Daily Current Affairs - 23rd May 2019

Archery World Cup: four Indians advance to third round

  • In Archery World Cup Stage III, four Indians including Deepika Kumari and Tarundeep Rai advanced to the third round in recurve individual section at Antalya in Turkey. Deepika defeated Khatuna Lorig 6-5 in the second round and set up a clash against Veronika Marchenko of Ukraine in the third round. Laishram Bombayla Devi also sailed into the third round.
  • In men's individual section, Tarundeep Rai remained in the medal fray after beating Gasper Strajhar of Slovenia.

Bank of Baroda loss narrows to Rs. 991 crore

  • Bank of Baroda’s net loss narrowed to Rs. 991 crore in the fourth quarter, against Rs. 3,102 crore in the year-ago period, on the back of healthy growth in net interest income, lower loan-loss provisioning burden, and write-back of provision for investment depreciation.
  • Net interest income (NII) increased by 26 per cent year-on-year (y-o-y) to Rs. 4,863 crore in Q4 FY19. Total non-interest income was up 19 per cent y-o-y to Rs. 2,174 crore.
  • MD and CEO: PS Jayakumar

Bhawana Kanth becomes 1st fighter pilot to qualify to undertake combat missions

  • Flight Lieutenant Bhawana Kanth has became the first woman pilot of the IAF to be qualified to undertake combat missions on a fighter jet. She completed the operational syllabus for carrying out combat missions on Mig-21 Bison aircraft during day time.

Centre clears names of four judges to SC

  • Four new judges were appointed to the Supreme Court, raising their number to 31, the full sanctioned strength. The four appointed are justices Aniruddha Bose, A S Bopanna, B R Gavai and Surya Kant.
  • As of now, the apex court is functioning with 27 judges. The sanctioned strength is 31, including the Chief Justice.

Co-location: SAT asks NSE to transfer Rs. 625 cr. to SEBI

  • The Securities Appellate Tribunal (SAT) has given a partial relief to the National Stock Exchange (NSE) in the co-location matter by directing the bourse to transfer Rs. 625 crore to the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) within two weeks.
  • On April 30, the SEBI barred the NSE, which has the largest market share in the equity segment and almost a monopoly in equity derivatives, from accessing the securities market for six months.

Finance Ministry begins pre-Budget discussions

  • The Finance Ministry has begun the pre-Budget consultation exercise with industry bodies in the run-up to the full Budget for the current financial year to be unveiled by the new government sometime in July.
  • The Ministry has already met the representatives of other Ministries and government departments as part of the Budget-making exercise.

Groundwater reserves estimate to be updated soon

  • The Union Water Ministry is finalizing an updated estimate on the state of groundwater reserves in the country. The groundwater assessment, last done in 2013, is a survey that samples a sliver of blocks in each State and counts how many blocks have critically low levels of water and how many are well-stocked. India’s groundwater has been depleting at a worrying rate since 1995.
  • In 1995, only 3% of districts had overexploited their groundwater reserves whereas by 2011, that had increased to 15%.

IAF successfully testfires aerial version of BrahMo

  • The Indian Air Force has successfully test fired the aerial version of the supersonic BrahMos cruise missile from a Su-30 MKI fighter aircraft at the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, marking a major milestone to enhance its precision strike capability.
  • The 2.5 tonne air-to-surface missile has a range of around 300 km, and it will significantly enhance the IAF's combat capability.
  • The BrahMos cruise missile travels at a speed of Mach 2.8, nearly three times that of sound.

India clinches women's hockey series

  • The Indian women’s hockey team came from a goal down to score a 2-1 win over South Korea in the second game and take an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-march series. India had earlier defeated Korea by an identical margin in the opening game.

IndusInd Bank profit hit by IL&FS exposure

  • IndusInd Bank reported a 62% fall in net profit to Rs. 360 crore for the March quarter 2018-19 on higher provisioning for loans extended to IL&FS. Its profit in the year-earlier period stood at Rs. 953 crore.
  • The private sector lender had a total exposure of Rs. 3,004 crore to the IL&FS Group of which Rs. 2,000 crore is to the holding company and Rs. 1,004 crore to operating companies/ special purpose vehicles (SPVs).
  • The entire exposure to IL&FS was classified as non performing asset (NPA) in the fourth quarter.
  • MD and CEO Romesh Sobti

International Day for Biological Diversity observed on May 22

  • The International Day for Biological Diversity (or World Biodiversity Day) is observed on May 22 every year. This is a United Nations–sanctioned international day for the promotion of biodiversity issues.
  • The theme for this year is ''Our Biodiversity, Our Food, Our Health''.

