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Current Affairs: 8th April 2015

Category : All, Current Affairs · by Apr 9th, 2015

1- PM Narendra Modi launches MUDRA Bank to provide credit to small entrepreneurs

PM Narendra Modi launches MUDRA Bank to provide credit to small entrepreneurs

PM Narendra Modi || MUDRA Bank

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 8 April 2015 launched Micro Units Development Re-finance Agency (MUDRA) Bank in New Delhi. MUDRA Bank will act as a regulator for ‘Micro-Finance Institutions’ (MFIs) involved in manufacturing, trading and service activities to promote their growth. The Pradhan Mantri MUDRA Yojana will be the main support system for the bank and will be the part of Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI). The MUDRA bank was proposed in Budget 2015-16 by Union Government with an initial corpus of 20,000 crore rupees. Apart from this, 3,000 crore rupees also has been earmarked as credit guarantee corpus.

The envisaged roles for MUDRA Bank include

  • Formulate policy guidelines for micro-enterprise financing business and registration of MFI entities.
  • Undertake rating and accreditation of MFI entities.
  • Develop standardized set of guidelines in order to govern last-mile lending to micro enterprises. Promote appropriate technology solutions for the last mile.
  • Formulate and operate a credit guarantee schemes in order to provide guarantees to loans and portfolios that are extended to micro enterprises.
  • Support promotional and development activities in the sector and create a good architecture for last-mile credit delivery.
  • MUDRA Bank will provide financing on 3 stages- Shishu, Kishore and Tarun. Shishu is first stage in which loan cover upto Rs 50,000 will be given to a business entity at start of business. Kishore is second stage in which loan cover ranging from Rs 50,000 to Rs 5 lakh will be given. Tarun is the third stage in which loan cover up to Rs. 10 lakh will be given.

2- Snapdeal acquires FreeCharge

Snapdeal acquires FreeChargeOnline marketplace Snapdeal on 8 April 2015 acquired India’s fastest growing mobile transaction platform FreeCharge. With this acquisition, Snapdeal has become India’s largest mobile commerce firm with 40 million users and the largest mobile transactions base for any company. Now Snapdeal can offer wide range of services and products including financial services, mobile recharge and utility payments to its growing user base.

About FreeCharge

FreeCharge is a mobile commerce platform where users can recharge any prepaid mobile phone, postpaid mobile, DTH & Data Cards in India. Founded in 2010 by Kunal Shah and Sandeep Tandon. It is headquartered in Mumbai, Maharashtra. Since 2011, it had raised over $120 million in financing backed by top tier institutional investors.

About Snapdeal

Snapdeal was started in February 2010. It was founded by Kunal Bahl and Rohit Bansal, an alumnus of IIT Delhi. Since its formation Snapdeal has grown to become the largest online marketplace in India. At present it offers an assortment of 4 million+ products across diverse categories from over 50,000 sellers, shipping to 4,000 towns and cities in India.

3- Gujarat wins Syed Mushtaq Ali T-20 trophy 2014-15

Gujarat wins Syed Mushtaq Ali T-20 trophy 2014-15

Syed Mushtaq Ali T-20 trophy

Gujarat won the Syed Mushtaq Ali T-20 cricket trophy for the tournament season 2014-15. In the final match played at KIIT Stadium, Odisha they defeated Punjab by two wickets. Punjab by batting first had scored 117 for 9 wickets in 20 overs. Gujarat by chasing the target had scored 123 in 19.5 overs for 8 wickets. With this win, Gujarat has won this trophy for second, earlier they won in 2012-13 season.

About Syed Mushtaq Ali T-20 Trophy

Syed Mushtaq Ali T-20 Trophy is a Twenty20 cricket domestic championship in India named after famous Indian cricketer, Syed Mushtaq Ali. Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) organizes the tournament and played among the teams from Ranji Trophy. Inaugural season of tournament was 2008-09 and was won by Maharashtra cricket team.

4- Sumit Mazumder elected as new President of CII for year 2015-16

Sumit Mazumder elected as new President of CII for year 2015-16

Sumit Mazumder

Sumit Mazumder was elected as the President of Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) for the year 2015-16. He is Chairman & Managing Director (MD) of TIL Limited. He will succeed Ajay Shriram, Chairman of DCM Shriram Consolidated Ltd. Moreover, Shobana Kamineni was elected as Vice-President of CII for the year 2015-16. Presently, she is Executive Vice-Chairperson of Apollo Hospitals Enterprises Limited (AHEL). Dr Naushad Forbes is the President-designate of CII for the year 2015-16. He is Director of Forbes Marshall.

