Current Affairs Daily Digest – March 25 2019
1. Exercise Al Nagah – III 2019 Validation and Closing Ceremony
The third edition of joint military training exercise between Indian Army and Royal Oman Army, Exercise AL NAGAH 2019 concluded at Jabel AI Akhdar training camp, Oman on 25 March 2019. Closing ceremony witnessed final validation by observer delegation group of both the nations.
Indian side was represented by HE Mr Munu Mahawar, Indian Ambassador to Oman and Major General A K Samantara. Royal Oman Army was represented by Major General Matar Bin Salim Bin Rashid Al Balushi and many senior officials.
Exercise AL NAGAH will go a long way in further cementing relationship between the nations and will act as a catalyst in bringing synergy and cooperation while undertaking such operations under the United Nations mandate.
2. Norway to put world’s 1st wireless e-cab charging stations
Norway’s capital Oslo will become the world’s first city to install wireless induction-based fast-charging systems for electric taxis, Reuters reported. Charging plates will be installed in the ground where taxis are parked, which will connect with receivers in taxis and allow them to charge for up to 75 kilowatts. Finland’s Fortum is working on the project with America’s Momentum Dynamics.
3. NITI Aayog to hold FinTech Conclave
The NITI Aayog will organise the FinTech Conclave 2019 on financial technologies in the national capital . the conclave, to be inaugurated by Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor Shaktikanta Das, will be attended by senior government and RBI officials, as well as more than 300 representatives from the leading financial institutions.
“The Conclave will be featuring representatives from across the financial space – central ministries, regulators, bankers, startups, service providers and entrepreneurs.
“The conclave will host more than 300 representatives from the leading financial institutions, including HDFC Bank, IndusInd, ICICI Bank, SBI Card, Tata Capital and fintechs like BankBazaar, PhonePe, Capital Float, Zerodha, PayTM, MobiKwik and PayU.
4. Karnataka Bank reports Rs 13.26 crore fraud to RBI
Private sector lender Karnataka Bank has reported a fraud amounting to Rs 13.26 crore in the fund-based working capital facility extended to SRS Finance.
“The bank has reported a fraud to RBI amounting to Rs 13.26 crore in the fund based working capital facility that was extended to SRS Finance,” Karnataka Bank said in a filing to the Bombay Stock Exchange. The fraud was on account of “diversion of funds”, the lender informed the exchange.
SRS Finance is a non-banking financial corporation (NBFC) with focus on corporate finance and investments, and the consumer finance business.
5. Sale of ‘enemy shares’, buybacks of stocks by CPSEs yield Rs 11,300 crore to govt in FY’19
Sale of ‘enemy shares’ and buyback of stocks by CPSEs have together yielded the government over Rs 11,300 crore, thus helping the exchequer mop up Rs 85,000 crore from disinvestment in the current fiscal — the second highest receipt ever. The government has garnered Rs 700 crore through the first ever sale of ‘enemy shares’ after the Cabinet in November 2018 gave its go-ahead to the Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM) to sell such shares held in companies.
Enemy property refers to the assets left behind by people who migrated to Pakistan or China and are no longer citizens of India. Besides, over Rs 10,600 crore has come in from buyback of government shares by Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSEs).
6. MG Motor signs Benedict Cumberbatch as India brand ambassador
China’s SAIC-owned British vehicle manufacturer Morris Garages announced the signing of actor Benedict Cumberbatch as the brand ambassador for its India operations. MG Motors is expected to launch its first car—a sports utility vehicle named Hector—in 2019. MG Motor along with South Korean manufacturer Kia Motor Co. are the two new entrants in India’s automobile market.
MG Motor India will manufacture it’s vehicles at its Halol plant, which has a capacity of 80,000 units per annum. The British manufacturer will also introduce electric vehicles in India. The Halol plant in Gujarat was previously owned by General Motors.
7. Oman signs agreement allowing United States military to use its port
Oman has signed an agreement with the United States that allow American ships and warplanes to take advantage of his ports and airports. The state-run Oman News Agency said the framework agreement is aimed at bolstering Omani-American military relations.
