Daily Current Affairs - 06th May 2018

ADB projects India’s growth at 7.3% in 2018

  • Asian Development Bank (ADB) President Takehiko Nakao has noted that India’s growth in 2018 would pick up to 7.3%.
  • The bank projected inflation to inch up to 4.6% in FY2018 and 5% in FY2019, driven by further firming of global commodity prices and strengthening of domestic demand.
  • The bank has also projected that India will remain the fastest growing Asian nation with 7.6% growth in 2019-20.

Chhattisgarh government to recruit transgenders in police force

  • In order to promote gender equality, the Chhattisgarh government has decided to recruit transgender in the police force.
  • The state police have started conducting workshops to facilitate applications from transgender. With this step, Chhattisgarh has become the first Indian state to do so.
  • In 2014, the Supreme Court declared transgender people as the third gender and ruled that they have equal privilege over the fundamental rights.

China launches communication satellite APSTAR-6C

  • China successfully launched “APSTAR-6C”, a new communication satellite into orbit. It was launched onboard of Long March-3B carrier rocket from Xichang Satellite Launch Center.
  • Apstar will provide services across China, Mongolia and Southeast Asia.
  • The user of APSTAR-6C satellite is Hong Kong-based APT Satellite Co. Ltd. With its successful launch, it joins fleet of four fully operational satellites belonging to APT Satellite Co. It will replace the in-orbit Apstar-6 satellite.

Delhi to host Festival of Bharat

  • National capital Delhi will host a six-day-long Festival of Bharat as a 21st century tribute to the majesty and depth of India's civilization.
  • The event will be held at the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA).
  • Scholars, Grammy award winning artistes, rising new stars and prominent public figures will also be in attendance.

Ex-IDBI Bank chairman RM Malla joins Adani Capital

  • Adani Capital, the non-banking finance arm of the diversified Adani Group, has appointed R.M. Malla, the past chairman and managing director of IDBI Bank, as an independent director.
  • The Gautam Adani-run company also appointed Sunil Gulati as another independent director.

First organized census of Indus Dolphins begins in Punjab

  • Punjab government along World Wildlife Fund (WWF)-India are conducting first organized census of Indus Dolphins, one of the world’s rarest mammals found only in India and Pakistan. The organized census aims at conservation of the species.
  • The first organized census will be conducted over period of five days in 185 km stretch between Talwara and Harike Barrage in Beas River in Punjab were riverine fresh water Indus Dolphins are confined.
  • Indus dolphin like Ganges River dolphin is functionally blind and relies on echolocation to navigate, communicate and hunt prey in muddy river water.
  • Indus Dolphin is national mammal of Pakistan.

Google and Andhra govt to set up 25000 Wi-Fi hotspots in villages

  • Google India has partnered with Andhra Pradesh State FiberNet Limited (APSFL) to set up Wi-Fi stations in all the Gram Panchayats of the state by the end of 2018.
  • Google had earlier, collaborating with RailTel from Indian Railways, had launched Google Wi-Fi project for train stations in January 2016. It then achieved the target of setting up a public Wi-Fi network in 100 stations by the end of 2016.

Govt launches NWIC to maintain data on water resources

  • The government has set up a central body - National Water Informatics Centre (NWIC) - to maintain a comprehensive water resources data.
  • It will be a single window source of updated data on water resources in India.
  • The NWIC will also collaborate with leading national and international research institutes to provide technical support to central and state organizations dealing with water emergency response of hydrological extremes.

India, Sri Lanka agree on information exchange for drug control

  • India and Sri Lanka agreed on cooperation on exchange of information and other aspects to tackle smuggling of drugs in both countries.
  • A decision to this effect was taken at the third bilateral meeting between delegations from India's Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) and Sri Lanka's Police Narcotics Bureau (PNB) on narcotics, drugs and psychotropic substances and related matters in New Delhi.
  • The Indian delegation was led by NCB Director General Abhay while the Sri Lankan delegation was headed by PNB Deputy Inspector General Sajeewa Medawatte.

Jet Airways to drop first class, upgrade business cabins

  • Private carrier Jet Airways, which has completed 25 years, is set to revamp operations by entirely doing away with the first class and upgrading its business class seats on international flights.
  • The airline would also strengthen its domestic network by introducing a modern fleet.
  • The airline has got 346 seats on its 777s and is working on a process that will take about 20 months to put 400 seats on them without altering the leg room.

NASA successfully tests a new nuclear reactor for space

  • NASA has teamed with the US Department of Energy to develop a new kind of reactor to be used for space exploration missions.
  • NASA's Kilopower project works to build the kind of technology that could be used for an affordable fission nuclear power system, so astronauts can have longer trips to planets.
  • Kilopower is a small, lightweight fission power system that can deliver 10 kilowatts of electrical power. That's enough to power several average households continuously for at least 10 years.

