Current Affairs Daily Digest – March 18 2019
1. Opening ceremony: Africa-India Field Training Exercise-2019
The inaugural Africa-India Field Training Exercise-2019 for India and African nations called AFINDEX-19 scheduled from 18 March to 27 March 2019 started with a grand opening ceremony on 18 March 2019 at Aundh Military Station, Pune.
Contingents of the 17 African Nations i.e. Benin, Botswana, Egypt, Ghana, Kenya, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe came together for the opening ceremony alongwith a contingent of Maratha Light Infantry representing India.
The aim of the exercise is to practice the participating nations in planning and conduct of Humanitarian Mine Assistance and Peace Keeping Operations under Chapter VII of United Nations Peace Keeping Operations.
2. Rear Admiral Krishna Swaminathan, VSM assumes Charge as Flag Officer Sea Training (FOST)
Rear Admiral Krishna Swaminathan, VSM, has assumed charge as Flag Officer Sea Training (FOST) at Kochi .
Rear Admiral Swaminathan, a specialist in Communication and Electronic Warfare was commissioned into the Indian Navy on 01 Jul 87, and is an alumnus of the National Defence Academy, Khadakwasla at Pune; the Joint Services Command and Staff College, Shrivenham in the United Kingdom; the College of Naval Warfare, Karanja at Mumbai, and the United States Naval War College, Newport, Rhode Island, USA. He has commanded five frontline ships of the Indian Navy including the missile vessels, INS Vidyut and INS Vinash; the missile corvette, INS Kulish; the guided missile destroyer, INS Mysore; and the aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya.
3. India to provide aid to people affected by cyclone ‘IDAI’ in Mozambique
India has decided to divert three Indian naval ships to the port city of Beira in Mozambique to provide humanitarian assistance to the people affected by tropical cyclone ‘IDAI’.
External Affairs Ministry in a release said the ships will provide relief materials in the form of food, clothes and medicines. Three medical practitioners and five nurses will provide immediate medical help.
In 2017, India had provided 10 million dollars to Mozambique for food grains after the country suffered food shortage due to natural calamities.
4. India, Maldives sign three agreements
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj called on Maldives President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih before concluding her two-day visit to Male. She also held a meeting with the country’s home minister and leader of Adaalath party Sheikh Imran Abdulla.
A joint statement said that three agreements were signed on visa facilitation for diplomatic and official passport holders, development cooperation and renewable energy.
5. Gopi Thonakal qualifies for World Athletics Championships
In marathon, India’s Asian champion Gopi Thonakal has qualified for the World Athletics Championships to be held in the Qatari capital Doha in September-October this year. He achieved qualification after finishing 11th in the Seoul International Marathon yesterday, clocking his personal best time of 2 hours 13 minutes 39 seconds.
The Seoul International Marathon is a world class IAAF Gold label event. Gopi’s time was the second best ever by an Indian after the four-decade old national record of 2 hours 12 minutes, held by Shivnath Singh. Gopi also bettered the World Championships qualification mark of 2 hrs. and 16 minutes.
6. Veteran Actor Chinmoy Roy Passes Away
Veteran Bengali actor Chinmoy Roy has died of cardiac arrest at his Salt Lake residence , Born in Kumilla district in present day Bangladesh in 1940, Roy had started his career in Bengali films in the 60s and became indispensable to the filmmakers for his portrayal of comic characters retaining the very essence of Bengaliness and a certain culture.
7. MoU to boost Indo-Afghan digital education initiative
The Ministry of Human Resource Development has signed a memorandum of understanding(MoU) with the Afghanistan government to work on digital education initiatives, which include many prominent programs developed by Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs). The MoU was signed at IIT-Madras .
One of the main objectives of the MoU is to facilitate students and faculty from Afghanistan to enrol and learn from the courses offered on Study Webs of Active Learning for Young Aspiring Minds (SWAYAM), which is an online education platform developed by Government of India.
8. Anil Ambani’s RCom pays ₹4.62 billion to Ericsson
Swedish telecom equipment maker Ericsson has received rs 4.62 billion from Anil Ambani-led Reliance Communications Ltd (RCom).
Late last month, the Supreme Court had ordered RCom and two of its directors to pay Ericsson ₹4.5 billion within four weeks or face a three-month jail term for contempt of court.
RCom owes a total 5.71 billion to Ericsson, including a one-time settlement of 5.5 billion and interest payments of 210 million.
