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Important Current Affairs of 1st May

NATIONAL:

Reliance Jio to launch 'Super App' with 100 services: Report.

• Reliance Jio is reportedly aiming to launch a ‘Super App’ that will provide over 100 services in one platform. The report said the app will let users order goods and services on it and pay bills using in-app payment services. Reports added that launching the app will put Reliance in a position to replicate China's WeChat in India.

OYO buys 51% stake in Europe's @Leisure for ₹1,400 crore.

• Indian hotel startup OYO has agreed to buy a 51% stake in European vacation rental group @Leisure from German media company Axel Springer for ₹1,400 crore. @Leisure manages holiday homes, holiday parks and holiday apartments across Europe and has a total inventory of more than 3 lakh rooms. OYO now has presence in more than 800 cities across 24 countries.

Flipkart in talks to buy grocery chain Namdhari's Fresh: Reports.

• Walmart-owned e-commerce giant Flipkart is in talks to buy Bengaluru-based grocery chain Namdhari's Fresh, as per reports. While Walmart is said to have held talks with Namdhari's, the acquisition will be made through Flipkart, reports said. Namdhari's operates over 30 stores in Bengaluru, and the acquisition will help Flipkart expand its food and grocery segment, reports added.

L&T buys Coffee Day & its Founder's stake in Mindtree for ₹3,210 cr.

• Larsen & Toubro (L&T) has purchased a 20% stake in Bengaluru-based IT services firm Mindtree from Coffee Day and its Founder VG Siddhartha for about ₹3,210 crore. The infrastructure major is aiming to acquire an up to 66% stake in Mindtree for ₹10,730 crore. L&T's hostile bid to acquire controlling stake in Mindtree is the first in India's IT industry.

Bengaluru logistics startup BlackBuck raises ₹1,043 crore.

Bengaluru-based logistics startup BlackBuck has raised about ₹1,043 crore in Series D funding round led by Goldman Sachs Investment Partners and Accel. Sequoia Capital, B Capital, among others also participated in the round which reportedly values the startup at just under $1 billion. BlackBuck was founded in 2015 by IIT-Kharagpur alumni Rajesh Yabaji, Chanakya Hridaya and Ramasubramanian B.

April GST collections at ₹1.13 lakh crore, highest since rollout.

• The Goods and Services Tax (GST) collection in April touched ₹1.13 lakh crore, the highest since the nationwide levy was rolled out in July 2017. The revenue in April is 16% higher than the monthly average GST revenue of ₹98,114 crore in 2018-19. This is the fifth time the collections crossed ₹1 lakh crore since GST rollout.

INTERNATIONAL:

Pentagon to send 320 more troops to US-Mexico border.

• The US Defence Department announced that it would deploy around 320 additional troops to the southern border with Mexico to support immigration officials.

The troops, set to deploy until the end of September, will add to around 2,900 active duty military and 2,000 National Guard members currently posted to the border.

The Pentagon spokesman said, the troops would assist with transporting migrants, monitoring the welfare of migrants in custody and providing heating and meals.

Airtel Africa reports $83 million profit in March quarter.

• Airtel Africa, a subsidiary of Bharti Airtel, on Tuesday reported a profit of $83 million for the March quarter, as against a loss of $49 million a year earlier. The company's revenue grew 6% to $781 million. Qatar Investment Authority invested $200 million in the company during the quarter, taking funds raised as pre-IPO private placement to $1.45 billion.

Jaish chief Masood Azhar designated as global terrorist by UN.

• The designation of Azhar as a terrorist by the UNSC will lead to embargos on his travel and his ability to find finance for his group

• India’s first attempt to get Azhar listed came in 2009, seven years after his JeM group was designated a terrorist outfit by the UN

APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATIONS:

Air Marshal RKS Bhadauria takes over as Vice Chief of Air Staff.

• Air Marshal Rakesh Kumar Singh Bhadauria took over as Vice Chief of the Air Staff on Wednesday, succeeding Air Marshal Anil Khosla. Bhadauria has over 4,250 hours of experience on 26 types of fighters and transport aircraft. He was reportedly the Chairman of India's negotiating team for the Rafale deal with France.

Eric Schmidt leaves Google board, after 18 years.

• Eric Schmidt will not seek re-election to the board when his term expires in June, but will continue to advise on technical matters

• Schmidt's net worth is estimated to be around $14 billion by Forbes

DAYS:

May 1: International workers day.

• International Worker's Day also known as Labour Day and May Day, is observed on 1st May every year, to promote and encourage the international labour associations.

• The theme of Labour Day 2019 is ‘Uniting Workers for Social and Economic Advancement’.

Labour Day provides the Labours their right to work for only 8 hours a day.

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Important Current Affairs 30th April 2019

NATIONAL:

MakeMyTrip parent acquires majority stake in Quest2Travel.

• MakeMyTrip Ltd, which owns and operates MakeMyTrip, Goibibo and redBus, has acquired a majority stake in web-based corporate travel management company 'Quest2Travel'. Founded in 2000, Mumbai-based Quest2Travel counts Tata Motors among its customers. MakeMyTrip Group CEO Deep Kalra said, "With this investment we are making a decisive foray into providing travel solutions for corporate customers".

India beats China as Asia's top fintech funding hub in Q1: Report.

• India was the top Asian market for VC-backed fintech funding in Q1 of 2019 with $286 million in funding, beating China which recorded $192 million, as per CB Insights. Both countries recorded 29 deals, a decrease for China which recorded 76 deals three quarters ago. The report suggested tightened regulation around online lending in China may have caused the drop.

Kolkata's speech recognition platform Mihup raises ₹12.5 cr.

• Kolkata-based AI-enabled speech recognition platform for vernacular languages, Mihup, has raised ₹12.5 crore in Series A funding round from Accel Partners and Ideaspring Capital. In 2016, Mihup had secured over ₹45 crore seed funding from Accel Partners. Founded by Biplab Chakraborty, Sandipan Chattopadhyay, Sandipan Mandal, and Tapan Barman, Mihup offers services in Hindi, English, and Bengali.

NTPC to raise ₹3,000 crore via bonds on Friday.

• The proceeds will be utilised to meet capital expenditure requirements, working capital needs, existing loans refinancing and other general corporate requirements

• The bonds are proposed to be listed on both the National Stock Exchange and the BSE

Zomato to launch 20 Hyperpure warehouses in 18 cities by next year.

• For now, Zomato will scale the warehouses in the top metros before moving to smaller cities

• Zomato opened its second Hyperpure warehouse on Monday in New Delhi.

INTERNATIONAL:

Samsung posts 60% drop in profit, says S10 logged 'solid sales'.

• Samsung registered a 60% drop in Q1 profit compared to last year, making about $5.3 billion profit from January-March 2019. The South Korean company said the earnings were weighed down by memory chips and displays, although the new Galaxy S10 smartphone logged solid sales. Samsung added its Galaxy Fold launch could be delayed to the "second half of the year".

BANKS AND ECONOMICS:

Amazon targets $5 billion e-commerce exports from India by 2023.

• The programme started with just few hundred sellers in 2015 and has now crossed $1-billion export mark from India with 50,000 exporters

• Amazon in second edition of its annual 'Export Digest' said there has been a growth of 56% in the number of global sellers from India in 2018.

R-Cap looks to raise ₹10,000 cr through stake sale to pare debt.

• Company plans to divest stakes in NBFC, media and insurance units amid a string of rating downgrades

• The Anil Ambani group firm plans to sell up to a 51% stake each in its wholly owned non-banking financial companies.

APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATIONS:

President Sirisena appointed General S.H.S Kottegoda as the Defence Secretary.

• President Maithripala Sirisena on 29th April appointed General S.H.S Kottegoda, a former Army commander, to the post of Defence Secretary. He replaces Hemasiri Fernando who resigned from the post after the Easter blasts that killed over 250 people.

• President Sirisena also named Deputy Inspector-General Chandana Wickramaratne as the acting policechief as the incumbent Pujith Jayasundara is currently on compulsory leave. President Sirisena squarely blamed the Defence Secretary and the IGP for failing to pass on the information to him.

• As per Sri Lankan law, the Inspector General of Police (IGP) can be removed from the post only with a parliamentary resolution backed by a majority and based on a subsequent inquiry by a committee.

DAYS:

Nation observes Ayushman Bharat Diwas on 30th April.

• As part of Gram Swaraj Abhiyan, Ayushman Bharat Diwas is celebrated across the country on April 30. For the first time, the day was observed on 30th April 2018. During the event, information regarding Ayushman Bharat Scheme was provided to people during health camps organised in rural areas.

On this day, gram sabhas were organized in different parts of the country to create awareness about the National Health Protection Mission and verify and update details in the Socio-Economic and Caste Census database.

AWARDS:

Alfred Brownell was awarded the Goldman Environmental Prize.

• Alfred Brownell, an environmental lawyer, and activist was awarded the Goldman Environmental Prize. He was awarded for exposing alleged abuse by the palm oil company Golden Veroleum Liberia and helping to prevent it from converting about 50 km2 of forest that is home to elephants, pygmy hippopotamuses, and chimpanzees.

• The company had been given a green light in 2010 by the government to expand in the country and was poised to turn more than 2,000 km2 of the lush forest into palm oil plantations. He won the Goldman prize along with five others for grassroots environmental activism.

Other Awardees:

• Linda Garcia of Vancouver, Washington, who rallied local communities to successfully prevent the construction of North America’s largest oil terminal.

• Ana Colovic Lesoska of North Macedonia, whose seven-year campaign helped stop hydroelectric projects from being built in the country’s largest national park.

• Bayarjargal Agvaantseren of Mongolia, who led the fight to create the Tost Tosonbumba Nature Reserve.

• Jacqueline Evans of the Cook Islands, whose work led to the conservation and sustainable management of all of the Cook Islands’ ocean territory and creation of 15 marine protected areas.

• Alberto Curamil of Chile, a jailed indigenous activist who had protested several hydroelectric projects in the country.

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Important Current Affairs of 28th April

NATIONAL:

Govt may ban Deloitte for 5 yrs over alleged IL&FS misconduct: Report.

• The government may reportedly invoke Section 140(5) of the Companies Act to ban Deloitte for five years over its alleged malpractice in the IL&FS audit.

• If this happens, it'd be the second such case after Price Waterhouse (PW) was banned in Satyam scam.

• In 2018, SEBI banned PW from auditing listed companies and market intermediaries for two years.

120 startups got patents since 2016 under expedited process: Govt.

• Up to 120 of 450 startups have been granted patents under the expedited examination facility since its introduction in 2016, PTI quoted a government official as saying.

• Under the facility, 1,021 applications were received and 351 patents were granted.

• The official added the time for first examination of trademarks' applications was reduced to about one month from 13 months, earlier.

With 1.5 mn orders a month on cycles, Swiggy pedals towards eco-friendly delivery.

• Swiggy has a fleet of over 1.7 lakh delivery partners in more than 120 cities

• With the future heading towards more eco-friendly modes of transport, cycle and EV logistics will be the next game changer, Srivats TS of Swiggy said

INTERNATIONAL:

Ukrainians will reject Putin's passport offer: President-elect.

• After Russian President Vladimir Putin said his country was considering offering all Ukrainian citizens fast-tracked Russian passports, Ukraine's President-elect Volodymyr Zelenskiy said the citizens of his country will reject Putin's offer.

• "We'll provide Ukrainian citizenship [to people] who suffer from authoritarian regimes. In the first place, the Russians, who probably suffer most," he added.

SpaceX gets approval to fly internet satellites in low orbit.

• SpaceX has received approval from the US' Federal Communications Commission for its revised plan to launch over 1,500 Starlink internet-beaming satellites into a lower orbit at an altitude of 550 km.

• The Elon Musk-led venture plans to launch its first batch of satellites in May. "This approval underscores the FCC’s confidence in SpaceX’s plans", SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell said.

APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATIONS:

Yes Bank names daughter of Founder who died in 26/11 as director.

• Yes Bank has appointed Shagun Gogia, the daughter of late Co-founder Ashok Kapur, as a director after she was jointly nominated by Co-founder Rana Kapoor and mother Madhu Kapur.

•  Ashok Kapur was killed by terrorists in Trident-Oberoi hotel in Mumbai during 26/11 attacks. Interestingly, in June 2013, Yes Bank's board turned down Gogia's application to be nominated as a director.

DAYS:

UN observes World Day for Safety and Health at Work day on 28th April.

• World Day for Safety and Health at Work is a UN international day that is celebrated every April 28. It is an annual international campaign to promote safe, healthy and decent work. It has been observed by the International Labour Organization (ILO) since 2003.

• It is concerned about safe work and awareness of the dimensions and consequences of work-related accidents and diseases; to place occupational safety and health (OSH) on the international and national agendas, and to provide support to the national efforts for the improvement of national OSH systems and programmes in line with relevant international labour standards.

• Inspired by the ILO centenary and discussions on the future of work, the world day this year attempts to take stock of a 100 years of work in improving occupational safety and health and looks to the future for continuing these efforts through major changes such as technology, demographics, sustainable development including climate change and changes in work organization.

• A national occupational safety and health culture is one in which the right to a safe and healthy working environment is respected at all levels, where governments, employers, and workers actively participate in securing a safe and healthy working environment through a system of defined rights, responsibilities and duties, and where the highest priority is accorded to the principle of prevention.

World Veterinary Day 2019 is observed on 28th April.

• The World Veterinary Day 2019 is observed on 28th April. It is an opportunity to celebrate the contributions of veterinarians to the health of animals and society. The theme for the day is the Value of Vaccination. The day is initiated by the World Veterinary Association.

• The World Veterinary Association (WVA) will co-host the 2019 World Veterinary Day Award with HealthforAnimals, the global animal medicines association. The value of the award has been increased to $2500. WVA and HealthforAnimals believe it is essential for the global veterinary profession to educate the public, particularly animal owners and producers, about the benefits of vaccination for animal, human, and public health.

• Why the theme?

Vaccination is an essential tool for preventive veterinary medicine, promotion of animal health and welfare, and reducing the risk of human exposure to many zoonotic pathogens. Historically, immunization practices and vaccination protocols have contributed to significantly reduce the prevalence of many life-threatening diseases.

The risks of not vaccinating can be significant to individual animals and populations and can have consequences on the livelihoods of rural livestock producers in economically developed and emerging regions. Effective vaccination programs, broadly implemented, are likely to reduce the need for antimicrobials, which in turn can help reduce the risk of emergent antimicrobial resistance.

AWARDS:

Healthtech startup Niramai wins top prize at Japan event.

• Bengaluru-based healthtech startup Niramai secured the top prize at the Hack Osaka event in Japan. Niramai was awarded for its "software to detect breast cancer with radiation-free, non-touch, not painful examination [which] works for women of all ages".

