Current Affairs Daily Digest – May 14 2019
1. Clement von Franckenstein, Actor in ‘The American President,’ Dies at 74
Clement von Franckenstein, the urbane British actor who portrayed the president of France opposite Michael Douglas and Annette Bening in The American President, has died. He was 74.
2. India signs protocol for export of chilli meal to China; discusses market access for farm products
India and China signed a protocol for the export of Indian chilli meal to China. This is the fourth protocol signed between the two nations over the past year allowing the export of farm commodities from India.
Commerce Secretary Anup Wadhawan and General Administration of Customs of China (GACC) Vice-Minister Li Guo, who signed the protocol at a meeting here, also discussed issues related to India’s pending request for the clearance of more farm products for the Chinese market.
3. Japan begins testing of fastest bullet train Alfa-X
Japan has started testing the high-speed bullet train Alfa-X, which is capable of travelling at a speed of 400km/h. The latest version of the Shinkansen train will undergo trial runs for three years between the cities of Aomori and Sendai at night.
East Japan Railway Company (JR East) plans to operate the train at 360km/h, replacing China’s Fuxing Hao train as the fastest bullet train in the world.
4. Sebi issues show cause notices to HDFC, Kotak mutual fund over FMP woes
The Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) has initiated adjudication against HDFC Asset Management Company Ltd or HDFC AMC and Kotak Mutual Fund over the so-called Fixed Maturity Plan (FMP) woes. The FMPs of these asset management companies were impacted due to their investment in Essel Group papers forcing Kotak to hold back redemptions and HDFC to rollover the entire FMP.
HDFC in disclosure to stock exchanges said that it has received two show cause notices from Sebi on 10 May for violation of mutual fund regulations.
Sebi’s show cause notices to the HDFC AMC, Kotak Mutual Fund have cited violation of MF regulations and investor protection
5. Croatian World Cupper Igor Stimac set to be appointed Indian football team coach
Former Croatia international and manager Igor Stimac will be appointed as the Indian men’s team coach after the All India Football Federation’s (AIFF) technical committee recommended him for the post. The committee, headed by Shyam Thapa, interviewed the four candidates for the post — Stimac, Albert Roca, Hakan Ericson and Lee — on Thursday and zeroed in on Stimac. The Croat was the only candidate who flew to New Delhi to give the interview in person.
In his 14-year managerial career, Stimac coached the Croatian national team between 2012 and 2013, and has also worked with clubs like Hajduk Split, Cibalia, NK Zagreb and Zadar, Iranian club Sepahan and Qatari club Al-Shahania.
6. NABARD Announces Rs 700-cr VC Fund for Agriculture & Rural Startups to Improve Investment Ecosystem in Farm Sector
The National Bank for Agriculture & Rural Development (NABARD) on 13th May 2019 announced a Rs 700-crore venture capital funding for equity investments in agriculture as well as rural-focused startups.
Till now, NABARD has been contributing to other funds but this is the very first time that the rural development bank has initiated a fund of its own.
According to an official statement, the fund has been launched by Nabventures, which is a subsidiary of NABARD. It has a proposed an amount of Rs 500 crore with a choice to keep over-subscriptions of Rs 200 crore, known as the greenshoe option.
7. DRDO Successfully Conducts Flight Test of High-Speed Expendable Aerial Target ‘Abhyas’
The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) conducted successfully flight test of ‘Abhyas’, a high-speed expendable aerial target (HEAT), which offers a realistic threat scenario for practice of weapon systems.
The flight test was conducted at the Interim Test Range, Chandipur, in Odisha. It was tracked by various radars and electro-optic systems and proved its performance in fully autonomous waypoint navigation mode, an official release said.
The configuration of ‘Abhyas’ is designed on an in-line small gas turbine engine and it uses indigenously developed micro-electro-mechanical systems-based system for navigation and guidance.
8. Cannes Film Festival begins in France today
One of the most prestigious international events from the world of cinema, the Cannes Film Festival, begins in France . American director Jim Jarmusch’s zombie film, ‘The Dead Don’t Die’, the story of a small town under siege from the dead, will be the opening movie at the 12-day long festival.
Information and Broadcasting Secretary Amit Khare, who is leading the Indian delegation at Cannes, will inaugurate India Pavilion tomorrow.
The Pavilion will showcase Indian cinema across linguistic, cultural and regional diversity, with the aim of forging international partnerships.
9. CEAT Cricket Rating Award 2019
A leading tyre manufacturer CEAT Limited celebrated the success and glory of International cricket with ‘CEAT Cricket Rating (CCR) International awards 2019 at a ceremony
. The awards honoured the best of the International cricketers based on their performances as rated by the CEAT Cricket ratings (CCR) for the year 2018 – 2019.
