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Important Current Affairs 14th May 2019

NATIONAL:

NABARD launched Nab Ventures- its maiden fund to give support to agriculture, food, rural startups.

• NABARD (The National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development), Nab Ventures notified its first time funding termed ‘NAB VENTURES Fund I‘ which is a Rs 700-crore venture capital fund for equity investments to provide support for agriculture, food and rural startups (which would help improve rural livelihoods)

The fund has a proposed corpus of Rs 500 crore has a greenshoe option of Rs 200 crore and has received an anchor commitment from NABARD.

The a forementioned fund is registered with SEBI as a Category II Alternative Investment Fund and would raise the resources from domestic and global investors.

India's GS Lakshmi becomes first ever female ICC match referee.

• India's GS Lakshmi has become the first ever woman to be appointed to the ICC International Panel of Match Referees and will be eligible to referee international games with immediate effect. The 50-year-old first officiated as a match referee in domestic women's cricket in 2008/09. Lakshmi has overseen three women's ODI matches and three women's T20I matches.

NABARD subsidiary announces 700 cr fund for rural startups.

• Nabventures, a subsidiary of National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) has announced a 700-crore venture capital fund for investments in agriculture, food and rural-focused startups. The fund has a proposed corpus of 500 crore with an option to retain over-subscriptions of 200 crore. Till now, NABARD has contributed 273 crore to 16 alternate investment funds.

INTERNATIONAL:

GTA publisher Rockstar Games buys KBC game maker Dhruva.

• Grand Theft Auto publisher Rockstar Games has acquired Swedish developer Starbreeze AB's 91.82% stake in Bengaluru-headquartered video game studio Dhruva Interactive for over ₹55 crore. Founded in 1997 by Rajesh Rao, Dhruva Interactive is claimed to be India's first-ever game development studio. It is best known for its games Kaun Banega Crorepati, N64 Mission: Impossible and Forza Horizon.

AGREEMENTS AND MOUS:

Iran's Foreign Minister meets Swaraj in India amid US sanctions.

• Iran's Foreign Minister Javad Zarif met his Indian counterpart Sushma Swaraj in Delhi on Tuesday during his two-day visit to the country. His visit comes amid increased tensions with the US in the wake of renewed sanctions. India has reportedly stopped imports of Iranian oil after the US withdrew waivers granted to nations on the imports.

BANKS AND ECONOMICS:

HDFC ERGO General Insurance Company launched Mosquito Disease Protection Policy which will cover people against common mosquito-borne diseases.

• India’s 3rd-largest non-life insurance provider in the private sector, HDFC ERGO General Insurance Company launched a scheme termed ‘Mosquito Disease Protection Policy’ which will cover a person against common mosquito-borne diseases, namely, Dengue Fever, Malaria, Chikungunya, Japanese Encephalitis, Kala-azar, Lymphatic Filariasis and Zika Virus.

• These mosquito-borne diseases lead to financial burden due to hospitalization or affect the No Claim Bonus of any conventional Health Insurance.

• The policy by HDFC ERGO will cover hospitalization expenses. The policyholder may opt for a huge amount to be paid as a policy benefit on offering the proof of hospitalization.

The policy will also pay the beneficiary the sum insured if in case of the policyholder dies due to the disease.

• This policy also provides international cover to people and also covers all the vector-borne diseases listed in the policy document.

• The policy cover will be available for people between the age of 91 days to 65 years.Along with these benefits, the policyholders will have access to different wellness

• services, namely, discounts and specialized programs like health tips, diet consultation and other programs offered on the health mobile application of HDFC (Housing Development Finance Corporation Ltd.) ERGO.

Allahabad Bank reduced 0.05% points in benchmark lending rate.

• State-owned Allahabad Bank announced a reduction in benchmark lending rate by 0.05 percentage points across various tenors. The marginal cost of funds-based lending rate (MCLR) for a one-year loan has been reduced to 8.60% from 8.65%effective May 14.

Most of the loans including housing loans are benchmarked against MCLR for one year.

Revised MCLR:

• 1 month:  8.20%

• 3 months: 8.40%

• 6 months: 8.45%

Wholesale inflation eases to 3.07% in April.

• India's inflation measured by the Wholesale Price Index (WPI) eased to 3.07% in April from 3.18% in the previous month, driven by a fall in prices of fuel and manufactured items. However, inflation in food articles stood at 7.37%, up from 5.68% in March. This comes after India's retail inflation in April rose to a 6-month high of 2.92%.

APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATIONS:

LIC Mutual Fund appointed Dinesh Pangtey as CEO.

• LIC Mutual Fund appointed Dinesh Pangtey as the company's Chief Executive Officer (CEO).

• He joined LIC as a direct recruit officer in 1984

He was Director and CEO at LIC Group's private equity division LIC HFL AMC. He also served as Regional Manager Marketing channel in Western Zone spanning the states of Maharashtra, Gujarat and Goa.

• He has more than 35 years of experience across private equity, life pension, group annuation scheme and insurance sector.

Jet Airways CEO Vinay Dube resigns with immediate effect.

• Jet Airways CEO Vinay Dube has resigned from the grounded airline with immediate effect due to "personal reasons". The development comes just a day after Deputy CEO and Chief Financial Officer of the company Amit Agarwal resigned, also citing personal reasons. Jet Airways, which suspended its operations indefinitely, has only received a bid from Etihad Airways for a minority stake.

Jet Airways CFO Amit Agarwal resigns due to personal reasons.

• Debt-ridden carrier Jet Airways' Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and Deputy Chief Executive Officer Amit Agarwal has resigned from his positions at the airline, the company said in a statement on Tuesday. "[He] has resigned from services of the company due to personal reasons, with effect from May 13," the airline said. Agarwal had joined the airline in December 2015.

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Important Current Affairs of 13th May

National 

Short film 'Kamali' on 9-yr-old TN skateboarder qualifies for Oscars.

• 'Kamali', a short film on Tamil Nadu's nine-year-old skateboarder girl Kamali Moorthy, has qualified for the 2020 Academy Awards shortlist.

