Daily Current Affairs - 26th May 2017

Prices of 31 more drugs capped

  • The National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) capped the prices of 31 more drugs. With these 31 drugs, the NPPA has brought 791 medicines under price control.
  • There are 829 drugs on the National List of Essential Medicines, 2015, all of which will be brought under price control.
  • The notification brings under price control intrauterine devices used for birth control; Factor VIII, a life-saving medicine for haemophilic patients; morphine, a pain killer; and rifampcin, a powerful antibiotic used to treat infections such as tuberculosis and leprosy.

Ashok Leyland returns to profit after truck sales rise

  • Commercial vehicle maker Ashok Leyland reported a net profit of Rs. 476 crore for the fourth quarter ended March 2017, as against a loss of Rs. 141 crore in the same quarter of the previous year.
  • The Hinduja flagship company said its revenue for the quarter under review increased by 13% to Rs. 7,057 crore (Rs. 6,237 crore).
  • The revenue growth came on the back of a 10% increase in sales of medium and heavy commercial vehicles to 38,643 units from 35,247 units in the same quarter the previous year.
  • Sales of light commercial vehicles increased by 3% to 8,978 units from 8,745 units.
  • Managing Director: Vinod K. Dasari

Bangladesh script first overseas ODI win over New Zealand

  • Bangladesh beat New Zealand by 5 wickets in the final match of the ODI tri-series. Chasing a challenging target of 271, Tamim Iqbal (65) and Sabbir Rahman (65) put Bangladesh on course before solid contributions from Mahmudullah (46*) and Mushfiqur Rahim (45*) helped the team register their first win against New Zealand overseas
  • Earlier, Bangladesh bowlers fought back to restrict New Zealand to 270 for eight.

Centre alters definition of a start-up

  • The Centre has amended the definition of a start-up by broadening the term to include scalability of business model with a potential for employment generation or wealth creation,
  • A Letter of Recommendation from an incubator/industry body for recognition or tax benefits has been done away with and an entity shall be deemed as a start-up up to seven years from the date of its incorporation. For the biotechnology sector, the period is up to 10 years.

DRS mooted for T20Is

  • The ICC Cricket Committee, chaired by Anil Kumble, made a host of recommendations at its annual meeting with the notable ones being the use of DRS for all T20 Internationals and on-field umpires be given the power to send-off players for misconduct.
  • Another recommendation proposes that the teams will not lose a review when an LBW review comes back as ‘umpire’s call’.
  • The committee expressed unanimous support for the implementation of a Test cricket competition and also reiterated its full support for cricket being involved in the Olympic Games.

El Clasico football match in India

  • Legends of Spanish football giants Barcelona and Real Madrid will play a match in memory of Dutch legend and Barcelona star Johan Cryuff in India in the third week of September this year.
  • Football Next Foundation, which is promoting the El Clasico featuring the former players of the renowned clubs.

Eoin Morgan century sets up winning start for England against South Africa

  • England captain Eoin Morgan’s fine century laid the platform for a 72-run win over South Africa in the day-night first One-Day International at Headingley.
  • Morgan’s 107 — his 10th ODI hundred for England — was the cornerstone of the host’s total of 339 for six.
  • South Africa, set 340 for victory eventually dismissed for 267 with five overs to spare.

IFC invests $3 million in AI focused pi Ventures

  • International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private-sector lending arm of the World Bank,is investing $3 million in ‘pi Ventures’, an early-stage venture fund.
  • The firm will use the money to invest in companies leveraging technologies such as applied artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning and Internet of Things, across a range of sectors.

Mumbai, Kota among world's most crowded cities

  • Two Indian cities - Mumbai and Kota - have been named among the world's most crowded in a list topped by Dhaka, said the World Economic Forum (WEF), citing UN-Habitat data.
  • With a population density of 44,500 people per square kilometre, Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh, is the most crowded city on the planet, followed by India's financial capital Mumbai, home to 31,700 people per square kilometre at the second place. Kota in Rajasthan with 12,100 people per square kilometre was ranked seventh.
  • Others in the list include Medellin in Columbia ranked third with 19,700 people per square kilometre, Manila, Philippines (4th, 14,800), Casablanca, Morocco (5th, 14,200), Lagos, Nigeria (6th, 13,300), Singapore (8th, 10,200) and Jakarta, Indonesia (9th, 9,600).
  • More than half of the world's population currently lives in urban areas and the United Nations (UN) expects that proportion to increase to 66 per cent by 2050, with close to 90 per cent of the increase concentrated in Asia and Africa.
  • While Dharavi in Mumbai has a reported density of over 200,000 people per square kilometre.

NATO allies need to pay their fair share: Trump

  • US President Donald Trump has told his Nato allies in Brussels that all members of the alliance must pay their fair share of defence spending. He voiced his long held concern that alliance members are not paying enough.
  • He said that the NATO of the future must include a great focus on terrorism and immigration.

Net migration falls in Britain

  • Net migration into Britain fell to 248,000 in 2016, led by a significant rise in the number of EU citizens leaving the U.K. and a fall in the international students arriving.
  • Figures published by the Officer for National Statistics (ONS) showed a significant fall in net migration by 84,000 compared to 2015, driven by the number of EU citizens leaving Britain more than tripling.
  • Some 43,000 citizens of so-called EU-8 nations, including Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, left Britain during the year.
  • There was also a significant decrease in long-term immigration to study, which fell by 32,000 from 2015 to 136,000. This was also driven by a decrease in students from Asia, whose numbers fell to 64,000 from 80,000 in 2015
  • As it will raise concerns among others about potential skill shortages in the U.K.

Norms eased for selection of RBI Dy. Governor

  • The Centre has relaxed the criteria for selecting a Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Deputy Governor and opened the post to bankers from the private sector also.
  • Applicants could be a board member or a full-time director having 15 years of experience in banking and financial market operations..
  • Deputy Governor S.S. Mundra’s term comes to an end in July. Out of the four Deputy Governors, one has traditionally been a chief executive of a public sector bank.
  • In the latest notification, the Centre has dispensed with experience as a CEO being a criterion for the ‘banker’ candidate.

Paes & Lipsky in semifinals

  • Leander Paes and Scott Lipsky moved into the semifinals of the ATP Geneva Open, following a walkover from Rogerio Dutra Silva of Brazil and Paolo Lorenzi of Italy.
  • The Indo-American combination will challenge the top seeds Jean-Julien Rojer of the Netherlands and Horia Tecau of Romania in the semifinals.

PM to inaugurate country's longest bridge connecting Arunachal Praddesh, Assam

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate India’s longest river bridge – the Dhola-Sadia Bridge in Assam. This bridge will reduce the travel time between Rupai, Assam to Meka/Roing, Arunachal Pradesh by around five hours.
  • This new, three lane, 9.15 kilometre bridge has been built at a cost of about Rs 2,056 crore over river Lohit, a tributary of the Brahmaputra, linking Dhola in Assam to Sadiya in Arunachal Pradesh.
  • This bridge will also give a major boost to overall economic development of the areas north of Brahmaputra in upper Assam and Arunachal Pradesh.

Service providers must shun discriminatory phone tariffs: TRAI

  • Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has sought to prevent service providers from offering discriminatory tariffs to the same category of subscribers and told them to file their tariff within seven days of introducing the rates — a move aimed at protecting the interests of consumers.
  • TRAI stated that it had received complaints that some service providers were introducing tariffs without filing it with the regulator.
  • TRAI Chief: R.S.Sharma

Telecom Ministry launches Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Sanchar Kaushal Vikas Pratisthan Scheme

  • Union Telecom Ministry has launched a skill development scheme named after RSS ideologue Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyaya that will train rural youth to maintain mobile towers, repair optical fibres and fix other communication technologies across India.
  • The Ministry will start the skill development programme at 10 rural locations and train 10,000 people in first phase on a pilot basis. In the coming days, it will be implemented across India. States like Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Odisha, Punjab and Haryana will get benefitted in the first phase.
  • In addition, a new award called Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Telecom Skill Excellence Award has been instituted to recognize achievers and talents in Telecom sector.
  • Telecom Minister: Manoj Sinha

U.N. rejects Pakistan charge of attack on observers

  • The United Nations has dismissed the Pakistan Army’s claim that its military observers came under attack from Indian troops near the Line of Control, saying there was no evidence of them being targeted.
  • U.N. Secretary spokesperson said there was no evidence that an UNMOGIP (United Nations Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan) vehicle was targeted by the Indian Army along the LoC near the Khanjar sector.
  • U.N. Secretary General: Antonio Guterres
  • Head of UNMOGIP: Per Gustaf Lodin

Union Cabinet Approves Allocation of 2.5% of Central Road Fund for National Waterways Development

  • The Union Cabinet has given its approval for allocating 2.5% of the Central Road Fund (CRF) for the development of the National Waterways.
  • The allocation will provide around Rs 2000 crore annually for the development and maintenance of the National Waterways which in turn will boost inland water transport.
  • Central Road Fund is a duty on excise and customs levied on petrol and high-speed diesel.
  • According to the Inland Waterways Authority of India, the development of National Waterways would require Rs 25,000 crore till 2022-2023.
  • Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) is the statutory body in charge of the waterways in India. Its headquarters is located in Noida, UP.