Current Affairs Daily Digest – April 2 2019
1. ‘Mullum Malarum’ Director J Mahendran Passes Away At 79
One of the most prominent faces of Tamil cinema, director J Mahendran breathed at his residence in Chennai. He was 79. he was seen in many films as actor. Starting with Kamaraj in 2004, he continued acting till Petta and Boomerang in 2019.
2. First secure link between India, US Navies set up
India and the US have set up the first ever secure communication link between the naval headquarters and the US Central as well as Pacific Naval Commands under the landmark Indo-US COMCASA pact reached last year.
ET has reliably gathered that the US has also activated the Selective Availability Anti-Spoofing Module GPS system in some of C-130 and C-17 transport aircraft as a result of the implementation of the COMCASA (Communications, Compatibility & Security Agreement).
In a major boost to India’s defence diplomacy, the two upgrades will allow both sides to share real-time operational intelligence. In the case of the C-130s and C-17s, the systems were purchased but not activated because the US said it could not part with the encryption codes until the enabling COMCASA pact is signed.
3. RBI tightens NPA disclosure norms, asks banks to reveal bad loans
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) changed the disclosure norms for banks on material divergences on provisioning, stating that banks will now have to disclose their provisions if the divergence found is more than 10 per cent of the bank’s profit before provisioning and contingencies.
Earlier, the norms were that banks required to disclose additional provisioning requirements if divergences were found to be exceeding 15 per cent of the published net profits after tax.
The central bank retained the norms on divergence on gross non-performing assets (NPAs), which continues to be a material divergence of 15 per cent, as found by the RBI auditors and as reported by the bank.
4. Telangana Tops in e-Learning Training for Field Staff
For the second year in succession, Telangana ranks number 1 in the e-Learning training program of Dept of Personnel and Training (DoPT), Government India.
During the financial year 2018-19, Dr MCR HRD Institute enrolled over 20,000 field staff in different districts of the State to impart training on 12 soft skills modules and three domain-specific modules on RTI, Office Procedures, and Finance & Accounts, apart from Sustainable Development Goals. During the last two years, over 40,000 field staff belonging to different departments were trained in the State that marks a new milestone in achieving the goal of ‘training for all’.
5. India win Test Championship title for third successive year
India secured the Test Championship title for a third successive year and with it the million dollar prize. Virat Kohli’s team, who in January recorded their first Test series win in Australia, finished with 116 points, eight points clear of New Zealand.
South Africa were third with Australia edging England for fourth by decimal points after both finished on 104 points.
The inaugural World Test Championship will begin in August.
This will feature nine Test nations competing across 27 series and 71 Test matches to reach the ICC World Test Championship Final in 2021, where the first World Test champions will be crowned.
6. Kotak Mahindra Bank to charge for UPI transactions from May
Kotak Mahindra Bank will begin charging customers for peer-to-peer Unified Payments Interface (UPI) transactions from May 1, becoming the first bank to do so.
From May, Kotak Mahindra Bank customers will be able to make 30 free P2P transfers each month using UPI.
After this the bank will charge Rs 2.50 per transaction for transfers of Rs 1,000 or less, and Rs 5 plus 18% GST for transfers of more than Rs 1,000.
7. Rajan Anandan quits Google, to join Sequoia Capital
Google’s India and South East Asia President Rajan Anandan has resigned after an eight-year stint at the American tech giant. Anandan, also an investor in multiple startups, is slated to join venture fund Sequoia Capital. He will work with Google till the end of this month.
Vikas Agnihotri will take on the interim responsibility. He is currently serving as Google’s Country Director for Sales. Anandan had joined Google from Microsoft India in 2010. Previously, he was also been associated with Dell India and McKinsey & Company.
8. HCL completes acquisition of Strong-Bridge Envision
IT major HCL Technologies said that its acquisition of US-based Strong-Bridge Envision has been completed. HCL had recently agreed to acquire the Seattle-based company to enhance its digital transformation consulting capabilities. According to reports, the deal was worth 45 million dollars.
9. China launched 2nd Generation data relay satellite, Tianlian II-01
The Tianlian II-01 satellite was launched by a Long March-3B carrier rocket from the Xichang Satellite Launch Centre in southwest China’s Sichuan Province. This is the first of China’s second-generation data-tracking and relay satellites, which will provide services like data relay, measurement and control, and transmission to manned spacecraft, satellites, carrier rockets and non-spacecraft users.
The launch marks the 301st mission of the Long March carrier rocket series.
China launched its first data relay satellite, the Tianlian I-01, in April 2008.
10. Reserve Bank to inject USD 5 billion more liquidity into banking system
The Reserve Bank of India, RBI said it will inject long-term liquidity worth 5 billion US Dollars into the banking system through a dollar-rupee buy-sell swap for a tenure of three years on April 23. The RBI statement stated that the move intends to meet the durable liquidity needs of the system.
It stated that the auction is meant to give RBI greater flexibility in managing banking system cash while helping absorb any potential large dollar inflows, which could make the rupee rise sharply. The swap will be in the nature of a simple buy/sell foreign exchange swap from the Reserve Bankside. Under the swap, a bank would sell US dollars to the RBI and simultaneously agree to buy the same amount of US dollars at the end of the swap period.
11. World Autism Awareness Day observed today
Today is the World Autism Awareness Day. The day is observed every year to raise public awareness of autism. This year the theme of the Day is Assistive Technologies, Active Participation.
Autism is a brain disorder that typically affects a person’s ability to communicate with others. It generally begins in childhood and last through adulthood. Autism Day highlights the need to help and improve the quality of life of those with autism so that they can lead full and meaningful lives as an integral part of society.
This year’s observance underscores the importance of affordable assistive technologies to support people with autism to live independent lives and, indeed, to exercise their basic human rights.
12. Wages rise under MGNREGA with EC endorsement
The Union Rural Development Ministry has increased the rate of wages under the MGNREGA for the 2019-20 fiscal with approval from the Election Commission and has asked state governments not to publicise the enhancement of wage rates under the rural employment scheme.
According to the government notifications, the wages under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, have increased in a range of two to 8.76 per cent in most of the states except West Bengal, Karnataka, Kerala and Goa, where the wages have not been increased for the 2019-20 fiscal.
Among the states, the increase of wages in Mizoram was the highest at 8.76 per cent from Rs 194 to Rs 211.
As per the notification, the highest wage under the MGNREGA is Rs 284 in Haryana, while the lowest is Rs 171 in Bihar and Jharkhand.
13. Satish Magar takes over as new national president of CREDAI
Satish Magar took over as the new national president of the Confederation of Real Estate Developers’ Associations of India (CREDAI), the apex body of private real estate developers in India. Magar, who is the managing director of Magarpatta City, took over the baton from Jaxay Shah to become the new president of the 20-year-old body.
14. Lewis Hamilton wins Bahrain GP
Lewis Hamilton (Britain- Mercedes) has won the Formula One Bahrain Grand Prix 2019. Valtteri Bottas was second while Charles Leclerc was third in the F1 race.
15. Maitri Bridge over Indus in Leh opened to public
The 260-foot Maitri Bridge, the longest suspension bridge over the Indus River at Choglamsar village in Leh was opened to the public on March 01.
The bridge has been named ‘Maitri Bridge’, symbolising the excellent civil-military relations existing in the Leh-Ladakh region.
The senior war veterans of 1947-48, 1962, 1971 and 1999 operations in the Ladakh region led by Naik Phunchok Angdus (retd), an 89-year-old war veteran, opened the bridge to the public.