GA- 14 Jun 2018

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GA- 14 Jun 2018

WPI inflation at 14-month-high of 4.43% in May

  • Inflation based on wholesale prices shot up to a 14-month high of 4.43 per cent in May on increasing prices of petrol and diesel as well as vegetables.
  • The Wholesale Price Index (WPI) based inflation stood at 3.18 per cent in April and 2.26 per cent in May last year.
  • According to govt data released, inflation in food articles was at 1.60 per cent in May 2018, against 0.87 per cent in the preceding month.
  • Inflation in vegetables climbed to 2.51 per cent in May, while in the previous month it was -0.89 per cent.
  • Inflation in ‘fuel and power’ basket rose sharply to 11.22 per cent in May from 7.85 per cent in April as prices of domestic fuel increased in line with rising global crude oil rates.
  • Potato inflation was at a peak of 81.93 per cent, against 67.94 per cent in April. 
  • Price rise in fruits was in double digits at 15.40 per cent, while pulses saw a deflation of 21.13 per cent.

Axis tops by value, Paytm by volumes in mobile banking

  • India’s third largest private sector bank, Axis Bank with 17.2 per cent has topped the largest value share of mobile banking transactions whereas Indian e-commerce payment system, Paytm has topped the largest volumes with 22 per cent.
  • According to State Bank of India’s (SBI) annual report for 2017-18, Paytm’s value share is a meagre 0.25 per cent.
  • SBI’s annual report has put out Reserve Bank of India’s data for Jan 2018. 
  • ICICI Bank has a 17.1 per cent share of transactions by value and 9.7 per cent by volume.
  • SBI’s volume share has slipped by over 5 percentage points from nearly 25 per cent at the end of Mar 2017 to 19.5 per cent in Jan 2018.
  • Mobile-banking usage itself has seen a steep jump, with volumes soaring a steep 91 per cent to 1,871 million in FY18 from 977 million in FY17.

Global Alliance to Eliminate Lymphatic Filariasis (GAELF) held in New Delhi

  • India has hosted the 10th meeting of Global Alliance to Eliminate Lymphatic Filariasis (GAELF) in New Delhi with the theme ‘Celebrating progress towards elimination: Voices from the field on overcoming programme challenges’ on Jun 13, 2018.
  • The Union Health Minister J P Nadda released the Accelerated Plan for Elimination of Lymphatic Filariasis (APELF) 2018 for India.
  • GAELF is an alliance of partners from 72 LF endemic national country programmes that assists WHO’s Global Programme to Eliminate LF.
  • Lymphatic Filariasis (LF) or commonly known as Elephantiasis is one of the oldest and most debilitating neglected disease, which is currently endemic in 73 countries of the world, including India.
  • LF disease is caused mainly by Wuchereria Bancrofti and spread by Culex mosquito.
  • This mosquito grows in dirty accumulated water.

Cabinet approvals

Approves Repositioning of North Eastern Council

  • The Union Cabinet approved a proposal of Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER) for nomination of Union Home Minister as ex-officio Chairman of North Eastern Council (NEC).
  • It also has approved that Minister of State (Independent Charge), Ministry of DoNER will serve as Vice Chairman of NEC. 
  • NEC is statutory body with Governors and Chief Ministers of all eight North Eastern State as its members which implements various projects through State and Central agencies. 

Approves enactment of Dam Safety Bill, 2018

  • The Union Cabinet approved a proposal for introduction of Dam Safety Bill, 2018 in the Parliament.
  • The bill aims to help all States and Union Territories to adopt uniform dam safety procedures which will ensure safety of dams and safeguard benefits from such dams. This will also help in safeguarding human life, livestock and property. 
  • NDSA will maintain liaison with State Dam Safety Organisations (SDSOs) and owners of dams for standardisation of dam safety related data and practices. 

