GK Update: January 9th & 11th, 2016.

PSU bank employees on strike, operations hit partially.

Banking operations were hit partially as a section of public sector banks’ employees went on a strike across the country to protest violation of bilateral settlement agreement by associate banks of SBI.

Railway passenger fares may go up.

Passengers may have to pay higher fares following the finance ministry’s recent decision to cut gross budgetary support to railways ministry by Rs.12,000 crore, a senior government official said.

Bhanumurthy is the new COO of Wipro.

A few days after the appointment of Abidali Neemuchwala as CEO of India’s third largest IT services provider, Wipro has made more changes in its senior leadership structure. It has elevated company veteran Bhanumurthy B. M. as the President and Chief Operating Officer and also appointed another senior leader G. K. Prasanna as the head of a newly formed created unit, Marketing, Innovations and Technology (MIT).

Commercial bank loans show recovery: RBI.

Demand for commercial bank loans are showing signs of picking up after registering single digit growth for almost a year, according to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).

States told to meet exporters more often.

The Centre has asked the state governments to hold bi-monthly meetings with exporters, especially to address infrastructure and tax-related issues.

Volatility is the new norm, says Arun Jaitley.

Global economic volatility is the new norm, says Finance Minister Arun Jaitley. “Earlier, challenges and crisis emerged once in a decade. With the global economy so critically integrated, volatility is the new rule, it’s the new norm. We have seen in last few days…price of oil collapsed. We have seen the currency crisis currently on in China. And the global slowdown,” Mr. Jaitley said, addressing the inaugural session of the Bengal Global Business Summit here.

Premji most generous Indian, Mukesh ranks sixth.

Azim Premji, 70, chairman of Wipro, is the most generous Indian of the year for the third time in a row with donations worth Rs. 27,514 crore to the education sector, says Hurun India Philanthropy List 2015. The top five contributors on the list belonged to the information technology industry. Mr. Premji is followed by Nandan Nilekani and wife, Rohini Nilekani, with donations of Rs. 2,404 crore, while Infosys co-founder N.R. Narayana Murthy stood third with donations of Rs. 1,322 crore.

Dragon’s fire may singe Indian industry.

The decline in the value of China’s currency against the dollar is a worrying development as it may lead to a sharp increase in cheap imports hurting several Indian industries, Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said.

British MP nudges Jaitley on Cairn Energy tax dispute.

Ahead of Finance Minister Arun Jaitley’s U.K. visit, a British MP has written to him seeking early resolution of the Rs. 10,247 crore retrospective tax dispute with Edinburgh-based Cairn Energy plc.

DLI to vie with Concor for Chennai port cargo.

Distribution Logistics Infrastructure (DLI), a Gurgaon-based company, is set to end state-owned Concor’s dominance when it links Chennai Port and the inland container depot Marigold at Devangonthi, near Bengaluru, by operating a weekly train service from January 11.

Hindustan Zinc to invest Rs.8,000 cr.

Hindustan Zinc Ltd. (HZL) will invest Rs.8,000 crore in the next 3-5 years as the Vedanta Group firm looks to expand operations and capacity. The firm aims to take the existing ore production levels of 9.36 million tonnes per annum (MTPA) to 14 MTPA and finished metal production to 1.10 MTPA from 0.85 MTPA, Hindustan Zinc said in a statement.

Fewer ‘Likes’ for Free Basics.

A majority of respondents in an online survey say they are opposed to Facebook’s Free Basics initiative and support net neutrality. The survey by community network LocalCircles of 30,000 people shows 81 per cent of the 14,000 who responded to the question on Free Basics voted against it. About 78 per cent of the 15,000 respondents do not want private players to act as a gateway to the Internet.

Snapdeal marketing head Srinivas Murthy quits; to start own venture.

Srinivas Murthy, Senior Vice President of Marketing at e-commerce major Snapdeal, has put in his papers to start his own venture. “The entrepreneurial drive has rubbed off onto me. I’m now moving on to become an entrepreneur myself,” Murthy said. He, however, did not disclose details of his new venture.

Prasad: Plan to install 2500 Wi-Fi hotspots by next fiscal.

The government plans to reach up to 50 crore internet subscribers in next 6-7 months, besides installing 2,500 Wi-Fi hotspots at 256 places by the next fiscal, Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said.

Corporate optimism on the wane as new investments decline sharply.

Industry’s optimism about the investment climate has waned due to a sharp recent decline in the value of new project announcements, which in the December 2015 quarter fell to one-fourth of their levels the previous year, data from the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE) shows.

Cabinet to soon consider law to retrench workers.

The Union Cabinet will soon consider a law to combine India’s three archaic legislations to make it easier for companies to retrench employees and to raise severance pay.

Flipkart rejigs top management; Binny Bansal new CEO.

In a top management rejig, e-commerce firm Flipkart appointed Binny Bansal as the Chief Executive Officer and Sachin Bansal as the Executive Chairman. “Sachin Bansal, CEO and co-founder of Flipkart, will be the Executive Chairman of the company and Binny Bansal, COO and co-founder of Flipkart, will be the Chief Executive Officer,” Flipkart said in a statement.