Daily Current Affairs (English) - 11.04.2018

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Prompt Corrective Action (PCA)

Eleven public sector banks have been brought under the central bank’s Prompt Corrective Action (PCA) framework with an aim to check NPAs. This comes months after the central government had allocated capital of Rs 52,311 crore to 11 “weak banks” to maintain their minimum capital requirement.

  • The PCA is invoked when certain risk thresholds are breached. There are three risk thresholds which are based on certain levels of asset quality, profitability, capital and the like. The third such threshold, which is maximum tolerance limit, sets net NPA at over 12% and negative return on assets for four consecutive years.
  • Banks are not allowed to re new or access costly deposits or take steps to increase their fee-based income. Banks will also have to launch a special drive to reduce the stock of NPAs and contain generation of fresh NPAs.
  • Large companies have access to the corporate bond market so they may not be impacted immediately. It has been predicted that if more state-owned banks are brought under PCA, it will impact the credit availability for the MSME segment.

The President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind, April 9, 2018, concluded his visit to Equatorial Guinea

  • The President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind, April 9, 2018, concluded his visit to Equatorial Guinea and left for Swaziland for the second leg of his visit to three African nations –Equatorial Guinea, Swaziland, and Zambia.
  • The visit, the first by a President of India to Equatorial Guinea, saw the signing of three MoUs yesterday – in the fields of AYUSH and traditional medicine; medicinal plants; and an action plan for Information and Communication Technology.
  • Later in the day, the President will reach Swaziland in what is also the first-ever visit to that country by a President of India.

World Homeopathy Day

  • A two-day scientific convention is being organized in New Delhi by Ministry of AYUSH on the occasion of World Homoeopathy Day, on 10-11th April 2018.
  • The Vice President Shri. M. Venkaiah Naidu will be the chief guest at the function while Minister of State (I/C) for AYUSH Shri Shripad Yesso Naik will preside.
  • This day is observed to commemorate the birth anniversary of the founder of Homoeopathy Dr. Christian Friedrich Samuel Hahnemann.
  • Member of Parliament, Lok Sabha Dr. Manoj Rajoria and Secretary, Ministry of AYUSH Shri Vaidya Rajesh Kotecha will be the Guest of Honours. The theme of this convention is “Innovate: Evolve; Progress: Exploring Science since 40 years”.

PM Modi visit East Champaran district of Bihar

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi will arrive Bihar on 10th April to address “Swachchh Bharat Mission” volunteers and flag of a number of railway schemes, an official said.
  • The PM’s visit is a part of the concluding celebration of Champaran Satyagraha centenary launched by the Bihar Government in April last year.
  • Mahatma Gandhi had set off on his Champaran Satyagraha in 1917 in protest against atrocities on Indigo planters.
  • Modi will also dedicate to the nation a locomotive developed at the Electric Locomotive Factory, a collaboration between India and France, in Madhepura.

Right to convert is part of fundamental right of choice

The Supreme Court has held that a person’s right to choose a religion and marry is an intrinsic part of her meaningful existence. Neither the State nor “patriarchal supremacy” can interfere in her decision.

  • Freedom of faith is essential to his/her autonomy; Choosing a faith is the substratum of individuality and sans it, the right of choice becomes a shadow.
  • Matters of belief and faith, including whether to believe, are at the core of constitutional liberty. The Constitution exists for believers as well as for agnostics.
  • Constitution protects the ability of each individual to pursue a way of life or faith to which she or he seeks to adhere. Matters of dress and of food, of ideas and ideologies, of love and partnership are within the central aspects of identity. Society has no role to play in determining choice of partners.
  • The absolute right of an individual to choose a life partner is not in the least affected by matters of faith. The Constitution guarantees to each individual the right freely to practise, profess and propagate religion. Choices of faith and belief as indeed choices in matters of marriage lie within an area where individual autonomy is supreme.

Andhra Pradesh: 4 Kingfisher species sighted in Krishna Wildlife Sanctuary

  • At least four kingfisher species are thriving in the Krishna Wildlife Sanctuary in Andhra Pradesh, adding beauty to the precious eco-region in India.
  • The Forest Department team has stumbled upon them across the KWL during its field visits as a part of the fauna survey that is in progress.
  • The species have been identified as White-throated Kingfisher (Halcyon smyrnensis), Pied Kingfisher (Ceryle rudis), Black-capped Kingfisher (Halcyon pileate) and the Common Kingfisher.

