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Current Affairs August 5 2019

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INDIAN AFFAIRS

Centre to repeal of Article 370 and 35A that grants special status to J&K

  • On August 5, 2019, Government announced to repeal Article 370 [except the first clause 370 (1)] and Article 35A which grants special status to Jammu and Kashmir (J&K).
  • Union Home Minister Amit Shah introduced the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganization Bill, 2019 in Rajya Sabha which seeks to bifurcate the state of Jammu and Kashmir into 2 Union territories – J&K a Union Territory with Legislature, and Ladakh Union Territory without Legislature.
  • President Ram Nath Kovind in “concurrence” with the “Jammu and Kashmir government” promulgated Constitution (Application to Jammu and Kashmir) Order, 2019 which states that provisions of the Indian Constitution are applicable in the state. It comes into force “at once”, and shall supersede the Constitution (Application to Jammu and Kashmir) Order, 1954…………………………….Click here to Read more

Road transport and highways ministry exempts armed force’s armoured, specialised vehicles from BS-VI emission norms.
Emission norms of armoured and specialized vehicles of the armed and paramilitary forces will be exempted from BS-VI (Bharat Stage emission standard) from April 1, 2020, onwards as announced by the ministry of road transport and highways.
Key points
i. These vehicles are exempted from BS-VI compliance also.
ii. Earlier vehicles used for government purposes were exempted from BS-IV norms in 2017.
iii. In 2018, again the government issued a notice that the specialised vehicles used for law and order maintenance purpose be exempted from BS-IV norms till December 31, 2019.
Reason for exemption
The exemptions are granted to these vehicles because they travel mostly in remote areas only in most challenging operations as well as environments.
i. As special engines are required for high-security operations and requirements, engines suitable for the specialised vehicles will require considerable time.

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

Overview of President Ram Nath Kovind’s visit to Benin, Gambia and Guinea
President of India Shri Ram Nath Kovind visited Benin, The Gambia and Guinea from 28 July to 3 August, 2019. It was the first ever visit of the Head of State/Head of Government of India to all 3 countries.

  • President announced fresh Line of Credit (LoC) worth $100 million for developmental projects in Benin. It will help to meet its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). India and Benin signed 4 Memorandum of Understandings (Mous).
  • President Kovind received the Instrument of Ratification of the International Solar Alliance Framework Agreement from the Gambian President. President inaugurated the exhibitions on Mahatma Gandhi and Khadi at the Ebunjan Theatre in the Gambia to commemorate the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.
  • India extended a new Line of Credit (LoC) of $170 million for Conakry Water Supply Project.
  • President Conde appreciated the concessional LoC of $35 million from India to Guinea for the construction of two regional hospitals…………………….Click here to Read more

Overview of External Affairs Minister Dr. S. Jaishankar, visit to Bangkok, Thailand
External Affairs Minister(EAM) of India Dr. S. Jaishankar visited ( 2-day- August 1,2,2019 )Bangkok, Thailand during which he had 18 bilateral meetings, 5 pull-asides and participated in 4 multilateral meets.
i. On August 1,2019 The ASEAN(Association of Southeast Asian Nations )-India Ministerial Meeting 2019 was held in Bangkok, Thailand  co-chaired by Jai shankar and his Thai counterpart H.E. Don Pramudwinai.
ii. On August 1,2019,  The 10th Mekong Ganga Cooperation (MGC) Ministerial Meeting was held in Bangkok, Thailand co-chaired by Jaishankar and H. E. Mr. Pham Binh Minh, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.
iii. On August 2,2019, The 26th ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) was held in Bangkok, Thailand chaired by H.E. Mr. Don Pramudwinai, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Thailand. The forum is attended by foreign ministers of ASEAN and dialogue partners, along with representatives of observer countries. External affairs minister S. Jaishankar led the India’s delegation to the event…………………….Click here to Read more

Hoverboard inventor Franky Zapata crosses English Channel in his second attempt
40-year-old Jet powered hoverboard inventor and former jet ski champion Franky Zapata of France, crossed the English Channel for the first time within 10days after his first failed attempt. He started his 22-mile journey at 7:15 am from Sangatte, Northern France and landed at Saint Margaret’s bay in Dover in around 25 minutes.Franky zapata Previous attempt
Franky Zapata made his first attempt to cross the English Channel on 25th July but failed as he fell into the water half-way when he tried to land on a boat for refueling.
i. Mr. Zapata received widespread attention following the annual Bastille Day parade in Paris on 14th July, as he took part in a military display on his futuristic flyboard (hoverboard).
ii. The attempt took place exactly 110 years since Louis Blériot made the first powered flight across the Channel in 1909.
Hoverboard
i. It is half the size of a skateboard and has 5 small jet engines.
ii. It is fuelled by kerosene and is kept in the backpack of the rider.
About English Channel
It is also called a channel. It is the busiest shipping areas in the world and it separates Southern England from Northern France and link the southern part of the North Sea to the Atlantic Ocean.
The first person to cross the English Channel by swimming was Captain Matthew Webb in 1875 (in 21hours 45min).
Location- between Celtic Sea and North Sea.

