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Important Current Affairs 6th May 2019

NATIONAL:

DPIIT recommends relaxation in Income Tax rules to facilitate fundraising by start-ups.

• The Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) brought relaxation in the income tax rules related to residential properties’ sale and carry-forward of losses, in order to facilitate fundraising by start-ups.

• The relaxation laws are part of the ‘Startup India Vision 2024‘ that’s been prepared by the DPIIT.

• The DPIIT recommended amendments in Section 54GB of the Income Tax Act, that is, capital gain on transfer of residential property not to be charged in certain cases and Section 79 that states, carry forward and set off of losses would be done for specific companies.

• The DPIIT has proposed to reduce shareholding requirements of founders from 50% to 20% and compulsory tenure from 5 years to 3 years.

• Start-up promoters need to hold 100% shares for carrying forward of losses.

Startup India, launched in January 2016 is the flagship initiative of the government.

It intends to build a strong ecosystem for the growth of start-up businesses for driving sustainable economic growth and increase employment opportunities.

Bandana sets Guinness World Records on Longest Dancing Marathon by an Individual.

• An 18-year old girl from Nepal named Bandana set a Guinness World Records on'Longest Dancing Marathon by an Individual'. She danced exclusively to Nepalese music continuously for 126 hours (over five days).

• She broke the record set by India's Kalamandalam Hemlatha, who danced continuously for 123 hours and 15 minutes in 2011.

She performed classical dance form Mohiniyattam and set the record at age of 37.

BigBasket receives $150 million in funding, becomes the newest unicorn.

• Supermarket Grocery, which runs and operates the online grocery brand BigBasket, has received $150 million in a financing round led by South Korea’s Mirae Asset- Naver Asia Growth Fund, UK’s CDC Group, and existing investor Alibaba, said the company on Monday.

• This round has boosted the company’s valuation to over $1 billion, pushing it to the coveted ‘unicorn’ club.

INTERNATIONAL:

US to hike tariffs on USD 200 bn of Chinese goods.

• President Donald Trump announced on 5th May that the U.S. would raise tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods to 25% from 10th May because trade talks are moving too slowly, as they attempt to renegotiate. Mr.Trump’s action came ahead of the arrival of a major Chinese delegation to Washington for the latest round of talks around, it is believed, could possibly lead to a deal.

• For 10 months, China has been paying Tariffs to the USA of 25% on 50 Billion Dollars of High Tech, and 10% on 200 Billion Dollars of other goods. 10% will go up to 25%. The two sides have imposed tariffs on $360 billion in two-way trade since 2018. But Mr.Trump and Chinese leader Xi Jinping agreed to a truce in December to refrain from further escalation.

• The two sides have imposed tariffs on USD 360 billion in two-way trade since 2018. But Trump and Chinese leader Xi Jinping agreed to a truce in December to refrain from further escalation. Trump said that he wants to reduce the huge US trade deficit with China, which in 2018 totalled $378.73 billion if trade in services is included.

• Besides a greater opening of the Chinese market to US goods, Trump is pressing for structural changes such as Beijing ending its practice of forcing US companies that operate in China to share their technology. Trump is also demanding that China halt theft of intellectual property and subsidies to state-owned companies.

Oil tumbles, China stocks plunge over 4% after Trump vows tariff hike.

• Global financial markets tumbled on Monday after US President Donald Trump unexpectedly jacked up pressure on China to reach a trade deal, saying he would hike US tariffs on Chinese goods this week.

• Equity markets, which had been largely expecting a trade accord, fell sharply across export-reliant Asia as further talks were thrown into doubt.

• Chinese shares plunged more than 4% at one point, while US stock market futures fell close to 2 %. Oil prices plunged and the Chinese yuan tumbled.

BANKS AND ECONOMICS:

Yes Bank slips 3 notches to 10th spot as most valued bank.

• Private lender YES Bank Ltd has slipped three notches to 10th spot, in terms of market valuation, for the first time, as its shares slumped over 30% in the last four sessions after the bank reported a surprise net loss in its March quarter earnings.

• YES BANK is now the 10th most valued bank from seventh earlier, slipping below market valuation of state-run lenders - Bank of Baroda and Punjab National Bank.

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Important Current Affairs of 4th May

NATIONAL:

HealthKart to raise 173 cr from Belgium's Advent Management.

• Gurugram-based health and fitness products platform HealthKart is raising about ₹173 crore from Belgium-based Advent Management, Entrackr revealed. It has raised around ₹346 crore worth preference and equity capital since July last year.

Healthkart was founded by Prashant Tandon and Sameer Maheshwari in 2011 after raising $1 million from Kae Capital and Sequoia Capital.

Vodafone Idea signs multi-million dollar IT deal with IBM.

• India's largest telecom operator Vodafone Idea Ltd on Friday announced a five-year multi-million-dollar IT outsourcing deal with tech giant IBM.

• "This engagement will also contribute to Vodafone Idea's merger synergy objectives by reducing its IT related costs," the telecom firm said in a statement.

• The company did not divulge the size of the deal but some reports pegged it at about $700 million.

INTERNATIONAL:

Warren Buffett finally embraces Amazon as Berkshire acquires stake.

• Warren Buffett has said that he underestimated Amazon.com Inc.’s Jeff Bezos. Now one of Buffett’s deputies is willing to put money behind the tech giant.

BANKS AND ECONOMICS:

RBI imposed penalty on 5 pre paid payment instrument issuers and Yes Bank.

• The Reserve Bank of India imposed a monetary penalty on five pre-paid payment instrument issuersincluding Vodafone m-pesa and Phonepe, for violating regulatory guidelines. A penalty of Rs.3.05 crore has been imposed on Vodafone m-pesa and Rs. 1 crore each on Mobile Payments, PhonePe and G.I.

• Technology Private Ltd. Also, a penalty of Rs. 5 lakh has been imposed on Y-Cash Software Solutions.

• RBI said it had imposed a penalty of Rs. 29.67 lakh on Western Union Financial Services Inc., USA., and Rs. 10.12 lakh on MoneyGram Payment Systems Inc, USA, for non-compliance of regulatory guidelines.

