Current Affairs

4 June, 2021

International

Microsoft Launched The First Ever Asia-Pacific Cybersecurity Council

Microsoft has launched the first ever “Asia Pacific Public Sector Cyber Security Executive Council”.
Aim: The council aims to accelerate public-private partnerships in cybersecurity and share threat intelligence by, Building strong communications channel to address cyber threats and Sharing best practices among participating countries.

“Global Pandemic Radar” a Pathogen Surveillance Network by UK

Prime Minister of United Kingdom (UK), Boris Johnson, announced plans to develop an advanced international pathogen surveillance network called “Global Pandemic Radar” with the collaboration of the World Health Organization(WHO) to identify the emerging COVID-19 types and diagnose new diseases worldwide. This announcement was made before the ahead of the Global Health Summit hosted by Italy and the EU.
About the United Kingdom:
Capital – London
Buckingham Palace – Residence of the monarch of UK is located in Westminster, London.
Cricket is the De Facto National Sport of UK.
River Severn is the longest river in United Kingdom, whereas the 2nd longest river, River Thames flows through the capital city of London.

2021 P4G Seoul Summit Global held as 2-day virtual event; Hosted by the Republic of Korea

The 2021 P4G Seoul Summit, a two-day virtual event scheduled for 30th to 31st May 2021, started with a virtual ceremony at Dongdaemun Design Plaza (DDP) in Seoul, South Korea.
The Summit was hosted by the Republic of Korea (South Korea). The theme of the 2021 P4G Seoul Summit is Green Recovery and 2050 Carbon Neutrality This is the first multilateral environmental Summit to be hosted by the Republic of Korea. The Summit was preceded by Green Future Week: May 24 to 29 2021.

AIRINC Global 150 Cities Index – Manama tops in Financial Attractiveness Ranking for 3rd Consecutive time

Manama, the Capital city of Bahrain topped the AIRINC Global 150 Cities Index for Financial Attractiveness ranking for the 3rd consecutive time. Indian Cities of New Delhi & Mumbai were the only two to be listed in the Index.
i.Indicators used for calculating Financial Attractiveness – Salary levels, Cost of Living, and Taxes in a particular market
ii.Seven cities from the MENA (Middle East North Africa) region were among the Top 16.
About Bahrain:
1st Country in the MENA region to develop an economic diversification strategy away from hydrocarbons. Currently, over 80% of the country’s GDP depends on the Non-Oil sector.
Prime Minister – Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa
Capital – Manama

National

A Report Titled ‘One year of INDIAai’ Released

National AI Portal'(https://indiaai.gov.in) celebrated its first anniversary. A report titled ‘One year of INDIAai’ was released and a new look of the website homepage was also unveiled at a virtual event attended by nearly 400 participants and dignitaries.
National AI Portal -A joint initiative by the Ministry of Electronics and IT (MeitY), National e-Governance Division (NeGD) and NASSCOM. It was launched on May 20, 2020.It has been serving as a central hub for AI related news, learning, articles, events and activities.

Agriculture Ministry signs MoU with 4 Institutions for Pilot Projects

In June 2021, Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Narendra Singh Tomar, signed Memorandum of Understandings (MoU’s) with 4 Organisations for implementing digital infrastructure projects using Kisan Database on Pilot basis for a period of one year.
4-Organisations & Projects:
i.Patanjali Organic Research Institute – Agriculture Management & Farmer Service in 3 districts (Haridwar- Uttarakhand, Hamirpur- Uttar Pradesh and Moraina- Madhya Pradesh).
ii.Amazon Web Services (AWS) – Creating Digital Innovative Ecosystem in the Agriculture value chain
iii.ESRI India Pvt. Ltd – Setting up of “National Agriculture Geo Hub”
iv.Agribazar India Pvt. Ltd – Partner with Pilot Projects of Department of Agriculture in 3 states – Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh & Rajasthan
About Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare (MoA&FW)
Union Minister – Narendra Singh Tomar (Morena, Madhya Pradesh)
Minister of State – Parshottam Rupala (Rajya Sabha, Gujarat), Kailash Choudhary (Barmer, Rajasthan)

Cabinet Approvals on June 2, 2021

Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi on June 2, 2021 has approved the following, Model Tenancy Act to unlock vacant houses for rental purposes Signed & Ratified Agreement on Cooperation in the field of Mass Media with SCO Members MoC between India & Japan in the field of sustainable urban development MoU between India and Argentine Republic in the field of Mineral Resources MoU between India and Maldives in the field of sustainable urban development
About Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO):
Member Countries — 8 Countries (viz) India, Kazakhstan, China, Kyrgyz Republic, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.
Headquarter – Beijing, China.

