Online Current Affairs based on Economics


Namma Metro enters into a 'First in India' strategic partnership with Ola


  • Ola, India's most popular mobile app for transportation, has entered into a first of its kind partnership with Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited.
  • The association will enable easy and affordable mobility experience for commuters as key stations on the metro route get equipped with dedicated Ola kiosks.
  • With this association, Ola aims to provide a consistent mobility experience to hundreds of thousands of passengers, who use the Bangalore Metro service for their daily commute.
  • Consumers will have access to Ola's wide range of mobility solutions including,
    1. Micro,
    2. Mini,
    3. Share,
    4. Prime and
    5. Lux.
  • Ola representatives will also be available at the kiosks to help commuters get a reliable ride with ease.
  • The Ola Kiosks will be operational from March 2017 in;
    1. Trinity,
    2. Cubbon Park,
    3. City Railway Station,
    4. Peenya,
    5. Goraguntepalya,
    6. Yeshwanthpur and
    7. Mahalaxmi
    metro stations.
Quick Question for Bank PO/ IBPS Exams 2016-17:
Which cab company, has entered into a first of its kind partnership with Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited? 
 - Ola. 
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Vodafone Offers 'Private Recharge Mode' Without Disclosing Number


  • In a step to maintain secrecy of one's mobile phone number getting exposed to retailers for possible misuse, Vodafone on Wednesdayintroduced its Private Recharge Mode for its subscribers in West Bengal.
  • Vodafone Private Recharge Mode (PRM)- a free of cost service for West Bengal subscribers, enables users to recharge their mobile phones, without sharing their mobile numbers with retailers.
  • To avail the Vodafone PRM option, a customer needs to send a toll free SMS - 'Private' - to 12604 and would be provided with an OTP, which can be used for subsequent recharges till midnight of the same day at any multi-brand outlets.
  • The customer simply needs to share the OTP, instead of the mobile number with the retailer.
Quick Question for Bank PO/ IBPS Exams 2016-17:
In a step to maintain secrecy of one's mobile phone number getting exposed to retailers, Vodafone introduced its Private Recharge Mode for its subscribers in which state? 
 - West Bengal. 
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Sebi Eases Norms For Debt Mutual Fund Investment In Housing Finance Firms


  • Debt mutual funds can now invest up to 15 per cent of their total net assets in housing finance companies with Sebi easing the regulations in this regard.
  • The norms have been relaxed as part of efforts to channelise more funds towards affordable housing activities.
  • Debt mutual funds were allowed to have an exposure of only up to 10 per cent to housing finance companies. This has been increased to 15 per cent with the immediate effect subject to certain conditions.
  • According to the regulator, the guidelines for sectoral exposure in debt oriented mutual fund schemes put a limit of 25 per cent at the sector level and an additional exposure not exceeding 10 per cent (over and above the limit of 25 per cent) in financial services sector only to HFCs (Housing Finance Companies).
Quick Question for Bank PO/ IBPS Exams 2016-17:
According to SEBI's new guidelines Debt mutual funds can now invest up to what percentage of their total net assets in housing finance companies? 
 - 15 percent. 
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Digital payments: Govt launches its own QR code platform - BharatQR


  • In yet another move to aid digital or cashless payments in the post-demonetized economy, the government launched BharatQR its own QR code platform.
  • BharatQR will be the first platform with interoperability which will allow payments from various cards, including Visa and Mastercard.
  • QR code or Quick Response code is a two-dimensional machine-readable code made up of an array of black and white squares, used for storing URLs or other information for reading by the camera on a smartphone.
  • It will make payments seamless for the buyer, making them possible without card swiping machines.
  • It will also enable the buyer to make payments to retailers without using the merchant's ID or number.
  • BharatQR will also let the users make Aadhaar-enabled payments and through UPI.
Quick Question for Bank PO/ IBPS Exams 2016-17:
The government India launched which of its own QR code platform for digital payments? 
 - BharatQR. 
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Dish TV partners with ICICI Bank for digital payments


  • Direct-to-home operator Dish TV has tied-up with private lender ICICI Bank for digital payments.
  • The new payment method which is another customer-oriented initiative in the DTH industry to recharge through unified payment interface (UPI) transactions.
  • This alliance with ICICI Bank through UPI will drive higher customer adoption and allow them to be a part of the digital economy.
  • This will also aid our vastly spread customers with or without Internet access to recharge conveniently.
Quick Question for Bank PO/ IBPS Exams 2016-17:
Direct-to-home operator Dish TV has tied-up with which private lender bank for digital payments? 
 - ICICI Bank
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Microsoft-Flikpkart announce strategic tie-up


  • IT giant Microsoft today announced a “strategic partnership” with Flipkart, wherein as a first step, the online retailer will adopt Microsoft Azure as its exclusive public cloud platform.
  • The strategic partnership was aimed at providing consumers in the country the best online shopping service,
    Starting with computing infrastructure.
  • Microsoft Azure will ultimately add a layer of advanced cloud technologies and analytics to Flipkart’s existing data centres.
  • Flipkart in its tenth year of operations had taken e-commece to about 50 million customers and the question now was how to take this to 500 million people in the next ten years.
  • Flipkart plans to leverage;
    1. artificial intelligence,
    2. machine learning and
    3. analytics capabilities
    in Azure, such as Cortana Intelligence Suite and Power BI, to optimise its data for;
    1. innovative merchandising,
    2. advertising,
    3. marketing and
    4. customer service.
  • With 'powerful insights' about its business and new, intelligent services, Flipkart can deliver increasingly relevant and personalised experiences to its customers
Quick Question for Bank PO/ IBPS Exams 2016-17:
Microsoft announced  “strategic partnership” with which IT company of India, wherein as a first step, the online retailer will adopt Microsoft Azure as its exclusive public cloud platform? 
 - Flipkart. 
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Virat Kohli first Indian sportsperson to ink Rs 100-cr deal with Puma


  • Virat Kohli became the first Indian sports personality to strike a Rs 100-crore endorsement deal with a single brand.
  • Kohli signed an eight-year deal with sports apparel brand Puma worth Rs 110 crore. The Indian cricket captain is now set to join the likes of;
    1. Usain Bolt,
    2. Asafa Powell and
    3. Thierry Henry,
    among others, as a global ambassador for the brand.
  • The long-term deal could potentially cover Kohli’s remaining career with the Indian team.
  • A bulk of the endorsement deal, estimated between Rs 12 crore to 14 crore annually, is locked up in fixed payout.
  • Only Sachin Tendulkar and Mahendra Singh Dhoni have been in the Rs 100-crore club through multi-year contracts with talent management agencies, but they have never been signed by a single brand for such a big amount.
Quick Question for Bank PO/ IBPS Exams 2016-17:
Who became the first Indian sports personality to strike a Rs 100-crore endorsement deal with a single brand?
 - Virat Kohli.
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OMA Emirates enters Indian payments market; buys MobiSwipe


  • UAE based merchant solutions provider OMA Emirates today said it has entered into Indian market with the acquisition of mobile point of sale (mPOS) firm MobiSwipe.
  • MobiSwipe enables merchants to accept credit and debit card payments through a mobile application.
  • OMA, which is currently having presence in;
    1. Middle East,
    2. Europe and
    3. select parts of Asia,
    will provide services like business development, sales and marketing.
  • The company said its operations will be located in Mumbai and plans to open offices in other parts of the country gradually.
  • OMA Emirates is in the business of providing solutions like ;
    1. electronic funds transfer (EFT) POS application,
    2. mobile e-top-up solution,
    3. EMV card personalisation solutions,
    4. central issuance solutions,
    5. branch issuance solutions, among others.
Quick Question for Bank PO/ IBPS Exams 2016-17:
Which firm entered into Indian market with the acquisition of mobile point of sale (mPOS) firm MobiSwipe? 
 - OMA Emirates. 
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SBI ties adult with Greenply to offer financial services to the dealers


