Current Affairs for July 3, 2019
BANKING AND ECONOMY
CURRENT AFFAIRS VIDEO
- India will contribute $5 Million to United Nation Palestine refugee agency (UNRWA) in 2019.
- India provides 150 places every year to Palestinian professionals for capacity building under Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC) programme.
- Under India-Palestine Development Partnership, several agreements have been signed in past 5 years.
- UIDAI has set up 1st ‘Aadhaar Seva Kendra’ (ASKs) in Delhi and Vijayawada.
- ASKs will be set up in 53 cities across India to provide seamless enrolment and up-dation services to public.
- Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) and Ministry of AYUSH have signed an MoU to digitalize the entire AYUSH sector.
- AYUSH GRID Project will be established by AYUSH Ministry with technical support from MeitY.
- Purpose: – To transform the health care delivery at all levels, along with greater research, education, delivery of various health care programmes and better drug regulations.
- “Special Rhino Protection Force” (SRPF) of 82 members, has been deployed at Kaziranga National Park (Assam) on the recommendation of National Tiger Conservation Authority.
- Aim: – To curb poaching of rhinos and understand animal behaviour.
- Delhi Police signed MoU with Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) for establishing Rooftop Solar Energy Systems (grid-connected photovoltaics) in more than 200 of its buildings in the city.
- Uttar Pradesh government has proposed to merge 17 Other Backward Castes into the Scheduled castes
- Delhi Cabinet approved project of creating small ponds in the Yamuna floodplains from Palla to Wazirabad to conserve water, and solve the “water problem” of Delhi.
- The ponds will curb the overflow of Yamuna during monsoon.
- According to Comptroller and Auditor General of India report on Home Department, the number of prisoners has increased more rapidly than the capacity of prisons between 2013-14 and 2017-18 in Maharashtra.
- The prisons grew 18% from 27,883 to 32,810 while prisoners, as on March 2018 were 37% more than the authorised capacity of the prisons.
- Prisoners’ overcrowding rose from 125% in 2013-14 to 155% of capacity in 2017-18 in 9 Central Prison and Correctional Centres (CP&CC).
- Sasakawa Peace Foundation (Japan) will launch the first-of-its-kind audio-visual archive on and in the Northeast at the St. Anthony’s College, Shillong, Meghalaya.
- Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival (YIDFF) will have a special section of films from northeast India titled ‘Rustle of spring, whiff of gunpowder: From the North East India Archives’, and curated by Asako Fujioka this year.
- Indian Navy will scrap the aircraft carrier INS Viraat (which was decommissioned in 2017).
- It was commissioned in 1987.
- Ministry of Health has decided to ban e-cigarettes/electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) and labelled them as “drugs”.
- It was labelled as “drugs” under Section 3(b) of the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940 and it is banned under Section 26 (A) of the act.
- Ministry of Power has proposed to set up a Centre-State council, to be headed by Union Minister of Power (RK Singh), to resolve the electricity disputes between central and state governments as part of its 100 days vision plan.
- Power is a subject matter of Concurrent list on which both centre and state both can take decisions.
- A standing committee will be formed to assist the council (to be headed by Union Power secretary- Ajay K. Bhalla).
- The council will also look into the amendment to Electricity Act, 2003 which requires consensus between Centre and states, among other things.
- International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), (UN’s atomic watchdog) has declared that Iran is maintaining high levels of Uranium, in retaliation to US sanctions.
- Iran is forcing European Countries (France, Germany and UK) to initiate INSTEX mechanism to facilitate trade with Iran.
- INSTEX- Instrument in Support of Trade Exchanges, (developed in Jan 2019) is a special purpose vehicle, developed to facilitate trade with Iran to reduce impact of US sanctions.
- US Senate has passed the “National Defense Authorisation Act” 2020 (or NDAA) amendment bill to bring India at equal stature with NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization)
- NATO promotes cooperation among countries on defence and security-related issues.
- New Zealand has banned single-use plastic shopping bags w.e.f. 1 July.
- As per United Nation Environment Programme (UNEP), more than 80 countries have already introduced similar bans.
- US is going to hike the application fee for EB-5 visa. Fee for projects under Targeted Employment Areas, will rise to $1.35 million from $500,000 and standard minimum investment will also rise to $1.8 million from $1 million.
- US “EB-5” Immigrant Investor Visa Program (created by the Immigration Act of 1990) allows Immigrant Investors to become lawful permanent residents with at least $1 million investment into a business in the US that employ at least 10 American workers.
