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Current Affairs Today April 12 2018

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 INDIAN AFFAIRS

Government sets up committee to review the enforcement of CSR provisions
Union Ministry of Corporate Affairs has set up a 12-member panel to review the enforcement of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) provisions under the Companies law and to recommend a uniform approach for its enforcement.

Government sets up committee to review the enforcement of CSR provisionsPanel to review Enforcement of CSR provisions:
i. The panel is headed by Manmohan Juneja – Regional Director (Western Region) while Seema Rath – Deputy Director (CSR) will be the convener. Other members include Sanjay Shorey – Joint Director (Legal) and N K Dua – Joint Director (Policy) N K Dua.
ii. Representatives from apex bodies of chartered accountants, cost accountants and company secretaries will also be a part of this panel.
iii. Besides, there will be two sub-committees — legal and technical – which will examine various aspects of compliance with CSR provisions.
iv. It is to be noted that Under the Companies Act, 2013, profitable entities falling under specified categories are required to spend at least two per cent of their three-year annual average net profit towards CSR activities. This norm came into force on April 1, 2014.
v. The panel to review CSR enforcement has been formed in wake of rising instances of non-compliance with CSR requirement.
vi. As per official data, during 2016-17, 6286 companies spent Rs 4719 crore towards various CSR activities.

ISRO launched the navigation satellite IRNSS-1I
On April 12, 2018, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) successfully launched the IRNSS-1I navigation satellite aboard the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV)-C41.

ISRO launched the navigation satellite IRNSS-1LDetails related to the launch of IRNSS-1I:
i. PSLV-C41 carrying IRNSS-1I was launched from First Launch Pad (FLP) of SDSC SHAR, Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh.
ii. IRNSS-1I is part of Indian satellite navigation system ‘Navigation with Indian Constellation’ (NavIC) that was earlier known as Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS).
iii. NavIC is an independent regional navigation satellite system designed to provide position information in the Indian region and 1500 km around the Indian mainland. It is being referred to as Indian ‘GPS’.
iv. Till now, 52 Indian satellites and 237 customer satellites from abroad have been successfully launched aboard PSLV.
V.The first, IRNSS-1H(8th Satellite), could not be put into space because of its failure in August last year.
Quick Facts about ISRO:
♦ Established in – 1969
♦ Headquarters – Bengaluru, Karnataka
♦ Current Chairman – K. Siva

The four-day DefExpo begins
Tenth edition of India’s mega defence exhibition, DefExpo 2018 began at Thiruvidanthai (on the outskirts of Chennai) on April 11, 2018.

The four-day DefExpo beginsHighlights of DefExpo 2018:
i. DefExpo 2018 was formally inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on April 12, 2018.
ii. This exhibition of weapons and military hardware showcases India’s defence manufacturing capabilities to the world.
iii. Live demonstrations, flying display and seminars on weapons and military hardware will be held during the course of this four-day event.
iv. 670 defence firms, including 154 foreign manufacturers and delegations from US, UK, Russia, France, Israel, Korea, Sweden, are participating in DefExpo 2018.
v. Indian Navy’s warships like INS Kamorta and INS Sahyadri will dock at Chennai harbour as a part of Defence Expo 2018. These ships will be open to the general public for visiting on 13th & 15th of April, 2018.
vi. Theme of DefExpo 2018 is “India: The Emerging Defence Manufacturing Hub”.
vii. It has been organised over 2.90 lakh square feet space at Thiruvidanthai and is thus described as the “largest” to be conducted so far.

