Daily Current Affairs 18 June 2020 for Banking/Insurance/SSC and other related exams.
India pledges to construct sanitation facility at Nepal’s iconic Pashupatinath Temple
India has pledged to construct a Rs 2.33 crore sanitation facility at the iconic Pashupatinath Temple complex to improve the infrastructure in the holy shrine for the pilgrims.
- The project would be constructed under the Nepal-Bharat Maitri: Development Partnership as a high impact community development scheme by India.
- Under the initiative, India has pledged to extend financial assistance amounting to NRs 37.23 million (INR 2.33 crore) for the sanitation facility that would be implemented by the Kathmandu Metropolitan City in accordance with the norms laid out by Government of Nepal in 15 months
India ranked 43rd on IMD’s World Competitiveness Index; Singapore on top
India continues to remain ranked 43rd on an annual World Competitiveness Index compiled by Institute for Management Development (IMD) with some traditional weaknesses like poor infrastructure and insufficient education investment keeping its ranking low.
- Singapore has retained its top position followed by Denmark, Switzerland, Netherlands and Hong Kong.
- The US has moved down to 10th place (from 3rd last year), while China has also slipped from 14th to 20th place. Among the BRICS nations, India is ranked second after China, followed by Russia (50th), Brazil (56th) and South Africa (59th).
India, China increased nuclear weapons since last year: SIPRI
India and China have increased their nuclear arsenal over the last year, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).
- The Swedish think-tank that researches on conflict, armaments and arms control also pointed out that China is significantly modernising its nuclear arsenal.
- China and Pakistan have more nuclear warheads as compared to India, according to the SIPRI Yearbook 2020.
- India has 150 nuclear warheads, while China and Pakistan have 320 and 160. The figures are until January. Last year, India had 130-140 warheads, while China had 290 and Pakistan 150-160
India elected as non-permanent member of UNSC; PM, HM thank global community and member countries for overwhelming support
India was elected as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council for a two-year term after winning 184 votes in the 193-member General Assembly.
- Along with India, Ireland, Mexico and Norway also won the Security Council elections held last night.
- India’s two year term will begin on January 1, 2021. This is the eighth time that India will sit at the UN high-table, which comprises five permanent members and 10 non-permanent members.
BANKING & FINANCE
AIIB approves $750 million loan to India for COVID-19 response
Beijing-headquartered Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) has approved a $750 million loan to India to help the government strengthen its battle against the adverse impact of COVID-19 pandemic on poor and vulnerable households.
- AIIB’s sovereign loans to India that have already been approved amount to $3.06 billion, including a recent $500-million COVID-19 emergency response. The current loan will be the second for India under AIIB’s COVID-19 Crisis Recovery Facility. China is the largest shareholder in AIIB with a 26.06 per cent voting power, followed by India with a 7.62 per cent voting power.
Maruti partners with Karur Vysya Bank for flexible financing schemes
Car market leader Maruti Suzuki India (MSI) said it has partnered with Karur Vysya Bank to offer simpler and flexible financing schemes for new customers.
- Through the partnership with the bank, the company is seeking to offer prospective buyers special scheme of up to 100 per cent on road funding with six months holiday period on all models, except van EECO), loans for both salaried and self-employed customers and repayment period up to 84 months.
BUSINESS & ECONOMY
Two Indian firms ZestMoney and Stellapps in World Economic Forum’s Technology Pioneers list
Two Indian firms, ZestMoney and Stellapps figure in a new list of Tech Pioneers released by the World Economic Forum (WEF) which described these 100 entities as future headline-makers addressing global issues with cutting-edge technology.
- From artificial intelligence (AI) to carbon capture, these companies are using innovations to protect the climate, improve healthcare and much more, helping us to reset society and build towards a better future.
- Of the 100 firms chosen, over one-quarter are female-led and these firms come from diverse regions that extend conventional tech hub points with companies utilizing innovative technology in novel ways all around the world.
Infosys joins Amazon, signs Climate Pledge to become net-zero carbon
In a significant move, Indian software major, Infosys announced that it will make its business net zero carbon by 2040, ten years ahead of the deadline set out by the Paris Agreement.
