Daily Current Affairs - 25th Feb 2020

1 in 3 Aadhaar-based Payments for PM Matru Vandana Yojana Credited to Wrong, Untraceable Bank Accounts, says NITI Aayog Report

  • One in three Aadhaar-based payments for the Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana (PMMVY), was credited to a wrong bank account, which are even untraceable by beneficiaries and field functionaries, reveals a report released by the NITI Aayog.
  • A substantial number of payments, about 28% cases of all Aadhaar based payments, i.e. in case of 31.29 lakh payments are going to different bank accounts than what had been provided by the beneficiaries. Sometimes these are even untraceable by beneficiaries and field functionaries.

Bangladesh records sharp decline in Child malnutrition: UNICEF Survey

  • The child malnutrition rate in Bangladesh has declined sharply over the last six years. The rate of chronic malnutrition among children measured by the stunting level among them has come down from 42 percent in 2013 to 28 percent in 2019. The percentage of underweight children below 5 also declined from about 32 percent to 22.6 percent over the same period. The infant mortality rate has also declined from 46 to 34 per thousand live births between 2012-13 and 2019. The survey has also recorded an improvement in many other areas related to health and nutrition, Child protection, hygiene and sanitation.

Banks of future will be very different, says RBI governor Shaktikanta Das

  • Banks of the future would be extremely different from now, and regulating the distinct segments of these banks would be a challenging task, Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor Shaktikanta Das said. Therefore, an integrated framework for resolution of financial firms operating in India could be expected in the near future as that would add to the resilience of the financial system, Das said at the annual banking event of Mint.
  • Financial technology companies (fintechs) are posing challenges to the existing banks, but big technology companies, or BigTechs, are also entering the financial services industry in a significant way. Some BigTechs are depending on their data-network activities, while venturing into payments, money management, insurance, and lending activities.

Bharti Infratel puts off merger with Indus Towers

  • Bharti Infratel has further extended the deadline for its merger with Indus Towers by two months to April 24. The final call will be taken after assessing the impact of the 'current crisis' in the telecom sector on various stakeholders.

China postpones annual session of its Parliament scheduled for next week in wake of COVID-19 outbreak

  • China, in an unprecedented move, postponed the annual session of Parliament scheduled to begin in Beijing from the 5th of next month due to the Novel Coronavirus outbreak. The move comes as the country grapples with the deadly virus that has claimed over 2,500 lives and infected more than 77,000 people.
  • The ruling Communist Party of China (CPC) showcases its political clout in the annual Parliament session.
  • Meanwhile, China has declared an immediate and “comprehensive” ban on the trade and consumption of wild animals, a practice believed responsible for the deadly coronavirus outbreak.

DoT asks telcos for documents supporting AGR math

  • The department of telecommunications has asked all operators to speed up their self-assessment of adjusted gross revenue related dues and submit documents supporting their calculation even after Bharti Airtel, Tata Teleservices and Vodafone Idea made partial payment last week.
  • All telcos need to pay their dues by March 17, as per a Supreme Court order. The DoT needs the details to reconcile the telcos’ calculations with their own estimates and may need to explain the details of the telcos’ payments to the top court on that day.
  • The Supreme Court, on October 24, ruled that AGR should include non-core items, which left 15 telcos facing dues comprising of license fees, spectrum usage charge, interest and penalties of around Rs1.64 lakh crore.

Five-day training course on Vessel Search Technique begins in Chennai

  • A five-day training course on Vessel Search Technique being organized by the Indian Coast Guard jointly with the Australian Border Force began in Chennai. The course is being conducted for the Indian Coast Guard personnel, Customs officials and Coastal Security Group members of the Tamil Nadu Police. The programme is set to bolster efforts of both the countries for realizing the common national maritime objectives of ensuring safety and security at sea.

