Current Affairs

3 November, 2021

International

NITI Aayog, World Bank to set up Risk Sharing Instrument for Financing EVs

NITI (National Institution for Transforming India) Aayog and the World Bank (WB) are working together to facilitate a program for faster and easier financing of electric vehicles (EVs). NITI Aayog and World Bank are setting up a $300-million ‘first loss risk sharing instrument’, with the State Bank of India (SBI) as its program manager. The current rate of interest for electric two-wheelers & electric 3 Wheelers, which is in the range of 20-25 percent is expected to be reduced to 10-12 percent.

Note – Currently, banks seem uninterested in financing EVs due to a small resale market, higher default probabilities, and significant upfront costs.
About World Bank:
Headquarters – Washington DC, USA
President – David R. Malpass (13th President)

National

DAC Approved Military Purchases Worth Rs 7,965 crore

The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) headed by Defence Minister of Defence (MoD) Rajnath Singh approved proposals worth Rs 7,965 crore for modernisation and operational needs of the Armed Forces. All the proposals are under the initiative of ‘Make in India’ with a focus on the design, development and manufacturing of weapons and equipment in India.

Approved Procurements:
i.Procurement of 12 Light Utility Helicopters (LUH) from HAL (Hindustan Aeronautics Limited).
ii.Lynx U2 Fire Control System from Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) to enhance detection tracking and engagement capabilities of Naval warships.
iii.Mid Life Upgradation of Dornier Aircraft from HAL to increase Naval capacity of coastal surveillance.
iv.Global procurement case of Naval guns foreclosed with these guns’ quantity added to upgraded Short Range Gun Mountbeing (SRGM) manufactured by BHEL.
About Ministry of Defence (MoD):
Union Minister – Raj Nath Singh (Constituency – Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh)
Minister of State – Ajay Bhatt (Constituency – Nainital-Udhamsingh Nagar, Uttarakhand)

Education Ministry launches ‘Bhasha Sangam’ initiative for Schools, Mobile App & EBSB Quiz App

The Union Minister of Education and Skill Development, Dharmendra Pradhan launched the ‘Bhasha Sangam Initiative’ for school, ‘Bhasha Sangam Mobile App’ and ‘Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat (EBSB) Quiz App’.

Objective – To enhance the linguistic diversity, make Students to acquire basic conversational proficiency in Indian Languages, other than their Mother tongue, as per the agenda of National Education Policy 2020
It was launched on the occasion of ‘Rashtriya Ekta Diwas’ which is celebrated on October 31 every year to mark the birth anniversary of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, first Deputy Prime Minister of India.
Bhasha Sangam
i.It is the initiative of the Ministry of Education, launched under Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat.
ii.It teaches the usage of basics of language and improves basic conversational skills in 22 Indian languages.
(Note– Schedule VIII of Indian constitution mentioned about 22 languages).
About Ministry of Education
Minister: Dharmendra Pradhan ( Rajya Sabha, Madhya Pradesh)
Minister of State: Annpurna Devi (Koderma,Jharkhand), Dr. Subhas Sarkar (Bankura, West Bengal), Dr. Rajkumar Ranjan Singh (Inner Manipur, Manipur)

Union Minister Sarbananda Sonowal Launched 5 New Vessels at CSL

Union Minister of Ports, Shipping and Waterways, Sarbananda Sonowal inaugurated the simultaneous launching of 5 new vessels at Cochin Shipyard Limited (CSL). The vessels were launched by five senior-most women employees of CSL.
About Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways:
Union Minister – Sarbananda Sonowal
Minister of State – Shripad Yesso Naik (North Goa, Goa), Shantanu Thakur (Bangaon, West Bengal)

IOC to set up India’s first mega-scale Maleic Anhydride Plant at Panipat, Haryana

The Indian Oil Corp (IOC) will set up India’s first mega-scale Maleic Anhydride Plant with an outlay of Rs 3,681 crore to manufacture value-added chemical products at its Panipat refinery and petroleum complex (PRPC) in Haryana. The project will be commissioned in 54 months.

