Daily Current Affairs - 01st Apr 2018

Ajit Singh to head BCCI’s ACU

  • The BCCI has appointed former Rajasthan Director-General of Police Ajit Singh head of its Anti-Corruption Unit (ACU).
  • Ajit has worked with Rajasthan’s anti-corruption bureau for four years and will take charge before IPL 2018 begins on April 7.
  • BCCI also retained the services of Neeraj Kumar, former BCCI-ACU head, as advisor till May 31.

Allahabad Bank cuts lending rates by 45 bps

  • Public sector lender Allahabad Bank has reduced the base rate and benchmark prime lending rate (BPLR) by 45 basis points each (bps), a move that will lower equated monthly instalments for its borrowers. Allahabad Bank has slashed base rate to 9.15% from 9.60%. BPLR has been brought down to 13.40% from 13.85%

Chandra Bhushan appointed Deputy Election Commissioner

  • Government has appointed senior bureaucrat Chandra Bhushan Kumar as Deputy Election Commissioner. He will have tenure of five years. Bhushan is 1995 batch IAS officer of Union Territories Cadre.
  • Election commission is multi member body and currently has three members including Chief Election Commissioner (CEC). They all are appointed by the President for a term which is fixed by the President.
  • The CEC and election commissioners have equal power and receive equal salary, allowances and other perquisites, which are similar to judge of Supreme court.

Delhi becomes first city in the country to get BS VI fuel

  • Ultra-clean Euro-VI grade petrol and diesel, at no additional price, will be supplied in the national capital, in a bid to combat alarming levels of air pollution.
  • Delhi will be the first city in the country to leapfrog from Euro-IV grade petrol and diesel to Euro-VI. Cities in the national capital region like Noida, Ghaziabad, Gurugram and Faridabad as well as 13 major cities including Mumbai, Chennai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Pune will switch over to cleaner Euro-VI grade fuel from January 1,2019. Rest of the country will follow suit from April 2020.
  • The major difference in standards between the existing BS-IV and the new BS-VI auto fuel norms is the presence of sulphur.

EC looks to provide inclusive voting platform

  • To make the elections more inclusive, the commission is reaching out to vulnerable groups, including the physically challenged and senior citizens, to understand the facilities they would require at polling booths.
  • For the visually challenged, a Braille sheet with the list of candidates, party names and serial numbers would be made available at every booth. People can ask for it to understand the serial number of their preference. They can even use assistance to vote.

Government appoints Vineet Joshi as first DG of National Testing Agency

  • Government has appointed former chairman of Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) Vineet Joshi, as the first Director-General (DG) of the National Testing Agency (NTA). He will have tenure of five years. He is 1992-batch IAS officer of the Manipur cadre. Prior to this appointment, he was resident commissioner of Manipur government. During his stint as CBSE chairman, he had introduced big changes such as Continuous Comprehensive Evaluation (CCE) and making Class X board examination optional.
  • NTA was approved by the Union cabinet in November 2017. It is autonomous and self-sustained premier testing organization to conduct entrance examinations for higher educational institutions in India. It is registered as society under Indian Societies Registration Act, 1860.

International Transgender Day of Visibility and pride

  • International Transgender Day of Visibility is an annual event occurring on March 31 dedicated to celebrating transgender people and raising awareness of discrimination faced by transgender people worldwide.
  • The day was founded by a Michigan based transgender activist named Rachel Crandall in 2009 as a reaction to the lack of LGBT days that celebrate transgender people, and that the only well-known transgender day was the Transgender Day of Remembrance which mourns the loss of transgender people to hate crimes but did not acknowledge and celebrate living members of the transgender community.

Kerala To Host Asia's Largest Startup Conclave

  • Asia s largest startup ecosystem congregation, Huddle Kerala, will be held at Kovalam. The initiative is envisaged to provide a platform for start-ups to pitch their products and interact with a wide array of technology and industry leaders from around the world.
  • Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan will inaugurate the conclave, being organized by the Kerala Startup Mission (KSUM) in association with Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) and IAMAI Startup Foundation.
  • Huddle Kerala will primarily focus on the emerging sectors like blockchain, cryptocurrency, internet of things (IoT), gaming and e-sports, cyber security, digital entertainment, augmented reality, virtual reality, e-governance and mobile governance among other latest technologies.

Mithali Raj adjudged 'Sportsperson of the Year'

  • Indian women's cricket team captain Mithali Raj was adjudged 'Sportsperson of the Year' while ace shuttlers Kidambi Srikanth and PV Sindhu bagged the best senior male and female athletes at the Telangana Sports Journalists Association annual awards for 2017.
  • Triple Olympian and former national hockey player N Mukesh Kumar was honoured with the Lifetime Achievement award at the event.
  • Former Indian cricketer VVS Laxman presented 'best coach of the year' award to Gopichand, who received this award for second time in a row.

