Daily Update On Current Affairs – June 06, 2017

current affairs
Here’s your daily summary of Current Affairs.

Habibganj Railway Station To Become India’s First Private Railway Station

Habibganj railway station in the suburbs of Bhopal will become country’s first railway station to be redeveloped in a public-private partnership (PPP) mode. On June 9, station redevelopment work in the railway station will be launched by Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu. The idea is to develop Habibganj railway station as a world-class transit hub equipped with all amenities. The operation and maintenance of the railway station have been given to Bhopal-based Bansal Group for a period of eight years. The group has managed to win the bid in 2016. Bansal Group plans to completely overhaul the station and develop four commercial land parcels to make Habibganj a commercial hub with shops, offices, and hotels, all in a span of three years. The environment-friendly railway station will be powered by solar energy. The station will have facilities for disabled, in addition to lifts, escalators and travelators, underpasses. In the case of an emergency, the station will be redesigned in such a way that the premises can be evacuated in four minutes and passengers can reach designated points of safety in six minutes. Bansal Group will be responsible for all the facilities at the station like food stalls, retiring rooms, power, platform maintenance, parking etc. However, the company will not be responsible for core operations such as train and parcel movement, signaling and ticketing.

India’s First Rural LED Street Lighting Project To Be Implemented In Andhra Pradesh

The government will retrofit 10 lakh conventional street lights with LED lights in Gram Panchayats of 7 districts in Andhra Pradesh. The project will be carried out by the Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL) functioning under the Ministry of Power. This project will be the first rural LED street lighting project under the Government of India’s Street Lighting National Project (SLNP). In the first phase of the project, the districts of Guntur, Prakasham, Nellore, Kurnool, Kadapa, Ananthapur, and Chittoor will be covered. The total upfront capital cost of the project would be funded by French Development Agency Agence Française de Développement (AFD). The 2017 Global Retail Development Index (GRDI) titled ‘The Age of Focus‘ has placed India at the top position among 30 developing countries on ease of doing business in the retail sector. This is the 16th edition of the Global Retail Development Index (GRDI). The index has placed China at the second place. However, it has been stated that the China’s market size and the continued evolution of retail still make it one of the most attractive markets for retail investment. India’s rapidly expanding economy, relaxation of FDI rules and the consumption boom are said to be the key drivers for India’s top ranking in the GRDI. India’s retail sector is witnessing a growth at an annual rate of 20%. In addition, the retail sector is expected to double its size by 2020. Further, the retail sector has also derived benefits from the rapidly growing e-commerce. It is estimated that the sector would grow 30 percent annually and reach USD 48 billion by 2020. Rapid urbanisation and growing middle class is expected to boost the consumption across the country.

India Won’t Be Impacted By Some Gulf Nations Snapping Ties With Qatar

India on Monday said it sees no impact of the decision taken by some Gulf countries to sever diplomatic ties with Qatar, which is the country’s largest liquefied natural gas (LNG) supplier. “There is no challenge arising out of this for us. This is an internal matter of the GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) and it has happened earlier also. Our only concern is about Indians there. We are trying to find out if any Indians are stuck there,” said External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj. This comes after Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Yemen, Bahrain and the UAE decided to cut off diplomatic ties with Qatar for allegedly supporting terrorism by allegedly backing radical Islamist groups such as ISIS and al-Qaeda. Saudi Arabia said Qatar backs “Iranian-backed terror groups” while Qatar has said that the charges are “unjustified” and not based on facts. The UAE and Egypt have asked Qatari diplomats and other foreign ministry officials to leave their respective countries over the next couple of days. On the other hand, Qatar Airways, the national carrier, has suspended all its flights to Saudi Arabia. Airlines from the other GCC countries, such as Etihad and Emirates Airways, have also canceled flights to Doha. Bilateral trade between India and Qatar stood at $8.42 billion in 2016-17, with exports at $787.47 million, while imports stood at 7.63 billion.

