Daily Current Affairs - 20th Jul 2018

Archery World Cup: Indian women’s compound team reaches final

  • In the Archery World Cup Stage-4 in Berlin, Indian women compound team of Trisha Deb, Jyothi Surekha Vennam and Muskan Kirar entered into the final stunning top seed Turkey.
  • The trio Indians showed nerves of steel after a tied opening set to beat the fancied Turkey 231-228 to set up a gold medal clash against France.
  • Earlier compound archer Abhishek Verma sealed a berth in the World Cup Finals but made a third round exit, losing to 35th seed Akbarali Karabayev of Kazakhstan.

Cabinet approves Special Package for Irrigation Projects in Vidarbha, Marathwada

  • The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved the implementation of Centrally Sponsored-Scheme for completion of 83 Minor Irrigation projects and 8 major/medium irrigation projects of Marathawada, Vidharbha and drought prone areas of the rest of Maharashtra.
  • The overall balance cost of the projects as on 01.04.2018 is estimated to be Rs. 13,651.61 crore. Completion of these projects will ensure assured source of water to the farmers in the command area of these projects. This will increase yield of their crops and thereby increase the income of the farmers.

Centre Hikes Sugarcane Price by Rs 20/Quintal to Rs 275/Quintal for 2018/19 Season

  • The union government has increased the minimum price sugar mills pay to cane growers by Rs 20 per quintal to Rs 275 per quintal for the next marketing year starting October.
  • The decision is in line with the recommendations of the government's price advisory body Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices (CACP).
  • Taking into account the likely sugarcane output in 2018-19, total remittance to the sugarcane farmers will be more than Rs 83,000 crore.
  • India's sugar production is estimated to rise by 10 per cent to touch a new record of 35.5 million tonnes in the next marketing year, starting October as cane output could rise on normal rains
  • Sugar production in India, the world's second largest producer after Brazil, is estimated to reach a record 32.25 million tonnes in the current 2017-18 marketing year (October-September).
  • Food Minister Ram Vilas Paswan

Doyen Of Hindi Poetry Gopal Das Neeraj Dies At 93

  • Legendary Hindi poet and lyricist Gopal Das Neeraj passed away in Delhi. He was 93. He had also written songs for Bollywood films. Gopal Das Neeraj was awarded Padma Shri in 1991 and Padma Bhushan in 2007.

Global study of world's beaches shows threat to protected areas

  • According to a global survey of beaches with satellites data from NASA and the US Geological Survey shows that the world’s sandy shorelines are declining in protected marine areas which could threaten plant and animal species and cultural heritage sites.
  • About 24 per cent of sandy beaches worldwide are eroding, while 27 per cent are growing.
  • They found that about a third (31 per cent) of all ice-free shorelines are sandy or gravelly and Africa has the highest proportion of sandy beaches (66 per cent) and Europe has the lowest (22 per cent).
  • The results showed that beaches in Australia and Africa are experiencing more erosion than growth, a process scientists call accretion.

Hockey: Indian Men's team beat New Zealand by 4-2 in series opener

  • The Indian men's hockey team pulled off a sensational 4-2 win over New Zealand in the first Test of the three-match series in Bengaluru. Rupinder Pal Singh scored two goals, Mandeep Singh, and Harmanpreet Singh one each. Stephen Jenness scored a brace for the visitors.

IBBI working on cross-border insolvency norms

  • IBBI Chief M.S. Sahoo said the process to put in place a framework for cross-border insolvency cases is under way. The union government is keen to introduce a globally accepted and well-recognised cross-border insolvency framework, which would also make India an attractive investment destination for foreign creditors, given the increased predictability and certainty of the insolvency process.
  • The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (IBBI) is a nodal body that implements the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC).

India fastest growing economy in Asia; on track to meet FY18 target: ADB

  • The Asian Development Bank (ADB) said that India will continue to be the world's fastest growing major economy, ahead of China, with 7.3 per cent growth rate in 2018-19 and 7.6 per cent in 2019-20, today.
  • The growth in India will be driven by increased public spending, higher capacity utilisation rate, tax reform boost investment and uptick in private investment.
  • Economic growth in China will decelerate to 6.6 per cent in 2018 and further to 6.4 per cent in 2019. China's growth rate was 6.9 per cent in 2017.
  • Growth in Asia and the Pacific's developing economies for 2018 and 2019 will remain solid as it continues apace across the region, despite rising tensions between the US and its trading partners.

India may lose U.S. trade spat in WTO over export support

  • Commerce Secretary Rita Teaotia said there was a real possibility that India could lose the trade dispute that the U.S. had filed in the WTO on export subsidies because income levels in India had crossed the threshold for exports to be subsidised.
  • She further said that direct subsidy to exports cannot be given, the government can legitimately support regulatory compliances required in other countries.
  • The government has already set up an expert group to look at WTO-compliant support to exports, and a draft set of schemes will be announced for discussion.
  • The U.S., in March this year, dragged India to the WTO’s dispute settlement mechanism over export subsidies, saying that these incentives were harming American companies.

