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Important Current Affairs 2nd May 2019

INTERNATIONAL:

Japan got its new emperor Naruhito.

• The new emperor, Naruhito (59-year-old),  on 1st May received the sacred imperial regalia that represents his rightful succession to the world’s oldest monarchy, Tokyo, Japan. Emperor Akihito of Japan formally stepped down on 30th April 2019 as his son Naruhito prepared to take the Chrysanthemum Throne and usher in a new imperial era.

Pakistan named its retaliatory action against India on February 27 as Operation Swift Retort.

• Pakistan Air Force announced that they will observe its retaliatory action against India against the Balakot strike of Indian Air Force as ‘Operation Swift Retort’.

The Indian air strikes at Balakot terror camp on February 26 was response of Pakistan based Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) attack by a suicide bomber in Pulwama that killed 40 CRPF jawans.

In response to Indian attack, Pakistan Air Force (PAF) retaliated and captured IAF Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman who was released by Pakistan on March 1.

AGREEMENT AND  MOU's:

Varuna 19.1, Indo French joint naval exercise, began in Goa.

• Varuna 19.1 is the first part of the Indo-French joint naval exercise. It is being held off the Goa coast from 1st to 10th May 2019.

The exercise will see the participation of the French Navy's aircraft carrier FNS Charles de Gaulle, two destroyers, FNS Forbin and FNS Provence, the frigate FNS Latouche-Treville, the tanker FNS Marne and a nuclear submarine. From the Indian side, the aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya, destroyer INS Mumbai, the Teg-class frigate, INS Tarkash, the Shishumar- class submarine, INS Shankul, and the Deepak- class fleet tanker, INS Deepak, are taking part in the exercise.

BANKS AND ECONOMICS:

Bandhan Bank to cut promoter holding to 40% through offer-for-sale route.

• Bandhan Bank will reduce its promoter holding to the mandated level of 40% through the offer-for-sale (OFS) route and is not looking at any more acquisitions at the moment, said managing director and CEO Chandra Shekhar Ghosh.

• Speaking to reporters after announcing the bank’s Q4 FY19 results, Ghosh said, “We cannot go for any further acquisition and the option is to have an offer for sale."

APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATIONS:

Viacom18 appoints Gourav Rakshit as Viacom18 Digital Ventures COO.

•  Film, television and digital content conglomerate Viacom18 Media Pvt Ltd on Wednesday announced the appointment of Gourav Rakshit as chief operating officer for its digital arm, Viacom18 Digital Ventures. Rakshit will join the organisation in May and report to Sudhanshu Vats, Group CEO and managing director, Viacom18.

• An alumnus of the University of Rochester and IIM Ahmadabad, Rakshit is currently serving as president and chief executive officer of People Group that owns and operates online wedding service Shaadi.com.

DAYS:

WORLD PASSWORD DAY – FIRST THURSDAY IN MAY.

• The Registrar of National Day Calendar has designated the first Thursday of May of each year as World Password Day.

• World Password Day is a celebration to promote better password habits. Passwords are critical gatekeepers to our digital identities, allowing us to access online shopping, dating, banking, social media, private work and life communications.

SPORTS:

Kumar Sangakkara named as first non-British President of MCC.

• Former Sri Lanka captain Kumar Sangakkara appointed as the first non-British president of the Marylebone Cricket Club.

• Sangakkara will be the first overseas MCC president in the organization's 233-year history.

• The wicketkeeper-batsman, whose nomination was announced by current president Anthony Wreford will begin his one-year tenure in October.

He is an honorary life member of MCC

• He owns Lord's and acts as the guardian of the laws of the game, was founded in 1787 and lists 168 president.

Apurvi Chandela attains world number one spot in women's 10 m air rifle event.

• Indian shooting ace Apurvi Chandela attained the world number one position in the women's 10 metres air rifle event.

• Anjum Moudgil attained number two after consistent performances in recent years.

The rifle ace from Jaipur is among the five Indian shooters to have already secured 2020 Olympics quotas for the country.

• Moudgil attained the world number two rank in 10 metres Air Rifle after her mixed team gold at the ISSF World Cup in Beijing.

• Manu Bhaker is the world number 10 in 25 metres pistol women category.

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Important Current Affairs of 1st May

NATIONAL:

Reliance Jio to launch 'Super App' with 100 services: Report.

• Reliance Jio is reportedly aiming to launch a ‘Super App’ that will provide over 100 services in one platform. The report said the app will let users order goods and services on it and pay bills using in-app payment services. Reports added that launching the app will put Reliance in a position to replicate China's WeChat in India.

OYO buys 51% stake in Europe's @Leisure for ₹1,400 crore.

• Indian hotel startup OYO has agreed to buy a 51% stake in European vacation rental group @Leisure from German media company Axel Springer for ₹1,400 crore. @Leisure manages holiday homes, holiday parks and holiday apartments across Europe and has a total inventory of more than 3 lakh rooms. OYO now has presence in more than 800 cities across 24 countries.

Flipkart in talks to buy grocery chain Namdhari's Fresh: Reports.

• Walmart-owned e-commerce giant Flipkart is in talks to buy Bengaluru-based grocery chain Namdhari's Fresh, as per reports. While Walmart is said to have held talks with Namdhari's, the acquisition will be made through Flipkart, reports said. Namdhari's operates over 30 stores in Bengaluru, and the acquisition will help Flipkart expand its food and grocery segment, reports added.

L&T buys Coffee Day & its Founder's stake in Mindtree for ₹3,210 cr.

• Larsen & Toubro (L&T) has purchased a 20% stake in Bengaluru-based IT services firm Mindtree from Coffee Day and its Founder VG Siddhartha for about ₹3,210 crore. The infrastructure major is aiming to acquire an up to 66% stake in Mindtree for ₹10,730 crore. L&T's hostile bid to acquire controlling stake in Mindtree is the first in India's IT industry.

Bengaluru logistics startup BlackBuck raises ₹1,043 crore.

Bengaluru-based logistics startup BlackBuck has raised about ₹1,043 crore in Series D funding round led by Goldman Sachs Investment Partners and Accel. Sequoia Capital, B Capital, among others also participated in the round which reportedly values the startup at just under $1 billion. BlackBuck was founded in 2015 by IIT-Kharagpur alumni Rajesh Yabaji, Chanakya Hridaya and Ramasubramanian B.

April GST collections at ₹1.13 lakh crore, highest since rollout.

• The Goods and Services Tax (GST) collection in April touched ₹1.13 lakh crore, the highest since the nationwide levy was rolled out in July 2017. The revenue in April is 16% higher than the monthly average GST revenue of ₹98,114 crore in 2018-19. This is the fifth time the collections crossed ₹1 lakh crore since GST rollout.

INTERNATIONAL:

Pentagon to send 320 more troops to US-Mexico border.

• The US Defence Department announced that it would deploy around 320 additional troops to the southern border with Mexico to support immigration officials.

The troops, set to deploy until the end of September, will add to around 2,900 active duty military and 2,000 National Guard members currently posted to the border.

The Pentagon spokesman said, the troops would assist with transporting migrants, monitoring the welfare of migrants in custody and providing heating and meals.

Airtel Africa reports $83 million profit in March quarter.

• Airtel Africa, a subsidiary of Bharti Airtel, on Tuesday reported a profit of $83 million for the March quarter, as against a loss of $49 million a year earlier. The company's revenue grew 6% to $781 million. Qatar Investment Authority invested $200 million in the company during the quarter, taking funds raised as pre-IPO private placement to $1.45 billion.

Jaish chief Masood Azhar designated as global terrorist by UN.

• The designation of Azhar as a terrorist by the UNSC will lead to embargos on his travel and his ability to find finance for his group

• India’s first attempt to get Azhar listed came in 2009, seven years after his JeM group was designated a terrorist outfit by the UN

APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATIONS:

Air Marshal RKS Bhadauria takes over as Vice Chief of Air Staff.