• The penalties on Western Union and MoneyGram had been imposed by the central bank under the provisions of the Payment and Settlement Systems Act, 2007, for compounding of the contravention.

APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATIONS:

Myntra appoints Virat Kohli, Anushka Sharma as first brand ambassadors.

• Flipkart-owned fashion e-commerce platform Myntra n Friday announced that it had appointed celebrity couple Virat Kohli and Anushka Sharma as its first brand ambassadors.

• The platform declined to reveal the brand deal size or period of association. According to celebrity management sector estimates, Myntra may be shelling out upwards of ₹10 crore for the couple as brand endorsement fee.

DAYS:

International Firefighters Day is observed on 4th May.

• International Firefighters' Day (IFFD) is observed on 4th  May of every year. It was instituted after a proposal was emailed out across the world on January 4, 1999, due to the deaths of five firefighters in tragic circumstances in a bushfire in Australia. May 4 used to be a traditional Firefighters' Day in many European countries because it is the day of Saint Florian, patron saint of firefighters.

• Fire prevention and the need for more intensive and thorough training is one of the main aspects of International Fire Fighters Day. Firefighters and their agencies around the world are constantly stressing fire prevention: in schools, to the community, at public events, at assemblies and even to their own families. The safest way to keep firefighters alive and home to their families is training. This ideal is one that International Fire Fighters Day stresses.

• The Ribbon:

One of the most significant symbols of International Fire Fighters Day is the red and blue ribbon. This ribbon is cut precisely five centimeters long and one centimeter wide, with the two separate colors conjoined at the top. The red and blue were chosen because the red stood for the element of fire whereas the blue would represent the element of water. Coincidently, red and blue are also the colors recognized worldwide to signify emergency services; therefore, red and blue being the best choice of color to reco2. gnize an international day.

Coal Miners Day is observed on 4th May every year:

• Coal Miners Day is observed on 4th May every year to highlight the toughest profession and the people working in coal mines. On this day several organisations, communities raises funds and awareness for other organisations in the coal mining area and workers.

This day show appreciation for the sacrifices, honour the accomplishments and remember the tragedies that these hardworking individuals experience.

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Important Current Affairs of 3rd May

NATIONAL:

BSNL launches Bharat fibre for high speed broadband Internet service with local channel partner in Pulwama.

• ‘Bharat Fibre’, the state-owned telecom firm, BSNL (Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited) became the 1st operator to start optical fibre-based high-speed broadband service in Pulwama.

• The Bharat Fibre services with reliable and high-speed internet are provided on the optical fibre by FTTH (fibre-to-the-home) service up to the customer premises.

The service was launched by BSNL Chief General Manager of Jammu and Kashmir Circle, Rana Ashok Kumar Singh, in the presence of Srinagar General Manager Telecom District Zafar Iqbal and BSNL’s channel partner, Mir Nazir.

• The Internet services generally remain unaffected even during the vagaries of weather.

BSNL provides the FTTH service with a monthly charge of Rs 777-16,999 in around 160 telecom districts with a minimum speed of 2 megabit-per-second (Mbps).

The ‘Bharat Fibre’ service launched on a revenue sharing basis in a business collaborative model with the local channel partner of Pulwama area.

PayPal India launched One Touch with the help of Google Smart Lock for seamless transactions.

• PayPal India used Google Smart Lock and launched its OneTouch experience in India.

OneTouch feature permits Indian consumers to register their android device with PayPal and stay logged into PayPal for further PayPal purchases on that device, thus removing the issue of repeated log-ins and enabling a seamless payments experience.

The integration with Google Smart Lock will offer a hassle-free payment procedure as well as maintain security to prevent fraud.

• India becomes the first market where the feature of Google Smart Lock has been integrated.

• PayPal’s Buyer Protection feature will provide an extra layer of security to this feature for eligible transactions, that is, if items that are purchased online mismatch with the description of the product that was sold, the Buyer Protection feature enables them to claim a refund for eligible transactions.

Godrej Properties buys Mumbai's iconic RK studio.

• Godrej Properties Ltd (GPL) on Friday said it has bought Mumbai's iconic R.K. Studios, founded by legendary film actor Raj Kapoor, for an undisclosed amount.

• The company will develop the property, spread across 2.2 acres, into a project spanning 0.35 million sq ft of saleable area comprising modern residential apartments of various configurations as well as a luxury retail experience, Godrej Properties said in a filing to the BSE.

DAYS:

World Press Freedom Day is celebrated on 3rd May

• World Press Freedom Day is celebrated on 3rd May every year. It was started by theUN General Assembly in 1993, on a recommendation from UNESCO. The day aims to celebrate the fundamental principles of press freedom, assess its state around the world, defend the media from attacks on their independence and to pay tribute to journalists who have laid down their lives in the exercise of their profession.

• The theme for this year's World Press Freedom Day is Media for Democracy: Journalism and Elections in Times of Disinformation. The theme discusses current challenges faced by media in elections, along with the media’s potential in supporting peace and reconciliation processes. UNESCO's mandate is freedom of the press and freedom of expression. UNESCO believes that these freedoms allow for mutual understanding to build sustainable peace.

SPORTS:

India retains top spot in ICC Test rankings.

• India retained its top position in the ICC Test rankings while England remained the number one ODI side in the latest annual rankings released in Dubai.

New Zealand secured second place in Test series.

• India bagged prize money of USD 1 million

• New Zealand bagged USD 500,000.

• South Africa finished third with 105 points

Australia finished fourth with 104 points winning prize money of USD 200,000 and USD 100,000 respectively.

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Important Current Affairs 2nd May 2019

INTERNATIONAL:

Japan got its new emperor Naruhito.

• The new emperor, Naruhito (59-year-old),  on 1st May received the sacred imperial regalia that represents his rightful succession to the world’s oldest monarchy, Tokyo, Japan. Emperor Akihito of Japan formally stepped down on 30th April 2019 as his son Naruhito prepared to take the Chrysanthemum Throne and usher in a new imperial era.