• The AI startup was founded in 2016 by former Hewlett-Packard and Xerox employees Geetha Manjunath and Nidhi Mathur.

SPORTS:

Gurpreet Singh settles for silver at Asian Wrestling C'ships.

• India's Gurpreet Singh settled for a silver medal in the Greco-Roman 77kg category event at the Asian Wrestling Championships in Xi'an on Saturday. Gurpreet had earlier beaten Bakhit Sharif K Badr of Qatar 10-0 in the quarterfinals.

• In the 87kg event, Sunil Kumar had to settle for a silver medal after losing in the final.

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Important Current Affairs 27th April 2019

NATIONAL:

About 200 US companies seeking to move manufacturing base from China to India: Report.

• US companies are planning to set up an alternative to China by investing in India, said USISPF

• USISPF’s recommendation to the new government would be to accelerate the reforms and bring transparency

Uber is set to hit the road for the year’s biggest IPO.

• Over the past decade, Uber Technologies Inc. proved itself to be one of the most prolific young fundraisers ever. It pulled together more than $20 billion from private investors. After burning through more than half that amount in just the last three years, Uber will soon see whether it can recreate that magic on the stock market.

India hikes wheat import duty to 40% to support local farmers.

• The government on Friday said it has raised import duty on wheat to 40% from 30% in a bid to support local farmers. Indian flour millers imported 1.65 million tonnes of wheat in 2017-18 fiscal year, down from 5.7 million tonnes the year before. India's wheat production is estimated to rise by 2% in 2018-19 to record 99.12 million tonnes.

INTERNATIONAL:

Chinese brands take 66% of Indian smartphone market: Report.

• Chinese smartphone brands captured a record two-thirds of the Indian smartphone market in the first quarter of 2019, Counterpoint's Market Monitor research said. China's Xiaomi was on the top with a 29% share while South Korea's Samsung dropped to 23% from 26% last year. Indian brands reached their lowest-ever share owing to lack of innovation and slow growth, Counterpoint said.

Donald Trump to withdraw US from Arms Trade Treaty.

• US President Donald Trump has said he will withdraw the US from the international Arms Trade Treaty. The agreement, signed by former US President Barack Obama in 2013, aims to regulate the sale of weapons between countries. White House said the treaty "fails to truly address the problem of irresponsible arms transfers" because other top arms exporters haven't signed it.

BANKS AND ECONOMICS:

China smartphone maker Leagoo enters India, to invest $200mn.

• Chinese smartphone maker Leagoo has entered the Indian market with the launch of three of its smartphone models. The mobile maker said it plans to invest around $200 million (about ₹1,397 crore) to set up a manufacturing unit in India. The company targets to generate a turnover of ₹200 crore by the financial year ending 2019.

DAYS:

World Immunization Week is observed from 24 to 30 April.

• World Immunization Week 2019 is being observed from 24-30 April. The 2019 theme is Protected Together: Vaccines Work. World Immunization Week aims to promote the use of vaccines to protect people of all ages against disease. Immunization saves millions of lives every year and is widely recognized as one of the worlds most successful and cost-effective health interventions.

World Immunisation Week 2019 celebrates Vaccine Heroes from around the world from parents and community members to health workers and innovators who help ensure that all are protected, at all ages, through the power of vaccines.

SPORTS:

Gaganjeet Bhullar wins 'Outstanding Achievement as a player' award.

• Indian golfer Gaganjeet Bhullar won the 'Outstanding Achievement as a player' award at the fourth edition of the annual India Golf Industry Association (GIA) awards. Bhullar won the 2018 Fiji International, a European Tour event, and also became the youngest golfer on the Asian Tour to achieve nine career victories on tour.

Abhishek Verma won gold in 10m Air Pistol at ISSF World Cup.

• Abhishek Verma won the 10m air pistol gold medal at the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF)World Cup at Beijing, China. He clinched the top spot with a total score of 242.7. Russia’s Artem Chernousov took silver. His brilliant performance in the Shooting World Cup Final also secured a fifth Olympic quota for India.

OBITUARIES:

Terry Rawlings, the British film and sound editor has passed away.

• Terry Rawlings, a British film and sound editor has passed away. He was an Oscar nominee for his work on Best Picture winner “Chariots of Fire,”. He was born in 1933.  The 5-time BAFTA nominee also received a career achievement award from the American Cinema Editors society in 2006.

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Important Current Affairs of 26th April

NATIONAL:

Uber lowers valuation as rival Lyft shares fall after IPO: Reports.

• Uber is aiming for a valuation of $80-90 billion in its Initial Public Offering (IPO), less than its previous expectations of $90-100 billion, Bloomberg reported. This reportedly comes as Uber's US rival Lyft witnessed a "disappointing debut" and substantial fall in shares, the Wall Street Journal reported. Lyft was valued at $24.3 billion in first ride-hailing IPO in March.

India’s crude oil production falls for seventh straight year.

• India's domestic crude oil production plunged over 4% in 2018-19, registering its seventh consecutive yearly fall. India produced 34.2 million tonnes of crude oil in FY19, down from 35.7 million tonnes in the previous year, according to data released by the government. Fields of state-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) and Oil India missed production targets.

Hero MotoCorp Q4 net dips over 24% to ₹730 crore.

• The company sold 78,20,745 units in 2018-19 as compared with 75,87,154 units in 2017-18

• The company's board recommended a final dividend of ₹32 per equity share of ₹2 each (1,600%) for 2018-19

INTERNATIONAL:

Amazon posts $1 billion profit for each of first 3 months of 2019.

• World's richest person Jeff Bezos-led Amazon made profits of over $1 billion a month for the first three months with profits totalling $3.6 billion, the company announced. First quarter sales reached $59.7 billion, while profits were more than double compared to last year. Amazon cloud, which hosts data for Netflix, Airbnb, among others, continued growth with a 41% sales increase.

Naspers to exit MakeMyTrip as China’s Ctrip deepens its shareholding.

• Following this, Ctrip’s stake in MakeMyTrip will be approximately 49% along with 4% of total voting rights

• Ctrip and Naspers invested $330 million into MakeMyTrip around two years ago

AGREEMENTS AND MOUS:

India may extend deadline for imposing retaliatory tariff on 29 US items by 14 days.

• The commerce ministry is expected to recommend to the revenue department, under the finance ministry, to extend the deadline for imposing higher tariffs

• If accepted by the finance ministry, the revenue department would issue a notification to that effect

India, China step on the gas on oil sourcing plan.

• The two are in talks to form a consumers’ collective for joint sourcing of oil

• The coming together of China and India may change global energy equations

BANKS AND ECONOMICS:

Yes Bank reports its first ever quarterly loss of ₹1507 crore.

• Provisions during the quarter increased more than 9 folds to ₹3661.7 crore as against ₹399.64 crore in the year-ago quarter.

• The bank posted a net loss of ₹1506.64 crore for the three months ended 31 March compared to a profit of ₹1179.44 crore in the year-ago period

Finance ministry approves EPF interest rate hike.

• The finance ministry has ratified the hike of the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) interest rate to 8.65% as approved by retirement fundmanager EPFO. ... This was a 10 basis point increase from the 8.55% EPF interest rate announced by the retirement fund for 2017-18.

APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATIONS:

Sri Lanka police chief resigns over serial bomb blasts.

