07 June 2017 Current Affairs

Hoshiar Singh appointed chief of copyrights office

Senior bureaucrat Hoshiar Singh has been appointed as Registrar of Copyrights. The Office of Copyrights, under the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion, is mandated to protect the music and film industry besides addressing its concerns, among others. The competent authority has approved the appointment of Singh, a 1994 batch officer of the Indian Telecom Service, as Registrar, Copyrights Office, for a period of five years. The Copyright Office is under the immediate control of a Registrar of Copyrights, who acts under the superintendence and directions of the Central Government, according to norms.

RBI keeps Repo Rate unchanged in Second Bi-monthly Monetary Policy Statement, 2017-18

On the basis of an assessment of the current and evolving macroeconomic situation at its meeting today, the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) decided to:

* Keep the policy repo rate under the liquidity adjustment facility (LAF) unchanged at 6.25 per cent.
* Consequently, the reverse repo rate under the LAF remains at 6.0 per cent, and
* The Marginal Standing Facility (MSF) rate and the Bank Rate at 6.50 per cent.

The decision of the MPC is consistent with a neutral stance of monetary policy in consonance with the objective of achieving the medium-term target for consumer price index (CPI) inflation of 4 per cent within a band of +/- 2 per cent, while supporting growth.

Narendra Modi government to scrap UGC, AICTE soon with HEERA

The University Grants Commission (UGC) and All India Council of Technical Education (AICTE) will soon be a thing of the past as the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government at the Centre is planning to replace the two education regulators with a new Higher Education Regulator. This is being done to bring one single education regulator named HEERA in place. Higher Education Empowerment Regulation Agency or HEERA is the name of the new proposed regulator. This new body will be implemented with the aim of eliminating the overlaps in the jurisdiction and also to remove the irrelevant regulatory provisions. The Human Resource and Development Ministry (HRD) is working with the Niti Aayog towards the implementation of this new proposed regulatory body. They are working to bring the technical as well as the non-technical institutions under the same umbrella.

India Signs Loan Agreement with the World Bank for the project “Assam Citizen Centric Service Delivery”

An agreement for International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) Credit of USD 39.2 Million from World Bank for the project ‘Assam Citizen Centric Service Delivery’ was signed recently. Loan agreement was signed by Shri Raj Kumar, Joint Secretary (MI), Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance on behalf of the Government of India and Mr. Hisham Abdo, Manager, Operations (India) on behalf of the World Bank. The programme size is USD 49 million, of which USD 39.2 million will be financed by the Bank, and the remaining amount will be funded-out of State Budget. The programme duration is 5 years. The objective of the project is to improve access in the delivery of selected public services in Assam.

NHB approves merger between Aadhar Housing Finance and DHFL Vysya Housing Finance

The proposed merger between Aadhar Housing Finance and DHFL Vysya Housing Finance has hit the final lap with it got the nod from housing finance regulator National Housing Bank (NHB). Aadhar Housing Finance Chief Executive Officer Deo Shankar Tripathi stated that it had applied to National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) for the next stage approval. Both the companies are owned by Wadhawan family promoted Wadhawan Global Capital Pvt Ltd. International Finance Corporation owns 20% in Aadhar Housing, while DHFL Vysya is fully owned by Wadhawan family. According to the merger plan, Aadhar Housing will merge into DHFL Vysya, making it a pan-India company. Both the companies operate in mutually exclusive locations at present. Post merger, the Wadhawan family would own 82% in the merged entity and the balance 18% will be with institutions including IFC. The merged entity is proposed to be named as Aadhar Housing Finance, subject to NCLT’s approval.

Vijaya Bank set to develop 100 digital villages

Vijaya Bank is going to develop as many as 100 digital villages in various States of the country as part of its initiative to promote digital banking among the rural population. Speaking on the sidelines of the inauguration of the bank’s 2031st ATM at Pandit Nehru Bus Station in the Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh, Bank Executive Director B.S. Rama Rao stated that Vijaya Bank is the only public sector financial institution to develop digital villages with focus on rural areas and it has already developed five villages including the one in Guntur district.

Montenegro becomes NATO’s 29th member

Montenegro has officially joined North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and hence became the 29th member country of NATO. Montenegro Foreign Minister Srdjan Darmanovic submitted the official accession papers in a ceremony at the US State Department. The move came in the face of bitter opposition from Russia, which says NATO’s steady expansion into the former communist states of Eastern Europe threatens its own security and cannot go unchallenged. NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg stated that the alliance will benefit from Montenegro’s insight into the Balkans.

India signs agreement with Sri Lanka for developing Railway sector

India signed an agreement to provide fresh assistance of 318 million US Dollar credit line to Sri Lanka for the development of the railway sector in the country. The agreement was signed in Colombo amidst the presence of senior officials of Sri Lanka’s finance and transport ministries. The Indian side was represented by Managing Director of the Export- Import (EXIM) Bank of India David Rasquinha and Deputy High Commissioner Arindam Bagchi. India has already provided four Lines of Credit for the development of railway sector in Sri Lanka through its EXIM Bank amounting to approximately USD 966 million.

Sher Bahadur Deuba elected Nepal’s Prime Minister for the fourth time

Veteran Nepalese politician Sher Bahadur Deuba was elected as Nepal’s Prime Minister for the fourth time. Deuba, 70, was the sole candidate to contest in the Prime Minister election as the main opposition UML or any other party didn’t register their candidacies. He secured 388 votes in his favour and 170 votes against him. A total of 558 were cast during the voting. He needed 297 votes in the 593-strong Parliament to prove his majority. Mr. Deuba served as the prime minister from 1995 to 1997, from 2001 to 2002, and from 2004 to 2005. He was sacked by the then King Gyanendra Shah in 2005 over failure to hold elections and bring Maoist rebels to a round table negotiation.

Nepal signs MoU with China for construction of Budhigandaki Hydropower Project

Nepal has signed a major deal with a China to develop a 1,200 MW Budhigandaki Hydroelectric Project, the biggest hydro project in the landlocked country that could resolve its perennial power crisis. Nepal’s Ministry of Energy has signed an MoU with China Gezhouba Group Corporation (CGGC) for the development of the 1,200 MW Budhigandaki Hydroelectric Project. The government has allocated a budget of Rs. 5.33 billion for the project’s development in the current fiscal year. The project will be developed in Engineering, Procurement, Construction and Financing (EPCF) model, as per which, the concerned construction company itself generates the required fund for the project, Minister for Women Children and Social Welfare Development Kumar Khadka told The Himalayan Times. “The EPCF is a new model to develop hydel projects in Nepal,” Minister Khadka said. “So far we have been developing projects in EPC (Engineering, Procurement and Construction) model.”

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