CEAT Cricket Rating (CCR) is the first cricket rating to officially recognise and reward cricketers for their performances in the international and domestic cricket arena.
CEAT Cricket Rating Award 2019 Winners’ List:
1. CEAT International Cricketer and Batsman of the Year – Virat Kohli
2. CEAT International Bowler of the Year – Jasprit Bumrah
3. CEAT International Test Cricketer of the Year – Cheteshwar Pujara
4. CEAT International ODI Cricketer of the Year – Rohit Sharma
5. CEAT International T20 Player of the Year – Aaron Finch
6. CEAT Outstanding Performance of the Year- Kuldeep Yadav
7. CEAT International T20 Bowler of the Year- Rashid Khan
8. CEAT Lifetime Achievement Award – Mohinder Amarnath
9. CEAT Domestic Player of the Year- Ashutosh Aman
10. CEAT International Woman Cricketer of the Year- Smriti Mandhana
11. CEAT Junior Cricketer of the Year- Yashasvi Jaiswal
12. CEAT Cricket Journalists of the Year Cricket- Sriram Veera & Snehal Pradhan
10. RBI slaps ₹1-cr fine on Nainital Bank
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has imposed a monetary penalty of ₹1 crore on Nainital Bank for its failure to fully automate the non-performing asset (NPA) identification process, despite specific directions issued in this regard.
“This penalty has been imposed in exercise of powers vested in the RBI under the provisions of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949, taking into account the failure of the bank to adhere to the aforesaid direction issued by the RBI.
This action is based on the deficiencies in regulatory compliance, and is not intended to pronounce upon the validity of any transaction or agreement entered into by the bank with its customers,” the central bank said in a statement.
11. ICICI Bank joins hands with travel portal Goibibo to launch multi-currency card
ICICI Bank , announced the launch of a co-branded multi-currency card with online travel booking portal Goibibo.
“Anyone travelling abroad, whether they hold an ICICI Bank savings account or not, can apply for the Goibibo ICICI Bank Travel Card on the Goibibo website and mobile app,” the private sector lender said, adding that it is accepted across 200 countries and 4.6 crore merchants globally and can be loaded with up to 15 currencies. Customers can instantly transfer money from one currency to another through ICICI Bank’s internet portal and reload currency into the card anytime, anywhere, using the bank’s mobile and internet banking platform.
The card also includes benefits of up to ₹20,000, including gift vouchers of ₹15,000 from Goibibo. Additionally, customers get 40 paise discount on currency conversion rate on loading of a minimum of $1,000.
12. Dinesh Pangtey appointed as CEO of LIC Mutual Fund
Dinesh Pangtey has been appointed as Chief Executive Officer of LIC Mutual Fund. He started his career as a direct recruit officer with LIC of India in 1984 and has risen through the ranks to this senior position. Prior to taking over as CEO of LIC Mutual Fund, Dinesh Pangtey was Director and Chief Executive Officer at LIC HFL AMC.
Dinesh Pangtey has 35 years of experience across private equity, life, pension, group superannuation scheme, and insurance sector. During his stint as CEO with the private equity division of the LIC Group, Pangtey completed an investment of the maiden fund corpus and achieved exit from 4 portfolio companies with an IRR of 22 per cent and returned 79 per cent of the amount drawn from Investors.
13. Asia-Pacific Diamond Cup: Gangjee finishes tied 39, Asaji wins title
India’s Rahil Gangjee finished tied 39th while Viraj Madappa faltered on the final day and ended tied 53rd at the Asia-Pacific Diamond Cup .
Madappa had an 81 in a round where nothing seemed to go right for him, while Gangjee (74) Gangjee started with a double but managed to hold his round. Japan’s Yosuke Asaji capped an unforgettable week when he held his nerve to win the tournament by one shot on Mothers’ Day at the Sobu Country Club.
Asaji’s winning total of three-under-par 281 also earned him a spot at The 148th Open which will be held at Royal Portrush, Northern Ireland in July.
14. Indian Bank posts net loss of Rs 190 cr in Q4 on higher NPA provisioning
The public sector Indian Bank has registered a loss of 189.77 crore rupees in the last quarter, as compared to its previous quarter.
Its Chairperson and Managing Director Padmaja Chunduru unveiled the bank’s annual financial results today in Chennai. Later, addressing the media, she said, the net profit has turned negative due to two corporate loans turning into NPAs for which no provisioning has been made earlier.
15. 5 Courses of FTII, Pune given approval by AICTU
Five courses of the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII), Pune, have been given approval by the All India Council for Technical Education.
The approval makes FTII, the first and only institute in this category in the country to receive such recognition.
A list of institutions and approved courses recently published by the AICTE pertaining to institutes offering courses in applied arts, crafts and design, includes all the Five courses of the FTII, an official statement said. FTII operates under the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.
