Daily Current Affairs - 27th Apr 2018

Asia Badminton C'ship: Saina Nehwal, P V Sindhu, Kidambai Srikanth & H S Prannoy enter singles quarterfinals

  • Indian shuttlers Saina Nehwal, P V Sindhu, Kidambi Srikanth and H S Prannoy will play their singles quarterfinal matches of Asia Badminton Championships at Wuhan in China.
  • Saina will take on unseeded Lee Jang Mi of Korea.PV Sindhu faces seventh seed Sung Ji Hyun of Korea.
  • K Srikanth will meet Lee Chong Wei of Malaysia. HS Prannoy will clash with second seed Son Wan Ho of Korea.

Axis Bank posts first loss as NPAs rise

  • Axis Bank reported its first ever loss of Rs. 2,189 crore in the quarter ended March 31, due to an almost threefold increase in provisions. This is the private sector lender’s maiden quarterly loss since its incorporation in 1993. During the same period of the previous year, the lender posted a net profit of Rs. 1,225 crore.
  • Fresh slippages to non-performing assets during the quarter was Rs. 16,500 crore, of which about Rs. 13,900 crore came from the corporate loan book. The power sector contributed 41% of the slippages, while another 14% was from infrastructure and construction.
  • Gross NPA as on March 31 was 6.77% of the gross advances, widening from 5.04% a year earlier.
  • While making significant provision for NPAs, the bank maintained a healthy provision coverage ratio of 65%.

Bhaker, Mitharval finish 4th after shooting qualification world record

  • The Indian duo of Manu Bhaker and Om Prakash Mitharwal missed out on a medal and finished fourth in the 10 metre Mixed team Air Pistol event in the ongoing ISSF World Cup at Changwon in South Korea. This was India's fourth fourth-place finish in the World Cup stage 2.
  • Eight Indians have reached the Finals including in two team events, but so far only Shahzar Rizvi has won a medal a Silver in the Men's 10-metre Air Pistol event.
  • The Chinese pair of Xiaojing Ji and Jiayu Wu won Gold with a world record score of 487.7 in the Finals.

Business & Economy: India’s global trade rises 16% to $767.9 billion in 2017-18

  • According to the Commerce Department data, India's global trade increased by 16.32 per cent to $767.9 billion in 2017-18. In 2016-17, the trade stood at $660.2 billion.
  • India's total trade with LAC (Latin American countries) grew by 19.63 per cent. Bilateral trade with LAC including Bolivia, Peru, Chile and Brazil has recorded healthy growth in 2017-18
  • Boliviaemerged as a major trade partner of India in LAC region with bilateral trade registering a growth of 205 per cent from $253 million in 2016-17 to $772.44 million in 2017-18.
  • Brazil has increased to $8.56 billion in the last fiscal from $6.51 billion in 2016-17.
  • India is seeking more oil, drones and aircraft from the US to help narrow its $28 billion trade surplus amid rising concerns of possible collateral damage to its economy from President Donald Trump's trade spat with China.

Four Indian women boxers enter final of Asian Youth Boxing C'ships in Bangkok

  • Four Indian women boxers have entered the final of the Asian Youth Boxing Championships in Bangkok. They are: World youth gold-medallist Nitu (48kg), Anamika (51kg), Manisha (64kg) and Lalita (69kg).
  • Two others, Divya Pawar (54kg) and Astha Pahwa (75kg) had to be content with bronze medals after going down in the semifinals.
  • Among the men, only Ankit (60kg) made the summit clash, while Bhavesh Kattimani (52kg) and Aman (+91kg) settled for bronze medals.

Google to mentor start-ups addressing local problems

  • Google has introduced an India-focused mentoring programme to support start-ups addressing local problems. Solve for India’ would provide technology support for deploying artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) tools to build solutions for India in areas such as agriculture, healthcare, retail and education.
  • The programme focuses on bringing the best of Google expertise across product and user experience design and interface. This includes access to technologies like AI and ML.
  • The company shortlisted 10 start-ups from 160 home-grown start-ups by travelling across 15 cities in India, and are now ready to “scale this pilot to a dedicated programme for India.”

Harimau Shakti 2018: India, Malaysia to conduct joint training exercise in dense forests

  • A joint military training exercise named HARIMAU SHAKTI will be conducted in the dense forests of Hulu Langat, Malaysia from April 30 to May 13, 2018. The exercise is aimed at bolstering cooperation and coordination between armed forces of both the nations and to share the expertise of both the contingents in conduct of counter insurgency operations in jungle terrain.
  • The exercise will involve a cross-training phase followed by a field training phase of seven days in the jungles of Hulu Langat wherein both armies will jointly train, plan and execute a series of training activities. The focus will remain on tactical operations in jungle warfare.

Historic Inter-Korean Summit begins

  • The leaders of North and South Korea are holding talks at the Demilitarised Zone that divides their countries in the historic Inter Korean summit in more than a decade. This is the highest-level encounter which is coming after recent whirlwind of nuclear diplomacy is only third of its kind since the end of the 1950-53 Korean War.
  • North Korean leader Kim will open-heartedly discuss all the issues arising in improving inter-Korean relations and achieving peace, prosperity and reunification of the Korean peninsula. The North's nuclear arsenal will be high on the agenda at the talks
  • North Korean leader Kim Jong Un
  • South Korean President Moon Jae-in

International: India ranks 138 in World Press Freedom Index, slips two places since 2017

  • India slipped in the annual World Press Freedom Index for the second straight year, falling two places to rank 138th among 180 countries in the latest list released. It was ranked 136th in 2015, gained three places to 133rd in 2016, and fell back to 136th last year.
  • The report said that in India self-censorship is growing in the mainstream media and radical nationalists are increasingly threatening journalists with physical violence in online smear campaigns.
  • Norway once again topped the list, while North Korea found itself at the bottom. The United States fell two places to 45th, Pakistan was ranked 139th, Russia 148th, and China was at 176th.

