Current Affairs

2 December, 2021


EIU’s Worldwide Cost of Living Index 2021: Tel Aviv Ranks World’s Costliest City; Paris, Singapore Ranks 2nd

According to the Economist Intelligence Unit’s (EIU) Worldwide Cost of Living Index 2021, Tel Aviv, Israel has become the most expensive city in the world to live in 2021, pushing Paris, France and Singapore jointly to occupy the second spot with Zurich and Hong Kong at the fourth and fifth spots respectively. Tel Aviv climbed from 5th place to the top in 2021 due to the rising value of the Israeli currency shekel against US Dollar along with increase in the price of grocery and transport. Syria’s Damascus was ranked as the world’s cheapest city.

The Worldwide Cost of Living Index examines the cost of living in 173 cities and measures impactful global events that are conducted twice a year.
About Economic Intelligence Unit (EIU)
Established – 1946
Headquarters – London, United Kingdom
Global Chief Economist, Managing Director(Asia) – Simon Baptist

Global Trade Report of UNCTAD: Global Trade Expected to Rise by 23% to $28 trillion in 2021

As per the Global Trade update report (November 2021) of UNCTAD (United Nations Conference on Trade and Development), the Global trade is expected to increase by 23 percent to reach about US$ 28 trillion in 2021, when compared to 2020. Global trade growth stabilized during the second half of 2021, increasing by 1 percent quarter-over-quarter. India trade growth accelerated in Q3 2021 both in goods and services, while China remained relatively constant.

India’s Trade in Goods and Services in Q3 2021:

Q3 2021 Relative to 2019 Average Q3 2021 Relative to Q2 2021
Imports Exports Imports Exports
Goods 26% 27% 15% 5%
Services 3% 7% 18% 17%

About UNCTAD (United Nations Conference on Trade and Development):
Establishment – 1964
Headquarters – Geneva, Switzerland
Secretary-general – Rebeca Grynspan


Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal Inaugurated 40th Edition of IITF 2021; Bihar won Gold Award

Union Commerce and Industry Minister, Piyush Goyal inaugurated the 40th edition of the India International Trade Fair (IITF) 2021 at Pragati Maidan in Delhi. IITF 2021 was held on November 14 to 27, 2021. It was organised by the India Trade Promotion Organisation with ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’ as the theme and to further promote the idea of ‘Vocal for Local’. An estimated 3,000 exhibitors from India and abroad have participated in the fair. The fair was not held in 2020 due to the COVID-19. Piyush Goyal listed five pillars of India as Economy, Exports, Infrastructure, Demand, and Diversity.

Partner state: Bihar is the partner state for the 40th IITF and the focus states are Uttar Pradesh and Jharkhand.

Bihar won Gold award at IITF 2021
i.The Bihar pavilion once again won the gold medal by showcasing the state’s art and cultural richness through handicrafts like Madhubani, Manjusha arts, terracotta, handlooms and other indigenous products of state at IITF 2021.
ii.This is the 6th gold medal for the Bihar pavilion in the last 7 years for its outstanding implementations at the IITF 2021.
iii.Bihar has been adjudged the ‘First for Excellence’ in display in the 40th IITF in the category of the State Government or Union Territory pavilions.
Silver Medal: Assam Pavilion has been awarded Silver Medal as the 2nd Best Pavilion among all the States and Union Territories at IITF 2021
About Bihar:
Chief Minister – Nitish Kumar
Wildlife Sanctuary – Rajgir Wildlife Sanctuary, Udaypur Wildlife Sanctuary, Valmiki Wildlife Sanctuary, Vikramshila Gangetic Dolphin Wildlife Sanctuary
Tiger Reserve – Valmiki Tiger Reserve

Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment forms 3-Member4 panel to Review EWS Criteria

The Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment announced the formation of a 3-member committee to review the annual income criteria for Economically Weaker Section (EWS) reservations in job and central education institutes.
About the Committee
i.The 3 members of the Committee:

Ajay Bhushan Pandey – Former Finance Secretary

Prof VK Malhotra – Member Secretary, ICSSR (Indian Council of Social Science Research)

Sanjeev Sanyal – Principal Economic Advisor to the Indian government (Member Convenor).

ii.The committee will now review the Rs 8 lakh family annual income ceiling for EWS to apply for 10 percent reserved seats in central education institutes and government jobs.
iii.The committee will examine various approaches followed in India so far for identifying EWS and recommend criteria.
About EWS: The 10 percent EWS quota was introduced under the 103rd Constitution (Amendment) Act, 2019. The 10 percent EWS reservation is given only for the General Category candidates apart from other category reservation benefits of OBC (27%), SC (Scheduled Castes) (15%), and ST ( Scheduled Tribe) (7.5%).
About Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment:
Union Minister – Virendra Kumar (Constituency – Tikamgarh, Madhya Pradesh)
Minister of State – Ramdas Athawale (Constituency – Maharashtra, Pratima Bhoumik (Constituency -Tripura West, Tripura), A. Narayanaswamy (Constituency – Chitradurga, Karnataka)

Govt Approves Continuation of ‘Scheme for Investment Promotion’ for 5 Years

The Ministry of Commerce and Industry has approved the continuation of the Scheme for Investment Promotion (SIP) for five years from 2021-22 till 2025-26 with a financial outlay of Rs 970 crore.

