Current Affairs of 30 July 2015

1. Kotak bank launches ‘Kotak Bharat’ mobile banking app for ‘un-banked’ regions
Kotak Mahindra Bank (KMB) launched a mobile banking app ‘Kotak Bharat’ aiming to provide mobile banking services to customers in the remotest regions of India.
The Android-based app is specifically designed to provide banking service to customers in the under-banked and un-banked regions with provision to use service in their preferred language.

Initially the service will be provided in Hindi and English language and would also be available in Marathi, Gujarati, Tamil and Kannada in few months.

Customers can manage their savings/current accounts and credit cards through this app.
Initially will be launch in prominent Hindi belt centre starting from Lucknow and will spread its service in other state in few months.
The app is compatible on SMS banking keyword process platform where customers could download the app on their registered mobile number without any separate registration process.
It also facilitates other value added propositions such as recharging mobile/DTH services, finding Kotak ATMs & branches, linking Aadhaar number to the account, and even facilitates to avail services of government schemes like Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana and Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana etc

2. Procter & Gamble (P&G) appoints David Taylor as its new CEO
Procter & Gamble (P&G) has appointed its company veteran David Taylor as the new CEO by replacing A G Lafley .
However, A G Lafley the existing CEO who has led the P&G from 2000 will remain as the chairman of the company.
The world’s largest household products maker P&G has appointed new CEO in wake of sluggish sales in developed countries. And recently has also announced to sell off its 40 brands to the perfume maker Coty Inc for USD 12.5 billion.

3. Cyclone Komen formed over Bay of Bengal
Cyclone Komen came into news on 30 July 2015 after the depression over the Northern Bay of Bengal turned into a cyclonic storm. The cyclone is expected to make landfall on the coast of Odisha and West Bengal.
Komen currently lies centred at about 95 km southwest of Chittagong in Bangladesh and about 300 km southeast of Kolkata.
The slow-moving monsoon depression has already unleashed lethal amounts of rain in South Asia and has claimed 27 lives in Bangladesh and Myanmar.
Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) forecasted heavy to very heavy rains with isolated extremely heavy rains in Gangetic West Bengal and Odisha of India. The cyclone is expected to attain the wind speed reaching 65-75 kmph gusting to 85 kmph.

4. ‘Visaarnai’ became first Tamil film to enter Venice film festival
Actor Dhanush produced Tamil thriller 'Visaaranai' will have its world premiere in the competition section of the upcoming 72nd Venice International Film Festival. The festival is scheduled to take place between 2 September and 12 September 2015.
With this, Visaaranai will become the first Tamil film to have its world premiere in the competition section of the upcoming at Venice International Film Festival.
Yet to be released, the film Visaranai written and directed by Vetrimaaran of Polladhavan fame is an experimental Tamil thriller movie. It is based on true events and is about police interrogation techniques and brutality.
The film stars Attakathi Dinesh, Anandhi and Aadukalam Murugadoss in the leading roles.

5. India to become most populous nation by 2022: UN World Population Prospects
United Nations (UN) on 29 July 2015 released the report title World Population Prospects: The 2015 Revision at the UN Headquarters in New York.
According to the report, India will surpass China to become the most populous nation in the world by 2022. In the forecast issued by UN in 2013 India was expected to surpass China's population by 2028.

6. e-Tourist Visa scheme extended to China, Hong Kong and Macau
e-Tourist Visa scheme was extended to China, Hong Kong and Macau with effect from 30 July 2015. The facility was extended as per the decision of the 29 July 2015 of Union Government. 
With the inclusion of these countries/territories, the total number of countries/territories covered under the e-Tourist Visa scheme will go up from 74 to 77.
Union Cabinet approved Rajya Sabha panel's amendments on GST Bill, 2014
The Union Cabinet on 29 July 2015 approved amendments proposed by Rajya Sabha Select Committee on Goods and Services Tax (GST) Constitution Amendment Bill, 2014. 
The Rajya Sabha Select Committee chaired by Bhupender Yadav in its report submitted on 22 July 2015 suggested that compensation to the states should be made for 5 years instead of up to 5 years for any revenue loss due to introduction of GST.
The Bill also called Constitution (122nd Amendment) Bill, 2014 was passed in Lok Sabha on 5 May 2015.
Recommendations of the Select Committee includes 
• Additional tax up to 1%: On this, the committee stated that the provision of 1% additional tax is likely to lead to cascading of taxes. Hence, it recommended that the term, supply be explained to mean all forms of supply made for a consideration.
• Compensation to States: On this, the committee recommended that compensation would be provided to states for a period of five years
• Functions of the GST Council: On this, the committee recommended that the term, bands must be defined to include the range of GST rates, over the floor rate, within which CGST and SGST may be levied on specific goods or services or classes of goods or services
• Dispute Resolution: In this, the Committee stated that the creation of a separate dispute settlement authority would hamper the functioning of the GST Council in general and the legislatures in particular.
• GST Rates of Banking Services: On this, the committee recommended that the GST rate for the banking industry should be minimum, to ensure international competitiveness.  If possible, banking services could be outside the purview of GST.  
• GST Network (GSTN): The committee noted that the non government shareholding in GSTN is dominated by private banks, and this is not desirable.  It recommended that the non government institution shareholding be limited to public sector banks and financial institutions.

