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Business & Economy Current Affairs July 4th Week 2019

Apple to acquire Intels smartphone modem business for a transaction value of $1 billion:

  • Apple announced the acquisition of chip-maker Intel`s smartphone modem business for $1 billion. 
  • There are around 2,200 Intel employees will join Apple along with intellectual property, equipment and leases, the Cupertino-based iPhone.
  • The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2019.
  • This agreement us to focus on developing technology for the 5G network while retaining critical intellectual property and modem technology that our team has created.
  • Apple will hold over 17,000 wireless technology patents, ranging from protocols for cellular standards to modem architecture and modem operation. Intel will retain the ability to develop modems for non-smartphone applications, such as PCs, internet-of-things devices and autonomous vehicles. Johny Srouji, Apple`s senior vice president of Hardware Technologies said that Apple is excited to have excellent engineers to join its growing cellular technologies group.
  • Apple has been working on its own chips for quite some time. 
  • Intel`s technology could help the iPhone maker accelerate its plans. 
  • Apple may have paid chip-maker Qualcomm somewhere between $5 billion-$6 billion for an agreement to dismiss all ongoing litigations, including those with Apple`s contract manufacturers. 
  • Intel working on a chipset for the iPhone maker, with the chip expected to be part of iPhones by 2020.

RBI liberalises ECB norms by relaxing end-use restrictions:

Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has relaxed External Commercial Borrowing (ECB) norms for corporates, non-banking lenders by relaxing end-use restrictions with regard to working capital, general corporate purpose and repayment of rupee loans. This decision was taken after receiving feedback from stakeholders for easing liquidity in the domestic market.

Recent changes by RBI

End-use stipulations for ECBs for both corporates as well as liquidity starved non-banking lenders has been liberalised.

Liberalisation will be applicable to ECBs taken for general corporate purpose loans, working capital or repayment of rupee loans.

It allows eligible borrowers to raise ECBs from recognised lenders, except foreign branches and overseas subsidiaries of Indian banks, with minimum average maturity period of ten years for working capital purposes and general corporate purposes.

It also allows ECBs to raise with minimum average maturity period of 7 years for repayment of rupee loans availed domestically for capital expenditure.

It also permits borrowing for on-lending by NBFCs for above maturity and end-uses. It also permits borrowings for on-lending by NBFCs for repayment of rupee loans.

It also allows corporate borrowers to avail ECBs for repaying rupee loans taken for Capital expenditures if they are into infrastructure building/ manufacturing and classified as Special Mention Account (SMA-2) or Non-Performing Asset (NPA), under any one-time settlement arrangement with lenders.

About External Commercial Borrowing (ECB): 

It is instrument used in India to facilitate Indian companies to raise money outside the country in foreign currency. It may be commercial loans which can be in form of bank loans, bonds, securitized instruments, buyers’ and supplier’s credit availed from non-resident lenders with minimum average maturity of 3 years. In India, ECBs availed of by residents are governed by Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA), 1999 along with Foreign Exchange Management (Borrowing or Lending in Foreign Exchange) Regulations, 2000, as amended from time to time.

Reliance Jio overtakes Vodafone-Idea network and became India`s Largest Telecom Operator:

Reliance Jio overtook Vodafone-Idea to become India`s leading telecom operator. While the monthly subscriber report from the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI).The news comes from data collated off the quarterly financial reports furnished by Bharti Airtel, Reliance Jio and Vodafone-Idea, India`s three leading telecom operators. Bharti Airtel disclosed through TRAI its user base of 320.4 million users while enduring a rough quarter of high subscriber churn rate (subscribers unsubscribing from the network against new subscriptions). Jio`s recently disclosed Q1 FY20 financial report showed 331.3 million subscribers in its network. 

Vodafone-Idea`s financial report for the same quarter, it has come to light that the operator group lost 14.1 million in Q1 FY20, declining from the industry-topping 334.1 million subscribers as of March 2019, to stand at 320 million subscribers.


Vodafone-Idea attributed the loss of subscribers to its recently introduced service validity vouchers and the minimum recharge plans.The main aim is to reveal customers and consolidate its burgeoning losses.

