Daily Current Affairs - 01st Mar 2019

Afghanistan beats Ireland

  • Afghanistan produced a clinical performance to notch up a five-wicket win over Ireland in the first ODI to take a 1-0 lead in the five-match series. Electing to bat, Ireland folded for 161 in 49.2 overs with Dawlat Zadran and Mujeeb Ur Rahman returning three wickets each. Afghanistan reached the target in 41.5 overs with five wickets.

Bancassurance Agreement signed by IDBI Bank and LIC

  • LIC and IDBI Bank Ltd, have entered into a Service Level Agreement to offer LIC’s insurance products through IDBI Bank’s branches.
  • IDBI Bank as a Corporate Agent of LIC would get a window to provide LIC’s entire range of insurance offerings to the Bank’s 1.80 Crore customer base spread over 1800 branches across the country.
  • Further, the Bank will become the preferred bank for LIC premium payments and function as premium point to boost sale of LIC products.
  • IDBI Bank's sizeable presence in the rural and semi-urban areas will help to penetrate LIC’s product offerings.
  • MD & CEO, IDBI Bank: Rakesh Sharma
  • MD, LIC of India: B Venugopal

Bharti to raise up to Rs. 32,000 crore

  • Bharti Airtel’s board has approved fund raising plans of up to Rs. 32,000 crore through a combination of rights issue and bonds. Of the total Rs. 25,000 crore will be raised through rights issuance and Rs. 7000 crore through perpetual bonds.
  • This announcement comes a month after country’s largest telecom player Vodafone-Idea’s board, gave its nod to raise Rs. 25,000 crore by the way of rights issue.

Boxing: One gold, five silver medals for India at Makran Cup

  • Deepak Singh was the lone Indian boxer to claim gold while five others claimed silver medals in the Makran Cup in Chabahar, Iran. Deepak (49-kilogram) defeated Jaafar Naseri in the finals.
  • Finishing second on the podium were P Lalitha Prasad (52kg), Manish Kaushik (60kg), Duryodhan Singh Negi (69kg), Sanjeet (91kg) and Satish Kumar (91kg).

Cabinet approves master plan to convert AIIMS, Delhi into world class Medical University

  • The Union Cabinet has approved the implementation of Master Plan to convert AIIMS, New Delhi into a world class Medical University. Under the Master Plan, it is proposed to redevelop the infrastructure of AIIMS by consolidating the patient care, teaching, research, admission and support services. This project will provide highly specialized state of the art health care to the patient.
  • The Cabinet also approved setting up of new AIIMS at Manethi, Haryana at a cost of 1299 crore rupees. The new AIIMS will have around 750 beds.

Cabinet approves MoU with US on missing, exploited children

  • The Union Cabinet has approved the Memorandum of Understanding between India and the USA to access tipline reports on Missing and Exploited Children.
  • This MoU has been signed between the National Crime Record Bureau, India and the National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children, NCMEC, USA.
  • This MoU will provide access to more than one lakh tipline reports available with NCMEC, USA and enable law enforcement agencies in India.

Cabinet okays National Mineral Policy 2019

  • The Union Cabinet has approved the National Mineral Policy 2019 which is aimed at bringing about more effective regulation to the sector as well as a more sustainable approach while addressing the issues of those affected by mining.
  • Some of the features in the policy include the introduction of the right of first refusal for the reconnaissance permit (RP) and prospecting license holders, encouraging the private sector to take up exploration and the auctioning of virgin areas on a revenue- sharing basis.

Commemorative notes to be released to mark Gandhi's 150th birth anniversary

  • To mark the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, a UAE-based company will globally release 12 bank notes of zero value, the first-ever limited edition commemorative series. Each note will feature memorable incidents from the personal and political life of Gandhi as a tribute to his legendary status
  • These special notes have been designed by Dubai-based Indian artist Akbar Saheb who is also the main illustrator for Prime Minister Narendra Modi's book "Mann Ki Baat".