GoI constituted 20-member EGoS to Monitor Implementation of PM Gati Shakti NMP

i.The Prime Minister (PM) of India, Narendra Damodardas Modi launched ‘PM GatiShakti – National Master Plan for Multi-Modal Connectivity’ during an event at Pragati Maidan, New Delhi. As a part of this, it was announced that there will be an Empowered Group of Secretaries (EGoS) to look after its implementation.

ii.Now following this, Government of India (GoI) has constituted a 20-member EGoS which will monitor mechanism for the development of the PM Gati Shakti National Master Plan (NMP). The Cabinet Secretary (Currently Rajiv Gauba) will be its Chairperson.

iii.The Logistics Division under the Ministry of Commerce & Industry will act as Secretariat to the EGoS for its ToRs (Terms of References).
About Ministry of Commerce and Industry:
Union Minister– Piyush Goyal (Rajya Sabha- Maharashtra)
Minister of State– Som Parkash(Constituency- Hoshiarpur, Punjab); Anupriya Patel (Constituency- Mirzapur, Uttar Pradesh)

Economy

ICICI Lombard Partnered with Vega Helmets to Promote Road Safety Awareness

ICICI Lombard General Insurance Co Ltd(ICICI Lombard) has partnered with Vega Helmets to increase road safety awareness and to promote the habit of protection. Under this partnership, ICICI Lombard will provide a personal accident policy on every online purchase of Vega Helmet.
Features of the partnership:
i.This partnership between ICICI Lombard and Vega helmet aims to provide the customers dual safety and protection, through the helmet and the personal accident insurance cover.
ii.The personal accident cover will offer the benefits of accidental death with an insured amount of Rs 1 lakh. This is applicable on a worldwide basis.
Background:
According to the YouGov International Automotive Report 2021, The intent to use public transport is among the lowest in urban Indians across the globe, around 49% are stating that they will use public transport less in the future.
Ride to safety initiative:
i.Under its ‘Ride to Safety’ initiative, ICICI Lombard has undertaken various activities to create awareness about safety rules.
ii.This partnership with vega helmets is in line with the efforts of ICICI Lombard to ensure the personal security of individuals.
About ICICI Lombard:
MD & CEO– Bhargav Dasgupta
Headquarters– Mumbai, Maharashtra

SBI Launched 2-Wheeler Scheme under YONO – ‘SBI Easy Ride’

State Bank of India (SBI) launched a pre-approved 2-wheeler loan scheme ‘SBI Easy Ride’ through its YONO platform. The scheme will enable eligible SBI customers to avail themselves of end-to-end digital two-wheeler loans through the YONO app. The customers could get Easy Ride loans for an amount up to Rs 3 lakh at an interest rate of 10.5 percent per annum onwards for a maximum tenure of 4 years. The minimum loan amount has been fixed at Rs 20,000. Loans for up to 85 percent of the on-road price of the vehicle could be availed under the scheme.

Note – YONO is an integrated digital banking platform offered by the SBI to enable users to access a variety of financial and other services.
About State Bank of India (SBI):
Establishment – 1st July 1955
Headquarters – Mumbai, Maharashtra
Chairman – Dinesh Kumar Khara

Govt Opened 7th Tranche of SGB Scheme with Issue Price

The Government of India (GoI) in consultation with the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), has announced the Sovereign Gold Bond (SGB) Scheme 2021-22. The SGBs will be issued in 4 tranches of Series VII, VIII, IX and X from October 2021 to March 2022. Under the SGB scheme, there will be a distinct series for every tranche.

SGB Scheme 2021-22 Series VII – Issue Price:
i.The Ministry of Finance has fixed the nominal value for SGB at Rs 4,761 per gram of gold.
ii.Discount: GoI has decided to offer a discount of Rs 50 per gram on the nominal value to those investors who are applying online and making payments through digital mode.
iii.Thus after discount the issue price of Gold Bond will be Rs 4,711 per gram of gold.
-R-GMS: Govt Reduced Deposit Amount to 10 gram of Gold
In February 2021, the Union government made certain amendments to the Gold Monetisation Scheme (GMS) and announced a Revamped GMS (R-GMS). Under R-GMS, the minimum deposit amount under R-GMS was reduced to just 10 grams of raw gold (bars, coins, jewellery excluding stones and other metals) from 30 grams.
About Sovereign Gold Bond (SGB):
i.They are the government securities denominated in grams of gold and they are issued by the RBI on behalf of the government.
ii.To reduce the demand for physical gold, the sovereign gold bond scheme was launched in November 2015.
iii.To buy the gold bonds, the investors have to pay the issue price in cash and the bonds will be redeemed in cash on maturity.

Sports

Indian Paddlers G Sathiyan & Harmeet Desai Won Men’s Doubles Title at WTT Contender Tunis

Indian Table Tennis players Sathiyan Gnanasekaran and Harmeet Desai have won the Men’s doubles title of the World Table Tennis (WTT) Contender Tunis tournament 2021, against Emmanuel Lebesson and Alexander Cassin of France. WTT Contender Tunis 2021 was held in Tunisia from 24th to 30th October 2021 at Salle Omnisport de Rades, Tunis, Tunisia. WTT Contender Series is a part of the revamped International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF). This is the first-ever WTT Series held in Tunisia and the first-ever WTT series held in entire Africa.

Winners of WTT Contender Tunis 2021:

Category Winners
Men’s Singles Anton Kallberg
Women’s Singles Hana Matelova
Men’s Doubles Sathiyan Gnanasekaran
Harmeet Desai

Women’s Doubles Linda Bergstrom
Christina Kallberg

Mixed Doubles Emmanuel Lebesson
Jia Nan Yuan

About Sathiyan Gnanasekaran:
i.Sathiyan Gnanasekaran from Chennai,Tamilnadu has won the 2016 World Tour Belgium Open and became the first first-ever Indian athlete to have won an international title on European ground.
ii.He has also won the 2017 Challenge Spanish Open.
iii.He has won the gold at the 2018 Commonwealth Games and a first-ever Asian Games bronze medal in 2018.
iv.He won the Arjuna Award in 2018.
About Harmeet Desai:
i.Harmeet Desai from Surat ,Gujarat won the gold in the 2018 Commonwealth Games held at Gold Coast, Australia.
ii.He won a doubles title with Soumyajit Ghosh in the 2015 Commonwealth Championships.
iii.He has also won the won Men’s Singles Title at Commonwealth Table Tennis Championships 2019.
iv.He won the Arjuna Award in 2019.
About International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF):
President– Thomas Weikert
Headquarters– Lausanne, Switzerland

Miscellaneous

BoB signs MoU with NCDEX e-Markets to Support Agro e-Commerce Businesses

The Bank of Baroda (BoB) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with NCDEX eMarkets Limited (NeML). Through this agreement BoB will work as a ‘Clearing Bank’ and It will handle financial transactions in the NeML marketplace and auction platform. NeML, India’s leading web-based commodities spot market, will work with BoB to give banking access to agriculture marketing federations and to support commodities traders.

Signatories – Jagdish Tungaria, Deputy General Manager – BoB & Mrugank Paranjape, MD & CEO NeML.
About Bank of Baroda (BoB)
Founded: 20 July 1908
Headquarters: Vadodara, Gujarat
Managing Director & CEO: Sanjiv Chadha
Tagline : India’s International Bank
About NeML (NCDEX eMarkets Limited)
Established – 2006
Managing Director & CEO : Mrugank Paranjape
Headquarters: Mumbai, Maharashtra
to Support Agro e-Commerce Businesses
NeML, India’s leading web-based commodities spot market, will work with BoB to give banking access to agriculture marketing federations and to support commodities traders
Signatories – Jagdish Tungaria, Deputy General Manager – BoB & Mrugank Paranjape, MD & CEO NeML
Tagline – India’s International Bank

Elon Musk’s Starlink registers India unit as ‘SSCPL’ to focus on Rural Areas

i.Starlink registered its business in India with name ‘SSCPL – Starlink Satellite Communications Private Limited’ to launch telecommunication services’ including satellite broadband internet services, content storage and streaming, multimedia communication, among others focusing on rural development.
ii.Starlink is the satellite internet division of billionaire Elon Musk’s rocket company SpaceX.
About SpaceX:
Space Exploration Technologies Corp is an American aerospace manufacturer, space transportation services and communications company
Founder and CEO– Elon Musk
Headquarters– Hawthorne, California, United States

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