Monday, February 17, 2014

Current Affairs and Other Important Facts - 17th February

(a) International Olympic Committee and Indian Olympic Association Stand Off - 

Ban imposed on India in December 2012 which meant that Indian athletes will not be able to compete under the tricolour in any Olympic sponsored event and after winning the gold medal in any such event, National Anthem of India will not be played.

Reasons for the ban - 

Mr. Lalit Bhanot elected as Secretary General of the Indian Olympic Association despite facing charges of corruption in a 2010 Commonwealth Games related case.

Latest News - 

The ban was removed by International Olympic Committee after 14 months when recently fresh elections were conducted and N. Ramachandran was elected as the President. Newly elected Secretary General is Rajeev Mehta.

(b) RBI draft report on enabling Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) in payment system applications - 

# Enabling Public Key Infrastructure in payment system applications.

# It will be done through RTGS, NEFT, CBLO, Forex Clearing, Government Securities Clearing, Cheque Truncation System.

# For PKI enabled services - 

Volume of transaction - 25.1 %
Value of transaction - 93.7 %

# For Non-PKI enabled services - 

Volume of transaction - 75 %
Value of transaction - 6.3 %

The draft report is open for comments by the Reserve Bank of India before finalising it.

NOTE - (Courtesy - Wikipedia and other sources)

Public Key Infrastructure - A PKI enables users of a basically unsecure public network such as the Internet to securely and privately exchange data and money through the use of a public and a private cryptographic key pair that is obtained and shared through a trusted authority.

Real time gross settlement systems (RTGS) - RTGS are funds transfer systems where transfer of money or securities takes place from one bank to another on a "real time" and on "gross" basis. Settlement in "real time" means payment transaction is not subjected to any waiting period. The transactions are settled as soon as they are processed. "Gross settlement" means the transaction is settled on one to one basis without bunching or netting with any other transaction. Once processed, payments are final and irrevocable.

National Electronic Funds Transfer (NEFT) - NEFT is electronic funds transfer system, which facilitates transfer of funds to other bank accounts in over 63000 bank branches across the country. This is a simple, secure, safe, fastest and cost effective way to transfer funds especially for Retail remittances.

Collateralized Borrowing And Lending Obligation - CBLOs were developed by the Clearing Corporation of India (CCIL) and Reserve Bank of India (RBI). The details of the CBLO include an obligation for the borrower to repay the debt at a specified future date and an expectation of the lender to receive the money on that future date, and they have a charge on the security that is held by the CCIL.

Cheque Truncation System (CTS) or Image-based Clearing System (ICS), in India, is a project undertaken by the Reserve Bank of India – RBI, for faster clearing of cheques. CTS is basically an online image-based cheque clearing system where cheque images and Magnetic Ink Character Recognition (MICR) data are captured at the collecting bank branch and transmitted electronically. Truncation means, stopping the flow of the physical cheques issued by a drawer to the drawee branch. The physical instrument is truncated at some point en route to the drawee branch and an electronic image of the cheque is sent to the drawee branch along with the relevant information like the MICR fields, date of presentation, presenting banks etc.

(c) Sammakka-Saarakka or Jatara - 

# Largest religious tribal congregation of the World.

# It is 4 day biennial fair.

# Held in February 2014 at Mendaramin Warangal District of the Telangana Region.

(d) Ban on Smokeless Tobacco Act - Assam

Assam is the first state to legally ban consumption of all forms of smokeless tobacco through legislation.

Provisions of the Act - 

1. Ban on advertisement, distribution, sale, trade, promotion, production and business.

2. Consumption or possession of gutka, zarda and pan masala containing tobacco shall be punished with a fine of Rs. 1000/- for the first offence and Rs. 2000/- for each subsequent offences.

3. If the provisions laid through this act are violated other than individual consumption or possession, imprisonment up to 7 years and fine between Rs. 1 lakh and Rs. 5 lakh.

(e) OECD set up new standards to combat the menace of black money -

1. 42 countries including India accepted the new standards till date.

2. Automated exchange of information on offshore tax evasion and tax commitment to share tax details.

3. Automated exchange of information on accounts holding more than $ 2,50,000

4. Financial companies would also be required to identify the ultimate beneficiary of shell companies.

5. Investment Funds, Insurance Providers, Stock Brokers and Banks have to report to the Government of the country in which they are operating regarding the account balances of their customers & clients and also their interests, dividends and other investment incomes to the Government. The Government of the country in its turn will provide this information to the Government of the country which had signed this latest information sharing pact.

(f) Oldest known Star of the Universe - 

SMSS J031300.36 - 6708393

SMSS means Sky Mapper Southern Sky-Scrapper

Age of this Star - Around 13.6 billion years old

60 times bigger than our Sun

At a distance of 6000 light years from the Earth.

(g) Amazing Indian Award 2014 - Won by Ms. Arunima Sinha

1. First Indian amputee to scale Mount Everest in May 2013

2. Former National Volleyball and Hockey player from Uttar Pradesh.

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