CURRENT UPDATES APRIL 2018
- US senate approves Mike Pompeo as Secretary of State
The US Senate voted to approve former CIA director Mike Pompeo as secretary of state, after a bruising battle by Democrats against President Donald Trump’s nominee.
- Iran bans Banks from using Cryptocurrencies
Iran banned the use of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies by its banks and financial institutions. As per the central bank of Iran, the ban was necessary since all cryptocurrencies have the capacity to be turned into a means for money-laundering and financing terrorism and in general can be turned into a means for transferring criminals’ money.
- Mario Benitez elected as Paraguay’s president
Conservative former senator Mario Abdo Benítez has been elected as the president of Paraguay. Benitez garnered 46.44% of the vote, compared with 42.74% for his main rival Efrain Alegre.
- Kyrgyzstan Parliament names Mukhammedkaliy Abylgaziyev prime minister
Kyrgyzstan’s Parliament named Mukhammedkaliy Abylgaziyev Prime Minister after his nomination by the Social Democratic party which leads the ruling coalition. Abylgaziyev, previously chief of staff in President Sooronbai Jeenbekov’s office, replaced Sapar Isakov whose cabinet lost a no-confidence vote.
- 6 Countries suspend Membership in UNASUR Regional Bloc
Bolivian Foreign Minister Fernando Huanacuni has announced that Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Paraguay and Peru had decided to temporarily leave the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR), given differences over choosing the secretary general of the group.
- Cuba gets its first non-Castro President
Cuba has selected First Vice President Miguel Mario Diaz-Canel Bermudez as the sole candidate to succeed Raul Castro as president of Cuba. Miguel is the first leader outside the Castro dynasty to lead the country since the 1959 revolution. Raul Castro will remain head of the Communist party, designated by the constitution as “the superior guiding force of society and the state”.
- US senate narrowly confirms Trump’s new NASA Chief
Jim Bridenstine, a congressman from Oklahoma, US Navy veteran and former pilot, was confirmed on a 50-49 vote and will become the 13th administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) seven months after Trump named him to lead the agency.
- Swaziland King changes his country’s name to ‘Kingdom of eSwatini’
Swaziland’s King Mswati III, Africa’s last absolute monarch officially changed the name of his country to the ‘Kingdom of eSwatini’. Accordingly, the country, a member of the Commonwealth, will now be known by its historic name of eSwatini, a Swazi language name that stands for ‘place of the Swazi’.
- Armenia’s Parliament voted to appoint former President Serge Sargisyan as PM
Armenia’s parliament has voted to appoint the country’s former President Serzh Sargsyan as prime minister, despite pressure from tens of thousands of protesters who accuse him of a power grab. Members of parliament voted 77-17 in favour of Sargsyan’s appointment, as demonstrators rallied in the capital, Yerevan, and several other cities for a fifth day against the move.
- France announces 50 Million Euro Humanitarian aid for Syria
France will contribute 61.9 million dollars toward urgent humanitarian aid for Syria. The funds will be allocated to NGOs and U.N. agencies working on the ground in Syria, including the U.N. office for humanitarian affairs.
- Pakistan SC disqualifies Nawaz Sharif from public office for life
The Supreme Court had disqualified Nawaz Sharif as the President of the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) under Article 62 of the constitution. The verdict was delivered unanimously by a five-judge bench led by Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar. It came against cases involving determination of time duration for disqualification of a lawmaker under the Constitution.
- Bangladesh ends Reservation in Government Jobs
Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has decided to scrap the quota system in government services after thousands of students marched across the country in protest against a controversial policy of setting aside jobs for special groups.
- UAE approves law on equal wages for men, women
The Cabinet of United Arab Emirates (UAE) has approved the issuance of law on Equal Wages and Salaries for men and women. The new law will ensure equal pay for men and women working in the country. It will provide women with equal opportunities as partners in the UAE’s development.
- Hungarian PM Orban won election
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s ruling Fidesz-KDNP coalition won the general elections in Hungary. Former radical Jobbik party came second with 20% of the vote, and MSZP-P (Socialist-Dialogue) third with 12.13%. The turnout was close to 69%, the second highest since 2002.
- Desert Tiger 5: UAE and Malaysia conclude joint military exercise
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Malaysia concluded joint military exercise “Desert Tiger 5” aimed at sharing expertise and enhancing joint military actions in Dubai, UAE.
- Qatar to allow women to volunteer for national service
Qatar would be introducing national service for women for the first time with immediate effect, under a new law issued by the Gulf nation’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani. Women aged over 18 will now be able to volunteer for national service under the law, men will have to serve for a year instead of three months.
- Julius Maada Bio wins Presidential election of Sierra Leone
Julius Maada Bio has been elected as the new president of Sierra Leone. He beat incumbent Samura Kamara, who secured 48.19% of the vote. Sierra Leone is a country in West Africa, on the Atlantic Ocean.
- Carlos Alvarado elected president of Costa Rica
Carlos Alvarado, the candidate for Costa Rica’s center-left ruling party, was elected as the next president of Costa Rica.
- USA and South Korea begin Joint Military Exercise- ‘Foal Eagle’
The United States and South Korea began their joint military training exercise named ‘Foal Eagle’. More than 11,500 U.S. troops and nearly 300,000 South Korean forces will take part in the four-week exercises. Foal Eagle, the largest annual joint military exercise in South Korea, usually runs about two months.
- DiCarlo becomes 1st female UN political chief
American diplomat Rosemary DiCarlo becomes the first woman to head UN political affairs. DiCarlo also served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs and director for United Nations.
INDIA & WORLD
- World Press Freedom Index Report: India ranks 138th, Norway tops
According to the 2018 World Press Freedom Index compiled by Reporters without Borders (RSF), India has ranked 138th (falling 2 positions down from 136th in 2017). The list has been topped by Norway. North Korea was at the bottom-most position (180th) in the list.
The Top 3 countries in World Press Freedom Index Report are:
3. The Netherlands.
- 6th Indian Ocean Naval Symposium (IONS)-2018
The 6th edition of Indian Ocean Naval Symposium (IONS) and Conclave of Chiefs held in Iran at Tehran. The Chief of the Naval Staff is leading a four member Indian delegation for the event.