• Sri Lanka's Inspector General of Police Pujith Jayasundara has resigned over failures that led to the serial bomb blasts that killed around 250, the country's President Maithripala Sirisena said on Friday. "He has sent his resignation to the acting defence secretary. I'll nominate a new IGP soon," Sirisena added. Earlier, Sri Lanka's defence secretary Hemasiri Fernando resigned over the blasts.

DAYS:

World Intellectual Property Day – April 26, 2019,Reach for 

• Every April 26, we celebrate World Intellectual Property Day to learn about the role that intellectual property (IP) rights play in encouraging innovation and creativity.

• Faster, stronger, higher! The drive to test our abilities, the thrill of competition, and the awe we experience in watching ordinary people achieving extraordinary feats, have fueled our fascination with sports for thousands of years.

SPORTS:

Panghal wins India's 1st gold at Asian Boxing C'ships.

• Amit Panghal claimed India's first gold medal at the ongoing Asian Boxing Championships on Friday after defeating South Korea's Kim Inkyu in a unanimous decision in the 52kg category. Deepak Singh and Kavinder Singh Bisht had to settle for silver medals after losing their finals in the 49kg and 56kg categories respectively.

Wrestlers Divya Kakran, Manju win bronze at Asian C'ships.

• Indian wrestlers Divya Kakran and Manju Kumari won bronze medals at Asian Wrestling Championships on Thursday. The 21-year-old Divya defeated Mongolian wrestler Battsetseg Soronzonbold in 68-kg category while Manju secured bronze by beating Vietnam’s Thi Huong Dao in 59-kg category. Bajrang Punia on Tuesday won India's maiden gold medal at the tournament.

17-yr-old wins WC silver, secures Olympic quota for India.

• Seventeen-year-old Divyansh Singh Panwar secured an Olympic quota after he added to India's medal tally by finishing second in the men's 10m air rifle event at the ongoing ISSF World Cup in Beijing, China. The 17-year-old shooter had earlier won India a gold medal in the mixed team event along with Anjum Moudgil.

OBITURIES:

Lt Commander dies while fighting fire on board INS Vikramaditya.

• Lieutenant Commander DS Chauhan died after leading the firefighting efforts on board INS Vikramaditya near Karwar, Karnataka. The aircraft carrier caught fire while entering the harbour this morning, however, it was brought under control without affecting the ship's combat capability. The officer suffered loss of consciousness and was taken to the Naval hospital at Karwar but couldn't be revived.

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Important Current Affairs of 21th April

NATIONAL:

Top IT firms under threat of cyberattack

• India’s leading tech players may be under serious threat from cybercriminals according to cybersecurity investigation website KrebsOnSecurity.com.

The website is run by former Washington Post staffer and cybersecurity writer, Brian Krebs.

• A fresh post on the website on Friday said the criminals responsible for launching phishing campaigns that netted dozens of employees and more than 100 computer systems last month at Wipro,

• India's third-largest IT outsourcing firm, also appear to have targeted a number of other competing providers including Infosys and Cognizant, as per new evidence available with the website.

Cipla chairman Hamied receives UK Royal Society honour

• Prominent scientist and businessman Yusuf Hamied is among a host of Indian-origin experts honoured in the 2019 list of new fellows of the UK's Royal Society.

• He is known for his effort to produce low-cost drugs to treat diabetes, cancer and other diseases.

• The Royal Society is an independent scientific academy of the UK and the Commonwealth, dedicated to promoting excellence in science.

His honorary fellowship of the world's oldest scientific academy came alongside 51 new fellows and 10 new foreign members as part of the 2019 cohort.

INTERNATIONAL:

US won WTO ruling against China grain import quotas

• The US has won a World Trade Organization (WTO) ruling against China's use of tariff-rate quotas (TRQ) for rice, wheat and corn.

• The case, lodged by the Obama administration in late 2016, marks the second U.S. victory in as many months in the country’s ongoing trade spat with China.

• TRQs are two-level tariffs, with limited imports allowed at the lower 'in-quota' tariff and subsequent imports charged an 'out-of-quota' tariff, which is generally much higher.

Singapore Changi airport got world's tallest 131-ft indoor waterfall

• The world's tallest indoor waterfall, 131-foot-tall, opened for the general public at Singapore's Jewel Changi Airport.

• The waterfall is housed inside a dome-shaped complex which has gardens growing over four storeys, more than 280 retail and food outlets, a hotel and a movie theatre.

• The structure also has a botanical garden with 120 species of plants.

BANKS AND ECONOMY:

ETMONEY becomes Indias first comprehensive financial services app to integrate UPI

• India’s largest app for financial services, ETMONEY has integrated Unified Payment Interface (UPI) as a payment method on its platform as it looks to double its monthly user base by the end of the year.

• The integration of UPI will simplify the mutual fund paymentexperience for millions of ETMONEY users as the company continues its journey to simplify the financial lives of new age Indians.

• In addition to this new payment feature, the platform will continue to support payments through Netbanking and Debit Card.

APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATION:

Malis Prime Minister Maiga resigned over Ogossagou massacre

• Malian Prime Minister Soumeylou Boubeye Maiga resigned ahead of a no-confidence vote over his government’s failure to tackle a deadly rise in attacks from Islamist militants and clashes between ethnic communities.

• Mali has been struggling to restore stability since Islamist extremists linked to Al-Qaeda took control of the country's vast desert north in early 2012.

Last month, gunmen killed at least 157 people on Ogossagou, a village in central Mali populated by rival Fulani herders, in one of the deadliest attacks the country has experienced in years.

Pakistan's Finance Minister Asad Umar resigns

• 21 April 2019 Current Affairs: Pakistan's Finance Minister Asad Umar resigned from the cabinet before securing a multi-billion dollar International Monetary Fund bailout package for the cash-strapped country.

• Umar recently returned after visiting the US in which the details of Pakistan's next IMF bailout were discussed.

• Pakistan is seeking USD 8 billion funding from the IMF to bail itself out from a severe balance-of-payments crisis that threatens to cripple the country's economy.

SPORTS:

Rathi lifts Maharashtra junior boys golf title in Pune

• 21 April 2019 Current Affairs: Gurgaon boy Saurav Rathi hit an impressive 5 under 66 on Day 4 of the IGU Maharashtra junior boys golf championship 2019 held at the Poona Golf Course in Yerwada to lift the category A (16 to18 years) and category B (13 to 15 years) titles with a four-day score of 3 under 281.

• The leader Aryan Roopa Anand, a phenomenal return on the front 9 saw him close the deficit before carrying his momentum on the back 9 to ensure he had his hands on the title at the end.

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Important Current Affairs 20th April 2019

NATIONAL NEWS

INS Shakti, INS Kolkata to take part in Chinese Navys 70th anniversary celebrations.

•   The two Indian Navy Ships (INS) are scheduled to visit Chinese port of Qingdao from 21 to 26 April to participate in an International Fleet Review to celebrate the 70th anniversary of People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Navy.

•  INS Kolkata is the lead ship of the Kolkata-class stealth guided-missile destroyers of the Indian Navy.

•  INS Shakti is tanker and supply ship.

•  Over 60 countries would join the commemorative event for the PLA Navy’s 70th founding anniversary on April 23.

INTERNATIONAL NEW

A Book of poem Khooni Vaisakhi on Jallianwala Bagh massacre, released in UAE.

• A book containing English translation of the 100-year-old classic Punjabi poem about Jallianwala Bagh massacre, ‘Khooni Vaisakhi’ released in Abu Dhabi.