NITI Aayog’s SDGs India Index 2020-21; Kerala Tops Among State, Chandigarh Tops Among UTs

NITI Aayog (National Institution for Transforming India) released the 3rd edition of Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) India Index and dashboard for 2020–21 in New Delhi. Report Title: ‘SDG India Index and Dashboard 2020–21: Partnerships in the Decade of Action’. The index was launched by NITI Aayog Vice-Chairman Rajiv Kumar along with other members. State wise Top Rank: Kerala has retained its rank as the top state with a score of 75 and Bihar has been adjudged as the worst performer. Union Territories (UTs) wise Top Rank: Chandigarh topped among the UTs, followed by Delhi, Puducherry. Dadra and Nagar Haveli & Daman and Diu has been adjudged as the worst performer.
About NITI Aayog:
NITI Aayog was established on 1 January 2015 to replace the Planning Commission, which was instituted in 1950.
Headquarters – New Delhi
Chairperson – Narendra Modi
Vice Chairperson – Rajiv Kumar
CEO – Amitabh Kant

Govt Revised the Target year to Achieve ‘20% Ethanol-Blending to Petrol’ to 2023 from 2025

To reduce India’s dependence on costly oil imports, the government (govt) has brought forward the target year for achieving 20 percent ethanol-blending with petrol by 2 years to April 2023 from 2025. It was reported by the Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas (MoPNG).
Note – India is the 3rd biggest oil importer in the world and relies on foreign suppliers to meet more than 80 percent of demand.
Background: In 2020, the govt had set a target of reaching 10 percent ethanol-blending by 2022 (i.e. mixing 10 percent of ethanol with 90 percent of gasoline) and 20 percent by 2030 under the Ethanol Blended Petrol Programme (EBP).
About Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas (MoPNG)
Union Minister – Dharmendra Pradhan (Member of Parliament – Rajya Sabha, Constituency – Madhya Pradesh)

Economy

Paytm To Launch India’s Largest IPO, Aims To Raise $3 Billion

Digital payments provider Paytm is going to launch its Initial Public Offering (IPO) and raise about $3 billion (around Rs 21,800 crore) , which would be India’s largest IPO debut ever. Paytm backed by Softbank commonly called One97 Communications Private Limited has targeted around $25 Billion to $ 30 Billion from an IPO. Paytm IPO will break the record of Coal India Limited IPO offering which raised more than Rs 15000 crore that was launched in 2010.

HDFC ERGO, VISA partners to Provide Specialized Insurance Policies for Business Card Holders

HDFC ERGO General Insurance made a partnership with Visa, to provide curated insurance covers for Visa’s business cardholders especially the MSMEs (Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises). 2 insurance policies were provided under the partnership viz, Business Suraksha Classik and my:Credit Personal Accident Insurance group policy.
About HDFC ERGO General Insurance Company:
It is a ‘Digital First’ insurance company, formed by a joint venture between Housing Development Finance Corporation Ltd. (HDFC) and ERGO International AG, insurance entity of the Munich Re Group of Germany.
Headquarters – Mumbai, Maharashtra
MD & CEO – Ritesh Kumar

Edelweiss Strengthens Co-Lending Partnership With Central Bank Of India For MSMEs

Edelweiss Retail Finance Ltd (ERFL) has announced the strengthening of its co-lending partnership with Central Bank of India for priority sector lending to Micro, Small And Medium Enterprises (MSMEs). The limit for collateral free business loans for MSMEs has been increased to Rs 50 lakh from Rs 10 lakh. Also the limit for loan against property has been increased to Rs 10 crore.
Purpose: The lenders have collaborated to introduce specially designed products with increased loan limits for the MSME segment.

