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17- JULY - 2016



The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) constituted an inter regulatory Working Group (WG) to study the entire gamut of regulatory issues relating to Fin Tech (financial technology) and Digital Banking in India.

It will view the growing significance of Fin Tech innovations and their interactions with the financial sector as well as the financial sector entities.

The 13-member working group will be headed by Sudarshan Sen, the executive director of RBI. It has been asked to submit its report within six months from the date of its first meeting.

The terms of reference of the Working Group

• To undertake a scoping exercise to gain a general understanding of the major Fin Tech innovations/developments, counterparties/entities, technology platforms involved and how markets and the financial sector in particular, are adopting new delivery channels, products and technologies.

• To assess opportunities and risks arising for the financial system from digitisation and use of financial technology, and how these can be utilised for optimising financial product innovation and delivery to the benefit of users / customers and other stakeholders.

• To assess the implications and challenges for the various financial sector functions such as intermediation, clearing, payments being taken up by non-financial entities.

• To examine cross country practices in the matter, to study models of successful regulatory responses to disruption across the globe.

• To chalk out appropriate regulatory response with a view to re-aligning / re-orienting regulatory guidelines and statutory provisions for enhancing Fin Tech / digital banking associated opportunities while simultaneously managing the evolving challenges and risk dimensions.

• Any other matter relevant to the above issues.

The Working Group may invite views from representatives from any area relevant to its terms of reference and may also, at its discretion, co-opt entities in the payment, telecom, software and start up ecosystem.


Earlier on 26 April 2016, the Financial Stability and Development Council - Sub Committee (FSDC - SC) at its meeting decided to set up such a Working Group to look into and report on the granular aspects of Fin Tech and its implications. The decision was made to review and appropriately reorient the regulatory framework and respond to the dynamics of the rapidly evolving Fin Tech scenario.


The Union Government and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) signed a 100 million US dollars loan agreement to strengthen key irrigation and drainage system and improve water management in the Vennar sub-basin of the Cauvery delta in Tamil Nadu.

The financing will be used to strengthen embankments of six major irrigation water channels in the Vennar system and rehabilitate 13 irrigation pumping schemes. 
Highlights of the Project

• The project aims to improve existing infrastructure and will provide flood protection and renewed access to irrigation.

• Flood forecasting and warning systems will be installed and a flood risks map drawn up to help communities respond more effectively to extreme events.

• The Water Resources Department of the State of Tamil Nadu is responsible for implementing the project.

• The loan from ADB’s ordinary capital resources has a 25-year term.

• The project is expected to be completed by December 2020.


Madhya Pradesh Cabinet gave its nod to set up Happiness Department in the state. The department will work as knowledge resource centre on the subject of happiness.

With this approval, Madhya Pradesh became the first state of the country to set up such a Department.

Apart from the department, the cabinet also decided to establish a state Happiness Institute under the Happiness Department. Initially it will have a budget of three crore 60 lakh rupees.

Functions of the Happiness Department

• It will prepare guidelines for coordination between different departments for propagating happiness in the state.

• It will identify and define the parameters of happiness and efficiency.

• It would also prescribe action plan and activities for experiencing happiness.

• The department will assess mind-set of state's people from time to time.

• It would compile and publish survey reports pertaining to status of happiness.

• It will undertake constant researches regarding means of expanding happiness and improve norms to assess them.

The Happiness Department will include a Chairman, a CEO, a director each for Research and Coordination and an accounts officer, four posts of Research Assistant, six Junior Assistant and five peons.


Earlier, the plan of having a Happiness Department was announced by Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan in April 2016. The decision of having such a department was made after making an in-depth study of the measures undertaken by United Nations, the Government of Bhutan and the US' International Management Institute to assess the status of happiness among citizens.

At present, Bhutan is the only country to have officially adopted gross national happiness instead of gross domestic product as their main development indicator. It adopted the happiness index after UN General Assembly in July 2011 passed a resolution inviting member countries to measure the happiness of their people and to use this to help guide their public policies.


Courage & Commitment: An Autobiography: Margaret Alva

A book titled Courage & Commitment: An Autobiography by Margaret Alva was in news in the second week of July 2016.

Via this book, Alva narrates her forty-year career under four Prime Ministers, namely Indira Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi, PV Narasimha Rao and Manmohan Singh. It also tells about her transition from politician to Governor.

In the book, the Alva narrates her trials and triumphs and controversies that rocked her career as a politician leading to expulsion from Congress Party in 1979. She provides details of her spats with Sanjay Gandhi, her role in framing Rajiv Gandhi’s last campaign tour and her involvement with the Jain Hawala investigation when in charge of the CBI.

In the book, Alva also speaks about her denunciation of the manipulation of seats by her own party; and the events leading to her resignation in 2008 from the post of the AICC General Secretary in charge of eight states.

At the same time, she also offers rare insights into the lives of national and international political luminaries.