• Air Marshal Rakesh Kumar Singh Bhadauria took over as Vice Chief of the Air Staff on Wednesday, succeeding Air Marshal Anil Khosla. Bhadauria has over 4,250 hours of experience on 26 types of fighters and transport aircraft. He was reportedly the Chairman of India's negotiating team for the Rafale deal with France.

Eric Schmidt leaves Google board, after 18 years.

• Eric Schmidt will not seek re-election to the board when his term expires in June, but will continue to advise on technical matters

• Schmidt's net worth is estimated to be around $14 billion by Forbes

DAYS:

May 1: International workers day.

• International Worker's Day also known as Labour Day and May Day, is observed on 1st May every year, to promote and encourage the international labour associations.

• The theme of Labour Day 2019 is ‘Uniting Workers for Social and Economic Advancement’.

Labour Day provides the Labours their right to work for only 8 hours a day.

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Important Current Affairs 30th April 2019

NATIONAL:

MakeMyTrip parent acquires majority stake in Quest2Travel.

• MakeMyTrip Ltd, which owns and operates MakeMyTrip, Goibibo and redBus, has acquired a majority stake in web-based corporate travel management company 'Quest2Travel'. Founded in 2000, Mumbai-based Quest2Travel counts Tata Motors among its customers. MakeMyTrip Group CEO Deep Kalra said, "With this investment we are making a decisive foray into providing travel solutions for corporate customers".

India beats China as Asia's top fintech funding hub in Q1: Report.

• India was the top Asian market for VC-backed fintech funding in Q1 of 2019 with $286 million in funding, beating China which recorded $192 million, as per CB Insights. Both countries recorded 29 deals, a decrease for China which recorded 76 deals three quarters ago. The report suggested tightened regulation around online lending in China may have caused the drop.

Kolkata's speech recognition platform Mihup raises ₹12.5 cr.

• Kolkata-based AI-enabled speech recognition platform for vernacular languages, Mihup, has raised ₹12.5 crore in Series A funding round from Accel Partners and Ideaspring Capital. In 2016, Mihup had secured over ₹45 crore seed funding from Accel Partners. Founded by Biplab Chakraborty, Sandipan Chattopadhyay, Sandipan Mandal, and Tapan Barman, Mihup offers services in Hindi, English, and Bengali.

NTPC to raise ₹3,000 crore via bonds on Friday.

• The proceeds will be utilised to meet capital expenditure requirements, working capital needs, existing loans refinancing and other general corporate requirements

• The bonds are proposed to be listed on both the National Stock Exchange and the BSE

Zomato to launch 20 Hyperpure warehouses in 18 cities by next year.

• For now, Zomato will scale the warehouses in the top metros before moving to smaller cities

• Zomato opened its second Hyperpure warehouse on Monday in New Delhi.

INTERNATIONAL:

Samsung posts 60% drop in profit, says S10 logged 'solid sales'.

• Samsung registered a 60% drop in Q1 profit compared to last year, making about $5.3 billion profit from January-March 2019. The South Korean company said the earnings were weighed down by memory chips and displays, although the new Galaxy S10 smartphone logged solid sales. Samsung added its Galaxy Fold launch could be delayed to the "second half of the year".

BANKS AND ECONOMICS:

Amazon targets $5 billion e-commerce exports from India by 2023.

• The programme started with just few hundred sellers in 2015 and has now crossed $1-billion export mark from India with 50,000 exporters

• Amazon in second edition of its annual 'Export Digest' said there has been a growth of 56% in the number of global sellers from India in 2018.

R-Cap looks to raise ₹10,000 cr through stake sale to pare debt.

• Company plans to divest stakes in NBFC, media and insurance units amid a string of rating downgrades

• The Anil Ambani group firm plans to sell up to a 51% stake each in its wholly owned non-banking financial companies.

APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATIONS:

President Sirisena appointed General S.H.S Kottegoda as the Defence Secretary.

• President Maithripala Sirisena on 29th April appointed General S.H.S Kottegoda, a former Army commander, to the post of Defence Secretary. He replaces Hemasiri Fernando who resigned from the post after the Easter blasts that killed over 250 people.

• President Sirisena also named Deputy Inspector-General Chandana Wickramaratne as the acting policechief as the incumbent Pujith Jayasundara is currently on compulsory leave. President Sirisena squarely blamed the Defence Secretary and the IGP for failing to pass on the information to him.

• As per Sri Lankan law, the Inspector General of Police (IGP) can be removed from the post only with a parliamentary resolution backed by a majority and based on a subsequent inquiry by a committee.

DAYS:

Nation observes Ayushman Bharat Diwas on 30th April.

• As part of Gram Swaraj Abhiyan, Ayushman Bharat Diwas is celebrated across the country on April 30. For the first time, the day was observed on 30th April 2018. During the event, information regarding Ayushman Bharat Scheme was provided to people during health camps organised in rural areas.

On this day, gram sabhas were organized in different parts of the country to create awareness about the National Health Protection Mission and verify and update details in the Socio-Economic and Caste Census database.

AWARDS:

Alfred Brownell was awarded the Goldman Environmental Prize.

• Alfred Brownell, an environmental lawyer, and activist was awarded the Goldman Environmental Prize. He was awarded for exposing alleged abuse by the palm oil company Golden Veroleum Liberia and helping to prevent it from converting about 50 km2 of forest that is home to elephants, pygmy hippopotamuses, and chimpanzees.

• The company had been given a green light in 2010 by the government to expand in the country and was poised to turn more than 2,000 km2 of the lush forest into palm oil plantations. He won the Goldman prize along with five others for grassroots environmental activism.

Other Awardees:

• Linda Garcia of Vancouver, Washington, who rallied local communities to successfully prevent the construction of North America’s largest oil terminal.

• Ana Colovic Lesoska of North Macedonia, whose seven-year campaign helped stop hydroelectric projects from being built in the country’s largest national park.

• Bayarjargal Agvaantseren of Mongolia, who led the fight to create the Tost Tosonbumba Nature Reserve.

• Jacqueline Evans of the Cook Islands, whose work led to the conservation and sustainable management of all of the Cook Islands’ ocean territory and creation of 15 marine protected areas.

• Alberto Curamil of Chile, a jailed indigenous activist who had protested several hydroelectric projects in the country.

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Important Current Affairs of 29th April

National :

Cyclone Fani expected to intensify into very severe cyclonic storm

•  Cyclone Fani is expected to intensify into a very severe cyclonic storm and will continue to move North West and change its path to North East.

•  According to the MeT department, Cyclone Fani’s landfall over Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh is ruled out.

•  However, the possibility of landfall in Odisha is under continuous watch.

•  Prime Minister Narendra Modi directed officials to take preventive measures to deal with Cyclone Fani.

•  The National Disaster Response Force and Indian Coast Guard have been put on high and placed at the disposal of State Government Authorities.

Air India flights delayed due to software shutdown

•  Around 135 flights of Air India were delayed on April 28, 2019 due to the ripple effect of the shutdown of its software.

•  These flights were delayed by an average of 197 minutes.

•  The services of Air India flights normalised by April 29, 2019.

•  Thousands of passengers had a harrowing time at airports across the world.

3,000-kg garbage collected from Mt. Everest

•  A total of 3,000 kg of solid waste has been collected from Mt. Everest since the launch of an ambitious clean-up campaign in Nepal on April 14, 2019.

•  The campaign is aimed at bringing back tonnes of trash from the world’s highest peak Mt. Everest.

•  The ‘Everest Cleaning Campaign’, led by Solukhumbu district’s Khumbu Pasanglhamu Rural Municipality, aims to collect nearly 10000 kgs of garbage from Mt. Everest.

•  Of the 3,000 kg garbage collected, 2000 kg was sent to Okhaldhunga while the remaining 1000 kg were brought to Kathmandu using Nepali Army helicopters for disposal.

