Today’s News Updates – 29 January 2018

Stree Swabhiman Initiative

Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology has announced an initiative by common services centres (CSCs) on women’s health and hygiene. The initiative is named ‘Stree Swabhiman’.

About Stree Swabhiman:

‘Stree Swabhiman’ aims to create a sustainable model for providing adolescent girls and women an access to affordable sanitary products by leveraging CSCs.

Under the ‘Stree Swabhiman’ project, sanitary napkin micro manufacturing units are being set up at CSCs across India, particularly those operated by women entrepreneurs. The initiative is driven by awareness and personalised outreach by women entrepreneurs who produce and market sanitary napkins themselves.

About CSCs:

Common Services Centers (CSCs) are a strategic cornerstone of the Digital India programme. They are the access points for delivery of various electronic services to villages in India, thereby contributing to a digitally and financially inclusive society.

CSCs enable the three vision areas of the Digital India programme:

Digital infrastructure as a core utility to every citizen.
Governance and services on demand.
Digital empowerment of citizens.

AAI, Lao PDR sign civil aviation cooperation agreement

Celebrating 25 years of the India-ASEAN relationship, the Airports Authority of India (AAI) has signed a historic agreement with Lao Air Traffic Management, Department of Civil Aviation, Lao PDR, for providing SkyRev360, a comprehensive e-data gathering, invoicing and collection system.

About SkyRev360:

What is it? SkyRev360 is a fully automated and comprehensive data gathering, invoicing and collection service which eliminates inaccuracies, errors and delays for better revenue management. SkyRev360 has been developed in collaboration with the International Air Transport Association (IATA) under the Government of India’s Make in India initiative.

What it does? SkyRev360 automates data processing, helping ANSPs overcome strenuous manual processes which are prone to mistakes. A collaboration between two experts of the aviation industry: IATA and the Airports Authority of India (AAI). The solution gathers 100% of your flight data and produces comprehensive billing data. Therefore, with SkyRev360, ANSPs’ financial operations become both more accurate and efficient in one stroke.


Data gathering and processing module: SkyRev360 can ensure the essential data for your invoices is always the latest and most complete.
Invoicing module: The system maintains all account attributes and allows for an extensive view of associated data, including aircraft specifications, flight movements, billing ledger records, etc.
Collection: All collections are managed with the IATA Enhancement & Financing Services (E&F) process, which offers efficiencies and automation to ANSPs and airlines by settling through IATA Settlement Systems.
Airline queries: The IATA team handles all queries and disputes related to billing and collection from your air operators.
Dashboard and reports: Incident reports, airspace usage, traffic volumes, economic values and more are always at your fingertips.

Prompt Corrective Action (PCA)

The Finance Ministry is planning to initiate a performance review of heads of public sector banks that are under the RBI’s Prompt Corrective Action (PCA) as part of the reform process.


So far, the Reserve Bank has put 12 public sector banks under watch in view of poor performance on parameters such as high levels of non-performing assets (NPAs), low capital level and low return on assets. These parameters indicate the financial health of banks and a need to initiate remedial measures to put them on the right course.

What is PCA?
PCA norms allow the regulator to place certain restrictions such as halting branch expansion and stopping dividend payment. It can even cap a bank’s lending limit to one entity or sector. Other corrective action that can be imposed on banks include special audit, restructuring operations and activation of recovery plan. Banks’ promoters can be asked to bring in new management, too. The RBI can also supersede the bank’s board, under PCA.

When is PCA invoked?

The PCA is invoked when certain risk thresholds are breached. There are three risk thresholds which are based on certain levels of asset quality, profitability, capital and the like. The third such threshold, which is maximum tolerance limit, sets net NPA at over 12% and negative return on assets for four consecutive years.

What are the types of sanctions?

There are two type of restrictions, mandatory and discretionary. Restrictions on dividend, branch expansion, directors compensation, are mandatory while discretionary restrictions could include curbs on lending and deposit. In the cases of two banks where PCA was invoked after the revised guidelines were issued — IDBI Bank and UCO Bank — only mandatory restrictions were imposed. Both the banks breached risk threshold 2.

What will a bank do if PCA is triggered?

Banks are not allowed to re new or access costly deposits or take steps to increase their fee-based income. Banks will also have to launch a special drive to reduce the stock of NPAs and contain generation of fresh NPAs. They will also not be allowed to enter into new lines of business. RBI will also impose restrictions on the bank on borrowings from interbank market.

“Beating the Retreat” Ceremony:

Context: Beating the Retreat ceremony will be held on 29th January.

What is it? The Beating Retreat ceremony officially denotes the end of Republic Day festivities. It is conducted on the evening of 29 January, the third day after the Republic Day. It is performed by the bands of the three wings of the military, the Indian Army, Indian Navy and Indian Air Force. Colours and Standards are cased and flags lowered. The ceremony creates nostalgia for the times gone by.

‘Beating the Retreat’ has emerged as an event of national pride when the Colours and Standards are paraded. The ceremony traces its origins to the early 1950s when Major Roberts of the Indian Army indigenously developed the unique ceremony of display by the massed bands. ‘Beating Retreat’ marks a centuries old military tradition, when the troops ceased fighting, sheathed their arms and withdrew from the battlefield and returned to the camps at sunset at the sounding of the Retreat.


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