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Important Current Affairs 6th September 2019

NATIONAL:

India ranks 34th in 2019 world travel and tourism competitiveness index

• According to the Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Index (TTCI) for the year 2019 released by the World Economic Forum(WEF). India ranked at the 34th spot from 6 places from the 2017 report (40th rank). The index topped by Spain It is followed by France and Germany in the second and third places.

Around 140 countries were ranked based on four sub-indexes. They are ranked mainly on the basis of

• Infrastructure

• Travel and Tourism policy enabling conditions

• Natural and cultural sources and

• Enabling environment.

India Africa Partnership in a Changing Global Order was held in New Delhi

• The India-Africa Partnership in a Changing Global Order on Priorities, Prospects and Challenges National Conference was held in New Delhi. The conference was composed by research organizations, Research and Information System for Developing Countries (RIS). It was organized by the Indian Council of World Affairs (ICWA). Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu addressed the conference.

• India confirmed and renewed its goal to achieve $5 trillion economy by 2024-25 as outlined in the economic survey-2019. The discussion included India's cooperation with Africa in every aspect including Trade, security, capacity building, maritime cooperation, and food security.

INTERNATIONAL:

Russia to conduct 2019 Exercise TSENTR

• Exercise TSENTR 2019 is a component of the annual exercises part of the Russian Armed Forces like an annual coaching cycle. Exercise TSENTR 2019 is conducted by the Central military commission of Russia. This year the exercise is planned to be held between 9-23 September at Donguz coaching ranges in Russia

Aim:

TSENTR 2019 aims to evolve drills and give practice to the participating armies in the fight against the scourge of international terrorism. It also aims to ensure military security in the strategic Central Asian region. The exercise will also focus on evaluating the preparedness of the level of the troop, the acquisition of the required skills and raising the level of interoperability and demonstrate the readiness of the participating armies.

BUSINESS AND ECONOMY:

PNB approved its merger with OBC and United Bank of India

• Punjab National Bank's (PNB) board has decided to give its in-principle approval for the merger with the Oriental Bank of Commerce and United Bank of India. The move is a part of the announcement of a major bank merger by the Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.

• The directors of the Bank approved to commence the amalgamation process. The board also approved a capital infusion of up to Rs.18,000 crore from the government for preferential allotment of equity shares of the bank at a price determined in terms of SEBI (ICDR) Regulations. After the merger, PNB will be the country's second-largest PSB with Rs.18 lakh crore business. It will also be the second-largest branch network in India.

• Earlier, the government announced that the four major bank mergers. The merger of 10 public sector banks to be merged into four was announced by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. After the merger, there will now be 12 public sector banks after the latest round of consolidation of PSU banks

 IndiGo partners with SonyLIV to provide mobile inflight entertainment

• IndiGo announced its partnership with online video streaming service SonyLIV to offer passengers entertainment content at ₹25. The airline is expanding its footprint globally resulting in longer flights for its passengers calling for the need to provide entertainment content onboard. The airline has 50% of its new destinations in 2019 will be international ones.

• The passengers will have to download the app and the video content before they board their flight. IndiGo will provide a link to its flyers through which they avail the subscription. The flyers will have unlimited access to SonyLIV's premium content catalogue for the next 7 days.While the government has allowed airlines to provide in-flight internet connectivity as well as voice calls, IndiGo seems to have decided to not go down that route yet.

• Full-service carrier Air India provides its passengers pre-loaded entertainment content which can be viewed on screens mounted on seatbacks, while Vistara’s Vistara World App allows you to wirelessly stream content from your personal Android device. SpiceJet too announced its plans last year to provide in-flight WiFi but is yet to roll it out.

RBI makes it Mandatory for Banks to Link Retail Loans with External Benchmarks from October 1

• The Reserve Bank of India mandatory for banks to link all new floating-rate loans for housing, auto and MSMEs to an external benchmark like repo from October 1.

Industry and retail borrowers complaining that banks do not pass on the entire RBI's policy rate (repo rate).The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) observed that due to various reasons, the transmission of policy rate changes to the lending rate of banks under the current marginal cost of funds based lending rate (MCLR) framework .

• The banks to link all new floating rate personal or retail loans and floating rate loans to MSMEs (micro, small and medium enterprises) toan external benchmark effective October 1, 2019.The Reserve Bank already reduced the repo or short-term lending rate by 110 basis points, but the banks have reportedly passed on only up to 40 bps to borrowers.

OBITUARY:

Author Kiran Nagarkar passed away on 5 September

• The Novelist Kiran Nagarkar passed away in hospital at the age of 77. He suffered from a massive brain hemorrhage. He was one of India’s greatest writers.

Nagarkar:

Nagarkar was born in Mumbai in 1942. He worked in journalism, advertising and education. He published his novel Saat Sakkam Trechalis in Marathi in 1974 at the age of thirty-two. He worked as  screenplay, journalist, a book author, and within the advertising trade.

Awards:

Nagarkar was distinguished with the HN Apte Award for the most effective first novel. He won Sahitya Akademi Award for his epic novel Cuckold, which he wrote in 1997, in 2001 and the Dalmia Award for communicative harmony through literature. He received a philanthropist grant award of a scholarship by the town of Munich.

SPORTS:

Anupama Swain won bronze in World Martial Arts Mastership Jiu Jitsu 2019

• Anupama Swain won a bronze medal in the recently concluded World Martial Arts Mastership Jiu-Jitsu 2019. The event was held in Chungju, South Korea.

• She qualified for 2022 Asian Games. She is the only Indian to participate in the championship.Jiu-Jitsu is a form of martial art and combat sport and it puts the entire focus on grappling with particular emphasis on ground fighting.

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