Current Affairs of 7 September2015

1. National Payments Corporation to launch three cards
The National Payment Corporation of India (NPCI), an umbrella institution for 
 retail payments, will roll out three cards, including a credit card, within next one year.
The company will launch a ‘Mudra’ card, a credit card and an international card, its Chairman M Balachandran told. 

NPCI, which had launched the RuPay payment scheme earlier, is in talks with Japanese and Chinese bank card associations to enable Indians avail of international services wherever the two firms are operating.
On NPCI’s operations, he said transactions had increased from two million to about 20 million a day in the last five years. Last month, it clocked 550 million transactions.
It was further expected to scale up to 40 million a day in another two to three months and likely to touch 100 million a few months later, he said, adding that the required expansion measures were being put in place.
Transactions include withdrawals from ATMs, Point of Sales (POS) operations and cheque clearing.

2. China, Pakistan launch joint ‘Shaheen (Eagle) – 4’ Air Drill
China and its strategic partner Pakistan have launched a joint air exercise called Shaheen (Eagle)-4 in China. It is fourth edition of air exercise between the air forces of both countries which was launched as part of a series of military exchange programmes between two countries. In this edition of exercise, Chinese contingent was represented by fighter jets, fighter bombers and early warning planes. Pakistani counterpart included fighter jets and early warning planes. Chinese air force by this joint air exercise is willing to expand the scope of cooperation with various countries in the region. The first edition of such joint air drill between both countries took place in Pakistan in March 2011. Late in September 2013 the second drill took place in China’s western Xinjiang Uygur region and third drill again took in Pakistan’s Punjab province in May 2014.

3. Lewis Hamilton wins 2015 Italian Grand Prix of Formula One
Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain won 2015 Italian Grand Prix of Formula One. This was his seventh victory of the season. His win for the season 2015 of Formula One began with Australian Grand Prix and later won Chinese Grand Prix, Bahrain Grand Prix, Canadian Grand Prix, British Grand Prix and Belgian Grand Prix.

4. India ranks near bottom on inclusive growth, development: WEF
India has been ranked very low, mostly in the bottom half, globally on most of the parameters for inclusive growth and development even as it fares much better internationally when it come to business and political ethics.
In a first of its kind global rankings, across different groups of countries in terms of their per capita income levels, the World Economic Forum (WEF) found that most countries are in fact missing major opportunities to reduce income inequality and the same is the case with India.
India has mostly been ranked in the bottom half of the 38 countries that make up our lower middle income bracket.
Particularly disappointing is its position in terms of Fiscal Transfers, where it ranks 37th out of 38. It also ranks very low at 32nd for Tax Code and 36th for social protection.
WEF said that another area that policymakers in India would need to prioritise improvement would be ‘Asset building and entrepreneurship’, in particular the Small business ownership, where India ranks bottom among its peers at 38th place.
However, India does demonstrate leadership in some areas, WEF said, while naming areas like corruption and rents where it comes 8th.
For business and political ethics, India ranks 12th, while it ranks 11th on the Financial intermediation of real economy investment pillar, which suggests that money invested in the economy generally gets directed towards productive uses.
WEF said its first Inclusive Growth and Development Report presents a new framework for assessing countries’ efforts to foster economic growth that raises the living standards of entire societies.
Stating that all countries have room for improvement, WEF said no country is a top performer in every sub—pillar.
Among major economies, Switzerland has come on the top in terms of basic infrastructure and services, while Finland is on the top in terms of education and skills as also for asset building and entrepreneurship. Norway is ranked at the top for labour, employment and compensation.
On India, WEF said it ranks very low at 30th place for GDP per capita among the lower middle income countries, but ranks much better at 8th place in terms of global competitiveness score.
For employment and labour compensation, it ranks very low at 32nd place, 27th for basic services and infrastructure and 31st for quality of education system. However, India ranks much better at 7th place when it comes to ease of finding the right talent.

5. Reliance Defence in pact with UAE's Abu Dhabi Ship Building for naval ship manufacturing 
Anil Ambani-led Reliance Defence Ltd (RDL) has signed an MoU with Abu Dhabi Ship Building to set up a strategic partnership for construction of naval ships, including frigates and destroyers to address the demands of Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), over the next 10 years. 
RDL is a fully owned subsidiary of Reliance Infrastructure Ltd while Abu Dhabi Ship Building (ADSB) is a leading provider of construction, repair and refit services for naval, military and commercial vessels. 
Reliance Group is likely to use its newly acquired ship-building facilities at Pipavav for implementation of this collaboration. 
The MoU signing follows the joint statement issued during Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to UAE on August 18 which highlighted "cooperation and manufacture of defence equipment in India". 
Headquartered in Abu Dhabi and established in 1996, ADSB was originally formed to support the repairs and refits of UAE Navy vessels and currently has a portfolio of construction and refit projects worth over UAE Dirham 3 billion. 
ADSB is 40 per cent owned by Mubadala, 10 per cent by Abu Dhabi's government while the rest 50 per cent is publicly traded on UAE's stock exchange. 

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