Daily Current Affairs - 10th Apr 2019

Algeria Parliament confirms Abdelkader Bensalah as new interim president, protesters reject decision

  • The Algerian Parliament has confirmed upper house Speaker Abdelkader Bensalah as the interim president of the country, even as thousands of protesters expressed disappointment with the appointment of the key aide of Abdelaziz Bouteflika, who stepped down from the post earlier this month after week-long demonstrations.

All arrangements in place for 1st phase of LS polls

  • All arrangements are in place for the first phase of Lok Sabha elections on April 11 in which 91 Parliamentary constituencies spread over 20 states and union territories will go to polls. Simultaneously, voting will also take place for single phase Assembly elections in Andhra Pradesh, Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh and for 28 of 147 seats in Odisha.

British MPs endorse Brexit delay

  • British lawmakers have endorsed Prime Minister Theresa May’s request to the European Union (EU) to delay Brexit until June 30 in a vote in Parliament, adding weight to the pitch she will make to EU leaders in Brussels.
  • The majority of Ms. May’s Conservative Party voted alongside the Opposition Labour Party to back the Prime Minister’s approach by 420 votes to 110.

CBDT Chairman, Revenue Secretary meet EC to discuss ongoing income tax raids

  • The Central Board of Direct Taxes(CBDT) Chairman and the Revenue Secretary met the Election Commission in New Delhi to discuss the ongoing income tax raids.
  • CBDT Chairman P C Mody and Revenue Secretary A B Pandey were called by the Commission to explain the raids amidst allegations by the Opposition that the ruling BJP was using enforcement agencies to target it ahead of Lok Sabha polls.
  • Earlier, the Election Commission had advised all the enforcement agencies working under the administrative control of the Department of Revenue that their actions should be absolutely neutral, impartial and non discriminatory.

Centre denies RTI plea on CIC appointments

  • The Centre has denied a Right to Information (RTI) request for details of the ongoing recruitment process for four vacancies in the Central Information Commission (CIC), despite a recent Supreme Court order mandating that such information be made public. The CIC is the RTI Act’s highest appellate body.
  • In its final order in the case on February, 2019, the SC had directed the Centre and States to pro-actively disclose all information regarding the recruitment advertisement, the particulars of the applicants, the search and selection committees and the criteria for short-listing candidates on their websites.

Dream11 Becomes India’s 1st Gaming Unicorn

  • Mumbai-based gaming startup Dream 11 has joined India's mushrooming unicorn club following an investment from Steadview Capital through the secondary route in the range of $60 million.
  • The sports platform has become the first gaming company in the country to make it to the elite club of privately-held startups valued at $1 billion or more.
  • Dream 11 allows users to play fantasy games in categories such as cricket, football, kabaddi, and National Basketball Association (NBA).
  • Chief Executive, Dream 11: Harsh Jain

Govt manages to meet revised fiscal deficit target of 3.4% of GDP

  • The government has managed to meet the revised fiscal deficit target of 3.4 per cent of the GDP after it cut last minute expenditure and rolled over fuel subsidies to make up for the shortfall in tax collection.
  • The interim Budget presented in February revised upward the fiscal deficit target to 3.4 per cent from 3.3 per cent of GDP estimated earlier for 2018-19.

India bow out of 2020 Olympic Qualifying tournament

  • Indian women's team bowed out of the 2020 Olympic Qualifying tournament in Mandalay on goal difference despite a 3-3 draw against Myanmar eves. Both India and Myanmar were on six points from two games but Myanmar enjoyed a better goal difference of (8) compared to (4) of India.

India retains top spot with largest remittances globally, amounting to $79 in 2018: World Bank

  • According to the latest edition of the World Bank's Migration and Development Brief released, India has retained its spot as the world's top remittance recipient with its diaspora sending $79 billion back home in 2018.
  • India was followed by China ($67 billion), Mexico ($36 billion), the Philippines ($34 billion) and Egypt ($29 billion).
  • Remittances grew by more than 14 per cent in India, where a flooding disaster in Kerala likely boosted the financial help that migrants sent to families.
  • In 2016, India received $62.7 billion in remittances and in 2017 it was $65.3 billion.

