Current Affairs

3 May, 2021

International

Scientists Discovered Smallest Blackhole in Milky Way Galaxy named “The Unicorn”

Scientists have discovered the smallest known black hole in the Milky Way Galaxy and the closest black hole to the solar system. This black hole has been nicknamed “the Unicorn”. The black hole is around 3 times the mass of the Sun, is located around 1500 light-years from earth. The black hole is a part of the binary star system named V723 Mon in which a star called Red Giant orbits the black hole.

US approves proposed sale of 6 P-8I Patrol Aircraft to India

The United States State Department has approved the proposed sale of 6 Poseidon-8I (P-8I) Patrol Aircraft and other equipment to India. The deal is estimated to cost USD 2.42 Billion (~ INR 18, 000 Crore). It is being procured by the Indian Government for use by the Indian Navy. The P-8I Patrol Aircrafts are produced by Boeing, an American Aerospace & Defense Company. In November 2019, the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) chaired by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh approved the procurement of the P-8I Aircrafts and other equipment.
About Boeing
President & CEO – David L. Calhoun
Headquarters – Chicago, USA

National

Government sets Food grains Production target at 307 Million Tonnes for 2021-22

Union Minister of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare Narendra Singh Tomar has stated that the Government has set Foodgrains Production target for the crop year 2021-22 at 307 Million Tonnes (MT), the production target for 2020-21 was 301.92 MT Season wise target – 151.43 MT in Kharif season & 155.88 MT during Rabi season. The government has also set targets for rice, wheat, pulses and others for the year 2021-22. Narendra Singh Tomar stated the targets during the inauguration of ‘The National Conference on Agriculture for Kharif Campaign-2021’ held virtually on April 30, 2021.
Commodity Production Target
Rice 121.1 MT
Wheat 110 MT
Pulses 25 MT
Cotton 37 MT
Sugarcane 397 MT

French Firm Alstom delivers 100th Electric Locomotive to Indian Railways

Alstom, a French multinational rolling stock manufacturer successfully manufactured and delivered its 100th Electric Locomotive to the Indian Railways. It is part of the 3.5 Billion Euro (~ INR 25, 000 Crore – during time of signing) contract signed between the Ministry of Railways, India & Alstom in 2015 for delivery of 800 fully electric high-powered double-section locomotives of 12,000 HorsePower (HP) (9 MW). It is the Largest Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) Project in the Indian Railway sector.
About Alstom
Chairman of Board of Directors & CEO – Henri Poupart-Lafarge
Global HeadQuarters (HQ)- Saint-Ouen, France
Indian HQ – Bangalore, Karnataka

Indian Army Inaugurates its 1st Green Solar Energy Harnessing Plant in North Sikkim

Indian Army Inaugurated its 1st Green Solar Energy Harnessing Plant of 56 KVA (KiloVolt-Ampere) in North Sikkim. The Plant uses Vanadium based battery Technology and is situated at an Altitude of 16000 Ft. The project has been completed in collaboration with IIT Mumbai. It was completed by a team from IIT Mumbai which was led by Professor Prakash Ghosh and troops of the Indian Army. The project will benefit troops in forward areas and will be environment friendly. India Targets 175 GW Renewable Energy by 2022 – 100 GW Solar, 60 GW Wind, 10 GW Bio-Energy, 5 GW Small Hydro.
About Indian Army
Chief of Army Staff – General MM Naravane
Headquarters – New Delhi

Indian Navy Launches Operation Samudra Setu-II for Shipment of Oxygen-filled containers to India

Indian Navy has launched Operation Samudra Setu-II for shipment of Liquid oxygen-filled cryogenic containers & associated medical equipment to India from other countries.
i.It is part of the ongoing national mission for meeting Oxygen requirements in India. The demand for Oxygen has increased in India due to COVID-19.
About Indian Navy
Chief of Naval Staff (CNS) – Admiral Karambir Singh
Integrated Headquarters of Ministry of Defence (Navy) – New Delhi

Central Government Allocates INR 15,000 Crore to States for Capital Expenditure

The Ministry of Finance, Government of India is set to provide an additional amount of INR 15,000 Crore to State Governments as Interest free 50-year loan for spending on Capital projects for the FY 2021-22. The loan will be provided to the States under ‘Scheme of Financial Assistance to States for Capital Expenditure’. The Scheme was launched in 2020. It aims to nudge States to spend more on infrastructure and incentivize disinvestment of State Public Sector Enterprises (SPSEs). The Guidelines for the scheme were released by the Department of Expenditure, Ministry of Finance.
Part Amount Allocated Details
Part-I INR 2, 600 Crore for North-East and Hill States i.Assam, Himachal Pradesh & Uttarakhand to get INR 400 Crore each.
ii.Other states will get INR 200 Crore each.
Part-II