IIT-Delhi installs India’s first 5G lab
Massive Multiple-Input Multiple-Output (MIMO) technology lab, India’s first-of-its-kind 5G radio laboratory will be inaugurated at Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi on April 13, 2018.
More information about India’s first 5G lab:
i. The Massive MIMO Technology Lab has been set up at the Bharti School of Telecommunication Technology and Management, at IIT Delhi.
ii. This 5G base station prototype will be used for developing a complete 5G base station, which can lead to the manufacturing of 5G base stations in India in near future.
iii. Most important feature of Massive MIMO is the deployment of several antennas as compared to only a few antennas in 3G/4G. Having several antennas improves system power efficiency, as the mobile terminals would be required to radiate ten times lesser power than in 3G/4G systems.
iv. This consequentially reduces interference to other radio systems and also reduces possible effects of exposure to radiation on human health.

India hosts 16th International Energy Forum (IEF) Ministerial Meeting
16th International Energy Forum Ministerial (IEF16) Meeting was held on 10th -12th April 2018 in New Delhi.

India hosts 16th International Energy Forum (IEF) Ministerial MeetingHighlights of 16th International Energy Forum Ministerial (IEF16) Meeting:
i. This meeting was hosted by India and co-hosted by China and South Korea.
ii. IEF16 was the largest gathering of Energy Ministers from across the globe. From the Indian side, the ministerial was attended by Union Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Dharmendra Pradhan.
iii. Along with Energy Ministers from across the globe, the event also brought together, industry leaders and heads of key international organizations to debate the future of global energy.
iv. Discussions at this meeting revolved around how global shifts, transition policies and new technologies influence market stability and future investment in the energy sector.
Quick Facts about International Energy Forum (IEF):
♦ Established in – 1991
♦ Secretariat – Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
♦ Membership – 72 countries

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

2018 Index of Economic Freedom: India leapfrogs 13 places to 130
i. India has ranked 130th out of 180 countries on 2018 Index of Economic Freedom published by the Heritage Foundation, an American think-tank.
ii. India’s 130th rank on 2018 Index of Economic Freedom marks a jump of 13 spots as compared to 143rd rank in 2017.
iii. Hong Kong topped the index with Economic Freedom Score of 90.2…………………………………………………………Click here to Read More

India-Timor Leste sign MoU in field of public health
India has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Timor-Leste (East Timor) in the field of public health to extend affordable healthcare to its people.
More Information about India-Timor Leste sign MoU:
i. This MoU was signed during India’s Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment, Krishan Pal Gurjar’s four-day visit to Timor Leste from 7th – 10th April 2018.
ii. This MoU between India and Timor-Leste was being discussed for more than five years.
iii. India has even offered to share its expertise with Timor-Leste in matching information technology with healthcare through Tele-medicine.
Quick Facts about Timor Leste:
♦ Capital – Dili
♦ Currency – Unites States Dollar
♦ Current President – Francisco Guterres

India, Morocco sign MoU to promote cooperation in mineral exploration
India and Morocco have signed a MoU (Memorandum of Understanding) in the field of Mining and Geology for a period of 5 years.

India, Morocco sign MoU to promote cooperation in mineral explorationDetails about India-Morocco MoU:
i. The MoU envisages strengthening geological research and evaluation of the potential of mineral resources, development of the geological infrastructure for Geoscience Maps and geochemical maps and promoting exploration and mining through participation of both public & private sector.
ii. On April 11, 2018, Aziz Rabbah, Minister of Energy, Mines and Sustainable Development of Kingdom of Morocco held discussions in this regard with Union Mines Minister, Narendra Singh Tomar in New Delhi.
iii. Mr. Singh informed Aziz Rabbah that Geological Survey of India is willing to assist Morocco in geological mapping and mineral exploration.
Quick Facts about Morocco:
♦ Capital – Rabat
♦ Currency – Moroccan dirham
♦ Current Prime Minister – Saadeddine Othmani
♦ Important River – Draa, Sebou

UAE approves law on equal wages for men, women
With a vision to bring more females into its workforce, United Arab Emirates’ cabinet approved a bill guaranteeing equal pay for men and women.

