Current Affairs | Daily GK Updates : 12th April 2019
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Current Affairs (National)
♦ Jallianwala Bagh massacre: 100 years on, Britain has much to apologise for
- British Prime Minister Theresa May on Wednesday called the Jallianwala Bagh massacre a “shameful scar” on British-Indian history, but stopped short of a formal apology. As India marks the centenary of the massacre, perhaps it is time Britain crossed that bridge — it has much to apologise for, especially on account of Reginald Dyer.
- Dyer wanted to strike terror “throughout the Punjab” when he ordered troops under his command to open fire on a large gathering at Amritsar’s Jallianwala Bagh 100 years ago on April 13, 1919. The victims of the massacre were non-violent protesters against British martial law and religious pilgrims visiting the site because of the Baisakhi festival. In 10 minutes, 379 (the official British estimate) men, women and children were killed. The British estimated the number of wounded to be “three times as great as the number of killed”.
♦ Railway Board Celebrates 64th Railway Week Function at Rail Bhawan
- The 64th Railway Week Function of Railway Board was organized on 12th April, 2019 in Rail Bhavan, New Delhi. Chairman, Railway Board, Shri V.K. Yadav presided over the function and presented Running Efficiency Shield, Merit Certificates & Awards to officials of Railway Board for their outstanding performances during the year 2018-19. Other Railway Board Members and Senior Officials were also present on the occasion.
- Shri V.K. Yadav presented the Running Efficiency Shield to Stationery and O&M Branches (jointly) of Railway Board selected as “Best Maintained Branch” for maintaining high standards of efficiency, prompt disposal of cases and excellent up-keep of records. Besides this, Merit Certificates and Cash Awards were presented to 2 other well-maintained sections namely Project and ERB-V Branches of Railway Board.
Current Affairs (International )
♦ London becomes first city to use pollution charge zone
- London is the first city in the world to implement a 24-hour, seven day a week Ultra Low Emission Zone, inside which vehicles will have to meet tough emissions standards or face a charge, media reported.
- Monday’s introduction of the zone, known as the ULEZ, aims to reduce toxic air pollution and protect public health, according to a press release from the office of Sadiq Khan, mayor of London.
- Vehicles are responsible for around half of harmful nitrogen oxide air emissions in the British capital, contributing to a toxic air health crisis that increases the risk of asthma, cancer and dementia as well as causing thousands of premature deaths every year, the release says.
Banking and Finance
♦ IMF chief global growth slowing and many countries struggling with high debts
- With global growth slowing and many countries struggling with high debts, now is not the time for the “self-inflicted” economic wound of trade wars, the head of the International Monetary Fund is warning.
- “The key is to avoid the wrong policies, and this is especially the case for trade,” IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde said Thursday at a news conference at the opening of spring meetings of the IMF and its sister lending organization, the World Bank. “We need to avoid self-inflicted wounds, including tariffs and other barriers.”
- A key guideline for policymakers at this “delicate” time, she said, should be- “Do no harm.”
- Ms. Lagarde didn’t specifically mention a year-long standoff between the United States and China, but she didn’t have to- The world’s two biggest economies have slapped tariffs on $350 billion worth of each other’s products in the biggest trade war since the 1930s.
♦ Paisalo Digital signs first co-origination loan agreement with SBI
- Paisalo Digital signed the first co-origination loan agreement with State Bank of India, the first agreement of its kind in the country that State Bank of India has signed. Introducing a platform for the last mile customer, the loan ticket is designed at Rs. 10,000 to 2 lakh. The company expects to disburse 200,000 loan applications in FY20.
- The company has AUM of over Rs 2,000 Crore with a net worth of Rs 671.9 Crore and a CAR of 31.73% as on Q3FY19.
- It has serviced nearly 10,00,000 borrowers and has over 2,50,000 live borrowers. The company serves customers with 118 branches in rural areas, serviced by a team of persons over 1500. With business operations in Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Himachal Pradesh, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Delhi, Haryana, Punjab, Uttarakhand and Bihar.
♦ Tata Group signs formal agreement with NDMC for operating Taj Mansingh for 33 years
- After the much delayed public e-auction of the iconic Taj Mansingh hotel in September last year, the Tata group has signed a formal agreement with the New Delhi Municipal Council
- After years of litigation and a bitter battle with the NDMC which had reached the Supreme Court, the Indian Hotels Company Limited (IHCL) retained the lease on the iconic property for another 33 years in a fiercely fought auction with rival ITC Hotels in September last year.
