Latest Current Affairs – March 28 2018
1. Bandhan Bank becomes India’s 8th most valued bank
Private sector lender Bandhan Bank has become India’s eighth most valued bank with a market capitalisation of over ₹56,000 crore, overtaking Bank of Baroda and PNB. This comes after shares of Bandhan Bank surged 27.25% in its debut trade on the bourses. Notably, HDFC Bank is India’s most valued bank with a market value of ₹4.9 lakh crore.
2. Smith, Warner banned from playing for Australia for 1 year
Steve Smith and David Warner have been banned from playing for Australia for one year each for their involvement in the ball-tampering scandal. Opener Cameron Bancroft, who executed the plan in the third South Africa Test, has been handed a nine-month ban. Further, Smith has been barred from captaining the national team for two years.
3. SoftBank to create world’s biggest solar power firm in Saudi
Japanese conglomerate SoftBank’s CEO Masayoshi Son said he has signed a memorandum of understanding with Saudi Arabia to create the world’s biggest solar power generation company. Son said he expects the solar project to have the capacity to produce up to 200 gigawatts by 2030. The $200-billion project is expected to create one lakh jobs.
4. Myanmar elects Win Myint as new President
Myanmar’s Parliament has elected Win Myint as the country’s new President. This comes a week after Myanmar’s first democratically elected President Htin Kyaw resigned from the position due to health issues. Myint is considered a close aide of State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi and has been a speaker in the lower house since 2012.
5. 85% pictorial warning on tobacco packs extended till Aug 31
The Health Ministry has extended the duration of existing rules for health warnings on tobacco products, which require 85% of the display area to be covered in warnings, till August 31. The 85% rule was introduced in April 2016 and was due to be changed on March 31 after a 24-month rotation period.
6. US scientists propose new organ ‘Interstitium’ in human body
American researchers have proposed a previously unrecognised, fluid-filled space inside and between tissues as a new organ called ‘interstitium’. Earlier understood as densely packed barrier-like collagen walls, researchers described the fluid organ as “shock absorbers” for tissues. The new anatomic structures may be important in cancer study and functioning of tissues and organs.
7. Fortis-Manipal merge biz to form India’s top healthcare firm
Fortis Healthcare Limited has decided to sell its hospital business to TPG Capital-backed Manipal Health Enterprises Private Limited to create India’s largest healthcare service provider by revenue. The combination of Fortis and Manipal will outrank Apollo Hospitals Enterprise Limited and will have 41 hospitals in India, four hospitals overseas and over 11,000 installed beds.
8. Google acquires GIF search platform Tenor
Technology giant Google has acquired US-based Tenor, a GIF platform for Android, iOS, and desktop. Tenor’s GIF-searching functionality will be integrated into Google Images and Gboard, the company’s virtual keyboard. However, Tenor will continue to operate as a separate brand and Google will invest in their technology.
9. UP Assembly passes anti-organised crime bill
The Uttar Pradesh Assembly has passed the Uttar Pradesh Control of Organised Crime Act (UPCOCA) 2017 bill, which aims to tackle organised crime with strict punishment. The hearing of those arrested under this bill will be done in special courts and the minimum punishment is a 7-year jail term. The bill covers kidnapping, illegal mining, extortion, among others.
10. Cabinet approves NE projects
To give a boost to the development in the northeast, the GOI has approved projects, including continuation of several existing schemes, upto March 2020.
A meeting of the Union Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, also gave its nod to the North Eastern Council’s special development project a central sector scheme with 100 per cent grant from the central government, an official release said.
The projects under the existing schemes of NEC, Non-lapsable Central Pool of Resources (NLCPR-Central) and North-East Road Sector Development Scheme (NERSDS) will accrue socio-economic benefits to the people of the northeast, enhancing their capabilities and livelihood.
