Daily Current Affairs - 08th Jun 2017

82.6% of pre-ban cash back in system: RBI

  • The RBI said 82.6% of currency that was in the banking system prior to demonetisation had returned to circulation. While currency in circulation was Rs. 17.9 billion on November 4 — just before the withdrawal of high-value banknotes. As on May 26, it was Rs. 14.9 billion, data from the central bank showed.
  • The data shows 82.6% of the economy is remonetised, which is a large number.

BMI Research: India one of top 5 consumer markets in Asia

  • According to BMI Research,India is one among the top five consumer markets in Asia offering retailers the strongest consumer spending growth of an average of 6.1% over the next five years. The other four countries are China, Sri Lanka, Vietnam and Indonesia. As per the report, the real consumer spending growth in 2017 will be 6.2%.
  • The factors responsible for increase in consumer spending in India include increase in access to consumer credit, lower inflation and favorable regulatory environment for foreign owned retailers.

Cabinet approves IREDA IPO

  • The Union Cabinet has approved an IPO by the Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency. It approved the issue of 13.9 crore equity shares of Rs. 10 each. It also approved the issue of shares to retail investors and IREDA employees at a discount of 5% on the issue price, with a cap of 0.5% on equity post issue for central public sector enterprise employees.
  • IREDA is registered as a non-banking financial company. It has worked closely with the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy to help implement policies.
  • A Non Banking Financial Company (NBFC) is a company registered under the Companies Act, 1956 of India, engaged in the business of loans and advances, acquisition of shares, stock, bonds hire-purchase, insurance business or chit business. They provide certain types of banking services, but do not hold a banking license.
  • The working and operations of NBFCs are regulated by the Reserve Bank of India(RBI).

China seeks military base in Pakistan

  • China is trying to expand its global military presence and increase its influence in a manner that avoids direct conflict with other countries, and it plans to set up a military base in Pakistan. China most likely will seek to establish additional military bases in countries with which it has a long-standing friendly relationship and similar strategic interests.
  • Pakistan has also emerged as the biggest market for Chinese arms exports, a focus area in Beijing’s expansion plans.

Demand for frozen seafood lifts exports

  • Robust demand for frozen shrimp and frozen fish helped Indian seafood exports touch 11,34,948 tonnes worth $5.78 billion (Rs. 37, 870.90 crore) during 2016-17. In the previous financial year seafood exports stood at 9,45,892 tonnes worth $4.69 billion.
  • Frozen shrimp is the top item of export, accounting for 38.28% in quantity and 64.50% in earnings in dollar terms. Shrimp exports increased 16.21% in quantity and 20.33% in dollar terms.
  • Frozen fish exports grew 26.92% in value terms during the year. It is the second largest export item, accounting for 26.15% in quantity and 11.64% in dollar earnings.
  • Major importers for the Indian seafood products are U.S.(30%), South East Asia, with a share of 29.91%, EU (17.98%), Japan (6.83%), Middle East (4.78%), China (3.50%) and other countries (7.03%).

GMR Infra arm bags €850 mn Crete airport project in Greece

  • GMR Infrastructure subsidiary GMR Airports Ltd., in partnership with Greek infrastructure firm Terna S.A., has bagged a project to develop, operate and manage the new Kastelli international airport at Heraklion in Greece’s Crete Island. Heraklion airport, in Crete, is the second largest in Greece and the airport handles more than six million passengers annually and is facing a capacity constraint.
  • GMR will be the designated airport operator in the consortium for the greenfield project. The concession period will be 35 years, including Phase 1 construction of five years.
  • The scope of the project involves design, construction, financing, operation and maintenance and exploitation of the new Heraklion Crete International Airport.

Hoshiar Singh appointed as Chief of Copyrights office

  • Hoshiar Singh, a 1994 batch officer of the Indian Telecom Service has been appointed as Registrar of Copyrights for a period of five years as per the recent order issued by the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT).
  • The Office of Copyrights works under the aegis of Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion. The office falls under the immediate control of a Registrar of Copyrights. The Office of Copyrights is mandated to protect the music and film industry besides addressing its concerns, among others.

India will remain among top 3 investment destinations till 2019

  • India will remain among the top three investment destinations globally till 2019, according to a survey by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD). Over the next two years, India will be behind only the U.S. and China in terms of investment attractiveness, the report said. Global FDI flows retreated marginally in 2016 – by 2%, to $1.75 trillion.
  • Global foreign direct investment (FDI) is expected to rise by 5%, to almost $1.8 trillion in 2017.
  • The report noted that India ranked 10th in terms of FDI inflows in 2016 which were stagnant at $44 billion as there was global interest in mergers and acquisitions in the Indian market. Cross-border mergers and acquisitions deals have become increasingly important for foreign multinational enterprises to enter the rapidly-growing Indian market.
  • UNCTAD Headquarters: Geneva, Switzerland
  • Secretary-General:Mukhisa Kituyi

Lovlina assured of bronze in boxing

  • Lovlina Borgohain (75kg) was the lone Indian boxer to register a victory in the President’s Cup held in Astana. Lovlina advanced to the semifinals and assuring herself of a medal. She defeated Isagulova of Kazakhstan to enter the medal round.
  • Devanshu Jaiswal (81kg) and Siwi Boora (60kg), went down in their respective men’s and women’s quarterfinals.

Myanmar: bodies found after plane crashes into sea with 122 on board

  • Pieces of a Myanmar military plane, which went missing with 122 soldiers, family members and crew on board, were found in the Andaman Sea. The military transport plane had been flying from southern Myanmar to Yangon when contact was lost on Wednesday afternoon. Navy ships and aircraft had been searching since the afternoon when the plane lost contact with air traffic controllers.

New species of flying squirrel discovered

  • Scientists have discovered a new species of flying squirrel in North America that had been hiding in plain sight for hundreds of years. Known as Humboldt’s flying squirrel, or Glaucomys oregonensis, the new flying squirrel species inhabits the Pacific Coast region of North America.
  • This new discovery is the 45th known species of flying squirrel in the world, researchers said.

Noida belt development plan mooted

  • With more than 40% of new mobile manufacturing units being set up in Noida and Greater Noida cities of U.P. in the past three years, Electronics and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad pitched for the development of the two cities on the lines of Singapore.
  • Recently, a Korean electronics giant announced that it would invest Rs. 4,195 crore to add capacity at its plant in Noida, where it manufactures smartphones, refrigerators and flat panel televisions.

Pakistan shock South Africa, keep ICC Champions Trophy semis hopes alive

  • Pakistan defeated South Africa by 19 runs via Duckworth-Lewis method at the Edgbaston. Sent into bowl first, Pakistan restricted South Africa to 220 runs for eight wickets in Group B day/night One-day International. Hasan Ali was the star of the show for Pakistan with a haul of 3/24.
  • Chasing 220,Pakistan were 119 for three off 27 overs, well ahead of a target of 101 on DLS, when rain stopped play. This was Pakistan’s first win in the Champions Trophy after eight years.

Plan to launch third manufacturing plant in India, says Xiaomi

  • The Indian arm of Chinese handset maker Xiaomi Technology India Pvt. Ltd. may soon start exploring the possibility of setting up its third manufacturing plant in India. Already it has two manufacturing facilities of Foxconn in Sri City, Andhra Pradesh, which are producing one phone per second.
  • In the quarter ended March 2017, Xiaomi sold 3.8-3.9 million phones compared with one million phones in the corresponding quarter of the previous year.
  • Last year, Xiaomi India clocked sales income of $1 billion with 150 people and this year, it aspires to touch $2 billion with 225 people.

RBI keeps repo rate unchanged at 6.25%, cuts SLR by 50 bps

  • The RBI has kept the short-term lending rate, called repo rate, unchanged at 6.25 per cent after its second bimonthly review of this financial year. However Statutory liquidity ratio (SLR) was reduced by 50 basis points to 20 per cent starting June 24. The RBI last cut its policy rate on October 4, 2016.
  • It focused on keeping CPI inflation at 4 per cent on a durable basis as it sees inflation in 2-3.5 per cent range in the first half of the ongoing financial year and 3.5-4.5 per cent in the second half.
  • The six-member Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the Reserve Bank of India, headed by Governor Urjit Patel, reviews monetary policy.
  • RBI has reduced the growth projection for the current fiscal to 7.3% from 7.4%.
  • Repo Rate: 6.25%
  • Reverse Repo: 6%
  • Statutory Liquidity Ratio (SLR): 20%.
  • CRR: 4%

Sachin to become part of the UN Campaign highlighting role of father’s in Child’s Development

  • Sachin Tendulkar will join other global celebrities like Dravid, Beckham, 2Novak Djokovic, Mahershala Ali, British Formula One racing driver Lewis Hamilton and Australian actor Hugh Jackman for UNICEF’s ‘Super Dads’ campaign that highlights the critical role played by fathers in children’s early development.
  • The initiative is aimed at celebrating fatherhood and highlights the importance of love, play, protection and good nutrition for the healthy development of the brains of the young children.