• The 24-minute film directed by filmmaker Sasha Rainbow from New Zealand won the Best Documentary Short at Atlanta Film Festival in April.

•  Born in a fishermen colony, Kamali has toured across India with professional skateboarding teams to promote the sport.

Reliance Industries moves registered offices of five subsidiaries to Gujarat.

• Reliance Industries (RIL) has moved registered offices of five of its subsidiaries — four telecom and one investment arm — to Ahmedabad, Gujarat, over the last one year.

• The telecom subsidiaries include — Reliance Jio Messaging Services Ltd, Reliance Jio Infratel Private Ltd, Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd, and Reliance Jio Digital Services Ltd. The registered office of the investment arm Reliance Industrial Investments and Holdings Ltd (RIIHL), which serves as a vehicle to invest in various business ventures of RIL, has also been moved to Gujarat. Prior to the shift, all these companies had their registered offices in Mumbai.

China may route its commercial presence in India through Bay of Bengal.

• India’s outreach to the East and an escalating trade war between China and the United States is helping to turn the Bay of Bengal coastline into a new and attractive growth engine.

• In the backdrop of Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen — coastal cities which propelled China’s rise as the workshop-of-the world — India too appears to be stepping up its game of coast based manufacturing, focusing intensely on its eastern shores.

INTERNATIONAL:

Chinese navy launches two new guided missile destroyers.

•  China, which is developing its navy at a feverish pace, has commissioned two more guided missile destroyers taking the total of such warships to 20 with more in the pipeline, state-media reported on Monday.

• Two Type 052D guided missile destroyers were launched last Friday in Dalian, a coastal city, state-run Global Times reported.

• Their commissioning marked the 19th and 20th of launches of their kind, the report said and quoted Chinese analysts as saying that plans are afoot to build more guided missile destroyers.

APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATIONS:

Sanjiv Puri becomes CMD of ITC.

• ITC Managing Director Sanjiv Puri has been appointed as the chairman by the Board of Directors. His new designation will now be chairman and managing director, the company said in a stock exchange filing.

• Company chairman Yogesh Chander Deveshwar passed away on May 11.

• Mr. Puri (56) has been the Managing Director since 2018. He was appointed on the board in December 2015 and as the CEO in February 2017.

SPORTS:

Mane, Salah, Aubameyang share PL Golden Boot award.

• Liverpool's Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah and Arsenal's Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang shared the Premier League Golden Boot award after they all ended up with 22 goals.

• The 22-goal winning mark was the lowest since the 2010-11 season when Manchester United's Dimitar Berbatov and Manchester City's Carlos Tevez shared the Golden Boot with 20 goals apiece.

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Important Current Affairs 12th May 2019

INTERNATIONAL:

Hinduja brothers named UK's wealthiest people for third time.

• The Hinduja brothers have been named the UK's wealthiest people for the third time, according to Sunday Times Rich List. Sri and Gopi Hinduja saw their wealth increase by £1.35 billion from last year to £22 billion (around ₹2 lakh crore). The Hinduja Group was founded in Mumbai in 1914 and operates in fields including oil, banking, IT and property.

Elon Musk's brain tech startup Neuralink raises $39 million.

• Neuralink, an American neurotechnology startup co-founded by Elon Musk, has raised $39 million of a planned $51 million funding round, Bloomberg said quoting a filing with the SEC. As per its LinkedIn, Neuralink is developing ultra-high bandwidth brain-machine interfaces to connect humans and computers. Notably, billionaire Elon Musk is the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX.

AGREEMENTS AND MOUS:

India to sign pact with Mongolia to built its first petrochemical refinery.

• India and Mongolia are expected to sign an agreement this week for the construction of Mongolia’s first petrochemical refinery that is expected to cut some of its dependence on Russian fuel. When signed, the project will be the largest being undertaken by the government of India under its Lines of Credit programme, two people familiar with the matter said on Sunday.

• The petrochemical refinery -- near Sainshand in southern Dornogovi province -- is to be built at an approximate cost of $1.25 billion utilising the $1 billion line of credit announced during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Ulan Bator in 2015. It is expected to be completed by 2022.

BANKS AND ECONOMICS:

RBI proposes app to help visually challenged identify notes.

• The RBI has proposed to introduce a mobile application to help visually challenged citizens identify Indian currency notes, and has invited bids from technology firms for the same. The application should be searchable via voice option in all app stores, it said. Currently, intaglio printing-based identification marks on banknotes of ₹100 and above help the visually challenged recognise currency.

APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATIONS:

Emirates Chief Commercial Officer resigns after profit falls.

• Emirates Chief Commercial Officer Thierry Antinori has resigned, a company spokesperson said on Sunday, days after the Gulf airline announced its weakest profit in a decade. Emirates posted a 69% fall in 2018-19 profit amid rising fuel costs and slow passenger growth. Antinori, who joined Emirates in 2011, was responsible for commercial operations, the frequent flyer program and cargo division.

DAYS:

International Nurses Day is celebrated on 12 May.

• International Nurses Day (IND) is an international day observed around the world on 12 May of each year, to mark the contributions that nurses make to society. It was first observed in 1965.

• ICN commemorates this important day each year with the production and distribution of the International Nurses' Day (IND) resources and evidence. The theme for the year 2019 is "Nurses: A voice to lead - Health for All".

SPORTS:

Man City win their 4th PL title as title race goes till last day.

• Manchester City clinched their fourth Premier League title after winning the 2018/2019 season on the last day of the league that started on August 11, 2018. Manchester City registered a 4-1 victory against Brighton to accumulate 98 points in 38 matches with 32 victories, while Liverpool, who were also in the title race till today, finished second with 97 points.

Lewis Hamilton wins Spanish Grand Prix, Bottas finishes second.

• Mercedes' British driver Lewis Hamilton clinched the title at the Spanish Grand Prix, also winning the extra point for the fastest lap at the race on Sunday. The race saw Mercedes' Valtteri Bottas finish second in the race, with Red Bull's Max Verstappen finishing in the third spot. This was the fifth straight 1-2 finish for Mercedes.