Nepal Signs Agreement For Mega Hydro Projects With Chinese Firm

Nepal has struck a major deal with China Gezhouba Group Corporation (CGGC) for developing a 1,200 MW Budhigandaki Hydroelectric Project, which will be the biggest hydro project in Nepal having the potential to resolve its perennial power crisis. The MoU was signed in the presence of outgoing Prime Minister of Nepal Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ and Chinese Ambassador to Nepal Yu Hong.

The World Bank’s Global Economic Prospects (GEP) Has Projected A Growth Rate Of 7.2%

The World Bank’s Global Economic Prospects (GEP) has projected a growth rate of 7.2% for India in the financial year 2017 as against 6.8% growth in 2016. Also, the bank in its report expects India’s growth rate to remain at 7.5% in 2018 and 7.7% in 2019. 
Salient Highlights:
The World Bank has kept the global growth forecast in 2017 and 2018 at 2.7% and 2.9% respectively. The bank has cited stronger demand from major advanced economies, increased trade flows to and from China, and a diminished drag from weak demand from commodity exporters to be the reason for recovery in trade growth in 2017. The bank has noted that India is recovering from the temporary adverse effects of demonetisation. Despite the slowdown in the growth rate, the World Bank has stated that India still remains the fastest growing major economy in the world. According to the bank, the growth projections for China remained unchanged at 6.5% for 2017 and then 6.3% for the next two years 2018 and 2019. The report has stated that the domestic demand is expected to remain robust in India supported by ongoing policy reforms, especially the introduction of the Goods and Services tax (GST).

SBI’s QIP Issue Opens As Part Of Effort To Raise ₹ 15,000 Cr

State Bank of India on Monday said it has opened qualified institutional placement (QIP) issue of equity shares of 1 each to qualified institutional buyers. This is part of the bank’s plan to raise equity capital of up to ₹15,000 crore during FY18. The floor price of the QIP issue, based on the formula prescribed by the market regulator’s regulations, is ₹287.58 an equity share, the bank said in a stock exchange filing. It may offer a discount of not more than 5 percent to the floor price. This capital raising programme comes in the backdrop of public sector banks’ facing pressure to enhance their capital base to meet Basel III regulatory capital stipulation and to make provisions for bad loans. According to the bank, its capital to risk-weighted assets ratio (CRAR) as well as for the Group as a whole is estimated to be well above the Regulatory CAR in the medium horizon of 3-5 years. However, to maintain adequate capital, it has options to augment its capital resources by raising subordinated debt and perpetual debt instruments, besides equity as and when required.

Birla To Launch Payments Bank Via Newly Formed AB Fin Services

The Aditya Birla Group plans to launch its payments bank through the newly formed Aditya Birla Financial Services once the merger of Aditya Birla Nuvo with Grasim Industries is completed by end of September quarter. Sushil Agarwal, Whole-Time Director and Group CFO, Grasim Industries, told that the payments bank licence was issued to Aditya Birla Nuvo and Idea Cellular combine before the merger between Grasim and AB Nuvo was proposed and formation of full-fledged financial services company. But now with the merger receiving almost all approvals, the payments bank licence would be transferred to the newly formed entity Aditya Birla Financial Services that will hold all the financial business interest of the Group, including insurance, mutual fund, NBFC and housing finance.

NSE’s Global Trading Platform Goes Live At GIFT-IFSC

The National Stock Exchange of India on Monday launched its international exchange, NSE IFSC, at GIFT International Financial Services Centre (IFSC) at GIFT City in Gandhinagar. The newly launched exchange kicked off trading in popular index derivatives contracts on Nifty 50, Nifty Bank and Nifty IT. Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani marked the beginning of the trading at a function, in the presence of SEBI Chairman Ajay Tyagi and NSE Chairman Ashok Chawla. In the commodity space, the exchange will offer derivatives contracts in gold and silver, and currency derivatives on leading global currency pairs of EURO-USD and GBP-USD. The stock derivatives will include futures and options on 10 Indian stocks, including Axis Bank, HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, Infosys, L&T, Maruti, Reliance Industries, SBI, Tata Motors and TCS.

