Daily Current Affairs - 11th Mar 2019

17th Lok Sabha elections announced; to be held in 7 phases

  • The Election Commission of India has announced that the Lok Sabha election will be held in 7 phases. The Model Code of Conduct has come into force as EC announced the dates for the elections to 17th Lok Sabha.
  • The elections will start on April 11 and continue till May 19. The counting will be held on May 23. Nearly 90 crore voters will be eligible to vote for 543 Lok Sabha constituencies across the country.
  • Chief Election Commissioner: Sunil Arora

All England badminton championship: Yufei, Momota clinch titles

  • Chen Yufei defeated two-time defending champion Tai Tzu Ying 21-17, 21-17 in the final to win the women’s title at the All England badminton championships. Yufei’s victory was her first against Ying in 12 meetings.
  • Mean while world no. 1 Kento Momota defeated Viktor Axelsen 21-11, 15-21, 21-15 in a keenly contested men’s final.

Australia beat India by 4 wickets in 4th ODI

  • Australia has levelled the five-match series 2-2, against India, winning the fourth ODI by four wickets at Mohali . Australia chased down the victory target of 359 runs with 13 balls to spare.
  • Usman Khawaja's with 91, Peter Handscomb with 117 and Ashton Turner with 84 not out off just 43 balls were the top scorers for the Australia. Turner was adjudged Man of the Match.
  • Earlier, winning the toss and electing to bat, India scored 358 for the loss of 9 wickets. Shikhar Dhawan scored 143 runs.

China launches new communication satellite, completes 300 launches of Long March rocket series

  • In a bid to strengthen its broadband communication system, China has launched Long March-3B carrier rocket into a geostationary orbit from Sichuan province. This 19-story-tall rocket is expected to provide high-quality radio and television transmission services.
  • It also marked the 300th launch of the Long March carrier rocket series, developed by the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation. This communication satellite can cover China, Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific island countries.

China, US reach consensus on many key issues

  • China and the United States have reached a consensus on many key issues, including exchange rates, during the latest round of talks to negotiate a comprehensive trade deal, in Washington. Top trade officials from America and China discussed how to respect the autonomy of each other's monetary authorities in determining the monetary policy.
  • The discussion also involved mutual adherence to the market-decided exchange rate mechanism.
  • Both the countries will be honouring the commitments made at previous G-20 summits, such as choosing not to adopt competitive depreciation, not to use exchange rates for competition purpose, and maintaining close communication on foreign exchange markets.

Data usage in India to grow at 73% CAGR by 2022: Study

  • According to Assocham-PwC study, India’s data consumption is expected to grow at a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 72.6% to 10,96,58,793 MB by 2022.
  • With lower-than-ever data tariffs and increasing number of smartphones penetration , which is about 40% as of 2017, it is expected to assume that the video-on-demand market will be a key beneficiary.

De Kock smashes ton as South Africa clinch ODI series win

  • South Africa to beat Sri Lanka by 71 runs under the Duckworth-Lewis system at Kingsmead to secure a winning 3-0 lead in their five-match one-day international series. De Kock's 121 off 108 balls steered South Africa to make 331-5 off their 50 overs.
  • Sri Lanka was given a revised target of 193 after a rain delay, fell a long way short, managing to score only 121-5 off 24 overs in reply.

EC asks political parties not to display photographs of defence personnel

  • The Election Commission has asked political parties to advise their candidates and leaders to desist from displaying photographs of defence personnel in advertisements as part of their election campaign. The poll panel has written to the Presidents of all parties in this regard.
  • In its letter, the Commission said, it has been brought to the notice that some parties are using the photographs of defence personnel as part of their political campaign.
  • The Commission cited its 2013 advisory in which it had said that the armed forces are apolitical and natural stakeholders in a modern democracy.

Finance Ministry eyeing part of non-core asset sale proceeds of CPSEs as dividend

  • The Union Finance Ministry is working out a mechanism under which Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSEs) will have to part with a portion of the proceeds of non-core asset sales as dividend to the Centre.
  • However the ministry also stated that sale proceeds from assets of such firms will also be subjected to strategic disinvestment and funds raised via sale of immovable enemy property will be treated as disinvestment proceeds.