BANKING & FINANCE

RBI imposes fine on 9 commercial Banks for non-compliance relating to reporting of frauds
On August 3,2019, India’s central banking institution RBI(Reserve Bank of India) in exercise of the powers conferred under various sections of the Banking Regulations Act,1949 has imposed a penalty on nine commercial banks for violations of norms including delay on the reporting of fraud in the account of Kingfisher Airlines by two banks (PNB,OBC)……………………..Click here to Read more
i. Here is the detailed table report of banks & the amounts of fine imposed by RBI.

S.No Name of the Bank Amount of penalty Violation
1 Punjab National Bank (PNB) Rs 50 lakh Delay in reporting of fraud in the account of Kingfisher Airlines.
2 Oriental Bank of Commerce(OBC) Rs 1.5 crore Delay in reporting fraud in the account of Kingfisher Airlines.
3 United Bank of India Rs 1 crore Non-compliance relating to reporting of frauds.
4 Punjab & Sind Bank Rs 1 crore Non-compliance relating to reporting of frauds.
5 State Bank of India (SBI) Rs 50 lakh Non-compliance relating to reporting of frauds.
6 Bank of Baroda(BoB) Rs 50 lakh Delay in reporting fraud in an account.
7 Federal Bank Rs 50 lakh Delay in reporting fraud in an account.
8 Corporation Bank Rs 1 crore Non-compliance with the directions on cybersecurity framework and frauds classification and reporting.
9 UCO Bank(United Commercial Bank) Rs 1 crore Delayed reporting of fraud.

Reserve Bank tightens fit and proper guidelines for the position of elected directors on the board of PSBs
On August 2,2019, To keep out political appointees, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has released a new master direction called ‘Fit and Proper’ Criteria for Elected Directors on the Boards of PSBs(Public Sector Banks)) Directions, 2019 to determine ‘fit and proper’ status of person to be eligible to be elected as a director . These Directions are applicable to all PSBs &separate norms for private banks and Non-Banking Financial Companies (NBFCs) will be issued soon.
Key points:
Fit and proper direction 2019:
i. NRC:
RBI requires all PSBs (State Bank of India and nationalized banks) to have a nomination and remuneration committee (NRC) with at least three non-executive directors (half should be independent and include at least one member from the risk management committee) from amongst the board of directors.
Directors nominated by the Government under Section 19(f) of the SBI Act/Section 9(3)(c) of the Banking Companies (Acquisition and Transfer of Undertakings) Act, 1970/1980 should not be part of the Committee.
ii. Eligibility: The new rule requires that the candidate (He/She), who wants to become an elected director should at least be a graduate aged between 35-67 years with the special knowledge or practical experience in areas of banks. He/she should not be a member of Parliament, state legislature, municipal corporation, municipality, or other local bodies can hold office for three years and eligible for re-election & Maximum tenure for them pegged at six years whether served continuously/intermittently.
iii. Shareholders of PSBs allowed electing 2-3 directors, depending on the level of public shareholding.
iv. Omission: The new rules bar the person, who is board members of the RBI or any bank, financial institution, insurance company or bank holding company. candidates who are in line with the business of stock broking hire purchasing, financing, money lending, investment, leasing or para banking activity are also exempted.
About RBI:
Governor: Shaktikanta Das
Headquarters: Mumbai
Founded: 1 April 1935

Instant Demat account opening facility launched by Federal Bank for the customers
Instant Demat account opening facility which will help clients to open Demat account instantly without any heavy paper works, was launched jointly by Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer (MD & CEO) of Federal Bank, Shyam Srinivasan and G.V Nageswara Rao, MD& CEO of National Securities Depository Ltd (NSDL).Federal BankKey points
i. The Demat account can be opened by the customers in a matter of a minute by logging into FedNet which is the federal bank’s internet banking portal.
ii. The account can be opened any time as it is available 24*7 hours and no paperwork is needed to open the account.
iii. Doorstep service for opening trading accounts is also equipped by the federal bank.
Other facilities of NSDL and federal bank
i. Banks can disburse the loans against securities through LAS (Loan Against Securities) facility
ii. Contribution to Army Welfare Fund was announced by Shyam Srinivasan where an amount equal to the no. Of online transaction done by bank in March will be donated (Rs.42,02,874 has been contributed which is three fourth of bank’s transaction).

