Current Affairs 2019
Daily GK Updates & Current Affairs for Government Exams
NBFCs, MFIs raised Rs.26,000 crore through Securitisation
Non-banking finance companies (NBFCs) and microfinance companies (MFIs) raised about Rs.26,200 crore through securitisation in FY19, despite tight liquidity conditions. It is a growth of 170% over FY18. In FY18, NBFCs and MFIs raised Rs.9,700 crore through securitisation. The sectors faced tight liquidity conditions in FY19 after a series of defaults by Infrastructure Leasing and Finance Services (IL&FS). A report by rating agency Icra stated that their reliance on the securitisation route to raise funds increased to help meet their growth targets in FY19. In FY18 and H1FY19, securitisation contributed to only 18-20% of the overall disbursements. However, this number leapfrogged to 37% and an estimated 50% in the third and fourth quarters of FY19, respectively. Investors were also comfortable buying retail loan portfolios originated by these entities as opposed to taking direct on-balance sheet credit exposure, especially for small and medium sized entities
Three teams from India are awarded in NASAs Human Exploration Rover Challenge
NASA has awarded three teams from India as part its annual Human Exploration Rover Challenge, which invites high school and college students to build and test roving vehicles for future missions to the Moon, Mars and beyond. Nearly 100 teams took part in the competition. The team from KIET Group of Institutions in Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh, won the “AIAA Neil Armstrong Best Design Award”. The Mukesh Patel School of Technology Management and Engineering from Mumbai, Maharashtra, won the “Frank Joe Sexton Memorial Pit Crew Award”. A team from Lovely Professional University in Phagwara, Punjab, won the “STEM Engagement Award”. NASA Human Exploration Rover Challenge: The NASA Human Exploration Rover Challenge is to encourage research and development of new technology for future mission planning and crewed space missions to other worlds. The NASA Human Exploration Rover Challenge prior to 2014 referred to as the Great Moonbuggy Race. It is an annual competition for high school and college students to design, build, and race human-powered, collapsible vehicles over simulated lunar/Martian terrain. The competition was first held in 1994. NASA sponsors the competition since 1996, the U.S. Space & Rocket Center, hosts.
CMFRI Signs Agreement With ISRO To Save Coastal Wetlands
The Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI) and the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) have joined hands to map, validate and protect smaller wetlands in coastal regions. The programme is aimed at restoring them through coastal livelihood programmes. The MoU was signed between the CMFRI and the Space Applications Centre of ISRO to develop a mobile app and a centralised web portal that will have a comprehensive database of wetlands that are smaller than 2.25 hectares in the country.
Rongali Bihu festival celebrated in Assam
Bihu is the main festival of Assam. It is celebrated three times a year. ♦ Rongali or Bohag Bihu is observed in April. Kongali or Kati Bihu observed in October. Bhogali or Magh Bihu observed in January. About Rongali Bihu: Rongali or Bohag Bihu is the Assamese new year and spring festival, which is celebrated from April 15 to April 21. The Rongali Bihu coincides with Punjabi New Year Baisakhi. The seven-day festival is celebrated in seven phases – Chot, Kutum, Mela, Raati, Goru, Manuh and Chera. It begins with goru bihu or cow bihu on April 15, where the cows are washed and worshipped. This is followed by manuh (human) bihu on 16 April, the New Year Day when people are seen in new dresses.
India to partner with Japan and UAE to set up two projects in Africa
India will build a cancer hospital in Kenya in collaboration with Japan. Also, India will partner with the UAE to set up an ICT centre (Information and Communications Technology center) in Ethiopia. Through this partnership, India has undertaken many projects like the ambitious Pan African e-network project on tele-education and tele-medicine which provides “integrated” satellite, fiber optics and wireless network between educational and medical institutes in Africa and India. Africa is the focus under the Narendra Modi government amid China’s push in the continent and countries from Europe are also keen to partner India for projects in third countries in Africa.
Indias 1st indigenously made long-range missile Nirbhay successfully test fired
Defence Research Development Organisation (DRDO) successfully test fired the India’s first indigenously designed and developed long-range sub-sonic cruise missile ‘Nirbhay’ from a test range in Odisha’s Chandipur. ‘Nirbhay’ is designed to carry conventional and 300-kilogram nuclear warheads. The missile weighs 1,500 kg, width of 0.52 meters and has a wingspan of 2.7 metre. It is all-weather missile and can be launched from multiple platforms. It also has the capability to strike land targets at a distance of up to 1,000 kilometers. It has the ability to fly at low altitudes in order to avoid detection by enemy radar. The missile is armed with a Ring Laser Gyroscope (RLG) based guidance, control and navigation system. It is also equipped with a MEMS-based Inertial Navigation System (INS) and the GPS system. The organisation had conducted five trials since 2013 before this. The last successful trial of ‘Nirbhay’ cruise missile was conducted on November 7, 2017.
Pulitzer Prize for New York Times and Wall Street Journal
The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal were awarded Pulitzer Prizes for their separate investigations of President Donald Trump and his family. The Times won the prestigious journalism award for a probe of the Trump family’s finances that debunked his claims of self-made wealth and revealed a business empire riddled with tax dodges. The Associated Press won a Pulitzer for international reporting for its coverage of the war in Yemen. Reuters was honoured for international reporting for its coverage of atrocities committed against Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar.
Health Ministry to frame law to ban manufacture and sale of e cigarettes
The Ministry of Commerce and Industries instructed the Health Ministry to frame law banning manufacture and sale of e-cigarettes in the country as in the absence of the domestic legislation, it would not be possible to put a blanket ban on its imports. The Commerce Ministry stated that without banning domestic sale and manufacturing of Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS) through the law, it will be an infringement of global trade norms to put an import ban.
Golfer Tiger Woods won fifth green jacket and 15th major title
Golfer Tiger Woods won fifth Masters and 15th major title at Augusta National Golf Club. It was the 43-year-old American golfer’s first major title victory in 11 years and his first Master’s win since 2005. All-time leader, Jack Nicklaus is just three major titles ahead of the former world No.1.
Mumbai Shuttler Dani clinches Dutch International badminton title 2019
India’s Harsheel Dani, a former junior national champion, defeated Mads Christophersen of Denmark, world no 149, to clinch the 20th Victor Dutch International Badminton title in Wateringen, The Netherlands with a 15-21, 21-12, 21-13 victory in a 47-minute clash. It was the second win for Dani opposite Christophersen. The 22-year-old won the Ghana international crown in 2018 second Karvy All India junior-ranking badminton tournament in 2012.
A unique proposition to pay electricity bill on EMIs launched by Bajaj Finserv
A unique proposition to pay electricity bill on EMIs launched by Bajaj Finserv through its lending arm Bajaj Finance Ltd. through the campaign of #BijliOnEMI. Customers can avail an Insta Credit loan in their Bajaj Finserv Wallet to pay their electricity bills on EMI. Bajaj Finance Ltd. financed the purchase of over 12 lakh air conditioners across our country in the year 2018. Bajaj Finance Ltd launched this campaign and customers buying air conditioners of Rs 20,000 and above will be eligible for Rs 5000 Instant Credit loan and for the air conditioners above Rs 40,000 will receive Rs 7000 Instant Credit loan to their Wallet. The Wallet facilitates the customer to access the EMI network card digitally, like tracking loan-related details online, transacting securely with EMIs on purchases, etc.