INR 7, 400 crore for States not covered under Part-I The amount has been allocated to these states in proportion to their share of Central Taxes.
(as per award of 15th Finance Commission for 2021-22)
Part-III INR 5000 Crore to States for monetization/recycling of infrastructure assets & disinvestment of SPSEs. States will get Interest free 50 years loan ranging from 33% to 100% of the amount realized by them through asset monetization, listing & disinvestment
About Ministry of Finance:
Union Minister – Nirmala Sitharaman (Rajya Sabha MP representing Karnataka)
Minister of State (MoS) – Anurag Singh Thakur (Lok Sabha MP, Constituency – Hamirpur, Himachal Pradesh)

Economy

Himachal Pradesh State Cooperative Bank was imposed Rs 40 lakh penalty by RBI

The RBI has imposed a penalty of Rs 40 lakh on Himachal Pradesh State Cooperative Bank, Shimla, for non-compliance with certain regulatory directions issued by NABARD.
The penalty has been imposed for non-compliance with regulatory directions issued by NABARD contained in ”Review of Frauds – Guidelines on Monitoring and Reporting System”

Central Bank of India launched ‘Immune India Deposit Scheme’ to Boost COVID-19 vax Drive

The Central Bank of India launched the “Immune India Deposit Scheme” a special deposit scheme to provide an additional interest rate of 25 basis points in addition to the applicable card rate for the vaccinated people. The Immune India Deposit Scheme has a maturity of 1111 days. The senior citizens are also eligible for the extra interest as applicable.

SEBI Mandated AMCs to Pay 20% Salaries of Key Employees in Units of Mutual Funds

In order to bring transparency in the acts of Asset Management Company’s (AMC) Key employees, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has mandated Key employees of AMCs to pay 20 percent of their salary (including perks, bonus, non-cash compensation net of income tax and statutory contributions like Employees Provident Fund) in units of mutual fund schemes in which they have a role/oversight. The regulations will be applicable from 1st July 2021 and they are only for AMCs, not on the agents, banks, and insurance companies. Key employees of AMCs include – Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Chief Investment Officer (CIO), Chief Risk Officer (CRO), Chief Information Security Officer (CISO), etc.
About Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI):
Establishment – On April 12, 1992, under the Securities and Exchange Board of India Act, 1992.
Headquarters – Mumbai, Maharashtra
Chairman – Ajay Tyagi

CtrlS Partners with Canara HSBC OBC Life Insurance to Provide Technology Solutions

CtrlS Datacenters, Asia’s largest hyperscale rated-4 data center provider and managed services company made a partnership with Canara HSBC Oriental Bank of Commerce Life Insurance as Strategic Technology Partner to improve the Canara HSBC’s adaptability over the technology infrastructure.
Reason for Partnership: As the Canara HSBC desired to upgrade its technology landscape, CtrlS plans to operate one of its data center facilities to support for its digital transformation.
About CtrlS:
Establishment – October 2007
Founder and CEO – Sridhar Pinnapureddy
Headquarters – Hyderabad, Telangana
About Canara HSBC Oriental Bank of Commerce Life Insurance:
It is a joint venture between Canara Bank (51%), HSBC Insurance (Asia Pacific) Holdings Limited (26%) and Punjab National Bank (23%).
Establishment – 2008
Headquarters – Gurugram, Haryana
MD and CEO – Anuj Mathur

Mastercard and Gemini partners to launch a crypto rewards credit card

Mastercard in partnership with Cryptocurrency exchange, Gemini & WebBank, a leader in digital lending and the bank issuing the credit card to launch a 1st of its kind, Cryptocurrency rewards credit card.
ii.Using this card, Clients will earn up to 3% in cryptocurrencies depending on their purchase.
iii.The rewards will be automatically deposited in the cardholder’s Gemini account in real time.
iv.There will be no annual fee for the card and there is a 24/7 live customer support
v.This is a small metal card with only the cardholder’s name on it.The 16 digit card number can be accessed in Gemini web or mobile app and require two factor authentication since it is not present in the card.
About Gemini:
Founder: Tyler
Headquarters: New York, United States
About Mastercard:
Executive Chairman: Ajay Banga
Chief Executive Officer: Michael Miebach
Headquarters: New York, United States