- India highest recipient of Remittances in 2017: World Bank
According to recently released Migration and Development Brief by World Bank, India has retained top position as recipient of remittances with about $69 billion in 2017. India was followed by China ($64 billion), Philippines ($33 billion), Mexico ($31 billion), Nigeria ($22 billion) and Egypt ($20 billion).
- India’s growth rate highest among BRICS nations: KPMG Report
India has been recording the highest growth rate amongst the Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) economies, as per report of KPMG titled “India Soars Higher”.
- India, World’s 6th largest economy at $2.6 Trillion: IMF
India’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), the worth of the economy, clocked in at $2.6 trillion for 2017, according to the database of the International Monetary Fund’s World Economic Outlook (WEO) for April 2018. India is now the world’s sixth largest economy, displacing France.
The Top 5 economies of the world are:
1. The United States,
4. Germany and,
5. The United Kingdom
- India ranks 10th on new Commonwealth innovation index
India has been ranked 10th in the Commonwealth innovation index. The index was launched as part of a new Commonwealth Innovation Hub on the sidelines of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in London.
- India pips Germany to be No. 4 car market
India has become the fourth-largest passenger vehicle (PV) market globally for the first time ever, unseating Germany, in January and February 2018. India is behind China, US and Japan. Germany in the 5th position, followed by Brazil and France.
- 8th Theatre Olympics concludes in Mumbai
After a glorious run of 51 days across 17 cities of India, the historic event 8th Theatre Olympics drew to a colourful end in Mumbai. The 8th Theatre Olympics aimed to showcase the rich heritage and culture across the length and breadth of the country. At the event, more than 30 countries performed across 17 Indian cities.
- Sahyog- Hyeoblyeog 2018: Indian, Korean Coast Guards hold Joint Exercise
Indo-Korean joint anti-piracy, search and rescue exercise ‘Sahyog- Hyeoblyeog 2018’ was conducted off the Chennai coast, in Tamil Nadu. The Korean Coast Guard ship ‘Bodaro’ took part in the exercise.
- India becomes second largest manufacturer of crude steel
According to Steel Users Federation of India (SUFI), India has overtaken Japan to become world’s second largest producer of crude steel in February 2018. China is the largest producer of crude steel in the world, accounting for more than 50% of the production.
- India-Kyrgyzstan military exercise concludes
The 5th Indo-Kyrgyzstan joint training exercise ‘Khanjar V’ culminated with a ‘Joint Tactical Validation Exercise’ in Mizoram. Kyrgyzstan in the exercise is represented by the military contingent of the military unit of the Armed Forces of the Kyrgyz Republic. The exercise which started on March 16, included understanding tactics of platoon level, developing interoperability.
- India becomes World’s second largest mobile phone producer
India has replaced Vietnam to become second largest producer of mobile phones in 2017. Currently, China stands at number one in mobile production around the world. The top three mobile producing countries are China, India and Vietnam.
- India receives first US LNG shipment at Dabhol under long-term deal
India received its first Liquid Natural Gas (LNG) cargo from United States (US) under long-term supply deal. The first US-sourced LNG shipment was imported by state-owned GAIL on board of its chartered LNG ship ‘Meridian Spirit’ from Cheniere Energy’s Sabine Pass LNG export facility in Louisiana.
- LCA Tejas successfully fired Air-to-Air BVR Missile
Indigenously developed Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas has successfully fired an air-to-air beyond visual range (BVR) missile. With this, Tejas has demonstrated its overall capability as an effective combat jet and inched closer to receive final operational clearance.
- Foreigners can now travel to Nagaland, Mizoram and Manipur without permit
The Home Ministry has decided to relax the six-decade-old Protected Area Permit regime from Nagaland, Mizoram and Manipur for five years. Foreign tourists, except those from Pakistan, China and Afghanistan, will now be allowed to visit some of the most pristine locations of the country which, so far, were out of bounds for them without a special permit.
- NSE launches E-Gsec platform for bringing Retail Participation in Government Securities
National Stock Exchange of India (NSE) has announced the launch of its “e – Gsec” platform for facilitating the non-competitive bidding in Government of India Dated Securities (G-Sec) and Treasury Bills (T-Bills). This will allow retail investors to invest in Government Securities and hold them in existing demat accounts. The non-competitive bidding facility was introduced by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to encourage retail participation in the primary market for Government Securities.
- Diu Smart City becomes first to run on 100% Renewable Energy during daytime
Diu Smart City has become the first city in India, that runs on 100% renewable energy during daytime setting a new benchmark for other cities to become clean and green. Diu had been importing 73% of its power from Gujarat until last year.
- President signs ordinance to provide death penalty to rapists of girls below 12 years
President Ram Nath Kovind promulgated an ordinance that provides for stringent punishment, including death penalty, for those convicted of raping girls below the age of 12 years. The ordinance- Criminal Law (Amendment) Ordinance 2018 stipulates stringent punishment for those guilty of rape, particularly of girls below the age of 16 and 12 years. The ordinance also orders death sentence to those guilty of raping girls below the age of 12 years.
- PM flags off India’s first all-electric high-speed train in Bihar
Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched India’s first all-electric high-speed locomotive in Bihar. The addition of all-electric high-speed locomotive in Bihar will be a giant leap in PM Modi’s govt initiative ‘Make in India’.
- Delhi becomes first city to roll-out BS-VI fuel
In order to combat the rising levels of air pollution, the Delhi-NCR region began supplying ultra-clean Bharat Stage VI grade fuel, both petrol and diesel. With this, Delhi became the first city in the country to switch from BS-IV grade fuels to BS-VI. BS-VI fuel is equivalent to fuel meeting Euro-VI emission norms.
- Sikkim chief minister becomes India’s longest-serving CM
Sikkim Chief Minister Pawan Chamling became the longest-serving Chief Minister in India, surpassing the record of Jyoti Basu, who served as West Bengal CM from 1977 to 2000. Chamling became the Chief Minister in December 1994 and belongs to the Sikkim Democratic Front.
- Shooter Gauri Sheoran made brand ambassador for Haryana
The Haryana government has appointed international shooter Gauri Sheoran the brand ambassador for its two health-related programmes.
- J & K cabinet gives nod to death penalty for Child rapists
The Jammu and Kashmir government has approved an ordinance providing death penalty for the rape of children below 12 years of age. The Jammu and Kashmir Criminal Law (Amendment) Ordinance, 2018 and the Jammu and Kashmir Protection of Children from Sexual Violence Ordinance, 2018 were cleared by the State Cabinet chaired by Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti in Jammu.
