Current Affairs Daily Digest – April 8 2019
1. NGT forms committee to look into Yamuna floodplain erosion in Sonipat
The National Green Tribunal (NGT) formed a committee to look into the alleged erosion of Yamuna floodplain due to movement of heavy vehicles in Haryana’s Sonipat district.
A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel constituted a committee comprising the principal secretary of the Haryana Irrigation and Water Resources Department, member secretary of the Haryana State Pollution Control Board and the director of the Mines and Geology Department.
2. Indo-Sri Lanka joint exercise Mitra Shakti VI concludes in Sri Lanka
The sixth edition of the joint military training exercise between the Indian Army and the Sri Lankan Army, Exercise Mitra Shakti concluded in Sri Lanka. The two-week long training that commenced on 26th March, came to an end with a grand smart and scintillating joint parade by the two continents.
The two army contingents also shared the best practices of each other to further enhance their learning experiences. Started in 2013, exercise Mitra Shakti is in continuation of a series of joint exercises that is conducted annually as part of military diplomacy to enhance cooperation between the armies of India & Sri Lanka.
3. India, Sri Lanka agree to increase cooperation in security and defence spheres
India and Sri Lanka have agreed to increase cooperation in security and defence spheres in several areas, including regional security, curbing drug smuggling and human trafficking. The issues came up for discussion when Defence Secretary Sanjay Mitra called on Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirsena in Colombo during his official visit.
4. Lin Dan clinches Malaysia Open
Chinese badminton ace Lin Dan clinched the Malaysia Open in Kuala Lumpur today. After an electric performance , he beat countryman Chen Long 9-21, 21-7, 21-11.
The title is Lin’s first win this year, and also his first major success since taking the Malaysia Open in 2017.
5. Sydney Brenner, Nobel Prize winner who helped decipher genetic code, dies at 92
Sydney Brenner, a Nobel Prize-winning biologist who helped decipher the genetic code and whose research on a roundworm sparked a new field of human disease research, has died. He was 92.
Brenner shared the Nobel Prize in medicine in 2002 for his contribution to work unraveling how genes control cell division. He and two colleagues, John Sulston and Robert Horvitz, traced a transparent roundworm known as C. elegans to determine how cells divide and create something new.
6. India in talks with Netherlands to amend bilateral tax treaty
After successfully plugging the loopholes in tax treaties with Mauritius and Singapore, India is now negotiating with the Netherlands to amend the bilateral tax treaty in an effort to gain more powers to tax the sale of shares of Indian companies by Dutch firms.
In the first nine months of 2018-19, India had received $2.95 billion foreign direct investment from Netherlands, topping the $2.8 billion investment in 2017-18. The Indian government wants to widen its tax base by ensuring share transactions involving Indian entities do not escape taxation in India.
7. Morgan Stanley estimates ETF assets will go up 12 times in 10 years
The Indian markets could witness a boom in exchange-traded funds (ETFs) in the coming decade, says Morgan Stanley. The US-based brokerage estimates the ETF assets to jump 12 times from the current level to $200 billion by 2029. Globally, ETF assets have risen nearly 21 times in the last 15 years from $240 billion to $5 trillion currently.
In India, ETF assets have risen from $240 million to $15 billion in four years.
8. India’s economic growth driven by domestic demand, need to focus on exports: WB
India’s economic growth in recent years has been “too much” driven by domestic demand and its exports were about one third of its potential, a World Bank official said, asserting that the next government needs to focus on export-led growth.
Praising attempts to liberalize markets within India, Hans Timmer, World Bank Chief Economist for the South Asia Region said “that is what is needed to become more competitive.”
9. IIT-Madras tops HRD’s ranking of higher education institutes, IISc second
The Indian Institute of Technology(IIT), Madras, topped the national ranking of higher institutes released by the Ministry of Human Resources Development (HRD) . The Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore, and IIT-Delhi ranked second and third in the list respectively. Of the top 10 institutes, seven are IITs.
The Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) and the Banaras Hindu University ranked seventh and 10th respectively. The Delhi University’s Miranda House was ranked the best among colleges across the country, while the varsity’s St Stephen’s College was ranked fourth.
