Descriptive Banking related General Awareness ---March 3 , 2012
Descriptive Banking related General Awareness ---March 3 , 2012
Acer unveils world’s thinnest laptop
Acer has unveiled the world’s thinnest laptop computer as an array of ‘ultrabook’. The Acer S5 has a 34-cm (13.3 inch) screen and is 15mm at its thickest point. The ultrabook weighs slightly les that 1.35 kg (three ponds) and is powered by Windows 8.
Acer also announced plans to launch a free service that will let users of its computer store video, photos, music and documents in the internet “cloud” and access files from any Windows 8 or Android software powered gadgets.
Sify sets up undersea cable station in Mumbai
Sify Technologies Ltd has established an undersea cable landing station in Mumbai. This landing station can support up to four cable systems.
Sify, which offers managed enterprise, network and IT services in India, built this cable landing system for two reasons. One is that current cable systems are outdated while a lot of the current systems come with updated technologies.
The other is that media traffic is increasing at a fast pace, overtaking plain voice traffic, and India has to connect to the kind of systems that carry media traffic. This cable has a capacity of up to 10 terabits per second on certain sections and is designed to accommodate the rapid growth in Internet.
Sify has signed a landing Party Agreement with MENA submarine cable system SAE, a licensed telecommunications operator in Egypt.
Seven firms sign code on spam SMS
Seven of the largest aggregators of SMS-based marketing services have signed a code of conduct to put a self-imposed ban on using overseas origination route for sending marketing messages.
The companies that have signed the Code of Conduct are: ACL Wireless. Air2Web, Netcore, Pinnacle Teleservices, SMS Gupshup, Unicle Techologies, ValueFirst.
Handset market in India reported growth
India ha replaced China as the greatest growth opportunity with handset vendors seeing higher demand for smart phones. An estimated 10 million phones were sold in India in 2011.
India is the world’s third largest handset market after China and the US. India is currently dominated by 2G volumes, but a nascent wave of 3G and even 4G growths is emerging.
Mobile device sales in India are forecast to reach 231 million units in 2012, an increase of 8.5 per cent over 2011 sales of 213 million units. Te mobile handset market is expected to show steady growth through 2015 when end-user sales will surpass 322 million units.
Unclear norms can impact investments
Leading cyber lawyers have warned that total lack of clarity in the rules pertaining to social networking sites/intermediaries was harming e-commerce in the country and could impact financial viability and future investments in Net firms.
Calls have also growth stronger for amending the Information Technology Act (IT Act) to bring it in sync with the growing Internet usage, especially to tackle cases such as the one against social networking sites, including Facebook and Google.
Coal to cost more on new pricing method
The Board of Directors of Coal India Ltd (CIL) approved a proposal to adopt the internationally accepted, gross calorific value (GGV) - based pricing mechanism beginning 2012.
The new mechanism will replace the existing seven grades, each divided by a broad bandwith of 600-1, 100 kilo calorie (kcal) useful heat value (UHV), by a large number of products of 300 kcal bandwith each beginning 2,200 kcal to over 7,000 kcal.
Projects recommended for green clearance
An Environment Ministry’s panel has recommended Coal India’s three projects, including one for capacity augmentation, for green clearance. Three coal projects of Coal India - Samleshwari OCP, Dakra OCP and Gose OCP - which came up for discussion during the day-long meeting of Expert Appraisal Committee were recommended for environment clearance.
Samleshwari open cast project (OCP) at IB valley coalfields in Orissa envisages expanding production capacity to 11 million tonnes per annum (MTPA) from five MTPA.
Govt gives back six deallocated coal blocks
The govt has given back six coal blocks of the deallocated 14 mines to firms, including Damodar Valley Corporation (DVC) and Tenughat Vidyut Nigam Limited (TVNL) and NTPC. All the blocks have been given back on the condition that they would be developed within two years otherwise they would be taken by the coal ministry.
Five coal blocks of NTPC, which were taken back by the coal ministry, include Chatti Bariatu, Chatti Bariatu (S), Kerandari Brahmani and Chichiro Patsimal.
RINL gets rights to mine iron ore in Rajasthan
Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Ltd (RINL) is poised to obtain its first iron ore mining lease in Rajasthan for relatively low-grade magnetite and may form an equity-linked joint venture with Andhra Pradesh Mineral Development Corporation (APMDC) in February for a high-grade haematite reserve in Andhra Pradesh.
RINL, a public enterprises in the midst of a near fourfold capacity expansion, does not have a captive mine for the key raw material and procures iron ore from various miners, including NMDC.
19,000 cr approved for rail line in J&K
The government approved an additional fund of 19,000 crore for completion of Udhampur - Qazigund Railway line project in Jammu and Kashmir.
