Current Affairs

12 April, 2021


World Bank Economist Poonam Gupta Appointed as 1st Woman DG of NCAER

Poonam Gupta, economist of World Bank(WB) was appointed as the first woman Director General(DG) of the National Council of Applied Economic Research (NCAER). She will succeed Shekhar Shah, DG of NCAER since 2011, and assume office as the new DG of NCAER on 1st July 2021. Poonam Gupta has been working with the World Bank since 2013. She has served as the Reserve Bank of India Chair Professor at the National Institute of Public Finance and Policy(NIPFP) and professor of Macroeconomics at the Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations(ICRIER), an autonomous economic think tank.
About National Council of Applied Economic Research (NCAER):
Director-General– Shekhar Shah
Established in 1956
Location– New Delhi

India hosts 30th BASIC Ministerial Meeting on Climate Change

The 30th Session BASIC (Brazil, South Africa, India & China) Ministerial Meeting on Climate Change hosted by India took place virtually on April 7-8, 2021. The meeting was chaired by Prakash Javadekar, Union Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change. The group urged developed countries to revisit their climate change mitigation targets under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Kyoto Protocol. It also urged the developed countries to fulfil their commitments of providing support to developing countries.
About BASIC:
BASIC Stands for Brazil, South Africa, India & China
Established year – 2009


Flipkart to Set-up Asia’s Largest Fulfillment Center in Gurugram, Haryana

Haryana state govt. has approved allotment of 140 acres of land for e-commerce major, Flipkart for setting-up asia’s largest fulfillment center in Manesar, Gurugram, Haryana. Unlike traditional warehouses, the fulfilment centres will be equipped with highly automated pick, pack, and shipping processes to facilitate safe and timely processing of orders.

Russian EAM Sergey Lavrov visits India – Discussed on Afghan Peace Process, Defence Ties

External Affairs Minister of Russia, Sergey Lavrov visited New Delhi, where he along with External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar discussed key defence ties between the countries. Russia & India to enhance bilateral cooperation on Afghan Peace process. The countries proposed signing of a free trade pact between India and the Eurasian Economic Union. Russia agreed to transfer cutting edge technologies and manufacturing of weapons systems in India.

US Envoy John Kerry Visited India from 5th-8th April;US to hold ‘Leaders Summit on Climate’

John Kerry, United States(US) Special Presidential Envoy for Climate visited India from 5th to 8th April 2021 to discuss the upcoming Leaders’ Summit on Climate which will be hosted by Joe Biden, President of the US and the key climate issues in the context of COP26. Prime Minister Narendra Modi accepted the invitation from US President to attend the virtual Leaders’ Summit on Climate and the Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate to be held on 22nd and 23rd April 2021. US President has invited 40 world leaders to attend the virtual summit on climate.

Overview of India-Netherlands Virtual Summit 2021

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi & Prime Minister of Netherlands Mark Rutte co-chaired the India-Netherlands Virtual Summit 2021. It was the 1st High-level summit attended by PM Mark Rutte after the Netherland general elections which were held in March 2021. PM Rutte became the Prime Minister of the Netherlands for the 4th Consecutive Term. During the meeting, the two sides held discussions on areas of trade and economy, water management, agriculture sector, smart cities, science & technology, healthcare and space. They also agreed to use the emerging converging in new areas like Indo-Pacific, Resilient Supply Chains & Global Digital Governance.
About Netherlands:
Prime Minister – Mark Rutte
Capital– Amsterdam
Currency– Euro

India registers 9.1% decline in Fuel Consumption in FY 21;1st Time since 1998-99

According to data released by MoPNG’s (Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas) Petroleum Planning and Analysis Cell (PPAC), India’s fuel demand declined by 9.1% in FY 2020-21 due to nationwide lockdown caused by COVID-19. It is the first time since 1998-99 that India has registered a decline in fuel consumption. India consumed 194.63 Million Tonnes of Petroleum Products in 2020-21 compared to 214.12 Million Tonnes in 2019-20. The demand Contraction was led by Diesel (India’s most consumed fuel). Diesel consumption fell 12% to 72.72 Million Tonnes while Petrol demand fell by 6.7% to 27.95 Million Tonnes.
About Petroleum Planning and Analysis Cell (PPAC):
It is an attached office of the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas.
Established year – 2002
Director-General – Praveen M. Khanooja
Location – New Delhi


