Daily GK Updates: 5th August 2014

1.   
RBI
keeps key interest rates unchanged, Cur SLR by 0.5%
i. Reserve Bank of India today maintained
the status quo with regard to the key interest rates in its third bi-monthly
monetary policy review for 2014-15.

ii. In
its monetary policy statement released in Mumbai, RBI stated that on the basis
of an assessment of the current and evolving macroeconomic situation, it has
been decided to keep the policy repo rate, the rate at which the RBI lends
money to commercial banks , unchanged at 8 per cent. 
iii. The reverse repo rate, the rate at which the RBI borrows
money from commercial banks, will also remain unchanged at 7 per cent. The cash
reserve ratio (CRR) of scheduled banks, the amount of funds that the banks have
to keep with the RBI, has been kept unchanged at 4 per cent.
The bank rate would
remain at 9 per cent.
iv. The fourth
bi-monthly monetary policy statement is scheduled on 30th September, 2014.
Note: RBI
has, however, reduced the statutory liquidity rati
o (SLR) of scheduled
commercial banks by 50 basis points from
22.5 per cent to 22.0
per cent with effect from the fortnight beginning 9th
August, 2014.
Current Rates are as
follows”
1. Repo Rate – 8% (unchanged)
2. Reverse Repo Rate – 7% (unchanged)
3. CRR – 4% (unchanged)
4. SLR – 22%  (changed from
22.5 per cent to 22.0
)
5. Bank Rate – 9% (unchanged)
6. MSF – 9% (unchanged)
2.    GDP growth expected to go up to 5.5% this fiscal: RBI
i. With improvement in economic activity and revival of
sentiments, the Reserve Bank of India today said that the GDP growth in the
current fiscal is expected to go up to 5.5 per cent from 4.7 per cent in the
last financial year.
ii. “The implementation of government policy actions that
have been announced should create a congenial setting for a steady improvement
in domestic demand and supply conditions,” the RBI said in its bi-monthly
policy statement.
iii. “Prospects of
re-invigoration of growth have improved modestly… the central estimate of
real GDP growth of 5.5 per cent within a likely range of 5 to 6 per cent for
2014-15 can be sustained,” it said.
3.   
Arvind
Gupta appointed as Deputy National Security Advisor
i. The government has appointed Indian Foreign Service officer
Dr. Arvind Gupta as Deputy National Security Advisor and Secretary, National
Security Council Secretariat for a period of three years.
ii. The Appointments Committee of the
Cabinet yesterday approved his name for the post. Mr Gupta, a 1979 batch IFS , is
currently serving as the Director General in the Institute of Defence Studies
and Analysis.
4.   
Lt Gen Philip Campose takes over as Army Vice Chief 
i. Lt Gen Philip Campose- a veteran
mechanised infantry officer, has taken over as the new Vice Chief of Army Staff
succeeding Gen Dalbir Singh Suhag, who is now heading the 1.3 million strong
force. 
ii. 59-year-old Lt Gen Campose, who was till now the Western Army
Commander, took over as the Vice Chief on August 1, an Army release said in New
Delhi. 
iii. An alumnus of St Xavier’s School, Delhi, the National
Defence Academy, Khadakwasla and the Indian Military Academy at Dehradun, he
was commissioned into the Infantry in 1974 and later sidestepped into the newly
constituted Mechanised Infantry Regiment in 1982. 
5.   
India,
Nepal to build pipeline for petroleum products’ supply to Himalayan nation
i. India and Nepal have agreed to build a pipeline for
supply of petroleum products to the Himalayan nation.

ii. According to a joint statement,
issued at the end of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Nepal, the request
was made from the Nepalese side to which the Indian side agreed to take up the
project for construction of the pipeline from Raxual in Bihar to Amlekhganj in
Nepal in the first phase and extend it to Kathmandu in the next phase. 
iii. Nepal is dependent on India for
its all fuel requirements. Currently, petrol, diesel, LPG and jet fuel are
transported to Nepal through trucks from India. 
6.   
World Bank pledges 200 mln to fight Ebola
i. The World Bank has pledged USD 200 million in
emergency funding to Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone to help the West
African countries contain spread of deadly Ebola infections and improve
public health systems.
ii. World Bank
President Dr Jim Yong Kim, who is experienced in treatment of infectious
diseases, said the new financing commitment was in response to a call from both
the three African countries hardest-hit by Ebola and the World Health
Organisation for immediate assistance to contain the outbreak. 

iii. In a statement, he said the World Bank
Group would step up social safety net assistance for affected communities and
families and help to build up public health systems in West Africa to
strengthen the region’s disease control capacity. 
iv. With
the Ebola virus now directly and indirectly impacting economies in Guinea,
Liberia, Sierra Leone and neighboring countries, the new WB Group emergency
response will also help countries and communities cope with financial hardship
caused by the outbreak, a media statement said.