Neeraj breaks National record

  • Javelin thrower World junior champion Neeraj Chopra shattered his own national record with an impressive 87.43m effort at the Diamond League season.
  • The 20-year-old World No. 6, also the Commonwealth Games and Asian champion, bettered his previous best, the 86.48m that broke the under-20 World record and brought him the junior World gold in 2016, by nearly a meter.
  • However, his effort could not bring him a medal and Neeraj finished fourth with Germany’s Olympic champion Thomas Rohler (91.78m), World champion Johannes Vetter (91.56) and Andreas Hofmann (90.08) taking the top three medals.

New snake found in Western Ghats

  • Just 40 cm long and iridescent brown, Bhupathy’s shield tail is the latest addition to the snake fauna of the Western Ghats.
  • The snake, currently observed only in the forests of the Anaikatty hills in Tamil Nadu’s Coimbatore district, has been named Uropeltis bhupathyi, after the late herpetologist S. Bhupathy, for his contributions to the field.
  • The reptile belongs to a family of snakes found only in peninsular India and Sri Lanka. They are non-venomous, burrowing and mostly earthworm-eating, and are called shield tails after the large, flat tips of their tails, which make them appear almost sliced off.

Patanjali ranked as most trusted FMCG brand in India

  • Patanjali Ayurved Limited has been ranked as India's most trusted Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) brand in the TRA's Brand Trust Report 2018.
  • The Patanjali Ayurved Limited was established in 2006 by Ramdev, along with Acharya Balkrishna, with the objective of establishing a science of Ayurveda in accordance and coordination with the latest technology and ancient wisdom.
  • Besides FMCG, Patanjali is present in other sectors like education & healthcare.

Pravasi Bharatiya Divas to become biennial event from 2019

  • In an attempt to engage and bring in line the interests of the Indians, living within and outside the country, to the importance of Pravasi Bharatiya Divas, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, declared the special event will be celebrated every alternate year.
  • There will be some theme-based sessions conducted in which the Ministry of External Affairs will invite about 12 people including both the nationals and the non-resident Indians.
  • 15th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas will be held in Varanasi in Jan 2019.

RBI to banks: Share foreign exchange data with DRI

  • The Reserve Bank of India has asked banks authorized to deal in foreign exchange (Authorized Dealer-I Banks) to share data with the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI).
  • Under the new rules, in the case of inward remittances, the agency can seek information relating to a remitter’s name, address, permanent account number (PAN), Goods and Service Tax Identification Number (GSTIN), Aadhaar number, bank account number and Indian Financial System Code (IFSC) as also remitter’s details relating to name, address, and SWIFT-BIC (Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication – Bank Identifier Code).

SEBI proposes changes to public issue norms

  • SEBI proposed a slew of changes to public issue norms, including shorter time period for price band announcement and lesser disclosures about group companies at the time of IPOs.
  • Besides, the watchdog has mooted reducing the minimum application size for anchor investors to Rs 2 crore from current level of Rs 10 crore in the case of public issues by Small and Medium Enterprises.
  • These proposals are based on suggestions made by the regulator's Primary Market Advisory Committee (PMAC).

Singapore-Kuala Lumpur is world’s busiest international air route

  • The trip between Singapore and the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur is the world’s busiest international air route, with more than 30,500 flights between the cities according to the study by air travel intelligence firm OAG.
  • A high-speed railway line is being built to link the cities and is expected to be completed in 2026, cutting travel time overland to 90 minutes from around five hours.
  • The world’s second busiest air route is between Hong Kong and the Taiwanese capital Taipei, followed by the Jakarta to Singapore.

Transport Ministry permits Bajaj, TVS to roll out 100% bio-ethanol vehicles

  • The Road, Transport and Highways ministry has accorded permission to auto makers Bajaj and TVS for making vehicles that run using 100 per cent bio-ethanol made out of rice and wheat straw.
  • Rice straw is not being used for productivity and in fact being burned as waste in Punjab and Haryana leading to pollution in the capital. Minister says, 280 liters of ethanol can be produced from one tons of rice straw.
  • Bio-Ethanol fuel being promoted is indeed a cost-effective compared to other biofuels and certainly over petrol and diesel-powered vehicles. The production of this fuel is least expensive, and every country has the capacity to use produce it. 

‘Star Khel Mahakumbh’ Launched at Himachal Pradesh

  • Cricketing great Sachin Tendulkar and MP Anurag Thakur has launched ‘Star Khel Mahakumbh’ at Dharmashala in Himachal Pradesh.
  • The initiative has been designed in a manner as to attract participation of at least one lakh youth from across 5000 villages and 800 panchayats.
  • The athletes will compete in volleyball, basketball, cricket, football, kabaddi and athletics.