Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 28 June 2019

Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 28 June 2019


Centre signs loan agreement with world bank for improved health service in Andhra

  •  India has signed a loan agreement of 328 million dollars with the World Bank for improved health services in Andhra Pradesh.
  •  The agreement which was signed in New Delhi on Thursday between the Government of India, Andhra Pradesh and the World Bank will help to improve the quality and responsiveness of public health services in Andhra Pradesh.
  •  Finance Ministry said Andhra Pradesh has demonstrated a strong commitment to improving health outcomes.Maternal mortality ratio in the state declined by 52 per cent and infant mortality fell to 35 per one thousand live births from 54.
  •  The Ministry said, ninety-three percent of women now opt for institutional deliveries in the state. Non-communicable diseases are on the rise and form 60 per cent of Andhra's burden of disease.
  •  The Ministry said the World Bank loan will support the Andhra Pradesh government to scales-up its efforts to bring better health care to all its citizens, especially pregnant women and those at risk of non-communicable diseases, like hypertension, diabetes and cervical cancer.

India expresses concern over online hate speech

  •  India has expressed its concern over the use of social media by terrorists to radicalise youth and has called for multi-stakeholder engagement to address challenges of hate speech online.
  •  India's Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nation, Ambassador K Nagaraj Naidu said that India watches with concern the groundswell of antisemitism, racism, intolerance and xenophobia in a world interconnected through technology.
  •  He was speaking at the informal meeting of the General Assembly on 'Combating Antisemitism and Other Forms of Racism and Hate.
  •  He said that terrorists, openly or under the garb of anonymity, radicalise youth using social media, luring them into their nefarious designs.
  •  He emphasised that issue of commitment from technology companies to abide by higher standards of regulations regarding content need to be grappled with.


RBI claims decline in gross NPA’s

  •  Gross non-performing assets in the banking system have declined for the second consecutive half year, while credit growth is picking up, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said in the half yearly Financial Stability report.
  •  Following capital infusion by the government in public sector banks, the overall capital adequacy ratio of commercial banks improved from 13.7% in September 2018 to 14.3% in March 2019, with state-run banks’ CAR improving from 11.3% to 12.2% during the period. However, there was a marginal decline in the CAR of private sector banks.
  •  In his foreword, RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das said state-run lenders showed a noticeable improvement with recapitalisation, with both provision coverage as well as capital adequacy improving, though a significant rise in provisioning had impacted the bottomline.
  •  Highlighting the need for governance reforms, Mr. Das said that the proof of the pudding lay in the public sector banks’ ability to attract private capital through market discipline, rather than being overly dependent on the government for capital.
  •  With the number of banks having more than 20% gross NPAs coming down in March 2019, RBI said this implied a broader improvement in asset quality. Credit growth of public sector banks were at 9.6% while private lendsers continue to robust growth of 21%. Overall credit growth marginally improved to 13.2% in March 2019 from 13.1% in September 2018.

SEBI tightens norms for mutual fund investments

  •  In a reaction to a series of credit-related events that put investor money at risk, markets regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) on Thursday tightened norms on investments by mutual funds (MFs).
  •  Last month, the markets watchdog had questioned the legality of an agreement between some fund houses and the Essel Group, giving the business house time till September to repay its dues.
  •  Early this year, the Anil Ambani-led Reliance Group had reached an understanding with more than 90% of its lenders to avoid sale of any stock pledged by the promoters until September 30.
  •  This was despite the collateral cover shrinking and margins contracting following an unprecedented fall in share prices of the group firms.
  •  In a further tightening, promoters, promoter groups and persons acting in concert (PACs) will need to disclose the reason for creating an encumbrance as soon as 20% of their share capital is leveraged.
  •  SEBI also approved the framework for issuance of differential voting rights (DVRs) and introduction of superior voting rights for tech companies, which will be effective from July 01, 2019.

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India wins renewable energy case against US in WTO

  •  A World Trade Organisation,WTO dispute resolution panel has ruled in favour of India in a case against the United States. The panel stated that America's domestic content requirements and subsidies provided by eight of its states in the renewable energy sector are violative of global trade norms.
  •  The panel concluded in its ruling that "the measures" of the US "are inconsistent" with certain provisions of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade,GATT. It said the US has "nullified or impaired benefits accruing to India under that agreement".
  •  The GATT aims to promote trade by reducing or eliminating trade barriers like customs duties.
  •  The ruling stated that ten measures implemented by the US pertaining to renewable energy sector are inconsistent with its obligations under GATT 1994.
  •  In September 2016, India had dragged the US to WTO's dispute settlement mechanism over America's domestic content requirements and subsidies provided by eight states in the renewable energy sector.

U.S and European diplomats meet to discuss Iran issue

  •  The US special envoy for Iran, Brian Hook is meeting with French, German and British top diplomats in Paris for talks on the Persian Gulf crisis at a time when European powers are trying to save the 2015 nuclear deal struck with Tehran.
  •  European countries want to avoid a further escalation in tensions between the U.S. and Iran and are trying to convince Iran not to leave the nuclear deal, which the U.S. pulled out of last year.
  •  Iran has said it will break out of the nuclear deal's limit on its stockpiles of low-enriched uranium following the re-imposition of U.S. sanctions.
  •  Yesterday, Iran's U.N. ambassador urged Britain, France and Germany to take timely practical steps to preserve the agreement which is now in critical condition.


Nuclear capable Prthvi 2 missile test fired

  •  India successfully test-fired indigenously developed nuclear-capable missile Prithvi-II as part of a user trial by the Army from a test range off the Odisha coast.
  •  The trial of the surface-to-surface missile, which has a strike range of 350 km, was carried out from a mobile launcher from Launch Complex-III of the Integrated Test Range, ITR at Chandipur.
  •  The missile is capable of carrying 500 to 1000 kg of warheads and is powered by liquid propulsion twin engines.
  •  Prithvi-II was also successfully test-fired on 21st February, last year from the ITR at Chandipur.


India beats England to attain top spot in ODI rankings

  •  India today dethroned England to rise to the top of One-day International rankings, just three days ahead of their blockbuster World Cup clash.
  •  As per the latest rankings released by the ICC, India led the chart with 123 points, followed by World Cup hosts England (122) and New Zealand (114).
  •  The first team to reach the semifinals of the ongoing edition, defending champions Australia are placed fourth with 112 points.
  •  However, if India lose to the West Indies today, they will slip one point behind England. India and England are due to play in Birmingham on Sunday.

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