Daily Current Affairs – Feb 24, 2020

Conservatives claim victory in Iranian Parliamentary elections
In Iran, conservatives have claimed victory in a general election marked by the lowest turnout since the 1979 Islamic Revolution. The Iranian Interior Ministry announced results of 95 per cent of the 208 constituencies on last Friday’s election.
Conservative candidates have secured at least 219 seats in the 290-strong parliament, also known as the Majlis. 17 women were elected, the same number as in the outgoing 290-seat parliament.

Coronavirus cases triple over the weekend to 556 in South Korea
South Korea has seen a sharp jump in Novel Corona virus cases on Sunday. The number of infections have nearly tripled over the weekend to 556. South Korea now has the most infections outside China.
Meanwhile, Iran confirmed death toll from the new coronavirus rose to eight, the highest outside China.

FM Nirmala Sitharaman emphasises need to enhance global risk monitoring
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has emphasised the need to enhance global risk monitoring and explore the scope for policy co-ordination to deal with such risks. Speaking at G-20 Finance Ministers and central bank governors meeting in Riyadh, she called upon all the member countries to enhance their efforts aimed at empowering women, youth and small and medium enterprises.
Ms Sitharaman was the lead speaker during the session on “Enhancing Access to Opportunities for All” in the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors Meeting.
Ms Sitharaman held bilateral talks with her counterparts from other countries and Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development officials on the sidelines of the G20 event.

India wins one silver, two bronze medals in Asian Wrestling Championships
India won one silver and two bronze medals on concluding day of Asian Wrestling Championships in New Delhi. In 74 kilogram category India’s Jitender settled for a silver medal following a defeat by defending champion Kazakhstan’s Daniyar Kaisanov 1-3. In 86 Kg category, Deepak Punia defeated Issa Abdulsalam Abdulwahhab Al Obaidi of Iraq 10-0 and clinched a bronze medal. Rahul Aware defeated Iran’s Majid Almas Dastan by 5-2 and settled for a bronze.
India secured total 20 medals in the championship including five golds and six silvers and nine bronzes.

India’s 13-year old Grandmaster D Gukesh wins 34th Cannes Open
India’s 13-year old Grandmaster D Gukesh emerged champion in the 34th Cannes Open in France. Gukesh defeated Harutyun Bargseghyan of the host nation in the final round to end with 7.5 points. Gukesh, who last year became the world’s second youngest Grandmaster ever, beat the Frenchman in 50 moves to emerge clear winner.

New Zealand beat India by 10 wickets in 1st test at Wellington
India lost the first Test match against New Zealand by 10 wickets at Basin Reserve in Wellington. After conceding a huge lead of 183 runs, India were bundled out for a paltry 191 runs in their second innings. New Zealand scored nine runs required to win the match in just 10 balls to lead the two-match series one-nil.

NITI Aayog organizing Sustainable Development Goals Conclave 2020
NITI Aayog is organizing Sustainable Development Goals Conclave 2020: Partnerships, Cooperation and Development of North Eastern states- in Guwahati, Assam, from Monday. The inaugural session will be held in presence all Chief Ministers of North Eastern states among others.
The three-day event will see representations from the North Eastern states, Central Ministries, academia, civil society and international development organizations.
NITI Aayog has the mandate of overseeing the adoption and monitoring of SDGs at the national and sub-national level. Progress in the northeast region is crucial in this decade of action for the country to achieve the SDGs by 2030.

Over Rs 50,000 Cr released by centre to farmers under PM-KISAN scheme so far
Centre has released 50,850 crore rupees to farmers under the PM-KISAN scheme so far. As on the February 20th of this month, 8.46 crores farmer families have been given the benefits.
The PM-KISAN scheme launched on 24th February last year, is to provide income support to all landholding farmers’ families across the country and enable them to meet expenses related to agriculture as well as domestic needs.
Under the Scheme, six thousand rupees per year is transferred in installments directly into the bank accounts of the farmers.
The scheme initially provided income support to all small and marginal farmers’ families across the country, holding cultivable land up to two hectares. However, its ambit was later expanded to cover all farmer families in the country irrespective of the size of their landholdings. Affluent farmers have been excluded from the scheme such as income tax payers in the last assessment year.

Riek Machar swears in as first vice president in South Sudan
In South Sudan, rebel leader Riek Machar was sworn in as first vice president. The rebel leader returns as first vice president in a transition government which will serve for 36 months. Four other vice presidents from the current regime and other opposition groups will also form part of a bloated government of 35 ministers, in addition to 550 lawmakers.

US surpasses China to become India’s top trading partner
The United States has surpassed China to become India’s top trading partner. According to the Commerce Ministry data, the bilateral trade between the US and India stood at nearly 88 billion dollars in 2018-19 fiscal. During the period, India’s trade with China was at 87.1 billion dollars.
Similarly, during April-December 2019-20, the bilateral trade between the US and India stood at 68 billion dollars against a nearly 65 billion dollars trade with China in the same period.
America is one of the few countries with which India has a trade surplus. On the other hand, India has a huge trade deficit with China.

‘Governing Board’ on cards for competition panel
A ‘Governing Board’ to oversee the direction and management of the Competition Commission of India (CCI) is likely to be set up if the amendments to the Competition Law proposed by Ministry of Corporate Affairs are anything to go by.
This Governing Board will comprise Members of the Commission, Secretaries of the Department of Economic Affairs (DEA) and Ministry of Corporate Affairs (or their nominees) and four part-time members. It will be responsible for the general superintendence, direction, management and affairs of the Commission.

Achanta Sharath Kamal, Sathiyan Gnanasekaran win silver at Hungarian Open
Indian men’s doubles pair of Achanta Sharath Kamal and Gnanasekaran Sathiyan settled for a silver medal at the ITTF World Tour Hungarian Open after losing the summit clash to German combination of Benedikt Duda and Patrick Franziska at Budapest 5-11, 9-11, 11-8, 9-11.

Ankita wins ITF singles title
Top seeded Ankita Raina claimed the women’s singles title at the ITF India event that is being held at Jodhpur after defeating Berfu Cengiz of Turkey in the summit clash 7-5, 6-1.

Central Bank of India plans to exit housing finance subsidiary
State-run Central Bank of India is looking to sell its entire 64.40 per cent stake in its housing finance subsidiary – Cent Bank Home Finance (CBHFL). The lender has floated a request for proposal (RFP) for appointing merchant bankers.
The bank holds 64.40 per cent in the unlisted housing finance company, while the remaining stake is held by Housing & Urban Development Corporation (HUDCO), Unit Trust of India (UTI) and National Housing Bank (NHB).
The bank is facing operational curbs under the Reserve Bank’s (RBI) prompt corrective action (PCA) framework.
CBHFL was incorporated as ‘Apna Ghar Vitta Nigam Ltd’ and was subsequently renamed as ‘Cent Bank Home Finance Ltd’. It commenced operation in June 1991. The home loan financier has presence in nine states through 18 branches.

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