Daily Current Affairs - 25th Sep 2018

Andhra Pradesh gets first rank in Ease of Living Index under AMRUT

  • Andhra Pradesh has topped in implementation of the Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) at the national level. AP stood first in implementation of AMRUT with 65.24 per cent, followed by Odisha (59.17 per cent), Madhya Pradesh (54.32 per cent) and Telangana (52.39 per cent) in the rankings awarded to States and Union Territories (Uts).
  • The rankings were given by the Union Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs after reviewing the implementation of AMRUT in the country in the past three years.
  • The scheme aims at effective execution of infrastructure development works such as drinking water supply, stormwater and drainage system, sanitation and garbage collection in municipal towns.

BSNL signs deal with Softbank, NTT to roll out 5G, internet of things

  • State-run telecom firm BSNL has inked a pact with Japan’s Softbank and NTT Communications to roll out 5G and internet of things (IoT) technology in India. Under the agreement with Softbank, BSNL will look at collaborating with the Japanese firm for its satellite constellation which will have around 900 satellites to provide high speed internet services across the globe.
  • BSNL has signed an agreement with Nokia and Cisco as well for developing 5G ecosystem.
  • The union government is yet to finalise details of allocation of spectrum for 5G services. So far TRAI has recommended the auction of about 8,644 MHz of telecom frequencies at an estimated base price of Rs. 4.9 lakh crore.

Centre to issue warnings on lynchings

  • The Centre has assured the Supreme Court that the Union and State governments would, within a week, start broadcasting on radio and TV a stern message that mob lynchings and violence would invite the wrath of law.
  • On July 17, the Supreme Court had directed the Centre and the State governments to disseminate using radio, television and other media platforms, including the official websites of the Home Department and through State police, the message that lynching and mob violence of any kind shall invite serious consequences under the law.
  • Attorney-General of India: K.K. Venugopal
  • Additional Solicitor-General of India: Tushar Mehta

Croatian footballer Luka Modric wins FIFA's best player of the year award

  • Croatian footballer Luka Modric was named the world's best male player at the Best Fifa Football Awards in London. He beat Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo and Egypt's Mohamed Salah to the award.
  • Modric won his third Champions League title in a row in May and guided Croatia to their first World Cup final in July.
  • Brazil's Marta won the best female player award.
  • France's Didier Deschamps was named best men's coach.
  • Salah received the Puskas award for the best goal, for his effort against Everton in the Premier League.
  • Peru's supporters won the Fifa Fan Award after many thousands of them flew to Russia in support of their nation.

Delhi's IGI Airport 16th busiest in the world; over 6 cr passengers visited in 2017

  • According to Airports Council International (ACI), India's Indira Gandhi International Airport has been ranked as the 16th busiest in the world, handling 6.34 crore passengers in 2017.
  • This airport handled 14 per cent more passengers last year and jumped 6 places from 22nd position in 2016.
  • Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson in the US maintained its position as the world's busiest airport by handling 10.39 crore passengers in 2017, followed by Beijing with 9.58 crore passengers.
  • Dubai International Airport handled 8.82 crore passengers and stood at third position. Tokyo and Los Angeles made up the top five with 8.54 crore and 8.45 crore passengers, respectively.
  • ACI is the trade association of the world's airports, currently serving 641 members operating 1,953 airports across 176 countries.
  • ACI World Director General Angela Gittens

Dena board clears merger with BoB and Vijaya Bank

  • The board of Dena Bank has cleared the merger proposal with Bank of Baroda and Vijaya Bank that was proposed by the government last week. The Mumbai-based lender is the first among the three to receive the board’s approval for the merger proposal.
  • Dena Bank is the smallest in the pack with a total business size of Rs. 1.73 lakh crore as at June end compared with Bank of Baroda’s Rs. 10.3 lakh crore and Vijaya Bank’s Rs. 2.8 lakh crore.
  • Dena Ban, the weakest among the three is under the prompt corrective action framework of the Reserve Bank of India due to high level of non-performing assets which had led to negative return on assets.

