Finance and Banking News –
Jet Airways becomes first domestic carrier to allow UPI for ticket-booking
Private carrier Jet Airways fliers can now buy tickets online, using the industry’s latest payment
mechanism, Unified Payments Interface (UPI).
The move makes the city-headquartered airline the only domestic carrier providing its customers with
this convenient payment solution.
The UPI allows money to be transferred instantaneously between any two bank accounts instantly,
using a smartphone.
Launched by National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), UPI is one of the various measures by the
RBI towards a less-cash and a more digital society.
ICICI Bank integrates net-banking service with DigiLocker
ICICI Bank on Monday announced the integration of its retail internet banking with ‘DigiLocker’, an
online repository platform for issuance, verification and storage of digital certificates and documents
‘DigiLocker’, an initiative of the Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology (MeitY), is a
repository platform for issuance, verification and storage of digital certificates and documents on
ICICI Bank is offering this service free of cost, it said.
At present, over 20 organisations including the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI),
Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, Ministry of
Petroleum and Natural Gas, including various eDistrict applications are part of the DigiLocker
Tax evasion over Rs 5 crore will be non-bailable offence under new GST regime
Tax evasion of over Rs 5 crore under the Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime would be a non-bailable
offence. The new regime also empowers police to make an arrest without warrant.
The Central GST (CGST) Act has defined offences related to taxable good or services. The act provides
that if the offences will be cognizable and non-bailable when the taxable goods and/or services where
the amount of tax evaded or the amount of input tax credit wrongly availed or the amount of refund
wrongly taken exceeds Rs 5 crore.
The Central Board of Excise & Customs (CBEC) in its 223-page frequently asked questions (FAQ) on
GST said other offences under the act are non-cognizable and bailable. FAQ suggests that cognizable
offence means the serious category of offences in respect of which a police officer has the authority
to make an arrest without a warrant and to start an investigation with or without the permission of a
Ratification of Minimum Age Convention & Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention approved
The Union Cabinet on 31 March 2017 approved the ratification of the Minimum Age Convention, 1973
(No. 138) and the Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention, 1999 (No. 182).
The approval for the ratification of the two fundamental conventions of the International Labour
Organization (ILO) was given at a meeting of the Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi
in New Delhi.
While the Minimum Age Convention deals with the minimum age for admission to employment, the
Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention, 1999 is concerned with the prohibition and immediate
action for elimination of the worst forms of Child Labour.
India is a founder member of the International Labour Organization (ILO), which came into existence
in 1919. At present, the ILO has 187 members.
The principal means of action in the ILO is the setting up of International standards in the form of
Conventions, Recommendations and Protocol.
India has so far ratified 45 Conventions, out of which 42 are in force. Out of these 4 are Fundamental
or Core Conventions.
Union Cabinet approved signing of new Air Services Agreement between India and Serbia
The Union Cabinet on 31 March 2017 approved the signing of a new Air Services Agreement (ASA)
between India and Serbia.
The approval was given at a meeting of the Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi in
The essential features of the new India-Serbia Air Services Agreement are –
Under the new Air Services Agreement, the Indian carriers can operate to any points in Serbia from
points in India.
Whereas the carriers of Serbia can establish direct operation to four metros – New Delhi, Mumbai and
2 more points to be specified later.
Apart from this, through routing flexibility, any intermediate and beyond point can also be served by
the designated carriers on both sides.
The designated airlines shall be entitled to exercise domestic code share operation to any four
additional points in the territory of the other Party over.
Centre sanctions Rs 98 Cr for development of tourism sector in Assam
The Union Government has sanctioned Rs 98.35 Cr for the development of a Heritage Circuit in Assam.
The announcement was made by the Union Minister of State for Tourism and Culture, Mahesh Sharma
while meeting the state’s Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal.
The amount has been sanctioned for the development of Tezpur, Majuli and Sivasagar circuit under
the scheme of Swadesh Darshan.
It includes the development of a composite tourist infrastructure in Majuli, which will comprise an
interpretation centre near Kamalabari ghat, log huts, watch towers, cafeteria, elevated walkway, solar
illumination and landscaping.
The infrastructure at Majuli itself is expected to cost around Rs. 61.26 Cr.
Five associate banks, Bharatiya Mahila Bank merged with SBI
Five associate banks of SBI and the Bharatiya Mahila Bank (BMB) were on 1 April 2017 merged with
the State Bank of India (SBI).
