Current Affairs May 6 2019

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INDIAN  AFFAIRS

FAME-II plan stands to reduce 64% energy needs and 37% carbon needs by 2030: CII
The Confederation of Indian Industry(CII) has notified certain observations regarding the second phase of the Faster Adoption and Manufacture of (Hybrid and) Electric Vehicles in India (FAME India). It has observed that India can save 64% of anticipated road-based mobility-related energy demand and 37% of carbon emissions by 2030.
Key Points:
i. The reduction in energy demands would lead in the reduction of 156 million tonnes of oil equivalent in diesel and petrol consumption and net savings of approximately $60 billion in 2030 at current oil rates. This will boost India’s vision of reducing oil imports by 10% by 2022.
ii. The tentative aim is to have 30% electric vehicles by 2030 and the electric vehicle penetration in India is currently at 1%. Therefore, CII added that FAME alone is not enough to reach the 2030 target.
iii. If transport has to be eco-friendly, it must increase its share of renewable along with environmentally sustainable batteries. As per CII, transport continues to be the highest oil consuming sector and the use of diesel and petrol grew at 5.9% and 9.9% respectively in the last decade. As per government’s estimates, the country’s import dependency on oil has increased to 83.7% in the 10-month period of FY 2019 from 78.3% of total consumption in 2014-15.
iv. The government has allocated Rs.10,000 cr for FAME-II which is Rs.895 cr higher than allocated for FAME-I.
About FAME India Scheme:
The Department of Heavy Industry implemented the FAME India scheme to promote manufacturing of electric and hybrid vehicle technology and to ensure sustainable growth.
About Confederation of Indian Industry(CII):
♦ Headquarters: New Delhi
♦ President: Vikram Kirloskar

IBSA Sherpas meet concluded in Cochin
India, Brazil and South Africa (IBSA) Sherpas meeting was held in Cochin, Kerala from May 3 to May 5, 2019. Before IBSA Sherpas meeting, the 9th IBSA trilateral Ministerial Meeting was also concluded at the same venue. Indian delegation was led by T.S. Tirumurti, Secretary (Economic Relations) in Ministry of External Affairs and Amb. Norberto Moretti, Sherpa of Brazil and Prof. Anil Sooklal, Sherpa of South Africa led their respective delegation at the meeting.

IBSA Sherpas meet concluded in CochinKey Highlights
i. The Sherpas of all three countries conveyed their happiness that the first Gandhi Mandela Memorial Freedom Lecture was delivered by Cyril Ramaphosa, President of South Africa on 25th January, 2019 in New Delhi.
ii. The Sherpas welcomed 6th India-Brazil-South Africa Maritime (IBSAMAR) exercise conducted off the Coast of South Africa in September, 2018.
iii. The Sherpas also appreciated the work done by the IBSA Fund on Poverty and Hunger Alleviation which funded 31 projects spread over in 20 countries.
iv. IBSA Academic Forum met in Cochin and presented their recommendation to the Sherpas. They also appreciated the ongoing IBSA Fellowship Programme at the Research and Information System for Developing Countries (RIS) which was launched at India’s initiative in 2017.
About South Africa
♦ Capital: Cape Town, Pretoria, Bloemfontein
♦ Currency: South African rand
About Brazil
♦ Capital: Brasilia
♦ Currency: Brazilian Real

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

G7 Environment Ministers met in Metz, France to discuss about climate crisis
The G7’s (Group of Seven) Environment Ministers from Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States gathered for a 2-day meeting in Metz, France to discuss on steps required to handle deforestation, plastic pollution, depletion of coral reefs and ways to build pacts between the countries in order to achieve the target.

