Daily Current Affairs - 04th Feb 2019

Centre to install 450 realtime, 1,500 manual air quality monitoring systems in India by 2024

  • The Union government is aiming to install 300 more ambient air quality monitoring systems across the country by 2024 as the country battles deteriorating air quality. The Union Environment Ministry said that 150 realtime and 731 manual stations are currently installed in 70 cities

Former Law Minister of Nepal Nilambar Acharya appointed as country's ambassador to India

  • Former Law Minister of Nepal Nilambar Acharya has been appointed as country's ambassador to India. He has been appointed on the recommendation of cabinet. Acharya served as a member of Eminent Persons Group formed by India and Nepal on bilateral relations.
  • The position of Nepalese ambassador to India was lying vacant after Deep Kumar Upadhyay resigned in October 2017.
  • Nepal
  • Prime minister: Khadga Prasad Oli
  • Capital: Kathmandu
  • Currency: Nepalese rupee

FPIs pull out Rs 5,300 crore from capital markets in January

  • Foreign Portfolio Investors, FPIs, withdrew over 5,300 rupees crore from the Indian capital markets in January, indicating their 'wait and watch' approach ahead of the general elections. Prior to this, they had infused a net sum of over 17,000 rupees crore in the capital markets, in equity and debt, during November and December 2018.
  • FPIs pulled out a net amount of 5,264 crore rupees from equities and 97 crore rupees from the debt markets last month, taking the total outflow to 5,361 crore rupees.

Govt. to cut process time for stake sale in 35 CPSEs

  • With 35 Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSEs) being lined up for strategic sale, the Union Finance Ministry is planning to streamline processes to cut down the time for the outright sale of such state-owned companies.
  • The Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM) is keen that the long-drawn sale process of CPSEs be simplified so that more than one company could be taken up for the sell-off simultaneously.
  • Recently, the NITI Aayog submitted to the DIPAM the fifth list of CPSEs, profitable and non-profitable, which can go in for a strategic sale.
  • The firms that have been shortlisted for strategic sale include Air India, Air India subsidiary AIATSL, Dredging Corporation, BEML, Scooters India, Bharat Pumps Compressors, and Bhadrawati, Salem and Durgapur units of SAIL.

GST collection may grow 18% in FY20

  • The Union government has projected over 18% growth in Goods and Services Tax (GST) collections in 2019-20 based on the rising trend in revenue mop-up witnessed during the three-month period ending January 2019.
  • Last fiscal average collection was Rs. 89,000 crore. This fiscal it is averaging Rs. 97,000 crore. So, the government projects that the revenue trend is on upward scale.

India seal ODI series 4-1 against New Zealand

  • India recovered from 18 for 4 in the 10th over to post 252 all out before restricting New Zealand to 217 to win the fifth ODI by 35 runs in Wellington. India won the five-match series 4-1. Ambati Rayudu top scored with 90.

India's tourism sector registers 19% growth in 2018

  • Union Minister KJ Alphons has said that the country's tourism sector fetched 234 billion US Dollar revenue last year, registering a growth of over 19%. India is ranked third in the tourism sector, according to the 2018 report of the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC).
  • This growth was contributed by 87 per cent domestic and 13 per cent foreign tourists.

Mobiistar to export smartphones to Gulf cooperation nations

  • Mobiistar, a Vietnamese smartphone brand, will start exporting Made in India phones to Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries from this year. At present it is producing mobile phones at Bawal plant in Haryana. It has a capacity to produce 1.5 million phones per annum.
  • Global CEO and co-founder, Mobiistar: Carl Ngo

National Road Safety Week to be launched today

  • Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways is all set to launch the National Road Safety Week today with a host of initiatives planned for generating awareness and sensitizing people about safe road usage.

