Current Affairs – April 13, 2018

India Ranks 130 In Index Of Economic Freedom, Up By 13 Spots

India has jumped 13 places in the last one year to earn the 130th spot in the latest annual Index of Economic Freedom released by a top American think-tank. In 2017, India with a score of 52.6 points was ranked at 143 among 180 countries, two spots below neighbor Pakistan, according to the Index of Economic Freedom. China with 57.4 points was ranked 111 in the 2017 index of The Heritage Foundation, an American conservative public policy think-tank based in Washington. As per the latest Index of Economic Freedom, China has jumped one spot and Pakistan is now at 131 position. India’s economic freedom score is 54.5, making its economy the 130th freest in the 2018 Index, the Heritage Foundation said.

Retail inflation slows to the 5-month low of 4.28% in March

Continuing a southward trend, retail inflation slipped to a five-month low of 4.28% in March on account of easing food prices, including vegetables, as per government data. Although the inflation based on Consumer Price Index (CPI) has been declining, it is still above the Reserve Bank’s mid-term target of 4 %. The government has mandated the RBI to tame inflation at 4% with a margin of 2% on either side. Consumer inflation, a key data factored in by the RBI to arrive at key policy rates, was 4.44 % in February. However, the March 2018 inflation is higher than 3.89 % recorded in the same month last year. As per data released by the Central Statistics Office (CSO), inflation in the vegetable segment cooled to 11.7 % in March from 17.57 % in the previous month.

Bhanu Pratap Sharma replaces Vinod Rai as Banks Board Bureau chairman

The Union Finance Ministry has reconstituted the Banks Board Bureau (BBB) and appointed Bhanu Pratap Sharma as its chairman, replacing former Comptroller and Auditor General Vinod Rai. Mr. Sharma was former the chairman of recruitment and assessment center of DRDO (Defence Research and Development Organisation) and former Principal Secretary (Finance) in the Bihar government. Some of the other new members are: Vedika Bhandarkar, former vice-chairman and managing director (investment banking and global markets) of Credit Suisse, India; P. Pradeep Kumar, former managing director of State Bank of India; and Pradeep Shah, former managing director, Crisil.
The BBB, which has the responsibility of selecting members, including MDs & CEOs of public sector banks, started functioning in April 2016 with Mr. Rai at the helm. The chairman and its committee members had a two-year term, which ended in March 2018.

Bandhan Bank joins the club of top 50 most valuable Indian companies

Riding on a sharp increase in share prices post listing, Bandhan Bank has become one of the top 50 most valuable publicly traded companies in India in terms of market capitalization (m-cap) on 12th April. In morning trade, the Kolkata-based private sector lender with an m-cap of Rs 640 billion was spotted at the 50th rank on the Bombay Stock Exchange for the first time ever since it’s listing. Bandhan Bank has overtaken Dabur India, Britannia Industries, New India Assurance Company, and Bharti Infrastructure in the trading sessions. Tata Consultancy Services Ltd (TCS) is the most valuable company in India, followed by Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL), HDFC Bank Limited and ITC.

Shri Jayant Sinha to head a 13 member Task Force for fast-tracking Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) technology

The Government has decided to constitute a Task Force under the chairmanship of Shri Jayant Sinha, Minister of State for Civil Aviation for fast-tracking the roll-out of Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) technology. The Task Force will develop a roadmap with implementable recommendations for Central as well as State Governments, Industry and Research Institutions. The Task Force will consist of representatives from the Government, PSUs, industry and sectoral experts and submit the report within 6 months of its constitution. The Headquarters of the Task Force will be at Ministry of Civil Aviation, New Delhi.

NHAI signs the agreement for its first International project

To provide seamless vehicular movement for enhancing trade, business, health, education, and tourism between India, Myanmar and Thailand, the National Highways Authority of India has signed an agreement for upgradation of Yagyi – Kalewa section of highway (Milepost 40/0 to Milepost 115/5) in Myanmar to two lanes with the earthen shoulder. The agreement was signed yesterday by NHAI with M/s Punj Lloyd Ltd. – Varaha Infra Ltd. (JV). The project has been funded by Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India and would be executed on EPC mode at a cost of Rs.1177 crores.

IIT Delhi sets up India’s first 5G lab

IIT-Delhi (IIT-D) has set up a radio lab with an array of antennas for “standardization, research and manufacturing” of 5G equipment, the institute said. “In an effort to establish India as a key global player in the standardization, research and development and manufacturing of 5G equipment, a Massive MIMO radio laboratory has been set up at IIT Delhi and will be inaugurated on April 13. This will be the first such lab in India,” an IIT-Delhi statement said.

India at Gold Coast CWG 2108, Day 8: Medal Winners

Two-time Olympic medalist Sushil Kumar (74kg) and event debutant Rahul Aware (57kg) provided the golden touch as India snared an impressive seven medals, which included two in athletics, on the eighth day of the 21st Commonwealth Games at the Gold Coast in Australia on 12th April.
Here is the list of India’s results on Day 8:
Wrestling (men’s 74kg final) – Sushil Kumar – Gold
Wrestling (men’s 57kg 1/8 final) – Rahul Aware – Gold
Wrestling (women’s 53kg final) – Babita Kumari – Silver
Wrestling (women’s 76kg final) – Kiran Bishnoi – Bronze
Shooting (women’s 50m rifle prone finals) – Tejaswini Sawant – Silver
Athletics (women’s discus throw final) – Seema Punia – Silver, Navjeet Dhillon – Bronze

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