G7 Environment MinistersKey Points:
i. IMF (International Monetary Fund) notified that the G7 nations have the 7 largest advanced economies globally, thus representing 58% of the net global wealth which amounts to 317 $ trillion. The G7 countries also represent more than 46% of the global GDP (Gross Domestic Product) based on nominal values, and more than 32% of the global GDP based on purchasing power parity.
ii. The delegates from the European Union, Chile, Egypt, the Fiji Islands, Gabon, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Niger and Norway joined the ministers in the meeting.
iii. The 4 priorities addressed at the meeting are as follows:

  • to curb inequality through an inclusive ecological transition
  • to support scientific warnings and international action on biodiversity and the climate
  • to promote feasible solutions for the climate and biodiversity
  • to finance the conservation of biodiversity

BANKING & FINANCE

For the 1st time, Yes Bank has slipped by 3 notches to come down to the 10th spot as most valued bank
For the 1st time, private lender YES Bank Ltd, in terms of market valuation, has slipped by 3 levels to come down to the 10th spot.
Key Points:
i. Previously, YES Bank was the 7th most-valued bank.
ii. The position of the bank has come down due to its shares collapsing over 30% in the last 4 sessions after YES bank had reported a net loss of Rs. 1500 crore in its March quarter earnings.
iii. The most valued Indian bank with a market cap of Rs. 6.34 trillion is HDFC Bank Ltd. This is followed by (SBI) State Bank of India and Kotak Mahindra Bank with market cap of Rs 2.76 trillion and Rs 2.68 trillion, respectively.
iv. Shares of YES Bank were down 5.3% at Rs.166.30 on the 6th of May, 2019 and its market capitalization was Rs. 38,515.71 crore.
v. ICRA (Investment Information and Credit Rating Agency) downgraded Yes Bank’s Tier 2, lower Tier 2, infrastructure notes to AA- from AA, and cut the upper Tier 2, Tier 1 bonds to A+ from AA-, thus showing an increase in its lower-rated advances.
Yes Bank
CEO – Ravneet Gill
Headquarters: Mumbai
Founder: Rana Kapoor
SBI Card raised Rs. 700 crore from banks and financial institutions to grow above industry average
SBI Card raised Rs. 700 crore from various financial institutions including its parent SBI (State Bank of India) in the 2nd half of FY19 (Financial Year) to grow above the industry average.
i. SBI Cards and Payment Services Pvt. Ltd (SBI Card) raised Rs. 100 crore from ICICI Securities Primary Dealership Ltd, Rs. 250 crore from State Bank of India and Rs. 50 crore each from Canara Bank and Axis Bank by issuing NCDs (Non Convertible Debentures) at 9.15% coupon.
ii. SBI Card also raised additional Rs. 250 crore from Axis Bank through a coupon of 9.55%.
iii. The Rs. 700 crore fundraise is part of SBI Card’s plan to raise Rs. 1,500 crore in a few tranches.

SBI Cards and Payment Services Pvt. Ltd (SBI Card)
CEO                                        :  Hardayal Prasad
Headquarters                       : Gurugram
Parent organizations           : State Bank of India, The Carlyle Group

BUSINESS & ECONOMY

Income tax e-filers drop by over 6.6 lakh in 2018-19
According to Income Tax Department’s e-filling website, income tax e-filings in 2018-19 have dropped by over 6.6 lakh. In 2017-18 the income tax e-filings was 6.74 crore and in 2018-19 it was 6.68 crore, decrement of 6.6 lakh.
Key Highlights
i. According to the data, registered filers have grown by 15% to 8.45 crore as on March 31, 2019.
ii. The filers in the Rs 5 lakh to Rs 10 lakh range have grown to 1.05 crore in 2018-19 which also includes 1.02 crore of individual taxpayers.
iii. According to Kotak Economic Research report, the data are quite surprising because the tax base was expected to increase post demonetisation.

