Daily Current Affairs - 05th Jun 2020

Amazon in talks to pick up 5 per cent stake in Bharti Airtel for $2 billion

  • Amazon.com has initiated discussions to acquire a 5 per cent stake in Indian telecom operator Bharti Airtel for about $2 billion. The planned investment, if completed, would mean Amazon acquiring a roughly 5% stake based on the current market value of Bharti and would give India’s third-largest telecoms company a boost as it seeks to compete against the number one player Reliance Jio.
  • The discussion between the two companies comes in the background of Reliance Industries receiving around $10 billion from various investors, including Facebook, for its telecom business – Reliance Jio.

Bad loans to rise sharply, PSBs stare at 6th year of loss: ICRA

  • With debt servicing capacity of borrowers coming under strain as the country enters a period of possible economic recession, bad loans of Indian banks are expected rise sharply this fiscal, which could lead to yet another year of loss for public sector banks (PSBs), ratings agency ICRA said in a report.
  • ICRA estimated gross non-performing property to rise to 11.3-11.6% by March 2021 from an estimated degree of 8.6% for March 2020, with recent gross slippage of 5-5.5% of ordinary advances in FY21.

BWF cancels Hyderabad Open 2020

  • The Hyderabad Open badminton tournament, scheduled to be held from August 11 to 16, was cancelled by the world body BWF in view of the COVID-19 pandemic. The event was part of the BWF''s revised calendar to restart the sport after the pandemic-forced cancellations since March.

Centre releases Rs.36,400 crore as GST compensation to States

  • The Centre released one more tranche of GST Compensation amounting to Rs.36,400 crore to States. With this over Rs.1.50 lakh crore has been released for FY 2019-20. The payment is for the period of December 2019 to February 2020. The finance ministry also said in its statement that the fund was released in the context of the Coronavirus pandemic where states need to make additional spending when their resources are adversely hit.
  • Up to November, the Narendra Modi administration had released Rs.1,15,096 crore in GST compensation to states.

Consumer confidence collapsed to historic low in May, says RBI survey

  • As the coronavirus pandemic continues to trouble India's economy, the consumer confidence has collapsed to a historic low, a survey by the Reserve Bank of India has showed. The survey added that consumer perception on the general economic situation, employment scenario and household income plunged deeper into contraction zone, while expectations on general economic situation and employment scenario for the year ahead were also pessimistic.
  • In another survey conducted by the central bank on 'Households' Inflation Expectations Survey', it was found that households' median inflation perception and expectations increased sharply in May 2020 as compared to the March 2020 round of the survey.

Coronavirus is a virus and there is no specific medicinal cure available yet, clarifies Govt

  • In an effort to guard against fake news being circulated on various platforms, the union Government has clarified on its Fact Checking and Mythbusters website that coronavirus is a virus. and there is no specific medicinal cure available yet. A widely circulated video on social media claims that Covid-19 is a bacteria which can be treated with aspirin.

DRDO develops device to keep PPE wearers comfortable, without sweating

  • The Defence Research Development Organisation (DRDO) has developed a device -- SUMERU-PACS -- that helps wearers of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to feel comfortable without sweating. After receiving the feedback from doctors and medical staff, DRDO developed a personal air circulation system which can be used inside the PPE as a small backpack of approximately 500 grams weight which works well at an ambient temperature of 39 degrees Celsius and keeps wearer comfortable and cool without sweating.
  • The device draws the outside air with the help of a filter and the moist air goes out from the front face opening thereby, cooling neck and head area.

Former Miss World Manushi Chhillar joins Rohit, Hima as Adidas brand ambassador

  • Former Miss World Manushi Chhillar has joined the likes of star batsman Rohit Sharma, sprint sensation Hima Das and Bollywood actor Ranveer Singh as brand ambassador of footwear giant Adidas in its campaign to inspire more women to embrace fitness.
  • Chhillar will support #HOMETEAMHERO Challenge -- inspiring more people every single day to stay physically and mentally fit.