• India’s Ambassador to the UAE Navdeep Singh Suri commended the launch of the book.

• The poem was translated by Mr. Suri whose grandfather, revolutionary poet and novelist Nanak Singh, a Jallianwala Bagh survivor, wrote it after witnessing first-hand the events of April 13, 1919.

Christina Koch To Set Record For Longest Spaceflight By A Woman.

• NASA astronaut Christina Koch going to have her mission on the International Space Station (ISS) extended to 328 days, which would set a record for the longest single spaceflight by a woman.

• Koch, who arrived at the space station on March 14 is scheduled to remain in orbit until February 2020 will eclipse the record of 288 days set by former NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson in 2016-17.

AGREEMENTS AND MOUS:

India and France to hold their largest Naval Exercise VARUNA.

• India and France are all set to hold their largest-ever naval exercise with aircraft carriers, destroyers, submarines and fighters early May as part of their expanding strategic partnership.

• The exercise has been christened 'Varuna' and will take place off Goa and Karwar from 1 May 2019.

The conduct of Varuna exercise was reiterated in the Joint Statement made by the Prime Minister of India and the President of France, on the 10th of March 2018.

• The two countries will be deploying their aircraft carriers INS Vikramaditya and FNS Charles de gaulle with their Mig-29K and Rafale-M naval fighter jets.

• The Indian participation will also include the destroyer INS Mumbai, frigate INS Trikand with their integral helicopters, IN submarine Kalvari, P8-I aircrafts and Dornier Maritime Patrol aircraft.

• This comes after the successful operationalisation of the logistics support agreement between India and France under which Indian warships can access the French bases like Reunion Islands and in Djibouti.

Under the same pact, French anti-aircraft destroyer FNS Cassard had docked at the Mumbai naval port in January 2019. This was second such logistics support agreement signed by India after the one signed by it with United States (US) in 2016.

BANKS AND ECONOMICS:

Cholamandalam MS General Insurance got ISO 31000:2018 certification.

• An insurance giant Cholamandalam MS General Insurance Company Limited has received ISO 31000:2018 certification by TUV India. Chola MS has received certification for applying risk management system which conforms to the prescribed standards.

The Certificate is valid for a period of 3 years from April 07, 2019, to April 06, 2022.

• ISO 31000:2018 certification:

ISO 31000:2018 is an international risk management standard. The standard provides guidelines, principles, framework, and a process for managing risk.

It can be used by any organization regardless of its size, activity or sector. The application of these guidelines can be customized to any organization and its context.

Bank of Maharashtra Joins M1X change TReDS Platform for MSME Bill Discounting.

• Bank of Maharashtra (BoM) partnered with M1Xchange Trade Receivables Discounting System (TReDS) platform for MSME bill discounting.

• TReDS is a digital platform to support micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) to get their bills financed at a competitive rate through an auction where multiple registered financiers can participate.

Mynd Solutions is a technology management firm which runs the TReDS platform of M1Xchange.

APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATIONS:

Shri N. Kashinath designated as Member (Signal & Telecom) of Railway Board.

• Shri N. Kashinath took over as Member (Signal & Telecom) of Railway Board.

• He was associated with Train Describer Project, Survey for the Mobile Train Radio Communication in Northeast Frontier Railway,

• Shri N. Kashinath belongs to the 1980 Batch of the Indian Railway Service of Signal Engineers (IRSSE).

Dubai based RAKEZ appointed Cricket Champion Ravi Shastri as a Corporate Ambassador.

• Former Cricketer Ravi Shastri appointed as Ras Al Khaimah Economic Zone (RAKEZ) exclusive Corporate Ambassador to the Indian Business Community. Brand Ambassador may attract more Indian business leaders to set up or expand their operations in UAE through RAKEZ. This first-of-its-kind approach is one of the many other initiatives that RAKEZ will be launching in the future to attract more investors from all over the world and boost the economic growth of Ras Al Khaimah.

ECI appointed Bihar Ex CEO AjayV Nayak as Special Observer for West Bengal.

• Election Commission of India (ECI) appointed Bihar's former Chief Electoral Officer (CEO).

• Ajay V. Nayak as a special observer for West Bengal

He is a retired IAS officer of the 1984-batch has been appointed as a special observer for West Bengal by ECI.

• The Commission has earlier appointed Vivek Dube as the special police observer for the state.

Deutsche Bank appoints Kaushik Shaparia as CEO For India.

• Deutsche Bank appointed Kaushik Shaparia as the chief executive officer for India He succeeds Ravneet Gill. Gill left the bank to head private lender YES Bank. Shaparia’s appointment will be effective from May 2019.

SPORTS:

Bajrang regained top spot in world wrestling rankings.

• India's Bajrang Punia has regained the world number one spot in the men's 65-kilogram Wrestling freestyle category rankings.

The rankings were released by United World Wrestling.

• Punia, who won Gold in the Asian Games and Commonwealth Games as well as a silver in the World Championships last year, secured 58 points ahead of Akhmed Chakaev of Russia.

• Bajrang, who is currently preparing for the Asian Wrestling Championship to be held in China from the 23rd of this month, had first reached the world number one spot in November last year.

• He won gold at the Dan Kolov-Nikola Petrov tournament in Bulgaria last month.

• Punia secured 58 points ahead of Akhmed Chakaev of Russia.

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Important Current Affairs 19th April 2019

NATIONAL:

Norway topped and India ranked 140th in World Press Freedom Index 2019.

• Norway is ranked first in the World Press Freedom Index 2019 for the third year running while Finland (up two places) has taken second place from the Netherlands (down one at 4th).

• India dropped two places to be ranked 140th out of 180 countries in the global press freedom index analysis.

• Violence against journalists – including police violence, attacks by Maoist fighters and reprisals by criminal groups or corrupt politicians – is one of the most striking characteristics of the current state of press freedom in India.

• At least six Indian journalists were killed in connection with their work in 2018.

Turkmenistan (down two at 180th) is now last in the World Press Freedom Index 2019.

• The index is released by Reporters Without Borders.

Top 5 countries in World Press Freedom Index 2019

Rank   Country

1st       Norway

2nd      Finland

3rd       Sweden

4th       Netherlands

5th       Denmark

Bottom 5 countries in World Press Freedom Index 2019

Rank   Country

176th   Vietnam

177th   China

178th   Eritrea

179th   North Korea

180th   Turkmenistan

INTERNATIONAL:

Sri Lanka launched its first Satellite.

• Sri Lanka's first satellite Raavana l was launched into space from NASA's Flight Facility on Virginia's east shore. The satellite was designed and developed by two Sri Lankan engineers at the Kyushu Institute of Technology in Japan. It will be shuttled to the International Space Station. The “Raavana 1” was launched into space with the assistance of the US rocket “Antares”.

• Raavana 1 weights around 1.05 kg and is 1000 cubic centimetres in size. The minimum lifespan of the satellite is around one and a half years and it is expected to be active for five years. Raavana 1 satellite's camera mission is to capture images of Sri Lanka and its neighbouring countries. The Raavana-l is expected to orbit 400 kilometres away from the earth. The satellite will achieve an active attitude stabilization which ensures that the satellite's attitude is stable under the influence of external talks. The launch of Raavana-l marks Sri Lanka's entry into the global space age.

AGREEMENTS, MOUS AND SUMMITS:

Saudi Arabia to host G20 Summit in 2020, first in Arab world.

• Saudi Arabia will host the annual G20 leaders' summit on November 21-22, 2020, in its capital Riyadh.

