Business & Economy Current Affairs 2017

Latest Business & Indian Economy Current Affairs 2017 for UPSC Exams, Bank Exams, Civil Services, SSC and other Competitive Exams. Latest developments in Business and Finance Industry of India and world 2017 all important national updates in Banks and events for the year 2017.

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India ranks 143rd in 2017 Economic Freedom Index

India was ranked 143rd out of 186 economies in the annual Index of Economic Freedom 2017 that measures the degree of economic freedom in the countries of the world.

The index was released by top US based Think Tank, The Heritage Foundation. In this edition, India’s overall score was 52.6 points, 3.6 points less than scored in 2016 when it was ranked 123rd.

How countries are ranked?
  • The Index of Economic Freedom ranks countries based on score ranging 0 to 100, with 0 being the least free and 100 the most free.
  • The score is based on ten factors of economic freedom, separated into four categories, using statistics from international organizations like World Bank, IMF, Economist Intelligence Unit and Transparency International.
  • Based on the score, countries are grouped in 5 different categories, Free (80–100), Mostly Free (70.0–79.9), Moderately Free (60.0–69.9), Mostly Unfree (50.0–59.9) and Repressed (0–49.9).
Key Highlights of 2017 Economic Freedom Index
  • Top 5 countries in this edition of index are Hong Kong (1st), Singapore (2nd) and New Zealand (3rd), Switzerland (4th) and Austria (5th).
  • India with 52.6 points score was ranked 143rd. It was placed in the category of “Mostly Unfree” Economies (points ranging from 50.0-59.9).
  • India’s neighbours, Nepal (125th), Sri Lanka (112th), Pakistan (141st), Bhutan (107th), and Bangladesh (128th) have surpassed India. Only Afghanistan (163rd) and Maldives (157th) were ranked below India.
  • China with a score of 57.4 points ranked 111th which is 5.4 points above 2016 score. United States was ranked 17th with a score of 75.1 points.
  • The world average score was 60.9, highest recorded in the 23-year history of the index. 49 countries majority of developing countries and also Norway and Sweden have achieved their highest-ever index scores.
  • India related facts: India’s progress on market-oriented reforms has been uneven. India has combination of advance technology and manufacturing sectors of developed world as well as traditional sectors, characteristic of a lesser developed economy.
  • Extreme wealth and poverty coexist in India as it both modernises rapidly and struggles to find paths to inclusive development for its large population.
  • India is a significant force in world trade, but underdeveloped infrastructure, corruption and poor management of public finance undermines its overall development.
  • Praised efforts of Prime Minister Narendra Modi for giving a new energy and strength to Indian Foreign Policy. PM has strengthened India’s bilateral ties with US particularly in defence cooperation.

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Reliance Defence signs warship repair pact with US Navy

Anil Ambani group led Reliance Defence and Engineering Limited (RDEL) has signed a Master Ship Repair Agreement (MSRA) with the US Navy to provide repair and alteration services for ships of the Seventh Fleet.

With this, RDEL became first Indian company (either public or private) to provide logistical support to the US military within Indian territory.

Key Facts
  • Under this agreement, RDEL will maintain the vessels of US Seventh Fleet involving 100 vessels operating in the Indian Ocean.
  • The signing of a MSRA agreement is a follow-up to the Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement (LEMOA) signed between India and US in August 2016.
  • These vessels will be serviced and repaired from the RDEL owned private shipyard in Pipavav in Gujarat. This deal is likely to generate Rs. 10,000 crore in revenues for RDEL in the next five years.
  • The Pipavav shipyard was qualified and approved by US government to perform complex repair and alteration services for the US Navy after a detailed site survey conducted in October 2016.
  • The US Seventh Fleet looks after the Western Pacific and Indian Ocean. Currently, these vessels visit Singapore or Japan for such works.

Note: RDIL is the first private sector company in India to obtain the licence and contract to build Naval Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPVs) for Indian Navy. Its Pipavav shipyard is only modular shipbuilding facility in India having capacity to build fully fabricated and outfitted blocks. 

About LEMOA

It is a tweaked India-specific version of the logistics support agreement (LSA), which US has close military to military co-operation with several countries. LEMOA gives access, to both countries, to designated military facilities on either side for the purpose of refuelling and replenishment. It should be noted that it does not create any obligations on either Party to carry out any joint activity. It does not provide for the establishment of any bases or basing arrangements.

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Union Government plans to invest Rs.2,200 crore in electronic technology start-ups

The Union Government is targeting an investment of about Rs. 2,200 crore in start-ups working on new technologies in the electronic sector under the Electronics Development Fund (EDF) by 2019.

This investment aims at creating an eco-system to make India a global hub for electronics manufacturing. Earlier, Government had approved Rs.681 crore as seed capital for building a total corpus of over Rs 6,800 crore under the EDF meant to support entrepreneurship and innovation in electronics and IT.

About Electronics Development Fund (EDF)

  • EDF is the mother fund or fund of funds that will contribute to various funds for those who invest the money in companies for creation of intellectual property rights (IPR) in the field of electronics and IT.
  • It works with venture capitalists to create funds, known as ‘daughter funds,’ which provide risk capital to companies developing new technologies in the area of nano-electronics, electronics and IT.
  • It will help attract angel funds, venture funds and seed funds towards research & development (R&D) and innovation in the specified areas.
  • It will also help to create a battery of Fund Managers and Daughter funds who will be seeking good start-ups (potential winners) and selecting them based on professional considerations.

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