UAE approves law on equal wages for men, womeni. This decision is a part of UAE Government efforts to narrow the gender gap.
ii. In context of this news, it is important to note that UAE ranked 120 out of 144 countries overall in the 2017 World Economic Forum’s  Global Gender Gap Report.
iii. Once this bill gets final approval from UAE’s Federal National Council, it will be instrumental in empowerment of Emirati Women, ensure the protection of their rights and support their role in the national development process.
Quick Facts about UAE:
♦ Capital – Abu Dhabi
♦ Currency – UAE dirham
♦ Current President – Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan

World’s first long-distance electric bus line to begin in Paris
World’s first long-distance electric bus line began service on April 12, 2018 in Paris, France.

World's first long-distance electric bus line to begin in ParisMore Information about World’s first long-distance electric bus line:
i. This bus line has been  presented by Flixbus, a brand which offers intercity bus service in Europe.
ii. It will link Paris to France’s northern city of Amiens, undertaking a 160 kilometres journey within two hours.
iii. This 49-seater bus has a maximum travel range of 250 kilometres. Its batteries can be fully charged in 5 hours. 

BANKING & FINANCE

NABARD to expand its long-term lending to Rs 80,000 crore in FY19
On 11th April 2018, NABARD (National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development) announced that, it has aimed to raise its long-term on-lending or refinance portfolio to nearly Rs 80,000 crore in the current fiscal year in a move to improve rural economy.
NABARD to expand its long-term lending to Rs 80,000 crore in FY19:
i. NABARD’s on-lending in 2017-18 was Rs 65,000 crore. NABARD earned a surplus of Rs 2,951 crore for the fiscal year that ended in March 2018.
ii. It has planned to raise Rs 40,000 crore from the bond borrowing. Its borrowing was Rs 33,000 crore in 2017-18. It has been one of the top three borrowers in the market.
iii. NABARD’s balance sheet grew 17 % to Rs 4.06 lakh crore in the fiscal year that ended in March 2018, against Rs 3.48 lakh crore in FY17.
iv. Loans and advances increased 15 % to Rs 3.54 lakh crore in the period compared to Rs 3.08 lakh crore in the same period that ended in March 2017.
v. Its long-term refinance was Rs 1,22,688 crore, up 17 per cent in the fiscal 2018, compared to Rs 1,05,209 crore.
About NABARD:
♦ Chairman – H K Bhanwala
♦ Headquarters – Mumbai

RBI slaps Rs.3 Crore monetary penalty on IDBI bank
Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has imposed a penalty of Rs. 3 crore on IDBI Bank for non-compliance with the outlined norms related to reporting of bad loans.

RBI slaps Rs.3 Crore monetary penalty on IDBI bankRBI slaps Rs.3 Crore monetary penalty on IDBI bank:
i. RBI said that, the penalty was imposed on account of non-compliance with the directions issued on Income Recognition and Asset Classification (IRAC) norms.
ii. Notification regarding this stated that, this penalty has been imposed in exercise of powers vested in the RBI under the provisions of Section 47A(1)(c) read with Section 46(4)(i) of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949, taking into account failure of the bank to adhere to the aforesaid directions issued by the RBI.
iii. RBI said that, this action is based on deficiencies in regulatory compliance, and not intended to affect validity of any transaction or agreement entered into by the bank with its customers.
About IBDI Bank:
♦ MD & CEO – Mahesh Kumar Jain
♦ Headquarters – Mumbai

AIIB decides to invest $140M to improve Rural Connectivity in India
The Board of Directors of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) have approved USD $ 140-Million loan to improve the rural road connectivity and management for residents in Madhya Pradesh, India, at a Meeting held recently in Beijing, China.

