Daily Current Affairs - 16th Jun 2020

Axis Bank’s retail head Mondal quits

  • Veteran banker Pralay Mondal has quit Axis bank as its retail banking head citing personal reasons, a year after he joined the bank. Mondal will step down in the month of September 2020 to pursue other opportunities. Mondal was hired by the current MD & CEO Amitabh Chaudhury to strengthen the top leadership of the bank. He has around 30 years of experience across retail banking, business banking, products and technology.
  • Before joining Axis bank, Mondal was the senior vice president of retail and business banking at Yes Bank

Bangladesh: COVID-19 restrictions extended till June 30

  • The government of Bangladesh extended the ongoing restrictions till June 30 to check the spread of Coronavirus in the country. In an order issued by the Cabinet Division, the government introduced the zoning system dividing areas into red, yellow and green zones depending upon the severity of the Coronavirus infection.
  • According to the order, everyone must stay indoor between 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. No shops will be open beyond 4 p.m. The wearing of face masks, social distancing and other health guidelines must be observed by all. Owners of shops, malls and authorities at places of public gathering are required to enforce the health guidelines.

China reported new cluster of COVID-19 cases in Beijing: WHO

  • WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus noted that China reported a new cluster of COVID-19 cases in Beijing, after more than 50 days without a case in the city. More than 100 cases have now been confirmed in Beijing and the origin and extent of the outbreak are being investigated.

Crude prices dips as new coronavirus infections hit China, Japan, US

  • Crude prices slumped as new coronavirus infections hit China, Japan and the United States. In intra-day trade, Brent crude prices were trading around 38 dollars per barrel while WTI crude prices were at 36 dollars and 40 cents per barrel

Exports fall 36% in May, trade deficit narrows

  • Contracting for the third straight month, India's exports declined 36.47 percent in May to $19.05 billion, mainly on account of drop in shipments by key sectors such as petroleum, textiles, engineering, gems and jewellery. Imports too plunged 51 percent to $22.2 billion in May, leaving a trade deficit of $3.15 billion, compared to $15.36 billion in the same month previous year, according to the data released by the Commerce and Industry Ministry.
  • During April-May 2020, the exports fell 47.54 percent to $29.41 billion, while imports shrank by 5.67 percent to $39.32 billion.

FM chairs meeting with Pvt Banks, NBFCs to ensure effective roll out of ECLGS

  • Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has chaired a meeting through Video Conference with officials of Major Private Banks and Non Banking Financial Companies to ensure effective roll out of Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme. She stressed on the need to extend uninterrupted liquidity to Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises in this difficult time.
  • Under the Atma Nirbhar Bharat package , Government announced 3 lakh crore of collateral free loan support to the MSMEs and other stressed companies. As last reported, over 30 thousand crore loan has already been sanctioned under this scheme.

France is fully reopening its economy: French Prez Macron

  • French President Emmanuel Macron has announced that France is fully reopening its economy, including all restaurants, to accelerate the country's recovery after virus crisis. Macron said restaurants in the Paris region will be allowed to open indoor seating starting. Until then, only outdoor seating was permitted.
  • France has reported at least 29,401 deaths from the Coronavirus.

Hima Das nominated for Khel Ratna

  • India’s top sprinter Hima Das, who had a stellar 2018, has been nominated for the prestigious Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna by the Assam government. She is the first track athlete to win a global title at U20 World Championship in Tampere, Finland in 2018,
  • Hima will compete with ace javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra, wrestler Vinesh Phogat, TT player Manika Batra, women’s hockey captain Rani Rampal and cricketer Rohit Sharma for country’s highest sporting honour.
  • 2018 had turned to be a memorable season for the 20-year-old, who followed her U-20 world title with 400m silver, 4X400 mixed relay gold (upgraded) and women’s 4X400m gold at the Jakarta Asian Games.

ICMR recommends use of faster COVID-19 testing kit

  • The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has recommended the use of Standard Q COVID-19 Ag antigen detection test in containment zones and healthcare settings in combination with the RT-PCR test. Collected nasal swab is used for testing in this procedure.
  • The Standard Q COVID-19 Ag detection kit is a rapid chromatographic immunoassay for qualitative detection of specific antigens to SARS-CoV-2. It has been developed by SD Biosensor, a South Korea based company, having its manufacturing unit in Manesar, Gurugram.

Magnus Carlsen wins Clutch Chess International in dramatic final

  • World Chess Champion Magnus Carlsen won the final game to beat Fabiano Caruana and pick up a total of $75,000 after a spectacular final day of the Clutch Chess International. The final was played over two days and 12 games.
  • Clutch chess, created by US Grandmaster Maurice Ashley, becomes more interesting because the point for a win varies according to the stage of a match, which has 12 games. For a win in the first four games, a win is worth one point while a draw would get you half-a-point.

