Current Affairs Daily Digest – May 1 2019
1. John Singleton, ‘Boyz n the Hood’ director, dies age 51
John Singleton, director of the groundbreaking 1991 movie about US inner city life “Boyz n the Hood,” died Monday at the age of 51.
Singleton directed “Boyz n the Hood” as a 22-year-old fresh out of film school. The flick described youth and violence in South Central Los Angeles, the bleak, gang-ridden neighborhood of his childhood.
The movie won Singleton Oscar nominations as best director and best original screenplay, making him the youngest writer-director and first African American to achieve the distinction.
2. Nirmala Sitharaman attends SCO conclave in Kyrgyzstan
Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Monday attended a key conclave of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) in Kyrgyzstan and held bilateral meetings on its sidelines, including with her Chinese counterpart.
Sitharaman attended the SCO Defence Ministers’ conclave in Bishkek where ways to further boost defence and security cooperation among the member countries in the wake of evolving security challenges in the region were discussed.
3. India was world’s fourth biggest military spender in 2018, says SIPRI report
India was the world’s fourth biggest military spender in 2018 after United States, China and Saudi Arabia, according to data released by Stockholm International Peace Research Institute on Tuesday. The institute report said the total world military expenditure rose to $1,822 billion in 2018, an increase of 2.6% from 2017.
Global military spending increased for the second consecutive year.
The four countries along with France accounted for 60% of global military spending. The study found that the United States increased its military expenditure for the first time since 2010. China’s military spending rose for the 24th consecutive year.
India’s 2018 spending rose by 3.1% to $66.5 billion (approximately 4.63 lakh crore) while Pakistan’s increased by 11% to $11.4 billion. The report said the tensions between the Asian countries were major factors in the increase in expenditure in the region.
4. Bharti AXA General Insurance to sell two-wheeler policies via WhatsApp
Bharti AXA General Insurance Tuesday said it will sell policies through social media messaging platform WhatsApp and has tied up with web aggregator Wishfin Insurance for speedy delivery of two-wheeler cover.
Bharti AXA General Insurance, a joint venture between Bharti Enterprises and global insurance firm AXA, will sell the policies on the website of Wishfin’s insurance arm Wishpolicy.
5. Indian para-athletes clinch medals at Asian Road para-cycling championships
Indian para-athletes came up with brilliant performance to secure a silver and two bronze medals at the Asian Road para-cycling championships at Tashkent, Uzbekistan.
Divij Shah clinched silver while Asian Para Games bronze medallist Gurlal Singh and Hand cyclist Sudhakar Marathe claimed bronze.
6. International Workers’ Day: 1st May
International Labour Day (also known as May Day or International Workers’ Day) is celebrated across the world on 1st of May every year. The day celebrates the struggle, dedication and commitment of the working class and is an annual public holiday in several countries. The theme of International Labour Day 2019 is “Sustainable Pension for all: The Role of Social Partners”.
7. Paytm launches recurring payments service for merchants
Paytm has launched recurring payment (auto pay) service for merchants that are working on a digital subscription model. The move will allow the subscription-based businesses to collect payments from their subscribers effortlessly.
The auto pay service is targeted at people who use Paytm for bill payments, content subscription, grocery purchases, membership fees, housing society payments etc. The service is being offered as an additional mode of payment other than credit/debit cards, internet banking and other Paytm proprietary instruments.
8. Sebi bars NSE from capital markets for 6 months in co-location scam
The market regulator said the National Stock Exchange (NSE) did not exercise due diligence when putting in place a network that allowed high frequency traders unfair access to some network servers at the exchange.
The Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) barred the NSE from raising money on the securities market directly or indirectly for six months.
Sebi has been investigating allegations that NSE officials provided high frequency traders unfair access through co-location servers placed at the site of exchange, which could speed up algorithmic trading.
9. ‘Extremely severe cyclone’ Fani headed towards Odisha
Disaster response teams are on alert and fishermen have been advised not to sail as India braces for cyclone ‘Fani’, which raging in the Bay of Bengal, headed for the Odisha coast. Here are key points to know about the storm.
Fani (pronounced ‘Foni)’ was a ‘severe cyclonic storm’ Monday evening and could become an ‘extremely severe cyclone’ by Wednesday, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said.
10. India Ratings cuts India GDP growth forecast for FY20 to 7.3%
India Ratings and Research marginally lowered country’s GDP growth projection for 2019-20 fiscal to 7.3 per cent mainly due to below normal monsoon prediction and loss of momentum in industrial output.
The Fitch group company had earlier projected India’s gross domestic product (GDP) growth at 7.5 per cent.
The key reasons for the downward revision are the prediction of lower-than-normal monsoon for 2019 and continued agrarian distress, and the loss of momentum in the industrial output growth, especially manufacturing and electricity.
11. G Sathiyan becomes first Indian to break into top-25 of table tennis world rankings
India’s G Sathiyan scaled new heights in his rapidly rising career by becoming the first
Indian to break into the top-25 of the latest world ranking list released by International Table Tennis Federation.
Sathiyan rose four spots to be 24th in the ITTF rankings, following his impressive sixth place finish in the Asia Cup in Yokohama earlier this month to secure a place in the World Cup in Chengdu from October 25 to 27. Last week, he was the sole Indian to reach the round of 32 in the World Championships in Hungary.
12. Committee constituted to oversee clean air programme
The Union Environment Ministry has constituted a committee to implement the National Clean Air Programme (NCAP), which aims to reduce particulate matter (PM) pollution by 20%-30% in at least 102 cities by 2024.
The committee will be chaired by the Secretary, Union Environment Ministry and has among its members the Joint Secretary (Thermal), Ministry of Power; Director-General, The Energy Resources Institute (TERI), the Delhi-based think-tank; and Professor Sachidananda Tripathi, Indian Institute of Technology-Kanpur (IIT-K).
13. Indo-French joint naval exercise Varuna 19.1 begins off Goa coast
The first part of the Indo-French joint naval exercise, Varuna 19.1 is being held off the Goa coast from 1 to 10 May 2019. The exercise will see the participation of the French Navy’s aircraft carrier FNS Charles de Gaulle, two destroyers, FNS Forbin and FNS Provence, the frigate FNS Latouche-Treville, the tanker FNS Marne and a nuclear submarine.
From the Indian side, the aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya, destroyer INS Mumbai, the Teg-class frigate, INS Tarkash, the Shishumar- class submarine, INS Shankul, and the Deepak- class fleet tanker, INS Deepak, are taking part in the exercise.
14. CPWD constitutes 10-member committee to bring ‘Safety Manual’ of dept
The Central Public Works Department (CPWD) has constituted a 10-member committee to bring out ‘Safety Manual’ of the department.
According to a CPWD official, the committee, headed by Additional Director General (ADG) K M Soni, has been asked to submit its report within two months.
The move is aimed at ensuring safety of engineers and workers working in various projects of the agency which comes under the Union Housing and Urban Affairs Ministry.