Google confirms removing apps for policy violations

  • Google has removed the ‘Remove China Apps’ that gained popularity as it uninstalls Chinese apps such as TikTok, Helo and ShareIt, and Mitron app from Google Play Store for policy violations. The company had also removed Mobikwik earlier.

Govt launches TULIP portal to provide internships to graduates, engineers under ‘smart city’ projects

  • Union human resource development (HRD)minister Dr Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank and minister of housing and urban affairs (MoHUA)Hardeep Singh Puri jointly inaugurated The Urban Learning Internship Programme (TULIP) to provide internship opportunities to thousands of fresh graduates and engineers of the county under the ‘Smart City’ projects.
  • The TULIP portal has been developed by AICTE. Under the internship programme students will get to work for 100 smart cities under ministry of housing and urban development. According to the TULIP portal, there are a total of 295,200 internships under 23,970 companies.

Health Ministry issues SOPs for religious places, hotels, restaurants, shopping malls, hospitality services, workplaces

  • The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has issued Standard Operating Procedures, SOPs for religious places, hotels, restaurants, shopping malls, hospitality services and workplaces. The objective of these SOPs is to minimize all possible physical contacts and maintain social distancing while adhering to preventive and safety measures against COVID-19.
  • All the hotels, shopping malls, restaurants, religious places and other hospitality services in the containment zones shall remain closed. Only those outside the containment zones will be allowed to open as per the guidelines issued by the government.
  • All the hotels, restaurants, shopping malls, religious places, workplaces and other hospitality services are advised to have the arrangement of sanitizer dispenser and thermal screening at the entrance.

India, Australia elevate their partnership to Comprehensive Strategic partnership

  • India and Australia have announced a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership between the two countries after the virtual summit. They have also jointly announced a declaration on a Shared Vision for Maritime Cooperation in the Indo- Pacific. Both the countries also signed seven agreements after talks between Prime minister Narendra Modi and his Australian counterpart Scott Morrison.
  • Seven MoUs include, Framework Arrangement on Cyber and Cyber-Enabled Critical Technology Cooperation, cooperation in the field of mining and processing of Critical and Strategic minerals, Arrangement concerning Mutual Logistic Support.
  • Both the countries also signed MoUs implementing Arrangement concerning cooperation in Defence Science and Technology, Co-operation in the field of public Administration and Governance Reforms, cooperation in vocational Education and Training and on water resources management.

IndusInd Bank launches India’s first mobile app based facility for opening current accounts in a paperless manner

  • IndusInd Bank announced the launch of a first-of-its-kind assisted mobile application-based facility, that enables the Bank to open current accounts for self-employed individuals and businesses digitally, in just a few hours.
  • Equipped with the Bank’s state-of-the-art ‘Indus Corporate’ mobile app, bank officials can now capture and verify information about customers and their businesses in real-time, at the premise of the customer in a convenient and secure manner. The app uses multiple ‘Application Programme Interface’ (APIs) which enables secured validation of KYC documents from authorised government platforms such as the Goods and Service Tax (GST), Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA), National Securities Depository Limited (NSDL), Import Export Code (IEC) and Aadhaar.
  • The facility can be used to open current accounts for all kinds of businesses including proprietorship, partnership as well as private & public limited companies, among others.

International Day of Innocent Children Victims of Aggression observed on 4th June

  • International Day of Innocent Children Victims of Aggression is observed globally on 4th June every year. This day affirms the UN's commitment to guard the rights of children. This day is to acknowledge the pain suffered by children throughout the planet who are the victims of physical, mental and emotional abuse.

Lindores Abbey Rapid Challenge: Dubov nails Nakamura in a thriller, takes title

  • Daniil Dubov firmly established his credentials as the next big speed-chess player by nailing Hikaru Nakamura 3-2 to win the USD 150,000 Lindores Abbey Rapid Challenge chess title. Dubov, victorious over Russian compatriot Sergey Karjakin and Chinese No. 1 Ding Liren in last two matches, gained USD 45,000 and a place in the Grand Final in August. Nakamura, conqueror of World champion Magnus Carlsen in the semifinal, got USD 27,000.

