Daily Current Affairs - 28th Feb 2020

Amit Shah to chair Eastern Zonal Council Meet with Bihar, Bengal, Odisha, Jharkhand CMs on Feb 28

  • The 24th meeting of the Eastern Zonal Council, comprising of the States of Bihar, Jharkhand, Odisha, and West Bengal is scheduled to be held on 28 February in Bhubaneswar. The Union Minister for Home Affairs, Amit Shah, will chair this meeting. Chief Minister of Odisha, Naveen Patnaik, is the Vice Chairman and host.
  • Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee, and Jharkhand CM Hemant Soren will also participate. The last meeting of the Eastern Zonal Council was held in Kolkata on 1 October 2018.

Bank credit growth slips to 6.4%

  • The Scheduled commercial banks (SCBs) credit growth moderated to 6.4% YoY to Rs 10041689 crore as on 14 February 2020, compared with 7.2% growth a fortnight ago. The credit growth has also decelerated from 14.7% at end February 2019. Non-food credit, accounting for 99.3% of the share of the total credit, recorded a growth of 6.3%, YoY, at Rs 9968365 crore as on 14 February 2020 as against a rise of 7.1% fortnight ago and 14.6% rise a year ago.
  • Food credit moved up 18.8% to Rs 73324 crore as on 14 February 2020.
  • Aggregate deposits growth of the scheduled banks increased 9.2% YoY at Rs 13235538 crore as on 14 February 2020, compared with 9.9% growth a fortnight ago and 10.0% rise a year ago. The time deposits showed an increase of 9.6% at Rs 11872501 crore, while the demand deposits increased at slower pace of 5.8% to Rs 1363036 crore as on 14 February 2020.
  • The banks investment in government and other approved securities that qualify for treatment of statutory liquidity ratio increased 12.7% YoY to Rs 3777945 crore as on 14 February 2020, showing acceleration in growth from 11.2% increase a fortnight ago.

BJP received Rs 742 cr in donations in 2018-19, Congress got Rs 148 cr: ADR

  • The BJP received Rs 742 crore in donations, while the Congress got Rs 148 crore, according to submissions made by the parties before the Election Commission for 2018-19 which was compiled by think tank the Association of Democratic Reforms. Donations for the BJP increased from Rs 437.04 crore during 2017-18 to Rs 742.15 crore during 2018-19, a rise of 70 per cent, the ADR said.
  • The Congress' donations increased from Rs 26 crore during 2017-18 to Rs 148.58 crore during 2018-19, a rise of 457 per cent, it said, adding the party's donations had decreased by 36 per cent between 2016-17 and 2017-18.

David Warner reinstated as Sunrisers Hyderabad captain in Indian Premier League

  • David Warner was reinstated as IPL franchise Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH)’s captain, a position that he had to give up after the ball-tampering scandal in 2018. Warner, who led the Sunrisers to the trophy in 2016, will take over from New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson for the season starting March 29.

Defence Minister inaugurates new Light Combat Helicopter Production Hangar at HAL Complex in Bengaluru

  • Defence Minister Rajnath Singh inaugurated the new Light Combat Helicopter Production Hangar at Helicopter Division in Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) Complex at Bengaluru, Karnataka. He said, in the last five years, India has made significant progress towards manufacturing military equipment indigenously under the 'Make in India' initiative.
  • LCH is a 5.5-tonne class combat helicopter designed and developed by HAL. It is powered by two Shakti engines and inherits many technical features of the Advanced Light Helicopter.

Divij-Sitak pair loses

  • Divij Sharan, in partnership with Artem Sitak of New Zealand, were beaten 6-3, 3-6, [10-4] by the Spanish pair of Roberto Carballes Baena and Alejandro Davidovich Fokina in the doubles quarterfinals of the $674,730 ATP tennis tournament.

FM Nirmala Sitharaman emphasises better data sharing between customers and Public Sector Banks

  • Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has emphasised the need for better data sharing between customers and Public Sector Banks (PSBs) at the regional level. She said banks require judicious mix of personal customer information and data. Ms. Sitharaman said government wants to use data analytics in banking sector.
  • Ms Sitharaman said, the bank employees should speak local language. The Minister also launched Ease 3.0 for smart, tech-enabled banking for aspiring India.

Fund houses should build buffer, says SEBI

  • The Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) exhorted the mutual fund industry to build an adequate 'liquidity buffer' for debt schemes to be better prepared in the event of a crisis. The capital markets regulator has also asked the mutual funds to participate more in the voting process of company resolutions rather than abstain from it.

Govt approves 32 projects in food processing sector under PMKSY

  • Govt approves 32 projects in food processing sector under PMKSY Government has sanctioned 32 projects in the food processing sector under Pradhan Mantri Kisan Sampada Yojana (PMKSY). The projects are spread across around 17 states leveraging an investment worth 406 Crore rupees.
  • The main objective of PMKSY is creation of processing and preservation capacities and modernisation of existing food processing units to increase the level of processing and value addition leading to reduction of wastage.

India and Myanmar to further strengthen bilateral relations; 10 agreements signed in various fields

  • India and Myanmar have agreed to further strengthen the bilateral relations. Both sides signed 10 agreements in various fields including infrastructure, energy, communication and health. The agreements were exchanged following talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Myanmar President U Win Myint in New Delhi. Both leaders discussed a wide range of bilateral issues.

