Daily Current Affairs - 03rd May 2019

10,000 Odisha villages face Fani impact

  • Around 10,000 villages spread over 14 districts, such as Ganjam, Gajapati, Puri, Khurda, Nayagarh, Cuttack, Dhenkanal, Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapara, Jajpur, Keonjhar, Bhadrak, Balasore and Mayurbhanj are likely to be affected the cyclone Fani.
  • Fani is very likely to continue to move north-northeastwards, weaken gradually and enter West Bengal as a severe cyclonic storm with the wind speed going up to 115 kmph.
  • As many as 25 teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force (ODRAF), along with State fire service personnel, have been deployed in the coastal districts. Defence forces were on high alert to meet any eventuality.

Bajrang Punia bags gold in Ali Aliyev wrestling tournament

  • World number one Bajrang Punia won the gold medal as he defeated Viktor Rassadin in the finals of men's 65kg freestyle in the Ali Aliyev wrestling tournament in Kaspiisk, Russia. Bajrang got the better of the local favourite 13-8 in his final bout after being down 0-5 at one stage. He had won a gold medal last week at the Asian Championships in Xi'an, China.

Bandhan Q4 net rises 68%

  • Private sector lender Bandhan Bank reported a 68% rise in net profit to Rs. 651 crore for the quarter ended March 31 on the back of healthy growth in both interest income and non-interest income. While net interest income (NII) for the quarter grew 45.6% to Rs. 1,258 crore, non-interest income grew 91.13% to Rs. 388 crore during the reporting period.
  • Total advances growth was 38.46% to Rs. 44,776 crore, while deposits increased 27.64% to Rs. 43,232 crore as on March 31, 2019.
  • The gross non-performing assets ratio rose on a year-on-year basis from 1.25% on March 31, 2018 to 2.04%.

Bangladesh govt issues mass evacuation orders to prevent casualties from Fani

  • The Bangladeshi government has issued mass evacuation orders in 19 coastal districts to prevent casualties from cyclonic storm 'Fani'. The cyclone is expected to make landfall in Bangladesh tomorrow after hitting Indian coastlines.

Central banks step up gold buying in 2019

  • According to the latest Gold Demand Trends report by the World Gold Council, central banks across the globe are building up gold reserves with the first quarter of 2019 seeing significant buying from such entities.
  • Central banks bought 145.5 tonnes of gold in the first quarter — a 68% jump from the same period in 2018 and also the strongest start to a year since 2013.
  • Meanwhile, the overall global gold demand rose to 1,053.3 tonnes in the first quarter of 2019, up 7% compared to the same period last year.

Centre forms panel on benefits for paramilitary officers

  • The Central government has set up a 7-member expert committee to look into the matter on benefits for paramilitary officers. This comes days after the Delhi High Court gave the union government time till July 15 to give the Central Armed Police Forces certain benefits given to officers of other services, like the IAS and IPS.

Divij-Demoliner move up

  • Divij Sharan and Brazil’s Marcelo Demoliner got past Germans Kevin Krawietz and Andreas Mies 4-6, 6-3, [10-8] in the doubles quarterfinals of the €586,140 ATP tennis tournament. The pair will play the Skupski brothers from Britain, Ken and Neal.

India has robust plan in place to import oil

  • The Ministry of External Affairs has said that India has a robust plan to import oil from other countries, even as the deadline for the U.S. sanction waiver for oil imports from Iran expired on Thursday without an extension from the U.S.
  • The U.S. refused to change its stance despite a last-minute call by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj to U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Saturday.
  • Prior to the sanctions and the subsequent reduction in the quantity of oil imported from Iran, Iran accounted for about 10% of India’s oil requirements.

India retains top spot in ICC Test rankings

  • India retained its top position in the ICC Test rankings, while England remained the number one ODI side in the latest annual d rankings released in Dubai. India also moved two points in second position in the ODI rankings behind England.

India's rare life-size figurine unearthed in Phanigiri of Telangana

  • Archaeologists in Telangana have unearthed a rare treasure in the form of a life-size stucco sculpture from a Buddhist site in Phanigiri in Suryapet. So far, it is the largest stucco sculpture found in the country. It is believed that the life-size figure found in the excavations represents one of Bhodhisattva in Jathaka Chakra.

Julian Assange to fight extradition to US

  • WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has confirmed that he will fight extradition to the United States, where he is accused of conspiring to hack a government computer. Assange said he would not surrender to extradition for doing what he called journalism that has won many awards.
  • Assange is serving a 50-week sentence for skipping bail in 2012 and taking refuge in the embassy of Ecuador.

