Current Affairs Daily Digest – May 8 2019
1. RBI enhances housing-loan limits under priority sector lending for RRBs, SFBs
The Reserve Bank of India has decided to enhance the housing loan limits for Regional Rural Banks (RRBs) and Small Finance Banks (SFBs) for eligibility under priority sector lending, in a bid to give them a level-playing field with other Scheduled Commercial Banks.
Henceforth, housing loans given by RRBs and SFBs to individuals up to ₹35 lakh in metropolitan centres (with population of 10 lakh and above) and ₹25 lakh in other centres, provided the overall cost of the dwelling unit in the metropolitan centres and at other centres does not exceed ₹45 lakh and ₹30 lakh, respectively, will be eligible for classification under priority sector lending.
2. World Red Cross Day : 8th May
Every year 8th May is celebrated as World Red Cross Day to honor the International Red Cross Crescent Movement founder Henry Dunant, who was born on this day in 1828. National Societies that are affiliates to ICRC celebrates the World Red Cross Day in their countries to raise the need of protecting life.
The theme for 2019 is #Love. It aims to broaden the public’s understanding of society by highlighting the diversity and universality of its work and approach.
3. Former billiards player Derek Sippy dies in Mumbai
Former billiards player, coach and administrator Derek Sippy died . Sippy served the BSAM in various capacities and was its secretary for several years, the office-bearer added.
He was the Indian team’s coach at recently concluded Asian Under-21 Boys Snooker and Asian Women Snooker tournament in Chandigarh.
4. Momo-3 is Japan’s first private rocket to reach space
A Japanese aerospace startup successfully launched a small rocket , making it the country’s first privately developed model to reach outer space.
Interstellar Technology Inc. said the unmanned Momo-3 launched from its test site in Hokkaido and reached about 110 kilometers (68 miles) in altitude before falling into the Pacific Ocean after 10 minutes of flight time.
Measuring 10 meters in length and 50 centimeters in diameter and weighing 1 ton, it was first due to be launched Tuesday, but that launch was shelved due to a glitch in the fuel system.
5. Standard Life sells 1.78% in HDFC Life Insurance
Standard Life has successfully divested 1.78 per cent of its stake in HDFC Life Insurance to raise Rs 1,400 crore. The divestment was done through offer for sale (OFS) route and the issue managed to sail through successfully with both qualified institutional investors (QIBs) and retail investor quotas seeing full subscriptions.
6. Airtel and Hughes to merge their India VSAT operations
Bharti Airtel has decided to merge its broadband satellite, or VSAT, business with that of market leader Hughes Communications India, to create a stronger no. 1 in the space, in a bid to increase scale, improve operational efficiencies and target new customers in areas such as in-flight connectivity.
Hughes Communications will own 67% share of the new entity while Airtel will own the rest, people familiar with the matter said. They added that the new company will continue to be called Hughes Communications India Ltd., but the name could be changed in future.
7. NIOS, NHMPH ink MoU in Mumbai
The National Institute of Open Schooling Ministry of Human Resources Development and National Health Mission of Public Health Department of Government of Maharashtra signed a Memorandum of Understanding in Mumbai. the MOU focused at offering Vocational programmes to the Health Service Providers of Providers of National Health Mission (NHM) through National Institute of Open Schooling.
the aim is to impart uniform structured and quality training to Multipurpose Health Workers Class Ill Male Health Workers and Community Health Workers followed by their assessment evaluation and certification.
8. Govt reduces NEET-PG cut-offs by 6 percentile for 2019-20
The government has decided to reduce the qualifying marks for NEET-PG for 2019-20 by six percentile.
An official statement said, general category candidates with a minimum mark of 44 percentile, persons with disabilities category with a minimum of 39 percentile and SC/ST and OBC category candidates with 34 percentile will become eligible for admission to postgraduate medical courses.
9. India’s Jagjit Pavadia re-elected to International Narcotics Control Board
India’s Jagjit Pavadia was re-elected to the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) for another term. She posted the highest number of votes at 44. Ms Pavadia has been a member of the INCB since 2015 and her current term is set to expire in 2020.
Jagjit Pavadia has been re-elected for a five-year term beginning 2nd March, 2020.
INCB consists of 13 members who are elected by the ECOSOC and who serve in their personal capacity. Established in 1968, the INCB is an independent and quasi-judicial monitoring body for the implementation of the UN’s international drug control conventions.
10. United Arab Emirates releases Qatari naval vessel
The United Arab Emirates has released a Qatari naval vessel and the four military personnel who were on board when it was seized last week. the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (MoFAIC) the four personnels have been identified as the First Lieutenant Mohammed Hassem Al Heil and Lance Corporal Saeed Nasser Al Marri, both Qatari nationals, Lance Corporal Mohammed Riyad Al Beltaji, a Palestinian national, and Private Fayez Talkoum, an Indian national.
The vessel, flying the Qatari flag, had entered UAE territorial waters on 30th April 2019, the statement noted.
11. Sebi allows FPI investment in municipal bonds
Foreign portfolio investors can now invest in municipal bonds, markets regulator Sebi said in a circular .
The circular comes almost two weeks after the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) permitted FPIs to invest in municipal bonds as a measure to broaden access of non–resident investors to debt instruments in the country. As per the RBI, foreign investment in municipal bonds should be within the limits set for FPI investment in State Development Loans (SDLs). The limits for FPI investment in SDLs is 2% of outstanding stock of securities.
12. PayPal India introduces ‘OneTouch’ to enhance user experience
PayPal India has introduced ‘OneTouch’ feature using Google Smart Lock for its users in India that will allow them to stay logged onto the digital payments platform in a secure manner.
India is the first market where the feature will be integrated with Google Smart Lock, Paypal India said in a statement.
Users can register their Android device with PayPal and stay logged into the platform for all subsequent PayPal purchases on that device.
This removes the hassle of repeatedly needing to log in and thereby, offering a frictionless payments experience, it added.
13. NR Madhava Menon, father of modern legal education, passes away
Prof N.R. Madhava Menon, an educationist, scholar and the pioneering spirit behind modern legal education in India, passed away early on Wednesday. He was 84 years old.
Menon was the founder director of the National Law School of India University (NLSIU) Bangalore and headed it for 12 years. After that, he established West Bengal National University of Juridical Sciences (NUJS) in 1998 and later presided as the founder director of Judicial Academy (NJS), Bhopal, till 2006.
14. Laurentino Cortizo wins Panama’s presidential elections
The Panama Electoral Tribunal announced that Laurentino Cortizo has won the country’s presidential election.
Laurentino Cortizo, the presidential candidate from the opposition Democratic Revolutionary Party, has declared his victory, with a narrow gap of 1.93 per cent against Romulo Roux, another candidate.
15. Former Windies batsman Seymour Nurse passes away aged 85
Wisden Cricketer of the Year, Seymour Nurse, Barbados National Sports Council, Seymour Nurse died, 1966 West Indies tour of England
Former West Indies cricketer Seymour Nurse has died after prolonged illness. Nurse, 85, is survived by his twin daughters.
16. Microsoft unveils free ‘ElectionGuard’ tool to help secure U.S. polls
In a bid to help countries ensure secure and verifiable voting, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has announced “ElectionGuard” — a free open-source software development kit (SDK).
“ElectionGuard” will enable end-to-end verification of elections, open results to third-party organisations for secure validation, and allow individual voters to confirm their votes were correctly counted, announced Nadella during the keynote at Microsoft Build developer conference.
17. US Air Force successfully shoots down multiple missiles with a laser
The US Air Force just edged closer to its goal of outfitting aircraft with laser weapons. Testers at the White Sands Missile Range have successfully shot down multiple air-launched missiles using the Self-Protect High Energy Laser Demonstrator (SHiELD), proving that it can hold up under intense situations.
While SHiELD is currently a ground-based behemoth (see below), the finished technology should be portable and rugged enough to be used aboard aircraft.