- Tata Group signs formal agreement with NDMC for operating Taj Mansingh for 33 years
- The Tata group had retained the property at a license fees of Rs 7.03 crore per month including GST. Earlier, they were paying Rs 3.94 crore per month as license fees.
♦ Bank credit growth loses momentum, up 13.24% to Rs 97.67 trillion
- Bank credit rose by 13.24 per cent to Rs 97.67 trillion, while deposits grew by 10.03 per cent to Rs 125.72 trillion in the fortnight to March 29, according to RBI data released Thursday.
- In the year-ago fortnight, deposits were at Rs 114.26 trillion and advances at Rs 86.25 trillion.
- In the previous fortnight to March 15, credit demand had grown by 14.46 per cent to Rs 95.53 trillion while deposits increased by 10.03 per cent to Rs 122.26 trillion.
- On a year-on-year basis, non-food bank credit increased by 13.2 per cent in February 2019 as compared with an increase of 9.8 per cent in the year-ago period.
- Loans to the services sector almost doubled with a 23.7 per cent growht in February compared to 14.2 per cent in the same month last year.
♦ India brings down trade deficit with China by $10 billion in 2019
- India has managed to bring down its trade deficit with China by $10 billion to $53 billion in 2018-19 year on year, thanks to efforts by New Delhi to get greater market access to the latter’s markets and take benefit out of the current Washington-Beijing trade war.
- Sources said India’s exports to China rose to $17 billion during the year from $13 billion during 2017-18, while imports declined to $70 billion from $76 billion.
- India is the seventh largest export destination of China, while China is the fourth largest export destination of India. On the other hand, China is the top import source for India, while the latter is the 25th largest import source for China.
♦ PM Modi to be conferred Russia’s highest civilian award
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be conferred with Russia’s highest civilian honour, the Order of the Holy Apostle Andrew. A statement from the Russian embassy in India said President Putin signed the decree to bestow the award on Modi for his “exceptional services in promoting special and privileged strategic partnership between Russia and India and for ensuring friendly relations between Russians and Indians.”
- This makes it the eighth international honour for Modi during his tenure as prime minister. The Order of the Holy Apostle Andrew is the highest award in the Russia. It was established at the end of the 17th Century by Tsar Peter I in honour of the Apostle Andrew the First-Called.
♦ Scientist Dr A K Singh conferred with Lifetime Achievement Award
- Dr A K Singh was conferred with Lifetime Achievement Award during 4th APJ Abdul Kalam Innovation Conclave at Chandigarh University, Mohali Thursday.
- Dr A K Singh, director at Life Sciences, DRDO, was honoured with Lifetime Achievement Award for his rich contribution in the field of life sciences, aerospace and aeronautics. The DST scientist has more than 18 patents and has contributed in more than 57 research publications at an international and national level.
- The conclave was organised by the university to mark World Creativity and Innovation Day.
♦ Vikram Nath, new Chief Justice of A.P. High Court
- Justice Vikram Nath, seniormost judge of the Allahabad High Court, has been appointed Chief Justice of the Andhra Pradesh High Court. He succeeds acting CJ Justice C. Praveen Kumar.
- Justice Vikram Nath has been recommended by the Supreme Court collegium, headed by CJ of India Justice Ranjan Gogoi.
- Justice Praveen Kumar became the first CJ of the A.P. High Court which came into existence with effect from January 1, 2019 following the Presidential order dated December 26, 2018, to constitute the separate court consequent to the bifurcation of the State, with Amaravati as it’s principal seat.
♦ President Ram Nath Kovind pays homage to CRPF martyrs on 54th Valour Day
- President Ram Nath Kovind today paid homage to the martyrs at National Police Memorial in New Delhi on the occasion of 54th Valour Day of Central Reserve Police Force, CRPF. He also presented gallantry medals to six Jawans posthumously.
- Speaking on the occasion, Mr Kovind said more than 34 thousand police personnel have laid down their lives in the line of duty for the nation after the Independence. The President appreciated the role of CRPF in combating terrorism and separatism in Jammu and Kashmir. He said citizens country can move ahead on the path of development only in a peaceful atmosphere.
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