Daily Current Affairs - 21st Nov 2018

Acrobatic Gymnastics World Cup: Indian gymnasts win two bronze medals

  • Indian gymnasts won two bronze medals in the men's and women's group events of the FIG Acrobatic World Cup in Baku. Prins Aris and Rejilesh Suribabu finished third after scoring 20.560 in the two-day event to bag the bronze medal.
  • The Indian women's trio of Ayushi Ghodeswar, Prachi Parkhi and Mrunmayi Walde also bagged a bronze in the group after scoring 18.200.

AI revives plans to raise Rs 500 cr; to mop up Rs 6,100cr from

  • Debt-ridden Air India has revived its plans to raise Rs. 500 crore in short-term loans (STLs) besides adding up another Rs. 6,100 crore by way of sale and lease back of seven of its wide-body planes, including six Boeing 787 (Dreamliner) aircraft.
  • In early September, the airline had invited bids for raising Rs. 500 crore through STL to meet its working capital requirements.

Anjum, Mehuli continue golden run in National Shooting

  • Anjum Moudgil and Mehuli Ghosh continued their golden run in the women's air rifle events at the 62nd National Shooting Championship Competitions in Trivandrum.
  • Anjum won her third gold partnering Arjun Babuta to help Punjab win the 10 meters air rifle mixed team event.
  • Mehuli won her fifth and sixth gold medals in the competition by claiming the junior and youth mixed team titles.

Australia joins US in rejecting UN migration pact

  • Australian government has announced that it would reject a UN migration pact which was already denounced by the United States and several European countries. It stated that adopting the pact would risk encouraging illegal entry to Australia.
  • The UN Global Compact for Migration was agreed in July after 18 months of negotiations and is due to be adopted next month.
  • The pact has already been rejected by the US administration of Donald Trump and conservative governments in Poland, Austria, Hungary and the Czech Republic.
  • Australia:
  • Prime Minister: Scott Morrison
  • Capital: Canberra
  • Currency: Australian dollar

BASIC nations push for ‘climate finance’

  • Ahead of the United Nations Conference of Parties (COP) in December in Katowice, Poland. Environment Ministers and top climate change negotiators from Brazil, South Africa, China and India (BASIC) convened in Delhi formed as a group to push developed countries on their earlier commitment to providing $100 billion annually from 2020. So far only a fraction of these funds have actually been provided, the BASIC group stated.
  • This year’s edition of the COP, the 24th such meeting will see representatives from at least 190 countries, think-tanks, and activists converge in Katowice to try to agree on a Rule Book that will specify how countries will agree to take forward commitments taken at the 21st COP in Paris in 2015.

BlackBerry to buy security firm Cylance for $1.4 billion

  • BlackBerry Ltd is acquiring cybersecurity company Cylance Inc. for $1.4 billion. The acquisition of Cylance would enable it to add artificial intelligence capabilities to its existing software products. Cylance, based in Irvine, California, makes AI-enabled software designed to protect mobile devices, tablets and other internet-connected devices from cyber attacks.

Board committees to assist RBI

  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is set to get a makeover in line with its global counterparts, with several board committees to be formed on various aspects like technology, risk management, banking regulation, supervision, among others, to assist the central bank in its operations.
  • Proposed by the union government, the issue will be discussed in the next board meeting of the central bank, scheduled for December 14.

Chess: Equalling a 23-year-old record

  • The stalemate continued at the World chess championship as Magnus Carlsen and Fabiano Caruana played out a 38-move draw in their eighth game. The result equalled the record for most consecutive draws to start a title contest, set by Garry Kasparov and Viswanathan Anand at New York in 1995.

Death toll from massive wildfire in Northern California rises to 79

  • The death toll from the massive wildfire in Northern California, has risen to 79. The Camp Fire is now the deadliest and most destructive wildfire in California's history. It is also the deadliest wildfire in 100 years in the United States.

Eid Milad-un-Nabi is being celebrated on November 21

  • Eid Milad-un-Nabi, the birthday of Prophet Muhammad is being celebrated with religious fervour in various parts of the country today. Milad Mehfils and Seerat Conferences will be held to highlight the life and teachings of Prophet Muhammad.
  • Milad processions are also being organised in the morning to mark the occasion.

Google gets ‘Neighbourly’, to add more cities in India

  • Google company has announced the national roll-out of a new app from its ‘Next Billion Users’ team called ‘Neighbourly,’ which helps people source local information from their neighbours. It is rolling out the app starting with Bengaluru and Delhi, which topped the wait list.
  • Over the next few weeks, more cities will be added every day, including Chennai, Hyderabad and Pune. Some other cities include Kolkata, Chandigarh, Lucknow and Indore.
  • The app has already made inroads in popular neighbourhoods in Mumbai first, followed by cities like Jaipur, Mysore, Vizag, Kochi and Coimbatore.

HDFC Bank to hike stake in CCIL to 9%

  • HDFC Bank will raise its stake in Clearing Corporation of India Ltd (CCIL) to 9% by acquiring 20 lakh shares of the company. The deal is for a cash consideration of Rs. 124 crore and the transaction is for acquisition of 4% equity in CCIL. The bank currently holds 5% of the total equity capital of CCIL.
  • CCIL is a Central Counterparty (CCP) which was set up in April 2001 to provide clearing and settlement for transactions in Government securities, foreign exchange and money markets in the country. It acts as a central counterparty in various segments of the financial markets regulated by the RBI.

