Current Affairs Daily Digest – April 10 & 11 2019
1. Maharashtra has highest number of polluted rivers in country: NGT
Maharashtra, a state with the largest economy, has the highest number of polluted river stretches in the country, the NGT has said . Maharashtra also has the most number of cities and towns along polluted stretches, according to a 2015 report and water samples collected from over 30 districts of the state were found to have contaminants, it said.
A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel directed the state government to notify at least three major cities, towns and panchayats as “model cities/towns/villages” in every district be notified within two weeks which will be made fully compliant within next six months.
2. State Bank of India cuts MCLR by 5 bps, home loans cheaper by 10 bps
State Bank of India (SBI) reduced its MCLR by 5 bps across all tenors and slashed interest rate on home loans up to Rs 30 lakh by 10 basis points.
One-year MCLR will be 8.50% per annum (pa). The interest rates on all loans linked to MCLR stand reduced by 5 bps from April 10, 2019. Now the applicable interest rate for such housing loans below Rs.30 lacs will range from 8.60% p.a. to 8.90% p.a. Prior to the rate cut decision range for rate was 8.70% p.a. to 9.00% pa.
SBI has linked its Cash Credit /Over Draft rates above Rs one lakh to the repo rate for better transmission of RBI’s policy rates. The benefit of reduction in repo rate by 25 bps by RBI (from April 04 2019) will get passed on in its entirety to CC/OD customers banking with SBI from May 01 2019, it added.
3. Asian Championships Gold Medallist Shot Putter Manpreet Kaur Gets 4-Year Doping Ban
Asian shot put champion Manpreet Kaur has been banned for four years by India’s anti-doping agency after failing a series of drug tests in 2017. Kaur, 29, will lose the gold medal she won at the 2017 Asian Championships with her suspension backdated to July 20 that year.
Kaur tested positive at four competitions in 2017, starting with the Asian Grand Prix at Jinhua, China on April 24. She won gold at each of them.
4. London becomes first city to implement 24×7 pollution charge zone
London became the first city in the world to implement a special Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) that would charge an entry fee for older vehicles if they do not meet the emission standards.
In an attempt to reduce air pollution and protect public health, the ULEZ will be operational for 24 hours and seven days a week.
5. With $79 Billion In 2018, India Tops Global Remittances List: World Bank
India retained its position as the world’s top recipient of remittances with overseas Indians sending a whopping $79 billion back home in 2018, the World Bank said in a report .
India was followed by China ($67 billion), Mexico ($36 billion), the Philippines ($34 billion), and Egypt ($29 billion), the global lender said.
With this, India has retained its top spot on remittances, according to the latest edition of the World Bank’s Migration and Development Brief.
Over the last three years, India has registered a significant flow of remittances from $62.7 billion in 2016 to $65.3 billion 2017.
According to the report, remittances to low-and middle-income countries reached a record high of $529 billion in 2018, an increase of 9.6 per cent over the previous record high of $483 billion in 2017.
6. Virat Kohli named ‘Leading Cricketer’ for third successive time by Wisden
India captain Virat Kohli was named the Leading Cricketer in the World and featured in Wisden’s Five Cricketers of the Year, by the Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack on April 10.It was a double delight for Kohli, who will lead India’s World Cup campaign in England later this year, as he was named the best cricketer in the world for an unprecedented third year in a row.
Kohli was also among Jos Buttler and Sam Curran to be listed in Wisden’s Five Cricketers of the Year, a rare accolade which has been eluding him in his career until now.
Smriti Mandhana was named the Leading Cricketer in women’s cricket, after the opening batsman amassed 1,291 runs across limited-overs formats, including 13 half-centuries.
Afghanistan leg-spinner Rashid Khan was named the Leading Twenty20 Cricketer for the second year in a row.
7. Karnam Sekar to take over as MD, CEO of Indian Overseas Bank from July 1
The government said Karnam Sekar, MD and CEO of the erstwhile Dena Bank, will take over as MD and CEO of Indian Overseas Bank from July 1. His term will end in June next year. He will work as officer on special duty and whole-time director with IOB till the end of June this year.
Also, R A Sankara Narayanan, former MD and CEO of Vijaya Bank, will move to Canara Bank in the same position. His term will end in January 2020.
R K Yaduvanshi, executive director at Dena Bank, will move as executive director of Punjab National Bank. Nageshwara Rao, executive director at Vijaya Bank, will move to Syndicate Bank as officer on special duty and full-time director. Murali Ramaswami, another executive director at Vijay Bank, will move to Bank of Baroda. He will be OSD till the end of September 2019.
