Current Affairs Daily Digest – May 16 2019
1. RBI’s vision 2021 looks at a ‘cash-lite’ society, cyber security, and more
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) released its statement on ‘Payment and Settlement Systems in India: Vision 2019–2021’, which outlined the measures that the central bank will undertake to foster innovation, cybersecurity, financial inclusion, customer protection, and competition.
The Payment Systems Vision 2021 envisages achieving a ‘highly digital’ and ‘cash-lite’ society through the goalposts of competition, cost-effectiveness, convenience, and confidence, said the RBI.
The number of digital transactions is expected to increase more than four times, from 20.69 billion in December 2018 to 87.07 billion in December 2021. The digital payment transaction turnover vis-à-vis gross domestic product (at current market prices) is expected to further increase to 10.37 per cent in 2019, 12.29 per cent in 2020, and 14.80 per cent in 2021.
2. Kumar Tuhin appointed as next Ambassador of India to Bosnia & Herzegovina
Kumar Tuhin presently Ambassador of India to the Republic of Hungary, has been concurrently accredited as the next Ambassador of India to Bosnia & Herzegovina with residence in Budapest. He is expected to take up the assignment shortly.
3. Sherpa Climber Reaches Top of Mount Everest for Record 23rd Time
Sherpa climber Kami Rita reached the top of Mount Everest for a 23rd time. By doing so, he broke his own record for the most successful climbs of the world’s highest summit.
Two other climbers have reached the 8,850-meter high summit 21 times each, but both of them have retired from mountain climbing.
Rita was at Everest’s base camp in 2015 when a combination of rocks, ice and snow came down the side of the mountain. The avalanche killed 19 people. After that tragedy, he came under intense family pressure to stop mountain climbing, but in the end decided against it.
4. Mumbai Pilot Becomes World’s First Woman to Cross Atlantic Ocean in Light Sports Aircraft
Captain Aarohi Pandit, a 23-year-old pilot from Mumbai became the world’s first woman to cross the Atlantic Ocean solo in a Light Sports Aircraft (LSA).
She achieved the feat around midnight Monday-Tuesday (May 13-14) when she landed her tiny aircraft at Iqaluit Airport in Canada, after a gruelling 3,000 km long flight, under adverse and extreme weather conditions following take-off from Wick, Scotland (United Kingdom), with brief stopovers in Greenland and Iceland.
5. 2019 Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction
The sixth Session of the Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction (GP2019) will take place in Geneva, Switzerland from 13 to 17 May, 2019, convened and organized by the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) and hosted by the Government of Switzerland.
The session will be co-chaired by Switzerland and UNISDR. It will represent the next important opportunity for the international community to boost the implementation of the Sendai Framework and related Sustainable Development Goals of the 2030 Agenda, as well as commitments of the Paris Climate Agreement.
It will be the last global gathering for all stakeholders before the deadline for the achievement of Target E of the Sendai Framework: Substantially increase the number of countries with national and local disaster risk reduction strategies by 2020.
6. Justice A. K. Sikri Appointed As Chairperson of the News Broadcasting Standards Authority (NBSA).
Former Supreme Court Judge Justice A. K. Sikri has been appointed as the Chairperson of the News Broadcasting Standards Authority (NBSA). He will assume office on May 26, 2019.
Justice Sikri will succeed Justice R. V. Raveendran, who completes his term on May 25, 2019. In a statement, NBA President Rajat Sharma said that Justice Sikri’s vast experience in judiciary and an impeccable record as a judge would definitely strengthen selfregulation and NBSA.
7. Sanjiv Puri appointed as Managing Director at ITC Limited
ITC Group has announced that Sanjiv Puri will be the company’s new Chairman and Managing Director. He was appointed to the post after the passing of former chairman YC Deveshwar. ITC’s Board of directors arrived at the decision today when they met to review the company’s results for the financial quarter that ended on March 31.
8. South Korea abandons its bid to stage football’s Asian Cup in 2023
South Korea has abandoned its bid to stage football’s Asian Cup in 2023, leaving the sole other bidders China with a free run to become hosts.
Seoul’s Asian Cup withdrawal means that China should on June 4 be confirmed by the Asian Football Confederation as hosts of the nations championship finals for the second time.
China staged the tournament in 2004 when the hosts lost 3-1 to Japan in the Beijing final. This year’s tournament in the UAE was expanded to 24 nations for the first time with Qatar winning the final 3-1 against Japan.
9. Saudi Arabia confirms air strikes on Yemen capital
The Saudi-led coalition backing the Yemeni government confirmed that its warplanes were bombing rebel targets following rebel drone attacks that closed a Saudi pipeline.
Earlier, the UN envoy for Yemen warned that despite a rebel withdrawal from key ports, Yemen still faced the threat of plunging into all-out war.
10. India-Botswana hold Foreign Office Consultations in Delhi
The third round of Foreign Office Consultations between India and Botswana was held in New Delhi . The Indian side was led by Joint Secretary, East and Southern Africa in the Ministry of External Affairs Dr. Neena Malhotra.