Jordan the GOAT for NBA stars

  • According to a survey of NBA players published by The Athletic, Michael Jordan and not LeBron James is the greatest player of all time. The sports news website polled 127 NBA players between March 16 and April 1 for its inaugural anonymous player survey, asking subjects a range of questions about the sport.
  • According to the survey, 73% believe six-time NBA champion Jordan is the greatest player the sport has seen. James came in second with 11.9%, ahead of Kobe Bryant with 10.6%.
  • The poll also revealed that James Harden is most players’ pick to win this season’s MVP honours.

Narain excited ahead of Super GT debut

  • India’s first Formula One driver Narain Karthikeyan is looking forward to his Super GT debut in Japan this weekend, marking a full-time switch to sports car racing. Narain is venturing into sports car racing after two decades in single seaters.

Pak. issues 2,200 visas to Indian pilgrims

  • Pakistan has issued 2,200 visas to Indian pilgrims for attending the Baisakhi celebrations that will be held in various Sikh shrines in Pakistan during April 12-21. During their visit to Pakistan, the yatrees would visit the holiest shrines of Panja Sahib, Nankana Sahib, and Kartarpur Sahib.

PCI urges media to do objective reporting on polls

  • The Press Council of India (PCI) has asked the media to give objective reports about the election and cautioned it against the phenomenon of paid news.
  • Issuing guidelines for the media, the PCI said, newspapers are not expected to indulge in unhealthy election campaigns, exaggerated reports about any candidate or party during the elections.
  • It also cautioned the press to abstain reports which tend to promote feelings or enmity or hatred between people on the grounds of region, religion, race, caste, community or language.

SBI cuts interest rates on home loans

  • The State Bank of India has re-priced home loans up to Rs 30 lakh by 10 basis points. Accordingly, the interest rate on housing loans of such size will now be in the range of 8.6 to 8.9 per cent. The bank has also lowered its lending rates by a nominal five basis points across all tenors.
  • The new one-year marginal cost of funds-based lending rate is down to 8.50 per cent now from 8.55 per cent. This is the first reduction by SBI in over 17 months.

SC to rule on Rafale review pleas today

  • The Supreme Court of India will pronounce its verdict on five Rafale review petitions, chiefly on two preliminary issues — the admissibility of stolen Rafale documents as evidence and the claim of privilege raised on them by the government.
  • The case was heard by a Bench of Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi and Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and K.M. Joseph.

Spain's Garbine Muguruza defends title

  • Spain's Garbine Muguruza has successfully defended her Monterrey Open title when Victoria Azarenka retired injured from her first WTA singles final in three years. Second seed Muguruza was leading the match between the two former world number ones 6-1 3-1 when Azarenka decided she was unable to continue because of an injury to her right leg.

Sri Lanka opens China-financed railway line

  • Sri Lanka has opened a new railway line, built with China’s assistance, connecting its coastal city of Matara and Beliatta in Hambantota, a move that will boost passenger traffic into the island nation’s deep south.
  • The 26.75-km long Matara-Beliatta railway extension is the first to be constructed in Sri Lanka since 1948, and it passes through the country’s longest and second-longest railway bridges.
  • Sri Lanka has been the major recipient of Chinese loans and investments in recent years, totalling over $8 billion.

Sun Group chairman to head ICC India

  • Sun Group chairman Vikramjit Singh Sahney has been elected president of International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) India. He said the chamber would work with the government to promote India's external trade.
  • ICC will host a mega summit in Paris during May featuring leaders from business, government and international organisations to discuss pressing global challenges and role of business in 21st century.

Vice Admiral Bimal Verma withdraws plea challenging supersession

  • Vice Admiral Bimal Verma has withdrawn his petition challenging his supersession for the post of Navy chief after the Armed Forces Tribunal asked him to first approach the Ministry of Defence for redressal of his grievance.
  • He had approached the tribunal challenging the appointment of Vice Admiral Karambir Singh as the next navy chief replacing Admiral Sunil Lanba.
  • As per rules, Vice Admiral Verma had the option of filing a statutory complaint with the Defence Minister before taking the legal recourse.