Current Affairs

8 April, 2022

International

QS World University Rankings by Subject 2022: IIT Bombay & IIT Delhi among top 100 under Engineering & Technology list

On 6th April 2022, QS Quacquarelli Symonds released the 12th edition of the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2022, the subject-wise rankings of institutes across the world are compilations of multiple lists. Indian Institute of Technology(IIT)-Bombay ranked 65th and Indian Institute of Technology(IIT)- Delhi ranked 72nd, are the only Indian institutes to be featured among the top 100 ranks under the Engineering and Technology category. IIT Bombay has scored 79.9 and IIT Delhi has scored 78.9.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology has topped the list with a score of 96.5 followed by the University of Cambridge and the University of Oxford.
Top 3 QS World University Rankings 2022:
1.Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT),
2.University of Oxford,
3.Stanford University & University of Cambridge.
About QS World University Rankings by Subject 2022:
i.The QS World University Rankings by Subject 2022 cover a total of 51 disciplines, grouped into five broad subject areas.

Arts & Humanities
Engineering and Technology
Life Sciences & Medicine
Natural Sciences
Social Sciences & Management
ii.The QS World University Rankings by Subject are compiled annually to help prospective students identify the leading universities in a particular subject.
Methodology: The rankings are based on research quality and accomplishments, academic reputation, and graduate employment.
Top institutes under each category:

Category

Top Institute(Rank 1)

Arts and Humanities University of Oxford(United Kingdom – UK)
Engineering and Technology Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)(United States of America – USA)
Life Sciences & Medicine Harvard University(USA)
Natural Sciences Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)(USA)
Social Sciences & Management Harvard University(USA)

WWF Report: Online Illegal Wildlife Trade in Myanmar increased by 74% from 2020 to 2021

According to the new World Wildlife Fund (WWF) report titled “Going viral: Myanmar’s wildlife trade escalates online 2021”, the online illegal wildlife trade in Myanmar has increased by 74% from 2020 to 2021. The report also revealed that the online trade of wildlife within Myanmar has been increasing.
Gist of the report:
i.The reports also mentioned that the sale of mammal species (live animals or body parts) has increased by 241%.
ii.The report states the species count rose from 143 in 2020 to 173 in 2021(i.e. 21 per cent increase over 2020 to 2021).
iii.According to the 2021 survey conducted by Globescan and WWF, 85% of respondents from Myanmar supported efforts to close all high-risk markets selling animals from the wild, and 81% believed that this would be effective in preventing pandemics from happening in the future.
Wildlife trade & zoonotic diseases:
i.Scientist estimates that 3 out of every 4 new or emerging infectious diseases in people come from animals and this would trigger
ii.Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS), swine flu (H1N1), avian flu (H5N1), and COVID-19, have all originated in animals and have proliferated in Asia in the past 20 years.
About World Wildlife Fund (WWF):
President & CEO– Carter Roberts
Headquarters– Gland, Switzerland
Established in 1961

National

9th Edition of India-Kyrgyzstan Joint Special Forces Exercise ‘Khanjar 2022’ Culminated

The 9th Edition of the India-Kyrgyzstan Joint Special Forces Exercise ‘Khanjar 2022′ culminated which commenced on 25 Mar 2022 at Special Forces Training School, Bakloh, Himachal Pradesh (HP). It strengthened the mutual confidence & interoperability between Indian Special Forces and Kyrgyzstan Special Forces.
About Kyrgyzstan
President– Sadyr Japarov
Capital– Bishkek
Currency– Kyrgyzstani Som (KGS)

HAL Of India Signed MoU with IAI Of Israel To Convert Civil Aircraft Into MMTT Aircraft

Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) to convert civil passenger aircraft to “Multi Mission Tanker Transport” (MMTT) aircraft in India. It also promotes “Atmanirbhar Bharat”.
HAL will convert civil aircraft into mid-air refuelling aircraft with cargo and transport capabilities.
The MoU also covers conversion of passenger aircraft to freighter aircraft (cargo aircraft).
Aircraft Carrier Used:
i.The aircraft used in the conversion to tankers is Boeing 767 passenger aircraft.
ii.Boeing 767 is being used as it has a specialised fuel tanker called KC-46 Pegasus.

