17 November 2017 - Daily Current Affair

Moody's upgrades India's credit rating to Baa2

  • US-based Major credit rating agency Moody's has upgraded India's sovereign credit rating by a notch to 'Baa2'.
  • The decision to upgrade the ratings is underpinned by Moody's expectation that continued progress on economic and institutional reforms will enhance India's high growth potential.
  • In 2004, Moody's had upgraded India's rating to 'Baa3', lowest investment grade just a notch above 'junk' status.
  • In 2015, the rating outlook was changed to positive from stable.
  • The basis of these ratings is the debt repayment capacity of the borrower which involves timely interest payments and the likelihood of default by the customer.
Note:
  • A Credit Rating Agency is simply an institution that allocates Credit Ratings to the borrowers.
  • The basis of these ratings is the debt repayment capacity of the borrower which involves timely interest payments and the likelihood of default by the customer.
Major credit rating agencies of the world:
  • Moody's Investors Service was established in 1909, headquarters in New York, USA.
  • Standard & Poor's Financial Services LLC: was founded in 1860, headquarters in New York, USA, subsidiary of S&P Global.
  • Fitch Ratings:  was founded in 1914, headquarters in New York City and London.

IFC & HDFC to create affordable housing fund worth USD 800 mn

  • The IFC (International Finance Corporation) has come together with HDFC to create a USD 800 million fund for finance construction to boost affordable housing finance in India.
  • IFC will infuse USD 200 million by subscribing to masala bonds, rupee-denominated instruments issued by HDFC and to be listed on the London Stock Exchange.
  • The remaining amount of USD 600 million will be contributed by HDFC from its own resources.
  • The property dealers building homes that qualify as affordable under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojna can borrow from this fund.

Cabinet approves creation of Anti-Profiteering Authority to ensure GST benefits

  • The union cabinet has approved the creation of National Anti-Profiteering Authority (NAA) under GST, to ensure benefits of reduction in indirect tax rates are passed on to consumers.
  • The authority will comprise a standing committee, screening committee in every state and Director General of safeguards in the central board of Excise & customs.
  • The constitution of NAA will bolster the confidence of consumer as they reap the benefits of recent reduction in GST rates.
  • NAA enables consumers to apply for relief if they feel reduction in prices is not passed on to them and for this an institutional framework has been provided to take appropriate remedial action.

Govt. removes restrictions on export of all types of pulses

  • The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has removed restrictions on the export of all types of pulses to give farmers greater choice in marketing their produce and enhance their incomes.
  • It is expected that pulses production will be sustained in the country and its import dependence on pulses will come down substantially.
  • The Cabinet also approved the increase in carpet area of houses eligible for interest subsidy under the Credit-Linked Subsidy Scheme, CLSS for the MIG (Middle Income Group) under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY).
  • Now, the beneficiaries with an annual income of 12 lakh to 18 lakh rupees get an interest subsidy of 3% on a loan of up to 12 lakh rupees under the MIG-II category.

NTPC to buy farm stubble at Rs. 5,500 per tonne for use at power plants

  • According to the Power Minister R K Singh, the National Thermal Power Corporation Limited (NTPC) will float a tender to buy farm stubble at Rs. 5,500 per tonne to use as fuel at its power plants.
  • Now, the farmers can earn around Rs. 11,000 per acre from the sale of stubble or straw pellets.
  • It will encourage farmers not to burn stubble, which is the main reason for air pollution in the country.

IFFI sets up Bioscope Village to allow non-delegates to watch films

  • The International Film Festival of India (IFFI) will have Bioscope Village this year at Panaji in Goa.
  • The Bioscope Village will screen new and classic films including Children movies.
  • It is being set up as part of the IFFI Next Gen sidebar program aimed at involving greater participation from the local Goan audience.
  • The theme for the short film festival is ‘IFFI as never seen before’.
Note:
  • The Next Gen-Bioscope Village will open to all with the entry fee of Rs. 50 from 21st to 27th of November.
  • The Village is a concept based on the theme New Age Cinema for allowing non-delegates to watch films at the IFFI.

Maharashtra govt to ban use of plastic water bottles in its offices

  • The Maharashtra Govt. has decided to ban the use of plastic water bottles in its offices including the state secretariat.
  • The state govt. has also instructed the officials to ban plastic water bottles from every govt. office in a time-bound manner and promote paper & cloth bags.
  • Women self-help groups will be empowered to ensure they can meet the needs of the state.
  • The local body authority will be authorized to take action against those which will use plastic carry bags.

President presents Standards to 223 Squadron, 117 Helicopter Unit of IAF

  • President Ram Nath Kovind has presented Standards to the 223 Squadron and the 117 Helicopter Unit of the Indian Air Force (IAF) at the Air Force Station, Adampur, Punjab.
  • According to President, India’s rise in the international system has many dimensions to it adding that it draws heavily from the capabilities and valour of our Armed Forces.

Govt. nod for India’s first mega CEZ at JNPT in Maharashtra

  • The Union Govt. has given the approval to set up India’s first mega coastal economic zone (CEZ) at Jawaharlal Nehru Port (JNPT) along north Konkan region in Maharashtra.
  • Around 45 companies across, telecom, auto, and IT sectors will soon bid for 200 hectares of land to set up manufacturing units in the zone.
  • The first of its kind mega CEZ will spread across Mumbai, Thane, Pune, Nashik, and Raigarh, entails a total investment of Rs 15,000 crore and create employment opportunities for more than 1.5 lakh people.

Leonardo da Vinci painting sells for record USD 450 million US dollars

  • Christ (500-year-old painting) believed to have been painted by Leonardo da Vinci has been sold in New York for record USD 450 million.
  • The painting is known as Salvator Mundi (Saviour of the World) and shows Christ with one hand raised, the other holding a glass sphere.
Note: In 1519, Leonardo da Vinci died and there are fewer than 20 of his paintings in existence.

Shagun Chowdhary crowned National Women's Trap champion

  • Shooter Shagun Chowdhary bagged a national champion crown at the 61st National Shooting Championship in New Delhi.
  • She overcame the challenge Rajeshwari Kumari to prevail 41-38.
  • Now, Shagun Chowdhary will be the first Indian woman trap shooter to win an Olympic berth.
  • Madhya Pradesh won medals both in the senior and junior women's team events.

ICC bans Hafeez from bowling in international matches

  • The sport's governing body International Cricket Council (ICC) has barred Pakistan off-spinner Mohammad Hafeez (37-year) from bowling in international cricket with immediate effect.
  • The decision to suspend Hafeez was taken after their findings that his action was illegal in the third ODI against Sri Lanka last month.
  • According to ICC, their assessment revealed that the majority of his deliveries exceeded the 15-degree level of tolerance permitted under the regulations.
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