ISRO ropes in three partners to assemble 27 satellites

  • The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has roped in three partners to help it assemble 27 satellites at a quick pace over the next three years.ISRO's nodal satellites division URSC (U.R. Rao Satellite Centre) signed separate three-year contracts with Alpha Design Technologies P Ltd and its six consortium members; with defence public enterprise Bharat Electronics Ltd; and with Tata Advanced Systems Ltd, Hyderabad.
  • Each partner will work with the URSC to produce three small to medium satellites each year, or a total of 27 spacecraft by July 2021
  • About 50 members from each partner will separately work with URSC engineers to complete the project.
  • URSC estimates a requirement of around 71 satellites till 2021. It means adding 12 satellites a year or one every month. It has so far produced over 100 spacecraft, opened up AIT to industry in August last year and 13 private and public sector companies had responded.
  • ISRO launches three types of satellites - for communication, Earth observation and navigation. It plans to put double the number of its current satellites in space in order to fully meet national needs. They range from telephony. Internet and broadcasting services to security and simple socio-economic activities.

Junior Asian wrestling championships: India wins a silver, two bronze

  • Indian women managed to win a silver and two bronze medals on the third day of the junior Asian wrestling championships. Divya Kakran lost 0-11 by technical superiority to Meerim Zhumanazarova of Kyrgyzstan in the final.

ONGC board approves exiting Pawan Hans, to sell 49% stake

  • Oil and Natural Gas Corporation- ONGC- the premier Public Sector Natural gas company has approved exiting its helicopter service provider Pawan Hans by selling its entire 49 per cent stake.
  • The move is expected to cut debt and consolidate resources in this core oil and gas business.
  • The offer for sale for government's 51 per cent stake in Pawan Hans which has been floated twice in the last 10 months, is likely to be reissued with an amended expression of interest.

Parliament nod to bill for merger of subsidiary banks with SBI

  • Indian Parliament has approved the bill to merge six subsidiary banks with the State Bank of India (SBI) with the Rajya Sabha clearing the State Banks (Repeal and Amendment) Bill, 2017.
  • The Bill was introduced in the Lok Sabha by the Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on July 21, 2017, and has been passed by the lower house.
  • The Union Cabinet granted its approval in February 2017, which allowed the SBI to acquire these subsidiaries.
  • The bill repeals the State Bank of India (Subsidiary Banks) Act, 1959, and State Bank of Hyderabad Act, 1956 besides amending the State Bank of India (SBI) Act, 1955.
  • The State Bank of Bikaner and Jaipur, State Bank of Mysore, State Bank of Patiala and State Bank of Travancore were constituted under the State Bank of India (Subsidiary Banks) Act, 1959.

Peruvians march against corruption as head of judiciary resigns

  • Peruvians marched in the streets across the country to demand anti-corruption reforms to clean up the country’s institutions as the head of the judiciary resigned.
  • Peruvian President fired his justice minister after a TV station released an audio of a phone conversation between the minister and a judge under investigation for influence peddling.
  • A corruption scandal dogged the previous administration of former president Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, who stepped down four months ago in a graft scandal.
  • Peru
  • President: Martin Vizcarra
  • Capital: Lima
  • Currency: sol

RBI to issue new 100 Rupee notes with motif of 'Rani Ki Vav'

  • The Reserve Bank said it will soon issue new 100 rupee notes in lavender colour having motif of‘Rani ki vav' - a stepwell located on the banks of Saraswati river in Gujarat's Patan. The central bank said,all 100 rupees banknotes issued earlier will also continue to be legaltender. The new 100 rupees note follows, new notes in the denomination of 10 rupees, 50 rupees and 500 rupees.
  • The note has other designs, geometric patterns aligning with the overall colour scheme, both at the obverse and reverse.

Repco Micro Finance receives NABARD 2018 award

  • Repco Micro Finance Ltd, a non-banking finance company promoted by Repco Bank, received Nabard 2018 award for its service to self-help group (SHG) linkage in Tamil Nadu for the fiscal year 2017-18.
  • Since its inception, the NBFC has disbursed loans amounting to ?2,500 crore to over 10 lakh beneficiaries through 50,000 SHGs.

TRAI revamps rules on pesky calls, spam

  • Telecom regulator TRAI has revamped the regulations on pesky calls and spam as it spelt out new rules mandating subscribers’ consent for receiving telemarketing messages. The regulator also asked telecom operators to ensure that commercial communication takes place only through registered senders.
  • The regulations provide for registration of senders, registration of headers (that segregate different types of messages) and, more importantly, registration of subscribers’ consent.

Two plus two dialogue between India and US to be held in New Delhi in September

  • US State Department has announced that the inaugural 'two-plus-two dialogue' between India and the United States will be held in New Delhi on September 6.
  • US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defence Secretary James Mattis will travel to India for the dialogue with External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.
  • India and US will discuss strengthening of strategic, security and defence cooperation as both the nations jointly address challenges in the Indo-Pacific region and beyond.
  • The dialogue was announced last year during Prime Minister Narendra Modi's meeting with President Donald Trump at the White House. The dialogue is seen as a vehicle to elevate the strategic relationship between the two countries.

World's first artificial meteor shower to light sky over Japan in 2020

  • A Japanese company which claims it can produce shooting stars on demand has said it will create the world's first artificial meteor shower in 2020. Tokyo-based start-up ALE said it is in the final stages of building two micro-satellites - each programmed to carry and release 400 tiny pellets anywhere, anytime and in any colour.
  • Each of these pellets will burn as they enter the atmosphere, creating a glow bright enough to be seen from Earth.