Current Affairs March 30, 2019
1. Google launches global council to advice on AI and tech ethics
- Alphabet's Google was launching a global advisory council to consider ethical issues around artificial intelligence and other emerging technologies.
- Google already has its own internal AI principles, which, among other provisions, bars the California-based tech firm from using AI to develop weapons.
- The council, which is slated to publish a report at the end of 2019, includes technology experts, digital ethicists, and people with public policy backgrounds, Kent Walker.
2. India, Canada conclude comprehensive counter-terror joint action plan
- India and Canada have concluded an agreement on a Joint Action Plan outlining activities to further strengthen counter-terrorism collaboration, including through joint capacity building, information and technology sharing.
- The Joint Working Group also discussed multilateral counter-terrorism cooperation, in the context of the United Nations, the Financial Action Task Force, and the Global Counterterrorism Forum.
- This was decided at the 16th meeting of the Canada-India Joint Working Group on Counter-Terrorism and its Expert Sub-group was held in Ottawa.
3. Book "Indian Fiscal Federalism" authored by Dr. Y. V and G. R Reddy has been Released
- The Governor of Reserve Bank of India, Shaktikanta Das launched the book “Indian Fiscal Federalism” authored by Dr. Y.V. Reddy and G.R. Reddy.
- The launch event of the book was addressed by the Chairman of the 15th Finance Commission NK Singh, in New Delhi.
- Dr Y.V. Reddy has served as the Governor of RBI during 2003-2008 and as the Chairman of the 14th Finance Commission of India.
4. PNB inks pacts to sell 13% in housing arm for ₹1,852 crore
- Punjab National Bank (PNB) has sold 13.01 per cent stake in PNB Housing Ltd (PNBHF) to General Atlantic Group and VardePartners for ₹1851.60 crore.
- The new investors picked up about 6.50 per cent stake each in the housing finance company by investing ₹925.80 crore.
- The public sector bank also informed the exchanges that it has sold its entire stake (42 lakh unlisted shares) in Experian Credit Information Company India Ltd.
5. Veteran journalist Prafulla Rajguru Passes Away
- Prominent educationist, journalist, social worker and columnist, Prafulla Rajguru passed away due to hip injury.
- He was the founder president of Jorhat Press Club, chairman of Jonaki Sangha Vidyalaya management committee for 20 years till his demise.
- He authored four books and was member of several organizations like Assam sahitya Sabha, and remained as adviser of Jorhat Press Club till his demise.
6. PFC has been named as the India’s second largest Govt-owned Financial Firm after SBI
- After acquiring a majority stake in REC Ltd (formerly Rural Electrification Corporation Limited), center backed Power Finance Corporation (PFC) become India’s second largest Govt-owned Financial Firm after State Bank of India (SBI), based on market capitalization.
- PFC has bought the 52.63% controlling stake in REC through Rs 14,500 crore deal with Union government.
- The REC’ shares were acquired at Rs139.50 per equity share price.
7. U.S. Navy Signs Agreement to Use 2 Omani Ports
- The U.S. Navy has signed an agreement to use the southern Omani ports of Duqm and Salalah.
- Oman has already given berthing rights to India and the United Kingdom to use its Duqm port as it utilizes its reputation for neutrality to bolster its external security.
- This deal is aimed at bolstering Omani-American military relations.The deal will benefit the facilities offered at some of the Sultanate’s ports and airports during visits of the US military vessels and aircraft, particularly in the port of Duqm.
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