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS:

2019 Global Food Policy report: Rural revitalisation key to eco growth

On 27th April 2019, according to the 2019 Global Food Policy Report (GFPR), rural areas continue to be in a state of crisis and threatening to slow the progress toward the Sustainable Development Goals, global climate targets, and improved food and nutrition security due to hunger, malnutrition, poverty, environmental degradation.

Key points:

i. The report was prepared by the Washington DC-based International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).

ii. Rural transformation and revitalization have been pre-eminent goal of India’s development efforts since independence, according to the report.

iii. It also point out about the changing consumption patterns due to urbanization, increasing income, growing integration of food supply chains and food systems in India which offer new opportunities for entrepreneurship and employment in rural areas.

BANKING & FINANCE:

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has proposed strict rules on opening and running of current accounts of corporate borrowers in order to tackle fund diversion.

According to a report by The Economic Times, India’s Central Bank, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) would tighten rules on opening and operating current accounts of corporate borrowers to prevent the diversion of funds.

RBI had notified that the banks with collection accounts will have to transfer funds to the current account and  the current accounts could be opened only with the lead bank of a lending association.

Key points:

i. The rules would be applicable to corporates who have borrowed and used credit facilities of more than Rs 50 crore from the banking system.

ii. Customers using credit facility of Rs 5 to Rs 50 crore can also open current accounts with any bank, even if it is not the consortium’s leading bank (which is not a consortium leader). But only collection accounts can be run with non-lending banks.

iii. The debits into accounts will be restricted to transfers to the current account with the lead bank.

iv. The Reserve Bank of India notified that the existing current accounts with banks not leading a consortium must be converted into collection accounts. In case they are not converted, the accounts are closed within a 3-month notice period.

AWARDS & RECOGNITION:

Bajrang Punia became First Indian Wrestler to fight at New York’s Iconic Madison Square Garden

On 27th April 2019, 25 years old Indian wrestler Bajrang Punia became the first Indian wrestler to fight at New York’s iconic Madison Square Garden.

Bajrang PuniaKey Points:

i. He won the gold medal at the 65kg men’s freestyle wrestling at the recent Asian Championships.

ii. He is the first Indian wrestler to be invited by the American governing body and will take part in the “Grapple at the Garden — Beat the Streets” fight night, which will be held on 6th May 2019.

iii. He also won eight gold medals from his previous nine international tournaments including last year’s Commonwealth and Asian Games and presently holds World No.1 title in the 65-kg weight category.

GIA confers Gaganjeet Bhullar for ‘Outstanding Achievement as a player 2019’

On 26th April 2019, Indian Professional Golfer, Gaganjeet Bhullar has been awarded outstanding achievement as a player award at the 4th Edition of the annual India Golf Industry Association (GIA) award for the year 2019 at the Delhi Golf Club.The GIA awards were held along with 8th edition of South Asia’s largest trade show, India Golf & Turf Expo (IGTE).31 year old Bhullar was awarded Arjuna Award in 2013.

Gaganjeet BhullarKey Points:

i. Bhullar became the youngest golfer on the Asian Tour to achieve nine career victories on tour.He had won Fiji international in 2018.

ii. VijayDivech and former Arjuna Awardee NonitaLalQureshi  received for their contribution to Golf coaching.

iii. Naya Raipur Development Authority received ‘First 18 Holes International Standard Golf Course Development by a Smart City in India’ .

iv. Best New Nine-Hole Golf course’ awards, was given to Eco Park, Kolkata.

v. The Royal Calcutta Golf Club won ‘Best Member Engagement Programme’ award for its successful Royal Premier Golf League.

vi. Boulder Hills,Hyderabad won Best Restoration of a golf course award.

About India Golf & turf Expo (IGE):

This platform brings together experts from around the world and India’s golfing fraternity of India to share knowledge, experiences and chart the course for the future of golf in the country.

About Indian Golf Industry Association:

♦ President  :  Ms. Deepali Shah Gandhi

♦ Registered under : Society Act of India

Merger and Acquisition:

NCLT approved merger of IndusInd Bank and BFIL

•  The National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) approved the merger of IndusInd Bank with Bharat Financial Inclusion (BFIL).

•  The merger will be completed within 2-4 weeks.

•  Post-merger, the BFIL will become a subsidiary of the IndusInd Bank.

•  Bharat Financial Inclusion Limited is a Non-Banking Finance Company, licensed by the Reserve Bank of India.

SPORTS:

Former India footballer Kannan passes away

•  Former India footballer P. Kannan passed away at a city hospital following prolonged illness. He was 80 and is survived by his wife and two daughters.

•  Kannan, who was a forward and made 14 appearances for India, suffered a stroke earlier in the month.

•  Born in Vandavasi in Tamil Nadu, Kannan played in Bengaluru, Kolkata and Chennai.

•  He represented Universal RC for four years in the Chennai Football Association (CFA) senior division league.

Asian Wrestling Championship 2019

The Asian Wrestling Championship 2019 was held in Xi’an, China from April 23 to April 28, 2019. India won 16 medals which include 1 gold, 3 silver and 4 bronze by men’s freestyle wrestlers, 3 silver and 1 bronze by men’s Greco-Roman wrestlers and 4 bronze won by women’s freestyle wrestlers. India ranked 8th place in the tournament and the first three countries ranked in the tournament were Iran followed by China and Japan.

Top 5 Countries in Medal Tally

Rank   Nation                 Gold       Silver       Bronze            Total

1          Iran                        11            0                6                    17

2          China                      5             5                6                    16

3          Japan                      4             7                6                    17

4          Uzbekistan             2             3                 5                   10

5          Kazakhstan            2             2                12                  16

India’s Nitendra Singh Rawat finishes 27th in Virgin Money London Marathon 2019

Nitendra-Singh-RawatOn 28th April 2019, Indian marathon runner, Nitendra Singh Rawat finished 27th in 2 hours 15 minutes and 59 seconds in the men’s Elite race of prestigious Virgin Money London Marathon 2019 at London,UK which was won by  EliudKipchoge of Kenya for record fourth time.

i. This was the fourth fastest in his career and his second fastest time in this season.

ii. The 32-year-old Rawat has qualified for the World Championships to be held in Doha in September-October.

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Important Current Affairs of 28th April

NATIONAL:

Govt may ban Deloitte for 5 yrs over alleged IL&FS misconduct: Report.

• The government may reportedly invoke Section 140(5) of the Companies Act to ban Deloitte for five years over its alleged malpractice in the IL&FS audit.

• If this happens, it'd be the second such case after Price Waterhouse (PW) was banned in Satyam scam.

• In 2018, SEBI banned PW from auditing listed companies and market intermediaries for two years.

120 startups got patents since 2016 under expedited process: Govt.

• Up to 120 of 450 startups have been granted patents under the expedited examination facility since its introduction in 2016, PTI quoted a government official as saying.

• Under the facility, 1,021 applications were received and 351 patents were granted.

• The official added the time for first examination of trademarks' applications was reduced to about one month from 13 months, earlier.

With 1.5 mn orders a month on cycles, Swiggy pedals towards eco-friendly delivery.

• Swiggy has a fleet of over 1.7 lakh delivery partners in more than 120 cities

• With the future heading towards more eco-friendly modes of transport, cycle and EV logistics will be the next game changer, Srivats TS of Swiggy said

INTERNATIONAL:

Ukrainians will reject Putin's passport offer: President-elect.

• After Russian President Vladimir Putin said his country was considering offering all Ukrainian citizens fast-tracked Russian passports, Ukraine's President-elect Volodymyr Zelenskiy said the citizens of his country will reject Putin's offer.

• "We'll provide Ukrainian citizenship [to people] who suffer from authoritarian regimes. In the first place, the Russians, who probably suffer most," he added.

SpaceX gets approval to fly internet satellites in low orbit.