When the Vodafone-Idea merger finalised on August 31, 2018. The subscriber group had a total of nearly 400 million subscribers and took the undisputed position of India`s number one telecom operator by market share and user base. The user base declined consistently every month in a rate that was directly proportional to Jio`s increase in subscriber base.TRAI`s data over the past one year does not show any notion of a slowdown in Jio`s subscriber base, and with the expected 5G spectrum battle on the horizon, Vodafone-Idea and Bharti Airtel will look to salvage some of their declining market shares through effective business strategies.


Rs.1500 crore deal signed by India and Russia to acquire Russia’s R-27:

  • India signed a contract with Russia for the acquisition of R-27air-to-air missile which gives the additional capability to target enemy aircraft at long Ranges.
  • These missiles are to be equipped on the Su-30MKI combat aircraft of the Indian Air Force (IAF) 
  • R-27 missile
  • It is a medium-to-long-range air-to-air missile developed by Russia for its MIG and Sukhoi fighter jets.
  • The army has acquired these missiles under 10-I projects to maintain critical weapon systems and spares for a special minimum period. This special period is known as the War Wastage Reserve (WWR).
  • Emergency procurement
  • So far the Indian Air Force has spent around 7600 crore for procurement of missiles like Spice 2000, Ataka ATGMs etc under emergency procurement.
  • The emergency procurement has increased after the Pulwama attack in order to safeguard the borders with Pakistan.
  • Under the emergency procurement route, the security forces can buy equipment of their choice within 3 months at a cost of up to Rs. 300crore per case.

FDI inflow registered a growth of 79% during the last 6 years amounting to $64.37 billion in 2018-19:

According to the Annual Report 2018-19 of the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) which is under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) inflow increased during the last 6 years from $36.05 billion in 2013-14 to $64.37 billion in 2018-19, registering a growth of 79%.

Key Points:

i .FDI worth $286 billion was received in the past five years.

ii. The FDI inflow was $45.14 billion in 2014-15, $55.55 billion in 2015-16 and  $60.98 billion in 2017-18.

US finalizes $670 million foreign military sales to support India’s C-17 aircraft:

The United States (US) approved foreign military sales worth $670 million to support India’s C-17 military transport aircraft in order to enhance operational readiness and ability to provide Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HA/DR) assistance in the Indo-Pacific region.

i. The implementation of the proposed sale requires the assignment of 1 US government representatives and 23 contractor representatives to India.

Business & Economy Current Affairs July 3rd Week 2019

Indian ship sails for Narayanganj in Bangladesh carrying cargo from Bhutan:

  • The Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) ship, MV AAI  flagged-off by Mansukh Mandaviya, Minister of State for Shipping (Independent Charge) and Chemical and Fertilisers, from Dhubri river port (Assam )to Narayanganj (Bangladesh), carrying 1000 MT of Bhutanese stone over river Brahmaputra, using Indo-Bangladesh Protocol Route.

Key points:
i. Benefit: The environment-friendly mode of transport will cut short travel time by 8 to 10 days, reduce transportation cost by 30%, bringing down logistics costs & making it easier and cheaper to reach goods to North Eastern states from other parts of the country. In order to maintain the depth of water on this route, India will provide Rs 300 crore to Bangladesh for 5 years.
ii.Way forward:  This new development will strengthen the bilateral ties with the neighboring countries and it takes forward Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision to promote cargo transportation through inland waterways.
iii. Highlight: This is the first time that an Indian waterway is being used as a channel for transport of cargo between the two countries.
iv. Steps Taken: The central Government taking various measures include providing an assured depth of water in the channels, navigation aids like GPS(Global Positioning System) and River Information System, terminals at regular intervals, and facilities for mechanized cargo handling to increase the use of Inland Waterways and Coastal Shipping for greater cargo shipment.
v. Background: The stone aggregates were transported through the land by trucks from Phuentsholing in Bhutan, which is 160 kilometres from IWAI’s Dhubri jetty in Assam.70 trucks would be required to transport the 1000 MT of stones by road.


Business & Economy Current Affairs July 2nd Week 2019

RBI formed panel to review timings of different financial markets:

Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has formed an internal committee to review timings of different financial markets. It change the timing of the functioning of the foreign exchange market from 9 am to 9 pm. Currently, the currency market works from 9 am to 5 pm. The move is after RBI`s consideration to gauge demand and potential benefits. RBI also said that if there is lack of demand from participants, the current market timings for government security markets may be retained.


The move is after RBI`s consideration to gauge demand and potential benefits. This extension of market timings is expected to provide various benefits like better pricing of post market hours information/data, improved onshore price discovery and a possible shift of offshore volumes to onshore. It is also understood that the extension might entail higher costs to stakeholders.

