Daily Current Affairs (English) - 12.06.2018
Submitted by admin on Tue, 06/12/2018 - 12:32
Scientists map genetic codes of 3,000 bacteria
- Scientists seeking new ways to fight drug-resistant superbugs have mapped the genomes of more than 3,000 bacteria, including samples of a bug taken from Alexander Fleming’s nose and a dysentery-causing strain from a First World War soldier.
- The DNA of deadly strains of plague, dysentery and cholera were also decoded in what the researchers said was an effort to better understand dangerous diseases and develop new ways to fight them.
- The samples from Fleming — the British scientist credited with discovering the first antibiotic, penicillin, in 1928 — were among more than 5,500 bugs at Britain’s National Collection of Type Cultures (NCTC).
- Specialists estimate that around 70% of bacteria are already resistant to at least one antibiotic that is commonly used to treat them.
- This has made the evolution of “superbugs” that can evade one or multiple drugs one of the biggest threats facing medicine today. The genomic maps are available to researchers worldwide.
Maharashtra most vulnerable state
- Maharashtra has been ranked the most vulnerable state in the draft National Disaster Risk Index, followed by West Bengal & Uttar Pradesh.
- States like Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh that are prone to natural calamities have been ranked relatively lower.
- Few factors taken into consideration were exposure of population, agriculture and livestock, environmental risk & economic vulnerabilities.
Mauritius to host global Hindi meet
- The upcoming 11th World Hindi Conference in Mauritius is likely to produce directives to increase the popularity of Hindi globally.
- The World Hindi Conference is a major event organised every three years by the External Affairs Ministry.
- The World Hindi Secretariat (WHS) supported by India is located in Mauritius.
Nadal won 11th French Open title in 14 yrs
- World number one Rafael Nadal defeated world number eight Dominic Thiem in the men’s singles final to clinch his record-extending 11th French Open title in 14 years.
- With this, Nadal equalled former world number one female player Margaret Court’s record of winning a single Grand Slam singles title 11 times.
- Overall, it was Nadal’s 17th Grand Slam title.
Delhi most vulnerable UT in India’s
- A national disaster risk index mapping hazards and vulnerabilities across 640 districts puts Maharashtra at the top of the chart followed by West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, and Madhya Pradesh, while Delhi is most at risk among Union territories (UTs).
- The index is currently in the form of a draft report prepared by the Union home ministry with support from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
- From 2005 to 2014, at least 167 disasters struck India, inflicting damages of more than $47 billion, ranking India among the top four countries in the world with the highest number of reported disasters, according to the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction.
India to make Lithium Ion batteries
- India will soon start producing first indigenous Lithium Ion batteries.
- A MoU for transfer of technology for India’s first Lithium Ion (Li-ion) Battery project was signed between CSIR’s Central Electro Chemical Research Institute (CECRI) and RAASI Solar Power Pvt Ltd.
- At present India depends on countries like China, Japan and South Korea for import of Lithium Ion batteries.
- The Central Electro Chemical Research Institute (CECRI), Karaikudi, Tamil Nadu under Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR) and RAASI Solar Power Pvt Ltd on June 10, 2018 signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MoU) for transfer of technology for India’s first Lithium Ion (Li-ion) Battery project.
- The production of the Li-Ion batteries will give tremendous boost to various flagship programmes of Prime Minister Narendra Modi such as Clean Energy and National Electric Mobility Mission.
President gives nod for IBC amendment
- The President gave his assent to promulgate the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (Amendment) Ordinance, 2018. The ordinance provides significant relief to homebuyers by recognising their status as financial creditors.
- It will also enable homebuyers to invoke Section 7 of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC), 2016 against errant developers. Another major beneficiary would be micro, small and medium sector enterprises (MSME), which form the backbone of the Indian economy as the biggest employer, next only to the agriculture sector.
- “Recognising the importance of MSME sector in terms of employment generation and economic growth, the ordinance empowers the government to provide MSMEs with a special dispensation under the code,” the statement added.
- The immediate benefit it provides is that, it does not disqualify the promoter to bid for his enterprise undergoing corporate insolvency resolution process (CIRP) provided he is not a wilful defaulter and does not attract other disqualifications not related to default.
Arvind Saxena appointed acting UPSC Chairman
- UPSC member Arvind Saxena has been appointed as the acting chairman of the commission from June 20, a government order said.