8. HDFC AMC ranked 1st in terms of Assets: AMFI Report
India’s asset management companies (AMCs) own assets under management (AUM) worth Rs24.46 trillion, according to data released by the Association of Mutual Funds in India (Amfi). HDFC Asset Management Co. Ltd has claimed the top spot with an average AUM of Rs3.42 trillion, overtaking ICICI Prudential Asset Management Co. Ltd with an average AUM of at Rs3.20 trillion.
Out of the total industry assets, a huge 82.7% is owned by the top 10 AMCs, who have owned around 80% of the industry assets over at least three years now.
Asset management companies (AMCs) :
An asset management company (AMC) is a firm that invests pooled funds from clients, putting the capital to work different investments including stocks, bonds, real estate, master limited partnerships, and more.
9. SUN Group chairman Vikramjit Sahney is new president of ICC India
SUN Group Chairman Vikramjit Singh Sahney elected as the new president of International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) – India. He said the chamber would work with the government to promote India’s external trade.
10. Emirates Islamic became world’s first Islamic bank to launch banking via WhatsApp
Dubai based Emirates Islamic has announced the launch of Chat Banking services for customers via WhatsApp, marking a global first in the Islamic banking sector. The Chat Banking solution allows customers to use features such as checking account balances and temporarily blocking or unblocking of an existing card.
All messages on Emirates Islamic’s verified WhatsApp Business account are encrypted, ensuring confidentiality and security.
11. MENA World Economic Forum kicks off in Jordan
The World Economic Forum (WEF) on the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) 2019 kicked off on Saturday in Jordan with over 1,000 participants from more than 50 countries. The 17th WEF meeting in the region called for united efforts to address the most pressing challenges of the area.
Remaking that Jordan’s focus on education and innovation has helped nurture an ecosystem of entrepreneurship and startups, the king said, “We are also looking forward to the growth that comes with abundant and real opportunity. Jordan’s economic situation is promising”.
12. Telugu poet K Siva Reddy selected for prestigious Saraswati Samman 2018
Telugu poet K Siva Reddy has been selected for the prestigious Saraswati Samman, 2018 for his collection of poetry titled Pakkaki Ottigilite.
The award carries a cash prize of 15 lakh rupees, a citation and a plaque.
The award, instituted by the KK Birla Foundation in 1991, is given annually for an outstanding literary work written in any Indian language and published during the last 10 years.
13. Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu set to get fifth term
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is set to win re-election after his main rival former Army chief Benny Gantz conceded defeat. This comes after a dramatic finish to a tightly-fought race Parliamentary elections in which Gantz accepted that Netanyahu had won.
14. India builds maternity hospital in Nepal
India has built a 25-bed maternity hospital in Nepal. The hospital has been built under the Government of India’s Small Development Projects Scheme. Indian Ambassador to Nepal Manjeev Singh Puri inaugurated the Chandra Narayan Yadav Memorial Maternity Hospital in Siraha district .
The Hospital will provide quality maternity and health care services to the people of 50 Village Development Committees in and around Siraha district. It will also help in reducing maternal and child mortality rate.
The Hospital will be run by the Chandra Narayan Yadav Memorial Trust on no profit-no loss basis. The new infrastructure has been constructed with the Government of India’s grant of 26.90 million Nepali Rupees.
15. INS Shikra hosts Naval Investiture Ceremony
The Naval Investiture Ceremony for 2019 was held at the naval helicopter base INS Shikra of Western Naval Command (WNC), Mumbai on 10 Apr 19.
Admiral Sunil Lanba PVSM, AVSM, ADC, the Chief of Naval Staff (CNS), on behalf of the President of India, conferred Gallantry and non-Gallantry Awards announced on the Republic Day this year to meritorious personnel, as well as citations to Naval units which have distinguished themselves during the past year. The ceremony was witnessed by senior dignitaries of the Indian Navy and families of the awardees.
A 50-men Guard of Honour was paraded during the ceremonial parade which was held as a part of the Investiture ceremony. The Guard of Honour was inspected by Admiral Sunil Lanba prior to reviewing the parade comprising 18 platoons of Naval personnel drawn from various ships and establishments of WNC.
