Current Affairs June 22 2019

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INDIAN AFFAIRS

35th GST Council Meeting held in New Delhi
On June 21, 2019, the 35th Goods and Service Tax (GST) Council Meeting was held in New Delhi. It was chaired by the Union Finance & Corporate Affairs Minister Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman and it was her first meeting after assuming the office.

  • In order to ease the current process of GST registration and reduce the paperwork involved, GST Council introduced a new system for verification of taxpayers registering themselves under GST
  • Tenure of National Anti-profiteering Authority (NAA) was due to end by 30 November 2019. GST Council extended this tenure by two years, in order to enable it to take up all the pending cases.
  • GST Council approved to levy 10% penalty for delay in depositing the profiteered amount by more than 30 days against the current norm of levying a maximum fine of Rs 25,000…………………………………..Click here to Read more

World’s largest multi-stage, multi-purpose scheme Kaleshwaram Lift Irrigation Project inaugurated in Telangana

  • On June 21, 2019, The first phase of the world’s largest multi-stage, multi-purpose scheme Kaleshwaram Lift Irrigation Project (KLIP) worth Rs 80,000 crore was inaugurated by the Chief Minister of Telangana Chandrashekar Rao at Medigadda in Jayashankar-Bhupalpally district near the borders with Maharashtra and Chhattisgarh
  • It is constructed by Megha Engineering and Infrastructure Limited (MEIL).The project, built across Godavari river, has become the world’s biggest in terms of capacity
  • The biggest lift schemes in the world, till date, are the Colorado lift scheme in America and the Great Manmade River in Egypt…………………………….Click here to Read more

Balakot airstrikes code named as ‘Operation Bandar’ by IAF
On June 21, 2019, The Indian Air Force mission to bomb a terrorist hideout in Pakistan’s Balakot was codenamed ‘Operation Bandar’ (Monkey), while Indian Army had taken up massive defensive measures in case Pakistan retaliated which was codenamed as “Operation Zafran”.

Balakot airstrikes code named as ‘Operation Bandar’Key points:
i. The codename was also chosen by the IAF to maintain top secrecy for the operation which involved 12 Mirage 2000 jets crossing over into Pakistani territory to completely destroy a large Jaish-e-Mohammed terror camp in Balakot.
ii. The name was possibly inspired by the fact that monkeys have always held a special place in India’s war culture, as evident in Lord Hanuman’s exploits in Ravana’s kingdom of SriLanka.
About Balakot strike
India carried out air strikes in Pakistan in early hours of February 26, 2019, destroying the biggest terror camp of the Jaish-e-Mohammed and eliminating a very large number of JeM terrorists, trainers, senior commanders and groups of jihadis

‘Adarsh Station scheme’ developed 1,103 railways stations
On June 21, 2019, Minister of Railways and Commerce & Industry, Shri Piyush Goyal in a written reply to a question in the Rajya Sabha stated that under Adarsh Station Scheme (ASS), of the 1,253 stations which were identified for development, 1,103 railway stations were developed. Modernisation and upgradation of railway stations in Indian Railways are undertaken from time to time under various modernisation schemes such as Model Station Scheme, Modern Station Scheme and Adarsh Station Scheme.
Key Points:
i. The remaining stations are planned to be developed by 2019-20.
ii. 68 stations were identified for soft upgradation and all stations were upgraded in the year 2018-19.
iii. The work of redevelopment was in progress at Gandhinagar (Gujarat) and Habibganj (Madhya Pradesh) stations. Contracts for redevelopment were awarded for Gomtinagar, Charbagh (Uttar Pradesh) and Puducherry (Union Territory of Puducherry) stations.
iv. A separate policy was made for the development of stations under the Station Redevelopment Programme through Indian Railway Stations Development Corporation Limited (IRSDC).

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

3rd Indo-French cyber dialogue 2019 was held in Paris
On June 20, 2019, The third Indo-French cyber dialogue 2019 was held in Paris, France. The meeting was co-chaired by Henri Verdier, French Ambassador for Digital Affairs, and Upender Singh Rawat, Joint Secretary in charge of e-Governance, Information Technology and Cyber Diplomacy at the Ministry of External Affairs.3rd Indo-French cyber dialogueKey points:
Cooperation in cyber security sector
i.
To combat terror in cyberspace, the two sides have decided to develop effective mechanism and coordinate their efforts in cyberspace.
ii. Consultations held on fight against cybercrime and the use of the Internet for terrorist purposes.
iii. The two sides affirmed their commitment to an open, reliable, secure, stable and peaceful cyberspace
iv. Fourth Indo-French cyber dialogue will be held in India.

