Daily Current Affairs - 22nd Jan 2020
Bharti Airtel gets nod for 100% FDI
- The telecom department has approved raising the foreign direct investment (FDI) limit in Bharti Airtel from an earlier 49%, a provision that can help the telco draw more overseas funds.
- The clearance to raise foreign investment levels came after the combined holding of the promoter and promoter group in Airtel fell to 58.98% from 62.70% after the company raised $2 billion through a private share placement to investors, which included GIC, Fidelity, BlackRock, Goldman Sachs, Citigroup, Schroder, Warburg Pincus and Segantii Capita.
- Currently, Sunil Mittal and family owns around 52% in Bharti Telecom, which in turn owns less than about 40% stake in Bharti Airtel after the recent share sale. SingTel owns 48% in Bharti Telecom.
Brazil President Bolsonaro to be chief guest at 71st Republic Day
- President of Brazil Jair Messias Bolsonaro will arrive in New Delhi on a four-day state visit to India. President Bolsonaro will be the chief guest at the 71st Republic Day Parade at Raj Path in the national capital on January 26.
- India and Brazil will upgrade their strategic partnership with an “action plan” and sign a Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT).
- He will be accompanied by a delegation comprising of seven Ministers, Chairman of Brazil-India Friendship Group in the Brazilian Parliament, senior officials and a large business delegation.
Celebrated wrestler Yogeshwar Dutt and Paralympian Deepa Malik inducted in AlCS
- Celebrated wrestler Yogeshwar Dutt and Paralympian Deepa Malik are among the new inductees in the government's All India Council of Sports (AICS).
- Some other renowned new entrants in the Council are former shooter Anjali Bhagwat, footballer Renedy Singh, and mountaineer Bachendri Pal. Senior India off-spinner Harbhajan Singh has also been inducted in the council.
- Its term has also been extended by three years and it will continue to be led by veteran sports administrator V K Malhotra as President.
- AICS is an advisory body to the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports which was formed in 2015 by the then Sports Minister Sarbananda Sonowal.
Challa Sreenivasulu Setty appointed as the Managing Director of SBI
- The Union government has appointed Challa Sreenivasulu Setty as the managing director of the State Bank of India for a period of three years with effect from the date of his taking over the charge of the post or until further orders.
- The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has approved the proposal of the Department of the Financial Services for the appointment of Setty, currently serving as the deputy managing director of the SBI.
Corona Virus spreads from Human to Human, China Confirms 6 Deaths
- China has confirmed 6 deaths due to novel coronavirus which has spread to many cities in China including Wuhan, Beijing, Shanghai and southern Guondong province. A total of 295 cases of pneumonia caused by the novel coronavirus had been reported in China and neighbouring countries. 2 cases confirmed in Thailand and 1 each in Japan and South Korea.
- Chinese officials have confirmed that the virus can be transmitted between humans which has become cause of major concern for the health officials.
Defending champions India beat debutant Japan in ICC Under-19 World Cup
- India won the Group A ICC Under-19 World Cup Cricket match against Japan by 10 wickets at Bloemfontein, South Africa. Put into bat, Japan were all out for paltry 41 runs. As many as 5 Japanese batsmen were out without any score.
- India reached the 42-run target in 4.5 overs. India will play New Zealand in their last group match on the 24th of this month.
FMCG industry to grow 9-10 pc in 2020: Nielsen
- According to the data analytics firm Nielsen’s report titled ''India FMCG Growth Snapshot'', the FMCG industry is expected to be ''stable'' in 2020 with a growth of around 9 to 10 per cent, helped by several macroeconomic factors, including expectations of inflation going down and proactive government policies.
- The FMCG industry registered a growth of 9.7 per cent in 2019, which included e-commerce.
- In the fourth quarter (October-December) of 2019, the FMCG industry reported a sales growth of 6.6 per cent and it was 7.3 per cent with e-commerce channels, which according to the report indicates an "arrest" as against sharp slowdown witnessed in the previous quarters.
- Other factors that could impact trajectory of FMCG growth is improvement in India's global ranking in the World Bank's ''Ease of Doing Business'' Index from 77 to 63, coupled with proposals to allow higher FDI in select sectors, may lead to higher amount of investments coming into the country, the report said.
Impeachment trial of US President Trump opens in Senate
- The historic impeachment trial of United States President Donald Trump opened as Democrats angrily accused Senate Republicans of seeking a cover-up without witnesses or new evidence.
- It is only the third time a US president has endured an impeachment trial, after Bill Clinton in 1999 and Andrew Johnson in 1868. Trump is accused of withholding nearly 400 million US Dollars in military aid for Ukraine's war against Russian-backed separatists, and refusing Zelensky a White House meeting, unless he opened a probe of Biden.
Khelo India Youth Games to conclude in Guwahati
- The third Khelo India Youth Games will conclude this evening with gala closing ceremony at Sarusajai Stadium in Guwahati. The final matches of boxing, football and tennis will be played today. Swimming and weightlifting events will also be held.
- In medal tally, Maharashtra continues to top with 234 medals including 74 gold medals. Haryana is on second spot with 57 golds while Delhi is on third spot with 35 gold medals.
Nation's Cup Boxing: Indian pugilists claim four silver, two bronze medals in Serbia tourney
- M Meena Kumari (54kg) was among the four Indian pugilists who claimed silver medals at the ninth Nation's Cup boxing tournament for women in Sombor, Serbia. Monika also went down in a split verdict to Russia's Iuliia Chumgalakova, while Ritu was beaten 0-4 by China's Cai Yan.
- Signing off with bronze medals were Pavitra (60kg) and Pwilao Basumatary (64kg). Both lost in the semi-finals.
