Current Affairs for BANK, IBPS Exams - 16 June 2022
Current Affairs for BANK, IBPS Exams - 16 June 2022
Parched India grapples with rainfall deficit in first 15 days of monsoon
India has recorded a 32% deficit in monsoon rainfall in the first fortnight of the season that began on June 1, data from the India Meteorological Department (IMD) has revealed. The eastern arm of monsoon is delayed by three-four days, while the western arm has advanced at its normal pace. However, there is significant deficiency in rainfall even over regions where monsoon has already arrived.
There is a deficiency of 36% in rainfall over the southern peninsula, 65% over central India, 77% over northwest India and 14% excess over east and northeast India. Kerala has a 59% rain deficiency, Karnataka 34%, and Telangana 23%. Over northeast India, Manipur has a 50% deficit, Mizoram 46% and Tripura 38%. Among northwestern states where monsoon hasn’t arrived yet, pre-monsoon activity has also been missing. For example, Delhi has a 92% rain deficiency, Haryana 92% and Uttar Pradesh 96%.
“Monsoon rain over the past 15 days has been less than normal, but over many areas covered by monsoon, particularly parts of southern peninsula, northeastern states, Sikkim and West Bengal, recorded very good rains. Now rain is picking up, deficiency has reduced from 43% on June 11 to 32% yesterday. So, the deficiency will be gradually compensated. If rainfall picks up as expected in the next 15 days, agriculture will not be impacted,” said M Mohapatra, director general of IMD. “La Nina conditions will last till the end of the season, which will support a good monsoon. But, the projected negative Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) can be a spoiler. The effect of negative IOD will be compensated by La Nina, so we can expect normal rains as forecast by us around 103% of long period average,” he added.
The ongoing La Nina, which has affected temperatures and rainfall patterns, and exacerbated drought and flooding globally, is likely to continue till at least August and probably even into 2023, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) said last week.
La Nina refers to the large-scale cooling of surface temperatures in the central and eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean, coupled with changes in the tropical atmospheric circulation (winds), pressure and rainfall. It occurs every two to seven years.
In India, La Nina is associated with strong monsoon and above average rainfall, and colder winters. IOD is the difference between the temperature of the ocean in two parts — in the Arabian Sea on the west and the Bay of Bengal in the east. A neutral IOD doesn’t affect the monsoon, but a negative one is bad news.
French president Macron, Italian PM and German chancellor in war-torn Kyiv
The leaders of France, Germany, Italy and Romania arrived in Kyiv on Thursday in an apparent show of collective European support for Ukraine as it tries to resist Russia's invasion.
The French president's office said President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Italian Premier Mario Draghi had traveled to Kyiv together, and Romanian President Klaus Iohannis will join them in the Ukrainian capital.
The European leaders are expected to meet with Ukraine’s President VolodymyrZelenskyy in the highest-profile Western visit to Kyiv since Russia sent in troops to Ukraine Feb. 24.
The visit comes as EU leaders prepare to make a decision June 23-24 on Ukraine's request to become a candidate for EU membership, and ahead of an important NATO summit June 29-30 in Madrid.
Also Thursday, NATO defense ministers are meeting in Brussels to weigh more military aid for Ukraine. On Wednesday, the U.S. and Germany announced more aid, as America and its allies provide longer-range weapons they say can make a difference in a fight where Ukrainian forces are outnumbered and outgunned by their Russian invaders.
Macron is deeply involved in diplomatic efforts to push for a cease-fire in Ukraine that would allow future peace negotiations. He has frequent discussions with Zelenskyy and has spoken on the phone several times with Russian President Vladimir Putin since Putin launched the invasion in late February.
Scholz had long resisted traveling to Kyiv, saying he didn’t want to “join the queue of people who do a quick in-out for a photo opportunity. ” Instead, Scholz said a trip should focus on doing “concrete things.”
