Current Affairs Daily Digest – April 21 2019
1. Master chronicler of Madras S Muthiah passed away
Renowned city-based chronicler and writer-journalist S Muthiah passed away in Chennai. He was 89.
Muthiah was born in 1930 in the erstwhile Madras Presidency, in what is today the Ramanathapuram district of Tamil Nadu. He attended school in Colombo, Sri Lanka and went abroad to pursue higher education. Launching his career as a journalist after a Master’s degree in the United States, he worked with The Times of Ceylon newspaper in Colombo for 17 years.
2. Tech Mahindra and i2Chain collaborate to leverage next gen technologies
Tech Mahindra Ltd., announced a strategic collaboration with i2Chain Inc., a San Francisco-based startup, leveraging next gen technologies to secure customer information and data assets.
Through this partnership, Tech Mahindra and i2Chain will offer a blockchain-based cybersecurity application to customers that is easy to use and provides information owners with an unprecedented level of control as to how, when and where other users can access their information, with the potential to substantially reduce the frequency and costs of security incidents.
3. Indian Navy launches Guided missile destroyer ‘Imphal’
The Indian Navy launched guided missile destroyer Imphal at Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders in Mumbai . Imphal is the third ship to be launched under a project in which ships are built to carry and operate two multiple role helicopters.
4. SoftBank, Toyota invest $1 bn in Uber for its pricey self-driving ambitions
Uber’s autonomous vehicle unit has raised $1 billion from a consortium of investors including SoftBank Group Corp , giving the company a much-needed funding boost for its pricey self-driving ambitions on the eve of its public stock offering.
Uber Technologies Inc said that the investment valued its Advanced Technologies Group, which works to develop autonomous driving technology, at $7.25 billion. SoftBank will invest $333 million from its $100 billion Vision Fund, while Toyota Motor Corp and automotive company Denso Corp will combined invest $667 million.
5. FAC gives final clearance to North Koel dam project in Jharkhand
The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change’s (MoEF&CC’s) Forest Advisory Committee (FAC) has given Stage II clearance for the construction of the North Koel Dam in core area of Palamau Tiger Reserve in Latehar and Garhwa districts of Jharkhand.
The clearance also comes with the permission to start construction and settle the villages which will be submerged by the project before closing the sluice gates of the dam.
The project will impact 15 villages in the Palamau Tiger Reserve, and the people have been protesting against the project.
6. Scientists develop salt tolerant rice variety
A group of Indian scientists has developed a new salt-tolerant transgenic rice plant by over-expressing a gene from a wild rice called Porteresia coarctata into the commonly used IR 64 indica rice variety. Porteresia coarctata is a native of India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Myanmar and is grown mainly in saline estuaries.
7. SoftBank Group International CFO Alok Sama to step down
SoftBank Group International Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Alok Sama will step down from his post.
He will remain a senior adviser at the company, according to a memo, which did not provide a reason for his departure. Sama led the execution teams for the $59 billion merger of Sprint and T-Mobile and the $34 billion acquisition of ARM Holdings Plc, among other deals, according to the memo.
8. Paytm Payments Bank appoints Sairee Chahal to board of directors
Paytm Payments Bank Ltd (PPB) said it has appointed entrepreneur Sairee Chahal to its board of directors. Sairee Chahal is the founder and CEO of Sheroes — a community platform for women.
PPB, which was incorporated in August 2016, formally began its operations in 2017.
Paytm Founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma holds 51 per cent stake in PPB, while the rest is held by One97 Communications.
9. Hardik, Rahul fined 20 lakh rupees each by BCCI ombudsman
India cricketers Hardik Pandya and K.L. Rahul were today fined 20 lakh rupees each by the BCCI ombudsman Justice D.K. Jain for their sexist comments on a popular TV chat show.
10. Maldivian President to visit Bengaluru for IPL match today
Maldivian President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih is flying to Bengaluru today to attend an IPL match on the invitation of BCCI.
He is being accompanied by two of his cabinet members including foreign minister Abdulla Shahid and will be watching today’s match between the Royal Challengers Bangalore and Chennai Super Kings.
11. Asian Athletics Championships begins in Doha today
The Asian Athletics Championships begin in Doha today. The first day will decide eight gold medals.
From the Indian perspective, the Women’s 400 metres race will be the most anticipated one. Sprint sensation Hima Das will be running in the preliminary round in the morning, while the final will be held in the evening.
In the 2017 Championships held in Bhubaneswar, India had finished on top with a record-breaking haul of 29 medals – 12 gold, 5 silver and 12 bronze. China had finished second with 20 medals.
12. Indian, US Navies hold anti-submarine warfare exercise
Indian and the US Navies have held a joint submarine-hunting exercise in the Indian Ocean, aiming to lay the groundwork for coordinating maritime patrol and reconnaissance, according to the US Navy.
Indian and the US’ P-8 anti-submarine aircraft, along with the USS Spruance, a guided-missile destroyer, participated in the anti-submarine warfare .
The Indian P-8I Neptune aircraft from the Naval Air Squadron 312 based at Naval Station Rajali in Arakkonam, Tamil Nadu, joined the US P-8A Poseidon aircraft from Patrol Squadron VP-8 “Fighting Tigers”, based in Jacksonville, Florida, in the exercise.
13. Govt extends deadline for GST sales return for March until 23 Apr
The government has extended the last date for filing summary sales return, GSTR-3B, for March month by three days until April 23.
“Due date for filing GSTR-3B for the tax period March 2019 has been extended to April 23, 2019,” a ticker on GST portal ‘gst.gov.in’ said.
14. Banks Board Bureau lists 75 bankers for PSB leadership roles
The Banks Board Bureau (BBB) has identified 75 senior officials of state-run banks for leadership roles across public sector banks (PSB). the Bureau has also sought autonomy for the PSBs to decide on their organisational structure.
The BBB has shortlisted the selected officials from an original list of around 450 people, according to the Bureau’s activity report for October 2018-March 2019.
15. Tata team meets J&K Governor to explore investment avenues
A team of Tata group called on Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik to explore investment avenues in the state.
“A team of Tata group comprising Girish Krishnamurthy, Vice President and Head – Strategic Initiatives Chairman’s Office, Tata group, and Shankar Ranganathan, Principal, Tata Strategic Management Group, had a meeting with Governor Satya Pal Malik at the Raj Bhavan here in the evening.