BUSINESS & ECONOMY

Walmart tops Euromonitor’s 2019 list of India’s top retailers
As per the latest report “Top 100 Retailers in Asia 2019” by market research firm, Euromonitor International, Walmart Inc which acquired Flipkart in 2018($16 Bn deal) has topped the rankings in India for 2018 with Gross Merchandise Volume(GMV) of $14. 49 Bn. Amazon(US) came on the second spot with $9.8 Bn GMV followed by Mumbai based retail company Future Group with $3.8Bn GMV(3rd position) and Reliance Group(4th  position ) with $3.6 Bn GMV.WalmartKey points:
i. The Indian list also includes Tata Group(5th) &One 97 Communications’  e-commerce unit, Paytm Mall(6th).
ii. For the list of the top 100 retailers in the whole Asian region, Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (China)was ranked first.
iii. The report stated that behavioral change in urban households which adopt more modern lifestyles and shopping at large branded retail outlets impacts retailing in the country.
About Walmart:
Headquarters
: Bentonville, U.S
President and CEO, Walmart: Doug McMillon
Chairman: Greg Penner
About Euromonitor International:
Founded
: 1972
Headquarters: London
CEO: Tim Kitchin

APPOINTMENTS & RESIGNS

Noel Quinn named as the new HSBC’s interim CEO
HSBC bank announced that the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of HSBC John Flint steps down from his post after 1.5years and is to be replaced by NoelQuinn, head of HSBC’s global commercial banking unit, as the new interim CEO.Noel QuinnKey points
i. The replacement of the CEO has been made to meet the challenges.
ii. The lender bank also announced buyback of $1 Billion.
About HSBC
HSBC was ranked 7th largest bank in the world in 2018 and the largest in Europe.
Headquarters- London, UK.

ACQUISITIONS & MERGES

Google-backed firm -Fynd’s majority stake acquired by  Reliance industries
7-year-old Mumbai startup Fynd, which is a Google-backed firm that connects retailers with online stores and consumers, is now acquired by Reliance industries.Fynd’s majority stake acquired by Reliance industries The acquisition announcement was made by Fynd’s co-founder Harsh Shah.
Key points
i. Reliance industries will now own 87.6% stake in Fynd.
ii. The acquisition has been made at a cost of 295 crore Indian rupees( $42.33 million).
About Reliance Industries ltd
CEO- Mukesh Ambani
Founder- Dhirubhai Ambani.
Headquarters- Mumbai.

SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

ISRO laid foundation stone for Space Situational Awareness Control Centre at Peenya, Bengaluru
On August 2, 2019, Chairman of Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) Dr. K Sivan laid foundation stone for Space Situational Awareness Control Centre at Peenya, Bengaluru, Karnataka which will host a range of activities related to the protection of Indian space assets from inactive satellites, pieces of orbiting objects, near-earth asteroids and adverse space weather conditions.Space Situational Awareness Control Centre Key Points:
i. It will facilitate the intensified activities foreseen for Space Situational Awareness & Management (SSAM) to increase debris population and operational space assets.
ii. It will assimilate the tracking data of inactive satellites from indigenous observation facilities and generate useful information from bare observations through analysis and help in research activities pertaining to active debris removal, space debris modelling and mitigation
iii. ISRO has set up a Directorate of Space Situational Awareness and Management which protects high valued space assets from space debris close approaches and collisions.
About ISRO:
Headquarters: Bengaluru
Founder: Vikram Sarabhai

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SPORTS

Overview of Toyota Thailand Open (Badminton) 2019
The Toyota Thailand Open (Badminton) 2019 was held at Indoor Stadium Huamark in Bangkok, Thailand from July 30 to August 4, 2019. It was the sixteenth tournament of the 2019 Badminton World Federation (BWF) World Tour and a part of the Thailand Open championships. The tournament was organized by the Badminton Association of Thailand with sanction from the BWF, with the total prize money of $350,000. It was Super 500 level tournament.
List of Winners