- Sagar Kavach: Coastal security exercise held in Kerala
Two-day coastal security exercise ‘Sagar Kavach’ to strengthen and assess the loopholes in the coastal security mechanism was held along Kerala coast. The exercise saw participation of Indian Coast Guard (ICG), Indian Navy, Coastal Police and Marine Enforcement wing and various other security stakeholders. It saw participation of three ships of Indian Navy, 10 of ICG, four fishing boats, besides 20 coastal police stations from Vizhinjam to Kasaragod.
- AFSPA removed from Meghalaya
The Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, AFSPA has been removed completely from Meghalaya. The AFSPA act, empowers security forces to conduct operations and arrest anyone anywhere without prior notice. In Arunachal Pradesh, the AFSPA has been reduced from 16 police stations areas bordering Assam to eight police stations.
- Bengal’s Digambarpur, India’s best Gram Panchayat
West Bengal has once again topped in the country with Digambarpur Gram Panchayat (GP) bagging the Centre’s award for the best Gram Panchayat in the country.
- Madhya Pradesh conferred Most Film Friendly Award
The Most Film Friendly State Award was announced by the Chairman of the Jury, Shri Ramesh Sippy. State of Madhya Pradesh was conferred the award for the Most Film Friendly State for its efforts towards easing filming in the State by creating a well-structured website and film-friendly infrastructure.
- Mumbai becomes first Indian city with 8 women police station in-charge
Mumbai, also known as the financial capital of India, has added another feather to its cap, becoming the first city of the country to have as many as eight women police station in-charges.
- U.P. CM inaugurates India’s Longest Elevated Road in Ghaziabad
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath inaugurated a 10.30-km-long elevated road, touted to be the longest of its kind in the country, connecting UP Gate and Rajnagar Extension, Ghaziabad. The road will make it easier to commute between Delhi and Ghaziabad.
- Inter-Korean Summit: Kim Jong Un crosses over to South Korea for first time
In a historic first, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un crossed the border that separates the two Koreas at the demilitarized zone (DMZ) to enter South Korea, becoming the first North Korean leader to step into South Korean territory since 1953.
- 15th SCO Defence Ministers meeting held in Beijing
India is participating in the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Defence Ministers Meeting for the first time. The 15th SCO Defence Ministers Meeting was held at Beijing in China. Raksha Mantri Smt Nirmala Sitharaman highlighted India’s keen interest in developing an expanded partnership with the broader Eurasian region.
- India-Wiesbaden Conference 2018 held in New Delhi
The India-Wiesbaden Conference 2018 was held from April 16-17, 2018, in New Delhi.The title of conference was ‘Securing Global Supply Chains through Government-Industry Partnerships towards Effective Implementation of UNSC Resolution 1540’.
- India hosts 16th International Energy Forum (IEF) Ministerial Meeting
India, world’s third-largest energy consumer after US and China hosted 16th International Energy Forum (IEF) Ministerial Meeting from 10-12th April 2018 in New Delhi. This is second time India hosting IEF Ministerial meeting.
- First Meeting of the ‘NITI Forum for North East’ held in Agartala
The first meeting of the newly constituted ‘NITI Forum for North East’ was held in Agartala, Tripura. The meeting was organized by the NITI Aayog, Ministry of DoNER and the North Eastern Council (NEC).
- First International conference on Water, Environment held in Kathmandu
The first international conference on ‘Water, Environment and Climate Change: Knowledge Sharing and Partnership’ was inaugurated in Kathmandu, Nepal. Nepal’s Vice President Nanda Bahadur Pun stressed upon the need of water security and said that it should be given the top priority.
- Turkey hosts Critical Summit on Syria War with Russia and Iran
The presidents of Iran, Turkey, and Russia met for their second tripartite summit in under six months, aiming to speed the peace process for Syria and bolster their influence in the country.
- India-Japan-US Trilateral Talks held in New Delhi
The crucial dialogue between the three leading democratic powers (viz. India, Japan and the USA) of the Indo-Pacific region was held in New Delhi. It comes a fortnight ahead of the summit between US President Donald Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Florida.
- Indus Commission meet commenced in Delhi
India & Pakistan held the meeting on Indus water treaty. This will be the 114th meeting of the Permanent Indus Commission (PIC) that looks into the sharing of the waters of the Indus since the treaty was signed by the two countries in 1960. The Indus water treaty covers the water distribution and sharing rights of six rivers—Beas, Ravi, Sutlej, Indus, Chenab and Jhelum.
AWARDS & HONOURS
- BCCI to honour Diana Edulji with CK Nayudu Lifetime Achievement Award
A three-man BCCI panel has recommended former India women’s team captain and current CoA member, Diana Edulji, for the prestigious CK Nayudu Lifetime Achievement Award. Along with Edulji, former India opener late Pankaj Roy will also be awarded posthumously.
- Gujarati poet Sitanshu Yashaschandra chosen for 2017 Saraswati Samman
Gujarati poet, playwright and academic Sitanshu Yashaschandra was selected for 2017 Saraswati Samman for his collection of verses (poetry) titled “Vakhar” published in 2009. It was 27 edition of the award.
- Bradley Cooper to receive 2018 American Cinematheque Award
Four-time Oscar nominee Bradley Cooper will receive the 32nd annual American Cinematheque Award. The Hollywood organisation will honour Cooper for his achievements in film, which include three consecutive Oscar nominations for his roles in 2012′s “Silver Linings Playbook” 2013′s “American Hustle,” and 2014′s “American Sniper.
- CSIR wins National Intellectual Property Award 2018
The Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) was awarded the National Intellectual Property Award, 2018 for being the top research and development organisation for patents and commercialisation.
- Egyptian journalist gets press freedom prize
Egyptian photojournalist Mahmoud Abu Zeid won the 2018 Press Freedom Prize awarded by the United Nations cultural agency UNESCO.
- Dadasaheb Phalke Excellence Awards 2018: complete list of winners
Dadasaheb Phalke Excellence Awards 2018 honoured the individuals from the entertainment industry for their outstanding contribution towards the growth and development of cinema and/or television.