England beat West Indies by 29 runs to win fourth ODI

  • England won the fourth ODI by 29 runs. Batting first England posted 418/6 in their 50 overs with Jos Buttler smashing 12 sixes and 13 boundaries in his 150-run knock off 77 deliveries. In response, West Indies fell short of 29 runs, with Chris Gayle smashing 162 in 97 balls.
  • This was also the fifth time that England scored a 400-plus total in ODIs since the 2015 World Cup.
  • Meanwhile, Windies player Chris Gayle has become the first player to smash 500 sixes in international cricket. He has 506 sixes in international cricket (98 in Tests, 305 in ODIs and 103 in T20Is).

England women beat India by two wickets in third ODI

  • England women's team defeated India by two wickets in the third and final ODI in Mumbai. Chasing India's total of 205/8, England scored 208-8 in 48.5 overs to grab two crucial points as the three-game series is part of ICC Women's Championship.
  • India had already sealed the series after the winning the first two games.

Fraud-hit PNB ranks highest in implementation of 'reforms agenda' in 2018: Study

  • Fraud-hit Punjab National Bank has been ranked first among public sector banks in the implementation of 'reforms agenda', followed by Bank of Baroda and State Bank of India.
  • PNB with a score of 78.4 out of 100 has been ranked first in the EASE (Enhanced Access & Service Excellence)-index, followed by BoB (77.8), SBI (74.6), Oriental Bank of Commerce (69), Canara Bank (67.5) and Syndicate Bank (67.1).
  • The BCG-IBA report – EASE Reforms for Public Sector Banks - measures performance of each PSB on 140 objective metrics across 6 themes, including customer responsiveness, credit off-take and digitization.

Govt. cuts FY19 growth estimate to 7%

  • The Union government has revised downwards its estimate for GDP growth in the 2018-19 financial year to 7% from the 7.2% estimated in the first estimate for the year released in January. As GDP growth slowed for the third consecutive quarter in the quarter ended December 2018 to 6.6% which is a six-quarter low from 7% in the second quarter and 8% in the first quarter of this financial year.
  • The slowdown in 2018-19 is due to a lowering in the growth estimate of the agriculture sector to 2.7% as compared with the 3.8% estimated earlier. The manufacturing sector, too, is estimated to grow at a marginally lower 8.1% compared with the previously predicted 8.3%

India, Brunei sign agreement to exchange information on tax and banking matters

  • India and Brunei have signed an agreement for the exchange of information in tax matters which will help curb tax evasion and tax avoidance. The pact, based on international standards of tax transparency, will enable the exchange of information, including banking and ownership information between the two countries for tax purposes.
  • This agreement also provides for mutual assistance in the collection of tax revenue claims between both countries.
  • Brunei
  • Capital: Bandar Seri Begawan
  • Currency: Brunei dollar

Javadekar launches scheme to provide apprenticeship opportunities to fresh graduates

  • Union minister Prakash Javadekar has launched a new scheme named “Scheme for Higher Education Youth in Apprenticeship and Skills” (SHREYAS) for providing industry apprenticeship opportunities to fresh graduates.
  • SHREYAS is a programme comprising the initiatives of three central ministries, including the HRD, Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, and the Ministry of Labour and Employment.
  • This scheme has been conceived for students in degree courses, primarily non-technical with a view to introduce employable skills into their learning, promote apprenticeship as integral to education and also amalgamate employment facilitating efforts of the government into the education system.
  • SHREYAS portal will enable educational institutions and industry to log in and provide their respective demand and supply of apprenticeship. The matching of students with apprenticeship avenues will take place as per pre-specified eligibility criteria.

K.L. Rahul only Indian in top 10 batsmen in T20 rankings

  • K.L Rahul was the lone Indian to feature in the top 10 batting list in the latest ICC T20 International Players Rankings.
  • Virat Kohli moved up two places to 17th and Mahendra Singh Dhoni is at 56th. Fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah is at 15th.
  • In the ICC Men's T20 International Team Rankings, India have retained their second position.
  • Pakistan lead the team rankings with 135 points, 13 points ahead of India.

