Daily Current Affairs - 20th Jun 2018

Air India privatisation plan shelved

  • Indian government has shelved its sale of Air India after failing to attract buyers, this could further exacerbate the carrier’s financial woes and representing a setback for government efforts to cut debt.
  • Civil Aviation Ministry said plans to privatize the carrier have been dropped for now due to factors such as the looming election and high oil prices.
  • The money-losing carrier currently employs some 27,000 staff and it was seeking a short-term loan of 10 billion rupees ($148 million) so it can continue day-to-day operations.
  • CAPA India estimated the carrier would make losses of $1.5 to $2 billion over the next two years alone.

Anukreethy Vas From Tamil Nadu Crowned Femina Miss India 2018

  • Anukreethy Vas, a 19-year-old Tamil Nadu college student, has been crowned Femina Miss India 2018 in a grand ceremony in Mumbai. She beat 30 contestants to bag the top honour in front of a judges panel that included Miss World 2017 Manushi Chhillar, who awarded Anukreethy Vas her crown.
  • Meenakshi Chaudhary from Haryana was the first runner-up while Shreya Rao Kamavarapu from Andhra Pradesh secured the second runner-up position.
  • Anukreethy Vas will now represent India at Miss World 2018 while the two runners-up will represent the country at Miss Grand International 2018 and Miss United Continents 2018 respectively.

Centre to expand BPO promotion scheme to generate employment

  • The Union government will increase the capacity under the BPO promotion scheme to one lakh seats from the current 48,000 seats. The initiative has not only created new job opportunities but also ensured that people in smaller towns find employment closer home.
  • BPOs are expected to start soon in smaller cities like Gaya and Gazipur and some of them are already operational in Guwahati, Muzaffarpur, Patna and other places in all 91 in 27 States.
  • Allocation of 31,732 seats for BPO units operating from smaller towns have created new employment avenues with potential to offer nearly 2 lakh direct and indirect jobs to youth under India BPO promotion scheme and North East BPO promotion scheme.

Chandimal gets one-Test suspension

  • Sri Lanka captain Dinesh Chandimal has been suspended from his side’s third and final Test against West Indies Indies after he was found guilty of ball-tampering during the second day’s play of the second Test. During a hearing held at the end of the Test, in which video evidence was used in the presence of the Sri Lanka team management as well as the match officials, Chandimal admitted putting something in his mouth but wasn’t able to recall what it was.
  • ICC Match Referee Javagal Srinath handed Chandimal the maximum punishment available i.e. two suspension points and a fine of 100% of his match fee.

Database on unorganised workers gets under way

  • The Central has started work to create a national database and Aadhaar-seeded identification number system to facilitate welfare delivery to 40 crore workers in the unorganized sector. The Ministry of Labour has called for tenders to design, develop and run the new UWIN — Unorganised Workers Identification Number Platform and the project would have an estimated cost of Rs. 402.7 crore.
  • The single unified sanitised database will assign a ten-digit UWIN to every worker and include details of both nuclear and extended families of unorganised workers. Apart from enabling the delivery of multiple social security services, it will also give the government a wealth of data to drive evidence-based policy making, help identify and enable skill development, and link employers with workers.
  • The Unorganised Workers Social Security Act, 2008 had first mandated that every worker be registered and issued a smart ID card.

Domestic air traffic growth slips to 16.5%

  • Domestic air traffic growth deecelerated to 16.5% in May, the slowest pace so far this year according to official monthly data released. Air traffic growth in the year had varied between 19.7% and 28% in the first four months. Various domestic carriers ferried a total of 11.86 million passengers last month as compared with 10.17 million a year earlier.
  • Market-leader IndiGo cornered 40.9% of the total domestic passengers, followed by Jet Airways (13.7%) and Air India (12.8%).
  • IndiGo was also the most punctual airline with 80.9% of all its flights departing and arriving on time. SpiceJet was close behind with on-time performance of 80% and Vistara at 76.7%.
  • SpiceJet saw the best passenger load factor with an average of 94.8% of seats booked. IndiGo was at second spot with 91% and AirAsia was third with 89.7%.