Pakistan named its retaliatory action against India on February 27 as Operation Swift Retort.

• Pakistan Air Force announced that they will observe its retaliatory action against India against the Balakot strike of Indian Air Force as ‘Operation Swift Retort’.

The Indian air strikes at Balakot terror camp on February 26 was response of Pakistan based Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) attack by a suicide bomber in Pulwama that killed 40 CRPF jawans.

In response to Indian attack, Pakistan Air Force (PAF) retaliated and captured IAF Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman who was released by Pakistan on March 1.

AGREEMENT AND  MOU's:

Varuna 19.1, Indo French joint naval exercise, began in Goa.

• Varuna 19.1 is the first part of the Indo-French joint naval exercise. It is being held off the Goa coast from 1st to 10th May 2019.

The exercise will see the participation of the French Navy's aircraft carrier FNS Charles de Gaulle, two destroyers, FNS Forbin and FNS Provence, the frigate FNS Latouche-Treville, the tanker FNS Marne and a nuclear submarine. From the Indian side, the aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya, destroyer INS Mumbai, the Teg-class frigate, INS Tarkash, the Shishumar- class submarine, INS Shankul, and the Deepak- class fleet tanker, INS Deepak, are taking part in the exercise.

BANKS AND ECONOMICS:

Bandhan Bank to cut promoter holding to 40% through offer-for-sale route.

• Bandhan Bank will reduce its promoter holding to the mandated level of 40% through the offer-for-sale (OFS) route and is not looking at any more acquisitions at the moment, said managing director and CEO Chandra Shekhar Ghosh.

• Speaking to reporters after announcing the bank’s Q4 FY19 results, Ghosh said, “We cannot go for any further acquisition and the option is to have an offer for sale."

APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATIONS:

Viacom18 appoints Gourav Rakshit as Viacom18 Digital Ventures COO.

•  Film, television and digital content conglomerate Viacom18 Media Pvt Ltd on Wednesday announced the appointment of Gourav Rakshit as chief operating officer for its digital arm, Viacom18 Digital Ventures. Rakshit will join the organisation in May and report to Sudhanshu Vats, Group CEO and managing director, Viacom18.

• An alumnus of the University of Rochester and IIM Ahmadabad, Rakshit is currently serving as president and chief executive officer of People Group that owns and operates online wedding service Shaadi.com.

DAYS:

WORLD PASSWORD DAY – FIRST THURSDAY IN MAY.

• The Registrar of National Day Calendar has designated the first Thursday of May of each year as World Password Day.

• World Password Day is a celebration to promote better password habits. Passwords are critical gatekeepers to our digital identities, allowing us to access online shopping, dating, banking, social media, private work and life communications.

SPORTS:

Kumar Sangakkara named as first non-British President of MCC.

• Former Sri Lanka captain Kumar Sangakkara appointed as the first non-British president of the Marylebone Cricket Club.

• Sangakkara will be the first overseas MCC president in the organization's 233-year history.

• The wicketkeeper-batsman, whose nomination was announced by current president Anthony Wreford will begin his one-year tenure in October.

He is an honorary life member of MCC

• He owns Lord's and acts as the guardian of the laws of the game, was founded in 1787 and lists 168 president.

Apurvi Chandela attains world number one spot in women's 10 m air rifle event.

• Indian shooting ace Apurvi Chandela attained the world number one position in the women's 10 metres air rifle event.

• Anjum Moudgil attained number two after consistent performances in recent years.

The rifle ace from Jaipur is among the five Indian shooters to have already secured 2020 Olympics quotas for the country.

• Moudgil attained the world number two rank in 10 metres Air Rifle after her mixed team gold at the ISSF World Cup in Beijing.

• Manu Bhaker is the world number 10 in 25 metres pistol women category.

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Important Current Affairs of 1st May

NATIONAL:

Reliance Jio to launch 'Super App' with 100 services: Report.

• Reliance Jio is reportedly aiming to launch a ‘Super App’ that will provide over 100 services in one platform. The report said the app will let users order goods and services on it and pay bills using in-app payment services. Reports added that launching the app will put Reliance in a position to replicate China's WeChat in India.

OYO buys 51% stake in Europe's @Leisure for ₹1,400 crore.

• Indian hotel startup OYO has agreed to buy a 51% stake in European vacation rental group @Leisure from German media company Axel Springer for ₹1,400 crore. @Leisure manages holiday homes, holiday parks and holiday apartments across Europe and has a total inventory of more than 3 lakh rooms. OYO now has presence in more than 800 cities across 24 countries.

Flipkart in talks to buy grocery chain Namdhari's Fresh: Reports.

• Walmart-owned e-commerce giant Flipkart is in talks to buy Bengaluru-based grocery chain Namdhari's Fresh, as per reports. While Walmart is said to have held talks with Namdhari's, the acquisition will be made through Flipkart, reports said. Namdhari's operates over 30 stores in Bengaluru, and the acquisition will help Flipkart expand its food and grocery segment, reports added.

L&T buys Coffee Day & its Founder's stake in Mindtree for ₹3,210 cr.

• Larsen & Toubro (L&T) has purchased a 20% stake in Bengaluru-based IT services firm Mindtree from Coffee Day and its Founder VG Siddhartha for about ₹3,210 crore. The infrastructure major is aiming to acquire an up to 66% stake in Mindtree for ₹10,730 crore. L&T's hostile bid to acquire controlling stake in Mindtree is the first in India's IT industry.

Bengaluru logistics startup BlackBuck raises ₹1,043 crore.

Bengaluru-based logistics startup BlackBuck has raised about ₹1,043 crore in Series D funding round led by Goldman Sachs Investment Partners and Accel. Sequoia Capital, B Capital, among others also participated in the round which reportedly values the startup at just under $1 billion. BlackBuck was founded in 2015 by IIT-Kharagpur alumni Rajesh Yabaji, Chanakya Hridaya and Ramasubramanian B.

April GST collections at ₹1.13 lakh crore, highest since rollout.