Cabinet clears 5G auction, setting up of captive networks by enterprises
The Union Cabinet has cleared 5G spectrum auction, while retaining the reserve price that was recommended by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) in April and accepted by the Digital Communications Commission (DCC) subsequently.
Even as telecom firms had sought a 90 per cent reduction in spectrum reserve prices from the level set by the regulator in 2018, Trai lowered it by only around 36 per cent in a review two months ago. The Cabinet nod implies that bidding for 5G, along with some other spectrum bands, could start by end of July.
In an upset for telcos, the Cabinet has permitted enterprises to run “captive private networks” with direct allocation of spectrum by the Department of Telecommunications (DoT). Enterprises have also been allowed to lease spectrum from service providers to run a network. DoT had reservations on both these points.
The Cabinet had discussed 5G bidding at its Tuesday meeting, but announced the details of the approval a day later through a DoT press note.
The base price has been pegged at Rs 317 crore per MHz in the 3.5 GHz band (3300-3670) for 20 years, representing a 36 per cent reduction from Trai’s 2018 proposal. 3.5 GHz range is used globally to enable 5G connectivity.
Protesting against direct allocation of spectrum to enterprises, the Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) has written to communications minister AshwiniVaishnaw. The leading lobby group for telcos has argued that such a move would make their business case for 5G unviable. Referring to leasing of spectrum by enterprises, COAI said such a move would make 5G network rollout by telecom service providers irrelevant.
DoT also simultaneously released the notice inviting applications (NIA) on Wednesday, with the time table for the upcoming auction. According to the NIA, the final date for submission of applications would be July 8, list of bidders will be declared on July 20 and auctions will begin on July 26.
India, EU look to make a fresh start for a trade deal in Brussels
India and the European Union (EU) will kick start formal negotiations towards a free-trade agreement that has been stuck for close to nine years. Union Commerce and Industry Minister PiyushGoyal and senior government officials will reach Brussels for the talks, after the ongoing negotiations at the 12th ministerial conference of the World Trade Organization in Geneva are over.
The launch of fresh negotiations with the EU comes close on the heels of India signing two trade deals, with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Australia; the country is also set to ink a pact with the United Kingdom. As far as the 27-member trade bloc is concerned, experts believe the negotiations will be long-drawn as significant differences need to be bridged, even though both sides aim to conclude negotiations by early 2024.
India and the EU agreed to resume negotiations for a balanced and comprehensive trade pact; this shall be split into three agreements on trade, geographical indications (GIs), and investment. A Broad-based Trade and Investment Agreement (BTIA) was first mooted in 2007 but didn’t move past the negotiating stage. The 16th and last formal round of discussion was held in 2013.
At $64.96 billion, the EU made for more than 15 per cent of India’s overall goods exports during the financial year 2021-22, while imports stood at $51.4 billion during the same time period. The EU is also India’s second-largest export destination and third-largest trading partner.
The share of trade with the EU as compared to total bilateral trade has progressively shrunk in recent years. When the strategic partnership was initiated in 2004, export to the bloc was 21.8 per cent of all exports; import was 17.3 per cent of all inbound trade.
Sameer, Ashwini-Sikki lose in Indonesia Open
Indian shuttler Sameer Verma ended his campaign at the Indonesia Open Super 1000 tournament with a straight-game loss to world number five Lee ZiiJia of Malaysia in the second round here.
The 27-year-old, a former world no. 11, went down 10-21 13-21 to sixth seeded Lee in a 43-minute men's singles match.
This was Sameer's fifth loss to Lee in seven meetings.
AshwiniPonnappa and N Sikki Reddy also bowed out of the tournament after losing 16-21 13-21 to top seeds Chen Qing Chen and Jia Yi Fan of China in women's doubles competition.
HS Prannoy will face Hong Kong's Ng Ka Long Angus later in the day, while MR Arjun and DhruvKapila will take on China's Liu Yu Chen and OuXuan Yi.