England posts record score of 481

  • England broke its own all-time record for the highest total scored in a men’s ODI when it posted 481 for six against Australia. It had broken its own world record total which also set at this venue of 444 for three against Pakistan in 2016. Contributions coming from opener Jonny Bairstow 139, Alex Hales (147) and Captain Eoin Morgan (67).
  • Meanwhile chasing the mammoth total, Australia were bowled out for 239 in 37 overs as Adil Rashid took 4-47. This is England's biggest ODI win and Australia's heaviest defeat in terms of runs.
  • England leads the five-match series 3-0.

HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar launches National Digital Library in New Delhi

  • Union Human Development Minister Prakash Javadekar has launched the National Digital Library, a repository of millions of academic texts from around the world which will be open for all to use.
  • The digital library at present hosts 17 million-plus items (books, audiobooks, images etc) in 200-plus languages from more than 170 institutions.
  • Currently, there are over 30 lakh users of the portal which include schools, higher learning institutions and others.
  • It has been built by the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur, under a project given it by the HRD Ministry, with work on it starting in early 2015.

India to gift Dornier aircraft for Seychelles

  • India is planning to gift a Dornier aircraft to Seychelles and explore trilateral cooperation involving France that will safeguard its strategic interests in the backdrop of Seychelles President Danny Faure’s announcement to cancel the project to jointly develop a naval base on Assumption Island ahead of his June 25 Delhi visit.
  • It is second such aircraft that could be gifted to the Indian Ocean Region. Half of Seychelles’ military assets have been provided by India, which has trained around 70% of Seychelles’ military personnel.
  • An Indo-French-Seychelles trilateral cooperation may safeguard India’s strategic interests in the key Indian Ocean country amid China’s growing interests in the region.
  • India and France joined hands in March for strategic partnership in the western part of the Indian Ocean region. The two countries share a logistic service agreement to support each other naval forces in the Indian Ocean Region.
  • Seychelles
  • President: Danny Faure
  • Capital: Victoria
  • Currency:Seychellois rupee

Keralites face highest risk of cardiovascular disease, finds study

  • A study led by researchers at Public Health Foundation of India and Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, has found that people of Kerala were most at risk of cardiovascular diseases while those in Jharkhand were least likely to have the condition.
  • Women of Goa at highest mean cardiovascular risk at 16.73% while men in Himachal Pradesh and Nagaland were most vulnerable with mean cardiovascular risk of 24.23%. In general, the cardiovascular risk is lower in rural areas compared with urban areas.
  • While smoking was more prevalent in poorer households and rural areas, wealthy households and urban locations faced risks from high body mass index, high blood glucose and high systolic blood pressure.
  • The study is based on two recent national surveys of nearly 8,00,000 adults between 34 and 70 years.

Mehbooba Mufti Quits, Jammu And Kashmir Set For Governor's Rule

  • Jammu and Kashmir's ruling coalition collapsed as the BJP ended a three-year-old alliance support to Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti's People's Democratic Party (PDP). Ms Mufti handed in her resignation to Governor NN Vohra shortly after the BJP's announcement.
  • Both PDP and BJP were reportedly at loggerheads over the Centre’s decision to end Ramzan ceasefire on operations against terrorists operating in the valley.
  • The BJP has 25 lawmakers and the PDP has 28 in the 89-member state assembly, both far short of the majority mark of 45. The Congress, which has 12 members and National Conference, with 15 seats.

Over 7,000 People From India Sought Asylum In US In 2017: United Nations

  • According to a report by the UN refugee agency, over 7,000 people from India filed applications for asylum in the US last year. The report also stated that America was the largest recipient of new asylum requests in 2017.
  • Globally 68.5 million people were displaced as of the end of 2017. Among them were 16.2 million people who became displaced during 2017 itself, either for the first time or repeatedly - indicating a huge number of people on the move and equivalent to 44,500 people being displaced each day, or a person becoming displaced every two seconds.
  • Wars, other violence and persecution drove worldwide forced displacement to a new high in 2017 for the fifth year in a row, led by the crisis in Democratic Republic of the Congo, South Sudan's war, and the flight into Bangladesh from Myanmar of hundreds of thousands of Rohingya refugees.

PSU bank deposits safe: Goyal

  • Union Finance Minister Piyush Goyal stated the public’s money is extremely safe in public sector banks and the government is 100% committed to these banks. He also reiterated that the government was open to the idea of providing the Reserve Bank of India with more powers to effectively regulate and manage public sector banks.
  • His comments follows RBI Governor Urjit Patel’s statements to the Standing Committee on Finance that the central bank needed more powers, such as the ability to appoint and dismiss the heads of PSBs.

Second Tranche Of Bharat-22 ETF Opens; Government Eyes Up To Rs 8,400 Crore

  • The second round of Bharat-22 ETF (exchange traded fund) opened for fresh subscription on June 19. The union government aims to raise Rs 6,000 crore from this round. There is also a green shoe option of Rs 2,400 crore, subject to government approval.
  • The issue opens for anchor investors on June 19 and for other institutional and retail investors from June 20 to 22. The anchor book is expected to be worth nearly Rs 2,100 crore.
  • The Union government launched the BHARAT-22 exchange traded fund (ETF) on November 14, 2017, which is managed by ICICI Prudential Mutual Fund. It's a part of the government’s disinvestment programme. The ETF, comprising shares of 10 CPSEs
  • Greenshoe option is a special provision where the bid issuer allows for oversubscription to the issue up to a certain limit/cap.

Uber names Pradeep Parameswaran as India & South Asia President

  • U.S.-based cab aggregator Uber said it had elevated Pradeep Parameswaran as president of its India and South Asia operations. He succeeds Amit Jain, who was elevated to the role of Head of Asia Pacific region last month.
  • Mr. Parameswaran had joined Uber in January, 2017, and was leading operations for Uber in India and South Asia.

US withdraws from UN Human Rights Council

  • The United States withdrew from the United Nations Human Rights Council accusing the body of a chronic bias against Israel, a move that activists warned would make advancing human rights globally even more difficult.
  • US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley slammed Russia, China, Cuba and Egypt for thwarting US efforts to reform the council.
  • It further stated that the decision was an affirmation of U.S. respect for human rights, a commitment that does not allow US to remain a part of a hypocritical and self-serving organization that makes a mockery of human rights.
  • The Trump administration is under intense criticism from business groups, human rights organizations and lawmakers from both parties over the recently imposed policy of separating children from parents illegally crossing the southern border of the U.S.
  • United Nations Human Rights Council is a 47-member body, created in 2006 and based in Geneva, Switzerland.
  • Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid bin Ra'ad Zeid al-Hussein

World Health Organization adds gaming disorder to disease classifications

  • The WHO added both online and offline gaming disorder to its latest draft of the International Classification of Diseases manual, called ICD-11.
  • Gaming disorder is characterized by a pattern of persistent or recurrent gaming behavior (‘digital gaming’ or ‘video gaming’), which may be online or offline.
  • The symptoms listed by WHO echo symptoms for other addictive or compulsive disorders. They include: a lack of control over gaming; giving gaming precedence over other life interests and daily activities; and continuation or escalation of gaming despite negative consequences.
  • WHO
  • Director General: Tedros Adhanom
  • Headquarters: Geneva, Switzerland

Yes Bank gets Sebi nod for custodian of securities business

  • Private lender Yes Bank has received approval from market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) for acting as custodian of securities.This approval by the SEBI will complement the bank's existing capital market offerings and enable it to play a larger role in channelising domestic and foreign investments into Indian financial market
  • Custodian of securities is a licence granted by Sebi to eligible entities allowing them to offer custodial services to financial market participants including foreign institutional investors (FIIs) and foreign portfolio investors (FPIs).