Current Affairs

5 August, 2021

International

ADB sanctions USD 112 million for Water Supply Improvement projects in Jharkhand

Asian Development Bank (ADB) has sanctioned loans worth USD 112 million (INR 831 Crore) to finance Urban Water Supply Infrastructure Projects in 4 towns (Ranchi, Hussainabad, Jhumri Telaiya and Medininagar) of Jharkhand. This is the ADB’s 1st urban sector project in Jharkhand. The total cost of the project is USD 160 million, out of which USD 48 million will be funded by the Government of Jharkhand. It will support the Jharkhand Vision and Action Plan 2021 to improve the quality of life of its urban residents through better quality urban infrastructure. The project is expected to be completed in 2028.

About Asian Development Bank (ADB)
Established in 1966
President – Masatsugu Asakawa
Headquarters – Manilla (Philippines)
About Jharkhand
Governor – Ramesh Bais
National Park (NP) – Betla NP
Wildlife Sanctuaries (WLS) – Dalma WLS, Gautam Budha WLS, Hazaribagh WLS

India joins Community of Portuguese Language Countries as ‘Associate Observer’

The13th Summit of Heads of State and Government of the Community of Portuguese Language Countries (CPLP) 2021 was held at Luanda, Angola. During the summit, India and 9 countries were approved to join CPLP as ‘Associate Observer’. The other 9 countries are Canada, Ivory Coast, Greece, India, Ireland, Peru, Qatar, Romania, Spain and the US. 3 Organisations, namely the Ibero-American Conference, the G7+, and the European Organisation for Public Law (OEDP/EPLO) were also approved as ‘Associate Observer’. CPLP is also known as Lusophone Countries (Portuguese-speaking countries). Joining the community will help India to strengthen its ties with Portuguese speaking world. The CPLP Summit took place on July 17th, coinciding with the date on which CPLP was set up (July 17th, 1996 – marking 25 years).

Community of Portuguese Language Countries (CPLP)
i.It is an international organization made up of 9 countries – Angola, Brazil, Portugal, East Timor, Cape Verde, Sao Tome and Principe, Equatorial Guinea, Guinea-Bissau & Mozambique & 32 Associate observers.
ii.It is a multilateral forum created to deepen cultural, economic, and political cooperation among the Lusophone nations of the world.
About Community of Portuguese Language Countries (CPLP)
General Director – Armindo Brito Fernandes
Headquarters – Lisbon, Portugal

National

NSO Survey: Unemployment Rate Rose to 13.3% in Q2 FY21

In August 2021, the National Statistical Office (NSO) released the 8th Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS) – Quarterly Bulletin for the Q2 FY21 (July 2020 – September 2020). As per the PLFS, the Jobless/Unemployment rate (UR) in urban areas in Current Weekly Status (CWS) increased to 13.3 percent in Q2 FY21 when compared to 8.4 percent in Q2 FY20 (July 2019 – September, 2019).

NSO’s PLFS:
i.The Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS) was launched by NSO in April 2017 to provide estimated quarterly data regarding the labour force.
ii.Indicators of PLFS – Quarterly Bulletin include – Worker population ratio (WPR), Labour Force Participation Rate (LFPR), Unemployment Rate (UR), Distribution of workers by broad status in employment and industry of work in the Current Weekly Status (CWS).
iii.PLFS – Quarterly Bulletin Comparison:

Indicators Survey Period
Q2 FY21 Q2 FY20
LFPR (% of the population in the labour force)
37 %
36.8 %
WPR 32.1 % 33.7 %
UR 13.3% 8.4 %
iv.UR:
It is the percentage of unemployed persons in the labour force. The estimation of UR in CWS represents the unemployment during the survey period i.e. the reference week in CWS – 7 days. As per the CWS approach survey, a person will be considered unemployed if he/she did not work even for 1 hour during the 7 days but sought or was available for work at least for 1 hour during the same period.

v.Labour Force: It is the part of the population that supplies/offer to supply labour for pursuing economic activities for the production of goods and services, it includes both ‘employed’ and ‘unemployed’ persons.
About National Statistical Office (NSO):
i.It is the Statistics Wing of the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation, and has the Central Statistical Office (CSO), the Computer centre, and the National Sample Survey Office (NSSO).
ii.It acts as a nodal agency for development of the statistical system in India. It creates and maintains the norms and standards in the field of statistics.
About Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation:
Minister of State (Independent Charge) – Rao Inderjit Singh (Constituency – Gurgaon, Haryana)

TT Exercise held between India’s Tri-Service Forces for the 1st Time

For the 1st time, a Table-Top (TT) war-gaming exercise was held between India’s 3 Armed Services (Indian Army, Indian Air Force, Indian Navy). It was held to fine-tune the model of Integrated tri-service theatre commands. During the exercise, Scenarios like facing a two-front war from China and Pakistan were war-gamed.It also included a frank and freewheeling exchange to evolve best practices on the atrisation.

Creation of Integrated Theatre Commands
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is set to announce the creation of 4 new Integrated theatre commands from the Red Fort on August 15, 2021. The 4 New Commands will be West, East, Integrated Maritime Theatre Command (IMTC) and Integrated Air Defence Command (IADC). The new commands will be raised and operationalized over a two-year period and will be ready by August 2023. At present the Indian Armed Forces has 17 commands (7 commands each of the Army & Air Force, while the Navy has 3 commands). There is only 1 Joint Tri-Service Theatre Command of the Indian Armed Force – Andaman and Nicobar Command (ANC), based at Port Blair, Andaman & Nicobar Islands of India.
About Indian Army
Chief of Defence Staff – General Bipin Rawat
Commander-in-Chief of Indian Armed Forces – President of India (Ram Nath Kovind)

India’s lightest and Pune’s 1st metro unveiled by Titagarh Wagons in Italy; 1st Goods Train on Haldibari-Chilahati rail link flagged off

i.Titagarh Wagons Ltd, a company based out of Titagarh in West Bengal, held a virtual ceremony to display its first train for Pune Metro (Maharashtra) which was manufactured by its subsidiary in Italy (Europe), Titagarh Firema SpA Plant.
ii.It will be India’s first lightest metro trainset as it is being manufactured with Aluminium for the first time in our country.
iii.The first goods train on Haldibari (West Bengal) – Chilahati (Bangladesh) rail link was flagged off carrying construction material (stone chips) after 1965.
iv.It is a 5th rail link between India and Bangladesh.
About Indian Railways:
Establishment– 1853
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) & Chairman of Railway Board – Suneet Sharma
Headquarters – New Delhi

Economy

Bank of Baroda signs MoU with Andhra Pradesh to Finance ‘Fish Andhra Scheme’

Bank of Baroda (BoB) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Andhra Pradesh (AP) Government to assist & finance the entire 14,000 beneficiaries for setting up Aqua Units under AP Government’s ‘Fish Andhra’ scheme.
‘Fish Andhra’ Scheme
AP stands 1st in the country in the fisheries sector both in terms of production and total value of aqua, it contributes 8.67 % of State’s GDP.
i.Inspite of having high production, the per capita consumption of fish products is low in AP.
ii.In order to address this, AP Government has designed a novel scheme called “Fish Andhra”. The scheme is in line with Pradhan Mantri Mathsya Sampadha Yojana (PMMSY), a scheme of central government. Under the project, 100 aqua hubs would be set up and around 14,000 outlets of different sizes and nature would be set up across AP. Each aqua hub constitutes 140 beneficiaries and the project cost is Rs 5.50 crore. The funding pattern of the aqua hub is 15% beneficiary contribution, 40 per cent government aid and 45% bank loan.