- Saxena, a 1978-batch Indian Postal Service officer, will take over the charge from incumbent Vinay Mittal who completes his term at the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) on June 19.
- The announcement was made through a government order, which read that
Saxena will perform the duties of the post of Chairman, UPSC with effect
from June 20 till further orders or till completion of his tenure on August
India win 2018 Intercontinental Cup
- The Indian national team lifted the 2018 Intercontinental football Cup by defeating Kenya 2-0.
- Both the goals were scored by India skipper Sunil Chhetri.
- Organised by the All India Football Federation (AIFF), the quadrangular tournament also featured New Zealand and Chinese Taipei.
RBI seeks update on payments data storage
- The RBI have asked payment services firms to provide an update, on action taken by them to store transaction data in India, every fortnight.
- RBI wants payment system operators to store payment-related data in the country by October 2018.
- RBI had said that at present “only certain” payment system operators store the payment system data either partly or completely in the country.
In 2017, India moved to top 10 FDI-hosting economies
- India has moved up a notch to enter the top 10 foreign direct investment (FDI) host economies in 2017 despite the challenging condition of global FDI flows.
- According to the World Investment Report 2018 of UNCTAD, global flows of foreign direct investment fell by 23% in 2017, largely due to contraction across developed economies.
- Foreign Direct Investment to India decreased to 40 billion dollars last year from 44 billion dollars in 2016 while outflows from India, the main source of investment in South Asia, more than doubled, according to a new trade report by the UN.
RBI raises rates after 4.5 years as crude price surges
- The six-member monetary policy committee (MPC) of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) increased the repo rate by 25 basis points to 6.25%. The MPC arrived at the unanimous decision as the outlook for inflation had become ‘uncertain’ following a surge in international crude oil prices.
- This is the first rate hike in four-and-a-half years; the last was in January 2014. Banks may have anticipated the RBI’s move as major lenders such as the State Bank of India, the ICICI Bank and the Punjab National Bank had raised their lending rates a week ago.
- The RBI increased its inflation projection to 4.8%-4.9% in the first half (H1) of the financial year and 4.7% in the second half, as compared with 4.7-5.1% in H1 and 4.4% for H2. Consumer price index-based inflation, or retail inflation, rose to 4.6% in April from 4.28% in March.
- While the central bank has increased the inflation projection, it has maintained the ‘neutral’ stance for monetary policy, meaning interest rates can move either way.
- “A major upside risk to the baseline inflation path in the April resolution has materialised, viz., 12% increase in the price of the Indian crude basket, which was sharper, earlier than expected and seems to be durable,” the central bank said, adding that the Indian crude basket surged to $74 a barrel from $66 since the last policy meeting in April 2018. The outlook for GDP growth for 2018-19 has been retained at 7.4% as projected in the April policy.
G7 Summit: Trump abandons joint statement
- The 44th summit of the Group of Seven (G7), which was held from June 8–9, 2018 in La Malbaie, Quebec, Canada, ended in complete disarray with US President Donald Trump blasting off host Canada and abruptly retracting his support for a joint statement, signed by every nation in the group.
- The summit was overshadowed by differences over trade tariff disputes and calls to readmit Russia. US President Donald Trump left the meeting earlier as he had to head to Singapore for his meeting with the North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un on June 12.
Qingdao Declaration: India refuses to endorse China’s One Belt One Road initiative
- India on June 10, 2018 refused to endorse Chinese President Xi Jinping’s One Belt, One Road (OBOR) project as part of a joint declaration at the 18th Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Summit in Qingdao.
- The summit was attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who was on a two-day visit to the picturesque coastal city of China's Shandong province to attend the annual summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO).
- It was for the first time that the Indian prime minister attended the SCO summit after India and Pakistan became full-fledged members of the grouping.
Piyush Goyal launches 'Rail Madad' App and 'Menu on Rails' App
- Piyush Goyal, Minister of Railways & Coal on June 11, 2018 launched two mobile apps, namely, Rail Madad and Menu on Rails.
- The Rail MADAD (Mobile Application for Desired Assistance During travel) app seeks to expedite passenger grievance redressal.
- It relays real time feedback to passengers on the status of redressal of their complaints and the passenger gets an instant ID through SMS on registration of complaint, followed by a customised SMS communicating the action taken thereon by Railways.