Current Affairs Pocket : 1st Feb. 2019

India’s Unemployment Rate Hit 4 Decade High Of 6.1% In 2017-18: NSSO

  • As per the National Sample Survey Office’s (NSSO’s) periodic labor force survey (PLFS) India’s unemployment rate hit a 45 year high of 6.1% in 2017-18. It is the first comprehensive survey on employment conducted by a government agency after demonetization.
  • Unemployment is higher in urban areas which is 7.8% as compared to 5.3% in rural areas of the country. The unemployment rate is at its highest level as in 1972-73. The rate of jobless rural males rose to 17.4% from 5% and among rural jobless females, the rate became 13.6% from 4.8%.

3 Public Sector Banks Freed From PCA Framework

  • Bank of India, Bank of Maharashtra and Oriental Bank of Commerce have been allowed to exit the PCA framework fully. The three lenders were part of 11 government-owned banks put under the framework in 2017 and 2018.
  • In December, the government had announced a capital infusion of Rs 10,000 crore for Bank of India, Rs 5,500 crore for Oriental Bank of Commerce and Rs 4,500 crore for Bank of Maharashtra, which helped the banks coming out of the framework.
  • The RBI had invoked PCA for Bank of Maharashtra in June 2017, Oriental Bank of Commerce in October and Bank of India went into the framework in December that year. The RBI’s decision to impose lending restrictions on these banks had become a flashpoint between the regulator and the government, which wanted the lending capacity to be freed up.

2019 Announced As The International Year Of The Periodic Table

  • The United Nations announced 2019 as the International Year of the Periodic Table of the Chemical Elements to highlight its first publication in 1869. The periodic table was first designed by the Russian scientist Dmitri Ivanovich Mendeleev.
  • The announcement by the United Nations will help to raise the profile of how chemistry can provide solutions to global challenges in agriculture, education, energy and health. This year marks the 150th anniversary of the first publication of the periodic table by Mendeleev.

Government Renames DIPP as Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade

  • The Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) has been renamed as the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade with a mandate to deal with matters related to start-ups, facilitating ease of doing business among others.
  • The newly-named department under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry will look into matters related to promotion of internal trade, including retail trade, welfare of traders and their employees, facilitating ease of doing business and start-ups. The order has been approved by President Ram Nath Kovind.

Paytm Acquired Hotel Booking Platform, Night Stay

  • Paytm has launched hotel bookings on its platform and acquired Night Stay, which offers deals on last-minute bookings at luxury hotels, as the Alibaba-backed payments and e-commerce company expands its travel business.
  • Paytm plans to invest Rs 500 crore in scaling up its travel operations and has partnered with more than 5,000 hotels across the budget, luxury and business segments.

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