About Andhra Pradesh
Governor – Biswabhushan Harichandran
National Parks (NP) – Kasu Brahmananda Reddy, Mahaveer Harina Vanasthal
Wildlife Sanctuary (WLS) – Coringa, Eturnagaram
About Bank of Baroda (BoB)
Vijaya Bank and Dena Bank were merged with BoB
MD & CEO – Sanjiv Chadha
Headquarters – Vadodara, Gujarat
Founded – 20 July 1908 by Maharaja Sayajirao Gaekwad III of Baroda
Tagline – India’s International Bank

GyanDhan Received NBFC Licence; Plans to Disburse Rs 650 crore in FY22

GyanDhan, India’s 1st education financing platform, has received a Non-Banking Financial Company (NBFC) license from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). It plans to disburse Rs 650 crore worth of education loans in FY22, in which it has Rs 50 crore for domestic short-term courses offered by various ed-tech players and coaching institutes. As per Section 45-IA of the RBI Act, an NBFC need to get a registration certificate/licence from RBI to carry on the business. It should have a minimum net owned funds of Rs 2 Crore.
About GyanDhan:
Headquarters – New Delhi
CEO – Ankit Mehra

ICICI Prudential Life Became 1st Insurance Company in India to Integrate NPCI’s UPI AutoPay

ICICI Prudential Life Insurance Company Ltd has partnered with the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) and integrated NPCI’s UPI (Unified Payment Interface) AutoPay platform into its system to enable its customers to make instant automated recurring premium payments of insurance policies. Through this, it became the 1st life insurance company in India to provide a UPI AutoPay facility to its customers. While purchasing the insurance policy, the customers could link their bank account with UPI AutoPay and activate the e-mandate (recurring payments) through their mobile phone. The customers could also enable the UPI AUTOPAY feature on UPI apps such as Paytm, BHIM (Bharat Interface for Money), and Indusind Bank App. The facility could also be enabled for ICICI Bank and other leading banks (that are live on UPI AUTOPAY) through an e-mandate.

About ICICI Prudential Life Insurance Company Ltd:
It is promoted by ICICI Bank Limited and Prudential Corporation Holdings Limited.
Establishment – 2001
Headquarters – Mumbai, Maharashtra
MD & CEO – N. S. Kannan

SEBI allows Payments Banks to act as Investment Bankers

On August 3, 2021, Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) allowed payments banks to carry out the activities of investment bankers in order to ease the access for investors to participate in public and rights issues by using various payment avenues. Also, Non-scheduled payments banks, which have prior approval from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), will be eligible to act as Bankers to an Issue (BTI) with regard to the conditions stipulated in the BTI rules.

About Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI):
Establishment– 1992
Chairman– Ajay Tyagi
Headquarter– Mumbai, Maharashtra

RBI Issued Framework for PSOs’ Outsourcing of Payment and Settlement Activities

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) issued the framework to the non-bank Payment System Operators’ (PSOs) Outsourcing of Payment and Settlement-related Activities (including onboarding customers, IT-based services, etc) to service providers. RBI has restricted the PSO’s from outsourcing Core management functions such as risk management, information technology & information security management, internal audit, and determining compliance with KYC (Know Your Customer) norms. The PSO’s are directed to evaluate the need for outsourcing its critical processes and activities, and the selection of service providers based on comprehensive risk assessment.

What is Outsourcing?
It is the use of a third party (i.e. service provider/ outsourced agency) by PSO for a limited period to perform the activities that have to be undertaken by PSO (now/ future).
About Reserve Bank of India (RBI):
Establishment – 1st April 1935
Headquarters – Mumbai, Maharashtra
Governor – Shaktikanta Das
Deputy Governors – Mahesh Kumar Jain, Michael Debabrata Patra, and M Rajeshwar Rao, T. Rabi Sankar

Sports

Pakistan’s Rizwan breaks World Record for most runs scored in T20I in a year

Pakistan’s Wicketkeeper-Batsman Mohammad Rizwan has set a new World Record for most runs scored in a calendar year in Twenty20 (T20) International cricket. He has scored 752 runs in 2021 (14 innings of 15 matches). He has surpassed Ireland’s Paul Stirling, who aggregated 748 runs in 20 innings of 20 matches at an average of 41.55 in 2019.

