Daily Current Affairs - 25th Oct 2018

Bangladesh makes it 2-0 in ODI's

  • Bangladesh beat Zimbabwe by seven wickets in the second one-day International to seal the three-match series. Imrul's 90 and fellow opener Liton Das (83) shared a 148-run stand that proved decisive.
  • Batting first Zimbabwe scored 246 for seven in 50 overs with major contributions coming from Taylor 75, Williams 47 and Raza 49.

CBI chief Alok Verma, deputy Rakesh Asthana stripped of charge

  • The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) director Alok Verma and his deputy Rakesh Asthana were divested of all duties late in the night following a feud between the two. Meanwhile, Joint director M Nageswar Rao was asked to take over as acting chief of CBI immediately
  • The CVC, which has superintendence over the CBI in corruption cases, and is already seized of the complaint by Asthana against the director and the counter FIR registered against him by the CBI, will seek a fair and impartial probe into the charges and counter charges.

Centre’s nod for Rs. 7,522 cr. fisheries fund

  • The Centre has set up a Rs. 7,522-crore fund to create infrastructure facilities for the fisheries sector and help boost annual fish production to 20 million tonnes by 2022-23 from the current production of 11.4 million tonnes.
  • Loan lending will be over a period of five years till 2022-23 and maximum repayment will be over a period of 12 years, inclusive of a moratorium of two years on repayment of principal.
  • The establishment of the Fisheries and Aquaculture Infrastructure Development Fund was approved by the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs.

China opens world’s longest sea bridge and tunnel to connect Hong Kong and Macau to the mainland

  • The world’s longest sea crossing connecting Hong Kong to mainland China opened to traffic. The 34.2-mile bridge and tunnel have been almost a decade in the making with a budget of $20 billion connecting semi-autonomous cities of Hong Kong and Macau to the mainland Chinese city of Zhuhai by road.
  • The Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge spans the mouth of the Pearl River and significantly cuts the commuting time between the three cities. The previously four-hour drive between Zhuhai and Hong Kong will now take 45 minutes.

Domestic aviation traffic up by 18.9% in Sept.

  • Domestic aviation traffic witnessed a growth of 18.95% in September with Indian carriers ferrying 11.39 million passengers as compared with 9.58 million during the same month last year. IndiGo recorded its highest market share this calendar year at 43.2%. It carried 49.2 lakh passengers in total. GoAir was a surprise as the most punctual airline last month, followed by SpiceJet.
  • SpiceJet continued to maintain its top position in terms of passenger load factor (PLF) or average seat occupancy in an aircraft with 93.2% of seats offered by it being sold. It was followed by GoAir, which sold 90.6% of its seats. Vistara and Jet Airways were tied at the third spot with 84.9% seats sold.

European Parliament backs ban on single-use plastics

  • The European Parliament has overwhelmingly backed a wide-ranging ban on single-use plastics to counter pollution in seas, fields and waterways. The parliament backed the proposals with a 571-53 majority. With the vote, the parliament, the EU Commission and the member states will now enter negotiations in the weeks to come to make it binding legislation.
  • The ban would affect a range of products for which valid alternatives are available - from plastic straws to earbuds and plates - as of 2021 and would make sure that plastic bottles are 90 per cent recycled by 2025.

India vs West Indies, 2nd ODI: Shai Hope scripts a thrilling tie, Virat Kohli scores fastest batsman to reach 10,000 ODI runs

  • The second ODI between India and West Indies ended in a tie with Shai Hope remained 123 not out to help the West Indies draw the match. Shimron Hetmyer scored a valuable 94 to revive the Windies. Opting to bat first, India scored 321 for 6 in 50 overs with skipper Virat Kohli 157 not out.
  • The Indian team leads the five-match series 1-0.
  • Meanwhile, Indian skipper Virat Kohli has broke Sachin Tendulkar’s record as the fastest batsman to score 10,000 one-day international runs during the second ODI. Kohli went past the 81 he needed against West Indies to go to 10,000 ODI runs in 205 innings, beating Tendulkar who reached the mark in 259 innings.
  • Kohli has become the fifth Indian to reach the mark in ODIs. Apart from Kohli, Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly, Rahul Dravid and MS Dhoni have scored over 10,000 runs in ODIs.