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Important Current Affairs of 11th May

NATIONAL:

The man with all the toys: Why Mukesh Ambani bought Hamleys.

• India's richest man has sealed another deal in his battle with Amazon and Walmart for India's online retail market, which a Morgan Stanley estimate sees at $200 billion by 2028.

• On Thursday, Reliance agreed to purchase the 259-year-old British toy store chain Hamleys from C.Banner International Holdings for $88.5 million in cash in a transaction that will “catapult Reliance Brands to be a dominant player in the global toy retail industry,” said a statement.

• The 62-year-old businessman is quietly piecing together a network of partners through stake purchases or outright acquisitions in his push for consumer business, which Ambani says will contribute nearly as much as to the conglomerate’s total earnings as its core energy business by the end of 2028.

Ex-Flipkart execs' unicorn Udaan gets ₹139 crore from parent.

• Bengaluru-based B2B online marketplace Udaan has raised over ₹139 crore from Singapore-based parent firm Trustroot Internet. The parent entity has invested over ₹400 crore in Udaan in past five months. Founded in 2016 by former Flipkart executives Sujeet Kumar, Vaibhav Gupta and Amod Malviya, Udaan had achieved the 'unicorn' tag with a billion-dollar valuation within just 26 months of launch.

INTERNATIONAL:

Uber falls below $70bn value on 1st trading day, CEO blames trade war.

• Uber ended its first day of trading with a market cap of $69.7 billion, below its last private valuation of $76 billion. CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said US-China trade tensions played a role in the stock's weak performance, adding, "You can't pick when you go public". Uber priced its IPO at $45 per share, valuing the company at $75.5 billion.

Japan tests world's fastest bullet train capable of 400 kmph speed.

• Japan has started testing world's fastest bullet train, the 'ALFA-X' version of the Shinkansen train, capable of reaching 400 kmph speed. It will be tested twice a week after midnight between Sendai and Aomori, which are around 280 kilometres apart. On entering operation, it will run at up to 360 kmph, outpacing China's Fuxing train, which runs 10 kmph slower.

BANKS AND ECONOMICS:

RentoMojo raises ₹77 crore funding co-led by Accel, Chiratae.

• Bengaluru-based furniture and appliance rental startup RentoMojo has raised ₹77 crore in the first tranche of its Series C funding round, regulatory filings revealed. The funding was co-led by Chiratae Ventures and Accel Partners and also saw participation from existing investor Bain Capital. RentoMojo was founded in 2014 by IIT Madras graduates Geetansh Bamania and Ajay Nain.

DAYS:

India celebrates National Technology Day on 11th May.

• National Technology Day is observed every year on the 11th of May in India. It is a reminder of the anniversary of Shakti. The aim of the celebration is to highlight the achievements of the scientists and engineers of India in the field of science and technology.

It also helps to encourage students towards science and technology field.

• Shakti:

The first nuclear test Pokhran with a codenamed as ‘Smiling Buddha’ was carried out in May 1974. The second test conducted was Pokhran II which was a series of five tests of nuclear bomb explosions, administered by India at the Pokhran Test Range of Indian Army in May, 1998.

Pokhran II comprised of five detonations out of which the first one was a fusion bomb while the other four were fission bombs. These nuclear tests evolved various sanctions against India by many major states, including the United States and Japan.

• Why the day is celebrated?

On 11th of May, 1998, India victoriously test fired the nuclear missile, Shakti-I at the Pokhran Test Range of Indian Army in Rajasthan in an operation administered by late president and aerospace engineer Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam. After two days, the country victoriously tested two additional nuclear weapons.

Following this, Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee announced India as a nuclear state, making it sixth country in the world that has joined the nations “nuclear club” and the first country that was not party to the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons Treaty (NPT). NPT is a global treaty signed by the UK, Russia, China, France, and the US which has the objectives to prevent the increase of nuclear weapons and attain nuclear disarmament.

AWARDS:

Actress Anne Hathaway receives star on Hollywood Walk Of Fame.

• Oscar-winning actress Anne Hathaway on Thursday was honoured with a star on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame in Los Angeles, US. Thanking her fans, she said, "I'm really very moved by every aspect of this." Anne was accompanied by her husband actor-producer Adam Shulman, her mother actress Kate McCauley, as well as her co-stars from her upcoming film 'The Hustle'.

SPORTS:

Harbhajan Singh 3rd Indian to claim 150 IPL wickets.

• Chennai Super Kings spinner Harbhajan Singh became the third Indian cricketer to claim 150 or more wickets in the history of Indian Premier League. Delhi Capitals' Amit Mishra with 157 wickets in 147 matches and Kolkata Knight Riders' Piyush Chawla, with 150 wickets in 157 matches, are the only two other Indians who have reached the mark.

World no. 3 Halep beats Bencic to reach 4th Madrid Open final.

• World number three Simona Halep defeated Belinda Bencic to reach her fourth Madrid Open final. Halep won the match with a scoreline of 6-2, 6-7(2-7), 6-0 in one hour and 57 minutes. The final will also be Halep's first of 2019. Bencic had defeated world number one Naomi Osaka in the quarter-finals.

Roger Federer beats Gael Monfils in Madrid to claim 1,200th win.

• Roger Federer on Thursday became the second player in Open Era (since April 1968) to record 1,200 match wins. The 20-time Grand Slam champion saved two match points against France's Gaël Monfils before clinching the match after a final-set tiebreak to reach quarterfinals of Madrid Open. Notably, the 37-year-old is playing in his first tournament on clay since May 2016.

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Important Current Affairs of 10th May

NATIONAL:

BharatPe launches UPI Bahi Khata for merchants for seamless networking and business expansion.

• India’s first Fintech (Financial technology) start-up enabling payments via interoperable UPI(Unified Payments Interface) QR (Quick Response) codes, BharatPe notified its venture into merchant services by launching a new app UPI Bahi Khata that allows merchants to keep a track of  their cash/credit (Udhar) sales customer wise, to request the accounts receivable from customers through SMS (Short Message Service) payment links or through WhatsApp and to record accounts that are payable to suppliers.

