The Hindu Review Daily Gk Update : 5th April 2019
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♦ UK appoints Amal Clooney as new media freedom champion
- The UK government on Friday announced the appointment of a new media freedom champion in prominent human rights lawyer Amal Clooney to counter draconian laws that hinder journalists from going about their work.
- The wife of Hollywood star George Clooney takes over as the UK Foreign Secretary’s Special Envoy on Media Freedom and Co-Chair of a High Level Panel of Legal Experts.
- “Violence against journalists has reached alarming levels globally and we cannot turn a blind eye,” said UK foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt after a meeting with the Canadian Foreign Minister and Ms. Amal at a G7 event in France.
- He said Ms. Amal’s leading work on human rights means she was ideally placed to ensure this campaign has real impact for journalists and the free societies who depend on their work.
♦ Vikram Kirloskar takes charge as new CII president
- Vikram Kirloskar on Friday took charge as the new President of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), the chamber said.
- Mr. Kirloskar is the Chairman and Managing Director of Kirloskar Systems Ltd, and Vice Chairman of Toyota Kirloskar Motor. He takes over from Rakesh Bharti Mittal, Vice Chairman, Bharti Enterprises.
- Uday Kotak, the founder and MD & CEO of Kotak Mahindra Bank, is the President-Designate and T.V. Narendran, the CEO & MD of Tata Steel, is the Vice President for 2019-20, CII said.
♦ Forex reserve soars $5 billion to $412 billion
- The maiden dollar-rupee swap conducted by the central bank last week helped the country’s foreign exchange reserves swell by a healthy $5.237 billion to $411.905 billion in the week to March 29, RBI data showed Friday.
- In the previous week, the reserves had increased by $1.029 billion to $406.667 billion.
- Foreign currency assets, a major component of the overall reserves, swelled by $5.248 billion to $384.053 billion in the reporting week.
- Expressed in dollars, foreign currency assets include the effect of appreciation/depreciation of non-US currencies like the euro, pound and the yen held in the reserves.
♦ Oyo and Softbank form JV to launch hotels business in Japan
- Oyo Hotels and Homes has entered into a joint venture with its biggest institutional investor, SoftBank, to launch its hotels business in Japan, the hospitality chain announced on Thursday.
- While the terms of the latest joint venture are yet to be disclosed, sources briefed on the matter told ET that Oyo will have a 50% stakeholding in Oyo Hotels Japan GK, while SoftBank Corp and its $100-billion Vision Fund will each hold a 25% stake in the venture.
- The announcement comes almost 10 months after SoftBank Group Corp chairman Masayoshi Son had stated that the Japanese strategic holding company would look to set up a joint venture with Oyo.
♦ Lakshmi Vilas Bank board approves merger with Indiabulls Housing Finance
- Lakshmi Vilas Bank said on Friday its board has approved a share swap acquisition by housing finance firm Indiabulls Housing Finance.
- For every share held, the shareholders of the private-sector bank would be entitled to get 0.14 share in Indiabulls, Lakshmi Vilas Bank said in a statement.
- Lakshmi Vilas Bank shares were locked at 5 per cent upper circuit, at Rs 92.75, for the second straight day, in intra-day trade on the BSE after reports of a merger with Indiabulls Housing Finance.
- Shares of Indiabulls Housing Finance were up 2 per cent to Rs 916, gaining 9 per cent in the past three trading days. In comparison, the benchmark index was up 0.40 per cent at 38,840 points.
- The deal announcement was made after stock market closing on Friday.
♦ Mayoori Kango now heads a division in Google India
- Mayoori Kango, a former Hindi film actress remembered for her performance in Papa Kehte Hain that featured the song Ghar Se Nikalte hi, has been appointed as Head of Industry – Agency partnerships in Google India.
- Kango was Managing Director at Performics for two years, according to her Linked In profile. Performics, owned by French advertising holding company Publicis Groupe, is a performance marketing agency that provides paid search, natural search, social, display, affiliate and mobile marketing solutions to a variety of Fortune 500 and smaller clients.
- She acted in 15 films and numerous television soaps in an acting career spanning over a decade and a half. The last time she appeared on the silver screen was the box office dud Kurbaan.
♦ BSE, India INX become first Indian exchanges to sign MoU with Moscow Exchange
- BSE (earlier known as Bombay Stock Exchange) and India International Exchange (India INX) have signed a memorandum of understanding with Moscow Exchange (MOEX) to connect investor community and companies in both countries besides allowing a capital formation platform.
- BSE and India INX are the first Indian exchanges to enter into the MoU with Moscow exchange.
- The exchange companies have agreed to the secondment of senior personnel to enhance understanding of activities in each other’s market. They will conduct joint research to explore the possibility of further cooperating in the area of cross-listing of derivative products, exchange traded fund, dual listing and fixed income product cooperation.
♦ Indian Navy signs MoU with Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR)
- The Indian Navy and Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) today inked a MoU to undertake joint research and development of advanced technologies for the Indian Navy. This will be a collaborative arrangement between labs of CSIR, the Indian Navy and Indian industry.
- The Memorandum of Understanding was signed by Vice Admiral GS Pabby PVSM, AVSM, VSM Chief of Materiel of Indian Navy and Shri Shekhar C Mande, Secretary DSIR and Director General, CSIR. The event was attended by Directors of Seven CSIR Labs, Flag Officers and Heads of Directorates of Indian Navy and eminent scientists from distinguished CSIR Labs.
- The MoU provides a formal framework for interaction between Indian Navy and CSIR. It would facilitate joint R&D activities in diverse fields of Mechanical, Electronics, Communication, Computer Science, Propulsion systems, Metallurgy and Nanotechnology.
♦ NITI Aayog & RMI Release Technical Analysis of FAME II Scheme
- The NITI Aayog and the Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) released a report on opportunities for the automobile sector and government under the Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Electric Vehicles II (FAME II) scheme.
- The technical report titled ‘India’s Electric Mobility Transformation: Progress to Date and Future Opportunities’,quantifies the direct oil and carbon savings that the vehicles incentivized under FAME II will deliver. RMI is an Indian and global nonprofit organisation focused on driving the efficient and restorative use of resources.
- The report also quantifies the catalytic effect that FAME II and other measures could have on the overall Electric Vehicle(EV) market. According to the analysis, if FAME II and other measures – in public and private space – are successful, India could realize EV sales penetration of 30% of private cars, 70% of commercial cars, 40% of buses and 80% of two and three-wheelers by 2030.
♦ Nagaland: 4,700 Konyak Naga women dance together to set world record
- Around 4,700 Konyak Naga women in their colourful traditional attire came together on Friday in an attempt to set a Guinness World Record for the “Largest Traditional Konyak Dance”.
- In their attempt, Konyak people danced to the beats of traditional instruments and sang a ceremonial song for five minutes and one second, the organisers said here.
- Konyak is one of the 16 Naga tribes and people of this community live mainly in the Mon district of Nagaland.
♦ FIFA Rankings: Indian Football Team Climbs Two Places To 101; Belgium Maintains Top Spot
- Indian Football Team climbed two places to move to 101 rank in the FIFA rankings issued on Thursday.
- India currently has 1219 total ranking points and lie at the 18th spot amongst the Asian countries.
- The team did not play any international match after the last rankings on February 7.
- India, who have not been in action since the AFC (Asian Football Confederation) Asian Cup in January, had dropped six spots to 103 in the February edition after ending 2018 at 97.
- The team is at present without a head coach after Stephen Constantine stepped down from his position post their Asian Cup sojourn.
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