Current Affairs for August 8, 2019

INTERNATIONAL NEWS

BANKING AND ECONOMY

APPOINTMENTS

AWARDS

SPORTS

MISCELLANEOUS

CURRENT AFFAIRS VIDEO

NATIONAL NEWS

  1. Ministry of Environment has unveiled the draft Environmental and Social Management Framework (ESMF) which is part of a World Bank-funded project.
  • Aim: – To effectively manage the infrastructure plans on the coastal zones and to enhance the coast resource efficiency and resilience.
  • Till now, only 3 coastal States ­– Gujarat, Odisha and West Bengal – have prepared Integrated Coastal Zone Management Plans with support from the World Bank.

 

  1. 3rd edition of ScooNews Global Educators Fest (SGEF) – India’s largest education brainstorming event will be hosted by Udaipur, Rajasthan.
  • Theme: – ‘Education for Sustainability: Moving on from conformity to creativity’.

  1. Tamil Nadu (Tirunelveli district) has got the ‘Geographical Indication’ tag for producing Pathamadai Silk Mat.

4. IIT- Guwahati (research team led by Parameswar K Iyer and Siddhartha S Ghosh) has developed a low-cost, hand-held device to detect bacteria without indulging in time consuming cell culture and microbiological assays.

  • The study has been published in the Journal of Materials Chemistry of Royal Society of Chemistry.
  • The device has an Organic Field Effect Transistor (OFET) which is an electronic device that works on the principle that a bacteria has electric charges on its surface, which is registered and read by OFET.

INTERNATIONAL NEWS

  1. UK-based University of Leeds, has created the world’s thinnest gold named as “nanoseaweed” which is 0.47 nanometres – almost 1 million times thinner than finger nail of human.
  • The study has been published in the journal Advanced Science.

  1. USA has added $4.4 billion import duty on wooden Chinese cabinets.
  • US’s commerce department would collect cash deposits from importers of the wooden cabinets and vanities from China, based on 229% subsidy rates.

BANKING AND ECONOMY

  1. RBI has reduced the repo rate by 35 basis points (bps) to 5.4% to counter slow growth in its third bi-monthly monetary policy. Total Rate cut till now is 110 bps.

Other Important Highlights of MPC-Policy 

Reverse repo rate is revised to 5.15%.

GDP growth forecast cut to 6.9% from 7% for 2019-20. Reason: – receding growth of automobile sector and consumer demand.

Monetary Policy stance remain same: – Accommodative.

One-year Marginal Cost of funds based Lending Rates (MCLR) declined to 8.25% per annum, from 8.40% annum.

The cap on a bank’s exposure to a single NBFC has been increased to 20% of its tier-I capital from 15% now.

RBI has decided to give ‘priority sector’ tag for banks’ lending to NBFCs, for on-lending to farm, SMEs and housing sector.

Banks have been allowed to lend to the NBFCs for on-lending to the agriculture sector up to ₹10 lakh, up to ₹20 lakh to SMEs, and for housing, up to ₹20 lakh per borrower.

The risk weight on bank’s consumer loans has been reduced to 100% from 125%.

According to Ratings agency ICRA, a 25% point reduction in risk weight may also reduce the capital requirements of banks by ₹12,500 crore and add 14 bps to their capital ratios.

NEFT system has been made available for 24x7 from December.

Currently, NEFT is available for 8 am to 7 pm.

Medium-term target for consumer price index (CPI) inflation is 4% within a band of +/- 2 percent.

SBI has immediately cut its MCLR by 15 bps to 8.25% per annum from 8.40% to pass on the benefit of rate cut onto consumers.

 

  1. Wipro has received a 5-year ‘strategic, IT and business transformation contract’ from ADM Aeroports de Montreal, which operates YUL Montreal-Trudeau International Airport.
  • Purpose: – For integration of the artificial intelligence platform HOLMES (Wipro) and other services into the airport.

 

  1. PMS Bazaar has partnered with EbixCash Financial Technologies (ECFT) to provide India’s first all-in-one “PMS & AIF tracking portal” for investors.
  • Function: – The portal will enable investors to evaluate the entire gamut of investments easily.
  • PMS = Portfolio Management Services and AIF = Alternative Investment Funds.

  1. National Council of Applied Economic Research (NCAER) has estimated India’s GDP growth to be at 6.2% in FY 2019-20, declined from 6.8% in 2018-19.
  • Annual Gross Value Added (GVA) at basic prices will grow at 6% for 2019-20 on a year-on-year (y-o-y) basis (agriculture GVA at 0%, industry GVA at 6.1%, and services GVA at 6.9% – all in real terms).
  • Nominal GDP (at market prices) will grow at 6%.
  • Wholesale Price Index (WPI) inflation will be at 2.6% for FY20.
  • Current account deficit will be 0.6% and central fiscal deficit will be 3.5% of GDP in FY20.