National Science Day observed all over India on 28th of February

  • National Science Day is celebrated all over India on 28th of February every year to commemorate the invention of the Raman Effect in India by the Indian physicist, Sir Chandrasekhara Venkata Raman on the same day in the year 1928.
  • The 2019 National Science Day theme is – “Science for the People and People for Science”.

NITI Aayog’s Atal Innovation Mission partners with Adobe to enhance creativity in ATL Schools

  • NITI Aayog’s Atal Innovation Mission (AIM) and Adobe signed a Statement of Intent (SOI) to collectively drive the charter of developing creative skills and spreading digital literacy across all Atal Tinkering Labs in India.
  • Adobe shall be adopting 100 schools under Atal Tinkering Labs (ATL) initiative. Further, Adobe shall be implementing its Digital Disha Program in ATLs , under which free licenses of Adobe Spark premium shall be offered to ATLs.
  • Adobe Digital Disha Programme, launched in 2018 is aimed at driving synergies in creative thinking and technology-based learning.
  • Atal Tinkering Lab is based on the philosophy to identify and nurture innovation in young students across the country.

Pakistan to release Wing Commander Abhinandan

  • Indian Air Force pilot Abhinandan Varthaman, who was captured by the Pakistan army after the fighter jet he was flying was shot down in an ambush over PoK (Pakistan occupied Kashmir), will be released.
  • Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan announced the release of IAF pilot while addressing the nation's parliament. He said that he will be released as a gesture of peace which was unanimously supported by the Pakistan parliament.

RBI forms panel to keep rupee stable

  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has formed a task force on the offshore rupee market which will be headed by former Deputy Governor Usha Thorat and will recommend steps for ensuring the stability of the currency. The committee would submit its report by the end of June 2019.
  • This task force will assess the causes behind the development of the offshore rupee market, and study the effects on exchange rate and market liquidity in the domestic market. It would also recommend measures to address concerns arising out of offshore rupee trading.

SC stays its Feb 13 order directing eviction of forest dwellers

  • The Supreme Court of India has stayed its February 13 order directing 21 states to evict 11.8 lakh illegal forest dwellers whose claims over the land have been rejected by the authorities. The apex court directed the state governments to file affidavit giving details about the process adopted in rejecting the claims.

Signalchip launches India’s first indigenous semiconductor chips for 4G LTE, 5G NR modems

  • Bengaluru-based fab-less semiconductor company, Signalchip has launched India’s first semiconductor chips for 4G/LTE and 5G NR modems. It launched four chips as part of its SCBM34XX and SCRF34XX/45XX series, code-named ‘Agumbe’.
  • These chips are optimally designed to support evolving network architectures like Open RAN/CRAN with flexible interface configurations.
  • Founder and CEO of Signalchip: Himamshu Khasnis

Union Cabinet approves software product policy

  • The Union Cabinet has approved the National Policy on Software Products 2019 that aims to help the industry grow at CAGR of 40% to reach $70-80 billion by 2025, while creating employment opportunities for 3.5 million people.
  • This policy proposes to create a Rs. 5,000-crore fund with industry participation to promote emerging technology such as Internet of Things, Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain, Big Data and robotics. Of this, government contribution will be Rs. 1,000 crore.
  • An initial outlay of Rs. 1,500 crore is being planned for various schemes under the policy in the next seven years. This amount is divided between Software Product Development Fund (SPDF) and Research and Innovation Fund (RIF).
  • It also aims to nurture 10,000 technology startups in the software product industry and create a talent pool.
  • Presently, total revenue of IT-ITeS industry in India is pegged at about $168 billion (including e-commerce), with revenue of about $7.1 billion from software product industry, of which $2.3 billion is from exports.

US, North Korea fail to strike deal at Hanoi Summit

  • The United States and North Korea have failed to reach a formal deal at the Hanoi Summit. US President Donald Trump said, that the talks ended with no agreement after he refused North Korean demand to lift all international sanctions.
  • Earlier, Mr. Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un discussed various ways to advance denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula.