Daily Current Affairs - 27th Jun 2020

Australia, NZ to host 2023 women’s football WC

  • Australia and New Zealand will host the 2023 Women's World Cup, Fifa has announced. The joint bid got the nod ahead of Colombia, which was the only other rival in the running after Brazil and Japan dropped out of the race earlier in June.
  • The 2023 version will be the first in the women’s game to feature 32 sides - up from the current 24. The competition is scheduled to take place from July to August 2023.

Centre rolls out anti-drug plan in 272 vulnerable districts

  • To step up the battle against drug use and alcoholism, the Centre government has rolled out its action plan “Nasah Mukt Bharat” for 2020-21 with focus on building treatment and de-addiction facilities in 272 districts identified as vulnerable based on prevalence of substance abuse and access to drugs. The focus will be on reaching the youth and the high risk population.
  • Since 125 of the 272 districts do not have Integrated Rehabilitation Centres for Addicts (IRCAs) supported by the Centre, it has been decided to set up addiction treatment facilities in government hospitals through the National Drug Dependence Treatment Centre of All India Institute of Medical Sciences.
  • The list of 272 districts includes 18 from Punjab, which has been struggling to deal with the drug problem. In Maharashtra, four districts - Pune, Nagpur, Nashik and Mumbai - have been identified as vulnerable. In Delhi, all 11 districts are vulnerable and treatment facilities are proposed to be set up in north, west and Shahdara district. In Uttar Pradesh, around 33 districts have been identified as vulnerable. Gujarat has eight vulnerable districts.

Chess: Vaishali bows out

  • R. Vaishali went down to Anna Ushenina of Ukraine 5.5-4.5 in the semifinals of the first leg of the FIDE Chess.com Women’s Speed Chess. Ushenina, a former world champion, came from behind and took an upper hand in the bullet section to get the better of the Indian player.

Dispassionate scrutiny and reform of all multilateral entities needed: EAM Dr S Jaishankar

  • Addressing a virtual ministerial meeting of Alliance for Multilateralism, External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar has said that a dispassionate scrutiny and reform of all multilateral entities were needed to make them purpose-built for the current times and representative of this century.
  • He said, it is an empirical fact that every process and institution must evolve to meet the needs of its time. He said, no institution, howsoever important, can remain frozen at the moment of its foundation.

India moves down at 77th place in accounting money in Swiss banks

  • India has moved down three places to 77th rank in terms of money parked by its citizens and enterprises with Swiss banks at the end of 2019, while the UK has retained its top position, as per the latest data from Switzerland's central bank. India was ranked 74th in the previous year.
  • According to the latest SNB data, funds parked by Indian individuals and enterprises in Swiss banks, including through India-based branches, fell by 5.8 per cent in 2019 to 899 million Swiss francs (Rs 6,625 crore).
  • In comparison, the top-ranked UK accounted for close to 27 per cent of the total foreign funds parked parked with Swiss banks at the end of 2019. Among the top-ranked jurisdictions, the UK is followed by the US, West Indies, France and Hong Kong in the top five.
  • The top-five countries alone account for more than 50 per cent of the aggregate foreign funds parked with the Swiss banks, while the top-10 account for nearly two-thirds.

India warns China against attempts to alter status quo along LAC

  • India has warned China that trying to alter the status quo on the ground by resorting to force will damage the peace that existed on the border areas. India’s ambassador to China Vikram Misri said that Chinese attempt to alter status quo can also have ripples and repercussions in the broader bilateral relationship. He further said that actions taken by the Chinese forces on the ground have damaged "considerable trust" in the bilateral relationship and demanded that Beijing stop its activities in eastern Ladakh.
  • Mr Misri said, it is entirely the responsibility of the Chinese side to take a careful view of the relations and to decide which direction the ties should move.

India, Germany resolve to boost cooperation in combating COVID-19 pandemic

  • India and Germany held virtual Foreign Secretary level consultations. Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla and State Secretary of the German Federal Foreign Office Miguel Berger discussed bilateral cooperation in various areas and exchanged views on regional and global issues of mutual interest.
  • The two sides took stock of the extensive cooperation in addressing the challenges of COVID-19, including supply of medicines, equipment and technology.
  • They agreed to advance the various areas of bilateral cooperation and initiate consultations in the context of India’s upcoming membership of the UN Security Council (2021-22) and G20 Presidency (2022) and Germany’s present membership of the UN Security Council and forthcoming Presidency of the European Union.

Indian economy in deep trouble: S&P

  • S&P Global Ratings said Indian economy is in deep trouble with growth expected to contract by 5 per cent this fiscal. Difficulties in containing the virus, an anaemic policy response, and underlying vulnerabilities, especially across the financial sector, are leading us to expect growth to fall by 5 per cent this fiscal year before rebounding in 2021, S&P said in a report.
  • In its report titled 'Asia-Pacific losses near USD 3 trillion as balance sheet recession looms', S&P projected the region's economy to shrink by 1.3 per cent in 2020, but grow by 6.9 per cent in 2021. This implies a loss nearing USD 3 trillion output over these two years

MSME comes out with consolidated notification for classification and registration

  • Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) has come out with a consolidated notification in the form of guidelines for classification and registration of MSMEs. Earlier, the Ministry had published a Notification on 1st June with new criteria for classification of MSMEs based on Investment and Turnover.
  • As per the notification, an MSME will be known as Udyam, as this is more closer to the word Enterprise and accordingly, the registration process will be known as Udyam Registration. An enterprise can be registered just on the basis of Aadhaar number and other details can be given on self-declaration basis without any requirement of uploading or submitting any papers.
  • The notification also clarified that Exports of goods or services or both shall be excluded while calculating the turnover of any enterprise whether Micro, Small or Medium

Myanmar growth rate to slide to 0.5 percent in 2019-20: World Bank

  • Myanmar is forecasted to suffer a severe economic blow due to the ongoing Corona pandemic as its economy is projected to grow by just about 0.5 percent in the fiscal year 2019-20. According to the latest World Bank report released, the Myanmar economy could actually contract by as much as 2.5 percent if the pandemic is protracted. The GDP growth rate for Myanmar was 6.8 percent in 2018-19.
  • In case the world economy swiftly recovers and Myanmar is able to control the economic impact of Coronavirus, the growth rate may bounce back to 7.2 percent in 2020-21, says the report.

Not a time to worry about fiscal deficit: Finance Panel Chairman

  • The chairman of the 15th Finance Commission, NK Singh, has said now is not the time to worry about fiscal deficit or public debt, indicating that the government needs to focus on economic revival amid the disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. His statement assumes significance as one of the terms of reference of the commission is to recommend a fiscal consolidation road map for the government over the five-year period from 2020-21to 2025-26.

NRAI names core group for Olympics

  • The National Rifles Association of India (NRAI) has released a list of athletes for its core training group for the Tokyo Olympics. The NRAI said that it had made the list in consultation with chief coaches but did not reveal a schedule for any training camp.
  • The list includes all 15 shooters who won Olympic quotas with two additional shooters in each event.

NS Tomar launches web portal of Garib Kalyan Rojgar Abhiyaan

  • Minister for Rural Development Narendra Singh Tomar has launched the web portal of the Garib Kalyan Rojgar Abhiyaan through video conferencing from New Delhi. The Garib Kalyan Rojgar Abhiyaan is the massive employment generation-cum-rural infrastructure creation programme of the Government of India which was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
  • Its objective is to provide employment to returnee migrant workers at their native places for next four months, because of the situation arising out of the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • This portal will also help to monitor the progress of completion of the works being undertaken with a fund outlay of 50 thousand crore rupees in 116 districts of 6 states. The launch of the web portal was followed by a workshop for the Central Nodal Officers of the 116 identified districts.

RBI board reviews state of economy

  • The board of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), which met for the first time since the nationwide lockdown, discussed the current economic situation and the challenges posed by COVID-19. The meeting was held via video-conference.
  • Among others, the board also discussed the Reserve Bank’s activities during the period [July 2019-June 2020], the budget for the next accounting year July 2020 to March 2021 [aligned with the government’s financial year], other policy and operational matters.

Result declared by CBSE on the basis of assessment scheme will be treated as final: MHRD

  • Ministry of Human Resources Development has said that few media platforms are wrongly reporting that Class 10th students may opt for taking exams, if unsatisfied. In a tweet, HRD Ministry clarified that no further examination will be conducted for students in class 10th and the result declared by CBSE on the basis of assessment scheme will be treated as final.

S&P cuts Axis Bank rating on risks to banks

  • Rating agency Standard and Poor’s has downgraded the issuer rating of Axis Bank from “BBB-” to “BB+”, expecting that the heightened economic risks facing India’s banking system will affect the lender’s asset quality and financial performance.
  • At the same time, it placed ratings of public sector lender Indian Bank (BBB-) on credit watch with negative implications. The public sector bank’s credit profile could weaken over the coming quarters due to Covid-19 as well as merger with the weaker Allahabad Bank..

Southwest monsoon covers entire country, 12 days ahead of its normal date

  • India Meteorological Department (IMD) has said that Southwest Monsoon has covered the entire country. The normal date for Monsoon to cover entire country is 8th July. IMD said, the Monsoon this year covered the entire country 12 days prior to normal date. In the recent past, such early coverage of Monsoon over the entire country occurred in 2013 when it covered the entire country on 16th June 2013.
  • The early advance over the central and northwest India was facilitated by formation of a low pressure area over Bay of Bengal which moved west-northwestwards and another cyclonic circulation over central India.

Tennis: Davis Cup and Fed Cup postponed by a year

  • The Davis Cup and Fed Cup Finals have been postponed until 2021 because of the coronavirus pandemic, the International Tennis Federation (ITF) said. The revamped 18-nation Davis Cup Finals, launched last year in Madrid, was set to return to the Spanish capital in November but it will take place 12 months later.
  • The women's Fed Cup has also undergone a restructuring and the inaugural 12-nation Finals should have been staged in Budapest in April. It has also been put back a year.
  • Professional tennis has been suspended since March and will not return until August.

Virus taking stronger hold in U.S., other populous nations

  • While China moved closer to containing a fresh outbreak in Beijing, the coronavirus took a stronger hold elsewhere, including the United States, where surging infections across southern states have highlighted the risks of reopening economies without effective treatment or vaccines.
  • Another record daily increase in India pushed the country's caseload toward half a million, and other countries with big populations like Indonesia, Pakistan and Mexico grappled with large caseloads and strained health care systems.
  • South Africa, which accounts for about half of the infections on the African continent with 118,375, reported a record 6,579 new cases, as transmissions increase after it loosened what had been one of the world's strictest lockdowns earlier this month.