Daily Current Affairs - 29th Oct 2018

Asian Champions Trophy: India & Pakistan declared joint winner after rain washes off summit clash

  • India and Pakistan were declared joint winners of the Asian Champions Trophy at Muscat in Oman. The tournament director declared both teams as winners after the summit clash was called off due to heavy rain. Defending champions India, thus, ended the tournament unbeaten.
  • Before this edition, both India and Pakistan had won the tournament twice each.

BEL registers 35% growth in 2nd quarter of current financial year

  • Bharat Electronics Limited, BEL, the Navratna Defence Public Sector Undertaking, has registered a growth of about 35 per cent in 2nd quarter of the current financial year. The company has achieved a turnover of over 3282 crore rupees during the 2nd quarter of current financial year over the turnover of 2431 crore rupees recorded in the corresponding period of the previous year.
  • Chairman and Managing Director: M V Gowtama
  • Headquarters: Benguluru

Ex-Delhi chief minister and veteran BJP leader Madan Lal Khurana dies at 83

  • Former Chief Minister of Delhi Madan Lal Khurana passed away due to old age-related complications. He was 83. Khurana served as Delhi’s CM between 1993-96. He was popularly known in the party for his efforts in strengthening BJP in the national capital.
  • He also served as the Governor of Rajasthan in 2006. The BJP had expelled Khurana following his criticism of L K Advani’s role in the 1999 Kandahar hijack issue.

Far-right candidate Jair Bolsonaro wins Brazilian Presidential elections

  • Jair Bolsonaro of far-right has won a sweeping victory in the Brazilian Presidential elections. With almost all votes counted, Mr Bolsonaro bagged 55 percent votes against 45 percent for Fernando Haddad from the left-wing Workers Party. Bolsonaro is scheduled to take office on 1st January next year.
  • Brazil:
  • Current President: Michel Temer
  • Capital: Brasília
  • Currency: Brazilian real

Foreign workers in Qatar can now leave country without prior permission from employers

  • The long-awaited reform of controversial foreign workers exit visa system came into force in Qatar. Under the new law, all but five per cent of a company's workforce, except those in most senior positions, can leave without prior permission from employers.
  • Those not allowed to leave Qatar for any reason can file a complaint to the Expatriate Exit Grievance Committee that will take a decision within three working days. There are at least two million foreign workers in Qatar.
  • Qatar
  • Emir: Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al Thani
  • Prime Minister: Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani
  • Capital: Doha
  • Currency: Qatari riyal

FPIs pull out INR 35,600 crore from Indian capitals market in October so far

  • According to the latest depository data, foreign investors pulled out 35,600 crore rupees from the Indian capital markets in October month. This outflow is higher than 21,000 crore rupees withdrawn in September.
  • FPIs have been net sellers almost throughout this year barring a couple of months such as January, March, July and August. In these four months, overseas investors have put funds totalling over 32,000 crore rupees.
  • So far this year, FPIs have pulled out a total of 97,000 crore rupees from the capital markets. This includes over 37,000 crore rupees from equities and close to 60,000 crore rupees from the debt markets.

Govt. eyes recovery of over Rs. 1.8 lakh cr. NPAs

  • The Union government expects bad loan recoveries to exceed the Rs. 1.80 lakh crore-target for the current financial year due to the impact of new insolvency and bankruptcy law. Some big accounts are in the process of getting resolved while some more are lined up for resolution under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC).
  • Banks hope to write back more than Rs. 1 lakh crore from the resolution of 12 NPA cases alone, recommended for insolvency proceedings by the RBI in its first list. Banks so far recovered Rs. 36,551 crore in the first quarter of 2018-19.
  • In 2017-18, banks recovered Rs. 74,562 crore.

Indian golfer Khalin Joshi clinches Panasonic Open India title

  • Indian golfer Khalin Joshi has clinched the Panasonic Open India title at the Delhi Golf Club. With this win, Joshi became the seventh Indian to win the Panasonic Open India title in the last eight editions of the tournament. It was also his maiden Asian Tour title.
  • Bangladesh's Siddikur Rahman finished second best after finishing with a par on the 18th.