These five associate banks that were merged with the SBI are –
State Bank of Bikaner and Jaipur
State Bank of Hyderabad
State Bank of Mysore
State Bank of Patiala
State Bank of Travancore
The merger of these five associate banks with SBI was approved by the Union Government in February
2017. Later in March 2017, the Union Cabinet approved merger of BMB as well.
With this merger, SBI will join the league of top 50 banks globally in terms of assets. Currently, no
Indian bank features in the top 50 banks of the world.
The total customer base of the SBI will now reach to 37 crore people with a branch network of around
24000 and nearly 59000 ATMs across the country. The merged entity will have a deposit base of more
than Rs 26 lakh crore and advances level of Rs 18.50 lakh crore.
Soon, the bank will rationalise its branch network by relocating some of the branches to maximise
reach. This will help the bank in optimising its operations and improve its profitability.
Integration of treasuries of the associate banks with the treasury of SBI will bring in substantial cost
saving and synergy in treasury operations.
Textiles Minister launches PowerTex India scheme for powerloom sector
The Union government on 1 April 2017 launched PowerTex India, a comprehensive scheme for the
development of the powerloom sector.
The scheme was launched by Union Textiles Minister Smriti Irani through a video conference at
Bhiwandi in Thane district, Maharashtra with a simultaneous launch in 45 other locations across the
country including Surat, Erode, Malegaon, Bengaluru, Varanasi and Bhagalpur.
The scheme would especially benefit Maharastra and Tamil Nadu. It comprises new research and
development in power loom textiles along with new markets, branding, subsidies and welfare
schemes for the workers.
It is meant to especially benefit the small power loom weavers. The powerloom sector alone employs
over 44 lakh people.
In all, it has nine components including In-situ up-gradation of Plain Powerlooms, Group Workshed
Scheme (GWS), Common Facility Centre (CFC), Yarn Bank Scheme, Tex Venture Capital Fund, Grantin-
Aid and Modernisation & Upgradation of Powerloom Service Centres (PSCs).
It also includes two new schemes, Pradhan Mantri Credit Scheme (PMCS) for powerloom weavers and
solar energy scheme (SEC) for powerlooms.
India, Malaysia inked seven agreements
India and Malaysia on 1 April 2017 inked seven agreements including the development of a fertiliser
plant in Malaysia. The agreements were signed to strengthen the strategic partnership between the
These MoUs/agreements were signed during the Malaysian Prime Minister Mohd Najib Bin Tun Abdul
Razak’s visit to India. Raazak was on a six-day visit (from 30 March – 04 April 2017) to India.
List of Agreements/ Memorandum of Understandings (MoUs) exchanged during the State Visit of
Prime Minister of Malaysia to India
Air Services Agreement: The two nations signed an Air Services Agreement.
MoU on Cooperation in the proposed development of a Urea and Ammonia Manufacturing Plant in
Malaysia and off-take of existing surplus urea from Malaysia to India: It envisages Malaysian
consortium of Isomeric Holding Sdn Bhd and Edra Power Holdings Sdn Bhd to put up a 2.5 MT/annum
urea and ammonia manufacturing plant in Melacca, Malaysia for dedicated consumption by India. It
also envisages off take to India the existing surplus Urea from Malaysia as per India’s requirement.
MoU on Cooperation in the Field of Sports: It envisages cooperation through exchange of
sportspersons, instructors, information on sports regimen and training curricula, among others.
MoU for cooperation in training and others: The MoU was signed between the Malaysian Human
Resource Fund (HRDF)/Pembangunan Sumber Manusia Berhad (PSMB) and EDII, Ahmedabad. The
signed agreement envisages that EDII of Ahmedabad will carry out training and other capacity building
programmes, as necessary on behalf of the Human Resource Development of Malaysia.
MoU on Mutual Recognition of the Educational Qualifications: it was signed between Association of
Indian Universities (AIU), India and Malaysian Qualifications Agency (MQA), Malaysia. It establishes
recognition of equivalence of the various degrees awarded by educational institutions in the two
countries. It also envisages the eventual signing of a mutual recognition agreement between the two
education/higher education ministries, following technical consultations.
MoU for collaboration in technology development in the field of Palm Oil: It was inked between
Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB) and Institute of Chemical Technology (ICT), India.
