Current Affairs | Daily GK Updates : 15th April 2019
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Current Affairs (National)
♦ Social and environmental issues find an artistic voice at the Lodhi Art Festival 2019
- New Delhi’s Lodhi Colony area a colourful makeover and turning it into India’s first open public art district, St+art India Foundation is back with the 15th edition of Street-art festival (its 4th edition in Delhi), called ‘Urban Art Festival’ this time. The festival this year highlights pertinent issues like women empowerment, climate change, waste and upcycling among others, in an artistic way.
- St+art Delhi 2019 includes an expansion of the Lodhi Art District project, F(r)iction at KONA, and, a there is a special focus on increasing community participation in Lodhi Colony and its surrounding areas. Visitors are encouraged to participate in artist-led workshops and curated tours for children, adults and the differently-abled, in order to champion accessibility.
- “The Lodhi Art Festival this year has been a celebration and consolidation of our work in Lodhi Colony in the past four years.
Current Affairs (International)
♦ Centre-left Social Democratic Party wins Finland general election
- The centre-left Social Democratic Party (SDP) has narrowly won Finland’s general election, with 17.7 per cent of the total votes.
- With 99.3 per cent of the ballots counted as of early Monday morning, the SDP, headed by former union leader Antti Rinne, obtained 17.7 per cent of the votes and 40 seats in Parliament, while the anti-immigration Finns Party – who are also in the opposition – obtained 17.5 per cent of the votes and 39 seats, reports Efe news.
- “For the first time since 1999 we are the largest party in Finland,” said Rinne, although the fine margin of the SDP’s victory means building a coalition could be difficult.
Banking and Finance
♦ Banks close FY19 with 13.24% credit growth, deposits up 10.03%
- Banks closed fiscal 2019 with robust disbursals that rose in double-digits for the second year in row, after the sub-5 per cent in FY17, which was the lowest in five decades.
- According to the Reserve Bank data released Thursday, bank credit rose 13.24 per cent to Rs 97.67 lakh crore for the fortnight to March 29, while deposits grew by 10.03 per cent to Rs 125.72 lakh crore during the same period.
- This is the second consecutive double-digits credit growth after the same had declined to 4.54 per cent in FY17 at Rs 78.41 lakh crore, which was the lowest since 1963.
- In the year-ago fortnight, deposits were at Rs 114.26 lakh crore and advances at Rs 86.25 lakh crore, according to the RBI data.
- In FY17, aggregate deposits in the banking system grew a mere 6.7 per cent in 2017-18, while credit grew still lower at 4.54 per cent, the lowest since fiscal 1963.
♦ Unsecured lending categories grew at 31.3% in 2018, says CIBIL report
- Unsecured lending categories like credit card loans, personal loans and consumer durable loans grew at 31.3 per cent in the fourth quarter of calendar year 2018 (Q4CY18), while secured lending — loan against property, auto loans and home loans — experienced a moderation in growth in the same period, according to a TransUnion CIBIL report on credit trends.
- In Q4CY18, loan against property, auto loans, and home loans grew 21.8 per cent, 17.4 per cent and 17.1 per cent, respectively. According to industry experts, the smaller base of unsecured lending helps it post a better growth rate, in percentage terms, than other loan segments.
- On the demand side, the link between income and expenditure is becoming weaker with rising aspirations especially among the younger working population, say experts. Hence, consumption spending is giving rise to unsecured shorter-term credit.
♦ Businesses with turnover over Rs 2 cr can now file FY18 GST audit reports
- Businesses with an annual turnover of over Rs 2 crore can now start filing GST audit reports for fiscal 2017-18 as GST Network (GSTN) has made its format available on its portal.
- The audit report for 2017-18, the first year of the goods and services tax (GST) implementation, is to be filed by June 30.
- The ministry on December 31, 2018, notified the annual returns forms GSTR-9, GSTR-9A and GSTR-9C. The GST Council in December extended the last date for filing these forms by three months to June 30.
- GSTN has now made available offline utility of GSTR-9C which can be filled up by taxpayer and uploaded on the portal.GSTR-9 is the annual return form for all taxpayers registered under GST, GSTR-9A is for composition taxpayers.
♦ Foreign investment of Indian companies rises 18% to $2.69 billion in March 2019
- Foreign investment dips 34% to US$ 20.65 in 2018-19 from US$ 31.53 billion in 2017-18
- As per the latest data on outward foreign direct investment released by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), the foreign investment of Indian companies moved up 18% to US$ 2.69 billion in March 2018 from US$ 2.28 billion in March 2018, while it has jumped from US$ 1.71 billion. The domestic company had made investment of US$ 2.28 billion in their subsidiaries and wholly-owned units abroad in March 2018.
- Of the total investment overseas in March 2019, about US$ 1.68 billion was in the form of loan, US$ 564.97 million as equity and the balance US$ 443.71 million was in the form of issuance of guarantee.
- However, the foreign investment of Indian companies have dipped 34% to US$ 20.65 billion in financial year 2018-19 from US$ 31.53 billion in 2017-18.
♦ AIRTEL AND FICCI FLO PARTNER UP TO LAUNCH MY CIRCLE WOMEN’S SAFETY APP
- Airtel and FICCI Ladies Organisation (FLO) have collaborated to launch a new women’s safety app. The new app is aimed at enabling and empowering women in any distressing situation as it can be used to send SOS alerts.
- The app enables a person to select five of their family or friends to send an SOS alert, which can be sent in 13 languages including English, Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Kannada, Marathi, Punjabi, Bangla, Urdu, Assamese, Oriya, and Gujarati. Once triggered, the alert sends the SOS message to selected contacts, along with the user’s current location over SMS. The selected contacts can also live track user’s location, which the app estimates.