Anti-dumping duty of 1,633.17 $ per tonne imposed on saccharin imports from Indonesia
Based on the recommendation of the Designated Authority in the Commerce Ministry in March 2019, the revenue department under the Ministry of Finance has imposed anti-dumping duty of 1,633.17 $ per tonne on saccharin imports from Indonesia. This duty, unless withdrawn earlier, will be valid for a period of 5 years.
Key points:
i. Import of saccharin into India has increased from 421 tonnes in 2014-15 to 543 tonne in 2017-18.
ii. The petition seeking anti-dumping probe on saccharin imports from Indonesia was filed by Swati Petro Products Pvt Ltd.
iii. Saccharin is a non-nutritive sweetener that is 500 times sweeter than sugar and contains very less calories. It is used in various industries, namely, food and beverage, table top sweeteners, electroplating brighteners, pharmaceuticals, etc.

AWARDS & RECOGNITIONS

Nepal’s 18 year old girl, Bandana sets Guinness World Records for Longest Dancing
Nepali teenager, Bandana danced continuously for 126 hours to set a Guinness World Records on “Longest Dancing Marathon by an Individual”.

BandanaKey Points:
i. Bandana surpassed the record set by Kalamandalam Hemalatha, an Indian, who danced for 123 hours and 15 minutes in 2011.
ii. She danced continuously for Nepali music.
About Nepal:
♦ Capital: Kathmandu
♦ Currency: Nepalese Rupee
♦ President: Bidhya Devi Bhandari
♦ Prime Minister: KP Sharma Oli

G D ‘Robert’ Govender honoured with V K Krishna Menon Award
Indian –origin journalist G D ‘Robert’ Govender conferred with V K Krishna Menon Award 2019 in UK for his contribution as a pioneer of decolonised journalism. The award is given to mark the 123rd birth anniversary of V K Krishna Menon, Indian diplomat and politician. Govender is the first person who has been awarded the V K Krishna Menon posthumously. He had died in the UK in 2016.
Key Highlights
i. Govender had written many books in the field of journalism but his one of the outstanding work was “The Martyrdom of Patrice Lumumba” which had exposed the role of western intelligence agencies in the murder of the Congolese independence leader.
ii. Govender was the first journalist who called for an international boycott of South Africa’s sports team which only had whites as their members.

Israel honoured 1971 Bangladesh Liberation War hero Lt. Gen JFR Jacob
A Jewish, Lieutenant General (retired) Jack Farj Rafael (JFR) Jacob honoured with a plaque on the Wall of Honour at the Ammunition Hill. He fought World War II and India Pakistan war of 1965 and also negotiated the historic surrender of Pakistani troops in Dhaka after the 1971 Bangladesh Liberation war.

Lt. Gen JFR JacobAdditional Points
i. After retirement, he became the Governor of two states- Goa and Punjab. He died in 2016 at the age of 92.
ii. Till now, the Wall of Honour at Ammunition Hill has honoured more than 340 people which comprised of high ranking officers, women, front line fighters and humble members of supporting units.
About Israel
♦ Capital: Jerusalem
♦ Currency: Israeli New Shekel

APPOINTMENTS & RESIGNS

55-year-old Stevo Pendarovski won North Macedonia’s presidential elections
Backed by North Macedonia’s ruling party, Stevo Pendarovski, the 55-year-old former political-science professor won the presidential runoff vote amid promises to push the Balkan state towards NATO (The North Atlantic Treaty Organization) and European Union membership. He will succeed Gjorge Ivanov.

Stevo PendarovskiKey Points:
i. Pendarovski had 51.7% of votes whereas Gordana Siljanovska-Davkova, his challenger, had 44.7% votes.
ii. Siljanovska-Davkova is North Macedonia’s first female candidate and a university professor.
iii. The main conservative opposition VMRO DPMNE (Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization-Democratic Party for Macedonian National Unity) party (which backed Siljanovska-Davkova) having seen many irregularities in the election procedure, accused the government of “electoral engineering”.
iv. Pendarovski has strongly supported the Prespa deal signed with Greece in 2018 to change the country’s name.
v. North Macedonia is 1 of the poorest countries in Europe with an average monthly salary of about 470$.
About North Macedonia
Capital: Skopje
Currency: Macedonian Denar

Laurentino “Nito” Cortizo emerged as the President of the Republic of Panama
The Panama Electoral Tribunal announced Laurentino “Nito” Cortizo (with 95% of votes counted) as the winner of Panama’s presidential election. He will succeed Juan Carlos Varela Rodríguez.