9. Indo-Bangla Army teams go rafting over Siyom river in Arunachal Pradesh
The three-day long joint Indo-Bangladesh White Water Rafting Expedition started from Tumbin in Arunachal Pradesh and came to an end at Pangin. The expedition was led by Lieutenant Colonel BN Jha comprising three officers, one junior commissioned officer (JCO) and seven other ranks of Indian Army. The Bangladesh side was led by Captain Hasibur Rehman, one JCO and seven other ranks of Bangladesh Army.
The expedition team covered the distance of 85 kms over Siyom River where Level 2 and Level 3 rapids were encountered en route. In a traditional flagging in ceremony organised by Along Military Station at Pangin, Brigadier Rajeev Thakur flagged in the expedition teams.
10. ‘Vijit’ becomes the first Indian Coast Guard ship to visit Indonesia
Highlighting the close maritime proximity between India and Indonesia, Indian Coast Guard Ship ‘Vijit’ became the first-ever Coast Guard ship to visit Sabang, Indonesia.
This visit of the coast guard ship follows from the first-ever-visit of Naval Ship INS Sumitra to Sabang in July 2018. Vijit’s visit also highlights strengthening cooperation in the area of maritime security and safety between New Delhi and Jakarta.
‘Vijit’ meaning “Winner or Victorious” is the testimony of India’s shipbuilding capabilities and the resolve of Govt of India to safeguard country’s maritime interests,”.
11. ICICI Lombard, MobiKwik join hands to provide cyber-insurance cover of Rs 50,000
ICICI Lombard and Mobikwik announced a partnership to offer cyber-insurance cover of Rs 50,000 to protect against online frauds. General insurer ICICI Lombard and digital financial services platform Mobikwik said the partnership aims to provide protection against unauthorised and fraudulent transactions online, across bank accounts, debit/credit cards and mobile wallets.
The cyber-insurance can be availed digitally through an app at only Rs 99 per month and with a sum insured of Rs 50,000. MobiKwik users can avail the ‘Commercial Cyber Insurance’ policy underwritten by ICICI Lombard and enjoy the benefit of a stress-free and secured transaction for its users who opt for this cover.
12. Guinean PM arrives in India on 10-day visit
Guinean Prime Minister Ibrahima Kassory Fofana arrived Here for a 10-day visit during which he will participate at a key India-Africa business conclave and hold talks with the top leadership to deepen ties.
Fofana will participate at the CII-EXIM Bank Conclave on the India-Africa Project Partnership .
13. RBI names SBI, ICICI and HDFC as systemically important banks
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) named State Bank of India (SBI), ICICI Bank and HDFC Bank as Domestic Systemically Important Banks (D-SIBs), which in other words mean banks that are too big to fail.
As per the norms, these banks will have to set aside more capital for their continued operation. RBI comes with the list every year since 2015. Inclusion in D-SIB indicates that failure of any of these banks would have a cascading effect on Indian financial system.
Inclusion in the list gives additional comfort to investors that these banks won’t be allowed to fail and therefore, borrowing costs of these banks from the markets are cheaper than their peers.
14. Senior journalist, environmental activist Darryl D’Monte passes away at 74
Senior journalist and environmental activist Darryl D’Monte, who worked with leading English dailies, died at a hospital in Mumbai after a brief illness. He was 74.
15. Athletics: India finishes second in medal tally at Asian Youth C’ships
In Asian Youth Athletics Championships in Hong Kong, boys medley relay team won a gold medal for India on the final day to help Indian youth team finish second in the overall medals tally with a total of 26 medals including eight gold, nine silver and nine bronze medals.
China topped the overall medals tally with 31 medals that included 12 gold, 11 silver and eight bronze medals and Japan finished third with 20 medals that included 6 Gold, 8 Silver and 6 bronze.
16. IRCTC introduces four Holi special trains from Delhi for various destinations
IRCTC has introduced four special trains considering the number of people travelling for Holi 2019. It’s that time of the year again when people rush home to be with their families on the famous festival of colours. Understanding this, IRCTC has introduced four Holi special trains from Delhi for different parts of the country.
These special trains will run only during the Holi time and the tickets can be booked from the official website of the Indian Railways.
17. Mukesh Ambani tops list of world’s richest sports team owners
In the recent ‘World’s Richest Sports Team Owners 2019’ list released by Forbes magazine, the chairman and managing director of Reliance Industries Limited (RIL), Mukesh Ambani, made it to the top with a net worth of around $50 billion.
The Indian Premier League (IPL) team Mumbai Indians was bought by Ambani for over $100 million through RIL’s 100 percent subsidiary IndiaWin Sports. The team had won the IPL crown in 2013, 2015 and 2017.