Daily Current Affairs - 22nd Jun 2018

7th India Minerals and Metals forum inaugurated in New Delhi

  • 7th India Minerals and Metals forum was inaugurated in New Delhi. The forum seeks to come up with solutions to leverage in the sector with the changing global scenario. The deliberations acknowledged on the need to consolidate small players for strengthening of overall health of the industry.
  • The government officials emphasized on utilizing low grade minerals to reduce burden on high end minerals. A joint venture between three Public sector companies has been formed to acquire strategic mineral assets to source and export from abroad.
  • India has been conservative in exploration of deep seated minerals due to environmental concerns, but it needs quick progress and there is a lot of scope for private sector for carrying out such researches.

A R Rahman is Sikkim’s brand ambassador

  • Renowned music composer A R Rahman has been appointed as the Brand Ambassador of the Sikkim government. Rahman will promote and project the state’s achievements nationally and globally. The state government had earlier this year made Rahman its Brand Ambassador of tourism and business.
  • Sikkim has a distinct identity as the first fully organic farming state of the country.
  • Sikkim
  • Governor: Shriniwas Patil
  • CM: Pawan Kumar Chamling
  • Capital: Gangtok

Armstrong Changsan appointed as next Ambassador of India to Iceland

  • The Ministry of External Affairs has appointed Senior diplomat Armstrong Changsan as the next Ambassador of India to Iceland. Changsan, a 1997 batch Indian Foreign Service (IFS) officer,is presently the Consul General at the Indian consulate at Osaka-Kobe in Japan. He is expected to take up the assignment shortly.
  • Iceland
  • President: Guoni Thorlacius Johannesson
  • Prime Minister:Katrin Jakobsdottir
  • Capital: Reykjavík
  • Currency: krona

B Sriram of SBI appointed MD and CEO of IDBI Bank

  • State Bank of India's Managing Director B Sriram has been appointed as the MD and CEO of IDBI Bank for a temporary period of three months. He has been appointed in place of incumbent Mahesh Kumar Jain who was recently named Deputy Governor of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).
  • Sriram has been working as the MD (Corporate and Global Banking) in SBI since July 2014. He had been Managing Director of State Bank of Bikaner and Jaipur.
  • IDBI Bank's gross bad loans stood at Rs 55,588 crore, up from Rs 44,753 crore in March 31, 2017.
  • Headquarters of IDBI Bank: Mumbai

Centre invites comments on draft of National Voluntary Guidelines on Social, Environmental & Economic Responsibilities of Business

  • The union government has invited comments on draft of the National Voluntary Guidelines on Social, Environmental and Economic Responsibilities of Business. The draft has been placed on its website- www.mca.gov.in for public comment till 20th of next month.
  • The updated version will be finalized after an assessment and review of suggestions and inputs received from stakeholders and wide consultations with the relevant Ministries, Business and Stakeholders.
  • The Ministry had constituted a two-member expert committee to update the National Voluntary Guidelines on Social, Environmental and Economic Responsibilities of Business.

Centre sets up panels under task force for implementing drone technology

  • The Union government has set up three committees to help a task force set up in April this year to prepare a roadmap for implementing the drone technology in the country. The committees would separately make their recommendations on manufacturing and licensing of drones, airspace and air traffic management and policy and law related issues.
  • The decision was taken during the first meeting of the drone task force chaired by Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha. The Ministry is working towards making Unmanned Aerial Vehicle-UAVs a sustainable, globally-competitive industry based in India. A strategic roadmap for India to emerge as a large drone player is being put in place.

Chemistry Boxing Cup: Amit Panghal & Gaurav Solanki advance to semifinals

  • Amit Panghal and Gaurav Solanki advanced to the semifinals and assured themselves of medals at the Chemistry Cup tournament in Germany's Halle. Amit defeated Germany's Christopher Goman 5-0 in 49-kilogram category. He will now face Cuba's Damian Arce Duarte.
  • While Gaurav recorded a comprehensive win over Russia's Vadim Kudriakov by a similar margin in 52 kilograms. He will be facing Ireland's Conor Quinn in his semifinal bout.

CIL notifies coal e-auction for sectors such as cement, steel

  • Coal India Ltd announced the commencement of the fourth tranche of auction of coal linkages for non-regulated sectors such as cement, steel/sponge iron, aluminum and others. This includes captive power plants too. About 57 million tons of coal were earlier put on offer through the three tranches of e-auction since June 2016.
  • The auction is conducted by MSTC Limited (formerly known as Metal Scrap Trade Corporation).
  • The move to allot coal through this route follows the decision taken by the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) in this regard two years ago.

England cruise to fourth straight win

  • England have claimed a 4-0 ODI series lead against Australia after registering a six-wicket win in Durham. Centuries from Aaron Finch and Shaun Marsh helped Australia put together their best batting performance so far as they posted 8-310. 
  • England chased it down the target with Jason Roy scoring his second century of the series – and Jonny Bairstow added 79. Australia have now lost 15 of their past 17 completed ODIs.

