Current Affairs Daily Digest – March 22 2019
1. Indian Air Force to participate in Langkawi International Maritime Aero Expo (LIMA) 2019
Langkawi International Maritime Aero Expo (LIMA-2019) is planned in Langkawi, Malaysia from 26 March 2019 to 30 March 2019. Indian Air Force is participating in the Maritime Aero Expo for the first time, during which it will showcase its indigenously developed LCA fighter aircraft. The team departed from Air Force Station Kalaikunda for Langkawi today i.e 22 March 2019 via Myanmar (Yangon).
Participation of IAF in LIMA-2019 will provide an opportunity to air-warriors to interact with their Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) counterparts and foster close relationship between the two services. This will serve as a foundation for any future interaction with the Malaysian Air Force. It will also provide an opportunity to RMAF to assess the capabilities of LCA.
2. Indian Statistical Institute presents report on VVPAT sample size to EC
Indian Statistical Institute presented its report on the sample size of Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail, VVPAT slip counting to the Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora.
In a statement, the commission said, in view of the varying demands for an enhanced percentage of VVPAT Slip count during elections in the country, it had engaged the Indian Statistical Institute to systematically analyse and scientifically examine the issue of VVPAT Slip verification with an electronic count of the Electronic Voting Machines.
3. India one of world’s fastest-growing large economies: IMF
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has said India has been one of the fastest growing large economies in the world.
IMF asserted that the country has carried out several key reforms in the last five years and more reforms are needed going forward to sustain the high growth, including to harness the demographic dividend opportunity.
This was stated by IMF communications director Gerry Rice while responding to a question on India’s economic development in the last five years at a fortnightly news conference yesterday night in Washington.
This report would be the first under Indian American economist Gita Gopinath, who is now IMF’s chief economist.
4. Pakistan to receive over 2 billion US Dollars loan from China
Cash-strapped Pakistan will receive over 2 billion US Dollars loan from China to provide a boost to its ailing economy.
Pakistan’s Finance Ministry has announced that all procedural formalities for the transfer of the 2.1 billion US Dollars loan being provided by the Chinese government have been completed, and the funds will be deposited in the State Bank of Pakistan’s account .
Pakistan has received 1 billion US dollars each from Saudi Arabia and the UAE, as part of the bailout packages by the two Gulf nations to help shore up Islamabad’s dwindling foreign currency reserves.
5. British PM at European Council summit in Brussels
British Prime Minister Theresa May is attending the crucial European Council summit at Brussels. At the meeting, Ms May will put her case before European Union leaders for an extension to the Brexit withdrawal process till 30th of June.
Talking to reporters ahead of the summit, the Prime Minister said, a short extension would give British Parliament time to make a final choice that delivers on the result of the referendum. She said, what matters is that they recognize that Brexit is the decision of the British people and they deliver on the vote of the people.
6. Bihar celebrates its 107th foundation day
Bihar is celebrating its 107th foundation day today. It was on this day in 1912, Bihar was carved out of Bengal presidency.
A number of programmes are being organised to mark the occasion. Bihar Foundation organises Bihar day abroad including in US, Britain, Germany, Mauritius and Trinidad and Tobago.
It was on this day in 1912 that the state was carved out of United Bengal.
7. Hindi Writer Leeladhar Jagudi Awarded Vyas Samman 2018
Hindi writer Leeladhar Jagudi honoured with Vyas Samman 2018 for his collection of poems “Jitne Log Utne Prem” published in 2013. The award carries an amount of Rs. 4 lakhs and it was started by K K Birla foundation in 1991. He has received Padma Shri in 2004 and Sahitya Akademi Award, Akashvani National Award and Uttarakhand Gaurav Samman as well.
8. SBI inks pact with Bank of China
The country’s largest lender SBI has signed a pact with the Bank of China to boost business opportunities. SBI has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Bank of China (BoC), the third-largest bank in the world by capital size and one of the major players in the Chinese banking sector, to enhance business synergies between both the banks, State Bank of India (SBI) said in a release.
Through this pact, both SBI and BoC will gain direct access to their respective markets of operation, it said. Both banks’ clients will be able to use the vast combined network to expand their businesses abroad. SBI said it has a branch in Shanghai and BOC is opening its branch in Mumbai.
9. Marcelo Gleiser, Physicist, Wins 2019 Templeton Prize
Dartmouth College physicist and astronomer Marcelo Gleiser is the 2019 Templeton Prize winner, the Templeton Foundation announced. Born in Brazil, Gleiser is the first Latin American to be awarded the prize, which “recognizes living individuals for their contribution to affirming life’s spiritual dimension,” according to a statement from the foundation.
In addition to his role as Appleton professor of natural philosophy and a professor of physics and astronomy at Dartmouth, Gleiser is the author of five books, including The Dancing Universe (Plume, 1998) and The Island of Knowledge (Basic, 2015).
10. ADB to Invest $50 Million in Avaada Energy for Expansion of Solar Projects in India
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has announced that it will invest $50 million in Indian renewable energy independent power producer Avaada Energy Private Limited. Avaada aims to use the capital to expand its solar energy generation capacity in India.
The ADB and Avaada entered into an agreement which was signed by the chairman of the company Vineet Mittal and ADB’s principal investment specialist Mayank Choudhary.
11. Fitch cuts India’s GDP growth forecast for FY20 to 6.8%
Fitch Ratings cut India’s economic growth forecast for the next financial year starting April 1, to 6.8 per cent from its previous estimate of 7 per cent, on weaker than expected momentum in the economy.
“While we have cut our growth forecasts for the next fiscal year (FY20, ending in March 2020) on weaker-than-expected momentum, we still see Indian GDP growth to hold up reasonably well, at 6.8 per cent, followed by 7.1 per cent in FY21,” Fitch said in its Global Economic Outlook.
12. LKA announces 60th National Academy Award winners
The Lalit Kala Akademi (LKA) announced 15 winners of the 60th Annual Academy Awards .
All the awardees will be honoured with a plaque, a shawl and prize money of Rs 1 lakh at the 60th National Exhibition of Art, scheduled from March 25 to April 8 at the National Gallery of Modern Art (NGMA) and Sir JJ School of Art. The winners will also display their artworks at the exhibition.
This year, the Akademi received over 6,100 entries by 2,836 artists. The figures almost doubled from last year’s 1,433 applicant artists.
The 60th National Exhibition of Art this year will exhibit artistic brilliance and provide a platform to give appreciation and recognition to outstanding artists on a nationwide scale, LKA said.
13. Hockey India Coaching Education Pathway launched
In an effort to develop coaches from the grassroot level and enable them to meet the requirements and the ever-growing demands of international hockey, the sport’s governing body in India on Friday launched the Hockey India Coaching Education Pathway.
The meticulously designed programme aims to provide certification to those candidates who are already coaches or wish to pursue coaching as a career. The programme consists of a combination of web-based modules and face-to-face interactive courses, underpinned by a competency based assessment process.
14. Ola’s licence in Bengaluru suspended for six months
In a major development, the Karnataka transport department has suspended the licence of taxi aggregator Ola and ordered immediate stoppage of its services in Bengaluru. The action follows illegal operation of bike taxis by the company.
15. Karnataka Minister Shivalli passes away
Karnataka Minister for Municipal Administration C.S. Shivalli suffered a massive heart attack and passed away . He was 58.
Mr. Shivalli joined the Congress and subsequently lost in the 2008 elections. He won again in 2013 and 2018 as the party candidate. He was given a Cabinet berth in the latest reshuffle.