• The newly launched app also helps the merchants to network and collaborate with other BharatQR merchants near them to expand their businesses.

The major features on BharatPe app for merchants are: UPI Khata (Ledger), Managing Supplier Bills, Cashback, Settlements and Refer and Earn.

Water storage level of 91 major reservoirs of the country goes down by one percent.

• The water storage available in 91 major reservoirs of the country for the week ending on May 09, 2019 was 38.734 BCM, which is 24% of total storage capacity of these reservoirs. This percentage was at 25 for the week ending on May 02, 2019. The level of water storage in the week ending on May 09, 2019 was 116% of the storage of corresponding period of last year and 105% of storage of average of last ten years.

• The total storage capacity of these 91 reservoirs is 161.993 BCM which is about 63% of the total storage capacity of 257.812 BCM which is estimated to have been created in the country. 37 Reservoirs out of these 91 have hydropower benefit with installed capacity of more than 60 MW.

AGREEMENTS AND MOUS:

WTO Ministerial Meeting of Developing Countries in New Delhi.

• A WTO Ministerial meeting of developing countries is being hosted by India in New Delhi on 13-14 May 2019.  Sixteen developing countries, Six Least Developed Countries (LDC)(Argentina, Bangladesh, Barbados, Benin, Brazil, Central African Republic (CAR), Chad, China, Egypt, Guatemala, Guyana, Indonesia, Jamaica, Kazakhstan, Malawi, Malaysia, Nigeria, Oman, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, Uganda)and DG, WTO are participating in the meeting.

• Ministers from Bangladesh, CAR and South Africa have confirmed their participation. Vice Ministers, senior officials and ambassadors willbe representing other countries.

India and China sign protocol for Export of Indian Chilli Meal.

• Commerce Secretary, Anup Wadhawan and Vice Minister, General Administration of Customs of China (GACC), Li Guo, held a meeting in New Delhi today to discuss trade related issues of pending Indian request for clearance of agricultural products.

• Both sides appreciated each other’s concerns and agreed to resolve market access issues expeditiously in order to achieve the vision of the leaders of both India and China by promoting a more balanced trade.

• At the end of the meeting a protocol was signed for export of chilli meal from India to China.

20th Conference of Regional Heads of Customs Administration (RHCA) of Asia Pacific Region of the World Customs Organisation (WCO) concludes in Kochi.

• The Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) had organised a Conference of the Regional Heads of Customs Administration of Asia Pacific Region of the World Customs Organisation (WCO) in Kochi from 08th to 10th May, 2019. India hosted this Conference in its capacity as Vice-Chair of the Asia Pacific Region of WCO which it assumed on 1st July, 2018 for a two-year period.

• The Conference took stock of the progress made in carrying forward the programmes and initiatives of WCO to promote, facilitate and secure cross-border trade in the Region and the capacity building and technical assistance required by Member Administrations to achieve these goals.

WTO Ministerial Meeting of Developing Countries in New Delhi.

• A WTO Ministerial meeting of developing countries is being hosted by India in New Delhi on 13-14 May 2019.  Sixteen developing countries, Six Least Developed Countries (LDC)(Argentina, Bangladesh, Barbados, Benin, Brazil, Central African Republic (CAR), Chad, China, Egypt, Guatemala, Guyana, Indonesia, Jamaica, Kazakhstan, Malawi, Malaysia, Nigeria, Oman, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, Uganda)and DG, WTO are participating in the meeting.

• Ministers from Bangladesh, CAR and South Africa have confirmed their participation. Vice Ministers, senior officials and ambassadors willbe representing other countries.

BANKS AND ECONOMICS:

Flipkart gives ₹700cr ESOPs to senior, mid-level staff: Report.

• Bengaluru-based e-commerce platform Flipkart has reportedly issued around $100 million (₹700 crore) worth of Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) to its senior and middle-level staff. Employees have been allotted these new shares at a price of $125-$130 per unit, the report claimed. The Walmart-owned company is also considering an Initial Public Offering (IPO) for 2021, the report further added.

Uber raises $8.1 billion in IPO, valued at $82 billion.

• Ride-hailing giant Uber priced its IPO shares at $45 apiece to raise $8.1 billion at a valuation of over $82 billion. Shares were priced close to the bottom of its targeted $44-50 range. Uber, which was earlier said to be seeking a valuation of $120 billion, has reportedly taken a conservative stance over its rival Lyft's post-IPO share falls.

APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATIONS:

Change of Command at Air Force Station Faridabad.

• Group Captain Chandra Shekhar Bhatt took over the command of Air Force Station Faridabad from Group Captain Kaushik Das. The change of command took place in a Ceremonial parade at Station Parade ground.

• Group Captain Bhatt was commissioned in the Logistics branch of IAF in 1990. During his career, the officer has held various appointments in Operational bases and Depots. For his distinguished service, the officer has been commended by Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief (AOC-in-C) and Chief of the Air Staff (CAS).

Ajoy Mehta appointed as Chief Secretary of Maharashtra.

• Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) commissioner Ajoy Mehta has been appointed as the new Chief Secretary of Maharashtra. He will succeed UPS Madan who has been named as the special advisor to Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis. A 1984-batch IAS officer, Mehta holds.

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Important Current Affairs of 9th May

NATIONAL:

IIT Bombay researchers developed first indigenous microprocessor AJIT.

• Engineers from the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay (IIT Bombay) have developed a microprocessor called AJIT which could reduce the country’s dependence on imports. It is the first to be conceptualised, designed, developed and manufactured in India.

• The project was funded by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) and IIT Bombay. Powai Labs, a Mumbai-based company, has invested in the venture. It will own, market and support the product.

India’s electronics market is expected to reach $400 billion by 2020. Most of the electronic devices that are used are imported and only a quarter of the devices are produced in the country.

Noida-based edtech startup Classplus raises 11 crore.

• Noida-based edtech startup Classplus has raised around Rs.11 crore in pre-Series A funding led by Times Internet and GREE Ventures.

