Current Affairs Daily Digest – April 25 2019
1. BEML, Syndicate Bank sign MoU, to book Rs100 cr-biz
Pubilic sector BEML , has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for financing earth moving and construction equipment manufactured by BEML with Syndicate Bank. Syndicate Bank and BEML expect to book business worth ₹100 crore, by March 2020 under this window.
The MoU was signed in the presence of Ajay Vipin Nanavati, Chairman, Syndicate Bank; Deepak Kumar Hota, CMD, BEML; and other senior officials of the two entities.
Under the MoU, BEML will nominate Syndicate Bank as a preferred financer. Financing equipments of BEML will be covered under the ‘Special’ scheme of the bank.
2. This Indian-origin Boy is UK’s Youngest Accountant Who Has a Firm While at School
A 15-year-old Indian-origin boy has been lauded as Britain’s youngest accountant after setting up a successful accountancy firm while still at school.
Ranveer Singh Sandhu, based in south London, has set himself a goal of becoming a millionaire by the time he turns 25 after he set up his first business when he was aged just 12 years. “Young Entrepreneur aged 15 living my best life and trying to make money.
3. BSE ties up with Network Intelligence to provide security services to its members
BSE, India’s largest stock exchange has entered a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Network Intelligence, a global cybersecurity services provider & CERT-IN empanelled vendor to provide cybersecurity services to its members in line with the cybersecurity framework set by SEBI.
In late 2018, SEBI had released its “Cybersecurity & Cyber Resilience framework for Stock Brokers / Depository Participants”. After a detailed assessment and capabilities evaluation by BSE, Network Intelligence India (NII) was selected as one of its partners to provide these services to its members.
4. SBI launches Green Car Loan
State Bank of India announced the country’s first ‘Green Car Loan’ (Electric Vehicle) to encourage customers to buy electric vehicles. The new scheme will offer loan at 20 basis points lesser than the interest rate on the existing car loan schemes.
The EMI per Rs1 lakh will be lower at Rs1,468 for 96 months against Rs1,622 for 84 months, based on the maximum tenor, in line with the existing scheme. “SBI Green Car Loan (Electric Vehicle) scheme, which comes with the longest repayment period of up to eight years, is a strategic inclusion to the bank’s auto loan segment offered with zero processing fee for the first six months of the launch,” the lender said .
5. RBI divests entire stake in NHB, NABARD
The RBI has divested its remaining stake in the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) and National Housing Bank (NHB) in February and March this year. The government now fully owns these two financial institutions. While the RBI stake-sale of 1 per cent in NABARD in February yielded ₹20 crore, 100 per cent disinvestment in NHB brought in ₹1,450 crore.
Divestment of RBI’s shareholding in NABARD was done in two phases. It originally held 72.5 per cent of equity in NABARD, which amounted to ₹1,450 crore. It sold off 71.5 per cent, amounting to ₹1,430 crore in October 2010, while the residual shareholding was divested on February 26, 2019.
The RBI held 100 per cent shareholding in NHB, which was divested on March 19, 2019.
6. Asian Athletics Championships: PU Chitra wins India 3rd gold, Dutee Chand bags bronze
India’s middle-distance runner PU Chitra won the country’s third gold medal at the Asian Athletics Championships 2019 in Doha, Qatar by finishing on the top step of the podium in the women’s 1500m event. Gomathi Marimuthu (women’s 800m) and Tajinder Pal Singh (men’s shot put) had won India gold medals .
23-year-old Chitra clocked 4:14.56s evening to become the first Indian athlete to defend her Asian Athletics Championships in the ongoing meet. Chitra had won the gold medal in the women’s 1500m race in the 2017 Asian Athletics Championships held in Bhubaneshwar.
7. International Day of Multilateralism and Diplomacy for Peace 24 April
On April 24 2019, the first official International Day of Multilateralism and Diplomacy for Peace will be celebrated and the General Assembly will convene a one-day high-level plenary meeting PDF to commemorate and promote the day.
The International Day was officially approved on 12 December, 2018 through resolution A/RES/73/127. 24 April of every year is designated as the day for the international observance.
