Daily Current Affairs - 18th Nov 2019

63rd National Shotgun Shooting Championship kicks off in New Delhi

  • The 63rd National Shotgun Shooting Championship Competitions 2019 began in New Delhi. The Women's Trap qualification kicked off the competition at the Dr Karni Singh Shooting Range, New Delhi. The women's events have seen 71 entries across the senior and junior categories.
  • This will be followed by the Men’s Trap, which will be spread over three days from November 20 to 22.

6th ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting-Plus to be held in Bangkok

  • Defence Minister Rajnath Singh was in Bangkok, Thailand, on 17 November to attend the 6th ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting-Plus (ADMM-Plus). Defence Minister Rajnath Singh along with 17 other Defence Ministers of ADMM-Plus countries will attend the meeting.
  • Mr Singh reviewed the entire gamut of bilateral defence relations with the respective leaders and discussed ways to further improve the ties.

AIMPLB to file review petition against SC verdict on Ayodhya issue

  • The All India Muslim Personal Law Board, AIMPLB, will file a review petition against the Supreme Court verdict on the Ayodhya issue. The decision was taken at the executive body meeting of the AIMPLB in Lucknow.
  • The AIMPLB raised objections on several points in the apex court judgement and said the petition will be filed within the stipulated time of thirty days after the verdict.
  • The Board said no other land or place for mosque can be accepted, adding that the Supreme Court neglected several issues of the Muslim community.

Aramco declares $1.71 trillion valuation in blockbuster IPO

  • Saudi Arabia on Sunday put a value of up to $1.71 trillion on energy giant Aramco in what could be the world’s biggest IPO. Aramco said it would sell 1.5 per cent of the company in a blockbuster initial public offering worth $24-25.6 billion, scaling down Saudi Arabia’s initial plan to sell up to five per cent of the firm.
  • The state-owned energy giant said as it began taking bids from investors in a price range of 30-32 Saudi riyals per share (USD 8-8.5).

Czech Republic: Anti-government protests mark 30th anniversary of Velvet Revolution

  • In Czech Republic, lakhs of people took to the streets in the capital Prague as part of major anti-government protests. Demonstrators are demanding for Prime Minister Andrej Babis to resign over allegations of fraud. It is alleged Babis used European Union subsidies for his private business.
  • The protest was held on the eve of the 30th anniversary of the Velvet Revolution, which ended communist rule in what was then Czechoslovakia.

England qualifies for UEFA Euro 2020 football tournament

  • England has qualified for the UEFA Euro 2020 football tournament and become the top scorer with 38 goals in 2019. This is England's second-highest number ever and the highest since achieving the same total in 1966.
  • On the other hand, Cristiano Ronaldo has scored his 99th international goal as Portugal secured its place at the Euro 2020 finals on Sunday. Portugal became the 17th nation to qualify for next year's multi-host tournament, which will kick off in Rome on June 12.

Finance Ministry discusses simplification of GST forms, making filing process more user- friendly

  • Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has chaired a meeting on simplification of GST forms and returns.
  • As a part of the ongoing efforts to address the concern raised on the process of filing GST forms, Mrs Sitharaman met Rajasthan Tax Consultants' Association, the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India, Confederation of All India Traders and Laghu Udyog Bharti in New Delhi.
  • The aim of the exercise was to further simplify GST forms and make the filling process more user-friendly.
  • The Finance Minister directed that extensive nation-wide consultations should be held on the new GST return system to be launched from the next financial year.

First Night trial of surface-to-surface medium-range missile Agni-II conducted successfully

  • India has successfully conducted the first night trial of Agni-II, its versatile surface-to-surface medium-range nuclear-capable missile from Dr Abdul Kalam Island off Odisha coast. Agni-II, an intermediate-range ballistic missile (IRBM), has already been inducted into the armed forces.
  • This was the first time that the sophisticated missile was test fired at night. The two-stage ballistic missile can carry a payload of 1000 kg over a distance of 2000 km.
  • The test was carried out by the specially formed Strategic Forces Command (SFC) of the Army with logistic support from the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).

GoI to extend Visa-on-Arrival facility to UAE nationals

  • Government of India has decided to extend the Visa-on-Arrival facility to nationals of the United Arab Emirates. This facility is aimed at further strengthening people to people and trade links as well as strategic ties between the two countries.
  • This facility is available at six designated International Airports namely, Bangalore, Chennai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Kolkata and Mumbai.
  • Visa-on-Arrival is available to UAE nationals for a period of up to 60 days with double entry for business, tourism, conference and medical purposes.
  • However, Pakistan Origin UAE nationals will not be eligible for Visa-on-Arrival Scheme.