IDBI Bank mulls giving three-year term to CEO

  • IDBI Bank is considering giving MD and CEO Rakesh Sharma a three-year term. Mr. Sharma was appointed by the government as the MD and CEO of IDBI Bank in October for a period of six months.
  • The bank has recently appointed Deepak Singhal, former executive director, Reserve Bank of India, and Sanjay Kallapur, professor at Indian School of Business, as independent directors.
  • The Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) had become the majority shareholder of the bank with 51% stake.

India, ASEAN clock fastest growth for e-commerce, digital trade sectors: FICCI-KPMG

  • According to a new report by industry body FICCI and consulting major KPMG, India and 10-member ASEAN are among the fastest growing economies in the world with even faster growth rates for e-commerce and digital trade sectors.
  • While China dominates the global e-commerce sector and by 2025 its e-commerce market will expand to a whopping 672 billion dollars. The e-commerce market in India is estimated to reach 165.5 billion dollars by 2025 while the ASEAN is estimated to reach a volume of 90 billion dollars
  • The fast growth is led by rising internet penetration and smartphone use, a young population and an expanding middle class.

Ireland shares honours with Afghanistan

  • Paul Stirling and Andy Balbirnie hit half-centuries to guide Ireland to a five-wicket win over Afghanistan in the fifth ODI and level series 2-2. Paul Stirling made 88-ball 70, while Balbirnie made a 91-ball 68 Earlier, batting first Afghanistan made 216 for six with Asghar Afghan scoring 82 .

Mohammad Shtayyeh named as Palestinian PM

  • Mohammad Shtayyeh has been named as Palestinian Prime Minister by President of Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas. This announcement comes after the incumbent Rami al-Hamdallah tendered his resignation from the post and of his unity government to President Mahmoud Abbas, underscoring the failure of Hamas and Fatah to implement a power-sharing deal.
  • Shtayyeh, a former government minister, has been part of a number of Palestinian negotiating teams in the United States-brokered talks with Israel.

One gold, four silver medals for India at Finland boxing tourney

  • Kavinder Singh Bisht in the 56kg-category struck gold, while Shiva Thapa in the 60kg category and three others claimed silver medals to end a fine Indian campaign at the 38th GeeBee Boxing Tournament in Helsinki, Finland.
  • Silver medalists include Shiva Thapa, Govind Sahani, Mohammed Hussamuddin and Dinesh Dagar.

Prajnesh Gunneswaran stuns Nikoloz Basilashvili at Indian Wells

  • Prajnesh Gunneswaran achieved the biggest win of his career when he stunningly knocked world number 18 Nikoloz Basilashvili out of the Indian Wells ATP Masters event in the USA. Prajnesh secured a hard-fought 6-4, 6-7, 7-6 victory over the Georgian in two hours 32 minutes. Prajnesh will next face world number 89 Croatia's Ivo Karlovic in the third round.

SEBI seeks power to grant immunity

  • With an aim to bolster its information-gathering mechanism and fast-track its probes, SEBI has sought direct powers to grant immunity in select cases and to impose lesser penalty if an accused agrees to provide assistance against other wrongdoers.
  • The SEBI has opined that such provisions would help it in establishing and securing stronger findings and orders against defaulters against whom sufficient evidence may not be available otherwise. At present, any immunity for securities law violations can be granted only by the Central government.

Thousands of Russians protest against internet restrictions

  • Thousands of people in Russia have protested against plans to introduce tighter restrictions on the internet. A mass rally in Moscow and similar demonstrations in two other cities were called after parliament backed the controversial bill last month.
  • The government says the bill, which allows it to isolate Russia's internet service from the rest of the world, will improve cyber-security. But campaigners say it is an attempt to increase censorship and stifle dissent.

UK lawmakers to vote again on PM May's Brexit deal next week

  • British Members of Parliament will vote again on Prime Minister Theresa May's Brexit deal, making the historic decision whether to back her plan or risk a chaotic exit from the European Union in less than three weeks time.
  • Two months ago, the House of Commons rejected the withdrawal agreement by a huge majority, and sent May back to renegotiate.