Daily Current Affairs - 05th Dec 2019

14,500 NGOs banned by govt from receiving foreign funds

  • The Union government has informed that 14,500 NGOs registered under the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) were banned in the last five years from receiving funds from abroad.
  • In a written reply in Rajya Sabha, Minister of State for Home, Nityanand Rai also said the ministry has cancelled FCRA registration of 1,808 NGOs recently for non-submission of mandatory annual returns for the year 2017-18.
  • The FCRA registered NGOs in the country have received over 2,244 crore rupees in 2018-19 as on 28th November and over 16,902 crore rupees in 2017-18.

Bangladesh-India shipping secretary-level meeting begins

  • A two-day-long meeting between Shipping Secretaries of India and Bangladesh has begun in Dhaka on December 5. The two countries will discuss issues like land port facility, transshipment fees, dredging of navigational rivers among others.
  • Both will also discuss ways to improve immigration and customs arrangement and management of passenger and cruise ships.
  • The last secretary-level meeting between the two countries was held in 2018 in New Delhi.

Bharti Airtel board approves fundraising of $3 billion via debt and equity

  • Faced with AGR(Adjusted Gross Revenu) dues worth Rs 43,000 crore to the government, the board of telecom giant Bharti Airtel has approved a plan to raise $3 billion via various modes including Qualified Institution Placement (QIPs), stake sale and debt papers.
  • The company said it will launch one or more QIPs or offer for sale of equity shares or a combination of similar offers to raise $2 billion. Rest $1 billion will be raised through debentures and bonds.
  • The telecom major desperately needs cash to pay off its statutory dues apart from debts. Airtel had reported a net loss of Rs 23,044 crore for the quarter ended September 30, on Rs 28,450 crore provisions towards adjusted gross revenue (AGR) dues.

Bosnia to take full control of its air space

  • Bosnia will take full control of its air space for the first time ever after its 1990s war of independence led to a period of oversight by international peace forces.
  • Control over its air space was maintained by NATO-led peace forces from 1995 until 2003 when it was transferred to neighbouring Serbia and Croatia while Bosnia built up and modernised its own system.
  • Bosnia took control of air space below 10,000 metres (33,000 feet) in 2014 following a 10-year project to establish its own air navigation management system and after the training of some 400 staff.

Cabinet approves launch of Bharat Bond ETF to pump money into public sector

  • The Union Cabinet has approved launch of an exchange traded fund for bonds. The fund will provide additional money for state-owned firms and other government organizations, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said.
  • Bharat Bond Exchange Traded Fund would be the first corporate bond ETF in the country.
  • ETF will be basket of bonds issued by state firms or any government organization, and bonds will be tradable on exchange. The unit size will be of Rs 1,000, allowing small investors to invest.
  • Each ETF to have fixed maturity date and will track underlying index on risk replication basis and will have two maturity series -- 3 and 10 years.

Cabinet approves SC/STs reservation in Lok Sabha, state assemblies for another 10 years

  • The Union Cabinet has approved a proposal to extend reservation for Scheduled Castes (SCs) and Scheduled Tribes (STs) in the Lok Sabha and State Assemblies for another 10 years. The reservation for these categories in the lower House of Parliament and the State Assemblies was to expire on 25th January next year.
  • As there are 84 members from the Scheduled Caste and 47 from the Scheduled Tribe communities in Parliament. In state assemblies across India, there are 614 SC members and 554 ST members.

Data Protection Bill gets cabinet nod; to be tabled in Parliament

  • The Union government has approved the Personal Data Protection Bill that will spell out a framework for handling of personal data including its processing by public and private entities. The decision was taken at a Cabinet meeting headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
  • Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar said the Bill will be introduced in Parliament during the current Winter Session.
  • The Bill is likely to contain broad guidelines on collection, storage and processing of personal data, consent of individuals, penalties and compensation, code of conduct and an enforcement model.

Heinous Crimes in Delhi declined by 7.7 per cent: Home Ministry

  • Minister of State for Home Affairs, G. Kishan Reddy said that heinous crimes in Delhi have declined by 7.7 per cent during the current year as compared to the last year. According to Delhi Police, the number of total heinous crimes registered during this year is four thousand 628 as compared to over five thousand in 2018.
  • Mr Reddy said that the Delhi Police has instituted several measures to both prevent and expeditiously detect crimes in the national capital.

IL&FS reports Rs 22,527 cr net loss for FY19

  • Cash-strapped Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services (IL&FS) has reported a standalone net loss of Rs 22,527 crore for the fiscal to March 2019, as against Rs 333 crore in the previous fiscal.
  • The scam-ridden infra lending major reported revenue of Rs 824 crore, massively down from Rs 1,734 crore in the previous year.
  • As of end March 2019, total assets stood at Rs 4,148 crore, a pale shadow of Rs 23,868 crore year-ago, adding its liabilities rose to Rs 21,083 crore from Rs 18,276 crore in FY18.
  • As of October 8, 2018, the group has an external fund-based debt of Rs 94,216 crore and an additional non-fund based debt of Rs 5,139 crore.

India reports 2.6 m fewer malaria cases in 2018

  • India and Uganda have received a special mention from the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Director-General, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, for their substantial reduction in malaria cases in 2018 over the previous year.
  • According to the World Malaria Report 2019, the two high-burden-to-high-impact (HBHI) countries that achieved a significant reduction in malaria cases in 2018, as compared with the previous year, were India (2.6 million fewer cases) and Uganda (1.5 million fewer cases).
  • The report said, there were an estimated 228 million cases and 4,05,000 deaths globally in 2018, concentrated mainly in Africa and India. This represented about 3 million fewer cases and 11,000 fewer deaths compared with 2017.

