Current Affairs in Short: 27 June 2019
SEBI announced that liquid mutual fund schemes will have to hold at least 20% in liquid assets.
Swiss authorities freeze 4 bank accounts of Nirav Modi
• The Switzerland authorities froze four bank accounts of beleaguered diamantaire Nirav Modi and his sister Purvi Modi, on Enforcement Directorate’s request.
• The official statement said the accounts, at present, have deposits of worth Rs. 283.16 crore and they have been frozen on the request of the Enforcement Directorate (ED) after it informed Switzerland authorities.
• Nirav Modi, who is under arrest in this case in London, have deposits of USD 3,74,11,596 while the accounts in the name of his sister Purvi Modi has deposits of Pound 27,38,136.
Bombay High Court upheld Maharashtra government's decision on reservation
• The Bombay High Court upheld the Maharashtra government's decision to provide reservation to the Maratha community in government jobs and educational institutions.
• However, the court cut down on the quantum of 16 per cent approved by the government on the grounds that it was not "justifiable".
• The verdict passed by the division bench, comprising Justices Ranjit More and Bharati Dangre, came on a petition claiming that the Maharashtra government's decision amounted to providing the Maratha community with "permanent crutches".
SEBI announced new rules for liquid mutual funds
• SEBI announced that liquid mutual fund schemes will have to hold at least 20% in liquid assets like government securities gilts.
• Liquid mutual funds primarily invest investments in money market and debt instruments. The objective is to provide returns commensurate with low risk and provide a high level of liquidity.
• SEBI banned mutual funds from entering into standstill agreements with companies. The market regulator also issued fresh guidelines for pledged shares.
Robot arm developed to 'taste' chemicals using bacteria
• Scientists have developed a robotic gripping arm that uses engineered bacteria to "taste" for specific chemicals, an advance that may pave the way for biohybrid machines that can sense and interact with the environment around them.
• It is developed by researchers at the University of California, Davis and Carnegie Mellon University in the US, is a proof-of-concept for biologically-based soft robotics.
• The new device uses a biosensing module based on E coli bacteria engineered to respond to the chemical IPTG by producing a fluorescent protein.
‘Impressive’ tortoise discovered in Arunachal Pradesh
• A team of herpetologists from the Forest Department and two NGOs — Help Earth and Turtle Survival Alliance (TSA) — found the Impressed Tortoise (Manouria impressa) in Yazali area of Arunachal Pradesh a few days ago.
• This tortoise considered beautiful enough to be named ‘impressed’. This is the first record of this tortoise in India, taking the count to five and the non-marine chelonian count to 29.
• The male Impressed Tortoise is smaller than the female which is 30 cm in length. This Manouria species is one-third the size of the Asian Forest Tortoise.