Current Affairs | Daily GK Updates : 25th April 2019
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Current Affairs (National)
♦ SC appoints ex-judge Patnaik to probe ‘larger conspiracy’ against CJI
- The Supreme Court on Thursday appointed its former judge, Justice A.K. Patnaik to probe whether a conspiracy is afoot against the Chief Justice of India (CJI) Ranjan Gogoi.
- Justice Patnaik has been tasked to unearth whether the CJI is the target of a larger intrigue hatched by a powerful lobby of fixers, disgruntled apex court employees and corporate figures to compromise the highest judiciary itself.
- The enquiry would primarily focus on material and affidavits provided by lawyer Utsav Singh Bains that claimed some former staffers of the court, influential peddlers and corporate entities have ganged up against Chief Justice Gogoi to frame him in a false case.
Current Affairs (International)
♦ India, Sweden MoU for smart cities, clean tech
- India and Sweden Thursday launched a joint programme that will work towards addressing a range of challenges around smart cities and clean technologies among others.
- The programme was co-funded by Indian Department of Science and Technology (DST) and Swedish agency Vinnova.
- Vinnova will provide funding to Swedish participants up to 2,500,000 Swedish Krona (around Rs 1.87 crore) as grant. On the Indian side, conditional grant of up to 50 per cent (with a limit of Rs 1.5 crore) per project will be provided to the Indian partners.
- “The India-Sweden Collaborative Industrial Research and Development Programme will see Swedish and Indian innovators work together and develop solutions that benefit both sides,” Klas Molin, Ambassador of Sweden to India, said.
Banking and Finance
♦ Customer complaints against banks surge 25% in FY18: RBI report
- More people are complaining about banking services than before even as the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) claims to have increased its efficiency in resolving plaints.
- The 21 offices of the banking ombudsman received 163,590 complaints in 2017-18 (FY18), marking an increase of 24.9 per cent over the previous year. Most of the complaints were against nationalised banks, followed by State Bank of India and its associates (now merged). This is not surprising, considering these bans also account for 70 per cent of the banking industry.
- Disposal rate was 96.5 per cent, compared to 92 per cent in the previous year, according to the annual report of the banking ombudsman scheme of the central bank. This is also the first ombudsman report that takes into account complaints against mobile banking and electronic banking services, with the services being brought into ambit under the scheme in July 2017.
♦ LG Electronics to suspend mobile phone production in South Korea
- South Korea’s LG Electronics plans to suspend manufacturing of its loss-making mobile phones in the country this year and shift the production to its existing plant in Vietnam, Yonhap News Agency said on Wednesday.
- Citing an unidentified source, Yonhap reported that LG decided to move its local handset production to Vietnam to help turn around the money-losing smartphones division.
- LG’s mobile business, in the red for seven quarters, and intensifying price competition in the global TV market likely weighed on its first quarter earnings, analysts have said.
- LG Elec declined comment on the report.
- Note- It has production bases for smartphones in South Korea, China, Vietnam, Brazil and India, and the South Korean factory mainly manufactures high-end models, accounting for 10 percent to 20 percent of the firm’s total smartphone output.
♦ NASA records first likely ‘quake’ on Mars
- NASA’s robotic Mars InSight lander has recorded a likely “marsquake” for the first time ever, the U.S. space agency said. The faint seismic signal, detected by the lander’s Seismic Experiment for Interior Structure (SEIS) instrument, was recorded on April 6, the lander’s 128th Martian day.
- This is the first recorded trembling that appears to have come from inside the planet, as opposed to being caused by forces above the surface, such as wind, NASA said in a statement.
- Scientists still are examining the data to determine the exact cause of the signal.
♦ Rana Dasgupta Awarded 2019 Tagore Literary Prize
- The second edition of Rabindranath Tagore Literary Prize was awarded to author Rana Dasgupta for his 2010 novel “Solo”, a tale of estrangement and the ultimate failure of material existence.
- An amount of $10,000, a Tagore statue and a certificate for contribution to literature was given to Dasgupta, as per the organisers of the award ceremony on Tuesday.
- “Nine years after ‘Solo’ came out, I am delighted and indeed very surprised to see it receiving fresh recognition. This global age has very much to learn from Tagore’s global age, which was in many ways more morally and politically acute than ours.
♦ Pakistan’s Cyril Almeida named IPI’s World Press Freedom Hero
- Pakistani journalist Cyril Almeida, known for his courageous and hard-hitting coverage of civil-military tensions in the South Asian country, has been named as the International Press Institute’s 2019 World Press Freedom Hero, the press freedom watchdog says.
- Almeida was awarded for “his tenacious coverage of the Pakistani state’s patronage of militant groups”, the Vienna-based IPI said in a statement released on Wednesday.
- The Pakistani journalist has been at the centre of a marked increase in attacks on media freedom in Pakistan, facing treason charges, travel restrictions and other forms of intimidation for his reporting on tensions between Pakistan’s military and its civilian leaders.
♦ ISSF shooting World Cup: Manu Bhaker and Saurabh Chaudhary won golds
- India opened its medal account with a gold each in the 10m Air Rifle Mixed Tam and 10 Air Pistol Mixed team events on the third day of competitions at the ISSF Shooting World Cup in Beijing on Thursday.
- Young shooters Manu Bhaker and Saurabh Chaudhary took the top spot in the 10m Air Pistol Mixed Team event after Anjum Moudgil and Divyansh Singh Panwar opened the country’s gold account in the 10m Air Rifle Mixed Team event.
- Bhaker and Chaudhary outshot Jiang Ranxin and Pang Wei of China 16-6 in the final, which was held in the new format wherein top two teams battled for the gold medal.
♦ World Malaria Day 2019
- Every year, April 25 is celebrated as World Malaria Day, to consolidate and re-strengthen efforts to control the disease. Malaria has been in existence since the last 1,00,000 years and despite the progress made by science and medicine in controlling the disease, it continues to be the biggest killer of mankind.
- Theme 2019- Zero Malaria start with me.
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