SIDBI Launched Two Quick Credit Delivery Schemes Against COVID-19: SHWAS, AROG

In order to manage the national emergency and distress caused by COVID 19, the Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) has launched SHWAS & AROG, two new quick credit delivery schemes to help Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).
About the two current credit fund schemes:
i.SHWAS (SIDBI assistance to Healthcare sector in War Against the Second wave of COVID-19) – This scheme will fund MSMEs who are engaged in manufacturing of oxygen cylinders, oxy-generators, oxygen concentrators, liquid oxygen or providing services in transportation, storage, refilling to supply of these items.
ii.AROG (SIDBI Assistance to MSMEs for Recovery & Organic Growth during COVID-19 pandemic) – will fund for MSMEs engaged in manufacturing of Pulse Oximeters, Permitted drugs (Remdesivir, Fabiflu, Dexamethasone, Azithromycin), Ventilators, and Personal protective equipment(PPEs). Both the schemes will provide the MSME unit with 100 per cent funding up to an amount of ₹2 crores at an attractive interest rate of 4.50-6 per cent, within 48 hours (after receipt of all the documents/information).
About Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI):
It is a Principal Financial Institution established to promote, finance and develop MSME sectors.
Establishment – 2nd April 1990 (under an Act of Indian Parliament)
Headquarters – Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh
Chairman & Managing Director – Sivasubramanian Ramann
Deputy Managing Director – V Satya Venkata Rao

Sports

Manchester City won League Cup football tournament

Manchester City won the League Cup for a record-equalling fourth time in succession with a deserved victory over a disappointing Tottenham Hotspur side at Wembley. City’s victory equalled Liverpool’s achievement in the early 1980s of winning the competition four years in a row.

Women of India Won 7 Gold in AIBA Youth World Boxing Championship

AIBA is International World Boxing Championships that AIBA Women World Boxing Championship and AIBA World Boxing Championships biennially.Indian Women created history at the AIBA Youth World Boxing Championship 2021. A complete of eight Indians entered the finals. Of this, seven have been women. All the female finalists finished on top.
In 2017, Indian Women gained 5 gold medals. The 2017 Youth World Championship used to be held in Guwahati.

Miscellaneous

DCB Bank Acquired Stake Worth 10 Crore from GIFT City’s India ICC & India INX

DCB Bank has acquired Rs.10 Crore worth stake in India International Exchange Ltd (India INX), India International Clearing Corporation Ltd (India ICC) leading companies in GIFT City (Gujarat International Finance Tec-City), International Financial Services Centre (IFSC). DCB had invested Rs.10 crore in which, Rs 5 crore spent to acquire 2.89 per cent stake of India INX & remaining Rs.5 Crore was spend to acquire 4.93 per cent stake of India ICC. India ICC provides clearing and settlement, and risk management services to India INX, India’s 1st exchange in IFSC. Both India INX and India ICC were promoted by the Bombay Stock Exchange(BSE) and regulated by IFSC.
About DCB Bank:
Establishment – 1930
Headquarters – Mumbai, Maharashtra
MD and CEO – Murali Natrajan
Tagline – We Value You
About Gujarat International Finance Tec (GIFT)City:
It is India’s first operational greenfield smart city (business district) established in Gandhinagar, Gujarat. It is located on the banks of the Sabarmati River and around 12 km from Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport. As of April 2021, about 225 units/companies are operational under GIFT City.

KLI appointed Mahesh Balasubramanian as MD

Kotak Mahindra Life Insurance Company Limited (KLI) has appointed Mahesh Balasubramanian, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer (MD & CEO) of Kotak General Insurance(KGI) as its new Managing Director(MD) for a period of 3 years starting from 1st May 2021. He was appointed following the retirement of G Murlidhar. KLI is in receipt of approval from the Insurance Regulatory Development Authority of India(IRDAI) for the appointment of Balasubramanian. Suresh Agarwal has been appointed as the MD & CEO of KGI.
About Mahesh Balasubramanian:
i.Mahesh Balasubramanian has been serving as the founder MD & CEO of KGI since 2014.
ii.He started his career at Godrej & Boyce in 1992.
iii.He has worked at Cholamandalam Investment and Finance company and Murugappa Group.
iv.He was the co-founder of Apnaloan.com India’s first and largest Online Loan marketplace for Credit Cards, Unsecured Loans, Car Loans and Mortgages.
v.He joined the Kotak Mahindra Bank in 2005.
About Kotak Mahindra Life Insurance Company Limited (KLI):
Managing Director– Mahesh Balasubramanian
Head Office– Mumbai, Maharashtra

PESB named Amit Banerjee as the CMD of BEML Ltd

The Public Enterprises Selection Board (PESB), has appointed Amit Banerjee the Director (Rail & Metro Business) of BEML limited, as the new Chairman and Managing Director(CMD) of BEML (Bharat Earth Movers Limited) Limited, a Miniratna Defence Public sector undertakings under the Ministry of Defence. He succeeds DK Hota who retired on 31st January 2021. MV Rajasekhar, Director (Mining & Construction) of BEML Ltd has been holding the additional charge as the CMD since January.
About Amit Banerjee:
i.Amit Banerjee joined BEML as Assistant Engineer in 1984.
ii.He has worked in the R&D and manufacturing functions of BEML.
iii.He was involved in the design and development of various products like SSEMU, Metro cars, Catenary Maintenance Vehicle etc.
iv.The team under his guidance received the “Raksha Mantri Award” for the design and development of Austenitic Stainless Steel EMU & Intermediate metro cars for Delhi Metro.

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