• SpaceX has received approval from the US' Federal Communications Commission for its revised plan to launch over 1,500 Starlink internet-beaming satellites into a lower orbit at an altitude of 550 km.

• The Elon Musk-led venture plans to launch its first batch of satellites in May. "This approval underscores the FCC’s confidence in SpaceX’s plans", SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell said.

APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATIONS:

Yes Bank names daughter of Founder who died in 26/11 as director.

• Yes Bank has appointed Shagun Gogia, the daughter of late Co-founder Ashok Kapur, as a director after she was jointly nominated by Co-founder Rana Kapoor and mother Madhu Kapur.

•  Ashok Kapur was killed by terrorists in Trident-Oberoi hotel in Mumbai during 26/11 attacks. Interestingly, in June 2013, Yes Bank's board turned down Gogia's application to be nominated as a director.

DAYS:

UN observes World Day for Safety and Health at Work day on 28th April.

• World Day for Safety and Health at Work is a UN international day that is celebrated every April 28. It is an annual international campaign to promote safe, healthy and decent work. It has been observed by the International Labour Organization (ILO) since 2003.

• It is concerned about safe work and awareness of the dimensions and consequences of work-related accidents and diseases; to place occupational safety and health (OSH) on the international and national agendas, and to provide support to the national efforts for the improvement of national OSH systems and programmes in line with relevant international labour standards.

• Inspired by the ILO centenary and discussions on the future of work, the world day this year attempts to take stock of a 100 years of work in improving occupational safety and health and looks to the future for continuing these efforts through major changes such as technology, demographics, sustainable development including climate change and changes in work organization.

• A national occupational safety and health culture is one in which the right to a safe and healthy working environment is respected at all levels, where governments, employers, and workers actively participate in securing a safe and healthy working environment through a system of defined rights, responsibilities and duties, and where the highest priority is accorded to the principle of prevention.

World Veterinary Day 2019 is observed on 28th April.

• The World Veterinary Day 2019 is observed on 28th April. It is an opportunity to celebrate the contributions of veterinarians to the health of animals and society. The theme for the day is the Value of Vaccination. The day is initiated by the World Veterinary Association.

• The World Veterinary Association (WVA) will co-host the 2019 World Veterinary Day Award with HealthforAnimals, the global animal medicines association. The value of the award has been increased to $2500. WVA and HealthforAnimals believe it is essential for the global veterinary profession to educate the public, particularly animal owners and producers, about the benefits of vaccination for animal, human, and public health.

• Why the theme?

Vaccination is an essential tool for preventive veterinary medicine, promotion of animal health and welfare, and reducing the risk of human exposure to many zoonotic pathogens. Historically, immunization practices and vaccination protocols have contributed to significantly reduce the prevalence of many life-threatening diseases.

The risks of not vaccinating can be significant to individual animals and populations and can have consequences on the livelihoods of rural livestock producers in economically developed and emerging regions. Effective vaccination programs, broadly implemented, are likely to reduce the need for antimicrobials, which in turn can help reduce the risk of emergent antimicrobial resistance.

AWARDS:

Healthtech startup Niramai wins top prize at Japan event.

• Bengaluru-based healthtech startup Niramai secured the top prize at the Hack Osaka event in Japan. Niramai was awarded for its "software to detect breast cancer with radiation-free, non-touch, not painful examination [which] works for women of all ages".

• The AI startup was founded in 2016 by former Hewlett-Packard and Xerox employees Geetha Manjunath and Nidhi Mathur.

SPORTS:

Gurpreet Singh settles for silver at Asian Wrestling C'ships.

• India's Gurpreet Singh settled for a silver medal in the Greco-Roman 77kg category event at the Asian Wrestling Championships in Xi'an on Saturday. Gurpreet had earlier beaten Bakhit Sharif K Badr of Qatar 10-0 in the quarterfinals.

• In the 87kg event, Sunil Kumar had to settle for a silver medal after losing in the final.

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Important Current Affairs 27th April 2019

NATIONAL:

About 200 US companies seeking to move manufacturing base from China to India: Report.

• US companies are planning to set up an alternative to China by investing in India, said USISPF

• USISPF’s recommendation to the new government would be to accelerate the reforms and bring transparency

Uber is set to hit the road for the year’s biggest IPO.

• Over the past decade, Uber Technologies Inc. proved itself to be one of the most prolific young fundraisers ever. It pulled together more than $20 billion from private investors. After burning through more than half that amount in just the last three years, Uber will soon see whether it can recreate that magic on the stock market.

India hikes wheat import duty to 40% to support local farmers.

• The government on Friday said it has raised import duty on wheat to 40% from 30% in a bid to support local farmers. Indian flour millers imported 1.65 million tonnes of wheat in 2017-18 fiscal year, down from 5.7 million tonnes the year before. India's wheat production is estimated to rise by 2% in 2018-19 to record 99.12 million tonnes.

INTERNATIONAL:

Chinese brands take 66% of Indian smartphone market: Report.

• Chinese smartphone brands captured a record two-thirds of the Indian smartphone market in the first quarter of 2019, Counterpoint's Market Monitor research said. China's Xiaomi was on the top with a 29% share while South Korea's Samsung dropped to 23% from 26% last year. Indian brands reached their lowest-ever share owing to lack of innovation and slow growth, Counterpoint said.

Donald Trump to withdraw US from Arms Trade Treaty.

• US President Donald Trump has said he will withdraw the US from the international Arms Trade Treaty. The agreement, signed by former US President Barack Obama in 2013, aims to regulate the sale of weapons between countries. White House said the treaty "fails to truly address the problem of irresponsible arms transfers" because other top arms exporters haven't signed it.

BANKS AND ECONOMICS:

China smartphone maker Leagoo enters India, to invest $200mn.

• Chinese smartphone maker Leagoo has entered the Indian market with the launch of three of its smartphone models. The mobile maker said it plans to invest around $200 million (about ₹1,397 crore) to set up a manufacturing unit in India. The company targets to generate a turnover of ₹200 crore by the financial year ending 2019.

DAYS:

World Immunization Week is observed from 24 to 30 April.

• World Immunization Week 2019 is being observed from 24-30 April. The 2019 theme is Protected Together: Vaccines Work. World Immunization Week aims to promote the use of vaccines to protect people of all ages against disease. Immunization saves millions of lives every year and is widely recognized as one of the worlds most successful and cost-effective health interventions.

World Immunisation Week 2019 celebrates Vaccine Heroes from around the world from parents and community members to health workers and innovators who help ensure that all are protected, at all ages, through the power of vaccines.

SPORTS:

Gaganjeet Bhullar wins 'Outstanding Achievement as a player' award.

• Indian golfer Gaganjeet Bhullar won the 'Outstanding Achievement as a player' award at the fourth edition of the annual India Golf Industry Association (GIA) awards. Bhullar won the 2018 Fiji International, a European Tour event, and also became the youngest golfer on the Asian Tour to achieve nine career victories on tour.

Abhishek Verma won gold in 10m Air Pistol at ISSF World Cup.

• Abhishek Verma won the 10m air pistol gold medal at the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF)World Cup at Beijing, China. He clinched the top spot with a total score of 242.7. Russia’s Artem Chernousov took silver. His brilliant performance in the Shooting World Cup Final also secured a fifth Olympic quota for India.

OBITUARIES:

Terry Rawlings, the British film and sound editor has passed away.

• Terry Rawlings, a British film and sound editor has passed away. He was an Oscar nominee for his work on Best Picture winner “Chariots of Fire,”. He was born in 1933.  The 5-time BAFTA nominee also received a career achievement award from the American Cinema Editors society in 2006.

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Important Current Affairs of 26th April

NATIONAL:

Uber lowers valuation as rival Lyft shares fall after IPO: Reports.