AIIB decides to invest $140M to improve Rural Connectivity in IndiaAIIB decides to invest $140M to improve Rural Connectivity in India:
i. Nearly, 1.5 Million rural people of Madhya Pradesh will be benefited from improved livelihoods, education and mobility offered through this project.
ii. This project is co-financed by the World Bank. It aims to improve the rural road connectivity and management for residents of nearly 5,640 villages.
iii.Activities planned under this project are:

  • Upgrading the gravel surfaced roads to a sealed surface standard
  • Creating additional linkages to villages with potential for high growth
  • Improving institutional capacity through implementing/upgrading a rural road asset management system and strengthening design and research and quality assurance capacity of the implementation agency
  • Developing road safety management capacity with road accident data management system and piloting a comprehensive road safety program
  • Supporting design, implementation and management

iv. AIIB Director General of Investment Operations SupeeTeravaninthorn said that this Project will ensure sustainable and safe last-mile connectivity to small villages and enhance mobility of rural Madhya Pradesh.
v. He added that the project will improve economic development in Madhya Pradesh and enhance the livelihoods of especially rural women and girls.
About Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB):
♦ President – Jin Liqun
♦ Headquarters – Beijing, China

APPOINTMENTS & RESIGNS

IG Vijay Chafekar appointed as Flag Officer of ICG West
On 10th April 2018, Inspector General Vijay Chafekar took charge as the new Flag Officer, Indian Coast Guard (West Region) from IG K.R. Nautiyal.
IG Vijay Chafekar – Flag Officer of ICG West:
i. K.R. Nautiyal has been promoted as Additional Director General and ICG Commander, Eastern Seaboard.
ii. The Indian Coast Guard (ICG) – West consists of an important area that stretches to the outer limits of Exclusive Economic Zone from the coasts of Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka, Kerala, Daman and Diu and Lakshadweep.
iii. Vijay Chafekar has an M.Phil. in Defence and Strategic Studies. Earlier, he was Deputy Director (Policy and Plans) at the ICG Headquarters, New Delhi. He has received Tatrakshak Medal and the President’s Tatrakshak Medal.
Some important sea ports in India:
♦ Panambur Port – Karnataka
♦ Cochin Port – Kerala

Chandra Shekhar Ghosh re-appointed as MD & CEO of Bandhan Bank
Chandra Shekhar Ghosh has been re-appointed as managing director and CEO of Bandhan Bank for a three year term from 10thJuly 2018.

Chandra Shekhar Ghosh re-appointed as MD & CEO of Bandhan BankChandra Shekhar Ghosh re-appointed as MD & CEO of Bandhan Bank:
i. Chandra Shekhar Ghosh’s re-appointment is subject to regulatory clearances. It was approved by Bandhan Bank board recently.
ii. Bandhan Bank was listed on 27 March 2018. Mr. Chandra Shekhar Ghosh was appointed to this post in July 2015.
iii. Bandhan Bank had recently announced the resignation of its part-time, non-executive chairman Ashoke Kumar Lahiri.
About Bandhan Bank:
♦ Tag line – Aapka Bhala, Sabki Bhalai
♦ Headquarters – Kolkata

Former RBI deputy governor Harun Rasid Khan joins Bandhan Bank board
Former deputy governor at Reserve Bank of India (RBI), Harun Rasid Khan, has joined Bandhan Bank board.
Harun Rasid Khan joins Bandhan Bank board:
i. Harun Rasid Khan joined the board of Bandhan Bank two weeks ago. He has replaced PK Saha in Bandhan Bank board.
ii. He had headed RBI’s vision on payment system. He had handled financial market, foreign exchange, financial inclusion, etc. in RBI. He served as deputy governor of RBI from 2011 to 2016.
Tag lines of few banks:
♦ Bank of India – Relationship beyond banking
♦ Bank of Maharashtra – Ek Parivar Ek Bank
♦ Canara Bank – Together we can

