Daily Current Affairs - 01st Feb 2018

30 pc of young people in conflict or disaster-stricken countries are illiterate: UNICEF

  • UNICEF has said, nearly 30 percent of young people between the ages of 15 and 24 in countries affected by conflict and disaster are illiterate, triple the global rate.
  • It said, four impoverished African countries with a long history of instability had the highest rates of young people unable to read or write -- Niger with 76 percent, Chad with 69 percent, South Sudan with 68 percent and the Central African Republic with 64 percent.

Anu Kumar wins first gold in Khelo India School Games

  • Anu Kumar of Uttarakhand grabbed the first gold medal of the Khelo India School Games in 1500 metres at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium. Tamil Nadu athletes won two of the six gold medals on the opening day of the games.
  • In the girls category, C Chanthini of Kerala won the gold medal in 1500-metres run. Abhishek Singh of Uttar Pradesh won the Shot Put.

Brand Finance 2018: Tata slips 3 spots Reliance, Airtel, Infosys fall too

  • According to the latest study of the world's leading 500 brands released by UK-based Brand Finance. the Tata brand has slipped three places to 104, the lowest in 11 years, though brand value has grown nine per cent to touch $14.2 billion in 2018.
  • The world's top ten brands: Amazon, Apple , Google, Samsung, Facebook, AT and T, Microsoft, Verizon, Walmart, ICBC.
  • India's top ten brands: Tata, Airtel, Infosys, LIC,SBI, HCL, Indian Oil, Reliance, L and T.

Eight core sectors' growth slows to five-month low of 4% in December 2017

  • Growth of the eight core sectors slowed to a five-month low of 4% in December 2017 due to negative performance of segments like coal and crude oil.
  • The output growth recorded in December is the lowest since July 2017, when these core sectors had witnessed 2.9% expansion. These eight industries -- coal, crude oil, natural gas, refinery products, fertilisers, steel, cement and electricity -- had witnessed a growth of 5.6% in December 2016.
  • The growth in key sectors will have implications for the Index of Industrial Production (IIP) as these eight segments account for about 41% of the total factory output.

French honour for Soumitra Chatterjee

  • Veteran Bengali actor Soumitra Chatterjee received the Legion of Honour, the highest French civilian award, 30 years after his mentor and renowned filmmaker Satyajit Ray was conferred with the same.
  • Ambassador of France to India Alexandre Ziegler conferred the insignia of Knight of the Legion of Honour (Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur), the highest French civilian distinction, on Soumitra Chatterjee for his contribution to cinema.

India cannot become refugee capital of the world, Centre tells Supreme Court in Rohingya case

  • The Centre has told the Supreme Court that it does not want the country to become the refugee capital of the world.
  • Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta told this to a bench, headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra, which was hearing a fresh plea by two Rohingya refugees alleging that the BSF was using chilli and stun grenades to stop the refugees from entering India.
  • The court gave the Centre time till the 7th of next month to respond to the fresh plea.

India ranks 42nd on EIU Democracy Index

  • Norway has topped the list on an annual Global Democracy Index, followed by Iceland and Sweden, compiled by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU).
  • India ranks at 42nd and classified among “flawed democracies”. The index ranks 165 independent states and two territories on the basis of five categories.The list has been divided into four broad categories—full democracy, flawed democracy, hybrid regime and authoritarian regime.
  • The EIU is the research and analysis division of the UK- based media behemoth The Economist Group.

Insolvency: Bidders may not be able to sell stressed assets for 5 years

  • Bidders for assets of companies undergoing insolvency proceedings face up to a five-year lock-in for the shares they acquire. Lending banks are insisting on this to deter sales of the assets by the new promoter at a profit within months of the takeover.
  • Over 4,300 insolvency cases have been filed, of which 470 have been admitted to the National Company Law Tribunal. But the buyer interest is concentrated on steel and cement companies, which have large capacities across India.

IREDA signs agreement for financing solar projects in Madhya Pradesh

  • Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency Limited (IREDA) and Rewa Ultra Mega Solar Limited (RUMSL) signed an agreement for financing the shared infrastructure of two large Solar Parks in Madhya Pradesh.
  • Under the World Bank Line of Credit, IREDA has sanctioned its first loan of Rs. 210.62 Cr. to RUMSL to finance two such solar parks in the state of Madhya Pradesh.
  • Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, the World Bank and IREDA have worked out a proposal to channelize US$ 100 Million for creating common infrastructure for ultra-mega solar parks in India to achieve the 100 GW solar capacity addition target by 2022.
  • The two solar parks to be supported under the World Bank Funding Scheme are the 750 MW Rewa Ultra-Mega Solar Park and 250 MW Mandsaur Solar Park in Madhya Pradesh.

