Current Affairs | Daily GK Updates : 19 April 2019
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Current Affairs (National)
♦ 20 states join pan-India single emergency helpline number ‘112’
- Twenty states and Union territories have so far joined a pan-India network of single emergency helpline number ‘112’ on which immediate assistance can be sought by anyone in distress, officials said on Friday.
- The ‘112’ helpline is an integration of police (100), fire (101) and women (1090) helpline numbers and the project is being implemented under the central government’s Nirbhaya Fund. The single number for emergency services is similar to ‘911’ in the United States.
- The 20 states and UTs include Himachal Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Puducherry, Lakshadweep, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Dadar and Nagar Haveli, Daman and Diu, Jammu and Kashmir and Nagaland, a Home Ministry official said.
♦ Delhi Metro trains to now run on solar power too; DMRC gets 27 MW power from Rewa project
- Delhi Metro trains will now also run on solar power as the DMRC on Thursday received 27 MW power from the Madhya Pradesh-based Rewa Solar Power Project, officials said. This will also be the first time when the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) will be receiving power from an “offsite source”.
- “Till now, solar power generated by roof-top solar plants installed in DMRC premises were utilised for auxiliary requirements such as lighting and air conditioning of stations, depots.
- “But, now solar power coming from Rewa would also be used for operation of trains,” a senior official of the DMRC said.
- He said, an agreement on offsite sourcing of power for the DMRC was signed in 2017.
- “The DMRC has started receiving solar power from the Rewa Solar Power Project from today onwards. Today, DMRC received 27 MW power from the project based in Madhya Pradesh and the same will gradually increase to 99 MW,” the DMRC said in a statement.
♦ China says ties with India insulated from differences on Belt and Road Initiative
- China on Friday said its ties with India had a “bright future” and they were preparing for a summit between their leaders as a follow-up to last year’s two-day across-the board Wuhan informal summit between President Xi Jinping and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
- At a press conference on a three-day Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation that begins on May 25, Chinese foreign minister and state councillor Wang Yi was emphatic that ties between India and China were insulated from their differences on the Beijing-led Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).
- Thirty-seven heads of state or heads of government, including leaders from Russia, Italy, Hungary, Austria, Switzerland, Malaysia and Singapore, as well as high level representatives from France, Germany, UK, Spain the European Union and Republic of Korea, will attend the mega event.
Banking and Finance
♦ RBI releases draft framework for regulatory sandbox to help fintech space
- The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Thursday released a draft ‘Enabling Framework for Regulatory Sandbox’ in order to support the country’s rapidly growing fintech space.
- The sandbox will begin the testing process with 10-12 selected entities focusing on financial inclusion, payments and lending, digital KYC, etc. The cohorts (end-to-end sandbox process) may run for varying time periods, but should ordinarily be completed within six months, said the RBI.
- A regulatory sandbox usually refers to live testing of new products or services in a controlled/test regulatory environment for which regulators may (or may not) permit certain regulatory relaxations for the limited purpose of the testing.
- The regulatory sandbox would be within a well-defined space and duration where the RBI will provide the requisite regulatory guidance, so as to increase efficiency, manage risks, and create new opportunities for consumers.
♦ Uber wins $1bn investment from Toyota, SoftBank fund
- Japanese car giant Toyota and investment fund SoftBank Vision Fund on Friday unveiled an investment of $1 billion in U.S. company Uber to drive forward the development of driverless ridesharing services.
- The latest cash injection, expected to close in the third quarter this year, came amid fevered anticipation of Uber’s public share offering which is expected to be the largest in the tech sector for years.
- Toyota has already invested $500 million in Uber as the firm races Google-owned Waymo and a host of other companies, including major automakers, to develop self-driving vehicles.
♦ Deutsche Bank appoints Kaushik Shaparia as CEO to succeed Ravneet Gill
- Deutsche Bank appointed Kaushik Shaparia as the chief executive officer for India to succeed Ravneet Gill. Gill left the bank to head private lender YES Bank earlier this year.
- Shaparia’s appointment will be effective from May 2019, said a source. A representative from the bank confirmed the development.
- Shaparia served as Asia Pacific Head of Corporate Banking Coverage within Institutional and Treasury Coverage, as well as Global Head of Subsidiary Coverage and has a 30-year experience at the bank. He took over from Khurshed Dordi, as Chief Operating Officer for India, who was serving as Deutsche Bank’s interim Chief Country Officer.
♦ IN Ships to participate in International Fleet Review at Qingdao, China
- IN Ships Kolkata and Shakti are scheduled to arrive Qingdao, China on 21 Apr 19 to participate in the International Fleet Review as part of 70TH Anniversary celebrations of PLA (Navy). International Fleet Review (IFR) is a parade of naval ships, aircraft and submarines, and is organised by nations to promote goodwill, strengthen cooperation and showcase their organisational capabilities.
- IFR also serves as an ideal platform for world’s navies to showcase their prowess and indigenous ship designing and ship building capabilities in a global/ international arena. The second IFR conducted by India off Visakhapatnam in Feb 2016 saw overwhelming participation of 50 navies with nearly 100 warships.
♦ Nepal launches its first satellite NepaliSat-1 from US
- Nepal Thursday successfully launched its first satellite into space from the US to gather detailed geographical information of the Himalayan nation, evoking unbridled excitement among the people and scientists.
- Developed by the Nepalese scientists, NepaliSat-1 satellite was launched at 2:31 am (Nepal time) from Virginia in United States, according to Nepal Academy of Science and Technology (NAST).
- Two Nepali scientists, Aabhas Maskey and Hariram Shrestha who are currently studying at Japanese Kyushu Institute of Technology, developed the satellite under the BIRDS project of their institute.
- Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli congratulated all the scientists and institutions involved in the development of the satellite. He said it was a matter of prestige for the country to have its own satellite.
♦ World Liver Day 19 April 2019: Symptoms of liver disease and ways to keep it healthy
- The liver, which measures about 1,00 grams in weight and 15 cm in length, is responsible for the synthesis of various proteins, coagulation factors, cholesterol, triglycerides and bile including glycogenesis.
- It is also responsible for detoxifications of drugs, alcohol and control of infections. Located in the upper right part of the abdomen separated from chest cavity by the diaphragm, it is one the most vital organs in the body.
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