The Hindu Review Daily Gk Update : 18th March 2019
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♦ Former SC judge Pinaki Chandra Ghose tipped to be India’s first Lokpal
- The name of former Supreme Court judge Justice Pinaki Chandra Ghose is said to be in active consideration for appointment as the chief of country’s first Lokpal, the anti-corruption ombudsman, officials said on Sunday.
- Justice Ghose, who retired from the Supreme Court in May 2017, is a member of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC).
- His name for the post is understood to be in active consideration by the Lokpal selection panel headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, they said.
- There was no official announcement of his appointment by the government.
- His appointment, if made by the government, may trigger a controversy as Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge had boycotted the selection panel’s meet on Friday.
♦ Deutsche Bank set to announce merger talks with Commerzbank
- Deutsche Bank was set on Sunday to confirm merger talks with fellow German lender Commerzbank, according to a person with knowledge of the matter, an indication that efforts to combine the two businesses were gaining pace.
- Formal disclosure of talks increases the chances of concluding a tie-up between the nation’s two largest banks.
- A merger has long been the subject of speculation and the German government has pushed for it given concerns about the health of Deutsche which has struggled to generate sustainable profits since the 2008 financial crisis. The government holds a stake of more than 15 percent in Commerzbank following a bailout.
- Earlier this month a person with knowledge of the matter told Reuters that the management board of Deutsche had agreed to hold talks with Commerzbank on the feasibility of a merger.
♦ SBI launches cardless ATM withdrawals
- State Bank of India on Friday launched ‘YONO Cash’ for cardless withdrawal of cash at over 16,500 SBI ATMs across the country.
- With this facility, customers can initiate the cash withdrawal process on the YONO app and set a six-digit YONO Cash pin for the transaction. They will also get a six digit reference number for the transaction on their registered mobile number via SMS. The cash withdrawal has to be completed within the next 30 minutes at the nearest ATMs using both PIN and the reference number received.
♦ HDFC Bank joins Reliance Industries, TCS in $100-billion m-cap club
- Private sector lender HDFC Bank has joined the $100-billion market capitalisation (M-cap) club. Including the value of its American depository receipts (ADRs), the Mumbai-based lender’s market value currently is $101.6 billion.
- Only Reliance Industries (M-cap $123 billion) and Tata Consultancy Services ($108 billion) have higher market value. At fourth and fifth place are consumer goods companies Hindustan Unilever and ITC, with market cap of $55 billion and $53 billion, respectively.
- India now has three companies in the global top 100 list in terms of market value. Reliance Industries (RIL) ranks 72, Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) is at 86 and HDFC Bank at 99.
♦ I-T dept slaps Rs 5,872-crore tax demand notice on Grasim Industries
- The income-tax (I-T) department has slapped a hefty tax demand notice on Aditya Birla group firm Grasim Industries, asking it to pay Rs 5,872 crore on account of the dividend distribution tax on Aditya Birla Capital shares that Grasim received after the demerger of Aditya Birla Capital from Aditya Birla Nuvo.
- In a statement to the stock exchanges, Grasim said the order was not tenable in law and the company was taking necessary action against the order.
- According to the company, the deputy commissioner of income tax (DCIT) issued a show-cause notice on February 11, which was subsequently revised on March 1, asking as to why the provisions of Section 115-0 read with Section 115-Q of the Income Tax Act, 1961, should not be applied to the allotment of equity shares by Aditya Birla Capital (ABCL) to the shareholders of the company.
♦ Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar passes away
- Four-time Goa Chief Minister and former Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar (63) died on Sunday at his private residence near here after a prolonged battle, which lasted over a year, with pancreatic cancer.
- “Extremely sorry to hear of the passing of Shri Manohar Parrikar, Chief Minister of Goa, after an illness borne with fortitude and dignity. An epitome of integrity and dedication in public life, his service to the people of Goa and of India will not be forgotten #PresidentKovind,” President of India Ramnath Kovind tweeted on Sunday evening.
♦ Valtteri Bottas wins Australian Grand Prix for Mercedes
- Valtteri Bottas capitalised on a late pitstop to upset his world champion team mate Lewis Hamilton and clinch the season-opening Australian Grand Prix for Mercedes on Sunday with the “best race” of his life.
- Starting second behind pole-sitter Hamilton, Bottas got the jump on the Briton during a typically messy start at Albert Park and ended up cruising to his fourth win by some 20.80 seconds after delaying a tyre-change.
- Runner-up Hamilton, who switched to the medium compound tyres seven laps earlier than Bottas, had to battle to hold off third-placed Max Verstappen and was fortunate the Red Bull driver took a late skid in the grass to lose vital seconds.