Bharti Axa Life Insurance Entered Into Bancassurance Partnership With Shivalik SFB

Private life insurer Bharti AXA Life Insurance has entered into a bancassurance partnership with Shivalik Small Finance Bank(SFB) for the distribution of its life insurance products through the bank’s pan-India network of branches.
Aim: To make available health insurance solutions to Shivalik’s customers across 31 branches.
About Shivalik Small Finance Bank:
Headquarters:Noida,Uttar Pradesh
Managing Director(MD) and Chief Executive Director(CEO):Suveer Kumar Gupta
About Bharti Axa Life Insurance:
Managing Director(MD) and Chief Executive Director(CEO)– Parag Raja
Headquarters- Mumbai, Maharashtra
Formed in– 2006

SCNL Became 1st MFI in India to Integrate NPCI’s UPI AutoPay

Satin Creditcare Network Limited (SCNL), a Microfinance Institute(MFI) and HSBC India, banking partner of SCNL made a partnership with NPCI (National Payments Corporation of India) to integrate NPCI’s UPI AutoPay platform into their system, to enable fully automated loan EMI payments (Recurring Payments) by its customers. Through this, SCNL became the 1st MFI in India to use the UPI AutoPay. This initiative also made the customers pay their loan EMIs for the 1st time through the UPI (Unified Payments Interface) platform. HSBC India became the only international bank to be a part of the UPI AutoPay platform.
About National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI):
It is an organisation for operating retail payments and settlement systems in India, it is an initiative of RBI and Indian Banks’ Association (IBA) under the provisions of the Payment and Settlement Systems Act, 2007 for creating a robust Payment & Settlement Infrastructure in India.
Establishment – 2008
Headquarters – Mumbai, Maharashtra
MD & CEO -Dilip Asbe

ICICI Bank Became the 1st in Asia-Pacific, 2nd Globally to offer ‘SWIFT gpi Instant’ Facility

After its partnership with SWIFT on June 02, 2021, ICICI (Industrial Credit and Investment Corporation of India) Bank became the 1st bank in Asia-Pacific and the 2nd globally to offer the facility called ‘SWIFT gpi (Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication Global Payments Innovation)Instant’, the facility for cross border inward payments. The facility will help overseas partner banks to send instant remittances on behalf of their customers to the beneficiary in India, the beneficiaries will get instant credit to their bank account.
Instant transfer:
i.To send instant remittances to India, non-residents can visit their Bank overseas and initiate remittance transactions via ‘SWIFT gpi Instant’.
ii.ICICI will process those cross border Personal remittances (up to Rs 2 lakh) through ‘SWIFT gpi Instant’, and instantly credit it to the beneficiary account, that is held by any bank in India using the IMPS (Immediate Payment Service) platform.
Note – The bank should be enabled to receive foreign remittance through IMPS.
About ICICI Bank:
Establishment – 1955 (Incorporated in 1994)
Headquarters – Mumbai, Maharashtra
MD& CEO – Sandeep Bakhshi
Tagline – Hum hai na, Khayal Apka

Sports

Achinta Sheuli bags silver at World Junior Weightlifting Championship

Indian weightlifter Achinta Sheuli from West Bengal has bagged a silver medal in the men’s 73kg category at the International Weightlifting Federation’s Junior World Weightlifting Championships 2021 held at Tashkent, Uzbekistan as well as he broke three national records. Sheuli lifted a total of 313 kg, 141kg in snatch and then 172kg in clean and jerk At the gold level qualifying event for the upcoming Tokyo Olympics.

Tennis: Novak Djokovic won his 83rd Career Title at 2021 Belgrade Open

Novak Djokovic, a Serbian tennis player won his 83rd Career Title by defeating Alex Molcan Slovak tennis player at the 1st Edition of 2021 Belgrade Open Singles final held at the Novak Tennis Center, Belgrade, Serbia on 29th May 2021.
2021 Belgrade Open: The Belgrade Open part of the Association of Tennis Professionals(ATP) Tour 250 Tennis Tournament. 2021 Belgrade open is an outdoor clay courts tournament. Belgrade Open 2021 is the first edition of the event created due to the one-week delay of the 2021 French Open. Belgrade Open was established in 2021 and organised with a single year licence in 2021.
Doubles Title: Jonathan Erlich and Andrei Vasilevski, Israeli-Belarusian team won the doubles title at the Belgrade open by defeating Sweden’s Andre Goransson and Rafael Matos.
About Novak Djokovic:
i.Novak Djokovic has won a total of 83 ATP singles titles which includes 18 Grand Slam singles titles, five ATP Finals titles, and a joint-record 36 ATP Tour Masters 1000 titles tie with Rafael Nadal.
ii.Novak Djokovic was ranked World No 1 by the ATP in July 2011.
About Association of Tennis Professionals(ATP):
CEO– Massimo Calvelli
Headquarters– London, United Kingdom

