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    Important Current Affairs of 10th April

    NATIONAL:

    Tata Sponge Iron Ltd. to acquire Usha Martin Ltd.

    • Tata Sponge Iron Ltd. (TSIL), a Tata Steel subsidiary, has announced the completion of its acquisition of the steel business of Usha Martin Ltd. (UML). The acquisition also included UML’s steel business undertaking along with captive power plants. The acquisition also included a cash consideration of Rs.4,094 crore payable to UML (after adjustment for negative working capital and debt-like items). 

    • TSIL is subject to further holdbacks of Rs.640 crore, pending transfer of some of the assets including mines and certain land parcels. Tata Steel had announced in a stock exchange disclosure on September 22, 2018, the signing of definitive agreements to buy UML’s steel business. The acquisition cost was then pegged at between Rs.4,300 and Rs.4,700 crore.

    • The acquired business comprises a one million tonne per annum (mtpa) alloy-based long products making facility in Jamshedpur, an operational iron ore mine, a coal mine under development, and captive power plants. UML’s steel business has a rich mix of carbon steel and alloy steel, catering to the automotive sector as well as high-end wire-rod makers. 

    • The TSIL board had already approved a plan to finance the buy through an issue of rights share up to Rs.1800 crore, external borrowings up to Rs.2500 crore and issue of non-convertible redeemable preference shares of Rs.1,000 crore. TSIL is debt-free with free cash reserves of about Rs.670 crore.

    India becomes YouTube largest and fastest growing market.

    • India has become YouTube’s largest and fastest growing market with 265 million Indians watching the video-sharing website every month. In the last year, YouTube’s consumption on mobile has increased to 85%, with 60% of the watch time coming from outside the six largest metros in India.

    • Today, YouTube creators have become effective storytellers, with more than 1,200 Indian creators crossing the million subscriber-milestones, compared to five years ago, when there were only two creators.

    Indian Railways creates record; Free WiFi at 500 rail stations in 7 days.

    • Modi government’s ‘Digital India’ initiative, RailTel, which is a mini ratna CPSU (Central Public Sector Undertaking) under the Ministry of Railways has provided free high-speed WiFi service to as many as 500 stations in a short period of seven days with ‘RailWire’. RailTel has also tied up with Tata Trust for providing free WiFi at 4,791 B, C, D and E category railway stations.

    •  Recently, Northern Railways’ Sahibabad station has become the 1500th railway station in India to get the free Wi-Fi facility. The free Wi-Fi project was initiated from Mumbai Central railway station.

    Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulates Maldives President Solih for his partys landslide victory.

    • Prime Minister Narendra Modi personally called Maldives President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih to congratulate him on his party’s exceptionally strong performance in the Maldives Majlis elections of 2019, in which the Maldives’ Democratic Party secured 65 of 87 seats, and won a landslide supermajority in parliament.

    • He further conveyed his full confidence that the Maldives Government can deliver on their promises towards the Maldivian people in the upcoming five years, and that the Indian Government will always stand ready to be of assistance to the Maldives.

    CBDT detects unaccounted cash collection racket of Rs 281 crore in Madhya Pradesh.

    • Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) searches in Madhya Pradesh by Delhi Directorate of Income Tax have detected widespread and well-organised racket for the collection of unaccounted cash of about 281 crore rupees through various persons. 

    • The department has also detected a trail of 20 crore rupees suspect cash allegedly being moved to the headquarters of a major political party in Delhi from the house of an important person.

    • The CBDT identified neither the political party nor the senior functionary. It added that records of collection and disbursement of cash in the form of handwritten diaries, computer files and excel sheets were found and seized and it corroborates the above findings.

    • The several unaccounted and benami properties at posh locations in Delhi have also been detected.

    Dream11 became Indias first billion-dollar gaming Startup.

    • Mumbai-based Dream11 has become India's first gaming unicorn or billion-dollar startup with an investment from Steadview Capital. Apart from Steadview Capital, Kalaari Capital, Think Investments, Multiples Equity and Tencent investments collectively put Dream11’s total evaluation beyond $1 billion.

    • The investment by Hong Kong and London-based Steadview Capital comes about eight months after Dream 11 sealed a $100 million equity financing round led by Tencent, which is world's fifth-largest internet company.

    India’s gold reserves increased in February.

    • The World Gold Council (WGC) said that India has marginally increased its gold holding to 1.7 tonnes in February while maintaining the tenth position among countries in terms of yellow metal reserves.

    • India added 1.7 tonnes in February while most other countries, except Russia and China, had their reserves unchanged in the recent past.

    • As per WGC, India had total gold reserves of 608.7 tonnes in February, marginally up from the previous month’s holding of 607 tonnes.

