Daily Current Affairs - 16th Apr 2018

7th edition of Home Expo India 2018 to begins today

  • The 7th edition of Home Expo India 2018 will begin today at India Expo Centre and Mart in Greater Noida. Home Expo India 2018 being organized by the Export Promotion Council for Handicrafts is a three segmented categories show comprising Housewares, Textiles and Furniture under one roof at the same time making it a One-Stop Expo for every visitor.
  • The Expo will be one of leading business-to-business shows where a wide range of tableware, home textiles, kitchenware, houseware and bathroom accessories will be displayed.
  • International buyers, leading manufacturers and exporters will share the same platform and will exchange various ideas related to the industry.
  • More than 650 Indian exporters of all the three categories will be displaying exquisite products.
  • The major markets for exports of Home Furnishing, Floorings, Home Textiles, Furniture and Accessories, Houseware and Decoratives have been USA, Canada, countries in European Union like France, Italy, UK, The Netherlands in addition to UAE, Japan and Switzerland.

Centre raises NABARD's authorised capital to Rs 30,000 crore to aid rural economy

  • As part of the drive to double income of farmers by 2022, the union government has raised the authorised capital of NABARD by six times to Rs 30,000 crore to help it increase its lending to the rural economy. A bill in this regard was approved by Parliament earlier this year.
  • The increase in authorized capital will enable NABARD to respond to commitments it has undertaken, particularly in respect of the Long Term Irrigation Fund and on-lending to cooperative banks.
  • It has also been for implementing several key funds such as Long Term Irrigation Fund (LITF), Minor Irrigation Fund (MIF), Agriculture Marketing Fund, Fund for rural housing (PMAY-G), and Dairy Infrastructure Development Fund (DIDF), for supporting rural sector.
  • National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (Nabard) was set up in 1982 to promote sustainable and equitable agriculture and rural development through participative financial and non-financial interventions, innovations, technology and institutional development for securing prosperity.

Centre raises NABARD's authorised capital to Rs 30,000 crore to aid rural economy

  • As part of the drive to double income of farmers by 2022, the union government has raised the authorised capital of NABARD by six times to Rs 30,000 crore to help it increase its lending to the rural economy. A bill in this regard was approved by Parliament earlier this year.
  • The increase in authorized capital will enable NABARD to respond to commitments it has undertaken, particularly in respect of the Long Term Irrigation Fund and on-lending to cooperative banks.
  • It has also been for implementing several key funds such as Long Term Irrigation Fund (LITF), Minor Irrigation Fund (MIF), Agriculture Marketing Fund, Fund for rural housing (PMAY-G), and Dairy Infrastructure Development Fund (DIDF), for supporting rural sector.
  • National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (Nabard) was set up in 1982 to promote sustainable and equitable agriculture and rural development through participative financial and non-financial interventions, innovations, technology and institutional development for securing prosperity.

Centre ties up with IIT-Delhi for safety switches on vehicles

  • The Ministry of Electronics and IT in partnership with IIT-Delhi is working on a switch-based device in cars and buses to aid safety of women. The proposed panic switch system when invoked will generate a loud alarm in the vehicle which will attract public attention, and send the coordinates of the person to a server [police control room] to provide necessary help. The system will include features such as authenticating the driver of the vehicles and a camera interface.
  • The first version has been field tested and the final version is expected in May, 2018 for cars and by August, 2018 for buses.
  • The project, being developed by IIT-Delhi, is being funded by the Nirbhaya Fund, set up in 2013 for implementation of initiatives aimed at enhancing the safety and security of women in the country.
  • According to government data, the total number of crimes registered against women in the country during the year 2014, 2015 and 2016 were 3,39,457, 3,29,243 and 3,38,954, respectively, showing a mixed trend with a decline of 3.0% in 2015 over 2014 and an increase of 2.9% in 2016 over 2015.