FDI Equity Inflows grew 28% to $54.18 billion in April-January 2020-21

As per the Commerce and Industry Ministry data released on April 4, 2021, the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) equity inflows into the country during April-January 2020-21(first ten months of FY21) grew up by 28% to $54.18 billion in comparison with the April-January of FY20 which stood at $42.34 billion. Total FDI flow (which includes reinvested earnings) during April-January in FY21 increased by 15% to $72.12 billion over the FY20. It is the highest ever for the first ten months of a financial year.
About Ministry of Commerce and Industry:
Union Minister – PiyushGoyal (Constituency- Rajya Sabha, Maharashtra)
Minister of State -Hardeep Singh Puri (Constituency- Uttar Pradesh), SomParkash (Constituency- Hoshiarpur, Punjab)

IMF Policy Panel endorses USD 650 Billion Increase in SDR Allocation

The International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) Policy Panel has authorized a USD 650 billion expansion of its International Reserve Asset (known as Special Drawing Rights (SDR)). It is the largest ever increase of reserves in IMF’s history. The size of reserves has been increased with an aim of providing financial assistance to vulnerable countries which are struggling with recessions caused by the Pandemic.
About International Monetary Fund (IMF):
Members – 190
Managing Director – Kristalina Georgieva
Headquarters – Washington D.C., USA

Bharti Axa Life Entered into Bancassurance Partnership with Fincare SFB

i.Bharti Axa life insurance and Fincare Small Finance Bank(SFB) Limited joined hands for a bancassurance partnership under which the bank will sell insurance policies to its customers.
ii.This partnership will enable the Fincare SFB to offer need-based financial protection products suitable for the major segment of the population who are not aware of the benefits of insurance.
About Fincare Small Finance Bank:
MD & CEO– Rajeev Yadav
Headquarters– Bengaluru, Karnataka
About Bharti Axa Life Insurance:
MD & CEO– Parag Raja
Headquarters- Mumbai, Maharashtra
Formed in– 2006 Partnered with PayPal to Offer Collateral Free Loan to MSME’s & Freelancers, a digital lending platform focused on Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises (MSME) partnered with PayPal, a leading digital payments company to offer collateral-free business loans to MSMEs, freelancers, women entrepreneurs and sole proprietors. This partnership is in line with PayPal’s commitment to provide innovative credit solution capabilities to Indian merchants who sell cross-border using PayPal.
i.This partnership enables the borrowers to access term loans from Rs 50000 to Rs 1 crore.
ii.This benefits the merchants across more than 1500 cities and towns in India.
iii.The loan tenure ranges from 6 months to 36 months.
About PayPal:
President & CEO– Dan Schulman
Founded in – 1998
Headquarters- San Jose, California
Founders– Manish Lunia, Ritesh Jain, Deepak Jain & Abhishek Kothari
Headquarters– Mumbai, Maharashtra

RBI Announced its First OMP for Rs 25,000 crore under G-SAP 1.0

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) announced its first purchase of government securities for an amount of Rs 25,000 crore under the G-sec Acquisition Programme (G-SAP 1.0), the purchase was planned to be held on April 15, 2021.
About Reserve Bank of India(RBI):
Establishment – 1st April 1935
Headquarters – Mumbai, Maharashtra
Governor – Shaktikanta Das
Deputy Governors – Mahesh Kumar Jain, Michael DebabrataPatra, and M Rajeswar Rao

RBI Amended India’s Inflation-Forecasting Model – QPM

RBI has revised the Quarterly Projection Model (QPM) to enrich the model’s analytics and to capture the interactions between the fiscal and monetary policy with real-economy elements. The revised model is termed QPM 2.0 and it incorporates, fiscal-monetary dynamics, disaggregated fuel pricing (oil price, exchange rate and fuel taxes), the balance of payments and exchange rate interactions.
About Reserve Bank of India(RBI):
Establishment – 1st April 1935
Headquarters – Mumbai, Maharashtra
Governor – Shaktikanta Das
Deputy Governors – Mahesh Kumar Jain, Michael DebabrataPatra, and M Rajeswar Rao

India’s First Municipal Green Bond was Issued by Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh

Ghaziabad Municipal Corporation, a civic body in Uttar Pradesh(UP), has become India’s first municipal corporation to issue municipal green bonds. On April 8, 2021, Ghaziabad Municipal Corporation issued municipal green bonds in BSE and raised Rs 150 crore (Base Issue: 100 Crore with the greenshoe option of 50 Crore). The corporation has received Rs 19.5 crore incentive from the Union government for raising funds through municipal bonds.
About the RBI’s study on Green bonds:
Green bonds constituted only 0.7% of all the bonds issued in India since 2018.
The bank lending to the non-conventional energy constituted about 7.9% of outstanding bank credit to the power sector, as of March 2020
The Green Bonds have higher average coupon rates than the corporate government bonds with similar tenure of (5/10 years).


