Daily Current Affairs - 25th Nov 2017

3 Indians enter finals of Youth Women's World Boxing Championship

  • Three Indians entered the finals at the AIBA Youth women's World Boxing Championships in Guwahati. The pugilists who made it in their respective categories are Jyoti Gulia, Shashi Chopra, and Ankushita Boro.
  • In the 51kg semi-final, Jyoti defeated Kazakhstan's Zhansaya Abdraimova. She emerged triumphant in a split verdict. Jyoti will face Russia's Ekaterina. Jyoti will face Russia's Ekaterina Molchanova in the final.
  • Shashi will face Vietnam's Do Hong Ngoc in the final. In the 64 kg division, local favourite Ankushita Boro overcame Thailand's Thanchnok Saksri.

Asia Pacific Screen Awards: Big Win for Rajkummar Rao and ‘Newton’

  • Rajkummar Rao-starrer Newton, which is also India’s foreign-language Oscar entry, has won two trophies at the Asia Pacific Screen Awards at a ceremony in Brisbane, Australia. Rao won the best actor honour, while Mayank Tewari and Amit V Masurkar won the award for best screenplay.

Centre to seek 20,000 MW of solar bids

  • The Union government is planning bids for a total of 20,000 MW of solar energy plants projects in this financial year, of which 3,600 MW have already been completed.It is planning bids for 30,000 MW of solar projects in 2018-19 and 2019-20, each.
  • In wind energy, the Centre announced the third wind power auction of 2,000 MW, the largest of its kind in India so far. The government would soon invite expressions of interest for the setting up of end-to-end solar component manufacturing in India of 20 GW capacity.

FDI up 17% to $25.35 bn during April-Sept this fiscal

  • Foreign direct investment (FDI) in the country increased by 17 per cent to USD 25.35 billion during April-September fiscal. The FDI equity during the current FY 2017–18, up to September surged by 17 per cent to USD 25.35 billion from USD 21.62 billion in the year-ago period.
  • The main sectors which attract foreign inflows include services, telecom, trading, computer hardware and software and automobile.
  • Bulk of the FDI came in from Singapore, Mauritius, the Netherlands and Japan.

GST may have fewer slabs in future, says Chief Economic Adviser

  • Chief Economic Adviser, CEA, Arvind Subramanian has said going forward the Goods and Services Tax, GST, may have fewer rates by collapsing12 per cent and 18 per cent tax slabs into one. The tax regime, which rolled out from July 1, will stabilize in the next six to nine months and become a model for other countries.
  • Subramanian described the GST implementation as a transformational fiscal reform that the country had not seen in the past.

India urges UN to declare 2018 as 'International Year of Millets'

  • India has sent a proposal to the United Nations (UN) for declaring the year 2018 as 'International Year of Millets. The proposal, if agreed, will raise awareness about millets among consumers, policy makers, industry and R&D sector.
  • Millet is a common term to categorise small-seeded grasses that are often termed nutri-cereals or dryland-cereals. It includes sorghum, pearl millet, ragi, small millet, foxtail millet, proso millet, barnyard millet, kodo millet and other millets.
  • Nutritionally superior to wheat and rice due to their higher levels of protein with more balanced amino acid profile, crude fiber and minerals such as Iron, Zinc, and Phosphorous, millets can provide nutritional security and act as a shield against nutritional deficiency, especially among children and women.
  • Eminent agriculture scientist, MS Swaminathan, is learnt to have suggested the central government for this move in order to popularise cultivation and consumption of millets.

Indian squad for World team squash

  • The top four players in terms of world ranking, Saurav Ghosal, Vikram Malhotra, Harinder Pal Sandhu and Mahesh Mangaonkar form the four-member Indian team for the WSF- men’s world team squash championship scheduled here from November 27 to December 3.
  • India is seeded eight and is in Pool-H along with Malaysia and Austria.

Lending to SMEs seen rising 11% over two years

  • According to rating agency Crisil, lending to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) is projected to grow at 11% over the next two fiscal years. This is faster than the estimate for 7% growth in bank credit to India Inc.
  • Non-Banking Financial Companies (NBFCs) to outperform banks with sharper focus on small-ticket loans, adoption of technology and data analytics, and focus on smaller towns and cities.
  • Consequently, cumulative market share of non-banks in MSME financing rose to about 18% in fiscal 2017, from 8% five years ago.
  • Currently, the MSME lending market size is estimated at about Rs. 14 lakh crore.