About Sumit Mazumder

Mazumder is a graduate of St Xavier’s College, Calcutta and holds MBA from Sam Houston State University, US. He also has undertaken the Advanced Management Program at Harvard University, Massachusetts, USA. At present he is also the Executive Chairman of TIPL (Tractors India Pvt. Ltd.), distributor Company for Caterpillar. In the past years, Mazumder was an active member of CII and had chaired its various Committees and Councils. He also had served as President of the Bengal Chamber of Commerce & Industry, Director on the Board of West Bengal Industrial Development Corporation (WBIDC).

5- Union Cabinet gives nod to Real Estate Regulation Bill to curb malpractices in real estate sector

Union Cabinet gives nod to Real Estate Regulation Bill to curb malpractices in real estate sector

Union Cabinet

The Union Cabinet on 7 April 2015 approved amendments to the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Bill, 2013 to protect the interests of consumers and curb the malpractices in the real estate sector.   Decision in this regard was taken by Union Cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The bill seeks to create a uniform regulatory mechanism across the country and enhance the growth of construction sector. It also ensures to bring transparency and accountability in the real estate sector to access capital and financial markets essential for its long term growth.

Facts about Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Bill, 2013

Regulates transactions in real estate projects between the promoters and buyers. Establishes state level regulatory authorities called Real Estate Regulatory Authorities (RERAs) and tribunals called Real Estate Appellate Tribunals to settle disputes. Promoters and real estate agents must register project details with RERAs who intend to sell any plot, apartment or building. All information for registered projects must be disclosed on website of the RERA. It will include details of promoters, land status, layout plan, schedule of execution and status of various approvals. The bill enforces the contract between the developer and buyer and fast track the mechanism to settle disputes. 50% of the amount collected from buyers for a project must be maintained in a separate bank account and must only be used for construction of that project. The Bill was initially introduced in Rajya Sabha by then UPA-2 government led by former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. It was only applicable only for residential real estate and is still pending in Rajya Sabha. The approved amendments by current Union Government seeks to bring commercial real estate under the ambit of bill.

6- Union Cabinet approves release of additional installment of DA and DR

Union Cabinet approves release of additional installment of DA and DRThe Union Cabinet on 7 April 2015 gave its nod to release an additional installment of Dearness Allowance (DA) to Central Government employees and Dearness Relief (DR) to pensioners. The approved additional installment of DA/DR is at the rate of six percent increase over the existing rate of 107 percent with effect from 1 January 2015. This decision is going to benefit 48 lakh government employees and 55 lakh pensioners. Decision in this regard was taken in Union meeting chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi in accordance with the accepted formula based on the recommendations of the 6th Central Pay Commission. With this Central Government employees as well as pensioners are entitled for DA/DR at the rate of 113 percent of the basic pay with effect from 1 January 2015. This decision will have combined impact on the exchequer on account of both DA and DR will be of the order of 6762.24 crore rupees per annum and 7889.34 crore rupees in the Financial Year 2015-16. FY 2015-16 will be for a period of 14 months from January 2015 to February 2016.

7- TRAI recommends 112 as single emergency number for India

TRAI recommends 112 as single emergency number for IndiaTelecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) on 7 April 2015 has proposed ‘112’ as a single emergency number that can be used all across the country including for police, fire and ambulance departments. This emergency number will be similar to the ‘911’ an all-in-one emergency service in the United States. At present, for emergency disaster management different numbers for different emergencies such as 100 for police, 101 for fire and 102 for ambulance are in existence. TRAI has suggested that existing emergency numbers can be retained as secondary numbers and the calls made to them be re-routed to ‘112’. After time being, once a call to the secondary numbers significantly reduces, they can be withdrawn gradually. Callers seeking help in emergency can dial ‘112’ from mobile or landline phones even when outgoing facility has been debarred or the service temporarily suspended. TRAI also has proposed SMS-based access for the emergency services. The regulator also has recommended setting up of Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs) – a call centre through which all calls to ‘112’ will be routed. Depending upon type of emergency, PSAPs will send police, fire, medical and other emergency response services.

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