The railway line is to be completed by 2017. The rail line from Udhampur to Katra is in the final stage of completion.
The rail lines from Jammu to Udhampur and Qazigund to Baramulla are already in operation.
Rlys to attract private investments
The Railway Ministry is again mulling a new policy to attract private investments in rail connectivity and capacity augmentation projects.
The policy would be of interest to any investors eyeing for rail connectivity including logistics players, rail link users such as ports, steel, or coal companies, State Government and local bodies.
The latest policy revision, when finalised, will replace two earlier policies that sought investments from private sector in rail connectivity projects. The new policy, under finalization, provides six broad investment models. The models vary depending on land acquisition, cost and revenue sharing and period of operations.
Red Ribbon Express flagged off
The Red Ribbon Express, a special train which travels across the country to spread awareness on HIV/AIDS, was launched on the National Youth Day.
Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad had launched the third phase of National AIDS Control Organisation’s Red Ribbon Express New Delhi. The specially designed train that has been flagged off from Delhi will halt at 162 stations during its year-long journey across 23 states.
It has three exhibition coaches which exhibit on HIV and AID while the fourth coach on the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) exhibits on tuberculosis, malaria, reproductive and child health services, general health and hygiene.
IOC plans LPG pipeline gird
Seeking consolidate its core business and make it more efficient, state-owned Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) has decided to establish a countrywide LPG pipeline grid, to reduce the supply chain cost of transporting LPG.
The effort is to lay pipelines to various work centres where IOC is transporting LPG. The aim is that whatever IOC has high consumption, plan should be drawn up to lay pipeline to transport LPG. The emphasis on this is to reduce the supply chain and distribution cost. Similarly, the corporation is planning to transport aviation turbine fuel (ATF)
IOC had joined hand with Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) for making a foray into nuclear power. IOC has formed a joint venture with NPCIL for executing a 1,000-MW nuclear power project in Rajasthan.
PSUs asked to implement minorities’ sub-quota
The govt has directed the PSUs to ensure that its decision to carve out 4.5 per cent sub-quota for minorities out of 27 per cent for OBCs is to be implemented in all recruitments from 1st Jan this year. (2012)
Muslims, Sikhs, Christians, Buddhists and Zoroastrians (Parsis) have been notified as minority communities under the National Commission for Minorities Act, 1992. The decision is based on the recommendations of the National Commission for Religious and Linguistic Minorities.
NTPC powers up retail distribution plan
NTPC, after taking a baby steps into power transmission and distributions in 2002, is making effort to enter the retail distribution segment in a more aggressive manner, both in the national and international market.
The company, through its subsidiary NTPC Electrical Supply Company Ltd (NESCL), is looking at various business models, including forming joint ventures with the existing distribution companies as well as getting into franchise.
The company is also looking at the possibility of retail distribution of electricity to bulk industrial consumers in upcoming mega industrial areas and special economic zones.
Govt allows QFIs to invest directly
Starting off the New Year on a liberalization note, the govt announced its decision to allow Qualified Foreign Investors (QFIs) to directly invest in the Indian equity market.
The move comes against the backdrop of significant foreign capital outflows from the domestic equity market in recent times, which has resulted in rupees volatility.
The Central Government has decided to allow Qualified Foreign Investors (QFIs) to directly invest in the Indian equity market in order to widen the class of investors, attract more foreign funds, reduce market volatility and deepen the Indian capital market.
A QFI is an individual, group or association resident in a foreign country that is compliant with Financial Action Task Force (FATF) standards. QFIs do not include FIIs/sub accounts.
SEBI to reform IPO norms
Capital markets regulator SEBI is in the process of reforming the initial public offer (IPO) norms to ensure minimum price volatility on the day of listing.
Last month, SEBI barred seven companies from raising money from the public for suspected misuse of proceeds from IPOs, pricing irregularities and inadequate disclosure of information.
The regulator also barred six investment bankers from managing any more share sales for alleged failure of due diligence in overseeing the IPOs.
The merchant bankers, who have been prohibited from participating in securities market, include “PNB Investment Services, the book running lead manager of IPO of Taksheel Solutions and Almondz Global Securities (PG Electroplast and Bhartiya Global Infomedia)”.
DoT questions TDSAT jurisdiction
The telecom ministry has questioned the jurisdiction of the
Telecom Dispute Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) on entertaining the petitions of five telecom operators, including Bharti Airtel and Vodafone, challenging the govt’s directive to stop 3G roaming agreements.
Terming the inter-circle roaming pacts among telecom service providers for 3G services in areas where they do not have the designed spectrum as “illegal”, the government had issued notices to five players to stop such services immediately.
