Daily Current Affairs - 06th Mar 2020

Afghan war crimes probe to go on: ICC

  • An investigation of alleged war crimes by the US and others in the Afghan conflict can go ahead, the International Criminal Court (ICC) has ruled. The ICC overturned on appeal a previous decision to block the investigation. The actions of the Taliban, the Afghan government and US troops since May 2003 are expected to be examined. The US is not a signatory of the ICC and does not recognise its authority over American citizens.

BIMSTEC charter to be ready for adoption at next biennial summit meeting: BIMSTEC Secy Gen

  • BIMSTEC charter will be ready for adoption at its next biennial summit meeting scheduled to be held in Colombo later this year. This was informed by BIMSTEC Secretary General Mohammad Shahidu Islam during his meeting with Sri Lankan Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa.
  • BIMSTEC was established in 1997 and comprises of Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Myanmar, Nepal and Bhutan. The Secretariat is located in Dhaka, Bangladesh.

Boxing Olympic Qualifiers: Ashish Kumar,Manish Kaushik and Sachin Kumar advance into the quarterfinals

  • In Boxing, Ashish Kumar (75kg), Manish Kaushik (63 Kg) and Sachin Kumar (81kg) advance into the quarterfinals of Asia/Oceania Olympic Qualifiers in Amman. All of them, now need one more win to secure their Tokyo Olympic tickets.

Eight state-owned banks announce share swap ratios for mergers

  • With the March-end deadline for the biggest-ever amalgamation scheme is approaching, eight state-owned banks on Thursday announced swap ratios for the proposed mergers.
  • Punjab National Bank (PNB) in a regulatory filing announced the share exchange ratio in accordance with the scheme of amalgamation, as it is set to merge Oriental Bank of Commerce (OBC) and United Bank of India (UBI) into itself with effect from April 1.
  • According to the swap ratio, 1,150 equity shares of PNB are to be exchanged for every 1,000 equity shares of Oriental Bank of Commerce, while 121 equity shares of PNB are to be swapped for every 1,000 equity shares of UBI.
  • Meanwhile, Andhra Bank also announced the swap ratio for its merger. Andhra Bank and Corporation Bank are to be amalgamated into Union Bank of India with effect from April 1, 2020.
  • Union Bank in a separate exchange filing said its board has also approved the equity share exchange ratio. It includes 325 equity shares of Union Bank of India for every 1,000 shares in Andhra Bank and 330 shares in Union Bank for every 1,000 equity shares in Corporation Bank.

Erdogan, Putin announce Idlib ceasefire after Moscow meeting

  • Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin have announced a military ceasefire in Idlib, after a meeting in Moscow. Idlib, the last rebel stronghold in Syria, has witnessed increased violence and bloodshed since last December, the start of a Russia-backed Syrian offensive to regain control over the region.

Former UN Chief Javier Perez de Cuellar passes away

  • Former UN Chief Javier Perez de Cuellar, who served as United Nations Secretary General from 1981 to 1991, passed away in his native Peru. Perez de Cuellar notably led the world body during the Iran-Iraq war and the civil war in El Salvador.
  • The present UN head Antonio Guterres expressed gratitude for Perez de Cuellar's contributions and achievements as Secretary-General.

Google announces its plans to open Delhi Cloud Region

  • Google announced its plans to open a Delhi Cloud Region. This will be the company's second cloud region in India since it launched one in Mumbai three years ago in 2017. The new cloud region will expand Google's existingnetwork which stands at 8 regions in the Asia Pacific and22 regions globally.
  • Google cloud regions bring Google Cloud Platformservices to global organisations in industries like media andentertainment, retail and manufacturing.

Govt sanctions projects worth over Rs 301 cr in food processing sector

  • The UnionGovernment has sanctioned ten projects worth over 301crorerupees in food processing sector. As these projects are likely to generate employment for ten thousand people and benefit nearly forty thousand farmers. These projects were sanctioned under the Agro Processing Cluster Scheme ofKisanSampadaYojana.
  • Hundred per cent FDI is permitted under the automatic route in Food Processing Industries and 100 per cent FDI is allowedthrough approval route for trading including e-commerce in respect of food products manufacture and produced in India.