P.V. Sindhu launches 40 years of Sportstar, 40 Superstars
- Badminton world champion P.V. Sindhu launched Sportstar's special book - 40 Years of Sportstar, 40 Superstars. Featuring essays by Vijay Amritraj, Shashi Tharoor, Michael Holding, Brian Glanville, and Rajdeep Sardesai among others, the book was commissioned to commemorate Sportstar completing 40 years and features a champion for each year - from Bjorn Borg, Kapil Dev, Mike Tyson and Imran Khan to Rahul Dravid, Michael Schumacher, M.S.Dhoni, Mary Kom, and more.
PM Modi to chair 32nd interaction through PRAGATI platform
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi will chair the 32nd interaction through PRAGATI- the ICT-based, multi-modal platform for Pro-Active Governance and Timely Implementation in New Delhi. In the previous thirty-one interactions of PRAGATI, projects worth over twelve lakh crores have been reviewed by the Prime Minister.
- In the last PRAGATI meeting, nine projects worth over 61 thousand crore rupees related to 16 states and the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir were taken up for discussion. There were also discussions on various topics like grievances of Indian citizens working abroad, National Agriculture Market, Aspirational District Programme and infrastructure development programmes and initiatives.
- Prime Minister had launched the multi-purpose and multi-modal governance platform PRAGATI on 25th March 2015.
- PRAGATI is an integrating and interactive platform aimed at addressing the common man’s grievances. PRAGATI also helps in simultaneously monitoring and reviewing important programmes and projects of the Centre as well as projects flagged by various State governments.
Qatar and FIFA publish planning strategy ahead of the 2022 football World Cup
- Qatar and FIFA has published the first jointly issued legacy planning strategy ahead of the football World Cup in 2022. FIFA and the Qatari Supreme Committee organisers said in a statement in Doha that it contains pledges on labour and LGBT rights alongside protections for activists and journalists.
- It said a total of 22 objectives have been described in detail, together with more than 70 concrete initiatives and programmes to deliver the strategy. The 112-page "Sustainability Strategy" also sets out commitments on making the tournament inclusive for groups including the disabled.
- It provides for boosting economic development, protecting the environment and promoting ethical business practices. On workers' rights, the document said Qatar would promote "decent working and living conditions and fair recruitment, including effective access" to remedial measures.
RBI Cancels PPI License Of Vodafone M-Pesa
- The Reserve Bank of India cancelled digital wallet Vodafone M-Pesa's license after it surrendered its certificate of authorisation in 2019. Following the cancellation of the CoA, the company cannot transact the business of issuance and operation of prepaid payment instruments, the central bank said.
- Last year, Vodafone Idea had decided to close m-pesa vertical following the closure of Aditya Birla Idea Payments Bank Ltd (ABIPBL), with which it was being merged.
Rs 45,000 cr Submarine Project: MDL and L&T get a go ahead
- The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC), chaired by defence minister Rajnath Singh, has shortlisted state-run Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Ltd and Larsen and Toubro Ltd for the Indian Navy’s Rs.45,000 crore submarine project.
- Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders and L&T will now tie up with individual foreign partners to submit their final bids for manufacturing the six submarines.
- Five foreign companies have expressed interest in the submarine project, of which Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders and L&T will choose one each as their partner.
- A joint bid from Adani Defence and state-run Hindustan Shipyard Ltd was rejected.
Sanjiv Chadha appointed MD, CEO Bank of Baroda; Atanu Kumar Das to head Bank of India
- Sanjiv Chadha has been appointed as Managing Director (MD) and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) at Bank of Baroda. Chadha, who is at present Deputy Managing Director in State Bank of India, has been appointed to the new post for a period of three years.
- Atanu Kumar Das has been appointed as the MD and CEO in Bank of India for a three-year term. He is at present working as the Executive Director in the same bank.
- Lingam Venkata Prabhakar, Executive Director in Punjab National Bank will be MD and CEO in Canara Bank.
SC again highlights taking away disqualification power from Speakers
- The Supreme Court of India has asked Parliament to amend the Constitution to strip Legislative Assembly Speakers of their exclusive power to decide whether legislators should be disqualified or not under the anti-defection law.
- The Apex Court said, Parliament may seriously consider amending the Constitution to substitute Speaker of Lok Sabha and Legislative Assemblies as arbiter of disqualification issues with a Permanent Tribunal headed by a retired Supreme Court Judge or a retired Chief Justice of a High Court or some other mechanism to ensure swift and impartial decisions.
SC to hear over 140 pleas challenging CAA
- The Supreme Court is scheduled to hear a batch of pleas seeking to examine the constitutional validity of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA). A bench, headed by Chief Justice S A Bobde, which had issued notice to the Centre on 18th of December last year on various pleas, is likely to hear a batch of 143 petitions.
- These include pleas filed by the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) and Congress leader Jairam Ramesh. Some of the petitions filed later have also sought a stay on the operation of the legislation which came into force on 10th of January.
- CAA seeks to grant citizenship to non-Muslim migrants belonging to Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Christian, Jain and Parsi communities who came to the country from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan on or before December 31, 2014.
Zomato buys Uber Eats in $300 million all-stock deal
- Online food delivery startup Zomato has agreed to acquire Uber's food delivery business in India—Uber Eats in an all-stock deal, which gives Uber Technologies a 10 percent stake in Zomato.
- The deal, valued at $300 million, will give Zomato over 50 percent marketshare in food delivery segment.
- Uber Eats in India will discontinue operations and direct restaurants, delivery partners, users of the Uber Eats apps to the Zomato platform.
- Uber Eats India, which was serving 41 cities and has partnership with 26,000 restaurants, has 12 percent marketshare in the food delivery category.
- Zomato is valued at around $3 billion after the startup raised $150 million from Alibaba affiliate Ant Financial Services Group earlier this month.