Chip in for viewership data: I&B Ministry

  • The Information and Broadcasting (I&B) Ministry has proposed the installation of a chip in new television set-top boxes to collect data on channels watched, with duration. As the move is aimed to get more authentic viewership figures for every channel.
  • This would help advertisers and the DAVP to spend their advertising expenditure wisely. Only those channels which are widely watched will get promoted.
  • The Directorate of Advertising and Visual Publicity (DAVP) is the nodal agency of the government for advertising by various Ministries and its organisations.
  • The proposal was part of the Ministry’s response to a number of recommendations made by the TRAI on issues related to new direct-to-home licenses.
  • The move is seen to end the monopoly of the Broadcast Audience Research Council India (BARC), which measures the television audience preferences in the country.

CWG 2018: India ends campaign in third spot with 26 Gold Medals

  • Indian competitors ended their campaign in the eleven day event on the third place, with 66 medals including 26 Gold, 20 Silver and 20 Bronze medals. Australia stood first in the medal tally with 198 medals including 80 Gold, 59 Silver and 59 Bronze followed by England 136 medals.
  • On the final day today, India won seven medals which include one Gold, Four Silver and two Bronze. The lone Gold came in women's singles Badminton, in which Saina Nehal won the high pressure match in straight games 21-18, 23-21 against P V Sindhu. world No.1 Kidambi Srikanth settled for the Silver.
  • In Men's doubles also, Satwik Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty claimed a Silver losing to English pair of Marcus Ellis and Chris Langridge.
  • Another Silver came in squash, when the duo of Dipika Pallikal Karthik and Joshna Chinappa lost to Joelle King and Landers-Murphy of New Zealand in women's doubles final.
  • India, through 17 editions, now has a tally of 502 made up of 182 golds, 173 silvers and 147 bronze medals.

Dharmendra to be conferred with Raj Kapoor Lifetime Achievement award

  • Veteran Bollywood actor Dharmendra will be conferred with the prestigious Raj Kapoor Lifetime Achievement and filmmaker Rajkumar Hirani with Raj Kapoor Special Contribution awards.
  • Dharmendra, who has acted in more than 250 films in over six decades and has over 100 box office hits including Bandini, Mamta, Anupama, Satyakam, Seeta Aur Geeta, Sholay, Chupke Chupke, Yaadon Ki Baarat to name a few.
  • Maharashtra government also announced the names of Veteran Marathi actor Vijay Chavhan for V Shantaram Lifetime Achievement award and actor-director Mrinal Kulkarni for V Shantaram Special Contribution awards.
  • The state government-instituted awards will be given away at the 55th Maharashtra State Marathi Film Festival.

Gitanjali bad debt to add Rs. 8,000 cr. to bank NPAs

  • Non-performing assets (NPAs) or bad loans in the banking sector are set to shoot up by at least Rs. 8,000 crore as advances to the scam-hit Gitanjali Gems Group have turned bad during the quarter ended March 31.
  • Banks will have to make provisioning of Rs. 8,000 crore for Gitanjali alone as there has been no servicing of the working capital loan during the fourth quarter of last fiscal.
  • Gross NPAs of all the banks amounted to Rs. 8,40,958 crore in December, led by industry loans and followed by the services and agriculture sectors.

IMD to issue its first official forecast for 2018 southwest monsoon rains

  • The India Meteorological Department, IMD will issue its first official forecast for 2018 southwest monsoon rains in New Delhi. Southwest monsoon accounts for about 70 percent of the country’s annual precipitation.
  • IMD issues various monthly and seasonal forecasts of rainfall for the southwest monsoon season. Operational forecasts for the southwest monsoon season rainfall are issued in two stages. The first stage forecast will be issued today and the second stage forecast will be issued in June.
  • These forecasts are prepared using state-of-the-art Statistical Ensemble Forecasting system that is critically reviewed and improved regularly through in-house research activities.
  • Monsoon rains is the lifeblood for India's farm-dependent 2 trillion dollar economy. The June-to-September rains are vital for farming.

