May 8, 2018

WORD OF THE DAY

 

FALLEN ANGEL

An investment-grade bond whose rating has taken a beating due to the weakening financial condition of the issuer. The term is also used to describe a stock that has fallen substantially from an all time-high.

Courtesy : Mint

 

NATIONAL NEWS

  1. The ‘First Apex Conference for the CEOs of Smart Cities‘ was held in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh
    • The Smart Cities Mission (SCM), has been one of the most transformational urban missions since its launch in June 2015
    • It is organized for offering a platform for cross learning and knowledge sharing among the Smart City CEOs.

 

  1. The National Small Industries Corporation Limited (NSIC) signed an MoU with Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) for the year 2018-19.
    • The corporation projects to increase its total business by 30% from Rs. 22,258 crore in the year 2017-18 to Rs. 27,000 crore in the year 2018-19.

 

  1. The third edition of the United Nations Peacekeeping Course for African Partners (UNPCAP) was inaugurated in New Delhi.
    • The course is being conducted by the Centre for United Nations Peacekeeping in India (CUNPK) in partnership with the United States.

 

  1. India’s total export of finished steel increased by 16.7% to 9.6 million tonnes, in 2017-18. The country exported 8.2 million tonnes finished steel during 2016-17 fiscal, according to the Joint Plant Committee report.
    • Joint Plant Committee is the only institution which collects data on the Indian iron and steel industry.

 

  1. Delhi Jal Board (DJB) approved its Rs 5137-crore annual budget, focusing on expansion of sewage and water supply networks in the uncovered areas.
    • Rs 2350 crore is for plan and Rs 2787.6 crore is for non-plan expenditures for 2018-19

 

  1. 19th edition of TOONZ Animation Masters Summit was held in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala on 4th and 5th May, 2018.
    • V G Samant, pioneer of Indian animation and creator was honoured with the ‘Legend of Animation’ award for his contributions to the animation industry.
  1. Madhya Pradesh State Government launched India’s first Integrated Control and Command Centre (ICCC) for all seven smart cities of the state in Bhopal.
    • The ICCC will enable State authorities to monitor the status of various smart civic amenities in real-time through the sensors connected to it.
    • ICCC is a cloud-based Universal Internet of Things (UIoT) platform, developed by Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE).
    • Cities of Madhya Pradesh that have been selected under Smart Cities Mission are Bhopal, Indore, Ujjain, Gwalior, Jabalpur, Satna, and Sagar.
  1. Maharashtra State Cabinet decided to provide Rs 3 subsidy for every litre of milk to the co-operative and private producers to manufacture milk powder.
    • This decision is aimed at encouraging production of milk powder from surplus milk.
  1. The first edition of 2018 Bi-annual Naval Commander’s Conference is held in New Delhi.
  1. Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu launched the official ‘NCBN’ (Nara Chandrababu Naidu) App in the Collector’s conference held at Amaravati.
  • To implement effective Governance
  • The app will notify people in real-time with news updates. It will be a direct platform for the common people to interact with the government.

 

  1. ‘Star Khel Mahakumbh’ in Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh
    • The aim of the event is to attract participation from at least 100000 youngsters from Anurag Thakur’s Hamirpur constituency.
  1. India has slipped to the 6th position globally in the business optimism index for the first quarter of 2018, as per Grant Thornton’s quarterly global business survey

Biz Optimism Index – Top 5:

1Austria
2Finland
3Indonesia
4Netherlands
5US

 

  1. Ministry of Women and Child Development (WCD) in its Programme Approval Board (PAB) meeting has approved setting up additional 100 One Stop Centres (OSCs) for women affected by violence.
    • Services such as police assistance, medical aid, psycho-social counselling, legal aid and counselling, temporary stay for 5 days etc. under one roof.
    • These OSCs will be set up in Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Mizoram, Nagaland, Odisha, Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh.
  1. The NITI Aayog has signed Statement of Intent (SoI) with search engine giant Google to work together to foster growth for India’s nascent artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) ecosystem.

 

  1. The PMI has picked up both in manufacturing and in services.
    • The Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) is an indicator of the economic health of the manufacturing sector.
    • The PMI is based on five major indicators: new orders, inventory levels, production, supplier deliveries and the employment environment.

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INTERNATIONAL NEWS

 

  1. New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman Resigns
  2. The 71st Cannes Festival is held in Cannes, France.
  3. Alphabet Inc’s Google launched Android Things (codenamed Brillo), a variant (or spinoff) of Android operating system for Internet of Things (IoT) devices such as smart home appliances and other smart machines.
    • Its goal is to enable IoT machines developers to be built faster, cheaper and more secure.
  1. Microsoft has launched a $25 million initiative to use Artificial Intelligence (AI) to build better technology for people with disabilities.