11. Cabinet approves certain official amendments to the National Medical Commission (NMC) Bill
The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved certain official amendments to the National Medical Commission (NMC) Bill. The Amendments include:
- Final MBBS Examination to be held as a common exam across the country and would serve as an exit test called the National Exit Test (NEXT).
- Provision of Bridge course for AYUSH practitioners to practice modern medicine removed.
- Fee regulation for 50% seats in private medical institutions and deemed universities.
- Number of nominees from States and UTs in NMC increased from 3 to 6.
- Monetary penalty for a medical college non-compliant with the norms replaced with provision for different penalty options.
- Stringent punishment for unqualified medical practitioners or quacks.
12. Cabinet approvesMoU between India and Canada on IPRs
The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given its ex-post approval for the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India India and Canada. The MoU was signed on 23rd February, 2018 to establish bilateral cooperation activities in the field of Intellectual Property (IP). The MoU is intended to promote innovation, creativity and economic growth in both countries.
The MoU establishes a broad and flexible framework through which both countries can exchange best practices and work together on training programs and technical exchanges to raise awareness on IPRs and better protect intellectual property rights (IPRs).
13. Cabinet approves re-structuring of NSDF and NSDC
The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given its approval for restructuring of National Skill Development Fund (NSDF) and National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) to strengthen governance, implementation and monitoring framework.
The restructuring will also ensure better corporate governance, transparency and accountability in operations of NSDC besides strengthening the oversight role of NSDF. The approval would lead to restructuring of composition of Board of NSDF and the NSDC to strengthen governance, implementation and monitoring framework.
14. Cabinet approves MoU between India and SACEP
The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and South Asian Cooperative Environment Programme (SACEP) for cooperation on the response to Oil and Chemical Pollution in the South Asian Seas Region.
The MoU intends to promote closer cooperation between India and other maritime nations comprising the South Asian seas region namely Bangladesh, Maldives, Pakistan and Sri Lanka for protection and preservation of marine environment in the region.
15. Cabinet approves MoU between India and United Kingdom and Northern Ireland
The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and United Kingdom and Northern Ireland regarding cooperation and Exchange of Information for the Purposes of Combating International Criminality and Tackling Serious Organised Crime.
India and U.K. already have an agreement concerning the investigation and prosecution of crime and the tracing, restraint and confiscation of the proceeds and instruments of crime (including crimes involving currency transfers) and terrorist funds, which was signed in 1995. Both the countries desire to further strengthen cooperation in fighting international criminality and serious organized crime. The MoU will reinforce the collaboration in the field of security that will be mutually beneficial.
16. Cabinet approves MoU between India and Zambia in the field of Judicial Cooperation
The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Zambia in the field of Judicial Cooperation.
During recent years, social, cultural and commercial relations between India and Zambia have developed in the positive direction. Signing of an agreement on cooperation in the field of justice will further enhance good relations between the two countries and add new dimensions in the field of judicial reforms.
17. US and South Korea agree on new trade agreement
The US and South Korea have reached an agreement to revise their six year-old trade pact. The agreement has come after Trump recently told reporters while signing a USD 1.3 trillion spending bill that his administration was “very close” to striking a trade deal with South Korea.
Trump has been a big critic of the existing trade deal between the two countries, slamming it as “horrible” and threatening to yank America out of it altogether.
18. India’s first Insect Museum Opened In Tamil Nadu
A Rs 5 crore insect museum with the state-of-the-art amenities was unveiled by Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K Palaniswamy at the Tamil Nadu Agricultural University.
The museum, established at a 6,691 sqft area, is fully dedicated to insects and is first of its kind in the country. It would display insects preserved as specimens as also live ones depicting their different developmental stages, images, videos and models of their unique behavior, habits, and habitats.
19. Vijay Raghavan appointed as Principal Scientific Advisor To Government
Krishnaswamy Vijay Raghavan was appointed the principal scientific adviser to the government of India. Vijay Raghavan will succeed physicist Rajagopala Chidambaram who has been in the position for more than 16 years. Vijay Raghavan, a former director of National Centre for Biological Sciences, was appointed Secretary of Department of Biotechnology in 2013.
20. NITI Aayog’s Atal Innovation Mission Signs SOI With SAP Global
NITI Aayog’s Atal Innovation Mission announced the signing of a Statement of Intent (SOI) with SAP to promote a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship.vAs part of the SOI, SAP in 2018 will adopt 100 Atal Tinkering Laboratories (ATL) for five years to nurture the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) learning among secondary school children across India.
21. Exim Bank Extends $500 Million Loan Facility To 15-Nation Group In Africa
The Export-Import Bank, Exim Bank announced that it will provide a USD 500 million credit facility to Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to fund various development projects in western-south Africa.
According to the Bank, with the signing of line of credit (LoC) agreement, the Bank till date has extended four LoCs to the Bank for Investment and Development (EBID) of West African States, taking the total value of LOCs to USD 1,000 million. The LoC of USD 500 million is an umbrella limit for financing developmental projects in 15-member countries.
22. Ministry Of Power Joins Hands With Skill India To Support Saubhagya Scheme
Ministry of Power partnered with the Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship to train the manpower in six states (Assam, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand, Odisha and Uttar Pradesh) for speedy implementation of its SAUBHAGYA scheme.
SAUBHAGYA (Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojna) aims to achieve universal household electrification in all parts of the country in a time-bound manner. Around 4 crore households are expected to get electricity connections under the scheme. A special project under the PMKVY has also been launched in these Six States.
23. Anushka Sharma & PV Sindhu Debut In Forbes 30 Under 30 Asia 2018 List
Bollywood actress-producer Anushka Sharma and Badminton Ace P V Sindhu featured in the Forbes 30 Under 30 Asia 2018 list. The list includes innovators and disruptors who are reshaping their industries and changing Asia for the better. Pakistani singer Momina Mustehsan too found a mention.
24. Around 3 lakh houses Affordable Houses Sanctioned For Urban Poor Under PMAY
Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs approved the construction of 3,21,567 more affordable houses for the benefit of urban poor under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Urban) with an investment of Rs18,203 crore with central assistance of Rs4,752 crore.
The approval was given in the 32nd meeting of the Central Sanctioning and Monitoring Committee (CSMC) held in New Delhi. The projects were sanctioned across 523 cities in the states of Haryana, West Bengal, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Mizoram, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Kerala, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab & Goa.
25. India And China Agree To A Roadmap For Addressing Trade Imbalance
The eleventh session of the China-India joint-group on Economic Relations, Trade, Science & Technology was held in New Delhi. The session was co-chaired by the Union Minister of Commerce & Industry and Civil Aviation, Suresh Prabhu and the Minister of Commerce of the People’s Republic of China, Zhong Shan. The two Ministers agreed to continue to take forward the initiatives identified in the Five Year Development Programme for Economic and Trade Cooperation between China and India signed in September 2014.
26. Department Of Posts Launches Cool EMS Service Between India And Japan
Ministry of Communications launched the Cool EMS Service between India and Japan. Cool EMS service is one-way service from Japan to India which allows customers in India to import Japanese food items for personal use which is allowed under Indian regulations.
Initially, Cool EMS Service will be available in Delhi only. Food items will be carried by Japan Post in special cool boxes containing refrigerant to preserve the quality of the food items. All other features like track and trace, etc of Express Mail Service (EMS) will be available for Cool EMS service as well.
27. ISSF Junior World Cup- Manu Bhaker, Anmol Jointly Lift Gold
The duo of Manu Bhaker and Anmol secured India’s seventh gold medal in the ISSF Junior World Cup in Sydney, Australia. The pair won the mixed 10-meter air pistol event with a qualification world record.
They finished 5.6 advantage over their closest rivals, China’s Liu Jinyao and Li Xue. Overall, India occupied the second placed with 17 medals, including seven gold. China leads the tally with 21 podium finishes, including eight gold medals.