MoU on the implementation of 4th Generation Technology Park in AP: It was inked between MIGHT
Technology Malaysia and AP Economic Development Board. As per the MoU, the Malaysian industrygovernment
group for high power technology (MIGHT) will act as a facilitator to develop a cluster in
AP. As part of fourth generation Technology Park, packing material would be made from recycled
MPOC signs pacts to promote palm oil in India
Malaysian Palm Oil Council today signed pacts with edible oil industry body Solvent Extractors’
Association and Mumbai Dabbawala Association (MDA) to promote palm oil in India.
The memorandums of understanding (MoUs) were exchanged in the presence of Malaysian Prime
Minister Mohd Najib Tun Abdul Razak, a statement said.
Malaysian Palm Oil Council (MPOC), having its registered office in kuala lumpur, seeks to collaborate
with trade organizations in India to promote and create opportunities for the greater acceptance of
Malaysian palm oil among Indian consumers, food manufacturers and other end-users.
The MoUs between MPOC and Mumbai Dabbawala Association (MDA) covers various areas of
cooperation like educating consumers on usage, nutritional and health properties of palm oil.
2nd Annual Meeting of New Development Bank begins in New Delhi
The second Annual Meeting of the New Development Bank began on 31 March 2017 in New Delhi.
The meeting will be held for three days till 2 April 2017.
Main event: The opening ceremony of the NDB Second Annual Meeting will be held at Taj Palace Hotel
in New Delhi on 1 April 2017.
It will be followed by the singing ceremony, the Second Annual Meeting of the NDB Board of
Governors and Press Conference.
Seminars: The first seminar will be held under the theme of “Financing Sustainable Development.” It
will address the role of governments in financing development and, in particular, sustainable
The second seminar will be held under the theme of “Urban Planning and Sustainable Infrastructure
During the seminar, the participants will look into how the urban development could improve the lives
News related to India and states –
Cabinet approved signing of Agreement for establishment CIRDAP Centre
The Union Cabinet on 31 March 2017 gave its approval for signing of an agreement between the
Ministry of Rural Development and Centre on Integrated Rural Development for Asia and the Pacific
(CIRDAP) for the establishment of a CIRDAP Centre at National Institute of Rural Development and
Panchayati Raj in Hyderabad, Telangana.
The meeting was chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.The establishment of the centre within
the National Institute of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj (NIRD & PR) premises would give the
institute an advantage of acquiring first-hand knowledge about networking with organizations that
specialise in rural development programmes.
The new centre would help the NIRD & PR to enhance its position in the region through connections
with other institutes in the CIRDAP member countries and help it create its own storehouse of
It would also benefit the faculty at the institute with exchange visits to the best practices in the CIRDAP
PM Narendra Modi inaugurates India’s longest Chenani-Nashri tunnel
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 2 April 2017 inaugurated Chenani-Nashri tunnel, India’s longest
highway tunnel in Jammu & Kashmir. This 9 km long twin-tube tunnel is an ideal example of the
government’s ‘Make in India’ and ‘Skill India’ initiative.
PM Modi also announced to invest around Rs 7000 crore in highways projects in Jammu and Kashmir
in the next two years. A ring road will be built around Jammu at a cost of Rs 2100 crore and another
one around Srinagar at a cost of Rs 2200 crore.
Moreover, Zojila tunnel is also under construction between Leh and Ladakh at a cost of Rs 6000 crore.
This 9 km long all-weather tunnel between Udhampur and Ramban in Jammu & Kashmir is not only
India’s longest highways tunnel but also Asia’s longest bi-directional highways tunnel.
Built at an elevation of 1200 metres on one of the most difficult Himalayan terrains, the tunnel will
cut the travel time between Jammu and Srinagar by two hours, bypassing about 41 kms of road length.
It will also ensure an all weather passage on a route that often sees heavy traffic jams and disruptions
due to landslides, snow, sharp curves, breakdown of vehicles and accidents.
The structure of the tunnel consists of a 9 km long two-laned main tunnel with a parallel escape tunnel
of same length. The two tunnels are connected by 29 cross passages at regular intervals.
These cross passages can be used for evacuation of vehicles and commuters in case of breakdown or
any other emergency.
B P Kanungo takes over as new RBI deputy governor
B P Kanungo on Monday took over as the Deputy Governor of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).
The government on March 11 appointed Kanungo, who was holding the position of Executive Director
of RBI, as Deputy Governor for a period of three years.
Kanungo will look after the departments of currency management, external investments and
operations, government and bank accounts, and information technology, payment and settlement
He will also look after foreign exchange department, internal debt management department, legal
department and premises department.