EU slaps tariffs on US as trade war erupts

  • The European Union has slapped tariffs on iconic US products including bourbon, jeans and motorcycles in a trade war with President Donald Trump. The tariffs took effect at midnight and will further fuel ambiguity on world stock markets that are already alarmed by trade tensions between the United States and China.
  • The set of duties on US products worth 3.3 billion dollars in a tit-for-tat response to Mr. Trump's decision to slap stiff tariffs on the European steel and aluminum exports.
  • EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom said that the 28-nation bloc was left with no other choice but to impose tariffs of its own after the unilateral and unjustified decision of the US.

FIFA World Cup: Croatia & France enter knockout stage

  • Croatia powered into the last 16 group with a 3-nil rout of Argentina in Group D at the Nizhny Novgorod Stadium in Russia. Second-half goals from Ante Rebic, Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic sealed the victory. Argentina have just one point from two games and are on the brink of elimination from the tournament.
  • In another match, France entered the pre-quarter-finals, beating Peru 1-nil, in a group C encounter. Kylian Mbappe became France's youngest goal-scorer in World Cup history when he struck in the 34th minute.
  • Another Group C match between Denmark and Australia ended in a draw with both the teams scoring one goal each.

ICC Test rankings: Dhawan reaches career-best 24 spot, Vijay & Jadeja move up too

  • In the latest ICC Test rankings, Indian opener Shikhar Dhawan moved up 10 places to achieve a career-best 24. His teammates Murali Vijay and Ravinder Jadeja also moved up. Vijay's innings of 105 has lifted him six spots to the 23rd position.
  • India spinner Jadeja inched up one slot to third position after claiming six wickets in the Bengaluru Test.

India announces 30-Gigawatt offshore wind energy target by 2030

  • The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) announced medium and long term offshore wind energy target of 5GW by 2022 and 30 GW by 2030. The MNRE recently invited Expressions of Interest (EoI) for the first 1 GW offshore wind project in India. The offshore wind targets will add to the Indian government's objective to reach 60 GW of onshore wind and 100 GW solar by 2022.
  • The union government pointed to preliminary studies which have indicated good wind potential for off-shore wind power both in southern tip of Indian peninsula and west coast. There are further plans for surveys to study the oceanographic and seabed conditions in identified zones off Gujarat and Tamil Nadu
  • Globally there has been installation of about 17 to 18 GW of off-shore wind power led by countries such as UK, Germany, Denmark, Netherlands & China

India, U.S. 2+2 Dialogue on July 6

  • The inaugural U.S.-India 2+2 Dialogue will take place on July 6. The dialogue will focus on strengthening strategic, security, and defense cooperation. The new dialogue format was agreed to between the two sides during the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Washington D.C. in June, 2017.
  • The two sides are expected to share perspectives on strengthening their strategic and security ties and exchange views on a range of bilateral, regional and global issues of mutual interest.
  • The Donald Trump administration has been reassuring Indian interlocutors that it will shield India from anti-Russia third party sanctions required by a U.S. law. The U.S. is further pressing India to scale down its defence cooperation with Russia.

Iran walks out of OPEC peers meet ahead of cartel's crucial gathering in Vienna

  • Iran has walked out of a key meeting with the peers of Organization Petroleum Exporting Countries, OPEC over its growing rift with Saudi Arabia on increasing the cartel's oil output. The output curbs have been in place since January 2017 and Saudi Arabia is now pushing to raise production again to meet growing demand in the second half of 2018.
  • The proposal has run into resistance from Iran, Iraq and Venezuela, who would struggle to immediately raise output and fear losing market share.
  • OPEC
  • Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC or OPEP) is an intergovernmental organization of 14 nations as of February 2018. As of 2016, the 14 countries accounted for an estimated 44 percent of global oil production and 73 percent of the world's proven oil reserves, giving OPEC a major influence on global oil prices that were previously determined by American-dominated multinational oil companies.
  • Secretary General: Mohammed Barkindo
  • Headquarters: Vienna, Austria

Kerala government to launch scheme to offer loans at low interest rates

  • The Kerala government will be launching an ambitious micro-finance programme in the co-operative sector to help people, who were exploited by private financiers charging exorbitant interest rates for loans. Co-operative banks would launch the proposed scheme, titled 'Muttathe Mulla', with the support of women neighbourhood network – 'Kudumbashree.
  • Cooperative banks would give away micro-finance loans to 'Kudumbashree' at an interest rate of seven percent, many private money lenders were charging 37-72 percent interest for micro-finance loans

Over 1.50 lakh wellness centres will be set up by 2022 across the country

  • Union Health Minister J P Nadda said over 1.50 lakh wellness centres will be set up by 2022 across the country and each centre will have yoga facility. The 1,50-lakh health sub centres and primary health centres would be upgraded into wellness centres with modern facilities for treatment.