Presidential election to be held in El Salvador

  • Presidential election will be held in El Salvador, with four candidates contesting the post. Over 5.2 millions citizens have registered to vote. Incumbent President Salvador Ceren cannot run for a second consecutive term under the country's legislation.
  • To win in the first round, a candidate must secure over 50 percent of the vote. Otherwise, a run-off will be held on March 10, with two top candidates facing each other. The president is elected for a five-year period.
  • El Salvador
  • President: Salvador Sánchez Cerén
  • Capital: San Salvador
  • Currency: United States Dollar

Russia to abandon nuclear arms treaty in retaliation to US withdrawal from treaty

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin has said that it will abandon a centerpiece nuclear arms treaty following in the footsteps of the United States, but will only deploy intermediate-range nuclear missiles if USA does so.
  • Mr.Putin has instructed his country's military to work on developing new land-based weapons that were previously banned by the pact.

Sana first Asian woman to play 100 T20Is

  • Former Pakistan women’s cricket team skipper Sana Mir became the first Asian woman cricketer to play hundred T20 Internationals. She reached the milestone in the third and final T20I against West Indies.
  • Sana is the sixth woman to complete a century of T20Is. Daendra Dottin of West Indies tops the list with 109. Sana is followed by Bismah Maroo (94) and India’s Harmanpreet Kaur (93).

South Africa end Pakistan's winning streak in T20 series

  • Pakistan's record run of 11 straight T20 series victories ends as South Africa won the second T20 by seven runs at the Wanderers. South Africa defended its total of 188-3 after two thrilling final overs, when four Pakistan wickets fell and the tourists ended on 181-7. South Africa took a winning 2-0 lead in the three-match series.

Tata Tele to surrender spectrum sans auction

  • Tata Teleservices has offer to surrender spectrum allocated to it without auction in about 15 circles before its merger with Bharti Airtel is approved by the Department of Telecom.
  • Spectrum in the 800 Mhz band can be used for 4G services but the airwaves held by Tata Tele can be used for 2G services and these frequencies cannot be transferred to Airtel.
  • Tata Teleservices is required to pay market rates to make the airwaves allocated without auction usable for 4G services or for transferring them to Airtel.

Timeline for LIC to reduce stake in IDBI Bank depends on business model: IRDAI

  • Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) will set a timeline for LIC to bring down its stake in IDBI Bank to below 15%. IRDAI chairman Subhash Khuntiathe said that the insurance giant had been given the approval to acquire 51% stake on the condition of bringing it down to below 15% over a period of time but the timeline would depend on the business plan of LIC for the lender.

Venezuela President Nicolas Maduro calls for early Legislative Elections

  • Venezuela President Nicolas Maduro has threatened to bring forward parliamentary elections this year in a bid to sideline opposition leader Juan Guaido's challenge to his authority. The Parliamentary elections are scheduled for the end of 2020.
  • Guaido declared himself as acting President of the country on January 23. He led a mass opposition street protest in Caracas demanding Maduro resign and hold new Presidential elections.
  • Meanwhile four major European nations - Britain, France, Germany and Spain - have said they will join the United States and several Latin American countries in recognizing Guaido as interim President if Maduro doesn't call the Presidential elections by midnight on Sunday.
  • Venezuela
  • Capital: Caracas
  • Currency: bolívar soberano, petro

Windies Crush England Again For Series Win

  • Kemar Roach and captain Jason Holder led another rout of the England batting line-up as the Windies completed a crushing series-clinching 10-wicket victory on the third day of the second Test. England after trailing by 119 runs were demolished for 132 with Roach and Holder claiming four wickets each.
  • With this victory West Indies leads the series 2-0 with the final match starting next Saturday.

World Cancer day being observed on February 4

  • World Cancer Day is observed on February 4 to raise awareness on cancer and to encourage its prevention, detection, and early treatment. World Cancer Day was founded by the Union for International Cancer Control to support the goals of the World Cancer Declaration, written in 2008.
  • This Day aims to save millions of preventable deaths each year through education, raising awareness and by pressing governments and individuals across the world to take action against the deadly disease.
  • The Union for International Cancer Control is launching a new 3-year campaign with the theme: “I Am and I Will.”
  • Over 9.6 million People die each year from cancer which is more than HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis combined.