October 22, 2018

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NATIONAL NEWS

 

  1. A parliamentary panel on labour was constituted to examine the functioning of retirement fund body Employees Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) which will be headed by BJP MP Kirit Somaiya. Objectives –
    • To examine the functioning of EPFO
    • To review the implementation of labour laws, social security and welfare scheme for workers
    • International Labour Organisation conventions binding on India,
    • Measures taken by the Indian government to implement ILO laws.
  1. Himalayan peaks near Gangotri have been named after former Prime Minister Atal Bihari VajpayeeAtal-1, 2, 3 and 4.

 

  1. India’s first ever luxury passenger cruise ship was launched between Mumbai and Goa to develop Cruise Tourism in the country.
    • The cruise ship Angriya has been named after first Maratha Navy Admiral Kanhoji Angre and the great Angria bank coral reef near Vijaydurg, Maharashtra.
  1. It was announced that India’s Longest River Bridge will be built across the Brahmaputra, connecting Dhubri in Assam to Phulbari in Meghalaya, by 2026-27.
    • It will be a 19.3 kmfour-lane bridge that will cut road travel by 203 km .
    • Currently, the longest river bridge in India, at 15 km, is the Dhola-Sadiya Bridge which was opened in 2017.
    • The Dhola–Sadiya Bridge, also known as the Bhupen Hazarika Setu is a beam bridge in India, connecting the northeast states of Assam and Arunachal Pradesh.
  1. In a first-of-its-kind move, the Uttar Pradesh government made the man-animal conflict a ‘State Declared Disaster’.
    • These incidents would be under the ambit of State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF).
    • A compensatory amount of 5 lakh would be given to family of deceased if the victim of the animal attack dies.
    • For the first time, lion and wild boar have been added to the list of wild animals which includes tiger, leopard, Indian wolf, hyena, crocodile, elephant and rhinoceros as predators.

 

  1. According to Brand Finance’s annual Nation Brands 2018report, India lost one spot and ranked 9th in the 10 most valuable nation brands in the world for the year 2018.
    • India was ranked 8th in the last year 2017.
    • During the year 2018, the total national brand value of India was reported at $2,159 billion from $2,046 billion in 2016.

 

  1. The government is considering a proposal to change the name of capital of Himachal Pradesh, Shimla to Shyamala.

 

  1. The ubiquitous Marigold will be the symbol of India’s sacrifices when the world marks the centenary of the end of the First World War on November 11.
    • The marigold was chosen because it is easily and widely available and also because saffron is often seen as a colour of sacrifice
    • The First World War ended with the signing of the armistice on November 11, 1918.

 

  1. Manorama Industries –recently got listed on the SME segment of the stock exchanges, supplies Cocoa Butter Equivalent or CBE to many multinational chocolate and beauty products companies such as The Body Shop or L’oreal or a chocolate hamper from Ferrero Rocher.
    • CBE is a kind of fat and has characteristics similar to that of the much more expensive cocoa butter with which it can be mixed in any proportion without the cocoa butter losing its properties or formulation.

 

INTERNATIONAL NEWS

 

  1. India, Japan and the U.S. announced participation in the bilateral ‘Cope India’ air exercise to a trilateral format on December 2018.
    • This will be the first time Japan would be invited to participate in the exercise.
  1. Google has launched its Subscription Storage Service Google One
    • It is a simple plan for expanded storage that includes extra benefits to help you get more out of Google.
  1. The U.S. would pull out of the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty with
    • It is a crucial Cold War-era treaty banning the development, testing and possession of short and medium range ground-launched nuclear missiles with a range of 500-5,000 km.
    • The treaty was signed in 1987.
    • It was central to ending the arms race between the two superpowers and protected America’s NATO allies in Europe from Soviet missile attacks.
    • It has been decided after Russia’s alleged development and deployment of the Novator 9M729 missile, also known as the SSC-8, that could strike Europe at short notice, an allegation that Russia has repeatedly denied.

BANKING AND ECONOMY

 

  1. State Bank of India has launched “SBI Wealth Hub”.
    • SBI is the first bank to introduce wealth business services for its customers.
  1. RBI has given incentives to banks to allow flow of funds to NBFCs.
    • RBI has allowed banks to use government securities as Level 1 High-Quality Liquid Asset equivalent to the bank’s incremental lending to NBFCs and HFCs after 19 October.
    • This will ease the mandatory Liquidity Coverage Ratio (LCR) requirements for banks and they will have more funds to lend.
    • This measure is expected to facilitate bank lending of around 59,000 crore to NBFCs and Housing Finance Companies (HFCs), given that system deposits stood at 118 trillion as on 28 September.
    • RBI has allowed banks to lend up to 15% of their capital funds to a single non-infrastructure funding NBFC from the earlier 10%.
    • This measure is expected to ease restrictions on lending to a single NBFC/HFC, which will give more headroom for lending to large entities without breaching regulatory limits.

 

  1. Credit Suisse Report – The recent debt default by Infrastructure Leasing and Financial Services (IL&FS), a conglomerate engaged in financing and developing infrastructure projects, has demonstrated the financial risks posed by India’s Non-Banking Financial Companies.
    • It has affected sectors such as real estate that have been dependent on NBFC funding for growth.
    • A 17 October report by Credit Suisse suggests that the exposure of NBFCs to real-estate developers could be as high as ₹2 trillion.
    • The share of NBFCs in total credit extended has increased from around 9.4% in March 2009 to more than 17% by March 2018, as per the data from the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI’s) latest financial stability report.
    • In India’s case, shadow banking primarily consists of NBFCs and Housing Finance Companies (HFCs).
    • A 2017 report by the RBI said that 99.7% of shadow banking in India involves making long-term loans against short-term funding, primarily carried out by NBFCs and Housing Finance Companies.
    • Collective Investment Vehicles such as money market funds, fixed income funds, mixed funds, real estate funds are also deemed to be part of shadow banking.
    • Developer loans make up around 21% of NBFCs’ loan book, compared to 7% for private banks and 3% for public sector banks, as per the report.

 

 

IMPORTANT DAYS

  1. On 17th October 2018, World Trauma Day was observed all over the world.
    • This day creates awareness on the increasing rate of accidents and injuries causing death and disability throughout the world and the need to prevent them.
    • Trauma means “any injury caused to the body“.
    • The injury may be caused due to many reasons like road accidents, fires, burns, falls, acts of violence and crimes against the vulnerable population including women, children and elderly.
    • Amongst all the causes, Road Traffic Accident (RTA) is the leading cause of trauma across the world. Many injuries may lead to temporary or permanent disability while others may even cause death.

SPORTS

 

  1. 2018 Youth Olympics
    • India’s best performance in the Games — Tally of 13 medals3 gold, 9 silver and 1 bronze.
    • The medallists were awarded ₹25 lakh, 16.7 lakh and 10 lakh for gold, silver and bronze.

 

MISCELLANEOUS

 

  1. Larsen & Toubro is the only Indian firm to be featured among the top 25 companies in the Forbes’ global 2000 best employers list.
    • L&T has secured 22nd rank in the list.
    • Google’s parent company Alphabet tops the list.
    • The second position is occupied by Miscrosoft.
  1. Veteran commentator and cricket statistician Vijayan Bala launched his new book “Indian Sports: Conversations and Reflections”.