Daily Current Affairs - 16th Jun 2017

CAD widens to $3.4 billion in Q4

  • The current account deficit widened in the fourth quarter of 2016-17 to $3.4 billion or 0.6% of the GDP from $ 0.3 billion or 0.1% of the GDP during the same period of the previous financial year.
  • The gap narrowed when compared to the third quarter of 2016-17 when it was $8 billion or 1.4% of the GDP, according to latest data released by the RBI.
  • "The widening of the CAD on a year-on-year basis was primarily on account of a higher trade deficit ($29.7 billion) brought about by a larger increase in merchandise imports relative to exports - the RBI.

Centre plans to cut MSTC stake to 65%

  • The Centre is planning to reduce its stake in MSTC from 89.8% to about 65%, through an offer for sale.
  • MSTC, a mini ratna public sector undertaking under the Union Steel Ministry, was established in September 1964 to act as a small trading company for ferro alloys at an investment of Rs. 6 lakh. Historically, the Steel Arc Association and another industry association had held the balance equity.
  • MSTC was among the 11 Central Public Sector Enterprises whose listing was approved by the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs in April 2017.

China successfully sends pairs of entangled photons from space

  • For the first time, China has successfully sent pairs of entangled photons from a satellite in orbit to three ground stations in the country each separated by more than 1,200-km, in a major breakthrough that opens up prospects for practical quantum communications.
  • The photon pairs were demonstrated to be still entangled after travelling long distances.
  • This satellite-based technology opens up bright prospects for both practical quantum communications and fundamental quantum optics experiments at distances previously inaccessible on the ground

Government unveils tit-for-tat public procurement policy

  • Entities from countries where Indian suppliers are not allowed to participate or compete in bids for government procurement, may be restricted or excluded from public procurement tenders in India.
  • Such a provision, relating to "reciprocity," has been included in the Indian government’s new policy to encourage ‘Make in India’ by granting preference to local suppliers in public procurement.
  • The policy — approved by the Cabinet last month — is aimed at boosting domestic manufacturing and services, thereby creating employment and enhancing income, as well as to stimulate the flow of capital and technology into domestic manufacturing and services.

Hockey World League: India beat Scotland 4-1

  • In Hockey World League semi-final, India beat Scotland 4-1 in their opening Pool B match in the men's event in London. Captain Chris Grassick had given the Scots an early lead by finishing off a well-worked move.
  • Meanwhile, England moved to the top of Pool A after beginning their campaign with a comfortable 2-0 victory over China.

ICC Champions Trophy: India storm into final beating Bangladesh by 9 wickets

  • Defending champions India has stormed into the final of the ICC Champions Trophy with a crushing win over Bangladesh by nine wickets at Edgbaston.
  • Chasing Bangladesh's 265 run target, India, riding on Rohit Sharma's 123 and skipper Virat Kohli's 96 of 78 balls, met the target with 59 balls to spare.
  • Rohit Sharma was adjourned Man of the Match. Virat Kohli became the quickest player to touch the 8000-run mark in the One Day International.

Imports jump 33% on gold demand

  • India’s exports grew by 8.32% to $24.01 billion in May, mainly on account of robust performance by sectors like petroleum, chemicals, engineering goods as well as gems and jewellery.
  • Imports too jumped 33% to $37.85 billion last month from $28.44 billion in May 2016, according to the data released by the Commerce Ministry.
  • A huge jump in gold imports pushed up the trade deficit to $13.84 billion during the month under review from $6.27 billion a year ago.

India 60th most-innovative globally: GII rankings

  • India has moved up six places to the 60th spot among 130 nations on the Global Innovation Index (GII) 2017, emerging as the top-ranked economy in central and south Asia.
  • It highlighted the continual improvement of India in terms of investment, tertiary education, quality of its publications and universities, its ICT services exports and innovation clusters. Switzerland, Sweden, the Netherlands, the US and UK retained their top spots as the most-innovative countries.
  • The index, co-authored by Cornell University, INSEAD and World Intellectual Property Organisation, shows India’s rise as an emerging innovation centre in Asia, although the country ranks far behind China which occupied the 22nd spot.

India re-elected to UN's principal organ on economic, social and environmental issues

  • India has been re-elected to the UN's principal organ on economic, social and environmental issues for another three-year term. India was among 18 nations to win election to the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).
  • ECOSOC, one of the six main organs of the United Nations, is the principal body for coordination, policy review, policy dialogue and recommendations on economic, social and environmental issues, as well as for implementation of the internationally agreed development goals.

India tops global remittance-receiving list

  • India has claimed the top spot among the remittance-receiving nations, surpassing China.
  • The United Nations, in its report, said Indians working across the globe sent home 62.7 billion US dollars last year. The 'One Family at a Time' study by the UN International Fund for Agricultural Development said, about 200 million migrants globally sent more than 445 billion dollars as remittances in 2016 to their families.
  • The study said 80 per cent of remittances are received by 23 countries, led by India, China, the Philippines, Mexico and Pakistan.

Israeli writer wins Man Booker International

  • Israeli author David Grossman has won the Man Booker International Prize, sharing the £50,000 award with translator Jessica Cohen.
  • Mr. Grossman, the first Israeli writer to win the prize, is now expected to enjoy a spike in international sales for A Horse Walks Into a Bar .
  • Mr. Grossman’s book unfolds over the course of a stand-up show during which comedian Dovelah Gee exposes a wound he has been living with for years and the difficult choice he had to make between the two people who were dearest to him.

Neeru Chadha elected international sea law tribunal judge

  • Law expert Neeru Chadha has been elected a judge of the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) and will be the first Indian woman to serve on the 21-member court.
  • She has won a nine-year term on the tribunal that adjudicates disputes arising over the U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea.
  • The International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea is an independent judicial body established by the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea to adjudicate disputes arising out of the interpretation and application of the Convention.
  • Headquarters : Hamburg, Germany

Sebi ups penalty for non-compliance

  • Tightening the screws on listed companies, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) revised the penalty amount for non-compliance of listing regulations.
  • From now on, any delay in bonus issue allotment would attract a penalty of Rs 1 crore on companies along with prosecution.
  • SEBI has also asked exchanges to disseminate the names of non-compliant listed entities on their website that are liable to pay fine for non-compliance, the amount of fine imposed and details of fines received.

X-ray space telescope launched

  • China launched its first X-ray space telescope to study black holes, pulsars and gamma-ray bursts, state media reported.
  • A Long March-4B rocket carried the 2.5-tonne telescope into orbit from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwest China’s Gobi Desert, according to the Xinhua news agency.
  • The Hard X-ray Modulation Telescope (HXMT) has been named Insight.