Daily Current Affairs - 26th Mar 2019

2019 Badminton Asia mixed team trophy clinched by China

  • China won the 2019 badminton Asia mixed team championships by defeating Japan 3-2 in the final.
  • In the women's doubles, Li Yinhui and Du Fu sealed the win for China by beating Ayako Sakuramoto and Yukiko Takahata 21-16, 21-19.

ADNOC awards onshore block to Indian consortium

  • A consortium of two Indian oil companies, Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited and Indian Oil Corporation Limited have been awarded the exploration rights for Abu Dhabi Onshore Block 1. The Abu Dhabi National Oil Company, ADNOC, has signed agreements awarding the exploration rights.
  • The award has been endorsed by Abu Dhabi’s Supreme Petroleum Council.

DLF to raise more than Rs. 3,000 crore

  • Realty major DLF launched its qualified institutional placement (QIP) offer to raise over Rs. 3,000 crore by selling 17.3 crore equity shares to qualified institutional investors.
  • With an aim to become a debt-free company, DLF had last year announced plans to issue up to 17.3 crore shares through qualified institutional placement (QIP) to raise funds and pre-pay loans.
  • According to a regulatory filing, DLF had launched its QIP and the floor price had been fixed at Rs. 193.01 per equity share.

Government notifies Drugs and Clinical Trials Rules 2019

  • Health and Family Welfare Ministry have notified the Drugs and Clinical Trials Rules, 2019 with an aim to promote clinical research in the country. The new rules will change the regulatory landscape for the approval of new drugs and conduct of clinical trials in the country.
  • These rules will apply to all new drugs, investigational new drugs for human use, clinical trial, bioequivalence study and Ethics Committee.
  • The ethics committee will monitor the trials and decide on the amount of compensation in cases of adverse events.
  • It has reduced the time for approving applications to 30 days for drugs manufactured in India and 90 days for those developed outside the country.
  • The rules stated that in case of no communication from Drugs Controller General of India, the application will be deemed to have been approved.

Govindaraj re-elected BFI president

  • K. Govindaraj was unanimously re-elected as president of the Basketball Federation of India (BFI) at its annual general-body meeting. Chander Mukhi Sharma was re-elected secretary-general.

Goyals step down from Jet Airways board

  • Jet Airways Founders Naresh Goyal and wife Anita Goyal have stepped down from the board of the cash-strapped airline on March 25. With this, Naresh Goyal ceases to be Chairman. As at December 2018 the airline had negative net worth of Rs. 10,370 crore. Outstanding debt currently stands at about Rs. 6,000 crore.
  • Saddled with debt Jet Airways has been struggling to stay afloat. It has delayed payments to banks, suppliers, pilots and lessors - some of which have forced the airline to ground as many as 40 planes.

India ranks 76th on WEF global Energy Transition index

  • India has moved up two places to rank 76th on a global energy transition index. This annual list, compiled by Geneva-based World Economic Forum (WEF), has ranked 115 economies on how well they are able to balance energy security and access with environmental sustainability and affordability.
  • The report stated that India is amongst the countries with high pollution levels and has a relatively high CO2 intensity in its energy system.
  • Sweden remains on the top on this annual list and is followed by Switzerland and Norway in the top three. Among major economies, the UK is ranked 7th, Singapore 13th, Germany 17th, Japan 18th and the US 27th.
  • Within Asia, Malaysia is ranked highest at 31st, Sri Lanka is 60th, Bangladesh 90th and Nepal 93rd.

Indian Air Force inducts four Chinooks

  • The Indian Air Force (IAF) has inducted the first batch of four Chinook CH-47F(I) heavy-lift helicopters, which will significantly improve airlift to high-altitude areas. These helicopters will be deployed in northern and eastern regions.
  • The Chinook CH-47F(I) heavy-lift helicopters can carry a maximum payload of 11 tonnes and 54 combat-ready troops or 24 stretcher patients
  • India finalized a contract for 15 Boeing Chinook helicopters in September 2015. The first batch arrived at the Mundra Port in Gujarat in February this year. All helicopters will be delivered by March next year.
  • Air Chief Marshal B.S. Dhanoa

Indian-Sri Lankan armies to conduct military exercise Mitra Shakti from today

  • The joint training exercise MITRASHAKTI - VI between Indian and Sri Lanka Army is being held from today at Diyatalawa in Sri Lanka. An Indian contingent of 120 Army personnel, including 11 officers arrived to take part in the two-week long exercise. This exercise is an annual event held in India and Sri Lanka alternatively.
  • This exercise is designed to enhance interoperability and mutual understanding between both the armies and build a relationship based on professional respect, personal bonding and extensive training interaction.

