Current Affairs 5th December 2018

NATIONAL NEWS

ISRO successfully launches GSAT-11 communication satellite

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) successfully launched its heaviest and most-advanced high throughput communication satellite, GSAT-11, from the Spaceport in French Guiana.

  • The launch vehicle, Ariane 5 VA-246, lifted off from Kourou Launch Base carrying India’s GSAT-11 and South Korea’s GEO-KOMPSAT-2A satellites. Ariane 5 is one of three launch vehicles operated by Arianespace along with Soyuz and Vega.
  • The 5854-kg satellite will provide high data rate connectivity to users in the Indian mainland and islands through 32 user beams in the Ku-band and 8 hub beams in the Ka-band.
  • GSAT-11 will boost the broadband connectivity to rural and inaccessible Gram Panchayats in the country coming under the Bharat Net Project, which is part of the Digital India Programme.

1st India-ASEAN InnoTech Summit held in New Delhi

Union Minister of Science & Technology and Earth Sciences, Dr. Harsh Vardhan, called upon the scientific community in India and ASEAN member states to intensify collaborative research in science, technology and innovation. 

  • The first India-ASEAN InnoTech Summit in New Delhi is organised by FICCI in association with the Department of Science & Technology (DST) and the Ministry of External Affairs.
  • Under the ASEAN-India Innovation Platform, 400 technologies are ready to be commercialised in ASEAN member states.

Gangotri, Yamunotri included under PRASAD scheme: Tourism ministry

The Centre has included Gangotri and Yamunotri in Uttrarakhand, Amarkantak in Madhya Pradesh and Parasnath in Jharkhand under a central scheme to develop pilgrimage and heritage destinations in the country.

  • With the new additions, the number of sites under the Pilgrimage Rejuvenation and Spiritual, Heritage Augmentation Drive (PRASAD) launched by the ministry in 2014-15 has now become 41 in 25 states.
  • A total 24 projects in 15 states have been approved with estimated expenditure of Rs 727.16 crore and a total amount of Rs 331.15 crore has been released for these projects under the scheme since its inception till date.

International Gita Mahotsav at Kurukshetra from Dec 7 to 23

Haryana’s prestigious International Gita Mahotsav-2018 will be organised from December 7 to 23 in Kurukshetra. Artists and artisans of national and international repute will participate in the International Crafts and Saras Mela, which will simultaneously be organised from December 7-23.

  • Mauritius would be the partner country and Gujarat would be the partner state in the celebrations of the festival. The Mahotsav is an annual event which is organised every year in collaboration with the Kurukshetra Development Board (KDB) in Kurukshetra.

India Water Impact Summit-2018 starts in New Delhi

Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation Minister Nitin Gadkari inaugurated India Water Impact Summit 2018 in New Delhi. The three days summit is jointly organized by the National Mission for Clean Ganga and the Centre for Ganga River Basin Management and Studies.

  • The Summit is an annual event where stakeholders will discuss and develop model solutions for some of the biggest water-related problems in the country. The discussions this year will be on the rejuvenation of the Ganga River Basin. Nearly 200 domestic and international participants from nearly 15 countries is likely to participate in the summit.

National Rail Museum & Madame Tussauds Wax Museum join hands to boost tourism

National Rail Museum and Madame Tussauds Wax Museum have joined hands to provide combo offer to Delhi NCR tourists. As a part of the collaboration, a special discount of 35 per cent on ticket prices will be offered to Rail Museum visitors when they visit Madame Tussauds Museum.

  • Similarly, Madame Tussauds Wax Museum visitors will be getting discount of 30 per cent on combo packages of National Rail Museum.
  • In addition, there will be a special provision for school groups. School children will be able to enjoy both museums at a 45 per cent discount.

BANKING & FINANCE

State Bank of India ropes in Swapna Barman as brand ambassador for YONO

State Bank of India has roped in Asian Games gold medalist Swapna Barman as brand ambassador for its digital app YONO. 

  • YONO, the bank’s digital platform that makes both lifestyle and banking available through a single app, was launched exactly a year back.
  • Swapna won gold medal in Heptathlon in Jakarta Asian Games.

BUSINESS & ECONOMY

Crisil cuts India’s growth forecast to 7.4% on weakening global growth

Crisil cut India’s growth forecast for current financial year to 7.4 per cent on the back of weakening global GDP and trade growth. India’s growth in the July-September quarter slipped to 7.1 per cent from 8.2 per cent in the April-June quarter.

  • Despite the downward revision at 7.4 per cent, India’s growth in the financial year 2019 will be faster than both, the 6.7 per cent seen in financial year 2018 and the trend rate of growth.
  • It said the long-term average growth rate seen in the last 13 years, as per the recently released GDP back series datais 6.9 per cent.

