Current Affairs

6 September, 2021


Sai Life Sciences Becomes Signatory of United Nations Global Compact

Sai Life Sciences, a leading global Contract Research, Development & Manufacturing Organization (CRO/ CDMO),has become a signatory of the world’s largest sustainability initiative, United Nations Global Compact (UNGC). With this Signatory, it has committed itself to adopt the Ten Principlesof the UNGC on human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption, reinforcing the company’s commitment to corporate responsibility and sustainability.
Note –CEO & Managing Director of Sai Life Sciences-Krishna Kanumuri; Headquarter – Malkajgiri, Telangana.

World Social Protection Report 2020-22 by ILO: Half of World Population, 4.1 billion don’t have Social Security

International Labour Organization (ILO) has released its flagship report on social protection named ‘World Social Protection Report 2020-22: Social protection at the crossroads – in pursuit of a better future’. As per the report, half of the global population i.e. 53 percent (4.1 billion) did not have any kind of social security. As of 2020, only 9 percent of the global population are effectively covered by at least 1 social protection benefit.

Government Spending: On average, around 12.8 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP) were spent by the countries on social protection (excluding health). High-income countries spend around 4 percent, whereas low-income countries spent only 1.1 percent of their GDP on social protection.

Regional Inequalities: Europe and Central Asia – 84 percent of people being covered by at least one benefit. Americas – 64.3 percent; Asia and Pacific -44 percent; the Arab States -40 percent; and Africa – 17.4 per cent.

About International Labour Organization (ILO):
Establishment – 1919
Headquarters – Geneva, Switzerland
Director-General – Guy Ryder
Member Countries – 187 member States

Sand and Dust Storms Impact over 500 Million People in India: APDIM Report

The Asian and Pacific Centre for the Development of Disaster Information Management (APDIM), the regional institution of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UN-ESCAP), has released the report on sand and dust storms named ‘Sand and Dust Storms Risk Assessment in Asia and the Pacific’. As per the risk assessments of the report, more than 500 million people in India are exposed to medium and high levels of poor air quality due to sand and dust storms. The Asia-Pacific region is the world’s 2nd largest in terms of mineral dust emissions.

Energy sector: The sand and dust storms impact the generation of electricity by solar power plants. India has 1,584 gigawatt-hours (GWh) energy loss in 2019, in economic terms, the impact is greater than USD 107 million a year. Around 60 million people from the cities of Karachi (Pakistan), Lahore (Pakistan), and Delhi have experienced more than 170 dusty days a year in 2019 due to sand and dust storms.

About UNESCAP (United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific):
APDIM is one of the 5 regional commissions of the UN.
Establishment – 1947
Headquarters – Bangkok, Thailand
Executive Secretary – Armida Salsiah Alisjahbana
Members – 53 members and 9 associate members

THE World University Rankings 2022: 3 Indian Universities in top 400, Topped by UK’s Oxford

i.In accordance with the ‘Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings 2022’, 3 Indian universities made it to the top 400 global rankings. Among them, Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bengaluru (Karnataka) is on the top and continues to be between 301-350 cohort.
ii.It was followed by IIT (Indian Institute of Technology)-Ropar (Punjab) and Mysuru (Karnataka) based private university JSS Academy of Higher Education and Research in the 351-400 group.
iii.This University Rankings is topped by the United Kingdom’s (UK) University of Oxford for the 6th consecutive year.
About Times Higher Education (THE):
It is a magazine reporting specifically on news and issues related to higher education.
Former Name– The Times Higher Education Supplement (THES)
First issue– October 1971
Headquarter– London, United Kingdom (UK)


Union Minority Affairs Ministry Organizes “Mera Watan, Mera Chaman” “Mushaira” &“Kavi Sammelan” in New Delhi

Union Minority Affairs Ministry organised “Mera Watan, Mera Chaman”, “Mushaira”and “Kavi Sammelan” in New Delhi as a part of “Amrit Mahotsav” of 75 years of India’s Independence.The Programmes were launched by Union Minister of Minority Affairs, Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi. It will continue across the country till 2023. During this launch, renowned poets presented their poetry and couplets on the “celebrations of 75 years of India’s Independence” while remembering the sacrifices made by the great freedom fighters. These events reiterate and revitalize our nationalistic commitment to spread the message of peace and social harmony, “New and Self-reliant India” &strengthen the fabric of “Unity in Diversity”.

