Current Affairs Daily Digest – March 19 2019
1. Steel Ministry organizes Vigilance Conclave
Ministry of Steel organized a two-day Vigilance Conclave in New Delhi . The Conclave was aimed at sensitizing the officials of Steel PSUs on the basic principles and procedures to be followed while taking important administrative and commercial decisions relating to various functions including procurements, contracts, personnel and finance.
In the 2-day conclave, basic issues concerning vigilance, adherence to rules and regulations relating to public procurements, transparency in tendering processes, e-procurement, GeM, GFR, e-auction, ethics in governance, complaint handling system and other matters of importance were deliberated upon.
2. Indo-Sri Lanka joint Exercise Mitra shakti-VI
Exercise MITRA SHAKTI is conducted annually as part of military diplomacy and interaction between armies of India & Sri Lanka. The joint exercise for the year 2018-19 will be conducted from 26 March to 08 April 2019 in Sri Lanka.
The aim of the exercise is to build and promote close relations between armies of both the countries and to enhance ability of joint exercise commander to take military contingents of both nations under command. The exercise will involve tactical level operations in an international Counter Insurgency and Counter Terrorist environment under United Nations mandate.
3. IBBI, SEBI sign MoU for better implementation of IBC
The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (IBBI) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI).
The IBBI and the SEBI seek effective implementation of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016 (Code) and its allied rules and regulations, which have redefined the debt-equity relationship and aims to promote entrepreneurship and debt market.
The MoU provides for:
(a) sharing of information between the two parties, subject to the limitations imposed by the applicable laws;
(b) sharing of resources available with each other to the extent feasible and legally permissible;
(c) periodic meetings to discuss matters of mutual interest, including regulatory requirements that impact each party’s responsibilities, enforcement cases, research and data analysis, information technology and data sharing, or any other matter that the parties believe would be of interest to each other in fulfilling their respective statutory obligations;
(d) cross-training of staff in order to enhance each party’s understanding of the other’s mission for effective utilisation of collective resources;
4. 4th CII-EXIM Bank Conclave on India-Africa Project Partnerships Concludes in New Delhi
The 14th CII-EXIM Bank Conclave on India-Africa Project Partnerships concluded in New Delhi . The three-day conclave was organised by the Ministry of Commerce inassociation with Confederation of Indian Industry and EXIM Bank of India.
India’s development cooperation ranges from power projects and dams in Sudan and Rwanda to water treatment plants in Tanzania, sugar factories in Ethiopia and IT Parks in Mozambique and Swaziland, building of the Presidential Place in Ghana and National Assembly building in the Gambia, besides other numerous projects.
Dr. AnupWadhawan informed that as part of India’s outreach in Africa, Ministry of External Affairs, on 10th September 2018 signed an agreement with the Telecommunications Consultants India Limited (TCIL) to establish a pan- Africa e-Arogya Bharti Network Project to serve as a digital bridge between India and Africa shrinking the distance between India and Africa even more.
5. Pramod Sawant takes charge as new Goa CM
Goa Speaker Pramod Sawant was sworn in as the 13th chief minister post-midnight after BJP got letters of support from its allies on the assurance that both Goa Forward Party president Vijai Sardesai and Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party leader Ramkrishna Dhavalikar would be made deputy chief ministers.
6. Ola signs MoU with Telangana govt
Ride-hailing platform Ola has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Government of Telangana to support the latters efforts in strengthening traffic infrastructure in the city. The partnership would see Ola ‘share intelligent insights’ that enable the Government to implement smart solutions to enhance ‘mobility experience’ in the city.
The first pilot project proposed to be implemented under the MoU is the dynamic mapping of riding quality of various major roads in Hyderabad through the network of vehicles operating on the Ola platform. This data would be provided to respective state government departments, who monitor road conditions and maintain the overall quality of roads in the city.