Here’s the complete list of the winners:
|1.||Best actor (male)||Shahid Kapoor|
|2.||Best actor people’s choice award||Ranveer Singh|
|3.||Entertainer of the year||Kartik Aryan|
|4.||Best actress (critics)||Aditi Rao Hydari|
|5.||Lifetime achievement award||Simi Garewal|
|6.||Pride of Indian cinema||Sanjay Dutt|
|7.||Path-breaking producer of the year||Anushka Sharma and Karnesh Sharma|
|8.||Best director||Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari|
|9.||Outstanding performance male||Raj Kumar Rao, Rana Daggubati|
|10.||Outstanding performance female||Tamannahh Bhatia, Kriti Sanon|
|11.||Promising face of the year||Aahana Kumra|
|12.||Best actor (male) Marathi||Vaibhav Tatwawaadi|
|13.||Best actor (female) Marathi||Pooja Sawant|
|14.||Best fashion designer of the year||Sanjukta Dutta|
|15.||Socially conscious performance of the year||Rani Mukherjee|
|16.||Best comic role||Tusshar Kapoor|
|17.||Entertaining performance in reality show Bigg Boss||Hina Khan|
|18.||Best actress drama award||Jennifer Winget|
|19.||Best actor (male) Television||Karan Patel|
|20.||Best reality show Judge||Shilpa Shetty|
|21.||Best talk show host||Karan Johar|
|22.||Best lyricist||Manoj Muntashir|
|23.||Best performance in a short film||Divya Khosla Kumar|
|24.||Iconic contribution towards music||Hans Raj Hans|
|25.||Comic performer of the year||Sumona Chakraborty|
|26.||Versatile singer||Rani Hazarika|
|27.||Social and business entrepreneur of the year||Jaya Misra|
- Winners of ‘1st Print Biennale India 2018’ given away awards in New Delhi
Lalit Kala Akademi, organised the award ceremony of the ’1st Print Biennale India 2018 (PBI)’ in New Delhi. The Chief Guest of the programme was Ms Sujata Prasad, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Culture. Arup Kumar Kuity (Andhra Pradesh), Satya Narayana Gavara (Andhra Pradesh), Preya Bhagat (Uttar Pradesh), Purvi Parmar (Gujrat) and Sonal Varshneya (Uttar Pradesh) were given the award in the 1st PBI.
- New York Times, New Yorker won Pulitzer
The New York Times and The New Yorker won the Pulitzer Prize for public service. The Washington Post won the Pulitzer in the investigative category for relentless reporting that influenced the outcome of the 2017 Senate race in Alabama.
- Pulitzer Prizes 2018 Announced
The Pulitzer Prizes for 2018 has been announced. Following are the winners of the Pulitzer Prize 2018.
1. Fiction: Andrew Sean Greer’s “Less” has won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction. Greer’s novel tells the comic story of a middle-aged novelist.
2. Drama: Cost of Living, by Martyna Majok.
3. History: The Gulf: The Making of an American Sea, by Jack E. Davis (Liveright/W.W. Norton).
4. Biography: Prairie Fires: The American Dreams of Laura Ingalls Wilder, by Caroline Fraser (Metropolitan Books).
5. Poetry: Half-light: Collected Poems 1965-2016, by Frank Bidart (Farrar, Straus and Giroux).
- Rana Kapoor felicitated with ‘India Talent Management Award 2018’
Rana Kapoor, MD & CEO, YES BANK has been awarded with the ‘India Talent Management Award’ for fostering an entrepreneurial spirit and best practices at one of India’s fastest growing banks.
- Dharmendra to be conferred Raj Kapoor Lifetime Achievement award
Veteran Bollywood actor Dharmendra will be conferred with the prestigious Raj Kapoor Lifetime Achievement award and filmmaker Rajkumar Hirani will be conferred with the Raj Kapoor Special Contribution award. Maharashtra Culture Minister Vinod Tawde announced the names of the winners.
- Siddharth won Shorenstein Journalism Award
Siddharth Varadarajan, the founding editor of The Wire, has won the Shorenstein Journalism Award. The award, given annually by Stanford University’s Walter H. Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center.
- Late Veteran Actor Vinod Khanna Awarded Dadasaheb Phalke Award
Veteran Hindi film actor Shri Vinod Khanna was awarded the Dadasaheb Phalke Award for his contribution to Indian Cinema.
- 65th National Film Awards announced
The 65th National Film Awards were announced in Shastri Bhawan, New Delhi. The chairpersons of the three juries (Feature, Non-feature and Writing) for the National Film Awards have announced the awards for the different categories.
- Dadasaheb Excellence Award for Anushka
Bollywood actor Anushka Sharma will be awarded the Dadasaheb Phalke Excellence Award for her successful movies as a producer. The award will be given by an organisation called Dadasaheb Phalke Foundation, a Mumbai-based organisation, which is different from the Government of India instituted Dadasaheb Phalke Award, awarded during National Awards ceremony held annually in New Delhi.
- Javed Akhtar awarded ‘Shanti Doot’ award
Poet, litterateur, author, lyricist and activist Javed Akhtar has been awarded the ‘Shanti Doot’ award by one of the most revered temples in India — the Sankat Mochan Hanuman Mandir in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh. The award has been instituted a peace price to honour exceptional messengers of peace.
- President Kovind bestowed with Equatorial Guinea’s highest civilian honour
President Ram Nath Kovind was conferred with the Condecoracion, the highest honour accorded to a non-citizen by the government of Equatorial Guinea while his visit there. President Kovind was bestowed with the medal of the Gran Colar de la Independencia by his counterpart Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, for his contribution to the cause of development, security and world peace.
- India’s best ‘State of the Year’ award goes to Chhattisgarh
Chhattisgarh bagged the ‘State of the Year’ Award for its remarkable progress in business and services activities in various sectors of the state. Union Information Technology and Electronics Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad gave the award at India Business Leader Awards (IBLA).
SPORTS & GAMES
- Nadal defeats Tsitsipas to win 11th Barcelona open title
Rafael Nadal of Spain earned his 11th Barcelona Open tennis title as he crushed the rising Greek star Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-2, 6-1.
- Archery World Cup: India shines
India has won bronze in the compound mixed team event at the Archery World Cup. Abhishek Verma and Jyothi Surekha Vennam combined to beat the Turkish team of Yesim Bostan and Demir Elmaagacli by a score of 154-148.
