Daily Current Affairs - 05th Nov 2019

Biggest US-Bangladesh Navy exercise starts in Chattogram

  • The second phase of the biggest US- Bangladesh Navy exercise named 'Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT)- 2019' started in Chattogram, Bangladesh.
  • The exercise provides an opportunity to gain a better understanding of the operational activities of the Navies of two countries and to get acquainted with advanced technology through various theoretical and practical training.
  • The second phase of the exercise is being conducted from 4 to 7 November with different subject-based training and exercise.

Finance Minister launches IT initiatives ICEDASH, ATITHI for improved customs clearance

  • Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has unveiled two new IT Initiatives - ICEDASH and ATITHI for improved monitoring and pace of customs clearance of imported goods and facilitating arriving international passengers.
  • ICEDASH is an Ease of Doing Business monitoring dashboard of the Indian Customs helping the public see the daily Customs clearance times of import cargo at various ports and airports.
  • The ATITHI app will facilitate hassle-free and faster clearance by Customs at the airports and enhance the experience of international tourists and other visitors at the airports.

Germany marks 30 years of Berlin Wall fall

  • Germany marks three decades since the fall of the Berlin Wall. The Wall was built in 1961 to stop an exodus from the eastern, communist part of divided Germany to the more prosperous West. After decades the wall was built, rising political protest in 1989 put pressure on the East German government to relax travel rules. It was on 11th November 1989, that the first pieces of the wall were pulled down.
  • According to reports, at least 140 people were killed trying to cross the wall during the era.

HDFC profit rises 61% on one-off gains

  • HDFC Ltd. reported a 61% increase in its standalone net profit toRs.3,961.53 crore for the second quarter of the current financial year, compared with the Rs.2,467.08 crore reported during the year-earlier period.
  • The profit was boosted by a one-time pre-tax gain of Rs.1,627 crore from sale of stake in Gruh Finance and also dividend income of Rs.1,070crore.
  • However, the impact of gain was partially offset by the Rs.320-croremark-to-market loss for RBL Bank stake and deferred tax asset mark-down of Rs.240 crore.
  • Net interest income for the quarter stood at Rs.3,021 crore compared with Rs.2,590 crore in the previous year — a growth of 17%.Keki Mistry, vice-chairman and CEO, HDFC Ltd.

India defeat West Indies by 53 runs in 2nd ODI to level three-match series

  • Indian Women’s team registered a comfortable 53-run win over West Indies in the second ICC Women's One-Day International. India were able to defend a modest total of 191 runs by bowling out the West Indies for 138 in 47.2 overs and level the three-match ODI series 1-1.

India opts out of RCEP agreement

  • India has decided not to join the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) deal as negotiations failed to address India's outstanding issues and concerns. Prime Minister Narendra Modi made the announcement during his speech at the RCEP Summit in Bangkok yesterday, which was attended by several world leaders.
  • Mr Modi said, the present form of the agreement does not fully reflect the basic spirit and the agreed guiding principles. He said the agreement also did not satisfactorily address India's outstanding issues and concerns, hence it was not possible for New Delhi to sign it.
  • In recent months serious apprehensions and reservations on RCEP have been expressed by a large number of sectors including steel, plastics, copper, aluminium, machine tools, paper, automobiles, chemicals, petro-chemicals and others.
  • Further, there were not enough positive developments in the area of trade in services including easier mobility for our professionals and service-providers.

India, Russia to conclude mutual logistics agreement

  • India and Russia are expected to conclude a mutual logistics agreement and review the setting up of joint ventures for manufacturing spares for defence platforms in India during the visit of Defence Minister Rajnath Singh to Moscow from November 5 to 7.
  • The Agreement on Reciprocal Logistics Support (ARLS) is expected to be signed.
  • Logistics agreements are administrative arrangements facilitating access to military facilities for exchange of fuel and provisions on mutual agreement when the Indian military is operating abroad.

