Daily Current Affairs - 18th Sep 2018

Asia Cup: Afghanistan knock out Sri Lanka with a 91-run win

  • Afghanistan knocked out five-time champions Sri Lanka with a superb 91-run win at Abu Dhabi. Opting to bat, Afghanistan had scored 249 in the stipulated 50 overs with a brilliant innings of 72 by Rahmat Shah.
  • Afghanistan then bundled out Sri Lanka for just 158 in 41.2 overs. Rashid Khan, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Gulbadin Naib and Mohammad Nabi bagged 2 wickets each.Rahmat Shah was adjudged man of the match.

Automation making offices more human

  • According to a global study conducted by Goldsmiths, University of London, the presence of automation in the workplace is making work environments more human. Firms that invest in robotic process automation or Artificial Intelligence (AI) are witnessing higher performance returns.
  • Of those surveyed, 71% of Indian respondents said their employees used robotic process automation and AI-based argumentation to its full potential-the highest proportion for any of the four markets surveyed. The markets included the U.S., the U.K., and Japan.

Bangladesh Cabinet clears deal with India for port usage

  • Bangladesh's Cabinet has approved a draft agreement with India to enable it to use the Chittagong and Mongla ports for the movement of goods to and from northeast India. The agreement will be effective for five years with a provision of automatic renewal for another five years.
  • A major objective of the proposed agreement is to strengthen the existing cordial bilateral ties.

Centre proposes to amalgamate Bank of Baroda, Vijaya Bank and Dena Bank

  • The Union government has proposed the amalgamation of Bank of Baroda, Vijaya Bank, and Dena Bank to create India’s 3rd largest globally competitive Bank. The amalgamation will increase the banking operations and no employee will face any service condition adverse to present conditions.
  • The government had announced in the budget that consolidation of banks was also in the agenda of the government. Earlier, the government had merged five subsidiaries of SBI into State Bank of India.

China Open Badminton tournament kicks off at Changzhou today

  • China Open Badminton tournament kicks off at Changzhou today. Indian shuttlers PV Sindhu and Saina Nehwal will be seen in action in the Singles opening round. Sindhu will face Saena Kawakami of Japan, Saina will take on Sung Ji-Hyun of South Korea. Kidambi Srikanth and HS Prannoy will begin their campaigns later.
  • Indian shuttlers will also figure in Men's, Women's and Mixed Doubles categories.

EU, non-EU nationals to face similar post-Brexit immigration rules: Theresa May

  • British Prime Minister Theresa May gave the first major indication that immigration rules for non-EU citizens such as Indians are set to be closely aligned with those for European Union nationals once Britain has left the economic bloc by next year.
  • The UK is at present bound by the EU's freedom of movement rules, which offers nationals from the 27 EU member-countries an automatic right to work and settle in Britain. On the other hand, non-EU countries like India are subject to a strict visa regime and quotas under specific categories.
  • She also said that the vote in favour of Brexit in the June 2016 referendum was a vote to end this dual system of migration.

Expats in UAE will be allowed to stay back in country for longer period of time after their retirement

  • Expats in the UAE will be allowed to stay back in the country for a longer period of time after their retirement. The length of the residency period in case of retired expats will be five years, with the possibility of renewal. The new policy is likely to be implemented from 2019.
  • A major shift in the residency policy was announced by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.

Former foreign secy S Jaishankar joins board of USISPF

  • Former foreign secretary S Jaishankar has joined the board of the US-India Strategic Partnership Forum (USISPF). Mr Jaishankar is currently president of Global Corporate Affairs for the Tata Group. He served as Foreign Secretary from January 2015 to January 2018 and is widely respected for playing a key role in negotiating the Indo-US civil nuclear agreement.
  • USISPF is a forum founded with the objective of promoting a strategic relationship between the US and India, and finding common ground on important issues facing businesses in both countries.

ISRO unveils Polarimetry Doppler Weather Radar at Sriharikota spaceport

  • ISRO inaugurated an S–band Polarimetry Doppler Weather Radar at SDSC/ISRO, Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh. This Radar was indigenously developed by Bharat Electronics Limited under Technology Transfer from ISRO. This is the seventh Radar manufactured in the country under “Make in India” Concept.
  • Doppler weather Radar is used for the observation of the weather system up to a range of 500 km and helps in early warning of severe weather events.