DoT had, on 23rd December 2011, issued notices to telecom companies, saying their 3G roaming pacts were illegal and should be stopped immediately within 24 hours.
Inmarsat for satellite services firm Inmarsat is in talks with Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd to offer broadband services in the country. The talks are in advanced stages and both sides are looking at various business models and technical issues related to providing satellite-based broadband services.
Bharat Berry push mail is a hit
India’s very own push mail service - Bharat Berry - is helping to take this cost effective and productive mobile-based service to masses across India.
Launched in association with Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) last year, this service is handset-neutral, supporting as it does smartphones across various categories.
Thus, a person is not required to change his handset before opting for the push mail service.
Developed by Bharat Berry Technologies, the service is on the lines of the popular BlackBerry services offered by the Canada-based Research In Motion (RIM). It is affordable, with data plans as low as 2 a day, and has a pan-India reach.
Plan to subsidies BSNL rejected
The Universal Services Obligation (USO) fund administrator has rejected a proposal to give subsidy support to Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd for operating fixed-line telephones in rural areas.
BSNL has sought 1,000 1,500 cr annually to operate connections in rural areas on grounds that they were economically unavailable. The PSU wanted support from the USO fund in lieu of the decision to abolish access deficit charges. The USO fund administrator has taken a view that the subsidy cannot be given to a single operator.
TRAI proposes 20 cr for one national licence
The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has suggested 20 cr as the entry fee for pan-India unified licence.
Though this licensing - National level, Service area level and District level.
Entry fee for national level licence will be 20 cr
Circle level licence to cost between 2 cr and 50 lakh
25 lakh for district-level licence
No cap on the number of licences
Operators will have to apply/buy for spectrum separately.
TRAI wants operators to report revenues
The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has suggested that operators should disclose revenues from each stream of business separately.
While telecom companies are already required to separately report revenues from broad service categories, TRAI now wants reports on income from services such as 3G, tower business, Internet protocol, TV and multimedia messaging.
As of now, operators report revenues for broad categories such as mobile services, long distance telephony and fixed line telephone services.
Internet cos will have to follow law of the land
The govt has no plans to censor the Internet even as it sought to send a strong message to social websites like Google and Facebook that any company wishing to operate in the country will have to follow law of the land.
The assertion comes amid growing unease among global website and social media companies over the government asking the social websites to ensure that uploading of derogatory material is stopped.
Vodafone tax case
In a huge relief to Vodafone and a major boost to foreign investor confidence in India, the Supreme Court on January 20 held in a landmark verdict that the telecom giant is not liable to be taxed on its 11.2-billion acquisition of Hutchison’s Indian telecom assets.
The Income Tax (IT) Department had raised a demand of $2.6 billion ( 11,267 crore) on the 2007 Vodafone-Hutch deal.
The apex court directed the IT Department to return to Vodafone 2,500 crore (which was deposited by the company with 4 per cent interest within two months.
Taxman gives a push to affordable housing
‘Affordable housing’ may soon get a boost with the Income Tax Department issuing guidelines for allowing investment-linked deductions to business in this space. The tax breaks are likely to encourage real-estate developer to show more interest in this segment where margins have been narrowing in recent years because of rising input cost.
The investment - linked deductions are to be made available from April 1, 2012 and will, accordingly, apply to assessment year 2012-13 and subsequent years.
Only projects that commenced operations after April 1, 2011 eligible.
Tax benefits under Section 35AD are given to encourage developers to show more interest in affordable housing.
Minimum land area for each project is pegged at 1 acre.
IT Deptt to launch drive against tax evasion
Tightening the noose around tax evaders, the Income Tax Department launched a special drive from 20th January to March 20 to verify high-value transactions, under which tax officials may visit the premises of assesses and enquire about their sources of income.
The high-value transactions that will be under the IT Department. scanner includes the purchase of property, vehicles, shares and bonds, fixed deposits in banks and post offices, etc.
The two-month-long drive is executed to raise tax collections and help the government bridge the fiscal deficit, which is expected to exceed the Budget target of 4.6 per cent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
The high - value transactions that will be under the IT Department scanner include the purchase of property, vehicles, shares and bonds fixed deposits in banks and post offices, etc.
India - Sri Lanka trade set to touch $4b
Indo-Sri Lanka bilateral trade is likely to cross $4 billion in 2011, up from $3 billion n 2010. The Indo-Lanka free trade agreement had helped Sri Lanka to diversify its portfolio of exports to India.
Sri Lanka has come out with a string of incentives to overseas investors in strategic sector, such as a 25 year tax holiday.
