- Andhra Pradesh Government Signs Agreements With Alphabet X
- The government of Andhra Pradesh entered into an agreement with the moonshot factory of Alphabet (earlier Google) X to bring the breakthroughFree Space Optical. Communication (FSOC) technology in order to provide internet through the government Fibergrid project.
- This association with X labs to implement FSOC in AP is first of its kind in the world to provide wireless internet connection at a higher speed of up to 20Gbps and to a distance of up to 20kms.
· UK Tops Forbes’ List of Best Countries for Business in 2018
- The United Kingdomtopped Forbes’ rankings of best countries in the world for business in 2018 for the first time, up from fifth last year.
- The list ranks 153 countries on 15 factors including property rights, innovation, taxes and red tape.
- The UK is followed by New Zealand and the Netherlands, while India was ranked 62nd on the list.
- The UK’s $2.6 trillion economy is the fifth largest in the world.
- The world’s second (China) and third (Japan) biggest economies rank 66th and 21st, respectively. Chad ranks last for the third straight year.
· SEBI Hikes FPI Investment Limit
- The Capital market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI)raised the investment limit for foreign portfolio investors (FPI) in central government securities to over 1.91 lakh crore from January 2018.
- Currently, investment limit for foreign portfolio investors is 1.89 lakh crore rupees.
- The move is part of an effort by SEBI to push inflow from overseas investors in the country’s capital markets.
Gk bit – FDI vs FPI
- Foreign Direct Investment (FDI)
FDI is investment by non-resident entities like MNCs to carryout business operations in India with management of investment, production of goods or services, employing people and marketing their products. In FDI, both the ownership and control of the firm is with the investor. The foreign investor usually takes a considerable stake or shareholding in the company and exerts management influences completely or partially, depending on his shareholding.
- Foreign Portfolio Investment
FPI on the other hand is investment in shares, bonds, debentures, etc. According to the IMF, portfolio investment is defined as cross-border transactions and positions involving debt or equity securities, other than those included in direct investment or reserve assets.
FDI means real investment; whereas FPI is monetary or financial investment. If FDI is certain, long term and less fluctuating, FPI is speculative, highly volatile and un-predictive. Hence, FDI is superior to FPI.
· Union Cabinet Approves Establishing India’s 1st National Rail and Transportation University
- The Union Cabinet chaired by PM Narendra Modi approved the Ministry of Railways’ transformative initiative to set up India’s first ever National Rail and Transport University (NRTU)in Vadodara, Gujarat to skill its human resources and build capability.
- The University will be set up as a Deemed to Be University under de novo category as per the UGC [Institutions Deemed to be Universities] Regulations, 2016. Government is planning to launch the first academic program in July 2018. The funding of the new University/Institute is to entirely come from Ministry of Railways.
- Skill development scheme for textile sector approved
- To help create more jobs in the textile sector that has been hit by demonetisation and the rollout of the goods and services tax (GST), the Union cabinet has approved a Rs1,300 crore scheme that will impart skills to a million people.
- The scheme, cleared in a cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, will provide demand-driven and placement-oriented skilling programme across the textile sector.
- The approved outlay is for the years FY2018-FY2020.
- Swarn Project to be launched in Railways
- The Ministry of Railways has decided to launch “Project Swarn” with the objective of significantly improving the passenger experience across 9 dimensions which include coach interiors, toilets, onboard cleanliness, staff behavior, catering, linen, punctuality, security, on-board entertainment. real time feedback will also be taken as part of Project Swarn.
- In total, 14 Rajdhani and 15 Shatabdi trains will be covered.
- Railways have been allowed to spend upto 50 lakh per rake for upgradation of trains to Swarn Standard.
- RBI puts Bank of India under prompt corrective action
- Bank of India said that the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has initiated ‘prompt corrective action’ (PCA) against the lender over high bad loans.
- High net non-performing assets (NPA), insufficient common equity tier 1 (CET1) capital and negative return on assets (ROA) for two consecutive years has prompted the action, the bank said in a statement.
- RBI has also put United Bank of India on corrective action plan. This is the second time in four years that UBI came under regulatory sanctions.
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