Current Affairs

9 August, 2021

International

1st Deputy NSA Level Meeting of Colombo Security Conclave held Virtually

The 1st Deputy National Security Adviser (NSA) level meeting of ‘Colombo Security Conclave’ took place virtually between India, Maldives, Sri Lanka. Bangladesh, Mauritius and Seychelles participated as observers. The meeting was chaired by Sri Lanka under the Chairmanship of General LHSC Silva, Chief of Defence Staff and Commander of Army of Sri Lanka. From the Indian side, Pankaj Saran – Deputy NSA participated in the meeting. The participants identified 4 pillars of cooperation – Marine Safety and Security, Terrorism and Radicalization, Trafficking and Organised Crime and Cyber security to stop the spread of Terrorism through sea.

Colombo Security Conclave
The Trilateral Cooperation Framework between India, Sri Lanka & Maldives was initially established in 2011. It will act as a maritime security mechanism for Indian Ocean Region (IOR) including the Bay of Bengal. The Conclave Secretariat is set to be based out of Colombo, Sri Lanka.
About Sri Lanka
President – Gotabaya Rajapaksa
Capital – Colombo, Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte
Currency – Sri Lankan Rupee

Kiren Rijiju Attends 8th Justice Ministers Meet 2021 of SCO

Union Minister for Law & Justice, Kiren Rijiju participated in the 8th Justice Ministers Meeting 2021 of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) held at Tajikistan virtually. The meeting was hosted by Tajikistan (2021 SCO Presidency). The meeting was chaired by M.K.Ashuriyon, Minister of Justice of the Republic of Tajikistan. SCO is celebrating its 20th Anniversary under the slogan ‘20 years of SCO: Cooperation for Stability and Prosperity’.

About Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO)
Secretary General – Vladimir Norov
Headquarters – Beijing, China
Chairmanship of 2021 – Tajikistan
About Tajikistan
Capital – Dushanbe
Currency- Tajikistani somoni
President – Emomali Rahmon

Rajkumar Ranjan Singh represents India at 28th ASEAN Regional Forum Foreign Ministers Meeting 2021

Minister of State (MoS) for External Affairs, Rajkumar Ranjan Singh led the Indian Delegation at the 28th Association of SouthEast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Regional Forum (ARF) Foreign Ministers Meeting 2021. The meeting was held virtually under the Chairmanship of Brunei Darussalam.

i.During the meeting, the ARF member countries exchanged views on international and regional issues.
ii.The Ministers adopted 2 Joint Statements on i) Promoting the Youth, Peace and Security (YPS) Agenda & ii) Preventing and Combating Cybercrime.
EAM Jaishankar participates in 11th EAS Foreign Ministers Meeting
India’s External Affairs Minister (EAM) S. Jaishankar participated in the 11th East Asia Summit (EAS) Foreign Ministers Meeting, which was chaired by Brunei Darussalam. During the meeting, S. Jaishankar proposed to commemorate 2022 as the ASEAN-India friendship year on occasion of the 30th Anniversary (India joined ASEAN in 1992).

About Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN):
Chair of 2021 – Brunei Darussalam (Theme of its ASEAN Chairmanship is “We Care, We Prepare, We Prosper”).
Secretary-General – H.E. Dato Lim Jock Hoi (2018 -2022)
Headquarters – Jakarta, Indonesia

National

India ranked 32nd in Finding Innovative Solutions to Combat COVID-19; US Tops: Startup Blink Report

The 2nd Edition of the ‘COVID-19 Innovation report 2021’ released by Startup Blink in association with Health Innovation Exchange & UNAIDS (United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS) has ranked India 32nd (score 0.396) in the global coronavirus innovation rankings for countries. The US has topped the rankings, followed by Israel & Canada.
i.The report ranks the 40 countries and 100 cities in the world based on Innovation solutions developed to combat the pandemic.
ii.In the Cities Rankings, San Francisco Bay (US), New York (US) & Moscow (Russia) were ranked as the Top 3 cities. India has 2 cities – Bengaluru, Karnataka (49th Rank), New Delhi (55th) in the top 100 rankings.
iii.The 1st Edition of the report was released in June 2020, in which India was ranked 26th.
Top Coronavirus Innovation Countries

