Daily Current Affairs - 20th Sep 2018

10 public sector banks get new CEOs

  • The Centre has appointed chief executives to 10 public sector banks. The banks which got new heads include Syndicate Bank, Andhra Bank, Maharashtra Bank, Indian Bank, United Bank of India, Allahabad Bank, Dena Bank and others.
  • New appointments of Banks
  • MD & CEO of Indian Bank: Padmaja Chundru
  • MD & CEO of Syndicate Bank: Mrutyunjay Mahapatra
  • MD & CEO of Central Bank of India: Pallav Mahapatra
  • MD & CEO of Andhra Bank : J. Packirisamy
  • MD & CEO of Allahabad Bank : S.S. Mallikarjuna Rao
  • MD & CEO of Dena Bank: Karnam Sekar
  • MD & CEO of Bank of Maharashtra: A.S. Rajeev
  • MD & CEO of UCO Bank : Atul Kumar Goel
  • MD & CEO of Punjab and Sind Bank: S. Hari Shanker
  • MD & CEO of United Bank of India: Ashok Kumar Pradhan

Anindo Majumdar appointed as CVC's new Secretary

  • The Centre has appointed Anindo Majumdar as Secretary of the Central Vigilance Commission. The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has approved the appointment of Anindo Majumdar, who is a 1985 batch IAS cadre.
  • Central Vigilance Commission is an apex Indian governmental body created to address governmental corruption
  • Central Vigilance Commissioner: K. V. Chowdary

Asia Cup: India beat Pakistan by eight wickets

  • India beat Pakistan by eight wickets in an Asia Cup encounter at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium in UAE. Electing to bat after winning the toss, Pakistan were all out for 162 in 43.1 overs.
  • For India, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Kedar Jadhav took three wickets apiece while Jasprit Bumrah took two wickets.
  • Chasing the target, skipper Rohit Sharma scored 52 off 39 balls while Shikhar Dhawan contributed 46 off 54 balls. India achieved the target in just 29 overs.

BSE, NSE get Sebi approval to launch commodity derivatives

  • Leading stock exchanges BSE and NSE have got approval from the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) to launch trading in commodity derivatives segment from October 1. Both BSE and NSE will begin trading in the segment with non-agriculture commodities like metals, followed by agri commodities subsequently.
  • SEBI on December 28, 2017, had announced that from October 2018, the country would have a unified exchange regime wherein stock exchanges would be allowed to offer trading in commodities derivatives.

Cabinet clears Rs. 3,466 crore dam improvement project

  • The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA), chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, approved the Dam Rehabilitation Improvement Project (DRIP) project. The cabinet has approved a 65% hike, and extended by two years to improve the stability and working of dams in 11 States.
  • Out of the Rs. 3,466 crore cleared, Rs. 2,628 crore would be funded by the World Bank and Rs. 747 crore by the States and Implementing Agencies (IAs), and the balance Rs. 91 crore by the Central Water Commission (CWC).
  • There are 198 existing dams in Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Jharkhand (Damodar Valley Corporation) and Uttarakhand (Uttarakhand Jal Vidyut Nigam Limited) that would benefit from the project.
  • The (DRIP) project will improve the safety and operational performance of selected existing dams and mitigate risks to ensure safety of downstream population and property.

ECB norms eased to stem rupee fall

  • The RBI has eased norms for raising funds through external commercial borrowing in a move seen to arrest the sharp fall in the rupee. The decision is in line with the union government’s announcement last week to address the widening the current account deficit.
  • As per the new norms, manufacturing firms can raise ECB upto $50 million with a minimum average maturity period of one year, as compared to three years earlier.
  • Further, earlier banks were allowed to underwrite rupee denominated bonds issued overseas for not more than 5% of the issue size after 6 months of the issue. Now that limit has been removed though prudential norms will apply.
  • A current account deficit occurs when more money is being paid out than brought into a country.

First T20I: India women beat Sri Lanka by 13 runs

  • India women defeated Sri Lanka women by 13 runs in the first T20 International of the five-match series in Katunayake, Sri Lanka. Batting first India scored 168 for eight in 20 overs. Jemimah Rodrigues smashed 36 off 15 balls in a whirlwind innings that saw her becoming the first Indian woman to hit three sixes in an over.
  • Sri Lanka were 155 all out in 19.3 overs.

Government launches ‘e-Sahaj’ portal for giving security clearance to businesses

  • The Union Home Ministry has launched a portal named ‘e-Sahaj’ to facilitate individuals and private companies in seeking security clearance for setting up businesses in certain sensitive sectors. This online portal will strike a balance between meeting the imperatives of national security and facilitating ease of doing business and promoting investment in the country.
  • The objective of national security clearance is to evaluate potential security threats, including economic threats, and provide risk assessment before clearing investment and project proposals in key sectors.
  • The Union Home Ministry is the nodal authority for granting security clearances in certain sensitive sectors before licence, permit, permission, contract etc is issued to companies, bidders, individuals by the administrative ministry.
  • The home ministry so far has cleared about 1,100 cases of security clearance in one year. Although the given timeline is 90 days.

