Daily Current Affairs - 14th Nov 2018

ADNOC and ISPRL sign MoU to store crude oil at Padur facility in Karnataka

  • Indian Strategic Petroleum Reserves Ltd (ISPRL) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) to explore the possibility of storing ADNOC crude oil at ISPRL’s underground oil storage facility at Padur in Karnataka, which has a 2.5 million tonne capacity. Under the MoU, ADNOC is expected to store crude in compartments at Padur.
  • Indian Strategic Petroleum Reserves Limited (ISPRL), an Indian government-owned company mandated to store crude oil for emergency needs

Allahabad Bank posts loss of Rs. 1,823 crore

  • Allahabad Bank’s net loss narrowed to Rs. 1,822.71 crore from the Rs. 1,944.4 crore loss in the immediately previous quarter. Its losses were due to higher provisioning on account of NCLT-referred accounts and latest RBI guidelines regarding restructured accounts and ageing NPAs.
  • The bank had posted a net profit of Rs. 70.2 crore in the July-September quarter of 2017-18. Gross non-performing assets rose to 17.5% from 15.9% in the previous quarter.
  • The bank received Rs. 3,054 crore capital infusion from the Centre on November 12.
  • MD and CEO S.S. Mallikarjuna Rao

Amnesty International revokes highest honour given to Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi

  • Amnesty International revoked the Ambassador of Conscience Award given to Myanmar's leader Aung San Suu Kyi. She received the honour in 2009, when she was living under house arrest. The rights group has stated that it was profoundly disappointed at her failure to speak out for the Rohingya minority.
  • Amnesty International
  • Secretary-General: Kumi Naidoo
  • Headquarters: London, England

British, EU negotiators reach agreement on terms of Brexit deal

  • Parupalli Kashyap made a solid start to his campaign in the Hong Kong Open, beating Chinese Taipei's Hsu Jen Hao in the qualifying round in Kowloon. Kashyap defeated Hao 21-7, 12-21, 21-18 in a match that lasted an hour and three minutes.
  • He will next face seventh-seeded Indonesian Anthony Sinisuka Ginting in the main draw.
  • Other prominent Indian shuttlers to play their opening singles matches tomorrow are Saina Nehwal, Kidambi Srikanth, H.S.Prannoy, B.Sai Praneeth, and Sameer Verma.

Children's Day celebrated across country to increase awareness of rights, care and education of children

  • Children's Day is celebrated across the country to increase awareness of the rights, care and education of children. It is celebrated on 14 November every year on the birth anniversary of the first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru.

Dasari bids adieu to ALL

  • Vinod K. Dasari has decided to bid adieu to Ashok Leyland. His resignation as the CEO and MD of Ashok Leyland was formally announced at a media briefing to release the second quarter numbers of the company. The resignation would take effect on March 31, 2019.
  • Dheeraj G. Hinduja, has taken over as the executive chairman. He will hold the position till a successor to Mr. Dasari is appointed.
  • Meanwhile Ashok Leyland has posted 37.49% raise in its stand-alone net profit for the second quarter ended September 2018 at Rs. 459.58 crore against Rs. 334.26 crore recorded for the corresponding year-earlier period due to increase in prices, cost control measures, product mix and growth in revenue.

Dr. Martha Farrell receives lifetime achievement award

  • Late Dr. Martha Farrell has been honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 6th Indian Social Work Congress in New Delhi. Dr. Farrell is being recognized for her lifelong work towards gender equality, women s empowerment and prevention of sexual harassment at workplace.
  • She was among 14 people killed in a terrorist attack on a guest house in Kabul, Afghanistan on May 13, 2015.

Flipkart’s Binny Bansal resigns

  • Binny Bansal has announced his resignation as CEO of Flipkart Group, effective immediately, following an independent investigation into an allegation of “serious personal misconduct”. His decision follows an independent investigation done on behalf of Flipkart and Walmart into an allegation of ‘serious personal misconduct.’
  • Kalyan Krishnamurthy will continue to be CEO of Flipkart, which will now include Myntra and Jabong, continuing to operate as separate platforms within the Flipkart business.
  • U.S. retail giant Walmart has acquired 77% stake in Flipkart for a whopping $16-billion in May this year.
  • Myntra and Jabong, CEO: Ananth Narayanan
  • PhonePe, CEO: Sameer Nigam

Four innovators selected for early detection of TB, malaria

  • The Tata Trust and The Global Fund backed Indian Health Fund (IHF) announced that it had chosen four innovators, three related to tuberculosis and one to malaria in its goal of supporting national efforts to effectively tackle eradicate these diseases.
  • The aim for selecting them aims to leverage technology for improving early detection and prompt treatment along with promoting diagnostics feasible for primary health care facilities.
  • The IHF was launched in 2016 by the Tata Trusts in collaboration with The Global Fund, to drive innovations towards key infectious disease challenges in India.
  • India contributes to 27 per cent of the global TB burden and 68 per cent of all malaria cases in the Southeast Asia region.
  • The Union government has set a target of eliminating TB by 2025 and malaria by 2030.

HRD Ministry launches Leadership for Academicians Programme

  • Minister of State for Human Resource Development Satya Pal Singh launched the Leadership for Academicians Programme, LEAP and Annual Refresher Programme In Teaching, ARPIT in New Delhi
  • ARPIT is a unique initiative of online professional development of 15 lakh higher education faculty. For implementing ARPIT, 75 discipline-specific institutions have been identified and notified as National Resource Centres in the first phase.
  • LEAP is a three weeks flagship leadership development training programme for second level academic functionaries in public-funded higher education institutions.
  • The main objective is to prepare the second tier academic heads who are potentially likely to assume leadership roles in the future.

India increases financial contribution to UNRWA

  • India has increased its financial contribution from one million dollars in 2016 to five million dollars in 2018 to the UN agency for Palestinian refugees, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA). India is also committed to contribute five million dollars in 2019.
  • The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) is a relief and human development agency which supports more than 5 million registered Palestinian refugees.

India International Trade Fair begins

  • The 38th India International Trade Fair (IITF) has begun from November 14 at Pragati Maidan in New Delhi. The 14-day annual event will continue till 27th of this month. This year the theme of the fair is - Rural Enterprises in India.
  • Afghanistan is the Partner Country, while Nepal will be the Focus Country. Jharkhand is participating as a Partner State in the event.
  • Around 800 participants from States and Government Departments, domestic and International companies are taking part to showcase their product.

India-Indonesia navies to have first-ever bilateral exercise Samudra Shakti

  • In line with Indian government’s `Act East Policy’ INS Rana at Surabaya will participate in the first ever Indian Navy – Indonesian Navy Bilateral Exercise ‘Samudra Shakti’. The aim of the exercise is to strengthen bilateral relations, expand maritime co-operation, enhance interoperability and exchange best practices.
  • The strategic partnership between the two nations was elevated to ‘Comprehensive Strategic Partnership’ during the visit of Honourable Prime Minister of India in May 18.

Kashyap, Satwik-Ashwini win at Hong Kong Open

  • Parupalli Kashyap made a solid start to his campaign in the Hong Kong Open, beating Chinese Taipei's Hsu Jen Hao in the qualifying round in Kowloon. Kashyap defeated Hao 21-7, 12-21, 21-18 in a match that lasted an hour and three minutes.
  • He will next face seventh-seeded Indonesian Anthony Sinisuka Ginting in the main draw.
  • Other prominent Indian shuttlers to play their opening singles matches tomorrow are Saina Nehwal, Kidambi Srikanth, H.S.Prannoy, B.Sai Praneeth, and Sameer Verma.

Narendra Singh Tomar given charge of Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs

  • Rural Development Minister Narendra Singh Tomar will now hold the charge of the Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs following the demise of Union Minister Ananth Kumar. President Ram Nath Kovind has assigned the charge to Mr Tomar.
  • While Minister for Statistics and Programme Implementation D V Sadanand Gowda has been given the charge of the Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers, in addition to his existing portfolio.

New index to check ease of doing agri-business

  • The Union government plans to roll out a new Ease of Doing Agri-Business Index early next year, which will rank the States on the basis of such reforms, as well as their investment in agriculture, increased productivity, reduction of input costs, and risk mitigation measures.
  • The proposed index has a wider ambit, but the focus is still on reforms, with marketing reforms (25%) and governance and land reforms (20%) carrying almost half of the weight of the parameters in its scoring system.
  • States may soon start receiving extra funding for the Union Agriculture Ministry’s flagship schemes on the basis of their performance in encouraging agri-business, especially with regard to marketing, land and governance reforms.
  • NITI Aayog already brings out a Agricultural Marketing and Farm Friendly Reforms Index, rating States on their implementation of such reforms.