RBI to rationalise Forex regulations:

RBI also plans to review and rationalise foreign exchange (Forex) regulations. It aims to provide flexibility regarding products, participation and positions, both for residents and non-residents, extension of market hours would complement these policy measures.

The panel suggested call money market timings could be extended till 6 pm instead of the 5 pm now, to facilitate liquidity management by banks.

Delhi-LucknowTejas Express to be Indian Railways 1st `private` train:

  • The Delhi-LucknowTejas Express is set to be the first train to be operated by private players. 
  • The train that is being considered for Indian Railways experimental initiative is the Lucknow- Delhi-LucknowTejas Express. 
  • The move is part of Indian Railways plan to test private sector participation in the running of trains. Railway Minister PiyushGoyal-led Indian Railways has drawn up a 100-day roadmap for the national transporter, and the proposal to get private passenger train operators to provide world-class passenger services is part of that. 
  • The aim is to offer IRCTC two trains for operation on haulage concept, with onboard and ticketing services to be provided by the catering and e-ticketing arm. IRCTC will pay annual lease charges to Indian RailwayThe on-board services would be handed over to private players after an open bidding process. The routes, within 500-kilometres distance, will be identified on the basis of low congestion and tourist spots they can connect.

Centre to increase coal production to one billion tone by 2022-23:

Union Minister of Coal Prahlad Joshi informed that due to insufficient domestic availability of coking coal, the gap between demand and supply of coal cannot be bridged completely. But there are plans to increase the total production of coal in India to one billion tones by 2022-23.

i. All India raw coal increased its production from over 462 Metric tonnes in 2013-14 to around 730 metric tonnes in 2018-19.


ii. For the transportation of coal, 14 dedicated corridors are being developed.








Business & Economy Current Affairs July 1st Week 2019

Govt. To Celebrate 2 Years Of GST On July 1st:

  • Government of India organized an event on July 1 to celebrate the second anniversary of Goods and Services Tax (GST). 
  • The event will be addressed by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. The event will be held in Ambedkar Bhawan.
  • The event will be attended by senior officers of the central and state tax authorities. The two years presentation of GST and the road ahead for the indirect tax regime will be published.
  • The pilot of new return filing replaces the current system of GSTR-3B (summary returns) and GSTR-1 (supplies return) launched on July 1, 2019. 
  • The generation of e-way bill for transporting goods over Rs 50,000.

No charges on NEFT, RTGS money transfers from 1 July:

As per Second Bi-monthly Monetary Policy Statement for 2019-20, the Reserve Bank of India will stop imposing additional charges on Fund transfer through RTGS and NEFT systems from 1st July, 2019. 

This has been done to provide an impetus to digital funds movement.

Static/Current Takeaways Important For RRB NTPC/IBPS RRB Mains:

RBI 25th Governor: Shaktikant Das, Headquarters: Mumbai, Founded: 1 April 1935, Kolkata.

The real time gross settlement (RTGS) system is meant for large value instantaneous fund transfers and the national electronic funds transfer (NEFT) system is used for fund transfers of up to Rs 2 lakh.

Union Budget 2019-20 & Economic Survey 2019:

Union Budget 2019-20 has finally been presented, washing away all the uncertainties and assumptions. This first maiden budget of Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman comes out to be an ambitious one, aiming to fulfill the dreams of Modi 2.0 Government to take India’s economy to USD 5 billion by 2024. The budget 2019 offers incentives for startups and MSMEs, re-initiates disinvestment of Air India, strengthens NBFCs, eases the tax compliance norms, prioritises empowerment of rural India and women and focuses on infrastructural development including roads, railways, waterways and airways.

Union Budget 2019: New schemes announced by Finance Minister:

While presenting Union Budget 2019 Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced various new schemes in her maiden budget. Emphasizing on rural India various new schemes for the benefit of the public were announced.

Pradhan Mantri Karam Yogi Maandhan Scheme:

Pension benefits to about three crore retail traders and small shopkeepers with annual turnover less than Rs. 1.5 crore were announced under this scheme. Enrolment to be kept simple, requiring only Aadhaar, bank account and a self declaration. Apart from that, among other measures related to the MSMEs, Rs. 350 crore allocated for FY 2019-20 for 2% interest subvention (on fresh or incremental loans) to all GST-registered MSMEs, under the Interest Subvention Scheme for MSMEs.

