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CURRENT AFFAIRS: NATIONAL
India third largest contributor to carbon emission
- Global carbon emissions are set to hit an all-time high of 37.1 billion tonnes of CO2 in 2018, according to researchers at the University of East Anglia (UEA) and the Global Carbon Project.
- India, the third-highest country and fourth highest contributor after China USA and EU, is projected to see emissions rise by 6.3% from 2017.
- The 2.7% projected global rise in 2018 has been driven by appreciable growth in coal use for the second year in a row, and sustained growth in oil and gas use, according to the study that was published simultaneously in several leading scientific journals.
India, UAE sign currency swap deal
- India and the UAE signed two agreements, including one on currency swap, as External Affairs Minister SushmaSwaraj held exhaustive discussions with her counterpart Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan to step up cooperation in areas like trade, security and defence.
- This is the 12th session of the India-UAE Joint Commission Meeting for Economic and Technical Cooperation.
||Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan
CURRENT AFFAIRS: INTERNATIONAL
Panama 1st Latin American nation to join Belt and Road Initiative
- Panama has become the first Latin American country to join China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).
- Chinese President Xi Jinping and his Panamanian counterpart, Juan Carlos Varela signed more than a dozen deals earlier this week during the former’s visit to Panama.
- China established diplomatic relations with Panama last year.
||United States Dollar, Panamanian balboa
|Panama Prime Minister
||Juan Carlos Varela Rodríguez
CURRENT AFFAIRS: STATE
Maharashtra Chief MinisterFadnavis launches SMART initiative for Agribusiness, Rural Transformation
- In a bid to transform rural Maharashtra, Chief Minister DevendraFadnavis has launched a unique initiative called “SMART”, which stands for State of Maharashtra’s Agribusiness and Rural Transformation.
- This World Bank assisted project aims to revamp agricultural value chains, with special focus on marginal farmers across 1,000 villages.
- The project will entail an investment of 300 million US dollars of which World Bank would contribute 210 million US dollars.
- Almost 50 Memorandum of Understanding, involving top corporate houses like Amazon and Tata were signed on the occasion.
|Maharashtra Chief Minister
Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani approves Rs. 50 crore SIT fund
- Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani has approved 50-crore rupees to Science & Technology Innovation (STI) Fund to provide assistance up to Rs. 50-lakh to UGC and AICTE recognized central and state universities and colleges.
- The assistance will be for a maximum period of three years to develop latent talents, encourage creativity research and development in strategic fields in the knowledge-based ecosystem.
- Gujarat Government had earlier announced similar assistance under the Biotechnology Policy and IT Policy.
|Gujarat Chief Minister
Bihar government sets Rs. 100 fee for family property split
- Bihar government has fixed 100 rupees as the charge for people to get their property registered after division of family’s immovable assets.
- Previously the charges for registration of property after its division among the family members attracted 5 per cent of the value of property as total charges of which 2 per cent used to be registration fee and 3 per cent was stamp duty on the value of the property as per the prevailing minimum value register(MVR) of the area.
|Bihar Chief Minister
JSDMS, FICCI organise day-long Industry Engagement Programme in New Delhi
- Jharkhand Skill Development Mission Society and FICCI are jointly organising a day long Industry Engagement Programme in New Delhi.
- Titled the ‘Employers Network for Generating Aspirational and Gainful Employment’, ENGAGE, the programme aims to build a sustainable linkage between Jharkhand government and Industry players.
- The event includes deliberations on several issues including skill development and providing suitable jobs to the youth of Jharkhand.
- The state government has initiated several skill development programmes to produce a quality workforce. The state government is also working to place the trained force in suitable jobs.
||Skill in Jharkhand : Skilling for Future
CURRENT AFFAIRS: BANKING AND FINANCE
RBI monetary policy review: Repo rate unchanged at 6.50%
- The Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) kept the key repo rate unchanged at 6.5 per cent, while maintaining the stance of ‘calibrated tightening’ of policy.
- This is for the second time in a row that the central bank did not tinker with the interest rate. The reverse repo rate also stands unchanged, at 6.25 per cent.
- “The decision of the Monetary Policy Committee is consistent with the stance of calibrated tightening of monetary policy in consonance with the objective of achieving the medium-term target for consumer price index (CPI) inflation of 4 per cent within a band of +/-2 per cent, while supporting growth,” RBI said.
|Reverse Repo Rate
|Cash Reserve Ratio
|Statutory Liquidity Ratio
|Marginal Standing Facility Rate
RBI proposes new method to benchmark floating rate of loans for MSMEs
- Reserve Bank has proposed that floating interest rates on personal, home, auto and MSMEs loans be linked to external benchmarks like repo rate or treasury yields.
- In a statement issued from Mumbai, RBI stated that the final guidelines to link the interest rate to external benchmarks will be issued by the end of this month.
- Currently, banks follow system of internal benchmarks, including Prime Lending Rate, Benchmark Prime Lending Rate, Base rate and Marginal Cost of Funds based Lending Rate.
- The new system is likely to become operational by 1st April 2019.
RBI says that it will reduce the statutory liquidity ratio by 0.25 percent every quarter beginning January next year
- The Reserve Bank stated that it will reduce the statutory liquidity ratio by 0.25 percent every quarter beginning January next year.
