Singapore passport becomes ‘most powerful’ in the world
As per ‘Global Passport Power Rank 2017’, compiled by international financial advisory firm Arton Capital, passport of Singapore is now the “most powerful” passport in the world…
|Rank||Country||Visa-Free Score (VFS)|
|3||Sweden, South Korea||157|
|4||Denmark, France, Finland, Italy, Japan, Norway, Spain, United Kingdom||156|
|5||Austria, Belgium, Luxembourg, Portugal, Switzerland, Netherlands||155|
Netherlands Opens First 3D-Printed Bridge to Cyclists
On 24th October 2017, Netherlands opened the world’s first 3D-printed concrete bridge, mainly for the use of cyclists.
First 3D-Printed Bridge for Cyclists:
i. There world’s first 3D-printed concrete bridge was inaugurated at the southeastern town of Gemert, Netherlands. The bridge is 26 feet long and less than 12 feet wide.
ii. The bridge is made of reinforced, pre-stressed concrete. Printing the bridge took around 3 months. It consists of nearly 800 layers.
iii. The bridge was commissioned by the province of North-Brabant and led by the company BAM Infra. The bridge’s elements were printed locally at the Eindhoven University of Technology.
iv. The bridge was tested for safety and it can bear loads up to two tonnes. Advantage of printing a bridge is that, very less concrete is needed compared to conventional technique.
♦ Capital – Amsterdam
♦ Prime Minister – Mark Rutte
2017 Melbourne Mercer Global Pension Index: India at 28th position
India has ranked 28th out of 30 countries in the Melbourne Mercer Global Pension Index 2017 published by Australian Centre for Financial Studies (ACFS).
Highlights of Melbourne Mercer Global Pension Index 2017:
i. The index reviewed pension system of 30 countries which together cover 60 percent of the world’s population.
ii. Although India has ranked 28th, its pension system has been adjudged as more sustainable than that of Poland, Germany, France, Japan, Italy, Austria, Brazil, China and Argentina.
iii. India’s overall index value in 2017 is 44.9, which marks an improvement over index value of 43.4 in 2016.
iv. India’s integrity sub-index value increased from 53.4 to 55.1. This improvement has been ascribed to Indian government’s efforts to improve transparency and member experience in various schemes.
v. Denmark has retained the top spot in this index for sixth consecutive year.
Banking & Finance
Government to infuse Rs 2.11 lakh crore into PSU banks over 2 years
On October 24, 2017, Union Government announced to infuse Rs. 2.11 lakh crore capital over the next two years into public sector banks (PSBs). This announcement was made by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley post a cabinet meeting in which this recapitalisation plan was approved.
i. 18000 crore out of Rs. 2.11 lakh crore will be funded through Government’s Indradhanush Plan. In 2015 Government had announced Indradhnush Plan to infuse Rs 70,000 crore in public sector banks over four years to meet their capital requirement as per Basel –III norms.
ii. 35 lakh crore for recapitalisation will be raised through sale of recapitalisation bonds……
Govt. of India and Asian Development Bank Sign $300 Mn Loan to Promote Further Fiscal Reforms in West Bengal
On October 24, 2017, Asian Development Bank and the Government of India signed a $300 million loan to continue fiscal reforms in West Bengal aimed at improving the quality of public service delivery.
i. Funds procured through this loan will be deployed in the second phase of West Bengal Development Finance Program which has a target to increase public investment by reducing unproductive expenditure and generate savings from efficiencies in revenue collections.
ii. The first phase of the program focused on fiscal consolidation through which West Bengal’s fiscal deficit reduced to 2.2% in FY2016 from 3.4% in FY2012.
iii. Other reforms and initiative which will be carried out under the new program includes strengthening internal audit system, improved tax monitoring, usage of information technology in tax administration and enhancements in the Integrated Financial Management System (IFMS).
Quick Facts about West Bengal:
♦ Capital – Kolkata
♦ Current Chief Minister – Mamata Banerjee
♦ Current Governor – Keshari Nath Tripathi
RBI imposes Rs 6 crore penalty on Yes Bank, Rs 2 crore on IDFC Bank
Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has imposed penalties on two private sector banks, Yes Bank and IDFC Bank for regulatory violations.
i. Monetary penalty of Rs. 6 crore has been imposed on Yes Bank for non-compliance of RBI’s guidelines on Income Recognition Asset Classification (IRAC) and delayed reporting of information security incident involving ATMs of the bank.
ii. It is to be noted that last year, data of over 32 lakh debit cards of Yes Bank used at about 80 ATMs was suspected to have been compromised due to a malware in the systems of Hitachi Payments Services, which served Yes Bank. Information pertaining to this matter was not reported by Yes Bank to RBI in the prescribed timeframe.
iii. Rs. 2 crore penalty has been imposed on IDFC Bank for violating rules relating to sanction and renewal of loans and advances.
China to get first Tesla factory outside US
Electric car maker Tesla has set up its first electric car manufacturing plant outside the US at Shangai in China. China has the world’s largest auto industry.
Key facts of set up the manufacturing plant
i. China charges a tariff of 25 percent on imported cars when compared with 2.5 percent in the United States and 9.8 percent in the European Union. China also has a 17 percent VAT that is charged not only on the price of the car but also on the tariff, so that the taxes are effectively compounded.
ii. In previous year Tesla’s CEO Elon Musk had tweeted that they had interest to launch their cars in India after PM Modi’s visit to the Tesla factory in the US in 2015.
iii. Musk blamed the FDI norms in India for the delay in its entry into the Indian market and 30% of parts must be locally sourced and the supply doesn’t yet exist in India to start the plant.
iv. For Tesla and other manufacturers, their production options in China are limited by the government. One option is to set up a joint venture, sharing much of their technology and profits with a Chinese partner. The other is to manufacture in in China, protecting their secrets but forking over steep tariffs.
v. Tesla has a preliminary deal with the Shanghai municipal government that would give Tesla ownership of its facility.
♦ Tesla, Inc. is an American automaker, energy storage company and solar panel manufacturer based in Palo Alto, California.
♦ Founded In – 2003 as Tesla Motors
♦ CEO – Elon Musk