ICC rejects Pakistan compensation claim against India

  • The International Cricket Council (ICC) has dismissed a compensation claim by Pakistan over India’s refusal to honour an agreement to play bilateral series. The dispute centred on a Memorandum of Understanding according to which India and Pakistan had agreed to play six bilateral series between 2015-2023. The PCB had filed a compensation claim of 70 million dollars.
  • Meanwhile, the BCCI has welcomed the decision and said it will now approach the Dispute Panel to recover the legal cost from the PCB.

India slips two places to 53rd position on global talent ranking; Switzerland on top

  • India has slipped two places to rank 53rd on a global annual talent ranking released by IMD Business School Switzerland, while Switzerland has topped the global ranking for the fifth year in a row, it is followed by Denmark, Norway, Austria and the Netherlands in the top-five.
  • At 6th place, Canada is the only non-European nation in the top-ten, which also includes Finland (7th), Sweden (8th), Luxembourg (9th), and Germany (10th).
  • Within Asia, Singapore has topped the charts with a global 13th place on the list that ranks 63 countries in developing, attracting and retaining talent.
  • The rankings are based on three factors: Investment and Development, Appeal, and Readiness.

Indo-US joint military exercise 'Vajra Prahar' commences in Jaipur

  • The 12-day long joint military exercise between India and the United States known as 'Vajra Prahar' commenced in Jaipur. The contingents will train on different aspects including hostage rescue, building intervention, desert survival, medical aid and combat firing.
  • The United States Special Forces will carry out rigorous joint training in semi-desert and rural terrain to enhance the interoperability of the two armed forces and further the military to military co-operation.

Judge bars Trump administration's order denying asylum to people entering US illegally

  • US federal judge has put a temporary halt to the Trump administration's new order denying the possibility of asylum to people who enter the country illegally. President Donald Trump has issued the proclamation earlier this month stating that it is a matter concerning national security as a US-bound caravan of Central American migrants made its way through Mexico toward the US border.

Mary Kom, others enter semi-finals of Women's World Boxing Championships

  • MC Marry Kom, Lovlina Borgohain, Sonia Chahal and Simranjit Kaur enter the semifinals and assure India of four medals on day 6 of the Women's World Championships in New Delhi.
  • In the quarterfinals, Mary Kom defeated China's Wu Yu 5-0 and Lovlina beat Kaye Scott of Australia 5-0. Sonia defeated Colombia's Yeni Castenada 4-1 and Simranjit won against Ireland's Amy Sara Broadhurst 3-1.
  • Manisha Maun, Seema Punia, Pinki Rani and Bhagyabati Kachari lost their bouts.

Odisha House passes 33% reservation for women

  • The Odisha Assembly has passed a resolution by unanimous voice vote for providing 33% reservation for women in Legislative Assemblies and Parliament. Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had initiated discussion on the motion. Mr. Patnaik government has also enhanced reservation for women in local bodies to 50%.

Q2 GDP growth to slow to 7.2% on higher fuel prices, weaker rupee: ICRA

  • The second quarter GDP growth is likely to be substantially lower than that seen in the first quarter of this financial year due to higher fuel prices and a weaker rupee, according to ICRA.
  • The dip in the growth number will be largely on account of a pull down from industry where growth is expected to slow down to 7.1 per cent in the September quarter as compared to 10.3 per cent in June and the farm sector, which may slow down to 3.5 per cent from 5.3 per cent, domestic rating agency.

RBI to set up expert panel to look into issues on capital surplus

  • The RBI board has decided to set up a high-powered committee to examine issues related to surplus capital of Rs 9.69 lakh crore with the central bank and advised it to consider a scheme for restructuring stressed assets in the MSME sector. The Reserve Bank and the Finance Ministry will decide the committee’s composition.
  • During the meeting it was also decided that the Board for Financial Supervision (BFS) of the RBI would examine the issues concerning the banks health under Prompt Corrective Action (PCA) framework and the Economic Capital Framework - ECF of the RBI.

Saudi, UAE announce USD 500 million in aid to war-torn Yemen

  • Saudi Arabia and the UAE has announced USD 500 million in aid to Yemen which is on the brink of famine. Both countries will each give USD 250 million in response to the food crisis to support more than 10 million people.
  • All donations will go through the United Nations as well as other international and local aid groups.
  • Saudi Arabia and the UAE intervened in the Yemen war in 2015 to bolster Yemeni President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi after the Huthis took over the capital Sanaa.
  • Yemen:
  • President: Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi
  • Prime Minister: Maeen Abdulmalik Saeed
  • Capital: Saana
  • Currency: Yemeni rial

Universal Children’s Day celebrated on November 20

  • United Nations Universal Children’s Day is celebrated on November 20th each year to promote international togetherness, awareness among children worldwide, and improving children's welfare.
  • November 20th is an important date when the UN General Assembly adopted the Declaration of the Rights of the Child in 1959. It is also the date in 1989 when the UN General assembly adopted the Convention on the Rights of the Child.