• This will be the first G20 Summit to be hosted in the Arab world.

Japan will host this year's G20 summit in Osaka, which will be held June 28-29, as well as ministerial meetings in eight cities.

• In 2018, the conference was held in Buenos Aries, Argentina and focused on the global economy, the future of labour markets and gender equality.

BANKS AND ECONOMICS:

Canara Bank became the first PSB to meet RBIs EMV Mandate.

• ACI Worldwide, a global provider of real-time electronic payment and banking solutions, announced that Canara Bank has successfully rolled out major new functionality to support EMV card acquiring across its ATM network and Aadhaar Authentication, leveraging ACI’s UP Retail Payments solution to achieve market firsts.

• Canara Bank, with nearly 6,300 branches and a network of more than 10,000 ATMs, is the first public sector bank to shift to EMV chip and PIN for card present transactions across the country’s vast ATM network.

• What is EMV Chip?

• EMV stands for Europay, MasterCard, Visa, the three Organisations that developed and established EMV as the global standard for chip-based credit and debit transactions. The EMVstandard helps to maximise security and global interoperability so that Visa cards can continue to be accepted around the world.

IMF and World Bank Launched Learning Coin For In-House Purposes.

• International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank have together launched a private blockchain with a pseudo-token.

The new token, called “Learning Coin” accessible within the IMF and World Bank the main purpose to teach relevant individuals within the organizations about block chain.

• Though the coin has no real value hence the description pseudo-token staff members who pass educational milestones will receive the tokens which can then be redeemed for certain rewards.

Canara Bank Becomes The First Public Sector Bank In India To Meet RBIs EMV Mandate.

• ACI Worldwide, a global provider of real-time electronic payment and banking solutions Canara Banksuccessfully rolled out major new functionality to support EMV card acquiring across its ATM network and Aadhaar Authentication, leveraging ACI’s UP Retail Payments solution to achieve market firsts.

• Canara Bank, with nearly 6,300 branches and a network of more than 10,000 ATMs

Bandhan Bank Gets CCI Nod For Merger With Gruh Finance.

• Bandhan Bankreceived approval from the Competition Commission of India (CCI) for the proposed scheme of amalgamation of Gruh Finance with the bank.

• The approval has been made under sub-section (1) of Section 31 of the Competition Act, 2002.

• Bandhan Bank in January 2019, announced the merger of Gruh Finance with it.

DAYS:

International Day for Monuments and Sites was observed on 18th April.

• The International Day for Monuments and Sites was observed on 18th April every year. In 1982, ICOMOS (International Council on Monuments and Sites) established 18 April as the International Day for Monuments and Sites. UNESCO approved it the following year during its 22nd General Conference. Since then, 18 April has been a day to celebrate and promote cultural heritage, and an opportunity to raise awareness about its diversity, its relevance, how vulnerable it can be and what the needs and benefits of its conservation are.

• The theme for International Day for Monuments and Sites 2019 is Rural Landscapes, which is linked to the theme of the 2019 ICOMOS Scientific Symposium on Rural heritage to take place in October in Marrakesh, Morocco. The day offers the opportunity for National and International Scientific Committees to raise awareness about the relevance of rural landscapes, the challenges that encompass their conservation, the benefits that these efforts provide, and how rural landscapes are intrinsically related with sustainable development.

• Some of the main features that define rural landscapes are its fragility and use. While any changes in the conditions that sustain the living and evolving landscape might involve a dramatic transformation, or even a complete abandon or loss of a landscape, it is the conservation of its use which enables its tangible and intangible heritage to survive.

April 19 is observed as World Liver Day.

• The World Liver Day (WLD) is observed every year on April 19 to build awareness and understanding importance of liver in human body and how liver ailments are treated.

As per World Health Organisation (WHO), liver diseases are 10th most

• common cause of death in India.

AWARDS:

UN honoured Indian peacekeepers in South Sudan.

• United Nations honoured 150 Indian peacekeepers serving with the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) with medals of honour for their dedicated service and sacrifice. UNMISS is working to deter violence against civilians by providing a safe and secure environment for South Sudanese people who have fled violence and sought sanctuary at Protection of Civilian sites across the country. It aims to provide a safe and supported environment so that these people can return to their former homes and communities to live safely and with dignity.

• UNMISS peacekeepers are also working to facilitate the safe delivery of humanitarian assistance, such as food, clean water, shelter and healthcare, to the millions of displaced people. It also protects, monitors, investigates, and reports on human rights violations and abuses with a strong focus on the most vulnerable, such as women and children and those who are subjected to sexual and gender-based violence.

• UNMISS is committed to helping build durable peace in South Sudan. It is working as a partner at a national and sub-national level with political, religious, traditional and community leaders as well as at grassroots with communities and individuals across the country to advance reconciliation efforts, to strengthen conflict resolution mechanisms and build national cohesion as well as to engage in regional and international peace initiatives.

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Important Current Affairs of 17th April

NATIONAL:

Centre sets up an Indo Pacific division.

• The Ministry of External Affairs has set up an Indo-Pacific division in the foreign office. The Indo-pacific division is intended to give a coherent architecture to theIndo-Pacific policy. The policy was articulated by PM Narendra Modi at the Shangri-La Dialogue in 2018. In India, the policy will be run by the MEA.

About Indo-Pacific Wing:

• The Indo-Pacific Wing is currently headed by joint secretary Vikram Doraiswami

• The Indo-Pacific Wing will integrate the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA), ASEAN region and the Quad

• The Indo-Pacific Wing is expected to give thrust to the Indo-Pacific centred policymaking

• The US has recently renamed its Pacific Command to the Indo-Pacific Command as it seeks to give teeth to its Indo-Pacific policy

• In its Indo-Pacific diplomacy, India has repeatedly placed ASEAN at the centre of its policy.

India turns to net steel importer in Fiscal year 2018-2019.

• India became a net importer of steel in the fiscal year 2018-2019 that ended on 31 March for the first time in 3 years, as the 25% import duty on steel products imposed by the US diverted supplementary supplies to India.

• India’s steel imports increased by 4.7% to 7.84 million tonnes in 2018-19 from 7.48 million tonnes a year earlier.

• Exports fell by 34% to 6.36 million tonnes from 9.62 million tonnes over.

BANKS AND ECONOMICS:

PSEs gets 12 months to monetise non-core assets.

• The Union Cabinet announced that the Public Sector companies will have 12 months to monetise (convert something into or express in the form of currency ) non-core assets identified by a ministerial panel headed by the finance minister. On failing, the finance ministry may restrict budgetary allocations to the Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSEs).

The Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM) issued guidelines for monetisation of non-core assets of CPSEs and immovable enemy properties.

The New guidelines:

• According to the guidelines, an inter-ministerial group (IMG) chaired by the secretary of DIPAM will identify the non-core assets of the CPSEs on its own, and also on the basis of recommendations of the Niti Aayog.

• Once the panel, comprising the finance minister, road transport minister and the minister of the administrative ministry concerned, approves the assets for monetisation, it should be completed within 12 months from the date of approval

• This will be the target to be achieved by the CPSEs as part of the memorandum of understanding with the Department of Public Enterprises (DPE)

• The Department of Expenditure and Department of Economic Affairs may consider any proposal from the CPSE/administrative ministry for budgetary support only after looking at the achievement of asset monetisation target by the CPSE

• Performance of contract management will be considered before sanctioning any government budgetary support.