Govt, FAO launch green agri project in 5 states with USD 33.5mn grant

  • The union government along with United Nations body FAO has launched an agriculture project with $33.5 million grant from Global Environment Facility (GEF) that seeks to bring transformative change in the farm sector through conservation of biodiversity and forest landscapes.
  • The project aims to transform agricultural production to generate global environmental benefits by addressing biodiversity conservation, land degradation, climate change mitigation and sustainable forest management.
  • In India, with 82 percent of the country's farmers being small and marginal.
  • CEO, National Rainfed Area Authority: Ashok Dalwai

India beat Pakistan 4-0 in AFC U-16 Women's Championship Qualifier

  • Indian football team produced an impressive performance to beat Pakistan 4-0 in an AFC Under-16 Football Women's Championship Qualifier match in Ulan Bator, Mongolia. Following the win, the Indian team is firmly seated at the top of the Group-B with six points from two matches.
  • India next play hosts Mongolia on Friday.

India Post Payments Bank, Bajaj Allianz join hands to provide insurance to all

  • State-owned India Post Payments Bank (IPPB) and private life insurer Bajaj Allianz Life Insurance Co Ltd (BALIC) have entered into a strategic partnership to provide life insurance solutions, especially at the doorstep of every household in the country. This partnership will leverage IPPB’s last mile reach for building awareness about life insurance.
  • These products will first be available across IPPB’s network of 3250 access points, gradually expanding to 155,000 post offices across every village, town and district in India.
  • IPPB has begun operations with 650 branches and 3,250 access points across the country.
  • IPPB MD & CEO, Suresh Sethi
  • MD & CEO, Bajaj Allianz Life: Tarun Chugh

India signs $74 mn loan pact with World Bank for Uttarakhand

  • India has signed a financing loan agreement with the World Bank for USD 74 million for Uttarakhand Workforce Development Project (UKWDP). The project objective is to improve the quality and relevance of training at priority Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs) and to increase the number of labour-market-relevant workers through short-term training in Uttrakhand.
  • The project has a 5-year grace period, and a maturity of 17 years.

India, Sri Lanka inks MoU for construction of 5000-MT temperature controlled warehouse

  • India and Sri Lanka have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for construction of a 5000-metric ton temperature controlled warehouse in Dambulla of Central Province. The warehouse will be constructed with an Indian grant assistance of 30 crore Sri Lankan rupees.
  • The project envisages construction of a 5000-metric ton temperature controlled warehouse for fruits and vegetables to minimize its post-harvest losses.
  • India’s overall commitment of development assistance to Sri Lanka stands at a total of around 3 billion US dollars, out of which 550 million US dollars is pure grant assistance.

IRDAI panel to examine fintech issues

  • The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India(IRDAI) has constituted a 10-member committee, comprising its officials as well as senior executives of a few insurers, to study regulatory issues fintech (Financial technology) poses for insurance. The move comes amid the authority’s emphasis on adopting a regulatory sandbox approach to experiment with fintech solutions.
  • A Sandbox approach means experimenting and learning before finally adopting a technology or system. This approach helps in containing the impact of failures.

North Korea, Moon sign agreement on denuclearization

  • North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in signed an agreement on denuclearisation, reducing military tensions and defusing crisis on the peninsula in Pyongyang.
  • During the talks North Korea had agreed to permanently close the Tongchang-ri missile engine test site and missile launch facility and is willing to demolish the country's largest nuclear facility in Yongbyon.
  • Mr Kim also pledged to visit Seoul, the first visit by a North Korean leader to the South since the Korean War.

Sajan wins historic silver in wrestling at Junior World Championships

  • Sajan Bhanwal became India’s first Greco Roman wrestler to win two World Championships medals after he finished with a silver medal at 2018 Junior Wrestling World Championships in Trnava, Slovakia in the 77kg weight category.
  • Last year, Sajan had won the bronze medal in the same category at the Junior Worlds in Tampere.

Samara Capital buys Aditya Birla Retail

  • Kumar Mangalam Birla-led $45-billion Aditya Birla Group has sold its entire stake in retail arm Aditya Birla Retail Limited (ABRL), which owns and operates food and grocery retail under the ‘More’ brand, to mid-market private equity firm Samara Capital. The deal was done at an enterprise value (EV) of Rs. 4,200 crore.

Trump administration praises India for its significant counter terrorism actions

  • The Trump administration has praised India for its significant counter terrorism actions and said Pakistan-based militant groups continued their terror attacks in the country. In its annual 'Country Report on Terrorism', the State Department said the Indian leadership expressed resolve to prevent terrorist attacks domestically and to bring to justice the perpetrators of terrorism, in cooperation with the US and other like-minded countries.
  • The report said the parts of India seriously impacted by terrorism in 2017 included Jammu and Kashmir, the northeast Indian states, and parts of central India in which Maoists remain active.
  • India continued to experience attacks, by Pakistan-based terrorist organisations as well as tribal and Maoist insurgents.
  • The report further said the Indian government closely monitored the domestic threat from transnational terrorist groups like ISIS and Al-Qaeda.

Yes Bank CEO to stay only till Jan.

  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has extended Yes Bank’s managing director and chief executive officer Rana Kapoor’s term till January 31, 2019. The board of Yes Bank had sought the banking regulator’s approval for three years.
  • Mr. Kapoor’s term ended in August 31, 2018, following which the bank said RBI had allowed Mr. Kapoor to continue as MD & CEO ‘till further notice’.