• The Goods and Services Tax (GST) collection in April touched ₹1.13 lakh crore, the highest since the nationwide levy was rolled out in July 2017. The revenue in April is 16% higher than the monthly average GST revenue of ₹98,114 crore in 2018-19. This is the fifth time the collections crossed ₹1 lakh crore since GST rollout.

INTERNATIONAL:

Pentagon to send 320 more troops to US-Mexico border.

• The US Defence Department announced that it would deploy around 320 additional troops to the southern border with Mexico to support immigration officials.

The troops, set to deploy until the end of September, will add to around 2,900 active duty military and 2,000 National Guard members currently posted to the border.

The Pentagon spokesman said, the troops would assist with transporting migrants, monitoring the welfare of migrants in custody and providing heating and meals.

Airtel Africa reports $83 million profit in March quarter.

• Airtel Africa, a subsidiary of Bharti Airtel, on Tuesday reported a profit of $83 million for the March quarter, as against a loss of $49 million a year earlier. The company's revenue grew 6% to $781 million. Qatar Investment Authority invested $200 million in the company during the quarter, taking funds raised as pre-IPO private placement to $1.45 billion.

Jaish chief Masood Azhar designated as global terrorist by UN.

• The designation of Azhar as a terrorist by the UNSC will lead to embargos on his travel and his ability to find finance for his group

• India’s first attempt to get Azhar listed came in 2009, seven years after his JeM group was designated a terrorist outfit by the UN

APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATIONS:

Air Marshal RKS Bhadauria takes over as Vice Chief of Air Staff.

• Air Marshal Rakesh Kumar Singh Bhadauria took over as Vice Chief of the Air Staff on Wednesday, succeeding Air Marshal Anil Khosla. Bhadauria has over 4,250 hours of experience on 26 types of fighters and transport aircraft. He was reportedly the Chairman of India's negotiating team for the Rafale deal with France.

Eric Schmidt leaves Google board, after 18 years.

• Eric Schmidt will not seek re-election to the board when his term expires in June, but will continue to advise on technical matters

• Schmidt's net worth is estimated to be around $14 billion by Forbes

DAYS:

May 1: International workers day.

• International Worker's Day also known as Labour Day and May Day, is observed on 1st May every year, to promote and encourage the international labour associations.

• The theme of Labour Day 2019 is ‘Uniting Workers for Social and Economic Advancement’.

Labour Day provides the Labours their right to work for only 8 hours a day.

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Important Current Affairs 30th April 2019

NATIONAL:

MakeMyTrip parent acquires majority stake in Quest2Travel.

• MakeMyTrip Ltd, which owns and operates MakeMyTrip, Goibibo and redBus, has acquired a majority stake in web-based corporate travel management company 'Quest2Travel'. Founded in 2000, Mumbai-based Quest2Travel counts Tata Motors among its customers. MakeMyTrip Group CEO Deep Kalra said, "With this investment we are making a decisive foray into providing travel solutions for corporate customers".

India beats China as Asia's top fintech funding hub in Q1: Report.

• India was the top Asian market for VC-backed fintech funding in Q1 of 2019 with $286 million in funding, beating China which recorded $192 million, as per CB Insights. Both countries recorded 29 deals, a decrease for China which recorded 76 deals three quarters ago. The report suggested tightened regulation around online lending in China may have caused the drop.

Kolkata's speech recognition platform Mihup raises ₹12.5 cr.

• Kolkata-based AI-enabled speech recognition platform for vernacular languages, Mihup, has raised ₹12.5 crore in Series A funding round from Accel Partners and Ideaspring Capital. In 2016, Mihup had secured over ₹45 crore seed funding from Accel Partners. Founded by Biplab Chakraborty, Sandipan Chattopadhyay, Sandipan Mandal, and Tapan Barman, Mihup offers services in Hindi, English, and Bengali.

NTPC to raise ₹3,000 crore via bonds on Friday.

• The proceeds will be utilised to meet capital expenditure requirements, working capital needs, existing loans refinancing and other general corporate requirements

• The bonds are proposed to be listed on both the National Stock Exchange and the BSE

Zomato to launch 20 Hyperpure warehouses in 18 cities by next year.

• For now, Zomato will scale the warehouses in the top metros before moving to smaller cities

• Zomato opened its second Hyperpure warehouse on Monday in New Delhi.

INTERNATIONAL:

Samsung posts 60% drop in profit, says S10 logged 'solid sales'.

• Samsung registered a 60% drop in Q1 profit compared to last year, making about $5.3 billion profit from January-March 2019. The South Korean company said the earnings were weighed down by memory chips and displays, although the new Galaxy S10 smartphone logged solid sales. Samsung added its Galaxy Fold launch could be delayed to the "second half of the year".

BANKS AND ECONOMICS:

Amazon targets $5 billion e-commerce exports from India by 2023.

• The programme started with just few hundred sellers in 2015 and has now crossed $1-billion export mark from India with 50,000 exporters

• Amazon in second edition of its annual 'Export Digest' said there has been a growth of 56% in the number of global sellers from India in 2018.

R-Cap looks to raise ₹10,000 cr through stake sale to pare debt.

• Company plans to divest stakes in NBFC, media and insurance units amid a string of rating downgrades

• The Anil Ambani group firm plans to sell up to a 51% stake each in its wholly owned non-banking financial companies.

APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATIONS:

President Sirisena appointed General S.H.S Kottegoda as the Defence Secretary.

• President Maithripala Sirisena on 29th April appointed General S.H.S Kottegoda, a former Army commander, to the post of Defence Secretary. He replaces Hemasiri Fernando who resigned from the post after the Easter blasts that killed over 250 people.

• President Sirisena also named Deputy Inspector-General Chandana Wickramaratne as the acting policechief as the incumbent Pujith Jayasundara is currently on compulsory leave. President Sirisena squarely blamed the Defence Secretary and the IGP for failing to pass on the information to him.

• As per Sri Lankan law, the Inspector General of Police (IGP) can be removed from the post only with a parliamentary resolution backed by a majority and based on a subsequent inquiry by a committee.

DAYS:

Nation observes Ayushman Bharat Diwas on 30th April.