French Open 2021 tournament postponed by a week due to COVID-19 pandemic

The French Tennis Federation on April 08, 2021 announced that the 2021 Roland Garros tournament has been postponed by one week. The decision came in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic and nationwide restrictions in France.
The 2021 Roland Garros tournament, also called the French Open and the only ‘clay-court’ Grand Slam tournament, will now run from May 24 till June 13, 2021. The qualifying rounds will be conducted from May 24 to May 28, 2021, followed by the main draw starting from May 30till June 13, 2021.IPL 2021 Full Schedule, Time Table, Venue & Matches: All you need to Know!
• Out of the total 56 league matches, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata & Bengaluru will host 10 matches each and Delhi and Ahmedabad will host 8 matches each.

• All matches will be played at neutral venues for the first-ever time in IPL. This means that no team will play at their home venue.

• All teams will play at 4 out of 6 venues during the league stage.

• There will be 11 doubleheaders in total where 6 teams will play three afternoon matches and 2 will play two afternoon matches.

• The afternoon matches will begin at 3.30 pm IST, while the evening match will start at 7:30 pm IST.

• The matches have been planned in a way that every team will travel only three times during the league stage to reduce commuting and thus minimize risk.

IPL Schedule 2021: Rajasthan Royals vs Punjab Kings today, Check Full IPL Schedule, IPL 2021 Time Table, Teams and Venue

IPL Schedule 2021: The Rajasthan Royals will kickstart their IPL 2021 campaign today with their first match against the Punjab Kings at 7.30 pm at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai.

Both the IPL teams will be looking to begin the tournament with a high. Today's match will see IPL's most expensive player of all times- Chris Morris at play for Rajasthan Royals. The team looks to make a fresh start this season with a new captain- Sanju Samson, having released their previous captain Steve Smith, who was taken in by Delhi Capitals.

In the third IPL match of the season, Eoin Morgan-led KKR beat David Warner-led SRH by 10 runs after restricting them to 177 at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai.


Ramesh Pokhriyal Launches ‘NanoSniffer’, World’s 1st Microsensor based Explosive Trace Detector (ETD)

Union Education Minister, Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ launched ‘NanoSniffer’ – World’s 1st Microsensor (or MEMS, Micro-Electro Mechanical Systems) based Explosive Trace Detector (ETD) developed by NanoSniff Technologies, an IIT Bombay incubated Startup. The ETD is capable of detecting explosives in less than 10 seconds, it can also identify and categorize explosives into different classes. It can detect all classes of military, conventional and homemade explosives. It is being marketed by Vehant Technologies, a spin-off from a former IIT Delhi incubated startup Kritikal Solutions.
About NanoSniff Technologies:
Chairman – Professor V. Ramgopal Rao
Location – Mumbai, Maharashtra

Axis Bank becomes Co-promoter of Max Life Insurance

Axis Bank along with its subsidiaries Axis Capital Limited & Axis Securities acquired 12.99% stake in Max Life Insurance company to become a co-promoter of the insurance provider. The Axis Entities – Axis Capital Limited & Axis Securities still have the right to acquire 7% in the life insurance company.
i.In February 2021, Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) gave approval for the acquisition.
Note- Axis bank is also the bancassurance partner of Max Life Insurance.
ii.Out of the 12.99% stakes, 9% was acquired by Axis Bank.
About Axis Bank:
Axis Bank is India’s 3rd largest Private sector bank. (only after HDFC & ICICI banks)
Headquarters – Mumbai, Maharashtra
MD & CEO – Amitabh Chaudhry
Tagline – “Badhti Ka Naam Zindagi”
About Max Life Insurance:
MD & CEO – Prashant Tripathy
Headquarters – New Delhi

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