IOB Q2 loss widens on higher bad loans provision

  • State-owned Indian Overseas Bank’s (IOB) second-quarter net loss widened to Rs.2,253.64 crore from Rs.487.26 crore last year, due to higher provisions for bad loans. The Bank had made a provision of Rs.2,600 crore for bad debts in the second quarter.
  • Overall provisions increased to Rs.2,996.04 crore in the second quarter from Rs.2,016.6 crore in the same quarter last year.
  • IOB, which is under RBI’s Prompt Corrective Action (PCA) measure, said its gross non-performing assets (NPAs) stood at Rs.28,673.95 crore at the end of the September quarter, compared to Rs.37,109.96 crore in the same period last year.
  • Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer: Karnam Sekar

Led by India, South Asia moving towards becoming center of global growth: IMF

  • A latest research by the International Monetary Fund has said that South Asia, led by India, is moving towards becoming center of global growth and could contribute about one-third of the world's growth by 2040.
  • The IMF paper titled 'Is South Asia Ready for take Off? A sustainable and inclusive growth agenda,' will be released in New Delhi tomorrow.
  • The report said that under a substantial liberalisation scenario, supported by stepped-up efforts to improve infrastructure and successfully harness South Asia's young and large workforce, the region could contribute about one-third of global growth by 2040.
  • Based on demographic trends, more than 150 million people in the region are expected to enter the labour market by 2030.
  • For IMF, South Asia includes India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bhutan and Maldives.

National Tribal festival to be held from Nov 16 in New Delhi

  • The 15-day Aadi Mahotsav, National Tribal festival will be held in New Delhi from 16th of this month. The theme of the festival is a celebration of the spirit of tribal culture, craft, cuisine and commerce. More than one thousand tribal artisans from 27 states will participate in the event.
  • The festival will feature exhibition-cum-sale of tribal handicrafts, art, paintings, fabric, jewellery and much more through two hundred stalls.

No prima facie evidence in whistle-blower plaint: Infosys

  • IT major Infosys said it has not received any ‘prima facie’ evidence to corroborate the whistleblowers allegations and its audit committee had begun consultations with the company’s independent internal auditor Ernst and Young even before it retained outside investigators.
  • The company said the independent internal auditors were given a mandate to review certain processes on the basis of the allegation in the anonymous complaints.

Om Birla addresses 6th Parliamentary Speakers’ Summit of G 20 Countries

  • Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla Mr Birla, who is in Tokyo to attend the 6th Parliamentary Speakers’ Summit of G 20 Countries, shared his views with Presiding Officers of Parliaments of G20 countries.
  • He said, today the world is grappling with several challenges which not only obstruct the efforts towards development but also pose a serious threat to humanity.
  • Mr Birla said that the First and foremost challenge is Terrorism. He expressed the view that terrorism not only damages the society but also significantly impacts the economy and destroys the development that has taken place.

Principal Secretary to PM reviews measures taken to curb air pollution

  • The Principal Secretary to Prime Minister Dr. P K Mishra has reviewed, the measures taken by the States of Punjab, Haryana and Delhi to tackle air pollution. Dr. Mishra sought to know the details of additional measures taken to check fresh cases of fire and stubble burning in these States during the last 24 hours.

Rafael Nadal secures No 1 spot for eighth time in his career

  • Rafael Nadal is back to the world No. 1 for the eighth time in his career in the ATP rankings released. He goes up one place to overtake Novak Djokovic even though the Serb sealed his fifth Paris Masters title on Sunday with a 6-3, 6-4 victory over Canadian Denis Shapovalov.
  • Nadal, whose last stint at the top ended a year ago on November 4, 2018.

Rajnath Singh to co-chair India-Russia Inter-Governmental Commission on Military and Military Technical Cooperation

  • Defence minister Rajnath Singh will co-chair the 19th India-Russia Inter-Governmental Commission on Military and Military Technical Cooperation starting today in Moscow. During his visit, Mr Singh is expected to hold discussions with Defence Minister of Russian Federation General Sergei Shoigu.
  • He is also scheduled to inaugurate, along with Russian Minister of Industry and Trade, ‘India-Russia Defence Industry Cooperation Conference’.

