350 million Islamic facility for National Shipping Company of Saudi Arabia (Bahri).
2. According to the recent World bank report, China ranked 12th in the world in terms of total tax rate.
Lou Jiwei, former finance minister and now head of the National Council for Social Security Fund, said the World Bank’s micro methodology differed from common practices in terms of the scope of indicators and choices of data.
Economics & Banking GK:
1. The World Economic Outlook (WEO) update released by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has cut India’s growth rate for the fiscal year 2016–17 to 6.6% from its previous estimate of 7.6%.
India’s growth rate was cut due to the temporary negative consumption shock of demonetization. It has dampened India’s growth by 1% point in the FY2017 and 0.4% point in FY2017, compared with IMF’s earlier projections.
2. Market regulator SEBI reduced its turnover fees by 25% to Rs.15 per Rs.11 crore worth of turnover from Rs.20 earlier, to bring down the overall cost of transaction in the stock market.
The Sebi decision would lead to lower trading costs for large institutional investors like insurance companies, foreign investors and mutual funds, and also high networth investors.
Sebi’s turnover fees is part of that investors pay to the exchanges through their brokers for trading on their platform and the exchanges in turn pass it on to the regulator.
It also charges a Rs. 50,000 annual fees from the brokers.
3. India will likely to be able to roll out the goods and services tax (GST) from July 1 following a breakthrough over the seemingly intractable issue of tax administration after the Centre accommodated state’s concerns.
Under the proposed tax regime, 90% of all assesses with a turnover of Rs.1.5 crore or less will be assessed for scrutiny and audit by state authorities, the remaining 10% by the Centre.
Above that limit, Centre and states will assess in a 50:50ratio.
4. Future Group’s fashion and lifestyle departmental store Central and SBI Card announced the launch of a co-branded credit card, to offer benefits to consumers in the premium lifestyle and fashion space.
The Central SBI co-brand Card is the second by SBI Card and Future Group, after fbb SBI StyleUp Card introduced earlier in partnership with Big Bazaar and targeted at the value conscious consumer looking for affordable fashion.
The Central SBI SELECT and SELECT plus Cards offer an accelerated reward points structure, where cardholders earn 20 reward points for every Rs 100 spent in Central stores.
Appointments & Recognition:
1. The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) has constituted a committee to review life insurance product regulations.
Amitabh Chaudhary, Chief Executive Officer, HDFC Standard Life Insurance company, has been appointed as the chairman of the eight-member panel.
The members of the committee include K S Gopalakrishanan, CEO, Aegon Religare Life Insurance, Sai Srinivas, appointed Actuary, Bajaj Allianz Life Insurance and Sandeep Bakshi, CEO, ICICI prudential Life.
Recent Notable Deaths:
1. Professor C. V. Vishveshwara, a pioneer in research on black holes, passed away in Bengaluru after a period of illness. He was 78.
In 1970’s, while at Chicago University, he was among the first to study “black holes” even before they had been so named so.
2. The US space agency said that Eugene Cernan, the last astronaut to walk on the moon – an experience that he said made him “belong to the universe,” died on Monday at the age of 82.
GK Eduwrap will help you keeping aware about all the major happenings of the country and the world and update your current affairs/general knowledge.
This will help you in preparing for all the competitive exams like IBPS, SSC, RRB, etc.
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