20-22 June 2017 Current Affairs

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22 Jun, 2017

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1) Which building became the first in India to get a trademark after its owner got the building trademarked on 19 June 2017? – Taj Mahal Palace Hotel (Mumbai)

Explanation: The iconic Taj Mahal Palace Hotel in Mumbai obtained a trademark on 19 June, making it the first ever building in India to be trademarked. The trademark was obtained by Indian Hotels Company (IHCL), which runs the Taj Mahal Palace. This hotel building has been a defining structure of Mumbai’s skyline.

It thus joined the elite and small club of trademarked properties in the world which includes the Empire State Building in New York, the Eiffel Tower in Paris and Sydney Opera House.

With IHCL trademarking the building, nobody can now use Taj Mahal Palace’s images for commercial purposes without paying the company a licensing fee.

The Taj Mahal Palace was built in 1903 by former IHCL chairman Cyrus Mistry’s family firm Shapoorji Pallonji & Company. During World War I it was converted into a hospital. The hotel was one of the primary targets of 2008 Mumbai terrorist attacks.

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2) India ratified which important multilateral transport agreement on 19 June 2017 that is designed to facilitate seamless movement of goods throughout the countries in Asia and Europe? – International Road Transports (TIR) Convention

Explanation: India on 19 June 2017 became the 71st signatory to the Transports Internationaux Routiers or International Road Transports (TIR) Convention. This multilateral agreement is also referred to as the TIR Convention and functions under the auspices of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE).It is designed primarily to facilitate the seamless movement of goods throughout the countries in Asia and Europe.

TIR will help facilitate India’s trade with its eastern and western neighbours and comes against the backdrop of China’s ambitious “One Belt One Road” (OBOR) initiative aimed at connecting some 60 countries across Asia, Africa and Europe to boost trade and economic ties on the lines of the traditional maritime route.

On the eastern front, it will help India to integrate with Myanmar and Thailand as well as Bangladesh, Bhutan and Nepal. On the western front, it will enable India to move cargo along the International North-South Transport Corridor via Chabahar port in Iran, to access landlocked Afghanistan and the energy-rich Eurasian region.

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3) Which entity during June 2017 signed an agreement with US defence giant Lockheed Martin for joint production of the F-16 fighter jets in India? – Tata Advanced Systems Limited (TASL)

Explanation: US defence giant Lockheed Martin and Tata Advanced Systems Limited (TASL) on 19 June 2017 signed an agreement for joint production of the F-16 Block 70 fighter jet in India. This agreement could be aimed at bidding for the $12-billion fighter jet deal which the Ministry of Defence has undertaken.

Indian Defence Ministry had recently stated that the tender to procure nearly 200 fighter jets will be floated by the year-end. The deal is expected to see interest from other global majors.

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4) Indian Navy’s first indigenously built floating dock was launched on 20 June 2017. This 185 meters long and 40 meters wide dock has been developed by which private entity? – Larsen & Toubro Ltd. (L&T)

Explanation: Indian Navy’s first indigenously built Floating Dock (FDN-2) has been developed by Larsen & Toubro Ltd. (L&T). It was launched at L&T’s shipyard in Kattupalli (Tamil Nadu) on 20 June 2017.

This floating dock is 185 meters long and 40 meters wide and will enable docking of all kinds of vessels, including naval ships and submarines (excepting aircraft carriers and tankers) of up to 8,000 tonnes displacement. It will be based in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands and will enhance the Navy’s technical repair infrastructure.

The Navy already has one Floating Dock (FDN-1); this would be its second such facility.

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5) The SEBI on 21 June 2017 relaxed some rules to hasten the resolution of stressed assets in bank balance sheets. What is the most important relaxation under this announcement? – It exempted buyers of shares in distressed companies from the requirement of making an open offer

Explanation: Indian capital market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) on 21 June 2017 exempted buyers of shares in distressed companies from the requirement of making an open offer even if the purchase triggers such an event under the takeover code.

Under SEBI’s takeover norms, one of the triggers for an open offer is when an entity acquires 25% or more in a listed company. The entity then has to make an offer to buy an additional 26% stake in the company from the public shareholders.

SEBI took this decision in the board meeting held on 21 June 2017. SEBI said it has come across cases where lenders acquired shares in a distressed company but could not sell the stake to a new investor because the takeover norms proved restrictive and reduced the funds available for investment in the stressed firm.

SEBI also relaxed laws which will make it easier for private equity-backed firms to raise funds through new share sales.

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6) In a hasty decision, who was promoted as the new Crown Price of Saudi Arabia by King Salman thus relieving Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef from the post on 21 June 2017? – Mohammed bin Salman

Explanation: Saudi Arabia’s Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and country’s Defence Minister was promoted as the new Crown Prince, replacing his cousin Mohammed bin Nayef in a sudden announcement on 21 June 2017. The decision by King Salman thus confirmed that the King’s 31-year-old son will be the next ruler of the kingdom.

Prince Mohammed bin Nayef was relieved of all positions. On the other hand, Mohammed bin Salman became deputy prime minister and retained his defence and other portfolios.

The surprise announcement followed two and half years of already major changes in Saudi Arabia.

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