current affairs today in english
India ranks 44th in terms of competitiveness
- India has moved one notch higher, to the 44th place in terms of competitiveness, in the annual rankings compiled by International Institute for Management Development.
- US is the most competitive economy globally followed by Hong Kong and Singapore in the second and third place.
- India is ranked the 12th most competitive economy out of the 14 Asian countries on the list.
App to help voters to share malpractice proof
- Election Commission will launch multi-lingual mobile application called “Model Code of Conduct Violation Reporting App” ahead of the 2019 elections.
- It aims to share evidence of malpractice by political parties, their candidates & activists directly with the electoral body.
- It was made available for the 1st time in Bengaluru in the run-up to the recently concluded Karnataka Assembly polls.
US disinvites China from major naval exercise
- US has withdrawn an invitation from China to participate in Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) drills over China’s expanded military footprint in disputed areas of South China Sea.
- RIMPAC is world’s largest international maritime warfare exercise.
- China began participating in the exercise in 2014, as part of an effort during the Obama administration to stabilize military relations with China.
Niti Aayog and ABB India join hands
- ABB India & Niti Aayog have inked a pact to help India reap benefits of new technologies including robotics & artificial intelligence.
- The two institutions signed a Statement of Intent to work together in preparing key sectors of the economy for digitalisation, artificial intelligence, robotics & industrial automation.
- The initiative also covers the fast-growing segment of electric mobility.
World’s Largest Bird Sculpture ‘Jatayu’
- Kerala tourism will soon inaugurate the world’s largest bird sculpture, Jatayu Earth’s Centre, in Thiruvananthapuram.
- The replica of bird ‘Jatayu’, a character in the Ramayana is 65 feet tall & is positioned right at the top of a rock situated 1,000 feet above sea level.
- The rock, ‘Jatayupara’, where the structure is based, is the place where Jatayu fell after its wings were slain by Ravana.
Twin spacecraft to track Earth’s water cycle
- A joint U.S./German space mission to track the global water cycle was successfully lifted off on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket
- Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment Follow-On, GRACE-FO, is a joint mission by NASA & German Research Centre for Geosciences.
- GRACE-FO will monitor the movement of mass around the earth by measuring where & how the moving mass changes Earth’s gravitational pull.
MoU on cooperation in food security approved
- Union Cabinet has given its ex-post facto approval to the Memorandum of Understanding between India & Denmark regarding cooperation in the area of food safety.
- It will help improve food safety standard setting by getting access to best practices & facilitating food trade of important commodities.
- It will also promote understanding of best practices in areas of food safety in both countries.
Repo in corporate debt securities
- Bombay stock exchange has received approval from RBI and Sebi to launch repo in corporate debt securities.
- Corporate bond repo is where a firm or a bank pledges corporate bonds with another company or lender to garner funds.
- The corporate repo debt will be launched in 2 models – Basket repo with settlement guarantee and Special repo without settlement guarantee.
India to attend SCO anti-terror talks in Pak
- India has confirmed its attendance in Shanghai Cooperation Organisation-Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure Legal Experts meeting to be held in Islamabad, Pakistan.
- Pakistan will be hosting its 1st SCO meeting, since the country along with India became a member of the organisation in June 2017.
- Experts will discuss the terror threat faced by the region & ways to enhance counter-terror efforts.
Navy conducts “Prasthan” exercise
- Indian Navy has conducted an exercise called ‘Prasthan’ in the Western Offshore Development Offshore area in Mumbai.
- The exercise is held every 6 months & aims at integrating maritime stakeholders, including, Navy, Coast Guard, Air Force, ONGC, Customs & Port Trust.
- The drill focused on things like fire on an oil platform, Oil spill, search and rescue for crashed helicopters and more.
Paytm’s initiative to educate women
- Paytm has announced a programme called Paytm AshaKiran, which aims at educating rural women about financial services.
‘My MP Rojgar Portal’ launched
- Madhya Pradesh CM, Shivraj Singh Chauhan launched the “My MP Rojgar Portal” in Bhopal under ‘Pahal’, which is a Mukhyamantri Career Counselling programme.
- This portal will provide jobs to youth as per their skills, interests and educational qualifications.
- The portal has been developed under Youth Empowerment Mission by the Madhya Pradesh Skill Development and Employment Generation Board.
Universal service obligation fund approved
- The Union cabinet has approved the Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF) supported scheme to provide mobile services in Left Wing Extremism-affected areas.
- Up to 4,072 towers will be set up in 96 districts of 10 states affected with the Left Wing Extremism.
- The tower locations have been proposed for the states of Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra, Odisha and Telangana.
H D Kumaraswamy sworn in as Karnataka CM
- JD(S) leader H D Kumaraswamy has been sworn in as Karnataka’s 24th chief minister.
- This will be Kumarawamy’s second term as the chief minister of Karnataka since 2007, when he last held the post for 20 months.
- G Parameshwara, the state Congress chief and the party’s Dalit face, was sworn in as the deputy chief minister.
Cabinet approves MoU between India and France
- Cabinet has given its ex-post facto approval to MoU signed between India and France infield of Renewable Energy.
- Both sides aim to identify research pilot project between National Institute of Solar Energy, India and Commissariat aI’EnergieAtomique et aux Energies Alternatives, France in the mutually identified areas.
- The MoU also aims for exchange of expertise and networking of information.
Smart Cities India 2018
- The 4th Smart Cities India 2018 Expo has kicked off in New Delhi.
- The event, consisting 5 expos is being held with a vision to help develop attractive and safe cities that evoke pride, passion and a sense of belonging among citizens.
- The 5 expos are, Building India Expo, Solar India Expo, Transport India Expo, Smart Cities India Expo and Water India Expo.
Amendments to bankruptcy code cleared
- Cabinet has cleared amendments to Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, incorporating changes suggested by a government appointed panel.
- The panel had suggested that home buyers should be treated as financial creditors, which will allow them to equitably participate in an insolvency resolution process.
- The panel has also suggested relaxations for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises under the IBC.
De Villiers retires from international cricket
- Former South Africa Test captain AB de Villiers has announced his retirement from international cricket.
- De Villiers made his international debut in Test series against England in 2004.
- He scored 8,765 Test runs and has a batting average of over 50 in both Test & ODI cricket.
- AB de Villiers holds the records for scoring the fastest fifty, hundred and 150 in ODIs.