Current Affairs Daily Digest – April 27 2019
1. Advani wins inaugural Asian Snooker Tour title
India’s ace cueist Pankaj Advani defeated Ehsan Heydari Nezhad of Iran 6-4 to claim the inaugural Asian Snooker Tour title. Advani, a 21-time world snooker and billiards champion, beat Nezhad 52-40, 66(58)-0, 1-63(62), 78-4, 35-47, 0-51, 47-35, 38-39, 53(49)-35, 51(50)-20 in the final.
The Indian had earlier defeated Aung Phyo of Myanmar (5-2) 50-27, 92(92)-0, 86(86)-15, 12-62, 54-30, 24-70, 79-5 in the semifinal.
Advani had earlier won the second leg of the Tour in China. Advani was leading the ranking before
the final leg of the Tour in Bengaluru.
2. Ombudsman scheme extended to non deposit-taking NBFCs
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) extended the “ombudsman scheme” for non-banking financial companies (NBFCs) to non deposit-taking NBFCs with asset size of at least Rs 100 crore.
The decision comes after the central bank in its “Statement on Developmental and Regulatory Policies” released earlier this month after the monetary policy meet said that it has decided to extend the ambit of the ombudsman scheme.
NBFC-Infrastructure Finance Companies (NBFC-IFC), core investment companies (CIC), infrastructure debt fund-non-banking financial company (IDFNBFC) and an NBFC under liquidation, are excluded from the ambit of the scheme.
The scheme was launched on February 23, 2018 for redressal of complaints against NBFCs registered with RBI under Section 45-IA of the RBI Act, 1934 and covered all deposit accepting NBFCs to begin with.
3. Finance ministry approves EPF interest rate hike
The finance ministry has ratified the hike of the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) interest rate to 8.65% as approved by retirement fund manager EPFO. The finance ministry’s approval is a procedural formality, but is a requirement before interest rates are passed on to 60 million EPFO subscribers.
“The Department of Financial Services has accepted the EPFO rate hike and given its concurrence for a higher interest payout,” a labour ministry official said requesting anonymity.
On 21 February, the central board of the EPFO had announced an increase in the EPF interest rate to 8.65% in 2018-19, paring its reserves to their lowest level in three years.
4. Banking ombudsman saw 25% rise in customer complaints in FY18
The banking ombudsman received 24.9% more customer complaints in FY18 over the previous year, said the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).
“The 21 offices of the banking ombudsman received 1,63,590 complaints in the year 2017-18 marking an increase of 24.9% over previous year,” the central bank said, adding that the complaint disposal rate stood at 96.5% in FY18, as compared to 92% in the previous year.
The banking ombudsman scheme (BO Scheme) was introduced in 1995 as a cost-free and expeditious grievance redressal mechanism for customers of banks.
5. Unicef, Niti Aayog tie up for children empowerment
Niti Aayogs Atal Innovation Mission (AIM) and Unicef India signed a Letter of Intent (LoI) to provide an open platform to promote participation, skilling and empowerment among young children across different communities.
As per a release, the plan will be implemented through Atal Tinkering Lab initiative to orient the burgeoning innovation ecosystem towards achieving Sustainable Development Goals with a focus on child rights.
The LoI was signed by Yasmin Ali Haque, Unicef representative in India, and Ramanathan Ramanan, Mission Director, Atal Innovation Mission.
6. India ends with 13 medals at Asian Boxing C’ship
India bagged a gold and two silver medals at the Asian Boxing Championships in Bangkok . With this, India has won 13 medals, including two gold, four silver and seven bronze.
Boxer Amit Panghal picked up his second successive gold medal of the year, claiming the top honours in the 52-kilogram category. Panghal defeated Korea’s Kim Inkyu Korea.
National champion Deepak Singh and Kavinder Singh Bisht in 56-kilogram category signed off with silver medals after close losses.
7. RBI to issue new ‘greenish yellow’ coloured Rs 20 notes soon
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has announced that it will shortly issue Rs 20 denomination banknotes, in the Mahatma Gandhi (New) series, bearing the signature of the central bank’s governor Shaktikanta Das.
“The Rs 20 note will be greenish-yellow in colour. The new banknote has a motif of Ellora Caves on the reverse, depicting the country’s cultural heritage,” a statement by the RBI said.
All the banknotes in the denomination of Rs 20 issued by the RBI in the earlier series will continue to be legal tender, it clarified.
The note has other designs, geometric patterns aligning with the overall colour scheme, both at the obverse and reverse. The dimension of the new Rs 20 note will be 63 mm x 129 mm, the statement said.
The obverse (front) side of the note contains a see-through register with denominational numeral 100, a latent image with the numeral and also a Devanagari version of the same.
It also contains a portrait of Mahatma Gandhi at the centre, with micro letters ‘RBI’, ‘Bharat’, ‘India’ and ’20’, along with with a guarantee clause, Governor’s signature with Promise Clause and RBI emblem towards the right of Gandhi’s portrait.
