Best GS Coaching Institute in Lucknow : Current Affairs for IAS PCS

Jio Payments Bank begins operations

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said that Jio Payments Bank has commenced its banking services from 3 April 2018.

Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) was one of the 11 applicants which were issued in-principle approval for setting up a payments bank in August 2015. Jio Payments Bank Limited has commenced operations as a payments bank with effect from April 3, 2018.


  1. Telecom major Bharti Airtel was the first to begin payment bank services in November 2016.
  2. Paytm founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma promoted Paytm Payments Bank began operations from May 2017 last year while FINO Payments Bank Limited kicked-off in in June last year.
  3. Birla group’s Aditya Birla Idea Payments Bank was the latest in this spacewhose operations were started from February 22 this year.
  4. The Department of Posts, which also got a license for a payment bank is yet to start its services formally, who is running services on pilot basis currently.
  5. Payments banks are being promoted by the Reserve Bank to further financial inclusion by giving services such as small savings accounts, payment or remittance services to migrant labour workforce, low income households, small businesses and unorganised sector entities as well as other users.


Article 370 is not temporary

The Supreme Court on 3 April 2018 said that Article 370 of the Constitution which gives special status to Jammu and Kashmir is not a temporary provision.

The apex court said that in its earlier verdict of 2017 in the SARFESI case, it has been already held that Article 370 was “not a temporary provision”. “The issue concerned is covered by the judgement of this court in the 2017 SARFAESI matter, where we have held that despite the headnote of Article 370, it is not a temporary provision, a bench of justices A K Goel and R F Nariman said.



  1. The top court was hearing an appeal filed by petitioner Kumari Vijayalakshmi Jha, against the Delhi High Court’s April 11, 2017 orderdismissing the plea seeking a declaration that Article 370 is temporary in nature.
  2. The petitioner had claimed before the high court that Article 370 was a temporary provision that had lapsed with the dissolution of the Constituent Assembly in 1957.
  3. The petition had said that the continuance of the temporary provision of Article 370 even after dissolution of Constituent Assembly of J&K, and that of J&K Constitution which has never got the assent of the President of India or Parliament or the government of India, “amounts to fraud on the basic structure of our Constitution”.


Global norms for highway


India will adopt global norms for calculating highways construction from this fiscal after hitting a record 26.92 km road building per day in FY 2017-18,

which as per international standards is 94.18 lane km, Union minister Nitin Gadkari said. A record 9,829 km of highways were constructed in 2017-18which comes to 26.92 km of roads per day while the road awards stood at 17,055 km in the just concluded fiscal, thus witnessing about two-folds and five-folds increase in construction and awards of roads respectively.



  1. The ministry has so far been calculating construction of National Highways in linear length, which means there is no difference between 1 km of 2-lane with paved shoulders and 1 km with 6-lanes and service roads.
  2. This is not as per internationally adopted norms and the correct position is captured through counting of lane km.
  3. Internationally, one standard lane width in the US is 3.7 metresit varies between 2.75 to 3.25 metres in Europeand 3.5 metres in Germany.
  4. As per Indian standards, the width of one lane is prescribed as 3.5 metres.
  5. By international norms, India constructed 34,378 lane km of highways in 2017-18 which comes to 94.18 lane km a day last fiscal. This in linear length wise comes to 26.92 km a day and 9,829 km in the year.
  6. From this fiscal, the ministry will follow international norms to calculate construction of highways – lane km.

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