Current Affairs

7 June, 2021

International

THE Asia University Ranking 2021:IISc, IIT Ropar, IIT Indore In Top 100; Tsinghua University Tops

In the 2021 Times Higher Education(THE) Asia university rankings , IISc Bangalore, IIT Ropar and IIT Indore have secured ranks among the top 100 universities in Asia.18 Indian universities have made it to the top 200 Rankings. The Ranking is based on 13 carefully calibrated performance indicators that measure an institution’s performance across four areas: teaching, research, knowledge transfer and international outlook.
Top Indian Institutes in THE Asia University Rankings 2021
India Rank Institution Location Asia Rank
1 Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru Karnataka 37
2 Indian Institute of Technology,Ropar Punjab 55
3 Indian Institute of Technology,Indore Madhya Pradesh 78
63 Indian universities participated in this year’s rankings, which includes 14 institutions debuting in the table. With this, India is at third place overall in terms of university representation behind Japan (116 universities) and China (91 universities).
Overall, 551 universities appeared in rankings this year from 30 countries in Asia.
THE Asia University Rankings 2021
Asia Rank Institution Location
1 Tsinghua University China
2 Peking University China
3 National University of Singapore Singapore
Apart from these, Institute of Chemical Technology, IIT Gandhinagar, King George Medical college, IISER Kolkata, Indraprastha Institute of Information Technology Delhi, IIT Hyderabad, Thapar university, Savitribai Phule University, Banaras Hindu university, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeeth are some of the other Indian universities in the list.

Land Equivalent to Size of China to be Restored by 2030 to Prevent Biodiversity Loss:FAO & UNEP Report

Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and UN Environment Programme’s (UNEP) has released a report titled, “Becoming #GenerationRestoration Ecosystem Restoration for People, Nature & Climate”. The report states, to avoid biodiversity loss, land equivalent to size of china or one billion hectares of degraded land should be restored by 2030. Currently, the world is using 1.6 times the amount of services that nature could provide.
Note – UN General Assembly had declared 2021–2030 as “UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration”.
About Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO):
Director General – Qu Dongyu
Headquarter – Rome, Italy
About UN Environment Programme (UNEP):
Executive Director – Inger Andersen
Headquarter – Nairobi, Kenya

40% of Global Crops lost to Pests Annually – FAO Report

According to the “Scientific review of the impact of climate change on plant pests” report of the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), globally around 40% of agricultural produce is damaged due to invasive pests every year.
i.The report was prepared by Maria Lodovica from the University of Turin in Italy alongside 10 co-authors.
ii.Annually countries spent USD 70 billion to eliminate invasive pests like Fall Armyworm, Desert Locusts (World’s most destructive migratory pests)
About Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO):
FAO was established by the United Nations in October, 1945 to eliminate hunger and improve nutrition and food security.
Director General– Qu Dongyu
Headquarters– Rome, Italy

National

EESL Partnered with ISHRAE for Efficient and Clean Energy Solution in HVAC&R Industry

Energy Efficiency Services Ltd (EESL), a joint venture under the Ministry of Power has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Indian Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers (ISHRAE) for a strategic partnership to implement energy-efficient and clean energy solution in the Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning, and Refrigeration (HVAC&R) industry. Rajat Sud, Managing Director of EESL and Amitabha Sur, National President of ISHRAE signed the MoU in August 2020 in the presence of the officials of EESL and ISHRAE.
About Energy Efficiency Services Ltd (EESL):
Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL) is a Super Energy Service Company (ESCO) under the Ministry of Power.
Managing Director– Rajat Kumar Sud
Headquarters– Delhi
About Indian Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers (ISHRAE):
National President– Amitabha Sur
Headquarters– New Delhi
Founded in 1981

MoSJ&E Minister Thaawarchand Gehlot Virtually Launched SAGE Initiative & Portal to Support Elderly People

Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment (MoSJ&E) Minister, Thaawarchand Gehlot virtually launched Seniorcare Aging Growth Engine (SAGE) initiative & portal to help old aged people.These benefits to the elderly people will be given by the Startups.
Fund- Rs.25 crores has been given for the FY 2021-22.
Objective – To Provide all the products and services need for the elderly people at one stop.
Responsible Ministry – Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment (MoSJ&E).
About SAGE Initiative:
i.SAGE (Seniorcare Aging Growth Engine) Initiative was launched to provide products and services to support elderly people across sectors such as health, housing, care centres, apart from technological access linked to finances, food and wealth management and legal guidance.
ii.SAGE Portal – This is the one stop access where elderly people can access all their essential needs.
About Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment (MoSJ&E):
Union Minister – Thaawarchand Gehlot (Constituency – Madhya Pradesh)
Minister of State – Shri Krishan Pal Gurjar(Constituency – Faridabad, Haryana); Shri Ramdas Athawale (Constituency – Maharashtra); Shri Rattan Lal Kataria (Constituency – Ambala, Haryana).

DAC approves – Rs 43000 Crore RFP for Constructing 6 Submarines & Rs 6,000 Crore for Air Defence Guns

The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) chaired by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh approves Request For Proposal (RFP) for the construction of 6 Conventional Submarines under Strategic Partnership (SP) Model at a cost of Rs. 43,000 crores and allocated Rs. 6,000 crores for modernisation of Indian Army’s Air Defence Guns and Ammunition.
i.Submarine Construction:
6 Conventional Submarines with state-of-art Air Independent Propulsion System will be indigenously developed under Project P75(I) through SP Model.
Note – INS Kalvari, was the 1st submarine to be inducted in the Indian Navy in 1967. It was built by Soviet Union
ii.Modernising Air Defence Guns:
DAC gave approval for modernising Air Defence Guns and Ammunition of Indian army at a cost of Rs. 6,000 crores under Buy & Make (India) category.

Economy

US Became the 2nd Largest Source of FDI to India in 2020-21;Singapore Tops – DPIIT

As per the data of the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), the United States(US) became the 2nd largest source of foreign direct investment(FDI) into India during FY21 by replacing Mauritius. Singapore remained the top largest source of FDI into India for the 3rd consecutive fiscal year.
FDI’s growth in FY21: i.In FY21, FDIs into the country grew 19 percent to USD 59.64 billion amidst measures taken by the government for policy reforms, investment facilitation and ease of doing business.
ii.The total FDI (including equity, reinvested earnings, and capital) in FY21 rose by 10 percent to the highest-ever USD 81.72 billion, as against USD 74.39 billion in FY20.
Country-wise Ranking over FDI inflow in FY21:
Sn Country FDI inflow
1. Singapore USD 17.41 billion
2. US USD 13.82 billion
3. Mauritius USD 5.64 billion
4. United Arab Emirates(UAE) USD 4.2 billion
5. Cayman Island USD 2.79 billion
Sectors wise Ranking:
Sn Sector type FDI inflow
1. computer software and hardware USD 26.14 billion
2. construction – infrastructure activities USD 7.87 billion
3. services sector USD 5 billion
Note – FDI – It is an investment made by a firm or individual in one country into business interests located in another country.

HSBC to Exit Retail & Small Business Banking Market in the US

HSBC has announced that it is withdrawing from the retail and small business banking market in the United States (US) as a part of its strategy to refocus on corporate and investment banking in Asia. HSBC is set to sell 90 out of 140 US branches to Citizens Bank and Cathay General Bancorp.
The bank also plans to make around 20 locations as international centres dedicated to high net worth individuals.

HDFC Bank To Become Carbon Neutral By 2031-32

India’s largest private lender, HDFC Bank has planned to become carbon neutral by 2031-32. Bank is now looking to reduce its emissions, energy, and water consumption.The bank is working on a framework of issuing green bonds.
HDFC has planned to, Decrease absolute emissions and energy consumed from current level of 315,583 MT CO2 emissions. Increase rooftop solar capacity in large offices. Convert 50% of the total sourced electricity to renewable energy.