• As part of Gram Swaraj Abhiyan, Ayushman Bharat Diwas is celebrated across the country on April 30. For the first time, the day was observed on 30th April 2018. During the event, information regarding Ayushman Bharat Scheme was provided to people during health camps organised in rural areas.

On this day, gram sabhas were organized in different parts of the country to create awareness about the National Health Protection Mission and verify and update details in the Socio-Economic and Caste Census database.

AWARDS:

Alfred Brownell was awarded the Goldman Environmental Prize.

• Alfred Brownell, an environmental lawyer, and activist was awarded the Goldman Environmental Prize. He was awarded for exposing alleged abuse by the palm oil company Golden Veroleum Liberia and helping to prevent it from converting about 50 km2 of forest that is home to elephants, pygmy hippopotamuses, and chimpanzees.

• The company had been given a green light in 2010 by the government to expand in the country and was poised to turn more than 2,000 km2 of the lush forest into palm oil plantations. He won the Goldman prize along with five others for grassroots environmental activism.

Other Awardees:

• Linda Garcia of Vancouver, Washington, who rallied local communities to successfully prevent the construction of North America’s largest oil terminal.

• Ana Colovic Lesoska of North Macedonia, whose seven-year campaign helped stop hydroelectric projects from being built in the country’s largest national park.

• Bayarjargal Agvaantseren of Mongolia, who led the fight to create the Tost Tosonbumba Nature Reserve.

• Jacqueline Evans of the Cook Islands, whose work led to the conservation and sustainable management of all of the Cook Islands’ ocean territory and creation of 15 marine protected areas.

• Alberto Curamil of Chile, a jailed indigenous activist who had protested several hydroelectric projects in the country.

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Important Current Affairs of 29th April

National :

Cyclone Fani expected to intensify into very severe cyclonic storm

•  Cyclone Fani is expected to intensify into a very severe cyclonic storm and will continue to move North West and change its path to North East.

•  According to the MeT department, Cyclone Fani’s landfall over Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh is ruled out.

•  However, the possibility of landfall in Odisha is under continuous watch.

•  Prime Minister Narendra Modi directed officials to take preventive measures to deal with Cyclone Fani.

•  The National Disaster Response Force and Indian Coast Guard have been put on high and placed at the disposal of State Government Authorities.

Air India flights delayed due to software shutdown

•  Around 135 flights of Air India were delayed on April 28, 2019 due to the ripple effect of the shutdown of its software.

•  These flights were delayed by an average of 197 minutes.

•  The services of Air India flights normalised by April 29, 2019.

•  Thousands of passengers had a harrowing time at airports across the world.

3,000-kg garbage collected from Mt. Everest

•  A total of 3,000 kg of solid waste has been collected from Mt. Everest since the launch of an ambitious clean-up campaign in Nepal on April 14, 2019.

•  The campaign is aimed at bringing back tonnes of trash from the world’s highest peak Mt. Everest.

•  The ‘Everest Cleaning Campaign’, led by Solukhumbu district’s Khumbu Pasanglhamu Rural Municipality, aims to collect nearly 10000 kgs of garbage from Mt. Everest.

•  Of the 3,000 kg garbage collected, 2000 kg was sent to Okhaldhunga while the remaining 1000 kg were brought to Kathmandu using Nepali Army helicopters for disposal.

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS:

2019 Global Food Policy report: Rural revitalisation key to eco growth

On 27th April 2019, according to the 2019 Global Food Policy Report (GFPR), rural areas continue to be in a state of crisis and threatening to slow the progress toward the Sustainable Development Goals, global climate targets, and improved food and nutrition security due to hunger, malnutrition, poverty, environmental degradation.

Key points:

i. The report was prepared by the Washington DC-based International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).

ii. Rural transformation and revitalization have been pre-eminent goal of India’s development efforts since independence, according to the report.

iii. It also point out about the changing consumption patterns due to urbanization, increasing income, growing integration of food supply chains and food systems in India which offer new opportunities for entrepreneurship and employment in rural areas.

BANKING & FINANCE:

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has proposed strict rules on opening and running of current accounts of corporate borrowers in order to tackle fund diversion.

According to a report by The Economic Times, India’s Central Bank, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) would tighten rules on opening and operating current accounts of corporate borrowers to prevent the diversion of funds.

RBI had notified that the banks with collection accounts will have to transfer funds to the current account and  the current accounts could be opened only with the lead bank of a lending association.

Key points:

i. The rules would be applicable to corporates who have borrowed and used credit facilities of more than Rs 50 crore from the banking system.

ii. Customers using credit facility of Rs 5 to Rs 50 crore can also open current accounts with any bank, even if it is not the consortium’s leading bank (which is not a consortium leader). But only collection accounts can be run with non-lending banks.

iii. The debits into accounts will be restricted to transfers to the current account with the lead bank.

iv. The Reserve Bank of India notified that the existing current accounts with banks not leading a consortium must be converted into collection accounts. In case they are not converted, the accounts are closed within a 3-month notice period.

AWARDS & RECOGNITION:

Bajrang Punia became First Indian Wrestler to fight at New York’s Iconic Madison Square Garden

On 27th April 2019, 25 years old Indian wrestler Bajrang Punia became the first Indian wrestler to fight at New York’s iconic Madison Square Garden.

Bajrang PuniaKey Points:

i. He won the gold medal at the 65kg men’s freestyle wrestling at the recent Asian Championships.

ii. He is the first Indian wrestler to be invited by the American governing body and will take part in the “Grapple at the Garden — Beat the Streets” fight night, which will be held on 6th May 2019.

iii. He also won eight gold medals from his previous nine international tournaments including last year’s Commonwealth and Asian Games and presently holds World No.1 title in the 65-kg weight category.

GIA confers Gaganjeet Bhullar for ‘Outstanding Achievement as a player 2019’

On 26th April 2019, Indian Professional Golfer, Gaganjeet Bhullar has been awarded outstanding achievement as a player award at the 4th Edition of the annual India Golf Industry Association (GIA) award for the year 2019 at the Delhi Golf Club.The GIA awards were held along with 8th edition of South Asia’s largest trade show, India Golf & Turf Expo (IGTE).31 year old Bhullar was awarded Arjuna Award in 2013.