Palestinian militant groups announce ceasefire with Israel after worst escalation in years

  • Palestinian militant groups in the Gaza Strip announced an Egyptian-brokered ceasefire with Israel after a severe escalation of violence threatened to descend into full-blown war. The groups, including Hamas, issued a joint statement saying they would abide by the ceasefire as long as Israel did the same.
  • The violent escalation between Israel and Palestinian militants in Gaza was the worst since a 2014 war.
  • Palestinia
  • President: Mahmoud Abbas
  • Capitals: Ramallah, East Jerusalem

PM Modi inaugurates India's first multi-modal terminal on inland waterways in Varanasi

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi has inaugurated India's first multi-modal terminal on the Ganga river in his parliamentary constituency and received the country's first container cargo transported on inland waterways from Kolkata.
  • This is the first of the four multi-modal terminals being constructed on the National Waterway-1 (river Ganga) as part of the World Bank-aided Jal Marg Vikas project of the Inland Waterways Authority of India.
  • The total estimated cost of the project is Rs 5,369.18 crore, which will be equally shared between the Government of India and the World Bank.
  • The Centre's Jal Marg Vikas Project aims at developing the stretch of the river between Varanasi and Haldia for navigation of large vessels weighing up to 1,500 tonnes to 2,000 tonnes.

Promoters to sell 50% stake in Zee Entertainment Enterprises

  • The Essel Group, the promoters of Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd. (ZEEL), one of the largest Indian media and entertainment companies has decided to sell up to 50% of its stake to a strategic partner that could help the company have a global footprint while reiterating India remains a priority market for the group. The Essel group holds 41.62% stake in ZEEL.
  • As the company is looking for a global strategic partner which will help them expand in overseas markets.
  • MD & CEO, ZEEL: Punit Goenka

RCEP Inter-Sessional Ministerial Meeting concludes

  • The two-day RCEP Inter-Sessional Ministerial Meeting concluded in Singapore. Commerce and Industry and Civil Aviation Minister Suresh Prabhu led the Indian delegation to the meeting.
  • The Ministerial Meeting was held in preparation for the 2nd RCEP Leaders Summit to be held in Singapore in which Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be participating.
  • Commerce Minister Suresh Prabhu defended India’s interests effectively and secured maximum flexibilities.
  • The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, RCEP is a mega-regional free trade agreement being negotiated amongst 16 countries, comprising 10 ASEAN countries and six ASEAN Free Trade Agreement partners.
  • The ASEAN countries include Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

Rs 75 commemorative coin to mark 75th anniversary of Tricolour hoisting by Bose

  • The Union government has decided to release a Rs 75 commemorative coin on the occasion of 75th anniversary of the hoisting of Tricolour for the first time by Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose at Port Blair. This coin will bear the portrait of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose saluting the flag on the background of cellular jail.
  • The 35-gram coin will be composed of 50 per cent silver, 40 per cent copper and 5 per cent each of nickel and zinc.

SC agrees to hear Sabarimala review petitions on January 22

  • The Supreme Court of India has agreed to hear in open court review petitions challenging its verdict which allowed entry of women of all age groups into Sabarimala Temple. A five-judge bench comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justices RF Nariman, AM Khanwilkar, DY Chandrachud and Indu Malhotra will hear the 49 review petitions on January 22 next year.
  • However, the Apex Court has not ordered any stay on its earlier verdict allowing women entry into the hill shrine.
  • The Bench said that the writ petitions will be heard subject to the decision of the review petitions filed against the Sabarimala verdict.

SEBI tightens norms for raters

  • The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has tightened the disclosure norms for credit rating agencies (CRAs) that will now have to take into account various factors, including asset-liability mismatch, liquid investments, cash flows and capital infusion from parent or group entities while performing any rating action.
  • SEBI also mandated CRAs to include a specific section on “liquidity” to highlight parameters like cash balances for servicing maturing debt obligation.
  • The regulator has enhanced the quantum of disclosures by introducing additional norms that are largely based on the learnings from the IL&FS episode, which has affected the overall liquidity scenario, especially in the non-banking financial company (NBFC) segment.