ADB Provides $2.5 Million Loan To Sikkim For Road Upgradation Project

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Government of India has signed a $2.5 million(~Rs 18.28 crore) project readiness financing (PRF) loan to support preparation and design activities to upgrade major district roads in Sikkim.
Objective: To help improve connectivity to important towns, rural areas, and pilgrimage and tourist destinations in the northeastern state. To upgrade to all-weather roads as frequent landslides and erosion damage the roads and disrupt intra-state connectivity.
About Asian Development Bank (ADB):
President– Masatsugu Asakawa
Established in– 1966
Headquarters– Manila, Philippines
Members– 68 members(49 – Asia & Pacific & 19 – outside)

Highlights of the Second Bi-Monthly Monetary Policy of FY22

The Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) 6-members Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) had met on 2nd, 3rd and 4th June 2021 and released its second bi-monthly monetary policy statement for FY22 (April 2021 – March 2022).
Policy Rates: The Policy rates were kept unchanged, which are as follows:
Category Rate
Policy Rates
Policy Repo Rate 4.00%
Reverse Repo Rate 3.35%
Marginal Standing Facility (MSF) Rate 4.25%
Bank Rate 4.25%
Reserve Ratios
Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR) 4.00%
Statutory Liquidity Ratio (SLR) 18.00%
i.MPC’s Assessments on growth and inflation:
i.Growth: The MPC has projected India’s real gross domestic product (GDP) growth for FY22 at 9.5 percent with 18.5 percent in Q1; 7.9 percent in Q2; 7.2 percent in Q3; and 6.6 percent in Q4.
ii.Inflation: Cost Price Index (CPI) inflation/Retail inflation for FY22 was projected at 5.1 percent with 5.2 percent in Q1; 5.4 percent in Q2; 4.7 percent in Q3; and 5.3 percent in Q4.
iii.Members of MPC: The MPC meeting was headed by RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das the other 5 members of the committee include, Shashanka Bhide, Ashima Goyal, Prof. Jayanth R. Varma, Mridul K. Saggar, and Michael Debabrata Patra
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

SEBI Enhanced Overseas Investment Limit for a Mutual Fund to USD 1 billion

Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) enhanced the overseas investment limit for a mutual fund(MF) house to USD 1 billion from the existing USD 600 million. The overall MF industry limit for investing overseas remained unchanged at USD 7 billion. This will allow MFs to allocate a far higher share of their corpus in foreign securities. SEBI has also increased the overseas investments limit per MF in Exchange Traded Fund (ETFs) to a maximum of USD 300 million from USD 200 million. The overall industry limit was unchanged to USD 1 billion.
About Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI):
Establishment – On April 12, 1992, in accordance with the SEBI Act, 1992. (Replaced Controller of Capital Issues (CCI))
Headquarters – Mumbai, Maharashtra
Chairman – Ajay Tyagi

Sports

India's Olympic-bound wrestler Sumit Malik fails dope test, provisionally suspended

Indian wrestler Sumit Malik has failed his dope test with just 49 days to go for the Tokyo Olympics, which are scheduled to be held in Japan.

Malik, who had reserved his Olympic berth in the 125kg category by reaching the final of the qualifier event in Sofia last month, is now unlikely to join the Indian contingent for the event. The news has come as a shock to the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI).
WFI Assistant Secretary Vinod Tomar confirmed that Sumit has failed his dope test and has bleak chances of participating in the Tokyo Olympics. The official stated that Sumit has tested positive for a banned substance and has been provisionally suspended by the UWW (United World Wrestling).

Oman preferred over India to host the first FIH Hockey5s World Cup 2024

Hockey5s World Cup is a brand-new International Hockey Federation (FIH) competition set to be host by the country Oman in January 2024 and all matches will be held in its capital Muscat. Oman had won the bid against India, Pakistan, and Singapore to host the first edition of the FIH Hockey5s World Cups for men and women. Sixteen teams for both men and women (3teams per continent + Oman as hosts) will take part in the first edition. Continental Hockey5s qualifiers for the World Cup will be organized in 2022.

