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Important Current Affairs 10th December 2018 English

(Obituary)

Mushirul Hasan passes away

  • Historian Mushirul Hasan, passed away .
  • Mr. Hasan was the Vice-Chancellor of the Jamia Millia Islamia University. He has also served as the Director-General of the National Archives of India, and the President of the Indian History Congress.
  • Contribution :
  1. extensively written on India's Partition(India Partition: The Other Face of Freedom)
  2. documented Islam and Muslims of South Asia.
  3. He documents how Jawaharlal Nehru decided to guide India on to the world stage as a modern nation, contrary to Mahatma Gandhi's imagination of Hind Swaraj.

(National news)

Swaraj India launches iCan19
Swaraj India, has launched a new platform to encourage ordinary citizens to intervene in electoral politics, set an agenda and select independent candidates who will speak on behalf of farmers and youth.

Centre Amends Rules For 3 Nations Minorities
•    Union Home Ministry has notified amendments to the Citizenship Rules, 2009.
•    Amendment:  to include a separate column in the citizenship form for applicants belonging to six minority communities from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh.
•    Citizenship to six persecuted minorities who came to India before 2014.

Shi Yomi becomes 23rd district of Arunachal Pradesh
Arunachal Pradesh got its 23rd district with the formal inauguration of Shi Yomi, carved out of the West Siang district.
The Arunachal Pradesh Assembly had on August 29 passed a bill for the creation of three new districts -- Pakke-Kesang, Lepa Rada and Shi Yomi.
 

(Economy news)

Urjit Patel steps down as RBI Governor
Dr. Urjit Patel announced that he was stepping down from his position as the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor.
He was appointed the Governor of the RBI in 2016. He was previously the Deputy Governor of the central bank.
 

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Important Current Affairs 9th December 2018

National News

Kerala becomes first Indian state to have four international airports

Kerala has become the first state in the country to have four international airports with the inauguration of the Kannur airport. 

Thiruvananthapuram, Kochi and Kozhikode being the other three.

The Kannur airport, built on a public-private partnership (PPP) model, will become a new benchmark of how airports will be constructed in the country. 

Economy news

India in top position in remittances : World Bank 

India is followed by China (USD 67 billion), Mexico and the Philippines (USD 34 billion each) and Egypt (USD 26 billion), according to the global lender.

Global remittances, which include flows to high-income countries, are projected to grow by 10.3 per cent to USD 689 billion.

Defence news

INDRA NAVY 2018

Russian Federation Navy (RuFN) Ships Varyag,  Admiral Panteleyev and Boris Butoma arrived Visakhapatnam to participate in INDRA NAVY, the bilateral maritime exercise between Indian Navy and Russian Federation Navy exercise. 

Initiated in 2003, INDRA NAVY exercise has matured over the years with increase in scope, complexity and level of participation.

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Union Cabinet approves the exclusion of States from National Small Savings Fund

The Union Cabinet on 18 January 2017 excluded States and Union Territories except Arunachal Pradesh, Delhi, Kerala and Madhya Pradesh from National Small Savings Fund (NSSF) investments with effect from 1 April 2016.
●    On the occasion, the cabinet also approved one-time loan of Rs 45000 crore from NSSF to Food Corporation of India (FCI) to meet its food subsidy requirements. 
●    Arunachal Pradesh will be given loans to the tune of 100 per cent of NSSF collections within its territory, while Delhi, Kerala and Madhya Pradesh will be provided with 50 percent of collections.
●    Servicing of interest and principal of debt will be extended to Food Corporation of India through the budget line of Department of Food and Public Distribution. 
●    The repayment obligation of the FCI in respect of NSSF Loans will be treated as the first charge on the food subsidy released to the Food Corporation of India. 
●    Moreover, FCI will be required to reduce the amount of its current Cash Credit Limit with the banking consortium to the extent of the NSSF loan amount.
●    An agreement will also be signed between FCI, Department of Food and NSSF on the modalities for repayment of interest rate and the restructuring of FCI debt will be made possible within 2-5 years.
 

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Motherson Sumi makes a Rs 4,100 crore bid for Finland’s PKC Group

Homegrown component major Motherson Sumi (MSSL) has made a 571 million (over Rs 4,150 crore) acquisition offer for Finland's PKC Group Plc (PKC), a maker of wiring harness. 
●    If closed, the deal will be one of the biggest cross-border acquisition in the auto components space.
●    MSSL's board on Thursday approved a proposal to launch a voluntary, recommended public tender offer for the acquisition of the outstanding share capital and voting rights of PKC Group Plc, Finland.
●    The shares of PKC are currently listed on the Nasdaq Helsinki stock exchange.
●    MSSL and PKC entered into a combination agreement for the proposed transaction, the statement further said.
●    The acquisition, which will be made through a 100% subsidiary of MSSL to be set up for the purpose, is expected to be completed by the end of March this year.
 