16. US unveils strategy to detect and respond to health security threats globally
The United States government has come up with a first of its kind strategy to prevent, detect and respond to threats from infectious diseases occurring naturally or accidentally, in an effort to help improve the world’s ability to stop and contain deadly outbreaks before they spread between countries.
The Global Health Security Strategy, unveiled on Thursday, defines the actions the US administration will take by adopting a whole-of-government approach to health security and leveraging the strengths of different federal departments, agencies and funding streams.
17. India’s GS Lakshmi first woman on ICC international panel of match referees
India’s G.S. Lakshmi has become the first woman to be appointed to ICC’s international panel of match referees and will be eligible to officiate in international games with immediate effect.
Claire Polosak had become the first ever woman umpire to stand in a men’s ODI, earlier this month.
Lakshmi, 51, who first officiated as a match referee in domestic women’s cricket in 2008-09, has overseen three women’s ODI matches and three women’s T20 International matches.
18. Tennis: Novak Djokovic wins Madrid Open title
Top seed Novak Djokovic of Serbia beat Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece 6-3, 6-4 to win his third Madrid Open title.
The world number one was able to improve on his epic 7-6, 7-6 semifinal win over Dominic Thiem of Austria for a more straightforward victory over Tsitsipas, who is still searching for his first Masters 1000 title.
Djokovic lifted the title in Madrid after progressing through the week without losing a set and has now won 33 Masters 1000 titles – the same number as Rafael Nadal and five more than Roger Federer.
19. Shagun best-placed Indian in women’s trap at Changwon Shotgun WC
Shagun Chowdhary shot 65 out of 75 to emerge the best-placed Indian at 34th position after day one of the Women’s Trapshooting qualifiers at the International Shooting Sport Federation World Cup Shotgun in Changwon, Korea.
Shagun shot rounds of 21, 21 and 23 to lie at 34th spot with France’s Carole Cormenier and China’s Wang Xiaojing leading the 59-strong field with scores of 72 each at the year’s third Shotgun World Cup stage.
Rajeshwari Kumari, the second Indian in the field on the day, shot 58 to be at 56th position with two more rounds of qualifying remaining
20. UN mission urges cutting off financial ties with Myanmar army
A United Nations fact-finding mission today called for financial isolation of Myanmar’s military as part of efforts to hold the army accountable for human rights abuses.
The independent investigators, working under a mandate from the UN Human Rights Council, said in a statement that there has been no progress toward resolving the crisis over Myanmar’s mostly Muslim Rohingya minority.
Chairman of the Fact-Finding Mission on Myanmar Marzuki Darusman said the situation is at a total standstill.Myanmar authorities have razed deserted Rohingya villages and members of the minority remaining in the country live in displacement camps and in fear of further military reprisals.
The mission found that the military has committed atrocities against many ethnic groups living within Myanmar. It also faulted armed ethnic groups for committing human rights abuses.
21. India extends 1 billion dollar Line of Credit to Mongolia
India has extended 1 billion dollar Line of Credit to Mongolia to set up its first-ever grass-root refinery at Sainshand in Dornogobi Province.
External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said, the capacity of the refinery will be 1.5 Million Metric Tons Per Annum and it will be implemented with Exim Bank funding.
22. Sanjiv Puri steps into Deveshwar’s shoes at ITC
ITC Ltd, India’s largest cigarette maker, named managing director Sanjiv Puri, 56, as its chairman. He will take over the legacy of Y.C. Deveshwar, the company’s longest serving chairman who died on 11 May. Puri was set to take over the role by 2021-22, and was being mentored by Deveshwar for the post of chairman.
Deveshwar helped ITC diversify from a cigarettes company to one with business interests in retail, packaged foods, paper and packaging. He also grew its revenue ten-fold to ₹51,500 crore during the two decades that he was at the helm of the company.
The task is now cut out for Puri, an old ITC hand, and an alumnus of the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur and Wharton School.
23. National Training Workshop of Master Trainers for 7th Economic Census
In the run up to upcoming 7th Edition of Economic Census, a National Training Workshop of the Master Trainers was organized by the Ministry of Statistics and Program Implementation (MoSPI) at India Habitat Center in the national capital. The objective was to impart training to Master trainers (enumerators and supervisors) engaged in Seventh Economic Census (7th EC).
The participants were trained on the key concepts and definitions, processes, digital platform and application to be used for the enumeration (data capture and supervision) in the field. The workshop was attended by Secretary, MoSPI, DG MoSPI, CEO, Common Service Centres- Special Purpose Vehicle, CSC-SPV and other senior officers of the ministry, State Governments and CSC-SPV.
7th Economic Census -2019 is being conducted by MoSPI to provide disaggregated information on various operational and structural aspects of all establishments in the country.