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Current affairs : January 2, 2017 for all competitive exams

Govt permits 12 PSU banks to raise Rs 3,000 crore from market
The Finance Ministry granted approval to 12 proposals of PSBs to raise a sum of Rs 2,914.038 crore through preferential allotment and permission given to raise Rs 200 crore by United Bank of India through QIP mode. 
  • The government had already infused a sum of Rs 25,000 crore in 19 PSBs during FY 2015-16.

After wallet cos, Modi now brings cheer to digital lending firms
PM’s New Year eve speech has opened up opportunities for digital lending players, including startups in the space. 

  • PM has announced the inclusion of non-banking financial companies (NBFCs) in the credit guarantee scheme for small, medium and micro enterprises (SMEs) and also extended the scheme for loans up to Rs 2 crore.
  • The credit guarantee scheme for SMEs was so far open only for banks, and the inclusion of NFBCs will help new-age NBFCs reach out to more borrowers.
  • Extension of credit guarantees to NBFCs will help innovative players to penetrate under-served, new-to-credit borrower segments.

India, Pakistan exchange lists of nuclear sites
India and Pakistan recently exchanged for the 26th consecutive year the list of their nuclear installations under a bilateral agreement that prohibits them from attacking each other’s atomic facilities.
  • The exchange was carried out under the Agreement on the Prohibition of Attack against Nuclear Installations between India and Pakistan.
  • This is the 26th consecutive exchange of such list between the two countries, the first one having taken place on January 1, 1992.

Rs. 5.5 lakh for each PoK refugee
The Centre will deposit Rs. 2,000 crore into the bank accounts of 36,000 Hindu refugees from Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK).
  • The compensation package for the Hindu refugees was announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi last year, and it got the clearance from the Union Cabinet in December. These refugees migrated to Jammu and Kashmir in 1947, 1965 and 1971.
  • Each PoK refugee would get Rs. 5.5 lakh in his or her bank account, and the Centre will bear the cost.

Fossil fuel formation linked to rise in atmosphere’s oxygen
The rapid rise in the atmospheres oxygen roughly 500 million years ago which made advanced animal life possible on Earth is linked to the process that led to the formation of fossil fuels, suggests new research.
  • According to the study, the rise in oxygen was associated with a rapid increase in the burial of sediment containing large amounts of carbon-rich organic matter – the raw material of coal, oil and natural gas.

Drug discovery for GPCR signalling made easy by IIT Kanpur
Researchers have shown that the regulation of G Protein-Coupled Receptors (GPCRs) by new drugs can be simpler than generally thought — it can be mediated by engaging only the end of the receptor, which is called the tail of the receptor.
  • With this, discovering new drugs that bind to G Protein-Coupled Receptors (GPCRs), which are central to almost every physiological process in our body such as vision, taste, immune response and cardiovascular regulation, becomes easier.

SBI cuts lending rate by 0.9% across
Country’s largest lender SBI  cut benchmark interest rate across various maturities by 0.9 per cent, effective from 1st January  2017, a move that is expected to be shortly followed by other banks also.
  • The bank has reduced marginal cost of funds based lending rate (MCLR) by 0.9 per cent from 8.90 per cent to 8 per cent for 1-year tenure.

‘Leap second’syncs Indian time with Earth’s spin

The atomic clock was programmed to add an extra seconde to 2017 to compensate for a slowdown in the Earth's rotation.
  • A ‘leap second’ was added to the Indian clock at 5:29.59 hours on January 1 to synchronise with the Earth’s rotational clock. As the atomic clock at the National Physical Laboratory (NPL) here struck 23:59:59 last night, it was programmed to add an extra second to 2017 to compensate for a slowdown in the Earth’s rotation.
  • A leap second is a one-second adjustment that is occasionally applied to Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) in order to keep its time of day close to the mean solar time, or UT1.

Bharatiya Jananpith announces Navlekhan award 2016
Two new Hindi writers Shraddha and Ghyansham Kumar Devansh have been chosen for Bharatiya Jnanpith Navlekhan Award for the year 2016, the literary organisation announced.
  • The decision to confer the award on Shraddha for her short story, 'Hawa Mein Phadphadati Chitthi' and on Devansh for his poem 'Akash Mein Deh' was taken unanimously by a selection panel chaired by eminent poet Vishnu Nagar.

Somdev Devvarman announces retirement from professional tennis
India's star singles player Somdev Devvarman has announced his retirement from professional tennis.Somdev touched a career-high rank of number 62 in 2011. 
  • He has two runners-up finishes on the ATP World Tour as his best performances on the Tour. He made the finals of Chennai and Johannesburg ATP events.
  • Somdev also won Singles and Doubles medals in Asian Games and Commonwealth Games.
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