Current Affairs April 18 2019

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Current Affairs Today April 18 2019


Saudi Arabia is going to host G20 summit in Riyadh in November 2020
Saudi Arabia will host G20 summit in November 2020 in Riyadh. This will be the first G20 meeting in the Arab world and the 15th meeting of the G20 (Group of Twenty).

Key Points:
i. The G20 summit 2018 was held in Buenos Aires, Argentina where Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince, Mohammad Bin Salman Al Saud represented his kingdom. The G20 summit of 2019 will be held in Osaka, Japan in June 28-29.
ii. For the very 1st time, the G20 summit was held in 2008 in Washington, D.C. with the prime objective of reviving the world economy from the worst financial crisis in more than 70 years. The G20 Summit is formally known as the ‘Summit on Financial Markets and the World Economy’.
iii. The participants of the summit will be leaders from 19 countries and the Europian Union (EU). The 19 countries are, namely, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Republic of Korea, Republic of South Africa, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, United Kingdom, United States of America.
iv. The group of these 20 countries account for 85% of the world’s GDP and two-thirds of the world population.
v. Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe stated the agenda for the Osaka Summit 2019. The agendas are as follows:

  • Promotion of free trade.
  • Innovation of science and technology to solve social problems and build a human-centred society, by putting emphasis on women, youth and disabled people.
  • To develop infrastructure for development.
  • To foster global health to bring forth high economic growth.
  • To enhance environmental and economic growth together in order to curb detrimental effects of climate change. The Osaka environmental priority would take steps against marine plastic pollution and support marine biodiversity.
  • To take care of the emerging issue of aging populations.
  • Promotion of the Sustainable Development Goals and international development.

Norway topped and India ranked 140th in World Press Freedom Index 2019
Recently, Reporters Without Borders released World Press Freedom Index 2019 in which Norway topped the index in third consecutive year and India drops down by two positions (138th rank in 2018) to be ranked 140th out of 180 countries in 2019. The reason for decrease in India’s rank is because of at least six Indian journalists being killed in last one year.

Key Highlights
i.Two African countries Ethiopia and Gambia have significantly improved their ranking from 150th to 110th and 122nd to 92nd respectively as compare to 2018.
ii. In South Asia region, countries have poorly ranked as compare to last year. Pakistan dropped three places to 142 and Bangladesh dropped four places to 150.
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

About Reporters Without Borders
♦ Reporters Without Borders (RWB) or its original name Reporters Sans Frontiers (RSF) is an international non-profit, non-governmental organization worked on the issues relating to freedom of press and freedom of information.
♦ Headquarter – Paris, France
♦ Director General – Christophe Deloire


SEFL and Bank of Baroda to co-lend through iQuippo
Bank of Baroda and city-based Srei Equipment Finance Ltd will collaborate to offer joint loans for infrastructure equipment under a new agreement.
Key points
i. This collaboration will allow both Srei and Bank of Baroda to cooperate and widen their respective markets and customer base.
ii. Sourcing of loans will be facilitated through iQuippo, which is a Kanoria Foundation initiative.
About Bank of Baroda
♦ CEO: P S Jayakumar
♦ Headquarters: Vadodara


Non-Core assets needed to be sold by CPSEs in a notice period of 12 months
The Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM) stated guidelines for monetisation of non-core assets of Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSEs) and immovable enemy properties.
The guidelines for monetisation of non-core assets are as follows:
i. An Inter Ministerial Group (IMG) headed by the secretary of DIPAM will identify the non-core assets of the CPSEs. It could identify the assets on the basis of recommendations of the Niti Aayog. The final decision would be taken by the panel chaired by the Finance minister.
ii. After the final approval of the assets, the monetisation should be strictly completed within 12 months.
iii. In case the time limitation of 12 months is not followed, the finance ministry may put forth budgetary allocations to the CPSEs.
iv. CPSEs however can seek relaxation from the time-limit of 12 months  for the sale of non-core assets.
v. For immovable enemy properties, the non-core assets would be identified for disposal only after consultation with the stakeholders which is inclusive of the state governments.
vi. The Custodian of Enemy Property for India (CEPI) or the Ministry of Home Affairs will select the disposable properties and would also certify if the property is free of any encroachment.
vii.The amount of credit gained from the sale of non-core assets would form a part of the disinvestment proceeds. In the current financial year, the central government has set a target of Rs 90,000 crore to be raised through CPSE disinvestment.


