Daily Current Affairs - 11th May 2018

70% of Ganga will be cleaned by May 2019

  • Union Water Resources Minister Nitin Gadkari said the government will spend Rs. 8,000 to Rs. 10,000 crore this year to ensure that at least 70% of the Ganga will be clean by next May. The union government has only spent Rs. 4,500 crores since 2015 when the Rs. 20,000-crore tranche for cleaning the 2,500-km long river was operationalized.
  • A total of 195 projects worth Rs. 20,959 crores have been sanctioned for various activities such as sewage infrastructure, ghats and crematoria development, river-front development and river surface cleaning.

AAI, Harris ink Rs 945-cr deal for futuristic telecom infrastructure

  • The Airports Authority of India (AAI) signed a Rs 945-crore deal with the Harris Corporation of the US for development of its futuristic telecommunications infrastructure (FTI) programme. The implementation of FTI network in the long run would result in enhanced air traffic safety, increase in airspace capacity and accommodating the aircraft to more economical and environment friendly flight levels.
  • Under this, all telecommunication links and each network equipment across the AAI airports will be centrally monitored 24/7 for immediate response to fix any outages.
  • The FTI project will provide high availability of SLA-based telecommunication links using latest technology and communications infrastructure at each AAI location.
  • AAI, Chairman: Dr. Guruprasad Mohapatra

Astronomers find first carbon-rich asteroid in Kuiper Belt

  • Astronomers have discovered an unusual carbon-rich asteroid in the Kuiper Belt -- the first of its kind to be confirmed in the cold outer reaches of the solar system. The asteroid named 2004 EW95, likely formed in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter and has been flung billions of kilometers from its origin to its current home in the Kuiper Belt.
  • The reflectance spectrum of 2004 EW95 was clearly distinct from the other observed outer Solar System objects

Australian Open badminton: B Sai Praneeth, Sameer Verma enter quarters

  • B Sai Praneeth and Sameer Verma have entered the quarterfinals of the men's singles event at the Australian Open Badminton in Sydney. Praneeth beat Panji Ahmad Maulana of Indonesia 21-12, 21-14, while Sameer defeated Takuma Ueda of Japan 21-16, 21-12 in their second-round matches.
  • Praneeth will next play seventh seed Lee Cheuk Yiu of Indonesia, while Sameer will be up against China's Lu Guangzu.
  • Meanwhile, India's campaign in women's singles ended after Jakka Vaishnavi Reddy lost to Han Yue of China.

Auto sales make strong start in new fiscal, grow 17% in April

  • According to data released by industry body SIAM, the automobile industry kicked off the new financial year on a positive note, registering an overall growth of 17.44% in April 2018 to more than 23.79 lakh units from the year earlier period, on the back of good demand across categories. Passenger vehicle sales in the domestic market grew 7.5% to more than 2.98 lakh units, driven by double-digit growth in utility vehicles and vans. Commercial vehicle sales grew almost 76% to 72,993 units on the back of low base effect in April 2017.

Centre approves green licence plates for private electric vehicles

  • To promote electric vehicles in India, the union government has approved green licence plates bearing numbers in white fonts for private e-vehicles and yellow for taxis. The union government also plans to allow youth in the age bracket of 16-18 years to drive electric scooters, besides mandating taxi aggregators to have a certain percentage of e-vehicle fleet.
  • The purpose behind distinctive number plates is easy identification for preferential treatment in parking, free entry in congested zones besides other proposed benefits like concessional toll.
  • As per estimate, India at present has 1 to 1.5 lakh electric vehicles. It is projected to grow to about 5% of total vehicles in next five years.

Hero-Burman’s Rs. 1,800 cr. bid wins Fortis board’s nod

  • The Hero-Burman consortium has emerged winner in the race for Fortis Healthcare Ltd. after the Fortis board approved the combine’s Rs. 1,800 crore binding offer. Hero-Burman group emerged winner over rival bidders Manipal-TPG, Malaysia’s IHH Healthcare Berhad, China’s Fosun and KKR-backed Radiant Life Care Pvt. Ltd.
  • Hero Enterprise headed of Sunil Kant Munjal and the Burman family of the Dabur group have offered to invest Rs 1,800 crore directly into Fortis Healthcare through the preferential allotment of equity and warrants.
  • Fortis Healthcare Limited (FHL) is a chain of specialist hospitals in India.

India Sends Second Relief Consignment for Rohingya Refugees in Bangladesh

  • India has sent to Bangladesh its second relief consignment to help tens of thousands of displaced Rohingya Muslims who fled Myanmar following a military crackdown, triggering one of the world’s worst refugee crises. Indian Navy Ship INS handed over the relief consignment to disaster management and relief minister of Bangladesh.
  • The 373-tonne consignment contained 104 tonnes of milk powder, 102 tonnes of dried fish, 61 tonnes of baby food, 50,000 raincoats and 50,000 pairs of gum boots. Another tranche containing 1 million litres of kerosene oil and 20,000 cooking stoves is expected to arrive soon.
  • Last December, India had announced a development assistance of $25 million for the Rakhine State.
  • Over 6,00,000 Rohingya have fled Myanmar’s violence-hit Rakhine State to neighbouring Bangladesh since August when the military intensified crackdown against alleged militant outfits in the area
  • India’s foreign secretary Vijay Gokhale
  • Indian high commissioner to Bangladesh: Harsh Vardhan Shringla

