Current Affairs 8th August 2019

Current Affairs 8th August 2019

Current Affairs 8th August 2019 covers some important topics based on the examination point of view. All Current Affairs are mentioned below:-

  • Pak expels Indian Envoy & suspends bilateral trade with India
  • 5th National Handloom Day
  • RBI Decisions - Monetary Policy, NBFC's sector
  • Organic Field-Effect Transistor
  • Heracles Inexpectatus
  • Haryana passes a bill to check Organized Crime

Pak expels Indian Envoy & Suspends Bilateral trade with India:-

Pakistan has expelled Indian High Commissioner Ajay Bisaria & downgrade the diplomatic ties with India over what they called "New Delhi's unilateral & illegal" move to revoke the Article 370 which gave special status to Jammu & Kashmir. Pakistan PM Imran Khan has also directed their armed forces for continued vigilance on the border.

How it will impact India?

Bilateral Trade:- According to sources, it will have a minimal impact because there is very little trade between the two countries. The Official Bilateral trade is about $2 Billion, although informal trade takes place through Dubai & Middle Eastern Countries which is about $6 Billion.

The two countries have a Cross LOC trade which may get impacted due to Pakistan's decision, in effect impacting the people of Kashmir.

India also withdrew MFN status from Pakistan after Pulwama Attack in February & raised the import duty to 200 percent on products imported from Pakistan

Bilateral Arrangements:-

India & Pakistan also have bilateral arrangements like the Indus Water Treaty, Notification of Nuclear Installations & exchange list of prisoners which takes place every two years which will be reviewed by Pakistan special committee comprising Pakistan's Foreign Minister, Foreign Secretary & Army Chief among others.

5th National Handloom Day:-

The 5th National Handloom Day was held today at 16 NIFT Campuses and Weavers’ Service Centres in different States across the country.

About: The National Handloom Day is observed annually on 7th August to honor the handloom weavers in the country and also highlight India’s handloom industry.
  • The first National Handloom Day was inaugurated on 7th August 2015 by the Prime Minister, Narendra Modi.
  • August 7 was chosen as the National Handloom Day to commemorate the Swadeshi Movement which was launched on this day in 1905 in Calcutta Town Hall to protest against the partition of Bengal by the British Government. The movement had aimed at reviving domestic products and production processes.

RBI Decisions:-

New measures to enhance credit flow to the NBFC sector:-
  • RBI has increased the cap on a bank’s exposure to a single NBFC to 20% of its tier-I capital from 15% now.
  • Bank lending to registered NBFCs (other than MFIs) for on-lending to Agriculture up to ₹10.0 lakhs; Micro and Small Enterprises up to ₹ 20.0 lakh and housing up to ₹ 20.0 lakh per borrower to be classified as priority sector lending.

Monetary Policy Statement:- Loans are set to get cheaper as Reserve Bank of India cut repo rate by 35 basis points to 5.40 %.

Key highlights of the monetary policy statement:
  • On the basis of an assessment of the current and evolving macroeconomic situation, the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) decided to reduce the policy repo rate under the liquidity adjustment facility (LAF) by 35 basis points (bps) from 5.75 % to 5.40 % with immediate effect.
  • Consequently, the reverse repo rate under the LAF stands revised to 5.15 %, and the marginal standing facility (MSF) rate and the Bank Rate to 5.65 %.
  • The MPC also decided to maintain the accommodative stance of monetary policy.
RBI Statement on Developmental & Regulatory Policies:- The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has issued a statement on Developmental and Regulatory Policies. This Statement sets out various developmental and regulatory policy measures in the areas of Financial Markets; Payment and Settlement Systems; Banking Regulation etc.

Key highlights of the statement:
  • Round-the-Clock Availability of National Electronic Funds Transfer (NEFT) System:
  • Currently, the NEFT payment system operated by the RBI as a retail payment system is available for customers from 8.00 am to 7.00 pm on all working days of the week (except 2nd and 4th Saturdays of the month).
  • As mentioned in the Payment System Vision 2021 document, the RBI will make available the NEFT system on a 24x7 basis from December 2019.

Expansion of Biller Categories for Bharat Bill Payment System (BBPS):
  • In order to harness the full potential of BBPS, RBI has decided to permit all categories of billers (except prepaid recharges) who provide for recurring bill payments to participate in BBPS on a voluntary basis.
  • The BBPS, an interoperable platform for repetitive bill payments, currently covers five segments that are direct-to-home, electricity, gas, telecom and water bills.

Creation of a Central Payments Fraud Information Registry: The RBI has decided to create a central payments fraud information registry system to deal with banking frauds.

Organic Field-Effect Transistor (OFET):-

A team of researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology, Guwahati (IIT-G) has developed a portable device to detect bacteria without cell culture or microbiological assays.

Background: At present, the detection of bacteria in body fluids is done in laboratories. The cells that are derived from the patient are initially cultured or grown so that enough of the bacterial cells are available for microbiological analysis. However, this technique is extremely time- consuming.

Recent development:
  • The new portable device uses an Organic Field Effect Transistor (OFET) to instantly detect the charges on the cell walls of bacteria. The rapid detection kits are like those used for blood sugar monitoring.
  • The OFET is an electronic device that works on the principle that charges in the vicinity of the channels of certain semiconductors can induce a current in them. Thus, the charges on the surface of the bacterium induce a current in the OFET, which is registered and read.
  • The teamwork has been recently patented as well as published in the July 2019 issue of 'Journal of Materials Chemistry of the Royal Society of Chemistry'.

Heracles Inexpectatus:-

The remains of a super-sized parrot that stood more than half the height of an average human and roamed the Earth 19 million years ago have been discovered in New Zealand.

  • The parrot has been named Heracles inexpectatus to reflect its Herculean size and strength and the unexpected nature of the discovery.
  • Heracles inexpectatus, the largest parrot ever discovered, was twice the size of the critically endangered flightless New Zealand kakapo, previously the largest known parrot.
  • According to a report published in the latest edition of Biology Letters, the flightless birds were at least one meter tall and weighed up to seven kilograms.
  • Evidence of the parrot was unearthed in fossils near St. Bathans in southern New Zealand.

Haryana Assembly passes Bill to check Organised Crime:-

The Haryana Assembly passed the Haryana Control of Organised Crime Bill, 2019 to make special provisions for prevention and control of criminal activities by organized criminal syndicates.

Features of the Bill:-
  • If a person commits an offense of organized crime & if results in the death of any person, it will be punishable with death or imprisonment for life & also liable to a fine which will not be less than 1 lakh.
  • In any other case, the offender shall be punished with imprisonment for not less than 5 years.

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