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Important Current Affairs 13th January 2020


INTERNATIONAL NEWS 


Tehran to host dialogue forum on Hormuz peace initiative.
•    India participated in the Tehran Dialogue Forum, the 23rd Persian Gulf International Conference held in Tehran, Iran from January 06- 07, 2020.  
•    During the forum, India supported the Hormuz Peace initiative 2020. 
•    The initiative was done so as to seek stability in one of the world’s busiest and strategically located shipping lanes i.e, Strait of Hormuz amid escalating US-Iran tensions. 
•    Oman, India, China and Afghanistan were the key participants.
•    Hormuz Peace initiative 2020 in Tehran Dialogue Forum:
o    Plans under HOPE: The meeting reviewed the latest developments in the Persian Gulf region and also evaluated the regional cooperation plans under the ‘Hormuz Peace Endeavor’ (HOPE), proposed by Tehran at the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) that was held in September 2019.It was presented by Iran President Hassan Rouhani at UNGA.
o    Strait of Hormuz:The Strait of Hormuz is one of the world’s most strategically important choke points. It has Iran in the northern coat, UAE (United Arab Emirates) and Musandam, an enclave of Oman in the southern coast. It acts as an important gateway for significant amount of global oil supplies.
•    Length: The strait is 90 nautical miles (167 km) long, with a width varying from about 52 nautical miles to 21 nautical miles.
•    Oil & LNG supply to India: 2/3rd of oil and 50% of liquefied natural gas (LNG) imported to India comes through the strait between Iran and Oman.
•    General statistics: Everyday 18 million barrels of oil pass through the Strait of Hormuz that accounts for 1/3rd of the global oil trade. 1/3rd of the world’s LNG trade also passes through the strait.
o    Waterway issues: In june 2019, 2 oil tankers were damaged by explosions. The United States(US) blamed Iran for the attack as a response to the US tightening sanctions in Iran. however, Iran denied it. Since the explosion Indian ships under the assistance of Indian Navy(IN) passes through the waterway.
o    Members present:Foreign Minister of Oman Yusuf bin Alawi and former President of Afghanistan Hamid Karzai and members from China and experts, directors of various foreing think tanks, and ambassadors participated in the forum.
•    About Iran:
Capital- Tehran.
Currency- Iranian rial.
President- Hassan Rouhani.
Supreme leader- Ali Khamenei.

World Future Energy Summit | Abu Dhabi | 13-16 Jan 2020
•    The 13th edition of the World Future Energy Summit was inaugurated in Abu Dhabi on January 13, 2020 by His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Abu Dhabi Crown Prince and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.
•    The four-day summit is expected to see nearly 33,500 visitors. It will conclude on January 16.
•    As a part of the event, the Climate Innovations Exchange (CLIX) and the Future Sustainability Summit will also be conducted.
•    The Future Sustainability Summit is being held under the theme “Rethinking Global Consumption, Production, and Investment.”

Bangladesh to hold world's second largest Muslim congregation 'Bishwa Ijtema' in January 2020
•    First phase of “Bishwa Ijtema” has commenced in Dhaka, Bangladesh. It is the second largest congregation of Muslim community after Hajj. 
•    The second phase of the congregation will be held from January 17 to 19.
•    Bishwa Ijtema is an annual event which is taking place on the outskirts of Dhaka since 1967. 
•    It is being organised in a field of 160 acres, on the bank of the Turag river at Tongi on the outskirts of Dhaka. 
•    The congregation draws devotees of Muslim community from about 150 countries, hence making it the second largest congregation of Muslim community after Hajj.
•    Prime Minister of Bangladesh: Sheikh Hasina; Capital: Dhaka; Currency: Taka.