Gotabaya Rajapakasa to be sworn-in as new President of Sri Lanka

  • Gotabaya Rajapakasa will be sworn-in as new President of Sri Lanka. He is the brother of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa. In the Presidential elections held on Saturday Gotabaya got 52.25 per cent of the total valid votes defeating his nearest rival Sajith Premadasa.
  • Sri Lanka People’s party (SLPP) has already projected its leader Mahinda Rajapaksa as Prime minister in event of their victory at the elections.

Hotels cannot deny theft claim of vehicle handed over for valet parking: SC

  • In a landmark verdict, the Supreme Court of India has held that hotels cannot deny compensation under the garb of "owner's risk" clause to its guest or visitors for theft of vehicle parked through its staff or valet.
  • The top court has held that the burden of proof lies on the hotel to explain that any loss or damage caused to the vehicles parked was not on account of its negligence or want of care.
  • The court held, the hotel-owner cannot contract out of liability for its negligence or that of its servants in respect of a vehicle of its guest in any circumstance.
  • It further said that valet parking at the hotel is unlike parking facility where it is the owner's responsibility to find a suitable parking spot, park the vehicle correctly, return, and take out the vehicle upon display of the parking token/slip.

India may retaliate against US in steel dispute at WTO

  • India may retaliate against the US on the basis of issues that have been decided in India’s favour by the World Trade Organisation compliance panel in the dispute over countervailing duties on steel imports. This can happen in case US does not appeal the ruling, which it can do over the next 60 days.
  • In the compliance panel report issued by the WTO, there are some unfavourable issues for India, but there are other important ones where the ruling is favourable. The Indian team is studying the report and is looking at the possibility of moving for retaliation.

India record best-ever 9 medal hauls at World Para Athletics Championship

  • India has recorded the best-ever nine medals haul at the World Para Athletics Championship in Dubai. With two gold, two silver and five bronze, India secured 13 qualifying spots at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics.
  • China topped the medals tally with 59 medals including 25 gold. Brazil (39) and Great Britain (28) followed China.

Indian women clinch five gold medals in Asian Youth Boxing C'ship

  • Indian women have clinched five gold, while men bagged two silver at Asian Youth Boxing Championship in Mongolia. All five women finalists, Naorem Chanu (51kg), Vinka (64kg) Sanamacha Chanu (75kg), Poonam (54kg) and Sushma (81kg) have won Gold.
  • Among men Selay Soy (49kg) and Ankit Narwal (60kg) settled for the second place after going down in their respective summit clashes.
  • India signed off with 12 medals in the event.

Justice Bobde to take over as 47th Chief Justice of India

  • Justice SA Bobde will take over as 47th Chief Justice of India (CJI) today. President Ram Nath Kovind will administer him the oath of office at Rashtrapati Bhavan. Justice Bobde will succeed justice Ranjan Gogoi, who retired on Sunday.
  • He will have a tenure of around 18 months till his retirement on April 23, 2021. Justice Bobde was elevated as a Judge of the Supreme Court on April 12, 2013. He was part of the five-judge constitution bench which delivered the landmark Ayodhya verdict.

Protests erupt across Iran as government announces 50% increase in petrol prices

  • Protests have erupted across Iran after the government unexpectedly announced that it was rationing petrol and increasing its price. Petrol prices rose by at least 50% as subsidies on petrol were reduced by the government.
  • At least two people have been killed and Several more people were injured during overnight protests.
  • Iran is already suffering economically due to stiff sanctions imposed by the US after Washington decided to pull out of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.

Sarita Devi elected as member of AIBA athletes commission

  • Laishram Sarita Devi of Manipur is among the six boxers from 5 continents who were elected as members of AIBA Athletes Commission. The election of the Athletes Commission members was organized during AIBA Men and Women World Boxing Championships 2019 in Russia.
  • Boxers from all over the world voted for new members - one per continent, except Europe which has two representatives.

Stefanos Tsitsipas beats Dominic Thiem to win ATP Finals title

  • Greek tennis player Stefanos Tsitsipas has won the ATP Finals beating Austria's Dominic Thiem 6-7, 6-2, 7-6. This was the debut of Tsisipas in ATP Finals. This match lasted for 2 hours and 36 minutes.
  • Tsitsipas had qualified for the finals after defeating six-time champion Roger Federer in the semi-finals on Saturday.

We will move forward on insurance PSUs merger: FM

  • Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has said that the union government would be moving forward on the merger of the three state-run general insurance companies as announced in the previous Budget. Since the Budget 2019-20 did not make any provision of funds for insurers, the department of financial services (DFS) will have to seek supplementary demand of Rs 12,000 crore for this purpose.
  • The proposed merger of National Insurance Co Ltd, United India Insurance Co Ltd and Oriental Insurance Co Ltd has not been able to move forward due to their weak financial position.