India tops medals tally with 34 Gold in South Asian Games

  • At the 13th South Asian Games in Nepal, India has topped the medals tally on the fourth day with 70 medals comprising 34 gold, 23 silver and 13 bronze. Indian athletes dominated in most of the competitions.
  • On the fourth day of games, India clinched 28 medals including 17 gold. Athletics grabbed maximum 10 medals including 5 Gold.
  • In Tennis, Table Tennis, Kho-Kho, Indian men's and women's teams won gold each. In Taekwondo India clinched six medals, including 3 Gold.

Indian-origin Congressman likely to lead Asia panel

  • Indian American Congressman Ami Bera likely to take over a crucial Foreign Affairs subcommittee on Asia, the Pacific and Non-proliferation. Bera, a physician and a California Democrat, is a strong proponent of closer India-US ties.

MMTC to buy 4,000tn onions from Turkey

  • State-owned MMTC has further contracted four thousand tonnes of onions from Turkey which is expected to arrive by mid-January next year. Consumer Affairs Ministry said, this four thousand tonne of onions is in addition to around 17 thousand tonnes of Onions already contracted from Egypt and Turkey.
  • The Department of Consumer Affairs has also directed MMTC to issue three more tenders for import of Onions, out of which two tenders are country-specific namely Turkey and the European Union and one is a global tender.
  • Each of these tenders is for five thousand tonnes.

PM Modi, Maldivian President jointly inaugurate four key development projects

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Maldivian President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih have jointly inaugurated four key development projects covering a wide range of sectors through video conferencing.
  • One of the projects includes the lighting up of Male using LED lights. Another project is the launch of the RuPay card in Maldives. Three fish processing plants were inaugurated and a Fast Interceptor Craft was gifted to the Maldives.

Process for merger of BSNL, MTNL underway: Ravi Shankar Prasad

  • Union Minister for Communications Ravi Shankar Prasad has said that the process is on for the merger of BSNL and MTNL.
  • While replying to a question in Lok Sabha today, he said that efforts have been made to protect the interests of the employees and make it a profitable venture.
  • Mr. Prasad said that 75 per cent of BSNL revenue is spent on the salaries of its employees, whereas MTNL is shelling out 87 per cent of its revenue on salaries.
  • The VRS scheme will pave way for a leaner meaner force of the service provider and thereby augment profitability in its operations.

Sri Lanka: General election likely in late April

  • In Sri Lanka, Chairman of the Elections Commission Mahinda Deshapriya has said, the General election could be held at the end of April next year if Parliament is dissolved at the beginning of March.
  • His comments came as President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has made it clear that he will hold the parliamentary elections at the earliest possible time.
  • As per the constitution, the parliament can only be dissolved after the expiry of four and half years of its term which ends on March 2.

Trump committed impeachment offences: Legal experts tell lawmakers

  • Eminent legal experts told lawmakers that the US President Donald Trump has committed impeachment offenses, as the opposition Democratic party accelerated the process to oust the elected head of the country.
  • The Democratic party-controlled House Judiciary Committee kicked off its series of public hearings to frame charges of impeachment against Trump. He is the third US president to face impeachment.

Ujjivan SFB IPO overall subscribed 166 times, sees highest subscription in 2019

  • The initial public offering by Ujjivan Small Finance Bank, which got fully subscribed on the first day itself, overall received 165.68 times subscription on the third and final day of the bidding process. The Ujjivan Bank is now the best IPO of 2019, overtaking IRCTC issue, which saw subscription of 112 times in October 2019.
  • The issue received bids for 20,53,66,79,600 shares against the issue size of 12,39,58,333 shares, as per exchanges data. The quota reserved for Qualified Institutional Buyers (QIBs) was subscribed 110.72 times, Non Institutional Investors (NIIs) 473 times and retail 49 times.
  • The Rs 750-crore issue was being sold in Rs 36-37 price band. At the upper end of the price band, the SFB is valued at 2.8 times its Q2FY2020 book value (pre-IPO) and 2.3 times on post dilution basis.

Union Cabinet clears Citizenship (Amendment) Bill

  • The Union Cabinet has cleared the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill. This Bill seeks to amend the Citizenship Act, 1955 to make illegal migrants of six communities from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan eligible for Indian citizenship.
  • The communities are Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians. The legislation relaxes the 11-year criteria for citizenship to six years for persons belonging to these six religions. The bill was passed by the last Lok Sabha but it could not be taken up in the Rajya Sabha.
  • Now, it is expected to be taken up during the ongoing Winter Session of Parliament.

Virat Kohli regains no.1 spot in ICC Test rankings

  • India captain Virat Kohli has regained the top spot in the International Cricket Council's (ICC) Test rankings in batting. Australian Steve Smith slipped a rung in the latest list.
  • Among the bowlers, Jasprit Bumrah is the highest-placed Indian at the fifth position. Senior off-spinner R Ashwin was also static at ninth in the rankings.
  • West Indies captain Jason Holder has consolidated his position at the top of the all-rounders' list.

World’s lowest dose-volume Rotavirus vaccine launched

  • An Indian vaccine manufacturer Bharat Biotech has rolled out the world’s lowest dose-volume rotavirus vaccine. The vaccine was made available in the private markets of the country.
  • Developed by Bharat Biotech, oral rotavirus vaccine ROTAVAC 5D- that can prevent rotavirus diarrhoea in young children, can be stored at 2-8 degree Celsius and be administered in just 5 drops.
  • Globally, rotavirus causes approximately 200,000 deaths and about 2 million hospitalizations annually, mostly in low-income countries.
  • Chairman and Managing Director of Bharat Biotech: Dr. Krishna Ella