Daily Current Affairs - 31st Jul 2018

Axis Bank profit slides 46%

  • Private sector lender Axis Bank returned to the black with a net profit of Rs. 701 crore in the April-June quarter. The latest profit numbers are 46% lower than those recorded an year earlier.
  • Provision remained elevated at Rs. 3,338 crore during the quarter as compared with Rs. 2,342 crore during the comparable period of the previous year, though significantly lower than Rs. 7,180 crore of Jan-March quarter.
  • Axis recognised slippages of Rs. 4,337 crore during the quarter, of which corporate lending slippages were Rs. 2,218 crore.
  • CEO: Shikha Sharma

Badminton World Championships: HS Prannoy, Sameer Verma and Sai Praneeth enter 2nd round

  • H.S. Prannoy, Sameer Verma and Sai Praneeth have entered the second round of men's singles in Badminton World Championships in Nanjing, China.
  • World No. 11 Prannoy beat New Zealand's Abhinav Manota 21-12, 21-11, while Sameer dumped France's Lucas Corvee 21-13, 21-10 to progress to the second round. Sai Praneeth got walkover against Son Wan Ho of South Korea.
  • Indian mixed doubles pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Ashwini Ponnappa prevailed 21-9, 22-20 over Denmark's Niclas Nohr and Sara Thygesen.
  • Men's doubles pair of Manu Attri and B Sumeeth Reddy defeated Bulgarian pair Daniel Nikolov and Ivan Rusev 21-13, 21-18 to also make it to the second round.

Draft e-commerce policy will be in line with Srikrishna panel proposals

  • The draft e-commerce policy being formulated by the government will be in keeping with the recommendations of the Justice Srikrishna Committee report on data privacy. The draft personal data protection Bill 2018, submitted by the Justice B.N. Srikrishna-headed expert panel proposed that critical personal data of Indian citizens be processed in centres located within the country.
  • The draft law has left it to the Central government to notify categories of personal data that will be considered as critical, and hence necessarily be located in India. Other personal data can be transferred out of the country, but a copy must be retained in India.

EU moving anti-piracy HQ to Spain after Brexit

  • European Union countries decided to move the headquarters of the bloc's anti-piracy Atlanta patrols from London to the Spanish port of Rota on March 29, when Britain exits the EU. The member countries also agreed to transfer the London-based Martime Security Centre Horn of Africa, which informs shipping about piracy threats off Somalia, to the French port of Brest.
  • The security centre will remain under the Atlanta command.
  • The EU launched Atlanta in 2008 to fight brazen acts of piracy off the coast of Somalia.
  • The European Union (EU) is a political and economic union of 28 member states that are located primarily in Europe.
  • President of the European Commission: Jean-Claude Juncker
  • President of the European Council: Donald Tusk
  • President of the European Parliament: Antonio Tajani
  • Headquarters: Brussels, Belgium

First Nepal-India Think Tank Summit to begin in Kathmandu

  • The first Nepal-India Think Tank Summit will begin in Kathmandu to foster greater collaboration and knowledge-sharing among the think tanks of the two countries. The main objective of the summit is to strengthen bilateral relations between India and Nepal through multi-faceted collaboration among think-tanks in both the countries.
  • Think tanks, policy makers, diplomats, academicians, businesspersons, journalists and government officials from both the countries will participate in the summit.
  • The summit is proposed to become an annual feature for the participating organisations and it will be hosted alternatively in Nepal and India.
  • The summit will have four sessions with different themes. The first session will deal with Building innovative cooperation between Indo-Nepal think tanks, while second session will deal with Bolstering bilateral economic ties for the shared prosperity. The third session will focus on Managing security dilemma, whereas fourth session will be on Redefining Nepal-India relations in 21st century.
  • Nepal
  • President: Bidhya Devi Bhandari
  • Prime Minister: Khadga Prasad Sharma Oli
  • Currency: Nepalese rupee

Govt constitutes high level empowered committee to revive stressed thermal power plants

  • The Government has decided to set up a high level empowered committee headed by cabinet secretary P K Sinha and representation from the ministries of railways, finance, power, coal and banks having major exposure to the power sector to revive stressed thermal power projects.
  • The Committee would look into various issues with a view to resolve them and maximise the efficiency of investment including changes required to be made in the fuel allocation policy and regulatory framework.
  • It will also look into mechanisms to facilitate sale of power, ensure timely payments, payment security mechanism, changes required in the provisioning norms/Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC), Asset Restructuring Company regulations and other proposals for revival of stressed assets so as to avoid such investments becoming NPA.

HDFC Q1 profit rises 54% on loan growth

  • Mortgage financier HDFC reported 54% growth in net profit to Rs. 2,190 crore for the quarter ended June 30 on the back of 25% growth in individual loans .Net interest income for the quarter stood at Rs. 2,890 crore, up 20% from Rs. 2,412 crore in the year-earlier period. The spread on loans over the cost of borrowings for the quarter was 2.28%.
  • Managing Director: Aditya Puri

IndiGo profit plunges 96.6% on fuel costs, exchange rate

  • Market leader IndiGo profit for the first quarter of the current fiscal plunged 96.6% to Rs. 27.8 crore against Rs. 811.1 crore in the year-earlier period following adverse impact of foreign exchange and high fuel prices.
  • Revenue from passenger tickets stood at Rs. 5,769.4 crore, an increase of 13.6% compared to the year-earlier period. Ancillary revenue rose 16% to Rs. 682.7 crore.
  • The budget-carrier also has aircraft-related debt of Rs. 2,521.9 crore as on June 30.
  • Director & CEO; Rahul Bhatia

Johnson wins Canadian Open

  • World No.1 Golfer Dustin Johnson won the Canadian Open title for his third victory of 2018. Johnson fired a six-under 66 for a three-stroke win after starting the final round of the USPGA Tour event at the Glen Abbey course. The win was the 19th title of his career PGA Tour victory and joining some elite company in the process.
  • South Koreans Kim Whee and An Byeong-hun finished second after they each shot 69.