The Boeing KC-46 Pegasus is an American military aerial refuelling and strategic military transport aircraft developed by Boeing from its 767 jet airliner.
Uses Of The Boeing 767:
i.The Boeing 767 is used as “MARS” (Mid Air Refuelling System) for the Indian Air Force (IAF) and it is called the “Phalcon model”. And the technology gives the fighter jet the ability to cover enhanced distances without having to land to refuel.
ii.It also allows the aircraft to stay in the air much beyond their normal limits, allowing it to perform a step ahead.
Illyushin-78 (IL-78) Tankers:
i.The IAF presently has six Russian IL-78 tankers and has been looking to procure six new aircraft. Because of the delayal of the deal to procure six IL-78, the IAF has been looking to lease some mid-air refuellers, by the idea of Defence Acquisition Procedure (DAP) 2020.

The introduction of MMTT aircraft will replace the IL-78 mid-air refueller.
Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) With Indian Air Force (IAF):
In the early 2000s, IAI had experience in modified aircraft for the IAF. IAI fitted the Phalcon radar into three IAF IL-76 aircraft, converting them into Airborne Warning and Control Systems (AWACS).
About Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI):
President and CEO – Boaz Levy
Establishment – 1953
Headquarters – Lod, Israel

Union Government forms advisory committee for Semicon India Programme

The Union Government on April 6, 2022, has formed an advisory committee to drive the Rs 76,000 crore project, Semicon India, to make the country a global leader in semiconductor manufacturing, design and innovation. The Committee will be chaired by Ashwini Vaishnaw (Minister of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY). Vice Chairperson – Rajeev Chandrashekhar (Minister of State, MeitY). Ajay Prakash Sawhney (Secretary, MeitY) will be the convenor.
i.The Union Cabinet recently gave approval to the ‘Semicon India’ programme with a total outlay of ₹76,000 crore for the development of the semiconductor and display manufacturing ecosystem in the country.
ii.Under which a specialised and dedicated “India Semiconductor Mission (ISM)” has been set up within Digital India Corporation to drive India’s strategies for developing the ecosystem.
iii.The Objective of the Advisory Committee is to steer the ISM in a structured, efficient, and strategic manner, and also provide necessary guidance to the ISM executives.
iv.The Mandate of the committee is to provide key inputs for building a resilient supply chain, promoting investments, financing mechanisms, global engagement, research & innovation, and Intellectual Property (IP) generation for the semiconductors and display ecosystem and enable an ecosystem to support start-ups and Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).

Economy

Banks Report Frauds worth Rs 34,097 Crore in April-December 2021: RBI Data

i.In accordance with the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) data, a total of 27 Scheduled Commercial Banks (SCBs) and Financial Institutions (FIs) have reported 96 cases of fraud, worth Rs 34,097 crore in the first nine months of FY22 (April-December 2021).
ii.Punjab National Bank (PNB) recorded 10 frauds with the highest value worth Rs 4,820 crore.
iii.Bank of India (BoI) reported the highest number of frauds at 13, the cumulative value of those was Rs 3,925.
iv.India lost at least Rs 100 crore every day to bank fraud over the last seven years. Between April 1, 2015 and December 31, 2021, banking fraud worth Rs 2.5 lakh crore was detected across states. In this, Maharashtra topped the charts.
About Reserve Bank of India (RBI):
Established– 1st April 1935
Headquarters– Mumbai, Maharashtra
Governor– Shaktikanta Das
Deputy Governors– Mahesh Kumar Jain, Michael Debabrata Patra, M. Rajeshwar Rao, T. Rabi Sankar

World Bank & AIIB To Provide Rs 7,500 Cr Loan to Mission School of Excellence Project in Gujarat

The World Bank and Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) will provide a loan of Rs 7,500 crore to the government of Gujarat for its ‘Mission School of Excellence project’. The ‘Mission Schools of Excellence’ will be implemented in the next five years at an estimated cost of Rs 10,000 crore.
Objective:
The project aims to improve the quality of education, make infrastructure better and build skills, which would help in generating more employment opportunities among youth across all districts in Gujarat.