• Uber is aiming for a valuation of $80-90 billion in its Initial Public Offering (IPO), less than its previous expectations of $90-100 billion, Bloomberg reported. This reportedly comes as Uber's US rival Lyft witnessed a "disappointing debut" and substantial fall in shares, the Wall Street Journal reported. Lyft was valued at $24.3 billion in first ride-hailing IPO in March.

India’s crude oil production falls for seventh straight year.

• India's domestic crude oil production plunged over 4% in 2018-19, registering its seventh consecutive yearly fall. India produced 34.2 million tonnes of crude oil in FY19, down from 35.7 million tonnes in the previous year, according to data released by the government. Fields of state-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) and Oil India missed production targets.

Hero MotoCorp Q4 net dips over 24% to ₹730 crore.

• The company sold 78,20,745 units in 2018-19 as compared with 75,87,154 units in 2017-18

• The company's board recommended a final dividend of ₹32 per equity share of ₹2 each (1,600%) for 2018-19

INTERNATIONAL:

Amazon posts $1 billion profit for each of first 3 months of 2019.

• World's richest person Jeff Bezos-led Amazon made profits of over $1 billion a month for the first three months with profits totalling $3.6 billion, the company announced. First quarter sales reached $59.7 billion, while profits were more than double compared to last year. Amazon cloud, which hosts data for Netflix, Airbnb, among others, continued growth with a 41% sales increase.

Naspers to exit MakeMyTrip as China’s Ctrip deepens its shareholding.

• Following this, Ctrip’s stake in MakeMyTrip will be approximately 49% along with 4% of total voting rights

• Ctrip and Naspers invested $330 million into MakeMyTrip around two years ago

AGREEMENTS AND MOUS:

India may extend deadline for imposing retaliatory tariff on 29 US items by 14 days.

• The commerce ministry is expected to recommend to the revenue department, under the finance ministry, to extend the deadline for imposing higher tariffs

• If accepted by the finance ministry, the revenue department would issue a notification to that effect

India, China step on the gas on oil sourcing plan.

• The two are in talks to form a consumers’ collective for joint sourcing of oil

• The coming together of China and India may change global energy equations

BANKS AND ECONOMICS:

Yes Bank reports its first ever quarterly loss of ₹1507 crore.

• Provisions during the quarter increased more than 9 folds to ₹3661.7 crore as against ₹399.64 crore in the year-ago quarter.

• The bank posted a net loss of ₹1506.64 crore for the three months ended 31 March compared to a profit of ₹1179.44 crore in the year-ago period

Finance ministry approves EPF interest rate hike.

• The finance ministry has ratified the hike of the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) interest rate to 8.65% as approved by retirement fundmanager EPFO. ... This was a 10 basis point increase from the 8.55% EPF interest rate announced by the retirement fund for 2017-18.

APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATIONS:

Sri Lanka police chief resigns over serial bomb blasts.

• Sri Lanka's Inspector General of Police Pujith Jayasundara has resigned over failures that led to the serial bomb blasts that killed around 250, the country's President Maithripala Sirisena said on Friday. "He has sent his resignation to the acting defence secretary. I'll nominate a new IGP soon," Sirisena added. Earlier, Sri Lanka's defence secretary Hemasiri Fernando resigned over the blasts.

DAYS:

World Intellectual Property Day – April 26, 2019,Reach for 

• Every April 26, we celebrate World Intellectual Property Day to learn about the role that intellectual property (IP) rights play in encouraging innovation and creativity.

• Faster, stronger, higher! The drive to test our abilities, the thrill of competition, and the awe we experience in watching ordinary people achieving extraordinary feats, have fueled our fascination with sports for thousands of years.

SPORTS:

Panghal wins India's 1st gold at Asian Boxing C'ships.

• Amit Panghal claimed India's first gold medal at the ongoing Asian Boxing Championships on Friday after defeating South Korea's Kim Inkyu in a unanimous decision in the 52kg category. Deepak Singh and Kavinder Singh Bisht had to settle for silver medals after losing their finals in the 49kg and 56kg categories respectively.

Wrestlers Divya Kakran, Manju win bronze at Asian C'ships.

• Indian wrestlers Divya Kakran and Manju Kumari won bronze medals at Asian Wrestling Championships on Thursday. The 21-year-old Divya defeated Mongolian wrestler Battsetseg Soronzonbold in 68-kg category while Manju secured bronze by beating Vietnam’s Thi Huong Dao in 59-kg category. Bajrang Punia on Tuesday won India's maiden gold medal at the tournament.

17-yr-old wins WC silver, secures Olympic quota for India.

• Seventeen-year-old Divyansh Singh Panwar secured an Olympic quota after he added to India's medal tally by finishing second in the men's 10m air rifle event at the ongoing ISSF World Cup in Beijing, China. The 17-year-old shooter had earlier won India a gold medal in the mixed team event along with Anjum Moudgil.

OBITURIES:

Lt Commander dies while fighting fire on board INS Vikramaditya.

• Lieutenant Commander DS Chauhan died after leading the firefighting efforts on board INS Vikramaditya near Karwar, Karnataka. The aircraft carrier caught fire while entering the harbour this morning, however, it was brought under control without affecting the ship's combat capability. The officer suffered loss of consciousness and was taken to the Naval hospital at Karwar but couldn't be revived.

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Important Current Affairs 13th February 2019

NATIONAL NEWS

2019 Asia LPG Summit held in New Delhi

Mr. Dharmendra Pradhan, Union Minister for petroleum and natural gas, inaugurated the 2019 Asia LPG summit in New Delhi. The summit has been organized jointly by the major Indian oil marketing companies (OMCs) Indian Oil, Hindustan Petroleum and Bharat Petroleumtogether with the World LPG Association (WLPGA) at the Taj Palace Hotel in New Delhi.

  • This two-day event will focus on ‘LPG – Energy for Life.’ India is the 2nd largest consumer of liquified natural gas (LPG) in the world.

Cabinet approves establishment of Rashtriya Kamdhenu Aayog

The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved a proposal seeking the establishment of ‘Rashtriya Kamdhenu Aayog’ to conserve, protect and develop India’s cattle population. The proposal was first made by Finance Minister Piyush Goyal while presenting the interim Budget on February 1.

  • The Rashtriya Kamdhenu Aayog will work in collaboration with veterinary, animal sciences or agriculture universities, departments or organisations of the central/state government engaged in the task of research in the field of breeding and rearing of cows, organic manure, and biogas.
  • The creation of Rashtriya Kamdhenu Aayog for the conservation, protection, and development of cows and their progeny will provide the policy framework and direction to the cow conservation and development programmes in the country and for ensuring proper implementation of laws with respect to the welfare of cows.

Government approves setting up of 12,000 MW solar power projects

The government approved a proposal for setting up of 12,000 MW of solar power projects by state-run producers. The producers will be provided with a viability gap funding support of Rs 8,580 crore for self-use or use by both central and state government entities.

  • The CCEA decided that 12,000 MW or more of grid connected solar PV power projects would be set up by government producers in 4 years i.e. 2019-20 to 2022-23, thereby creating investment of about Rs 48,000 crores.

Smriti Irani launches India Size project in Mumbai

Union Minister of Textiles Smriti Irani launched the India Size project in Mumbai. A first-of-its-kind project in the history of the country, India Size aims to arrive at a standard Indian Size for the ready-to-wear clothing industry, on the lines of the standardized sizes available in countries such as the USA and the UK.

  • India size project will benefit manufacturers, consumers and generate data which will help tap into the potential of the sector. The Minister also launched a Study of Apparel Consumption in India. The report of this study would be ready for release by July 2019.

Maharashtra govt sets up panel to review welfare schemes for tribals

The Maharashtra government has set up a committee to review various schemes being implemented for the welfare of tribals in the state. The 17-member committee, headed by former MLA and Shramjeevi Sanghatna president Vivek Pandit, will undertake study of various works done for providing employment opportunities, minimum wages and proper livelihood to tribals, as per a recent government order.