Nepal launches 1st accessible trekking trail targeting disabled, elderly

  • As a part of three-day international conference on “Accessible Tourism”, Nepal has launched its first accessible trekking trail for differently abled and elders in Pokhara city. The three-day accessible tourism conference was organized in Nepal. The recently inaugurated trek is a 1.3 kilometers section of the 14-kilometer hiking path in the ridge connecting Sarangkot to Naudanda areas.
  • Accessible tourism or inclusive tourism refers to an emerging concept referring to travel that is accessible to all people, with disabilities or not, including those with mobility, hearing, sight, cognitive, or intellectual and psychosocial disabilities, older persons and those with temporary disabilities.

NHAI awarded projects worth Rs 1.22 lakh crore in FY18

  • The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has awarded projects worth Rs 1,22,000 crore for constructing about 7,400 km of highways in the fiscal 2017-18.
  • In Financial Year 2017-18, NHAI has awarded 150 road projects of 7,400 kilometre worth Rs 1,22,000 crore. In last 5 years, the average length of road projects awarded by NHAI was 2,860 Km .
  • In comparison, the length of projects awarded in FY 2017-18 is an all-time high and a record achievement by NHAI since its inception in 1995.
  • The projects awarded include 1,234 km in Rajasthan, 739 km in Maharashtra, 747 km in Odisha, 725 km in Uttar Pradesh, 511 km in Tamil Nadu, 504 km in Andhra Pradesh, 468 km in Karnataka, 449 Km in Gujarat, 389 km in Madhya Pradesh, 331 km in Haryana, 232 km in Bihar, 201 km in Jharkhand, 189 km in Telangana, 126 km in West Bengal, 120 km in Punjab, 100 km in J&K and balance in other states.

Pakistan tests nuclear-capable, submarine-launched missile

  • Pakistan has successfully test-fired its indigenously designed and built nuclear-capable, submarine-launched cruise missile (SLCM) Babur III. The missile was fired from underwater dynamic platform and successfully engaged its target with precise accuracy, meeting all the flight parameters.
  • Babur-III is the naval variant of the land-based Babur-II. The missile is capable of delivering various types of payloads including nuclear. This is only the second time that Pakistan has announced test of SLCM Babur-III missile, with first test being conducted in January 2017. Babur-III missile provides Pakistan’s military credible second-strike capability.

Pilot of 1971 flight hijacked to Pakistan passes away

  • Captain M. K. Kachru, pilot of the Indian Airlines plane hijacked to Pakistan in January 1971, died here after a prolonged illness. He was 93. Captain Kachru was flying the aircraft carrying 26 passengers and a crew of four from Srinagar to Jammu, when two Kashmiris hijacked it and forced him to fly to Lahore. Though the passengers and the crew were transported back to India by land via Amritsar, the plane was set on fire.

Protem Chairman of the Lalit Kala Akademi appointed

  • On the recommendation of the Minister of Culture, the President has appointed Shri M.L. Srivastava, Joint Secretary (Akademies), Ministry of Culture as Protem Chairman of the Lalit Kala Akademi with immediate effect. He will continue to hold the office till a regular Chairman is appointed.
  • The Lalit Kala Akademi or National Academy of Art is India's national academy of fine arts. It is an autonomous organisation, established in New Delhi in 1954 by Government of India to promote and propagate understanding of Indian art, in and outside the country.

RBI changes methodology for bond valuation to check manipulation

  • In a bid to prevent the possibility of manipulation in the prices of securities, especially government securities (G-Secs), the Reserve Bank of India has changed the methodology used by debt market players, including banks and primary dealers, for their valuation.
  • As per a central bank directive, security/bond valuation will be based on the weighted average price of the last half-an-hour of trading on the last trading day of every quarter against the last traded price earlier. The methodology as to how the bonds are valued is crucial for mark-to-market (MTM) purposes. MTM entails recording the price or value of a security to reflect the current market value rather than the book value.
  • Earlier, the last traded rate on the last working day of a quarter used to be taken for valuation. So, one could always manipulate the trade.

Rivigo ties up with IDFC, YES Bank, for truck loans

  • Rivigo, a homegrown logistics start-up that owns as well as acts as an aggregator of trucks, is tying up with YES Bank, IDFC and 10 other financial institutions to make cheaper funds available to truck owners and operators on its platform.
  • The funds will be available at an interest rate of 1-2 per cent per month, lower than the usual industry standard of 2-3 per cent.
  • Like cab aggregators such as Uber, Rivigo has a bunch of company-owned trucks and those owned and/or operated by its partners. But unlike them, Rivigo allows fleet owners to be part of its ecosystem. It does not provide a minimum guarantee of cargo volume to its driver partners on its platform but offers benefits like tracking daily rates for all types of trucks between various destinations.

TN files for contempt against Centre

  • Tamil Nadu moved the Supreme Court to initiate contempt proceedings against the Union government for its “willful disobedience” in not implementing the court’s February 16 judgment in the Cauvery dispute.
  • In its petition, the State said the Centre had failed to frame a scheme within the time limit set by the court, by not setting up the Cauvery Management Board and the Cauvery Water Regulation Committee to monitor the allocation of the river water among Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Kerala and Puducherry.