Maheshwari pips Ganemat to gold

  • Maheshwari Chauhan beat Ganemat Sekhon in the shoot-off for the gold in women’s skeet in the 61st National shotgun championship at the Dr. Karni Singh Range.Maheshwari tied with Ganemat Sekhon with 50 in the final, while pushing Parinaaz Dhaliwal to the bronze.

P.V. Sindhu enters semi-finals of Hong Kong Open

  • P V Sindhu has advanced to the semi-finals of the Hong Kong Open Super Series Badminton tournament. In the quarter-final, the Indian shuttler upset World No. 2 Akane Yamaguchi of Japan in straight games 21-12, 21-19.

PM Modi to inaugurate Hyderabad Metro Rail project on 28th November

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the Hyderabad Metro Rail, HMR, project on 28th of this month. Initially, the 30 kilometre stretch from Miyapur to Nagole, of the total 72 kilometre long three-corridor Hyderabad Metro Rail project will be operational.
  • The HMR is the world’s biggest mass transport system built in Public Private Partnership with nearly 20 thousand crore rupees investment of which 90 percent came from State Government and private partners.
  • The state of the art technology - the Communication Based Train Control System which can provide capacity to operate a train in every 2 minutes, has been used.
  • Hyderabad Metro Rail Corporation Managing Director NVS Reddy

Rajnath Singh to chair 12th Standing Committee meet of Inter-State Council

  • Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh will chair the 12th Standing Committee meeting of the Inter-State Council (ISC) to discuss the recommendations of the Punchhi Commission on Centre-state relations.
  • The representatives of 30 Union Ministries or departments and seven state governments have also been invited to assist the committee in its deliberations.
  • The Central government on April 27, 2007 constituted the Punchhi Commission under the chairmanship of former Chief Justice Madan Mohan Punchhi to look into the new issues of Centre-state relations keeping in view the changes that have taken place in the polity and economy.

RBI study claims major drop in cash payments after note-ban

  • RBI says the note-ban has resulted in a fundamental shift in the payment habits in the economy-a move away from cash payments to and a wider adoption of retail electronic payments, card usage at merchant terminals and cheques.
  • In its study report the RBI stated that the demonetization has impacted the inter-bank payments and settlement system significantly in moving cash transactions to non-cash modes of payments in three segments-retail electronic payments, card usage at PoS terminals and cheques.
  • As per the study, cheque volumes and values contracted during the pre-demonetisation period but recorded positive growth during demonetisation as well as post-note-ban months.
  • There was a sharp growth in card transactions at points of sale terminals for both demonetisation and post- demonetisation periods.

SBI launches YONO, an integrated app for financial services

  • The State Bank of India will be launching a comprehensive digital platform with a view to providing all its services as well as its subsidiaries with just one app. The proposed digital service platform 'You Only Need One', Yono will offer everything related to financial services and lifestyle products and services.
  • All the financial services product from SBI and its subsidiaries-- SBI Life, SBI General, SBI Mutual Fund, SBI Caps and SBI Cards--will be integrated on the platform.
  • Yono can be accessed through mobile phones, both Android and iOS, and on the Web through a browser, and allows a seamless omnichannel customer experience.

Scientists make world’s smallest tape recorder from bacteria

  • In a first, Columbia University researchers have converted a bacterial immune system into the world’s smallest data recorder. Using CRISPR gene-editing method, the team modified the human gut microbe E. coli, enabling the bacteria to record their interactions with the environment and also time-stamp the events. It could be used for disease diagnosis and environmental monitoring.
  • Such bacteria, swallowed by a patient, might be able to record the changes they experience through the whole digestive tract, yielding an unprecedented view of previously inaccessible phenomena.

Uber to partner with Mahindra to pilot electric vehicles in India

  • Ride-hailing firm Uber will partner with automaker Mahindra and Mahindra to pilot electric vehicles on its platform in India. Uber will deploy hundreds of electric vehicles in Delhi and Hyderabad by March next year and will consider expanding the pilot to other cities.
  • As part of the deal, Uber will initially subsidize the cost of electric cars for its drivers and Mahindra will also provide finance, insurance and after-sales service. The two companies will also work with public and private firms to set up charging stations for the cars in Hyderabad.
  • Electric car sales in India, one of the world’s fastest-growing car markets, are negligible compared with annual sales of over 3 million petrol and diesel cars last fiscal year.
  • The Union government is pushing to have all new vehicles electrified by 2030.