Daily Current Affairs - 26th Oct 2018

Asian Champions Trophy: India beat South Korea 4-1 in their fifth and final round-robin match

  • Defending champions India beat South Korea 4-1 in their fifth and final round-robin match of the Asian Champions Trophy at Muscat, Oman. India's Harmanpreet scores a hattrick and declared man of the match.
  • This victory consolidated India's top position in the standings with 13 points from five matches with four wins and a draw.

Bharti Airtel Q2 net declines 58% on pricing pressures

  • Bharti Airtel’s net profit fell about 58% in the second quarter of this financial year to Rs. 249.2 crore, compared with its level in the same period of the previous year citing competitive pricing pressures. The company’s total revenue declined 6% to Rs. 20,422.5 crore in the second quarter, while it declined 7% to Rs. 40,502.5 crore in the first six months of the financial year.
  • Net profit stood at Rs. 216.1 crore, down 70%, over the April to September 2018 period.
  • MD and CEO, India & South Asia, Bharti Airtel: Gopal Vittal

Biocon net profit rises fivefold on stake sale

  • Biopharmaceutical company Biocon’s second-quarter net profit grew fivefold to Rs. 354.7 crore year-on-year due to an exceptional income arising from ‘investment accounting’ of Rs. 171 crore in Equillium. During the year ended March 31, 2018, the group had accounted for its 19.5% equity investment in Equillium Inc. as an associate.
  • Chairperson of Biocon: Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw

Centre launches two schemes to promote higher education research

  • The Union government has announced two schemes to promote higher education research in India: IMPRESS, dealing with social science research projects and coordinated by the ICSSR, and SPARC- involving foreign collaboration mainly in science research, coordinated by IIT Kharagpur.
  • IMPRESS — Impactful Policy Research in Social Sciences would provide ?414 crore funding of 1500 projects on policy themes in the social sciences at the cost of ?20-25 lakh per project. Selection would be merit-based from present and retired faculty from quality public and private institutions.
  • Shortlisted areas for research include state and democracy, urban transformation, media, culture and society, employment, skills, rural transformation, governance, innovation and public policy, agriculture, science, social media, politics, law and government, etc.
  • SPARC — Scheme for Promotion of Academic and Research Collaboration which would enable a spending of ?418 crore on 600 research proposals. Three categories of projects worth below ?50 lakh, ?75 lakh and ?1 crore would be cleared on a merit-based basis.
  • Those universities that are in the top 500 in QS ranking or top 100 in NIRF and departments in the top 200 in QS are eligible to participate. The research areas include fundamental research, advanced electronics, communication, structural genomics and affordable healthcare, among others.

Centre notifies rules on granting citizenship

  • The Union Home Ministry has empowered the Collectors in seven States to accept online applications to grant citizenship to “persecuted minorities” from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh living in India.
  • The Home Ministry gave powers to the Collectors in Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Delhi to grant citizenship and naturalisation certificates to the non-Muslim migrants from these countries under Sections 5 and 6 of the Citizenship Act, 1955.
  • Under the new rules, the migrants can apply online, and the verification reports or the security clearance reports of the applicants shall be made available to the Centre through an online portal. Citizenship is granted after the verification reports are received from the States and the Centre.
  • A parliamentary committee has been examining the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016, which proposes to grant citizenship to six persecuted minorities: Hindus, Jains, Sikhs, Parsis, Christians and Buddhists who came to India from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh before 2014.

Centre sets up GoM to look into sexual harassment at workplace

  • The union government has constituted a Group of Ministers (GoM), headed by home minister Rajnath Singh, to strengthen the legal and institutional frameworks to deal with and prevent sexual harassment at the workplace. Other members of the GoM include road transport minister Nitin Gadkari, defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman and women and child development minister Maneka Gandhi.
  • The GoM will examine existing legal and institutional frameworks for dealing with matters of sexual harassment of women at the workplace. It will also recommend action required for effective implementation of existing provisions and strengthening existing legal and institutional frameworks to address issues related to sexual harassment at the workplace.
  • The GoM has been set up in the wake of the recent #MeToo movement in the country.