- Statutory Liquidity Ratio – SLR – is the portion of funds which banks are required to maintain in the form of cash, gold reserves, the government approved securities before providing credit to the customers.
- In a statement, RBI stated that the reduction will continue until it reaches 18 per cent from the current 19.5 percent.
- The move is likely to release funds locked in government securities and add to lendable liquidity.
IOB to issue over 18 crore shares under ESPS scheme
- State-owned Indian Overseas Bank has decided to issue more than 18 crore shares to its staff under the employee stock purchase scheme.
- The board of directors of the bank approved the issue and allotment of up to 18.24 crore equity shares to eligible employees of the bank under the Indian Overseas Bank-Employee Stock Purchase Scheme 2018 (IOB-ESPS 2018).
|Indian Overseas Bank Headquarters
|Indian Overseas Bank Tagline
||Good people to grow with
|Indian Overseas Bank MD and CEO
CURRENT AFFAIRS: APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATION
Centre appoints Lalit Kumar as its nominee on ICICI Bank board
- The government has appointed Lalit Kumar Chandel, Economic Advisor, Ministry of Finance, as its nominee-director on the board of ICICI Bank.
- He will replace LokRanjan on the board of the private sector lender. Ranjan had been earlier been laterally transferred to Department of Personnel and Training.
|ICICI Bank Headquarters
|ICICI Bank Tagline
||Hum Hain Na!
|ICICI Bank MD and CEO
Indian-origin woman ShamilaBatohi appointed head of South Africa’s prosecuting authority
- Prominent Indian-origin lawyer ShamilaBatohi has been appointed to head South Africa’s prosecuting authority, the first woman to head the agency facing criticism for its handling of the investigations against former president Jacob Zuma over corruption charges.
- Batohi will start her new role as the National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP) in February 2019.
- Eleven months later, the prosecuting body now has a new head.
|South Africa Capital
||Cape Town, Pretoria, Bloemfontein
|South Africa Currency
||South African Rand
|South Africa President
CURRENT AFFAIRS: AWARDS AND HONOURS
Salman, Akshay among world’s 100 top-paid celebrities
- Bollywood actors Akshay Kumar and Salman Khan are among the world’s 100 highest-paid entertainers, according to a Forbes list topped by American boxer Floyd Mayweather.
- However, actor Shah Rukh Khan – a regular on the list – failed to find a place on the list.
- In 2017, he ranked 65th on the list, with earnings of $38 million.
- Akshay is ranked 76th on the Forbes list of the World’s Highest Paid Celebrities 2018 while Salman is on the 82nd spot.
Prominent Kashmiri short-story writer and eminent broadcaster Mushtaq Ahmad Tantray bags Sahitya Academy Award
- Prominent Kashmiri short-story writer and eminent broadcaster Mushtaq Ahmad Tantray bagged this year’s Sahitya Academy Award for his collection of short stories “AAKH’’.
- Tantray is presently posted as Head of the Regional News Unit at Radio Kashmir Srinagar.
- The annual awards by the National Academy of Literature for twenty-four Indian languages were announced at a press conference in New Delhi.
- “AAKH” is a collection of eighteen short-stories. It was chosen amongst thirteen books that had reached the final stage for the Kashmiri language.
- The book published in the year 2012 has been widely appreciated by the literary circles of Kashmiri language.
- It has earlier bagged the best book award in Kashmiri at the state level from State Academy of Art, Culture and Languages for the year 2014.
CURRENT AFFAIRS: SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
World’s 1st 3D-printed functional e-bike made in Germany
- German firm BigRep claims it has produced the world’s first fully functioning e-motorbike NERA using a 3D printer.
- The NERA has “groundbreaking features like airless tires, embedded electronics, and forkless steering.
- The bike was conceptualised and developed in 12 weeks and includes 15 parts, which are all 3D printed except its motor and battery, the company added.
CURRENT AFFAIRS: SUMMIT AND CONFERENCE
OPEC set to meet in Vienna
- The members of Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and other oil-producing countries are scheduled to meet in Vienna to discuss ways to manage the oil output, supply glut and demand slowdown.
- US President Donald Trump urged OPEC members not to slash production at their upcoming meeting, saying global oil prices should remain low.
- Over the past two months oil prices have plunged and a barrel of Brent crude, the European benchmark, currently stands at around 60US dollars.
- However, OPEC’s third-biggest producer Iran has called to be excluded from any decision to cut production.
||Algeria, Angola, Congo, Ecuador, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Libya, Nigeria, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Venezuela
|OPEC Secretary General
CURRENT AFFAIRS: OBITUARY
Noted agriculturalist Jayaraman passes away
- Noted agriculturalist Jayaraman, who pioneered the protection and propagation of indigenous paddy varieties in Tamil Nadu, passed away in Chennai.
- Hailing from Thiruthuraipoondi, in the heart of Tamil Nadu’s delta rice bowl, Jayaraman has been credited with documenting and protecting more than 170 paddy varieties.
- His diligent work in the field of protecting the gene prototypes of indigenous paddy varieties won him the National Award in 2015 and a state award in 2011.