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Important Current Affairs of 30th May

NATIONAL:

India moves up to 43rd in competitiveness; Singapore tops chart.

• India secured 43rd rank in the most competitive economy across the world and Singapore topped the chart by toppling the US from the first position and Hong Kong SAR ranked 2nd place as same as last year.

• The US ranked 3rd in the ranking.

• Switzerland ranked 4th in the ranking.

• UAE first time entered into the top 5 rankings. Last year in 2018 UAE ranked 7th.

• Venezuela ranked last in the rankings due to high inflation, poor access to credit and a weak economy.

• The improvement of India's rank resulted of its robust economic growth, large labour force and its huge market size.

About World Competitiveness Rankings

• The World Competitiveness Rankings was published by IMD Business School every year.

• The rankings first time published in 1989.

• It incorporates 235 indicators and ranked 63 countries every year.

INTERNATIONAL:

Huawei challenged U.S.s NDDA bill as sanctions fight ramps up.

• World's largest telecom equipment maker Huawei filed a motion in a US court to declare National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) as "unconstitutional". The U.S. court had agreed  on a schedule to hold hearings in September on motions by opposing sides.

NDDA Bill:

• The NDAA bill, passed by the U.S. Congress in 2018, places a broad ban on federal agencies and their contractors from using Huawei equipment on national security grounds, citing the company’s ties with the Chinese government.

Huawei's accusation:

• In its petition, Huawei said that NDAA illegally targets without opportunity for rebuttal or escape. It provides no opportunity to present evidence as defence. The company repeatedly denied it is controlled by the Chinese government, military or intelligence services.

Ban on Huawei:

• In early May 2019, the U.S. Commerce Department put Huawei on a trade blacklist that bans companies from doing business with the Chinese firm, a move which immediately disrupted the global tech sector. The ban affected the company's more than 1,200 suppliers and threatened to affect its 3 billion customers in 170 countries.

• Huawei, which has been given a 90-day reprieve from the ban, has denied its products pose a security threat and protested Washington’s attempts to limit its business.

US removed India, Switzerland from its currency monitoring list.

• US Government removed India and Switzerland from its currency monitoring list US Government has removed India and Switzerland from its currency monitoring list. The monitoring list includes countries with potentially questionable foreign exchange policies and practices currency manipulation. It is prepared by the US Treasury Department.  India had a significant trade surplus while Switzerland had a material current account surplus.  In its semi-annual report to US Congress on International Economic and Exchange Rate Policies, the Treasury Department removed India and Switzerland from the list.

• Criteria:

• Countries with a current-account surplus equivalent to 2% of the Gross Domestic Product(GDP) are eligible for the list, according to modifications made in the new list, down from 3% earlier.

• repeated intervention in the currency markets

• a trade surplus with the US of at least $20 billion

• Why was India removed?

• India was placed in the bi-annual currency watch list in October 2018.  In 2018, there was a decline in the scale and frequency of foreign exchange purchases in Switzerland and India. Neither Switzerland nor India met the criteria for having engaged in persistent, one-sided intervention in either the October 2018 report or the recent report.

• India had met one out of three criteria which were necessary for inclusion on the monitoring list, a significant bilateral surplus with the US for two consecutive reports.

• India for the first time was placed by the US in its currency monitoring list of countries with potentially questionable foreign exchange policies in May 2018. As per the Report of October 2018, India had made improvements in this regard.

• The US Treasury Department reported that India maintains ample reserves according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) metrics for reserve adequacy.

• Countries in the list:

• At present, the list includes 9 countries namely China, Japan, South Korea, Germany, Italy, Ireland, Singapore, Malaysia, and Vietnam. 

• The US Treasury Department urged the Asian nations to take necessary steps to avoid a "persistently weak currency'.

About the USA:

• President: Donald Trump

• Capital: Washington, DC

• Currency: US Dollar

WHO concluded that Burnout is not a medical condition.

• The World Health Organization (WHO) has for the first time recognised "burn out" in its International Classification of Diseases (ICD), collectively known as the ICD-11. The decision was taken during theWorld Health Assembly (WHA) in Geneva.

Burn-out:

• WHO has now defined burnout as “a syndrome conceptualised as resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed”. Burn-out refers specifically to phenomena in the occupational context and should not be applied to describe experiences in other areas of life

• The syndrome was characterised by:

1) feelings of energy depletion or exhaustion

2) increased the mental distance from one's job or feelings of negativism or cynicism related to one's job

3) reduced professional efficacy.

 Significance:

• Classifying "burn-out" in ICD could help put to rest years of debate among experts about how to define burnout, and whether it should be considered a medical condition or not.