Indian Army set to procure over 100 “SkyStriker” – a type of suicide drones

Indian Army signed a Rs. 100 crore worth contract with the Joint Venture between India’s Alpha Design & Israel’s Elbit Security Systems, for the procurement of over 100 – ‘SkyStrikers’ under its emergency procurement powers. All the ‘SkyStriker’ type drones will be manufactured in the Bangalore manufacturing unit of Alpha Design.

i.They are also known as “Suicide Drones”, because of its autonomous system that is designed to directly crash over the target with its pre-loded 5 kgs of Warhead.
ii.Previously in August 2021, Alpha Design signed 2 defence procurement contracts with the Indian Air Force (IAF).
About Indian Army:
Established – 1st April, 1895
Motto – “Service before Self”
Chief of the Army Staff – Manoj Mukund Naravane

Agriculture Minister Addressed CII’s 16th Sustainability Summit 2021; India Became Asia’s 1st Country to Launch a Plastics Pact

Narendra Singh Tomar, the Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, addressed the 16th Sustainability Summit 2021 of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) named ‘16th Sustainability Building a Resilient Future Leveraging Science, Technology & Finance’. India has entered into the top 10 list of agricultural produce exporters. So far under Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi, around Rs 1,57,000 crore has been deposited in the bank accounts of more than 11 crore farmers of India.

India Became Asia’s 1st Country to Launch a Plastics Pact: World-Wide Fund for Nature-India (WWF India) and the CII have collaborated to develop a platform named ‘India Plastics Pact (IPP)’ to promote a circular system for plastics. India became the 1st Asian country to develop a plastics pact. The pact was launched by the British High Commission in India, Alexander Ellis, at the 16th Sustainability Summit 2021 of the CII. The pact is supported by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) and Worldwide Responsible Accredited Production (WRAP).
About Confederation of Indian Industry (CII):
Establishment– 1895
Headquarter – New Delhi, Delhi
Director General – Chandrajit Banerjee

APEDA signs MoU with ICAR-Indian Institute of Millet Research to Boost Export

The Agricultural and Processed Food Product Export Development Authority (APEDA) has signed an Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Indian Council of Agriculture Research (ICAR)- Indian Institute of Millet Research(IIMR) to increase export production by increasing quality and processing.
Objective:To increase the export production with necessary links in supply chain, technical warehouses , clinical research and awareness.
Note –United Nations declares 2023 as International Year of Millets (IYM).
About Agricultural and Processed Food Product Export Development Authority (APEDA)
It was established by the Government of India under the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority Act, 1985. It functions under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry.
Headquarters-New Delhi, Delhi
Chairman- Dr. Madhaiyaan Angamuthu
Indian Institute of Millet Research(IIMR)
Headquarters – Hyderabad, Telangana
Director-Dr. Vilas A Tonapi

NeGD Signed MoU with NLU, Delhi and NLIU, Bhopal to establish Cyber lab for Online Capacity Building Programme

National e-Governance Division (NeGD) under the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology(MeitY), Government of India has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with National Law University(NLU), Delhi and National Law Institute University (NLIU), Bhopal to establish a Cyber Lab for the “Online capacity building Programme on Cyber Law, Crime Investigation and Digital Forensics”. Abhishek Singh, President & CEO of NeGD, and Prof. Srikrishna Deva Rao from NLU, Delhi, and Prof. (Dr.) V. Vijayakumar from NLIU Bhopal signed the MoU on behalf of NeGD, and NLU and NLIU respectively.