Messi’s brilliance lights up Barca’s thumping win

  • Lionel Messi put Barcelona on the verge of the Champions League final with a devastating double in a 3-0 home win over Liverpool in the first leg of their last-four clash, taking his goal tally for the club to 600.

NZ Open: HS Prannoy to play in quarters of Men's Singles

  • India's H.S. Prannoy will take on fifth seed Kanta Tsuneyama of Japan in the men's singles quarterfinals of the New Zealand Open tournament in Auckland. Prannoy shocked second seed Tommy Sugiarto of Indonesia 21-14, 21-12 in just 37 minutes to book his place in the last-eight round.
  • Earlier, B. Sai Praneeth suffered a straight-game 12-21, 12-21 loss to the legendary Lin Dan of China.

PNB Housing Finance to mop up USD 1 bn from foreign markets

  • PNB Housing Finance said it would raise up to $1 billion from foreign markets, and an additional Rs. 10,000 crore by issuing bonds. The board directors of PNB Housing Finance will consider the approval of fund raising by way of external commercial borrowings up to $1 billion in one or more tranches.
  • The board will also consider the issuance of secured and unsecured non-convertible debentures up to Rs. 10,000 crore in tranches.

Press freedom globally under intense, growing pressure: IPI

  • Vienna-based International Press Institute (IPI) said in its latest report that governments across the world are increasingly clamping down on press freedom by enacting new laws. It also reported that as many as 55 journalists have been killed since May last year.
  • It further stated that the press freedom globally is under intense pressure, as illiberal-minded governments seek to shut down critical voices and, in many cases, deliberately erode the credibility of independent media.
  • While on the one hand governments are attempting to curtail press freedom, on the other journalists around the world are being killed with impunity.

Sri Lanka great Kumar Sangakkara named new MCC president

  • Ex-Sri Lanka batsman Kumar Sangakkara has been named as the next president of Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC). Sangakkara will be the first non-British president of the MCC and his one-year stewardship will begin on 1 October, 2019. He succeeds Anthony Wreford in the role.
  • The MCC, who are based at Lord's, remain the guardians of the laws of the game and uphold the spirit of cricket.

Tanvi, Joshna advance

  • India’s Tanvi Khanna stormed into the women’s quarterfinals of the Asian individual squash championships, with a sensational 9-11, 5-11, 18-16, 11-7, 11-6 win over seventh seed Rachel Mae Arnold of Malaysia. Meanwhile, reigning champion Joshna Chinappa has beaen Lee Jihyun of Korea 11-5, 11-6, 11-5.

Tata Power Q4 net falls 92% to Rs. 107.32 cr.

  • Tata Power has reported a 92% decline in consolidated net profit at Rs. 107.32 crore for the quarter ended March due to an exceptional adjustment in the previous year. The company’s consolidated net profit stood at Rs. 1,364.33 crore in the quarter ended March 31, 2018.
  • For 2018-19, consolidated net profit came in at Rs. 2,440.41 crore as against Rs. 2,610.85 crore in the previous fiscal.

UAE President orders release of 3,005 prisoners ahead of Ramadan

  • United Arab Emirates President Sheikh Bin Zayed Al Nahyan has ordered the release of 3,005 prisoners, serving various sentences, ahead of the Holy Month of Ramadan. The President has also pledged to settle the financial obligations of the released prisoners.
  • This gesture is part of UAE President Sheikh Khalifa's attempt to provide prisoners an opportunity to start a new life and alleviate their families of the hardships .

UK Parliament First in World to Declare Climate Emergency

  • The UK parliament became the first national legislative body in the world to declare a climate change "emergency". This historic move closely follows Extinction Rebellion protests that blocked traffic in key parts of central London for a week in April.
  • The emergency declaration was proposed by Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn. It also calls for the government to work towards carbon neutrality before 2050 and for ministers to draft proposals within the next six months to restore the country's environment and create a "zero waste economy."

Venezuela Crisis: Maduro calls on armed forces to fight any coup plotter

  • Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has called on the armed forces to oppose any coup plotter after a failed military uprising by forces supporting opposition leader Juan Guaido. Maduro's call comes after an uprising by a group of military personnel under the leadership of Guaido. But the military leadership ratified their support for the Maduro Government and 25 rebel soldiers sought asylum at the Brazilian Embassy.
  • Tensions in Venezuela have soared since Guaido, who heads the National Assembly legislature, invoked the constitution to declare himself acting President on January 23, claiming Maduro's re-election last year was illegitimate.