M C Mary Kom enters final in 48 kg category of India Open

  • In Boxing, five-time world champion MC Mary Kom advanced to the Final of the India Open.
  • In the 48 kilogram category, Mary Kom seeded 12th, defeated Mongolia's Altansetseg Lutsaikhan to enter the gold medal match. Mary Kom will now face Josie Gabuco of the Philippines.
  • In the Men's 60kg division, Shiva Thapa, seeded top, settled for a bronze after going down to fellow Indian Manish Kaushik in a unanimous verdict.

MHRD recruits 1,200 IIT, NIT students to teach in rural colleges

  • The Union Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) has hired fresh pass-outs from premier institutes, such as the Indian Institute of Technology (IITs), the National Institutes of Technology (NITs) and the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), to fill vacant posts of about 1,225 assistant professors in 53 government engineering colleges in 11 backwards states.
  • Their salaries, however, would be paid through a World Bank-aided project for improving quality of engineering graduates in states such as Bihar, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Odisha, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Jammu & Kashmir.

Neelam Kapur, appointed as Sports Authority of India DG

  • Senior-most Indian Information Service officer Neelam Kapur, who had served as UPA government’s spokesperson, was appointed director general (DG)?of Sports Authority of India (SAI).
  • The 1982 batch IIS officer is at present the Principal Director General of the Directorate of Field Publicity (DFP).
  • It is for the first time that an IIS officer has been appointed as SAI chief. The post is usually held by an Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer.

Rich Europeans fleeing London, Lagos after new taxes

  • Wealthy Londoners are leaving the city due to new taxes that have made it expensive to inherit and invest. Moreover, Brexit is prompting rich Europeans living in the UK capital to return home.
  • According to Global Wealth Migration Review, cities that saw large inflows of high net-worth individuals (HNWIs) include Auckland, Dubai, Montreal, New York, Tel Aviv and Toronto. China and India continue to dominate countries where the rich are moving out of. However, once the standard of living improves, people return to their place.
  • Mumbai — India’s financial hub — is expected to be the fastest-growing city in terms of increase in wealth over the next decade.

Rs. 370 cr. allotted for building border infra

  • Laying emphasis on building infrastructure along the Indo-Pak and Sino-India borders, the government has sanctioned nearly Rs. 370 crore to the BSF and the ITBP for construction of bunkers and special climate-controlled huts in forward areas.
  • The Indo-Pakistan border has been witnessing massive ceasefire violation from across the border since the beginning of 2017.
  • ITBP guards the 3,488-km-long Sino-India border that runs through Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh.The force is specially trained to operate in high altitude mountainous terrain along the border.

SBI inks information utility agreement with NeSL

  • State Bank of India has signed an Information Utility (IU) agreement with National E-Governance Services (NeSL) to share financial and security information under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (IU) Regulation, 2017.
  • The agreement comes in the wake of Reserve Bank of India advising all financial creditors regulated by it to adhere to the relevant provisions of Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC), 2016, and IBBI (IU) Regulation 2017 and submit financial and security information to IU.
  • NeSL is the first IU registered with IBBI. The company has been set up by 17 financial institutions, including State Bank of India, Life Insurance Corporation of India, Bank of Baroda, Canara Bank, and ICICI Bank.

Sri Lanka govt sets up special courts to probe Rajapaksa-era graft

  • Sri Lanka government will set up special courts to investigate charges of corruption amounting to billions of dollars under former president Mahinda Rajapaksa.
  • In a statement, government said that there will be special three-judge high courts set up exclusively to hear bribery and corruption cases which are currently clogging the lower courts.
  • President Maithripala Sirisena has said as many as half of all public procurement contracts under the Rajapaksa administration were corrupt and the new government has renegotiated several multi-billion dollar projects.
  • Sri Lanka Capital: Colombo
  • Currency: Sri Lankan Rupee

Trump promises an era of ‘unmatched’ American power

  • U.S. President Donald Trump’s first State of the Union address followed the script of his nationalist politics on immigration, trade and the U.S.’s global ties, while offering conditional conciliation to his domestic critics on issues.
  • In his 80-minute speech at the Capitol, the President repeatedly invoked images of violent and crime-prone-immigrants, called Russia and China “rivals… that challenge our interests, our economy, and our values”, remained non-committal on the Iran nuclear deal, and promised a fresh round of military build-up, including modernisation of the country’s nuclear arsenal, and an era of “unmatched” American power.
  • USA Capital : Washington DC Currency: US Dollar