Domestic aviation traffic saw 17% growth in August

  • According to the Directorate General of Civil Aviation’s monthly data, domestic aviation traffic registered a growth of 17% in the month of August, with airlines ferrying a total of 11.3 million passengers as opposed to 9.6 million same time last year.
  • SpiceJet was at the top in terms of two key parameters ie seat occupancy and punctuality. The airline saw an average of 93.6% seats on its planes being sold. It was followed by GoAir (84.6%), IndiGo (82.8%), Air India (82.3%) and Jet Airways (82.0%).
  • Market leader IndiGo cornered 41.9% of the domestic market share. Jet Airways has a market share of 13.8%, Air India 12.7%, SpiceJet 12.4% and Go Air 8.9%.

Facebook to have new head in India

  • Facebook has appointed Ajit Mohan as managing director and vice-president of the social networking site’s India operations. Mr. Mohan will be responsible for aligning teams and driving Facebook’s overall strategy in India. The post was lying vacant since the exit of Umang Bedi last year.
  • Mr. Mohan, who was previously the CEO of video streaming platform Hotstar, will join Facebook early next year.

Former BCCI president BN Dutt passes away

  • Former BCCI president Biswanath Dutt, best known in Indian cricket fraternity as Jagmohan Dalmiya's mentor, passed away after suffering from acute lung infection. Dutt was the BCCI president in 1989 after a six-year stint as the vice-president of the parent body from 1982-88.
  • Dutt is known to have played an instrumental role in getting a young Dalmiya under his aegis as a Cricket Association of Bengal treasurer in 1977.

Helpline for tobacco users in India

  • India has become the first and only SAARC country to have a quit-line number on tobacco products. The quit-line number will be printed on all tobacco products manufactured after September 1, 2018.
  • India is the fourth country in Asia after Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore to have this government helpline for those looking at quitting tobacco.
  • At least 46 countries have quit-line numbers as part of health warning labels on tobacco product packaging.
  • India’s current international ranking for package warnings is number three in the world.
  • Earlier, the Union Health Ministry has already made 85% pictorial health warning mandatory on both sides of packets containing cigarettes, bidis, and chewing tobacco.

I-T returns filing: date extended

  • The Income Tax Department said it had extended the deadline for the filing of returns from September 30 to October 15 for companies that require their returns to be audited. The due date for filing of income tax returns and audit reports for assessment year 2018-19 is September 30, 2018 for certain categories of taxpayers.

IL&FS arm defaults yet again on CPs

  • IL&FS Financial Services, an Indian infrastructure development and finance company has yet again defaulted on commercial paper (Cps). The commercial papers (CP) which were due on September 24, 2018 could not be serviced by the company.
  • This is the third instance of default by IL&FS Financial Services this month. The company had been facing severe liquidity crunch.

India sweep Serbia Junior and Cadet Open

  • India have swept the team titles in the girls and cadet boys category at the 2018 Serbia Junior and Cadet Open in Belgrade. Payas Jain won the singles crown. He first helped in bagging the cadet boys team event title in the company of Vishwa Deenadayalan. The junior girls captured the team title.
  • India's A claimed gold, courtesy Payas and Vishwa while the B team settled for silver.

India to be 100 billion FDI destination by 2022: PHD Chamber

  • According to the PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry, India is approaching towards USD 100 billion FDI inflow per annum by 2022 as volumes of foreign direct investment are increasing year after year. The annual FDI inflows in the country increased from USD 36 billion in 2013-14 to USD 62 billion in 2017-18.
  • Make in India has been instrumental during the last four years to attract FDI reforms in the country. Despite the global challenges, the country was able to attract tremendous flow of investments.

