Daily Current Affairs - 11th Oct 2019

Co-operative sector reforms on anvil: FM

  • Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman promised legislative and regulatory reforms for the country’s co-operative sector in the winter session of Parliament to protect depositors in entities like Punjab and Maharashtra Co-operative Bank that have jeopardised the life savings of several lakh customers.
  • Ms. Sitharaman has tasked an official committee that includes the Banking Secretary and Department of Economic Affairs Secretary in the Finance Ministry, as well as a Reserve Bank of India Deputy Governor, to review the legal framework governing co-operative banks and revert with recommendations to bolster their governance and supervision.

As margins shrink, TCS net rises 1.8%

  • India’s largest software exporter Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) reported a 1.8% increase in its net profit to ?8,042 crore for the second quarter.
  • The slower pace of rise in profit was due to a drag in the Banking, financial services and insurance (BFSI) and retail verticals and margin contraction.
  • The July-September quarter had historically been the strongest one for Indian IT services companies.
  • The company’s operating margin during the quarter fell by 20 basis points to 24%.
  • chief executive officer: Rajesh Gopinathan,

Govt launches Surakshit Matritva Aashwasan, SUMAN, an initiative for quality health care at no cost

  • Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare Dr Harsh Vardhan along with several State Health Ministers have launched Surakshit Matritva Aashwasan, SUMAN, initiative in New Delhi. The initiative was launched during the 13th Conference of Central Council of Health and Family Welfare.
  • The initiative aims at assuring dignified, respectful and quality health care at no cost and zero tolerance for denial of services for every woman and newborn visiting the public health facility in order to end all preventable maternal and newborn deaths. It also provides a positive birth experience to both mother and infant.

GST Council sets up panel to spur collection

  • In the light of falling Goods and Services Tax (GST) revenues, the GST Council Secretariat has set up a committee of Central and State tax officers to look into a wide range of reforms to boost revenue collection. The focus will be on improving compliance and clamping down on misuse.
  • The committee is to submit its first report within 15 days of the notification.
  • The creation of the committee comes in the backdrop of GST revenue in September falling for the second consecutive month to a 19-month low of ?91,916 crore, lower even than the very first full month of GST.

HRD Minister inaugurates Pradhan Mantri innovative learning programme ‘DHRUV’ in Bengaluru

  • Union Minister for Human Resources Development Ramesh Pokhariyal Nishank has launched ambitious DHRUV programme in the headquarter of Indian Space Research Organization in Bengaluru.
  • DHRUV is a unique programme to identify talented students and mentor them in the centre of excellence for 14 days so that they can reach their full potential and work for the society.
  • Students chosen under the programme will take part in workshop seminar and interact with experts on the issue of National concern like climate change agricultural production and technology. Out of 25 crore students in India 60 are selected under this programme to mould them to think and work for the society.

India beat Nepal 4-1 in first match of SAFF U-15 Women's C’ship

  • India beat Nepal 4-1 in their first match of the SAFF U-15 Women's Championship 2019 at the Chalimithang Stadium in Thimphu, Bhutan. India is slated to play Bhutan in their second match of the SAFF U-15 Women's Championship.

India calls for increased cooperation between FATF, UN to combat terror financing

  • In a veiled attack on Pakistan, India has condemned any direct or indirect financial assistance to terrorists and terror groups by nations that enables them to pursue their activities, including in defending criminal cases against them.
  • Speaking at a General Assembly Sixth Committee meeting on measures to eliminate international terrorism, First Secretary and Legal adviser in India's Permanent Mission to the UN Yedla Umasankar called for increased cooperation between the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and the UN to combat terror financing.

IndusInd Bank Q2 net rises 52% on loan growth

  • Private sector IndusInd Bank reported a 52% year-on-year rise in consolidated net profit to Rs. 1,401 crore for the June-September quarter on improved margins and healthy loan growth.
  • Net interest income rose 32% to ?2,909 crore while net interest margin increased to 4.1% from the 3.84% reported a year ago.
  • Gross non-performing assets rose to 2.19% of gross advances as on September 30, 2019 from the 1.09% a year ago. Provision for bad loans and contingencies for the September quarter rose to ?737.71 crore against ?590.27 crore a year ago.
  • MD and CEO, IndusInd Bank: Romesh Sobti

Lankan Prez Maithripala Sirisena to remain neutral at Presidential election

  • Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena has decided to remain neutral at the Presidential election scheduled next month even as his party will support former Defense Secretary Gotabaya Rajapakse. The President will not take the stage and support any candidate in the election.

Moody’s cuts India’s FY20 growth to 5.8%

  • Moody’s Investors Service has cut India’s gross domestic product (GDP) growth forecast for 2019-20 to 5.8% from the earlier estimate of 6.2%. It attributed the deceleration to an investment-led slowdown that has broadened into consumption, driven by financial stress among rural households and weak job creation.
  • It expects growth to pick up to 6.6% in FY21 and around 7% over the medium term.
  • India’s economic growth slumped to a six-year low of 5% in the April-June quarter and, according to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), is likely to be near this trough at 5.3% in the July-September quarter.

