Daily Current Affairs - 08th Jan 2020

12,000 tonne onion imported so far: Paswan

  • The Union Government has so far imported 12,000 tonne of onion and it is being offered to states at Rs 49-58 per kg for retail distribution and to check prices. To boost domestic supply and contain price rise, the Government is importing onion through State-owned MMTC and also facilitating private imports.
  • Of this import, 1,000 tonne has already been distributed to Delhi, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Kerala.
  • By the end of this month, additional 36,000 tonne of imported onion is expected to arrive in India which will help ease pressure on prices.
  • Onion prices have shot up due to 25 per cent fall in the kharif production.

2nd T20I: India beat Sri Lanka by seven wickets in Indore

  • India secured a massive seven-wicket victory over Sri Lanka in the second T20 International match at the Holkar Stadium in Indore. With this victory, the host team has taken a 1-0 lead over Sri Lanka in the three-match T20 International series.
  • Earlier, the Indian bowlers had restricted Sri Lanka to a modest score of 142 for 9 in the stipulated 20 overs on a flat pitch.
  • India made 144 runs for the loss of 3 wickets in 17.3 overs. Wanindu Hasaranga took 2 wickets for the visitors.

4 Nirbhaya case convicts to be hanged on Jan. 22

  • A Delhi court issued the death warrant against all four death row convicts in the 2012 Nirbhaya gang rape and murder case. The execution has been scheduled for 7 am on January 22 and will take place in jail number 3 at Tihar in the national capital.
  • The four death row convicts — Mukesh, 32, Vinay Sharma, 26, Akshay Singh, 31, and Pawan Gupta, 25 — were produced before the court via video conferencing.

Amid slowdown, Rolls-Royce delivers 25% more cars in 2019

  • Despite a slowdown in the global economy and trade wars gripping the world, ultra-luxury car maker Rolls-Royce Motor Cars delivered 25% more cars in 2019 as compared to the previous year, indicating that the super rich are not impacted by the economic downturn.
  • In 2019, the company, which is part of the BMW Group, delivered a total of 5,152 cars to customers in over 50 countries, a record in its 116-year history.
  • In 2018, it delivered 4,107 units, which was also a record that year. The company did not disclose the India numbers, but according to industry officials, it is about 25 to 30 units currently.
  • In India, Rolls-Royce models are priced between Rs.6.21 crore and Rs.11.35 crore.
  • CEO, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars: Torsten Muller-otvos,

Fake ITC cases, trade fraud, fraudulent refunds under GST to be investigated by IT dept

  • The Centre and States have joined hands to formulate a nine-point strategy to streamline the Goods & Services Tax (GST) and plug revenue leakage. These include linking foreign exchange remittances with IGST refund for risky and new exporters, investigation of fraudulent ITC cases by the IT department, a single bank account for foreign remittance receipt, and refund disbursement, beside others.
  • These measures are being formulated at a time when the overall GST collection has been below expectations.
  • Considering the fraudulent IGST refund claims being made, linking foreign exchange remittances with IGST refund for risky and new exporters was explored. All major cases of fake Input Tax Credit, export/ import fraud and fraudulent refunds will also be compulsorily investigated by the investigation wing of the Income Tax Department.

Gujarat: 31st International Kite Festival launched in Ahmedabad

  • The 31st International Kite Festival has been launched at Sabarmati river front in Ahmedabad. It will continue till 14th January- Makarsankranti- the festival of Kites in different parts of the state. More than 140 kite flying experts from 40 countries are participating in this event.
  • About 800 kite fliers from Gujarat and 200 kite fliers from 12 other states are also participating in this unique festival.

India continues to be top sourcing market for Sri Lankan tourism

  • India continued to be the top sourcing market for Sri Lankan tourism with Indian tourists constituting maximum 19 per cent of total tourist arrivals to the island nation in 2019. The latest data released by Sri Lankan Tourism revealed that 3,55,002 Indian tourists visited Sri Lanka last year against total arrival of around 1.91 million.
  • India, United Kingdom, China, Germany and Australia were Sri Lanka's top five international tourist generating markets last year. Sea beaches and religious places connected to Ramayana circuit remain the top attractions for Indian tourists.

J&K: Commissioner Secy unveils logo of first ever JK Global Investors Summit in Jammu

  • Commissioner Secretary, Industries and Commerce, Manoj Kumar Dwivedi has unveiled the logo of first-ever JK Global Investors Summit with the tagline 'Explore, Invest, Grow' at Udhyog Bhawan, Jammu.
  • Global Investors Summit is one of the prestigious events to be held in J&K for the first time where senior policymakers, development agencies, MNCs, BIG Corporate Houses and investors from across the world will participate to explore and expand their business in the region.
  • The Summit is scheduled to be held in April 2020 with the event focusing on driving investment in potential sectors like Agriculture, Horticulture, Food Processing, Film Industry, Tourism, handicrafts and healthcare.

