Daily Current Affairs - 07th Feb 2019

2018 is the 4th warmest on record, world may breach 1.5C by 2030: UN report

  • According to the UN report, 2018 was the fourth warmest on record and the outlook is for more sizzling heat approaching levels that most governments view as dangerous for the Earth.
  • Weather extremes in 2018 included wildfires in California and Greece, drought in South Africa and floods in Kerala, India. Record levels of man-made greenhouse gas emissions, mainly from burning fossil fuels, trap ever more heat.

Air India CMD Pradeep Singh Kharola appointed civil aviation secretary

  • Air India Ltd’s chairman and managing director Pradeep Singh Kharola will be the new civil aviation secretary.
  • He will succeed Rajiv Nayan Choubey who retired on January 31,2019
  • In addition to a renewed attempt to privatize Air India, Kharola’s challenges could include improving infrastructure in one of the fastest growing aviation markets, globally.

Cabinet approves amendments to Banning of Unregulated Deposit Schemes Bill

  • The Cabinet has approved a proposal for Official Amendments to Banning of Unregulated Deposit Schemes Bill, 2018.
  • The Bill provides for severe punishment and heavy pecuniary fines to act as the deterrent. The bill creates three different types of offenses, namely, running of Unregulated Deposit Schemes, fraudulent default in Regulated Deposit Schemes, and wrongful inducement in relation to Unregulated Deposit Schemes.

Cabinet approves unified regulator for IFSCs

  • The Cabinet has approved the setting up of a unified authority that would regulate all the financial services in International Financial Services Centres (IFSC), such as the Gujarat International Finance Tec-City (GIFT) in Gandhinagar.
  • This is to be done through the International Financial Services Centres Authority Bill, 2019.An IFSC is aimed at encouraging Indian companies that are conducting business in foreign financial centres such as London and Singapore, to bring that business to India by providing them with a global-standard regulatory and business environment.

IBA advisory for banks to waive off processing, documentation, inspection, other service charges for KCC

  • Indian Banking Association has issued advisory requesting banks to waive off the processing, documentation, inspection and all other service charges for Kisan Credit Card and crop loans up to 3 lakh rupees.
  • The Kisan Credit Card Scheme aims at providing adequate and timely credit support from the banking system to the farmers to meet the short term credit requirements for cultivation of crops, investment credit requirements for agriculture and allied activities and other needs.

India and Germany join hands on water and waste management

  • India and Germany have joined hands for cooperation on Water and Waste Management.
  • According to an official release, both sides decided to work on developing reference documents for the textile sector, Water Governance, Marine Litter, waste to energy landfill sites, water quality management, training and capacity building of local bodies and Circular Economy.

India becomes world's 2nd largest LPG consumer after government's Ujjawla push

  • The government's push to provide clean cooking fuel to every household has turned India into the world's second largest LPG consumer whose demand is projected to rise 34 per cent by 2025.
  • The import of LPG grew by 12.5 per cent over the past five years to 12 million metric tons (13 million tons) in 2018-19. India now stands at the second position when it comes to the import of LPG surpassing Japan. India is at second place behind China.

India's 40th communication satellite GSAT-31 launched successfully

  • India's 40th communication satellite GSAT-31 was successfully placed in orbit by an Ariane5 rocket from French Guiana.
  • The satellite will cover both the mainland and islands of the country and provide communication services such as DTH, ATMs connectivity and emergency communication, etc.
  • It will enhance VSAT services for banking, e-governance, telecom bulk data transfers and communication for disaster management.

Macedonia signs accord to join NATO

  • Macedonia signed an accord to join NATO to become the 30th member of the US-led alliance.
  • At a formal signing of the NATO accession protocol, Macedonia’s Foreign Minister Nikola Dimitrov hailed the moment as showing that the country will never walk alone once in the alliance.

President Ram Nath Kovind confers Sangeet Natak Akademi awards

  • President Ram Nath Kovind gave away the prestigious Sangeet Natak Akademi Awards 2017 at Rashtrapati Bhawan.
  • Forty-two artists from the fields including Music, Dance, Theatre, Traditional, Folk, and Tribal music were awarded. Eleven eminent artists were selected in the field of Music.
  • The Award not only symbolizes the highest standards of excellence and achievements but also recognizes sustained individual work and contribution.

SBI UK Chief Honoured ‘Freedom of the City of London’

  • The State Bank of India’s Uk chief Mr. Sanjiv Chadha has been honored with the ‘Freedom of the City Of London’ by the city of London Corporation in recognition of his contribution to promoting the bilateral relations.
  • Sanjiv Chadha took up the position in 2014.

Smriti Mandhana Scores India’s Fastest-ever T20I Fifty

  • Indian opener Smriti Mandhana hammered the fastest fifty for India in Women’s T20Is. The left-handed batswoman struck a half-century in just 24 balls in the 1st T20I against New Zealand at Westpac Stadium in Wellington.
  • New Zealand’s Sophie Devine holds the record of the quickest half-century in women’s T20Is.

T20: India lose by 80 runs, New Zealand take 1-0 lead

  • India lost the first T20I by 80 runs. Out to chase 220, India received an early blow with skipper Rohit Sharma getting dismissed for 1.

Union Cabinet approves amendments to Cinematograph Act, 1952

  • The Union Cabinet has approved the proposal of Ministry of Information and Broadcasting for introducing the Cinematograph Amendment Bill, 2019 to amend to the Cinematograph Act, 1952. The Bill aims to tackle Films piracy by including the penal provisions for unauthorized camcording and duplication of films.
  • The proposed amendments would increase Industry revenues, boost job creation, fulfil important objectives of India’s National IP policy and will give relief against piracy and infringing content online.

Union Minister of Textiles Smriti Irani launches India Size project in Mumbai

  • Union Minister of Textiles Smriti Irani launched the India Size project in Mumbai. A first-of-its-kind project in the history of the country, India Size aims to arrive at a standard Indian Size for the ready-to-wear clothing industry, on the lines of the standardized sizes available in countries such as the USA and the UK.

USA has highest number of unicorns

  • The startup valuation across the globe is hitting the sky with some 112 new companies joining the unicorn club (companies with valuation of $1 billion and above) in 2018 alone, a rise of 58 per cent over the previous year.
  • According a market intelligence platform CB Insights, the USA continued to lead being home to 49 per cent of these unicorns, China's share declined from 30 per cent to 26 per cent. India ranked at fourth place with a share of 4 per cent while the UK with 17 unicorns was in third position.