India to ally with China on ‘Asian premium’

  • India would coordinate with China and other Asian countries to raise voice against the “Asian premium” being charged by the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). Indian Oil Corporation chairman would coordinate with the head of China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) to chalk out the strategy that would result in getting better price from OPEC countries.
  • India, China, Japan and Korea — Asian countries are the primary consumers of the energy market today.
  • Asian Premium is the extra charge being collected by OPEC countries from Asian countries when selling oil, and India has been voicing its dissent against this practice.
  • India sources about 86 per cent of crude oil, 75 per cent of natural gas and 95 per cent of LPG from OPEC member nations.
  • Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) is an intergovernmental organization of 14 nations as of February 2018, founded in 1960 in Baghdad by the first five members (Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and Venezuela)
  • As of 2016, the 14 countries accounted for an estimated 44 percent of global oil production and 73 percent of the world's proven oil reserves, giving OPEC a major influence on global oil prices that were previously determined by American-dominated multinational oil companies.
  • Headquarters:Vienna, Austria.

Manchester City crowned Premier League champions after shock United defeat

  • Manchester City won the Premier League title as Manchester United's shock 1-0 home defeat by West Brom confirmed their rivals as champions. Second-place United are now 16 points behind Manchester City side with only five games left to play.
  • It is City's third title in seven seasons and a fifth top-flight crown and they have dominated the title race, scoring 93 goals and losing just twice.

More males pursue PhDs than females: HRD Ministry

  • According to the Union Human Resource Development Ministry data, over 21,000 more men than women pursue PhDs in the country, contrary to the popular perception. In the year 2014-15, over 21,000 more males had enrolled in the PhD programmes than females. Similarly in the subsequent years, the number was higher by 21,688 and 21,882.
  • Union HRD Minister: Prakash Javadekar

NPAs, high debt level to decrease in 6-9 months

  • According to industry body Assocham, it may take at least three quarters before the twin balance sheet problem of banks saddled with bad loans and highly leveraged corporates gets resolved. It also said the process of resolution of the companies under Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC) reference would gather pace in the coming months.
  • Twin balance sheet problem refers to the stress on balance sheets of banks due to non-performing assets (NPAs) or bad loans on the one hand, and heavily indebted corporates on the other.

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa leads Gandhi Walk in South Africa

  • South African President Cyril Ramaphosa led nearly 5,000 people at the annual 'Gandhi Walk' in Lenasia, an Indian township south of Johannesburg, seeking to promote community awareness and fitness among his countrymen. This was the first time that a sitting head of the state joined the walk, now in its 33rd consecutive edition.
  • The theme of the walk was "Going Green", with a strong focus on environmental initiatives and promoting community awareness.
  • India's High Commissioner to South Africa Ruchira Kamboj
  • South Africa
  • Capital: Capetown, Pretoria, Bloemfontein
  • Currency: South African rand

Taipei Challenger: Yuki wins his first singles Challenger title of 2018 season

  • Yuki Bhambri won his first singles Challenger title of the 2018 season, and seventh overall, when he outplayed compatriot Ramkumar Ramanathan 6-3 6-4 in the final of the Taipei event. This victory will push him back into the top-100 bracket.
  • In the doubles event, Saketh Myneni and Prajnesh Gunneswaran settled with a runners-up finish after losing the final 4-6 7-5 6-10 to Mathew Ebden and Andrew Whittington.

U.S. will impose new sanctions on Russia over Syrian crisis

  • The U.S. will impose new sanctions on Russia over an alleged chemical attack by the Syrian regime of President Bashar al-Assad. The sanction would target Russian companies that supplied Syria with equipment and other material related to chemical weapons.
  • The U.S. officials have blamed Russia for failing to control its Syrian ally, as the guarantor of a 2013 agreement to dismantle Syria’s chemical weapons.
  • Syria:
  • Capital: Damascus
  • Currency:Syrian pound