Daily Current Affairs - 15th Jun 2018

Centre to end use of speed governors

  • The Union government is likely to revoke the mandatory requirement of speed governors for commercial vehicles, imposed last year. In May last year, the government made it mandatory for all commercial vehicles to have a speed governor following an order from the Karnataka High Court.
  • The government has made it mandatory for manufacturers to equip cars, from July 2019, with speed alarms which will be activated after 80 kmph. A speed governor is installed in a vehicle to bring its maximum speed down to 80 km per hour.

Couples in live-in relations cannot adopt, says CARA

  • The nodal body for adoption in the country Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA) has barred partners in live-in relationships from adopting a child on the ground that cohabitation without marriage is not considered a stable family in India.
  • It permits a single woman to adopt a child of any gender, while single men can adopt only boys.
  • In case an applicant is married, both spouses must give their consent for adoption and should be in a stable marriage for at least two years. Candidates must be physically fit, financially sound, mentally alert and highly motivated to adopt a child, as per the Adoption Regulations 2017.
  • CARA’s CEO, Lt. Col. Deepak Kumar,

FIFA World Cup: Russia thrashes Saudi Arabia 5-0 in opening match

  • Russia thrashed Saudi Arabia 5-0 in the opening match of the World Cup Football in Moscow's Luzhniki Stadium. Yury Gazinsky gave Russia an early lead in the 13th minute of the game with a beautiful header. Saudi Arabia tried attacking but were not given any chances by the Russian defenders as they kept the ball at bay. Russia get three points on the board and lead group A.

Fitch ups India growth forecast to 7.4% for FY'19

  • Fitch Ratings raised India growth forecast for 2018-19 to 7.4 per cent from 7.3 per cent, but cited higher financing costs and rising oil prices as risks to growth. For 2019-20, it estimated the country to grow at 7.5 per cent. The economy grew at 6.7 per cent in 2017-18 and 7.7 per cent in January-March quarter.
  • It further said the Indian rupee has been one of the worst performing currencies in Asia this year.
  • Last month, US-based Moody's cut India's growth forecast for 2018-19 to 7.3 per cent from 7.5 per cent citing rising oil prices.

Forbes Releases 16th Annual Global 2000 Ranking Of The World's Largest Public Companies

  • Forbes today released its 16th annual Global 2000 list, a ranking of the biggest, most powerful and most valuable companies in the world. The ranking is based on a combination of four metrics: sales, profits, assets and market value
  • Chinese companies extend their streak at the top of the Global 2000 list with Industrial & Commercial Bank of China is ranked No. 1 for the sixth consecutive year.
  • JPMorgan Chase is now the largest company in the U.S., moving up one spot to No. 3 and overtaking Berkshire Hathaway (No. 4)
  • There are a total of 58 Indian companies on the overall list of 2,000 firms from across the world. These include Reliance Industries at 83rd place, the only from India in the top-100. Besides, HDFC Bank is at 202nd, ONGC at 266th, Indian Oil at 270th and ICICI Bank at 320th.
  • Housing finance major HDFC has been ranked as the 5th biggest public company globally in the ‘consumer financial services category’ which was topped by American Express.
  • As a group, the Global 2000 accounts for $39.1 trillion in sales, $3.2 trillion in profit, $189 trillion in assets and $56.8 trillion in market value
  • The top ten companies on Forbes’ 2018 Global 2000 list are:
  • 1. Industrial & Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), China – banking
  • 2. China Construction Bank, China – banking
  • 3. JPMorgan Chase, United States – diversified financials
  • 4. Berkshire Hathaway, United States – conglomerate
  • 5. Agricultural Bank of China, China – banking
  • 6. Bank of America, United States – banking
  • 7. Wells Fargo, United States – diversified financials
  • 8. Apple, United States – technology hardware and equipment
  • 9. Bank of China, China – banking
  • 10. Ping An Insurance, China – insurance