Govt invites EoI from investors to buy out Bridge & Roof Co

  • The Union government has invited bids from investors for buying out 100% stake in PSU construction firm Bridge & Roof Company. The Department of Investment and Public Asset Management has asked interested bidders to submit their Expression of Interest (EoI) for buying the company by December 25, 2018.
  • The company had posted a Profit after Tax (PAT) of Rs. 16.37 crore and total revenue of Rs. 1,751 crore in 2016-17.

Higher provisioning hits Yes Bank profit

  • Private sector lender Yes Bank has reported a 3.8% fall in the net profit for the second quarter of the current financial year amidst a one-time impact of provisioning on corporate bonds and a rise in the gross non-performing asset ratio from the earlier projections.
  • The bank reported a net profit of Rs. 964.7 crore for the quarter ended September 30, 2018, lower than Rs. 1,002.7 crore in the corresponding quarter of the previous financial year.
  • The gross NPA ratio was pegged 1.60% for the quarter ended September 30, which was higher than the earlier projected 1.35% disclosed on October 1.
  • CEO of Yes Bank: Rana Kapoor

Home Secretary calls for measures to prevent misuse of social media

  • Home Secretary Rajiv Gauba has asked the social media platforms to take concrete steps to ensure a robust and effective system for preventing misuse of their platforms for activities detrimental to national security.
  • Mr Gauba held a meeting with representatives of social media platforms including Facebook and Whatsapp and reviewed the actions taken to prevent their misuse by miscreants to spread rumours, cause unrest and others.
  • He also asked them to nominate India based Grievance Redressal Officers and develop a monitoring mechanism to remove objectionable contents and prompt sharing of information sought by Law Enforcement Agencies for investigation purposes.

India has most outward migrants in 2017, says ADB report

  • According to the Asian Development Bank (ADB) report, most of the international migrants in 2017 were from India, followed by China and Bangladesh. The report further said as many as one third of international migrants were from Asia in 2017.
  • India had the most outward migrants in 2017 (17 million), followed by China (10 million) and Bangladesh (7.5 million).
  • About one in three international migrants are from Asia led by India and the PRC (People's Republic of China). The global stock of international migrants from Asia rose 3.9 per cent from 83.6 million in 2015 to 86.9 million in 2017
  • Intraregional migrants to India largely come from neighbouring countries such as Bangladesh (3.1 million), Pakistan (1.1 million) and Nepal (0.5 million).
  • International migrant stock consists of persons crossing borders for various reasons-for employment, family reunification, study, and fleeing from conflicts and violence.

India Mobile Congress opens, spotlight on 5G apps

  • The second edition of the India Mobile Congress was opened in New Delhi. Telecom industry leaders Sunil Mittal of Bharti Airtel, Kumar Mangalam Birla of Vodafone Idea and Mukesh Ambani of Reliance Industries Ltd will attend the inaugural session of the three-day flagship event.
  • The event will be showcasing India’s readiness for 5G and will be positioning India as a global telecom hub for investments and manufacturing as well as for services in the future. The event will also showcase SKYSHIP, a 5G emergency rescue platform developed by Korea Telecom.
  • Current Telecom Scenario in India
  • The domestic industry has seen a major phase of consolidation, which is almost complete. Airtel acquired Telenor India and Tikona Digital Networks, Vodafone India and Idea Cellular have merged to become the largest telecom operator in India. Aircel is in the midst of insolvency proceedings while Reliance Communications awaits final approval to sell assets to Reliance Jio.

India to become world’s third largest aviation market around 2024: IATA

  • According to global airlines’ body IATA, India will become the world’s third largest aviation market around 2024 surpassing the United Kingdom. It projected that the total air passenger numbers to touch 8.2 billion in 2037.
  • According to the IATA, China would displace the United States as the world’s largest aviation market in the mid-2020s.
  • The Asia-Pacific region is projected to drive the biggest growth with more than half the total number of new passengers over the next 20 years coming from these markets.
  • The growth is being driven by a combination of continued robust economic growth, improvements in household incomes and favourable population and demographic profiles.
  • IATA Director General and CEO Alexandre de Juniac

India, Bangladesh sign several agreements for enhancing inland and coastal waterways connectivity

