Current Affairs Daily Digest – March 31 2019
1. Zuzana Caputova becomes Slovakia’s first female president
Lawyer Zuzana Caputova will become Slovakia’s first female president after winning a runoff election against the country’s ruling party’s candidate.
Caputova, a pro-European Union political novice, won the election with 58.3 percent votes after results from 98.1 percent of voting districts were counted.
2. India’s April-February fiscal deficit at 134% of FY target: Govt data
The country’s fiscal deficit touched 134.2 per cent of the full-year revised budgeted estimate at the end of February 2019, mainly due to tepid growth in revenue collections.
In absolute terms, the fiscal deficit for April-February 2018-19 was Rs 8.51 lakh crore as against the revised estimate (RE) of Rs 6.34 trillion for the entire year, according to Controller General of Accounts (CGA) data.
3. RBI sets NBFC-MFIs’ average base rate at 9.21% for Apr-Jun
The Reserve Bank set the average base rate to be charged from borrowers by non-banking financial companies (NBFCs) and micro-finance institutions (MFIs) at 9.21 per cent for the first quarter of the next fiscal.
The applicable average base rate to be charged by Non-Banking Financial Company Micro Finance Institutions (NBFC-MFIs) to their borrowers for the quarter beginning April 01, 2019 will be 9.21 per cent, the RBI said in a notification.
The regulator in February 2014 had issued directions to NBFC-MFIs regarding pricing of credit.
4. BNP Paribas Cardif sells 5 crore shares in SBI Life Insurance for Rs 2,889 crore
BNP Paribas Cardif sold 5 crore shares of SBI Life Insurance through a block deal for Rs 2,889 crore, which saw shares skidding over 6 per cent on the local bourses. SBI Life Insurance is a joint venture life insurance company between State Bank of India, the country’s largest bank, and French multinational bank BNP Paribas Cardif.
BNP Paribas sold its stake in the company through the open market at average price of Rs 577.93 per equity share.
5. Infosys arm to buy 75% stake in Dutch bank subsidiary
Global software major Infosys said its consulting arm would buy 75 per cent equity stake in Starter N.V., a subsidiary of the Dutch-based ABN AMRO Bank for Rs 999 crore ($144 million) in cash for strategic partnership in The Netherlands.
The Amsterdam headquartered third largest Dutch bank ABN will hold the remaining 25 per cent of the shareholding in Stater.
6. Vijay Chandok to head ICICI Securities
Private lender ICICI Bank said Vijay Chandok will be the MD and CEO of its subsidiary ICICI Securities with effect from May 7, 2019. Chandok presently is the Executive Director of ICICI Bank.
The private sector lender also said that Dileep Choksi and V K Sharma, Independent Directors of the Bank, will complete their prescribed primary tenure under the Companies Act, 2013 on March 31, 2019 and will cease to be the Directors of the Bank effective April 1, 2019.
7. Government to borrow Rs 4.42 lakh crore in H1FY20
Announcing the borrowing calendar for the first half of the next financial year (April to September 2019), the Union Ministry of Finance said that the government will borrow Rs 4.42 lakh crore during the period.
Economic Affairs Secretary Subhash Chandra Garg said the government will raise the Rs 4.42 lakh crore through gilts and that borrowing for the second half is set at Rs 2.68 lakh crore. In the current fiscal year set to end on Sunday, borrowing for the whole year is estimated at Rs 5.71 lakh crore.
As per the Union Budget, the government’s gross borrowing was pegged at Rs 7.1 lakh crore for 2019-20, which also includes repayments of past loans. Net borrowing was pegged at Rs 3.4 lakh crore in the first half of the next fiscal.
8. ISRO to launch country’s latest observation satellite EMISAT tomorrow
Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) will launch the country’s latest observation satellite EMISAT tomorrow.
The launch vehicle PSLV-C45 will lift off from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre, in Sriharikotta at with EMISAT and 28 other customer payloads. The countdown for the launch mission is progressing smoothly at the launchpad.
AIR correspondent reports that The countdown for launch of EMISAT along with 28 foreign satellites . As part of the countdown process, fuelling of the liquid stages of the rocket PSLV and system checks are going on as per schedule.
9. Vijaya Bank, Dena Bank to merge with Bank of Baroda
In a first three-way amalgamation, Vijaya Bank and Dena Bank will merge with Bank of Baroda from tomorrow to create the third-largest lender of the country.
The Reserve Bank of India had said in a statement that customers including depositors of Vijaya Bank and Dena Bank will be treated as customers of Bank of Baroda with effect from 1st April this year.
To make merger a smooth affair, the government last week decided to infuse 5,042 crore rupees in Bank of Baroda to enhance its capital base to meet additional expense.
10. WB: EC appointed Special Police Observer Bibek Dubey to reach Kolkata
The Election Commission-appointed Special Police Observer, Bibek Dubey will reach Kolkata to oversee poll preparedness in West Bengal.
Mr. Dubey will meet representatives of major political parties besides the top brass of the security forces in Kolkata.
11. Jammu and Kashmir’s tulip garden opens
The famous tulip garden in Jammu and Kashmir’s Srinagar opened for visitors . Known as Asia’s largest tulip garden, it has over 12 lakh tulips of 51 varieties, all in full bloom these days.
The garden, which is spread over 30 hectares of land, is situated in the mesmerizing foothills of the Zabarwan hills on the banks of the Dal Lake. The opening of the tulip garden marks the beginning of the tourist season in Kashmir.
12. Lalthlamuani is first woman to fight Mizoram LS poll
For the first time in the Lok Sabha elections in Mizoram, a woman, Lalthlamuani, 63, is trying her luck. The fate of all six candidates, including independent aspirant Lalthlamuani, will be decided on April 11.
Though women voters outnumber men in the parliamentary constituency, it’s the first time that a woman has joined the race to challenge the hegemony of men to represent the lone Mizoram seat in the Lok Sabha.
13. Alcohol ban in Mizoram to save future generations’
alcohol will not be available in Mizoram. State Excise and Narcotics Minister K. Beichhua said the MNF government had taken the step to save future generations from the menace of alcohol and drugs, and establish a clean Mizo society.
Fulfilling its pre-poll promise, the Mizo National Front (MNF) government last week unanimously passed the Mizoram Liquor (Prohibition) Bill, 2019 to again ban the sale and consumption of alcohol in the northeastern state after four years. The ban comes into force from April 1.
14. Rename Sultanpur as Khush Bhawanpur: UP Governor to Yogi
Uttar Pradesh Governor Ram Naik has written a letter to Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath to rename Sultanpur city as Khush Bhawanpur. Sultanpur is a city in Ayodhya Division of the state.
The Chief Minister has gained attention in the past for changing the names of Allahabad to Prayagraj and Faizabad to Ayodhya.
15. Sohail Mahmood named new Pakistan Foreign Secretary
Pakistan High Commissioner to India Sohail Mahmood has been named as the country’s new Foreign Secretary. He earlier served as Pakistan’s Ambassador to Turkey, said the Geo News report.
Before that, he served as the Ambassador to Thailand and permanent representative to the UNESCP Bangkok for four years till 2013.
16. Shanghai world’s first district with 5G coverage, broadband gigabit network
Shanghai claimed has become the world’s first district using both 5G coverage and broadband gigabit network as China seeks to establish lead over the US and other countries in the race to develop next generation cellular mobile communications.
5G is the next generation of cellular technology with download speeds that are 10 to 100 times faster than 4G LTE networks.
17. HCAH becomes India’s first accredited home healthcare provider
In this backdrop, the pioneer of ICU at home and critical care at home in India, HealthCare atHOME (HCAH), have become the first home healthcare solution provider to be accredited QAI for their home healthcare solutions.
They have been awarded the ‘Mark of Sustained Quality’ for maintaining high-quality services to their patients at the comfort of their home, by QAI (Quality and Accreditation Institute) for a period of 3 years starting January 2019.
HealthCare atHOME’s is India’s largest home healthcare company with 4 lakh+ patients in 70+ cities, 25000+ ICU days and 20000+ onco/ immunological procedures, as claimed by the company.
18. Hyper local connectivity app launched in Mumbai
The Mumbai-based company Linkus Infratech has launched a hyper-local connectivity app called “Bhonga” to connect users to people in their neighbourhood in the city even without an Internet connection.
“Bhonga” is a word in Marathi language that translates to meaning megaphone or loudspeaker.
Focusing on security and anonymity, the app only shares location coordinates from where a post originates and it supports voice notes as well as photos. Once the app is downloaded, it automatically lists the user as part of the locality within the radius of one kilometre.
19. Govt sets up multi disciplinary terror action group for J&K
The Centre has set up a multi-disciplinary terror monitoring group (MDTMG) to ensure synergised and concerted action against terror financing and terror-related activities in Jammu and Kashmir.
According to an official order, the MDTMG will have representatives from the Jammu and Kashmir Police, Intelligence Bureau, CBI, NIA, and Income Tax Department. It will also take action against hardcore sympathisers among government employees, including teachers, who are providing covert or overt support to terror activities.
The ADGP CID of JK Police will head the MDTMG which will meet on a weekly basis and submit their action taken report regularly.