Daily Current Affairs - 19th Oct 2019

Bengaluru to host World Coffee Conference in September 2020

  • Bengaluru will host the fifth edition of the World Coffee Conference (WCC), a high-profile international event, between September 7 and 12 in 2020. Earlier editions were held in the UK, Brazil, Guatemala and Ethiopia.
  • The six-day event will be put together by London-based International Coffee Organization (ICO), Ministry of Commerce & Industries, Coffee Board of India and India Coffee Trust (ICT), which is a forum for coffee growers and exporters.
  • Around 1,000 international delegates from 80 countries, 2,000 Indian delegates, over 1,00,000 coffee growers & exporters, representatives of HORECA (Hotel/Restaurant/Café sector) and hundreds of coffee connoisseurs are expected at this event.
  • The participants will include the world’s leading coffee brands and cafe chains, retailers, roasters, equipment manufacturers, coffee organisations from round the globe.

Economic sanctions on Turkey no longer necessary: US Prez Trump

  • President Donald Trump has said America's proposed economic sanctions on Ankara are no longer necessary after the US and Turkey struck a deal for a five-day cease fire in Syria.
  • As per the deal announced by US Vice President Mike Pence in Ankara, Turkey will suspend its operations for 120 hours to allow Kurdish fighters to withdraw from a designated safe zone along the Turkish and Syrian border.

FATF retains Pak on Grey List, warns of action

  • Pakistan continues to be on the Grey List of the international terror financing watchdog Financial Action Task Force. Pakistan has been warned of action for its failure to combat money laundering and terror financing. The decision of FATF was taken after the completion of its five-day plenary session in Paris.
  • If Pakistan continues with the 'Grey List' or is put in the 'Dark Grey' list, it would be very difficult for the country to get financial aid from the IMF, the World Bank and the European Union which will make its financial condition more precarious.
  • The FATF Plenary noted that Pakistan addressed only five out of the 27 tasks given to it in controlling funding to terror groups like the Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammad. Both these groups are responsible for a series of attacks in India.
  • Pakistan was placed on the Grey List by the FATF in June last year. It was given a plan of action to complete it by October 2019 or face the risk of being placed on the blacklist with Iran and North Korea.
  • The FATF is an inter-governmental body established in 1989 to combat money laundering, terrorist financing and other related threats to the integrity of the international financial system.

Filmmakers Robin Campillo and Lynne Ramsay on 50th IFFI International jury

  • Moroccan-born French screenwriter, director Robin Campillo, and critically-acclaimed Scottish filmmaker-writer, Lynne Ramsay will be part of the international competition jury at the forthcoming 50th International Film Festival of India (IFFI) to be held in Goa from November 20 to 28.
  • Former president of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, John Bailey, will chair the high-profile jury, which also includes Chinese filmmaker Zhang Yang and Indian director Ramesh Sippy.
  • Ananth Narayan Mahadevan’s Marathi film Mai Ghat: Crime No. 103/2005 and Lijo Jose Pellissery’s Malayalam film Jallikattu are the two Indian movies among the 15 entries from 20 countries competing for the Golden Peacock Award.

Gogoi names Justice Bobde as successor

  • Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi has recommended Justice Sharad Arvind Bobde as his successor and the 47th Chief Justice of India in keeping with convention and the seniority norm. Chief Justice Gogoi, who is scheduled to retire on November 17, has sent his recommendation in writing to the union government.
  • This recommendation will be put up before the PM and forwarded to the President.
  • Justice Bobde would have a tenure of 18 months. He will retire on April 23, 2021.

IMF members put off voting change; agree to boost lending capacity

  • Global finance ministers have agreed to double a key pool of money that the International Monetary Fund can use to aid distressed countries but again put off giving more votes to major emerging economies.
  • The IMF's governing body did agree to a plan to shore up the crisis lender's resources, doubling to USD 500 billion a temporary fund provided by 40 of the fund's 189 members.
  • The IMF has been working to restructure its voting shares to give more weight to growing economies like China, India and Brazil but some traditional powers have resisted since they stand to lose influence in the institution.
  • IMF has traditionally been controlled by the United States and western European countries. But major developing economies, which account for a growing share of global GDP, warn that without a shift of the power structure the IMF risks losing legitimacy and the ability to influence economic policies.

India's livestock population increases to over 535 million

  • India's livestock population has increased to over 535 million showing an increase of 4.6 per cent over Livestock Census-2012. The Department of Animal Husbandry and Dairying released the 20th Livestock Census -2019 yesterday.
  • As per the livestock census, the share of cattle is around 36 per cent, goat is over 27 per cent, buffaloes is over 20 per cent, sheep around 14 per cent and pigs around two per cent. The cow population is over 145 million, increasing by 18 per cent over the previous census.
  • Among the states, West Bengal reported the highest increase of over 23 per cent in livestock population, followed by Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Bihar and Madhya Pradesh.

Indian boxers clinch bumper tally of 21 medals, including six golds at Asian Junior C’ships

  • Indian boxers at the Asian Junior Championships, clinched a bumper tally of 21 medals, including six golds and nine silvers, to end with the best medal haul among 26 competing countries in Fujairah, United Arab Emirates.
  • The Indian men's squad fetched two golds, three silvers and an equal number of bronzes, while the women claimed four gold, six silver and three bronze medals. The team ended top in terms of medals won but finished second behind Uzbekistan (20) which had a better gold count of eight.