Health Ministry organizes a national level training workshop for all the states on COVID-19 management

  • The Union Health Ministry is organizing a national level training workshop for all the states and hospitals from other Ministries on COVID-19 management. The workshop to be organized in New Delhi, will train the trainers for COVID-19.
  • It will give training on hospital preparedness and non-pharmaceutical interventions, infection prevention, standard precautions, environmental cleaning, disinfection and biomedical waste management, risk communications and community engagement and other aspects to tackle the situation related to novel Coronavirus.

India, US sign Rs 1200 crore deal for protection system of new VVIP aircraft

  • India and the United States have signed a Rs 1200 crore deal for acquiring missile protection suites for the new Boeing VVIP planes that New Delhi is acquiring for the President and the Prime Minister. The new aircraft will be used for both international and domestic visits of the President and Prime Minister.
  • The self-protection suites for the Indian planes will include infrared and electronic warfare countermeasures suites, countermeasure dispensing systems, and missile warning sensors.
  • The two planes are expected to arrive in India by the middle of 2020 to begin the VVIP duties.

Indian Archery team pulls out of Asia Cup world ranking tournament

  • The Archery Association of India (AAI) has pulled out its team from the upcoming Asia Cup world ranking tournament in Bangkok scheduled from March 8 to 15 owing to thecoronavirusthreat. This would have been India's first international competition since their return from a five-month suspension in January which was lifted after the AAI's election.

Maharaja Ranjit Singh Named Greatest World Leader In BBC Poll

  • Maharaja Ranjit Singh, the 19th century ruler of the Sikh Empire in India, has beaten competition from around the world to be named the "Greatest Leader of All Time" in a poll conducted by the ‘BBC World Histories Magazine'. Over 5,000 readers voted in the poll. Polling more than 38 per cent of the vote, Singh was praised for creating a new tolerant empire.
  • In second place, with 25 per cent of the vote, is African Independence Fighter Amílcar Cabral, who united more than 1 million Guineans to free themselves from Portuguese occupation. Britain's war-time Prime Minister Winston Churchill is at number three with 7 per cent of the vote for his quick decision and sharp political manoeuvring that kept Britain in the war.
  • Further down the list, American President Abraham Lincoln is at four and British monarch Elizabeth I is the highest-ranked female leader at five.

Mumbai set to host IOC session in 2023

  • Mumbai is set to host the 2023 International Olympic Committee's session after the IOC Executive Board recommended the Indian city for the annual conference. The IOC Executive Board decided to put Mumbai's candidature to a vote of the members. The decision is to be ratified at the 136th IOC session in Tokyo in July this year.
  • After ratification, this will be the second-ever IOC session to be held in India after a long gap of 37 years. India last hosted an IOC session way back in 1983 in New Delhi.

NSE told to submit road map for diluting stake in CAMS

  • The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has directed the National Stock Exchange (NSE) to submit a plan for diluting its entire stake in Computer Age Management Systems (CAMS) — the country’s largest share registrar and transfer agent (RTA).

PM to address Economic Times Global Business Summit

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address the inaugural session of the Economic Times Global Business Summit on 6th March 2020. Prime Minister shall be addressing delegates from across the world. Broad theme of the Global Business Summit 2020 is‘Collaborate to Create: Sustainable Growth in a Fractured World’.

RBI deputy governor Vishwanathan quits ahead of retirement

  • The Reserve Bank of India deputy governor N.S.Vishwanathan has quit three months ahead of his retirement in June due to health reasons, posing a challenge for navigation of key supervisory and regulatory functions of the central bank in one of its most difficult times. Vishwanathan would end his nearly four-decade career by March 31 when the central bank would relieve him of his duties.

RCom lenders okay Rs 230 bn resolution plan; Chinese banks to get Rs 55 bn

  • With lenders approving a Rs 23,000 crore (Rs 230 bn)resolution plan for Reliance Communication, as much as Rs 5,500 crore (Rs 55 bn) will flow to Chinese banks, clearing about 55 per cent of their principal dues, including of those lenders to whom firm's promoter Anil Ambani had allegedly given a personal guarantee. A committee of RCom creditors on March 4 unanimously approved the insolvency resolution plan to settle unpaid debt of Reliance Communications, Reliance Telecom and Reliance Infratel.
  • While Reliance Jio will get the tower and fiber assets of Reliance Infratel Ltd for Rs 4,700 crore, UV Asset Reconstruction Co Ltd (UVARC) will get assets of RCom and Reliance Telecom (spectrum) for Rs 14,000 crore.
  • The Chinese banks -- Industrial & Commercial Bank of China Ltd, China Development Bank and the Export-Import Bank of China -- had dragged Ambani to the UK court to recover outstanding.