Aim: To revive a response from a wide spectrum across the law enforcement including senior officers of Law Enforcement Agencies and also from Judiciary.
Goal: To enable Police Officers, State Cyber Cells, Law Enforcement Agencies, Prosecutors and Judicial Officers to acquire requisite skills to deal with Cyber Forensics cases efficiently & effectively as per the Indian Cyber Law while adopting global best practices, standards and guidelines.
Collaboration NeGD with NLIU and NLU:
i.This collaboration of NeGD with NLIU and NLU will offer a 9 months online Post Graduate(PG) Diploma to 1000 Officials through its Learning Management System (LMS)
ii.The participants of the programme will get a practical training session and personal contact program at a designated cyber lab at the campus of NLU Delhi.
iii.The cyber lab equipped with Hybrid architecture will support virtual and physical modes of capacity building in Cyber Law, Cybercrime Investigation and Digital Forensics
iv.Other law schools/ universities like National Law School of India University (Bangalore), Rajiv Gandhi National University of Law (Patiala) will be onboarded in the hub for future endeavours.
v.The National e-Governance Division (NeGD) will develop the e-content based on the support received from faculty members.
vi.NLIU, the lead academic partner for the course, will award the PG Diploma Certificate to the participants.
About National e-Governance Division (NeGD):
National e-Governance Division (NeGD) was created by the Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology as an Independent Business Division under the Digital India Corporation.
President & CEO- Abhishek Singh
Created in 2009

India, Nepal Signed MoU to Reconstruct Projects Damaged by 2015 Earthquake

India and Nepal signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoUs) for the reconstruction of 14 cultural heritage and 103 health sector projects across different districts of Nepal, which were damaged by the 2015 earthquake. The projects will be reconstructed at a cost of 420 crore Nepalese Rupees (~$36 million).

About Nepal:
Capital – Kathmandu
Currency – Nepalese rupee
President – Bidya Devi Bhandari
Prime Minister – Sher Bahadur Deuba


LIC picks up nearly 4% stake in Bank of India through open market transaction

Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) of India has picked up around 3.9% stakes (around 159007791 shares) of Bank of India(BOI) through Open Market Acquisition on 2nd September 2021. With this acquisition the stake of LIC in Bank of India has increased from 3.17% to 7.05%, equivalent to 289287324 shares. The BOI raised around Rs 2550 crore by allotting reference shares to qualified institutional buyers.

Note: According to the SEBI regulations, on substantial acquisition of shares and takeovers, companies have to inform the stock exchange when the entity holds more than 5% shares of a listed firm.
About the acquisition:
i.The issue was opened on 25th August and closed on 30th August.
ii.BOI aimed to raise around Rs 3000 crore equity capital through this issue.
iii.LIC, ICICI Prudential Life Insurance Company and Bajaj Allianz Life Insurance Company are the three investors which subscribed to more than 5% of the equity offered in the qualified institutional placement issue.
iv.With this acquisition the shareholding of the government in the bank has decreased from 90.34% to 82.50%.
v.Following the allotment of the equity shares in the issues, the paid up capital equity shares of the bank has increased from Rs 3698.09 crore to Rs 4103.57 crore comprising of 410,35,66,070 number of equity shares
About Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) of India:
Chairman– MR Kumar
Headquarters- Mumbai, Maharashtra
Established in 1956

ICICI Lombard gets Approval for the Acquisition of Bharti Axa from IRDAI

India’s largest private sector general insurer, ICICI Lombard got the final in-principle approval from Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India(IRDAI) for the acquisition Bharti Axa General Insurance.
i.Bharti AXA General Insurance is a joint venture of Bharti, an Indian business group with 51% and AXA, a global insurance and asset management company with 49% stake.
ii.According to the deal, the shareholders of the demerged company- Bharti and AXA will be allotted equity shares with Bharti General Ventures and Societe Beaujon shares.
iii.The shareholders of Bharti AXA shall receive 2 shares of ICICI Lombard for every 115 shares of Bharti AXA held by them as on the date of the approval.
iv.In 2020, Competition Commission of India (CCI), Bombay Stock Exchange ( BSE) was also approved for the acquisition.
v.IRDAI also grants approval to ICICI Bank to reduce stake in ICICI Lombard to 30%.
About Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India(IRDAI)
Headquarters– Hyderabad, Telangana
About ICICI Lombard
CEO: Bhargav Dasgupta
Headquarters: Mumbai, Maharashtra