India to organise 'Gandhi March' in Netherlands

  • India will organise 'Gandhi March' from the iconic Peace Palace at the Hague to Grote Kerk on Sunday to launch the two-year long celebrations of the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.
  • The 'Gandhi March' will see participation of people of all nationalities and around 20 ambassadors of different countries.
  • October 2 is also marked as International Day of Non-Violence.
  • The Netherlands has a special connection to India and Mahatma Gandhi. As there are around thirty streets in the country named after Mahatma Gandhi.
  • Netherlands
  • Prime Minister: Mark Rutte
  • Capital: Amsterdam
  • Currency: Euro

India, China to sign internal security cooperation agreement

  • India and China agreed to sign an internal security cooperation agreement during the forthcoming visit of China's Minister of Public Security, marking a new beginning in bilateral relations. Both countries will discuss various aspects of security cooperation between the two countries. The proposed pact is expected to cover areas of intelligence sharing, exchange programme, sharing of best practices, cooperation in disaster mitigation besides others.

India’s 100th airport opens in Sikkim

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi has inaugurated the first airport in Sikkim. With this, the number of functional airports in the country went up to 100. The airport at Pakyong, about 30 km from Gangtok and surrounded by mountains, is a major boost to connectivity in the mountainous State. The airport has been constructed at an estimated cost of Rs. 605 crore.
  • The airport would be linked to the Union government’s UDAN (Ude Desh Ka Aam Nagrik) regional connectivity scheme and the airfare for about an hour would come to Rs. 2,500.
  • Sikkim
  • Governor: Ganga Prasad
  • Chief Minister: Pawan Kumar Chamling
  • Capital: Gangtok

Leaders back climate change urgency in New York

  • Heads of state and governments have kicked off "Climate Week, on the margins of the UN General Assembly, urging world leaders to act urgently to reduce global warming.
  • Climate Week, held every year, organized by The Climate Group in partnership with the United Nations and the city of New York, is in its 10th annual edition.
  • Poland will be hosting the Conference of the Parties (COP) 24 climate summit in December, 2018
  • UN climate chief Patricia Espinosa

Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka account for 40% of retail loans

  • According to TRANSUNION CIBIL, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka together accounted for 40 per cent of the total retail loans in the country as on June 30, despite representing just 20 per cent of the population. The growth in retail advances were driven by economic development and urbanisation.
  • The report said retail lending balances rose by nearly 27 per cent between the second quarters of 2017 and 2018.
  • As of June, retail balances in Maharashtra were the highest at Rs 5,50,200 crore, representing nearly 20 per cent of all the retail advances in the country. It was followed by Tamil Nadu at Rs 2,77,400 crore and Karnataka at Rs 2,74,900 crore.
  • In total, the 10 largest Indian states represented Rs 21,27,400 crore in balances, which comprised almost 76 per cent of the total balance share
  • Retail loans lending includes auto loans, used car loans, home loans, loans against property, personal loans, consumer durable loans, education loans, credit cards loans and two-wheeler loans.

Monsoon withdrawal to begin by weekend

  • The India Meteorological Department (IMD) said in a forecast that the monsoon will likely start withdrawing from the country by the end of the week. Reduction in the moisture associated with the monsoon flow and a changeover in the low level wind pattern are also likely over Rajasthan region from 27th September. These are indicative of the likely commencement of withdrawal of Southwest monsoon from western Rajasthan around 29th September,
  • Typically, the monsoon begins its withdrawal from the 1st week of September, but it has been delayed primarily due to the development of cyclonic conditions.
  • India is facing a 9% rainfall deficit and 11 of India’s 36 subdivisions spanning 29% of the country’s area have seen a deficit of 29% in monsoon rains between 1st June and 23rd September.
  • The maximum deficit has been in northeastern India with Arunachal Pradesh, Assam and Meghalaya recording a 32% and 28% shortfall in their monsoon quotas.
  • Jharkhand, Bihar, Saurashtra and Kutch, Rayalseema and north interior Karnataka are among the subdivisions that have registered a deficit greater than 25%.

Panel approves nutrition norms

  • India’s top nutrition panel the National Technical Board on Nutrition (NTBN) has recommended that severely malnourished children must be fed freshly cooked food prepared from locally available cereals, pulses and vegetables, and distributed by anganwadi centres.
  • These were country’s first-ever guidelines for nutritional management of children suffering from severe acute malnutrition (SAM).
  • The guidelines outline the role of anganwadi workers and auxillary nurse midwives (ANMs) in identifying severely wasted children, segregating those with oedema or medical complications and sending them to the nearest health facility or nutrition rehabilitation centres.
  • Anganwadi workers have to provide modified morning snacks, hot cooked meals and take home ration for SAM children.
  • The remaining children are enrolled into “community based management”, which includes provision of nutrition, continuous monitoring of growth, administration of antibiotics and micro-nutrients as well as counselling sessions and imparting of nutrition and health education.
  • .Locally available cereals, pulses, green leafy vegetables and tubers, vitamin C rich fruits, as well as fresh milk and 3-4 eggs every weekhave also been prescribed.

RBI shortlists five IT firms to implement CIMS

  • The Reserve Bank of India has shortlisted five IT firms for implementation of a centralised information and management system (CIMS) for seamless data collection and validations.
  • It had invited of expression of interest (EOI) in July for identification of solution provider for implementation of CIMS by overhauling the Data Warehouse (DW) of the apex bank.
  • The vendors are: Capgemini Technology Services India, IBM India, Infosys, Larsen & Toubro Infotech and Tata Consultancy Services.
  • The RBI had proposed a CIMS comprising of DW and Data Lake (DL) which would include, seamless data collection from regulated entities by creating system-to-system interface; system driven data validation and data review; flexible and scalable data repository and providing data dissemination platform.
  • The CIMS would also include centralised analytics platform to facilitate creation of RBI Data Sciences Lab.

SC to rule on barring accused in heinous crimes from polls

  • A five-judge Constitution Bench, led by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, is scheduled to pronounce its judgment on petitions to bar politicians facing charges of heinous crimes, such as murder, rape and kidnapping, from contesting elections.
  • The Chief Justice had voiced the Supreme Court’s anguish at the helplessness of society to prevent criminalisation of politics at the very entry-point itself. Under the Representation of the People Act, convicted lawmakers are disqualified, but not those facing charges.

Statue of Nelson Mandela unveiled at United Nations

  • A statue of Nelson Mandela has been unveiled at the United Nations to honour the late South African leader's birth. This year marks the 100th anniversary of Mandela's birth, and the U.N. is declaring 2019-2028 the "Nelson Mandela Decade of Peace.
  • UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres

UAE to host Interfaith Alliance Forum in November

  • The UAE will host the Interfaith Alliance Forum in the nation's capital, Abu Dhabi on 19th and 20th November. The forum aims to address and discuss social challenges and to strengthen efforts by religious leaders to formulate cohesive ideas that enhance the protection of the young individuals from extortion and crime via the internet.
  • An estimated 450 religious leaders and spiritual advisors are expected to participate in the Forum, which will be a platform for promotion of humanitarian values and spreading the principles of tolerance and religious co-existence.

UAE, Red Cross sign pact to support humanitarian efforts in Yemen, Myanmar & Congo

  • The UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation has signed a cooperation agreement with the International Committee of the Red Cross, ICRC, to support the humanitarian response plan in Yemen, Myanmar and the Democratic Republic of Congo, in addition to support ICRC’s budget, totaling 11 million USD.
  • The UAE will provide the ICRC with 6 million USD to support health centres, water and sanitation facilities in Yemen, 1 million USD to support the Organisation's humanitarian efforts in Myanmar, 1 million USD to support humanitarian efforts in DRC, in addition to 3 million USD to support general programmes.

Women's Cricket: India defeat Sri Lanka by 7 wickets in fourth T-20 to clinch 5-match series

  • India defeated Sri Lanka by 7 wickets in the fourth T-20 at Colombo to clinch the 5-match series. The Indian eves, first, restricted the Lankans to 134 for 5 after the match was reduced to 17 overs a side due to rain. Anuja Patil bagged the maximum of 3 wickets.
  • India, then reached the target with 8 balls to spare. Anuja top scored with an unbeaten 54, while Jemimah Rodrigues made 52 not out.