Indian junior men's hockey team to clash with Britain in final of Sultan Johor Cup

  • Indian Junior Men's hockey team will clash with Britain in the final of 9th Sultan of Johor Cup in Malaysia. In their final round-robin match, the Indian team and Britain played out an entertaining 3-3 draw.

Karnataka, Kerala and Gujarat top in the University- Industry Linkages in Research: PHD Chamber

  • Karnataka, Kerala and Gujarat states have topped in University-Industry Linkages (UILs) and have scored 7.8, 7.3 and 6.7 respectively on the scale of ten in a research report conducted by the PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PHDCCI).
  • The study is conducted by PHDCCI with support of Department of Scientific and Industrial Research, Ministry of Science and Technology, Government of India.
  • Some States are good in University – Industry Linkages and others are found to have moderate or weak University – Industry Linkages.

Lebanon paralysed by nationwide protests over economic crisis, corruption

  • In Lebanon, nationwide protests paralysed the country as thousands of demonstrators blocked major roads in the second day of rallies against the government's handling of a severe economic crisis and the corrupted politicians.
  • Lebanon is witnessing the biggest protest since 2015 and it could further destabilize the country whose economy is already on the verge of collapse and has one of the highest debt loads in the world.

Legendary ballet dancer Alicia Alonso dies aged 98

  • Cuban ballet dancer Alicia Alonso has died age 98. Alonso is considered one of the greatest 20th Century ballerinas. She began to lose her sight at 19, relying on only the stage lights to guide her.
  • After the 1959 Cuban revolution, she helped found the National Ballet of Cuba with then leader Fidel Castro.

Rajnish Kumar is new IBA chairman

  • SBI chairman Rajnish Kumar has been appointed as the new chairman of Indian Banks’ Association. He succeeds Sunil Mehta, who was the MD & CEO of Punjab National Bank. Meanwhile,Rakesh Sharma, MD & CEO of IDBI Bank will be honorary secretary of IBA for 2019-20.

Renowned painter Kalidas Karmakar dies in Dhaka

  • Internationally acclaimed painter of Bangladesh Kalidas Karmakar passed away in Dhaka. He was 73. An icon of modern art in Bangladesh, Kalidas was awarded Shilpakala Padak in 2016 and the Ekushey Padak in 2018 by the Government of Bangladesh for his contribution to fine arts.
  • Solo exhibitions of his works were held in Dhaka and many countries, including the US, India, Japan, Iran, and Hong Kong.
  • Apart from painting he was also known for his installation work in which he used diverse materials like wood, pottery, brass, utensils and others.

RIL hits Rs. 9 lakh crore in market capitalisation

  • Oil-to-telecom major Reliance Industries (RIL) has became the first company in India to hit the market capitalisation of Rs 9 lakh crore. RIL was also the first company to reach Rs 8 lakh crore mark in August last year.
  • The market-cap of Mukesh Ambani-led company stood at Rs 9.03 crore when the stock traded at Rs 1,428, up 2 per cent at 10.45 hours (IST) on Friday ahead of its September quarter earnings due later in the day.
  • IT giant TCS was at a distant second with a market-cap of Rs 7.66 lakh crore.

SEBI tightens norms to deal with auditor resignations

  • The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has tightened the norms for disclosures with respect to resignation of auditors.
  • While the regulator has directed auditors to complete the limited review or audit before resigning in an abrupt manner, it has also put higher onus on the audit committees of listed companies especially in instances wherein auditors face issues like non-availability of information from companies or non-cooperation of the company management.
  • The regulator has stated that if the auditor has any concerns related to non-availability of information or non-cooperation by the management, it can directly approach the chairman of the audit committee who will have to receive the concerns without waiting for the quarterly audit committee meetings.
  • This assumes significance as the recent past has seen many instances of auditors resigning in an abrupt manner citing reasons like companies not sharing material information despite repeated attempts to get the information.

UK Parliament to vote for Brexit Deal today

  • The Lower House of the British Parliament, House of Commons will hold a special session to debate and vote on Prime Minister Boris Johnson's fresh Brexit deal. Jhonson has urged MPs to come together to back the deal, insisting there is no better outcome. Johnson had secured a new Brexit deal from the European Union earlier this week.
  • Johnson's Conservative Party holds only 288 seats in the 650-seat House of Commons, so he will have to rely on support from other parties and independent lawmakers to get over the line.
  • If lawmakers reject the deal - as they did three times with an earlier agreements Prime Minister has to ask the EU for a three-month delay to Britain's exit date.

US imposes record 7.5 bn tariffs on European goods

  • The US has slapped tariffs on a record 7.5-billion Dollars worth of European goods. Airbus, French wine and Scottish whiskies are among the high-profile targets.
  • The tariffs were imposed despite pleas from European officials for a last-minute reprieve and French Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire warning of retaliation.

Vehicle registrations fell 12.9% in September

  • Reflecting continued weakness in consumer sentiment the overall vehicle registrations in September 2019 fell 12.9% as compared to the same period last year despite the onset of the festival season and offer of unprecedented discounts to prop up sales.
  • As per data collected by the Federation of Automobile Dealers Associations of India (FADA) a total of 13,75,314 vehicles were registered at 1,188 RTOs in the country out of 1,461 RTOs as compared to 15,79,191 vehicles registered in September 2018.
  • On a year on year basis 2-wheeler registration was down by 12.1%, Commercial Vehicles (CV) was down by 18.5%, Passenger Vehicles (PV)registrations reduced by 20.1% and 3-Wheeler saw a marginal growth of 1.8%.