India's clean energy capacity touches 70 GW

  • As per the data compiled till March 31, 2018, by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, India's installed clean energy capacity has touched 70 GW and 38 GW is under implementation. Renewable energy capacity of 11,788 MW is added during last fiscal, which is the highest ever in a single year. Around 56,000 solar power pumps were installed in the last financial year, which is highest ever in a single year.
  • India generated 100 billion units of electricity through renewables last fiscal, which is highest ever so far
  • Power and New & Renewable Energy Minister R K Singh

Indian Bank net slides 59% on provisions

  • Indian Bank has reported an almost 59% decline in standalone net profit for the fourth quarter ended March 31, 2018, at Rs. 131.98 crore, from Rs. 319.70 crore in the year earlier period due to higher provisioning. The other reason was due to pressure in earnings from the bond market and absence of profit on sale of investments.
  • Gross NPA ratio declined to 7.37% from 7.47% and net NPA to 3.81% from 4.39%.
  • MD and CEO of Indian Bank: Kishor Kharat
  • Headquarters: Chennai

Ireland set for Test debut

  • William Porterfield will captain Ireland in its inaugural test match against Pakistan. Ireland will become the 11th men’s Test nation when the coin is tossed at the Malahide ground. Both Ireland and Afghanistan were granted Test status by the International Cricket Council last year.
  • Ireland players feature prominently in the ICC ODI and T20I player rankings.
  • Ireland
  • Prime Minister: Leo Varadkar
  • Capital: Dublin
  • Currency: Euro

Juventus rout AC Milan to win Coppa Italia again

  • Juventus won the Coppa Italia for the fourth year running and a record 13th time with a crushing 4-0 victory over AC Milan who suffered a second-half meltdown in the final. Medhi Benatia struck twice for Juventus and Douglas Costa was also on target. An own goal by substitute Nikola Kalinic completed a calamitous defensive display by Milan.

MeitY launches internship scheme for Tech students

  • Ministry of Electronics and Information technology (MeitY) on Wednesday has launched ‘Digital India Internship Scheme’ portal in which a token of ?10,000 will also be offered to interns as remuneration per month.
  • The MeitY’s internship scheme will offer 25 slots in each session – summer and winter, the portal will facilitate students to apply online for internship and its aim is to provide an opportunity to secure first hand and practical work experience under the guidance of a mentor.
  • The two-month internship (extendable to three months) will start from next month and a certificate will be given to the students on completion of the internship and submission of report.
  • The proposed areas of internship include Research and Development in Electronics and IT, Cyber Law/ IT Act, Digital Forensics, Malware Analysis, Mobile Governance, Cloud Computing, Digital Literacy, Software/ Hardware Industry Promotion and Digital Payments.

Parliamentary panel to look into black money recovery, performance of public sector banks

  • A parliamentary panel headed by BJP MP Murali Manohar Joshi decided to study the recovery of black money and performance of public sector banks among a host of subjects. The 30-member Estimates Committee will study a host of subjects related to various ministries in the year 2018-19.
  • The panel will also investigate the import of uranium for nuclear plants, mining activities and environment, upgrading of India Post offices and the drought situation in the country among other matters.
  • The panel on estimates suggests changes in policy or administrative framework to bring efficiency in expenditure.

UN pushes Myanmar to hold accountable those behind Rohingya attacks

  • The UN Security Council has called on Myanmar to speed up efforts to create conditions conducive to the safe, voluntary, and dignified return of Rohingya refugees to their homes in Rakhine state and to hold accountable perpetrators of attacks against the Muslim minority. The statement followed a fact-finding mission by the council's ambassadors to Myanmar and Bangladesh from 28th April to 1st May to get a firsthand look at the crisis from the forced exodus of 700,000 Rohingya from Myanmar.
  • Myanmar
  • President: Win Myint
  • State Counsellor (Prime Minister): Aung San Suu Kyi
  • Capital: Naypyidaw
  • Currency: Burmese kyat

Union Bank registers Rs. 2,583 crore loss in Q4

  • Union Bank of India reported a net loss of Rs. 2,583 crore for the quarter ended March due to increase in bad loans. The bank recorded a profit of Rs. 108 crore during the same period of the previous financial year.
  • Gross non-performing assets as a ratio to advances increased to 15.7 % from 13% in the December quarter and from 11.2% reported during the same period of the previous year.
  • MD & CEO of Union Bank of India: Rajkiran Rai G.
  • Headquarters: Mumbai

US Prez Donald Trump to meet Kim Jong-un on 12th of next month in Singapore

  • US President Donald Trump will meet North Korea's leader Kim Jong-un in Singapore on 12th of next month for the historic meeting. The highly anticipated meeting will discuss the denuclearization on the Korean peninsula. In March, Mr Trump stunned the world by accepting an invitation to meet Kim for an unprecedented sit-down.
  • Singapore
  • Prime Minister: Lee Hsien Loong
  • Capital: Singapore city
  • Currency: Singapore dollar

Yahoo Squirrel Group Chat App Unveiled for Android and iOS

  • Yahoo entered the densely competitive market of messaging apps by releasing its own new group chat app named Squirrel. The app, currently still in testing - is now listed on Google Play and the App Store, and is invite-only for now. Squirrel focuses mainly on group chats and has many features that lets users organize and streamline conversations with several people. It also has secret rooms for private chats with few people in the group, and customizable reactions to create your own one-tap reactions.
  • Yahoo was sold to Verizon for $4.5 billion and now it is a part of Oath, a Verizon subsidiary.