Current Affairs – February 14, 2018

13th February: World Radio Day

Radio is the mass medium reaching the widest audience in the world. It is also recognized as a powerful communication tool and a low-cost medium. Radio is specifically suited to reach remote communities and vulnerable people: the illiterate, the disabled, women, youth and the poor while offering a platform to intervene in the public debate, irrespective of people’s educational level. Furthermore, radio has a strong and specific role in emergency communication and disaster relief. The World Radio Day is celebrated annually on 13 February by UNESCO. The Day was proclaimed by the United Nations Assembly in 2011. The theme for its 2018 edition is ‘Radio and Sports’ to promote the inseparable relationship between sports and gender, as well as how improved gender equality in sports broadcasting can lead to greater freedom of expression for all.
UNESCO Headquarters: Paris, France
Director General: Audrey Azoulay

6th World Government Summit held in Dubai

The sixth edition of World Government Summit (WGS) 2018 was held at Madinat Jumeirah in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE) from February 11 to 13, 2018. India was guest country at this year’s event and Prime Minister Narendra Modi had delivered the inaugural speech on day one. In his inaugural speech, PM Modi propounded idea of six Rs for sustainable development- Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Recover, Redesign and Remanufacture, with the view to safeguarding nature. More than 130 speakers across 120 interactive sessions and more than 4,000 participants from 140 countries – including heads of governments and representatives of 16 international organizations had attended the event. The first WGS was held in Dubai in 2013 and since then it is held annually.

Bank of Baroda to shut down its operations in South Africa

The Bank of Baroda has decided to shut down its operation in South Africa, a development that comes within months of the South African Reserve Bank imposing a fine of 11 million rand (about Rs 5.45 crore) for lapses in compliance. The bank notified the South African Reserve Bank about its plan to exit the country. The BoB opened its first branch here in 2007 after having run an office in the port city of Durban for a decade.
The Indian state-owned bank came under the scanner after it emerged in April 2016 as the only bank willing to do business with the Gupta brothersAjay, Atul, and Rajesh — who are accused of involvement in alleged state capture through their closeness to President Zuma and his family members.
Headquarters: Vadodara, Gujarat
MD and CEO: P.S Jayakumar
Tagline: India’s International Bank

Tata Steel bags ‘most ethical company’ award

Tata Steel has been recognized by Ethisphere Institute, a global leader in defining and advancing the standards of ethical business practices, as the World’s Most Ethical Company for the year 2018, a press release has said. The company has received the award for the sixth time in the Metals, Minerals and Mining category, the release added. A total of 135 honorees from 23 countries are being recognized in 2018, the release said adding the award will be bestowed on March 13.
Tata Steel CEO: T.V Narendran

On World Radio Day, India’s first online radio station launched

Deeper penetration of smartphones and internet data has given a fillip to several non-conventional services and Radio Umang is one of them. Launched recently, listeners can tune in to this online radio station through web streaming or download the app. With 24 hours programming, it has found listeners in Hindi speaking regions of India and in over 60 countries worldwide. Themed around love, peace, and happiness, the station airs enriching talk shows and soothing soulful music. Neeraj Tyagi, the man behind the station who in the previous avatar was a founder of Quick Call, which he sold to Navigant, was quite happy while claiming “Within just one month of launch, the station has reached listenership of over 50,000 with more than 40,000 app downloads so far.”

Gangolli claims 5th straight national chess title for blind

Karnataka’s Kishan Gangolli recently won the National ‘A’ Chess Championship for Blind for the fifth consecutive time, while Ashvin Makwana of Gujarat and Odisha’s Soundarya Kumar Pradhan finished second and third respectively. At the end of the 13 rounds, Gangolli (Rating 1996) got 10.5 points. Makwana (Rating 1744) earned 9.5 points, while Soundarya (Rating 1753) totaled 9 points. Aryan Joshi of Maharashtra (Rating 1814) with 8.5 points, was fourth. Odisha’s Subhendu Kumar Patra (Rating 1604) with 7.5 points, was fifth at the Andheri Sports Complex.

81% of Indian CMs are crorepatis; Andhra Pradesh CM Chandrababu Naidu the richest

An analysis of self-sworn affidavits of current chief ministers across the country has thrown up some expected and some not-so-expected results. For instance, the report released by Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) mentions that 25 CMs, which makes for a whopping 81 %, are crorepatis, out of which two CMs have assets of more than Rs 100 crore. Fifty-five percent of the CMs have assets ranging from a crore to Rs 10 crore, while 19 % have assets worth less than a crore. The ADR and National Election Watch (NEW) analyzed these self-sworn affidavits filed by the CMs before contesting elections and found that Andhra Pradesh CM Chandrababu Naidu comes out on top, with declared assets worth Rs 177 crore. On the second spot is Arunachal Pradesh CM Pema Khandu with declared assets of Rs 129 crore. Punjab CM Amarinder Singh is a distant third with declared assets of Rs 48 crore.
Jammu and Kashmir CM Mehbooba Mufti was the third poorest CM in the country with declared assets of Rs 56 lakh, followed by West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee with over Rs 30 lakh. The poorest CM in India, according to the report is Tripura CM Manik Sarkar with assets worth Rs 27 lakh.

RBI junks all old debt restructuring schemes

In a move that would hasten recognition of bad loans, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) withdrew all existing frameworks for addressing stressed assets and came out with new norms that require lenders to classify a loan as a non-performing asset (NPA) immediately upon restructuring. For loans that are larger than Rs 2,000 crore, the resolution plan needs to be completed within 180 days. Under the new norms, if a resolution plan is not implemented within 180 days, the account must be referred to the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code. The new norms will bring immense pressure on stressed borrowers. If they fail to pay on time, they will be classified defaulters as against the past when they were merely classified as ‘stressed’ and given more time to repay. They will also need to come out with a plan to get back on track, failing which they stand to lose their business in the insolvency court.
The withdrawn schemes include — the framework for revitalizing distressed assets, corporate debt restructuring scheme (CDR), flexible structuring of long-term project loans (also known as 5/25 scheme), strategic debt restructuring scheme (SDR), change in ownership outside SDR, and scheme for the sustainable structuring of stressed assets (S4A). The Joint Lenders’ Forum (JLF), as an institutional mechanism for resolution of stressed accounts, also stands discontinued. “All accounts, including such accounts where any of the schemes have been invoked but not yet implemented, shall be governed by the revised framework,” the RBI said.

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