April 28, 2018

NATIONAL NEWS

  1. The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) approved the capital acquisition proposals of over 3,687 crore rupees
    • In a boost to indigenisation and in the realisation of India’s growing technological prowess, the DAC approved procurement of DRDO’s designed and developed NAG Missile Systemat the cost of 524 crore rupees.
    • The DAC also approved procurement of thirteen 127 mm calibre guns for the Navy. 

 

  1. A five-day day training programme, aimed at enhancing the preparedness of Airport Emergency Handlers (AEHs) to respond to Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) emergencies at the airports, concluded on April 27, 2018 at the Lok Nayak Jayaprakash Airport in Patna, Bihar.
    • National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) and National Disaster Response Force (NDRF)jointly conducted its first-ever full-scale Biological Management Emergency Exercise.
    • This mock exercise was based on a simulated situation wherein the participants responded to a suspected Ebola outbreak scenario.

 

  1. Swedish-Swiss multinational giant ABB announced commissioning of India’s first industrial solar microgrid at its factory in Vadodara, Gujarat.
    • Microgrids with integrated battery energy storage is primarily setup to ensure continuity of work during planned and unplanned power outages
    • This facility will not only ensure continuity during power outages, but will also help in lowering carbon footprint.

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  1. A first of its kind Israeli Modern Art Exhibition was inaugurated in New Delhi
    • This exhibition titled ‘To the End of Land’was organised by National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi in collaboration with the Embassy of Israel in India and the Petach Tikva Museum of Art, Israel.

 

  1. Maharashtra State Government signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the British Council to strengthen educational and cultural cooperation.

 

  1. The environment ministry has banned plastics in all protected areas throughout India, declaring them “plastic free zones”.
  • India will host the World Environment Day (June 5th) for 2018

 

  1. Andhra Pradesh government and MasterCard, along with Fintech valley conducted the Andhra Pradesh Cyber Security Summit in Visakhapatnam.

 

  1. All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) set up India’s first Virtual Bronchoscopy Navigation (VBN), an advanced facility for diagnosis and treatment of small tumour-like spots in lungs.
  • The VBN system was installed in the Department of Pulmonary Medicine and Sleep Disorders at AIIMS

 

  1. The Asia Pacific Regional Workshop of United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), jointly hosted by Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) and UNCCD was held in New Delhi.
    • The four day workshop aimed at building capacity of Asia-Pacific Region to monitor and report on land Degradation.

 

INTERNATIONAL NEWS

  1. The leaders of North and South Koreaagreed to pursue a permanent peace and the complete denuclearization of the divided peninsula.
    • Kim Jong-un, the leader of North Korea and Moon Jae-in, the leader of South Koreaalso agreed to end hostile activities between the two nations, change the demilitarised zone (DMZ) that divides the country into a “peace zone” by ceasing propaganda broadcasts.
    • They also agreed to joint participation in sporting events, including Asian Games 2018.

 

BANKING AND ECONOMY

  1. Reserve Bank of India (RBI) liberalised External Commercial Borrowings (ECB) Policy by including more sectors in the window, with an aim to enable cheaper access of overseas funds.
    • It has decided to increase the ECB Liability to Equity Ratio for ECB raised from direct foreign equity holder under the automatic route to 7:1.
    • This ratio will not be applicable if total of all ECBs raised by an entity is up to USD 5 million or equivalent.
    • In order to harmonise the extant provisions of Foreign Currency and Rupee ECBs and Rupee Denominated Bonds, it has been decided to set a uniform all-in-cost ceiling of 450 basis points over the benchmark rate.
    • It has been decided to allow Housing Finance Companies and port trust to avail ECBs under all tracks.
    • These entities should have a board approved risk management policy. They should maintain their ECB exposure hedged 100 per cent at all times for ECBs raised.
    • Investment raised through ECBs should be avoided to be put in real estate or purchase of land except for affordable housing, construction and development of SEZ and industrial parks/integrated townships.
    • Also ECB fund should not be invested in share market and equity investment. On-lending to entities for the above activities is also restricted, according to law.

 

  1. Global credit ratings agency, Fitch ratings has retained India’s sovereign rating at BBB– with a stable outlook on account of its assessment that upside and downside risks to ratings remains evenly balanced
    • Sovereign credit rating is credit rating of country or sovereign entity. It gives investors insight into level of risk associated with investing in particular country, including its political risk
    • BBB means medium class companies, which are satisfactory at the moment

 

  1. One97 Communications Limited, the owner of Paytm, announced the launch of Paytm Tap Card, its offline payments solution to provide easy payments solutions for non-internet customers.
  • The Tap Card utilises Near Field Communication (NFC) technologyto enable safe and convenient digital payments, totally offline at Paytm-issued, NFC PoS terminals, within a second.

 

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APPOINTMENTS

  1. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterreshas appointed Christine Schraner Burgener of Switzerland as his new special envoy on Myanmar.
  2. Rahul Bhatia has been appointed as the interim CEO of IndiGo.


 

IMPORTANT DAYS

  1. On 28thApril 2018, the World Day for Safety and Health at Work was observed all over the world.
    • Theme – Occupational safety health (OSH) vulnerability of young workers.

AWARDS

  1. K K Birla Foundation has announced that, Gujarati poet Sitanshu Yashaschandra’s poetry collection “Vakhar” has been selected for the Saraswati Samman for 2017.
    • The Saraswati Samman award carries a cash prize of Rs 15 lakhs, a citation and a plaque.
  1. Budgam district of Jammu and Kashmir has been shortlisted for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s excellence award for promoting digital payments and cashless economy.

 

 

MISCELLANEOUS

  1. LCA Tejas has achieved another milestone towards FOC certification, after the launch on 27thApril 2018, piloted by Wg Cdr Siddharth Singh from the firing range off the coast of Goa.
    • The missile was launched from LCA Tejas. Tejas, the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) successfully fired Derby Air-to-Air beyond Visual Range Missile to expand the firing envelope.
    • LCA Tejas was designed and developed by Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA), an autonomous society of DRDO.