Maharashtra govt inks MOUs worth Rs. 16,100 crore with 12 global corporations for various developmental projects

  • Desperate to restart the economy which has taken a hit by coronavirus pandemic, the Maharashtra government signed MoUs worth Rs 16,000 crore with companies spanning various industries, including two Chinese units, under its "Magnetic Maharashtra 2.0" initiative. The companies are from diverse sectors like automobile, logistics, banking, engineering and mobile production.
  • The official said representatives of 12 countries including the USA, China, Singapore and South Korea among others, were present on the occasion.

Mission Sagar: INS Kesari returns to Port Louis of Mauritius to embark Indian Navy Medical Team

  • As part of Mission Sagar, Indian Naval Ship Kesari returned to Port Louis, Mauritius to embark the Indian Navy Medical Team, which was disembarked during her last visit to Port Louis on 23 May 2020.The 14-member medical team comprising specialist doctors and paramedics was disembarked at Port Louis with an aim to assist in management of COVID-19 pandemic, share expertise to help contain the spread of the disease and minimize risk to life.
  • ‘Mission Sagar’, is in line with India’s role as the first responder in the region and builds on the excellent relations existing between the two countries to battle the COVID-19 pandemic and its resultant difficulties.
  • The deployment is in consonance with the Prime Ministers vision of Security and Growth for All in the Region ‘SAGAR’ and highlights the importance accorded by India to relations with the countries of the IOR.

Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan launches Indian Gas Exchange

  • Union Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, has launched the Indian Gas Exchange (IGX), which is the first nationwide online delivery-based gas trading platform. IGX has been incorporated as a wholly owned subsidiary of the IEX, which is India’s energy market platform.
  • The trading platform will enable market participants to trade in standardised gas contracts.
  • IGX is fully automated with web-based interface and it provides seamless trading experience to the customers.

RBI modifies framework for financial market infrastructure, retail payment system

  • The Reserve Bank of India came up with a modified oversight framework for financial market infrastructure and retail payment systems with a view to ensure safety and stability of payment structure.
  • The RBI, as per the document, will carry out the oversight activity through monitoring existing and planned systems, assessment of the FMIs and RPSs against the oversight objectives, and inducing change for improvements, where necessary.
  • The FMI generally refers to systemically important payment systems (SIPS), Central Securities Depositories (CSDs), Securities Settlement Systems (SSSs), Central Counter Parties (CCPs), and Trade Repositories (TRs) that facilitate the clearing, settlement and recording of financial transactions.
  • RPS refers to transactions effected through mobile phones, internet, ATMs, PoS networks and with contactless technology (card payments and tokenisation), electronic billing and use of various systems and platforms for making instant payments.

Roberts to quit as CA chief

  • Cricket Australia (CA) confirmed that chief executive Kevin Roberts has resigned following months of criticism over his leadership during the coronavirus shutdown. He would be replaced by interim CEO Nick Hockley, the chief executive of the Twenty20 World Cup in Australia.
  • Roberts had been under fire since a shock decision to furlough about 80% of staff at head office in April and a warning that the game was in financial peril.

SC bars sale, registration of BS IV vehicles

  • The Supreme Court of India pulled up automobile dealers saying they had flouted relaxations granted in view of the lockdown for sale and registration of vehicles made to Bharat Stage IV (BS-IV) pollution standards and said it will not permit registration of vehicles beyond what had already been permitted in its earlier order.
  • The Bench said it had directed that vehicles sold till March 31 can be registered till April 30 in the “special circumstances”. The SC said that for the 10 per cent vehicles allowed to be sold after the end of lockdown, registration could not have been made without giving it details of sales.

Tata Motors speeds to Q4 loss, sales fall

  • Tata Motors Ltd. has revealed aggressive cost reduction and deleveraging plans after it reported a consolidated net loss of Rs. 9,894.25 crore for the fourth quarter ended March 31, compared with a profit of Rs. 1,117 crore a year earlier. Lower vehicle sales and the impact of COVID-19 on its domestic and the Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) luxury car unit hurt the business.

US: FDA revokes emergency use of Hydroxychloroquine, Chloroquine for treating COVID-19 patients

  • In the United States, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has revoked its emergency use authorization for the drugs Hydroxychloroquine and Chloroquine for the treatment of COVID-19 patients after concluding that they may not be effective to cure the virus infections.
  • The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has said its decision is based on new information, including clinical trial data results, that have led it to conclude that the drugs may not be effective to treat COVID-19 and that its potential benefits for such use do not outweigh its known and potential risks.

Wholesale prices plunge to 4.5-year low; WPI deflation at 3.21% in May

  • Prices in the wholesale market fell to a 4.5-year low level in May, recording a deflation of 3.21 per cent, due to sharp decline in fuel and power items even as food articles turned expensive.The Wholesale Price Index (WPI) has hit its lowest level since November 2015, when deflation was 3.7 per cent.