Current Affairs Daily Digest – April 12 2019
1. Railway Board Celebrates 64th Railway Week Function at Rail Bhawan
The 64th Railway Week Function of Railway Board was organized on 12th April, 2019 in Rail Bhavan, New Delhi. Chairman, Railway Board, Shri V.K. Yadav presided over the function and presented Running Efficiency Shield, Merit Certificates & Awards to officials of Railway Board for their outstanding performances during the year 2018-19. Other Railway Board Members and Senior Officials were also present on the occasion.
Shri V.K. Yadav presented the Running Efficiency Shield to Stationery and O&M Branches (jointly) of Railway Board selected as “Best Maintained Branch” for maintaining high standards of efficiency, prompt disposal of cases and excellent up-keep of records. Besides this, Merit Certificates and Cash Awards were presented to 2 other well-maintained sections namely Project and ERB-V Branches of Railway Board.
2. Prasar Bharati Chairman releases booklet of ‘Selected speeches of Dr Bhimrao Ambedkar in the Constituent Assembly’
Prasar Bharati Chairman, A Surya Prakash released a booklet of the ‘Selected speeches of Dr Bhimrao Ambedkar in the Constituent Assembly’ , in New Delhi . The event was organized to commemorate the contributions of Baba Saheb in the upliftment of underprivileged in the country.
Mr Surya Prakash said, the kind of research done by Baba Saheb in drafting the Indian Constitution in the pre-internet era, is truly extraordinary. He said, Baba Saheb’s contribution towards social justice and National unity is truly phenomenal. Mr Surya Prakash also called upon students to read the speeches of Baba Saheb to have a sense of respect towards his contribution in Nation building.
3. India to be Guest of Honour country at ADIBF 2019
UAE has announced that India will be the Guest of Honour country at the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair, ADIBF 2019, to be held from 24th to 30th of this month. The fair aims to highlight the UAE’s rich heritage, showcasing its authenticity and modernity, as well as its cultural and literary output.
India’s participation in the fair is expected to attract significant increase in the number of visitors with various events and activities which will be held throughout the entire duration of ADIBF. The Indian Pavilion will host Indian writers, authors and literary scholars who will serve as ambassadors for the literature and art of their country.
4. India, Netherlands vow to strengthen bilateral political & economic ties
India and the Netherlands have discussed ways to strengthen bilateral political and economic ties, including boosting cooperation at the United Nations and other international fora.
The two countries held Foreign Office Consultations in New Delhi, with the Indian side led by A Gitesh Sarma, Secretary, West, Ministry of External Affairs, and Johanna Brandt, Secretary General, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, leading the Dutch delegation.
Both countries used this opportunity to review the entire gamut of bilateral relations, including political, economic, commercial, scientific and cultural cooperation, the MEA said.
5. HRD ministry appoints VCs to three universities after EC nod
The Union HRD Ministry has appointed vice chancellors to three universities after the Election Commission gave its nod as the Model Code of Conduct is in place due to the Lok Sabha elections.
A senior HRD ministry official said, Najma Akhtar has been appointed as the V-C of Jamia Millia Islamia and Sanjiv Sharma has been appointed as the V-C of Mahatma Gandhi Central University in Motihari.
Name of Rajaneesh Kumar Shukla has been approved for the top post at Mahatma Gandhi Antarrashtriya Hindi Vishwavidyalaya in Wardha. Akhar, is the first woman to be appointed to the Vice Chancellor’s post at Jamia.
6. Veteran Communist leader Drupad Borgohain died
Veteran communist leader and former parliamentarian Drupad Borgohain died. He was 78.
Born on November 7, 1941, Borgohain was a teacher by profession and started his career at the Maduri Middle Vernacular School in Sivasagar. He resigned from the teaching job to become a party whole-timer in 1982.
He became a CPI party member in 1963 and was active in the All India Youth Federation between 1965 and 1978 after being elected to its National Council.
7. TCS, Google join hands to build industry-specific cloud solutions
India’s largest software services firm Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) has collaborated with tech giant Google to build industry-specific cloud solutions.
These solutions will help organisations accelerate their digital transformation and leverage data-driven insights that power superior customer experiences. The collaboration will enable TCS to deliver the right mix of technology and value accelerators that will help customers differentiate themselves and become more agile.
8. Indian Oil bags AIMA Managing India Award for outstanding PSU
Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) has bagged the prestigious ‘AIMA Managing India Award 2019 for outstanding PSU of the year.’ The award was presented by former President Pranab Mukherjee to Sanjiv Singh, Chairman, Indian Oil, at a glittering ceremony .
The AIMA awards, declared under 11 categories, were headed by Sanjiv Goenka, chairman, RP-Sanjiv Goenka Group, and shortlisted 11 eminent enterprises and personalities of the country for their contribution to nation-building.
9. India’s population grew at 1.2% average annual rate between 2010 and 2019: UN
India’s population grew at an average annual rate of 1.2 per cent between 2010 and 2019 to 1.36 billion, more than double the annual growth rate of China, according to a report by the United Nations Population Fund.
India’s population in 2019 stood at 1.36 billion, growing from 942.2 million in 1994 and 541.5 million in 1969. The Indian population grew at average annual rate of 1.2 per cent between 2010 and 2019, the UN sexual and reproductive health agency said, in the State of World Population 2019 report.
In comparison, China’s population stood at 1.42 billion in 2019, growing from 1.23 billion in 1994 and 803.6 million in 1969. China’s population grew at an average annual rate of 0.5 per cent between 2010 and 2019, the report said.
