India & World Current Affairs December
State and District Cooperatove Banks can Offer ‘View Only’ Net Banking
- The Reserve Bank of India (RBI), on November 5, 2015, allowed State Cooperative Banks (StCBs) and District Central Cooperative Banks (DCCBs) to offer internet banking with ‘view only’ facility. Besides, internet banking i with ‘view only’ facility is allowed to be given by all UCBs complying with certain conditions, without RBI’s approval.
- The new guidelines says that all StCBs, DCCBs and UCBs that have implemented Core Banking Solution (CBS) and migrated to Internet Protocol Version 6 may offer internet banking (view only) facility to their customers, without prior approval of the RBI.
- In case any service offered under ‘view only’ facility requires two-factor authentication or One Time Password (OTP), banks may adopt the prescribed security features, as appropriate to such services.
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Indian Railways Launched ‘Vikalp’ Scheme
- Indian Railways has launched ‘Vikalp’ scheme on November 1, 2015 under which wait-listed passengers can get confirmed accommodation in next alternative train if they opt for the option while booking their tickets online.
- Initially, Vikalp scheme will be available only for the tickets booked through internet for six months and option will be limited to mail and express trains on the two selected routes i.e., Delhi-Lucknow and Delhi-Jammu sectors from November 1, on a pilot basis.
- The scheme will be extended to reservation booking counters and also on other routes after getting the feedback. Passenger, if opts for the scheme while booking tickets online, will get SMS alert on their mobile phone about getting confirmed accommodation in alternative , train.
India became World’s 7th Most Valued ‘Nation Brand’
- As on November 1, 2015, India has moved up one position to become the world’s seventh most valued ‘nation brand’, with an increase of 32% in its brand value to $ 2.1 billion.
- The US remains on the top with a valuation of $ 19.7 billion, followed by China and Germany at the second and the third positions respectively.
- The UK is ranked 4th, Japan is at fifth position and France is sixth on the list. While, India and France have moved up one position each since last year, all the top-five countries have retained their respective places. It’is published in the annual report on world’s most valuable nation brands compiled by Brand Finance.
- The nation brand valuation is based on five year forecasts of sales of all brands in each nation and follows a complex process. The Gross domestic product (GDP) is used as a proxy for total revenues.
Corporate Current Affairs
Pfizer and Allergan Reached $ 150 Billion Merger Deal
- US drugs giant, Pfizer has clinched a blockbuster merger with Allergan, the maker of Botox worth more than $ 150 billion on November 21, 2015, that can best be described in superlatives. Under this deal, Allergan shareholders will receive 11.3 shares in the merged company for each of their Allergan shares.
- Pfizer would lead the combined company, which would surpass Johnson & Johnson as the biggest drug maker by revenue, with more than $ 60 billion in sales Its ‘ product portfolio would run from Viagra, Celebrex and pneumonia drugs to Botox and the cosmetic treatment Juvederm.
- The transaction aimed at helping the American, company shed its United States corporate citizenship in an effort to lower its tax bill (in this case by billions of dollars) and it could become a flash point as the Presidential race heats up.
Tata Steel Commissioned First Phase of Kalinganagar Plant
- Tata Steel commissioned the first phase of its integrated steel plant at Kalinganagar plant on November 18, 2015. It marked a milestone in Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik’s ambition of industrializing the State rapidly.
- It is the largest single-location greenfield steel project in India, and would make flat, lighter, high-tensile strength steel. The company started commission of the hot strip mill and coke oven, but blast furnace, sinter plant and steel smelting shop are yet to be completed.
- The plant is spread across 2200 acre land and has been established at an investment of Rs 25000 crore. The plant also boasts of India’s largest blast furnace at 4330 cu m. On completion, it would provide employment for 45000 people.
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Facebook and BSNL Signed Agreement
- As on November 1, 2015, Social media giant Facebook has come forward to facilitate State-run BSNL in setting-up 100 Wi-Fi sites in rural areas of Western and Southern India in order to boost the government’s ambitious ‘Digital India’ drive.
- Facebook will spend Rs 5 crore per annum for sponsoring i.e., Rs 5 lakh for BSNL bandwidth for each hotspot. The hotspots are being set-up by BSNL-selected vendor Quad Zen. Quad Zen will set-up these hotspots and handles sales.
- The agreement between Facebook and BSNL is for three years and it can be further extended for two-more years. BSNL has also received interest from Member of Parliaments for setting-up Wi-Fi hotspots in villages which they have adopted under Saansad Adarsh Gram Yojana (SAGY) to make it a model village by 2016.
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