• Japanese VC firm Spiral Ventures and existing investor, Netherlands-based Rising Stars Fund also participated in the funding round.

• Classplus, launched as XPrep in 2015, was founded by Mukul Rustagi, Bhaswat Agarwal, Bikash Dash and Vatsal Rustagi.

AGREEMENTS AND MOU’s:

India takes part in naval drill in S China Sea claimed by China.

• India, Japan, the US and the Philippines held naval drills in the South China Sea, nearly 90% of which is claimed by China.

• India deployed a destroyer, the INS Kolkata, and a tanker, the INS Shakti, in the nearly week-long multilateral drill, the US Navy said. Southeast Asian nations including Vietnam and Malaysia also lay claims over the sea.

BANKS AND ECONOMICS:

Reliance Industries loses 96,000 crore market value in four days.

• Shares of Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries have fallen nearly 11% in the last four sessions, erasing about 96,000 crore in market value.

• With this fall in Reliance shares, Tata Consultancy Services has overtaken the company to become India's most valued firm with a market capitalisation of 8.14 lakh crore. Reliance's market cap stood at Rs.7.96 lakh crore.

ED probes Etihad investment in Jet Privilege.

• The ED is reportedly probing Etihad Airways' investment in Jet Airways' frequent-flyer programme, Jet Privilege.

• The agency is investigating whether Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) norms were violated when the Abu Dhabi-based carrier took a stake in the programme, reports said.

• Queries raised by the erstwhile FIPB to both the airlines immediately after the deal had gone unanswered, reports added.

APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATIONS:

Rakesh Sharma, Bajaj Auto Executive Director elected as IMMA Vice-President.

• Rakesh Sharma, Bajaj Auto Executive Director and also a representative of SIAM (Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers) elected as VP (Vice President) of IMMA, International Motorcycle Manufacturers Association (based in Geneva) during the annual general meeting of (IMMA) at Yogyakarta in Indonesia.

• Rakesh Sharma has a wide range of experience in 2 and 3-wheeler industry and he is expected to efficiently direct IMMA towards being the trusted motorcycle manufacturers worldwide.

• IMMA’s president is Johannes Loman.

Indias Jagjit Pavadia re-elected to the International Narcotics Control Board(INCB).

• Jagjit Pavadia, an Indian re-elected by the UN Economic and Social Council to a five year term on International Narcotics Control Board with the highest number of votes of 44 in the 54 member council.

• She will begin her term on March 2, next year.

• She was elected to the INCB for her first five year term in 2014. She has also served as the First Vice-President of the Board in 2016 and Chair of the Standing Committee on Estimates in 2015 and 2017.

DAYS:

World Thalassaemia Day was observed on 8th May.

• 8th May is observed as World Thalassaemia Day globally every year. The theme for 2019 was Universal access to quality thalassaemia healthcare services: Building bridges with and for the patient.

The day is observed to raise awareness about thalassaemia, its prevention, and measures to avoid its transmission among people throughout the world. It is observed in honour of all patients suffering and fighting from thalassaemia and also all scientists working hard to provide improved quality of life to people suffering with it.

• Thalassemia:

Thalassemias are inherited blood disorders characterized by abnormal hemoglobin production.

Since it is an inheritable disease so cannot be prevented completely however, it can be lessened through the prenatal tests which helps in the early detection and cure before the childbirth.

There are two main types:

1.         Alpha thalassemia

2.         Beta thalassemia

Symptoms depend on the type and can vary from none to severe.

• Often there is mild to severe anemia (low red blood cells).

• There may also be bone problems, an enlarged spleen, yellowish skin, and dark urine.

• Slow growth may occur in children.

Treatments include blood transfusions, iron chelation, and folic acid.

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Important Current Affairs 8th May 2019

NATIONAL:

TCS set to become world’s third-largest IT services company.

• NEW DELHI: Tata Consultancy Services Ltd (TCS) is set to surpass DXC Technology Co. to become the world’s third-largest software services provider in fiscal 2018-19, marking the first change in the pecking order of the information technology (IT) outsourcing industry in two years.

• If TCS does surpass DXC, it will only lag behind International Business Machines Corp. and Accenture Plc.

AGREEMENTS AND MOUS:

India and Bangladesh agreed to jointly produce film on the life of Mujibur Rahman.

• India and Bangladesh agreed to jointly produce the film based on the life and works of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and documentary of Bangladesh Liberation War 1971.

• The delegation from Bangladesh side led by Dr. Gowher Rizvi, Adviser to Prime Minister of Bangladesh met Amit Khare, Secretary of Information and Broadcasting Ministry. 

The co-production of film was earlier announced by the PM of both India and Bangladesh

The movie will be directed by Shyam Benegal and the scriptwriter of the movie will be Atul Tiwari and the director of the documentary will be from Bangladesh who would be assisted by a co-director from India.

• Additionally, Prasar Bharti decided to carry Bangladesh TV on DD Free Dish platform and also to waive carriage fees. 

BANKS AND ECONOMICS:

Coworking office space: The emerging spot for investors.

• With a sharp increase in leasing in the shared working space over the last few quarters, co-working is catching up as a preferred asset class for several leading developers and investors, a report by real estate consultancy firm CBRE said.

• Flexible working space saw a 277% jump in leasing to nearly 3 million sq ft in the first quarter of calendar 2019, according to the report. On a quarterly basis, it shot up by 70%. Even the size of leasing have increased significantly with several co-working operators shifting focus to taking up medium-to-large sized spaces of as much as 1 lakh sqft, the report said.

AGREEMENTS AND RESIGNATIONS:

Tata Global Beverages appoints Shikha Sharma, Bharat Puri as directors.

• NEW DELHI: Tata Global Beverages Wednesday said former MD & CEO of Axis Bank, Shikha Sharma and Pidilite Industries MD Bharat Puri have been appointed as additional and independent directors.

• Their appointment, which is with effect from May 7, 2019 for five years, will be subject to the approval of shareholders in the ensuing annual general meeting, the company said in a regulatory filing.

DAYS:

World Red Cross Day is observed on 08th May.