Kenyan distance runner Abraham Kiptum wins Valencia race

  • Kenyan distance runner Abraham Kiptum has won the Valencia race, setting a new world best time of 58mins 18sec for the half-marathon. The previous best time was set eight years ago by Ethiopia’s Zersenay Tadesse who ran the Lisbon half-marathon in 58 minuted and 23 seconds in March 2010.

Michael D Higgins re-elected as Irish president for second term

  • Michael D Higgins has been re-elected as the President of Ireland after receiving 56 per cent of the country's votes in the elections. Peter Casey came second with 23.1 per cent votes, while none of the other four candidates polled more than 10 per cent.
  • Voters also supported the proposal to remove blasphemy as an offence from the Constitution, with 65 per cent voting yes.
  • Mr Higgins is the first incumbent in 50 years to face a challenge in the bid for a second term.
  • Ireland:
  • President: Michael D Higgins
  • Capital: Dublin
  • Currency: Euro

Northeast monsoon likely to make onset by Nov 1: IMD

  • The northeast monsoon, which brings rains to Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and parts of Andhra Pradesh, is likely to make an onset by November 1, the IMD said. The normal onset date for northeast monsoon is October 20, but this year it has been delayed due to a a cyclonic circulation in the Bay of Bengal.

Paytm's parent company One97’s net loss rises to Rs. 1,490 crore

  • Paytm’s parent company One97 Communications has reported a higher net loss of Rs. 1,490.4 crore for the year ended March 31, 2018, compared to Rs. 879.6 crore in the previous fiscal. Revenue from operations, however, grew manifold to Rs. 2,987.41 crore in FY2017-18 as against Rs. 624.76 crore in FY2016-17.

Pollution hits a high in Delhi

  • According the data by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), Delhi continues to battle dangerous levels of pollution and recorded its worst score on the Air Quality Index (AQI) for the season. The city registered an average AQI of 366, which falls in the ‘very poor’ category, based on the reading of 32 monitoring stations.
  • The data showed several areas in the NCR, including Gurugram and Ghaziabad, recorded AQI in the ‘severe’ category.
  • The Centre-run System of Air Quality Forecasting and Research (SAFAR) also issued a heath advisory urging people with heart or lung disease to avoid prolonged or heavy exertion in the open.
  • According to Environmentalists, the dip in air quality was not just due to localized factors such as construction dust, vehicular pollution, but also regional factors such as stubble burning in Punjab and Haryana.

Robot trucks to help airlines save on ATF

  • Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport is set to be the first airport in the country to commence commercial use of TaxiBots which are semi-robotic tow trucks to help airlines reduce use of air turbine fuel during taxiing. SpiceJet and Jet Airways will carry out a live test with these tow trucks, following which the aviation regulator DGCA will grant approval for their use.
  • This can help airlines save jet fuel, one of the largest expenses for an airline, accounting for nearly 30% of total operational costs.
  • The advanced tow trucks will be used for narrow-body planes of the two airlines and will initially be deployed only for flights departing from IGI.

Rs. 700-crore project to clean up courts

  • Under the ‘Swachh Nyayalaya’ project Rs. 700-crore project has been proposed to have clean courts, right from the Supreme Court and the High Courts to the 3,388 lower courts. Besides construction and maintenance of wash-rooms in over 16,000 court rooms, a mechanism needed to be devised to deal with garbage, and to weed out old case files.

Saina Nehwal, P V Sindhu & Kidambi Srikanth knocked out from French Open

  • In French Open Badminton, top Indian shuttlers Saina Nehwal, P V Sindhu and Kidambi Srikanth were knocked out after losing their respective quarter-finals matches in Paris. Saina Nehwal lost to world no one Tai Tzu Ying 20-22, 11-21 while P V Sindhu bowed down 13-21, 16-21 to Bingjiao.
  • Kidambi Srikanth lost 16-21, 19-21 to World Champion Kento Momota.
  • In Men's doubles semifinals, Indian duo Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty will take on Indonesian pair Gideon Markus Fernaldi and Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo.