10. Vikram Nath, new Chief Justice of A.P. High Court
Justice Vikram Nath, seniormost judge of the Allahabad High Court, has been appointed Chief Justice of the Andhra Pradesh High Court. He succeeds acting CJ Justice C. Praveen Kumar.
Justice Praveen Kumar became the first CJ of the A.P. High Court which came into existence with effect from January 1, 2019 following the Presidential order dated December 26, 2018, to constitute the separate court consequent to the bifurcation of the State, with Amaravati as it’s principal seat.
11. HDFC Bank ranked No. 1 in India by Forbes; Surprise at No. 3; SBI not in top 10
Once again HDFC Bank has added another feather in its cap. This time the private lender has been identified as number 1 bank by customers in India, as per Forbes World’s Best Bank survey. In the first edition of this survey, Forbes partnered with market research firm Statista to measure the best banks in 23 countries. HDFC Bank emerged as India’s No 1 bank. It was a unique survey as it did not measure financial performance, ignoring balance sheets and P&L statements in favour of customer opinion.
Apart from HDFC Bank, it was another private-owned lender ICICI Bank which took the second spot in Forbes list for India. At third rank was DBS, followed by Kotak Mahindra Bank and IDFC Bank taking fourth and fifth spot.
12. India, Sweden ink pact to collaborate on solutions for smart cities, clean tech
India and Sweden launched a joint programme that will work towards addressing a range of challenges around smart cities and clean technologies among others. The programme was co-funded by Indian Department of Science and Technology (DST) and Swedish agency Vinnova.
Vinnova will provide funding to Swedish participants up to 2,500,000 Swedish Krona (around Rs 1.87 crore) as grant. On the Indian side, conditional grant of up to 50 per cent (with a limit of Rs 1.5 crore) per project will be provided to the Indian partners.
“The India-Sweden Collaborative Industrial Research and Development Programme will see Swedish and Indian innovators work together and develop solutions that benefit both sides,” Klas Molin, Ambassador of Sweden to India, said.
13. RBL Bank ties up with CreditVidya to improve customer experience
RBL Bank has partnered with credit profiler CreditVidya to improve the lender’s customer experience. Through this partnership, the private sector lender will be able to gain significant insights into its customer base, it said in a release.
This in turn will allow it to improve user experience and build customised offerings for over 15 lakh customers, the bank said.
14. AITA signs MoU with Serbian Tennis Federation to train junior players
The All India Tennis Association (AITA) has signed an MoU with Serbian Tennis Federation (STF) to train Indian junior players under world renowned Serbian coaches, at the RK Khanna Stadium . The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed by Secretary General, AITA, Hironmoy Chatterjee, and CEO, STF Dusan Orlandic.
Both the federations have also agreed to work on the education of officials, coaches and physical trainers and their exchange for tournaments.
15. SpaceX launches Falcon Heavy and lands all three rocket boosters for the first time
SpaceX launched the company’s Falcon Heavy rocket on its inaugural commercial mission on Thursday evening. This was the second flight for Falcon Heavy, which became the most powerful rocket in use in the world after SpaceX’s successful test flight in February 2018.
Falcon Heavy launched from SpaceX’s launchpad at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Built out of three of the company’s Falcon 9 rockets, Falcon Heavy’s three cores stand side by side to create a 27-engine colossus. Together, those engines create about 5.1 million pounds of thrust.
16. Google launches new cloud platform, Anthos
Google launched Anthos, a new open platform from Google Cloud, that lets users run applications from anywhere. Anthos allows users to run applications, unmodified, on existing on-premise hardware or on the public cloud, and is based on the Cloud Services Platform that Google announced last year.
Anthos is a complete software-based solution. Users can set it up on existing hardware, claimed Google.
17. Namami Gange brings laurels to India at Global Water Summit in London
India’s flagship programme, National Mission for Clean Ganga or Namami Gange was felicitated with the coveted ‘Public Water Agency of the Year’ award at the Global Water Summit here on April 9.
The coveted Global Water Awards are presented by the Global Water Intelligence at the Global Water Summit, the major business conference for the water industry worldwide. The Global Water Awards recognise excellence across the entire international water industry and reward those initiatives in the water, wastewater, and desalination sectors which bring remarkable improvements in the lives of people.
The Namami Gange programme is an integrated mission for Ganga rejuvenation. It has a comprehensive multi-sectoral intervention with multi-stakeholder involvement and adopts a basin based approach which includes Ganga and its tributaries.
18. Russia honours PM Narendra Modi with its highest award for cementing ties
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been honoured with Russia’s highest state decoration, the Order of St Andrew the Apostle.
The award has been given to PM Modi for “exceptional services in promoting special and privileged strategic partnership between the Russian Federation and the Republic of India and friendly relations between the Russian and Indian peoples”.
This is the seventh award conferred on PM Modi by a foreign country.
19. Reliance Jio launches news app for web, mobile users
Reliance Jio has launched its own news platform JioNews in the form of a web-based service as well as a mobile application for both, Android as well as iOS users.
The platform has been launched as a combined offering of JioXpressNews, JioMags and JioNewsPaper along with the Live TV feature with the aim to bring along the best news content as fast as possible from Live channels, magazines, blogs and news websites from around the world, the company said .
20. RBI injected Rs 2.98 lakh cror liquidity in 2018-19
The Reserve Bank of India injected a total liquidity of Rs 2.98 lakh crore in the market in 2018-19. From a daily net average surplus of Rs 27,928 crore during February 1-6, 2019, systemic liquidity moved into deficit during February 7-March 31, reflecting the build-up of government cash balances, the First Bi-monthly Monetary Policy Statement, 2019-20 stated.