Rank Country Score
32 India 0.396
1 US 14.706
2 Israel 4.945
3 Canada 4.196
About Startup Blink
Founder & CEO – Eli David

TRIFED’s 34th Foundation Day – 6th August 2021

The Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation of India (TRIFED), under the Ministry of Tribal Affairs(MoTA), celebrated its 34th Foundation day on 6th August 2021 to raise awareness about the issues related to the trade in tribal regions and the need to ensure a fair deal for them. TRIFED was established on 6th August 1987 to enhance tribal development through marketing support for handicrafts and Non-Timber Forest Produce (NTFP). The winners of the TRIFED’s Van Dhan Awards 2020-2021 were announced during the event. The award recognises the contributions and achievements of the Van Dhan Self Help Groups (VDSHG), Van Dhan Vikas Kendra Clusters (VDVKCs), tribal artisans, forest produce gatherers and people working for them.

Economy

Karnataka Bank got Empanelled as Agency Bank to RBI

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has empanelled the Karnataka Bank as the ‘Agency Bank’ to facilitate transactions related to government (govt) businesses. RBI has allowed Karnataka Bank to handle transactions related to revenue receipts under the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT), the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) and Goods and Services Tax (GST) on behalf of the state/central govt. The bank was also authorised to make transactions such as income tax, indirect taxes, pension payments, collection of stamp duty charges, and State taxes such as professional tax, value-added tax and State excise duties.

Background: In February 2021, RBI has removed the ban imposed (in 2012) over ‘Appointing the Scheduled Private Sector Banks as Agency Banks of RBI’ and authorised the appointment of Scheduled Private Sector Banks as agency banks of RBI.

About Karnataka Bank:
Establishment – 1924
Headquarters – Mangalore, Karnataka
MD & CEO – Mahabaleshwara M.S
Tagline – Your family bank across India

NSE, IBBI ink pact for research collaboration in Insolvency and Bankruptcy

The National Stock Exchange (NSE) partnered with Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (IBBI) to enhance research efforts in the area of insolvency and bankruptcy. This decision has been taken because the efficient insolvency and bankruptcy resolution system enables timely resolution of financial stress, balances interests of all stakeholders, promotes entrepreneurship and increases availability of credit at optimal costs.

About National Stock Exchange (NSE):
Establishment– 1992 (commenced operations in 1994)
Managing Director & CEO– Vikram Limaye
Headquarters– Mumbai, Maharashtra
About Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (IBBI):
Establishment– 2016
Chairperson– Dr. MS Sahoo
Headquarters– New Delhi

SIDBI launches Swavalamban Challenge Fund to Promote Entrepreneurship

i.The Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) in collaboration with Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office, United Kingdom (FCDO UK) has launched Swavalamban Challenge Fund (SCF) to promote entrepreneurship.

ii.The SCF along with its digital portal (https://scf.udyamimitra.in) was launched by Secretary, Ministry of Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises (M/o MSME) Bidyut Bihari Swain in the presence of Devendra Kumar Singh, Development Commissioner of MSME, Sivasubramanian Ramann, Chairman and Managing Director (CMD) of SIDBI, along with senior official of FCDO UK.
About Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI):
It is the financial institution engaged in the promotion, financing and development of MSMEs.
Establishment– 1990
Headquarters– Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh
Chairman & Managing Director (CMD)– Sivasubramanian Ramann

ADB approves USD300mn additional loan for Rural Roads in Maharashtra

i.The Asian Development Bank (ADB) approved an additional financing of a $300 million (~INR 2227 Crore) loan for the ongoing Maharashtra Rural Connectivity Improvement Project that is upgrading rural roads to all-weather conditions and connecting rural areas with markets and services in Maharashtra.

ii.The project, approved in August 2019, is being executed by the Maharashtra Rural Road Development Association.
iii.This additional financing will improve an additional 1,100 rural roads and 230 bridges for a total length of 2,900 km (from 2,100 km) in 34 districts.
About Asian Development Bank (ADB):
Establishment– 1966
President– Masatsugu Asakawa
Members– 68 Countries
Headquarters– Metro Manila, Philippines