Nirmala Sitharaman assures crisis-hit PMC Bank investors

  • Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has assured aggrieved investors of crisis-hit Punjab Maharashtra Co-operative - PMC Bank that she will speak to the Reserve Bank Governor on how the banking operations can be normalised at the earliest.
  • The minister further informed that finance ministry is studying the issue in detail to find out what went amiss in case of PMC so as to avoid such cases in the future.
  • The Reserve Bank had imposed severe restrictions on Punjab Maharashtra Co-operative Bank last month due to its weak financials, sending a frenzy among depositors who are currently allowed to withdraw just 25000 rupees.
  • The bank was in bad health allegedly due to its exposure to the near bankrupt realty player HDIL.

Nobel Prize in Literature awarded to Polish writer Olga Tokarczuk for 2018 and to Austrian author Peter Handke for 2019

  • The 2019 Nobel Prize in Literature has been announced along with the 2018 Prize. Austrian author Peter Handke has won the 2019 Prize while Polish writer Olga Tokarczuk has received the 2018 Prize.
  • The 2019 Nobel Prize in Literature was announced along with the 2018 Prize as the latter was delayed by a year following a scandal that included allegations of sexual misconduct.
  • Handke's notable works include "Short Letter, Long Farewell" and "A Sorrow Beyond Dreams".
  • Tokarczuk was awarded for a narrative imagination that with encyclopedic passion represents the crossing of boundaries as a form of life. Her first novel, "The Journey of the People of the Book," was released in 1993.

Piyush Goyal to attend 9th RCEP Intersessional Ministerial Meeting in Thailand

  • Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal will attend the 9th Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, RCEP Intersessional Ministerial meeting beginning at Bangkok in Thailand. This will be the last Ministerial before the 3rd Leaders Summit to be held on 4th of next month in Bangkok.
  • During the two day meeting, Mr Goyal will also hold a series of bilateral meetings with his counterparts from Japan, Singapore, China, Australia and New Zealand during the Bangkok meet.

RBI gives final nod to Kerala govt for formation of Kerala Bank

  • The Reserve Bank of India has given its final nod to the Kerala Government for the formation of the Kerala Bank. With its formation, the proposed Kerala Bank will be the largest banking network in the state.
  • The Kerala Bank would be formed amalgamating the District Co-operative Banks (DCBs) with Kerala State Co-operative Bank. The final nod by the RBI was subjected to some conditions.

Romania government collapses in no-confidence vote

  • Romania's beleaguered left-wing government collapsed in a no-confidence vote. This has paved the way for the president to appoint a new prime minister.
  • A total of 238 MPs in the 465-seat parliament voted in favour of the motion against the government of Prime Minister Viorica Dancila. Ms. Dancila had been fighting for her political survival since her Social Democrats, PSD, lost their junior coalition partner's support in August.
  • Dancila will remain as a caretaker prime minister in the meantime.

Singapore will ban ads for sugary drinks in bid to tackle diabetes

  • Singapore will become the first country in the world to ban advertisements for the most unhealthy sugary drinks. The health ministry called the ban its latest move to combat rising diabetes rates.
  • It said, products deemed "less healthy" must now display labels grading their nutritional and sugar content. Additionally, those considered to be most unhealthy will be banned from appearing in ads across all media platforms, including broadcast, print and online channels.

Special sitting for MPs to decide future of Brexit

  • In Britain, MPs will be called to Parliament for a special sitting for the future of Brexit.The Parliament will meet on 19 October after a crunch EU summit.
  • The parliamentary session will take place the day after the crucial two-day summit of the European Council ends in Brussels.
  • By the day, MPs will have a clear picture of the European Union's response to the Brexit deal brokered by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

Tens of thousands of civilians flee Turkish offensive in Syria

  • Tens of thousands of people have fled their homes in northern Syria, as Turkish forces step up their cross-border offensive on Kurdish-held areas. Turkish troops have encircled the border towns of Ras al-Ain and Tal Abyad and aid agencies fear the exodus could reach hundreds of thousands.
  • The International Rescue Committee aid organisation said that 64,000 people had already fled their homes.
  • The UN Secretary-General has expressed deep concern and called for a de-escalation of the spiralling violence in Syria.
  • Turkey says its operation is aimed at pushing back Syrian Kurdish forces, which it considers terrorists and establishing a safe zone for the return of Syrian refugees.

Trade, border dispute likely to dominate Modi-Xi talks

  • Trade issues, boundary disputes and multilateral cooperation are expected to dominate the “informal summit” between Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping at Mamallapuram, Chennai.

World Boxing Championships: Mary Kom, Manju Rani, Jamuna Boro, Lovlina Borgohain storm into semifinals

  • Mary Kom, Manju Rani, Jamuna Boro and Lovlina Borgohain have stormed into the semifinals of the Women's World Boxing Championships at Ulan Ude in Russia.
  • Six-time champion MC Mary Kom (51kg) has assured herself of an unprecedented eighth medal after advancing to the semifinals. She has become the first and the only boxer, irrespective of the gender, to win eight medals in the world boxing championship.
  • Mary Kom defeated Ingrit Valencia of Colombia 5-0 to reach the semi-final. She will next take on second-seeded Turk Busenaz Cakiroglu.