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The State Bank of India (SBI) has signed MoU) with the Society for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (SINE

State Bank of India (SBI) in the second week of July 2016 signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Indian Institute of Technology Society for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (SINE).
The MoU was signed to promote innovation by start-ups in the financial sector.
•    Both the parties will identify FinTech start-ups that have products or applications to cater to the financial sector and can help SBI explore opportunities to enhance the synergy for their banking services.
•    SBI will provide a platform for testing/piloting such products/applications.
•    SBI will also check for any specific business linkages.
•    SBI will interact with the entrepreneurial and research community at IIT Bombay, including e- cell, Desai Centre, startups of SINE. The interaction will be done to get a better idea of the latest research being done, innovations and also conduct knowledge sessions for mutual benefit.
•    If SBI decides to infuse funds in the start¬ups, SINE may help the bank do initial screening for technical competency, impact of innovation etc.
•    If SBI decides to infuse funds in any of the start-ups at SINE, the funding model will be considered on case to case and merit basis.

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SBI launches social media banking platform SBI Mingle

The State Bank of India (SBI) on 1 July 2016 launched SBI Mingle, a social media banking platform for Facebook and Twitter users.
•    The platform was launched by SBI Chairman Arundhati Bhattacharya, on the occasion of 61st State Bank Day that is observed on 1 July every year.
•    It will allow SBI’s customers to access various banking services via these social platforms. 
•    To avail services from this platform, customers will have to register for it through a simple one time registration process using either their social account number or their ATM/Debit Card details. 
•    After registering they can undertake the various banking facilities available on the platform. 
•    Currently, SBI services such as balance enquiry, mini statement, funds transfer within SBI as well as inter-bank and beneficiary management services are available for Facebook. 
•    On Twitter, customers using hashtags can find out their account balance and view mini statements.
•    With this, the Bank will offer its millennial customers a new digital experience allowing them to do banking as part of their everyday lives, when and where they want.

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FSSAI has inked a MoU with ASCI to check misleading advertisements in the food and beverages sector.

The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has inked a MoU with Advertising Standard Council of India (ASCI) to check misleading advertisements in the food and beverages sector.
•    This partnership between FSSAI and ASCI will put in place a mechanism to monitor misleading advertisements. 
•    It will also lead to streamlining advertisements effectively through structured guidelines and appropriate action. 
•    As part of the MoU, ASCI will comprehensively monitor these advertisements across various media. 
•    FSSAI has given a suo motu monitoring mandate to ASCI to process complaints against misleading advertisements of food and beverages.
•    ASCI will report to FSSAI, the non- compliance of its decisions for further action as required per provisions of the FSS Act. 
•    FSSAI will also redirect complaints against misleading food and beverages advertisements to ASCI, which will be reviewed using ASCI’s code and guidelines. 
•    The review will include violation of the FSS Act and regulations related to advertisements making unsubstantiated, misleading or false claims. 

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The World Bank (WB) Group has signed an agreement with the International Solar Alliance

The Interim Administrative Cell of the International Solar Alliance (ISA Cell) and the World Bank on 30 June 2016 signed declaration to promote solar energy globally. The declaration was signed during the visit of the World Bank President Jim Yong Kim to India in June 2016.
•    The declaration was signed by  Upendra Tripathy, Secretary of Union Ministry of New and Renewable Energy and Chairperson, ISA cell and Onno Ruhl, India Country Director of the World Bank.
•    Developing a roadmap to mobilize financing
•    Developing financing instruments including credit enhancement, reduce hedging costs/currency risk, bond raising in locally denominated currencies etc. which support solar energy development
•    Supporting ISA’s plans for solar energy through technical assistance and knowledge transfer
•    Working on mobilization of concessional financing through existing or new trust funds
•    The Joint Declaration will help in accelerating mobilization of finance for solar energy. 
•    The World Bank will have a major role in mobilizing more than 1000 billion US dollars in investments that will be needed by 2030 for the massive deployment of affordable solar energy.

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Amazon named world's smartest company of 2016

MIT Technology review editors pick the 50 companies that best combine innovative technology with an effective business model.

•    Each year it identifies 50 companies that are “smart” in the way they create new opportunities. 
•    Some of this year’s stars are large companies, like Amazon and Alphabet, that are using digital technologies to redefine industries. 
•    Others are wrestling with technological changes: companies like Microsoft, Bosch, Toyota, and Intel.
•    Jeff Bezos-led online retail giant Amazon has topped MIT's annual list of the world's smartest companies of 2016 for combining innovative technology with an effective business model. 
•    Chinese web services company Baidu and the world’s largest DNA-sequencing company Illumine have been ranked second and third respectively. 
•    The list also includes Tesla Motors, Alphabet, Facebook, SpaceX and Snapchat.
•    Last year it included Amazon on its list of the 50 Smartest Companies for incorporating robots into its fulfillment centers. 
•    This year the standout is the surprising success of its Alexa Voice Service and the growing family of devices it powers (the Amazon Echo, Echo Dot, and Tap). 

