Reserve Bank of India moves to ease liquidity for non-banking finance firms

Reserve Bank of India in a move to make more liquidity available to non-banking finance firms (NBFCs)issued a circular to relax the securitization norms by relaxing the Minimum Holding Period (MHP) requirement. The NBFC sector is facing liquidity shortage after Infrastructure Leasing & Finance Services, a core investment company, started defaulting on loans. The cost of funds gone up for the non-banking finance firms putting pressure on profitability.

India is the fastest growing e-commerce market: Report by Bain & Company

According to the report, India’s online retail market had a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 53% from 2013 to 2017. This rapid growth is due to heavily discount-driven e-commerce marketplaces, improvement in delivery infrastructure and increased smartphone penetration and data usage. India’s total e-commerce retail sales in 2017 were nearly $20 billion. As per the studies, another $50 billion of online e-commerce could be introduced by adding new users and bringing back the currently inactive old users. India was in 8th rank in terms of online retail penetration among 11 countries.

World Gold Council appoints David Tait as next CEO

The market development organization for the gold industry, The World Gold Council announced the appointment of David Tait who has a very successful career in the financial services industry as the incoming Chief Executive Officer (CEO).

India To Chair Kimberley Process From January 2019

The Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS) Plenary 2018, was held in Brussels, Belgium, in November 2018. EU handed over the Chairmanship of KPCS to India from 1st January 2019. This year was the fifteenth anniversary of KPCS.

Four Indian-Origin Women In Forbes US Top 50 Females In Tech

Four Indian-origin technology executives have made it to the Forbes’ list of America’s 50 women in technology space in 2018. The list includes Neha Narkhede, chief technology officer and co-founder of streaming platform Confluent; Kamakshi Sivaramakrishnan, CEO, and founder of identity-management company Drawbridge; Padmasree Warrior, former chief technology officer (CTO) of Cisco, and Komal Mangtani, senior director at Uber.

First global conference on Blue Economy held in Nairobi

Kenya, Japan and Canada co-hosted the first global conference on the sustainable blue economy in Nairobi from 26 to 28 November 2018, in an event which brought together over 4,000 participants from around the world. It builds on the momentum of the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the 2015 Climate Change Conference in Paris and the UN Ocean Conference 2017 “Call to Action”.

India, China inked protocol on hygiene & inspection requirements for exports

A protocol on hygiene and inspection requirements for the exports was signed in New Delhi during the visit of Chinese Vice Minister, General Administration of Customs of China Hu Wei who is leading a six-member delegation to India. The move would enable India to commence export of fish meal and fish oil to China. The neighbouring country has so far not allowed these exports by India. China imports fish oil to the tune of USD 143.29 million per year and fish meal worth USD 263.43 million.

Air forces of the US and India to hold joint exercise ‘Cope India 2019’

Air forces of the United States and India are scheduled to participate in a 12-day joint exercise ‘Cope India 2019’ at two air force stations in West Bengal this month. The exercise will be held from December 3 to 14 at Air Station Kalaikunda and Air Station Arjan Singh (Panagarh). The Cope India exercise is being held after a gap of eight years, with the last one having taken place in 2010. Cope India began in 2004 as a fighter training exercise held at Air Station Gwalior.

Centre proposes ban on use of animals in circuses, performances

The Centre has proposed a prohibition on the use of all animals for performances, exhibition at any circus or mobile entertainment facilities and has invited comments from various stakeholders on the issue within 30 days. Though the ministry had banned the use of lions, tigers, panthers, monkeys, bears and bulls in 2011 as part of its species-specific rules, the new draft will now be applicable for all animals across the country.

Magnus Carlsen retains World Chess Championship 2018 title

World number one Norwegian Magnus Carlsen has retained his World Chess Championship title, beating US opponent Fabiano Caruana in a tie-breaker event. Carlsen’s peak rating of 2882, achieved in 2014, is the highest in history. Carlsen became World Champion in 2013 by defeating Viswanathan Anand.

India, China to hold joint military exercises from December 10

The militaries of China and India would hold a joint 14-day drill from December 10 in southwest China’s Chengdu city to improve their capabilities in fighting terrorism and promote mutual understanding. The 7th India and China joint military exercises – ‘Hand in Hand’ – will focuss on counter-terrorism operations. The exercises will be held after a gap of one year as both the sides were locked in a 73-day standoff in Doklam in the Sikkim sector of the border in 2017.

Telangana State signed pact with British Council

The Telangana government and British Council have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to strengthen educational and cultural cooperation and support the knowledge ambitions and economic growth of Telangana. The signatories, Alan Gemmell, Director, British Council India, and Mr. Jayesh Ranjan, Principal Secretary, Information Technology, signed the MoU in the presence of Chief Secretary S.K. Joshi. The British Council has aimed at inspiring youngsters from across Telangana and India to build a relationship with the UK for the next 70 years. Mr. Joshi hoped that the MoU will expand the scope of the Council’s engagements in developing the skill of young people.

Maharashtra Governor approved the Bill granting reservation to Marathas

Maharashtra Governor Vidyasagar Rao approved the Bill granting 16% reservation to Marathas. He signed the reservation under the state for Socially and Educationally Backward Classes (SEBC) Act, 2018. The Maratha community, which forms 30% of the state population, will be entitled to reservation benefits and advantages enshrined in the Articles 15(4) and 16(4) of the Constitution as the quota has been provided under the Socially and Educationally Backward Class (SEBC) category. In September 2014, the Congress-Nationalist Congress Party (NCP)-led state government had promulgated an ordinance for Maratha quota. However, it failed the legal test. In June 2017, the State Backward Class Commission (SBCC) was asked to study the social, financial and educational status of the Maratha community.

SC rejected the fresh plea against Article 370

The Supreme Court (SC) declined to look at the fresh petition challenging Article 370, which gives special autonomous status to Jammu and Kashmir. Another pending writ petition is by NGO ‘We the Citizens’. This petition challenged the validity of both Article 35A and Article 370. It argues that four representatives from Kashmir were part of the Constituent Assembly involved in the drafting of the Constitution and the State of Jammu and Kashmir was never accorded any special status in the Constitution. Article 370 was only a ‘temporary provision’ to help bring normalcy. The Constitution makers did not intend Article 370 to be a tool to bring permanent amendments, like Article 35A, in the Constitution. The petition said Article 35A is against the “very spirit of oneness of India”. Restricting citizens from other States from getting employment or buying property in J&K is a violation of their fundamental rights.

UNESCO accepted Korean wrestling as one of the worlds most treasured cultural practices

UNESCO accepted a joint bid for Korean wrestling to be recognized as one of the world’s most treasured cultural practices. This bids a new step in their reconciliation efforts of North and South Korea. The two Koreas had originally filed separate applications for their traditional form of wrestling to be recognized on the UN agency’s Intangible Cultural Heritage list. The announcement is the latest in a string of symbolic gestures between Seoul and its nuclear-armed neighbor in recent months. In North Korea, it is known as Ssirum and in South Korea, it is known as Sssireum. The wrestling has been practiced at village festivals for centuries.

PM Modi to be invited to Pakistan for SAARC summit

Pakistan’s Foreign Office Spokesman Mohammad Faisal said Prime Minister Narendra Modi is to be invited to Pakistan for the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) summit. SAARC Summits are usually held biennially hosted by a member state in alphabetical order. The member state hosting the summit assumes the Chair of the Association. The summit 2018 was called off after Bangladesh, Bhutan and Afghanistan also declined to participate in the Islamabad meet. The Maldives and Sri Lanka are the seventh and eighth members of the initiative.



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