Project Kaleswaram

Central Water Commission (CWC) recently appreciated the Telangana government for the speedy execution of work on the Kaleshwaram irrigation project aimed at creation of over 18 lakh acres of new irrigation potential and stabilising another 18 lakh acres of the existing command area.

  • The Kaleshwaram project is an off-shoot of the original Pranahitha-Chevella Lift Irrigation Scheme taken up by the Congress government in 2007 when Andhra Pradesh was not divided. After the formation of Telangana in 2014, the TRS government redesigned the project on the ground that the original plan had too many environmental obstacles and had very low water storage provision — only about 16.5 tmc ft.
  • After conducting a highly advanced Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) survey for a couple of months, the government separated the original component serving the Adilabad area as the Pranahitha project and renamed the rest as Kaleshwaram by redesigning the head works, storage capacity and the canal system based on the data of availability of water at different locations along the course of the Godavari and its tributaries.

IGI among world's top 20 busiest airports

As per ACI’s World Airport Traffic Forecasts, the Indira Gandhi International (IGI) Airport, operated by the Delhi International Airport Ltd, has emerged as one of the busiest airports in the world and is in fact among the top 20.

  • Founded in 1991 with the objective of fostering cooperation among its member airports and other partners in world aviation, ACI is the trade association of the world’s airports, currently serving 641 members operating from 1,953 airports across 176 countries.
  • As per the latest statistics of Airports Council International, IGI Airport jumped six notches to be in the top 20 busiest airports in the world for 2017 in terms of traffic volume. It jumped from 22nd rank in 2016 to 16th.
  • Delhi has also been ranked first in airport service quality for airports above 40 million passengers per annum along with the Mumbai airport.
  • Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) was ranked the busiest airport in the world.

5 States to roll out intra-state e-way Bill

  • The e-way Bill system for intra-state movement of goods will be implemented from April 15 in five states. According to the GST Council, the five states are Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Kerala, Telangana and Uttar Pradesh.
  • With the roll-out of e-way Bill system in these states, it is expected that trade and industry will be further facilitated insofar as the transport of goods is concerned, an official release said. This would eventually pave the way for a nationwide single e-way Bill system.
  • Already, e-way Bill system for intra-state movement of goods is operational in Karnataka from April 1, 2018. These 5 states together account for 61 percent of the inter-state e-way bill generation, GSTN said.
  • The electronic way or e-way bill has become mandatory for interstate movement of goods valued over Rs 50,000 from one state to another beginning April 1.

FSSAI introduces Project Dhoop

  • The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) launched a nationwide campaign on 9th April at National Bal Bhawan in Delhi to spread awareness about availing Vitamin D through natural sunlight and consuming fortified food among school-going children.
  • The project was implemented in collaboration with the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC), North MCD and several private schools through a Joint Noon Assembly. Twenty-five schools from the National Capital Region were among the participants.
  • Vitamin D deficiency occurs due to overuse of sunscreen, wearing clothes that cover most of the skin, working all day in an air-conditioned atmosphere, and other factors.
  • Project Dhoop urges schools to shift their morning assembly to noontime, mainly between 11 am and 1 pm to ensure maximum absorption of Vitamin D in students through natural sunlight.

World EXPO 2020 : India Signs MOU With Dubai

India and World Expo 2020 signed participants contract for India’s pavilion in the prestigious World Expo 2020 held once in 5 years.

  • The contract was signed by Shri Manoj K. Dwivedi, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Commerce, Government of India on Indian side and Mr. Najeeb Mohammed Al Ali, Executive Director, Dubai Expo 2020 Bureau on behalf of Expo 2020 at the Expo site in the presence of Shri Navdeep Suri, Ambassador of India to UAE, Shri Vipul, Consul General of India, Dubai and Dr. Tarek Shayya, Board Director-Chief International Participants Officer, Dubai Expo.
  • The contract provides for the setting up of India pavilion at Expo 2020 on an extra large plot (about one acre) in the ‘Opportunity’ segment. Focus will be given to India’s advances in Space, Pharma, IT, Renewable Energy, Telecom sectors. Commerce & Industry Minister, Shri Suresh Prabhu has expressed his happiness on the signing of the contract.