Daily Current Affairs - 28th Mar 2018

Anushka Sharma & PV Sindhu debut in Forbes 30 Under 30 Asia 2018 list

  • Bollywood actress-producer Anushka Sharma features in the Forbes 30 Under 30 Asia 2018 list, which includes innovators and disruptors who are reshaping their industries and changing Asia for the better. India's badminton ace P.V. Sindhu also features in the list. The Forbes list highlights 300 young individuals driving change in Asia.

Bandhan Bank climbs 27% on BSE on debut

  • Kolkata-based Bandhan Bank made a strong debut on the bourses, with the shares rising more than 27% on the first day of trading. On BSE, the shares opened at Rs. 485, significantly higher than the issue price of Rs. 375. It touched a high of Rs. 498.40 before closing at Rs. 477.20, up 27.25% compared to the issue price.
  • On the National Stock Exchange, Bandhan Bank opened at Rs. 499, which was also the day’s high. The shares closed at Rs. 470, up 25.33% from the issue price.
  • The market capitalisation of the lender after the first day of trading, is pegged at Rs. 56,920.65 crore, which makes it bigger than the much older listed entities like Punjab National Bank, Bank of Baroda and Corporation Bank.

Department of Posts launches Cool EMS Service between India and Japan

  • Department of Posts under the Ministry of Communications has launched the Cool EMS Service that will come into force from 29.03.2018. Cool EMS service is one-way service from Japan to India which allows customers in India to import Japanese food items for personal use which is allowed under Indian regulations.
  • Food items will be carried by Japan Post in special cool boxes containing refrigerant to preserve the quality of the food items and addressee will collect them from Foreign Post office. Initially, Cool EMS Service will be available in Delhi only.
  • All other features like track and trace of Express Mail Service (EMS) will be available for Cool EMS service as well.

Ethiopia's ruling coalition elects Abiye Ahmed as new PM

  • Ethiopia's ruling coalition has elected Abiye Ahmed as new Prime Minister, following the resignation of Hailemariam Desalegn last month. The 180-member council of the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front elected Abiye to succeed Hailemariam as the chairperson of the coalition, as the party and its regional affiliates hold all Parliament seats.
  • Ethiopia
  • Capital: Addis Ababa
  • Currency:Ethiopian birr

Exim Bank extends $500 million loan facility to 15-nation group in Africa

  • The Export-Import Bank (Exim Bank) said it will provide a USD 500 million credit facility to ECOWAS Bank for Investment and Development (EBID) to fund various development projects in the western-south Africa.
  • The line of credit of USD 500 million to EBID will finance various development projects in the ECOWAS region that includes-- Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Cote d'Ivoire, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Togo.
  • The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has a mandate to promote economic integration in all fields of activity of the constituting countries.

GIFT and Deloitte sign MoU to promote IFSC operations

  • GIFT City has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu India LLP (DTTILLP) for mutual cooperation in areas related to international financial services. The MoU was signed with the aim of assisting domestic and international clients set up operations at the GIFT-located International Financial Services Centre (IFSC). Both entities will also cooperate in training and organising seminars and conferences on select topics to promote IFSC.
  • GIFT City is a global business district offering a platform for business opportunities in international and domestic business operation.
  • Managing Director and Group CEO of GIFT: Ajay Pandey

GST collections dip marginally

  • According to official data, Goods and Services Tax collections for February declined marginally to Rs. 85,174 crore. The last date for filing of GSTR-3B return for the month of February 2018 was March 20, 2018. The government’s GST collections had stood at Rs. 86,318 crore in January.
  • So far, about 1.05 crore taxpayers have been registered under GST till March 25. Of these, 18.17 lakhcome under the composition scheme and have to file returns every quarter. The rest of the 86.37 lakh taxpayers are required to file monthly returns.
  • As of March 25, 59.51 lakh GSTR-3B returns had been filed for February, accounting for 69% of those required to file monthly returns.

Iceland announces diplomatic boycott of World Cup in Russia

  • Iceland announced that it will stage a diplomatic boycott of the football World Cup in Russia over the poisoning of a former double agent in Britain. It further stated that the Icelandic leaders will not attend the FIFA World Cup in Russia this summer. There is also temporary postponement of all high-level bilateral dialogue with the Russian authorities.
  • Britain has already announced that British royals and ministers would stay away from the FIFA tournament set for June 14-July 15.
  • Iceland
  • President: Guoni Thorlacius Johannesson
  • Prime Minister: Katrín Jakobsdottir
  • Capital Reykjavik
  • Currency: Icelandic krona

India Ranks 67th In Fixed Line, 109th In Mobile Broadband Speed

  • According to internet speed testing analysis firm Ookla, India is ranked 67th for fixed broadband, and 109th for mobile internet speeds in February. India's performance in fixed broadband download speeds has gone up from average speeds of 18.82 megabit per second (mbps) in November 2017 to 20.72 mbps in February 2018, however, it remains below global average download speed of 42.71 mbps.
  • India's neighbouring countries China was ranked 20th, Sri Lanka 76th, Bangladesh 86th, Nepal 89th and Pakistan 112nd, in terms of fixed line broadband download speed.
  • Norway is at first position in the world for mobile internet with an average download speed of 62.07 Mbps. Singapore takes the top spot for fixed broadband with a 161.53 Mbps average download.
  • As per the index, global average mobile broadband download speed was 22.16 mbps in February
  • Ookla's Speedtest Global Index compares internet speed data from around the world monthly with help of 7,021 servers globally, out of which 439 Speedtest servers are present in India, the report said.

