Daily Current Affairs - 28th Jan 2020

Applications invited for SEBI chief post

  • With the tenure of the current chairman of the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) Ajay Tyagi ending next month, the government has invited applications for the appointment of his successor. Chairman will be appointed on the recommendation of the Financial Sector Regulatory Appointments Committee
  • Tyagi’s three-year tenure was marked with swift action on many high-profile investigation cases, including alleged fraudulent trading by Reliance Industries Ltd, alleged unfair access of select brokers to National Stock Exchange of India’s co-location platform, and the nine-year-long case of alleged malpractice by PricewaterhouseCoopers in the Rs.7,136 crore Satyam Computer Services Ltd scam. Sebi also passed orders against brokers of the National Spot Exchange Ltd, besides Karvy Stock Broking Ltd.

ATF unanimously nominates Anil Khanna as life President

  • Senior Sports Administrator Anil Khanna, who recently decided not to contest the President's post of the Asian Tennis Federation (ATF), was nominated Life President of the continental body. Mr Khanna had served as ATF President from 2005 to 2019 and also ITF Vice President from 2015-19.
  • He was also appointed Chairman of the ATF Finance Committee.

Billie Eilish sweeps Grammys with 5 awards

  • Teen sensation Billie Eilish won the top four prizes at the Grammy Award, taking home Best New Artist, Record of the Year, Album of the Year and Song of the Year at the annual awards for the music industry.
  • Billie, who often collaborates with her older brother Finneas, has won five of the six awards she was nominated for beating off competition from rapper Lil Nas X and Lizzo.

Bolivia's interim president Jeanine Anez asks ministers to resign

  • In Bolivia, Interim President Jeanine Anez has asked all Ministers to resign a little more than three months before a general election. The Presidential office said in a statement, Mr Anez would seek to fill the positions as fast as possible to maintain continuity ahead of the elections.
  • Mr Anez assumed the Presidency in November, two days after Mr Evo Morales resigned following three weeks of protests against his controversial re-election in a poll.

Budget airline IndiGo’s profit soars threefold to Rs. 496 crore

  • InterGlobe Aviation, the parent company of budget carrier IndiGo, has reported a steep rise in profit after tax at Rs.496 crore for the three months ended December 2019, mainly helped by higher income. The company had a profit after tax of Rs.185.2 crore in the year-ago period.
  • Its total income surged a robust 25.5% to Rs.10,330.2 crore in the latest December quarter from Rs.8,229.3 crore in the corresponding period a year ago.

Centre & Assam govt to provide 1,500 crore rupees assistance for economic development of community under agreement

  • The Centre has signed an accord with the Assam-based different insurgent groups and civil societies including the National Democratic Front of Bodoland. The tripartite agreement was signed in the presence of Union Home Minister Amit Shah and Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal.
  • The accord will provide political, economic, executive and land rights to Bodo tribals and also will safeguard their cultural and linguistic identities. The Centre and State Government will provide financial assistance of 1,500 crore rupees for the economic development of the community.
  • A commission will be appointed under the Sixth Schedule after the agreement. The commission will include representatives of State Government and other stakeholders. It will submit its recommendations within six months from the date of notification.

Gibraltar Chess Festival: R. Praggnanandhaa beats former world champion Veselin Topalov

  • Young Indian Grand Master R. Praggnanandhaa pulled off a huge upset, beating former world champion Veselin Topalov in the sixth round of the 18th Gibraltar Chess Festival to record his fifth straight win.
  • Praggnanandhaa is in second spot on five points with six other players and will take on Chinese GM Wang Hao in the seventh round.

Govt invites bids to sell 100 % stake in Air India

  • Government has invited bids to sell its 100 per cent stake in Air India. Issuing the preliminary bid document for the strategic disinvestment, the union government set the March 17, as the deadline for submitting expression of interest.
  • As part of the strategic disinvestment, Air India would also sell 100 per cent stake in low-cost airline Air India Express and 50 per cent shareholding in joint venture AISATS. Management control of the airline would also be transferred to the successful bidder.

HDFC net zooms fourfold on valuation gains

  • Housing Development Finance Corporation (HDFC) reported nearly four-fold jump in its net profit at Rs 8,372.49 crore for the third quarter ended December 31, 2019, driven by a value gain of Rs 9,019.81 crore from the merger of Gruh Finance, an associate, with the Bandhan Bank.
  • The mortgage lender had posted a net profit of Rs 2,113.80 crore in December quarter of 2018 and Rs 3,961.53 crore in September quarter of this fiscal.
  • The total revenue from operations surged by 92 per cent to Rs 20,285.47 crore in Q3FY20 from Rs 10,575 crore in Q3FY19.

In Q3, Dr. Reddy’s reports consolidated loss of Rs. 570 cr.

  • Dr Reddy’s Laboratories has reported a consolidated net loss of Rs 569.70 crore for December quarter compared with a profit of Rs 485.20 crore in the year-ago quarter. Revenue for the quarter rose 14 per cent year-on-year to Rs 4,383.80 crore. The company had reported sales of Rs 3850 crore in the same quarter last year.

NBA star Kobe Bryant killed in helicopter crash in California

  • Kobe Bryant, USA based National Basketball Association (NBA) legend and his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna died in a helicopter crash in the city of Calabasas, California.
  • He played his entire 20-year career with the Los Angeles Lakers. He retired in April 2016. He was twice the NBA scoring champion and a two-time Olympic champion.