Category Winner Runner
Men’s Singles Chou Tien-chen (Taiwan) Angus Ng Ka Long (Hong Kong)
Women’s Singles Chen Yufei (China) Ratchanok Intanon (Thailand)
Men’s Doubles Satwiksairaj Rankireddy & Chirag Shetty (India) Li Junhui & Liu Yuchen (China)
Women’s Doubles Shiho Tanaka & Koharu Yonemoto (Japan) Du Yue & Li Yinhui (China)
Mixed Doubles Wang Yilü & Huang Dongping (China) Yuta Watanabe & Arisa Higashino (Japan)

i. Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty became the first Indian doubles pair to win a BWF Super 500 title in Men’s Category.
About BWF:
Formation: 1934
Headquarters: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
President: Poul-Erik Høyer

Lewis Hamilton wins 7th Hungarian Grand prix, taking his eighth victory of the season
Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton overtook red bull’s Max Verstappen in the final moments of the Formula 1 Hungarian grand prix to win the title. He outpaced max verstappen to the second spot.
Key points
i. This is Lewis Hamilton’s 7th victory at the Hungaroring (motorsport race track in Mogyród, Hungary, where formula 1 Hungarian grand prix is held) and also 81st of his career.
ii. Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc took third and fourth spot respectively.
iii. The Hungarian Grand Prix called as Magyar Nagydíj in Hungary.

Vinesh Phogat won 3rd successive gold in women’s 53kg category in Poland Open Wrestling Tournament in Warsaw
24-year-old Vinesh Phogat won her 3rd consecutive gold in women’s 53kg category in the Poland Open Wrestling Tournament in Warsaw, the capital of Poland. She defeated wrestler Roksana of Poland by 3-2. She had won gold at the Grand Prix of Spain and at the Yasar Dogu International at Istanbul, Turkey in July 2019.Vinesh Phogat

WWE star Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson officially announces his retirement from wrestling
An American actor, producer, and a professional wrestler, Dwayne Johnson(47), popularly known by his ring name “The Rock” has officially announced his retirement from World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) while he did not rule out the possibility of a comeback in future.'The Rock' Johnson Key points:
i. This is for the 1st time that the professional wrestler declared retiring from the sport.
ii. Dwayne spent in the WWE for 8 years prior to pursuing an acting career.
iii. He was also named the highest-paid actor for the year 2019 by Forbes magazine.
iv. Dwayne played his last match at the WrestleMania 32 in 2016 where he had defeated one half of the Wyatt Brothers, Erick Rowan.

Former New Zealand all-rounder cricketer Daniel Vettori’s jersey no.11 announces retirement
Cricketing board for Kiwi players announced that Jersey no. 11 of New Zealand all-rounderDaniel Vettori has been retired at the age of 40.Daniel Vettorii. Vettori has played over 291 ODI (One day international) matches and 113 Tests for New Zealand,  in which he picked up 362 wickets and amassed 4,531 runs with the bat, including six centuries and 23 half-centuries.
New Zealand
Capital- Wellington
Prime minister- Jacinda Ardern
Continent- Oceania
Currency- New Zealand dollar.

OBITUARY

Veteran Gujarati journalist Kanti Bhatt passed away in Mumbai
On August 4, 2019, Veteran Gujarati journalist, author, and columnist Kanti Bhatt, aged 88, passed away in Mumbai, Maharashtra after a long illness.Kanti Bhatti. Born on July 15, 1931 in Sachra village in erstwhile Bhavnagar state of Gujarat, he had joined journalism in 1966 in Mumbai.
ii. He worked as a journalist, writer, columnist, and editor in various Gujarati publications like Chitralekha, Mumbai Samachar, Janshakti, Sandesh, Yuva Darshan, Jansatta, Vyapar and Abhiyan.

Veteran cricket commentator of All India Radio, Anant Setalvad passed away
Long term member in Cricket Club of India and veteran cricket commentator, Anant Setalvad from Mumbai, passed away at the age of 84 due to old age ailments. He is survived by his two sons.Anant Setalvad Key points
i. He was a cricket commentator for All India Radio (AIR) in Ranji Trophy, BCCI (Board of Control for Cricket in India) tournaments and also for some test matches from the mid-1960s13 to 1980s.
ii. He shared the mike with former test opener and ex-selection panel Chief Vijay Merchant on AIR
iii. His last rites would take place at Worli crematorium,Mumbai.
About AIR
founded- 1930
Motto- Bahujanahitaya Bahujanahitaya
Owner- Prasar Bharati
Headquarters- New Delhi.

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