The Botswana side was headed by Deputy Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of International Affairs and Cooperation of Botswana Government, Tapiwa Mongwa.
The deliberations provided an opportunity to review the entire gamut of bilateral relations, including political, economic, commercial, defence, consular and international cooperation. Ways to further strengthen the existing friendly relations by way of expanding cooperation in development projects were also discussed.
11. US, France join UAE probe into sabotage of ships
US and France join UAE in the investigation of sabotage of commercial ships. The US and France are assisting the UAE in its investigations into the sabotage attack on four commercial cargo ships in the Sea of Oman, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Dr Anwar Gargash said.
A Statement by the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation said that the concerned authorities have taken all necessary measures, and are investigating the incident in cooperation with local and international bodies.
12. Football: China to host 2023 Asian Cup after Korea withdraw bid
South Korea have abandoned their bid to stage Asian Cup Football tournament in 2023, leaving the sole other bidders China with a free run to become hosts.
The Korea Football Association (KFA) said in a statement that it had pulled out to strategically focus on a joint bid with North Korea to host the Women’s World Cup in the same year.
13. Finance Commission holds dialogue with FinMin on state of economy
The Finance Commission has observed that the GDP numbers have somewhat fluctuated within the overall global trend which suggests continued high growth trend over the medium term. The Commission has also noted that the revenue projections on the Direct Taxes are healthy though on Indirect Taxes, there have been periodic fluctuations.
The observation came during discussions between the Finance Ministry and the Finance Commission on the overall economic situation, fiscal management and key economic variables. Discussions were also held on GST issues, local body grants and population data.
14. SIDBI’s pilot scheme for fintech NBFCs to boost digital lending
Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) launched a pilot scheme to extend financial assistance of up to Rs 10 crore to new-age fintech non-banking finance companies (NBFCs) engaged in financing small businesses and other income-generating activities.
SIDBI set the exposure cap for lending to a single new-age fintech NBFC at 30% of NOF of the new-age fintech NBFC, subject to maximum cap of Rs 10 crore.
About Fintech NBFCs :
Fintech NBFCs are digital loan companies.
They leverage information technology to provide fast and convenient access to funding.
15. India’s overall exports registered positive growth of 1.34% in April this year
India’s overall exports, combining Merchandise and Services, in April this year is estimated to be around 44 billion US dollars with a positive growth of 1.34 per cent over the April last year.
According to the Ministry of Commerce & Industry data released today, overall imports in last moth is estimated to be around 53 billion dollars with a positive growth of 4.5 per cent over corresponding period of last year.
16. India Signs ‘Christchurch Call to Action’
To combat online extremism, India has decided to sign an international call initiated by the governments of France and New Zealand along with top social media companies after the Christchurch attacks.
The document called “Christchurch Call To Action” was signed and adopted on Wednesday with participation from 26 nations, including France, New Zealand, European Commission, Ireland, Norway, Senegal, Canada, Jordan, UK, Indonesia, Australia, Germany, Japan, Spain, Netherlands, Sweden and India.
17. Infosys Foundation’s FCRA licence cancelled
The Home Ministry has cancelled the FCRA licence of Infosys Foundation after a request was made by the not-for-profit initiative of the IT major, a senior government official said.
18. Anil Kapoor to be Felicitated by Council of European Chambers of Commerce
Actor Anil Kapoor will be felicitated by the Council of European Chambers of Commerce (CEUCC) in India and an European Union delegation as part of the Europe Day celebrations in Mumbai on Friday, an official spokesperson said.
The actor will be the chief guest for the celebrations, which will also be attended by EU Ambassador to India Tomasz Kozlowski, EU Member states Consuls and senior representatives from the European and Indian corporate world.
19. Government should allow Aadhaar for insurance KYC: IRDAI chairman
The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) plans to lobby the government to allow use of Aadhaar to make online know-your-customer (KYC) process simple and quick for insurers and policyholders, said IRDAI chairman Subhash Chandra Khuntia .
“KYC is one area we are taking up with the government, to use Aadhaar as a kind of KYC for the insurance sector,” said Khuntia. “The insurance companies and the insurtech companies need to use simple KYC so they do not spend too much time. Customers also do not have to wait for too long before they get the product. This is something which will help in doing that,” he said.
20. BSE launches mobile app for its mutual fund platform
Leading stock exchange BSE said it has launched ‘BSE StAR MF’ app to enable more participation and help mutual fund distributors process transactions faster.
“BSE StAR MF mobile app supports real-time client registration and paperless transactions, creates and uploads mandate for SIPs, generates the basket of multiple orders, tracks and allows the distributor to analyse his business at his fingertips,” the exchange said in a release.
21. Website of Lokpal inaugurated
The Website of the Lokpal was inaugurated by the Chairperson, Justice Shri Pinaki Chandra Ghose in presence of all the Members of Lokpal today. The Website has been developed by NIC and provides the basic information with respect to the working and functioning of the Lokpal. The Website can be accessed at http://lokpal.gov.in.
The Lokpal is the first institution of its kind in independent India, established under the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act, 2013 to inquire and investigate into allegations of the corruption against public functionaries who fall within the scope and ambit of the above Act.