Nito CortizoKey Points:
i. Cortizo was the candidate for the left-wing Democratic Revolutionary Party.
ii. Cortizo (with 33% of the votes) closest rival was Romulo Roux (with 31% votes). Romulo was from the former President Ricardo Martinelli’s right wing Democratic Change Party.
iii. This was the 6th presidential election in Panama,  since a US invasion removed strongman Manuel Noriega in 1989.
About Panama
♦ Capital: Panama City
♦ Currency: United States Dollar, Panamanian balboa

SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

After 36 years of service, Indian Navy’s frontline missile destroyer, INS Ranjit has been decommissioned
After 36 years of service, Indian Navy’s frontline missile destroyer, INS Ranjit has been decommissioned at the naval dockyard in Visakhapatnam.

INS RanjitKey Points:
i. INS Ranjit was commissioned on 15th September 1983 with Captain Vishnu Bhagwat as the chair. INS Ranjit was the 3rd of the 5 Kashin-class destroyers built by the former USSR (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics).
ii. INS Ranjit was deployed during IPKF (Indian Peace Keeping Force) operations and Operation Talwar during Kargil conflict.
iii. INS Ranjit’s motto was ‘Sada Rane Jayate‘ or ‘Ever Victorious in Battle’.
iv. The ship was constructed as ‘Yard 2203‘ in the 61 Communards shipyard in the town of Nikolev, Ukraine, where the ship was given its Russian name, “Lovkly” which means “Agile”.
v. The solemn decommissioning  ceremony was attended by workforce who have served INS Ranjit onboard, officers and sailors from the commissioning crew.
vi. The Chief Guest was Admiral Devendra Kumar Joshi, PVSM (Param Vishisht Seva Medal), AVSM (Ati Vishisht Seva Medal), YSM(Yudh Seva Medal) , NM, VSM (Vishisht Seva Medal), ADC (aides-de-camp) (Retd), Lieutenant Governor Andaman & Nicobar.
vii. In 2003, INS Ranjit was deployed to Mozambique to offer security cover to the African Union Summit.
viii. In 2004, the ship was deployed as part of relief operations post-2004 tsunami and cyclone Hud-hud. For this service INS Ranjit was awarded Unit Citation in the year 2003-04 and 2009-10.

INS Vela: Indian Navy’s 4th Scorpene-class made in India submarine launched
INS Vela, Indian Navy’s 4th Scorpene-class submarine was launched at Mazagon Dockyard in Mumbai. This is the fourth submarine in the series of six submarines under Project 75 built by Mazagon Dock Ltd, Mumbai. The Scorpene-class submarine has been termed as the Kalavari Class.

INS VelaKey Points:
i. Project 75 is a $3.75 billion contract inked between French Company DCNS (now Naval Group) and the Mazagon Dock Ltd in 2005 for construction and transfer of technology for 6 Scorpene-class submarines.
ii. Before Vela, Mazagon Dock Ltd has launched Kalvari, Khanderi, Karanj submarines.
iii. Upcoming submarines, INS Vagir and INS Vagsheer are in the stages of manufacturing.
About Indian Navy:
♦ Supreme Commander: President of India, Ramnath Kovind
♦ Chief of Indian Navy: Admiral Sunil Lanba (to be retired on May 31, 2019), Karambir Singh (Designated)

