Current Affairs – April 03 2018
1. Jio Payments Bank commences operations
Jio Payments Bank has commenced operations with effect from April 3, the Reserve Bank of India has announced. Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries was one of the 11 applicants which were given in-principle approval by the RBI for the setting up of a payments bank. Payments banks can accept a restricted deposit, which is currently limited to ?1 lakh per customer.
2. National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF) India Ranking 2018
3. India to host trilateral meet with US, Japan
India will host a trilateral meet with the US and Japan in Delhi later this month, the US State Department has confirmed. This comes after reports suggested that the three countries along with Australia are attempting to establish joint regional infrastructure to counter China’s Belt and Road Initiative. The trilateral talks began in 2011.
4. Arun Jaitley reappointed as Leader of Rajya Sabha
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, who was elected to the Rajya Sabha for his fourth consecutive term as a BJP candidate from Uttar Pradesh, has been reappointed as the Leader of the House. Jaitley has served as a Rajya Sabha MP from Gujarat for 18 years and was appointed as the Leader of Rajya Sabha in 2014 as well.
5. RBI drops Axis Bank from list of gold and silver importers
The RBI has dropped Axis Bank from the list of banks it has cleared to import gold and silver in the current fiscal that began April 1. Two other banks, Karur Vysya and South Indian Bank, were also dropped from the list. SBI, PNB, HDFC Bank and ICICI Bank are among the 16 banks allowed to import bullion.
6. Core sector growth up by 5.3% in February 2018
The output of the eight core sectors in the country registered a growth rate of 5.3 per cent in February, slowing down from 6.1 per cent posted in the previous month. Core sectors, comprising coal, crude oil, natural gas, refinery products, fertiliser, steel, cement and electricity, contribute about 40 per cent to total industrial production. The growth in the core sectors in February was boosted by a sustained rise in cement production, up nearly 30 per cent, dwarfing growth in all other sectors.
7. Government levies 10% import duty on key smartphone components
India has imposed a 10 per cent tax on imports of key smartphone components including populated printed circuit boards, which are at the heart of smartphones, according to a government document. The government has confirmed that the country was exploring new duties on the imports of populated printed circuit boards that include components such as processors, memory and wireless chips. A 10 per cent customs tax was also imposed on the imports of camera modules for phones and connectors.
8. SIDBI celebrates its foundation day
Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) on April 2, celebrated its foundation day by visiting customers of micro and small enterprises (MSE) across the country. The move comes as the bank announced a new vision for operations which seeks to promote inclusive growth plans by engaging with MSEs, which are the banks biggest customers. The bank was set up on April 2, 1990, to be the principal financial institution for promotion, financing and development of the MSME.
9. Fimbristylis agasthyamalaensis: New plant species discovered in Western Ghats
Researchers have reported the discovery of a new plant species from the Western Ghats biodiversity hotspot. Classified as a sedge, the grass-like plant has been named Fimbristylis agasthyamalaensis, after the locality from which it was found. The new species belongs to the Cyperaceae family. In India, the genus is represented by 122 species, of which 87 are reported from the Western Ghats. Many of the known Cyperaceae species are medicinal plants or used as fodder.
10. J.C. Daniel Award For Sreekumaran Thampi
Lyricist and director Sreekumaran Thampi has been selected for the J.C. Daniel Award, the Kerala government’s highest honour for lifetime contribution to Malayalam cinema. The award comprising ₹5 lakh and a citation, would be presented to Thampi at the Kerala State Film Award distribution function in Kollam. Thampi made his debut in 1966 with Kattumallika and has written over 1,000-odd melodies. Thampi is also a famed scriptwriter and producer.
11. Anti-apartheid activist Winnie Madikizela-Mandela dies aged 81
South African anti-apartheid campaigner and former first lady Winnie Madikizela-Mandela has died aged 81. She and her former husband Nelson Mandela, who were both jailed, were a symbol of the country’s anti-apartheid struggle for three decades. However, in later years her reputation became tainted legally and politically.
It was Mrs Madikizela-Mandela who took his baton after he was jailed for life, becoming an international symbol of resistance to apartheid. She too was jailed for her role in the fight for justice and equality. To her supporters, she became known affectionately as “Mother of the Nation”.
12. Haryana doubles chowkidars’ allowance
The Haryana government has decided to double the monthly allowance for chowkidars (watchmen), from Rs 3,500 to Rs 7,000 to be effective from April 1, 2018. The chowkidars would get uniform allowance of Rs 2,500 instead of Rs 2,000 and Rs 1,000 instead of Rs 750 earlier for stick, battery, whistle and umbrella.
The chief minister also announced that those chowkidars who were removed from the services during the period from 2014 to 2017 but kept on discharging their services during these years would be provided their full salaries.
13. IIT-Kharagpur develops self-sustainable bio-toilet
Scientists at the civil engineering department of IIT-Kharagpur have developed an award-winning bio-toilet that recycles waste water for its reuse and generates electricity. The project has received honours from Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the ‘Swachh Bharat Award’ event for its one-of-its-kind technology. The scientists have already built a test case, funded by the Department of Science & Technology (DST) of the Union government.
14. Egypt approves law to create anti-terror supreme council
The Egyptian parliament has preliminarily approved a new law to establish a supreme council for combating terrorism, the media reported. Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi originally ordered the creation of the Supreme Council for Combating Terrorism and Extremism after meeting with the National Defence Council following terrorist attacks last year. The law aims to mobilize all the country’s forces not only to rid the country of terrorist elements, but also to contain extremist and radical ideologies