- Paris has banned all diesel vehicles aged 13 years or over in the city to curb pollution.
- 18 or 21 years old diesel vehicles had been banned earlier.
- In 2018, Paris was the worst western European capital for air pollution as per the Greenpeace report.
- US has added more European Union (EU) products to a list of goods on which it can impose retaliatory tariffs following subsidy dispute between Boeing Co. and Airbus SE.
- The new products is an addition of $4 billion to existing $21 billion list of EU products released by US Trade Representative in April.
- UK Prime Minister Theresa May (along with Lord Dunlop) will review the process of devolution and how can the UK Government strengthen the Union.
- In UK, devolution is the delegation of powers from the UK Parliament to regional governments of Scotland, Wales, Ireland and London Assembly.
BANKING AND ECONOMY
- State Bank of India (SBI) and National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF) have signed an MoU to provide financial aid to infrastructure sector.
- SBI provided around Rs 51,000 crore worth of loans to 47 infrastructure projects during 2018-19.
- Indian Government has set a target to raise health services expenditure to 2.5% of GDP by 2025 in accordance with National Health Policy 2017.
- Government aims to set up 5 lakh health and wellness centres by 2022 under the Aayushman Bharat/PM Jan Arogya Yojana, out of this 18,000-19,000 have already been set up.
- GST Collection fell below the Rs 1 lakh crore mark in June for the first time in FY20, with total GST collection standing at Rs 99, 939 crore.
- During 2019-20, the government targets to collect Rs 6.1 lakh crore through Central GST and over Rs 1 lakh crore through cess on luxury and sin goods such as cars, tobacco, aereated drinks and coal and through IGST balance Rs 50,000 crore.
- IHS Markit India Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index was 52.1 in June, down from the three-month high of 52.7 in May.
- Nikkei India Services Business Activity Index, released by IHS Markit, fell 49.6 (a one-year low) in June, from 50.2 in May.
- Eveready’s packet tea business and its brands (including Tez Red, Premium Gold and Jaago) has been acquired by Madhu Jayanti International Ltd for ₹6 crore.
- Ola Electric Mobility has become a unicorn startup with net value of more than $1 billion after raising about $250 million from SoftBank Group Corp.
- According to Refinitiv (a financial market data provider owned by Blackstone and Thomson Reuters), the mergers and acquisition (M&A) deals in India have declined by more than half to $41.6 billion during Jan to June 2019 as compared to 2018.
- Outbound M&A deals declined 42.6% to $1.7 billion in H1.
- Domestic M&A deals declined 42.1% to $24 billion in H1.
Most inbound investments came into India from US (26.3%), followed by Japan, (at 12.3%) and China (at 10.5%) of all inbound investments.
US was at the top in terms of value as well as number of acquisitions from Indian companies, with a 39.7% market share (from 26 deals worth $665.4 million).
- Brewing giant Anheuser-Busch InBev NV (AB InBev) is looking to raise up to $9.8 billion by listing its Asia-Pacific business in Hong Kong.
- This would be the world’s largest Initial Public Offering (IPO) in 2019.
- The deal will raise between $8.3 billion and $9.8 billion for AB InBev with a market capitalisation of up to $63.7 billion after the IPO.
- Ministry of Power mandates all Power Distribution Companies (Discoms) to maintain a Letter of Credit (LoC) that will be routed through banking system.
- LoC is a payment security mechanism under Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) that provides an assurance of payment to electricity producing companies (Genco) by discoms.
- National Load Despatch Centre (NLDC) and Regional Load Despatch Centres (RLDCs) will dispatch electricity after getting LoC assurance.
- MG Motor India has tied up with Fortum Charge & Drive India to set up charging stations of 50 kW DC fast-charging for electric vehicles at its showrooms, initially in 5 cities.
- MG Motors is a subsidiary of Chinese state-owned automotive SAIC Motor.
- According to Fitch Ratings’s local unit, India’s use of steel is close to 100 million tons which indicates the potential need for growing imports from China.
- Total 8 million tons of steel was imported during 2018-2019.
- Over the next two years, India will continue to be a net importer of steel.
- According to World Steel Association, India is the second largest producer of steel with production of 106.5 MT in 2018, second after China.
- Fourteen Fresh cases of bank frauds worth ₹1,135 crore have been registered with police, according to Centre Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
- Following it, CBI conducted raids in 50 places across country and recovered up to Rs 640 crores.
- As per RBI’s data, more than 6,800 cases of bank fraud worth ₹71,500 crore have been reported in 2018-19.
- Coal may be used to generate half of India’s power generation in 2030, according to analysis by Central Electricity Authority (CEA).
- As per CEA, India may exceed Paris Agreement 2015 commitments to generate 40% of power from non-fossil fuel sources.
- According to the report, India will see a rise of around 12% in annual carbon emissions from the power sector in 2022 up to 1.154 billion tons.
- Renewable source generated 48% of gross generation as compared to last year, and account for 65% of installed capacity, according to the report.
- India needs $330 billion investments to power its renewable energy dream (of 175 GW by 2022) over the next decade.
- Karnam Sekar takes charges as MD and CEO of Indian Overseas Bank.
- NASA has selected Dipankar Banerjee as the co-investigator for its “PUNCH” mission.
- PUNCH -“Polarimeter to Unify the Corona and Heliosphere“ is the mission to sun to study the particles emission from sun’s corona (expected launch year- 2022).
- Banerjee is also the co-Chair of India’s Science Working Group to send its own satellite Aditya-L1 to study Sun’s corona.
- Manoj Kumar Nambiar has been appointed as the Chairperson of Microfinance Institutions Network (MFIN).
- World Sports Journalists Day is observed on July 2 by International Sports and Press Association (AIPS– Association Internationale de la Presse Sportive).
- On this date, the AIPS was founded in 1924 in Paris. (current headquarters- Lausanne, Switzerland)
- Pullela Gopichand (Chief National Coach for Indian Badminton team) has been awarded with “honorary doctorate” by IIT Kanpur in recognition of his services to sports on the occasion of their 52nd convocation.
- Sudha Murthy (Chairperson of Infosys) and missile woman Tessy Thomas were other two receivers of this award.
- Tessi Thomas is the director of Agni-IV, thus becoming the first woman to lead a missile project.
- Gopichand is the 2nd Indian badminton player to achieve this feat after Prakash Padukone.
- Sports Journalists Federation of India (SJFI) decided to confer its highest honour- “SJFI Medal” to Prakash Padukone (badminton player).
SJFI Sportsperson of the Year 2019
Pankaj Advani (billiards and snooker) and Bajrang Punia (wrestling)
Emerging Talent of Year 2019
Saurabh Choudhary (shooting)
Team of the Year 2019
Vidarbha cricket team
- Table Tennis Federation of India will be hosting the 21st Commonwealth Table Tennis Championship 2019 in Cuttack, Odisha.
- Gaganjeet Bhullar (Golfer) secured 13th position in the ‘Estrella Damm N.A. Andalucia Masters’ 2019 hosted by Sergio Garcia Foundation (golf promoting agency).
- South African Christiaan Bezuidenhout won his first European Tour title in this championship.
- 34th edition of YAI Multi-Class (Ranking) Sailing Championship (popularly known as Hyderabad Sailing Week) started in Telangana.
- It is held every year in twin cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad at Hussain Sagar Lake.
- Sung Hyun Park (from Korea) won the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship (a part of LPGA Tour) held in Rogers, USA.
- 46th edition of Copa América 2019 (international men’s football championship organized by South America’s football body CONMEBOL) is held in Brazil.
- Pari Singh (Tennis) is the only Indian who got selected in the ITF Asian under-14 tennis team for European Tour.
- Juri Vips won the Ring bull Circuit race (of FIA Formula 3 Championship) held in Austria.
- NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) has discovered the tiniest planet called L 98-59b (roughly around 80% of Earth’s size).
- Two other planets L 98-59c and L 98-59d have also been discovered orbiting around the L 98-59 star.
- Leg-Spinner (in cricket) Rakesh Shukla passed away.
- Jaya Arunachalam- the president of the National Union of Working Women in Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh, passed away.
- She was the first South Asian woman to be elected in Governing Council of Society for International Development, Rome.
- Smriti Zubin Irani (Minister of Textiles and Minister of Women and Child Development) launched the book ‘Whispers of Time’ written by Krishna Saksena in Delhi.
- 4th National Climate Assessment 2019 (a report assessing the climate changes in USA) shows unprecedented melting of snow in Antarctica in 2018.
- Melted sea ice (from Antarctica) was average 9 million square miles in 2014 and by 2017, it was at 4.1 million sq. miles (reduction in about 770,000 sq. miles).