Bangladesh’s first iron ore mine discovered in Dinajpur
On June 19, 2019 Country’s first iron ore mine was discovered at Isabpur village in Dinajpur of Bangladesh. The discovery was done by the Geological Survey of Bangladesh (GSB).
Key points:
i. At a depth of 1,750 feet, a 400-foot thick iron layer was discovered and it is extended over an area of 6-10 square kilometers.
ii. Percentage of iron: It is 60 in the mine, which is higher in quality in comparison to other iron ore mines in the world.
iii. Other countries: Canada, China, Brazil Sweden and Australia which comprises less than 50 percent of iron.
iv. Other sources: The discovery site also found to have contained other minerals such as copper, nickel and chromium and limestone at a depth of 1,150 feet.
v. The GSB’s first drilling was done in 2013 and they started second time in April 2019.
vi. Benefits: With this discovery in Bangladesh, economic and employment opportunities will enhanced in the country.
About Bangladesh
Capital: Dhaka
Currency: Bangladeshi Taka
Prime Minister: Sheikh Hasina

Saudi Arabia became the first Arab country to get FATF membership
Saudi Arabia became the first Arab country to get full membership of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF). With this, the number of permanent members in the group accounted to 39.

first Arab country to get FATF membershipKey Points:
i. The membership was admitted into the global money laundering watchdog after the group’s Annual General Meeting in Orlando, Florida where FATF celebrated the 30th anniversary of its first meeting which was held in Paris in 1989.
ii. Saudi Arabia had received an invitation from FATF in 2015 to join as an “observer member”.
About FATF:
Headquarters: Paris, France
Founded: 1989
President: Marshall Billingslea

BANKING & FINANCE

Canara Bank updated the rules for cash deposits and withdrawals
Canara Bank has issued new rules for its customers regarding cash deposits and withdrawals effective from July 1, 2019. The customers of the bank can deposit cash in Savings bank account up to Rs 50,000 for free only thrice a month and the fourth transaction will be charged. This is done to encourage digital transactions and it coincides with transaction charges on National Electronic Funds Transfer (NEFT) and Real Time Gross Settlement (RTGS) being waived off complying with Reserve Bank of India’s guidelines from July 1, 2019.
Key Points:
i. From the fourth transaction or for cash deposits over Rs 50,000, there will be a service charge of Rs 1 per thousand, with a minimum of Rs 50 and a maximum of Rs 5,000 plus GST (Good and Service Tax).
ii. For current account/overdraft/open cash credit account holders a minimum Rs 100 will be charged on the withdrawal of Rs 5 lakh or more in a month.
iii. Service charges will not be applicable to pensioners, senior citizens, Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana beneficiaries and zero balance account holders.
About Canara Bank:
Headquarters:  Bengaluru, Karnataka
Chairman: T.N. Manoharan
MD & CEO: R.A. Sankara Narayanan
Tag line: Together we can

Federal Bank raises Rs 300 crore through a private placement of Basel III compliant Tier II bonds
Kochi based Federal Bank announced that it has raised Rs 300 crore through Basel-III compliant bonds for improving their risk management techniques and to address the growing risks.
Key points:
i. The plan was taken by credit investment and raising capital committee of the bank.
ii. The committee allotted1000 rated, Basel III compliant, unsecured, redeemable, non-convertible tier II bonds having a face value of Rs. 10,00,000 each, with an option to retain oversubscription of up to 2,000 rated Basel III Compliant bonds aggregating to Rs 300 crore and the capital was raised on the private placement basis.
iii. The bonds have the tenure of ten years with the coupon rate of 9.75 percent per annum.
iv. Shares of Federal Bank Ltd were the last trading in BSE at Rs.103.9.
About Basel III:
Basel III is an international regulatory accord that introduced a set of reforms designed to improve the regulation, supervision and risk management within the banking sector.

BUSINESS & ECONOMY

Skylark Drones and Throttle Aerospace Systems get DGCA nod to fly
On June 21, 2019, The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) gave its approval to Skylark Drones  and Throttle Aerospace Systems (TAS) of Bengaluru to launch its drones as they are compliant with the NP-NT (No permission – No take-off) protocol under the “Digital Sky” regulatory framework for drones, which came into effect on December 1, 2018.