- Jeremy won 2 medals at Weightlifting C’ship
India’s Jeremy Lalrinnunga (56 kg) broke two national records to win the silver in Youth section and bronze medal in Junior section at the Asian Youth and Junior Weightlifting Championship at Urgench, Uzbekistan. Jeremy created national records in youth boys and junior men during his lift of 250 kg.
- India to host Asian Weightlifting C’ships
Indian will host the prestigious Asian Weightlifting Championship in 2019. The Championship was awarded to India at the Executive Board Meeting and Congress of the Asian Weightlifting Federation held on April 22 at Urgench, Uzbekistan.
- Rivzi gets silver at ISSF World Cup
Shahzar Rizvi clinched India’s first medal at the ISSF World Cup, winning a silver in the 10m air pistol event. Rizvi had won the gold medal in the ISSF World Cup in Guadalajara, Mexico in March. Russia clinched the gold medal while the bronze went to Bulgaria.
- India Wins 8th South Asian Judo Championship
India has won 8th South Asian Judo Championship held in Lalitpur, Nepal. On the concluding day of the championship, Indian women and men won team events. India topped the medal tally winning 10 Gold and 3 Bronze medals in the individual category. Host Nepal remained second and Pakistan got third place.
- Barcelona won fourth Copa del Rey in a row
Barcelona became the first team in 85 years to win four straight Copa del Rey titles after defeating Sevilla 5-0 in the final. Luis Suarez scored twice, and Lionel Messi, Andres Iniesta, and Philippe Coutinho also made the scoresheet for Barcelona’s record-extending 30th Copa triumph..
- Germany top FIFA rankings, Brazil second
The FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking of April 2018 ranked current world champions, Germany at the top despite one draw and defeat in March. Belgium moved up two places to the third rank, Portugal and Argentina each dropped a place to be ranked fourth and fifth respectively.
- CWG 2018: Mary Kom, 1st Indian Woman to win CWG Boxing Gold
Five-time world champion and Olympic bronze medallist MC Mary Kom has become the first Indian woman boxer to win a gold medal at the Commonwealth Games.
- CWG 2018: Neeraj Chopra, 1st Indian to win Gold in Javelin Throw
Neeraj Chopra became the first Indian javelin thrower to claim a gold medal at the Commonwealth Games, with a season’s best effort of 86.47m in the final.
- Virat Kohli, Mithali Raj named Wisden’s Cricketers of the Year
Both Indian captains of men and women’s cricket team, Virat Kohli and Mithali Raj were named among Wisden’s leading cricketers of the year. Kohli was named leading male cricketer for the second successive year. Mithali Raj, who led India to the final of ‘Women’s World Cup’ and emerged as the all-time leading run-scorer in women’s ODI, was named standout female cricketer of the year.
- India’s Kidambi Srikanth becomes World no. 1 Badminton player
Kidambi Srikanth has become the first Indian male badminton player to attain the world number one ranking since Prakash Padukone in the 1980s. Srikanth had become the first-ever Indian to win four Super Series titles in a year in 2017.
- Commonwealth Games 2018 starts at Gold Coast in Australia
The 21st edition of the Commonwealth Games will begin in Gold Coast, Australia, with a colourful opening ceremony. This will be a momentous day for the city as the biggest event in its history begins. Carrara Stadium has been chosen as the venue to host the opening ceremony. These Games will mark the 5th time that Australia has hosted the games. India will be represented at the opening ceremony by a contingent of over 200 athletes who will be led by flag-bearer P V Sindhu.
- New head of BCCI’s Anti-Corruption Unit
BCCI has appointed former Rajasthan Director General of Police Ajit Singh as the head of its Anti-Corruption Unit. He will replace former Delhi Police Commissioner Neeraj Kumar.
- India to Grow At 7.4% in 2018: IMF
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) in its latest World Economic Outlook (WEO) has projected India to grow at 7.4% in 2018 and 7.8% in 2019. It also held that India will again emerge as world’s fastest-growing major economy at least for the next two years (2019 and 2020).
- World Bank Projects India’s Growth Rate At 7.3% For 2018-19
The World Bank has projected a growth rate of 7.3% for India this year and 7.5% for 2019 and 2020. The bank also noted that Indian economy has recovered from the effects of demonetisation and the Goods and Services Tax.
- CII Pegs India’s GDP growth at 7.3-7.7% for 2018-19
The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) has announced that it expects India’s gross domestic product (GDP) to grow at 7.3-7.7% during the 2018-19 financial year.
- Industrial production grows 7.1% in February 2018: CSO
According to data released by the Central Statistics Office (CSO), factory output measured in terms of the Index of Industrial Production (IIP) had grown 7.1% in February 2017. The IIP recorded growth of 8.54% in November 2017, 7.1% in December 2017 and 7.4% in January 2018. During April-February period, IIP has slowed to 4.3% from 4.7% compared to same period 2017-18 fiscal.
- India top recipient of Commonwealth FDI: Report
India has emerged as the top recipient of foreign direct investment (FDI) from within the Commonwealth and is the second-most lucrative source of investment within the 53-member organisation after the UK, according to a new trade review.
- India’s economy to grow 7.3% in 2018-19 and 7.6% in 2019-20: ADB
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has projected that India’s economic growth is set to rise to 7.3% this fiscal and further to 7.6% in the next financial year, on back of GST and banking reforms. According to the Asian Development Outlook (ADO), 2018, Indian economy grew 6.6% in the last fiscal and it would remain the fastest-growing country across Asia.
- RBI switches back to GDP model from GVA model to measure economy
The Reserve Bank of India switched back to gross domestic product (GDP) model from the gross value added (GVA) methodology to provide its estimate of economic activity in the country. It switch to GDP is mainly to conform to international standards and global best practices.
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
- ISRO Launches Navigation Satellite IRNSS-1L
The Indian Space Research Organisation launched the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System-1L, the eighth such satellite to be a part of a constellation. It was launched from the first launch pad at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh.
- Pak successfully test fires Submarine Launched Cruise Missile BABUR
Pakistan conducted successful test fire of indigenously developed Submarine Launched Cruise Missile (SLCM) BABUR having a range of 450 KMs. SLCM BABUR is capable of delivering various types of payloads and incorporates state of the art technologies.