Gaganjeet BhullarKey Points:

i. Bhullar became the youngest golfer on the Asian Tour to achieve nine career victories on tour.He had won Fiji international in 2018.

ii. VijayDivech and former Arjuna Awardee NonitaLalQureshi  received for their contribution to Golf coaching.

iii. Naya Raipur Development Authority received ‘First 18 Holes International Standard Golf Course Development by a Smart City in India’ .

iv. Best New Nine-Hole Golf course’ awards, was given to Eco Park, Kolkata.

v. The Royal Calcutta Golf Club won ‘Best Member Engagement Programme’ award for its successful Royal Premier Golf League.

vi. Boulder Hills,Hyderabad won Best Restoration of a golf course award.

About India Golf & turf Expo (IGE):

This platform brings together experts from around the world and India’s golfing fraternity of India to share knowledge, experiences and chart the course for the future of golf in the country.

About Indian Golf Industry Association:

♦ President  :  Ms. Deepali Shah Gandhi

♦ Registered under : Society Act of India

Merger and Acquisition:

NCLT approved merger of IndusInd Bank and BFIL

•  The National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) approved the merger of IndusInd Bank with Bharat Financial Inclusion (BFIL).

•  The merger will be completed within 2-4 weeks.

•  Post-merger, the BFIL will become a subsidiary of the IndusInd Bank.

•  Bharat Financial Inclusion Limited is a Non-Banking Finance Company, licensed by the Reserve Bank of India.

SPORTS:

Former India footballer Kannan passes away

•  Former India footballer P. Kannan passed away at a city hospital following prolonged illness. He was 80 and is survived by his wife and two daughters.

•  Kannan, who was a forward and made 14 appearances for India, suffered a stroke earlier in the month.

•  Born in Vandavasi in Tamil Nadu, Kannan played in Bengaluru, Kolkata and Chennai.

•  He represented Universal RC for four years in the Chennai Football Association (CFA) senior division league.

Asian Wrestling Championship 2019

The Asian Wrestling Championship 2019 was held in Xi’an, China from April 23 to April 28, 2019. India won 16 medals which include 1 gold, 3 silver and 4 bronze by men’s freestyle wrestlers, 3 silver and 1 bronze by men’s Greco-Roman wrestlers and 4 bronze won by women’s freestyle wrestlers. India ranked 8th place in the tournament and the first three countries ranked in the tournament were Iran followed by China and Japan.

Top 5 Countries in Medal Tally

Rank   Nation                 Gold       Silver       Bronze            Total

1          Iran                        11            0                6                    17

2          China                      5             5                6                    16

3          Japan                      4             7                6                    17

4          Uzbekistan             2             3                 5                   10

5          Kazakhstan            2             2                12                  16

India’s Nitendra Singh Rawat finishes 27th in Virgin Money London Marathon 2019

Nitendra-Singh-RawatOn 28th April 2019, Indian marathon runner, Nitendra Singh Rawat finished 27th in 2 hours 15 minutes and 59 seconds in the men’s Elite race of prestigious Virgin Money London Marathon 2019 at London,UK which was won by  EliudKipchoge of Kenya for record fourth time.

i. This was the fourth fastest in his career and his second fastest time in this season.

ii. The 32-year-old Rawat has qualified for the World Championships to be held in Doha in September-October.

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Important Current Affairs of 28th April

NATIONAL:

Govt may ban Deloitte for 5 yrs over alleged IL&FS misconduct: Report.

• The government may reportedly invoke Section 140(5) of the Companies Act to ban Deloitte for five years over its alleged malpractice in the IL&FS audit.

• If this happens, it'd be the second such case after Price Waterhouse (PW) was banned in Satyam scam.

• In 2018, SEBI banned PW from auditing listed companies and market intermediaries for two years.

120 startups got patents since 2016 under expedited process: Govt.

• Up to 120 of 450 startups have been granted patents under the expedited examination facility since its introduction in 2016, PTI quoted a government official as saying.

• Under the facility, 1,021 applications were received and 351 patents were granted.

• The official added the time for first examination of trademarks' applications was reduced to about one month from 13 months, earlier.

With 1.5 mn orders a month on cycles, Swiggy pedals towards eco-friendly delivery.

• Swiggy has a fleet of over 1.7 lakh delivery partners in more than 120 cities

• With the future heading towards more eco-friendly modes of transport, cycle and EV logistics will be the next game changer, Srivats TS of Swiggy said

INTERNATIONAL:

Ukrainians will reject Putin's passport offer: President-elect.

• After Russian President Vladimir Putin said his country was considering offering all Ukrainian citizens fast-tracked Russian passports, Ukraine's President-elect Volodymyr Zelenskiy said the citizens of his country will reject Putin's offer.

• "We'll provide Ukrainian citizenship [to people] who suffer from authoritarian regimes. In the first place, the Russians, who probably suffer most," he added.

SpaceX gets approval to fly internet satellites in low orbit.

• SpaceX has received approval from the US' Federal Communications Commission for its revised plan to launch over 1,500 Starlink internet-beaming satellites into a lower orbit at an altitude of 550 km.

• The Elon Musk-led venture plans to launch its first batch of satellites in May. "This approval underscores the FCC’s confidence in SpaceX’s plans", SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell said.

APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATIONS:

Yes Bank names daughter of Founder who died in 26/11 as director.

• Yes Bank has appointed Shagun Gogia, the daughter of late Co-founder Ashok Kapur, as a director after she was jointly nominated by Co-founder Rana Kapoor and mother Madhu Kapur.

•  Ashok Kapur was killed by terrorists in Trident-Oberoi hotel in Mumbai during 26/11 attacks. Interestingly, in June 2013, Yes Bank's board turned down Gogia's application to be nominated as a director.

DAYS:

UN observes World Day for Safety and Health at Work day on 28th April.