 

  1. LIC has issued Jeevan Amar insurance plan which assures a minimum sum of Rs 25 lakh to policy holders with no maximum limit.

6. RBI has allowed billers from all categories (except prepaid recharges) to participate in Bharat Bill Payment System (BBPS) on a voluntary basis.

  • Currently, BBPS (launched in 2013 by National Payment Corporation of India) covers billers in 5 segments including DTH, electricity, gas, telecom, and water bills.
  • BBPS is an inter-operable platform for repetitive bill payments.
  • RBI has also allowed “on-tap authorisation” of retail payment systems to companies looking to function as Bharat Bill Payment Operating Unit (BBPOU), Trade Receivables Discounting System (TReDS), White Label ATMs.

 

  1. Due to slowdown in automobile sector, 40,000- 50,000 workers have been retrenched (lost their jobs) in Gurugram-Manesar (India’s biggest automotive hub districts of Haryana.

 

  1. City gas distribution companies – Indraprastha Gas Ltd. (Delhi), Mahanagar Gas Ltd. (Mumbai), Gujarat Gas Ltd.– will set up 340 CNG pump stations, in their respective areas, to make CNG available to the citizens.
  • Central Government plans to make CNG available to 70% of the citizens.

 

  1. Reliance has partnered with Tiffany & Co. (an American luxury jewellery) to open value chain stores of Tiffany in India (first in Delhi and Mumbai).

10. SEBI has enhanced the ‘disclosure norms’ on encumbered shares along with the already mandated disclosures on encumbrance of shares, invocation of encumbrance and release of the encumbrance shares.

  • Promoters of every listed company need to mention detailed reasons for encumbrance, if the combined encumbrance by the promoter along with persons acting in concert (PACs) with him exceeds 50% of their shareholding in the company or 20% of the total share capital of the company.
  • Stock exchanges also need to separately disclose the list of such companies along with details of encumbrance on their websites.
  • Encumbrance of Shares mean pledging shares of the company to take loan. The shares act as security against the loan.

 

  1. An analysis of the Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS) 2017-18 by Ishan Anand (of Ambedkar University) and Anjana Thampi (of IFMR LEAD) mentioned that 33% of the skilled youth (15-29 years) was unemployed in 2017-18.
  • 3/5th of the skilled women were out of the labour force. (Skill refers to ‘industry-relevant’ formal vocational training).

 

APPOINTMENTS

  1. Valentina Sampaio has become the first transgender model of the Victoria’s Secret.
  • Victoria’s Secret is an American designer, manufacturer, and marketer of women’s lingerie, womenswear, and beauty products.

 

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AWARDS

  1. Rhiannon Giddens (singer and musician) and late Frank Johnson (musician) will be awarded with the first ‘Legacy of Americana Award 2019’.
  • Americana Music Association and National Museum of African American Music have partnered to establish the inaugural Legacy of Americana Award in Music.

  1. Shah Rukh Khan will be awarded with ‘Excellence in Cinema’ award at the 10th edition of Indian Film Festival of Melbourne, Australia.
  • Theme of the Festival: – Courage.

 

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SPORTS

  1. Serena Williams (US tennis player) topped Forbes list of the highest paid sports women for the fourth consecutive year.
  • She earned $29.2 million in one year ending June 1.
  • Naomi Osaka (Japanese) is 2nd in the list with $24.3 million.
  • From India, PV Sindhu is at 13th position on a tie with Madison Keys with $5.5 million.

  1. Surya Shekhar Ganguly has won the Belt and Road China Hunan International tournament 2019 held in Hunan Province of China.

 

  1. Diego Forlan (Uruguay footballer) has announced retirement.

 

  1. R. Praggnanandhaa (aged 13) has finished 3rd in the Abu Dhabi International blitz Chess tournament 2019.

 

  1. Washington Open (Citi Open) 2019 Tennis tournament for men and women was organized by ATP and WTA repectively.
  • Men’s Singles: – Nick Kyrgios (Australia)
  • Women’s Singles: – Jessica Pegula (America)

 

  1. For the first time, 10th edition of Asia Swimming Federation (AASF) Asian Age Group Championships 2019 will be hosted by Bangalore, Karnataka.
  • It will be organized by Swimming Federation of India (SFI) and it has approved by FINA (International Swimming Federation) as a qualifier event for 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

 

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MISCELLANEOUS

  1. Fossils of a giant sized parrot (almost 1 meter tall and weigh 7 kg), which is named as Heracles Inexpectatus, have been found in near St. Bathans, New Zealand.
  • The study was published in the Biology Letters.
  • The fossils were first discovered in 2008.

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