Daily Current Affairs - 04th Jun 2019

Ajit Doval reappointed NSA with Cabinet rank

  • The Union government reappointed retired Indian Police Service (IPS) officer Ajit Doval as National Security Adviser (NSA), according him a Cabinet rank. He becomes the first NSA to get Cabinet status in the table of precedence.
  • In his previous stint as an NSA, he had the stature of a Minister of State (MoS). The decision was taken since Mr. Doval leads strategic dialogues with many countries and a Cabinet rank would facilitate his interactions with the most senior officials.

Algeria's Constitutional Council cancels presidential elections

  • Algeria's Constitutional Council has extended interim President Abdelkader Bensalah's powers. Therefore the presidential elections scheduled next month have been cancelled by the Constitutional Council.
  • The Council said that a presidential election would not be held because it had rejected the only two candidates' documents who had applied to run for the elections.
  • An acute political crisis broke out in Algeria in February after then-ailing president Bouteflika announced his bid to seek a fifth term in the office, triggering a wave of anti-government protests.
  • Algeria
  • Capital: Algiers
  • Currency: Algerian dinar

Delhi CM offers free travel to women in public transport

  • Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has announced that the Delhi government intended to subsidise travel in public transport for women commuters in the Capital. While the modalities of the scheme were still being worked out, the government intended to allow them free travel on metro trains and State-run buses.
  • The CM claimed the scheme was in line with his government’s intent to encourage the use of public transport, make it safer and to promote the participation of more women in the city’s workforce currently dominated by their male counterparts.

EC asks CEOs to share LS poll experience to improve system

  • The Election Commission asked its 36 state chief electoral officers to share their experiences about the just-concluded Lok Sabha polls to enable the panel improve the electoral process.
  • The commission had organised a conference of CEOs, where they were asked to deliberate on learnings from the elections.
  • The poll body has formed nine working groups of CEOs and poll panel officers covering various facets of election process including electoral roll issues, polling stations management, model code, voting processes and materials inventory, capacity building, IT applications, expenditure Management, voter awareness and media interface, as also electoral reforms.
  • All the groups will deliberate on the subjects concerned and suggest feasible recommendations by August. Individual CEOs would also submit their respective state experience reports.
  • Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora

Food grains production for agricultural year 2018-19 estimated at over 283 million tonnes

  • According to the Agriculture Ministry, food grains production for the agricultural year 2018-19 has been estimated at over 283 million tonnes which is higher by over 17 million tonnes than the previous five years average production of foodgrain.
  • The rice production is estimated at an all-time-high of over 115 million tonnes during 2018-19, beating the previous record of over 112 million tonnes achieved in 2017-18 crop year.
  • Production of wheat is also estimated at record over 101 million tonnes, which is higher by 1.33 million tonnes as compared to previous year.
  • The total pulses production is estimated at over 23 million tonnes.

French Open: Novak Djokovic & Kei Nishikori reach men's singles Qfs

  • Top seed Novak Djokovic and Kei Nishikori have reached the men's singles quarter-finals of French Open at Paris. Djokovic won 6-3, 6-2, 6-2 in one hour 33 minutes. Djokovic has not dropped a set at this year's Roland Garros.
  • Meanwhile, Kei Nishikori clinches a thriller against Benoit Paire.
  • In Women's Singles, Madison Keys and Ashleigh Barty have also reached quarterfinal.

Global Entrepreneurship Summit 2019 to have 27 Indian entrants

  • The ninth edition of the Global Entrepreneurship Summit is all set to roll out in The Hague on Tuesday (June 4), with a number of entrepreneurs from across the world, including 27 from India, gathering to share their insights and showcase their ideas on a world stage.
  • Overall, the summit will feature about 1,200 entrepreneurs from across 140 countries, and will also provide an avenue for these entrepreneurs to showcase their ideas and work to 300 investors. The key focus areas of the summit include the five global challenges surrounding water, agriculture, healthcare, connectivity, and energy.
  • Twenty seven Indian firms are taking part in GES 2019 across the subject areas of agriculture (3), water (8), energy (6), healthcare (3), and connectivity (7).
  • The Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES) 2019 is being hosted by the governments of the United States of America and the Kingdom of the Netherlands, and is the first edition of the event to be held in the European Union.

ICC World Cup: Pakistan defeat hosts England by 14 runs

  • Pakistan beat hosts England by 14 runs at Nottingham in the ICC Cricket World Cup, After setting a victory target of 349 runs, Pakistan restricted England at 334 for 9 in 50 overs.
  • Earlier, England won the toss and elected to field. Pakistan made 348 runs losing eight wickets in the stipulated 50 overs. Mohammad Hafeez scored 84 runs in 62 balls
  • For England, Joe Root was the highest scorer with 107 runs off 104 balls while Jos Buttler made 103 runs off 76 balls.

