20 MAY 2019, CURRENT AFFAIRS

NATIONAL NEWS

Kerala becomes first Indian State to tap into Masala Bond Market

Kerala became the first state to tap into masala bond market by listing the Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board (KIIFB)’s masala bond worth of USD 312 million (Rs 2,150 crore) in London Stock Exchange (LSE)’s International Securities Market (ISM).

  • It has a fixed interest rate of 9.723% per annum. The bond issue builds on the Kerala government’s focus to get multinational corporations to invest in the state.

INTERNATIONAL NEWS

TAPI meeting took place in Turkmenistan

A meeting on the development of Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline, also known as Trans-Afghanistan pipeline held in Turkmenistan recently.

  • Groundbreaking of the TAPI gas pipeline will be held in Pakistan in October this year.
  • The TAPI gas pipeline project is expected to be completed by 2022 in Pakistan.
  • The TAPI project, supported by the United States and the Asian Development Bank (ADB), has been supported by Turkmenistan since the 1990s.

BANKING & FINANCE

Nilekani-led panel on digital payments submits report to RBI

A Reserve Bank of India-appointed committee headed by Aadhaar architect Nandan Nilekanihas submitted its suggestions on promoting digital payments to Governor Shaktikanta Das.

  • In January, the RBI had set up the five-member panel on deepening digital payments with a view to encouraging digitisation of payments and enhance financial inclusion through digitisation.

HDFC Capital launches ‘HeART’ to mentor real estate technology companies

HDFC Capital Advisors, a wholly-owned subsidiary of HDFC Ltd, launched a new initiative called ‘HDFC Affordable Real Estate and Technology Program (HeART). It aims to mentor, partner and invest in real estate technology companies that drive innovation and efficiencies within the affordable housing ecosystem.

  • HDFC Capital Advisors said that as part of the HeART initiative, it will provide a platform to real estate technology companies with innovative products aimed at creating efficiencies and lowering costs in each part of the development cycle of real estate projects.

SPORTS

Karolina Pliskova wins Italian Open 2019 women’s title

Czech fourth seed Karolina Pliskova swept past Britain’s Johanna Konta 6-3, 6-4 to win the Italian Open in Rome. She clinched her 13th career title.

Rafael Nadal clinches Italian Open 2019 men’s title

In Tennis, defending champion Rafael Nadal of Spain has clinched the Italian Open 2019 title after beating Novak Djokovic 6-0, 4-6, 6-1 in the final in Rome.

  • This is Nadal’s ninth Italian Open title. It is the 81st title of Nadal’s career.

BFA launches two new formats of game – AirBadminton & Triples

The world body governing Badminton, BFA, has launched two new formats of the game —AirBadminton and Triples with new dimensions of the court and an innovative shuttlecock called Airshuttle. Traditional competitive badminton has been an indoor game.

  • In the new formats launched globally at Guangzhou, AirBadmintion will be outdoor sports. In Triples format, the match will be played between a team of three players each with presence of at least one female.

AWARDS

Indian short film wins Nespresso Talents award in Cannes

Indian filmmaker, Achyutanand Dwivedi’s film, “Seed Mother”, won the third prize in the international section of Nespresso Talents 2019 in Cannes.

  • The three-minute film celebrates the exceptional spirit of Rahibai Soma Popere, a woman who champions the use of local seeds and traditional methods of farming in villages of Maharashtra.
  • This year’s theme was ‘We Are What We Eat’, aimed at exploring the world, experiencing diversity, and sharing experiences and knowledge through food.
  • The Nespresso 2019 first prize in the international section was won by New Zealand’s Josh Morrice for “Subak”, about rice cultivation in Bali, while the second prize went to Mexican filmmaker Marco Aurelio Celis’ “Ruffo”.

IMPORTANT DAYS

World Metrology Day

World Metrology Day is an event occurring on the 20th of May celebrating the International System of Units. The date is the anniversary of the signing of the Metre Convention in 1875. Metrology is the study of measurement.

  • The theme of World Metrology Day 2019 is “The International System of Units – Fundamentally better.”

World Bee Day

To raise awareness of the importance of pollinators (such as bees, butterflies, bats and hummingbirds), the threats they face and their contribution to sustainable development, the UN designated 20 May as World Bee Day.

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