  • India and Bangladesh have signed several agreements for enhancing inland and coastal waterways connectivity for trade and cruise movements. The two countries have signed an agreement to use Chattogram and Mongla Ports in Bangladesh for movement of goods to and from India.
  • With this agreement, the North Eastern states would get connected directly to the ports of Kolkata and Haldia in India and Mongla in Bangladesh through waterways that would facilitate movement of EXIM cargo and would also reduce the logistic costs.
  • These agreements will facilitate easier movement of goods and passengers between the two countries, giving an impetus to trade and tourism.
  • Bangladesh
  • President: Abdul Hamid
  • Prime Minister: Sheikh Hasina
  • Capital: Dhaka
  • Currency: Bangladeshi taka

KIIFB to issue 'Masala bonds' worth Rs 5,000 crore

  • The Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board would issue 'masala bonds' worth Rs 5,000 crore to mobilise funds for various development works. The bonds would be listed in the London and Singapore stock exchanges. The Reserve Bank of India had already given sanction for bonds worth Rs 2,647 crore,.

NATO's biggest military maneuvers begins in Norway

  • NATO has launched its biggest military exercise since the end of the Cold War nearly three decades ago. The exercise named “Trident Juncture 18” will test the response of the North Atlantic alliance to a mock attack on Norway.
  • The war games bring together around 50,000 personnel from all 29 NATO allies, plus partners Finland and Sweden. Around 65 vessels, 150 aircraft and 10,000 vehicles will also participate in the drill, which takes place in central and eastern Norway, the North Atlantic and the Baltic Sea.
  • Western leaders were increasingly concerned about Russian involvement in Ukraine, and its annexation of Crimea earlier in the year.
  • NATO:The North Atlantic Treaty Organization also called the North Atlantic Alliance, is an intergovernmental military alliance between 29 North American and European countries. NATO constitutes a system of collective defence whereby its independent member states agree to mutual defence in response to an attack by any external party.
  • Secretary General of NATO: Jens Stoltenberg
  • Headquarters: Brussels, Belgium

PV Sindhu regains World No. 2 spot in BWF rankings

  • Indian shuttler PV Sindhu has once again regained her world number two status in the latest BWF rankings released. Sindhu has jumped one spot to stay one spot behind Chinese Taipei's Tai Tzu Ying, who continues to dominate the rankings. Saina Nehwal, too climbed one place to reach the number 9th slot.
  • In the men's singles, Kidambi Srikanth remained static at world no 6, while Sameer Verma jumped five spots to be in 18th position. H.S Prannoy lost two places to be 17th. B Sai Praneeth is at the 26th place, while Sourabh Verma jumped two places to reach the 48th spot.

Railway minister Piyush Goyal says land acquisition for Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train corridor would be completed by December 2018

  • Railway minister Piyush Goyal has said land acquisition for the Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train corridor would be completed by December this year. Despite a slight delay in land acquisition, the project may be completed before deadline due to developments in the engineering sector.
  • He stated that the work related to designing and assembling machines to build a 27 km under-sea tunnel as part of the project is progressing.
  • There are five more corridors being planned for high-speed trains.

Russia successfully launches first Soyuz Rocket since failed space launch

  • Russia has successfully launched a Soyuz rocket for the first time since the failure of a similar rocket aborted a manned take-off to the International Space Station (ISS) on October 11. Soyuz-2.1B rocket is carrying a satellite for the Russian military.
  • The military said it was the third launch of a Soyuz rocket from Russia's northern Plesetsk launch pad this year

Women and Child Development Ministry to inaugurate fifth edition of Women of India National Organic Festival in New Delhi

  • Women and Child Development Ministry has inaugurated the fifth edition of the Women of India National Organic Festival in New Delhi. This event is aimed to boost organic culture and promote women, organic farmers and entrepreneurs. The ten days long Organic Festival will have producers and manufacturers of organic products from 26 states.

World Wrestling Championships: Pooja Dhanda wins Bronze Medal

  • Pooja Dhanda has won a bronze medal in the women's freestyle 57kg weight class in the Wrestling World Championships, Budapest, Hungary. Dhanda defeated Grace Bullen of Norway 10-7. This was India's second medal at the 2018 Championships. Earlier, Bajrang Punia's had settled for a silver after losing to Japan's Takuto Otoguro.
  • Before Pooja, only three Indian women grapplers (Alka Tomar, Geeta Phogat and Babita Phogat) had won a bronze medal each at the Worlds Championships.