NATIONAL NEWS

Ordinance promulgated for amendment of MMDR Act and CMSP Act; paves way for growth in Coal and Mining sector

•    The central govt has promulgated ordinance for amendment in the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act 1957 (MMDR act 1957) and The Coal Mines (special provisions) act, 2015 (CMSP act 2015) in order to ease new areas of growth in the coal & mining sector.
•    The amendments in detail are as follows:
o    Enhance ease of doing business & Democratization of coal mining sector.
o    Unexplored and partially explored coal blocks mining through prospecting license-cum-mining Lease (PL- cum-ML) will be offered.
o    Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) promotion in the coal mining  sector.
o    Attracting large investment in coal mining sector.
o    Allowing of successful bidder/allottee to utilise mined coal in any of the plant of its subsidiary or holding company Attracting large investment in coal mining sector as restrictions of end use has been dropped.
o    New Section in mines created: A new section 4B (after section 4A) has been inserted to enable the Central Govt. to prescribe conditions for ensuring sustained production by the holder of mining leases, who have acquired clearances etc.The Central govt has the power to prescribe the conditions for the new lessees to commence production without prejudice to the time period of 2 years for starting the production prescribed in Section 4A.
o    Flexibility in deciding the end use of Schedule II and III coal mines: The end use of Schedule II and III coal mines under the CMSP Act has been provided with flexibility through omission of sub-section (3) of Section 4 of CMSP Act.

Sachin Bansal acquires DHFL General Insurance
•    Flipkart co-founder and former CEO Sachin Bansal has acquired DHFL General Insurance from Kapil Wadhawan-led Wadhawan Group Capital (WGC) for around Rs 100 crore.
•    WGC is the parent company of debt-laden Dewan Housing Finance Limited (DHFL) and this deal is seen as a distress sale.
•    With this acquisition, Bansal has entered into insurance business, and the investment is also seen as part of his strategy to enter into financial services industry.
•    In the recent past, Bansal had done multiple investments in insurance business to increase his portfolio of firms in the sector.

 National Youth Festival 2020 : Begins in Lucknow
•    The 23rd edition of the National Youth Festival (NYF) 2020 was inaugurated at Indira Pratishthan, Lucknow on 12 January 2020. It will continue till 16 January 2020.
•    The 5-day long festival has been jointly organised by Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports and State Government of Uttar Pradesh.
•    Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, Shri Yogi Adityanath and the Minister of State (I/C) for Youth Affairs & Sports, Shri Kiren Rijiju inaugurated the NYF 2020, on the occasion of birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda, the great Youth icon.
•    The theme of the 23rd National Youth Festival 2020 is ‘FIT YOUTH FIT INDIA’ 
•    NYF 2020 would have around 6000 participants from each State.
•    The Government has been organizing National Youth Festival (NYF) since 1995 to provide a platform to bring the youth of the country together in an attempt to provide them opportunity to showcase their talents in various activities.

BANKING AND ECONOMICS


SEBI CMD Post Split: SEBI Extends Deadline By Two Years.
•    January 13, 2020, Stock market regulator SEBI (Securities and Exchange Board of India) has extended the deadline for the separation of the posts of Chairman and MD (Managing Director) or chief executive officer (CEO) for 500 listed companies by 2 years. 
•    Now this rule has to be followed by April 2022.
•    The first deadline issued by SEBI was April 2020. The move comes after the companies were asking for more time to keep expenses down due to the slowdown in the economy.
•    Background: The rules to separate the post of Chairman-MD are part of the recommendations of the Uday Kotak (MD of Kotak Mahindra Bank) Committee appointed by SEBI on Corporate Governance. Having a post of chairman and MD or CEO is expected to cause a conflict of interest to the board of directors and management. In many companies including Reliance Industries, the chairman and MD are handled by the same person.
•    About SEBI:
Formation– April 12, 1988
Headquarters– Mumbai, Maharashtra
Chairman– Ajay Tyagi

