Daily Current Affairs - 10th Sep 2018

Alibaba's Jack Ma to step down as chairman

  • Jack Ma, who founded e-commerce giant Alibaba Group has announced that he will step down as the company's chairman next September. He will be succeeded by CEO Daniel Zhang. Ma handed over the CEO's post to Zhang in 2013 as part of what he said was a succession process developed over a decade.
  • Ma founded Alibaba in 1999 in an apartment in the eastern city of Hangzhou to connect Chinese suppliers with foreign retailers. It expanded into consumer retailing, online finance and other services, becoming the world's biggest e-commerce company by total value of goods sold across all its platforms.
  • Ma will remain a member of the Alibaba Partnership, a group that has the right to nominate a majority of the company's board of directors.

Asia Cup: India's game against Hong Kong to get ODI status

  • The ICC has decided to accord One-Day International status to India and Pakistan's group league matches against Hong Kong in the upcoming Asia Cup. The BCCI along with Asian Cricket Council (ACC) had placed a request with the ICC board in this regard. The Asia Cup starts in Dubai from Saturday.
  • Hong Kong have been clubbed with India and Pakistan in group A while B group comprises Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Afghanistan.

Bangladesh calls for pressure on Myanmar on Rohingya repatriation

  • Bangladesh's prime minister has urged the global community, including the Islamic Development Bank (IDB), to increase pressure on Myanmar to ensure the repatriation of hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims who have fled a military crackdown.
  • The two countries reached a deal in November to begin repatriation within two months, but it has not started, with stateless Rohingya still crossing the border.
  • More than 700,000 Rohingya refugees crossed from the west of mostly Buddhist Myanmar into Bangladesh from August last year when Rohingya insurgent attacks on the Myanmar security forces triggered a sweeping military response.
  • Bangladesh
  • President: Abdul Hamid
  • Prime Minister: Sheikh Hasina Wazed
  • Capital: Dhaka
  • Currency: Bangladeshi taka

Far-right tipped to win big as Sweden heads to polls

  • Swedes go to the polls in legislative elections on Sunday, with the far-right expected to post a record score as voters unhappy about immigration punish one of the few remaining left-wing governments in Europe.
  • Opinion polls have suggested support for the anti-immigration Sweden Democrats (SD) could be up to 25 per cent, giving it significant influence and making it impossible to predict the make-up of the next government.
  • Social Democratic Prime Minister Stefan Löfven has called the election a “referendum on the future of the welfare state” but the far-right Sweden Democrats (SD) have presented it as vote on immigrants as Sweden took in almost 4,00,000 asylum seekers since 2012. It took in more than 160,000 asylum seekers in 2015 alone, a per capita record in Europe.
  • Sweden:
  • Prime Minister Stefan Löfven
  • Capital: Stockholm
  • Currency: Krona

Finance Ministry to engage with States to shore up GST revenue

  • Alarmed by a nearly fourfold rise in GST compensation to States for June-July, the union Finance Ministry is planning a strategy to increase up tax revenues and engaging with States to identify issues hindering their collections. As there has been a spike in the bi-monthly GST compensation paid to the States by the Centre.
  • The Centre paid Rs. 14,930 crore to compensate States for revenue loss incurred in June and July, a nearly four-fold jump compared to the Rs. 3,899 crore paid for the months of April and May.
  • Finance Secretary Hasmukh Adhia has started meeting GST officers, both from Central and State tax departments, in the State capitals to understand issues plaguing GST collections.

Govt. panel to look into e-com issues

  • The union government has set up a group of secretaries to review a recently released draft e-commerce policy, which has drawn severe criticism from many stakeholders. The new group will be chaired by the secretary in the department of industrial policy and promotion (DIPP). Secretaries of the IT ministry and department of commerce as well as representatives of Niti Aayog and the department of economic affairs are other members of the group.
  • The policy faced backlash over its suggestions dealing with data localisation, curbing deep discounting which has been the mainstay of online retailers and Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) norms.

Heritage tag for 2 irrigation facilities in Telangana

  • The International Executive Council of the International Commission on Irrigation and Drainage (ICID) has accepted Telangana government’s nomination of Sadarmatt anicut across river Godavari in Nirmal district and Pedda Cheruvu in Kamareddy district in the ICID Register of Heritage Irrigation Structures.
  • The plaques presented by the council for the two over-century-old irrigation facilities were received by the Member Secretary, Indian National Committee on Surface Water as Indian representative at the meeting.

