Current Affairs

6 April, 2022


India Secures Leadership in Council Standing Committee on Administration & Management of ITU; Aprajita Sharrma Appointed as the Vice-Chairperson

India has secured a leadership position in the Council Standing Committee on Administration and Management of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the United Nations(UN) specialized agency for information and communication.
Aprajita Sharrma, an Indian Post & Telecommunication Accounts and Financial Services (IP&TAFS) officer was appointed as the vice-chair of the Standing Committee on Administration and Management at the ITU at Council meetings held in Geneva, Switzerland from 21st March to 31st March 2022. She will remain as vice-chairperson of the Council Standing Committee for the years 2023 and 2024 and its chairperson for the years 2025 and 2026.
About Aprajita Sharrma:
i.At present, Aprajita Sharrma serves as the Deputy Director General (DDG), Budget and Public Enterprise Finance in the Department of Telecommunications, Ministry of Communications.
ii.She has participated in several ITU activities and she is also the rapporteur for study group 2 at ITU development sector.
iii.She plays a major role in writing the final report along with ITU and member countries for the 2018-2021 period on ICTs and the environment, which deals with the e-waste management and role of frontier technologies in climate change mitigation
Functioning of ITU:
i.The ITU is governed by the Plenipotentiary Conference and the Administrative Council.
ii.The Plenipotentiary Conference is the supreme organ of the Union. It is the decision making body that determines the direction of the Union and its activities.
iii.Council Standing Committee on Administration and Management acts as the ITU’s governing body in the interval between Plenipotentiary Conferences. The council’s role is to consider broad telecommunication policy issues to ensure that the Union’s activities, policies and strategies fully respond to the current dynamic, rapidly changing telecommunications environment.
About International Telecommunication Union (ITU):
Secretary-General– Houlin Zhao
Headquarters– Geneva, Switzerland
Founded in 1865


Government Officials Of Russia, UK And USA Visits India

Deputy National Security Advisor (NSA) of United States of America (USA) Daleep Singh, visited India for 2 days from 30 March 2022 to 31 March 2022, followed by him United Kingdom (UK) Foreign Secretary Liz Truss visited India on 31 March 2022 and later Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov made a two-day visit to India from 31 March 2022 to 1 April 2022. The visits by the government officials were due to the crisis prevailing in the ongoing Russia-Ukraine War.
India – Russia:
i.Talks held between Mr Lavrov and External Affairs Minister (EAM) S. Jaishankar of India, regarding supply of any goods that India wanted to buy from Russia using the Rupee-Rouble mechanism and to bypass the Western sanctions by buying Russia’s discounted crude oil through rupee-ruble payment mechanism.
ii.India also expects the delivery of various military hardware as well as components of the S-400 missile systems (Surface to Air) from Russia.
iii.The support stood as India abstained in United Nation (UN) votes condemning the Russian invasion over Ukraine.
iv.India is the world’s third-largest consumer of oil after the US and China, and imports about 80% of its energy requirements.
v.Previously in 2021, India purchased about 12 million barrels of oil from Russia.
Rupee-Rouble Mechanism:
Rupee-rouble trade is a payment mechanism by which Indian exporters will get paid in the local currency for their export to Russia instead of the dollar or euro, which is the standard international currency.
View Of United States Of America (USA):
USA condemns India not to purchase crude oil from Russia as every country proposed sanctions against it for the war against Ukraine. It also condemns European countries such as Norway, Germany and Italy, which go behind Russian energy flow.India and United States are scheduled to hold 2+2 dialogue in Washington, USA on April 11, 2022
View Of United Kingdom (UK):
i.Liz Truss spoke with S. Jaishankar to counter Russia’s aggression and reduce global strategic dependence on the country by proposing sanctions on it.
ii. Also she spoke about defence cooperation between the two countries and to deepen the cybersecurity by the new joint cybersecurity programme. In order to protect online infrastructure in both countries.
iii.She plans to hold the first Strategic Tech Dialogue between UK and India.
iv.To improve the security of nations, the UK and India will agree to maritime co-operation in the Indo-Pacific region. The UK will join India’s Indo-Pacific Oceans Initiative and become a lead partner on maritime security issues, coordinating work with key partners in Southeast Asia.
v.Funding 70 million Pounds to British International Investment (BII) to support renewable energy use in India.
vi.She addressed in the inaugural(1st) edition of the India-UK Strategic Futures Forum.Indian Council of World Affairs (ICWA) and the Policy Exchange of the UK Co-host the event.