India at Tokyo Paralympics: Check India’s Medal Tally and List of Indian Paralympic Medal Winners – Avani, Sumit Antil and Others

India's medal tally at Paralympics 2020: Indian para athlete Praveen Kumar won silver at Tokyo Paralympic Games 2020 in the men's high jump T64 event on September 3, 2021. He created a new Asian Record with his best jump of 2.07m. Great Britain's Jonathan Broom-Edwards won gold in the event with his best jump of 2.10m.
Avani Lekharan also created history by becoming the first Indian woman to win two medals at Paralympics. She won bronze in R8 Women's 50m Rifle 3P SH1 Event. She had won the gold earlier in women's 10m Air Rifle R2 SH1 Event.

Tokyo Paralympics: Manish Narwal wins India’s 3rd gold in para shooting

Tokyo Paralympics: Manish Narwal won the gold medal in the P4 Mixed 50m Pistol SH1 event at the ongoing Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games on September 4, 2021. Narwal won India’s 3rd Gold medal at the Tokyo Paralympics. Compatriot Singhraj Adana won the silver medal in the same event. Shooter Narwal and Adana took India's medal tally to 15.
19-year-old Narwal made a Paralympic record when he shot a total of 218.2 points to win the Gold medal at the Tokyo Paralympics. 39-year-old Adana won the Silver medal with 216.7 points.


ESFB Appoints Indian Hockey Player Rani Rampal & Cricketer Smriti Mandhana as Brand Ambassadors

Equitas Small Finance Bank (ESFB) has appointed Indian Women’s hockey player Rani Rampal and Indian women’s cricketer Smriti Mandhana as its brand ambassadors.
This appointment was made during the 5th year anniversary of Equitas Small Finance on 5th September 2021.
Rani Rampal:
i.Rani Rampal is the youngest player to represent the national hockey team representing India at the age of 15 at the 2010 World Cup.
ii.She has been the captain of the Indian Women’s Hockey team and has won Asia Cup in 2017, Winning Silver at the Asian Games 2018, Silver at Asian Champions Trophy 2018 and FIH Series Final in 2019.
Smriti Mandhana:
Smriti Mandhana was recognised as the Best Women’s International Cricketer by the Board of Control for Cricket in India(BCCI).
About Equitas Small Finance Bank:
MD and CEO– Vasudevan Pathangi Narasimhan
Headquarters- Chennai, Tamil Nadu

ACC named Suman Sharma as new Managing Director of SECI

The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) has appointed Suman Sharma as the Managing Director (MD) of Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI). She will succeed Jatindra Nath Swain who is currently serving as the chairman and MD of the company. He will remain the chairman of the company. With this appointment she will be accountable to SECI’s board of directors, government and shareholders. She will also be responsible for the efficient functioning of the entity, achieving corporate objectives and performance parameters.

About Solar Energy Corporation of India ltd (SECI):
Establishment– 2011
Headquarter– New Delhi

CSIR-NAL’s Hansa New Generation (NG) aircraft successfully made its Maiden Flight

i.Hansa New Generation (NG) aircraft successfully made its maiden flight and all flight parameters were found normal. It is designed and developed by CSIR (Council of Scientific and Industrial Research)-National Aerospace Laboratories (NAL), Bengaluru, Karnataka.

ii.The aircraft took off from HAL (Hindustan Aeronautics Limited) airport by Capt. Amit Dahiya, test pilot, flew at an altitude of 4000 ft. with a speed of 80 knots for about 20 minutes.
iii.It will be certified within the next 4 months.
iv.The project director of HANSA is Abbani Rinku.
About National Aerospace Laboratories (NAL):
It is the only government aerospace R&D laboratory in the country’s civilian sector.
Establishment– 1959
Director– Jitendra J Jadhav
Headquarter– Bengaluru, Karnataka

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