The agreement will allow the US forces to take advantage from the facilities offered at some of the Sultanate’s ports and airports during visits of the US military vessels and aircraft, particularly in the port of Duqm, it said.
Duqm port is located in southern Oman on the Arabian Sea and around 500 kilometres from the Strait of Hormuz. At the mouth of the Gulf, the strait is crucial to global energy supplies.
The US-Omani deal was signed by the defence ministries of both countries.
8. Navin Chawlas new book titled “Every Vote Counts” was launched by former Vice President of India, Hamid Ansari
Former Chief Election Commissioner of India Navin Chawla’s book ‘Every Vote Counts’ was launched by former Vice President of India, Hamid Ansari in New Delhi. This book is about how the electoral machinery works in India.
The book explains about India is on the cusp of change, and with its parliamentary elections coming up.
9. India ranks 76th on WEF’s global Energy Transition index; Sweden on top
India has moved up two places to rank 76th on a global energy transition index, which has ranked 115 economies on how well they are able to balance energy security and access with environmental sustainability and affordability.
Sweden remains on the top on this annual list compiled by Geneva-based World Economic Forum (WEF) and is followed by Switzerland and Norway in the top three, as per its latest report released on Monday.
10. Naresh Goyal steps down from Jet Airways board, lenders to infuse Rs1,500 crore
Jet Airways founder Naresh Goyal and his wife Anita Goyal will step down from the board of the cash-strapped airline. In addition, Naresh Goyal will also cease to be the chairman of the airline, he set up with his wife in 1993. Jet Airways communicated this to the exchanges after its board held a meeting . Naresh Goyal owns a 51% stake in Jet Airways.
Jet Airways board also said that an interim management committee will be set up to manage and monitor the daily operations and cash flow of the company. One nominee of Etihad Airways, which owns 24% stake in the airline, will also step down from the board.
11. Jet Airways to get Rs 1,500 cr ‘immediate support’
Jet Airways said that it will receive an “immediate funding support” of up to Rs 1,500 crore by lenders for operational requirements.
The financially-struggling airline also announced the constitution of an Interim Management Committee “at the instructions of the lenders to manage and monitor the daily operations and cashflow of the company”.
12. RBI’s dollar-rupee swap to release Rs 35,000 cr liquidity
The RBI’s latest step on the rupee-dollar swap mechanism will unleash Rs 35,000 crore liquidity in the system, while the credit situation is comfortable
Under the new swap arrangement, the RBI plans to buy dollars from banks instead of bonds, but will return these dollars at the end of three years for a forward premium. This premium would be determined through an auction on March 26 .
The RBI will buy $5 billion from banks for its reserves by giving them rupees, and reverse the trade in 2022. This pre-emptive move would prevent the currency’s appreciation, say a section of experts.
13. World’s largest e-waste recycling hub opens in Dubai
The world’s largest e-waste recycling facility has opened in Dubai. Located at the Dubai Industrial Park, the 280,000 square feet plant will process Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE), IT asset disposition (ITAD), refrigerant gas and specialised waste.
The facility will utilise state-of-the-art reclamation technology, which surpasses the European Union’s standards for e-waste. It has a processing capacity of 100,000 tonnes of total integrated waste per year, of which 39,000 tonnes is e-waste.
The facility can process the entire range of WEEE from consumer and industrial to commercial and military. The 120 million dirhams ($5 million) project is backed by the Swiss Government Export Finance Agency.
14. Shotgun legend Rhode wins World Cup gold medal
The 40-year-old shotgun legend Kimberly Rhode added another gold to her enormous shooting-medal collection by claiming the title at the women’s skeet event of the 2019 ISSF Shotgun World Cup here.
A total of 57 targets hit brought the American her 19th personal ISSF World Cup gold medal on Sunday. New Zealander Chloe Tipple brought home the silver with 48 hits. Zhang Donglian from China won the bronze medal.