Miscellaneous

Isaac Herzog Elected as the 11th President of Israel

Veteran politician Isaac Herzog, the former leader of was elected as the 11th President of Israel in a secret Ballot held in the Knesset, Parliament of Israel. He became the first president who was the son of a former President. He will replace the outgoing President Reuven Rivlin on 9th July 2021. He will be serving as the 11th President of Israel for a period of 7 years.
Note: Isaac Herzog won against Miriam Peretz with the support of 87 lawmakers in the 120 member house. Miriam Peretz received 27 votes.
About Isaac Herzog:
i.Isaac Herzog, son of former President Chaim Herzog who served as the President between 1983 and 1993.
ii.He started his career as the Cabinet Secretary to Prime Minister Ehud Barak between 1999 and 2000.
iii.He has served as a lawmaker in Knesset between 2003 and 2018.
About Israel:
Prime Minister– Benjamin Netanyahu
Currency– Israeli new shekel
Capital– Jerusalem

Justice Arun Kumar Mishra Appointed as the Chairperson of NHRC

Former Justice of Supreme Court, Arun Kumar Mishra appointed as the Chairperson of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) of India. He was appointed as the Chairperson for a period of 3 years.
He succeeds Justice Prafulla Pant, who has been serving as the interim Chairperson of NHRC. Before Prafulla Pant, former Chief Justice of India (CJI), H L Dattu served as the Chairperson of NHRC & retired from the post on December 2020.
About National Human Rights Commission (NHRC):
Established – 12 October, 1993
Headquarter – New Delhi

Adar Poonawalla Becomes Chairman Of Magma Fincorp

Mumbai-based non-banking finance company Magma Fincorp Limited has appointmented Adar Poonawalla as the Chairman of the company.
Other Appointments:
Magma Fincorp Limited has also appointed Mr. Abhay Bhutada as the Managing Director(MD) and Vijay Deshwal as the CEO at Magma Fincorp who will take charge from the first week of July. Vijay Deshwal will also be the Group CEO of Poonawalla Group’s financial services business. Vijay Deshwal, is currently the business head at ICICI bank.

Hong Kong’s Tsang Yin-Hung became the Fastest Female Climber to Reach the Peak of Mount Everest

Tsang Yin-Hung from Hong Kong broke the record and became the fastest female climber to reach the peak of Mount Everest, she scaled the peak in 25 hours 50 minutes, (the shortest time taken by any woman). She beat the record set by Nepali woman Phunjo Jhangmu Lama in 2017, who climbed Everest in 39 hours and 6 minutes. In 2017, Tsang became the 1st Hong Kong woman to reach the peak.
i.Arthur Muir, 75, became the oldest American to climb the Mount Everest – at 8,848.86-metres (29,031 feet). Muir beat the record set by Bill Burke, who became the oldest American to climb the mountain at the age of 67 in 2009.
ii.Nepal has issued a record 408 Everest permits for the 2021 climbing season as 2020’s season was cancelled due to COVID-19.

SpiceHealth won the Gold Stevie Award 2021

Gurgaon based Spice Healthcare Pvt. Ltd(SpiceHealth), the healthcare arm of Spicejet launched in 2020, won the Gold Stevie Award 2021 for ‘Most Valuable Medical Innovation’ at the 2021 Asia-Pacific Stevie Awards under the Covid-19 response category. Stevies is a Greek word for ‘crowned’. SpiceHealth was the first organisation to introduce the concept of mobile testing laboratories in remote areas in containment zones and in villages with no access to hospitals and medical facilities. The Asia-Pacific Stevie Awards are the only business award program to recognise innovation in the workplace across 29 countries in the Asia-Pacific region. The winners of the Asia-Pacific Stevie Awards 2021 will be honoured at a virtual award ceremony on 14th July 2021.

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