Jal Jeevan Mission:

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced that New Jal Shakti Mantralaya is set up to look at the management of our water resources and water supply in an integrated and holistic manner. Under this ministry, Jal Jeevan Mission to achieve Har Ghar Jal (piped water supply) to all rural households by 2024. Its objective will be focus on integrated demand and supply side management of water at the local level. She also informed that 1592 critical and over exploited Blocks spread across 256 District being identified for the Jal Shakti Abhiyan.

New National Education Policy:

Budget 2019 speech of Nirmala Sitharaman explained that a new National Education Policy (NEP) to be brought which proposes major changes in school and higher education, better governance system and greater focus on research and innovation.

National Research Foundation (NRF):


Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman proposed National Research Foundation (NRF) to fund, coordinate and promote research in the country. It will also help to assimilate independent research grants given by various Ministries. NRF would help to strengthen overall research eco-system in the country and this would be adequately supplemented with additional funds.


As per ILO, India could lose 34 million jobs in 2030 due to global warming:

The International Labour Organisation (ILO) in its report ‘Working on a Warmer Planet: The Impact of Heat Stress on Labour Productivity and Decent Work’, stated that India is projected to lose 5.8% of working hours in 2030 equivalent to 34 million full-time jobs due to global warming. It will mainly impact the agriculture and construction sectors.

Key Points:

  • The estimates were based on a global temperature rise of 1.5 degree Celsius by the end of the twenty-first century, and labour force trends.
  • The global financial loss due to heat stress was expected to reach $2,400 billion by 2030.
  • Globally, in 2030, 2.2% of total working hours will be lost to high temperatures which is a productivity loss equivalent to 80 million full-time jobs.
  • India will be the most affected country because of its large population.
  • The report also noted that Ahmedabad, a city in Gujarat, incorporated a cool roofs initiative into its 2017 Heat Action Plan to provide access to affordable cool roofs for the slum residents and urban poor.
  • Other sectors which are at risk include refuse collection, emergency services, transport, tourism, and sports, with southern Asian and western African States suffering the biggest productivity losses, equivalent to approximately 5% of working hours by 2030.

USISPF honors Wipro Chairman Azim Premji & Mastercard CEO and President Ajay Banga with Global Excellence Award 2019:

  • Indian multinational corporation Wipro`s Chairman, Azim Premji, and Global Financial services company Mastercard`s CEO and President, Ajaypal Singh Banga chosen for 2019 Global Excellence Award. 
  • The award will be given by LIS-India Strategic Partnership Forum (USISPF)for their contribution to strengthening economic ties between the US and India. 
  • The awards will be given at the USISPF Second Annual Leadership Summit in Washington on July 11, 2019.  
  • US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, LIS Energy Secretary Rick Perry, LIS House of Representative Speaker Nancy Pelosi, US Senator Dan Sullivan, a Republic from Arkansas and Indian Ambassador to the US Harsh Shringla attend the leadership summit. 
  • The aim is to highlight bilateral cooperation, trade, and investment, strategic energy ties, manufacturing, and innovation partnership of two countries.  

About Wipro: 

CEO: Abidali Neemuchwala  Founder: M.H. Hasham Premji  Headquarters: Bengaluru  About USISPF The U.S.-India Strategic Partnership Forum (USISPF) is the most powerful strategic partnership between the U.S. and India. The U.S. and India work closely together with business and government leaders. Their main aim is to achieve our goals of driving economic growth, job creation, innovation, inclusion, and entrepreneurship.

Economic Survey for 2018-19 predicted a 7 percent GDP growth for financial year 2019-20:

  • Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman tabled the Economic Survey for 2018-19 in the Parliament on 5 July. 
  • The survey predicted a 7% GDP growth for financial year 2019-20 as compared to 6.8% in 2018-19. 
  • The Economic Survey was prepared by Chief Economic Advisor KV Subramanian. 
  • In the Second term of the NDA govt. 
  • PM Modi laid a goal to bring Indian economy to a $5 trillion economy by 2024-25. 
  • According to the Economic Survey, India needs to sustain a real GDP growth rate of 8%.  
  • The report also said that India continued to remain the fastest-growing major economy in the world in 2018-19, despite a slight moderation in gross domestic product (GDP) growth from 7.2% in 2017-18 to 6.8% in 2018-19.