Siddharth Tiwari joins BIS as Chief Representative for Asia, Pacific

  • The Bank for International Settlements (BIS) has appointed Siddharth Tiwari as the Chief Representative for Asia and the Pacific. Tiwari succeeds Eli Remolona, who was Chief Representative of the Asian Office from 2008 to 2018. He will work to deepen cooperation between the BIS and central banks in Asia and the Pacific.
  • Tiwari has served as Executive Secretary to the G20 Eminent Persons Group on Global Financial Governance.
  • He has occupied top-level positions at the IMF that have allowed him to work on significant issues of relevance to the Asia-Pacific region.

Sri Lankan court stays President’s order dissolving Parliament

  • Sri Lanka's parliament has been convened following Supreme Court decision to stay President’s Gazette for dissolution of parliament and holding of early elections. The three-judge bench headed by chief justice gave its ruling on petitions against the President Maithripala Sirisena’s Gazette to dissolve parliament.
  • The court also ordered the Elections Commission to halt preparations for the general elections scheduled for January 5th.
  • The political crisis in Sri Lanka began when the President appointed Mahinda Rajapaksa as new Prime minister replacing Mr. Wickremsinghe.

Tata Steel profit surges over threefold

  • Tata Steel Ltd.’s second quarter consolidated net profit rose to Rs. 3,116 crore, the highest in nine years, compared with a net profit of Rs. 1,018 crore in the year-earlier period on higher steel prices and consolidation of Bhushan Steel results. The steelmaker reported a 34% growth in turnover to Rs. 43,544 crore.
  • Consolidated deliveries grew 15% during the quarter to 7.42 million tonnes due to its focus on the domestic market, where a government push to improve infrastructure has raised demand.
  • The liquidity position of the group remains robust at Rs. 26,470 crore and gross debt during the quarter increased by Rs. 2,065 crore primarily due to adverse forex impact of Rs. 3,528 crore.
  • Chief executive officer and managing director of Tata Steel: T. V. Narendran

Twitter Launches Campaign to Boost Youth Engagement For 2019 General Elections

  • Twitter India has launched a new initiative titled #PowerOf18, aimed at encouraging the youth to contribute in public debates and participate in civic engagement for the 2019 general elections. The #PowerOf18 will serve as a resource for young Indians to find more information about the elections, support social causes they are passionate about and join the public conversation.
  • CEO Jack Dorsey

UAE to participate in Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit for 2nd consecutive year

  • UAE will participate in the 'Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit', as a partner country for the second consecutive year. The Summit is scheduled from 18th to 20th January, 2019. The UAE will participate in the summit through a high-level delegation.
  • The 9th edition of the Vibrant Gujarat 2019 Summit provides a forum for discussion on global, national and state-level agendas with a sharp focus on all round economic development for a ‘New India’.

UN urges Bangladesh to halt Rohingya repatriation plan

  • UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet has urged Bangladesh to halt plans for the repatriation of more than 2,200 Rohingya refugees to Myanmar. The UN Human Rights Office has said that forcibly returning them to their home country would be in violation of international law and put their lives and freedom at serious risk.
  • She appealed to the government of Bangladesh to ensure carefully that any repatriation takes place in line with international standards of voluntariness, safety and dignity, with full transparency, and only when the conditions are right.
  • Bachelet also called on the Government of Myanmar to show its seriousness in creating the conditions for return by addressing the root causes of the crisis in Rakhine state, in particular, the systematic discrimination against and persecution of Rohingyas.
  • The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights is a United Nations agency that works to promote and protect the human rights that are guaranteed under international law and stipulated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948.

Virat Kohli, Jasprit Bumrah maintain top positions in ICC ODI rankings

  • India captain Virat Kohli and premier fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah maintained their top positions respectively in the latest ICC ODI rankings published. Kohli remained in pole position with 899 poins while Rohit Sharma remained second in the list.
  • Similarly in the bowlers' list, there are three Indians with Bumrah on top with 841 points. Kuldeep Yadav in third place in the list. Yuzvendra Chahal is placed fifth on the list.
  • Rashid Khan of Afghanistan with 353 points is the top-ranked ODI all-rounder in world cricket currently.
  • In the overall team rankings, India with 121 points, remained second behind England who have 126 points.