The US Air Force tested a laser system to shoot down multiple air launched missiles
The US Air Force Research Laboratory tested a laser system called ‘Self-Protect High Energy Laser Demonstrator (SHiELD) at the US Army’s White Sands Missile range in New Mexico which successfully shot down multiple air-launched missiles while in flight.  The system is designed for the purpose of protecting the aircrafts from incoming surface-to-air and air-to-air launched missiles.
Key Highlights
i. The ‘Self-Protect High Energy Laser Demonstrator (SHiELD) has three components:

  • The laser system
  • A control system
  • A pod which gave power to all components

ii. The project began in 2016 and the US Air Force issued a contract to Lockheed Martin in 2017, for designing the system with the aim of testing the system on aircraft by 2021.
About USA
♦ Capital: Washington D.C.
♦ Currency: United States Dollar

ENVIRONMENT

Bajirao, the last captive white tiger at Mumbai’s national park, dies at 18
The last captive white tiger at the Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP) in Borivali, Mumbai named Bajirao died due to old age related problems at the age of 18. He was born at the SGNP in 2001 to tigress Renuka and tiger Sidharth.

Bajiraoi. He suffered from chronic ankylosis on left shoulder and chronic senile generalised arthritis for the last four years.
ii. The tiger’s autopsy was conducted by the pathology department of the Bombay Veterinary College(BVC), Mumbai.
iii. The white tigress Renuka and white tiger Siddharth were brought from Aurangabad Zoo in 1999. Renuka died in 2009 due to skin cancer at the age of 13 and Siddharth died on June 4, 2015, due to old age at the age of 20.

SPORTS

Saurav and Joshna won individual titles in Asian Squash Championship 2019
Saurav Ghosal and Joshna Chinappa won men’s and women’s title respectively in the Asian Individual Squash Championship held at National Squash Centre in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia from May 1 to 5, 2019. The event was organised by the Asian Squash Federation. This is the first time India won both men’s and women’s titles. Previously, Asian Individual Squash Championship was held in Chennai in 2017.

Asian Squash Championship 2019Key Highlights
i. A 32-year old, Saurav Ghosal the top seed defeated fourth seed Leo Au Chun Ming of Hong Kong by 11-9, 11-2, 11-8.
ii. A 32-year old, Joshna Chinappa, the second seed defeated top seed Annie Au of Hong Kong by 11-5, 8-11, 11-6, 11-6
About Malaysia
♦ Capital: Kuala Lumpur
♦ Currency: Malaysian Ringgit
About Asian Squash Federation
♦ Headquarter: Kuala Lumpur
♦ President: David Y. Y. Mui

IMPORTANT DAYS

May 5th observed as International Day of the Midwife
International Midwives Day 2019 is celebrated on May 5th every year. The theme for this year’s celebration was “Midwives: Defenders of Women’s Rights“. First International Day of the Midwife (IDM) was celebrated on 5th of May in the year 1991 using the theme “Towards safe birth for all by the year 2000”. It is celebrated as a day to honor the midwives for their big contribution towards the health of the people across the nations.

International Day of the MidwifeKey Points:
i. The main event was hosted by WHO Chief Nursing Officer and Taskforce on Nursing and Midwifery. The event was inaugurated by the WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
ii. The event also saw the launch of the original play “Born in the Ruins” which showcased the work of midwives and nurses in conflict and emergency setting anywhere in the world.
About World Health Organization:
♦ Established: 7th April 1948
♦ Headquarters: Geneva, Switzerland
♦ Director General: Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus

International No Diet Day observed on May 6
On 6th May 2019, International No Diet Day (INDD) was observed to promote a healthy lifestyle and raise awareness of the dangers and futility of dieting. The day also aims to raise awareness about the various dieting disorders which exist such as anorexia and bulimia. The INDD symbol is a blue ribbon.
i. The INDD was first created in 1992 by Mary Evans Young to help people appreciate their own bodies.
ii. British feminist Mary was an anorexia patient(an eating disorder). She is the director of the British group “Diet Breakers” among the weight issues.
iii. The main agenda of  INDD is Educating people on how to diet effectively and responsibly to improve healthy life and raise awareness about fatphobia, weight discrimination, sizism and potential dangers of commercial diet plans, honoring the victims of weight-loss surgery and eating disorders, promoting body acceptance and body shape diversity.