 

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BANKING AND ECONOMY

 

  1. US has added India to its currency watch list
  • Why – India meets two out of three criteria for inclusion in the watch list
  • Trade surplus should be below $20 billion – India has $23 billion trade surplus with US in the year 2017.
  • Net Purchase of Foreign currency should be 2% of GDP – India’s net purchase of foreign currency was 2.2% of GDP
  • Current Account surplus of at least 3% of GDP – India’s current account is in deficit at 2.4% of GDP
  • The Report prepared by US highlights the currency practices adopted by major trading partners of US. Once a country is added to the monitoring list, it will remain on it for at least two consecutive reports.
  • China, Germany, Japan, Korea and Switzerland  are also on the watch list.
  • Impact on India – Though India has made it to the watch list, but as the current account deficit is high, the possibility of being termed as manipulator is low.
  • Impact on Rupee – Currently there would not be any impact on the rupee as RBI may become more cautious about intervening in the market.
  • Also, rupee is in depreciating mode, thus there is no requirement for intervening. So far in 2018, the rupee has weakened 2.47%
  • Why US Treasury Department prepares such list? –
  • In 2017, rupee gained 6.3% due to FDI and portfolio investment and forex reserves rose to all time high of nearly $425 billion. This led to intervention by the RBI to sterilise dollar flows to curb undue volatility.
  • Learning from the Taper Tantrums, RBI needs to be mindful of the increased forex reserves
  • Taper Tantrums – The pumping of money in the economy by the RBI will lead to inflation in the long run. But this process of quantitative easing could not be stopped immediately as it will increase the interest rate. Thus, curtailing the quantitative easing gradually is known as Tapering.
  • This is artificially managing the value of currency which can lead to trade advantage i.e. keeping the exchange rate low and thus increasing the exports.
  • Thus to avoid the countries to take undue advantage, US has decided to normalize the monetary policy.

 

  1. 12 Accounts referred by RBI for resolution under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC)

 

BankCompanyClaims (Rs Crore)
SBIMonnet Ispat & Energy Ltd10,412
Alok Industries Ltd29,912
Jyoti Structures Ltd8,078
Bhushan Steel Ltd55,989
ElectroSteels Ltd13,302
SBI/ Standard Chartered BankEssar Steels Ltd50,778
Corporation BankAmtek Auto Ltd12,586
IDBILanco Infratech Ltd51,505
Jaypee Infratech Ltd13,332
PNBBhushan Power & Steel Ltd48,524
ICICI BankABG Shipyard Ltd18,539
Union Bank of IndiaERA Infra Engineering LtdNA

 

  1. BlackRock Inc., the world’s largest asset manager will sell its 40% stake in DSP BlackRock Investment Managers Pvt. Ltd. to joint venture partner DSP Group.
    • BlackRock is the latest in a long list of international players who have exited the Indian MF market over the last decade; the other names on the list include
    • Nomura, which sold its stake to LIC;
    • Standard Chartered, which sold its stake to IDFC;
    • Fidelity, which sold its stake to L&T;
    • JP Morgan which sold its stake to Edelweiss.

APPOINTMENTS

 

  1. Russian President Vladimir Putin has nominated Dmitry Medvedev again to be Russian prime minister in his new term.
  2. Nikol Pashinyan was elected as new prime minister of Armenia
  3. Google has appointed Nitin Bawankule as the Country head for Google Cloud India.
  4. Tim Paine and Aaron Finch have been appointed as Australia’s new ODI and T20 captains respectively.

IMPORTANT DAYS

 

  1. May 8 is celebrated globally as the World Red Cross Day.
    • It marks the birth anniversary of Henry Dunant, founder of the Red Cross and International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).
    • Also known as Red Crescent Day
  1. On 5th May 2018, World Cartoonist’s Day was observed all over the world.
    • On 5th May 1895, the first colour cartoon “The Yellow Kid” that was created by Richard F Outcault was published.

 

  1. On 8th and 9th May 2018, Time of Remembrance and Reconciliation for Those Who Lost Their Lives during the Second World War is observed.

 

  1. March 8 – International Women’s Day
    • Campaign Theme – #Press for Progress
    • UN Theme – “Time is Now: Rural and urban activists transforming women’s lives”.

MISCELLANEOUS

  1. Scientists at Central Sheep and Wool Research Institute (CSWRI), Avikanagar, Rajasthan have come up with new laparascope-assisted insemination technique for sheep breeding.
    • It is minor invasive laparascopic technique involves passing rigid fibre-optic laparoscope into abdomen through small incision.
    • Using it, reproductive tract of sheep is located through camera and frozen semen is deposited into uterus.