On the right side of the portrait are an Ashoka Pillar emblem and electrotype (20) watermarks.
8. ABU Media Summit on Climate Action and Disaster Preparedness underway in Nepal
5th Asia Pacific Broadcasting Union (ABU) Media Summit on Climate Action and Disaster Preparedness began in Kathmandu on Thursday.
The theme of the two-day summit is “Media Solutions for Sustainable Future: Saving Lives, Building Resilient Communities”.
Nepal’s Minister for Communication and Information Technology Gokul Prasad Baskota inaugurated the summit. The basic aim of the summit is to address the issue of fully utilizing media’s potential of accelerating climate action and disaster preparedness and connect stakeholders to media professionals for collaboration and joint practical projects.
9. Indian Army signs MoU with NHPC for construction of tunnels on China, Pakistan borders
Indian Army signed an MoU with National Hydroelectric Power Corporation Limited (NHPC) to construct tunnels on borders with China and Pakistan for storage of ammunition and other war-related equipment.
Under the pilot project, three tunnels will be built on China border while one will be built along the Line of Control with Pakistan, Army sources said.
The project is meant to bolster the Indian Army’s capabilities along the Chinese border where India’s infrastructural development is far outpaced by that of China.
10. CPWD constitutes committee to formulate design policy for building construction
The Central Works Public Department (CPWD) has constituted an expert committee to formulate a design policy for building construction and infrastructure development.
A government official said the committee has been set up under the chairmanship of CPWD’s Additional Director General M K Sharma.
The move is aimed at reviving building construction and infrastructure development at all levels in the CPWD which comes under the Housing and Urban Affairs Ministry.
11. ICMR Launches ‘Malaria Elimination Research Alliance’
ICMR launched Malaria Elimination Research Alliance (MERA)- India and organised the stakeholders’ meeting at ICMR headquarters, New Delhi to have vibrant discussions on the roadmap of the alliance. National and international leaders of malaria research, officials from Government of India, NGOs participated in the day-long meeting.
Indian Council of Medical Research has established ‘Malaria Elimination Research Alliance-India (MERA-India)’ which is a conglomeration of partners working on malaria control. The principal activity of the alliance is to prioritise, plan, conduct, scale up and translate relevant research in a coordinated and combinatorial way in order to have a tangible impact of this research on the population at risk for malaria.
12. Microsoft reaches $1 trillion market value for the first time
Microsoft became the third U.S. company to hit $1 trillion in market value, joining rivals Apple and Amazon. The tech company’s Azure cloud software helped deliver third-quarter results that topped analyst estimates, boosting its stock price and pushing its value past the trillion-dollar mark.
Apple was the first to hit the historic mark in August, followed by Amazon, which operates cloud-computing services that compete with Microsoft, in September.
13. Bhullar wins outstanding achievement as player award
Arjuna awardee and star Indian golfer Gaganjeet Bhullar won the outstanding achievement as a player award at the fourth edition of the annual India Golf Industry Association (GIA) awards at the Delhi Golf Club .
The GIA awards were held along with the 8th India Golf & Turf Expo (IGTE), South Asia’s largest golf trade show.
Kapurthala-born Bhullar won the 2018 Fiji International, a European Tour event, and also holds the rare distinction of becoming the youngest golfer on the Asian Tour to achieve nine career victories on tour.
14. Indian-American to challenge Democrat Senator in 2020
Indian-American Hirsh Singh has announced that will seek the Republican nomination for US Senate in 2020 against Democratic New Jersey Senator Cory Booker.
15. Bumrah, Shami, Jadeja and Poonam recommended for Arjuna
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) recommended the names of Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Ravindra Jadeja and Poonam Yadav for the Arjuna Award.
The Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators (CoA) met in the Capital to discuss the matter in the presence of GM Cricket Operations Saba Karim. Karim had proposed the names of the cricketers.
16. ISSF WC: Abhishek Verma clinches gold, Olympic quota
Indian shooter Abhishek Verma won the gold medal in the 10m Air Pistol event at the ongoing International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) World Cup .
Verma, 29, appearing only in his second ISSF World Cup, shot 242.7 in the finals of the event to claim the top honours. Russia’s Artem Chernousov clinched the silver medal with a score of 240.4 while Korea’s Han Seungwoo secured bronze with a score of 220.0.
17. World Intellectual Property Day being observed : April 26
World Intellectual Property Day is being observed 26 April across the globe.
Intellectual property refers to creations of the mind, inventions, literary and artistic works, and symbols, names and images used in commercial activities.
The day is observed across the world to spread awareness about the role that intellectual property rights like patents, trademarks, industrial designs and copyright play in encouraging innovation and creativity.
The theme of World Intellectual Property Day 2019 is Reach for Gold: IP and Sports.