Daily Current Affairs - 15th Jun 2019

Bangladesh unveils growth-friendly budget focussed on infrastructure development

  • Bangladesh has unveiled a growth-friendly budget focussed on infrastructure development. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has set a GDP growth rate of 8.2 percent for the current financial year.
  • She also announced that the poverty rate will be brought down by 10 percent in the next four years through a coordinated approach engaging the private sector to supplement the government’s anti-poverty initiatives.
  • The budget envisages creation of jobs for 30 million people by 2030 and attain a double digit GDP growth in four years.

Bhola Nath Shukla appointed CMD of Mahanadi Coalfield Ltd

  • Bhola Nath Shukla was appointed Chairman-cum-Managing Director of Mahanadi Coalfields Ltd. He has been appointed as the CMD of Mahanadi Coalfields Ltd for a period up to October 31, 2020, i.e. the date of his superannuation.
  • Shukla is at present the Director (Technical) of Central Mine Planning and Design Institute Limited

Carlsen takes Armageddon route to Altibox Norway victory

  • Magnus Carlsen secured his second Norway Chess title with a round to spare. He secured tournament victory in the penultimate round of the 2019 Altibox Norway Chess tournament. The world champion has a four-point lead after beating Yu Yangyi in the standard game.

Defence Minister reviews working of DRDO, asks it to focus on flagship programmes

  • Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has reviewed the progress of research and development activities in defence technologies at the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) headquarters.
  • He congratulated the DRDO for its singular achievements in strengthening the national defence capabilities and for enabling the nation to join a select club of countries with some of the most advanced defence technologies such as anti-satellite capability, 4.5 generation fighter aircraft, airborne early warning & aontrol system (AEW&CS) and ballistic missile defence programme, among others.
  • Singh also released a publication titled "Roadmap of DRDO", which reveals the organisation's target for the next 10 years.
  • Singh asked the DRDO to focus their energies on the flagship programmes of national importance.
  • DRDO, Chairman: Dr G Satheesh Reddy

Exim Bank inks $245 mn loan agreement with Ghana, Mozambique to support agri, rail projects

  • Export Import Bank of India (Exim Bank) will provide line of credit worth USD 245 million to Ghana and Mozambique for agricultural and railway projects. Exim Bank supported line of credit of USD 150 million to Ghana and USD 95 million to Mozambique.
  • The USD 150 million for Ghana will be used for financing strengthening of agriculture mechanisation services centres, while line of credit for Mozambique will be used for financing procurement of railway rolling stock including locomotives, coaches and wagons.

Exports up 3.93% in May; trade deficit widens to 15.36 bn dollars

  • According to the Union Commerce Ministry data, India's exports grew by 3.93 per cent to around 30 billion dollars in May.
  • The industries that saw a major growth in exports include electronic goods (50.97%), organic and inorganic chemicals (20.64%), and readymade goods of all textiles (14.15%). The segments that also saw strong growth in exports include pulses (84.2%) and gold (37.4%).
  • Whereas the imports have also rose by 4.31 per cent to 45.35 billion dollars. The trade deficit has widened to 15.36 billion dollars in May.
  • India’s overall exports (Merchandise and Services combined) in April-May 2019-20 are estimated to be 92.33 billion dollars, exhibiting a positive growth of 4.32 per cent over the same period last year.
  • Overall imports in April-May 2019-20 are estimated to be 109.75 billion dollars, showing a positive growth of 5.30 per cent over the same period last year.

FDI flows to India grew 6% in 2018 to 42 billion: UN report

  • According to the the World Investment Report 2019, released by the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), the foreign direct investment to India grew by 6 percent to 42 billion dollars in 2018, with strong inflows in the manufacturing, communication and financial services sectors, and cross-border merger and acquisition activities.
  • The report ranked India among the top 20 host economies for FDI inflows in 2017-18.
  • Foreign Direct Investment inflows to South Asia increased 3.5 percent to 54 billion dollars.
  • India has historically accounted for 70 to 80 per cent of inflows to the subregion. Further, the growth in cross-border Merger & Acquisitions for India achieved 33 billion dollars in 2018 was primarily due to transactions worth 16 billion dollars in retail trade, which includes e-commerce, and telecommunication.

HDFC sells over 4.22% stake in Gruh

  • Mortgage lender HDFC had sold more than 4.22% stake in subsidiary Gruh Finance Ltd. (Gruh), which is proposed to be amalgamated with Bandhan Bank, for Rs. 899.43 crore. The sale of 3,10,00,000 equity shares representing 4.22% of the issued and paid-up share capital of Gruh was carried out through stock exchanges at the prevailing market price. The average price of share was Rs. 290.14.
  • HDFC had sold 6.1% stake in Gruh earlier in May for Rs. 1,327.89 crore.

HRD Minister directs IITs, IIITs heads to make plan for holistic development

  • Union Minister for Human Resource Development Dr Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank has directed the heads of Indian Institutes of Technology IITs and Indian Institutes of Information Technology IIITs to make one-year and five-year plan for holistic development. 
  • Chairing a meeting with Directors of all IITs and IIITs in New Delhi, Mr Nishank said that these institutions are foundation stones in making a New India. 
  • He also reviewed the infrastructure and human resource of newly established IITs and IIITs.

ICC Cricket World Cup: England defeat West Indies by 8 wickets

  • England defeated West Indies by 8 wickets at Southampton in the ICC Cricket World Cup. Hosts England achieved the target of 213 runs, in just 33.1 overs losing 2 wickets. Joe Root with unbeaten 100 and two wickets was adjudged man of the match.
  • Earlier, put into bat, West Indies were all out for 212 in 44.4 overs.