Hyderabad Open badminton: India's Sameer Verma wins singles title

  • India's Sameer Verma clinched the men's singles titles at the Hyderabad Open badminton tournament. He defeated Malaysia's Soong Joo Ven 21-15 21-18 in the men's singles summit clash of the USD 75,000 BWF Tour Super 100 tournament.
  • The pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty won the men's doubles title, the duo beat third seeded Indonesian pair of Akbar Bintang Cahyono and Moh Reza Pahlevi Isfahani 21-16 21-14 to lift the men's doubles crown.
  • Pranaav Jerry Chopra and N Sikki Reddy came out second best in the mixed doubles final.

IAF prepares to induct Rafale jets

  • The Indian Air Force is readying infrastructure for the new fleet and training its fighter pilots to fly the aircraft. It was sending a batch of pilots to France by the year-end and a team has already undergone training and it will go for another round.
  • A number of IAF teams have visited France to help Dassault Aviation, the manufacturer of Rafale, incorporate India-specific enhancements on board the aircraft.
  • India had inked an inter-governmental agreement with France in September 2016 for procurement of 36 of these jets at a cost of around Rs. 58,000 crore. The delivery of the jets which are capable of carrying a range of potent weapons and missiles and is scheduled to begin from September 2019.

Journalist Inderjit Badhwar to represent India as special moderator in Prague Writers Festival

  • Noted Veteran journalist and author Inderjit Badhwar will represent India as special moderator in the Prague Writers Festival which will start from October 3. The six-day annual literary conclave will also have the participation of Man Booker Prize winning author Kiran Desai.
  • The prestigious literary event is rated among the top 35 global festivals, Impressive array of authors, Nobel laureates and Pulitzer Prize winners will attend the prestigious festival.

Novak Djokovic wins men't title in US open Tennis

  • Novak Djokovic of Serbia won the Men's singles final in the US Open Tennis. He defeated Juan Martin del Potro of Argentina 6-3, 7-6, 6-3 in straight sets. It was Djokovic's 14th Grand Slam title and the third US Open title.
  • With this win, he has equalled Pete Sampras's mark of 14 Grand Slams. He is now just three Slams behind Rafael Nadal and six back from the record 20 held by Roger Federer.

Paes loses in doubles final

  • Top seeds Leander Paes of India and Miguel Angel Reyes-Varela of Mexico lost 6-3, 6-4 to second seeds Luke Bambridge and Neale Skupski of Great Britain in the doubles final of the $150,000 Challenger tennis tournament.

PM to unveil Sardar Patel’s statue on Oct. 31

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate a statue of Sardar Patel, described by the Gujarat government as “the world’s tallest”, on the birth anniversary of India’s first Home Minister on October 31. The statue with a height of 182 m will be a symbol of the country’s unity and integrity.
  • The statue will highlight Patel’s works for the country’s unity.

Tamil Nadu Cabinet recommends release of Rajiv Gandhi assassination case convicts

  • Tamil Nadu Cabinet, chaired by Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami has recommended to Governor Banwarilal Purohit that all seven life convicts in the former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi assassination case be released under Article 161 of the Constitution. The decision followed the Supreme Court’s observation last week that the Governor shall be at liberty to decide on the remission application of Perarivalan, one of the convicts, “as deemed fit. The convicts have been in jail for over 27 years.
  • Article 161 empowers the Governor to grant pardons and to suspend, remit or commute sentences of any person convicted of any offence against any law relating to a matter to which the executive power of the State extends.

TRAI slaps fine on Jio, Airtel, others for not meeting service quality norms

  • Telecom regulator TRAI has imposed penalties on major telecom operators, including Reliance Jio, Bharti Airtel and Vodafone and Idea Cellular (now merged), for slipping on various service quality benchmarks for the March quarter.
  • The fines cover various parameters and service areas, and all the operators are in the process of making the payment.

Triple jumper Arpinder becomes first Indian to win medal in IAAF Continental Cup

  • Triple jumper Arpinder Singh has created history by becoming the first Indian to win a bronze medal in the IAAF Continental Cup at Ostrava in Czech Republic. Arpinder was representing the Asia-Pacific team in the meet, held once every four years.
  • Reigning Olympic and world champion Christian Taylor of the United States took the gold with a jump of 17.59 metres. 
  • In men's javelin throw, reigning Commonwealth Games and Asian Games Neeraj Chopra finished a disappointing sixth.