Current Affairs 19th January 2018 - Banking, SSC, UPSC Affairs

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Amplus Energy Solutions announced entering into a pact with private sector lender Yes Bank for a strategic tie-up to co-finance projects in the solar energy space in India.  The memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed at International Solar Alliance pavilion at the World Future Energy Summit, Abu Dhabi.

Facebook appointed outgoing American Express CEO Kenneth Chenault to its board, making him the first African-American to be on the board. Chenault serves on the Boards of IBM and Procter & Gamble and is also a Harvard Law School graduate.

Google awarded nearly 72 lakh to researcher Guang Gong for finding bugs in its Pixel devices. The exploit chain consisted of two bugs which together could inject arbitrary code into system server by accessing a malicious URL in Chrome. Around 67 lakh of the reward was given from Google's Android Security Rewards program, the highest in the program's history.

The 10th edition of Global Forum for Food & Agriculture was held in Berlin, Germany from 18th -20th January 2018. The theme of this year’s event is “Shaping the future of livestock – sustainably, responsibly, efficiently”. The Indian delegation to the event is led by Union Minister of State (MoS) for Agriculture & Farmers Welfare Gajendra Singh Shekhawat. The event was organized by Federal Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection (BMEL) in cooperation with GFFA Berlin e.V., Senate of Berlin.

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between Government of India and Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) in the presence of Commerce and Industry Minister Suresh Prabhu to enhance import and export performance. The Centre has entrusted the task of integrated development of the logistics sector to the Department of Commerce.

The Election Commission of India, Achal Kumar Joti announced dates for elections to the Assemblies of Meghalaya, Tripura, and Nagaland. The CEC announced the polling for legislative assembly elections in Tripura on 18 February, while Meghalaya and Nagaland will go to vote on 27 February. All the three states have 60 seats each in their assembly. The tenure of the Meghalaya, Tripura and Nagaland Assemblies expire on March 6, March 13 and March 14, 2018, respectively. The State elections to Karnataka, Mizoram, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan are also due this year.

India Ratings and Research have projected the country’s economic growth to improve to 7.1 percent in 2018-19 from 6.5 percent in 2017-18, buoyed by robust consumer demand and low commodity prices. In its outlook for 2018-19, according to the agency, there will be a gradual pickup in growth momentum owing to structural reforms like GST and Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code in place. The projection is a tad lower than 7.4 percent growth estimated by Asian Development Bank and International Monetary Fund for next fiscal.

Drug price regulator National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) fixed retail price for 30 drug formulations, including those used for the treatment of Diabetics, bacterial infections, and high blood pressure. NPPA is an independent body under Department of Pharmaceuticals, Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers. It was set up in 1997. Its mandate is to fix/review. Essential medicines are those that satisfy the priority health care needs of the country’s population.

Maharashtra became the first state in the country to unveil Public Cloud Policy that virtually mandates state government departments to shift their data storage. The State Government had formed a four-member committee to draft policy framework on cloud usage. The policy will result in additional private sector investments worth the US $2 billion for cloud industry as the government is one of biggest creators.

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) decided to set up Cyber Warrior Police Force (CWPF) and Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Centre (I4C) to tackle internet-related crimes such as cyber threats, child pornography, and online stalking. The CWPF is likely to operate under National Information Security Policy and Guidelines wing of MHA’s CIS division. The State cybersecurity cells will form the foundation of centralized CWPF.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited Mumbai during the final leg of his visit to India. Mr. Netanyahu addressed the India-Israel Business Summit at the iconic Taj Mahal hotel in south Mumbai. Later in the day, Mr. Netanyahu will attend the ‘Shalom Bollywood’ event at the Taj hotel. A monthly magazine titled ‘Namaste Shalom’ will also be launched to mark Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Mumbai visit. The magazine is planned to carry forward the great initiative of Mr. Modi and Mr. Netanyahu to strengthen India-Israel relations.

Virat Kohli was named the captain of the International Cricket Council (ICC) Test and One-Day International (ODI) teams of the year that included four other Indians as well. Kohli scored 2,023 runs at 77.80, including eight centuries and three half-centuries in 18 matches during the qualification period. He surprisingly pipped Australian skipper Steve Smith for the ICC’s Test team captaincy. The Test team also comprises Cheteshwar Pujara and Ravichandran Ashwin. Kohli, the Winner of the Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy and ODI Cricketer of the Year awards, was chosen to lead the ICC ODI team, which includes Rohit Sharma and Jasprit Bumrah as the other two Indians.

India’s most-valued lender HDFC Bank Limited crossed Rs5 trillion capitalization action for the first time, making it only the third Indian company to achieve this milestone. In intraday trade, the stock touched a fresh record high of Rs1,53.75 on the BSE, up 3.31% from its previous close. Tata Consultancy Services Ltd (TCS) and Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) are the other two companies which crossed market capitalisation of Rs5 trillion.

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  • Visits by World Presidents, Prime Ministers,
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