Indian Bank signs MoU with IIM Bangalore to fund Startups

Indian Bank has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with NSRCEL (N S Raghavan Centre for Entrepreneurial Learning), the entrepreneurship Centre of Excellence at the Indian Institute of Management Bangalore (IIM-B) to provide funding for identified startups under Indian Bank’s ‘Ind Spring Board’ Scheme. The MoU was signed between Padmaja Chunduru, MD & CEO, Indian Bank, Professor Rishikesha T Krishnan, Director Of IIM Bangalore and K S Sudhakar Rao, General Manager (MSME), Indian Bank. The funding will help start-ups in meeting their working capital requirements for growth.

‘Ind Spring Board’ scheme
In October 2020, Indian Bank launched ‘IND Spring Board’ in collaboration with Indian Institute of Technology Madras Incubation Cell (IITMIC) to provide a credit facility of INR 50 crore to Start-Ups for their working capital requirements.
About Indian Bank
Established in 1907
Headquarters – Chennai
MD & CEO – Padmaja Chumduru
Tagline – Your Own Bank
About N S Raghavan Centre for Entrepreneurial Learning (NSRCEL)
Chairperson – Venkatesh Panchapagesan
Headquarters – Bengaluru, Karnataka

SEBI Board Approved List of Key Amendments, Initiatives

The board of Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) undertook different key decisions at the board meeting on August 06, 2021, regarding the amendments and frameworks related to Accredited Investors, mutual fund (MF) regulations, Alternate Investment Fund (AIF) and others.
About Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI):
Establishment – On April 12, 1992, in accordance with the SEBI Act, 1992.
Headquarters – Mumbai, Maharashtra
Chairman – Ajay Tyagi

Sports

Neeraj Chopra clinches gold, becomes first-ever Indian athlete to win gold at Olympic Games

Neeraj Chopra became the first-ever Indian athlete to win individual gold at the Olympic Games on August 7, 2021. He is the second Indian-ever to win an individual gold after Abhinav Bindra, who won gold in Men's 10m air rifle in shooting in 2008 Olympic Games.

Neeraj Chopra won India's first gold medal at Tokyo Olympics with a throw of 87.58m, finishing at the top of the table. This is a historic achievement, as it is the 22-year-old's first-ever Olympic Games. Neeraj Chopra's gold medal has taken India's medal tally at Tokyo Olympics 2020 to seven, which is India's highest-ever medal haul at the Olympics after the 2012 London Olympic Games. India's previous-best medal tally was six medals at the 2012 London Olympic Games, which included two silver and four bronze medals.

Bajrang Punia clinches bronze, India equals best-ever Olympic medal tally

Bajrang Punia has clinched the bronze medal after defeating three-time Asian Champion Daulet Niyazbekov 8-0 in men's wrestling freestyle 65kg at Tokyo Olympics 2020 on August 7, 2021. This is historic as this is India's sixth medal at Tokyo Olympics 2020.

India has equaled its best-ever medal tally at Olympic Games, as previously it had won six medals, including two silver and four bronze at the 2012 London Olympics.

Bajrang Punia has become the sixth wrestler in Indian history to win an Olympic medal. Punia is the top-ranked wrestler in his weight category.

Significance
This is India's fourth medal at the Tokyo Olympics including one from the Indian men's hockey team, Lovlina Borgohain in boxing and PV Sindhu's bronze in badminton. India has won two silvers, Ravi Kumar Dahiya's silver in wrestling and Mirabai Chanu's silver in weightlifting. This is the second medal in wrestling in Tokyo Olympics after Ravi Kumar Dahiya's silver.

Miscellaneous

Navy Vice Admiral S N Ghormade laid keels of the 1st ASW Shallow Water Craft

Navy Vice Chief Vice Admiral Satish Namdeo Ghormade virtually laid keels of the 1st Warship of Anti-Submarine Warfare Shallow Water Craft (ASW-SWC) and 3rd Warship of Survey Vessel Large (SVL) Project for Indian Navy. 8 ships are being built by Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers (GRSE) Ltd at Larsen & Toubro (L&T) Shipyard in Kattupalli port, Tamil Nadu under Public Private Partnership (PPP) model. The vessels will be deployed by the Navy for search and rescue missions in coastal areas.

