Current Affairs | Daily GK Updates : 23rd April 2019
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Current Affairs (National)
♦ India ranks 19th in Index of Cancer Preparedness
- The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) has released the 2019 Index of Cancer Preparedness (ICP) in which India’s overall rank is 19th out of 28 countries, with a score of 64.9.
- Australia tops the ICP, followed by the Netherlands and Germany. Saudi Arabia, Romania, and Egypt are at the bottom in Index.
Current Affairs (International)
♦ Sri Lanka declares National Mourning Day in wake of Sunday’s bomb attacks
- Sri Lanka impose emergency under prevention of terrorism Regulations with effect from Monday night; declares Tuesday as a National Day of Mourning in view of Sunday’s bomb attacks.
- Sri Lankan government has imposed emergency provisions under terrorism prevention from Monday night and sought international help to probe into foreign support for the attacks held on Sunday. The decision of emergency was taken at meeting of the National Security Council to empower the security forces and to ensure public security.
- The meeting also decided to declare Tuesday as a national day of mourning. The security situation remains tense as a van carrying explosives was diffused near the Colombo church, which faced attack on Sunday.
Banking and Finance
♦ RBI committee to peg excess capital at Rs 3 trillion, says BofAML
- A panel named by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to study its capital structure is likely to identify excess reserves of up to Rs 3 trillion, or 1.5 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP), according to Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BofAML).
- The view from BofAML lends itself to a debate over the RBI’s reserves, with one school of thought believing that the monetary authority holds surplus capital that can be handed over to the government and the other saying the RBI has insufficient reserves.
- BofAML’s note comes as the panel led by former governor RBI Bimal Jalan prepares to submit its report in the coming weeks. While finance ministry officials have supported transfer of surplus reserves to help the government meet budget goals, a central bank-backed thinktank found that the RBI’s capital buffer that’s below the global average capital to asset ratio.
♦ RBI’s 2nd dollar-rupee swap auction gets $18.65 billion bids vs $5 billion on offer
- The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Tuesday received bids worth $18.65 billion for its second dollar-rupee buy-sell swap auction against $5 billion on offer.
- The cut-off premium, the threshold for the banks to receive any allotment, was set at Rs 8.38.
- The swap will be in the nature of a simple buy/sell foreign exchange swap from the central bank side.
- Under the swap, a bank would sell US dollars to the RBI and simultaneously agree to buy the same amount of US dollars at the end of the swap period.
- This is how the swap mechanism would work: High-street banks would sell dollars to the RBI at 69.67 apiece, the closing price of the currency on Monday. Three years later, they would buy back the dollars, in rupee terms, at 78.05 apiece – the exchange rate that includes the cut-off premium.
♦ Bahrain’s Gulf International Bank establishes Saudi arm with $2 bn capital
- Bahrain-based Gulf International Bank converted its Saudi operation into a locally incorporated bank with 7.5 billion riyals ($2 billion) capital, as the lender looks to boost its presence in the kingdom.
- The bank’s Saudi arm will be owned equally by GIB, as the Bahraini lender is known, and Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, according to a statement. Abdulla bin Mohammed Al Zamil is chairman of GIB Saudi Arabia, while GIB Chief Executive Officer Abdulaziz bin Abdulrahman Al-Helaissi will be executive director and CEO of the Saudi business.
- GIB launched Meem, an online Islamic bank in Saudi Arabia in 2015 as it moved into retail banking.
♦ IN Ships Kolkata and Shakti are at Qingdao, China to participate in IFR to mark 70TH Anniversary of PLA(N)
- IN Ships Kolkata and Shakti entered Qingdao, China to participate in the International Fleet Review (IFR) as part of 70TH Anniversary Celebrations of PLA (Navy) on 21 Apr 19. Entry of IN Ships was marked by firing of 21 gun salute to the Peoples Republic of China. The Ships were welcomed into harbour by officials from PLA (N) North Sea Fleet with live performance of Naval Band as part of Welcome Ceremony.
- The participation of Indian Navy in PLA (N) IFR, for third consecutive time (2009, 2014 and 2019), is a demonstration of the Nation’s commitment to enhance maritime cooperation between the two navies and bolster bonds of friendship between the two Countries. The IN has deployed its finest assets for the IFR with an aim to strengthen existing cooperation, enhance mutual trust, extend interoperability and build greater synergy to address common maritime concerns among participating navies.
♦ Badminton Asia Championships begins at Wuhan in China
- The Indian contingent comprises PV Sindhu and Saina Nehwal in Women’s Singles, and Kidambi Srikanth and Sameer Verma in Men’s Singles.
- Indian shuttlers will also be seen in action in the Doubles categories. India will be looking to end its 54-year-old title jinx at the Championships.
- It was Dinesh Khanna who had become the Men’s Singles champion in 1965. Last year, Saina and HS Prannoy had won bronze medals.
♦ Asian Wrestling Championships: Bajrang Punia wins gold, Praveen Rana settles for silver
- Bajrang Punia opened India’s medal tally at the Asian Wrestling Championships with a gold in the 65kg freestyle category, beating Sayatbek Okassov 12-7 in the final on Tuesday in Xi’an, China. Meanwhile, Praveen Rana settled for silver and Satyavrat Kadian won bronze in 97kg category.
♦ World Book Day 2019
- World Book Day is celebrated by UNESCO and other related organisations every year on the 23rd of April. Also called the World Book and Copyright Day, it is an occasion to promote the joy of books and the art of reading. 23rd April was selected by UNESCO to pay tribute to great literary figures including William Shakespeare, Miguel Cervantes and Inca Garcilaso de la Vega who died on this day. This date was finalised in the year 1995 in the UNESCO General Conference, held in Paris, to honour authors and books worldwide.
- Six Themes – inclusivity, reading, heritage, outreach, publishing and children
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