  • It will suggest measures to ensure that children in tribal regions were not deprived of education.

♦ Industrial production grows at 2.4% in December 2018

  • Industrial output growth remained subdued at 2.4% in December 2018 on account of contraction in the mining segment and poor show by the manufacturing sector.
  • Factory output as measured in terms of the Index of Industrial Production (IIP) had grown by 7.3% in December 2017, according to the data released by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) on February 12.
  • The industrial growth for November 2018 was revised downwards to 0.3% from the provisional estimate of 0.5% released in January 2019.
  • During April-December 2018, industrial output grew at 4.6% against 3.7% in the same period of the previous fiscal.

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♦ Kusum Scheme to Promote Use of Solar Energy Among Farmers Under Considration

  • The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy has formulated a Scheme ‘Kisan Urja Suraksha evam Utthaan Mahabhiyan (KUSUM)’. The Scheme is currently under the process of seeking approval.
  • The proposal on KUSUM Scheme provides for :-

(i)   installation of grid-connected solar power plants each of Capacity up to 2 MW in the rural areas;

(ii)   installation of standalone off-grid solar water pumps to fulfil irrigation needs of farmers not connected to grid; and

(iii)   solarisation of existing grid-connected agriculture pumps to make farmers independent of grid supply and also enable them to sell surplus solar power generated to DISCOM and get extra income.

♦ PM to address CREDAI YouthCon-19 Today

  • The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, will address the CREDAI YouthCon -19, on 13 February 2019, at Talkatora Stadium, New Delhi. The event is organized by the Confederation of Real Estate Developers’ Association of India (CREDAI).
  • The Prime Minister will also visit the exhibition organized by CREDAI.
  • YouthCon is the annual Youth Conclave of CREDAI, held to bring together the future of the real estate Industry in India.
  • Established in 1999, CREDAI is the apex body representing real-estate developers from over 200 cities in India.

♦ NITI Aayog signs SOI with MSDF to document Systemic Transformation in Education

  • The NITI Aayog and the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation (MSDF) today signed a Statement of Intent (SOI) to codify, document and share best practices to improve learning outcomes in public school education through systemic reforms, based on their collective experiences of working with various state governments in India.
  • The SOI was signed in the presence of Mr. Amitabh Kant, CEO, NITI Aayog, by Mr. Alok Kumar, Adviser (HRD), NITI Aayog and Mr. BarunMohanty, Managing Director (International), MSDF.
  • The NITI Aayog was established with the core mandate of promoting cooperative and competitive federalism through evidence-based policy reform and knowledge inputs. Since its inception, NITI Aayog has placed learning outcomes as a key focus area for establishing sustainable education systems.

INTERNATIONAL NEWS

NATO’s 70th anniversary meeting to be held in UK in December

NATO’s next meeting of Heads of State and Government will take place in London this December, marking the 70th anniversary of the military pact. Stoltenberg also highlighted that London was home to NATO’s first headquarters, adding that the UK is one of the alliance’s 12 founding members.

  • Extra info.:
    NATO Members: 29
    Headquarters: Brussels, Belgium

Macedonia signs accord to join NATO

Macedonia signed an accord to join NATO to become the 30th member of the US-led alliance. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said the admittance of a new member highlighted that all European nations who meet the entrance criteria could join the regional alliance.

  • The Macedonia-NATO accord follows a deal with Greece ending a 27-year-old dispute over Macedonia’s name. The accord must now be ratified by allied governments.
  • Extra info.:
    Macedonia Capital: Skopje
    Currency: Macedonian denar

♦ Fifth International Dam Safety Conference to be Held on 13-14 February at Bhubaneswar

  • The 5th International Dam Safety Conference–2019 is being held during 13 and 14 February 2019 in Bhubaneswar as a joint initiative of the Government of India, Government of Odisha and the World Bank under aegis of the ongoing World Bank assisted Dam Rehabilitation and Improvement Project (DRIP) as a part of institutional strengthening.
  • Dam Safety Conferences are being organized as an annual event in different DRIP States in collaboration with the Implementing Agencies and leading academic institutes to provide a common platform for all stakeholders including non-DRIP States. Dam professionals, academicians, scientists, as well as industries both from within the country and from around the world to deliberate on all aspects related to dam safety and the solutions that worked best in addressing dam safety concerns.

♦ UAE introduces Hindi as third official language

  • While praising the decision of the UAE court, External Affairs Minister of India, Sushma Swaraj in a tweet said, “We thank Abu Dhabi for declaring Hindi as one of the official languages in their judicial system. This will make the justice delivery system simpler and more accessible to our people.”

Indians, reportedly form the largest immigrant community in the UAE, with more than three million living in Dubai. The landmark decision undertaken by the judicial department will benefit a major chunk of workers, who mostly come from Hindi speaking regions of central and north India, Gulf News reported

BUSINESS & ECONOMY

RBI Policy full text: MPC cuts repo rate by 25 bps to 6.25%

On the basis of an assessment of the current and evolving macroeconomic situation at its meeting, the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) decided to reduce the policy repo rate under the liquidity adjustment facility (LAF) by 25 basis points from 6.5 per cent to 6.25 per cent with immediate effect.

  • Consequently, the reverse repo rate under the LAF stands adjusted to 6.0 per cent, and the marginal standing facility (MSF) rate and the Bank Rate to 6.5 per cent. The MPC also decided to change the monetary policy stance from calibrated tightening to neutral.

Awards and Honors

  • Pat Cummins won the coveted Allan Border Medal at the Australian Cricket Awards on 11 Feb 2019.
  • Glenn Maxwell took the T20I award and Matthew Wade bagged the Domestic Player of the Year award
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Important Current Affairs 11th February 2019

NATIONAL


Rajnath Singh inaugurates first of its kind spoken Sanskrit center.
•    Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh has launched the Centre for learning Sanskrit language in Gujarat University, Ahmedabad. 
•    The center will offer a six-month course for people on how to speak the language. The coordinator of the course, Atul Unagar stated it was possibly the first such course launched in India.

Nitin Gadkari Releases India’s 1st Ever Highway Capacity Manual.
•    The Minister of Road Transport & Highways Mr Nitin Gadkari released India’s first ever Highway Capacity Manual (HCM) in New Delhi.
•    The manual is also known as Indo-HCM and it has been developed by CSIR – CRRI on the basis of an extensive, country-wide study of the traffic characteristics on different categories of roads like a single lane, two-lane, multi-lane urban roads, and the associated intersections on these roads.
 

INTERNATIONAL


Mumbai 12th Richest City Globally, New York Tops: New World Wealth Report.
•    Mumbai, India's financial capital is the 12th richest city in the world with a total wealth of $950 billion, according to a report by New World Wealth. The list was topped by New York as the richest city in the world.
•    Total wealth refers to the private wealth held by all the individuals living in each city. It includes all their assets (property, cash, equities and business interests) less any liabilities. The top 2 richest cities in the list are- 
1. New York ($3 trillion).
2. London ($2.7 trillion).


PM Modi 3 Nation Visit- India and Palestine sign 6 MoUs.
•    India and Palestine have signed six Memorandums of Understanding (MoU) s worth USD 40 million.  This was welcomed by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. 
•    During the term of this Government, the President of India made the first ever visit to Palestine in 2015.


PM Modi 3 Nation Visit- India, Oman Sign 8 MoUs.
•     India and Oman have signed eight MoUs in different areas during PM Narendra Modi’s maiden visit to the Gulf nation. The fields in which the agreements were inked include defense, health and tourism.

•    A MoU on legal and judicial co-operation in civil and commercial matters was also signed. The agreements were inked after Mr Modi held delegation-level talks with the Sultan of Oman, Qaboos bin Said al Said in Muscat.

