Current Affairs for May 22, 2019
BANKING AND ECONOMY
CURRENT AFFAIRS VIDEO
- Wildlife Crime Control Bureau of India and UN Environment have launched the campaign “Not All Animals Migrate by Choice” to be displayed at major airports across the country.
- Purpose: – To raise awareness about the illegal wildlife trade.
- The campaign was inaugurated by UN Environment Goodwill Ambassador Dia Mirza.
- Niti Aayog has proposed to provide Rs 7,500 crore for creating an institutional framework for artificial intelligence (AI) in the country.
- Under the framework, cloud computing platform called AIRAWAT will be developed.
- The mission entails investing in funding five institutes or Centres Of Research Excellence (CORE), 20 International Centres for Transformational AI (ICTAI).
- ISRO successfully launched its all-weather ‘spy’ satellite RISAT–2B from the PSLV C-46 launch pad at the Satish Dhawan Space Center SHAR at Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh.
- RISAT-2B (Radar Imaging Satellite- 2B) can click clear images in all weather conditions and will increase vigilance capability of India.
- UNESCO has included Indian part of Kailash Mansarovar into its tentative list of World Heritage Site (Cultural and Natural Heritage).
- Kailash Mansarovar (also known as Mount Kailash) is the highest peak in Kailash range located in Lake Mansarovar in the remote south-western portion of the Tibet Autonomous Region of China.
- Vice President Venkiaha Naidu has called to promote and protect the Ongole Cattle Breed (Bos Indicus) which originates Prakasam District in the state of Andhra Pradesh
- It derived its name from the place Ongole.
- Ongole cattle forms a major chunk of the bilateral trade between India and Brazil.
- Delhi University has enhanced its seats by 25% to accommodate 10% EWS quota which will be implemented in two phases– 10% in 2019-20 and 15% in 2020-21.
Out of an increase of 10% of the total intake, the reservation will be
General category seats will remain same as in 2018-19
- Haryana has decided to launch pilot project of Crop Diversification in seven blocks by inclining farmers to grow maize and pulses or oilseeds instead of Wheat and Paddy crops due to water crises.
- Financial Assistance of ₹2,000 per acre will be provided in two parts.
- Maize crop insurance premium of ₹766 per hectare will also be borne by the government under the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana.
- ‘Tur’ seeds will also be provided free of cost.
- Muzaffarnagar, Uttar Pradesh is hosting a first-of-its-kind Gur Mahotsav (jaggery festival) beginning on May 30 under the State government’s ‘one district, one product’ scheme.
- Muzaffarnagar is the biggest jaggery market in Asia with around 60 varieties of it being produced here.
- Maharashtra government is planning to propose the Land-Titling Act in the state assembly in mid-June.
- Under this land-title registration system, all records of land title will be recorded digitally under one-single window mechanism.
- State will first set up the Maharashtra Land Titling Authority to undertake the implementation.
- Japan, India and Sri Lanka have agreed to develop a container terminal at the Port of Colombo to increase its capacity, for which the MoU will be signed in upcoming months.
- Sri Lanka will hold a 51% stake while India and Japan will have a 49% stake together.
- The port has received major investments from China under its Belt and Road Initiative.
- Saray Khumalo (aged 47) became the first black African woman to climb the Mt. Everest (8,848-metre) in her 4th attempt.
- The first black person to climb Mt. Everest is Sibusiso Vilane in 2003.
2. UAE has launched the permanent residency scheme called the “Golden Card Programme” to attract investors and exceptional talents such as doctors, engineers etc.
- The Golden card visa holders will have unprecedented benefits.
- In the first batch, a total of 6,800 investors whose total investments exceed Dh100 billion have been given Golden Cards.
- Nepal has banned WeChat Pay (owned by Tencet) and Alipay (owned by Alibaba)– Chinese e-wallet payment companies.
- Reason: – To prevent the loss of foreign currency earnings from tens of thousands of Chinese tourists.
- A meeting to discuss the ground-breaking of Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline, also known as Trans-Afghanistan Pipeline, was held in Ashgabat, Turkmentisan.
- Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline is set to be completed by 2022.
- United States and Asian Development Bank (ADB) are supporting this project.
- 56-inch diameter 1,680-kilometer pipeline with design capacity of 3.2 billion cubic feet of natural gas per annum (Bcfd) project.
BANKING AND ECONOMY
- Ola Money-SBI Credit Card has signed a deal with SBI to issue as many as 10 Mn credit cards powered by Visa called “Ola Money SBI Credit Card” by 2022.
2. World Bank and Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) have enabled recording of secondary market bond- ‘Bond-I’- trading using blockchain technology.
