Current Affairs – February 16, 2018

WPI inflation eases to 6-month low of 2.84% in January

Inflation based on wholesale prices eased to a six-month low of 2.84 % in January on cheaper food articles even as vegetable prices continued to rule high. Calculated on the basis of Wholesale Price Index (WPI), the inflation was 3.58 % in December 2017 and 4.26 % in January 2017. WPI inflation at 2.84 % in January is the lowest in six months. The previous low level was recorded in July at 1.88 %.
According to the government data released, inflation on food articles came down 3 % in January, from 4.72 % in December 2017. WPI inflation at 2.84 % in January is the lowest in six months. The previous low level was recorded in July at 1.88 %.Data released earlier this week showed that retail inflation was at 5.07 %. The Reserve Bank takes into account retail inflation while deciding on key policy rates.
Base Year for WPI: 2011-12=100

Cyril Ramaphosa elected as President of South Africa after Zuma departure

African National Congress (ANC) leader Cyril Ramaphosa has been sworn in as South Africa’s new president, following his predecessor Jacob Zuma’s departure Wednesday night after a long power struggle. Ramaphosa, 65, was formerly Zuma’s deputy president. He was elected leader of the ruling ANC in December, narrowly defeating Zuma’s chosen candidate, his ex-wife Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma.
The new president’s resume includes both politics and business. Ramaphosa is one of South Africa’s richest men, with an estimated net worth of $450 million. A lawyer by profession from Soweto, Ramaphosa was detained for anti-apartheid activism twice during the 1970s. He launched South Africa’s most powerful trade union, the National Union of Mineworkers, in 1982.
South Africa Capitals- Cape Town, Pretoria, Bloemfontein, and Currency- South African Rand

India’s first radio festival held in Delhi

On 15th February, what is being billed as India’s first radio festival was held in New Delhi to mark World Radio Day of 13th February. The Radio Festival has been organized by the International Association of Women in Radio and Television in partnership with UNESCO. The event, conceived by the association’s Managing Trustee Archana Kapoor, aims to bring together radio professionals, podcasters, and other digital audio programmers. It was held at the UNESCO House in New Delhi from 9 am.
The event included a keynote address by Doordarshan Director General Supriya Sahu, several panel discussions, and a stand-up comedy performance by radio jockeys Ashish and Kisna. Apart from touching on the theme for World Radio Day 2018 – radio and sports – the festival will also examine the potential of the medium as a platform for social change, ways to make it more creative and will trace the journey of music on the radio.

Yes Bank lists $600 million MTN bond on India INX

Yes Bank said it has listed $600 million bonds issued under its maiden $1 billion MTN programme, on Global Securities Market (GSM) of India INX. India INX is the country’s first international exchange, located at International Financial Services Centre, GIFT City in Gujarat.
The MTN (medium term note) bonds issuance received an overwhelming response from international investors and saw a final order book, at a spread of 130 basis points, being oversubscribed by over 1.83 times from over 90 accounts, Yes Bank said in a statement. The bond is also listed on London Stock Exchange International Securities Market (LSE ISM) and Singapore Exchange Securities Trading Limited (SGX), it said.
Yes Bank CEO: Rana Kapoor
Headquarters: Mumbai
Tagline: Experience Our Expertise

NDB to lend $100 mn for water project in Rajasthan

India has signed a second loan agreement for $100 million with the New Development Bank (NDB) for efficient use of water in desert areas of Rajasthan, an official statement said on 15th February. “This is the first tranche loan of $100 million approved by the NDB under the Multi-Tranche Financing Facility of $345 million for this project,” the Union Finance Ministry release said.
The objective is to rehabilitate the 678-km-long Indira Gandhi Canal system built during 1958-63 to prevent seepage, conserve water and enhance water use efficiency as mandated by both national and state-level policies on water use. The project implementation period is 6 years.
NDB President: K.V Kamath (India)
Established: 2014
Headquarters: Shanghai, China

RBI asks banks to accept coins of all denominations from public

Banks should not refuse to accept coins of all denominations from customers and any non-compliance may result into penal action, the Reserve Bank said on 15th February. Despite advisory that none of the bank branches should refuse to accept small denomination notes or coins tendered at their counters, complaints keep coming about non-acceptance of coins by bank branches, RBI said. Denial to accept coins, either for exchange or deposit, leads to refusal on the part of the shopkeepers and small traders which causes inconvenience to the public at large, the bank said.
“You are, therefore, once again advised to immediately direct all your branches to accept coins of all denominations tendered at their counters either for exchange or for deposit in accounts,” RBI directed all the banks. The regulator has also advised banks, preferably to accept coins, particularly, in Rs 1 and Rs 2 denominations by weighment. However, accepting coins packed in polythene sachets of 100 each would perhaps be more convenient for the cashiers as well as the customers, it said.

China to host 2018 SCO Summit at Qingdao in June

China recently announced that this year’s summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) will be held in the city of Qingdao in June. The SCO is comprised of members say China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, India, and Pakistan. China, which is one of the founders of the organisation, plays an influential role in it.
The SCO focuses on security- related issues of the region specially on counter terrorism cooperation. India and Pakistan were admitted as full members of the organisation at the summit in Astana last year. “As the rotating president of the SCO, China will hold the SCO summit in Qingdao in June,” Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said here.
Headquarters of SCO: Beijing, China

Tri-service maritime exercise ‘Paschim Lehar’ begins

Around 40 ships, submarines and fighter aircraft participated in ‘Paschim Lehar‘, a tri-service maritime exercise off India’s western coast, the Navy. The objective of the exercise, which commenced on February 12, is to build interoperability, an official spokesperson said. “This exercise includes participation of a large number of ships, submarines and aircraft from the Western Naval Command of the Indian Navy. Units from Eastern Naval Command, Indian Army, Indian Air Force and the Coast Guard are also participating to build interoperability,” the spokesperson said in a statement.
“Over 40 ships and submarines, a similar number of maritime surveillance, fighter aircraft, helicopters and Remotely Piloted Aircraft of the Indian Navy and the IAF are participating. “The Amphibious capabilities of the armed forces, along with the elements of Army Amphibious Brigade will also be deployed and tested for operational tasking during the exercise,” it said.

K P Sharma Oli becomes Nepal PM for second time

CPN-UML chairperson K P Sharma Oli became Nepal’s Prime Minister for the second time, over two months after his Left alliance routed the ruling Nepali Congress in the country’s historic parliamentary and local polls. President Bidhya Devi Bhandari appointed 65-year-old Oli as the country’s 41st prime minister. Oli, who is known for his pro-China stance, had served as the country’s prime minister from October 11, 2015 to August 3, 2016.
Oli’s PM candidature was supported by the UCPN-Maoists, Rastriya Prajatantra Party Nepal, and Madhesi Rights Forum-Democratic along with 13 other small parties. Earlier, former prime minister Sher Bahadur Deuba had addressed the nation and submitted his resignation to the President.

 

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