Miscellaneous

Indian Navy decommissions Oldest Hydrographic Survey Ship – INS Sandhayak in Visakhapatnam

Indian Navy decommissioned its Oldest Hydrographic Survey Vessel, “INS Sandhayak” at Naval Dockyard in Visakhapatnam. The ship served the Indian Navy for 40 years, conducting over 200 Hydrographic surveys and as a part of other important missions of Indian Navy.
About Indian Navy:
Motto – “Sam no Varunah” or “Be auspicious unto us Oh Varuna”
Chief of Naval Staff – Karambir Singh
Headquarters – New Delhi

Manipal Hospitals Acquires Vikram Hospital for ₹350 Crore

Manipal Hospitals, the second largest hospital chain in India, entered into a definitive agreement with private equity firm Multiples to acquire 100% stake in Bengaluru-based multi-specialty hospital Vikram Hospital for a consideration of ₹350 crore. Set up in 2009, Vikram Hospital is a 200-bed tertiary care facility located in the central business district and is best known for its clinical expertise in the fields of cardiac and neuro sciences.

CCI Approved Acquisition Of Avana, TFPL And Transworld Feeders FZCO By Unifeeder

The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has approved the acquisition of Avana Logistek Limited, Transworld Feeders Private Limited and Transworld Feeders FZCO by Unifeeder ISC FZCO.
About Unifeeder:
i.In India, Unifeeder is present through its subsidiaries, Feedertech Pte. Limited (Feedertech) and Perma Shipping Line Pte. Limited.
ii.Unifeeder is indirectly held by DPW, forming part of DPW Group.

Omnivore Appointed Harsh Kumar Bhanwala, former chairman of NABARD, as Senior Advisor

Omnivore, an Agritech venture capital firm, has appointed Harsh Kumar Bhanwala the former chairman of the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) as its Senior Advisor. He will be offering advice on new investments, and support to develop the fund’s rural fintech investment strategy.

Amul’s RS Sodhi elected to the board of the International Dairy Federation

Dr. R S Sodhi, Managing Director, Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation Ltd (GCMMF) popularly known as ‘Amul’ was selected to the Board of International Dairy Federation (IDF).The decision has been taken in IDF General meeting on June 1,2021 i.e. World Milk Day.
About International Dairy Federation (IDF) :-
i. IDF is an international authority established in 1903 in the development of science-based standards for dairy sector to provide high quality dairy products.
ii. IDF has an important role to play in ensuring the right policies, standards, practices, and regulations are in place to ensure the world’s dairy products are safe and sustainable.
iii. It has over 1,200 qualified dairy experts in 43 member countries.
iv. IDF members are National Committees generally constituted by dairy organizations in each country.
v. India is represented by the National Committee (INC) of the IDF. The Secretary (ADF), Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying, Government of India is the President of the INC-IDF and National Dairy Development Board (NDDB).

RBI Re-Appoints Vishwavir Ahuja As RBL Bank’s MD & CEO For One Year

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) approved the re-appointment of Vishwavir Ahuja as Managing Director(MD) and Chief Executive Director(CEO) of RBLbank for a period of one year with effect from June 30, 2021. The re-appointment is subject to the approval of shareholders at the ensuing Annual General Meeting of the Bank. RBL Bank Board had sought Vishwavir Ahuja’s re-appointment for a period of three years. But, the RBI has permitted only one year.

Cognizant Ranked 185th On “2021 Fortune 500 List”;Walmart Tops

In the 67th edition of Fortune Magazine’s annual ranking of America’s largest companies, Cognizant is ranked at 185th position on the 2021 Fortune 500 list. Companies in the Fortune 500 are ranked by total revenues for their respective fiscal years. Cognizant’s 2020 revenue of $16.7 billion moved the company up to its current rank from 194 on the 2020 Fortune 500. The top three 2021 Fortune 500 companies are, 1st – Walmart, 2nd – Amazon, 3rd – Apple

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