India slips to 141 in annual Global Peace Index

  • According to a report by prepared by an international think tank Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP), India has slipped by four points in an annual global index on peacefulness this year, finishing at 141 among 163 countries, while Iceland remained at the top position.
  • Iceland remains the most peaceful country in the world, a position it has held since 2008
  • It is joined at the top of the index by New Zealand, Austria, Portugal, and Denmark.
  • Afghanistan is now the least peaceful country in the world, replacing Syria, which is now the second least peaceful. South Sudan, Yemen, and Iraq comprise the remaining five least peaceful countries,
  • The Global Peace Index (GPI) gauges ongoing domestic and international conflict, safety and security in society, and the degree of militarisation in 163 countries and territories by taking into account 23 indicators.

India static at 101st in FIFA rankings

  • The Indian football team remained static at 101st place in the latest FIFA rankings. India's ranking points remained the same on 1219 -- as that of the previous list, issued on 4th April this year.
  • The Indian team is at 18th spot among the Asian countries led by Iran (20th), Japan (28), Korea (37), Australia (43) and Qatar (55) form the top five in Asia
  • Belgium continued to top overall world rankings, followed by France, Brazil, England and Portugal.

India to impose retaliatory tariffs on 29 US goods from June 16

  • After extending the deadline for several times, India has decided to impose additional customs duties on 29 US products, including almond, walnut and pulses, with effect from June 16.
  • This move will hurt American exporters of these 29 items as they have to pay duties on these products. India would get about $217 million additional revenue from such imports.
  • The government had on June 21, 2018, decided to impose these duties in retaliation to the US decision of significantly hiking customs duties on certain steel and aluminium products.
  • India exports steel and aluminium products worth about $1.5 billion to the US every year.
  • India's exports to the US in 2017-18 stood at $47.9 billion, while imports were at $26.7 billion. The trade balance is in favour of India.

Prime Minister Modi, Kyrgyzstan President Jeenbekov jointly inaugurate India-Kyrgyz Business Forum

  • PM Narendra Modi and Kyrgyzstan President Jeenbekov have jointly inaugurated Indian-Kyrgyz Business forum. The two leaders have also asked their business communities to explore the untapped potential for deepening bilateral relations between the two countries.
  • India and Kyrgyzstan have given the final shape to the Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA) and the bilateral investment treaty, which would help in creating a proper atmosphere for the bilateral trade.
  • A total of 15 agreements were signed between the two nations for the strengthening of bilateral cooperation in a wide range of areas including strategic defence partnership.
  • Kyrgyzstan
  • President Jeenbekov
  • Capital: Bishkek
  • Currency: Kyrgyzstani som

RIL, HDFC among 57 Indian companies on Forbes Global 2,000 list

  • According to the Forbes magazine, as many as 57 Indian companies have found place in a list of the world's 2,000 largest public companies.
  • The overall list has been topped by the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) for the 7th year in a row. ICBC is followed by JP Morgan, China Construction Bank, Agricultural Bank of China, Bank of America, Apple, Ping An Insurance Group, Bank of China, Royal Dutch Shell and Wells Fargo.
  • From India, Reliance Industries(71st rank globally) is the only one in the overall top-200 list and is followed by HDFC Bank at 209th, ONGC at 220th, Indian Oil at 288th and HDFC Ltd at 332nd place.
  • Within the oil and gas sector, Reliance Industries is ranked 11th globally, while Royal Dutch Shell has come on the top.
  • For the consumer financial sector, American Express has topped the chart while HDFC Ltd is ranked 7th.
  • Out of the 61 countries represented on the list, the US accounts for the largest number of 575 companies, followed by China and Hong Kong (309) and Japan (223).

SEBI bars Prannoy, Radhika Roy from NDTV board

  • The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has barred Prannoy Roy and his wife Radhika Roy from holding any directorship in New Delhi Television Ltd. (NDTV) for a period of two years.
  • Mrs. and Mr. Roy, along with their holding firm RRPR Holdings, have also been barred from accessing the securities’ market for two years for allegedly concealing material information from shareholders while entering into loan agreements between 2008 and 2010.
  • Mr. Roy and his wife have also been restrained from being directors in any listed entity for an year.

World Blood Donor Day 2019 observed on June 14

  • World Blood Donor Day is celebrated each year on June 14 to raise awareness about blood donation, since its inception in 2005. This day serves to thank voluntary, unpaid blood donors for their life-saving gifts of blood.
  • This day also commemorates the need to raise awareness of the need for regular blood donations to ensure that all individuals and communities have access to affordable and timely supplies of safe and quality-assured blood and blood products, as an integral part of universal health coverage.
  • The host country for World Blood Donor Day 2019 is Rwanda and the theme for World Blood Day 2019 is 'Safe blood for all'.

WPI inflation eases to 22-month low of 2.45 per cent in May

  • Inflation measured by the wholesale price index eased to a 22-month low in May, driven down by manufactured items and fuel where prices have cooled. The decline in the wholesale inflation rate to 2.45% from 3.07% in April suggests that retail inflation, which hit a seven-month high at 3.05% in the past month, may come down going ahead.
  • Food inflation, however, remained high with cereals including jowar, bajra, maize and pulses witnessing double-digit inflation for the fourth consecutive month. Vegetable and onion prices increased by 33.2% and 15.9%, respectively, compared with May last year.
  • Inflation in the fuel and power category cooled to 0.98% from 3.84% last month. Manufactured items saw a decline in inflation rate at 1.28% in May against 1.72% in April.