16. SBI cuts interest rates on home loans
The State Bank of India has re-priced home loans up to Rs 30 lakh by 10 basis points. Accordingly, the interest rate on housing loans of such size will now be in the range of 8.6 to 8.9 per cent.
The bank has also lowered its lending rates by a nominal five basis points across all tenors.
In a statement, the SBI said the new one-year marginal cost of funds-based lending rate is down to 8.50 per cent now from 8.55 per cent. This is the first reduction by SBI in over 17 months.
17. Irdai asks insurers to share status of claims with policyholders from July 1
Insurance companies will have to inform about claim settlement status to policyholders at various stages of processing from July, Irdai said .
Insurers need to adopt a clear and transparent communication policy to protect the interest of policyholders, it said in a circular.
“In case of health insurance, where third party administrators (TPAs) are engaged for rendering claims services, it is the responsibility of insurers to ensure that status of claim shall be notified to the claimant at every stage of claim,” the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (Irdai) said.
18. Government meets fiscal deficit target of 3.4% for FY19
The government has managed to meet the revised fiscal deficit target of 3.4 per cent of the GDP after it cut last minute expenditure and rolled over fuel subsidies to make up for the shortfall in tax collection.
The interim Budget presented in February revised upward the fiscal deficit target to 3.4 per cent from 3.3 per cent of GDP estimated earlier for 2018-19.
19. ‘Bold Kurukshetra–2019’: India And Singapore Kick Off Joint Military Exercise In Jhansi
Armed forces of India and Singapore kicked off a joint military exercise, ‘Bold Kurukshetra–2019’, in Jhansi’s Babina Cantonment (8 March). The three-day exercise is aimed at bolstering cooperation against terrorism, developing defence technology and improving maritime security.
India and Singapore had entered into an official agreement in November 2017 to strengthen defence ties between their respective armed forces. As per the understanding, personnel from the Singapore Armed Forces will receive training and undertake firing exercises along with the Indian Armed Forces.
20. Indonesian Nuraeni named best athletic coach in Asia this year
Indonesian Eni Nuraeni was named by Asian Athletic Association (AAA) as the best athletic coach in Asia for short-haul run category this year, Indonesian athletic sports association (PB PASI) announced .
Eni coaches young sprinter Lalu Muhammad Zohri to win the 100m gold medal in 10.20 seconds in the 2019 Grand Prix Malaysia Open athletics championships.
Earlier, Zohri won the 100m in 10.18 in the IAAF World U20 Championships in Tampere, Finland in 2018, where he also won the gold medal in 10.27 in the Asian Junior Championships in Gifu, Japan.
21. Dost Education won the Next Billion Edtech Prize
India’s education technology startup ‘Dost Education’ has bagged a $25,000 Next Billion Edtech Prize 2019. Two other startups, Ubongo (Tanzania) and PraxiLabs (Egypt), also won the award.
Dost Education was awarded for its ability to empower parents to take charge of their child’s early education by creating short, friendly audio content that is sent to them via their mobile phones. Because of this app low-income families need no longer send their children to primary school behind and without a chance to catch up.
Next Billion Edtech Prize 2019 is awarded by the UK-based Varkey Foundation. The award recognises the most innovative technology destined to have a radical impact on education in low income and emerging world countries
22. DBS Bank India launches the first edition of Hack2hire in Bengaluru
DBS Bank India Limited has announced the first edition of its’ Hack2Hire programme in Bengaluru. Through the initiative, it aims to hire over 100 of the brightest minds in emerging technologies such as Cloud Computing, AI, Machine Learning and Big Data.
The programme will focus on the theme of ‘intelligent banking’. The initiative has received over 2500 applications till date. Hack2Hire Bengaluru will look to expand its scope and target to hire platform stability Engineers, Mobile App Developers, Full Stack Developers, PaaS DevOps, DevOps Engineers, QA Engineers, UI/UX Developers, Data analysts and Scrum Masters.
The programme will consist of two parts- starting with an online technical assessment designed to gauge the basic skill-sets required for the job.
23. Veteran Kerala politician KM Mani dead
Veteran Kerala politician, K M Mani, a sitting MLA over the last 54 years who served as a minister in Kerala governement for 25 years passed away in Kochi at the age of 86.
Mani was elected to the Kerala Legislative Assembly for the first time in 1965 from Pala constituency of Kerala’s Kottayam district. A founder member of the Kerala Congress party he later formed the Kerala Congress (M), a key coalition partner of the Congress-led UDF in Kerala.