Anti-Submarine Warfare Shallow Water Craft (ASW-SWC)
i.The vessels are to be delivered between 2022 and 2026. They will be replacing the Russian-built Abhay-class corvettes that were commissioned into the Navy between 1989 and 1991
ii.The ASW Shallow Water Craft will be equipped with modern underwater sensors and weapons. They are capable of full scale coastal survey, deep- water hydrographic survey and determination of Navigational routes.
About Indian Navy
Chief of Naval Staff (CNS) – Admiral Karambir Singh
Integrated headquarters of Ministry of Defence – New Delhi
About Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers Limited (GRSE)
Founded in 1884.
Chairman & MD – Vipin Kumar Saxena.
Headquarters – Kolkata, West Bengal.

Anthony Heredia Appointed as CEO of BOI AXA Investment Managers

Anthony Heredia has been appointed as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of BOI AXA Investment Managers Private Limited (BAIM). He will succeed Sandeep Dasgupta. BOI AXA Investment Managers Private Ltd is a joint venture between Bank of India (52.93%) and AXA Investment Managers (47.07%), backed by AXA group, one of the World’s Leading asset managers having Asset Under Management (AUM) of EUR 896 billion.

i.He has previously worked with Morgan Stanley Investment Management, HSBC Asset Management India and Birla Sun Life Asset Management.
ii.Heredia has more than 25 years of experience mostly in the investment management business within financial services.
About Bank of India (BOI)
Established in 1906
Headquarters – Mumbai
MD & CEO – Atanu Kumar Das
Tagline – Relationship beyond Banking
About BOI AXA Investment Managers Private Limited (BAIM)
Headquarters – Mumbai, Maharashtra
CEO – Anthony Herdia

Rekha Sharma gets 3-year extension as Chairperson of NCW

The government of India has nominated Rekha Sharma as the Chairperson of the National Commission for Women(NCW) for another term of 3 years with effect from 7th August 2021 or till the age of 65 or until further orders.
She has been serving as the chairperson of NCW since 7th August 2018.
About Rekha Sharma:
i.Rekha Sharma has been associated with the NCW since 2015 and she held the additional charges as the Chairperson from 29th September 2017 to 7th August 2018.
ii.She advocates gender sensitization of police personnel who are the first point of contact for the victims.
iii.She played a major role in establishing the special task force “Happy to help” during the COVID-19 pandemic to assist the elderly people who are struck alone during the lockdown.
About National Commission for Women(NCW):
Chairperson– Rekha Sharma
Headquarters– New Delhi
Established in January 1992

Telangana Govt Won the NASSCOM’s AI Gamechanger Award 2021

The Information Technology, Electronics and Communication(ITE&C) Department of the Government of Telangana has won the AI GameChanger Award 2021 for the implementation of the ‘Crowd Monitoring using AI’ scheme.
The winners of the awards were announced at the Xperience AI Summit 2021 organised by the National Association of Software and Services Companies(NASSCOM). The award is presented by the NASSCOM in collaboration with Microsoft (Innovation partner) and Deloitte (Knowledge partner).

About NASSCOM’s AI GameChanger Award:
i.AI GameChanger Awards program was a part of the NASSCOM’s ‘AI for All’ mission
ii.The awards recognise the innovative and impactful use-cases that solve an important problem, in-house or otherwise.
iii.The winners of the awards will be featured in the annual AI Gamechanger compendium.
iv.The First NASSCOM’s AI GameChanger Awards were presented in 2018.
NASSCOM XperienceAI Summit:
i.The NASSCOM XperienceAI Summit is the annual flagship AI event of NASSCOM.
ii.The theme of the NASSCOM XperienceAI Summit 2021 is ‘AI as a Catalyst for a Better Normal’.
About National Association of Software and Services Companies(NASSCOM):
President– Debjani Ghosh
Headquarters– Noida, Uttar Pradesh
Established in 1988

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