India hands over humanitarian assistance for displaced persons from Myanmar to Bangladesh

  • India handed over the fifth tranche of humanitarian assistance consisting of sewing machines, office tents, rescue kits, etc for the displaced persons from Rakhine province of Myanmar to Bangladesh. 1000 sewing machines with pedal, 32 office tents, 32 rescue kits and 99 family tents have been provided to the government of Bangladesh for distribution among the displaced people from Rakhine now sheltering in Bangladesh.
  • The relief assistance is part of the commitment made by India during the visit of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina of Bangladesh in October last year.

India’s first ‘Protein Day’ being observed on 27 February

  • Right to Protein, a national-level public health initiative has launched India’s first ‘Protein Day’ on 27th February. The aim of this day is to draw public attention, raise awareness, and educate India on the health benefits of protein.
  • The theme of India Protein Day 2020 is set to act as a reminder for all Indians to daily ask themselves and others “ProteinMeinKyaHai”. Globally many countries recognize February 27 as Protein Day and from this year India will also join this movement.

Lockheed to deliver six MH-60R copters in 2021

  • Lockheed Martin will deliver six MH-60R Multi-Role Helicopters (MRH) to the Navy in 2021 and the order would be completed by 2025. The deal, worth around $2.2 billion, was signed early this week during the visit of U.S. President Donald Trump.

Malaysian Parliament to elect new Prime Minister on Monday

  • Malaysian interim leader Mahathir Mohamad said that the Lower House of the Parliament will pick a new Prime Minister on ensuing Monday. This decision comes after the king, Sultan Abdullah failed to establish who has majority support following the collapse of the ruling coalition.

National Science Day being celebrated on 28 Feb

  • National science day is celebrated every year on 28 February. It is celebrated to commemorate the discovery of the Raman Effect. On this day, Sir CV Raman had announced the discovery of the Raman Effect for which he was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1930.
  • Women in science is the focal theme of this year’s National Science Day. This theme has been chosen for the purpose of increasing public appreciation of the scientific issues involved.

Oil slumps over 4% on virus fears

  • World oil prices tumbled by more than 4% on Thursday, as traders fretted about the impact of spreading coronavirus on crude demand, particularly from key consumer China. Brent oil for April delivery tanked almost 4.2% to $51.20 per barrel, while New York’s WTI crude for the same month dived nearly 5.0% to $46.31.

Renowned Vedic Scholar Sudhakar Chaturvedi passes away

  • Renowned Vedic Scholar and Gandhian Sudhakar Chaturvedi passed away in Bengaluru. The centenarian was given the title Chaturvedi for his mastery over the four vedas. During the freedom struggle, he was associated with Mahatma Gandhi and been imprisoned in different jails across the country. He had penned about 50 books in Kannada, English and Sanskrit, which include 20 volumes of Veda translation in Kannada.

UNHRC expresses regret over Sri Lankan govt’s decision to withdraw from resolution

  • United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) has expressed regret over Sri Lankan government’s decision to withdraw from co-sponsorship of resolution with regard to promoting reconciliation, accountability and human rights in the country.
  • Speaking on Sri Lanka at the 43rd session of UNHRC in Geneva, UNHRC commissioner Michelle Bachelet said that this move risks setting back efforts to advance reconciliation and human rights.

Union Food Processing Industries Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal Launched Market Intelligence and Early Warning System (MIEWS)

  • Harsimrat Kaur Badal, Union Minister of Food Processing Industries, launched the– Market Intelligence and Early Warning System (MIEWS) Web Portal. The Portal is a ‘first-of-its-kind’ platform for ‘real time monitoring’ of prices of tomato, onion and potato (TOP) and for simultaneously generating alerts for intervention under the terms of the Operation Greens(OG) scheme.
  • The portal would disseminate all relevant information related to TOP crops such as Prices and Arrivals, Area, Yield and Production, Imports and Exports, Crop Calendars, Crop Agronomy, etc in an easy to use visual format.

US, Taliban set to sign truce pact, Delhi gets an invite

  • Indian ambassador to Qatar, P. Kumaran, will represent New Delhi on Saturday when the US hopes to sign a peace deal with the Taliban to end the 18-year war in Afghanistan, following a partial truce with the rebel group. This will be the first time since 2001 that a serving Indian diplomat will be present in the same room as Taliban representatives.
  • Following the historic deal on 29 February, the US will start withdrawing its troops to wind down Washington’s longest war launched after the September 2001 terrorist attacks. This was a key election promise of US President Donald Trump.

WHO says novel coronavirus has pandemic potential as countries across globe battle to contain deadly outbreak

  • The World Health Organization has said that the new coronavirus is at a decisive point and has pandemic potential as countries across the globe battled to contain the deadly outbreak. The comments of WHO head Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus comes as countries around the world battle to prevent the virus spreading further. Saudi Arabia banned pilgrims from visiting Islam's holiest sites as the number of deaths jumped in neighbouring Iran, while Japan and Iraq ordered the closure of schools.
  • Countries including South Korea and Italy becoming hotbeds of infection, raising fears of a pandemic.

Women’s T20 World Cup: India enters semi-finals beating New Zealand

  • India notched up a narrow four-run win over New Zealand in group A match of the ICC Women's T20 World Cup in Melbourne and entered semi-final stage. Invited to bat, India posted a below-par 133 for eight against New Zealand in the crucial group A match with Shafali top-scoring with a 34-ball 46 and Taniya Bhatia chipping in with a 25-ball 23.
  • With this win, India topped Group A, having beaten Australia and Bangladesh in their last two outing.