♦ WPI inflation spikes to 3.18% in March on costlier food, fuel
- Wholesale price-based inflation rose for the second consecutive month to 3.18% in March on costlier food and fuel, government data released on Monday showed.
- The Wholesale Price Index (WPI) based inflation was at 2.93% in February. It was 2.74% in March 2018.
- Inflation in food articles hardened with steep rise in prices of vegetables during March 2019.
- Vegetables inflation was at 28.13% in March, up from 6.82% in the previous month. However, inflation in potato cooled substantially to 1.30 per cent, from 23.40 per cent in February.
- Inflation in food articles basket was 5.68% during March.
♦ India’s March trade deficit at $10.89 bn, helped by rise in exports
- India’s trade deficit narrowed to $10.89 billion in March from a year ago, helped by rise in exports, the trade ministry said in a statement on Monday.
- Trade deficit was $13.51 billion in March 2018.
- Merchandise exports rose 11.02 percent to $32.55 billion in March from a year earlier, while imports were up 1.44 percent to $43.44 billion during the same period, data showed.
- Trade deficit for the 2018-19 period that ended in March was up nearly 9 percent at $176.42 billion.
♦ K Siva Reddy to get Saraswati Samman
- Telugu poet K Siva Reddy is to be conferred the prestigious Saraswati Samman, 2018, for his collection of poems titled Pakkaki Ottigilite (Turning Aside While Lying Down).
- The award, instituted by the KK Birla Foundation, is given annually for an outstanding literary work written in any official Indian language and published during the preceding 10 years.
- It is the highest recognition in the field of Indian literature and carries a cash purse of Rs 15 lakh, apart from a citation and a plaque.
- Born in 1943 in a farmer’s family in Andhra Pradesh’s Guntur, Reddy is counted among the most renowned modern poets in Telugu. He has also taught English literature and produced 23 volumes of poetry.
♦ Successful Trial of ‘Nirbhay’ Sub-Sonic Cruise Missile
- Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO) today successfully test fired indigenously designed & developed Long Range Sub-Sonic Cruise Missile “Nirbhay” from the Integrated Test Range (ITR), Chandipur Odisha.
- It is the sixth development flight trial with objective to prove the repeatability of boost phase, cruise phase using way point navigation at very low altitudes. The missile took off vertically turning horizontally into desired direction, booster separated, wing deployed, engine started, cruised all the intended waypoints. The missile demonstrated its sea-skimming capability to cruise at very low altitudes.
- The entire flight was fully tracked by a chain of Electro Optical Tracking Systems, Radars and Ground Telemetry Systems deployed all along the sea coast.
♦ India, ASEAN vow to boost ties in maritime sector, strengthen connectivity
- India and ASEAN have resolved to strengthen ties by deepening cooperation in the maritime sector and boosting connectivity.
- The two sides made the affirmations at the 21st ASEAN-India Senior Officials’ Meeting (SOM) held here on April 11-12, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said.
- The meeting was co-chaired by Vijay Thakur Singh, SOM Leader and Secretary (East), Ministry of External Affairs, and Busaya Mathelin, SOM Leader and Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Thailand.
- The ASEAN-India SOM reviewed the strategic partnership and its future direction.
- It assessed the progress of cooperation under all three pillars — political-security, economic and socio-cultural, the MEA said.
♦ Tiger Woods wins 2019 Masters to claim 15th major
- Tiger Woods completed one of sport’s great all-time comebacks to end an 11-year major title drought at the Masters on Sunday (April 14) by claiming a fifth Green Jacket.
- A gritty two-under 70 clinched a one-shot victory over Dustin Johnson, Brooks Keopka and Xander Schauffele earning the 43-year-old a 15th major title that many thought would never come and instantly renewed talk of a run at Jack Nicklaus’s record of 18.
- Not since the 2008 U.S. Open had Woods hoisted a major trophy while the last of his four Augusta titles came in 2005, his fifth Green Jacket leaving him one short of another Nicklaus record.
- The victory also marked the first time Woods had reached the winner’s circle at major without leading after 54 holes.
♦ Cologne World Cup boxing: Meena Kumari clinches gold as Indian pugilists finish with five medals
- After her gold-medal winning run at Strandja Cup, Meena Kumari Maisnam (54kg) continued her impeccable form to finish on the top of the podium at the Cologne Boxing World Cup 2019 in Cologne, Germany on Saturday.
- Sakshi (57kg) and Pwilao Basumatary (64kg) lost their final bouts and finished with silver medals.
- India thus completed a haul of five medals from this prestigious European tournament following Pinki Rani (51kg) and Parveen (60kg)’s bronze medal wins on Saturday.
♦ Badminton: World No. 1s Kento Momota and Tai Tzu-ying triumph at Singapore Open
- Despite not being at his best, world No. 1 Kento Momota dug in deep to win the Singapore Badminton Open men’s singles title on Sunday (April 14) by beating seventh seed Anthony Ginting 10-21, 21-19, 21-13.
- The 22-year-old Indonesian was the sharper of the two in the first game, reeling off eight points in a row to build a 13-4 lead.
- World No. 1 Tai Tzu-ying proved too strong for third-ranked Nozomi Okuhara of Japan as she triumphed 21-19, 21-15 in the women’s singles final for her second straight title this year.
- Taiwanese Tai, the 2017 Singapore Open champion, won the Malaysia Open a week ago.
♦ Indian squad for World Cup announced; Pant, Rayudu out
- Virat Kohli (Capt), Rohit Sharma (vc), Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, Vijay Shankar, M.S. Dhoni (wk), Kedar Jadhav, Dinesh Karthik, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Mohd Shami
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