Current Affairs India - 28 November 2015

1. India has successfully test-fired the ingeniously built nuclear-capable Agni-I missile this week from a test range off the Odisha coast. This Agni-I missile has a strike range of 700 km and can carry nuclear war head of more than 1 tonne.

2. The Karnataka State Tourism Development Corporation (KSTDC) and Department of Tourism of Karnataka have recently launched in Bangalore -Tourist Mitra- to reinforce smooth and secure experiences for visitors to the state-s tourist spots. Tourist Mitra will be a 175-member friendly force which will help the tourists across different tourist spots of the state.

3. The Reserve Bank of India has provided in principle approval to the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) to function as the Bharat Bill Payment Central Unit (BBPCU) in Bharat Bill Payment System (BBPS) this week. Post this approval, NPCI will set necessary operational, technical and business standards for the entire system and its participants and will own clearing and settlement activities.

The present scope of BBPS will include utility bill payments, such as, electricity, water, gas, telephone and Direct-to-Home (DTH).

4. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has provided in-principle approval to three applicants to set up and operate Trade Receivables Discounting System (TReDS) this week under the Payment and Settlement System (PSS) Act 2007. These three Organizations are NSE Strategic Investment Corporation Limited (NSICL) and Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI), Mumbai, Axis Bank Limited, Mumbai and Mynd Solutions Pvt. Ltd., Gurgaon. The in-principal approval will be valid for 6 months during which these entities have to comply with the requirements under the Guidelines and adhere to the conditions.

5. HSBC Holdings Plc has announced that it is shutting its private banking unit in India and with this it joins the list of foreign banks which exited from Private Banking business in India due to step competition from local players. Recently Royal Bank of Scotland and Morgan Stanley had sold their Indian private banking business to other entities.

6. Dubai-based hospitality and event management company Grand Midwest Group has appointed Indian Cricketer Mahendra Singh Dhoni as its Brand Ambassador for three years. The Grand Midwest Group owns hotel properties in Dubai, UK and Ireland.