Current Affairs – March 13, 2018

Modi, Macron launch UP’s biggest solar power plant

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and French president Emmanuel Macron jointly inaugurated the largest solar power plant of the state at Dadar Kalan village of Chhanvey block in Mirzapur district on 12th March. The French president and his wife Brigitte, along with PM Modi, Governor Ram Naik and chief minister Yogi Adityanath reached Varanasi in the morning and then took a small helicopter ride to the plant.
Modi and Macron have then escorted to the highest site of the solar power plant spread over 380 acres where they unveiled the plaque on which project details were inscribed in English, Hindi, and French. The PM and French president pressed a button to energize the solar panels and dedicated the 75 MW facility to the people.

India’s first coastal policing academy to start from next month

Nearly a decade after threats to coastal security was magnified during the 26/11 terror attacks, the country’s first national academy to train police forces in effectively safeguarding the Indian shoreline will start functioning from the next month along the Gujarat seafront. The Union home ministry recently sanctioned the launch of the National Academy of Coastal Policing (NACP) from a campus of Gujarat’s Fisheries Research Centre located in coastal Okha in the newly created Devbhoomi Dwarka district.
An official order, accessed by PTI, said the first-of-its-kind institution of the country will be created and run by a multi-agency team of paramilitary and defence forces and sharpen the response and skills of the marine forces of multiple states which have sea lines.

Country’s ‘tallest’ flag unfurled in Belagavi

It was a joyous morning in Belagavi on 12th March. Schoolchildren, NGO members, leaders and others gathered at the Kote Kere lakefront to witness a unique celebration: the unfurling of what is claimed to be the country’s tallest national flag. The 9,600 sq.ft flag on a 110 m flag pole was unfurled by Ramesh Jarkiholi, District in-charge Minister.
Religious leaders of Hindu, Muslim, Christian, and Sikh institutions were present. MLA Firoz Sait, who has been pushing for the project, was present along with other district officials. The 110 m tall flag post at Kote Kere is near the historic Belagavi fort in the city. It is taller than the post in Pune (107 m) and the one at the Indo-Pak border at Attari (105 m).

Banlotwa first alcohol-free village in Ranchi district

Banlotwa has become the first ‘alcohol-free’ village in Ranchi district and Jharkhand Chief Minister Raghuvar Das has lauded the residents for achieving this feat, a district official said. The chief minister also gave Rs 1 lakh cash to the village head of Banlotwa, following his announcement two years ago that any village becoming alcohol-free would be given the money for its development, the official said.
“The people of Banlotwa have joined hands to make the village ‘nasa mukt’ (alcohol-free). Even the state government is working with such an aim and willpower. We want to ensure greater participation of the people. Change or development could not happen without the participation of people,’’ Das said.

The first ever Indo-French Knowledge Summit ends successfully in New Delhi

The first ever Indo-French Knowledge Summit ended successfully with a landmark agreement on mutual recognition of educational qualifications between the two countries and a record 15 other MoUs between universities and research institutions on joint initiatives and partnerships. The two-day summit was held in New Delhi and coincided with the state visit of French President Emmanuel Macron to India.
The summit was organized by the French Embassy in India and co-hosted by the Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India. More than 350 people from nearly 80 Indian Institutions and 70 French Institutions along with key enterprises participated in the Summit which also received the support of the Ministry of Science and Technology, Campus France and Confederation of Indian Industry.

CPI, IIP data beat estimates

Retail inflation for February 2018 and industrial output for January 2018 beat the street estimates and will provide a fresh breath of air to markets. Consumer Price Index (CPI), a measure of retail inflation, rose to 4.44% in February 2018, lower than market expectations. A Bloomberg survey had pegged the median inflation estimate at 4.7%. CPI inflation had stood at 5.07% in January 2018 and at 3.65% in February 2017.
The decrease can partly be attributed to the cool down in food and beverages inflation in February 2018. Meanwhile, the Index of Industrial Production (IIP) growth in January 2018 jumped to 7.5% against the Bloomberg estimate of 6.4% and 7.1% in December 2017. However, the cumulative IIP growth for April 2017-January 2018 stood at 4.1% compared to 5.0% in the corresponding period of the previous year.

Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India signs a Memorandum of Understanding with the Reserve Bank of India

The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (IBBI) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). The MoU was signed by Mr. Sudarshan Sen, Executive Director of the RBI and Dr. (Ms.) Mamta Suri, Executive Director of the IBBI in the august presence of Mr. Injeti Srinivas, Secretary to Government of India, Ministry of Corporate Affairs; Dr. M. S. Sahoo, Chairperson, IBBI and other distinguished Members of the Insolvency Law Committee (ILC) on the sidelines of the 4th meeting of the ILC at New Delhi.
Both the RBI and the IBBI are interested in the effective implementation of the Code and its allied rules and regulations, through a quick and efficient resolution process. Therefore, they have agreed under the MoU to assist and co-operate with each other for the effective implementation of the Code, subject to limitations imposed by the applicable laws.

India attracts USD 209 bn FDI during Apr 2014 to Dec 2017

Foreign direct investment has increased “steadily” in the country with total capital inflows reaching USD 208.99 billion during April 2014 to December 2017 period, a Union minister said on 12th March. The main sectors that received maximum foreign inflows include services, computer software, and hardware, telecommunications, construction, trading, and automobile.
“A total FDI of USD 208.99 billion from April 2014 to December 2017 has been received,” Minister of State for Commerce and Industry C R Chaudhary said in a written reply to the Lok Sabha. In a separate reply, he said the number of functional export-oriented units (EOU) has reduced to 2,197 so far in 2017-18 from 2,239 in 2016-17.

SME loans under Rs. 10L see 32% growth in 2017

The silver lining in the credit story is the 32% growth in loans to small businesses in the sub-Rs 10-lakh segment in 2017. The sector is getting more credit after a new law post-demonetization barred cash transactions and the introduction of GST forced businesses to formally report all sales. With only five million of the total 50 million small businesses in the country availing credit, this is likely to be the next big sector for lenders.
The first comprehensive report on credit to small businesses in India was released on Monday by the Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) and Trans-Union Cibil. The report, which analyses repayment behavior of all five million small businesses that have availed formal loans, shows that micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME’s) have much lower non-performing asset (NPA) rates (8-12%) than large (16%) or mid-corporates (15%). Specifically, MSMEs with exposure between Rs 10 lakh-5 crore have among the lowest delinquency rates.

 

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