Skylark Drones get DGCA nodKey points:
i. It will open the way for commercial use of drones (unmanned aircraft) for works such as agriculture, health, and disaster relief and military operations. Both drones, also known as Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) or Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), are in the micro category which doesn’t require pilot licences.
ii. The Nano drones of less than or equal to 250 gms while the drones under the large category around 250 kg weight were allowed to take off in December 2018.
About DGCA:
♦ Headquarters: New Delhi
♦ Parent agency: Ministry of Civil Aviation
♦ Minister responsible: Shri Hardeep Singh Puri

NABCB gets APAC certificate for personnel certification bodies in Singapore
On June 21, 2019, Country’s Accreditation body, The National Accreditation Board for Certification Bodies (NABCB), has got its international recognition for its accreditation programme for personnel certification bodies. It was held in Asia Pacific Accreditation Cooperation (APAC) Annual Meetings 2019 in Singapore.

NABCB gets APAC certificateKey points:
i. For accreditation programme, NABCB signed the Mutual Recognition Arrangement (MRA) of the Asia Pacific Accreditation Cooperation (APAC) based on the international standard, ISO/IEC 17024, which specifies criteria for the operation of a Personnel Certification.
ii. Export Indian services and skills into global market now done by NABCB by stating that persons are certified following international standards by the certifying bodies.
iii. This will help many professionals in India and particularly those who do not have formal education or certificate programme.
iv. International recognition will be given to those who have ISO/IEC 17024 certificate with NABCB logo.
About NABCB
i.  It is a constituent board of Quality Council of India, an autonomous body attached to the Ministry of Commerce and Industry.
ii. It is responsible for the accreditation of certification/inspection bodies as per applicable international standards under an international system of equivalence.
About APAC:
 i. It was established on 1 January 2019 by the amalgamation of two former regional accreditation cooperations – the Asia Pacific Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (APLAC) and the Pacific Accreditation Cooperation (PAC).
ii. Its primary role is to manage and expand a mutual recognition arrangement (MRA) among accreditation bodies in the Asia Pacific region.

APPOINTMENTS & RESIGNS

Shefali Juneja appointed to the post of Representative of India in the Council of ICAO
On June 21, 2019, As per the order issued by personnel Ministry, Government of India, Shefali Juneja, a 1992 batch officer of Indian Revenue Service (Income Tax cadre) was appointed as India’s representative in the Council of International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) for a period of three years.
She is currently serving as the Joint Secretary in Ministry of Civil Aviation (MCA).
She will replace Alok Shekhar (IAS officer ) who named for the post in October 2015.

Shefali JunejaAbout ICAO:
♦ Headquarters: Montreal, Canada
♦ Founded: 1944
The International Civil Aviation Organization is a specialized agency of the United Nations. It codifies the principles and techniques of international air navigation and fosters the planning and development of international air transport to ensure safe and orderly growth.

ACQUISITIONS & MERGERS

The merger of IndusInd Bank-Bharat Financial effective from July 4

  • The merger of Mumbai based Private sector lender, IndusInd Bank, and country’s leading microfinance player, Bharat Financial Inclusion Ltd (BFIL) of Hyderabad will be effective on July 4, 2019.
  • The boards of IndusInd and BFIL decided that on July 4, the NCLT (National Company Law Tribunal) Order will be filed by BFIL and IFIL with the Registrar of Companies…………………………Click here to Read more

CCI permitted for the merger of Indiabulls Housing Finance and Lakshmi Vilas Bank
On June 20, 2019, The Competition Commission of India (CCI) approved the proposed merger of the Indiabulls Housing Finance with Lakshmi Vilas Bank. The merged entity, to be called Indiabulls Lakshmi Vilas Bank.

Indiabulls Housing Finance and Lakshmi Vilas BankKey Points:
i. In April 2018, the board of Lakshmi Vilas Bank had announced its merger with Indiabulls Housing Finance in a share-swap deal. The bank will get 14 shares of Indiabulls Housing Finance for every 100 shares they hold.
ii. The combined entity will be one among the top eight private banks in India by size and profitability, with a net worth of Rs 19,472 crore, a loan book of Rs 1.23 lakh crore for the first nine-month period of 2018-19, and a combined workforce of 14,302 employees.
iii. It’s Capital Adequacy Ratio (CAR) will be 20.6%. It will have 3.5% Gross Non Performing Assets (NPA) and 2% Net NPA in terms of asset quality.

SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

Researchers from Japan developed a new type of cooling vest for sports athletes
Japanese researchers from Hiroshima University have developed a new type of cooling vest for sports athletes which helps them to compete safely in sweltering summer conditions. The aim of the vest is to cool the athletes’ upper-body skin which can decrease heart rate and temperature of their neck and skin.
Key Points:
i. This will help the athletes of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics that will be held in the hot and humid Japanese summer where the ambient temperature is expected to be above 33 degrees Celsius.
ii. The cooling vest is filled with ice packs and features a collar that can also cool the neck.
iii. The Hiroshima University of Japan has collaborated with a Japanese sportswear company Mizuno to test a new type of cooling vest.

