Current Affairs for SSC CGL Exams - 10 April 2019

SSC CGL Current Affairs

Current Affairs for SSC CGL Exams - 10 April 2019

::NATIONAL::

Data user’s conference on 2021 census held

  •  For the first time in the 140 year long Census exercise in India, data is proposed to be collected through a mobile app, officials of Registrar General of India said at the conference of data users here today to finalize the strategy and questionnaire for the Census 2021.
  •  They said enumerators would be encouraged to use their own mobile phone for which they would be paid appropriate remuneration or else there is also option to collect and record the data through paper schedules which will eventually be submitted electronically by them.
  •  Describing the Census 2021 as the world’s largest such exercise, Union Home Secretary Shri Rajiv Gauba informed the conference that 33 lakh enumerators would be mobilized for data collection for which notification has already been issued.
  •  Describing the Census 2021 as the world’s largest such exercise, Union Home Secretary Shri Rajiv Gauba informed the conference that 33 lakh enumerators would be mobilized for data collection for which notification has already been issued.

PCI issues guidelines to media on poll reporting

  •  The Press Council of India (PCI) on Tuesday asked the media to give objective reports about the election and cautioned it against the phenomenon of paid news.
  •  Issuing guidelines for the media, PCI said, newspapers are not expected to indulge in unhealthy election campaigns, exaggerated reports about any candidate or party during the elections.
  •  The print media watchdog also cautioned the press to eschew reports which tend to promote feelings or enmity or hatred between people on the grounds of region, religion, race, caste, community or language.

::ECONOMY::

PSB’s set to reduce lending rates

  •  Equated monthly instalments (EMIs) are set to fall with banks announcing a cut in their lending rates. The country’s largest lender, State Bank of India (SBI) led the way cutting the interest rate on its loans by 5 basis points (bps).
  •  As a result, housing and vehicle loans would become cheaper, the bank said in a filing. The revised interest rates would be 8.65% for loans up to one year tenure, 8.75% for two-year and 8.85% three-year loans respectively. The moves come after the RBI decided to cut the repo rate by 25 bps to 6% last week.
  •  Private sector lender ICICI Bank had reduced its MCLR by 5 bps from April 1 and its one year MCLR is 8.75%. HDFC Bank had also cut its MCLR by 5-10 bps across various tenures which came into effect on Monday, with one year MCLR now standing at 8.7% compared with 8.75% earlier.
  •  Since SBI had also linked its savings bank (SB) interest rates to the repo rate, the SB rates would also be revised, for balances of more than Rs. 1 lakh, to 3.25% from 3.5% from May 1. SBI had said 95% of the SB account holders had balances of up to Rs. 1 lakh.
  •  Also, with all cash credit and overdraft accounts above Rs. 1 lakh linked to the repo rate, the benefit of RBI’s rate cut last week, ‘will get passed on in its entirety to such CC/OD customers banking with SBI with effect from May 1, 2019,’ the bank added.

Indian gold reserves increases marginally

  •  India has marginally increased its gold holding in February while maintaining the tenth position among countries in terms of yellow metal reserves, as per latest data from the World Gold Council (WGC).
  •  India added 1.7 tonnes in February while most other countries, barring Russia and China, saw their reserves unchanged in the recent past.
  •  Apart from India, only two other countries among the top 10 in terms of gold reserves increased their holdings in the month of February.
  •  While the Russian Federation saw its reserves increase from 2,119.2 tonnes to 2,150.5 tonnes, the reserves of China (Mainland) rose from 1,864.3 tonnes to 1,874.3 tonnes between January and February.
  •  Incidentally, India’s overall ranking is pegged at 11 as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) boasts of gold reserves of 2,814 tonnes to occupy the third position after the U.S. (8,133.5 tonnes) and Germany (3,369.7 tonnes).
  •  “This is the highest level of monthly purchases since October 2018 and brings the reported year-to-date net increase in global reserves to 90 tonnes. Collectively, central banks mostly from the emerging markets continue to accumulate gold at a healthy pace. Nine central banks made a meaningful increase to their reserves in February versus 10 in January,” added Mr. Hewitt.
  •  Pakistan has 64.6 tonnes and is ranked 45 while Sri Lanka (19.9 tonnes) and Bangladesh (14 tonnes) are at 63rd and 66th positions.

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::INTERNATIONAL::

IMF predicts lower global growth rate in coming years

  •  The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has projected that global growth will be 3.3% in 2019, down from 3.6% in 2018 and 4% in 2017, IMF Chief Economist Gita Gopinath told the press at the release of the World Economic Outlook 2019 April report, at the start of the World Bank IMF Spring Meetings.
  •  This lower projection is due to lower global expansion in the second half of 2018 caused by U.S.-China trade tensions, macroeconomic stress in Turkey and Argentina, tighter credit policies in China and financial tightening plus a normalisation of monetary policy in advanced economies.
  •  India’s growth is projected to pick up (from 7.1% in 2018) to 7.3% in 2019 and 7.5% in 2020, “supported by the continued recovery of investment and robust consumption amid a more expansionary stance of monetary policy and some expected impetus from fiscal policy,” the report said. These forecasts are nevertheless less by 10 and 20 basis points from the January and October forecasts.
  •  For emerging markets and developing countries, growth is expected to steady at 4.8% over the medium term and given that these groups are growing faster than advanced economies, their contribution to global growth is expected to increase from 76% to 85% over the next five years. However, there are “important differences” within emerging markets and developing economies.
  •  In terms of policy priorities, the IMF has called for a “continued implementation of structural and financial sector reforms” in order to lower public debt and aid growth.
  •  Specifically, it says a continued fiscal consolidation is needed to bring down public debt, strengthening goods and services tax compliance and lowering subsidies.

Srilanka opens Chinese backed railway project

  •  Sri Lanka has opened a new railway line, built with China’s assistance, connecting its coastal city of Matara and Beliatta in Hambantota, a move that will boost passenger traffic into the island nation’s deep south.
  •  The 26.75-km long Matara-Beliatta railway extension is the first to be constructed in Sri Lanka since 1948, and it passes through the country’s longest and second-longest railway bridges, China’s Xinhua agency reported. The new line was declared open on Monday in the presence of Sri Lanka’s Transport and Civil Aviation Minister ArjunaRanatunga, Finance Minister MangalaSamaraweera and other parliamentarians.
  •  The railway extension was financed by the Export-Import Bank of China and the contract was awarded to the China National Machinery Import and Export Corporation. According to Sri Lankan media reports, the cost of the project was $278 million.
  •  Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang termed it as a major Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) project in Sri Lanka. “The railway line is the first railway project contracted by Chinese company in Sri Lanka under the BRI and it is indeed the first railway built after country’s independence,” he said, adding that it will make regional transportation more convenient and facilitate local economic and social development.
  •  Sri Lanka has been the major recipient of Chinese loans and investments in recent years, totalling over $8 billion. The heavy borrowing has raised concerns over Sri Lanka’s ability to repay, after Colombo handed over the Hambantota port to Beijing for a 99-year lease in 2017 as a debt swap.

::SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY::

One more Indian fish species added to IUCN Critically endangered list

  •  The hump-backed mahseer—a large freshwater fish also called the tiger of the water and found only in the Cauvery river basin (including Kerala’s Pambar, Kabini and Bhavani rivers) is now “Critically Endangered”: more threatened than the tiger is, as per the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List of Threatened Species.
  •  The fish is one of the 229 species added to the Red List last November; this update also reveals that the threat status of 12 other Indian species, including great hornbills, has increased.
  •  Five other species have also made it to threatened categories: two wild orchids, the Arabian scad (a marine fish) and two wild coffee species found only in a few localities in the Western Ghats.
  •  While 31 species that were already in the Red List have been down-listed (since threats are not as significant as earlier thought or due to conservation efforts), the threat status of 12 species has increased. The great hornbill (found in India and southeast Asia) was earlier categorised as “Near Threatened”. It is now “Vulnerable” due to high hunting pressure coupled with habitat loss and deforestation, while the wreathed hornbill has moved from “Least Concern” to “Vulnerable”.

::SPORTS::

Indian Women football team out of 2020 Olympics qualifiers

  •  In Football, Indian women's team bowed out of the 2020 Olympic Qualifying tournament in Mandalay on Tuesday on goal difference despite a 3-3 draw against Myanmar eves.
  •  Both India and Myanmar were on six points from two games but Myanmar enjoyed a better goal difference of (8) compared to (4) of India.

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