India's first insect museum opened in Tamilnadu

  • India's first museum exclusively for insects with the state-of-the-art amenities was opened in Coimbatore. The museum, established at a 6,691 sqft area, is fully dedicated to insects and claimed to be the first of its in the country.
  • The museum would display insects preserved as specimens as also live ones depicting their different developmental stages, images, videos and models of their unique behaviour, habits and habitats.
  • The insect museum is the brainchild of Ramaraju, an entomologist who has collected more than 40,000 insects over a span of 10 years, housing them in the agricultural entomology department of the university

India, US committed to strengthening information sharing on terrorist groups, individuals

  • India and United States are committed to strengthening information sharing on some of the world’s most dangerous terrorist groups and individuals. This commitment was made during the 15th meeting of the India-US Counter terrorism Joint Working Group in New Delhi. Both sides also exchanged views on efforts to counter the financing and operations of regional and global terrorist organizations.
  • The working group also discussed international and bilateral cooperation on justice, law enforcement and capacity building efforts to counter terrorism and UN Security Council Resolution 2396
  • The Working Group reviewed threats posed by terrorist groups worldwide and in their respective regions including cross border terrorism in the South Asian region.

Manu Bhaker, Anmol jointly lift gold in ISSF Junior World Cup

  • Manu Bhaker and Anmol bagged the mixed air pistol gold to strengthen India’s chances of staying close to China on top of the medals table in the junior World Cup in Sydney. It was the third gold for the 16-year-old Manu after her individual and team gold medals in air pistol.
  • India’s medals tally stood at seven gold, three silver and eight bronze behind China (22 medals, eight gold).

NASA, SpaceX’s collaboration in search for life outside Earth

  • The search for the cosmic real estate is about to begin a new with NASA and SpaceX joining hands for their all-new combined mission. NASA’s little spacecraft, the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite, or TESS, will flew on a Falcon 9 rocket of the SpaceX to go up in the space on April 16. TESS, abound with cameras and ambition, would be staying between the moon and the Earth for at least two years, scanning the sky for alien worlds.
  • Scientists expect that TESS would discover nearly 500 Earth-sized planets within 300 light-years of here. This would let the new generation of telescopes on Earth and in space study looking for habitability, and perhaps even inhabitants.

RBI restarts pre-policy talks

  • After a gap of about one-and-a-half years, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has resumed the process of holding consultative meetings with industry groups and banks in the run-up to the monetary policy. The aim of restarting the consultative process could be to address such perceptions, bankers said on condition of anonymity. Earlier, the consultative meetings used to take place before the April and October monetary policy reviews.
  • RBI Governor Urjit Patel and the deputy governors met representatives of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and are scheduled to meet bankers in the coming days.
  • The RBI’s six member monetary policy committee (MPC) will hold its first bimonthly policy review of the new fiscal year on April 4-5.

Russia warns of retaliation over mass expulsions of its diplomats

  • Russia has threatened retaliation against United States over one of the largest mass expulsions of its diplomats in history following use of nerve agent attack on a former Russian spy in Britain. Russia claimed the US pressured and blackmailed other countries to expel Russian diplomats. As of now over 25 countries all around the world have expelled 150 Russian officials from their countries.
  • Meanwhile, United States said it wants to improve its relationship with Russia but for that to happen, Moscow must first change its behaviour.

SC appoints Justice Jawad Rahim as acting chairperson of NGT

  • The Supreme Court of India has appointed Justice Jawad Rahim, judicial member of the National Green Tribunal (NGT), as the acting chairperson of the green panel. The court further said that the new acting chairperson will discharge his duties until a regular appointment is made and will take part in selection process of other members of the NGT.
  • The order came on a plea of the NGT Bar Association that said that due to the non-appointment of chairperson at the NGT, selection process to fill up vacancies has been stalled.

U.A.E. Completes First of Four Korean-Built Nuclear Reactors

  • The United Arab Emirates, with help from Korea Electric Power Corp., finished building the Arab world’s first commercial nuclear reactor Barakah. It is a milestone in the oil-rich U.A.E.’s effort to curb its reliance on fossil fuels and develop cleaner sources of energy.
  • The U.A.E. government expects that the four Barakah plants to contribute almost 25 percent of the nation’s electricity after they’re all operating. The U.A.E. currently depends on imported natural gas to generate much of its electricity.
  • Saudi Arabia also plans to build at least 16 nuclear reactors over the next 25 years at a cost of more than $80 billion.

Uzbekistan offers to host talks between Afghan government, Taliban

  • Uzbekistan has offered to host peace talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban, a move that could make Tashkent a player in settling the decades-long conflict in the neighbouring country. It stated that it is ready to create all necessary conditions to arrange direct talks between the government of Afghanistan and the Taliban.
  • Last month, Afghan president Ashraf Ghani offered recognition of the Taliban as a legitimate political group as part of a proposed political process.
  • Uzbekistan
  • President Shavkat Mirziyoyev
  • Capital: Tashkent
  • Currency: Uzbekistani so'm

World Theatre Day observed on March 27

  • World Theatre Day is celebrated annually on the 27th March by International Theatre Institute (ITI) Centres and the international theatre community. Various national and international theatre events are organized to mark this occasion. Each year on the 27th March (which is the date of the opening of the 1962 "Theatre of Nations" season in Paris), the day has been celebrated in many and varied ways by ITI National Centres of which there are now almost 100 throughout the world.
  • Each year a figure outstanding in theatre or a person outstanding in heart and spirit from another field, is invited to share his or her reflections on theatre and international harmony.