• World Red Cross Day (also known as Red Crescent Day) is observed every year on May 8. 

• The 2019 theme is, ‘#Love’.

• The day is also the birthday of Henry Dunant, who had generated the Red Cross Committee of the International (ICRI) in 1863 in Switzerland, Geneva.

• He was born in May 8, 1828 and was also the recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize.

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Important Current Affairs of 7th May

NATIONAL:

INS Vishal: India, UK in talks to replicate Naval Supercarrier.

• Art aircraft carrier along the lines of Britain's HMS Queen Elizabeth as part of the ongoing 'Make in India' negotations, according to a media report.

• The talks are under way for the Indian Navy to buy detailed plans for the 65,000-ton British warship to build a so-called "copycat supercarrier" to be named INS Vishal in 2022.

• "An Indian delegation has already visited Rosyth dockyard in Scotland where HMS Queen Elizabeth was assembled and where a second supercarrier, HMS Prince  .

NEET chance: HRD Ministry to decide on Karnataka’s request

• HRD Ministry on Monday assured the Karnataka Government it would soon decide on their request to allow over 500 students from the State, who missed the NEET exam on Sunday due to a train delay.

• HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar announced that the National Testing Agency will conduct NEET exam again for those students of Karnataka who missed their exam as their train was delayed which has come as a major relief to the candidates.NEET for these students will be conducted on May 20.

• Nearly 365 students from north Karnataka had missed appearing for the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) on May 5, as the train in which they were travelling reached Bengaluru over seven hours late.

Bombs hurled, booths ‘looted’ in West Bengal

• A helpless Election Commission of India watched Bengal’s poll percentage drop by notches even as sporadic violence, bombing and booth-capturing marred the fifth phase of elections too with both the Opposition BJP and Left Front and the ruling Trinamool Congress accusing each other of “rampant rigging.

• Reports of violence and booth jamming came in from Barrackpore where the turncoat TMC strongman and former MLA Arjun Singh was fighting against former Union Minister Dinesh Trivedi.

• While a suave and composed Trivedi was seen playing cricket with children amid overseeing polling, Singh ran from booth to booth alleging massive rigging by TMC workers. He reportedly exchanged fisticuffs with police officials before complaining that “the police were helping the TMC rig elections. He fell down and injured himself while chasing away ‘outsiders’.

• Bombs were hurled at Himli Saolapara in Gaighata Assembly segment of Bongaon parliamentary constituency where one TMC supporter received head injuries. Later the CAPF resorted to massive lathi-charge.

INTERNATIONAL:

US wants India to eliminate trade barriers for American companies: Ross

• The US wants India to eliminate trade barriers for American companies and remove restrictions with regard to data localisation to cut the cost of doing business, visiting US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said Tuesday.

• "Our goal is to eliminate barriers to the US companies operating here including data localisation restrictions that actually weaken data security and increase the cost of doing business," he said here.Ross was speaking at the Trade Winds Forum and Trade Mission. He is accompanying a delegation of over 100 American businesses.He also alleged that India imposes very high import duties on goods like automobiles, motorcycles, agri products and alcoholic beverages."

•  Currently US businesses face significant market access barriers in India. These include both tariff and non-tariff barriers as well as multiple practices and regulations to the disadvantage of foreign companies."India's average applied tariffs rate is 13.8 per cent and that remains the highest of any major world economy, the very highest.

• It has for example a 60 per cent tariff on auto, while the US has 2.5 per cent. It has 50 per cent tariff on motorcycles and 150 per cent on alcoholic beverages. Just a few extreme examples," he added.

US deploys carrier strike group to send ‘clear message’ to Iran

• The US is deploying an aircraft carrier strike group and a bomber task force in the Middle East to send a “clear and unmistakable” message to Iran that any attack on American interests or its allies will be met with “unrelenting force”, National Security Advisor John Bolton has warned.

• Bolton said on Sunday the decision to deploy the USS Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group and a bomber task force to the US Central Command region in the Middle East was in response to a number of “troubling and escalatory indications and warnings” from Iran.

• The deployment of the strike group and bomber task force comes after US President Donald Trump last month refused to give waivers to countries like India from buying oil from Iran, in an attempt to reduce Iran’s oil exports to zero.

• After coming to power, Trump withdrew from the Iranian nuclear deal last year and has imposed stringent sanctions against what he describes as the “authoritarian” Iranian regime

BANKS AND ECONOMICS:

Yes Bank shares fall over 5%;  m-cap drops by Rs 2,135 cr

• Shares of Yes Bank on Monday dropped by over 5 per cent, wiping out Rs 2,135.29 crore from its market valuation, after ratings downgrade.The scrip tumbled 5.30 per cent to close at Rs 166.30 on the BSE.

• During the day, it tanked 5.75 per cent to Rs 165.50. It was the worst hit among the 30-front-line shares.On the NSE, shares dropped 5 per cent to close at Rs 167.In terms of volume, 43.12 lakh shares of the company were traded on the BSE during the day, while over 4 crore units changed hands on the NSE.The company’s market valuation fell by Rs 2,135.29 crore to Rs 38,515.71 crore on the BSE.

• The private sector lender had a double whammy Saturday after domestic rating agency ICRA downgraded its long-term ratings along with a negative outlook, citing a spike in its lower-rated advances and falling core capital buffers.The agency downgraded ratings on instruments totalling borrowings over Rs 33,000 crore by the lender, ICRA said.The bank had also reported its maiden loss of over Rs 1,506 crore in the March quarter, driven by a near ten-fold spike in provisions.

Hughes, Airtel to combine India VSAT biz

• Telecom operator Bharti Airtel and Hughes Communications India Ltd (HCIL) Tuesday announced they will combine their VSAT (Very Small Aperture Terminal) satellite operations in the country.

• HCIL is a subsidiary of broadband satellite networks and services provider Hughes Network Systems.Hughes will have majority ownership in the combined entity while Airtel will have a significant shareholding, according to a statement.

• The statement did not spell out the financial details of the transaction, which is subject to requisite approvals."The combined entity will benefit from enhanced scale, improved operational efficiencies and wider market reach.