- The Indian software services company, along with US telecommunication conglomerate Verizon and British consumer goods company Reckitt Benckiser, signed on to The Climate Pledge, an initiative by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and Global Optimism founder former United Nations climate chief Christiana Figueres to accelerate the transition to a low carbon economy.
4th Asian Youth Para Games to be held in Bahrain in December 2021
The Asian Paralympic Committee (APC) announced that Bahrain will host the fourth edition of the Asian Youth Para Games from December 1 to 10 next year.
- An estimated 800 athletes under 20 years of age are expected to compete in nine sports including athletics, badminton, powerlifting, swimming and table tennis.
- The competition will take place across numerous venues in Khalifa Sports City, a multi-use stadium in Isa Town, and Isa Sports City.
Shakhriyar Mamedyarov wins World Stars Sharjah Chess Championship
Shakhriyar Mamedyarov from Azerbaijan became the winner of the World Stars Sharjah Online Chess Championship 2020, a double round-robin tournament with 10 min +3 sec time control organized by the Sharjah Cultural & Chess Club.
- The event was held online on a popular platform Internet Chess Club (ICC). The prize fund of the competition amounted to 10.000$.
- Pentala Harikrishna (India) finished second with 6.5 out of 10, a full point behind the champion.
Bayern Munich win eighth successive Bundesliga title
Bayern Munich have been crowned Bundesliga champions for an eighth successive season after a 1-0 win at Werder Bremen.
- Bayern’s domination of German football continues as an 11th successive win means Borussia Dortmund can no longer catch them.
Trustees of PM CARES appoint SARC & Associates as auditor of fund
Trustees of the fund, which is called Prime Minister’s Citizens Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations (PM CARES) Fund, appointed “SARC & Associates, Chartered Accountants, New Delhi, as the auditors” for three years.
- The firm, headed by Sunil Kumar Gupta, was appointed auditors of the PM’s National Relief Fund (PMNRF) in 2019.
DK Jain gets one year extension as BCCI ombudsman
Former Supreme Court judge DK Jain will continue as Board of Control for Cricket in India’s ethics officer and ombudsman after getting a one-year extension from the cricket Board.
- Jain was appointed by the Supreme Court in February 2019 as BCCI’s first-ever ombudsman.
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Germany launches “Corona-Warn-App”, coronavirus tracing app
Germany sought to mobilize the public 0to download a new smartphone app that seeks to help break the chain of coronavirus infections, one of several such apps in Europe that governments hope will revive travel and tourism.
- The new Corona-Warn-App, which became available for download on Apple and Android phones overnight, uses Bluetooth short-range radio to monitor close contacts between people and issue a warning should one of them test positive
Former Goa minister Achyut Usgaonkar passes away
Former Goa minister Achyut Kashinath Sinai Usgaonkar died at a hospital following age-related ailments, family. He was 92.
- Usgaonkar was a leader of the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party, the oldest regional outfit in Goa.
- He served as cabinet minister from August 13, 1977 to April 27, 1979 in the then Shashikala Kakodkar government.
- He was represented Pale constituency in the then Goa, Daman and Diu legislative assembly
Leading Mumbai diamantaire Arunkumar R. Mehta passes away
Leading diamantaire Arunkumar Ramniklal Mehta who founded the B. Arunkumar & Co. six decades ago passed away at a private hospital. He was 80.
- Described as a ‘visionary’ by the industry, Mehta was born in 1940 in the small town of Patan, Gujarat and had humble beginnings in life.
- Almost 20 years later he moved to Mumbai, the hub of the Indian gems and jewelleries industry and founded a small diamond cutting and polishing unit, naming it as “Arunkumar & Company’ in 1960, which later became the Rosy Blue Group.
- Mehta later became the founding-member of the influential body Diamond Exporters Association Ltd. besides being active with the Bharat Diamond Bourse, the Gems & Jewellery Export Promotion Council, Rajkamal Rikhabchand Charitable Trust, Bombay Diamond Merchants Association Relief Fund, headed the Palanpur Samaj Kendra and was involved with other prominent organisations