Stand-Up India Scheme marks Sixth Anniversary

The Stand-up India scheme completes 6 years since its launch on 05 April, 2016 by The Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Over Rs 30,160 crore loan sanctioned to more than 1,33,995 accounts under Stand-Up India Scheme in 6 years. Stand Up India scheme was extended till 2025.
About the Stand Up India Scheme:
i.The Department of Financial Services (DFS), Ministry of Finance launched Stand Up India Scheme to promote entrepreneurship at the grass-root level of economic empowerment and job creation.
ii.The scheme leverages the institutional credit structure to reach out to the underserved sector of people such as Scheduled Castes (SCs), Scheduled Tribes (STs) and Women Entrepreneurs.
iii.The objective of the scheme is to facilitate bank loans between Rs.10 lakh and Rs.1 crore to at least one SC or ST borrower and at least one woman borrower per bank branch for setting up a Greenfield enterprise.
iv.The offices of Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) and National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development(NABARD) shall be designated Stand-Up Connect Centres (SUCC).
v.The Scheme envisages ‘upto 15%’ margin money which can be provided in convergence with eligible Central/State schemes.
Eligibility under Stand Up India Scheme:
i.SC/ST and/or women entrepreneurs, above 18 years of age.
ii.Loans under the scheme are available for only Greenfield projects.
iii.Borrower should not be in default to any bank or financial institution.
iv.In case of non-individual enterprises at least 51% of the shareholding and controlling stake should be held by either an SC/ST or Woman entrepreneur.


India’s Trade Deficit widens by 87.5% to record $192.41bn in FY22

In accordance with the preliminary data released by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, India’s trade deficit increased by 87.5% to $192.41 billion in FY22 as against $102.63 billion in FY21. This is due to the record high imports of $610.22 billion because the value of inbound petroleum shipments nearly doubled as compared to a year earlier. The value of total goods exported witnessed 43.18% growth to a record $417.81 in FY22, along with an increase in imports by 54.71% to $610.22 billion. This left a trade gap of $192.41 billion. The trade deficit in March 2022 was $18.69 billion.

PNB Mandates PPS for High-Value Cheques to prevent check fraud

Punjab National Bank (PNB) has announced that it has made the Positive Pay System (PPS) mandatory for cheques of Rs. 10 lakhs and above, effective April 4, 2022, in order to protect clients from large-value check fraud. The Positive Pay System (PPS) is developed by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI). It requires the customer who issues the high-value cheque to reconfirm some essential details, which are cross-checked while presenting the cheque for clearance before payment.
As this move is aimed at protecting customers against large value cheque fraud, only registered cheques in PPS are accepted under the dispute resolution mechanism.

Cheque Truncation System (CTS)

Cheque Truncation System (CTS) or Image-based Clearing System (ICS),is a cheque clearing system undertaken by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) for faster clearing of cheques. It promotes the processing of a cheque electronically, rather than a physical cheque, through the Magnetic Ink Character Reader (MICR) data and a scanned image.

Reserve Bank of India (RBI) introduced pan-India CTS in September 2020 to make cheque clearing safer and faster. Recently, it was made mandatory for all banks to implement Cheque Truncation System (CTS) in all their branches across the country by September 30, 2020.
All CTS cheques hold a watermark, with ‘CTS-INDIA’, which is visible when held against any light source.
Pantograph (wavelike design) with hidden / embedded word ‘VOID’ become clearly visible in photocopies of a cheque
About Punjab National Bank (PNB):
MD & CEO – Atul Kumar Goel
Establishment – 18 May 1894
Headquarters – New Delhi, Delhi
Tagline – The name you can bank upon

Payments Canada & TCS to Implement Real-Time-Rail Payment System

Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) has formed a strategic relationship with Payments Canada, Canada’s largest payment organization, to transform its payment system operations and assist with the implementation of Real-Time Rail (RTR). RTR is a revolutionary real-time payments system that will allow Canadians to send and receive irrevocable cash in seconds, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days of a year.
i.TCS will assist Payments Canada in executing an integration roadmap for the RTR by utilizing its expertise in the Canadian payments industry and experience in developing and implementing large payment systems for its Canadian financial services clients.
ii. TCS will also use its solutions around quality engineering and participant engagement to effectively create and orchestrate a comprehensive end-to-end industry assurance programme that will holistically validate the solution for the deployment of RTR.
Real-Time Rail (RTR):

It will allow Payments Canada members to provide innovative ways for Canadians and businesses to pay and be paid in real time, as well as to access rich payment data.
It will provide certainty of receipt and serve as a platform for innovation, allowing ecosystem players such as financial institutions and payment service providers to create new and improved methods for Canadians to pay for goods and services and transfer money.

