Daily Current Affairs: 27 November 2014

1) RBI issued final norms for payment, small banks: Telcos, supermarkets, and even companies that run electronic wallets (or other prepaid instruments) can open so-called payments banks in the country, with the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) releasing rules for such entities. The move is aimed at providing basic savings, deposit, payment, and remittance services to people who currently do not have a bank account, including millions of migrant workers. Fifty per cent of Indians don’t have bank accounts. The central bank also released rules for small banks, which will provide loans to small businesses and marginal farmers. Payments bank will initially be restricted to holding a maximum balance of Rs.1,00,000 per individual customer. They can offer payments and remittance services and issue ATM/debit cards, but not credit cards. Such entities can also distribute simple financial products such as mutual fund units and insurance products, said RBI.

2) Australian cricketer Phil Hughes died of injuries: Australian cricketer Phillip Hughes died in hospital in Sydney on 27 November 2014, two days after the international batsman as struck on the head by a ball during a domestic match. Governing body Cricket Australia (CA) confirmed the 25-year-old had lost his fight for life, casting a pall over a cricket-mad nation which is co-hosting the World Cup early next year.

3) 18th Saarc Summit concluded with one pact, several understandings: The 18th South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (Saarc) Summit concluded in Kathmandu on Thursday with the adoption of a 36-point Kathmandu Declaration. During the Summit, a Saarc Framework Agreement on Energy Cooperation was signed while leaders of the South Asian nations directed their respective ministers to hold a meeting within three months to finalise the Saarc Motor Vehicles Agreement for the Regulation of Passenger and Cargo Vehicular Traffic, and the Saarc Regional Agreement on Railways. The summit adopted the Kathmandu Declaration with the theme of "Deeper Integration for Peace and Prosperity" to deepen cooperation in core areas of trade, investment, finance, energy, infrastructure and connectivity. The next SAARC summit will be held in Islamabad in 2015.

4) India launched e-visa facility for 43 nations: In a move which will give a major boost to the tourism sector, the Government on 27 November 2014 launched the much-awaited electronic visa facility for visitors from 43 countries including US, Germany and Israel. "We want to promote tourism in the country in a big way. The contribution of tourism in the GDP is approximately 7 per cent and we want to double it up," Home Minister Rajnath Singh said here after launching the e-visa facility. Now, a visitor from these countries will just have to apply for an e-visa on the designated website and pay the fee online to get an electronic travel authorisation (ETA) within 72 hours. E-visa will be valid for 30 days and a tourist can avail the facility twice a year. With the launch, the e-visa facility has become operational at nine international airports - Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Kochi, Thiruvananthapuram and Goa.

5) Scrap Chennai Super Kings, observes apex court: The Supreme Court on Thursday said Chennai Super Kings should be thrown out of the IPL without any further probe, virtually putting a question mark on the cash-rich league already battling allegations of betting and spot fixing. 

6) Boxer Manoj Kumar finally received Arjuna Award: Boxer Manoj Kumar received his Arjuna Award from Sports Minister Sarbananda Sonowal after winning a High Court case. The Kapil Dev-led award committee had earlier refused to give the coveted award to the 2010 Commonwealth Games gold medallist. Angry with the government's decision not to give him the award, Manoj had filed a case in the Delhi High Court. The Sports Ministry then admitted that they had mixed his name up with another junior boxer, also named Manoj Kumar, who was not considered for the Award because of doping allegations in a junior tournament.

7) PNB announced free ATM usage for customers: Punjab National Bank (PNB) on 26 Nov 2014 said it will continue giving free transactions to all saving bank account cardholders using PNB ATMs, irrespective of the number of transactions. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) had advised that atleast five free transactions (inclusive of financial and non-financial transaction) per month should be permitted to the savings bank account holders for use of own bank ATMs.

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