SBI Cards IPO Worth Rs 10,350 Crore Subscribed Over 22 Times

  • SBI Cards and Payment Services' initial public offer (IPO) got oversubscribed 22.45 times on Thursday, the last day of the bidding process. The credit card arm of the country's top public lender, State Bank of India, drew bids for over 225 crore shares, compared to the nearly 10.3 crore shares on offer.
  • The IPO, the first by a credit card issuer and the fifth largest by any company in India, opened at a time when global financial markets were roiled by fears of the economic impact of the coronavirus that originated in China and is spreading fast outside the country.

SEBI app for airing investor grievance

  • The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has launched a mobile application that will allow entities to lodge grievances against listed companies, market intermediaries and all categories of market participants. The app is a mobile version of the SEBI Complaints Redress System (SCORES), which was launched in June 2011, and has received, on an average, 40,000 complaints every year. Further, a total of 3.57 lakh complaints have been resolved using the SCORES platform.

Slovenia confirms anti-immigrant party leader as new PM

  • Slovenia’s lawmakers backed an anti-immigrant politician to become the new prime minister, paving the way for the formation of a right-leaning government. The 90-member parliament voted 52-31 to support Janez Jansa, the leader of the Slovenian Democratic Party (SDS) as the prime minister-designate, after liberal PM Marjan Sarec stepped down in January amid infighting in his minority five-party coalition.

Smriti Irani releases book titled Chronicles of Change Champions

  • Union Minister for Women and Child Development Smriti Zubin Irani released a book titled Chronicles of Change Champions at an event held in New Delhi. The book is a compilation of 25 innovative initiatives taken at the state and district levels under the Prime Minister’s flagship scheme of Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao.
  • It captures the convergent approach adopted at the grass-root level and provides insight into the unique manner of community engagement by the District Administration and front-line workers.

Sports Authority of India announces first edition of Khelo India Women's Hockey League Under-21

  • Sports Authority of India, in association with Hockey India has announced the first edition of the Khelo India Women's Hockey League Under-21. It will be organized by Hockey India at three different venues in three phases between March to November.

Tokyo Olympics: Countries can have both male & female flag bearers at opening ceremony

  • The International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced that this year's Tokyo Olympics will have the option of a male and female competitor jointly bearing their country's flag at the opening ceremony. IOC has encouraged all National Olympic Committees to make use of this option.
  • The IOC's Executive Board added that there should be, for the first time, at least one female and one male athlete in every one of the 206 teams as well as the Refugee Olympic Team.

WHO urges governments across globe to step up fight against COVID-19 outbreak

  • World Health Organisation (WHO) has urged governments across the globe to step-up their fight against Novel Coronavirus-COVID-19.WHO Chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said that it is high time to act strongly towards containing the outbreak as it is spreading 17 times faster outside China.
  • He also pointed out that several nations are not taking requisite measures to contain the virus. The virus has claimed over 3,300 lives and infected more than 98,000 people world over.

Women's T20 World Cup: India to take on Australia in finals

  • India will take on four-time winners Australia in the final of the women's Twenty20 World Cup in Melbourne on Sunday. An unbeaten run in the group stage propelled India into their maiden Women's T20 World Cup final against defending champions Australia after their last-four clash against England was washed out in Sydney.
  • In the second rain-hit semifinal, Australia defeated South Africa by five runs.

Yes Bank put under moratorium till April 3

  • The Union government has put private sector lender Yes Bank under moratorium till April 3 and capped the deposit withdrawal at Rs. 50,000 after severe deterioration of the bank’s financial position. Yes Bank's has undergone a steady decline largely due to inability of the bank to raise capital to address potential loan losses and resultant downgrades.
  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) appointed Prashant Kumar, a former deputy managing director and chief financial Officer of State Bank of India (SBI), as administrator for Yes Bank. It said in exceptional circumstances like medical emergencies, marriages, depositors can withdraw up to Rs five lakh or amount in their accounts, whichever is less.