- Indu Malhotra, first senior woman advocate to become SC Judge
In a first, senior advocate Indu Malhotra is set to become the first woman lawyer to be appointed as Supreme Court Judge. The Union Law Ministry has reportedly cleared her name for the position. With the decision, Malhotra will be the first woman lawyer to be directly appointed from the Bar as a Judge in the Apex Court.
- Indian airports got its 1st woman firefighter
Airports Authority of India (AAI) has appointed its first woman firefighter, Taniya Sanyal. Taniya is currently undergoing training in Delhi and will be appointed for AAI’s eastern region airports.
- Dilip Chenoy takes over as FICCI Secretary General
Dilip Chenoy was appointed as the Secretary-General of industry body Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI). He has replaced Sanjaya Baru. Chenoy was working as Director General of the industry body.
- Lt Gen PP Malhotra takes over as Director-General of NCC
Lieutenant General PP Malhotra assumed charge as Director General of National Cadet Corps (NCC), the largest uniformed youth organization in the world. Prior to assuming his present appointment, he was the Chief Engineer of the Army’s premier Northern Command.
- Balram Bhargava appointed DG of ICMR.
The Union Government has appointed AIIMS professor Balram Bhargava as Director General of Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and Secretary of the Department of Health Research. Bharagava, at present Professor and Senior Consultant Cardiologist at All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi.
- SBI Life appoints Sanjeev Nautiyal as New MD & CEO
SBI Life Insurance appointed Sanjeev Nautiyal as its new Managing Director and CEO. He replaces Arijit Basu, who takes over a key role in the State Bank of India Group.
- Subrata Bhattacharjee appointed as Next Ambassador of India to Serbia
Subrata Bhattacharjee has been appointed as the next Ambassador of India to the Republic of Serbia. He is an IFS officer of 1989 batch. He is currently Joint Secretary in Ministry of External Affairs.
- Arun Jaitley re-appointed as leader of RS
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley was once again appointed as the Leader of the Rajya Sabha (RS) following his re-election to the House. In June 2014, Mr Jaitley was appointed the leader of the House in Rajya Sabha. The Leader of the House is a Rajya Sabha member who is either a cabinet minister or another nominated minister.
9.Senior bureaucrat Chandra Bhushan Kumar appointed as Deputy Election Commissioner
Senior bureaucrat Chandra Bhushan Kumar has been appointed as Deputy Election Commissioner as part of a major bureaucratic reshuffle by the government. Bhushan, a 1995 batch IAS officer of union territories cadre, has been appointed to the post for five years, an order issued by the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) said.
- IndiGo chief Aditya Ghosh resigns
Aditya Ghosh resigned as the President and whole-time director of IndiGo. While Interglobe Chairman Rahul Bhatia has been appointed as the interim CEO of the company, Greg Taylor will be appointed as president and CEO of the company.
- Pakistani Playwright Madeeha Guahar Passes away
Renowned Pakistani playwright and director Madeeha Gauhar died of cancer. She was 62. In 2006, Gauhar became the first Pakistani woman to be honoured with the prestigious Prince Claus Award for her leadership of Ajoka.
- World’s Oldest Person passes away at age of 117
The world’s oldest person, a 117-year-old Japanese woman named Nabi Tajima had passed away. Tajima, born on Aug. 4, 1900, was the last known person born in the 19th century. According to the U.S.-based Gerontology Research Group, another Japanese woman, Chiyo Miyako, is now the world’s oldest person.
- Indian Animation expert Bhimsain Khurana passes away
Indian animation pioneer and multiple National Award winner Bhimsain Khurana had passed away. He was 82. Khurana was known for films like “Gharaonda” and for iconic animation shorts like “Ek Anek Ekta”.
- Former Delhi High Court chief Justice Rajinder Sachar passes away
Former Delhi High Court Chief Justice Rajinder Sachar passed away. He was 94. Sachar, who was Chief Justice from August 6, 1985, to December 22, 1985, has since his retirement been associated with the People’s Union for Civil Liberties, a rights group.
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi China Visit completed
Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived in New Delhi after a two-day informal summit meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Wuhan. Prime Minister Modi wrapped up his two-day visit to China with both the countries underlining the importance of maintaining peace and tranquillity in all areas of their border region in the larger interest of the overall development of bilateral relations.
- PM Modi completes three-nation Europe tour
Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi was on the three-nation visit of Europe to Sweden, the UK and Germany. He has signed various important agreements and attended various conferences during the visit.
- President 3-Nation visit: completes final leg in Zambia, Returns India
President Ram Nath Kovind has returned to New Delhi after three African nations tour of Equatorial Guinea, Swaziland and Zambia. Mr Kovind and his Zambian counterpart Edgar Chagwa Lungu laid the foundation stone of Lusaka traffic Decongestion Project.
- Nepal’s PM visit to India
Nepali Prime minister KP Sharma Oli was on a three day visit from 7 April to 9 April 2018. Both countries have agreed to cooperate on major issues.
Three agreements were signed:
1. Rail project connecting Indian Border town with Kathmandu
2. Inland waterways connectivity
3. Agricultural development in Nepal
- Nirmala Sitharaman in Russia to attend Moscow Conference
Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman is in Russia to attend the 7th Moscow Conference on International Security. This is her first visit to Russia in her capacity as the Defence Minister.
- Google ranked as most trusted internet brand in India: Report
Online search engine Google is the most trusted Internet brand in India as per the TRA Brand Trust Report 2018. With 1.2 trillion searches per year, Google has become the first port of call for all things on the Internet. Google was followed by Facebook, Amazon and eBay. The biggest falls in trust were seen by Snapdeal, who fell by 142 ranks over last year. The top trust gainers this year were Netflix (up 506 ranks over last year).
- Microsoft is India’s Most Attractive Employer: Randstad Survey
Technology giant Microsoft India declared the most attractive employer brand, followed by e-commerce giant Amazon India. The winners were named by HR service provider Randstad’s Employer Brand Research (REBR) 2018. Sector-wise, Tata Consultancy Services is most favored in IT, while Larsen & Toubro tops Infrastructure & Construction and Hindustan Unilever emerges the winner in FMCG.