Harvey Weinstein found guilty of sexual assault, rape

  • Former Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein was convicted of sexual assault by a New York jury but acquitted on the most serious charges that could have sent him to prison for the rest of his life. He faces up to 25 years in prison on the sexual assault conviction. The sentencing hearing was scheduled for March 11. He was immediately put in handcuffs and taken into custody.
  • More than 80 women, including famous actresses, had accused him of sexual misconduct stretching back decades.

HUL to form wholly owned subsidiary

  • Hindustan Unilever Limited, the country’s largest pure play fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) company, has decided to form a wholly-owned subsidiary. It is setting up a fully-owned subsidiary that will invest in newer manufacturing units and help the maker of Rin and Dove significantly lower taxes under the corporate tax rates announced last year.
  • The new subsidiary, which has an authorised capital of Rs 2,000 crore, has been formed to leverage on enablers, including corporate tax as well as ‘Make in India’ initiative.
  • HUL, the country’s biggest consumer goods firm, has over 28 manufacturing facilities and attract corporate tax of over 25%.

ICC bans Oman player Yousuf Abdulrahim Al Balushi from all forms of cricket for 7 years

  • The International Cricket Council (ICC) has banned Oman player Yousuf Abdulrahim Al Balushi from all forms of cricket for seven years for his involvement in trying to fix matches. Al Balushi accepted four charges of breaching the ICC Anti-Corruption Code. The charges are all related to the ICC men's T20 World Cup Qualifiers 2019 held in the United Arab Emirates.

ICC Women's T20: India defeat Bangladesh by 18 runs at Perth in Australia

  • Indian eves defeated Bangladesh by 18 runs in a Group A match of the ICC Women's T20 World Cup played at Perth in Australia. Chasing the victory target of 143 runs, Bangladesh could only make 124 runs for the loss of eight wickets in 20 overs.

India to host Commonwealth Shooting and Archery Championships in January 2022

  • India will host the Commonwealth Shooting and Archery Championships in January 2022. The medals from the two events will be counted for ranking of competing nations at the Birmingham Games. However, the medals will be added to the final tally one week after the conclusion of the Games.
  • The two events will be held in Chandigarh in January 2022 while the Birmingham Commonwealth Games is scheduled from 27th of July to 7th of August, 2022.

RBI's new moto 'cash is king, but digital is divine'

  • With 'cash is king, but digital is divine' moto, the Reserve Bank said its endeavour will be to make digital payments a divine experience for the users after being buoyed by over Rs 3.5 lakh crore reduction in the notes in circulation (NIC) post demonetisation.
  • In its assessment of the progress of digitisation from cash to electronic, the RBI said while there is no accurate measure of cash payments in the country, the progress of various digital payments can be measured accurately.
  • Overall, the digital payments in the country have witnessed a growth (CAGR) of 61 per cent and 19 per cent in terms of volume and value, respectively over the past five years, demonstrating a steep shift towards digital payments.
  • Demonetisation and an active growth in GDP brought down the cash in circulation as a percentage of GDP to 8.7 per cent in 2016-17.

Sebi tweaks margin system in derivatives to boost liquidity

  • Markets regulator SEBI reviewed the margin framework for cash and derivatives segments, in order to bring more efficiency in the risk management system. The move has been taken to keep pace with the changing market dynamics and to bring more efficiency in the risk management framework.
  • The framework, which has been prepared in consultation with the capital markets regulator's Risk Management Review Committee, will come into effect from May 1 this year.
  • Margin is the minimum fund or security an investor is required to pay to the stock broker before executing a trade. This is basically part of the money collected by bourses from brokerages as upfront, before giving exposure for trading in equity and commodity derivatives.
  • With regard to margin framework for the cash market, Sebi has divided value at risk margin rates in three categories based on liquidity.

Turmoil in Malaysia as PM Mahathir Mohamad resigns

  • Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, at 94 the world's oldest leader, has submitted his resignation to the King. Mahathir's decision follows a weekend of political wrangling, after it was reported that his party was planning to form a new government that would exclude his expected successor, Anwar Ibrahim.