ADB committed highest-ever USD 3 billion in sovereign loans to India.

• Asian Development Bank (ADB) committed a total of USD 3.88 billion, including sovereign loans and co-financing to India during the year ended December 2018.

• This is the highest level of assistance since sovereign operations began in the country in 1986.

• Private sector operations reached USD 3.14 billion, a 37 per cent increase from 2017, which is 14.5 per cent of ADB's overall commitment.

RBI puts into circulation Rs 50 banknotes signed by Governor Shaktikanta Das.

• Reserve Bank of India put into circulation 50 rupees denomination banknotes signed by its Governor Shaktikanta Das.

• RBI in Mumbai approved the design of these notes is similar in all respects to 50 banknotes in Mahatma Gandhi new series.

UN owes India USD 38 million for peacekeeping operations.

• United Nations (UN) owes India USD 38 million, the highest it has to pay to any country, for the peacekeeping operations as of March 2019.

• In a report on improving the financial situation of the world body, as of March 31, 2019, the total amount payable to troop- and police-contributing countries with respect to active peacekeeping missions was USD 265 million.

• Of this, the UN owes USD 38 million to India, followed by Rwanda (USD 31 million), Pakistan (USD 28 million), Bangladesh (USD 25 million) and Nepal (USD 23 million).

The arrears to troop- and police-contributing (TCCs/PCCs) countries could increase to USD 588 million by June 2019 “in the worst-case scenario”.

• World body’s cash balance in negative:

UN had a positive cash balance of USD 412 million at the end of 2010 but finished 2018 with a negative cash balance of USD 323 million - a decrease of USD 735 million in an eight-year period.

• Regular budget assessments are issued at beginning of each year and member states are required to pay their contributions in full within 30 days.

• In 2017 and 2018, 73 member states had paid their contributions in full by the end of the first quarter, compared with 62 in 2016 and 67 in 2015. So far, 74 member states have paid in full in 2019

• US is responsible for 22 per cent of the USD 5.4 billion regular budget for 2018 and 2019 and more than 28 per cent of the USD 6.7 billion peacekeeping budget for the year to June 30.

APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATIONS:

Rajesh Yaduvanshi is appointed as Executive Director of Punjab National Bank.

• Punjab National Bank (PNB) appointed Rajesh Kumar Yaduvanshi as the Executive Director of the bank.

• Rajesh Kumar Yaduvanshi joined PNB as a management trainee in 1985.

He is equipped with an experience of 34 years in the banking career and is a certified associate member of Indian Institute of Bankers.

• In the past, he had worked with Dena Bank in the capacity of the Executive Director.

• He holds a doctorate in science from Indian Agricultural Research Institute, (IARI) New Delhi.

DAYS:

World Haemophilia Day observed on April 17.

• World Haemophilia Day was started in 1989 by the World Federation of Hemophilia (WFH) which chose to bring the community together on April 17 in honour of WFH founder Frank Schnabel’s birthday.

April 17, 2019, marks the 30th World Hemophilia Day.

AWARDS:

Fincare Small Finance Bank won the Celent Model Bank 2019 Award.

• Fincare Small Finance Bank (SFB)honoured with the prestigious Celent Model Bank 2019 Award in Financial Inclusion category, for ‘Redesigning Lending to Reach Small Businesses’.

• The award recognizes LAP (Loans against Property) D.Lite, which is a tab-based solution designed and developed in-house by Fincare SFB for instant underwriting of loans against property targeted at micro and small enterprises.

• The Award was announced on its 12th anniversary in 2019 and was organized by Celent in New York.

LAP D.Lite is one of the 22 initiatives from all over the world to receive this award, which featured 140 nominations from 80 institutions from 30 countries.

• The other banks to receive the award in other categories were Bank of America, CIBC, Fidor Bank, HSBC, Rabobank, and Santander.

The award is for best practices of technology usage in different areas critical to success in banking.

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Important Current Affairs of 16th April

NATIONAL:

India’s 1st indigenously made long-range missile Nirbhay successfully test fired

• Defence Research Development Organisation (DRDO) successfully test fired the India’s first indigenously designed and developed long-range sub-sonic cruise missile 'Nirbhay' from a test range in Odisha’s Chandipur.

• 'Nirbhay' is designed to carry conventional and 300-kilogram  nuclear warheads. The missile weighs 1,500 kg, width of 0.52 meters and has a wingspan of 2.7 metre. It is all-weather missile and can be launched from multiple platforms. It also has the capability to strike land targets at a distance of up to 1,000 kilometers.

• It has the ability to fly at low altitudes in order to avoid detection by enemy radar. The missile is armed with a Ring Laser Gyroscope (RLG) based guidance, control and navigation system. It is also equipped with a MEMS-based Inertial Navigation System (INS) and the GPS system.

• The organisation had conducted five trials since 2013 before this. The last successful trial of ‘Nirbhay’ cruise missile was conducted on November 7, 2017.

INTERNATIONAL:

China developed the world’s first armed amphibious drone attack boat named Marine Lizard.

• Marine Lizard was built by Wuchang Shipbuilding Industry Group under China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation (CSIC).

• It could be used in land and sea assault operations. The amphibious Marine Lizard can possibly form an unmanned sea-land-air integrated combat system with aerial armed reconnaissance drones and other drone ships.

•  It has a maximum operation range of 1,200 kms and can be remotely controlled via satellites.

•  In ship form, the 12-metre-long Marine Lizard is a trimaran propelled by a diesel-powered hydrojet and can reach a maximum speed of 50 knots while maintaining stealth.

AGREEMENTS, MOUS AND SUMMITS:

CMFRI Signs Agreement with ISRO To Save Coastal Wetlands.

• The Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI) and the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) have joined hands to map, validate and protect smaller wetlands in coastal regions.

• The programme is aimed at restoring them through coastal livelihood programmes.

• The MoU was signed between the CMFRI and the Space Applications Centre of ISRO to develop a mobile app and a centralised web portal that will have a comprehensive database of wetlands that are smaller than 2.25 hectares in the country.

India to partner with Japan and UAE to set up two projects in Africa.

• India will build a cancer hospital in Kenya in collaboration with Japan. Also, India will partner with the UAE to set up an ICT centre (Information and Communications Technology center) in Ethiopia.

• Through this partnership, India has undertaken many projects like the ambitious Pan African e-network project on tele-education and tele-medicine which provides “integrated” satellite, fiber optics and wireless network between educational and medical institutes in Africa and India.

• Africa is the focus under the Narendra Modi government amid China's push in the continent and countries from Europe are also keen to partner India for projects in third countries in Africa.

The 4th Resilient Cities Asia-Pacific Congress 2019 started in New Delhi

• The 4th Resilient Cities Asia-Pacific Congress 2019 organised by the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI) and co-hosted by South Delhi Municipal Corporation started in New Delhi.

• It will conclude on 17th April 2019. It offers a lot of innovative solutions that build resilience to climate change at the sub-national level. Local governments in the Asia Pacific region are the main target of the event. The RCAP 2019 is a platform for discussing the opportunities and mechanisms of executing the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs).

• The proposed themes that have been recognised for RCAP 2019 are: Integrated climate resilience planning to manage risks and vulnerabilities Good governance and resilience Nature-based solutions to adaptation Climate knowledge brokering Opportunities for regional networking and collaboration Sustainable infrastructure development and green growth Urban Nexus Financing mechanisms for Asian cities About Resilient Cities Asia-Pacific.