• World Day for Safety and Health at Work is a UN international day that is celebrated every April 28. It is an annual international campaign to promote safe, healthy and decent work. It has been observed by the International Labour Organization (ILO) since 2003.

• It is concerned about safe work and awareness of the dimensions and consequences of work-related accidents and diseases; to place occupational safety and health (OSH) on the international and national agendas, and to provide support to the national efforts for the improvement of national OSH systems and programmes in line with relevant international labour standards.

• Inspired by the ILO centenary and discussions on the future of work, the world day this year attempts to take stock of a 100 years of work in improving occupational safety and health and looks to the future for continuing these efforts through major changes such as technology, demographics, sustainable development including climate change and changes in work organization.

• A national occupational safety and health culture is one in which the right to a safe and healthy working environment is respected at all levels, where governments, employers, and workers actively participate in securing a safe and healthy working environment through a system of defined rights, responsibilities and duties, and where the highest priority is accorded to the principle of prevention.

World Veterinary Day 2019 is observed on 28th April.

• The World Veterinary Day 2019 is observed on 28th April. It is an opportunity to celebrate the contributions of veterinarians to the health of animals and society. The theme for the day is the Value of Vaccination. The day is initiated by the World Veterinary Association.

• The World Veterinary Association (WVA) will co-host the 2019 World Veterinary Day Award with HealthforAnimals, the global animal medicines association. The value of the award has been increased to $2500. WVA and HealthforAnimals believe it is essential for the global veterinary profession to educate the public, particularly animal owners and producers, about the benefits of vaccination for animal, human, and public health.

• Why the theme?

Vaccination is an essential tool for preventive veterinary medicine, promotion of animal health and welfare, and reducing the risk of human exposure to many zoonotic pathogens. Historically, immunization practices and vaccination protocols have contributed to significantly reduce the prevalence of many life-threatening diseases.

The risks of not vaccinating can be significant to individual animals and populations and can have consequences on the livelihoods of rural livestock producers in economically developed and emerging regions. Effective vaccination programs, broadly implemented, are likely to reduce the need for antimicrobials, which in turn can help reduce the risk of emergent antimicrobial resistance.

AWARDS:

Healthtech startup Niramai wins top prize at Japan event.

• Bengaluru-based healthtech startup Niramai secured the top prize at the Hack Osaka event in Japan. Niramai was awarded for its "software to detect breast cancer with radiation-free, non-touch, not painful examination [which] works for women of all ages".

• The AI startup was founded in 2016 by former Hewlett-Packard and Xerox employees Geetha Manjunath and Nidhi Mathur.

SPORTS:

Gurpreet Singh settles for silver at Asian Wrestling C'ships.

• India's Gurpreet Singh settled for a silver medal in the Greco-Roman 77kg category event at the Asian Wrestling Championships in Xi'an on Saturday. Gurpreet had earlier beaten Bakhit Sharif K Badr of Qatar 10-0 in the quarterfinals.

• In the 87kg event, Sunil Kumar had to settle for a silver medal after losing in the final.

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Important Current Affairs 27th April 2019

NATIONAL:

About 200 US companies seeking to move manufacturing base from China to India: Report.

• US companies are planning to set up an alternative to China by investing in India, said USISPF

• USISPF’s recommendation to the new government would be to accelerate the reforms and bring transparency

Uber is set to hit the road for the year’s biggest IPO.

• Over the past decade, Uber Technologies Inc. proved itself to be one of the most prolific young fundraisers ever. It pulled together more than $20 billion from private investors. After burning through more than half that amount in just the last three years, Uber will soon see whether it can recreate that magic on the stock market.

India hikes wheat import duty to 40% to support local farmers.

• The government on Friday said it has raised import duty on wheat to 40% from 30% in a bid to support local farmers. Indian flour millers imported 1.65 million tonnes of wheat in 2017-18 fiscal year, down from 5.7 million tonnes the year before. India's wheat production is estimated to rise by 2% in 2018-19 to record 99.12 million tonnes.

INTERNATIONAL:

Chinese brands take 66% of Indian smartphone market: Report.

• Chinese smartphone brands captured a record two-thirds of the Indian smartphone market in the first quarter of 2019, Counterpoint's Market Monitor research said. China's Xiaomi was on the top with a 29% share while South Korea's Samsung dropped to 23% from 26% last year. Indian brands reached their lowest-ever share owing to lack of innovation and slow growth, Counterpoint said.

Donald Trump to withdraw US from Arms Trade Treaty.

• US President Donald Trump has said he will withdraw the US from the international Arms Trade Treaty. The agreement, signed by former US President Barack Obama in 2013, aims to regulate the sale of weapons between countries. White House said the treaty "fails to truly address the problem of irresponsible arms transfers" because other top arms exporters haven't signed it.

BANKS AND ECONOMICS:

China smartphone maker Leagoo enters India, to invest $200mn.

• Chinese smartphone maker Leagoo has entered the Indian market with the launch of three of its smartphone models. The mobile maker said it plans to invest around $200 million (about ₹1,397 crore) to set up a manufacturing unit in India. The company targets to generate a turnover of ₹200 crore by the financial year ending 2019.

DAYS:

World Immunization Week is observed from 24 to 30 April.

• World Immunization Week 2019 is being observed from 24-30 April. The 2019 theme is Protected Together: Vaccines Work. World Immunization Week aims to promote the use of vaccines to protect people of all ages against disease. Immunization saves millions of lives every year and is widely recognized as one of the worlds most successful and cost-effective health interventions.

World Immunisation Week 2019 celebrates Vaccine Heroes from around the world from parents and community members to health workers and innovators who help ensure that all are protected, at all ages, through the power of vaccines.

SPORTS:

Gaganjeet Bhullar wins 'Outstanding Achievement as a player' award.

• Indian golfer Gaganjeet Bhullar won the 'Outstanding Achievement as a player' award at the fourth edition of the annual India Golf Industry Association (GIA) awards. Bhullar won the 2018 Fiji International, a European Tour event, and also became the youngest golfer on the Asian Tour to achieve nine career victories on tour.

Abhishek Verma won gold in 10m Air Pistol at ISSF World Cup.

