Daily Current Affairs - 26th Sep 2018

2nd Global RE-INVEST to be held in New Delhi from 3rd to 5th Oct.

  • The 2nd Global RE-INVEST will be held in New Delhi from 3rd to 5th of next month. 15 Indian states will participate in the 2nd Re-Invest. Over 150 speakers including 55 international speakers from 15 countries will take part in it.
  • The 2nd Global RE-INVEST will also host the First Assembly of International Solar Alliance. As per the Paris Accord on Climate Change, India made a pledge that by 2030, 40 per cent of the installed power generation capacity should be based on fossil fuel based sources. India is determined that 175 GW of renewable energy capacity will be installed by 2022.

Apex court wants government to fill SAT vacancies quickly

  • The Supreme Court wants the government to quickly fill the vacancies at the Securities Appellate Tribunal (SAT), which is an important appellate body for filing appeals against orders passed by the capital market, insurance and pension regulators.
  • The apex court highlighted the fact that the tribunal is currently being managed by a sole member even as the regulations clearly state that the Bench should comprise a judicial and technical member. SAT has remained headless since July when the five-year term of the then presiding officer Justice J.P. Devadhar came to an end.
  • Currently, C. K. G. Nair is the only member at SAT and due to the lack of quorum, the functioning of the appellate has been severely hit.

Asia Cup: India-Afghanistan match ends in tie

  • The Super-Four match between defending champions India and Afghanistan ended in a thrilling tie at Dubai. Opting to bat, Afghanistan had posted 252 for 8 in the alloted 50 overs, riding on opener Mohammad Shahzad's 124.
  • In reply, India were bundled out for 252 in 49.5 overs, with star Afghan spinner Rashid Khan successfully defending just seven runs in the final over.
  • It was Dhoni's 200th ODI as Indian captain. He became the third player to captain their country in 200 or more One Day Internationals after Ricky Ponting of Australia and New Zealand's Stephen Fleming.

DAC clears 1,000 engines for T-72 tanks

  • The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) approved several amendments to the Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP), 2016 to reduce timelines and streamline the process and also approved procurement of 1,000 engines for the Army’s T-72 tanks at an approximate cost of Rs. 2,300 crore.
  • The T-72 tanks are of 1000 bhp to be procured under ‘Buy and Make’ category. Post transfer of technology, most of these engines will be manufactured by Ordnance Factories Board.

EU announces legal entity to maintain business with Iran

  • The European Union (EU) has said that its member countries would set up a payment system to allow oil companies and businesses to continue trading with Iran in a bid to evade U.S. sanctions. Iran and the European Union (EU) announced their defiance towards U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration after high-level talks at the United Nations among the remaining members of the accord.
  • They said in a statement that they were determined to protect the freedom of their economic operators to pursue legitimate business with Iran.

Famous 'Indra Jatra' festival being celebrated in Kathmandu

  • The famous Indra Jatra festival is being celebrated in Kathmandu with gaiety and religious fervor. The eight day long annual festival is observed to worship Indra, the lord of rain and good harvest. It also marks end of monsoon and beginning of harvest season and festivity.

FDI in telecom sector jumps five times in last 3-years

  • The Union Government has stated that the Foreign Direct Investment in telecom sector has jumped five times in last three years from 1.3 billion US dollars to 6.2 billion US dollars.
  • Through New Digital Communication Policy (NDCP), the telecom ministry is targeting FDI of 100 billion US dollar.
  • The government is aiming to commercially introduce 5G services in the country by the end of 2020.
  • Telecom secretary: Aruna Sundararajan

FM Arun Jaitley chairing annual Review Meeting with PSBs in Delhi

  • Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley is chairing the Annual Review meeting with Public Sector Banks in Delhi. Credit growth, recovery, financial inclusion and overall performance are among the agenda of the meeting. CMDs of 21 Public Sector Banks are attending the annual review meeting.

India ranks 158th among 195 countries in health care investment

  • According to a study by Seattle-based Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation published in the Lancet, India ranked at 158th in the world for its investments in education and healthcare in a survey of 195 countries. It ranks below countries like Sudan, Azerbaijan, China and Bosnia Herzegovina. Finland tops the list of 195 countries in the two key sectors.
  • The United States ranked 27th, while China placed at 44th and Pakistan 164th position in an international ranking based on human capital.

India-South Asia trade has potential to triple to $62 billion, says World Bank

  • According to a World Bank report, India has the potential to more than triple its trade with its South Asian neighbours to $62 billion against its actual trade of $19 billion,which is a mere three per cent of its global trade and about $43 billion below its potential.
  • Deeper regional trade and connectivity can reduce the isolation of Northeast India and give Indian firms better access to markets in South Asia and East Asia. It will allow India to substitute fossil fuels by cleaner hydropower from Nepal and Bhutan. The report said that trade between India and Pakistan is $2 billion but without trade barriers, this could be $37 billion.

Indian women crush Sri Lanka by 51 runs to win T20 series 4-0

  • Indian women defeated Sri Lanka women by 51 runs in the fifth and final T20 International today. Batting first, India scored a commendable 156 in 18.3 overs. Harmanpreet Kaur made 63 off 38 balls while Jemimah Rodrigues contributed 46 off 31 balls.
  • Chasing the target, the hosts were all out for 105 in 17.4 overs. India thus clinched the series 4-0.

India’s Mars probe completes four years in orbit: ISRO

  • According to ISRO, India’s maiden interplanetary mission, the Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) — has completed four years orbiting the red planet. The mission, launched on November 5, 2013, placed itself into the Martian orbit on September 24, 2014. Though the designed mission life of MOM was six months, it has been sending scientific data for four years.

Japan becomes world's first to land rovers on asteroid surface

  • Japan became the world's first country to successfully land two robotic rovers on an asteroid. The surface of an asteroid can be viewed via moving robots. Hayabusa-2 arrived at the asteroid 162173 Ryugu in June and began its descent only in September while preparing to eject its two rovers.
  • Ryugu is a blackish coloured, diamond-shaped asteroid. It rotates on its axis once every 7.5 hours. Its surface is rougher than expected, with man boulders and barely any smooth patches

Legislators can practise law, says SC

  • The Supreme Court of India held that there was no bar on legislators doubling up as lawyers. The judgment by a Bench of Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra comes as a great relief to many sitting MPs of both the BJP and the Congress, who are practising lawyers in the Supreme Court and in the High Courts.
  • The Supreme Court said there is no conflict of interest if the MPs are allowed to practise law in the Supreme Court and in the High Courts before the very judges they have power to impeach.

Liquidity crisis hits NBFC stocks hard

  • The recent sell-off in the shares of non-banking financial companies (NBFCs) and housing finance companies (HFCs) has been so severe that some of the sector constituents are currently trading at a discount of over 50% when compared to their 52-week highs.
  • While companies such as Reliance Home Finance, Dewan Housing Finance Corporation, Can Fin Homes and GIC Housing Finance have seen their share price halve compared to their highs, many such as Manapurram Finance, LIC Housing Finance, Indiabulls Housing Finance, IIFL Holdings, Edelweiss Financial Services and Shriram City Union Finance have suffered 30% to 40% erosion.
  • The recent past has seen concerns related to liquidity primarily at IL&FS, which has led to investors turn wary of the whole sector. The market has been abuzz with talks of defaults at some other listed NBFCs as well.
  • Some of the listed brokerages have also been hit during the sell-off. Motilal Oswal Financial Services (down 53.82%), JM Financial (down 49.86%), IIFL Holdings (down 36.57%) and Edelweiss Financial Services (down 36.20%) are currently trading way below their 52-week highs.

Microsoft, Adobe, SAP in data alliance

  • Microsoft, Adobe Systems and SAP have formed an alliance to offer clients using their applications a unified view of data on their respective end-customers. The tech giants announced the Open Data Initiative at Ignite 2018, saying it would help break down information silos(is a structure for storing bulk information) that make it hard for businesses to make the most of their customer base.
  • The initiative will enhance interoperability and data exchange between their platforms - Adobe Experience Cloud and Adobe Experience Platform, Microsoft Dynamics 365 and SAP C/4HANA and S/4HANA - through a common model,
  • SAP CEO: Bill McDermott
  • CEO, Adobe: Shantanu Narayen
  • Microsoft CEO: Satya Nadella

SC forms prison reforms panel

  • The Supreme Court of India has formed a Committee on Prison Reforms chaired by former apex court judge, Justice Amitava Roy, to examine the various problems plaguing prisons in the country, from overcrowding to lack of legal advice to convicts to issues of remission and parole.
  • The Bench has directed the committee to examine the extent of overcrowding in prisons and correctional homes and recommend remedial measures, including an examination of the functioning of Under Trial Review Committees, availability of legal aid and advice, grant of remission, parole and furlough.
  • The panel would also probe the reasons for violence in prisons and correctional homes and recommend preventive measures.

SoftBank leads $1 billion fund infusion into OYO Hotels

  • Hotel chain OYO had raised a total of $800 million in the latest financing round led by SoftBank Investment Advisers (SBIA) through SoftBank Vision Fund, with participation from existing investors Lightspeed Venture Partners, Sequoia and Greenoaks Capital.
  • OYO Hotels also confirmed that it had received a commitment of an additional $200 million, bringing the total to $1 billion in this round. Financial services company J.P. Morgan is acting as the exclusive financial advisor to OYO on this fund-raising.
  • In the last 12 months, the company had increased its international footprint in India, China, Malaysia, Nepal and the U.K.
  • Founder and CEO, OYO: Ritesh Agarwal

Swedish Parliament ousts Prime Minister in vote of no-confidence

  • Sweden’s centre-right Opposition and the far right ousted Prime Minister Stefan Löfven in a vote of no-confidence after neither the left or right bloc won a majority in September 9 elections. The head of the Opposition four-party Alliance, Ulf Kristersson, has insisted that he intends to try to form a government.
  • A total of 204 of 349 members of Parliament voted against Mr. Löfven , while 142 voted in favour.
  • Mr. Löfven will stay on as Prime Minister in a caretaker role until a new government is in place, which could take weeks.
  • Sweden:
  • Capital: Stockholm
  • Currency: Swedish krona

Taj Mahal protection: SC gives UP time till Nov 15 for vision document

  • The Supreme Court of India has extended till November 15 the time for Uttar Pradesh government to come out with a vision document on protecting the Taj Mahal, and asked it to consider declaring a portion of the area surrounding the monument as ‘heritage’.
  • The State government said to the apex court that the Delhi-based School of Planning and Architecture, is preparing the vision document, had sought an extension of time till November 15 to finalise it.

UAE, South Africa sign 2 extradition and legal assistance agreements

  • UAE and South Africa signed two extradition and legal assistance agreements. With having close ties between the two countries, officials highlighted the importance of enhancing ties in the judicial and legal sectors, including extradition treaties and legal assistance.
  • The agreements will promote judicial and legal sector cooperation, in the best interest of the two friendly nations.

Yes Bank forms search panel to hunt for Kapoor’s successor

  • The board of Yes Bank has formed a search and selection committee for finding a successor to its managing director and chief executive officer Rana Kapoor. Simultaneously, the bank has decided to request the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to extend Mr. Kapoor’s term till September 2019. The RBI had declined to extend his term beyond January 31.
  • Mr. Kapoor’s present term ended on August 31 and was later extended by the RBI till January 31, 2019.Mr. Kapoor has been the MD & CEO of Yes Bank since its inception in 2004.