Current Affairs

 On the basis of an assessment of the current and evolving macroeconomic situation at its meeting, the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) decided to keep the policy repo rate under the liquidity adjustment facility (LAF) unchanged at 6.0%. Consequently, the Reverse Repo Rate (RRR) under the LAF remains at 5.75%, and the Marginal Standing Facility (MSF) rate and the Bank Rate at 6.25%. India’s real gross domestic product (GDP) growth marginally upward to 6.6% from 6.5% in the first advance estimates. GDP growth in 2017-18 at 6.6 percent was lower than 7.1% in 2016-17.
Retail inflation, measured by the year-on-year change in the CPI, fell from a high of 5.1% in January to 4.4% in February due to a decline in inflation in food and fuel. CPI inflation excluding food and fuel remained unchanged at 5.2% for the third consecutive month in February, after rising from its trough in June 2017. 
Source- The RBI

 Weightlifter and current world champion Mirabai Chanu has clinched India’s first gold medal of the 2018 Commonwealth Games. Mirabai Chanu becomes the first Indian to win a gold medal at the Commonwealth Games 2018. After finishing with the best lift of 86 kg in the snatch round, the 23-year-old finished with a total score of 196 points. Chanu is competing in the 48 kg category. The 23-year-old also set Commonwealth Games records in both Snatch (86 kg) and Clean and Jerk (110 kg) categories.
Source- The Quint

 The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its approval to the Protection of Human Rights (Amendments) Bill, 2018 for better protection and promotion of human rights in the country.
Salient Features of the Bill are as follows:
  • 1. It proposes to include “National Commission for Protection of Child Rights” as deemed Member of the Commission;
  • 2. It proposes to add a woman Member in the composition of the Commission;
  • 3. It proposes to enlarge the scope of eligibility and scope of selection of Chairperson, National Human Rights Commission as well as the State Human Rights Commission; and
  • 4. It proposes to incorporate a mechanism to look after the cases of human rights violation in the Union Territories.
  • 5. It proposes to amend the term of office of Chairperson and Members of National Human Rights Commission and State Human Rights Commission to make it in consonance with the terms of Chairperson and Members of other Commissions.
Source- Press Information Bureau (PIB)

 The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given the following set of approvals. The important Cabinet Approvals are given as follows-
The Cabinet has approved-
  • 1. Cooperation Arrangement between India and Afghanistan for cooperation in the field of food safety and related areas,
  • 2. MoU between India and Iran on the establishment of an expert group on trade remedy measures,
  • 3. Cabinet apprised of MoU between India and Canada to foster cross-border partnerships focused on research excellence and industry-academic collaboration,
  • 4. Closure of loss-making Burn Standard Company Limited - a Central Public Sector Enterprise (CPSE)- Decision taken in view of the continuous poor physical and financial performance of the company for more than 10 years combined with low probability of its revival in the future,
  • 5. Cabinet apprised of MoU between India and United Arab Emirates on Technical Cooperation in Rail Sector,
  • 6. Demerger and transfer of surplus land from Tata Communications Limited (TCL) to Hemisphere Properties India Ltd. (HPIL),
  • 7. Rightsizing the Competition Commission of India- from 1 Chairperson and 6 Members (totalling seven) to 1 Chairperson and 3 Members (totalling four) by not filling the existing vacancies of two Members and one more additional vacancy.
  • 8. The Protection of Human Rights (Amendments) Bill, 2018.
Source- Press Information Bureau (PIB)

 External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj has begun her three-day visit to Azerbaijan to participate in the Mid-Term Ministerial Meeting of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM). Ms Swaraj held bilateral consultations with the Foreign Minister of Azerbaijan, Elmar Mammadyarov. Ms Swaraj will attend the Mid-Term Ministerial Meeting of NAM in Baku. The two sides will discuss bilateral, regional and global issues of mutual interest.
Source- DD News

 On the first day of competitions at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games 2018, in Australia, India began their campaign with a Silver Medal in Weightlifting. In the 56 kilogram category, P Gururaja lifted a total weight of 249 kg to finish second in the event. The 25-year old Gururaja equalled his personal best. Malaysia took the Gold, while Sri Lanka settled for the Bronze.
Source- DD News

 Private sector lender IndusInd Bank has received RBI's approval to buy the securities services arm of IL&FS. In March 2017, the bank entered an agreement with Infrastructure Leasing and Financial Services, the promoter shareholder of IL&FS Securities Services Ltd (ISSL), to acquire 100% stake in ISSL.
Source- The Economic Times

 Jio Payments Bank Limited has commenced operations as a payments bank. The Reserve Bank has issued a licence to the bank under Section 22 (1) of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949 to carry on the business of payments bank in India. Reliance Industries Limited, Mumbai was one of the 11 applicants which were issued in-principle approval for setting up a payments bank.
Source- The RBI

 The trial run of the first container train between India and Bangladesh was flagged off from Kolkata city. The train left for Bangladesh with 60 containers loaded with almost 1,200 tonnes of de-oiled cake, used as a raw material for animal feed. Currently, the trade between India and Bangladesh is largely road-based. It takes almost a month for an Indian truck to reach Bangladesh through the congested Petrapole-Benapole border, with customs clearance alone taking nearly 25 days. The train is also likely to resolve the capacity constraints of sea and land routes.
Source- DD News

 The crucial dialogue between the three leading democratic powers (viz. India, Japan and the USA) of the Indo-Pacific region was held in New Delhi. It comes a fortnight ahead of the summit between US President Donald Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Florida. The India-Japan-US trilateral was launched in December 2011. It was elevated to ministerial level in September 2015. The last ministerial dialogue was held in New York in September 2017.
Source- DD News



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