PM Modi pledges USD 15 mn to global vaccines alliance, Gavi

  • India has pledged 15 million dollars to Gavi, the international vaccine alliance. Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced this while addressing the virtual Global Vaccine Summit hosted by UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson. Over 50 countries - business leaders, UN agencies, civil society, government Ministers, and Heads of State participated in the Summit.
  • Prime Minister said India’s support to GAVI is not only financial but that India’s huge demand also brings down the Global price of vaccines for all, saving almost 400 Million Dollars for GAVI over the past five years.

SBI board to meet on fund raise of $1.5 bn

  • State Bank of India (SBI), the country’s largest lender, will take a call on raising $1.5 billion on June 11 when the executive committee of its board meets. The bank said it will raise the funds during 2020-21 through a public offer, a private placement of senior secured notes in U.S. dollar or any other convertible currency.

Supreme Court seeks finance ministry's reply on waiver of interest on loans during moratorium period

  • The Supreme Court of India has sought the finance ministry's reply on waiver of interest on loans during the moratorium period after the RBI said it would not be prudent to go for a forced waiver of interest risking financial viability of the banks. The top court said there are two aspects under consideration in this matter - no interest payment on loans during the moratorium period and no interest to be charged on interest.
  • A bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan, Sanjay Kishan Kaul and M R Shah said that these are challenging times and it is a serious issue as on one hand moratorium is granted and on other hand interest is charged on loans.

Two senior IAS officers in PMO appointed to World Bank, World Trade Organisation

  • The Union government has appointed two members of the Prime Minister’s Office, senior IAS officers Rajiv Topno and Brajendra Navnit, to the the World Bank and the World Trade Organisation (WTO), respectively.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Private Secretary Rajeev Topno, a 1996 batch IAS from Gujarat cadre, has been appointed as Senior Advisor to the Executive Director of the World Bank in Washington DC.
  • Brajendra Navnit, who served in the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) has been appointed as Ambassador and Permanent Representative of India to the World Trade Organisation (WTO), Geneva, Switzerland.

U.K. cites legal hurdle in Mallya’s extradition

  • Fugitive business tycoon Vijay Mallya will not be extradited to India as of now as the United Kingdom (UK) needs to resolve a ‘confidential’ legal issue, a spokesperson of the British High Commission said. Vijay Mallya last month lost his appeal against extradition and was refused permission to appeal to the United Kingdom's Supreme Court. Under the UK law, extradition cannot take place until it is resolved.
  • As per UK's Extradition Act, an individual has to be extradited with 28 days of an order by a high court or Supreme Court. However, if the individual had made an asylum claim, which refers to an appeal to stay in the UK as a refugee, the extradition cannot be done unless the claim is settled.

Veteran filmmaker Basu Chatterjee dies at 93

  • Veteran filmmaker Basu Chatterjee, known for his middle-of-the-road cinema and films such as "Chhoti Si Baat" and "Rajnigandha", died from age related health issues. He was 93. Basu Chatterjee gave a new dimension to comedy in many films like Shaukeen, Khatta Meetha, Chameli Ki Shaadi, Chhoti Baat.
  • Some of his best known works are "Us Paar", "Chitchor", "Piya Ka Ghar", "Khatta Meetha" and "Baton Baton Mein".

Virtual celebrations on World Environment Day with focus on Urban Forest

  • World Environment Day is being celebrated across the globe on 5 June every year . It is the biggest annual event in the world run by the United Nations to mark the environmental awareness among the people. It's main aim is to raise awareness to protect nature and look at various environmental issues that are growing day by day.
  • The theme of the World Environment 2020 is 'celebrating biodiversity' — a concern that is both urgent and existential.
  • In India, the Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change will be holding virtual celebrations of World Environment Day on this year’s theme with focus on Nagar Van, Urban Forests. India though having less land mass and more human and cattle population has nearly 8 percent of biodiversity. The country is endowed with rich biodiversity having several species of animals and plants and hosts 4 of the 35 global biodiversity hotspots containing several endemic species.