Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Starred Articles

PM Narendra Modi announces Pradhan Mantri Krishi Seenchayi Yojana
India > Pradhan Mantri Krishi Seenchayi Yojana
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has announced the Pradhan Mantri Krishi Seenchayi Yojana in Haryana on 19th August. The Yojna has been announced to meet the irrigation needs of all farmers across the country. A sum of 1000 crore rupees has been allocated for implementation of the scheme.

INS Kamota, India's first indigenously-built warship, commissioned into Navy
India > Navy
INS Kamorta, India's first indigenously-built stealth anti-submarine, was commissioned into the Navy by Defence Minister Arun Jaitley on Saturday, 23rd August, 2014, at naval dockyard in Vishakhapatnam. The warship has been built by the state-owned Gardenreach Shipbuilders in Kolkata and is the first vessel in the Navy whose all weapon systems are manufactured in India. INS Kamorta, which has enhanced anti-detection features, will form part of the Vishakhapatnam-based Eastern Command. It would carry short-range Surface-to-Air missiles (SAM) and Active Towed Array Decoy System (ATDS). It can also carry an integral ASW helicopter.

RBI spells out rights to customers to prevent mis-selling
Bank Specific > RBI Mandate
The Reserve Bank of India, in order to protect its customers from mis-selling, has spelled out the rights of the financial customer and the responsibilities of the financial service provider (FSP). In a draft charter of consumer right released, RBI has identified five basic rights for consumers and discourage lenders from mis-selling of products. The five basic rights of a customer are:
  • Fair treatment
  • Transparency
  • Fair & honest dealings
  • Product suitability
  • Privacy
  • Grievance redress and compensation
To save the customers from difficult legal language, the RBI states that FSPs (Financial Service Providers) should provide customers with product terms and conditions in an easily understandable simple language. They should also specify the key risks associated with the product and also the features that may be disadvantageous for a customer.
Mis-selling of products has been a serious issue in Indian financial system and that has led to fundamental flaws in the customer protection architecture and has created large welfare losses for customers.


Pakistan University confers degree on renowned Indian agriculture scientist M.S. Swaminathan
World > Pakistan honorary degree
The University of Agriculture in Faisalabad (Pakistan) has conferred an honorary degree of the Doctor of Science on renowned Indian agriculture scientist M.S. Swaminathan for his “contribution to farm research and allied areas of plant-breeding, genetics, biodiversity and ecological studies.” Dr. Swaminathan said that the Indian subcontinent should focus on increase in productivity without harming the ecological balance and a nutrition-sensitive agriculture, through programmes rooted in the principles of ecology, economics, gender and social equity, employment and energy.

NASA satellite to help farmers combat drought
Science and Technology > NASA
NASA is set to launch a new satellite with the capacity to measure soil moisture on a global scale. Once operational, data from the Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) satellite could be used to better inform farmers in agricultural decision making, providing unprecedented levels of detail on moisture trends with an efficiency and speed unattainable using current technology.

'Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana' to be rolled out in Aug 28
Economy > Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana
The 'Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana' will be launched on August 28 by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The scheme aims to provide bank accounts to each un-banked household. It is estimated that around 7.5 crore households (six crore in rural and 1.5 crore in urban areas) do not have access to any kind of banking facility. Under the new scheme, each account-holder will get a RuPay debit card with accident insurance cover of ₹1 lakh. In the second phase, each of these account-holders will also get life insurance cover and pension products.

ICICI Bank launches apps for loan details
Corporate > ICICI
India’s largest private sector lender, ICICI Bank has announced the launch of two new mobile banking applications; ‘iLoans’ and ‘iTrack’, for accessing loan account details and tracking status of dispatches, respectively. The bank aims to enhance customer experience with the launch of these two new mobile applications. Using these apps, all customers, even those having only loan accounts with the Bank can get easy access to their information, thus eliminating the need to call phone banking or visit a branch.
‘iLoans’ offers customers the convenience of accessing their loan related details on mobile phones. ‘iTrack’ enables customers to track the status of deliverables dispatched sent to them by the Bank, like statements, letters and cheque books for their savings, current, loan or demat accounts. Customers can track their dispatches by either their account number or airway bill number.

Amazon.com acquires video site Twitch
Corporate > Amazon
Amazon.com announced Monday that it had agreed to acquire video site Twitch for $970 million in cash, the latest sign of the e-commerce giant's expansive ambitions in video entertainment. The deal came just months after numerous reports that Google had a deal to acquire Twitch.
Twitch will be operated as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Amazon.com Inc, with Emmitt Shear remaining as CEO. Shear touted the Amazon Web Services platform as an "attractive" aspect of the deal, and that Amazon had "built relationships with the big players in media" which could be used to the service's advantage—particularly in the realm of content licensing. The purchase of Twitch marks the third recent video gaming-oriented acquisition by Amazon, which had previously acquired the developers Reflexive Entertainment and Double Helix Games.

Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha appointed 29th Thai PM
World > Thailand
Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha, chief of Thailand's National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO), received a royal command appointing him the country's 29th prime minister at Army headquarters. He promised to solve national problems urgently and to be accountable.
Gen Prayuth vowed to tackle corruption, especially that in the government sector, and to develop the nation in all dimensions. He asked general public to support the work of his government. The nation's economic problems would be solved quickly and sustainably to prepare Thailand for the ASEAN Community, he pledged.

Flipkart signs pact with Textiles ministry to provide online platform for weavers
Corporate > Flipkart
Online e-retailer Flipkart.com has signed an agreement with the Textiles Ministry to provide an online marketing platform to textile weavers from across the country from September. The online initiative will help weavers tap the growing online market. Under the agreement, the company will help weavers choose the right designs, colour schemes and sizes according to what is in demand. The project is being launched on a pilot basis for six months, after which it will be assessed. Flipkart will connect the artisans directly to the buyer and help in relaying the orders to weavers, packaging, collecting and delivering to the buyer. Flipkart will charge a 3-4 commission on sale but there will be no listing charges. The transportation charge will be extra which will be mentioned clearly.

Government planning to set up solar plants along barren border areas
Politics and government > Solar power
The government is planning to set up solar power plants along the national border, some of which could also fence borders at places which need to be illuminated. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the man behind this idea, has proposed setting up 1,000-mw plants on defence land and supply the electricity at a fixed price of Rs. 5.5 per unit for 25 years. This proposal aims to provide electricity to the armed forces, the largest consumers of diesel in the country. Minister of state for power, coal and renewable energy Piyush Goyal also said that the government plans to deploy renewable sources of energy in a major way to provide electricity to a large number of houses which currently do not have electricity access.

New Governors named for Rajasthan, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Goa
Politics and government > Governors
Kalyan Singh, Vajubhai Rudabhai Vala, Chennamaneni Vidyasagar Rao and Mridula Sinha have been appointed as Governors of Rajasthan, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Goa respectively, by President Pranab Mukherjee on Tuesday, August 26. Kalyan Singh is a former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister and Mr. Vala had earlier been the finance minister in the Gujarat government and was elected the Speaker of the Gujarat Assembly in 2013. Mr. Rao had earlier served as a Union Minister of State for Home in the Vajpayee government. Mridula Sinha was the former BJP Mahila Morcha president and had earlier held the post of Central Board of Social Welfare chairperson.


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