• International Classification of Diseases (ICD):

• It is the global health information standard for mortality and morbidity statistics. It was created in 1948 and WHO was entrusted with it. ICD is revised periodically and this year is currently its 10th revision.

• It is widely used as a benchmark for diagnosis and health insurers. The updated 'CD list, dubbed as ICD-11, was drafted in 2018 following recommendations from health experts from all around the world. It was approved on 25 May 2019 and will take effect in January 2022.

AGREEMENTS AND MOU's:

NSIC signed MoU with the Ministry of MSME for 2018-19 financial year.

• The National Small Industries Corporation Limited (NSIC) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) for the year 2018-19. The MOU was signed by Ram Mohan Mishra and Arun Kumar Panda in the presence of Alka Nangia  Arora, Joint Secretary, SME; Mercy Epao, Director (SME); P Udaya Kumar, Director, P&M, NSIC, and A.K. Mittal, Director, Finance, NSIC.

The MoU envisages provision of enhanced services by NSIC under its marketing, financial, technology, and other support services schemes, for MSMEs in the country.

• NSIC plans to increase Profitability:

• NSIC projects to increase its total business by 21.30% from Rs.22,258 crore in the year 2017-18 to Rs.27,000 crore in the year 2018-19.

• NSIC also projects growth of 32% in Profitability during the year 2019-20.

• It also plans to enhance its activities in the areas of imparting entrepreneurship and skill development training. It will do so by targeting 45 percent growth in the number of trainees.

• In August 2018, NSIC had opened another office in Bhubaneswar to encourage MSMEs, including SC/ST groups. The building has workplaces for different offices such as National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC), National Skill Training Institute (NSTI) and others which will work with NSIC for offering help to different MSMEs.

• National Small Industries Corporation Limited (NSIC):

Founded: 1955

Headquarters: New Delhi, India

Chairman & MD: Ram Mohan Mishra

Parent: Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises

• NSIC is the nodal office for several schemes of Ministry of MSME such as Performance & Credit Rating, Single Point Registration, MSME Databank, National SC ST Hub, etc.

BANKS AND ECONOMICS:

RBI constitutes a committee for Housing Finance Securitisation Market.

• The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) constituted a committee to review the existing state of mortgage securitisation in India and suggest measures to deepen it. The six-member committee on Development of Housing Finance Securitisation Market is headed by Harsh Vardhan, Senior Advisor, Bain & Co.

• Role of the panel:

• The panel will review the regulations relating to mortgage-backed securitisation (MBS) currently in place, and make specific recommendations on suitably aligning the same with international norms.

• It will assess the role of various counterparties, including servicers, trustees, rating agencies, in the securitisation process and suggest the steps required.

MBS in India:

• Data from rating company ICRA showed that the securitisation volume in FY19 more than doubled as against FY18 to Rs.2 lakh crore, of which major chunk of loans sold was by housing finance companies (HFCs) to both the demand and the supply side, as well as certain prudential, legal and tax and accounting issues

• Mortgage-Backed Security (MBS):

• Mortgage-Backed security (MBS) is a type of asset-backed security that is secured by a mortgage or collection of mortgages.

• category: Banking & Finance

• banks in order to raise funds owing to tough liquidity conditions.

• The mortgage securitisation market in India is primarily dominated by direct assignments among a limited set of market participants on account of various structural factors impacting.

APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATIONS:

Muhammadu Buhari sworn in as the president of Nigeria for the second term.

• Muhammadu Buhari sworn in for a second term as Nigeria's president.

• He is a former military ruler, won 56 percent of the votes to defeat his main challenger, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples' Democratic Party (PDP) in the February election.

According to Transparency International's 2018 Corruption Perceptions Index, Nigeria failed to improve its ranking of 144th out of 180 countries from the previous year, despite a number of positive steps.

• Buhari is the twenty-third child of his father.

• Buhari was raised by his mother after his father died when he was about four years old.

About Muhammadu Buhari

Born:17 December 1942

Political party: All Progressives Congress

Nationality: Nigerian

Walmart Appoints Suresh Kumar as Chief Technology Officer.

• US-based retail chain Walmart appointed Suresh Kumar, an IIT Madras graduate, and former Google executive, as chief technology officer and chief development officer.

• The appointment comes at a time when Walmart is transforming its customer and associate experiences.

• He has 25 years of technology leadership experience, coming from Google, Microsoft, Amazon, and IBM.

• He has a unique understanding of the intersection of technology and retail, including supply chain, and has deep experience in advertising, cloud and machine learning.

About Walmart

Founded : July 2, 1962;

Founder: Sam Walton

Headquarters: Bentonville, Arkansas, U.S.

Chairman: Greg Penner

President and Chairman: Doug McMillon

Paytm COO Vasireddy, ex-Paytm Mall COO Sinha quit: Report.

