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Current affairs - July 20, 2016

1. Centre injects Rs.22,915 cr into 13 public sector banks 
In a bid to boost credit growth in the economy, the Centre has announced a sum of Rs.22,915 crore for recapitalisation of 13 public sector banks. State Bank of India (SBI) will receive the largest allocation of Rs.7,575 crore. Indian Overseas Bank and Punjab National Bank are to get Rs.3,191 crore and Rs.2,816 crore respectively.

  • The infusions required in the current year were assessed from the CAGR of credit growth for the last five years and the banks’ projections of credit growth. The potential for growth of each these banks was also factored in.

2. Panama to sign tax treaty
Panama has agreed to sign a multilateral tax treaty, which the Indian agencies believe will help them expedite investigations into the “Panama papers” recently made public by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists.
Signing and ratifying the Convention will be a very significant step forward in implementing its commitment to tax transparency and effective exchange of information.

3. Centre lets microbeads off the hook
Based on a petition requesting a ban on microbeads, also called microplastics, a National Green Tribunal Bench has asked the Ministries of Health, Environment and Water Resources file their response.

What the petition says?
Petitioned by- Ashwani Kumar
The crux of petition is that these plastics are too small to be caught by sewage treatment and water filtration techniques and they pass unchecked into rivers and seas and contaminated them. They take centuries to degrade and worse, are sometimes eaten by fish  and other aquatic animals and could even make their way into human diets. The United States has promulgated a ban, which will come into effect next July, on cosmetic products containing microbeads.

4. Rural areas pose hurdle for small finance banks
With merely 8 months remaining to start operations, small finance banks are facing headwinds to open 25% of their total branches in unbanked areas as it will impact their profitability. Hence, in a recent meeting with the banking regulator, the small finance bank representatives have requested the regulator to give them three years to comply with the norms.
  • According to them, the cost of opening or converting the present microfinance institutions branches into full-fledged bank branches is higher. Therefore, one year will be very challenging from the profitability point of view for these institutions.
  • The other issue that is posing a hurdle is that compliance with the Basel norms. According to the guidelines for small finance banks, RBI had said as small finance banks are not expected to deal with sophisticated products, the capital adequacy ratio will be computed under Basel Committee’s standardised approaches.  

5. SC Judgement on Consecutive Sentence:
The Supreme Court has clarified that an offender cannot be directed to undergo two life sentences consecutively as that would be “anomalous” and “irrational” and will disregard the fact that “humans like all other living beings have but one life to live”. 
  • The apex court, however, said that multiple sentences for imprisonment for life can be awarded for multiple murders or other offences punishable with imprisonment for life but such sentences needs to be superimposed over each other so that any remission or commutation granted in one does not ipso facto result in remission of the sentence awarded to the prisoner for the other.

 6. India's most Valuable brand in 2015-16:
Tata is India’s most valuable brand in 2015-16 with a brand valuation of $13.7 billion despite 11% value erosion during the year due to troubles concerning its steel business in the U.K, according to Brand Finance India’s top 100 most valued Indian brands. 
  • The top 10 brands of 2015-16 include Tata, LIC ($6.6 billion), Airtel ($5.7 billion), SBI ($5.7 billion), Infosys ($4.7 billion), Reliance ($3.5 billion), ONGC ($3.4 billion), L&T ($3.3 billion), Indian Oil ($3.2 billion) and HCL ($3.2 billion).

7. India’s Most Reputed Aviation Brands 2016: 
SpiceJet has topped the list among domestic private airlines in a study titled ‘India’s Most Reputed Aviation Brands 2016’, followed by Jet Airways with a 34% lower Brand Reputation Score. The study was conducted by media analytics firm BlueBytes in association with TRA Research.

8. Indian Medical Council (Amendment) Bill, 2016: 
A significant bill aimed at putting in place a single common examination for medical and dental courses was recently passed by the Lok Sabha, with the government saying even private colleges will be under its ambit. The Indian Medical Council (Amendment) Bill, 2016 and the Dentists (Amendment) Bill, 2016 provides a Constitutional status to the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) examination” which is intended to be introduced in the academic session next year. These bills replace the Ordinances that were promulgated by the government to circumvent the Supreme Court order for implementation of NEET examination this session itself.

9. Person in News:
Mubarak Begum:
  • Legendary singer Mubarak Begum, best known for the title track of the 1961 romantic-drama,Hamari Yaad Aayegi , passed away in Mumbai.
  • Known as the Nightingale of Rajasthan, Mubarak Begum began her career in Hindi films in 1949 with Aaiye .

10. Mumbai’s favourite deity Lord Ganesha has a demat account.
The Siddhivinayak temple is the 2nd temple got Demat account following Balaji Temple, Tirupati.
  • The temple trust’s demat account is with SBICAP Securities. It already has a bank account for online cash donations, also with the State Bank of India.
A demat (or dematerialised, which is what virtual share and security certificates are called now) account is a must for any entity interested in buying or selling shares of listed companies.

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