PM Modi 3 Nation Visit- India-UAE Ink 5 Agreements.
•    Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammad bin Zayed al Nahyan held bilateral talks at the Presidential Palace in Abu Dhabi, the UAE.
•    PM Modi also laid the foundation stone of the first Hindu temple in Abu Dhabi. The two sides inked 5 agreements related to energy & railway sectors, manpower and financial services.

•    The 5 MoUs signed between the two nation are as follows-
•    1. MoU between a consortium led by ONGC and Abu Dhabi national oil company for acquisition of 10% stake in offshore concession was inked.

•    2. MoU aiming to institutionalize employment of Indian workers in UAE to safeguard their interests was also signed.
•    3. MoU aiming at technical cooperation in rail sector between Ministry of railways and Federal transport authority and maritime of UAE signed.

•    4. In the area of financial services, MoU between BSE and Abu Dhabi Securities exchange was also inked.
•    5. MoU between Government of Jammu and Kashmir and DP World was also signed to establish multi-modal logistics park and hub in Jammu comprising warehouses and specialized storage solutions.
 

BUSINESS AND ECONOMY


PM Modi 3 Nation Visit- ONGC Videsh, Partners Acquire 10% Stake in Abu Dhabi Oilfield
•    ONGC (Oil and Natural Gas Corporation) Videsh Ltd and its partners have acquired a 10% in a large offshore oilfield Abu Dhabi National Oil Co.’s (ADNOC) in Abu Dhabi for $600 million. It is the first time any Indian company has set foot in oil-rich Emirate.
•    The current production of this field is about 400,000 barrels of oil per day (20 million tonnes per annum) and Indian consortium’s annual share shall be about 2 million tonnes. The contract for the concession was signed in Abu Dhabi in presence of Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed al-Nahyan and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.


SBI Wrote off Bad Loans worth over Rs 20,000 crore Last Fiscal.
•    The country’s largest lender SBI wrote off bad loans worth Rs 20,339 crore in 2016-17, the highest among all the public sector banks, which had a collective, write off of Rs 81,683 crore for the fiscal. The data pertains to the period when the associate banks of SBI were not merged with it.
•    Besides SBI, Punjab National Bank had a write-off of Rs 9,205 crore in 2016-17, followed by Bank of India (Rs 7,346 crore), Canara Bank (Rs 5,545 crore) and Bank of Baroda (Rs 4,348 crore).


Direct tax collections rise 19.3% in April- January.
•    Direct tax collections grew by nearly 20% between April and January this year with strong growth in both corporate and personal income tax receipts. According to official data released, net direct tax collections grew by 19.3% up to January 2018 to Rs 6.95-lakh crore.
•    While net corporate income tax grew by 19.2%, personal income tax receipts rose by 18.6% in January this year. Gross tax collections also grew at a robust 13.3% to Rs 8.21-lakh crore between April 2017 and January 2018.
 

SPORTS


Sharmila Nicollet, 1st Indian Golfer to Qualify for China LPGA Tour.
•    Sharmila Nicollet has become the first Indian golfer to qualify for the China Ladies PGA Tour. The 26-year-old Bengaluru golfer fought her way back into the tournament in the last two rounds to earn a card for the Tour.
•    Sharmila had played on the Ladies European Tour before losing her full card, played her three rounds in the CLPGA Tour Qualifying School.


Rohan More Becomes 1st Asian to Swim Across Ocean Seven.
•    Pune-based swimmer, Rohan More became the first Asian as well as the first Indian to swim across the Ocean Seven. He is the youngest to complete it. He swam across the Cook Strait between North and South Islands of New Zealand in 8 hours and 37 minutes.
•    With this, more becomes only the ninth person in the world to complete it. He has received the Tenzing Norgay Award from the Indian Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports. The award was presented by President Ram Nath Kovind.
 

OBITUARIES


Pakistani Activist Asma Jahangir Passes Away.
•    Asma Jahangir, Pakistan’s renowned human rights lawyer, social activist and an outspoken critic of the country’s powerful military establishment, passed away of cardiac arrest. She was 66.
•    She was the first woman to serve as the president of Supreme Court Bar Association of Pakistan.


Golden Globe Award Winner Musician Johann Johannsson Passes Away.
•    Acclaimed Icelandic musician and Oscar-nominated composer Johann Johannsson has passed away aged 48
•    In 2014, he was nominated for BAFTA, Grammy and Oscar awards for his score for ‘Theory of Everything,’ and won the Golden Globe award, making him one of the most well-known composers Iceland has produced
 

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Important Current Affairs 10th February 2019

NATIONAL


Great Indian Bustard (GIB) announced as the new mascot for the 13th UN Convention on the CMS COP-13.
•    Union Environment Minister, Dr. Harsh Vardhan, on Friday announced the Great Indian Bustard (GIB) as the mascot for the 13th Conference of Parties (COP) of the UN Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species (CMS) to be held in Gujarat in 2020.The Government also launched a website for the COP-13.
•    CMS-COP 13 is a global platform for the conservation and sustainable use of migratory species and their habitats. It has over 120 participating countries. So far, 12 COPs (Conference of Parties) have been convened.
•     COP-13 will be held in Gandhinagar, Gujarat from 15 – 22 February, 2020

Union Minister Suresh Prabhu launches two schemes in Mumbai.
•    On February 9, 2019, Union Minister for Commerce and Industry Suresh Prabhu launched two schemes, the Hirkani Maharashtra chi and District Business Plan Competition in Mumbai.
•    OVER VIEW OF SCHEMES:
    Under Hirkani Maharashtra chi, women’s SHGs will display their business plan at taluka level. Ten groups will be selected from each taluka and Rs. 50,000 will be given to each SHG to implement their idea. Five SHGs at district level will be selected and Rs. 2 lakh will be given to each SHG to take the idea forward.
    Under District Business Plan Competition, competitors at district level will display ideas, out of which five ideas will be selected from agriculture, social service, education and Work order worth Rs. 5 lakh will be given to the 5 selected ideas to implement the same.

Health Ministry conducts 8th round of National Deworming Day campaign.
•    On February 8,2019,The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) conducted its eighth round of National Deworming Day (NDD) with an objective to reduce the prevalence of Soil Transmitted Helminths (STH) or parasitic intestinal worms so that there will be no longer be public health problem.
•    The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) envisioned an open-defecation-free India which holds the capacity to reduce the overall worm burden in a community.


 Voter verification and Information Programme was launched by Election Commission.
•    On 8th February 2019, Election Commission of India (ECI) launched a Voter Verification and Information Programme (VVIP) for citizens to verify their details, change the details, new registration and corrections. The programme focus on 2019 General Election.
•    The ECI has set up helpline centres in all districts in India. The voter helpline number is 1950 and they are well equipped with to help callers with latest information.
•     VVIP technology was launched during 2day training cum workshop on the use of Information and Communication Technology which was held in New Delhi.
•    ECI also launched a ‘PwD app’ to enable Persons with Disabilities (PWD) to request to change in address, change in particulars and new registration by using mobile application.
•     Voter Helpline app was also launched which will help voters to check their names in electoral roll, submit online forms, application status checking and complaints filing.

Two day Bengal Global Summit held in Kolkata.
•    On February 7, 2019, the fifth edition of West Bengal Global Business Summit was inaugurated by state Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. It is a two day summit held in Rajarhat, Kolkata.
•    West Bengal bagged over Rs. 40,000 crore worth of investment proposals from Reliance, Group, ITC and others multinational companies on the first day of the business summit.
•     The summit came to an end with West Bengal government signing 86 agreements entailing business proposals worth 2.84 lakh crore.
•    West Bengal with a Gross State Domestic Product of USD 155.32 billion is the 4th largest contributor to India’s GDP and 6th contributor to India’s manufacturing GDP.

Assam’s Finance Minister presented 1,193 crore Deficit Budget.
•    Assam’s Finance Minister, Himanta Biswas has presented the fourth Deficit Budget of the state for the fiscal year 2019-20 in the legislative assembly which amounts to 1,193 crore.
•    This budget is the 2nd digital budget of the state
•    The total revenue of the budget in comparison with previous has increased by 20% and the total expenditure has crossed 70,000 crore.
•    The budget mainly focuses on dimensions of social security and capital expenditure.
•    Brides will be given one tola gold belonging to families having income of less than Rs. 5 lakh per annum.
•    Students who passes in 12th class examination with first division will be given e-bike
•    Widows below 45 years will be given immediate support of Rs. 25,000.
•    Rice would be sold at Rs.1 per kg to benefit poor families.
 

INTERNATIONAL


Multinational Maritime Exercise ‘Aman 19’ commenced in Karachi.
•    The 5-day multinational maritime exercise ‘AMAN-19’ in which 46 nations participated from all over the world was formally commenced at Pakistan Navy Dockyard, with a colourful flag hosting ceremony.
•    Pakistan’s Naval Chief, Admiral Zafar Mahmood Abbasi welcomed the participations of Exercise AMAN-19, the 6th episode of the AMAN initiative.
•    Principal aim to conduct this exercise is to facilitate a forum of understanding of each other’s maritime concepts and operation cultures and to produce ways and means to confront common threat at sea.
•    Commander Pakistan fleet, Vice Admiral Muhammad Amjad Khan Niazi genially welcomed the eminent participating nations for a mutual resolve with motto “Together for Peace”.
•    The exercise will have 2 phases- Harbour phase and sea phase.
 

BANKING AND FINANCE


Asian Development Bank raised $100 million in international market.
•    On 8th February 2019, The Asian Development Bank raised $100 million from peso-linked bonds in the international market. It was their maiden issue of Philippine peso.
•    The move will help to reduce foreign exchange risk for ADB’s borrowers and support its growing local currency lending operations in Philippines.
•    J P Morgan was the sole lead manager and bonds were fully placed with institutional investors in Asia, Europe and the Americas.
•    Earlier in 2005 and 2007 ADB issued bond in the Philippine domestic capital market but it was the first time to mobilize Philippine peso funding from international investors through a currency linked structure.
•    ADB is an international development finance institution and a regional development bank with a motto to fighting poverty in Asia and the Pacific.


RBI Doubles the limit of bulk deposits from Rs. 1 crore to Rs 2 Crore.
•    On 7th February 2019, Reserve Bank of India decided to treat deposits to over Rs.2 crore as ‘bulk’ as they doubled the limit for the same from the earlier Rs.1crore. This move will enhance operational freedom of Banks.
•     RBI also proposed banks would maintain their bulk deposits interest rate cards in the core banking system for supervisory review.
•    The right to offer differential rate of interest in bulk deposits as per their requirements and Asset Liability Management (ALM) projections is vested with banks.
•     For a similar maturity period interest rate on bulk deposits are marginally higher than smaller amount fixed deposits.
•    National Federation of Urban Cooperative Banks and Credit Societies Limited (NAFCUB) has suggested this proposal.
•    The decision in proposal for setting up an Umbrella Organization (UO) for urban cooperative banks in pending with RBI.


RBI fines Allahabad Bank Rs 1.5 crore for not monitoring fund use, fraud reporting delay.
•    On Feb. 8 2019, Allahabad Bank said the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has imposed a penalty of Rs 1.5 crore on them for not monitoring end use of funds, delay in classification and reporting of fraud and non-adherence with RBI guidelines during restructuring of accounts in respect of one of its borrowers.
 

BUSINESS AND ECONOMY


Himachal’s growth rate projected at 7.3% in current financial year.
•    Economic Survey Report for 2018-19 has projected the growth rate in Himachal Pradesh to be around 7.3% for the current financial year, 2018-19, while the per capita income is estimated at Rs 1, 76,968. Economic growth was 6.5% in the last fiscal, highest in last 3 years.
•    Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) in current fiscal has increased to Rs 1, 36,542 crore and estimated to be about Rs 1, 51,835 crore in 2018-19.
 

AWARDS AND RECOGNIZATION


Yes Bank wins the Aegis Graham Bell Award 2018 for ‘Innovation in Data Science’.
•    On Feb. 1 2019, Aegis Graham Bell Award 2018 announced Yes Bank as winner in ‘Innovation in Data Science’ category for their industry-first project ‘Yes EEE (Engage Enrich Excel)’ at Panaji, Goa. It was hosted by the Government of Goa.

Sena Medals awarded to 92 army men, including Lance Naik Wani.
•    Lieutenant General Ranbir Singh, GOC-in-C (General Officer Commanding), Northern Command, presented Gallantry and Distinguished Service Awards to army officers, other ranks and next of kin (for posthumous awards).
•    The army commander presented 1 Bar to Sena Medal (Gallantry), 76 Sena Medals (Gallantry), 7 Sena Medals (Distinguished) and 8 Vishist Seva Medals.
•    Lance Naik Wani was conferred with the Bar to Sena Medal (Gallantry), received by his wife on his behalf. The brave soldier had sacrificed his life while combating terrorists at Batagund Village in Jammu & Kashmir in November 2018.
•    20 units were also awarded for their overall outstanding performance in the Command Theatre in the year 2018.
 

APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATION


Radheyshyam Julaniya to replace Rahul Bhatnagar as Union Sports Secretary.
•    IAS officer (Madhya Pradesh cadre), Radheyshyam Julaniya will replace Rahul Bhatnagar as the Union Sports Secretary.
•    Bhatnagar has been released by the Sports Ministry and is set to join the Ministry on Panchayati Raj.
•    Notable achievements of the Sports Ministry during the tenure of Mr. Rahul Bhatnagar include opening of the National Sports University, Khelo India Youth Games, hosting international tournaments like Hockey World Cup in Bhubaneshwar and World Women’s Boxing Championship in New Delhi.
 

SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY


Helicopter-launched anti-tank missile ‘Helina’ test-fired in Balasore, Odisha.
•    India test-fired Helina, a helicopter-launched version of the Nag anti-tank guided missile, with a hit range of 7-8 km, from the Odisha Coast on Friday.
•    Helina was launched from an Army chopper and the weapon system was tested for its full range at 12:55 PM near the Integrated Test Range in Chandipur in the Balasore District of Odisha.
•    Developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), Helina is said to be one of the most advanced anti-tank weapons in the world. It is guided by an Infrared Imaging Seeker (IIR) operating in the lock-on-before-launch mode.
 

SPORTS


Rohit Sharma becomes 1st Indian to smash 100 sixes in T20 Cricket.
•    Indian opener Rohit Sharma became the first man from his country to smash a century of sixes in T20I cricket in the second T20 between India and New Zealand held in Eden Park in New Zealand.
•    He made his T20I debut against England but played his first innings against South Africa in 2007 T20I.
•    Rohit Sharma surpassed Martin Guptill to become the highest scorer in T20 Internationals with 102 sixes.


Ricky Ponting has been appointed the assistant coach of Australia for 2019 World Cup.
•    On 8th February 2019, Cricket Australia appointed Ricky Ponting as assistant coach for Australia’s cricket team for 2019 World Cup. He had won world cup for three times.
•    The main coach for Australian Cricket team is Justin Langer. Ponting was appointed after David Saker’s resignation from the post.
•    Ricky Ponting worked as assistant for Australia’s T20 in 2017 and 2018. The current batting coach for the team is Graeme Hicks.
•    ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 Scheduled to be hosted by England and Wales from 30th May to 14th July 2019.
•    Ponting play 375 ODI’s and 168 tests for Australia. He won the World Cup for the 1st time in 1999 before captaining and in 2003 and in 2003 and 2007.
 

OBITUARY


British actor Albert Finney, five time Oscar nominee died at age of 82.
•    On February 9, 2019, five time Oscar nominated actor Albert Finney died at the age of 82 due to chest infection in London.
•    The veteran actor was best known for his roles in Tom Jones, Erin Brockovich and Annie.
 

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