Gulf Nations Isolate Qatar

Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt, Yemen, Libya, and UAE have suspended their diplomatic ties with Qatar. All the six countries have announced that they would withdraw their diplomatic staff from Qatar and eject Qatar’s diplomats from their territories. They have also planned to cut air and sea traffic. Saudi Arabia has accused Qatar of embracing various terrorist and sectarian groups that are aimed at destabilizing the region such as the Muslim Brotherhood, al-Qaida, the Islamic State group and other groups supported by Iran. Egypt has accused Qatar of supporting terrorist groups and taking an antagonist approach towards Egypt. Bahrain has accused Qatar of media incitement, support for armed terrorist activities and funding linked to Iranian groups for its decision. The decision has been taken after Qatar alleged that hackers took over state-run news agency’s website and published fake comments from its ruling emir about Iran and Israel. It had angered the Gulf Arab countries who responded by blocking Qatari-based media including Al-Jazeera. Qatar has long been accused by its Arab neighbours over its support of Islamists. Qatar’s support for the Sunni Islamist political group Muslim Brotherhood which has been outlawed by both Saudi Arabia and the UAE made Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain in 2014 to recall their ambassadors from Qatar. Only after eight months, the ties were normalised after Qatar forced some Brotherhood members to leave the country. On May 27, Qatar’s emir, Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani had called Iranian President Hasan Rouhani to congratulate him on his re-election. This has also angered the Sunni Saudi Arabia which also sees Iran as its No. 1 enemy and a threat to regional stability. Qatar also remains as a key financial patron of the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip. It has allowed the stay of exiled Hamas official Khaled Mashaal in its territories since 2012. 
Oil prices have seen a jump after the six countries announced suspension of diplomatic ties with Qatar as it affected some of the world’s biggest oil and gas exporters. Qatar, a gas-rich nation is also the biggest supplier of liquefied natural gas (LNG) and a major seller of condensate (a low-density liquid fuel) and refining product derived from natural gas. Qatar will be host to 2022 FIFA World Cup. Saudi Arabia has announced that it would seal its land border with Qatar cutting off the country from the rest of the Arabian Peninsula.

India Successfully Launched Its Heaviest Rocket GSLV Mkiii-D1 Carrying Communication Satellite GSAT-19

The 43.43 metre tall rocket lifted off at 5.28 pm from the second launch pad at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre here and launched the 3,136 kg GSAT-19, the heaviest satellite to be launched from the country yet, into orbit about 16 minutes later. A jubilant Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) Chairman A S Kiran Kumar said it “is a historic day” and the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mark-III (MkIII D-1) has successfully demonstrated its capabilities with the injection of GSAT-19 into the desired orbit. “It is a great success in the first maiden attempt and GSLV MkIII has successfully put in orbit GSAT-19 which is a next generation satellite,” Kumar said. “I wish to congratulate the entire team which has relentlessly worked each day for today’s launch from 2002,” he said. Prime Minister Narendra Modi hailed the successful launch, saying it took India closer to next generation satellite capability.Kiran Kumar said Modi called him and congratulated each member of the ISRO team for the successful mission. GSAT-19, which will augment India’s communication resources, was released into the intended Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO). Today’s GSLV mission is significant for India as ISRO had been depending on foreign launchers for orbiting communication satellites weighing more than 2,300 kgs. The GSLV MkIII-D1 is capable of lifting payloads or satellites weighing upto 4,000 kgs into the GTO and 10,000kgs into the Low Earth Orbit. It was a textbook launch as every stage of the three-stage GSLV MkIII with indigenous cryogenic engine performed well. The satellite has been nicknamed “Fat Boy”.
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