Sripriya Ranganathan appointed as the next Ambassador of India to the Republic of Korea
On 11th April 2018, Sripriya Ranganathan was appointed as the next Ambassador of India to the Republic of Korea.
Sripriya Ranganathan – next Ambassador of India to the Republic of Korea:
i. Sripriya Ranganathan is an Indian Foreign Service Officer (IFS) of 1994 batch. She is at present Joint Secretary in the Ministry of External Affairs.
ii. She has been appointed as the next Ambassador of India to the Republic of Korea. She will take up the new assignment soon.
About Republic of Korea or South Korea:
♦ President – Moon Jae-in
♦ Prime Minister – Lee Nak-yeon

Former DoPT Secretary Bhanu Pratap Sharma appointed chairman of Bank Board Bureau (BBB)
On 12th April 2018, former DoPT (Department of Personnel and Training) Secretary Bhanu Pratap Sharma was appointed the Chairman of Banks Board Bureau (BBB) by the government.

Former DoPT Secretary Bhanu Pratap Sharma appointed chairman of Bank Board Bureau (BBB)Bhanu Pratap Sharma – Chairman of BBB:
i. Bhanu Pratap Sharma succeeds Vinod Rai. Vinod Rai was appointed as the first chairman of BBB for a period of two years.
ii. Financial Services Secretary Rajiv Kumar said that, Bhanu Pratap Sharma will be given the same mandate as that of Vinod Rai.
iii. Bhanu Pratap Sharma has been appointed for a two year term. Other members of the BBB are:

  • Vedika Bhandarkar (former MD Credit Suisse India)
  • P Pradeep Kumar (former MD SBI)
  • Pradip P Shah (founder MD Crisil)

About Banks Board Bureau (BBB):
♦ Set up – 2016
♦ BBB has replaced – Appointments Board for appointment of Whole-time Directors and non-Executive Chairman of PSBs

ENVIRONMENT

Jaw fossil belonging to monstrous marine reptile found on US beach
On 9th April 2018, scientists said that, a jawbone fossil found at a beach in southwestern England, belongs to “Ichthyosaur”, one of the biggest marine animals on record.
Ichthyosaur:
i. Ichthyosaur appears to be the largest marine reptile discovered so far. It had lived 205 million years ago at the end of the Triassic Period.
ii. The bone named surangular was part of its lower jaw. Scientists have estimated the length of new ichthyosaur to be around 66 to 85 feet (20 to 26 meters).
iii. Fossil collector Paul de la Salle found the bone in 2016 at Lilstock on England’s Somerset coast along the Bristol Channel.
iv. Only today’s filter-feeding baleen whales are considered to be larger than the Ichthyosaur.
v. Ichthyosaur is believed to have belonged to an ichthyosaur group called shastasaurids. The research has been published in the journal PLOS ONE.
Some important museums in India:
♦ Birla Science Museum – Hyderabad
♦ Nizam Museum – Hyderabad
♦ AP State Archaeology Museum or Hyderabad Museum – Hyderabad

IMPORTANT DAYS

International Day of Human Space Flight & World Aviation and Cosmonautics Day – April 12
On 12th April 2018, International Day of Human Space Flight & World Aviation and Cosmonautics Day was celebrated in various places of the world.

International Day of Human Space Flight & World Aviation and Cosmonautics Day – April 12World Aviation & Cosmonautics Day:
i. On 12th April 1961 Yuri Gagarin of the Soviet Union, performed the first manned flight to the space on a “Vostok-1” spaceship.
ii. Russia and some other former USSR countries celebrate 12th April as Cosmonautics Day since 1962.
International Day of Human Space Flight:
i. In 2011, the UN general assembly declared 12 April as the International Day of Human Space Flight commemorating Yuri Gagarin’s first manned flight to the space on a “Vostok-1” spaceship.
ii. This day is celebrated to remember the important contribution of space science and technology in achieving sustainable development goals.
Some important international boundary lines:
♦ 43 Parallel North – US it serves as border of b/w State Nebraska & state of south Dakota
♦ 45 Parallel North – US it forms the boundary b/w Montana & wyoming
♦ 49 Parallel North (Medicine Line) – USA & Canada