Israel, India sign $777 mn missile deal

  • Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) has signed a $777 mn deal with Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) to supply additional Barak-8 Long Range Surface to Air Missile (LRSAM) systems for seven warships of the Indian Navy. The total orders for LRSAM systems have crossed over $6 billion.
  • The LRSAM can intercept aerial targets up to a range of 80 km. It is being co-developed by the DRDO in India and IAI, and will be manufactured by Bharat Dynamics Limited.

Karur Vysya Bank Q2 net up 10.69%

  • Private sector lender Karur Vysya Bank (KVB) has reported a 10.69% rise in net profit for the second quarter ended September, 2018 to Rs. 83.74 crore. The bank had reported a net profit of Rs. 75.65 crore during corresponding quarter the previous year. Gross NPA as on September 30, 2018 is Rs. 3,707.41 crore (7.70%) and the net NPA Rs. 2,051.52 crore (4.41%).
  • Net interest income for the quarter improved to Rs. 579 crore from Rs. 555 crore during Q2 of FY 2017-18, registering a growth of 4.32%. Non-interest income for the quarter was Rs. 176 crore.
  • Managing Director: P. R. Seshadri
  • Headquarters: Karur, Tamil Nadu

Lakshmi Vilas Bank posts Rs. 132 cr. net loss

  • Lakshmi Vilas Bank has reported a net loss of Rs. 132.31 crore for the second quarter ended September 30, 2018. The bank had registered a net profit of Rs. 10.50 crore in the September quarter of 2017-18. The loss during the quarter under review was primarily due to mounting bad loans.
  • Total income fell to Rs. 800.50 crore from Rs. 902.76 crore in the year-ago period, the bank said in a filing.
  • The gross non-performing assets (NPAs) rose to 12.31% of gross loans as on September 30, 2018, from 5.50% in September 2017. Net NPAs rose to 6.88% (4.33%) of net advances.
  • Managing Director: Parthasarathi Mukherjee
  • Headquarters: Chennai

Nod for panel on sustainable development goals

  • The Union Cabinet has approved the setting up of a high-level steering committee chaired by the Chief Statistician of India and Secretary to the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MoSPI) to review if India was on track to achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).
  • The panel would also decide if there was a need to refine indicators by reviewing the National Indicator Framework (NIF) periodically.
  • United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) are a list of 17 goals, which include the elimination of poverty, ending hunger, ensuring provision of quality education, clean water and sanitation, that countries, including India, must achieve by 2030.
  • Chief Statistician of India, and Secretary of the Statistics Ministry: Pravin Srivastava

Pakistan to seek IMF bailout despite $6 billion Saudi assistance

  • Pakistan has kept its options open for seeking assistance from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) despite Saudi Arabia offering USD 6 billion aid package to mitigate pressure on the cash-strapped country's foreign exchange reserves. Pakistan would seek around USD 8 billion from the IMF which would be the biggest package.
  • Earlier Saudi Arabia signed an agreement to provide Pakistan USD 3 billion to support balance of payment and give oil worth USD 3 billion on deferred payments.

Philips Launches First Global Startup Collaboration Programme For AI In Healthcare

  • Philips announced the launch of their first global startup collaboration program involving Philips’ innovation hubs in Cambridge (US), Eindhoven, Bengaluru and Shanghai, focused on the application of artificial intelligence in healthcare.
  • The programme focuses on the application of AI-based clinical decision support tools, such as image interpretation, analysis and integration; and workflow tools like intelligent treatment plans for radiology, ultrasound and oncology.

RBI may make some changes in PCA norms

  • The Reserve Bank of India may make some changes in the Prompt Corrective Action (PCA) framework that put restrictions on financially weak banks. The changes could be made in the next few weeks after taking into account various aspects and in the larger interest of the banking system.
  • As many as 11 out of 21 banks are under the RBI’s watchlist. Of these, Dena Bank and Allahabad Bank are facing restrictions on expansion of business.
  • Earlier, the state-run banks had requested the government for relaxation in PCA guidelines as these were indirectly impacting their lending ability.
  • The RBI stated that the imposition of the PCA was essential for the revival of financially weak banks and deepening reforms in the banking space.