India, China to account for half of air traffic growth in two decades: IATA

  • International Air Transport Association, IATA, has said that India and China are projected to account for nearly half of the air passenger growth worldwide over the next two decades.
  • It said that with more number of people making air travel, India was one of the fastest growing domestic aviation markets in the world for nearly five years continuously.
  • India and China alone are forecast to account for around 45 per cent of all additional passenger trips over the next two decades
  • IATA Director General and CEO Alexandre de Juniac

Mahindra arm, Mitsui in solar pact

  • Mahindra Susten, a portfolio company of Mahindra Partners, has entered into a partnership with Mitsui & Co. Ltd, of Japan to jointly develop and operate distributed solar power generation projects in India.
  • Mahindra Susten will hold 51% stake in Marvel Solren Private Ltd. with Mitsui holding the rest. Marvel operates four distributed solar projects in India with a combined capacity of 16MW that helps private clients reduce their carbon footprint by providing renewable energy through long-term power purchase pacts.

Nilekani panel suggests measures to encourage digital payments

  • In order to encourage digital payments, the Nandan Nilekani committee has suggested a host of measures, including elimination of charges, round the clock RTGS and NEFT facility and duty-free import of point-of-sales machines.
  • The panel has suggested that there should be no convenience fee on payments made to government agencies by customers and recommended that payment systems use machine-driven, online dispute resolution systems to handle complaints.
  • The committee recommends that the RBI and the government put in place an appropriate mechanism to monitor the digital payment systems and make aggregated information based on blocks, and PIN code, available to all players on a monthly basis, so that they can make the necessary adjustments.
  • The committee also recommended that current import duty of 18 per cent on POS machines be reduced to Nil for a period of three years to facilitate adequate expansion of acquiring infrastructure in the country.

ONGC topples IOC to regain most profitable public sector company

  • ONGC, India's top oil and gas producer, has toppled Indian Oil Corp (IOC) to regain crown of being the country's most profitable public sector company. ONGC reported a 34 per cent jump in its 2018-19 fiscal net profit to 26,716 crore rupees.
  • In comparison, IOC registered a net profit of 17,274 crore rupees for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2019
  • With its refining margins under pressure due to falling oil prices, IOC had also lost the title of being India's largest company by turnover tag to billionaire Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries in FY19.

Overseas investors pump over Rs 9,000 crore into Indian capital markets in May

  • Overseas investors pumped more than 9,000 crore rupees into the Indian capital markets in last month on expectations of more business-friendly measures following the BJP's landslide victory in the general elections.
  • Foreign Portfolio Investors (FPIs) infused around 7,920 crore rupees into equities and 1,111 crore rupees in the debt market during second to -31st of May, taking the cumulative investment to around 9,031 crore rupees.
  • Prior to this, FPI's invested a net 16,093 crore rupees in April, 45,981 crore rupees in March and 11,182 crore rupees in February in the capital markets (both equity and debt).

RBI approves appointment of Rakesh Makhija as Chairman of Axis Bank

  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has approved the appointment of Rakesh Makhija as chairman of the Axis bank. The board of the bank in March had approved appointment of Makhija as chairman subject to RBI clearance.
  • He will be independent director as the non-executive (part-time) chairman of the bank, for a period of 3 years, with effect from July 18, 2019, up to July 17, 2022 (both days inclusive).

RBI sets banks’ group exposure limit at 25% of capital base

  • The Reserve Bank of India has decided to reduce banks’ exposure to a group of connected parties to 25% of its capital base, while the exposure to a single party has been capped at 20%. However, bank boards can allow an additional 5% exposure in ‘exceptional cases.’
  • Till now, a bank’s exposure to a single borrower and a borrower group was restricted to 15% and 40% of capital funds respectively.

Romila Thapar becomes American Philosophical Society member

  • Eminent historian and writer Romila Thapar has been elected as a member of the American Philosophical Society (APS), the oldest learned society in the United States. Dr. Thapar, a professor emerita of history at Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) in Delhi, was among the 1,013 members elected to the society.

Share details of Saradha scam investigation, CIC directs SEBI

  • The Central Information Commission (CIC) has directed the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) to disclose information on its investigation and recovery of money from the perpetrators of the Saradha Realty chit fund scam. Investigations must be time bound and transparent keeping in mind the interests of lakhs of affected investors, said CIC.
  • The Rs. 10,000 crore Saradha chit fund scam came to light in 2013, and more than 17 lakh small investors mostly in eastern India reportedly lost money in the ponzi scheme. Six years later, there is little sign of justice or recovery of the money lost.

Vijay Kumar passes away

  • Former Karnataka opening batsman V.S. Vijay Kumar, who played a key role in the State’s first Ranji Trophy victory in the 1973-74 season, passed away. He was 73.
  • Vijay Kumar played 57 First Class matches over eight years, scoring 2,891 runs, with two centuries. An allrounder, he also claimed 46 wickets with his medium-pace.

World Archery warns AAI of suspension on two separate elections issue

  • World Archery, the governing body for the sport warned the Archery Association of India of immediate suspension if it goes ahead with two separate elections on June 9.
  • This suspension would mean that the Indian team competing in the World Championships would only be able to compete under a World Archery flag and not the national flag.
  • World Archery has appointed its first vice-president Kazi Rajib Uddin Ahmed Chapol as the mediator between the two factions.
  • Both the factions, one led by former president Vijay Kumar Malhotra and the other by BVP Rao, have issued notices for elections on June 9 in New Delhi and Chandigarh.