Approves three year Action Plan of Agricultural Education Division & ICAR Institutes

  • The Union Cabinet approved continuation of Three Year Action Plan (2017-2020) of scheme for Agricultural Education Division and Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) Institutes.
  • It aims at strengthening and developing higher agricultural education in India.
  • The scheme comprises of Strengthening and Development of Higher Agricultural Education in India and ICAR-National Academy of Agricultural Research Management (NAARM) and ICAR-Central Institute of Women in Agriculture (CIWA) including All India Coordinated Research Project on Home Science (AICRP-HS).

Extends tenure of Commission constituted to examine issue of OBC sub-categorisation

  • The Union Cabinet gave final extension to commission constituted to examine sub-categorisation within Other Backward Classes (OBCs) in Central list.
  • The commission earlier had term till Jun 20, 2018 but with extension it will now work till Jul 31, 2018. 
  • The Commission, headed by Justice (Retd.) G. Rohini, was constituted with approval of President under Article 340 of Constitution in Oct, 2017.

Approves MoU between the ICMR and INSERM, France

  • The Union Cabinet has been apprised of Memorandum of Understanding (MoU signed between the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and Institut National de la Santeet de la RechercheMedicale (INSERM), France.
  • It aims at cooperation in areas of common interest within medical, health research and life sciences fields. 

Bihar CM inaugurates, lays foundation stones for schemes worth Rs 875 crore

  • Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has inaugurated and laid foundation stones for more than 100 schemes, worth Rs 875 crore, of the state bridge construction corporation. 
  • On the occasion of the 43rd establishment day of the Bihar Rajya Pul Nirman Nigam Ltd, 122 schemes have been inaugurated or their foundation stones laid down.

Rebuilt blast furnace commissioned at Rourkela Steel Plant

  • The rebuilt Blast Furnace-1 ‘Parvati’ of SAIL, Rourkela Steel Plant (RSP) has been dedicated to the nation by Union Minister of Steel, Chaudhary Birender Singh.
  • Parvati is the first Blast Furnace of SAIL that was dedicated to the nation on Feb 03, 1959 by the first President of India, Rajendra Prasad.
  • The Blast Furnace was put down on Aug 6, 2013 for total rebuilding.
  • The rebuilt furnace equipped with superior technology has a higher production capacity.
  • With the rebuilding, the annual production capacity, of the furnace has increased from 0.438 million tonne (MT) to 1.015 MT.

US Govt approves sale of AH-64E Apache attack helicopters to India

  • The United States State Department approved sale of six AH-64E Apache attack helicopters along with support equioments to India.
  • The total estimated cost of the deal is $930 million.
  • The Apache choppers are one of the most advanced multi-role combat helicopters which have advanced weapons systems and night-fighting features, manufactured by Boeing. 
  • The proposed sale also includes 180 Hellfire Longbow air-to-surface anti-armor missiles, 90 R-3 Hellfire II air-to-surface missiles, 200 Stinger air-to-air missiles; rockets, 30 mm cannons and ammunition.
  • It also includes simulators, communication equipment, spare and repair parts, training, engineering and other support.

Indian-American Dhivya Suryadevara to become CFO of General Motors

  • An Indian-American woman, Dhivya Suryadevara has been named the Chief Finance Officer of the US’ largest automaker, General Motors. 
  • She will succeed Chuck Stevens, the General Motor’s present CFO.
  • She will report to Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Mary Barra, who has been head of the automaker since 2014.
  • Barra and Suryadevara are the first women in their respective positions in the auto industry, as no other major global automaker has a female CEO or CFO.
  • General Motors will join a very short list of S&P 500 companies, including Hershey Co. and American Water Works Co., with women serving as CEO and CFO.

Sulabh International founder honoured with Nikkei Asia Prize

  • Renowned social activist and founder of Sulabh International, Dr Bindeshwar Pathak has been honoured with the Japan’s prestigious Nikkei Asia Prize for his contribution to Asia’s development.
  • He was presented with this award at 23rd Nikkei Asia Prize ceremony held in Tokyo, Japan under ‘Culture and Community’ category for his significant work in tackling poor hygiene and discrimination. 
  • He was among three who were conferred with this award.
  • Other two awardees are Chinese environmentalist Ma Jun who was awarded business innovation prize  for using power of internet to promote cleaner industry and Vietnamese doctor Nguyen Thanh Liem who won science and technology prize in recognition of his work advancing health care for children. 
  • Nikkei Inc. is one of largest media corporations in Japan. 