Indian men's hockey team clinches bronze at Tokyo Olympics 2020, end 41-year-old medal drought

Indian men's hockey team created history on August 5, 2021 by winning the bronze medal after a stunning 5-4 victory over Germany in the bronze medal match at the Tokyo Olympic Games 2020. The team has brought home India's first Olympic medal in hockey after 41 years.

Germany had taken an early lead in the first quarter of the bronze medal match however, India equalised it. Germany then scored two goals to take its lead to 3-1 in the second quarter. Team India with the help of goals by Hardik Singh and Harmanpreet Singh equalised it again to 3-3 at halftime.
India's Rupinder Pal Singh and Simranjeet Singh then scored to push India in the lead at 5-3. India maintained its lead in the thriller all the way to pick up the bronze. Though German scored another goal and then brought in an extra field player in place of its goalie but was unable to score an equaliser.

India's bronze medal is its first Olympic hockey medal after it won gold at the 1980 Moscow Olympic Games.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke to Indian Men’s Hockey Captain Manpreet Singh, Head Coach Graham Reid and Assistant Coach Piyush Dubey to congratulate them. He congratulated the team for emerging victorious and bringing home the Bronze from #Tokyo2020.

Miscellaneous

Mini Ipe Appointed as the Managing Director of LIC

The government of India has appointed Mini Ipe as the new Managing Director of the Life Insurance Corporation(LIC) of India. She has been serving as the Executive Director, Legal Department, LIC of India. She has taken charge as the MD of the LIC of India succeeding Vipin Anand, who has retired in July 2021.

Additional info:
At present, including Mini Ipe, LIC has 4 Managing Directors. Other MD’s of LIC of India are Mukesh Kumar Gupta; Raj Kumar; Siddhartha Mohanty
About LIC of India:
Chairman– M R Kumar
Headquarters– Mumbai, Maharashtra

Economist Jagdish Bhagwati, C Rangarajan Awarded with C.R. Rao Gold Medal Award

The Indian Econometric Society (TIES) Trust has awarded the Economists Jagdish Bhagwati and C Rangarajan with the Prof. C.R. Rao Centenary Gold Medal (CGM) award.
About the Awardees:
i.Jagdish Bhagwati – He is the University Professor of Economics, Law, and International Relations at Columbia University and Director of the Raj Center on Indian Economic Policies. He received Padma Vibhushan Award in 2000 and Lifetime Achievement Award by the Indian Chamber of Commerce in 2004.

ii.C. Rangarajan – He is the former chairman of the Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister, and former Governor of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).
About the Award:
i.It is the award presented once in two years by TIES to an Indian or Indian-origin scholar for their lifetime contributions to the fields of theoretical and applied aspects of quantitative economics and official statistics.
ii.The award consists of a gold medal and citation. C R Rao is an Indian-American mathematician and statistician and he received Padma Vibhushan in 2001.
About The Indian Econometric Society (TIES):
It is a registered society under Public Societies Registration Act
Establishment – 1960
Chairman – V R Panchamukhi

Sai Life Sciences bags Golden Peacock National Training Award 2021

The Sai Life Sciences Ltd located in Hyderabad, Telangana conferred with Golden Peacock National Training Award 2021 in the pharmaceutical category. This is the second consecutive Golden Peacock Award for the company following the Golden Peacock National Quality Award 2020. It is one of India’s fastest growing Contract Research, Development & Manufacturing Organizations (CRDMOs).

About Golden Peacock Awards:
These are the annual awards for corporate excellence in India organized under the aegis of the Institute of Directors, India. For 2021, a grand jury of the awards was chaired by Justice Manepalli Narayana Rao Venkatachaliah, former Chief Justice of India and former Chairman, National Human Rights Commission of India and National Commission for Constitution of India Reforms.

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