ISRO to launch 29 satellites including EMISAT on first of April

  • Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) will launch 29 satellites including the primary payload EMISAT, on the first of April. Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle, PSLV-C45 will take off from Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota.
  • EMISAT has been developed for monitoring radar network by India. EMISAT, weighing 436 kg, is intended for electromagnetic spectrum measurement.
  • Indian Institute of Space Science (IISc) and the Radio Amateur Satellite Corporation are the other two institutions that will have their devices on the experimental platform.
  • The customer payloads are from Lithuania, Spain, Switzerland and the US.

Jio-fuelled competition likely to dent telcos’ FY19 revenue: ICRA

  • According to ratings agency ICRA, the Indian telecom industry is expected to see a decline in revenue for the third straight year in 2018-19 amid intense competition, while minor improvements are expected in the next fiscal with a modest increase in pricing.
  • The launch of services by Rjio marked the beginning of intense price-based competition, which has largely continued. The pricing pressure exerted on the industry manifested in severe deterioration in the financial performance, marked by decline in revenue, lower profitability and low cash generation.
  • Industry revenue, which fell by 11% in FY2018 to Rs. 2.1 lakh crore, is estimated to decline further by 7% in FY2019.

Liquor, cash, freebies swing votes: ADR survey

  • According to the Association for Democratic Reforms nationwide survey involving more than 2.7 lakh people revealed that for 41.34% respondents, distribution of liquor, cash and freebies was an important factor behind voting for a particular candidate in an election.
  • As per the survey, better employment opportunities (46.80%), better healthcare (34.60%) and drinking water (30.50%) were the top three priorities, followed by better roads (28.34%) and better public transport (27.35%).
  • 97.86% interviewees felt that candidates with criminal background should not be in Parliament or State Assembly, 35.89% were willing to vote for a candidate with criminal records if the candidate had done good work in the past.

May shelves plan for third vote on Brexit agreement

  • British Prime Minister Theresa May has shelved plans for a third vote on her withdrawal agreement as she acknowledged that she still was unable to muster the necessary parliamentary majority, despite a series of meetings with Conservative MPs, the Democratic Unionist Party of Northern Ireland, and Labour Party.
  • Last week, the EU said it would delay Brexit till May 22 just before elections to the European Parliament.

Norway Introduced the World’s First Wireless Electric Car Charging Stations

  • Norway's Oslo will be the world’s first city to install wireless charging stations for electric taxis, in a bid to make a zero-emission cab system by as early as 2023. The project aims to install wireless charging using induction technology. Charging plates are installed in the ground where the taxi is parked and a receiver is installed in the taxi.
  • Using induction, which is more energy efficient, the taxis can be charged as they wait in what’s known as a taxi rank, or a slow-moving queue where cabs line up to wait for passengers.

RBI appoints five-member committee to deepen digital payments

  • Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor Shaktikanta Das has said that the central bank of the country has appointed 5-member committee under the chairmanship of Nandan Nilekani to further deepen digital payments and enhance financial inclusion through Fintech.
  • He said, the RBI has requested the committee to give recommendations in 3 months in this regard.

Sindhu to face Mugdha Agrey at India Open

  • PV Sindhu will play against compatriot Mugdha Agrey at the India Open Super 500 Badminton starting in New Delhi. Youngsters Vrushali Gummadi and Sai Uttejitha Rao Chukka will also be in the fray in women's singles.
  • Kidambi Srikanth will begin his campaign against Hong Kong's Wong Wing Ki Vincent.
  • In women's doubles, Ashwini Ponnappa and N Sikki Reddy and Meghana Jakkampudi and Poorvisha S Ram will be in the fray.

South Africa sweeps Sri Lanka 3-0 in T20 series

  • South Africa beat Sri Lanka by 45 runs, via DLS method, in the third T20I to seal the series 3-0. Sri Lanka's chase was interrupted by rain at the Wanderers but the tourists were well behind the rate by then. Chasing a readjusted target of 183 from 17 overs, Sri Lanka was 137 all out in 15.4 overs.

Trump sign proclamation recognising Israel's sovereignty over Golan Heights

  • US President Donald Trump has signed a proclamation recognizing Israel's sovereignty over the Golan Heights. Mr Trump's move reversed more than a half-century of the US policy over the issue. He said, aggressive action by Iran, and terrorist groups in southern Syria continued to make the Golan Heights a potential launching ground for attacks against Israel.
  • The Syrian government has criticized the move calling it a blatant attack on its sovereignty.
  • Golan Heights: Israel captured the Golan Heights from Syria in the 1967 war but its sovereignty over the territory is not recognized by the international community.