Samuels 89 completes West Indies T20 series sweep

  • Marlon Samuels with his unbeaten 89 has guided the West Indies to a seven-wicket victory over Afghanistan in the final fixture of the three-match T20 International series at Warner Park in St Kitts.
  • Replying to Afghanistan's total of 146 for six, the right-hander's highest-ever T20 International innings took the home side to the target with four balls to spare and completed a 3-0 series sweep.
  • West Indies 147 for 3 (Samuels 89*, Mohammed 23*) beat Afghanistan 146 for 6 (Nabi 38, Noor Ali 35, Williams 3-34) by seven wickets.

SC to hear plea on cattle trade rules

  • The Supreme Court agreed to hear a petition challenging the new notifications issued by the Centre banning sale and trade of cattle in livestock markets for the purposes of slaughter and religious animal sacrifices.
  • The petition said the notifications issued by the Environment Ministry would cast a huge economic burden on farmers and cattle traders, exposing them to harassment by cow vigilantes and the police. It also contended that the Livestock Markets Rules ban sale or purchase of cattle for slaughter in animal markets.
  • The petition also pointed to how vigilante attacks on cattle traders have increased and the notifications may spoil the atmosphere.

Thiem ends Djokovic’s reign in French Open

  • Defending champion Novak Djokovic was sensationally knocked out of Roland Garros after he lost in straight sets to Dominic Thiem in the quarterfinals. The Austrian sixth seed convincingly beat the Serbian World No. 2 7-6(5), 6-3, 6-0.
  • Djokovic committed 35 unforced errors and struck 18 winners compared to Thiem’s 28 unforced errors and 38 winners.

United Kingdom goes to polls today

  • Britain will head to the polls as the issue of terrorism continued to dominate the agenda, and as both parties sought to get the upper hand in the debate on security, following three terrorist attacks in the country in as many months.
  • While Prime Minister Theresa May signaled her party’s willingness to put aside human rights laws in order to be able to bring in greater restrictions on those suspected of being involved in terrorism activities. The Labour Party continued to emphasize the impact of cuts to police forces brought in by the Conservative government.
  • A poll conducted showed support for the Conservatives dropping from 51.5% to 46.8%, while support for the Labour has surged from 30% to 40.4%, giving the Conservatives a 1-point lead.

WHO revises antibiotics protocol

  • The WHO has now recommended that antibiotics in the ‘access’ group be available at all times as treatment for a wide range of common infections. This includes amoxicillin, a widely-used antibiotic to treat infections such as pneumonia.
  • The ‘watch’ group covers antibiotics that are recommended as first or second choice treatment for a small number of infections. Ciprofloxacin, used to treat cystitis (a type of urinary tract infection) and upper respiratory tract infections falls under this category.
  • The third group, ‘reserve’, includes antibiotics such as colistin and some cephalosporins that should be considered last-resort options, and used only in the most severe circumstances when all other alternatives have failed, such as for life-threatening infections due to multidrug-resistant bacteria.
  • The new categorization will further guide countries in ensuring access to appropriate antibacterial agents and support antimicrobial stewardship effort.

World's first hybrid 'aeroboat' made by Indo-Russian JV unveiled

  • The world's first hybrid "aeroboat" capable of travelling on land, water, snow and sand that has been built by an Indo-Russian joint venture was unveiled in Moscow.
  • The aeroboat is designed to access difficult terrain, such as flooded or marshy areas where the use of regular boats is made impossible because of shallow water, patches of dry land or by marine vegetation.
  • It has been designed by IIAAT Holding, a joint venture between the International Institute for Advanced Aerospace Technologies and Indian firm Millennium Aerodynamics.