Russia, China back India's inclusion in expanded APEC
- During the Russia, India, China (RIC) Foreign Ministers meeting, the three countries reached a broader understanding to fight terrorism.
- Russia and China also extended their backing for India's inclusion in the 21-member Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), a 21 memeber grouping of Pacific Rim countries as well as Shanghai Cooperation Organisation.
- The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) is pillared by Russia, China and most of the Central Asian States as “one of the key instruments in promoting multilateral political, security, economic and humanitarian interaction in the region.”
- The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), which India is joining soon, has been holding major counter-terrorism exercises, in anticipation of the withdrawal of the U.S. forces from Afghanistan. Recognising the threat to stability posed during Afghanistan’s upcoming transitional phase, the three Ministers called for supporting the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF), in tune with the withdrawal of the U.S.-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF).
Big Companies to enter race for payments bank
- Top corporates and telecom companies have applied to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to open Payments Banks .Among those applied for the licence include Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL), Aditya Birla Nuvo, Future group, Bharti Airtel and Idea Cellular to name a few. The last date for submission of application ended on 2nd February.
- RIL, India’s largest private sector company, said it will promote a payments bank in which State Bank of India will be a joint venture partner with an equity investment of up to 30 per cent.
What is a payments bank?
Payments bank aimed at enabling payments and remittances to migrant labour workforce, low income households and small businesses that do not have access to regular banking branches. The maximum deposit that a payment bank can accept from an individual customer is ₹1 lakh. A payments bank can issue you a debit and ATM cards for easy transactions. However, it cannot undertake any lending activity.
How is a small bank different?
Small bank can do everything that a large bank can do but at least 50 per cent of its loan portfolio should constitute loans and advances of less than ₹25 lakh.
Spain is keen to partner with India in the railway sector
- Spain is keen to partner with India in the railways sector, particularly high-speed rail category, Minister of State for Commerce Jaime Garcia Legaz said here on 2nd February.
- Spain has the second largest high speed train network in the world after China and the gap is closing fast.
- The other areas of interest for spanish companies to invest in India were renewable energy and construction of highways.
Dipika Pallikal clinches Winnipeg Squash title
- Top-seeded Indian Dipika Pallikal dispatched second seed and last year’s runner-up Heba El Torky 11-4, 11-9, 11-8 in the final of the Winnipeg Winter Club women’s Open squash tournament.
- Dipika Pallikal is an Indian squash player. She is the first Indian woman to break into the top 10 in the WSA rankings.