Prime Minister Modi leads 4th International Yoga Day celebrations

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi led the International Yoga day celebrations at the Forest Research Institute in Dehradun in Uttarakhand by practicing Yoga asanas with over 50,000 people. International Yoga day is observed across the world on June 21.
  • The idea of International Yoga Day was first proposed by Narendra Modi during his speech at the United Nations General Assembly on September 27, 2014.
  • He also suggested June 21 be observed as International Yoga Day all over the world, as it is the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere and has special significance in many parts of the world.

RITES IPO subscribed 2.11 times

  • The initial public offering of railways consultancy firm RITES was subscribed 2.11 times, the second day of bidding. The share sale to raise about Rs. 466 crore received bids for 5,32,54,320 shares against the total issue size of 2,52,00,000 shares. The price band has been fixed at Rs. 180-185 per share.
  • The category set aside for qualified institutional buyers was subscribed 32%, non institutional investors 49%, and retail investors 5.59 times.
  • RITES Limited (earlier known as Rail India Technical and Economic Service) is an engineering consultancy company, specializing in the field of transport infrastructure.
  • Managing Director: Rajiv Mehrotra

SEBI eases norms for share buy-backs, IPOs

  • The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has amended the rules related to public issues, takeovers and buy-backs based on feedback received from various market participants. SEBI has decided to give companies more time for the upward revision of open offer price and announcing the price band for an initial public offer (IPO).
  • While raising funds through an IPO, a company can now announce the price band just two days before the opening day of the issue instead of the earlier requirement of five days.
  • Further, financial disclosures now need to be mentioned only for three years instead of five.
  • Companies making a rights issue must submit a draft document only if the issue size is more than Rs. 10 crores. Currently, the threshold limit in such cases is Rs. 50 lakhs.
  • Disclosure requirements related to group companies have been made more specific in the SEBI (Issue of Capital and Disclosure Requirements) Regulations.
  • For the SME IPO segment, the minimum anchor investor size has been reduced to Rs. 2 crores from the existing Rs. 10 crores.
  • Insurance companies and foreign portfolio investors have been allowed to participate as anchor investors in main board IPOs.
  • The regulator will also soon set out new norms for enhanced monitoring and supervision of market intermediaries, especially registrar and transfer agents (RTAs).
  • SEBI also soon set out new norms for enhanced monitoring and supervision of market intermediaries, especially registrar and transfer agents (RTAs).
  • SEBI chairman Ajay Tyagi

Swiggy raises $210 million

  • Online food delivery start-up Swiggy had raised $210 million in a Series G funding led by the existing investor Naspers and new investor DST Global. The latest investment follows a $100 million Series F round in February.
  • Swiggy said the latest round of funding would enable it to quickly build up its supply chain network and expand to new markets. It has begun operations in Kochi, Coimbatore, Nagpur and Lucknow and introduced innovative payment options for both consumers and delivery partners.
  • The online food delivery market in India which was $0.3 billion in 2016 is expected to touch $4 billion in 2020, according to RedSeer.
  • CEO of Swiggy: Sriharsha Majety

Ulaanbaatar Cup boxing: Four Indians in semifinals

  • India was assured of four bronze medals at the Ulaanbaatar Cup boxing in Mongolia after Sonia Lather (57k) and Lovlina Borgohain (69kg) in the women’s category and Himnshu Sharma (49kg) and Ashish (64kg) in the men’s section made the semifinals.

Upgrade software at ATMs by June 2019 or face penalty, RBI tells banks

  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has now directed the banks to complete the process of upgrading software in automated teller machines (ATM) in a phased manner latest by June 2019. Despite repeated reminders by the RBI, the banks have been very slow in updating the ATM software.
  • The banking regulator pointed out that many ATMs were still running on Windows XP and other unsupported software. RBI had warned banks of penalty if they failed to adhere to the deadline.
  • Banks have been asked to upgrade 25% of the ATMs by September 2018, 50% by December 2018, 75% by March 2019 and all by June 2019.
  • Security measures should be implemented by August 2018 and anti-skimming and white-listing solutions by March 2019.
  • According to banking industry sources, there could be 30% of the present 2.2 lakh ATMs that still use old software.

World’s hungry population on the rise again, says UN report

  • According to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals 2018 report, the number of hungry people in the world has risen for the first time in more than a decade. There are now approximately 38 million more undernourished people in the world, rising from 777 million in 2015 to 815 million in 2016,
  • Conflict, drought and disasters linked to climate change are among the key factors causing this reversal in progress. Conflict is now one of the main drivers of food insecurity in 18 countries as violent conflicts led to the forced displacement of a record high 68.5 million in 2017.
  • The impact of extreme events related to a changing climate, the report said economic losses attributed to disasters were estimated at over $300 billion in 2017.
  • This is among the highest losses in recent years, owing to three major hurricanes affecting the United States of America and several countries across the Caribbean.
  • The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), otherwise known as the Global Goals, are a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity. 17 SDGs were adopted by UN member nations in 2015. The deadline to meet them is 2030.
  • UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres