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Important Current Affairs 30th April 2019

NATIONAL:

MakeMyTrip parent acquires majority stake in Quest2Travel.

• MakeMyTrip Ltd, which owns and operates MakeMyTrip, Goibibo and redBus, has acquired a majority stake in web-based corporate travel management company 'Quest2Travel'. Founded in 2000, Mumbai-based Quest2Travel counts Tata Motors among its customers. MakeMyTrip Group CEO Deep Kalra said, "With this investment we are making a decisive foray into providing travel solutions for corporate customers".

India beats China as Asia's top fintech funding hub in Q1: Report.

• India was the top Asian market for VC-backed fintech funding in Q1 of 2019 with $286 million in funding, beating China which recorded $192 million, as per CB Insights. Both countries recorded 29 deals, a decrease for China which recorded 76 deals three quarters ago. The report suggested tightened regulation around online lending in China may have caused the drop.

Kolkata's speech recognition platform Mihup raises ₹12.5 cr.

• Kolkata-based AI-enabled speech recognition platform for vernacular languages, Mihup, has raised ₹12.5 crore in Series A funding round from Accel Partners and Ideaspring Capital. In 2016, Mihup had secured over ₹45 crore seed funding from Accel Partners. Founded by Biplab Chakraborty, Sandipan Chattopadhyay, Sandipan Mandal, and Tapan Barman, Mihup offers services in Hindi, English, and Bengali.

NTPC to raise ₹3,000 crore via bonds on Friday.

• The proceeds will be utilised to meet capital expenditure requirements, working capital needs, existing loans refinancing and other general corporate requirements

• The bonds are proposed to be listed on both the National Stock Exchange and the BSE

Zomato to launch 20 Hyperpure warehouses in 18 cities by next year.

• For now, Zomato will scale the warehouses in the top metros before moving to smaller cities

• Zomato opened its second Hyperpure warehouse on Monday in New Delhi.

INTERNATIONAL:

Samsung posts 60% drop in profit, says S10 logged 'solid sales'.

• Samsung registered a 60% drop in Q1 profit compared to last year, making about $5.3 billion profit from January-March 2019. The South Korean company said the earnings were weighed down by memory chips and displays, although the new Galaxy S10 smartphone logged solid sales. Samsung added its Galaxy Fold launch could be delayed to the "second half of the year".

BANKS AND ECONOMICS:

Amazon targets $5 billion e-commerce exports from India by 2023.

• The programme started with just few hundred sellers in 2015 and has now crossed $1-billion export mark from India with 50,000 exporters

• Amazon in second edition of its annual 'Export Digest' said there has been a growth of 56% in the number of global sellers from India in 2018.

R-Cap looks to raise ₹10,000 cr through stake sale to pare debt.

• Company plans to divest stakes in NBFC, media and insurance units amid a string of rating downgrades

• The Anil Ambani group firm plans to sell up to a 51% stake each in its wholly owned non-banking financial companies.

APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATIONS:

President Sirisena appointed General S.H.S Kottegoda as the Defence Secretary.

• President Maithripala Sirisena on 29th April appointed General S.H.S Kottegoda, a former Army commander, to the post of Defence Secretary. He replaces Hemasiri Fernando who resigned from the post after the Easter blasts that killed over 250 people.

• President Sirisena also named Deputy Inspector-General Chandana Wickramaratne as the acting policechief as the incumbent Pujith Jayasundara is currently on compulsory leave. President Sirisena squarely blamed the Defence Secretary and the IGP for failing to pass on the information to him.

• As per Sri Lankan law, the Inspector General of Police (IGP) can be removed from the post only with a parliamentary resolution backed by a majority and based on a subsequent inquiry by a committee.

DAYS:

Nation observes Ayushman Bharat Diwas on 30th April.

• As part of Gram Swaraj Abhiyan, Ayushman Bharat Diwas is celebrated across the country on April 30. For the first time, the day was observed on 30th April 2018. During the event, information regarding Ayushman Bharat Scheme was provided to people during health camps organised in rural areas.

On this day, gram sabhas were organized in different parts of the country to create awareness about the National Health Protection Mission and verify and update details in the Socio-Economic and Caste Census database.

AWARDS:

Alfred Brownell was awarded the Goldman Environmental Prize.

• Alfred Brownell, an environmental lawyer, and activist was awarded the Goldman Environmental Prize. He was awarded for exposing alleged abuse by the palm oil company Golden Veroleum Liberia and helping to prevent it from converting about 50 km2 of forest that is home to elephants, pygmy hippopotamuses, and chimpanzees.

• The company had been given a green light in 2010 by the government to expand in the country and was poised to turn more than 2,000 km2 of the lush forest into palm oil plantations. He won the Goldman prize along with five others for grassroots environmental activism.

Other Awardees:

• Linda Garcia of Vancouver, Washington, who rallied local communities to successfully prevent the construction of North America’s largest oil terminal.

• Ana Colovic Lesoska of North Macedonia, whose seven-year campaign helped stop hydroelectric projects from being built in the country’s largest national park.

• Bayarjargal Agvaantseren of Mongolia, who led the fight to create the Tost Tosonbumba Nature Reserve.

• Jacqueline Evans of the Cook Islands, whose work led to the conservation and sustainable management of all of the Cook Islands’ ocean territory and creation of 15 marine protected areas.

• Alberto Curamil of Chile, a jailed indigenous activist who had protested several hydroelectric projects in the country.

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