Leh-Ladakh: Both Boys, Girls teams win 5th IHAI National Ice Hockey Championship 2020

  • In Leh-Ladakh, the home teams won the 5th Ice Hockey Association of India (IHAI) National Ice Hockey Championship -2020 in both Boys and Girls categories. Ladakh Scouts Regiment Centre (LSRC) won the bronze medal, in Under-20 Boys category.
  • The Under-20 boys will be playing Asia Challenge Cup between 10th and 15th of next month in Thailand. Girls will play in the Asian Championship between 23rd and 28th of next month in the Philippines.

More than dozen rockets hit two airbases of US and Coalition forces in Iraq

  • Two airbases of the United States and coalition forces in Iraq were hit by more than a dozen rockets. The two sites that were attacked are Erbil and Al-Asad.
  • Iran's Revolutionary Guard said the attack was in retaliation for the death of Soleimani on Friday.
  • Meanwhile, the Iranian parliament has approved a triple-urgency bill which designates the US army and the Pentagon as a terrorist entity. The Bill further requires the government to allocate 200 million euro to the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Quds Force to take revenge for the US killing of Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani.

Ravindra Nath Mahto elected as Jharkhand Assembly Speaker

  • Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) legislator Ravindra Nath Mahto from Nala constituency was unanimously elected as the new Assembly Speaker on the second day of the Assembly session. Protem Speaker Stephen Marandi administered the oath to the newly elected Speaker of the State Assembly.
  • Governor Draupadi Murmu
  • Chief Minister Hemant Soren

RBI eyes market for specialised supervision, regulation cadre

  • The Reserve Bank of India has decided to recruit 35% of the specialised supervisory and regulatory cadre from the market while the remaining 65% will be recruited via internal promotions. The central bank said that direct recruitment in the Specialized Supervisory and Regulatory Cadre (SSRC) will be at Grade B level.
  • The Specialized Supervisory and Regulatory Cadre (SSRC) will comprise officers in Grade B to Executive Director level, the circular said.
  • RBI said in case there was a shortfall in filling up any vacancy in the specialist groups in Research, Data Analysis, Model Development, Stress Testing and the like, then lateral recruitment will be resorted to in respect of such shortfall.

Rs.104.34 crore refund to RCom upheld

  • In a relief to Reliance Communications (RCom), the Supreme Court of India has upheld an order by the Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) to the government to refund Rs.104.34 crore to the telecom company.
  • A Bench led by Justice Rohinton Nariman confirmed the tribunal’s decision of December 21, 2018, while rejecting the contention of the Department of Telecom (DoT) that RCom is under liquidation and continuously defaulting on spectrum deferred payments.

Sanchez wins Parliament vote to remain Spain PM

  • Spain's caretaker socialist Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez has narrowly won a confidence vote in parliament, enabling him to govern in coalition with far-left Podemos. It will be Spain's first coalition government since democracy was restored in 1978, after the Franco dictatorship.
  • The dramatic open vote, by a simple majority of MPs, went 167 to 165 in his favour. Abstentions by Catalan and Basque MPs played a critical role. He will now form a minority government.

SBI lowers GDP estimates to 4.6% in FY 20 from 5%

  • State Bank of India (SBI has lowered its economic growth projection for the current financial year to 4.6%, from the 5% projected in November.
  • The Central Statistics Office has pegged the country’s GDP growth for 2019-20 at 5%, an 11-year low. GDP growth in the previous financial year was 6.8%.
  • The Reserve Bank of India had cut down its growth projection for FY20 to 5% in the December monetary policy review

Stokes mops up South African tail, inspires England to series-levelling win

  • Ben Stokes produced an explosive spell of bowling as England beat South Africa by 189 runs inside the last hour of the fifth day of the second Test at Newlands. The win levelled the four-match World Test championship series.
  • South Africa was bowled out for 248, with the last wicket falling when only 8.2 overs were left in the match. Stokes took the last three wickets in the space of 14 balls to clinch the victory. He finished with three for 35.

Tamil Nadu: More than 100 University Vice Chancellors take part in two-day National Conference in Kanyakumari district

  • In Tamil Nadu, more than 100 University Vice Chancellors are taking part in a two-day National Conference in Kanyakumari district. The conference is mainly discussing about digitally enhanced distance learning methodologies as well as the importance of ensuring increased variety of curriculum in graduate and post graduate courses.

US warns ships in Middle East waterways of possible Iran action

  • The US government has warned that ships across West Asia waterways crucial to global energy supplies that there's the possibility of Iranian action against US maritime interests in the region. The US Maritime Administration put out the warning citing the rising threats after an American drone strike in Baghdad killed Iranian Revolutionary Guard Gen Qassem Soleimani.