SEBI introduces DDPI to replace PoA for Share Pledging; Bans NFOs by Mutual Fund Industry by 3 months

i.The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has introduced a new document namely ‘Demat Debit and Pledge Instruction (DDPI)’ which will come into effect from July 1, 2022.
ii.DDPI will replace Power of Attorney (PoA) for the purpose of pledging and repledging of stocks for margin purpose. It will be registered in the client demat account.
iii.SEBI bars the launch of new fund offer (NFO) or launching of fresh schemes by mutual funds (MFs) until the MF industry complies with SEBI’s new rules. The deadline for meeting the norms is extended by 3 months to July 1, 2022 from April 1, 2022.
About Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI):
Establishment – 12th April 1992 (In accordance with SEBI Act 1992)
Headquarters – Mumbai, Maharashtra
Chairperson – Madhabi Puri Buch


La’eeb unveiled as official mascot for FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022

Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) has unveiled La’eeb as the official mascot for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 during the draw for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, which took place in Doha,the capital of Qatar.
i.”La’eeb” – a super skilled player (in Arabic), is playful, adventurous and curious.
ii.According to FIFA and the Tournament organising body ,The Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy (SC) ,the mascot represents donning the flowing Qatari National dress and trying to stop the football in air.
iii.According to the Supreme Committee (SC), La’eeb comes from a parallel world where tournament mascots live. It is a world where ideas and creativity form the basis of characters that live in the minds of everyone.
iv.Also La’eeb encourages everyone to believe in themselves as ‘Now is All’.
FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 is the first FIFA World Cup in the Middle East and also in the Arab World.


I&B Minister Anurag Singh Thakur launches Broadcast Seva Portal

Union Minister Anurag Singh Thakur, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) unveiled ‘Broadcast Seva (BS) Portal’ in New Delhi (Delhi) which is an online facility for people for speedy filing and processing of applications of broadcasters for licenses, permissions, registrations, etc. Owned by MIB, this portal is an effort towards Digital India, and Ease of Doing Business in the broadcasting sector. It also caters to the Central Government initiatives towards ‘Minimum Government, Maximum Governance’.
It has been developed in cooperation with Broadcast Engineering Consultants India Limited (BECIL) and Tata Consultancy Service (TCS) Limited, the Technology Partner.
About Broadcast Seva Portal:
i.It has been integrated with the Ministry of Corporate Affairs portal.
ii.This portal will bring transparency, accountability and responsiveness by reducing human interface, and the turnaround time of applications.
iii.It will also be linked with the National Single Window System.
iv.It will directly benefit more than 900 satellite TV channels, 70 teleport operators, 1,700 multi-service operators, 350 community radio stations, 380 FM channels and others.
v.Various services and features of the portal includes: End-to-end processing, Integration with payment system (Bharat Kosh), Integration with E-Office and stakeholder ministries
Analytics, Reporting and Management Information System (MIS), Integrated Helpdesk, Application forms and status tracking, Downloading letters/orders from the portal itself, Alerts to stakeholders (SMS/E-Mails).

CCI approves Acquisition of Certain Compulsorily Convertible Preference Shares of HFL by AHVF II Holdings Singapore II Pte. Ltd

The Competition Commission of India (CCI) approved the acquisition of certain compulsorily convertible preference shares of Hero FinCorp Limited (HFL) by AHVF ll Holdings Singapore ll Pte. Ltd. The approval was given under section 31(1) of the Companies Act 2002.

Target – Hero FinCorp Limited

Acquirer – AHVF II Holdings Singapore II Pte. Ltd.
About Competition Commission of India (CCI):
Founded- 2003
Headquarters-New Delhi, Delhi
Chairperson-Ashok Kumar Gupta

PharmEasy Appoints Actor Aamir Khan as Brand Ambassador of its #GharBaitheBaitheTakeItEasy campaign

PharmEasy, a consumer healthcare app & brand managed by API Holdings Limited., has appointed bollywood actor Aamir Khan as the brand ambassador of its new campaign – #GharBaitheBaitheTakeItEasy campaign, conceptualised by FCB India.
PharmEasy’s Television commercials(TVCs) featuring Aamir Khan will also be a part of the Indian Premier League(IPL) campaign 2022. As the face of the brand, he will also highlight how medicines, diagnostic tests, and healthcare products are available to customers through its app. This partnership aims to reach more people and ensure that affordable healthcare is accessible to everyone.

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