Georgia's prime minister resigns after mass protests

  • Giorgi Kvirikashvili, prime minister of Georgia, has announced his resignation amid a disagreement with Bidzina Ivanishvili, the leader of the ruling party. Kvirikashvili has been the country's prime minister since 2015.
  • The prime minister's resignation also comes amid growing popular discontent over his government's handling of the economy and after mass protests in recent months.
  • Under the Georgian constitution, a prime minister's resignation leads to the resignation of the entire cabinet.
  • Georgia
  • President: Giorgi Margvelashvili
  • Capital: Tbilisiadministrative capital), Kutaisi(legislative)
  • Currency: Georgian lari

HDFC Bank sees additional capital aiding rural growth

  • HDFC Bank plans to use the capital it would raise to mainly help support growth in semi-urban and rural areas, a day after its proposed Rs. 24,000-crore capital plan was approved by the government.
  • The Union government’s approval comes against the backdrop of an expected pick-up in credit growth driven by consumption-led demand and recovery in the investment cycle.
  • As of March 31, 2018, the bank had a network of 4,787 branches and 12,635 ATMs and had 4.3 crore customers across 2,691 Indian towns and cities. The bank’s balance sheet for the year stood at Rs. 10.6 lakh crore.

India Facing Worst Water Crisis In History, Will Get Worse: NITI Aayog

  • According to NITI Aayog report titled 'Composite Water Management Index', India is facing its worst water crisis in history. The report said that currently 600 million Indians face high to extreme water shortage and about two lakh people die every year due to inadequate access to potable water.
  • The water crisis will get worse, as the country's water demand is projected to be twice the available supply by 2030.
  • India's nearly 70 per cent of water is contaminated, which puts India at the 120th position among 122 countries in the water quality index.
  • Gujarat has emerged as the best in the country followed by Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Maharashtra.
  • In northeastern and Himalayan states, Tripura has been adjudged as the top state in 2016-17 followed by Himachal Pradesh, Sikkim and Assam.
  • The low performers comprised of the populous northern states of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Rajasthan, Haryana, and others, which are home to over 600 million people.
  • NITI Aayog has ranked all states in the index on the composite water management, comprising 9 broad sectors with 28 different indicators covering various aspects of ground water, restoration of water bodies, irrigation, farm practices, drinking water, policy and governance.

Maharashtra govt signs pact with Canada's Quebec province for economic cooperation, welfare of tribal communities

  • The Maharashtra government and Canada's Quebec province have signed a pact to increase the economic cooperation, specially in areas like information technology, biotechnology, artificial intelligence and welfare of the tribal community. Both also discussed ways to increase collaboration over knowledge-sharing on ports.

Rise in use of WhatsApp news: study

  • According to Reuters Institute report, news consumption is increasingly shifting from social media like Facebook to messaging applications like WhatsApp. It also found high levels of public concern about fake news online.
  • The use of social media for news fell by six percentage points in the United States as compared to last year. WhatsApp is now used for news by around half of the sample in Malaysia (54%) and Brazil (48%) and by around a third in Spain (36%) and Turkey (30%).

Sulabh founder honoured with Japan’s Nikkei Asia Prize

  • Noted social reformer and founder of Sulabh International, Bindeshwar Pathak, has been honoured with Japan’s prestigious ‘Nikkei Asia Prize for Culture and Community’ for his significant work in tackling poor hygiene and discrimination.
  • Pathak’s two-pit pour-flush ecological compost toilets have helped provide low cost environment friendly toilets to millions of people in the developing world. They have also ensured the safety for rural women and freedom from the manual labour.
  • The other two winners were Ma Jun (Economic and Business Innovation), a Chinese environmentalist, for using the power of the internet to promote cleaner industry and Professor Nguyen Thanh Liem (Science and Technology), a Vietnamese doctor, for bringing cutting-edge medicine to children.
  • Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Infosys Chairman Narayan Murthy are among the few Indians who have won the prize in the past.
  • The awards were created and presented by Nikkei Inc, one of the largest media corporations in Japan. Nikkei Asia Prize launched in 1996, the award honours people in Asia who have made significant contributions in one of the three areas: regional growth; science, technology and innovation; and culture and community.