- Mohamed Salah crowned PFA Player of the Year
Liverpool and Egyptian forward Mohamed Salah was named Player of the Year by England’s Professional Footballers’ Association (PFA). Salah has become the first person in Premier League history to claim three Player of the Month awards in the same season.
- World’s Greatest Leaders in 2018: Mukesh Ambani ranks 24
Reliance Industries chairman Mukesh Ambani, human rights lawyer Indira Jaising and architect Balkrishna Doshi have been named by Fortune magazine as the World’s Greatest Leaders of 2018. The Fortune’s 2018 ranking of the 50 Greatest Leaders featured the three Indians at the 24th, 20th and 43rd places respectively.
- India has second largest unbanked population: World Bank
The Global Findex Report released by World Bank, about 190 million Indian adults still don’t have a bank account, second only to China, despite the account ownership more than doubling from 35 per cent in 2011 to 80 per cent in 2017.
- Steven Spielberg becomes 1st director to gross $10b at global BO
Three-time Oscar winning filmmaker Steven Spielberg has created history by becoming the first director whose films have globally taken in over $10 billion. His latest film Ready Player One has helped the 71-year-old achieve this milestone. The Lord of the Rings filmmaker, Peter Jackson, and Transformers Michael Bay are the next two highest grossing directors.
- ATP men’s singles ranking: Yuki Bhambri breaks into top-100 after 2 years
Indian tennis star Yuki Bhambri broke back into the top-100 of ATP men’s singles ranking for the first time since February 2016. As per the latest ranking, he jumped 22 places to his career-best rank of 83. This is also the best rank that any Indian has achieved in the ATP singles chart since Somdev Devvarman touched a career-high of 62 in July 2011.
9.Indian Swimmer Double Crosses Bangla Channel, Sets World Record
Pune-based 17-year-old swimmer Sampanna Ramesh Shelar has set a world record to double cross the Bangla Channel.
10.Index of Economic Freedom 2018: India ranks 130th
India ranked 130th out of 186 economies in recently released Index of Economic Freedom 2018 that measures the degree of economic freedom in the countries of the world. In this edition of index, India with score of 54.5 jumped 13 places from 143rd rank in previous year (2017) with a score of 52.6 points.
- IGI Airport is in top 20 busiest airport list
New Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport entered into the league of the top 20 busiest airports in the world for 2017 in terms of traffic volumes. The GMR-group-run New Delhi airport jumped from 22nd rank in 2016 to 16th rank, as per the Airports Council International (ACI). Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) was ranked the busiest airport in the world.
- India’s Anish Sood wins at Independent Music Awards
Electronic dance music artiste and music producer Anish Sood became the first Indian artiste to win the Best Electronica/ Dance Single at the 16th Annual Independent Music Awards (IMA) in London.
- Patna tops in 4G connectivity among 20 largest cities: Report
According to a report from OpenSignal, a wireless coverage mapping company, Patna has topped in 4G connectivity among 20 of India’s largest cities. It has emerged ahead of the likes of Bengaluru, Mumbai and Delhi.
- Hyderabad tops in Global City Momentum Index
Hyderabad has been ranked the top city in the short-term Momentum Ranking of JLL’s annual ‘Global City Momentum Index’. The report identifies urban economies and real estate markets which are currently undergoing the most rapid growth. The report ranked Bengaluru, Pune, Kolkata and Delhi in top 10 cities.
- India ranks 37th in global startup ecosystem in 2017: Startupblink Report
According to report released by global startup ecosystem map Startupblink, India was ranked 37th out of 125 countries in global startup ecosystem in 2017.
BOOKS IN NEWS
- Nitish Kumar Launches 3 Books on Mahatma Gandhi’s Champaran Movement
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar released three books based on Mahatma Gandhi’s Champaran movement of 1917.
The books released by Nitish Kumar includes:
1. ‘Mister M K Gandhi Ki Champaran Diary’ by Arvind Mohan
2. ‘Champaran Andolan 1917’ edited by Ashutosh Partheshwar and
3. ‘Pir Muhammad Munis: Kalam Ka Satyagrahi’ collected and edited by Srikant.
- ‘Winning Like Sachin: Think & Succeed Like Tendulkar’ authored by Devendra Prabhudesai
The anecdote finds a mention in a new book, winning like Sachin: Think & Succeed like Tendulkar, authored by Devendra Prabhudesai. Published by Rupa Publications, the book
offers insights into the winning attributes and lessons from the cricketing icons life.
- Book titled ‘Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar. Vyakti Nahin Sankalp’ released
President of India Ram Nath Kovind received the first copy of the book written over Dr.Babasaheb Ambedkar. The book Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar. Vyakti Nahin Sankalp, is a portrait of Ambedkar’s inspiring life.
- India forms committee to reform higher defence planning
The Union Government formed a new integrated institutional mechanism, Defence Planning Committee (DPC) to reform the process of higher defence planning. The committee is expected to drive the country’s military and national security strategy, draft capability development plans and guide and accelerate defence equipment acquisitions.
- Union Government to constitute Task Force for fast-tracking Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Technology
The Union Government announced to constitute a Task Force under the Chairmanship of Jayant Sinha, Minister of State for Civil Aviation, for fast-tracking the roll-out of Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) technology.
- Panel set up to examine tax evasion risks posed by super rich
The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has set up an internal working group to examine the taxation aspects of high net worth individuals (HNWIs). The group has been set up to ensure that individuals who pose a substantial tax risk pay their dues.
- Government constitutes committee to regulate news portals
The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (I&B) has constituted 10-member committee to regulate online portals, including news websites, entertainment sites and media aggregators.
- HRD Ministry constitutes Committee to prevent exam paper leakages
The Ministry of Human Resource Development has constituted a High Powered Committee to examine the entire system of conducting Class X and Class XII examination conducted by the CBSE with a view to prevent leakages. Mr Vinay Sheel Oberoi, Retd. Secretary (Higher Education), MHRD will be the Chairperson of the 7 member High Power Committee.
DAYS & DATES
- 28 April: World Day for Safety and Health at Work
The World Day for Safety and Health at Work was observed globally on April 28, 2018. The theme for 2018 is ‘Occupational safety health (OSH) vulnerability of young workers’.
- 26 April: World Intellectual Property Day
World Intellectual Property Day is celebrated on 26th of April to learn about the role that intellectual property rights (patents, trademarks, industrial designs, copyright) play in encouraging innovation and creativity. The theme for WIPD 2018 is ‘Powering change: Women in innovation and creativity’.