Japan conducts first submarine drill in disputed South China Sea

  • Japan has carried out its first submarine drill in the disputed South China Sea, a move that could provoke China which claims most of the disputed waters. The anti-submarine drill was conducted on in the region to improve strategic techniques.
  • South China Sea: China claims most of the resource-rich South China Sea, despite competing claims from Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam.

Kohli and Mirabai Chanu in Khel Ratna list

  • Indian cricket captain Virat Kohli and weightlifter Saikhom Mirabai Chanu, the first Indian to win gold at the World Championships in more than two decades last year, were recommended for the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award, the highest sporting honour in the country.
  • Both Kohli and Chanu were conferred the Padma Shri in successive years — Kohli in 2017 and Chanu this year.
  • Virat Kohli would become the third cricketer, after Sachin Tendulkar and Mahendra Singh Dhoni, to get the prestigious award.

Nadal maintains top spot

  • Spain’s Rafael Nadal maintained the No. 1 spot in the men’s Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) world singles rankings released on Monday with 8,760 points, ahead of Switzerland’s Roger Federer. He continued to lead the rankings despite his forced retirement at the US Open over a knee injury, which also made him miss the Davis Cup semifinal against France.
  • The top-10: 1. Rafael Nadal (8,760 points); 2. Roger Federer (6,900); 3. Novak Djokovic (6,445); 4. Juan Martin del Potro (5,980); 5. Alexander Zverev (4,890); 6. Marin Cilic (4,715); 7. Grigor Dimitrov (3,755); 8. Dominic Thiem (3,665); 9. Kevin Anderson (3,595); 10. John Isner (3,470).

Pakistan action against terror funding not satisfactory: FATF body

  • According to a review by the Asia Pacific Policy Group (APPG), Pakistan’s recent action against terror financing, particularly on the legal front, was found to be unsatisfactory. Earlier, Pakistan was placed on the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) grey list for failing to curb terror funding.
  • The APPG examines cases of all countries on the grey and black lists and reports to the FATF.
  • Pakistan was on the watch-list between 2012 and 2015 as well but only for money laundering.
  • FATF is an inter-governmental body established in 1989 to set standards and promote effective implementation of legal, regulatory and operational measures to combat money laundering, terrorist financing and other related threats to the integrity of the international financial system.

Sakshi Malik settles for Silver medal at Medved Intl Wrestling

  • Malik settled for a Silver medal at the Medved International Wrestling tournament at Minsk, Belarus. In the Final of the 62 kg category, Sakshi lost to Hungary's Marianna Sastin, 2-6 to finish second best.
  • Other Indian Pooja Dhanda bagged a Bronze medal in the 57 kg category after she produced a superb performance in the repechage round.

Second Nepal-China joint military drill 'Mt Everest Friendship Exercise' began in Sichuan

  • The second edition of Nepal-China joint military exercise with a special focus on combating terror had begun in China's southwestern Sichuan province. The exercise named 'Mt Everest Friendship Exercise', a 12-day long military drill will mainly focus on anti-terrorism activities.
  • This will be the second time that the Nepal Army will participate in a joint military drill with People's Liberation Army. The first such exercise was held in April last year.
  • Nepal has been conducting battalion-level exercises named 'Surya Kiran' with the Indian Army for the last 13 years.

US-China trade war intensifies; Trump orders additional 10 per cent tariff on 200 billion dollars worth of Chinese imports

  • The trade war between the US and China has intensified with the US President Donald Trump imposing an additional 10 per cent tariffs on about 200 billion dollar worth of Chinese imports. The higher import taxes will apply to almost 6,000 items, marking the biggest round of US tariffs so far.
  • Trump said the latest round of tariffs was in response to China's unfair trade practices including subsidies and rules that require foreign companies in some sectors to bring on local partners.
  • So far, the United States has imposed tariffs on 50 billion dollars worth of Chinese products to pressure China to make sweeping changes to its trade, technology transfer and high-tech industrial subsidy policies.