Simona Halep becomes first recipient of Chris Evert WTA World No.1 Trophy

  • World number one Simona Halep has become the first recipient of the Chris Evert Women's Tennis Association (WTA) World No.1 Trophy, named after WTA's first-ever world number one, Chris Evert.
  • Simona lifted her maiden Grand Slam title at the Roland Garros and claimed the WTA Year-End world number one singles award for the second consecutive year.
  • Chris Evert with a total of 157 titles, including 18 Grand Slam titles, held the top spot for 260 weeks. The Chris Evert WTA World No.1 Trophy has a silver star-map tennis ball that represents the tennis universe.

Sixth phase of electoral bonds sale to kick off from Nov 1

  • The sixth phase of the sale of electoral bonds will begin from November 1 which will continue till November 10. State Bank of India has been authorised to issue and encash Electoral Bonds through its 29 authorised branches across the country. The Electoral Bonds will be valid for 15 calendar days from the date of issue.
  • No payment shall be made to any payee Political Party if the Electoral Bond is deposited after expiry of the validity period.
  • As per provisions of the scheme, electoral bonds may be purchased by a person, who is a citizen of India or entities incorporated or established in India.
  • Registered political parties that have secured not less than one per cent of the votes polled in the last election to the Lok Sabha or legislative assembly will be eligible to receive electoral bonds.
  • Electoral bonds are being pitched as an alternative to cash donations made to political parties. The scheme is a part of efforts to bring transparency in political funding.

SMEs raise INR 1281 Cr through initial share-sales in April-September period

  • Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) raised 1,281 crore rupees through initial share-sales in April-September period of the current fiscal, registering a nearly two fold jump from the year-ago period. These companies are listed on SME platforms of BSE and NSE.
  • A total of 74 companies got listed with initial public offers (IPOs) worth 1,281 crore rupees in the first six months of this fiscal, compared to 58 firms, which tapped the IPO route to garner 656 crore rupees in the same period last financial year.
  • BSE and NSE had launched SME platforms in March 2012, becoming the only two exchanges to offer such a segment in the country. Since then, over 450 companies have got listed on them raising more than Rs 5,400 crore.

Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena charges Mr Ranil Wickremsinghe of being corrupt

  • Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena has charged former Prime Minister Mr Ranil Wickremesinghe, whom he replaced from Prime minister post last week, of being corrupt and tending to take individual decisions.
  • He stated that he had strong policy differences with Ranil, and blamed him for bond scam and poor economic management.
  • Mr Mahinda Rajapakse has been appointed as new Prime minister of Sri Lanka.

Table Tennis: Ayhika Mukherjee wins silver medal at Under-21 Belgium Open

  • Indian table tennis player Ayhika Mukherjee has won a silver medal in the under-21 women's singles category of the ITTF Challenge Belgium Open. She lost 1-3 to Korea's Youjin Kim in the final.
  • Meanwhile, Anthony Amalraj and Sanil Shetty have bagged a bronze in the men's doubles.

U.S. President not to attend Republic-Day event

  • US president Donald Trump has declined India's invitation to be the chief guest at the Republic Day celebrations. The US officials have been indicating that Mr Trump would not fly to India in January as the State of the Union address is scheduled in the winter month.
  • Mr Trump declining India's invitation to be the chief guest at the Republic Day celebrations comes weeks after India and the US had differences over a range of geopolitical issues.
  • Former US president Barack Obama, however, came to India twice and also attended the Republic Day celebrations in 2015 on his second visit, despite the State of the Union address being scheduled in January every year.

WTO sets up dispute panel on India-US case on export subsidies

  • The World Trade Organisation’s (WTO) dispute settlement body has set up a panel to examine the U.S.’ complaint against certain export-subsidy measures by India as both the sides failed to resolve the issue at consultation level. In March, the U.S. dragged India to WTO over export subsidies, saying that these incentives were harming the American firms..