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BSE to launch country’s first IPO by a stock exchange

India's second largest domestic stock exchange BSE on Friday said it would hit the market with its initial public offering (IPO) on January 23. 
●    The IPO is expected to be sold in the price band of Rs 800-850 apiece, with existing investors offloading shares worth nearly Rs 1,350 crore through the offer. 
●    BSE has 302 shareholders, including Singapore Exchange and a Citi group unit, who will sell up to 15.4 million shares with a face value of Rs 2 each, the red herring prospectus filed with the market regulator. 
●    The issue will close on January 25. 
●    The Singapore Stock Exchange (4.67 per cent), George Soros-promoted Quantum fund (3.68 lakh shares) and Atticus Mauritius (3.68 per cent) would be among the shareholders who would sell their entire holdings in the exchange. 
●    Deutsche Borse, which holds 4.7 per cent stake in the stock exchange, is not among the selling shareholders. 
●    The Singapore Exchange and Deutsche Borse had acquired 5 per cent stake each in the exchange for a consideration of Rs 200.78 crore each in 2007. 
 

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SpiceJet strikes Rs 1.5 lakh crore deal with Boeing for 205 planes

Placing its largest ever aircraft order, SpiceJet on Friday announced it will buy up to 205 Boeing planes worth $22 billion or Rs 1.5 lakh crore at list price. 
●    The low-cost carrier (LCC) increased its existing order of 55 single aisle B 737-8 by 100 to 155 planes. 
●    An additional 50 planes — mix of wide body and B 737s — have been placed as optional order, taking the total to 205.
●    The 155 planes on firm order will be delivered between 2018 and 2024. The list price of firm order of 100 additional planes placed now is $11billion
●    Asked how the airline will fund this aircraft acquisition, Singh said: "There are several options like sale-and-lease-back and Exim Bank open to us. We will opt for the most economic funding route. There will be no dilution of equity and no debt will be raised in coming years for this order."
●    SpiceJet currently has 32 B-737s and 17 regional jets in its fleet. Singh re-acquired the LCC two years back when it was on the brink of closure.
 

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Union Cabinet approves listing of General Insurance Companies at the stock exchanges

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) on 18 January 2017 gave its in-principle approval for listing five government-owned General Insurance Companies in stock exchanges. 
●    The approval was given at a cabinet meet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
●    The companies are National Insurance Company, New India Assurance Company, Oriental Insurance Company, United India Insurance Company and General Insurance Corporation of India.
●    The listing will open a way for the companies to raise resources from the capital market to meet their fund requirements. 
●    Shareholding of these PSGICs (Public Sector General Insurance Companies) will be divested from 100 per cent to 75 per cent.
●    This disinvestment process will be carried on as per the existing rules and regulations of Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDA) and Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) will be followed.

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IMF downgrades India’s GDP growth forecast to 6.6%

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) on 16 January 2017 released the World Economic Outlook Update 2016 in Washington DC, the USA.
●    The update estimated the global growth at 3.1 percent in 2016. The growth forecast is in line with the October 2016 forecast.
●    With regard to India, the update projected India’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth rate at 6.6% in 2016-17 against its earlier estimate of 7.6%. For 2017-18, the growth rate is trimmed by 0.4 percentage points.
●    After a lackluster growth in 2016, economic activity is projected to pick up pace in 2017.
●    This forecast is based on the assumption of a changing policy mix under a new administration in the United States and its global spill overs.
●    This projection is consistent with the rise in equity prices and the sizable appreciation of the U.S. dollar since the November 2016 presidential election.

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Reserve Bank Increases ATM Cash Withdrawal Limit To Rs.10,000 A Day

Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Monday decided to increase the cash withdrawal limit from ATMs to Rs 10,000 per day from the present Rs 4,500 with immediate effect.
●    However, there is no change in the weekly withdrawal limits, which stays at Rs 24,000. 
●    The limit on withdrawal from current accounts has been enhanced from the current limit of Rs 50,000 per week to Rs 1,00,000 per week. 
●    This also extends to overdraft and cash credit accounts.
●    From current accounts, the amount that can be collected each week has been doubled to a lakh.
●    Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has pointed to improved tax collections to dismiss reports of economic disruption after the notes ban.
●    The RBI has been criticised for following the government's lead on a landmark decision on currency and for taking a backseat in the days that followed, with Mr Patel missing from briefings that made important announcements on issues like cash limits.
 

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Central government employees to get Rs.9000 minimum pension

The minimum pension has been increased to Rs9,000 per person besides a two-fold hike in ex-gratia amount for central government employees, union minister Jitendra Singh said on Thursday.
●    Addressing the 29th meeting of the Standing Committee of Voluntary Agencies (Scova) in the city, he said almost 88% of pension accounts have been seeded to Aadhaar. 
●    There are about 50-55 lakh pensioners in the country, said Singh, minister of state in Prime Minister’s office.
●    He further said that minimum pension has been increased to Rs9,000 per person and ex-gratia amount has been increased from Rs10-15 lakh to Rs25-35 lakh, as per a release issued by personnel ministry.
●    He said the retired employees are a healthy and productive workforce for India and we need to streamline and channelise their energies in a productive direction. 
●    DoP&PW should be reoriented in such a way that pensioners become a part of nation building process.
 

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