Preserving the values of multilateralism and international cooperation, which underpin the UN Charter and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, is fundamental to promote and support the three pillars of the UN – peace and security, development and human rights.
8. World Immunization Week 2019
To promote the importance of vaccination and immunization, the world celebrates World Immunisation Week, initiated by the efforts of World Health Organisation. The Immunisation Awareness Week will be celebrated this year between April 24 and April 30.
9. UN English Language Day: April 23
UN English Language Day is observed annually on 23 April. The event was established by UN’s Department of Public Information in 2010 “to celebrate multilingualism and cultural diversity as well as to promote equal use of all six official languages throughout the Organization”.
10. Pakistan’s Cyril Almeida Named IPI’s World Press Freedom Hero for Exposing Country’s Militant Links
The International Press Institute (IPI) named Cyril Almeida, an assistant editor and columnist at Pakistani daily ‘Dawn’ who is currently facing sedition charges in the country, as the recipient of its 71st World Press Freedom Hero award.
11. World’s first malaria vaccine launched in Africa
The world’s first malaria vaccine has been rolled out in Malawi to protect 360,000 children under two in Malawi, Kenya and Ghana in Sub-Saharan Africa from the mosquito-borne disease that causes 435,000 people global deaths each year.
The RTS,S/AS01 (trade name Mosquirix) is an injectible recombinant protein-based vaccine acts against P. falciparum, the most prevalent malaria strain in Africa. The vaccine prevents four in 10 cases of malaria in children who received four doses over a four-year period, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO). The WHO welcomed the pilot programme by the government of Malawi.
12. Mudra loans miss target by Rs 27,000 crore in FY19
Small business loans disbursed under the Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana (PMMY) have fallen short of the target set for 2018-19.
Against a target of Rs3-lakh crore, only Rs2.73-lakh crore was disbursed as on March 31, 2019, according to government data. This is first time that the target was unmet in the last three years. “Banks and other agencies involved had worked in a mission mode and disbursed nearly ₹72,000 crore last month, without which the disbursal would have been much lower,” said the senior executive of a public sector bank.
As on March 1, 2019, disbursement under the Mudra scheme was only Rs2.12-lakh crore.
13. NASA records first likely ‘quake’ on Mars
NASA’s robotic Mars InSight lander has recorded a likely “marsquake” for the first time ever, the U.S. space agency said. The faint seismic signal, detected by the lander’s Seismic Experiment for Interior Structure (SEIS) instrument, was recorded on April 6, the lander’s 128th Martian day.
This is the first recorded trembling that appears to have come from inside the planet, as opposed to being caused by forces above the surface, such as wind, NASA said in a statement.
14. Assam: Jonai to host 27th convention of National Children’s Sc Congress
Jonai in Assam’s Dhemaji will host the 27th convention of the National Children’s Science Congress (NCSC), Dhemaji district unit in September this year.
The NCSC functionaries sat in a meeting with the functionaries of Aryabhatta Science Centre, school teachers, NGO members and civil society members of the district at Jonai HS School and resolved to conduct the day-long convention presentation of projects, model exhibition and student-scientist interaction.
15. Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong Un hold first-ever talks in Vladivostok
Russian President Vladimir Putin and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un began their first-ever talks in the Pacific port city of Vladivostok today. Mr. Putin said he supports ongoing efforts to ease tensions on the Korean peninsula and wants to boost bilateral economic ties. He said the North Korean leader’s visit to Russia will help the two countries to better understand how to resolve the situation on the Korean peninsula.
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un reached the Russian Far East yesterday to seek Moscow’s support after failing to reach an agreement with US President Trump on Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons programme at Hanoi earlier this year.
16. UN, EU sign joint framework to strengthen partnership in counter-terrorism efforts
The United Nations and the European Union (EU) have signed a joint framework aimed at strengthening partnership in counter-terrorism efforts. The UN Office of Counter-Terrorism said that the framework was enacted on the occasion of the second EU-UN high-level political dialogue on Counter-Terrorism that was held in New York.
The UN-EU initiative will focus on terrorism and violent extremism prevention in Africa, the Middle East, and Asia, as well as support victims and promote the reintegration of terrorism offenders.