SIP is a Centrally Sponsored scheme, launched on 11th November 2008, to promote Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) into India.

Implementing Agency – Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT). The scheme comprises a number of components and activities that enhances international co-operation for promoting investments through FDI and capacity building in India.

About Ministry of Commerce and Industry:
Union Minister – Piyush Vedprakash Goyal (Constituency – Maharashtra)
Minister of state – Anupriya Singh Patel (Constituency – Mirzapur, Uttar Pradesh) ; Som Parkash (Constituency – Hoshiarpur, Punjab)


DBS Bank India Introduces an Industry-First Digital & Paperless Trade Financing Solution

DBS Bank India has introduced a paperless proposition for the financing of domestic invoices by buyers and sellers and also the first paperless domestic trade financing transaction with Lincon Polymers Pvt Ltd to reduce processing turn-around time and for efficient business. The Bank digitally validates the Electronic Way (E-Way) Bill which is the proof of movement of goods for transparency of trade transactions. The bank has completed its first end-to-end digital Purchase Invoice Finance (PIF) transaction for Lincon Polymers Pvt. Ltd

i.Customers can share details of their transactions through IDEAL (DBS’ digital banking platform that enables companies to initiate, monitor, and secure business transactions).
ii.The customer’s data is validated against the Government-enabled E-Way bill portal through Goods and Services Network (GSTN) after receiving a one-time authentication from the customer.
iii.The bank has partnered with Rezofin, an online invoice financing platform for this process.

About DBS Bank
DBS is a leading financial services group in Asia with a presence in 18 markets.
Headquarters – Singapore
CEO & Managing Director – Piyush Gupta
About DBS Bank India Limited
Headquarters – Mumbai, Maharashtra
CEO & Managing Director (MD) – Surojit Shome

RBI appointed 3-member Advisory Committee to assist RCL Administrator Nageswar Rao Y

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) superseded the Board of Directors of Reliance Capital Ltd (RCL), a Non-Banking Financial Company (NBFC) by appointing Nageswar Rao Y (Ex-Executive Director, Bank of Maharashtra) as the administrator of the company.
Now, to assist the administrator, RBI appointed a three-member advisory committee by exercising its powers conferred under section 45-IE (5) (a) of the RBI Act 1934. The committee will assist the administrator in discharge of his duties. The members of the advisory committee are as follows:
i.Sanjeev Nautiyal, ex-DMD, State Bank of India
ii.Srinivasan Varadarajan, ex-DMD (deputy managing director), Axis Bank
iii.Praveen P Kadle, ex-MD & CEO, Tata Capital Limited
The formulation of the committee is also on the lines of Insolvency and Bankruptcy (Insolvency and Liquidation Proceedings of Financial Service Providers and Application to Adjudicating Authority) Rules, 2019 which states the appointment of Advisory committee by the concerned financial sector regulator to advise the administrator during the corporate insolvency resolution process.
About Reserve Bank of India (RBI):
Establishment– April 1, 1935
Headquarters– Mumbai, Maharashtra
Governor– Shaktikanta Das
Deputy Governors– Mahesh Kumar Jain, Michael Debabrata Patra, M. Rajeshwar Rao, T. Rabi Sankar

FIRST Private Infinite: India’s 1st Standalone Metal Debit Card launched by IDFC FIRST Bank

IDFC FIRST Bank launched India’s first standalone metal debit card or black card namely ‘FIRST Private Infinite’ in partnership with Visa. It is crafted from hybrid metal with details printed in silver.
About ‘FIRST Private Infinite Card:
It is a lifetime free card to cater the customers of the bank’s FIRST Private program.The program offers an unrivalled banking and investment experience to customers and comes with a range of exceptional investment, banking, lifestyle and wellness benefits. It is specifically curated for premium cardholders and includes complimentary domestic and international lounge access for cardholders and companions, unparalleled insurance coverage, a road assistance program and access to golf courses India.

About IDFC FIRST Bank:
It was founded by the merger of Erstwhile IDFC Bank and Erstwhile Capital First Established– 2018
Managing Director (MD) & Chief Executive Officer (CEO)– V. Vaidyanathan
Headquarter– Mumbai, Maharashtra


World Athletics Awards 2021: India Legend Anju Bobby George named ‘Woman of the Year’; Full list of winners

World Athletics Awards: At the World Athletics Awards 2021, a retired Indian sprinter Anju Bobby George was awarded ‘Woman of the Year’ by the World Athletics for her efforts in advancing the sport in India and for inspiring more women to follow her footsteps and achieve their dreams of being a successful athlete.

At the World Athletics Awards 2021, the Olympic Champions Elaine Thompson-Herah of Jamaica and Norway’s Karsten Warholm were named the World Athletes of the year. The ceremony of the prestigious World Athletics Awards was held in a virtual mode on December 1, 2021.


Merriam-Webster Named ‘Vaccine’ as 2021 Word of the Year

Merriam-Webster, America’s most trusted online dictionary, has chosen ‘Vaccine’ as the 2021 word of the year. The word of the year is chosen by data that states the significant increase in lookup at in the past 12 months.
Lookups for the ‘Vaccine’ increased 601% year-over-year from 2020 and were up 1048% from 2019. The terms vaccine and vaccination are derived from Variolae vaccinae (smallpox of the cow), the term devised by Edward Jenner. He coined the word vaccine from the Latin word ‘vacca’ for cow. ‘Pandemic’ was the Merriam-Webster dictionary’s word of the year 2020.

A biography ‘Naoroji: Pioneer of Indian Nationalism’ by Dinyar Patel wins NIF Book Prize 2021

A biography titled ‘Naoroji: Pioneer of Indian Nationalism’, authored by Dinyar Patel and published by Harvard University Press selected as the winner of the 4th Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay NIF (New India Foundation) Book Prize 2021. The book marked the life events and legacy of Dada Bhai Naoroji. It also contains historical backgrounds of India’s National Movement during the 19th century.

Note- Previous winners of the prize are Milan Vaishnav (2018), Ornit Shani (2019), and Amit Ahuja and Jairam Ramesh (jointly, 2020).
i.The winning book was selected on the basis of a jury’s decision chaired by political scientist Niraja Gopal Jayal, Nandan Nilekani and Manish Sabharwal and historians Srinath Raghavan and Nayanjot Lahiri.
About Dadabhai Naoroji:
Dadabhai Naoroji Dordi was born on 4 September 1825,in Mumbai, Maharashtra and also known as ‘Grand Old Man of India’ and ‘Unofficial Ambassador of India’.
Political career:
i.He began his political career as the Dewan of the Maharaja of Baroda in 1874.
ii.He also became a member of the Legislative Council of Mumbai during 1885 – 88.
iii.Notably, he was the first Asian to become a British MP (Member of Parliament) when he was elected to the House of Commons in 1892.
iv.He was the three times President of the INC in 1886, 1893 and 1906.
Various organisations founded:
i. London India Society in 1865 to put forth views on Indian political, social and literary subjects.
ii. East India Association in 1866 with the purpose of putting Indian viewpoints across to the British public.
iii.He was a founder-member of the INC which he formed in 1885 along with Dinshaw Wacha and Allan Octavian Hume.
i.Poverty of India
ii.Poverty and un-British rule in India
iii.The Parsee Religion: From the Proceedings of the Liverpool Literary and Philosophical Society
iv.The European and Asiatic Races
v.The Wants and Means of India

V Praveen Rao VC of PJTSAU Wins 7th Dr. M.S. Swaminathan Award for 2017-19

V Praveen Rao, Vice-Chancellor (VC) of Professor Jayashankar Telangana State Agricultural University (PJTSAU) wins the 7th Dr M S Swaminathan Award for the period 2017-19. It is a biennial national (every 2 year) award that was presented by Retired ICAR(Indian Council of Agricultural Research) Employees Association (RICAREA) and Nuziveedu Seeds Limited. It carries a cash prize INR 2 lakh and a citation.

i.The Selection Committee, headed by former ICAR Director General, RS Paroda has decided to select V Praveen Rao for the award recognising his contributions in the fields of ‘agricultural research, teaching, extension and administration’.
ii.Praveen Rao handled 13 research and 6 consultancy projects on micro-irrigation in India, Israel and South Africa.
About Dr M S Swaminathan Award :
i.This prestigious Award was instituted in 2004 in the honour of Dr. M.S. Swaminathan the main architect of India’s Green Revolution.
ii.This Award is a lifetime achievement award for outstanding contributions to agricultural research and development and for overall food security and sustainability of agriculture.
iii.The award is open to all, irrespective of his/her nationality.
About Retired ICAR Employees Association (RICAREA):
President – Dr. M.V.R. Prasad
Headquarter – Hyderabad, Telangana

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