• Abhishek Verma won the 10m air pistol gold medal at the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF)World Cup at Beijing, China. He clinched the top spot with a total score of 242.7. Russia’s Artem Chernousov took silver. His brilliant performance in the Shooting World Cup Final also secured a fifth Olympic quota for India.

OBITUARIES:

Terry Rawlings, the British film and sound editor has passed away.

• Terry Rawlings, a British film and sound editor has passed away. He was an Oscar nominee for his work on Best Picture winner “Chariots of Fire,”. He was born in 1933.  The 5-time BAFTA nominee also received a career achievement award from the American Cinema Editors society in 2006.

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Important Current Affairs of 26th April

NATIONAL:

Uber lowers valuation as rival Lyft shares fall after IPO: Reports.

• Uber is aiming for a valuation of $80-90 billion in its Initial Public Offering (IPO), less than its previous expectations of $90-100 billion, Bloomberg reported. This reportedly comes as Uber's US rival Lyft witnessed a "disappointing debut" and substantial fall in shares, the Wall Street Journal reported. Lyft was valued at $24.3 billion in first ride-hailing IPO in March.

India’s crude oil production falls for seventh straight year.

• India's domestic crude oil production plunged over 4% in 2018-19, registering its seventh consecutive yearly fall. India produced 34.2 million tonnes of crude oil in FY19, down from 35.7 million tonnes in the previous year, according to data released by the government. Fields of state-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) and Oil India missed production targets.

Hero MotoCorp Q4 net dips over 24% to ₹730 crore.

• The company sold 78,20,745 units in 2018-19 as compared with 75,87,154 units in 2017-18

• The company's board recommended a final dividend of ₹32 per equity share of ₹2 each (1,600%) for 2018-19

INTERNATIONAL:

Amazon posts $1 billion profit for each of first 3 months of 2019.

• World's richest person Jeff Bezos-led Amazon made profits of over $1 billion a month for the first three months with profits totalling $3.6 billion, the company announced. First quarter sales reached $59.7 billion, while profits were more than double compared to last year. Amazon cloud, which hosts data for Netflix, Airbnb, among others, continued growth with a 41% sales increase.

Naspers to exit MakeMyTrip as China’s Ctrip deepens its shareholding.

• Following this, Ctrip’s stake in MakeMyTrip will be approximately 49% along with 4% of total voting rights

• Ctrip and Naspers invested $330 million into MakeMyTrip around two years ago

AGREEMENTS AND MOUS:

India may extend deadline for imposing retaliatory tariff on 29 US items by 14 days.

• The commerce ministry is expected to recommend to the revenue department, under the finance ministry, to extend the deadline for imposing higher tariffs

• If accepted by the finance ministry, the revenue department would issue a notification to that effect

India, China step on the gas on oil sourcing plan.

• The two are in talks to form a consumers’ collective for joint sourcing of oil

• The coming together of China and India may change global energy equations

BANKS AND ECONOMICS:

Yes Bank reports its first ever quarterly loss of ₹1507 crore.

• Provisions during the quarter increased more than 9 folds to ₹3661.7 crore as against ₹399.64 crore in the year-ago quarter.

• The bank posted a net loss of ₹1506.64 crore for the three months ended 31 March compared to a profit of ₹1179.44 crore in the year-ago period

Finance ministry approves EPF interest rate hike.

• The finance ministry has ratified the hike of the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) interest rate to 8.65% as approved by retirement fundmanager EPFO. ... This was a 10 basis point increase from the 8.55% EPF interest rate announced by the retirement fund for 2017-18.

APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATIONS:

Sri Lanka police chief resigns over serial bomb blasts.

• Sri Lanka's Inspector General of Police Pujith Jayasundara has resigned over failures that led to the serial bomb blasts that killed around 250, the country's President Maithripala Sirisena said on Friday. "He has sent his resignation to the acting defence secretary. I'll nominate a new IGP soon," Sirisena added. Earlier, Sri Lanka's defence secretary Hemasiri Fernando resigned over the blasts.

DAYS:

World Intellectual Property Day – April 26, 2019,Reach for 

• Every April 26, we celebrate World Intellectual Property Day to learn about the role that intellectual property (IP) rights play in encouraging innovation and creativity.

• Faster, stronger, higher! The drive to test our abilities, the thrill of competition, and the awe we experience in watching ordinary people achieving extraordinary feats, have fueled our fascination with sports for thousands of years.

SPORTS:

Panghal wins India's 1st gold at Asian Boxing C'ships.

• Amit Panghal claimed India's first gold medal at the ongoing Asian Boxing Championships on Friday after defeating South Korea's Kim Inkyu in a unanimous decision in the 52kg category. Deepak Singh and Kavinder Singh Bisht had to settle for silver medals after losing their finals in the 49kg and 56kg categories respectively.

Wrestlers Divya Kakran, Manju win bronze at Asian C'ships.

• Indian wrestlers Divya Kakran and Manju Kumari won bronze medals at Asian Wrestling Championships on Thursday. The 21-year-old Divya defeated Mongolian wrestler Battsetseg Soronzonbold in 68-kg category while Manju secured bronze by beating Vietnam’s Thi Huong Dao in 59-kg category. Bajrang Punia on Tuesday won India's maiden gold medal at the tournament.

17-yr-old wins WC silver, secures Olympic quota for India.

• Seventeen-year-old Divyansh Singh Panwar secured an Olympic quota after he added to India's medal tally by finishing second in the men's 10m air rifle event at the ongoing ISSF World Cup in Beijing, China. The 17-year-old shooter had earlier won India a gold medal in the mixed team event along with Anjum Moudgil.

OBITURIES:

Lt Commander dies while fighting fire on board INS Vikramaditya.

• Lieutenant Commander DS Chauhan died after leading the firefighting efforts on board INS Vikramaditya near Karwar, Karnataka. The aircraft carrier caught fire while entering the harbour this morning, however, it was brought under control without affecting the ship's combat capability. The officer suffered loss of consciousness and was taken to the Naval hospital at Karwar but couldn't be revived.

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