SPORTS

Indian Gymnast, Pranati Nayak won bronze at 2019 Asian Artistic Gymnastic Championship held in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia
Indian Gymnast, Pranati Nayak aged 23 won bronze medal in vault event at the 8th edition of Senior Asian Artistic Championships in Buyant Ukhaa Sport Palace, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. She hails from West Bengal, India.

Pranati Nayaki. Yu Linmin from China and Ayaka Sakaguchi from Japan won the gold and silver medal in the vault event.

Cricket Australia signs a multi-year partnership with HCL
Indian multinational information technology service, HCL Technologies (Hindustan Computers Limited, HCL) has signed a multi-year deal with Cricket Australia (CA), the administrative body of Australian Cricket, which is India’s third largest sports deal.
Accenture was working with Cricket Australia for a five-year deal from November 2013 before HCL.

Cricket Australia signs a multi-year partnership with HCLKey points:
i. Under the partnership, HCL to become the digital technology partner of CA.
ii. HCL will help CA by engaging more fans, cricketers, fans, employees, and volunteers through digital experience around the world.
iii. HCL also build CA’s digital products, such as Cricket Australia Live App, cricket.com. au, bigbash.com.au, and community cricket applications such as MyCricket and community.cricket.com.au.
iv. Cricket Australia’s fan following grew up to 20 million per year.
v. The sport of cricket has a fan base of over 2.5 billion passionate followers around the globe.
About HCL:
♦ CEO: C Vijayakumar
♦ Founded: 11 August 1976
♦ Headquarters: Noida
About CA:
♦ CEO: Kevin Roberts
♦ Headquarters: Melbourne, Australia

OBITUARY

Veteran Mridangam exponent, Thanjavoor Ramamoorthy passes away in Trichy, Tamil Nadu
Thanjavoor Ramamoorthy, Veteran Mridangam exponent and former top grade staff artist of All India Radio (AIR) passed away in Trichy, Tamil Nadu at the age of 90. He was born in Trichy.

Thanjavoor Ramamoorthyi. He was appointed as Artist of All India Radio by the British Government and later on served 42 years in Indian Government as a mridangam artist.
ii. He has been chosen into the “A” Grade Artist by the first-panel committee.
Honours received:
i. In 1980, Tamil Nadu Iyal Isai Nataga Mandram conferred the title “Kalaimamani”.
ii. In 1983, the Karaikudi Tamil Isai Sangam conferred a title “Isai Kadal”.
iii. In 2001, Trichy District Nalla Nidhi Committee has awarded “Kalai Peroli”.
iv. In 1997, Muthamil Peravai of Chennai conferred a title “Miruthangha Selvam”.
v. In 2014, he received the title “Vaadhya Padmam” conferred by the Brahma Gana Sabha, Chennai.

STATE NEWS

Rajasthan Government to give unemployment allowance to unemployed graduates up to Rs 3,500 per month
Rajasthan government will provide unemployment allowance up to Rs 3,500 per month to the unemployed youths having graduation or equivalent degree in the state. They will get the benefit of the Chief Minister Yuva Sambal Yojana. The applicants should be natives of Rajasthan to be eligible for this benefit.
Key Points:
i. The scheme has been implemented from February 2019, succeeding Akshat Yojana.
ii. Male applicants will receive Rs 3,000 per month. Women and differently-abled applicants will receive Rs 3,500 per month.
iii. The amount will be given to the candidates for two years or until they get employed.
About Rajasthan:
Capital: Jaipur
Chief Minister: Ashok Gehlot
Governor: Kalyan Singh
National Parks: Mukundra Hills (Darrah) National Park, Desert National Park, Keoladeo Ghana National Park, Ranthambhore National Park, Sariska National Park
Wildlife Sanctuaries: Mount Abu WLS, Nahargarh WLS, Kesarbagh WLS, Sariska WLS, Van Vihar WLS, Sawai Man Singh WLS etc

Maharashtra government announced scheme for smokeless kitchens ‘Chullah-free and smoke-free Maharashtra”
The project named “Chullah (wood-fired stove)-free and smoke-free Maharashtra” will be launched by the Government of Maharashtra. The announcement was made by the Finance Minister of Maharashtra, Sudhir Mungantiwar in his Budget speech on June 18, 2019.
Key Points:
i. A pilot project is aimed at providing smoke-free environment in the kitchen for women.
ii. It will target the women who are not benefited under the Ujjwala or any other LPG (Liquefied petroleum gas) distribution scheme.
iii. It will be implemented in Naxal- affected areas as well as the districts where the farmer suicide rate is high.

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