RBI issues compensation norms for foreign, private banks

  • The Reserve Bank of India has issued compensation guidelines for whole-time directors and chief executives of foreign, private, small finance, payments banks and local area banks, mandating the cash component of variable pay.
  • The RBI said if the variable pay is up to 200 per cent of the fixed pay, at least 50 percent of it should be in non-cash. If the variable pay is above 200 per cent, 67 per cent of it should be paid via non-cash instruments.
  • The RBI said that banks should continue to formulate and adopt a comprehensive compensation policy covering all their employees and conduct annual reviews. It added that the new guidelines will be effective from April next year.
  • Foreign banks operating under the branch mode will have to continue to submit a declaration to RBI annually from their head offices confirming that the compensation structure of those working in the country are in conformity with principles and standards set by the Financial Stability Board.

RBI tightens norms for NBFC liquidity

  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has tightened the liquidity management framework for non-banking financial firms to strengthen their asset-liability management following the liquidity crisis faced by these firms in the past year.
  • The central bank has prescribed a specific cap on negative asset liability mismatches for particular liquidity buckets and also mandated them to maintain liquidity coverage ratios (LCR).
  • The guidelines are applicable to all non-deposit-taking NBFCs with an asset size of Rs.100 crore and above, systemically important Core Investment Companies and all deposit-taking NBFCs irrespective of their asset size.
  • As per the new norms — applicable to all non-deposit taking NBFCs withan asset size of Rs.100 crore and above, systemically important Core Investment Companies and all deposit-taking NBFCs irrespective of
  • asset size — the net cumulative mismatches for 1-7 days, 8-14 days,and 15-30 days shall not exceed 10%, 10% and 20% of the cumulative cash outflows in the respective time buckets. The RBI also mandated liquidity coverage ratios.

Saudi Aramco to float initial public offering

  • Saudi Aramco, world’s largest integrated oil and gas company, will float initial public offering (IPO). Saudi Arabia’s Aramco is considered one of the world’s most profitable oil producing enterprise. It has decided to sell an unspecified percentage of its shares on the Saudi stock exchange, the Tadawul. Trading is expected to begin next month, although it did not specify a date.

Shahbaz Nadeem helps India B lift Deodhar Trophy

  • Left-arm spinner Shahbaz Nadeem claimed four wickets as India B lifted the Deodhar Trophy with a comprehensive 51-run win over India C in the final in Ranchi. Electing to bat, India B posted a competitive 283 for 7, with fifties by Jadhav and Yashasvi Jaiswal.
  • With bowlers Shahbaz Nadeem 4/32 and Mohammed Siraj 2/43 India B restricted India C to 231 for 9 to complete the victory.

Tata Global Beverages to change nomenclature

  • By March 2020, Tata Global Beverages Ltd. (TGBL) expects to become Tata Consumer Products Ltd., emerging as an FMCG company with a portfolio of food products and marking a significant expansion beyond its present play in the beverage segment only.
  • Under the proposed arrangement, TCL’s consumer products business will be demerged in favour of TGBL. This will enable TGBL, which now has major brands such as Tata Tea and Tetley, to add to its portfolio, the foods brands of TCL like Tata Salt and Tata Sampan.
  • It is now undergoing the process of a scheme of arrangement with TataChemicals Ltd. (TCL)
  • The results of the merger are expected to flow to the new company within 18 months post regulatory approvals.
  • Managing director and CEO, TGBL: Ajoy Misra

US formally notifies UN about its withdrawal from Paris Climate Accord

  • The United States has formally notified the United Nations that it was withdrawing from the Paris climate accord, making the world's largest economy the sole outlier from the agreement. The United States presented its withdrawal letter to the United Nations on the first possible date under the accord negotiated by Trump's predecessor Barack Obama.
  • The Paris agreement brought together 188 nations to combat climate change. It committed them to keeping rising global temperatures below 2 Celsius above pre-industrial levels and attempting to limit them even more, to a 1.5 Celsius rise.
  • The US contributes about 15 per cent of global emissions of carbon.