• Paytm Chief Operating Officer (COO) and Senior VP of business Kiran Vasireddy and former Paytm Mall COO Amit Sinha are leaving the homegrown fintech giant, Entrackr reported. Since Sinha led Paytm Mall till February, his accountability quotient for Paytm Mall's poor performance stands high, Entrackr quoted sources as saying. "Their resignation is only a speculation," Paytm responded to the report.

AWARDS:

N Kumar, TNAU V-C, conferred with 'Lifetime Recognition Award' by the Confederation of Horticulture Association of India.

• Lifetime Recognition Award by the Confederation of Horticulture Association of India was given to Professor N. Kumar, Vice-Chancellor of Tamil Nadu Agricultural University.

• The award has been conferred for his outstanding contribution in the field of horticulture and academic leadership focused on human resource development in agriculture at the International Conference on Innovative horticulture at Pantnagar, Uttarakhand, according to a varsity release.

• He began his career as an Assistant Professor in Horticulture during 1979 at TNAU and by consistent and meritorious performance.

• He managed to occupy the position of Dean of Horticultural College and Research Institute, TNAU in 2009-2013 before becoming the 13th Vice-Chancellor of the renowned Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, Coimbatore.

• He has secured spearheaded 20 externally funded projects including 5 International Projects.

Zaidi wins USD 100,000 Nine Dots Prize.

• Mumbai-based Writer Annie Zaidi was announced as the 2019 winner of the $100,000 Nine Dots Prize, an award for creative thinking that tackles contemporary societal issues. She won the prize for her entry titled ‘Bread, Cement, Cactus’, a piece that combined memoir and reportage to explore concepts of home and belonging.

• Her proposed book, based on the prize-winning essay, will be published in May 2020 and will examine how a citizen’s sense of home might collapse, or recover. The varied themes it will address include the politics and economics of death in India, the crossing of caste and religious lines in a marriage, and the Partition of India as a great cultural and emotional sundering.

Annie Zaid:

• She is a freelance writer whose work includes reportage, essays, short stories, poetry, and plays.

• She has published both fiction and non-fiction, including a collection of essays Known Turf: Bantering with Bandits and Other True Tales and Love Stories # 1 to 14, a collection of short fiction published in 2012.

Nine Dots Prize:

• The Nine Dots Prize is sponsored by the Kadas Prize Foundation, a U.K.-registered charity, with support from the Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities (CRASSH) at the University of Cambridge and Cambridge University Press.

• It aims to promote, engage and encourage innovative thinking so as to address problems facing the modern world. The prestigious book prize is awarded for creative thinking that tackles contemporary societal issues. The winner receives US$100,000 to write a short book expanding on their ideas.

• Entrants are asked to answer the given question in 3,000 words. All entrants with a minimum of 18 years of age can write. Responses and the resulting book will be in English.

SPORTS:

ICC launches criiio campaign on eve of World Cup.

• ICC launched the criiio campaign on the eve of the men’s World Cup bringing together 460 million people playing cricket globally to celebrate the magnificent diversity of cricket.

• The ICC to join the social cricket tribe by sharing pictures and videos of where and how they play cricket across the world using the newly launched #criiio and visiting criiio.com.

• This builds on the success of the recent user-generated social media initiative # World Wide Wickets and is the first of a series of programs that will be launched by the ICC over the next 12 months.

• Criiio is a celebration of everyone playing cricket their way and world cricket wants to invite them into the criiio tribe.

About International Cricket Cadre

Chairman‎: ‎Shashank Manohar  

CEO‎: ‎Manu Sawhney

Headquarters‎: ‎Dubai, United Arab Emirates   

Formation‎: ‎15 June 1909

Chelsea clinched the UEFA Europa League 2019 Cup.

• Chelsea clinched the UEFA Europa League 2019 Cup. It scored four goals in a devastating second-half display to beat Arsenal 4-1 on 29 May at the Baku Olympic Stadium in Azerbaijan.

• It gave Italian manager Maurizio Sarri a major trophy in his first season in charge and Chelsea a first European title since the 2013 Europa League.

• The triumph in Baku means Chelsea have won three European titles in seven years, with the Champions League triumph in 2012 followed by their first Europa League victory in 2013.

By contrast, Arsenal have lost five of their six major European finals, with their only victory coming in the 1994 Cup Winners' Cup against Parma.

UEFA Europa League:

Founded: 1971

Region: Europe (UEFA)

Number of teams: 48

Current champions: Chelsea

• It is an annual football club competition organised by UEFA since 1971 for eligible European football clubs.

• It is the second-tier competition of European club football, ranking below the UEFA Champions League.

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