About World Bank:
Headquarters- Washington, D.C., United States
President-David R. Malpass
Founded- 1944

Sports

India wins bid to host Asian Junior & Cadet Fencing Championships 2023

The Fencing Association of India(FAI) has won the bid to host the Asian Cadet and Junior Fencing Championship 2023. India made the bid during the Annual General Body Meeting of the Fencing Confederation of Asia at Hamdan Sports Complex, Dubai, the United Arab Emirates(UAE).

This will be the first time for India to host a fencing event of this magnitude.
India will host the Asian Junior Under 20(U-20) Men & Women and Cadet Under-17(U-17) Boys & Girls Fencing Championships 2023 in Ahmedabad (Host City), Gujarat. The tournament will take place in March or April 2023.
Note – Fencing Association of India (FAI) Secretary General – Rajeev Mehta.

Miscellaneous

Astronomers detect identical twin of Jupiter K2-2016-BLG-0005Lb

Astronomers have discovered an identical twin of Jupiter dubbed as K2-2016-BLG-0005Lb, Which has similar mass and is at a similar location (420 million miles away) from its star as Jupiter is from our Sun (462 million miles away). The study has been published as a preprint on ArXiv.org and submitted to the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.
i.The exoplanet is about 17,000 light-years from the Earth, and it was first detected by Kepler space telescope in 2016.
ii.To spot the planet, scientists used Albert Einstein’s Theory of Relativity and Gravitational Microlensing.
Note:
i.K2-2016-BLG-0005Lb is “the first bound microlensing exoplanet to be discovered from space-based data.

UBI To Sell its 8% stake in ISARC to Dhansamridhi Finance

The Union Bank of India (UBI) signed an agreement for the sale of its 8% stake in India SME Asset Reconstruction Company (ISARC) to benefit Dhansamridhi Finance. The stake sale is subject to obtaining requisite regulatory approvals.
Highlights:
i.ISARC is the country’s first ARC (Asset Reconstruction Company) which is supported by a large number of public sector banks and undertakings.
ii.It mainly focuses on NPA (Non Performing Asset) resolution of the MSME sector in India.
iii.It was established in 2008 and currently sponsored by SIDBI (Small Industries Development Bank of India), Bank of Baroda, Punjab National Bank, and SIDBI Venture Capital Ltd.
About Union Bank of India (UBI):
Headquarters-Mumbai, Maharashtra
CEO & MD- Rajkiran Rai G.
Founded– 1919

RBI Re-appoints Murali M. Natrajan as MD & CEO of DCB Bank for 2 years

Reserve Bank of India (RBI) re-appointed Murali M. Natrajan as Managing Director (MD) & Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of DCB Bank for a further period of two years from 29 April 2022 to 28 April 2024. The re-appointment is subject to the approval of shareholders at the ensuing Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the bank.
About Murali M. Natrajan:
i.He was appointed as MD and CEO of DCB Bank in May, 2009.
ii.Before joining DCB bank, he has worked with foreign banks Standard Chartered and Citibank. At Standard Chartered Bank, he served as the Global Head for SME banking.

iii.In 1989, he joined Citibank where for 14 years in various disciplines such as operations, credit, finance, product management and business management of consumer Banking.
About DCB Bank:
DCB Bank is a private sector scheduled commercial bank regulated by the Reserve Bank of India.
Headquarters- Mumbai, Maharashtra
Founded- 1930

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