• The combined entity will be well positioned to leverage the demand for secure connectivity in a rapidly growing digital economy," it said.VSAT is used to provide satellite based telecom and internet access to individuals and enterprise users.HCIL is a broadband satellite service operator in India, and offers a range of broadband networking technologies, solutions, and services for businesses and governments.

Ratan Tata invests in Ola Electric Mobility

• Ride hailing major Ola Monday said Ratan Tata, Chairman Emeritus of Tata Sons, has invested in its EV business — Ola Electric Mobility (OEM).This investment, which is part of OEM’s series A round of funding, is in Tata’s personal capacity, Ola said in a statement.

• Details of the funding were not disclosed.“His investment in Ola Electric will bring his deep experience and mentorship to the company’s ambitions to make electric mobility viable at scale,” it added.

• Tata is also an early investor in ANI Technologies, Ola’s parent company. He had invested in ANI Technologies in July 2015.In March this year, OEM had announced raising Rs 400 crore in a funding round led by Tiger Global and Matrix India.    

SPORTS:

Federer makes retirement claim ahead of Madrid return

• The topic of when Federer will finally hang up his racket has followed the Swiss for several years.But the 37-year-old has been able to put off 'Father Time' by continuing to win major trophies and remain in the top 10 in the world.And in a further show that he's not ready to quit, Federer has decided to play during the clay court season for the first time since 2016.

• Speaking in an interview with Spanish publication Marca ahead of the tournament, Federer was asked if he was surprised that he's still able to compete at such a highlevel at 37.

• And the 20-time Grand Slam revealed the major factor in his decision to carry on playing."A little, yes," Federer admitted."If you told me ten years ago that this would be happening, I wouldn't have believed it. I could have hoped for a top ten or top 20 place, but not this."If I'd been asked in 2009 if I would be playing in 2019 I'd have said only if I was still competitive."I have made my career and I do not need to play to lose in the second round in any tournament. My goal is to win, as I did at the beginning of the season."If I feel like I can't be the best, it's better for me to stop."I still enjoy the victories in Masters 1000 events or being world No 1, as I did last year in Rotterdam."In a wide-ranging interview, Federer was also asked about the clay court form of Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic.

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Important Current Affairs 6th May 2019

NATIONAL:

DPIIT recommends relaxation in Income Tax rules to facilitate fundraising by start-ups.

• The Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) brought relaxation in the income tax rules related to residential properties’ sale and carry-forward of losses, in order to facilitate fundraising by start-ups.

• The relaxation laws are part of the ‘Startup India Vision 2024‘ that’s been prepared by the DPIIT.

• The DPIIT recommended amendments in Section 54GB of the Income Tax Act, that is, capital gain on transfer of residential property not to be charged in certain cases and Section 79 that states, carry forward and set off of losses would be done for specific companies.

• The DPIIT has proposed to reduce shareholding requirements of founders from 50% to 20% and compulsory tenure from 5 years to 3 years.

• Start-up promoters need to hold 100% shares for carrying forward of losses.

Startup India, launched in January 2016 is the flagship initiative of the government.

It intends to build a strong ecosystem for the growth of start-up businesses for driving sustainable economic growth and increase employment opportunities.

Bandana sets Guinness World Records on Longest Dancing Marathon by an Individual.

• An 18-year old girl from Nepal named Bandana set a Guinness World Records on'Longest Dancing Marathon by an Individual'. She danced exclusively to Nepalese music continuously for 126 hours (over five days).

• She broke the record set by India's Kalamandalam Hemlatha, who danced continuously for 123 hours and 15 minutes in 2011.

She performed classical dance form Mohiniyattam and set the record at age of 37.

BigBasket receives $150 million in funding, becomes the newest unicorn.

• Supermarket Grocery, which runs and operates the online grocery brand BigBasket, has received $150 million in a financing round led by South Korea’s Mirae Asset- Naver Asia Growth Fund, UK’s CDC Group, and existing investor Alibaba, said the company on Monday.

• This round has boosted the company’s valuation to over $1 billion, pushing it to the coveted ‘unicorn’ club.

INTERNATIONAL:

US to hike tariffs on USD 200 bn of Chinese goods.

• President Donald Trump announced on 5th May that the U.S. would raise tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods to 25% from 10th May because trade talks are moving too slowly, as they attempt to renegotiate. Mr.Trump’s action came ahead of the arrival of a major Chinese delegation to Washington for the latest round of talks around, it is believed, could possibly lead to a deal.

• For 10 months, China has been paying Tariffs to the USA of 25% on 50 Billion Dollars of High Tech, and 10% on 200 Billion Dollars of other goods. 10% will go up to 25%. The two sides have imposed tariffs on $360 billion in two-way trade since 2018. But Mr.Trump and Chinese leader Xi Jinping agreed to a truce in December to refrain from further escalation.

• The two sides have imposed tariffs on USD 360 billion in two-way trade since 2018. But Trump and Chinese leader Xi Jinping agreed to a truce in December to refrain from further escalation. Trump said that he wants to reduce the huge US trade deficit with China, which in 2018 totalled $378.73 billion if trade in services is included.

• Besides a greater opening of the Chinese market to US goods, Trump is pressing for structural changes such as Beijing ending its practice of forcing US companies that operate in China to share their technology. Trump is also demanding that China halt theft of intellectual property and subsidies to state-owned companies.

Oil tumbles, China stocks plunge over 4% after Trump vows tariff hike.

• Global financial markets tumbled on Monday after US President Donald Trump unexpectedly jacked up pressure on China to reach a trade deal, saying he would hike US tariffs on Chinese goods this week.

• Equity markets, which had been largely expecting a trade accord, fell sharply across export-reliant Asia as further talks were thrown into doubt.

• Chinese shares plunged more than 4% at one point, while US stock market futures fell close to 2 %. Oil prices plunged and the Chinese yuan tumbled.

BANKS AND ECONOMICS:

Yes Bank slips 3 notches to 10th spot as most valued bank.