    IIT Madras ties up with GE to set up Indias first Cold Spray SMART Lab.

    • American conglomerate, General Electric in association with IIT-Madras, established India’s first ‘Cold Spray’ SMART (Surface Modification and Additive Research Technologies) Laboratory in the institution thereby IIT-M became the only academic institution with High-Pressure Cold Spray(HPCS) facility in India.

    • The High-Pressure Cold Spray machinery carried from Plasma Giken, Japan. GE India Technology Centre CEO Alok Nanda and IIT Madras Director Bhaskar Ramamurthi inaugurated the laboratory on 5th April 2019.

    PFS in a joint venture with USICEF finances solar projects in India.

    • PTC India Financial Services (PFS) an Infrastructure finance company partnered with (USICEF) the US-India Clean Energy Finance to leverage funds for solar projects in India. PFS Managing Director and CEO Pawan Singh stated that this innovative venture can contribute to achieve India’s distributed energy target of 40 GW (gigawatt) by 2022.

    • Climate Policy Initiative (CPI) manages USICEF that was founded in partnership with the Indian Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, OPIC(Overseas Private Investment Corporation), IREDA (Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency Ltd.) and leading U.S. Foundations in 2017.

    India-Singapore Joint Military Exercise Bold Kurukshetra 2019.

    • Military forces of India and Singapore to participate in a joint exercise in Babina Cantonment in Jhansi.  The three-day exercise, ‘Bold Kurukshetra–2019’, conducted to develop military technology, boost maritime security and bolster the nations’ fight against terrorism.

    • The two countries signed a cooperation agreement to strengthen the defence ties between Indian Military and Singapore Armed Forces in November. About Singapore  President: Halimah Yacob Prime Minister:

    • Lee Hsien Loong Deputy Prime Ministers: Teo Chee Hean Tharman  Capital: Singapore  

    INTERNATIONAL:

    London becomes world's 1st city to launch 24x7 pollution charge zone.

    • London became the first city in the world to implement a special Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) that would charge an entry fee for older vehicles if they do not meet the emission standards.

    • This move aims to reduce toxic air pollution and protect public health. The ULEZ will be operational for 24 hours and seven days a week.

    • Polluting vehicles account for around 50 per cent of London's harmful Nitrogen Oxide air emissions. London's famous red bus fleet is also being updated as part of these efforts, and all 9,200 vehicles will meet or exceed ULEZ standards by October 2020.

    Google launched its 1st drone delivery service in Australia.

    • Wing, one of the many companies belonging to Alphabet (Google parent) made its first delivery in Canberra, Australia after getting approval from the Australia's Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA).

    • The drones will deliver food and drinks as well as medication directly to clients' homes. Wing was testing drone delivery in Australia since 2014 and delivered medicines, chocolate to 3,000 homes in the last 18 months.

    • Wing is now preparing to launch a trial service in Helsinki, Finland.

    Sri Lanka new railway line inaugurated.

    • Sri Lanka has opened a new railway line connecting its coastal city of Matara and Beliatta in Hambantota.

    • It was built with China’s assistance. This move will boost passenger traffic into the island nation’s deep south. It is the first to be constructed in Sri Lanka since 1948.  The new line was inaugurated on 8th April 2019 in the presence of Sri Lanka’s Transport and Civil Aviation Minister Arjuna Ranatunga, Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera and other parliamentarians.

    • About the railway line: The Matara-Beliatta railway extension is of 26.75-km length. The cost of the project was $278 million. The Matara-Beliatta railway extension includes the longest and second longest railway bridges of 1.5 km and 1.04 km, respectively.

    • China's role: The railway extension was financed by the Export-Import Bank of China and the contract was awarded to the China National Machinery Import and Export Corporation. China termed it as a major Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) project in Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka has been the major recipient of Chinese loans and investments in recent years, totalling over $8 billion. The heavy borrowing has raised concerns over Sri Lanka’s ability to repay after Colombo handed over the Hambantota port to Beijing for a 99-year lease in 2017 as a debt swap. China's Belt and Road Initiative (BRI): BRI is also known as the One Belt One Road (OBOR). It was first proposed by President Xi Jinping in 2013. It is an ambitious programme to connect Asia with Africa and Europe via land and maritime networks along six corridors. "Belt" refers to the overland routes for road and rail transportation, called "the Silk Road Economic Belt"; Whereas "road" refers to the sea routes or the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road. The aim is to strengthen infrastructure, trade, and investment links between China and some 65 other countries that account collectively for over 30 percent of global GDP, 62% of the population, and 75 percent of known energy reserves. 

    BANKS AND ECONOMICS:

    SBI cut interest rate on home loans up to Rs 30 lakh by 10 bps.

    • India's largest lender, SBI has reduced the interest rate on housing loans of up to ₹30 lakh by 10 basis points to a range between 8.60% and 8.90% per annum, from existing rates of 8.70% to 9%.

    • SBI also cut its benchmark lending rates by five basis points across all tenors. The one-year marginal cost of fund-based lending rate (MCLR) now stands at 8.50%, down from 8.55%. The move comes days after the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) cut its policy interest rate by 25 basis points to 6%, in a move to boost the economy.

    •  From May 1, the rates of large savings accounts (balances above ₹1 lakh) will get revised. Overdraft and other short-term loans will get cheaper.

    APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATIONS:

    SUN Group chairman Vikramjit Sahney elected as president of ICC India.

    • SUN Group Chairman Vikramjit Singh Sahney elected as the new president of International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) - India. He will succeed Jawahar Vadivelu.

    DAYS:

    April 10: World Homoeopathy Day.

    • The World Homoeopathy Day 2019 is observed across the world on April 10, 2019 to commemorate the birth anniversary of the founder of Homoeopathy, Dr. Christian Friedrich Samuel Hahnemann.

    • The week following the birth date of Hahnemann, that is, 10 April - 16 April is observed as the World Homeopathic Awareness Week. This year it is 263rd birth anniversary of founder of Homoeopathy.

    • About Samuel Hahnemann: Samuel Hahnemann, a German physician, a great scholar, linguist and an acclaimed scientist, is known as the Father of Homeopathy, Father of Human Pharmacology, Father of Nano Medicine and the Father of Infinite Dilution concept in Chemistry.

    • About CCRH: Central Council for Research in Homeopathy (CCRH) in India organises the scientific convention on the World Homeopathy Day to pay tributes to Dr. Hahnemann on his birth anniversary. The council has so far accomplished over 168 clinical researches, 40 basic researches, standardization studies of 348 drugs, proving of 112 drugs and clinical verification of 106 drugs. On the occasion, the AYUSH Awards will be conferred for Life Time Achievement, Best Teacher, Young Scientist and Best Research paper with an aim to recognise exemplary work in the field of Homoeopathy. About Homeopathy: Homeopathy as system of medicine was developed by Dr. Samuel Hahnemann in Germany in 1796. It is a natural approach to the treatment of the sick. This medical system based on the belief that the body can cure itself. Homeopathy uses animal, plant, mineral, and synthetic substances in its preparations and labels them in Latin or faux-Latin vocabulary. It is world’s second most widely used system of treatment.

    AWARDS:

    AIMA Managing India Awards 2019 to Azim Premji, Mahendra Mohan Gupta and 9 others.

    • The All India Management Association (AIMA) Managing India Awards 2019 was held on April 08, 2019 at Hotel Taj Palace, New Delhi. Mahendra Mohan Gupta, Chairman & Managing Director, Jagran Prakashan Ltd and Editorial Director, Dainik Jagran, was awarded under Lifetime Contribution to Media category.

    • Complete Winners List:

    1. Lifetime Contribution Award: Azim H Premji (Chairman, Wipro Ltd)

    2. Outstanding Institution Builder: Prathap C Reddy (Founder-Chairman, Apollo Hospitals Group)

    3. Corporate Citizen Award: Devi Prasad Shetty (Founder & Chairman Narayana Hrudalaya)

    4. Entrepreneur of the year: Sanjiv Bajaj (Managing Director, Bajaj Finserv Ltd)

    5. Business Leader of the Year: Sanjiv Mehta (Chairman & Managing Director, Hindustan Unilever Ltd)

    6. Lifetime Contribution to Media: Mahendra Mohan Gupta (Chairman & Managing Director, Jagran Prakashan Ltd and Editorial Director, Dainik Jagran)

    7. Outstanding Contribution to Media: Uday Shankar (President, 21st Century Fox, Asia and Chairman and CEO, Star India)

    8. Indian MNC of the Year: Pawan Goenka (Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd, Managing Director and Member of the Group Executive Board)

    9. MNC in India of the Year: T Krishnakumar (Coca-Cola India, President  & CEO, India & Southwest Asia)

    10. Outstanding PSU of the Year: Sanjiv Singh (Chairman, Indian Oil Corporation Ltd)

    11. Director of the Year: Rajkumar Hirani (Director, Producer, Writer & Editor - Sanju Movie)

    SPORTS:

    Spain Garbine Muguruza claimed Monterrey Open title.

    • Garbine Muguruza of Spain successfully claimed back-to-back Monterrey Open title 2019 as Victoria Azarenka succumbed to injury in the final.

    •  Asia Muhammad & Maria Sanchez claimed women's doubles title in Monterrey Open. The Monterrey Open is a professional women's tennis tournament played on outdoor hard courts.

    Daily Current Affair 

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