Virat Kohli receives Polly Umrigar Trophy

  • India captain Virat Kohli has received the Polly Umrigar Award for being the best international cricketer for the 2016-17 and 2017-18 seasons at the annual BCCI awards. 
  • He had a brilliant 2016-17 season as he went on to score 1,332 runs in 13 games with an average of 74.
  • In 2017-18 Kohli scored 896 runs at an average of 89.6 in six Test matches while in ODIs he averaged 75. 
  • Smriti Mandhana has been named the international cricketer of the year 2017-18 in the women’s category.
  • Harmanpreet Kaur received the player of the year for her phenomenal performances in the 2016-17 season. 
  • Jalaj Saxena, Parvez Rasool, Krunal Pandya were all awarded for their brilliant performances in the domestic circuit. 
  • Jalaj and Rasool were adjudged ‘Best All Rounders’ in Ranji Trophy while Krunal was rewarded for his performance in the Hazare one-day championship.

23rd FIFA World Cup 2026 to be hosted by USA, Canada and Mexico

  • USA, Canada and Mexico has won the bid for hosting the 23rd FIFA World Cup 2026.
  • Now, the 23rd FIFA World Cup 2026 will be hosted by USA, Canada and Mexico.
  • The two official bids were submitted to FIFA: a joint bid by Canada, Mexico and the United States, and a bid by Morocco.
  • The 68th FIFA Congress held in Moscow in which Canada, Mexico and the United States won the final vote.
  • The United Bid received 134 votes, Morocco received 65 votes while one country voted for neither.
  • The tournament will be the first to feature 48 teams, after FIFA approved expansion from 32 teams.

Gavit Murali Kumar clinches gold at the Gouden Spike meeting

  • Gavit Murali Kumar has clinched gold in men’s 10,000 metre race at the Gouden Spike meeting in Leiden, The Netherlands.
  • He clocked a personal best of 28 minutes 43.34 seconds.
  • It was the best by an Indian in the ongoing season.
  • It was also the second fastest time by an Indian ever in the distance race, just short of long-distance coach Surendra Singh’s national record of 28 minutes 02.89 seconds set at Vigo, Spain in 2008. 

Saweety Boora wins gold at the Umakhanov Memorial Tournament

  • Indian woman boxer Saweety Boora has claimed a gold medal in the middleweight category at the Umakhanov Memorial Tournament in Kaspiysk, Russia.
  • She beat home favourite Anna Anfinogenova in the final to finish on top in the 75 kilogram category.
  • She was the only Indian among women to make it to the Final.
  • She is also a former world championship silver-medallist.
  • However, in the men’s draw, Brijesh Yadav (81kg) and Virender Kumar (91kg) lost their respective summit clashes to end with silver medals.

Former BJP MP, Ramchandra Bainda passes away

  • The former BJP MP from Faridabad Lok Sabha constituency, Ramchandra Bainda has passed away in New Delhi aged 72.
  • He was elected from the Faridabad parliamentary constituency for the 11th, 12th as well as the 13th Lok Sabha between 1996 and 2004.

Shahzahan Bachchu sot dead

  • A prominent Bangladeshi writer and publisher, Shahzahan Bachchu has been shot dead by unidentified attackers in his ancestral village Kakaldi in Munshiganj district of central Bangladesh.
  • He was an outspoken proponent of secular principles and owner of a publishing house ‘Bishaka Prokashoni’ that specialized in publishing poetry.
  • He was a former district general secretary of the Communist Party of Bangladesh.

Mulubha Jadeja passes away

  • Mulubha Jadeja, a right-handed batsman, has passed away in Rajkot, Gujarat at the age of 88.
  • He represented Saurashtra and Railways between 1945 and 1964.
  • He played 31 first-class matches, scoring 1,373 runs with an average of 26.92.

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