Margaret Alva

• Margaret Alva is a political leader from the Indian National Congress

• She was the governor Rajasthan and Uttarakhand

• She was elected to Rajya Sabha in 1974, 1980, 1986 and 1992 as a representative of Congress

• During her time in the Rajya Sabha, she was its vice-chairman (1983-85)

• She also served terms as Union Minister of State in the ministries for Parliamentary Affairs, Youth and Sports and Women and Child Development, and more

• In her HRD role, between 1985 and 1989, Alva oversaw the Rajiv Gandhi-led government's 28-point plan intended to improve the rights and involvement of women and children.

• Her 1989 proposal that 33 percent of seats in panchayat raj (local government) elections should be reserved for women became law in 1993

• She was elected to the 13th Lok Sabha as a Member of Parliament in 1999


Kerala started observing Ramayana month in the temples. In Malayalam it is termed as the Ramayana Masam. The Ramayana Month starts with the commencement of Malayalam month ‘Karkidakam’.

During this month the temples and homes of the state recites Adhyatma Ramayanam Kilippattu written by medieval devotional poet Thunjath Ezhuthachan for the 30 days. Ezhuthachan is regarded as the father of Malayalam literature.

The reading of epic Ramayana begins on the first day of the month and is completed on the last day of the month Karkkidakom. The Ramayana is recited by the elder members’ everyday in the evenings after lighting traditional lamp Nilavilakku.

During this observation of the Ramayana month in the state, several competitions and cultural activities based on Ramayana is organised across the state. This unique custom has been preserved across the state over the centuries.


Karkkidakam (July - August) is the last month of Malayalam calendar and is considered as month of rain and scarcity (Panjamaasom). As per belief, the month brings good luck and prosperity to the families as well as spiritual strength to go through different difficulties that comes during monsson.

Karkkidakam month comes ahead of Chingam that brings colourful festival of Onam for the Malayalis.


Tata Advanced System (TASL) and Bell Helicopter, a Textron Company signed an agreement to work together in support of India’s aviation and defense modernization initiatives. The agreement was inked with an emphasis on ‘Make in India’.

As per the agreement, TASL and Bell Helicopters will join to develop both commercial and government (including military) rotary wing markets in India in the light utility and reconnaissance segments.

Scope of Agreement

• It is intended to include potential production and assembly capabilities, certain training and maintenance, repair and overhaul requirements.

• It will also include research and development programs and technology sharing that will grow industrial capabilities and result in innovative ‘Make in India’ solutions.

Tata Advanced Systems Limited

Tata Advanced Systems Limited (TASL), a wholly owned subsidiary of Tata Sons, is the strategic Aerospace and Defence arm of the TATA Group. TASL is both an operating & a holding company.

TASL group is fast emerging as a key Defence and Aerospace player in India with established capabilities and demonstrated deliveries in the following areas:

• Missile Systems and sub-systems

• Radar Systems and sub-systems

• Command & Control Systems

• Aerospace & Aero-Structures

• Unmanned Aerial Systems

• Optronic Systems

• Homeland Security Solutions

• Missile Systems

About Bell Helicopter

Founded in 1935 as Bell Aircraft Corporation, Bell Helicopter continues to set the pace for the industry and expand the scope of vertical lift. It was the first company to obtain commercial certification for a helicopter. Over its 80-year history, Bell Helicopter has delivered more than 35000 aircraft to its customers around the world.

Headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas, Bell Helicopter has additional plants in Amarillo, Texas and Mirabel, Canada. It also maintains its key logistics supply and service centers in Amsterdam, Prague, Canada and Singapore as well as in the United States.

First Bell helicopter was delivered to India in 1953. At present, more than 90 Bell aircrafts are operational in India in various sectors like commercial, civil/government, and military operations.


The ruins of ancient Nalanda Mahavihara known as old Nalanda University of Bihar got inscribed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

With this, Nalanda University ruins became the second World Heritage Site in Bihar after Bodhgaya's Mahabodhi temple and 33rd such site in India.

The ruins comprise the archaeological remains of monastic and scholastic institutions dating from the 3rd century BC to the 13th century AD.

The ruins have large number of remains of stupas, shrines and viharas and important art works in stucco, stone and metal.

Benefit: Listing into UNESCO’s heritage site list will help in conserving and protecting the site in a better way with increased funds and many more way.

Nalanda Mahavihara

This World Heritage Site is located at a distance of about 98 km from Patna, the capital city of Bihar. The site stands for the most ancient university of the Indian subcontinent that transmitted knowledge over a period of some 800 years or more. Its historical development shades lights on development of Buddhism into a religion as well as growth of the educational traditions.

Nalanda Mahavihara was founded by Kumargupta I of the Gupta dynasty in 5th century CE. It was patronized by various rulers including King Harshavardhana of Kannauj (7th century CE) and the Pala rulers (8th – 12th century CE) as well as various scholars.

Records say that the Nalanda University was destroyed three times by the invaders but was rebuilt twice. The third destruction was caused by the Muslim army led by the Turkish leader Bakhtiyar Khilji in 1193 AD.

About six centuries after Nalanda’s decline, the site was first discovered and reported by Sir Francis Buchanan. The site was systematically excavated and consolidated by Archaeological Survey of India from 1915 to 1937 and again from 1974 to 1982.

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Last Updated on Tuesday, 19 July 2016 03:55