- World Bank’s Bond-I (first issued in August 2018) is the first bond to be traded and issued on a blockchain platform.
- RBI’s data on ATM withdrawals, Debit/credit cards payments as of March 2019.
|Category||March 2018||March 2019||Percentage increase|
|ATM withdrawals||775 million||891 million||slow growth rate at 15%|
|Debit card payments at PoS||318 million||407 million||Over 27%|
|Credit card payments at PoS||127 million||162 million||27%|
|PoS terminals (in terms of their number)||30 lakh||37 lakh||20%|
- Mumbai Metro One Ltd. promoted by Reliance Infrastructure has partnered with Instamojo (payment gateway) to boost cashless travel.
- Now the commuters the train can pay for their tickets by debit/credit cards for all kinds of ticketing products.
- To strengthen the supervision and regulation of Commercial Banks, Urban Cooperative Banks And Non-Banking Financial Companies (NBFCs), RBI has decided to create a specialized supervisory and regulatory cadre within the RBI.
- It will involve consolidating the different supervisory and regulatory activities and resources under a separate division, and also hiring external experts for the function.
- The cadre is being developed on the recommendations of an internal committee of RBI, headed by Rosemary Sebastian.
- United Nations’ World Economic Situation and Prospects (WESP) 2019 Mid-year Update has forecasted India’s growth at 7.1% revised from 7.4% (Predicted in January 2019) for FY20.
- For 2019, it is projected at 7.0%.
- Reliance has become the top company in terms of profit by recording a turnover of Rs 6.23 Tn in 2018-19 fiscal year, preceding Indian Oil Corporation which has recorded Rs. 6.17 Tn profit.
- ANI Technologies owned- OLA has suspended Foodpanda delivery services to focus on the cloud kitchen business.
- Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (Irdai) has released a draft regulations for the creation of a regulatory sandbox.
- Purpose: – To allow a conducive environment for insurtech and fintech companies to carry innovation in the insurance space.
- Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has lowered the global growth rate from 3.3% to 3.2% owing to US-China trade war.
- Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has given permission to mutual funds (MFs) to participate in the commodity derivatives segment.
- MFs can trade in exchange-traded commodity derivatives except those that have been defined as ‘sensitive commodities’.
- RBI has bought ₹25,000 crore worth of bonds so far in May. RBI’s data on bond market for FY19.
- Bimal Dayal, has been appointed as CEO of the new tower company to be formed by the merger of Indus Towers and Bharti Infratel, while Hemant Ruia will be the CFO.
- World AIDS Vaccine Day/HIV Vaccine Awareness Day (HVAD) is observed on May 18 by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIAID).
- Purpose: – To educate people about the disease AIDS and HIV vaccines.
- HIV virus attacks immune cells known as CD4 cells which are a type of T cell (white blood cells).
- World Metrology Day is observed on 20 May, which commemorates anniversary of signing of Metre Convention (also known as Treaty of Metre) on 20 May 1875 in Paris.
- The treaty aims to bring world-wide uniformity in measurement.
- Theme:- ‘International System of Units – Fundamentally better’.
- World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development was observed on May 21 by UN.
- Theme:- ‘Celebrating Cultural Diversity’.
- International Day for Biological Diversity is observed on May 22 by United Nations to increase understanding and awareness of biodiversity issues.
- Theme: – ‘Our Biodiversity, Our Food, Our Health’.
- Late Jitender Kumar will be honoured with this year’s prestigious UN medal called Dag Hammarskjöld Medal for courage and sacrifice in line of duty.
- He is among the 119 military, police and civilian personnel who will be awarded.
- The medal is named after Dag Hammarskjöld, the second Secretary-General of the United Nations, who died in a plane crash in Zambia.
- Late Malawian soldier Chancy Chitete will be honoured with the UN’s highest peacekeeping award- “Captain Mbaye Diagne Medal for Exceptional Courage”.
- He was killed in a peacekeeping operation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
- Former foreign secretary Shyam Saran will be awarded with Japan’s second highest national award called “Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Star” for his contributions to strengthen the strategic ties between India and Japan.
- Supreme Order of the Chrysanthemum is Japan’s highest order (award).
- National Award ‘Vayoshreshtha Samman’ is given every year by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment to eminent elders and institutions who have contributed greatly towards the cause of Elderly people.
- Given on International Day of Older Persons (IDOP) on 1st October every year.
- Pakistan won the Wheelchair T20 Asia Cup 2019 held in Nepal by beating India.
- Nikolaus Lauda-an Austrian Formula One driver, a three-time F1 World Drivers’ Champion-has passed away at 70.