Jordan junior and cadet Open: Indian juniors bag six medals

  • Indian junior paddlers won six medals, including a gold in the team event, following their rich run in the individual events at the Jordan junior and cadet Open. India won a gold, three silver and two bronze medals.

LS passes Bill on rape punishment

  • The Lok Sabha passed the Criminal Law (Amendment) Bill, 2018, that provides for the death sentence for raping girls aged under 12 and enhances the minimum punishment for rape of a woman from seven years to 10. The Bill amends the Indian Penal Code, the Code of Criminal Procedure, the Indian Evidence Act and the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act.
  • The minimum punishment for the rape of a girl under 12 will be 20 years of rigorous imprisonment, the maximum being the death sentence or life imprisonment

PM Modi Lays Foundation Of Mobile Open Exchange Zone At Noida

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation of India's first Mobile Open Exchange Zone (MOX) at World Trade Centre, Noida. The Uttar Pradesh government had earlier this year signed an MoU with World Trade Center, Noida, to develop a 'tech zone' as a nucleus of the Mobile Open Exchange Zone (MOX).
  • Earlier this month, PM Modi had inaugurated a 35-acre Samsung Electronics expanded facility in Noida, which is touted to be the world's largest mobile phone production unit in terms of a number of devices rolled out every month.

SBI raises retail fixed deposit rates by 5-10 bps

  • The State Bank of India has raised the retail fixed deposit rates by 5-10 bps across various maturities. The rate for deposits of less than Rs. 1 crore, for one year to less than 2 years, will be 6.7%, up 5 bps, while for two years to less than three years, the rate will be 6.75% — higher by 10 bps
  • For three years to less than five years, the rate will be 6.8% as compared to 6.7%. Senior citizens will get 50 bps more than the card rate.
  • SBI Chairman: Rajnish Kumar

Smriti equals fastest T20 half-century

  • India’s star batswoman Smriti Mandhana, playing for Western Storm, equalled the record for the fastest half-century in women’s T20 cricket during a Kia Super League victory over Loughborough Lightning.
  • Mandhana equalled New Zealand’s Sophie Devine’s record of a half-century off 18 balls, set against India during a T20 International in 2015. The Indian blasted a 19-ball 52 overall.

Surendra Rosha named HSBC India CEO

  • The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation(HSBC) announced the appointment of Surendra Rosha as Chief Executive Officer for HSBC India, subject to regulatory approvals. He succeeds Jayant Rikhye. Rosha is currently HSBC’s Head of Financial Institutions Group (FIG) for Asia-Pacific,has 27 years of experience in financial services sector.

U.S. eases export controls on India

  • In a major boost to India, the U.S. administration eased export controls on high-technology product sales to it by designating it as a Strategic Trade Authorisation-1 country. This comes after the U.S. recognised India as a “Major Defence Partner” in 2016, a designation that allows India to buy more advanced and sensitive technologies from the U.S.

Unions reject IBA’s wage raise offer

  • The Indian Banks’ Association’s (IBA) revised offer to raise bank employee wages by 6%, from the 2% proposed earlier, was rejected by bank unions. The unions have been demanding a 25% increase. However, the unions have agreed to fresh talks on the issue by the end of August.
  • UFBU is the the umbrella body for nine trade unions.

Voting closed in Zimbabwe's first election

  • Voting has been closed in Zimbabwe's first election since Robert Mugabe was ousted after 37 years in power. President Emmerson Mnangagwa of the ruling ZANU-PF party, faced off against opposition leader Nelson Chamisa of the MDC (Movement for Democratic Change) in the historic vote.
  • With 5.6 million registered voters, the results of the presidential, parliamentary and local elections are due by August 4.
  • A run-off vote is scheduled for September 8 if no presidential candidate wins at least 50 per cent.
  • Zimbabwe
  • President: Emmerson Mnangagwa
  • Capital: Harare
  • Currency:United States Dollar, Pound sterling

Women's Hockey World Cup: India to face Italy in crucial knock-out match in London

  • India will face Italy in the crucial knock-out match in Women's Hockey World Cup, London. Ranked 10th, India will start as overwhelming favourites against 17th ranked Italy in the crucial knock-out match, where a win will pit them against Ireland in the quarterfinals.
  • While India had to fight their way into the knock-out round from Pool B after registering two draws against England and USA and a loss to Ireland.

World Day against Trafficking in Persons observed on July 30

  • The World Day against Trafficking in Persons is observed on 30 July every year. Human trafficking is a crime that exploits women, children and men for numerous purposes including forced labour and sex.
  • In 2010, the General Assembly adopted the Global Plan of Action to Combat Trafficking in Persons, urging Governments worldwide to take coordinated and consistent measures to defeat this scourge.
  • UNODC, as guardian of the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (UNTOC) and the Protocols thereto, assists States in their efforts to implement the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons (Trafficking in Persons Protocol).
  • According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime Global Report on Trafficking in Persons. Additionally, women and girls comprise 71 per cent of human trafficking victims.