  • State Bank of India has announced a tie-up with Greenply Industries to grow a channel financing business.
  • Forging a business partnership is rather routine, though this turns out to be special as a bargain allows SBI to take nonetheless another step in flourishing a digital banking footprint.
  • The dual companies sealed a chit of bargain on Saturday for financing a dealers of GreenplyIndustries on electronic platform.
  • SBI pronounced it will extend financial services to Greenply dealers to grow serve on a really rival pricing.
  • SBI, that is slated to suffer one-fourth marketplace share with a partnership of a associate banks with itself in FY18, is formulation to emanate a digital-only bank height to concede exchange to be finished with a assistance of;
    1. apps,
    2. internet banking and
    3. mobile banking.
  • It has also taken beginning to stop use of paper from a branches for end-to-end digitisation.
Quick Question for Bank PO/ IBPS Exams 2016-17:
State Bank of India has announced a tie-up with which firm to grow a channel financing business? 
 - Greenply Industries. 
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RBI allows multilateral FIs to invest in masala bonds


  • Reserve Bank permitted multilateral financial institutions to invest in rupee denominated bonds popularly known as ‘masala bonds’ issued by Indian entities.
  • In order to provide more choices of investors to Indian entities issuing rupee denominated bonds abroad, it has been decided to also permit multilateral and regional financial institutions where India is a member country, to invest in these rupee denominated bonds.
  • Meanwhile, the RBI has withdrawn the instruction regarding submission a fortnightly return on ;
    1. Forward Rate Agreement (FRA) and
    2. Interest Rate Swap (IRS)
    to Monetary Policy Department with a copy to various departments of the central bank.
  • In a further step towards rationalization of returns it has been decided to withdraw the said return with immediate effect. The banks are hereby advised to stop sending the hard copy of the said return to RBI.
Quick Question for Bank PO/ IBPS Exams 2016-17:
Reserve Bank permitted multilateral financial institutions to invest in rupee denominated bonds popularly known as? 
 - ‘masala bonds’. 
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Cash credit limit for MSMEs raised to 30 per cent


  • The government has increased the cash credit limit for;
    1. micro,
    2. small and
    3. medium enterprises (MSMEs)
    to 30 per cent of turnover from the existing 20 per cent to encourage such ventures conduct businesses digitally.
  • By taking up digital transaction, the balance sheet of companies would be "clean" and MSMEs would get loans from banks.
  • Take your balance sheet. Banks and financial institutions will sanction loans up to 30 per cent of your turnover. That is a good move towards ease of doing business
Quick Question for Bank PO/ IBPS Exams 2016-17:
Cash credit limit for MSMEs ( micro, small and medium enterprises) has been raised to how many percentage? 
 - 30%.
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Mastercard to provide payment processing solutions to Airtel Payments Bank


  • Mastercard will provide payment processing solutions to Airtel Payments Bank.
  • An online debit card has been launched to enable Airtel Payments Bank customers make digital payments at over 1 lakh online merchants.
  • Shashi Arora, MD & CEO, Airtel Payments Bank, said: “Mastercard’s globally proven expertise and technology solutions will enable us to provide;
    1. innovative,
    2. secure and
    3.convenient online digital payments solutions,
    to our customers.
  • This partnership will contribute to our vision of serving customers with a differentiated banking model that provides them a simple and convenient form of merchant payments.”
Quick Question for Bank PO/ IBPS Exams 2016-17:
Which payment gateway firm will provide payment processing solutions to Airtel Payments Bank? 
 - Mastercard. 
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JLL named to FORTUNE’s 2017 World’s most admired companies list


  • Reinforcing its reputation for excellence, JLL (NYSE: JLL) has again been named to FORTUNE magazine’s World’s Most Admired Companies list.
  • The list is a major authority on corporate reputations compiled each year by FORTUNE and Korn Ferry Hay Group through a survey of top executives, directors and financial analysts.
  • FORTUNE's list of World’s Most Admired Companies determines the companies with the strongest reputations within and across industries.
  • KornFerry Hay Group, a global consulting firm, has worked with FORTUNE each year since 1997 to select and rank the Most Admired Companies and identify why they are highly regarded.
  • Nine key attributes are measured to compile the rankings, which include;
    1. Investment value,
    2. Quality of management,
    3. Innovation ,
    4. Products ,
    5. Social Responsibility and
    6. Ability to attract talent
  • JLL is a leading professional services firm that specializes in real estate and investment management. A Fortune 500 company, JLL helps real estate owners, occupiers and investors achieve their business ambitions.
Quick Question for Bank PO/ IBPS Exams 2016-17:
 Which company has again been named to FORTUNE magazine’s World’s Most Admired Companies list? 
- JLL.
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Canara Bank signs MoU with HRD Ministry to start higher education financing agency


  • Canara Bank has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) to operationalise the Higher Education Financing Agency (HEFA).
  • In September 2016, the Union Cabinet had approved the establishment of HEFA to give a major push for the creation of high quality infrastructure/capital assets in premier educational institutions.
  • HEFA has been jointly promoted by the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) and Canara Bank with an authorised capital of Rs. 2,000 crore..
  • HEFA has been formed as a special purpose vehicle.
  • It would leverage the equity to raise up to Rs. 20,000 crore for funding projects for infrastructure and development of world class Labs in IITs/IIMs/NITs and such other institutions.
  • HEFA would also mobilise CSR funds from PSUs/corporates, which would in turn be released for promoting research and innovation in these institutions on a grant basis.
  • The principal portion of the loan will be repaid through ‘internal accruals’ (earned through fee receipts, research earnings etc.,) of the institutions.
  • The Government would service the interest portion through regular Plan assistance.
  • All the centrally funded higher educational institutions would be eligible for joining as members of HEFA.
  • For joining as members, the institution should agree to escrow a specific amount from their internal accruals to HEFA for a period of 10 years.
Quick Question for Bank PO/ IBPS Exams 2016-17:
Which bank has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) to operationalise the Higher Education Financing Agency (HEFA)? 
- Canara Bank. 
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Karnataka Bank launches National Pension System in Mangaluru


  • Karnataka BankBSE 0.09 % has launched 'National Pension System' (NPS) at its corporate office in Mangaluru.
  • NPS was introduced by the Government of India with an intention to provide old age financial security by way of regular income in the form of pension.
  • While earning, one can contribute to the NPS and start receiving pension after attaining the age of 60 years, to meet one's financial needs.
  • Any individual between the age 18 years and 60 years can register his name with the bank's branch to contribute and to get the pension benefit under this scheme.
  • With the flexibility and tax exemption feature, it is most suitable to the earning unorganised sector employees.
  • The bank has introduced this scheme at select branches initially and plans to introduce it in a phased manner at all of its branches.
Quick Question for Bank PO/ IBPS Exams 2016-17:
Which bank has launched 'National Pension System' (NPS) at its corporate office in Mangaluru?
 - Karnataka Bank. 
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SIB bags award for tech security practices


  • South Indian Bank has been awarded with ISO 27001: 2013 certification for its Information Security Management System (ISMS).
  • V.G. Mathew, MD and CEO of the bank received the certificate from Venkataram Arabolu, Managing Director, BSI Group India.
  • The certification process involved an extensive audit, which was conducted by British Standards Institution against the criteria set out by the ISO 27001:2013 standards on various domains of IT functions.
  • The bank had already received ISO 9001 Quality Management certification for its;
    1. Credit Department,
    2. Personnel Department and
    3. Data Centre.
  • The certification demonstrates the bank’s total commitment to ;
    Benchmarking technology framework and processes with international standards, and forms part of our long term vision for security best practices.
  • Adhering to the internationally recognized ISMS standards adds yet another layer of security for Bank’s customer data and assures customers of the quality of our service
Quick Question for Bank PO/ IBPS Exams 2016-17:
Which bank has been awarded with ISO 27001: 2013 certification for its Information Security Management System (ISMS)? 
 - South Indian Bank. 
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Corporation Bank bags ‘National MSME Excellence Award 2017’


  • Corporation Bank has been awarded once again ‘National MSME Excellence Award 2017’ organized by the Federation of Industry, Trade and Services (FITS).
  • D V Subramanya Varma, General Manager, Corporation Bank received the award from Haribhai P Choudhary, Honourable Union Minister of State, Ministry of Micro Small and Medium Enterprises in New Delhi
  • Federation of Industry Trade and Services (FITS) is a national industry body working in the form of a bridge between the industry and the state/central governments.
  • Corporation Bank has taken several initiatives recognizing the constructive role played by MSME Sector in the nation development like,
    1. online loan facility for MSME borrowers,
    2. online facility for revival and rehabilitation of MSME,
    3. campaign for growth with various concessions,
    4. collateral free loans up to Rupees two crore under Credit Guarantee Scheme of CGTMSE with 50 bps concession in interest rate is offered to such guarantee covered accounts,
    5. concessions in interest rate are also offered to women beneficiaries and rated MSME units and others.
Quick Question for Bank PO/ IBPS Exams 2016-17:
Which bank has been awarded ‘National MSME Excellence Award 2017’ organized by the Federation of Industry, Trade and Services (FITS)?
 - Corporation Bank. 
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Tata Motors and Microsoft India collaborate to redefine the connected experience for automobile users


  • Tata Motors and Microsoft India announced a strategic agreement to redefine connected and personalized driving experiences for Indian customers.
  • Tata Motors will leverage Microsoft’s connected vehicle technologies that bring together;
    1. artificial intelligence (AI),
    2. advanced machine learning, and
    3. the Internet of Things (IoT)
    4. capabilities on the global hyper-scale Azure cloud,
    5. to traverse the digital and physical worlds and create a highly personalized,
    7. smart and safer driving experience across the digital life of a vehicle owner.
  • The first vehicle showcasing the vision for these enhanced driving experiences will be unveiled at the 87th Geneva International Motor Show on 7th March 2017.
  • This will be via Tata Motors’ unique user interface application and services suite utilizing Microsoft enabled functionality like;
    1. advanced navigation,
    2. predictive maintenance,
    3. telematics and
    4. remote monitoring features.
  • Using Microsoft technology will empower Tata Motors to provide connectivity features on mainstream, mass-market vehicles at affordable prices.
  • Tata Motors will continuously develop and launch new connected services and applications that make it easier for people to;
    1. stay connected to work,
    2. entertainment and social networks,
    with greater safety & security as well as services to maximize better use of newly found in-car free time.
Quick Question for Bank PO/ IBPS Exams 2016-17:
Tata Motors and which IT based company announced a strategic agreement to redefine connected and personalized driving experiences for Indian customers?
 - Microsoft India. 
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Citi Bank launches instant chat service for customers


  • Citi has launched instant chat services for customers logged in to Citibank Online (CBOL) in India.
  • The real-time chat facility focuses on resolving queries instantly, in a safe environment, across cards, domestic and non-resident accounts, and loans, for clients as they transact online.
  • The live chat functionality will transform the post login experience of our customers as they will be able to instantly connect with our service team while they bank on our secure site.
  • The chat facility will address the customer’s need for help or clarification while logged into CBOL.
  • CBOL also features a regular chat facility for generic query resolutions. This was introduced to support non-account centric queries, such as requests for product features, branch locations and log-in assistance, amongst others.
  • India is the first country in Asia Pacific within the Citi network, which spans 12 countries in the region, to launch the generic chat capabilities.
Quick Question for Bank PO/ IBPS Exams 2016-17:
Which bank has launched instant chat services for customers in India?
 - Citi Bank. 
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RBI to reimburse banks MDR charges effective 1 January


  • The Reserve Bank will start reimbursing MDR charges to banks for payments made since January 1 through debit cards by citizens.
  • In December 2016, the government had decided to absorb the merchant discount rate (MDR) charges in respect of debit card transactions for making payments to it.
  • The move was aimed to encourage people to use digital payments post demonetisation.
  • In order to operationalise the (government's direction), the Reserve Bank will reimburse banks MDR on debit cards used for payment of tax and non-tax dues to the government of India with effect from January 1, 2017.
Quick Question for Bank PO/ IBPS Exams 2016-17:
What is the full form of MDR? 
 - Merchant Discount Rate (MDR). 
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