Net direct tax collection posts a shortfall of 5.4%

  • The net direct tax collection has registered a shortfall of 5.4 per cent during April-January period of the current fiscal. Net collection is the the gross collection minus income tax refunds.
  • From April 1, 2019 to January 25, 2020, the net collection stood at approximately Rs 7.3 lakh crore as against Rs 7.7 lakh crore mobilised during corresponding period of previous fiscal. So there is a gap of Rs 40,000 crore or a 5.4 per cent shortfall.
  • On gross basis, the total collection came down to Rs 9-lakh crore approximately from Rs 9.11-lakh crore showing a shortfall of Rs 11,000 crore or 1.27 per cent.
  • This shortfall is mainly on account of the highest income refunds to the tune of Rs 1.70-lakh crore as against Rs 1.39-lakh crore of last fiscal. Also, the government cut in corporate tax is estimated to cost the exchequer Rs 1.45-lakh crore.
  • Direct taxes are levied on the income, which includes personal income tax and corporate tax besides small component such as Securities Transaction Tax (STT), which is levied on stock market transactions.

Over 30,000 displaced by heavy rains in southeast Brazil

  • In Brazil, over 30,000 people have been displaced by heavy rains in southeast Brazil that also killed 54 people and left 18 missing. The storms in recent days caused floods and landslides, submerging entire neighbourhoods and sending homes tumbling down hillsides in the states of Minas Gerais, Espirito Santo and Rio de Janeiro.

Piyush Goyal pitches for activation of India-Brazil Business Leaders Forum

  • Union Minister for Commerce and Industry Piyush Goyal has suggested the Brazilian side to reconstitute and activate India-Brazil Business Leaders Forum to boost economic ties between the two countries.
  • The Minister said that both the countries have set up a target to take the bilateral trade to 15 billion dollars by 2022 from the current 8.3 billion.

PM to inaugurate 3rd Global Potato Conclave-2020 at Gandhinagar in Gujarat January 28

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the 3rd Global Potato Conclave-2020 at Gandhinagar in Gujarat through video conferencing on January 28s. The four day Conclave will provide an opportunity to bring all stakeholders at one common platform.
  • About 100 foreign delegates of 14 different countries are expected to participate in this conclave.
  • Gujarat is one of the leading producers of Potato in the country. Netherland is the partner country of this conclave.
  • This conclave is being organized by the Indian Potato Association (IPA) in collaboration with Indian Council of Agricultural Research ICAR, Central Potato Research Institute, Shimla and International Potato Center, Lima, Peru.

Rafael Nadal, Stan Wawrinka, Dominic Thiem and Simona Halep enter in quarter-finals of Australian Open

  • Rafael Nadal, Stan Wawrinka, Dominic Thiem and Simona Halep have reached the Australian Open quarter-finals. Rafael Nadal battled past rival Nick Kyrgios in a thrilling four-set match. Nadal will face Austrian fifth seed Dominic Thiem in the last eight.
  • Stan Wawrinka produced some of his best tennis to battle past fourth seed Daniil Medvedev. Dominic Thiem also advanced with a clinical win over Gael Monfils.
  • Simona Halep overcame a gutsy display from Elise Mertens to secure her place in the quarter-finals.

Saurav Ghosal loses final against top-seed Fares Dessouky in Pittsburgh Open

  • In Squash, Saurav Ghosal finished runners-up at the Pittsburgh Open after suffering a 0-3 loss to Egypt's Fares Dessouky. Saurav is a highly regarded Indian squash player and is also the top-ranked in the country.

SC seeks centre's response on plea challenging constitutional validity of CAA, NPR

  • The Supreme Court has sought the Centre's response on a plea challenging the Constitutional validity of the Citizenship Amendment Act and updation of the National Population Register (NPR). A bench, comprising Chief Justice S A Bobde and Justices B R Gavai and Surya Kant, issued notice to the Centre on the PIL which also challenged the rules made in 2003 for registration of citizens and issuance of National Identity Cards.
  • The plea filed by Udagar Ram and others, has said that the NPR updation is arbitrary and the exercise of NPR assumes that people in India are not its citizens and shifts the onus of proving citizenship on the person itself.

Slovenian Prime Minister Marjan Sarec resigns

  • Slovenian Prime Minister Marjan Sarec has announced for step down and called for fresh elections, following weeks of rising tensions within his minority five-party coalition government. Mr Sarec, is Slovenia's youngest-ever Prime Minister. He was previously best known as a comedian and political satirist before he launched himself as an anti-establishment politician.
  • President Borut Pahor will now have to start talks with political parties to see whether any of them can form a new coalition that commands a Parliamentary majority and thus avoid a fresh poll.

Tata Projects bags multiple orders worth Rs.6,000 crore from BPCL, HPCL Rajasthan

  • Tata Projects Ltd has received multiple orders in the oil and gas refinery sector with a combined value of over Rs.6,000 crore from HPCL Rajasthan Refinery Ltd (HRRL) and Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL).
  • BPCL’s order is for a 2G Bio Ethanol Project at Bargarh, Odisha with a proposed production capacity of 100 KL per day of second-generation ethanol.
  • The other three orders pertain to HRRL’s green-field refinery-cum-petrochemical complex in Rajasthan.

U-19 World Cup: India to take on Australia in super league quarterfinal

  • In Under-19 cricket World Cup, India will take on Australia in the Super League Quarter-Final at the Senwes Park in Potchefstroom, South Africa. India topped Group A with 6 points while Australia finished second in Group B with 4 points.
  • The second Super League Quarter-Final will be played tomorrow between West Indies, which topped Group B and New Zealand which finished second in Group A.

WHO increases global risk degree of novel coronavirus from moderate to high

  • The World Health Organization (WHO) has increased the global risk degree of the novel coronavirus strain 2019-nCoV from moderate to high, citing an error in its previous report. According to the report, the total number of 2019-nCoV confirmed cases globally till Sunday reached 2,014, including 1,985 in China.