This incentive was extended to NTPC, which is setting up a 500-mw power unit in Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka’s import-export ratio, at present, is 8:1.
BANKING RELATED GENERAL AWARENESS IN BRIEF
To mark the 125th birth anniversary of mathematical genius S Ramanujan, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh declared year 2012 as - National Mathematical Year
A 50 MW solar PV (photovoltaic) power plant will be set up at Rajgarh for which NTPC Ltd signed a power purchase agreement with - MP Tradeco
Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda declared 2012 as - Year for Youth.
The new Executive Director of the Indian Overseas Bank - ADM Chavali
The United Bank of India has revised interest rates on Non-Resident External (NRE) Rupee term deposits in the segment of three-to five-year from 3.82 per cent to - 9.35 per cent
The new president of Indian Economic Association - Bhalchandra Mungekar
A graduate from IIT, Delhi and IIM, Calcutta who launched Classpad, a new-generation tablet, for personalized and interactive teaching and learning, at IIT Delhi-Rohit Pande.
Punjab National Bank (Bank) has launched a new scheme as a part of its improved offering to current account customers. It is known as - PNB Smart Banking Current Account.
Private insurer Star Union Dai-ichi Life (SUD Life) has launched a traditional endowment plan that allows consumers to make a one-time investment for which a guaranteed amount is paid at the end of 10 years. The plan is - Dhan Suraksha Platinum.
The new Director of National Council for Educational Research and Training - Parvin Sinclair
CA Business Achiever - Woman Award 2011 has been awarded to the Director (Finance), National Fertilisers Ltd (NFL) - Neeru Abrol
The new Executive Director of Indian Bank - B Raj Kumar
Volkswagen, Europe’s biggest car maker, will start its pre-owned car business in India in 2012 known as - Das Welt Auto.
Private insurer Star Union Dai-Ichi is a joint venture of Bank of India, Union Bank and Japan - based insurance firm called - Dai Ichi.
The first - ever official directory of Indian businessmen and professionals manual in the UAE has been published by the - India Trade and Exhibition Centre (ITEC)
The new chief patron of the managing committee of Rajasthan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (RCCI) - Vinita Singhania.
HDFC Life Insurance announced the launch of an online term insurance plan called - HDFC Life Click 2 Protect
To ensure speedy evacuation of road accident victims in the State to hospitals, the government in Kerala introduced - Kerala Motor Vehicle Road Accident Victims Emergency Fund Bill
For reciprocal membership arrangement the CA institute has signed an MoU UK - based professional accountancy body-Association of International Accountants
The device that will enable workers with Aadhar to withdraw money near their doors through core banking system has been launched by the Unique Identification Authority of India. It is known as - Micro ATM
Among the oil and gas companies, NDTV Profit honoured Oil India Limited with the prestigious - Business Leadership Award
For adopting good governance practices instituted by the Institute of Company Secretaries of India, ONGC has been bestowed with - Certificate of Recognition.
Private lender Dhanlaxmi Bank has entered the silver retailing business with the launch of its - ‘Dhan’ silver bars.
The customers or clients who do not have a private banking or wealth management account with a bank are known as its - Non-managed customers.
Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) will sell its policy through the Internet for the first time with the launch of a - Pure term plan.
The acting CEO of the country’s oldest mutual fund, UTI Mutual Fund - Imtaiyazur Rahman.
Writer/diplomat Pavan K Varma launched his new book - When Loss is Gain.
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar launched a website which will provide details of those convicted in criminal cases, known as - Civil Consequences of Crime
The new Deputy Managing Director of IDBI Bank - BK Batra
The Additional Secretary who is likely to become the next chief of Coal India - Zohra Chatterji
Global Outlook, the US - based business communication and hosted Microsoft Exchange service provider, has launched - Microsoft Exchange 2010
Wipro Technologies has launched a Supply Chain and Finance Management Solution for the retail sector called - FLoW
In the next six month, Bank of Baroda plans to open about-13 overseas branches
The new CMD of Bank of Maharashtra - Narendra Singh
The Government has planned to reduce the Company Secretaries on non-urea fertilizers- Phosphorus (P) and Potash (K)
The new President of the Institute of Company Secretaries of India (ICSI)-Nesar Ahmad
The new Chief Operation Officer of drug-maker Glenmark-Sandeep Gupta
Mahindra Reva Electric Vehicles Pvt Ltd has signed an agreement for providing vehicle financing with - State Bank of India
The new Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Godrej Properties Limited (GPL) is - Pirojsha Godrej
Life Insurance Corporation of India is launching a new plan to meet the educational and other needs of the child, called-Jeevan Ankur
Digital imaging firm Canon India has appointed its new President and CEO- Kazutada Kobayashi
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