- 25 April: World Malaria Day
The World Malaria Day (WMD) is being observed every year on 25 April across the world to recognise the global efforts to control preventable vector borne disease malaria. The theme of 2018 WMD is “Ready to beat malaria“.
- 23 April: World Book and Copyright Day
World Book and Copyright Day is celebrated globally this year on 23 April to provide the people with many ideas and plans to make them aware of the situation and condition in the World. The World Book Capital for 2018 is Athens, Greece.
- 22 April: World Earth Day
World Earth Day is celebrated every year across the world on 22nd of April to increase awareness among people about the environment safety. The campaign theme for this year is ‘End Plastic Pollution’.
- 19 April: World Liver Day
The World Liver Day (WLD) is observed every year on April 19 to build awareness and understanding importance of liver in human body and how liver ailments can be treated. The 2018 theme for WLD is ‘Riding New Waves in Liver Diagnosis, Staging & Treatment’.
- 18 April: World Heritage Day
Every year, 18th April is celebrated Worldwide as World Heritage Day to create awareness about Heritage among communities. This year the theme is ‘Heritage for Generations’. The theme emphasizes on inter generational transfer of knowledge.
- 17 April: World Haemophilia Day
Every April 17 World Haemophilia Day is recognised worldwide to increase awareness of haemophilia and other inherited bleeding disorders. The theme of WHD 2018 is ‘Sharing Knowledge Makes Us Stronger’.
- 11 April: National Safe Motherhood Day
The National Safe Motherhood is celebrated on April 11th every year to create awareness on proper healthcare and maternity celebrities to pregnant and lactating women. It also seeks to create awareness about the institutional delivery, reducing anemia among women and better pre and postal natal health care and necessary for mothers. The theme of 2018 NSMD was “Respectful Maternity Care”.
- 7 April: World Health Day
The World Health Day is a global health awareness day organized globally on 7th April. With an aim to spread awareness about health and well being, the first-ever World Health Day was observed in 1948 by the WHO. The theme of World Health Day is: Universal health coverage: everyone, everywhere. The slogan is “Health for All”.
- 5 April: National Maritime Day
The 55th edition of National maritime Day was celebrated all over India. NMD is celebrated on 5th April every year since 1964. The theme for National maritime Day 2018 is: ‘Indian Shipping – An Ocean of opportunity’.
- 4 April: International Mine Awareness Day
The General Assembly declared that 4 April of each year shall be observed as the International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action. Theme for International Mine Awareness Day 2018 is Advancing protection, Peace and Development.
- 02 April: World Autism Awareness Day
The United Nations General Assembly unanimously declared 2 April as World Autism Awareness Day. It is observed to highlight the need to help improve the quality of life of those with autism so they can lead full and meaningful lives as an integral part of society. The theme for WAAD 2018 is “Empowering Women and Girls with Autism”.
- SBI India’s most trusted bank, ICICI tops in private sector: Brand Trust Report 2018
TRA Brand Trust Report 2018 on Wednesday said the State Bank of India was the most-trusted bank (both public and private sector) in the country and ICICI topped the chart among the private ones.
- Bandhan Bank among top 50 Most Valuable Brand in India
Kolkata-based Bandhan Bank Ltd became one of the top 50 most valuable publicly traded firms in India. The market capitalization of Bandhan Bank was at Rs 64,000 crore, claiming 50th rank, according to BSE data. Tata Consultancy Services Ltd is the most valuable company in India, followed by Reliance Industries Ltd and HDFC Bank Ltd.
- Kotak Mahindra becomes second-most-valued bank; Top- HDFC
Kotak Mahindra Bank pipped SBI to become India’s second-most-valued lender after HDFC Bank in terms of market capitalisation. HDFC Bank remained the country’s most-valuable bank with a market capitalisation of Rs. 5.04 lakh crore.
- RBI imposes Rs 30 million fine on IDBI Bank
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has imposed a Rs 3 crore penalty on IDBI Bank for not following the central bank’s rules on classification of loans. IDBI bank did not adhere to RBI’s norms on Income Recognition and Asset Classification. RBI said that this action is based on deficiencies in regulatory compliance.
- Deutsche Bank names Christian Sewing new CEO
Deutsche Bank AG named Christian Sewing as the Chief Executive officer of the Bank. He has replaced John Cryan. Sewing will take over with immediate effect. Garth Ritchie was promoted to sole head of the securities unit and will become a deputy CEO, along with chief administrative officer Karl von Rohr.
- ICICI Bank gets Swift’s new payment service
ICICI Bank has become first Indian bank to go live on SWIFT’s Global Payment Innovation, an improved cross-border payments service. The service enables real-time payments tracking across correspondent banks & has a facility to track payments instructions across correspondent banks globally.
- RBI constitutes inter-departmental group to study launching of fiat digital currency
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has constituted an inter-departmental group to study and provide guidance on feasibility to introduce fiat digital currency backed by it. It will be submitted by end-June 2018. Fiat currency is currency that a government has declared to be legal tender.
- RBI releases first Bi-monthly Monetary Policy Statement 2018-19
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) released its First Bi-monthly Monetary Policy Statement 2018-19. After assessing the current and evolving macroeconomic situation in the economy, the six member Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) decided to keep the Repo Rate under the Liquidity Adjustment Facility (LAF) unchanged at 6.0 percent.
- Axis Bank removed from bullion importers list
The Reserve Bank of India dropped Axis Bank from a list of banks it has cleared to import gold and silver in the current financial year that began April 1. Bank of Baroda, HDFC Bank and Bank of Nova Scotia were among the 16 banks allowed to import bullion. Two other small banks Karur Vyasa and South Indian Bank were also dropped from the RBI list.
- Allahabad Bank cuts lending rates
Allahabad Bank has reduced the base rate and benchmark prime lending rate (BPLR) by 45 basis points each. The Bank has slashed base rate to 9.15% from 9.60%. BPLR has been brought down to 13.40% from 13.85%.
- Kotak becomes first bank to roll out AI-run voicebot
Kotak Mahindra Bank has launched the country’s first artificial intelligence-powered voicebot in the banking sector. Keya uses automatic speech recognition, natural language understanding and text-to-speech technology.