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Tech Mahindra Ltd acquires UK-based BIO Agency Ltd

Technology services provider Tech Mahindra Ltd (TechM) on 22 June 2016 acquired UK-based digital transformation firm The BIO Agency Ltd.
•    The acquisition was carried out in an all-cash deal for an enterprise value of up to 45 million pounds.
•    The payment of 22 million pounds and the surplus cash of 5 million pounds will be made upfront and the balance will be done away as deferred payments based on company performance.
•    Tech Mahindra will acquire 100 percent of shares of the company. 
•    The closing date of the transaction is expected to take place in the first week of July 2016.
•    The move will help Tech Mahindra to strengthen its digital portfolio in providing better digital strategy, services and customer experience.
•    The acquisition will also help The BIO Agency to make sizable inroads into the telecommunications and enterprise clients of Tech Mahindra. 
•    BIO Agency specializes in digital transformation across sectors such as retail, financial and travel. It offers digital strategy, service design, digital retail, connected products, product innovation and e-commerce solutions.

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Govt allows 100 per cent FDI in Civil Aviation Sector

The government on Monday allowed 100 % FDI in aviation sector under automatic route in Greenfield Projects and 74% FDI in Brownfield Projects under automatic route.
•    As per the present FDI policy, foreign investment up to 49% is allowed under automatic route in Scheduled Air Transport Service/ Domestic Scheduled Passenger Airline and regional Air Transport Service. 
•    It has now been decided to raise this limit to 100%, with FDI up to 49% permitted under automatic route and FDI beyond 49% through Government approval.
•    However, foreign airlines would continue to be allowed to invest in capital of Indian companies operating scheduled and non-scheduled air-transport services up to the limit of 49% of their paid up capital and subject to the laid down conditions in the existing policy.
•    With a view to aid in modernization of the existing airports to establish a high standard and help ease the pressure on the existing airports, it has been decided to permit 100% FDI under automatic route in Brownfield Airport projects.

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Boeing, Tata to set up joint aerospace facility in Hyderabad

Boeing and Tata Advanced Systems Limited (TASL) have joined hands to set up a facility here to co-produce Boeing AH-64 Apache helicopter fuselages and other aero structures.
•    Defence minister Manohar Parrikar on Saturday laid the foundation stone of Tata Boeing Aerospace Limited (TBAL) at the aerospace Special Economic Zone (SEZ) at Adibatla on the city outskirts.
•    The facility will also deal in integrated systems in aerospace.
•    The Hyderabad production facility will eventually be the sole producer of AH-64 fuselage globally.
•    The AH-64 Apache is the world's most advanced multi-role combat helicopter and used by the US forces as well as many other countries, including India.
•    Parrikar termed the joint venture one of the initial big foreign direct investments in defence and aerospace under the government's 'Make in India' initiative.
•    He said things would be speeded up during the current financial year and hoped that there will be more such projects by the end of 2016-17.
•    Boeing and TASL last year signed a framework agreement to collaborate in aerospace and defense manufacturing and potential integrated systems development opportunities, including unmanned aerial vehicles.
•    TASL, a wholly owned subsidiary of Tata Sons, is already on contract to manufacture aerostructures for Boeing's CH-47 Chinook and AH-6i helicopters.
•    TASL already has partnership with major players like Ruag, Cobham, Pilatus, Lockheed Martin, Sikorsky and Airbus.
•    Boeing is the world's largest aerospace company and leading manufacturer of commercial jetliners and defense, space and security systems.
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Union Cabinet approved merger of SBI with its five subsidiaries

The Union cabinet on 15 June 2016 approved the merger of the State Bank of India (SBI) with the five subsidiaries of Bank.
The cabinet approved the merger of the following subsidiaries- 
•    State Bank of Bikaner and Jaipur
•    State Bank of Hyderabad
•    State Bank of Mysore
•    State Bank of Patiala
•    State Bank of Travancore 

•    Apart from this, the Bharatiya Mahila Bank will also be merged with the SBI and the cabinet had cleared this proposal too.
•    The merger will create a behemoth with an asset base of 37 lakh crore rupees with 22500 branches and nearly 60000 automated teller machines.
•    The merger necessitates changes in various acts that govern the functioning of the SBI and its subsidiary banks - which require further cabinet approval.
•    The merger will make SBI as one of the top 50 banks in the world as currently no Indian bank features in the top 50 banks of the world.
•    SBI had seven associate banks, of which it has merged State Bank of Saurashtra and State Bank of Indore with itself over the last 10 years. The parent bank had advances of 15.09 trillion rupees and deposits of 17.31 trillion rupees as of the end of the March quarter.
Bank consolidation was proposed by the Union Government in March 2016 at a congregation of bankers and government officials where various issues pertaining to banks were discussed

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Tata Power Co. Ltd has agreed to acquire renewable energy company Welspun Renewables Energy Pvt. Ltd.

Tata Power Co. Ltd on 12 June 2016 agreed to acquire renewable energy company Welspun Renewables Energy Pvt. Ltd.
Tata Power took the step in a bid to grow its clean energy portfolio to 2.3 giga watts (GW).
•    Tata Power’s renewable energy unit Tata Power Renewable Energy Ltd (TPREL) has signed an agreement to acquire Welspun Renewables Energy Private Ltd (WREPL).
•    It is the largest transaction in renewable space in India.
•    The acquisition is being made at an enterprise value of 9249 crore rupees.
•    TPREL will acquire 1140 MW solar and wind power assets of Welspun Energy Private Ltd.
•    The deal is expected to close in September 2016.

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