RBI puts curbs on Sri Guru Raghavendra Sahakara Bank in Bengaluru from doing business
•    On January 10, 2020 the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has curbed Sri Guru Raghavendra Sahakara Bank, a private bank in Bengaluru, Karnataka from doing business with immediate effect. 
•    This has been done after finding alleged irregularities in transactions. 
•    The bank’s savings and current account customers and depositors can however withdraw cash up to ₹35,000 only till further notice.
•    Act: RBI’s Chief General Manager Yogesh Dayal issued the directive under Sections 35A and 56 of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949, from Mumbai, Maharashtra.
•    Without the approval of RBI, the bank cannot write, grant or renew loans and advances, make investment, borrow funds or accept fresh deposits from January 10, 2020.
•    The directive will remain in force for 6 months from January 10 and is subject to review,” added the official.
•    About Sri Guru Raghavendra Sahakara Bank:
Established- 1964
Headquarters- Bangalore, Karnataka.
Tagline- A cooperative bank with corporate vision.
President- Dr. K Ramakrishna.
Motto- Service to the Common Man.
 

SPORTS


ISSF rankings: India finishes 2019 as No. 1
•    Based upon the International Shooting Sport Federation’s (ISSF) overall rankings of Nation for 2019, India finished the year as the top shooting nation in the world leaving behind China and USA.
•    In terms of overall medals, India’s tally stood at 30 medals overall consisting 21 gold, six silver and three bronze as India topped all the Rifle-Pistol World Cups and Finals.
•    China was second with 44 medals overall, including 11 gold, 15 silver and 18 bronze.
•    The USA stood third with 15 medals including six gold six silver and three bronze.
•    National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) President: Raninder Singh.

Novak Djokovic leads Serbia to victory over Spain in ATP Cup
•    Serbia has won the inaugural 2020 ATP Cup tennis tournament, defeating Spain 2–1 in the final on 12 January 2020 in Sydney.
•    Serbia’s Novak Djokovic was the key performer in the tournament.
•    The World No. 2 Djokovic claimed a straight sets victory over the World No. 1 Rafael Nadal, 6-2, 7-6 (7-4) in singles.
•    Further, in doubles also, Djokovic and Viktor Troicki claimed 6-3, 6-4 straight sets victory  over Feliciano Lopez and Pablo Carreno Busta.
•    ATP Cup was the opener for the 2020 ATP Tour, as well as the first ATP team tournament since the last edition of the World Team Cup in 2012.

APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATIONS


Robert Abela wins election to be prime minister of Malta
•    On January 12,2020 Malta’s governing party has elected a new leader Robert Abela as 14th prime minister of Malta. He replaces Joseph Muscat, who resigned over the murder of a journalist. 
•    Robert Abela is the son of the Malta’s Former President George Abela.
Robert Abela, 42-years old lawyer won the Labour Party Leadership contest with 57.9% of the vote and beat his closest rival Chris Fearne 56-years old surgeon by more than 2,500 votes.
•    Joseph Muscat announced his resignation last month over the scandal surrounding the muder of Daphne Caruana Galizia.
•    Galizia was killed by a car bomb in 2017 as she investigated corruption in Malta.
•    Caruana Galizia,known as the “one woman WikiLeaks”,exposed corruption at the highest levels of   government and business circles in Malta.
•    About Malta:
Capital- Valletta.
Currency- Euro.
President- George Vella. 

Haitham bin Tariq sworn in as Oman's new sultan
•    On January 11, 2020 Haitham bin Tariq Al Said (66) was appointed as the new ruler of the Oman after the death of Sultan Qaboos bin Said Al Said who ruled the country from 1970.
•    Haritham bin Tariq Al Said who is the cousin of the deceased Sultan Qaboos, was the Cultural and Heritage Minister of Oman.
•    In 2013 he was appointed by the Sultan Qaboos to chair the main committee responsible for Oman’s development.
•    Haritham bin Tariq was an oxford graduate who spent 16 years in various roles with the Foriegn Ministry from 1986.
•    He was also incharge for Oman’s Vision 2040 Program.
•    About Oman:
Capital- Muscat
Currency- Omani rial

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