SC bans sale of BS-IV vehicles from 2020

  • The Supreme Court of India has banned the sale and registration of motor vehicles conforming to the emission standard Bharat Stage-IV in the entire country from April 1, 2020. It further said that pollution has reached an “alarming and critical” level all over India.
  • Bharat Stage (BS) emission norms are standards instituted by the government to regulate output of air pollutants from motor vehicles. The BS-IV norms have been enforced across the country since April 2017.
  • The Centre had announced that the country would skip the BS-V norms altogether and adopt BS-VI norms by 2020.

Skill development centres to be set up on PPP model

  • The Union government has approved the scheme of setting up skill development institutes on government land, in partnership with private players, across the country. The public-private partnership model will be adopted to set up the institutes to be called the Indian Institutes of Skills at select locations, based on demand and available infrastructure.
  • The institutes are expected to help boost the global competitiveness of key industry sectors by providing high-quality skill training, applied research education and a direct and meaningful connection with the industry.

Sri Lanka thrash England in final ODI to claim consolation win

  • Sri Lanka's Niroshan Dickwella and skipper Dinesh Chandimal set up a crushing 219-run win via DLS method over England to end their one-day international series on a high.
  • Dickwella smashed 95 and Chandimal 80 to help Sri Lanka register their highest-ever ODI total against England and the tourists slumped to 132-9 when rain stopped play in the 27th over.
  • England had already won the five-match series 3-1.

Tribunal to try benami cases soon

  • The Union government has approved setting up of the Appellate Tribunal and Adjudicating Authority for speedy disposal of cases related to benami transactions. The decision was taken at the Union Cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The Adjudicating Authority and Appellate Tribunal will be based in Delhi.
  • Earlier this month, the government had notified sessions courts in 34 States and Union Territories, which will act as special courts for trial of offences under the benami transaction law.

Vladimir Putin warns of a new arms race with America

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin has warned of a new arms race, if America pulls out of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty. He stated that Russia would respond in kind to any new US missiles placed on European soil.
  • He further added that abandoning the treaty, and failure to extend another key arms control agreement known as the New START, would unleash a new arms race and put Europe in danger.
  • US President Donald Trump had sparked concerns globally when he said he would withdraw from the three-decade-old nuclear treaty.

Wipro net falls 13.8% on client settlement

  • India’s third largest software exporter, Wipro’s net profit fell 13.8% year-on-year to Rs. 1,885.7 crore in the second quarter ended September as it recorded a loss of Rs. 514.1 crore from one of its key customers. The firm posted a revenue of Rs. 14,541 crore compared with Rs. 13,423.4 crore during the same period the previous year.
  • Wipro also appointed former SBI chairman Arundhati Bhattacharyaas independent director for five years effective January 1, 2019
  • Abidali Z. Neemuchwala, CEO

World’s first humanoid robot Sophia arrives at Vizag Fintech Festival

  • Sophia, the world’s first humanoid robot has arrived at the ongoing Vizag Fintech Festival from Hong Kong. The robot will speak at the festival. The festival is being attended by 2,000 delegates from 15 countries.
  • SingEx of Singapore in association with Fintech Valley Vizag is organising this event.
  • The social humanoid robot was developed by Hong Kong-based Hanson Robotics and activated in February 2016. Sophia can display more than 50 facial expressions, and the cameras fitted within Sophia’s eyes, combined with computer algorithms, allow her to see. She can follow faces, sustain eye contact, and recognise individuals.

Wrestling: Ritu Malik in contention for bronze; Sakshi Malik, Ritu Phogat suffer defeats

  • Ritu Malik kept India in medal contention by reaching the bronze play-off at the World Wrestling Championship in Budapest, Hungary. Ritu Malik edged out Bulgaria's Sofiya Hristova Georgieva 9-8. However, Sakshi Malik and Ritu Phogat suffered a quarterfinal defeat.
  • Sakshi was outclassed 2-16 by Japan's Yukako Kawai, a two time World Cup gold winner in the 62-kilogram category.