7.     CIBIL to
start Risk Index for corporate sector
i. The
Credit Information Bureau (India) Ltd (CIBIL) on Tuesday said it will come up
with a risk index which will help banks and financial institutions in the
process of granting loans and advances to corporates.
ii. It is basically a
risk management tool which will help banks and financial institutions while
sanctioning any loan to the corporate sector,” CIBIL Senior Vice
President-Consumer Relations and Communications Harshala Chandorkar said.
Note: i. CIBIL provides credit information
about individual customer and business entities that helps banks in taking
decision on sanctioning credit to any customer. It maintains account credit
information of 350 million accounts of individual consumers and 19 million
accounts of businesses.
ii. CIBIL has also recently launched new
product for banks called ‘Alert’
wherein it will send an alert to the bank whenever there is a change in the
profile of a customer.
8.    HDFC Bank opens branch in Dubai
i. HDFC Bank Ltd has opened its branch in Dubai at the
International Financial Centre, and will provide wealth management services to
non-resident Indians based in the UAE.
ii. A bank statement said after Bahrain and Hong Kong, this
is HDFC Bank’s third branch overseas. It also operates two more representative
offices in the UAE at Dubai and Abu Dhabi which will continue to function.
iii. As of June 30, the
bank had a network of 3,488 branches and 11,426 ATMs in 2,231 cities and towns.
9.   
Manipur tops in employment growth
i. Manipur at 83.29
per cent tops the list of percentage of growth in employment followed by Assam,
Sikkim, Uttar Pradesh, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and
Kashmir, Uttarakhand, Gujarat and Rajasthan. 
ii. As per the provisional results of the Sixth Economic Census
released by the Union Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation
(MoSPI) on July 30, Assam was placed at the second position in terms of
percentage of growth in employment at 78.84 per cent as against the national
average of 34.35 per cent. 
10. 
Justice
Dr. Chellur sworn in as CJ of Calcutta HC
i. Justice Dr. Manjula Chellur was sworn in as the Chief
Justice of the Calcutta High Court today.
ii. The West Bengal Governor Mr. Keshari
Nath Tripathi administered the oath of office and secrecy to Justice Dr.
Chellur. She will be the first Lady Chief Justice of the Calcutta High Court. 

iii. Prior to this she was the Chief
Justice of the Kerala High Court. The West Bengal Chief Minister Miss Mamata
Banerjee, State Law Minister Mrs. Chandrima Bhattacharjee, Senior Judges of the
High Court and other distinguished persons were present.
11. 
UP
Governor Ram Naik given additional charge of Rajasthan
i. Uttar Pradesh Governor Ram Naik has
been given additional charge of Rajasthan in place of Margaret Alva, who
completes her tenure today.
ii. A Rashtrapati Bhawan press communiqué
said Governor of Gujarat Om Prakash Kohli has also been given additional charge
of Goa.
12.  Tagore’s Gitanjali part of WWI commemorative event at
UN
i. A poem from Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore’s
masterpiece The
Gitanjali
was recited by Indian Ambassador to the U.N. Asoke Kumar Mukerji
as part of a commemorative ceremony held here marking 100 years of the outbreak
of the World War I.
ii. Mr. Mukerji was among the 15 UN envoys who chose,
recited and recorded poems related to the war by authors from their respective
countries.
iii. The poems and their recordings were displayed at an
interactive exhibition organised by the U.K.’s mission to the U.N. on Monday as
it took over the rotating presidency of the UN Security Council for the month
of August.
13.  Sayeeda Warsi resigned from British government over
Gaza conflict
i. Sayeeda
Warsi, the Foreign Office minister of Britain resigned from the government on 5
August 2014 in protest of Britain’s policy on Gaza.
ii. She described the
British policy on the crisis in Gaza as morally indefensible. She tendered her
resignation to the British Prime Minister David Cameron.


iii. She
was the fir st female Muslim cabinet
minister to serve United Kingdom during David Cameron led government. She,
although, has never won an election.