The HRD Ministry has been publishing the National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF).
10. ‘Ab Hoga Nyay’ is Congress’ campaign slogan for 2019 Lok Sabha elections
Congress party launched its publicity campaign for 2019 Lok Sabha elections with an over arching slogan of “Ab Hoga Nyay” or justice will happen now. The word NYAY is also the reference to Nyuntam Aay Yojana which is party’s minimum income guarantee promise.
11. Siddharth Desai becomes 2nd costliest player in PKL
Star raider Siddharth Desai became the second-most expensive player in the history of the Pro Kabaddi League (PKL) after Telugu Titans pocketed him for a whopping Rs 1.45 crore.
Desai had a sensational debut outing last season as he had picked a massive 218 raid points from just 21 games.
Desai holds the record of being the fastest in PKL history to reach 50 raid points and is also the first rookie to score 200 raid points in a season. He was sold for Rs 36 lakh last year to U Mumba.
12. Indonesia to install tsunami early warning system
Indonesia is set to install buoys and cable base tsunameters (CBT) near Mount Krakatau volcano in a bid to give early warning when tidal waves occur near the volcano.
The move came following the tsunami triggered by eruption of Child of Krakatau volcano in December that left over 400 people dead, more than 14,000 injured and massive damages along Sunda Strait.
13. Graham Reid appointed Indian men’s hockey coach
Hockey India has named Graham Reid as the new chief coach of the Indian men’s hockey team. The 54-year-old will join the team in Bengaluru shortly for the ongoing national camp at the Sports Authority of India.
Reid has a decorated playing career as the defender/midfielder for the Australian national team and was part of the silver medal winning team at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics. He was also part of the Australian squad that won back-to-back Champions Trophy titles in 1984, 1985 and 1989, 1990.
14. Veeam appoints Belinda Jurisic APJ Channel Director
Backup solutions provider Veeam Software announced the appointment of Belinda Jurisic as the Channel Director for Asia Pacific and Japan (APJ).
As APJ Channel Director, Jurisic will be responsible for leading Veeam’s channel teams across the region, working with a network of more than 3,000 resellers and distributors and driving the uptake of the company’s Cloud data management solutions.
15. Adani Power receives Letter of Intent for Korba West Power
Adani Power has received the Letter of Intent (LoI) to acquire the insolvent Korba West Power Company (KWPCL) after the latter’s Committee of Creditors (CoC) approved Adani’s resolution plan for KWPCL.
KWPCL owns and operates a 600 megawatt (MW) thermal power plant in Raigarh District, Chhattisgarh.
According to Adani Power, successful acquisition and implementation of the resolution plan will consolidate its position as India’s leading private sector thermal power producer, with a combined thermal power capacity of 11,040 MW.
16. World Bank Projects India’s GDP To Expand 7.5% In FY20
India’s GDP growth is expected to accelerate moderately to 7.5 percent in fiscal year 2019-20, driven by continued investment strengthening, particularly private-improved export performance and resilient consumption, the World Bank said.
17. India’s first indigenously built Dhanush howitzer inducted in Army
In a major boost to India’s firepower, country’s first indigenously designed and developed Dhanush artillery gun was inducted in the Indian Army during a ceremony held at Ordnance Factory . Dhanush 155mm/45 calibre towed gun system can be deployed in all types of terrains.
The Dhanush gun system is based on the designs of the Bofors howitzer which was inducted in the Army in the 1980s and would be the third type of artillery gun to be inducted into the force after the K-9 Vajra and the M-777 ultra-light howitzers.
The gun is equipped with an inertial navigation-based sighting system, auto-laying facility, onboard ballistic computation and an advanced day and night direct firing system. The self-propulsion unit allows the gun to negotiate and deploy itself in mountainous terrains with ease.
18. Morocco-US Joint Military Exercise ‘African Lion 2019’ Starts In Morocco
The joint military exercise between Morocco and the US, “African Lion 2019,” kicked off in southern Morocco. The exercise marks the participation of thousands of military officers. The exercise will include various types of training including command post, manoeuvring, peacekeeping, operations, and aerial refuelling.