Current Affairs in English 24 April


RBI Exited NABARD and NHB
RBI Exited NABARD and NHB
RBI Exited NABARD and NHB - The Reserve Bank has exited the National Housing Bank (NHB) and the National Bank for Agriculture & Rural Development (Nabard), by selling its entire stakes to government for Rs 1,450 crore and Rs 20 crore, respectively, making them fully government-owned now. The central bank has sold its stake in NHB on March 19, while it sold the stake in Nabard on February 26. With this divestment, the government now holds 100 percent stake in both these financial institutions. The move is part of ending the cross-holding in regulatory institutions and follows the recommendation of second Narasimham committee report of October 2001. The Narasimham panel had said RBI could not own those entities which are regulated by it.

NABARD
NABARD
NABARD - The RBI said divestment of its shareholding in NABARD was done in two phases. The central bank held 72.5 percent equity in NABARD worth Rs 1,450 crore, of which 71.5 percent amounting to Rs 1,430 crore were divested way back in October 2010 and the residual shareholding was divested on February 26, 2019. The NABARD came into existence on July 12, 1982 by transferring the agricultural credit functions of RBI and refinance functions of the then Agricultural Refinance and Development Corporation. Set up with an initial capital of Rs 100 crore, the development finance institution’s paid up capital stood at Rs 10,580 crore as of March 2018.

National Housing Bank
National Housing Bank
National Housing Bank - The RBI held 100 percent shareholding in NHB, which was divested on March 19, 2019. The decision to establish NHB was announced in the 1987-88 Budget. Following that, the National Housing Bank Bill, providing a legislative framework for the NHB, was passed by Parliament in the Winter session of 1987 and it became an Act on December 23, 1987. The National Housing Policy of 1988 envisaged setting up of NHB as the apex level institution for promoting the housing sector.

Reliance Jio has overtaken Bharti Airtel
Reliance Jio
Reliance Jio has overtaken Bharti Airtel - Nearly two-and-a-half years after launching mobile phone services, Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Jio has overtaken Bharti Airtel's subscriber base to emerge as the second-largest telecom company in the country. Jio, which has a customer base of 30.6 crore, now trails only Vodafone-Idea. Airtel has 28.4 crore subscribers while Vodafone-Idea had announced that it had 38.7 crore subscribers in December 2018.

Chabahar Port Project
Chabahar Port Project
Chabahar Port Project - The United States clarified that the Chabahar Port Project would not be impacted by sanctions on Iran. The Chabahar Port Project is being developed by India in Iran. The State Department mentioned that the reconstruction assistance and economic development for Afghanistan, which includes the development and operation of Chabahar Port, is a separate exception. Chabahar Port is a seaport in south-eastern Iran.  It can be easily accessed from India's western coast, bypassing Pakistan and is located close to Afghanistan and other central Asian countries including Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.

Ban on Chinese Milk Product
Ban on Chinese Milk Product
Ban on Chinese Milk Product - The Union Government on April 23, 2019 extended the ban on import of milk and its products, including chocolates, from China till laboratories at ports for testing the presence of toxic chemical melamine are upgraded. The ban was imposed after apprehensions arose on the presence of melamine in some of the milk consignments from China. Melamine is a toxic chemical used for making plastics and fertilisers. The extension of the ban was recommended by Food regulator FSSAI until all labs at ports are modernised to test the chemical. 

TikTok Ban Removed
TikTok Ban Removed
TikTok Ban Removed - The Madurai bench of the Madras high court vacated its April 3 interim order prohibiting downloading of TikTok after the Chinese company ByteDance submitted that it had put moderating mechanisms in place to regulate obscene content. However, the HC warned that the company would be charged with contempt of court if the regulatory mechanisms were not found in place. After it was rebranded from musical.ly to TikTok, the app saw a surge in usage across different countries.

Hope Probe Project
Hope Probe Project
Hope Probe Project - The UAE Space Agency and Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) have announced 85 percent completion of the gulf nation’s ‘Hope Probe’ project. The probe is an ambitious dream project of the UAE to send a mission to Mars. The probe is scheduled to be launched in July 2020. With its successful launch, UAE hopes to become the first Arabic and Islamic country to make the Mars Mission dream a reality.

Manned Mission To The Moon
Manned Mission To The Moon
Manned Mission To The Moon - China plans to send a manned mission to the moon and to build a research station there within the next decade. The announcement was made by the head of China’s National Space Administration, Zhang Kejian during his speech marking ‘Space Day’. He also added that Beijing plans to launch a Mars probe by 2020.

Special Commemorative Stamp on Ramayana
Special Stamp on Ramayana
Special Commemorative Stamp on Ramayana - Indonesia has released a special commemorative stamp on the theme of Ramayana on April 23, 2019 to mark the 70th anniversary of establishment of its diplomatic ties with India. The stamp is designed by renowned Indonesian sculptor Padmashri Bapak Nyoman Nuarta, featured a scene from Ramayana in which Jatayu valiantly fought to save Sita. 

Belt and Road Forum
Belt and Road Forum
Belt and Road Forum - China is using the three-day Belt and Road Forum, which opens on 25 April in Beijing, to exert its political muscle and establish itself as a rallying point for international business exchanges. This is besides the stated goal of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), which is to construct infrastructure projects across the globe. India is likely to be the only major country to not participate in the event which will attract leaders and officials from 150 countries. India has chosen not to avail of the economic opportunity because the BRI hurts India’s sovereignty; a part of the BRI passes through disputed areas of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.

Allahabad Bank Increased Authorised Capital
Allahabad Bank
Allahabad Bank Increased Authorised Capital - State-owned Allahabad Bank stated that the government has increased its authorised capital by Rs 5,000 crore to Rs 8,000 crore. The central government after consultation with the Reserve Bank of India increased the authorised capital of the bank. The increase in authorised capital will help enable the bank to raise further fund up to a maximum ceiling of Rs 8,000 crore.

International Day of Multilateralism and Diplomacy for Peace
International Day of Multilateralism
International Day of Multilateralism and Diplomacy for Peace - The first ever official ‘International Day of Multilateralism and Diplomacy for Peace’ was observed by the United Nations (UN) on April 24, 2019. The International Day of Multilateralism and Diplomacy for Peace was officially proclaimed to be observed ever year on 24 April by the UN General Assembly on December 12, 2018.

National Panchayati Raj Day
National Panchayati Raj Day
National Panchayati Raj Day - National Panchayati Raj Day is celebrated every year on 24th April by the Ministry of Panchayati Raj. Then Prime Minister of India Manmohan Singh declared the first National Panchayati Raj Day on 24th April 2010. This day marks the passing of Constitution (73rd Amendment) Act, 1992 that came into force with effect from 24 April 1993. The Constitution of India recognizes Panchayats as 'Institutions of self-government'.

Swacchta Pakhwada Awards
Swacchta Pakhwada Awards
Swacchta Pakhwada Awards - All India Radio, Publication Division and Children's Film Society of India were awarded Swacchta Pakhwada Awards-2019 in New Delhi.