7. SEBI cancelled Certificate of Registration of Sahara Mutual Fund
The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) cancelled the Certificate of Registration of Sahara Mutual Fund. Its licence would stand cancelled after 60 days from the date of the order. 
The market regulator in its order said that the company is not fit and proper entity to carry out the business of mutual fund. 
It also directed Sahara Mutual Fund or Sahara Asset Management Company Private Limited (Sahara AMC) not to take any new subscription from the investors including existing investors in Systematic Investment Plans (SIPs) or Systematic Transfer Plans (STP) and also not to levy any penalties on the investors for not depositing the installments.

8. Microsoft launches Windows 10
US Software giant Microsoft launched its new operating system Windows-10 with a host of new features.  It was launched by Microsoft’s India-born CEO Satya Nadella at a global launch event held in Kenya.
Windows 10 includes features such as
Cortana: Microsoft’s voice-based smart assistant similar to Apple’s Siri and Google’s Iris.
Xbox app: for gaming
Microsoft Edge: new web browser which has replaced Microsoft’s Internet Explorer.
Windows Hello: It will offer a fast, password-free, secured way to log in with face recognition.
Enhanced Windows Defender and SmartScreen: It will help to safeguard against viruses, malware and phishing.

9. RBS to sell private banking business in India to Sanctum Wealth
Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) has decided to sell its private banking business in India to Sanctum Wealth Management, in line of its prior decision to exit the Indian market.
Britain’s largest public bank Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) has signed a non-binding framework agreement with Sanctum Wealth Management, which is a start up firm set by Shiv Gupta. He is also the present managing director of RBS’ private banking operations in India.
RBS has four private banking offices in India located in New Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru and Chennai.
The reason behind this decision is to formulate RBS into a stronger, more sustainable and simpler business for its aim to consolidate its business in the UK and Western Europe.

10. Debjani Ghosh takes charge as new MAIT President
Debjani Ghosh took charge as new president of MAIT (the Manufacturers’ Association for Information Technology), the apex body of India’s Information technology hardware industry.
Ghosh is the first woman President of MAIT since its inception 32 years ago. She is vice-president sales and marketing group and managing director of Intel Corporation, South Asia and will succeed Amar Babu the chief operation officer at Lenovo for Asia Pacific and chairman of Lenovo India.

11. Kalyani Group partners with Israel’s Rafael to make Spike Missile
India’s Kalyani Group and Israel’s Rafael have partnered to produce Spike Anti-Tank Guided Missiles (ATGM) in India.
In this regard both the entities have formed a manufacturing Joint Venture (JV) and this move is considered to deepen India-Israel strategic cooperation.
The manufacturing JV will be as per the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) guidelines which means that the 51% ownership stake in JV will hold by the Kalyani Group.
The FDI proposal in this regard was cleared by Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) in October 2014 which was chaired by then Defence Minister Arun Jaitley. The FDI deal was worth 3,200 crore rupees and comprises order of 300 plus launchers and 8,000 plus Spike ATGM missiles.

12. Pakistan receives CSF tranche of $336 million dollars from US
Pakistan received 336 million dollars fund from the United States for its on-going role in combating a Taliban insurgency in its neighbouring country Afghanistan.
The fund is provided by US under the Coalition Support Fund (CSF) programme which was started in 2001 after Pakistan became frontline ally of US-led coalition in Afghanistan.
This financial injection to Pakistan comes after Taliban militants had step up its annual summer offensive which was launched in late April, 2015.
Since the CSF programme began, Pakistan has received a total of 13 billion dollars in payments. In exchange for these reimbursements, Pakistan provides US and its allies to use its air bases and other facilities.

13. Paytm bags BCCI sponsorship rights
Next time you are watching a one-day cricket match, you might just miss the “Sahara” printed on the t-shirts of the players as it will be replaced by an emerging startup. Mobile marketplace and payments site Paytm has bagged the title sponsorship rights of BCCI (Board of Control for Cricket in India) for Rs. 203 crore.
Shankar Nath, Senior Vice-President, Paytm told Business Line that the sponsorship rights were acquired for all the 84 series India will play till 2019. Paytm will pay Rs. 2.42 crore for every international match hosted by BCCI. The first home series will be against South Africa starting September.
The Alibaba-backed company, owned by One97 communications and founded by Vijay Shekhar Sharma, won the bid against home-grown mobile handset maker Micromax, which paid Rs. 2.02 crore per match.

14. GM to invest $1 billion in India by 2020
During her visit last September, General Motors CEO Mary Barra had said she had plans that would sync with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Make in India’ programme. She has now announced an investment of $1 billion (₹6,400 crore) in India over the next five years. The company also plans to launch 10 new models over that period.
The $1-billion investment is part of Chevrolet’s $5-billion commitment to global growth markets.
However, the company also said it is shutting down the Halol (Gujarat) plant, which currently employs around 1,000 workers and 300 contract labourers. While GM India says the workers are welcome to shift to its Talegaon (Maharashtra) plant, it is not sure whether the workers will do so or if they will be absorbed at another facility.
Barra focussed on talking about the investment plan and the 10 new Chevrolet launches, as well as creation of 12,000 jobs for GM India and its suppliers.
She said the investment will be made only on development of new products, getting equipment and expansion of the Talegaon plant for the rollout of global products.

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