• Private lender YES Bank Ltd has slipped three notches to 10th spot, in terms of market valuation, for the first time, as its shares slumped over 30% in the last four sessions after the bank reported a surprise net loss in its March quarter earnings.

• YES BANK is now the 10th most valued bank from seventh earlier, slipping below market valuation of state-run lenders - Bank of Baroda and Punjab National Bank.

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Important Current Affairs of 5th May

NATIONAL:

ISRO planning to send a probe to study sun early next year

• Indian Space Research Organizationis planning to send a probe to study the sun early next year.ISRO chairman Dr K Sivan currently scientists are exploring possibilities to study more about Sun and the probe named Aditya-L1 will be sent to observe the solar corona, the outer layers of the Sun.

• The satellite would be ed in a halo orbit around the L1 (Lagrangian point 1) of the Sun-Earth system so that it has the advantage of continuously viewing the Sun without any occultation or eclipses.

• The L1 is 1.5 million kms from t the mission to send Indian astronauts to space by 2022 is well on stream. The provided by ISRO, officials were able to forecast the landfall area and this helped in taking precautionary measures in advance.

NHA sets up unit to boost innovations

• The National Health Authority (NHA), the implementing body for the Ayushman Bharat-Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojna (AB-PMJAY), has set up a unit to promote innovations that reduce dependence on imported technologies to make quality health care affordable.

• The NHA “innovation unit” comprises a four-member team that will sift through applications from start-ups, including organisations and individuals, offering technologies that lower cost. Ayushman Bharat is the Modi government’s flagship public health insurance scheme.

• “Lot of start-ups offer affordable health care by innovating on expensive technologies that exist. Many have approached us with proposals to develop cost-effective machines, gadgets, diagnostic kits, data privacy technology etc to bring down the cost significantly,” said Dinesh Arora, deputy CEO, Ayushman Bharat.

Odisha death toll in Cyclone Fani rises to 16; Puri without power, water

• A day after Cyclone Fani wreaked havoc at the pilgrim town of Puri with wind speed in excess of 220 km per hour, the district administration still grappling with the devastation which includes damage to parts of the Jagannath temple.

• So far 16 people across Odisha have been killed in the cyclone due to wall collapse, falling of trees and flying debris. But officials said the death toll may go up as rescuers are unable to reach several places of the coastal districts which are still inaccessible.

• “Till now we are unable to reach disconnected blocks like Krushnsprasad, Bramhagiri and Astaranga. Though we have managed to somehow clear the national highway connecting Bhubaneswar and the roads in the town, many interior roads are still inaccessible.

INTERNATIONAL:

Donald Trump, Vladimir Putin discuss new nuclear accord possibly including China

• U.S. President Donald Trump said he and Russian President Vladimir Putin discussed on Friday the possibility of a new accord limiting nuclear arms that could eventually include China in what would be a major deal between the globe’s top three atomic powers.

• Trump, speaking to reporters as he met in the Oval Office with Peter Pellegrini, prime minister of the Slovak Republic, also said he and Putin discussed efforts to persuade North Korea to give up nuclear weapons, the political discord in Venezuela, and Ukraine during a call that stretched over an hour.

• The 2011 New START treaty, the only U.S.-Russia arms control pact limiting deployed strategic nuclear weapons, expires in February 2021 but can be extended for five years if both sides agree. Without the agreement, it could be harder to gauge each other’s intentions, arms control advocates say.

BANKS AND ECONOMICS:

Huawei overtook Apple to become Worlds 2nd largest smartphone maker

• The Chinese electronics giant Huawei has surpassed Apple to become the No. 2 smartphone vendor worldwide, according to statistics from the International Data Corp. (IDC).

• South Korean consumer electronics giant Samsung continues to top the list with 20.9% market share.

• Huawei was the only smartphone maker in the top three that saw an increase in shipments in the first quarter of 2019.The company saw year-over-year growth of 50.3% in the first quarter and claimed 19% of the worldwide market share.

Apple holds 11.7% of the worldwide market share as of the first quarter of 2019, while Huawei now claims 19%.

• Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi sits on the fourth position in the list.

The fifth position is captured by another Chinese smartphone maker - Oppo.

AWARDS AND RECOGNITION:

Nileena M S won the ACJ Award for Investigative Journalism

• The article titled 'Coalgate 2.0'authored by Nileena M S and published in The Caravan magazinein March 2018 has won the ACJ Award for Investigative Journalism, 2018.

• The award, which comprises a trophy, a citation, and Rs. 2,00,000 cash prize. It was presented to the winner by John Micklethwait, Editor-in-Chief of Bloomberg News,who was the chief guest at the journalism school's annual convocation ceremony.

World Press Freedom Prize 2019 awarded to Myanmar Journalists

• The World Press Freedom Prize also known as UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize 2019 is formally conferred every year by Director-General of UNESCO, on occasion of World Press Freedom Day observed on 3 May.

• In 2019 award would be shared by two jailed Myanmar journalists Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo who reported on alleged human rights violations in the state of Rakhine, Myanmar. The Reuters reporters are serving a seven-year prison sentence in Myanmar. They are charged with breaking the country's secrets law for their journalistic investigation on the military's brutal crackdown and killings of Rohingya Muslims in Rakhine state.

• Recognised for:

The award recognises their exceptional courage in reporting on alleged human rights violations in the Myanmar's state of Rakhine. Both Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo's documentary on the taboo topic regarding crimes committed against Rohingyas landed them behind the bars. The award paid a tribute to their courage, resistance and commitment to freedom of expression.

DAYS:

World Laughter Day is celebrated on the first Sunday of May of every year

• World Laughter Day is celebrated on the first Sunday of May of every year. The first celebration was on May 10, 1998, in Mumbai, India. The celebration of World Laughter Day was meant to be a positive manifestation for world peace and to build up a global consciousness of brotherhood and friendship through laughter and run-on sentences.

•  Its popularity has grown exponentially with that of the Laughter Yoga movement, which is now counting over 6000 Laughter Clubs worldwide on all 5 continents.

World Laughter Day was created in 1998 by Dr. Madan Kataria, founder of the worldwide Laughter Yoga movement.

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