Current Affairs - 22 may 2016

SBI associate banks merger to cost Rs 1,660 crore: Moody

The merger of five associate banks and newly created Bharatiya Mahila Bank with SBI will cost $250 million (around Rs 1,660 crore) and have limited impact on the lender's credit metrics, ratings agency Moody's Investors Service said today.
  • Earlier this week, country's biggest lender State Bank of India had proposed merger of five associate banks and Bharatiya Mahila Bank (BMB) with itself.

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Sudhakar Rao steps down as USL's Independent Director

Diageo-controlled United Spirits (USL) today said its Non-Executive Independent Director Sudhakar Rao has resigned from the post.
  • Rao, former Chief Secretary of Karnataka, was appointed as an Additional Director of the company on July 4, 2013. Later he was elevated to the post of Director in the firm.

Cairn India CEO Mayank Ashar resigns
Cairn India Chief Executive Mayank Ashar has quit the job, the third CEO to resign from the company ever since it was taken over by billionaire Anil Agarwal-led Vedanta Group four-and- a half-years back.
  • Ashar, who was appointed CEO in October 2014, "has decided to step down for personal reasons effective June 5, 2016," the company said in a statement here.
  • Sudhir Mathur, CFO, has been appointed as the acting CEO.

Border with Bangladesh to be sealed

Sealing of the borders with Bangladesh will be completed in two year's time to put an end to infiltration , Assam's chief minister-to- be Sarbananda Sonowal said today.
  • A product of the student movement of the 1980s during the anti-foreigners agitation, Sonowal, who steered the BJP to victory in the elections, has put the issue of infiltration and attempts to check them as his government's priority. BJP had made infiltration one of the major issues in the poll campaign.

DMDK derecognised by Election Commission

With securing just 2.4 per cent in the Assembly elections, DMDK, founded by actor-turned politician Vijaykant is set to lose its recognition as a State party by the Election Commission of India.
  • An official said that the EC will give its order to that effect in due course.
  • Vijaykant's DMDK didn't win any seats in the recent Assembly elections.

Hyderabad set to become Apple's 2nd largest tech hub worldwide

Apple is the latest US technology giant looking to harness Indian talent as it eyes customers in 
the country to buy its products. This comes at a time when growth in its most important markets China and the US have begun to taper off.
  • Apple, which opened its map development centre in Hyderabad, will employ nearly 4,000 people making the facility the largest technology hub outside of its headquarters in Cupertino, California.

New Tripura High Court chief justice appointed

The president has appointed Justice Tinlianthang Vaiphei as the new chief justice of the Tripura High Court, officials said on Saturday.
  • A senior judicial official of Tripura High Court said that union law and justice ministry in a notification on Friday said the president had appointed Justice Vaiphei, senior-most judge of the Tripura High Court.

After Ebola outbreak, World Bank creates pandemic insurance plan

The World Bank today announced a new programme to mobilise funds quickly against virulent disease outbreaks after the world was caught unprepared in the 2014 Ebola disaster in West Africa.
  • World Bank President Jim Yong Kim said the new Pandemic Emergency Financing Facility (PEF) will accelerate global and national responses to disease outbreaks that threaten large populations and fragile economies.

27th India and Indonesia CORPAT concludes in Belawan

The 27th edition of the India-Indonesia CORPAT (Coordinated Patrol) has concluded in Belawan, Indonesia. 
  • The closing ceremony at Belawan saw the two navies conducting interactive session on measures to enhance inter-operability, which is also attended by INS Karmuk. 

After liquor, Bihar government bans gutka and pan masala

Nitish Kumar led Bihar Government has announced the ban on sale, distribution, storage, manufacture, consumption and publicity of tobacco products like gutka and pan masala. 
  • The ban on both packaged and unpackaged edible items containing tobacco content will remain effective for a period of one year.

Indigenous faecal incontinence management device ‘Qora’ launched 

An indigenously developed “affordable” faecal incontinence management system ‘Qora’, a spin-off of a programme of the Department of Biotechnol​ogy and implemented at AIIMS and IIT Delhi, was launched by Minister of State for Science & Technology, Y.S. Chowdary.

G-7 summit 2016 : Finance Ministers and central bank governors meet in Sendai

Finance ministers and central banks governor from the Group of Seven developed nations kicked off the first day of their meeting in Sendai, Japan. 
  • They have held discussions on the world economy, ahead of next week's G7 summit (26-27th May), to be held in Ise-Shima, central Japan. 

US House of Representatives gave nod to bolster defence ties with India on par with NATO

The US House of Representatives have given its nod to a bipartisan legislation to improve defence ties with India.
  • In this regard, an amendment to the National Defence Authorisation Act (NDAA) was approved by the House. 

IFC to invest $20 million in FCEL

Future Consumer Enterprise Ltd (FCEL) has informed the stock exchanges that International Finance Corporation (IFC) will invest $20 million in the company through equity-linked instruments. 

  • Other investors in FCEL include Brussels-based Verlinvest and Singapore-based Arisaig Partners.

HSBC to shut down half of its branches in India, 300 Jobs to go

UK based banking giant, HSBC Holding Plc stated that it plans to close 24 branches in India. 

The decision comes after a strategic review of its retail banking and wealth management business showed customers are increasingly opting for digital banking services. This decision will impact around 10 % of the company's retail customer base and lead to 300 jobs losses.

UN appoints Mary Robinson, Macharia Kamau as special envoys for El Nino, climate

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has appointed former Irish President Mary Robinson and Kenyan diplomat Macharia Kamau as special envoys for El Nino and climate.
  • The El Nino weather phenomenon, which occurs every two to seven years, affects rainfall patterns and causes both drought and flooding.

Lhakpa 1st lady to climb Mt Everest seven times

A 42 year old woman born in Nepal, Lhakpa Sherpa has climbed Mount Everest for the seventh time. With this she has braked her own record for the most ascents to the world's highest mountain by a woman. 

  • Two other Sherpa climbers share between them a record for 21 ascents of Everest, the maximum climbs by men and also shared the record for scaling the mountain for the ​most number of times overall.

Emmy award winning actor Alan Young dies aged 96

Emmy award-winning English-born actor Alan Young, who rode to enduring TV fame alongside a talking horse on the popular 1960s sitcom  and co-starred in the classic sci-fi film 'The Time Machine' has died at age 96.

Young, who also provided the voice of cartoon characters including Disney's Scrooge McDuck, died from natural causes at the Motion Picture & Television Country House and Hospital, Los Angeles.

Maurad Laachraoui wins European Taekwondo title

  • Belgian Mourad Laachraoui has won gold in the European Taekwondo Championships. 
  • Now he will compete in this summer's Rio Olympics. He has beaten Spaniard Jesus Tortosa 6-3 in the -54kg final in Montreux, Switzerland.

Roger Federer withdraws from French Open

Roger Federer has withdrawn from this year’s French Open after failing to recover from a back
  • The 34-year- old did not play in the Madrid Open earlier this month after hurting his back during practice for the tournament. Federer returned for the Italian Open but was beaten in the third round by Dominic Thiem.
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