GS Paper I- Indian Heritage and Culture.

Walmiki And Malhar, 2 languages Unknown To Linguists, Discovered By Hyderabad University.

Background

  • The University of Hyderabad on 6th April, 2018 said two languages which were lying hidden from linguists have been discovered by a professor of linguistics in the institution.
  • As a part of the activity of the Centre for Endangered Languages and Mother Tongue Studies, Prof Panchanan Mohanty discovered two languages recently, which were lying hidden from linguists, a university release said.
  • One of them is called Walmiki and is spoken in the district of Koraput of Odishaand on the bordering districts of Andhra Pradesh, it said.

Highlights Of The Development-

  • The professor collected some data and did a preliminary analysis and published a paper in the proceedings of the XX Annual Conference of the Foundation for Endangered Languages, UK.
  • The analysis showed that the language is an “isolate”, and does not belonged to a particular family of languages, the release said.
  • The name of the language, Walmiki, is also interesting and indicative because the speech community claims descent from the great Indian saint-poet Valmiki, it said.
  • The second language “Malhar” is spoken in a remote and isolated hamlet about 165 km away from Bhubaneswar.
  • The community consists of about 75 speakers including children.
  • The preliminary data shows that Malhar belonged to the North Dravidian subgroup of the Dravidian family of languages and that it has close affinities with the other North Dravidian languages like Malto and Kurux spoken in West Bengal, Jharkhand and Bihar, the release said.

Sources- HT.

 

GS Paper II- International Relations.

Prez Kovind On 3-Nation Tour Of Equatorial Guinea, Swaziland And Zambia.

Background

  • President Ram Nath Kovind, accompanied by First Lady Savita Kovind, on 7th April, 2018 embarked on a three-nation State visit to the African countries of Equatorial Guinea, Swaziland and Zambia from April 7 to 12.
  • The President’s visit to Equatorial Guinea and Swaziland will be the first-ever visit by any head of state of India. President Kovind’s visit to Zambia is taking place after 29 years.
  • The visit comes at the invitation of Equatorial Guinea President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo.

 

Highlights Of The Development-

  • President Obiang will also host an official banquet lunch for President Kovind. In the evening, the latter will also address the Indian community at a reception organised by the Embassy of India.
  • During the visit to Swaziland, President Kovind will be received by the King of Swaziland, Mswati-III and accorded a ceremonial reception on his arrival to the country on April 9. He would hold delegation-level talks with the Swazi officials.
  • President Kovind and King Mswati-III will jointly inaugurate the Information Technology Centre located in the Royal Science and Technology Park (RSTP). The other elements of the visit include an address by the President at the Swazi Parliament and call on Queen Mother. The King of Swaziland would host an official banquet for President Kovind.
  • President Kovind would arrive in Lusaka in Zambia on April 10 where he would be received by his Zambian counterpart Edgar Chagwa Lunguand would be accorded a ceremonial welcome.
  • President Kovind would have delegation-level talks with the Zambian side. His programme includes a meeting with Dr. Kenneth David Kaunda, first President of the Republic of Zambia. Also, a state banquet would be hosted in honour of President Kovind, interaction with the Indian community and addressing a business event.
  • The President’s visit to Equatorial Guinea, Swaziland and Zambia would be his third visit to the African continent. The visit would help to further deepen the relations between the three African countries.
  • Last month (March, 2018), President Kovind undertook a two-nation visit to Madagascar and Mauritius.

Sources- Business-Standard.

 

GS Paper III- Economic Development.

ICICI Bank 1st To Get Swift’s New Cross-Border Payment Service.

Background

  • Global financial messaging cooperative Swift on 6th April said ICICI Bank has become its first Indian client to go live with an improved cross-border payments service.
  • The announcement of the service, which Swift claimed as being more transparent, comes weeks after the discovery of one of the largest banking frauds to be detected in Indian history, the Rs 12,900-crore Nirav Modi scam at the Punjab National Bank (PNB).
  • The Swift platform was allegedly used by erring officials of PNB to initiate messages based on which payments were made to Modi’s purported overseas suppliers. The scam has led to a slew of changes, including a ban on the letters of undertaking (LoU), which can hurt importers.

 

Highlights Of The Development-

  • The service enables real-time payments tracking across correspondent banks and has a facility to track the payments instructions across the correspondent banks globally, the statement said.
  • The cooperative is also looking to add features to it, including an ability to stop and recall payment in case of a fraud or when a duplicate payment has been sent erroneously.
  • Shetty said the powerful economies look for a trusted trading partner, and claimed the new service ‘Swift gpi’ will help in ease of doing business.
  • He added “hundreds of thousands” of gpi (global payments innovation) payments are already being sent daily and being settled in minutes, and even seconds.
  • ICICI Bank’s executive director Vijay Chandok said it is committed to improve transparency and the new service helps it deliver a totally new standard.

Sources- Moneycontrol.