Kanungo had joined the RBI in September 1982.
Bajaj Capital appoints Rahul Parikh as the new CEO
Bajaj Capital on Monday said it has appointed Rahul Parikh as the new chief executive officer.
Parikh has almost 17 years of experience in financial services companies like Aditya Birla Money
MyUniverse, Birla Sunlife Asset Management Company and ICICI Prudential Mutual Fund.
Besides, Anil Chopra has been elevated to Group Director — Corporate Affairs of the company. Earlier,
he was Group CEO and Director of the firm. In his new role, he will be working with the shareholders
to develop new lines of business.
Vipul takes charge as Consul General of Dubai
Diplomat Vipul on 3 April 2017 took charge as the new Consul General of Dubai. Vipul is a 1998 batch
Indian Foreign Service officer.
Vipul succeeds Anurag Bhushan, who returned to New Delhi to take up his assignment at the
Headquarters after a successful term of three years in Dubai.
Before joining the Consulate at Dubai , Vipul was working in the office of Union External Affairs
Minister Sushma Swaraj. Earlier, he served India’s diplomatic missions in Sri Lanka and Egypt. He has
a good command over the Arabic language.
Actor Vishal elected as President of TN Film Producers Council
Renowned actor Vishal was on 2 April 2017 elected as the President of the Tamil Nadu (TN) Film
Producers Council. Vishal bagged a total of 476 votes out of the 1059 votes polled.
He won by a margin of 144 votes defeating Radhakrishnan, who garnered 332 votes in the polls that
were held for the film body. Another contestant Keyar secured 224 votes.
Former High Court Judge Rajeswaran was appointed as the Election Officer of the Tamil Nadu (TN)
Film Producers Council.
Vishal is also the General Secretary of the South Indian Film Artistes Association. He owns a production
house Vishal Film Factory.
Awards & Honors –
Dawit Isaak awarded 2017 UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize
Dawit Isaak, an imprisoned Eritrean-Swedish journalist, on 30 March 2017 was chosen to receive the
2017 UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize.
Isaak was chosen for the prestigious award in recognition of his courage, resistance and commitment
to freedom of expression.
The journalist was arrested in a crackdown on the media that occurred in September 2001. His present
location is unknown.
The Prize will be awarded on 3 May 2017, World Press Freedom Day, to be hosted in Jakarta,
P V Sindhu defeats Carolina Marin to win India Open Super Series title
P V Sindhu on 2 April 2017 defeated reigning Olympic champion Carolina Marin of Spain to lift her
maiden India Open Super Series title.
Third seeded Sindhu defeated Marin 21-19, 21-16 at the Sirifort Sports Complex. The Indian
badminton player had last defeated Marin in the BWF Super Series in Dubai in the year 2016.
In 2013, she became the first ever Indian women’s singles player to win a medal at the Badminton
Roger Federer defeats Rafael Nadal to clinch 2017 Miami Open Men’s Singles title
Roger Federer on 2 April 2017 outclassed Spain’s Rafael Nadal to win the 2017 Miami Open Men’s
Eighteen-time Grand Slam champion defeated Nadal in straight sets 6-3, 6-4 to win his third Miami
In majors, he has won seven Wimbledon titles, five Australian Open titles, five US Open titles and one
French Open title.
Leander Paes and Adil Shamasdin win Men’s Doubles title at Torneo Internacional Challenger Leon
Leander Paes on 2 April 2017, combining with Canadian Adil Shamasdin, lifted the Leon Challenger
Tour tennis tournament’s Men’s Doubles trophy at Leon, Mexico.
Paes and Shamasdin defeated Switzerland’s Luca Margaroli and Caro Zampieri of Brazil 6-1 6-4 in the
title clash at the USD 75000 hard court event.
With this win, Paes grabbed his 20th ATP Challenger title. The Indian player has now won at least one
title every year for the past 26 years.
Myanmar becomes seventh member of South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation
Myanmar on 31 March 2017 became the seventh member of the South Asia Subregional Economic
Cooperation (SASEC) Program.
Myanmar’s association with the SASEC open up new markets and supply chain links for trade and
business between South Asia and Southeast Asia.
The SASEC countries coordinate the planning of projects and activities to increase economic growth
by building transport connectivity, facilitating faster and more efficient trade, and promoting crossborder
Up till now, SASEC members have invested more than USD 9 billion in development projects, which
have connected markets and businesses over the last 15 years in the subregion.