Legal Agreements signed between India and World Bank on National Biopharma Mission

  • An agreement has been signed between the World Bank and the Indian government supported National Biopharma Mission at a total cost of US$250 million for five years with 50% funding through World Bank Loan. The mission aim is to make India a hub for design and development of novel, affordable and effective biopharmaceutical products such as vaccines, biologics and medical devices for combating public health concerns.
  • Department of Biotechnology (DBT) has initiated the Mission programme entitled: Industry-Academia Collaborative Mission for Accelerating Discovery Research to Early Development for Biopharmaceuticals – “Innovate in India (i3) Empowering biotech entrepreneurs & accelerating inclusive innovation”.
  • The National Biopharma Mission is being implemented by Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC) - a Public Sector Undertaking of Department of Biotechnology (DBT).

MD and CEO Shikha Sharma

  • Biocon FY18 net falls 39%; pricing hurts
  • Biocon reported consolidated net profit for the year ended March 31 slumped 39% to Rs. 372 crore, hurt by pricing challenges in generics. Fourth-quarter profit, however, rose 2.3% to Rs. 130 crore as revenue grew 27% to Rs. 1,237 crore. Revenue for the full year also grew 27% to Rs. 4,336 crore
  • CMD Kiran-Mazumdar Shaw

Mike Pompeo sworn in as US Secretary of State

  • Mike Pompeo, the former CIA director has been sworn in as America's 70th Secretary of State, after the US Senate confirmed his nomination. His candidature was confirmed by the Senate by 57-42 votes. He replaced Rex Tillerson, who was fired by President Donald Trump last month.
  • Pompeo will meet with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and participate in the NATO Foreign Ministerial, during which Allies will discuss preparations for July's NATO Summit of Heads of State and Government meeting.

National: PM okays diversion of 77 ha of forest land for bullet train

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given in-principle approval for the diversion of 77 hectares of forest land for the Rs. 1.08 lakh crore bullet train project between Mumbai and Ahmedabad. The application for clearance of the 77.45 hectares, spread over 42 villages in the two States, was submitted by Maharashtra and Gujarat.
  • The diversion if allowed could be the highest after about 47 hectares of forest land was diverted for the ambitious Mumbai Trans Harbour Link (MTHL) project and another 58 hectares for the Rs. 45,000 crore Dedicated Freight Corridor between Mumbai and Dadri
  • The two States have also been told to coordinate closely with the National High Speed Rail Corporation Limited (NHSRCL) to speed up the project.

Sports: ICC to grant T20 International status to all its existing 104 members

  • The ICC has decided to grant T20 International status to all its existing 104 members in a bid to popularize the game across the globe. The move will effectively mean that a T20 match between new entrants will have international status from now on.
  • The ICC Board during its meeting decided that, new minimum standards will be introduced making it as easy as possible for members to play international cricket in a sustainable and affordable way.
  • The Board also agreed the process by which the ICC Chairman will be elected for the next two years from June when current Chairman Shashank Manohar's first two-year term expires.

Trump administration terminates temporary protection status for Nepalese people

  • The Trump administration announced that it is terminating temporary protection status, TPS, the United States granted to Nepalese people. This decision affects 8,950 people, 85 percent of whom live New York. All of these people from Nepal would have to go back to Nepal or face deportation.
  • TPS is a designation afforded to nationals of countries experiencing humanitarian crisis such as violent conflict, environmental disasters, earthquake or epidemics that would prevent nationals from returning safely.

UN council heads to Bangladesh & Myanmar to see Rohingya

  • The UN Security Council is heading to Asia for a first-hand look at the plight of 700,000 Rohingya Muslims who fled a military crackdown in Myanmar and the several hundred thousand who remain in the country's northern Rakhine State.
  • The Security Council members have scheduled to arrival at Cox's Bazaar in southern Bangladesh tomorrow, where the Rohingya who fled are now living in camps.
  • They also will visit the Bangladesh capital, Dacca and Myanmar's capital, Naypyitaw, for talks with government officials before travelling to Rakhine.

World Intellectual Property Day observed on April 26

  • World Intellectual Property Day is observed annually on 26 April, as it highlights the role of intellectual property rights, such as patents, trademarks, industrial designs, and copyright, in spurring innovation and creativity. This year the theme is “Powering change: Women in innovation and creativity”
  • According to WIPO, the number of women taking up leadership and senior roles in science, technology, business and the arts has increased.
  • WIPO established in 1967 is a self-funding specialized UN agency that works for the development of a balanced and effective international intellectual property system and to enable innovation and creativity for the benefit of all. It currently has 191 member States.
  • World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), Director-General: Francis Gurry
  • Headquarters: Geneva, Switzerland.

YES Bank Q4 net profit climbs 29%

  • Private sector lender Yes Bank reported 29% growth in net profit to Rs. 1,179.4 crore for the quarter ended March 31, driven by a 31% increase in net interest income to Rs. 2,154.2 crore. Non-interest income rose 13% to Rs. 1,421 crore.
  • The bank reported improved asset quality with gross non-performing assets, as a percentage of gross advances, decreasing to 1.28% from 1.72% in the previous quarter while net NPAs fell to 0.64% from 0.93%. Yes Bank rose 8.3% to Rs. 352.05
  • Yes Bank:
  • CEO: Rana Kapoor
  • Headquarters: Mumbai