STATE NEWS

Order of St George Award 2019 presented to Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
On 5th May 2019, Indian spiritual leader, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, was presented with the ‘Order of St. George’ Award for the year 2019 as part of the Commemorative Feast at the Puthuppally St. George Orthodox Church (462-year-old ) in Kottayam, Kerala.
i. The award was presented by the head of Kandanad East diocese, Dr. Thomas Mar Athanasius Metropolitan at the cultural conference held at the church.
ii. In 1981, Sri Sri founded the Art of Living Foundation, a volunteer-based Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) providing social support to the people.
About Ravi Sankar:
i. He was born on 13 May 1956 in  Papanasam, Tamil Nadu.
ii. In 1997, he established a Geneva-based charity, the International Association for Human Values.
iii. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the St Joseph’s College of Bangalore University.
iv. In 2016, he has won Padma Vibhushan, India’s Second Highest Civilian Award.
v. Shankar was named by Forbes magazine as the fifth most powerful leader in India in 2009.
About Kerala:
♦ Capital: Thiruvananthapuram
♦ Statehood: November 1956, 1; 62 years ago
♦ Districts: 14
♦ Chief Minister: PinarayiVijayan
♦ Governor: PalanisamySathasivam
♦ Dance Forms: Kathakali, Mohiniyattam, Thirvathirakali, Kolkali, Ottamthullal, Koodiyattam, ChakyarKoothu, Theyyam
♦ East flowing rivers in Kerala: Kabani, Bhavani, Pambar
♦ Festivals: Onam, Vishu, Thrissur Pooram, Nehru Trophy Boat Race

New Act passed by Gujarat Assembly which allowed Shops & Businesses to remain open 24×7
Gujarat Shops and Establishments (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service) Act, 2019’ passed by Gujarat Assembly which came into force from May 1, 2019. The Act will allow the shops and other businesses in the state to operate 24×7. The Act was passed by Gujarat Assembly earlier in February 2019. The Act replaced the Gujarat Shops and Establishments Act, 1948 which prevented shops and other businesses from operating between 12 to 6 a.m.
Key Highlights
i. Now shops and other commercial entities which employ more than 10 workers will have to get registered one-time only with no need for renewal and if they employ less than 10 workers then there will be no need of registration.
ii. Under this new act, workers will get twice the regular salary for working. Previously, it was one-and-a-half-time.
iii. According to the provision of the new act, working hours for women employees can only be between 6am to 9pm, which could be relaxed only if a written request is made and authorities have considered the safety issues for women.
About Gujarat
♦ Capital: Gandhinagar
♦ Governor: Om Prakash Kohli
♦ Chief Minister: Vijay Rupani
♦ National Parks/Wildlife Sanctuaries: Giri Forest National Park, Marine National Park, Barda Wildlife Sanctuary, Nal Sarovar Bird Sanctuary etc.
♦ Dance Forms: Garba, Dandiya Rass, Padhar, Tippani etc.

Veteran CPI leader and former MP Duti Krushna Panda died at 97
On 5th May 2019, Former Lok Sabha member and Veteran CPI leader Duti Krushna Panda passed away due to old age-related ailments in Bhubaneswar, Odisha. He was 97.
i. He was elected to the state assembly from Aska seat in 1990. He was also elected to LokSabha from Bhanjanagara Parliamentary Constituency (presently Aska) in 1971.
ii. Panda was also the founder president of Odisha Anganwadi Workers’ Association and was the president of Ganjam district sugar growers’ association.
iii. He was also the state secretary and president of Communist Party of India (CPI) and All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC), respectively.

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