7. Assam gets digital awareness, launches i-help initiative to promote electoral literacy
Assam launched an initiative ‘i-help’ to promote digital electoral literacy in the state launched in view of the forthcoming Lok Sabha polls. The ‘i-help’ is a joint initiative of the Office of the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) and Common Service Centres (CSC) in Assam.
The CSCs are internet-enabled access points spread throughout the country delivering various government and non- government digital services to the citizens and is uniquely positioned in rural areas to significantly extend the awareness and outreach activities of CEO, Assam.
8. Pine Labs buys Bengaluru-based Qwikcilver for $110mn
Singapore-based merchant platform firm Pine Labs announced it has acquired Bengaluru-based gift card solutions provider Qwikcilver for $110 million. The combined gift solutions business will be the largest in India with a customer base of over 250 brands and retailers and 1,500 enterprise customers.
Founded in 2006, Qwikcilver is a full-stack gift card service provider, powering nine out of every 10 gift cards in the country and managing an annualised gross transaction value of $1.5 billion across India, Middle East and South East Asia.
9. Kerala firm bags contract to build Manipur airport
State-owned KITCO Ltd has bagged the project management consultancy (PMC) contract from Airports Authority of India (AAI) for setting up a new Rs 600 crore integrated terminal building at Imphal International Airport. The deadline for the completion of the project is 54 months.
This is the second PMC contract received from AAI after the Mangalore Airport expansion project, which is currently under process. Both the projects were awarded through competitive bidding.
10. Obama economic advisor Alan Krueger dead
Alan Krueger, a top economic adviser to former US President Barack Obama and one of Americas most influential labour market experts, has died aged 58.
Krueger had earlier also served as chief economist at the Department of Labour under President Bill Clinton. He was the chair of the Council of Economic Advisers from 2011 to 2013 under Obama.
11. China conducts world’s 1st remote surgery using 5G
The first remote surgery on a human using 5G technology was successfully conducted in China.
The process was made possible with the low-latency 5G technology provided by Huawei and China Mobile, which enabled near instantaneous data transmission.
5G technology was used in a surgery conducted on a pig last year, when a doctor from 301 Hospital in Beijing removed part of a pig’s liver using two robot arms in Fuzhou, the capital of East China’s Fujian Province.
It was the world’s first remote surgery using 5G mobile network technology on an animal.
12. SaaS start-up Freshworks opens office in Singapore
Chennai-based Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) unicorn Freshworks which provides Cloud-based business software has expanded to the Asean market with the setting up of a regional hub in Singapore.
By opening its first regional hub for the Asean market, Freshworks said it aims to expand adoption of its customer engagement suite and increase its network of partner resources to meet rising customer demand in the region.
The Freshworks regional hub was set up with support from the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB).
13. IPRS, Google sign music licensing deal for India
Mumbai-based Indian Performing Right Society Limited (IPRS) that represents composers, lyricists and music publishers on Tuesday granted a license to Google to utilise the group members work in India across Google-owned YouTube and related services.
14. Priyanka Chopra features in powerful women list
Global icon Priyanka Chopra Jonas has joined international celebrities including Oprah Winfrey and Meryl Streep in USA Today’s list of “50 most powerful women in entertainment”.
Priyanka became a popular name in the West through her lead role of Alex Parrish in the American TV drama thriller series “Quantico”. She made her Hollywood debut opposite Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Zac Efron in the action-comedy “Baywatch” in 2017.
15. Rajasthan Royals launches cricket academy in UK
The Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise Rajasthan Royals launched its first cricket academy in the UK.
The Star Cricket Academy based at Reed’s School in Surrey joined hands with Rajasthan Royals to relaunch the facility as the ‘Rajasthan Royals Academy’.
It has a state-of-the-art cricket centre named the Jarrett Centre with an indoor cricket training facility run by former professional batsman Siddharth Lahiri, along with his team of elite coaches including former England international and mentor to the academy, Keith Medlycott.