LGBTQ rights lawyer Arundhati Katju, Menaka Guruswamy among TIME’s 100 most influential people list
Recently TIME Magazine has released 100’s most influential people list in which Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani, public interest litigators Arundhati Katju and Menaka Guruswamy who fought the legal battle for LGBTQ rights are among Indians have been named.
The list divides the 100’s most influential people in five categories – pioneers, leaders, artists, titans and icons…………………..Click here to Read more
Indians in TIME’s 100 most influential list

Name Profession Category Rank
Arundhati Katju Lawyer Pioneers   9th
Menaka Guruswamy Lawyer Pioneers   9th
Mukesh Ambani Businessman Icons  13th


Sanjay Manohar appointed as a next Managing Director of McAfee India
McAfee, an American global computer security software company has appointed Sanjay Manohar as its next MD for India operations. Before joining McAfee, Sanjay Manohar worked at Akamai Technologies as regional vice president – Asia Pacific & Japan Carrier Business and MD of the Greater China region. He will succeed Venkat Krishnapur.
Key highlights
i. Sanjay Manohar has given a responsibility of building and leading groups to drive product revenues, increase appropriation of cloud-based products, enhance and strengthen customer relationships and fulfil McAfee’s mission of keeping the whole world safe from growing cyber threats.
ii. He will directly report to Craig Nielsen, Vice President, APAC (Asia-Pacific), McAfee.

Jitendra Chaddah has been appointed as the Chairman of IESA for 2019-20
The premier Industry body India Electronics and Semiconductor Association (IESA) committed to the development of a vibrant Indian Electronics System Design and Manufacturing (ESDM) ecosystem, has appointed Jitendra Chaddah, Intel India senior director for operations and strategy, as its Chairman.
i. He succeeds Anil Kumar Muniswamy.
IESA appointed Satya Gupta,CEO and Cofounder of SezOpt Technologies India as Vice Chairman and Veerappan V, co founder and Director of Tessolve Semiconductor as Treasurer of the new Executive Concil (EC) for the year 2019-20.
iii. Rajesh Ram Mishra, CTO for combined telecom and product engineering division of Wipro, is the president of IESA.
About IESA:
♦ Old Name: Indian semiconductor association (ISA)
♦ Founded: 2005


Nepal carried out its first satellite “NepaliSat-1” into space
Nepal has launched its first satellite “NepaliSat-1″ into space from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility on Virginia’s East Shore. It was bordered to the Antares rocket carrying Cygnus cargo spacecraft. The outlay of the satellite is 20 million Nepalese rupees. It was launched under the ‘Birds-3 satellite launch to International Space Station project’.
Key points
i. NepaliSat-1 satellite was developed by two Nepalis engineers namely Abhas Maskey and Hariram Shrestha at Japan’s Kyushu Institute of Technology.
ii. The satellite is equipped with a five megapixel camera to capture Nepal’s topography and a magnetometer to collect data related to the earth’s magnetic field.
About Nepal:
♦ Capital: Kathmandu
♦ Currency:  Nepalese Rupee
♦ PM:  Khadga Prasad Oli

Sri Lanka’s 1st satellite ‘Raavana-1’ launched into space
On April 18, 2019 Sri Lanka launched its first satellite ‘Raavana-1’ weighing 1.05 kg into space from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility on Virginia’s East Shore. Raavana 1 was bordered to the Antares rocket carrying Cygnus cargo spacecraft. The satellite is expected to orbit 400 km away from earth and will have the lifespan of an estimated 1.5 years.

i. Ravana 1, is part of third phase of the project ‘BIRDS’ which is led by the Kyushu Institute of Technology in Japan. The aim of the project is to help countries to build their first satellite with the assistance of the United Nations.
ii. The satellite measuring 11.3 centimetres (cm) into 10 cm into 10 cm, designed and built at the Kyushu Institute of Technology, Japan by 2 Sri Lankan research engineers, namely, Tharindu Dayarathna and Dulani Chamika Vithanage.
Key points of the mission: 
i. The camera mission of Raavana 1 is to take pictures of Sri Lanka and its neighbouring countries.
ii. Raavana 1’s Lora Demonstration Mission will validate the module to be used to data download next satellites.
iii. The Attitude Determination and Control Mission of the satellite would try to reduce the angular velocity of the satellite using magnetic torquers.