17. RBI divests its entire stake in NABARD and NHB
Based on the recommendation of second Narasimham Committee, the Reserve Bank has divested its entire stake in National Housing Bank (NHB) and the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD).
In a press release issued from Mumbai on Wednesday, RBI has said that it sold the entire stake worth twenty crore rupees in NABARD and 1,450 crore rupees in NHB in the last quarter of 2018-19, adding that the government is now cent percent holder of both these institutions.
18. Wireless broadband subscriber base touches 532 million in February: ICRA
Rating and Research Agency ICRA has reported that Wireless broadband subscriber base in India has surged to 532 million in February 2019. ICRA in its latest report said the wireless broadband subscriber base continues to maintain its strong growth trajectory witnessing the addition of 10.2 million during the month.
Wireless broadband subscriber base amounts to 45 per cent of the total subscriber base, it added.
ICRA said that the wireless subscriber base in India increased to 1,183.7 million in February 2019, adding 1.7 million subscribers over the previous month. The overall active subscriber base remained at 1,023 million in February.
19. Sebi reduces minimum subscription requirement for REITs, InvITs
Markets regulator Sebi has reduced the minimum subscription requirement as well as defined trading lots for Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) and Infrastructure Investment Trusts (InvITs). REITs have to offer their units in lots worth at least Rs 50,000 in initial and follow on public offers.
The minimum value of a single lot should be Rs 1 lakh in the case of InvITs. Markets regulator Sebi on April 23 came out with guidelines for determination of allotment and trading lot size for REITs and InvITs. Sebi norms pertaining to REITs and InvITs were amended on April 22.
20. BuyUcoin Introduces First Indian Platform for Wholesale Cryptocurrency Trading
BuyUcoin, which is the second oldest Cryptocurrency Exchange in India, announces the launch of a new and unique platform for wholesale cryptocurrency trading which allows its users to trade on a large scale with low price fluctuations. The platform currently works on free trading model i.e. charges zero fee on any trade.
This new feature introduced by BuyUcoin will help to improve the liquidity of cryptocurrency in Indian market and lead to quicker transaction, better prices and market stability.
21. Kotak Bank launches debit card-based e-mandate on NPCI’s API platform
Kotak Mahindra Bank has announced the launch of an industry-first debit card-based authentication solution on NPCI’s e-Mandate API platform.
Kotak becomes the first Destination Bank to go live with Net Banking and Debit Card-based e-mandate authentication, the bank said in a statement adding that the capability will enable its customers to create electronic mandates (similar to the erstwhile eNACH with Aadhaar + OTP) via both the Debit Card and Net Banking channels.
This allows Kotak to go live as a sponsor or acquirer bank for corporates and merchants seeking recurring payments.
22. RBI first APAC central bank to begin interest rate easing cycle: Fitch
The Reserve Bank of India is the first central bank in the Asia-Pacific region to begin an explicit interest rate easing cycle buoyed by benign food inflation and easier global financial condition, Fitch Ratings said on Wednesday.
The Monetary Policy Committee (MPC), headed by RBI Govenor Shaktikanta Das, cut rates in February and April, citing prospects of benign inflation. In the four months of 2019, the RBI has cut policy interest rates twice by 0.25 per cent each to one-year low of 6 per cent.
This is the first back-to-back rate cut since the MPC was formed in late 2016. “Benign food inflation and easier global financial conditions following the US Fed’s shift to a more dovish policy stance has enabled the RBI to become the first central bank in Asia-Pacific (APAC) to begin an explicit easing cycle,” Fitch said in its APAC sovereign credit overview report.
23. Kazakhstan sets up coordinating council to attract Indian investments
Central Asia’s biggest and resource-rich Kazakhstan has set up Coordinating Council for attracting foreign investments including from India.
The Kazakh government held a session to discuss the issues of attracting investments under the chairmanship of the Prime Minister of Kazakhstan Askar Mamin.
24. Iran, Pakistan to set up border ‘reaction force’ after attacks
Iran and Pakistan have agreed to set up a joint border “reaction force” following a number of deadly attacks by militant groups on their frontier, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani announced after talks with visiting Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan.