Daily Current Affairs – Feb 04, 2020

11th edition of DefExpo 2020 to begin on February 5 in Lucknow
The 11th edition of the biennial mega defence exhibition, DefExpo 2020, will kick start on February 5 at Lucknow in Uttar Pradesh. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the 5 day event. In addition to exhibiting products and technologies and live demonstrations by the Services, Defence Public Sector Undertakings (DPSUs) and industry will showcase the land, naval, air and internal security systems during the Defexpo 2020.
The ‘India Pavilion’ will exclusively showcase the jointness between the public and private sector, including Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs)/Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) and innovation eco-system, which is the key to the way forward.

361 dead, 17,238 coronavirus cases confirmed in China
China is struggling with the new coronavirus as the total of 17,238 cases have been confirmed on the Chinese mainland and at least 160 case confirmed in more than two dozen countries. Three hundred and sixty one people in China and one in Philippines died from the virus.
475 patients have so far recovered in China. Meanwhile, Chinese Foreign Ministry has said 16 foreigners in China have been infected with the 2019 n-CoV as of February 2.

Ashok Leyland becomes world’s third largest bus maker
Hinduja Group flagship Ashok Leyland has achieved the rank of third largest player in the bus makers list globally for the calendar year 2019, based on reports released by SIAM, OICA (Organisation Internationale des Constructeurs d’Automobiles), and IHS Markit. The company has sold a total of 23,100 buses in 2019.
Ashok Leyland’s range of buses includes the JanBus, which is said to be the world’s first single step entry, front engine, fully flat floor bus. The company also builds the Sunshine, which is a plug-in hybrid CNG bus and the electric bus called Circuit.
CEO & MD, Ashok Leyland: Vipin Sondhi

China’s central bank lowers interest rates to boost economic activities
China’s central bank has lowered the interest rates on reverse repurchase agreements to boost economic activities. The cut came as Chinese financial markets reopened after an extended Lunar New Year holiday. The People’s Bank of China has also injected a total of 173 billion US dollars into money markets through reverse bond repurchase agreements.

February 4 is World Cancer Day
World Cancer Day is observed on the 4th of February every year to create awareness about cancer and to encourage its prevention, detection, and treatment. Cancer is the second leading cause of death globally.
World Health Organization (WHO) has warned that cancer cases will rise by 81 percent in low and middle-income countries by 2040 because of a lack of investment in prevention and care.

Hong Kong economy plunges into recession, shrank 1.2% in 2019
Hong Kong confirmed that it plunged into recession in 2019, suffering its first annual contraction in a decade as the city buckled under the twin pressures of the US-China trade war and months of furious pro-democracy protests.
Official figures showed Hong Kong’s gross domestic product shrank 1.2 per cent on-year for 2019. The fourth quarter — which witnessed the worst violence between police and protesters — clocked a 2.9 per cent contraction, the third straight quarter of declines.

ICC T20 Rankings: KL Rahul moves to number 2 position
India’s K.L Rahul moved up to No.2 in the rankings released by International Cricket Council for T20 International batsmen after hitting 224 runs from five matches against New Zealand. Rahul, who scored 56, 57 not out, 27, 39 and 45 in the five T20 Internationals against New Zealand, now has 823 rating points.
Pakistan’s Babar Azam retained his top spot with 879 points.

Indian boxers bag six gold at Golden Girl Championship in Sweden
India’s junior youth dominated the ring at the Golden Girl Championship in Boras, Sweden, claiming 14 medals, including six golds, the overall championship trophy and the ‘Best Boxer’ award. While the junior women’s team clinched five golds, three silvers and one bronze medal, the youth team secured a single gold and four bronze medals.
Haryana’s Prachi Dhankar (50 kilogram), playing in the junior category, won the ‘Best Boxer’ award. Besides Prachi, Ethoibi Chanu Wangjam (54 kilogram), Lashu Yadav (66 kilogram) and Mahi Raghav (80 kilogram) also won gold medals.

New natural gas field containing 80 trillion cubic feet of gas discovered in UAE
The United Arab Emirates announced the discovery of a new natural gas field containing 80 trillion standard cubic feet of gas in the cross-border area of the Emirates of Abu Dhabi and Dubai. This new gas field, spanning an area of 5,000 square kilometres in the cross-border area of the two emirates, represents one of the largest natural gas discoveries in the UAE. This discovery strengthens the UAE’s position among countries with the world’s largest natural gas reserves.
This discovery will help UAE in transiting the gulf nation from a net importer of gas to a potential net exporter of gas in coming times.

Ninth edition of India-Bangladesh joint military exercise begins in Meghalaya
The ninth edition of Indo-Bangladesh Joint Military Exercise SAMPRITI-IX commenced at Umroi, Meghalaya. The main focus of this edition of the fourteen days joint exercise is on Counter-Terrorism Operations in mountainous and jungle terrain.
Defence Ministry has said that a delegation comprising of 31 officers and 138 other ranks of Bangladesh Army and a company group of Indian Army will participate in the joint military exercise.

RBI chief Das is Central Banker of the Year
RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das has been chosen as the Central Banker of the Year for the Asia Pacific Region by The Banker magazine, a unit of Financial Times (FT). This award is given to central bankers who have “best managed to stimulate growth and stabilise their economy.”
Jorgovanka Tabakovi, National Bank of Serbia, was adjudged the winner as the Global Central Banker of the Year.
Shaktikanta Das has been outspoken on the lack of governance in banking, calling for tighter rules for the state-owned banks, which comprise 60 per cent of India’s banking sector. The magazine lauded the governor for setting up a college for supervisors, and mandating banks to select external benchmarks for linking their lending rates.

Rwanda, Uganda agreed deal to swap prisoners to help ease tensions
Neighbouring Rwanda and Uganda have agreed a deal to swap prisoners to help ease tensions following mutual accusations of spying and political meddling. In a deal signed by their presidents in the Angolan capital Luanda, the two sides agreed to the release of the national citizens of each country. Both nations signed a deal in August last year to improve political and economic relations, but progress has since been slow.
Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame and Uganda’s Yoweri Museveni were once close allies but their relations have turned deeply hostile.

Sachin’s WC win among 5 on shortlisted for Laureus Sporting Moment award
Batting legend Sachin Tendulkar has been shortlisted as one among five contenders for the greatest Laureus Sporting Moment 2000-2020 Award. The moment, titled ‘Carried On the Shoulders Of A Nation’, is a reference to the Indian team’s 2011 World Cup win.
India won the World Cup under Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s captaincy in 2011 in Mumbai and Tendulkar was carried on the shoulders of his teammates in one of the lasting images of the country’s sporting history.
The winner will be announced during the Laureus World Sports Awards Show in Berlin on February 17.
The foundation has launched the Laureus Sporting Moment 2000-2020 for public voting, which gives fans the opportunity to choose the winner.

SC directs states to issue notification for establishing ‘Gram Nyayalayas’ within four weeks
The Supreme Court of India has directed the states, which are yet come out with notifications for establishing Gram Nyayalayas, to do so within four weeks. The apex court also asked the high courts to speed up consultation with state governments on this issue.
A bench headed by Justice N V Ramana also considered the fact that several states have issued notifications for establishing Gram Nyayalayas but all of them were not functioning except in Kerala, Maharashtra and Rajasthan.
An Act passed by Parliament in 2008 provided for setting up of Gram Nyayalayas at the grassroots level for providing access to justice to citizens at the doorstep.

Somalia declares national emergency following locust infestation sweeping Horn of Africa
Somalia has declared a national emergency following locust infestation sweeping the Horn of Africa, as insects devastate food supplies in one of the poorest and most vulnerable regions in the world. Experts say the locust swarms are the result of extreme weather swings. Somalia’s declaration — the first country in the region to do so is aimed at boosting national efforts in tackling the hungry insects.

TCS bags $1.5 bn deal from U.S. firm
IT major Tata Consultancy Services said it had bagged a $1.5 billion (about Rs. 10,650 crore) contract from pharma company Walgreens Boots Alliance, spread over a period of 10 years. Under the contract, TCS will provide managed services including application maintenance and support, required infrastructure and security operations.

U-19 World Cup: India to take on Pakistan in semi finals in South Africa
Defending champions India will take on arch-rivals Pakistan in the semi-final of ICC Under-19 World Cup 2020 at Senwes Park, Potchefstroom.
India booked their spot in tournament’s last four after defeating last edition’s runners-up Australia by 74 runs, while Pakistan thrashed Asian rivals Afghanistan by six wickets to set up a face-off with the defending champions.

Union govt sets target of 30km of highways a day in current fiscal
The Union Government has set the target for construction of highways about 30 kilometres per day in the current fiscal. In a written reply in the Rajya Sabha, Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari has said, the average construction of Highways is 25.23 kilometres per day till December in 2019-20 whereas it was 24.37 kilometres per day during the corresponding period in 2018-19.
He said, a total of two thousand one hundred 55 kilometres length of roads have been built in the first three months of the current financial year as compared to two thousand three hundred 51 kilometres in the corresponding period last year.

Vinesh, Sindhu, Mary Kom among nominees for inaugural BBC Sportswoman of the year award
Wrestler Vinesh Phogat, Shuttler P.V. Sindhu and Boxer M.C. Mary Kom will compete for the inaugural BBC Indian sportswoman of the year award after being nominated for the honour.
Sprinter Dutee Chand and para-badminton player Manasi Joshi are the other nominees for the award, the winner of which will be announced on the 8th of next month. The winner will be decided based on public voting, which will be open till the 18th of this month on six BBC vernacular websites.

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