TransUnion opens first global centre in Chennai

  • TransUnion, a global credit reporting agency and information solutions provider, opened its first Global in-house Centre (GIC). The new facility will allow the company to own the end-to-end technology development process without relying on third-party resources and will build products for global consumption.
  • It will provide analytical data to banks and financial institutions for making informed decisions about lending, and end-user ‘products’ such as mobile apps.
  • Managing Director and CEO, TransUnion CIBIL: Satish Pillai

Twenty ED rank officers to vie for CEO positions at 12 state-run banks

  • With a dozen vacancies arising in the top posts of public sector banks (PSBs) in 2018-19, the Banks Board Bureau (BBB) has finally started the process of selecting the candidates. Twenty executive director rank officers from PSBs have been called for an interview scheduled for this month.
  • Some of the CEO posts in PSBs like Andhra Bank, Dena Bank, and Punjab and Sind Bank are already vacant. Also, top posts in Central Bank of India, Bank of Baroda, Corporation Bank, United Bank of India and UCO Bank will fall vacant during the course of the year, though some of them are eligible for reappointment.
  • IDBI Bank’s CEO post will also fall vacant as the government has announced the appointment of M.K. Jain as the RBI deputy governor.
  • Moreover, Allahabad Bank’s MD & CEO Usha Ananthasubramanian’s executive powers have been withdrawn by the Board after she was named by investigation agencies in the letters of undertaking scam.
  • The future of chief executives of Indian Bank and Syndicate Bank also looks uncertain as they too have been named by investigation agencies in another scam.

U.S. policies creating risks, warns IMF

  • The International Monetary Fund has warned President Donald Trump’s aggressive trade policies and expansive tax cuts, at a time when the U.S. economy is growing, are creating risks that could damage the domestic and global economies.
  • It said that the tax cuts will generate a near-term boost to growth but also will elevate the risks to the U.S. and global economy, and increase the size of those risks.
  • Meanwhile, the extremely high import duties the U.S. has imposed and threatened could harm the world economic recovery by catalyzing a cycle of retaliatory responses and interrupting global supply chains.

Vistara set to fly on global routes

  • Tata-Singapore Airlines joint venture Vistara is all set to fly in international skies after it inducted its 21st aircraft. As per rules, a domestic carrier must have at least 20 aircraft in its fleet or 20% of its planes deployed in domestic routes before it is allowed to start international operations. The airline is awaiting regulatory approvals to commence international operations.
  • Vistara CEO Leslie Thng

World Blood Donor Day 2018 observed on June 14

  • World Blood Donor Day (WBDD) is one of eight official global public health campaigns marked by the World Health Organization (WHO). It is aimed at raising awareness of the need for regular blood donations to ensure the quality, safety and availability of blood and blood products for patients in need.
  • Every 14th June since 2004, countries around the world celebrate this event on the birth anniversary of Karl Landsteiner – the Austrian-American pathologist and immunologist who distinguished the main blood groups.

WPI inflation surges to 14-month high

  • According to government data released, inflation based on wholesale prices shot up to a 14-month high of 4.43% in May on increasing prices of petrol and diesel. The wholesale price index (WPI)-based inflation stood at 3.18% in April and 2.26% in May last year.
  • Inflation in food articles was at 1.60% in May 2018 against 0.87% in the preceding month. Inflation in fuel and power basket rose sharply to 11.22% in May from 7.85% in April as prices of domestic fuel increased in line with rising global crude oil rates.

Zimbabwe president, opposition leader fight for July elections

  • Zimbabwe's military-backed President Emmerson Mnangagwa and opposition leader Nelson Chamisahave registered for July 30 elections, the first without former leader Robert Mugabe's participation. The current president faces a stern challenge from Nelson Chamisa, a 40-year-old who has energised the main opposition party.
  • Mr Mnangagwa has pledged free and fair elections and invited Western observers for the first time in nearly two decades. Past elections were marked by alleged fraud.
  • The main opposition has raised concerns about alleged military involvement in this electoral process and demanded transparency in the voters' roll and in the printing of ballots.
  • Zimbabwe
  • Capital: Harare
  • Currency: United States Dollar, Pound sterling