RBI pegs GDP growth rate at 7.4 pc

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) pegged India’s gross domestic product (GDP) growth rate for the financial year 2018-19 at 7.4 per cent and 7.2 per cent in H2.

  • In view of the current and evolving macroeconomic situation in the country, the RBI has decided to keep the policy repo rate under the liquidity adjustment facility (LAF) unchanged at 6.5 per cent.

RBI keeps repo rate unchanged at 6.5 pc

In view of the “current and evolving macroeconomic situation” in the country, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) decided to keep the policy repo rate under the liquidity adjustment facility (LAF) unchanged at 6.5 per cent. The decision was taken at the fifth bi-monthly meeting of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the RBI.

  • Consequently, the reverse repo rate under the LAF remains at 6.25 per cent, and the marginal standing facility (MSF) rate and the bank rate at 6.75 per cent.

Inflation to stay at 2.7-3.2 pc in H2 of 2018-19, says RBI

Assuming a normal monsoon in 2019, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said that inflation is likely to stay in the range of “2.7-3.2 per cent in H2 of 2018-19 and 3.8-4.2 per cent in H1 of 2019-20, with risks tilted to the upside.”

  • The projected inflation path remains unchanged after adjusting for the house rent allowance (HRA) impact of Central government employees as this impact dissipates completely from December 2018 onwards,” said the RBI in a statement after the bi-monthly meeting of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) in Mumbai.

HDFC ERGO Announces Corporate Agency Tie-up with Federal Bank

HDFC ERGO General Insurance Company, India’s leading private sector general insurance company and Federal Bank, announced tie-up for the distribution of HDFC ERGO’s range of non-life insurance offerings to the customers of the Bank through its network branches.

  • The two entities have joined hands and entered into a corporate agency partnership to offer comprehensive general insurance products through the network of Federal Bank’s 1250+ branches spread across the entire country.

HUL’s Board Approves Merger With GSK Consumer Healthcare

FMCG major Hindustan Unilever Limited (HUL) said its board has approved the merger with GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare (GSKCH India) through an-all equity deal, valuing the total business of the latter at Rs. 31,700 crore.

  • The transaction is an all equity merger with 4.39 shares of HUL being allotted for every share in GSKCH India, which sells consumer healthcare products, including popular drink brand Horlicks.

SPORTS

Budapest to host 2023 World Athletics Championships

The Hungarian capital of Budapest will host the 2023 World Athletics Championships, the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) announced. The next worlds will take place in Doha in 2019 before going to Eugene, United States, in 2021. 

  • It will be the first time Budapest has hosted the worlds, having previously hosted the 1998 European championships.
  • Extra info.:
    IAAF Headquarters: Monaco

Gautam Gambhir announces retirement from all forms of Cricket

Former India opening batsman Gautam Gambhir, who won two World Cups and scored over 10,000 international runs, announced his retirement from the sport.

  • The feisty left-hander has not represented his country since 2016 and said he would play his last game for Delhi in the Ranji Trophy match against Andhra at his home ground Feroz Shah Kotla.
  • In one-day internationals, the 37-year-old accumulated 5,238 runs and was India’s top scorer in the 2011 World Cup final victory against Sri Lanka.

AWARDS

Artist Charlotte Prodger wins 2018 Turner Prize

Glasgow-based British artist Charlotte Prodger has won the prestigious Turner Prize for 2018, awarded for “an outstanding exhibition or other presentation of their work in the preceding year”. 

  • Forty four-year-old Prodger, who works with moving image, printed image, sculpture and writing, was nominated for the prize for her solo exhibition “BRIDGIT/Stoneymollan Trail” at Bergen Kunsthall (2017) comprising two single-channel videos.
  • The Turner Prize, being given since 1984, is named after 19th-century English artist J.M.W. Turner.

IMPORTANT DAYS

International Volunteer Day

International Volunteer Day (IVD), an international observance mandated by the UN General Assembly is celebrated every year on 5 December. IVD 2018 celebrates volunteer efforts that strengthen local ownership and the resilience of the community in the face of natural disasters, economic stresses and political shocks.

  • The event on 5 December 2018 will focus on how volunteers can build resilient communities. The theme of this year will be “Volunteers build Resilient Communities”.

World Soil Day

World Soil Day 2018 is on December 5th, this annual awareness day run by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), is usually held on 5 December every year. The event aims to raise awareness of the importance of soil quality for human well-being, food security and ecosystems, and events are held at the UN FAO offices and through community based events. 

  • World Soil Day 2018 aims to raise awareness and call people to #StopSoilPollution.

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