Researchers improve Lithium-ion battery performance to charge them faster, by substituting cobalt oxide with vanadium disulfide (VS2)
A new method to build better performing Lithium-ion batteries that can be charged faster has been discovered. This would be very useful for consumer electronics, solar grid storage and electric vehicles.
i. It has been discovered by a team of researchers from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, New York, including Dr. Nikhil Koratkar of Indian-origin.
ii. A lithium-ion battery charges and discharges as lithium ions move between anode and cathode, the two electrodes. In a conventional lithium-ion battery, the anode is made of graphite and the cathode of lithium cobalt oxide. Researchers have discovered that the way to improve battery-health is to improve the materials used for electrodes.
iii. Thus the team substituted lithium cobalt oxide with vanadium disulfide (VS2) to enhance battery performance.
iv. The new research has been published in the journal ‘Nature Communications’.


NASA spotted lakes filled with Methane on Saturn’s moon Titan
NASA’s (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) Cassini spacecraft has made an incredible observation about the extraordinary deep lakes filled with methane in the Saturn’s moon, Titan. This new study has been published in the scientific journal Astronomy.
Key points
i. Titan, Saturn’s largest moon has methane rain that can fill lakes as much as 330 feet deep.
ii. Titan has become only planetary body known to have stable liquid on its surface, apart from Earth.

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International Hockey Federation imposes fine of 1,70,000 Euros on Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) for disrespecting Pro League commitments
The International Hockey Federation (FIH) has imposed a fine of 170,000 Euros on Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) for not honouring the Pro League commitments and has given PHF a time-limit till 20th June, on failure of which PHF would have to pay double of penalty.
Key Points:
i. The PHF was fined because it did not send the national team for the Pro League matches in Argentina, Australia and New Zealand.
ii. Shahbaz notified that since PHF lacks funds, the FIH has been requested to reduce the fine and allow it to be paid in instalments.
iii. PHF Secretary General Shahbaz Ahmed is a former Olympian and captain of Pakistan National Hockey Team and is a member of the FIH Executive Board, chaired by India’s Narinder Batra.
Additional Information:
i .In the Hockey World Cup, Pakistan’s hockey team is the most successful national field hockey team with 4 championships in 1971, 1978, 1982 and 1994.
ii. The country has the best overall performance in World Cup history with 53 victories in 84 matches played, 7 time draws, 6 appearances in the finals and just 24 losses.
iii. The Pakistan national team has played in all FIH World Cup editions with only one absence in 2014.
iv. Till date, India and Pakistan have competed against each other in 20 major tournaments finals, out of which Pakistan has won 13 titles in total.


Peru’s former president Alan Garcia kills himself to avoid arrest
On 17th April 2019, Alan Garcia, 69, who served two terms as Peru’s president, from 1985 to 1990 and from 2006 to 2011, shot himself in his bedroom at his home in Lima, the capital, as police waited outside his door to take him to jail over bribery allegations with Brazelian construction company Odebrecht.He was rushed to a hospital, where he died despite emergency surgery at the Jose Casimiro Ulloa Hospital in Lima.


World Heritage Day observed on 18th April
World Heritage Day, which is also known as International Day for Monuments and Sites is an annual event celebrated on 18th April with an aim to emphasize the importance of safeguarding various sites around the world that have achieved world heritage status.

Key points
i. This year, the theme of the World Heritage Day is “Rural Landscapes”. 
ii. The day was proposed by the International Council on Monuments and Sites on 18th April 1982 and approved by the General Assembly of UNESCO in 1983.

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