Current Affairs | Daily GK Updates : 17th April 2019
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Current Affairs (National)
♦ SC admits for consideration plea for lifting ban on Muslim women’s entry into mosques
- The Supreme Court on Tuesday admitted for consideration a plea by a couple to lift the ban on Muslim women’s entry into mosques across the country.
- “The only reason we may hear you is because of our judgment in Sabarimala temple,” a Bench of Justices S.A. Bobde and S. Abdul Nazeer remarked orally. The court issued notice to the government and various bodies, including the National Commission for Women.
- In September last, a Constitution Bench of the court lifted the age-old ban on women of menstrual age, between 10 and 50 years, entering the famed Sabarimala temple in Kerala. The decision created an uproar. Multiple review petitions were filed, heard and reserved for judgment. The court had held that the Sabarimala ban amounted to discrimination and even the practice of untouchability. Women had equal right to worship in a “public” temple.
- The court had also played a key role in facilitating the entry of women into the sanctum of the Haji Ali dargah in Mumbai.
♦ TikTok no longer available on Google and Apple stores
- Google and Apple have removed Chinese internet firm Bytedance’s social media app TikTok from the Play Store and App Store following directions of the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology to do so, after an order by the Madras High Court on April 3 to prohibit its downloads.
- The popular app used by teengers for creation and sharing of short videos was available on application stores of both Google and Apple until Tuesday evening, but is no longer available for downloads on both platforms. According to an earlier report by ET MeitY’s order will help stop further downloads of the application, but people who have already downloaded it will be able to continue using it on their smartphones.
♦ Essel World launches interactive bird park
- Bird lovers in the city are up for a treat with Essel World launching an interactive bird park in Gorai on Thursday afternoon. The first-of-its-kind rain forest-themed park spread across 1.4 acres is home to over 500 exotic birds from more than 60 species.
- Anand Lamdhade, vice-president, Essel World, said that Mumbai’s fast-paced life leaves city dwellers with no time to be in nature’s presence and appreciate the beauty that birds add to the world. He said, “Our main motive was to set up a bird park that meets international standards and lets the city dwellers peep into the birds’ world. The park is carefully designed to ensure appropriate living conditions for the birds. It is meant not only for entertainment but also to spread awareness of different types of birds. I am sure that every person who visits the park will leave with a piece of newly discovered information.”
Banking and Finance
♦ Banks must flag bad loans as NPAs after 90-day default: RBI to NCLAT
- The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Tuesday told the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) that banks had an obligation to mark bad loans as non-performing asset (NPA) after the default of 90 days and that the lenders could not be relieved of the same.
- The banking sector regulator has moved the NCLAT seeking a modification of its February 25 order in which the appellate tribunal had said that accounts of the Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services (IL&FS) and its subsidiaries could not be classified NPAs without approval.
- Reflecting such loans as NPA is important on the books of banks as it acts as an early warning signal, senior advocate Gopal Jain appearing for the RBI said.
♦ RedBus appoints Mahendra Singh Dhoni as brand ambassador
- R Bus ticketing platform redBus on Monday announced that it has appointed cricketer Mahendra Singh Dhoni as its brand ambassador.
- The cricketer will appear in a hockey player avatar in his first cameo for the brand, slated to be launched soon. redBus will reach out to its audience across the country through various media channels, both online and offline.
♦ PwC appoints Padmaja Alaganandan as its new chief people officer
- PwC has named Padmaja Alaganandan as its new chief people officer. Alaganandan, who was leader-people and organisation at PwC earlier, takes over from Jagjit Singh.
- Alaganandan is also in the PwC’s India leadership team since January 2019.
- Alaganandan said her priority as chief people officer will be to build talent in line with PwC’s strategy. “Building a wellbalanced and inclusive workforce is key to our business,” she said. Alaganandan has over 25 years of consulting experience in business and human capital advisory in diverse industries.
- Before joining PwC in 2011, Alaganandan had worked in leadership roles in organisations such as Mercer Consulting and AF Ferguson. She has also been a member of CII’s National HR Committee and the Committee on Skill Development.
♦ New York Times, Wall Street Journal win Pulitzers for Trump probes
- The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal were awarded Pulitzer Prizes on Tuesday for their separate investigations of President Donald Trump and his family.
- The Times won the prestigious journalism award for a probe of the Trump family’s finances that “debunked his claims of self-made wealth and revealed a business empire riddled with tax dodges,” the Pulitzer Prize Board announced during a ceremony at New York’s Columbia University.
- The Journal won for its coverage of Trump’s secret hush money payments to two women during his 2016 presidential campaign who claimed to have had affairs with him.
- The South Florida Sun-Sentinel won a Pulitzer for its coverage of failings by school and law enforcement officials before and after the February 2018 massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
♦ 50 Indian peacekeepers in S. Sudan honoured for dedicated service
- “A glimpse beyond the dedicated Service and Sacrifice of the @UN blue beret – Indian peacekeepers receive medals of honour in Malakal -@India Be Proud,” the UN mission tweeted Monday, along with pictures of the Indian peacekeepers participating in a parade and receiving the medals for their exemplary service.
- The medals were given to the 150 Indian peacekeepers serving in UNMISS in Malakal during a ceremony filled with parades and performances by a piped band.
- Colonel Amit Gupta, deployed with UNMISS in Malakal, was among the recipients of the medal of honour.
- A UNMISS news article said Gupta commands a battalion of 850 soldiers in the Upper Nile region of South Sudan. Under his command, his men have conducted highly sought-after veterinary camps and run a veterinary hospital in Malakal, with a second expected to be completed in Kodok – a major town along the west bank of the Nile – in a few weeks’ time.
- “I want to be remembered as having left positive memories for the people in South Sudan,” Gupta is quoted as saying in the UNMISS article. “I also want to leave them in a better place, where they are able to generate income for themselves and build their country.”
♦ Second Edition of Indian Navy-Vietnam Peoples’ Navy Bilateral Exercise (IN – VPN BILAT EX) Concludes
- In the backdrop of the growing maritime engagement between India and Vietnam, the Indian Navy undertook the second edition of the bilateral maritime exercise between Indian Navy and Vietnam Peoples’ Navy at/ off Cam Ranh Bay, Vietnam from 13 to 16 Apr 19. The maiden edition was conducted from 21 to 26 May 18 at Da Nang, Vietnam. The exercise was undertaken as a part of the ongoing Overseas Deployment of Eastern Fleet ships to South East Asian countries. IN Ships Kolkata under the command of Capt Aditya Hara and Shakti under the command of Capt Sriram Amur participated in the exercise, comprising a harbour and a sea phase.
- The Indian Navy and the Vietnam Peoples’ Navy have traditionally shared good relations. Conduct of the bilateral exercise on an annual basis would give a further fillip to the existing strong bilateral relation between the two countries, which since Sep 16 have been elevated to the level of ‘Comprehensive Strategic Partnership’ after the visit of the Hon’ble PM to Vietnam. The Navy to Navy cooperation involves a Composite Training Programme in the fields of Submarine, Aviation and Dockyard training. The two countries have also signed an agreement to exchange White Shipping Information and have a running ‘Information Sharing’ programme.
♦ ICC partners with UNICEF to organise #OneDay4Children at World Cup
- International Cricket Council (ICC) Cricket for Good on Tuesday in partnership with UNICEF announced #OneDay4Children, a tournament-wide campaign focussed on bringing the world of cricket together as one team to help build a better world for every child, at the World Cup.
- Former England batsman and #OneDay4Children ambassador Nasser Hussain along with all-rounder Chris Woakes launched the campaign.
- There will be #OneDay4Children activity throughout all 48 matches of the event, peaking with a day of celebration during the match between England and India on June 30 at Edgbaston. The money raised will support UNICEF’s work in cricket playing nations to help children learn to play and be healthy. Edgbaston will turn blue whilst players will support the campaign with special one-off #OD4C branded kit, ICC reported.
♦ IPL hits new high on Star India’s Hotstar with record 267 million viewers
- Star India’s video streaming platform Hotstar, which has also been home to the Vivo Indian Premier League (IPL) on digital since 2015, registered a viewership of 267 million viewers in the first three weeks of this year’s IPL.
- As a result, the platform has already surpassed digital viewership of 202 million viewers (for the entire season). The 12th edition of the IPL started on March 23 and concludes on May 12. The tournament is being telecast on multiple channels on the Star India TV network across eight languages, in addition to live streaming on Hotstar.
- In the three weeks since the 2019 edition of the IPL launched, Hotstar also set a global live streaming record with a concurrency of 12.7 million viewers during the Royal Challengers Bangalore v/s Mumbai Indians match on March 28. With this, the platform broke its own previous record of 11.2 million concurrent viewers who watched an India v/s New Zealand T20 match.
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