Joshna Chinappa enter pre-quarterfinal round of British Open

  • Joshna Chinappa entered the pre-quarterfinal round of the British Open Squash, a PSA World Tour Platinum event being held at Hull in England. Joshna will face the sixth seeded Sarah-Jane Perry of England.
  • Meanwhile, Saurav Ghosal and Ramit Tandon have bowed out of the tournament.

OBC categories commission receives 2-month extension

  • A commission appointed in 2017 to examine the sub-categorisation of the Other Backward Classes (OBC) has been given a two-month extension by President Ram Nath Kovind. The tenure of the commission was to end on May 31 but had now been extended till July 31.

OECD: India’s economy to grow 7.5% by 2020 amid slowing global growth

  • The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in its Economic Outlook has predicted that India's economic growth will regain strength and approach 7.5% by 2020 buoyed by rural consumption and subdued inflation.
  • This growth will come from higher domestic demand due to improved financial conditions, fiscal and quasi-fiscal stimulus, including new income support measures for rural farmers, and recent structural reforms.
  • India’s healthy growth forecast came amidst the OECD cutting the projection for global GDP growth from 3.5% in 2018 to a sub-par rate of 3.2% this year, before edging up to 3.4% in 2020.

Panghal, Thapa storm into the last four

  • Amit Panghal and Shiva Thapa recorded convincing wins, while Sachin Siwach punched above his weight to advance to the semifinals of the second India Open international boxing tournament.
  • Panghal defeated Chakapong Chanpirom of Thailand 5-0 in a 52kg quarterfinal contest.
  • Thapa overcame a strong challenge from Hellene Damien of Mauritius to secure a 5-0 victory in 60kg.

SEBI mulls buy-back norms’ review

  • Regulator SEBI has proposed changes to share buy-back norms for companies having non-banking financial companies and housing finance companies as subsidiaries. A discussion paper had been issued to seek suggestions relating to the review of conditions for buy-back of securities.
  • The committee had proposed that post buy-back, debt to capital and free reserves ratio of 2:1 should be considered on consolidated basis, excluding subsidiaries that are regulated and have AAA ratings.

South Africa's parliament elects Cyril Ramaphosa as president

  • South African lawmakers have re-elected Cyril Ramaphosa as the president of the country. Members of Parliament from the African National Congress have chosen the head of state in the parliament's first post-election sitting.
  • African National Congress party won 230 out of 400 seats in the election on May 8 and won the ballot with 57.5 per cent of the vote, its thinnest majority since the end of apartheid.

Sri Lanka extends emergency by a month

  • Sri Lanka has extended by another month the emergency regulations, which were enforced after the Easter Sunday terror attacks that killed 258 people.
  • Maithripala Sirisena issued a proclamation saying that the emergency, which gives sweeping powers to security forces to arrest and detain suspects for long periods of time, would continue for another 30 days, citing “public security”.
  • The emergency provisions give the military sweeping powers to act against fundamentalist organizations behind the attacks, which was claimed by Islamic state.

Tech Mahindra signs Rs 300 crore defence contract with Indian Navy

  • Tech Mahindra has announced its biggest defence order worth over Rs 300 crore with the Indian Navy. As part of the ‘Armed Forces Secure Access Card’ (AFSAC) Project, Tech Mahindra will implement RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) based Access Control System across all naval bases and ships.
  • The new AFSAC Card will replace the existing paper based Identity Card for all Navy personnel including dependents and ex-servicemen.

US, Britain & Norway urge swift Sudan accord to install civil rule

  • The United States, Britain and Norway have called for a swift agreement between Sudanese protesters and generals on installing civilian rule. Talks between protest leaders and army generals who seized power after ousting longtime leader Omar al-Bashir last month have stopped since late Monday following disagreement about who should lead a new ruling body -- a civilian or a soldier.
  • Meanwhile, Sudanese protest leaders are now preparing plans to call for a general strike to build pressure on the generals to cede power.