BANKS AND ECONOMICS:

NBFCs, MFIs raised Rs.26,000 crore through Securitisation.

• Non-banking finance companies (NBFCs) and microfinance companies (MFIs) raised about Rs.26,200 crore through securitisation in FY19, despite tight liquidity conditions. It is a growth of 170% over FY18. In FY18, NBFCs and MFIs raised Rs.9,700 crore through securitisation. The sectors faced tight liquidity conditions in FY19 after a series of defaults by Infrastructure Leasing and Finance Services (IL&FS).

• A report by rating agency Icra stated that their reliance on the securitisation route to raise funds increased to help meet their growth targets in FY19. In FY18 and H1FY19, securitisation contributed to only 18-20% of the overall disbursements. However, this number leapfrogged to 37% and an estimated 50% in the third and fourth quarters of FY19, respectively.

•  Investors were also comfortable buying retail loan portfolios originated by these entities as opposed to taking direct on-balance sheet credit exposure, especially for small and medium sized entities. What is Securitisation? Pooling various types of contractual debt (such as residential mortgages, commercial mortgages, auto loans or credit card debt obligations) and selling their related cash flows to third party investors as securities, which may be described as bonds, pass-through securities, or collateralized debt obligations (CDOs). 

• Investors are repaid from the principal and interest cash flows collected from the underlying debt and redistributed through the capital structure of the financing.  Securities backed by mortgage receivables are called mortgage-backed securities (MBS), while those backed by other types of receivables are asset-backed securities (ABS).

Wholesale price inflation increased to 3.18 percent in March.

• Wholesale price inflation increased to 3.18% in March on costlier food and fuel. The Wholesale Price Index (WPI) based inflation was at 2.93% and 2.76% in February and January 2019, respectively, and 3.46% in December 2018. It was 2.74% in March 2018. Inflation in Category wise:

• Food articles: Inflation in the food articles basket hardened to 5.68% during March 2019 as against 4.28% in February, as prices of vegetables raised high. Vegetable inflation was at 28.13% in March, up from 6.82% in the previous month. However, inflation in potato cooled substantially to 1.30%, from 23.40% in February. Pulses and wheat witnessed some cooling in inflation at 10.63% and 10.13%, respectively. 

• In protein-rich items such as ‘egg, meat and fish’ saw inflation fall to 5.86% during March.

• Fuel and power: In this category, the inflation spiked to 5.41%, from 2.23% in February.  Inflation in diesel shot up to 7.33% during the month from 3.72% in February. In petrol, inflation was 1.78% in March, as against a deflation of 2.93% in February.

• Wholesale Price Index (WPI): The price of a representative basket of goods at the wholesale stage is referred to as the Wholesale Price Index. It consists of over 2400 commodities. Wholesale goods refer to goods which are sold in bulk and are traded between different corporations and not consumers. The price of goods traded between consumers is called the consumer price index. WPI is used by the Government of India and the Reserve Bank of India to frame the monetary and fiscal policies.

• What is Inflation? An increase in the general level of prices in an economy is termed as inflation. If the price of one good has gone up it is not inflation, inflation occurs only when the prices of most goods have gone up. Inflation leads to a decrease in the purchasing power of the currency which means that the same amount of money will buy fewer goods. The modern economists say that inflation occurs as a result of the creation of extra purchasing power to the consumer over the same level of production. This means that extra money is generated in the economy without an increase in the level of production.

A unique proposition to pay electricity bill on EMIs launched by Bajaj Finserv

• A unique proposition to pay electricity bill on EMIs launched by Bajaj Finserv through its lending arm Bajaj Finance Ltd.

•  through the campaign of #BijliOnEMI.

• Customers can avail an Insta Credit loan in their Bajaj Finserv Wallet to pay their electricity bills on EMI. Bajaj Finance Ltd. financed the purchase of over 12 lakh air conditioners across our country in the year 2018.

• Bajaj Finance Ltd launched this campaign and customers buying air conditioners of Rs 20,000 and above will be eligible for Rs 5000 Instant Credit loan and for the air conditioners above Rs 40,000 will receive Rs 7000 Instant Credit loan to their Wallet.

• The Wallet facilitates the customer to access the EMI network card digitally, like tracking loan-related details online, transacting securely with EMIs on purchases, etc.

AWARDS:

Three teams from India are awarded in NASAs Human Exploration Rover Challenge

• NASA has awarded three teams from India as part its annual Human Exploration Rover Challenge, which invites high school and college students to build and test roving vehicles for future missions to the Moon, Mars and beyond. Nearly 100 teams took part in the competition.

• The team from KIET Group of Institutions in Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh, won the “AIAA Neil Armstrong Best Design Award”. The Mukesh Patel School of Technology Management and Engineering from Mumbai, Maharashtra, won the “Frank Joe Sexton Memorial Pit Crew Award”. A team from Lovely Professional University in Phagwara, Punjab, won the “STEM Engagement Award”.  

• NASA Human Exploration Rover Challenge: The NASA Human Exploration Rover Challenge is to encourage research and development of new technology for future mission planning and crewed space missions to other worlds. The NASA Human Exploration Rover Challenge prior to 2014 referred to as the Great Moonbuggy Race. It is an annual competition for high school and college students to design, build, and race human-powered, collapsible vehicles over simulated lunar/Martian terrain. The competition was first held in 1994. NASA sponsors the competition since 1996, the U.S. Space & Rocket Center, hosts.

Crying Girl photo by John Moore won the World Press Photo of the Year Award.

• Veteran Getty Images photographer John Moore’s photograph of a young girl Yanela Sanchez crying as she and her mother are taken into custody by US border officials in McAllen, Texas, USA, after crossing into the US from Mexico won the World Press Photo of the Year and the first prize in the Spot News, Singles, category.

• He received €10,000 (£8,600) as prize amount. Dutch-Swedish photographer Pieter Ten Hoopen won the “World Press Photo Story of the Year Award” for the image of 2018 mass-migrant caravan to the US border. For 62 years, the World Press Photo Foundation has recognized the best contributions to visual journalism by professional photographers through its international World Press Photo Contest. This year's winners were selected from 78,801 images entered by 4,738 photographers world-wide.

Pulitzer Prize for New York Times and Wall Street Journal.

• The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal were awarded Pulitzer Prizes for their separate investigations of President Donald Trump and his family.  The Times won the prestigious journalism award for a probe of the Trump family’s finances that debunked his claims of self-made wealth and revealed a business empire riddled with tax dodges. The Associated Press won a Pulitzer for international reporting for its coverage of the war in Yemen. Reuters was honoured for international reporting for its coverage of atrocities committed against Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar.

SPORTS:

Golfer Tiger Woods won fifth green jacket and 15th major title.

• Golfer Tiger Woods won fifth Masters and 15th major title at Augusta National Golf Club. It was the 43-year-old American golfer’s first major title victory in 11 years and his first Master’s win since 2005. All-time leader, Jack Nicklaus is just three major titles ahead of the former world No.1.

Mumbai Shuttler Dani clinches Dutch International badminton title 2019.

• India’s Harsheel Dani, a former junior national champion, defeated Mads Christophersen of Denmark, world no 149, to clinch the 20th Victor Dutch International Badminton title in Wateringen, The Netherlands with a 15-21, 21-12, 21-13 victory in a 47-minute clash.

• It was the second win for Dani opposite Christophersen.  The 22-year-old won the Ghana international crown in 2018 second Karvy All India junior-ranking badminton tournament in 2012.

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