Current Affairs

8 July, 2021


Indian Economist Kaushik Basu Gets Humboldt Research Award for Economics for 2021

Indian Economist Kaushik Basu has been honoured with the Humboldt Research Award for Economics for 2021 by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation based in Bonn, Germany.
Professor Dr Hans-Bernd Schäfer of Bucerius Law School, Hamburg, Germany nominated Kaushik Basu for this awad.
Kaushik Basu is set to use this award to do research on moral philosophy and game theory, and on law and economics.
About Humboldt Research Award:
i.The Humboldt Research Award is sponsored by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation and annually it is presented to more than 100 recipients.
ii.The award recognises and honours scientists and economists from across the world for their work.
iii.The award carries prize money of 60000 euros.
iv.The award also offers the recipient to carry out a research project at a scientific institute in Germany for a period of 6 to 12 months.

8th BRICS Education Ministers meeting 2021 held virtually; Chaired by MoS Sanjay Dhotre

i. Minister of State (MoS) Sanjay Shamrao Dhotre, Ministry of Education (MoE), and Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology (MeiTy) virtually chaired 8th BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) Education Ministers 2021 meeting.
ii.Education Ministers from the five BRICS member states attended the meeting along with senior officials.
iii.The ministers signed a joint declaration to strengthen their academic and research collaboration in higher education and Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET).
About BRICS:
Establishment– 2006
2021 Chair– India
Theme for India’s Chairship– ‘BRICS @ 15: Intra-BRICS Cooperation for Continuity, Consolidation and Consensus’


Ministry of Tourism, Yatra sign MoU to strengthen India’s Hospitality & Tourism sector

The Ministry of Tourism signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Yatra, an Indian Travel Agency to strengthen the Hospitality & Tourism Industry of India.
Objective – To provide extensive visibility to accommodation units, which have self-certified themselves on SAATHI (System for Assessment, Awareness & Training for the Hospitality Industry) on the OTA (Online Travel Agency) platform. The signing event was organized under the arrangement between the Ministry of Tourism and Quality Council of India (QCI) for implementing measures for strengthening the Indian Hospitality & Tourism Industry.
i.The MoU emphasizes both parties to encourage Units to register on NIDHI (National Integrated Database of Hospitality Industry) and thereby on SAATHI to encourage local tourism Industry with appropriate safeguards for curbing spread of COVID-19. Both entities will take the necessary steps in identified areas to encourage and promote strategic and technical co-operation in the Hospitality & Tourism Industry.
About Ministry of Tourism
MoS (I/C) – Prahalad Singh Patel
About Yatra
Co-Founder & CEO – Dhruv Shringi
Head Office – Gurugram, Haryana

J&K tops in implementing NISHTHA programme

Union Territory of Jammu & Kashmir (J&K) has trained 80600 Elementary School Teachers through online mode using DIKSHA portal, leading it as India’s top performer under National Initiative for School Heads and Teachers Holistic Advancement (NISHTHA) portal.
i.NISHTHA is theWorld’s largest teacher training program that was launched under Samagra Shiksha scheme in 2019-20. It aims to provide an Integrated Teacher Training Programme for improving the quality of school education.

India’s Coal Production decreases by 2% in FY 2021: Coal Ministry Statistics

According to the provisional statistics of 2020-21 released by the Ministry of Coal, India’s coal production dropped by 2.02% to 716.08 Million Tonnes (MT) in FY 2020-21 compared to 730.87 MT in FY 2019-20.
i.Chhattisgarh registered the highest coal production of 158.40 MT, followed by Odisha 154.150 MT, Madhya Pradesh 132.531 MT and Jharkhand 119.296 MT.
Out of 716.08 MT, 671.29 MT was non-coking coal and the remaining 44.78 MT was coking coal. Jharkhand was the top producer of coking coal with an output of 44.38 MT, which was 99.11% of total coking coal production of 44.787 MT.
ii.Out of 716.08 MT coal output, 685.95 MT was produced by the public sector while the remaining 30.13 MT was from the private sector.
About Ministry of Coal
Union Minister – Pralhad Joshi (Dharwad, Karnataka)

Government brings Department of Public Enterprises under Finance Ministry

President of India Ram Nath Kovind approved the ‘Government of India (Allocation of Business) Three Hundred and Sixty First Amendment Rules, 2021’, which brings the ‘Department of Public Enterprises (Lok Udyam Vibhag)’ which was part of the Ministry of Heavy Industries & Public Enterprises under the Ministry of Finance. The Department of Public Enterprises (DPE) will be the 6th Department in the Finance Ministry. It has been brought under the Finance Ministry to enable better coordination and better facilitate the Government’s Disinvestment programme. The ‘Government of India (Allocation of Business) Three Hundred and Sixty First Amendment Rules, 2021’ amends the ‘Government of India (Allocation of Business) Rules, 1961’. The other 5 departments under the Finance Ministry are Economic Affairs, Revenue, Expenditure, Investment & Public Asset Management and Financial Services

Central Government creates ‘Ministry of Co-operation’ to Strengthen Cooperative Movement

The Central Government has created a separate ‘Ministry of Co-operation (Sahkarita Mantralaya)’ to provide a separate administrative, legal and policy framework for strengthening the Co-operative Movement in India. The New Ministry has been carved out from the Department of Agriculture, Cooperation and Farmers Welfare, Ministry of Agriculture & Agriculture Welfare. The new process will help in realizing the government’s vision of ‘Sahakar se Samriddhi’ (prosperity from cooperation). The New Ministry will work to streamline processes for ‘Ease of doing businesses for cooperatives and enable development of Multi-State Co-operatives (MSCS). The announcement for creation of a separate Ministry for Co-operation was made by Union Minister of Finance, Nirmala Sitharaman during the Budget Session of 2021-22.
About Cabinet Secretariat
Cabinet Secretary – Rajiv Gauba


Razorpay, Mastercard Launched Recurring Payment Interface – MandateHQ

Razorpay, a Payments solution provider, in partnership with Mastercard launched a recurring payment interface named ‘MandateHQ’, to support card-issuing banks that wish to enable recurring payments for its customers. MandateHQ is an API (Application Programming Interface)-based plug-n-play solution, which would reduce the go-live time of card-issuing banks. It will also help the banks to implement the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) new framework on automatic debit and recurring payments. It would also support the banks to send a 24-hour pre debit notification (mandated by RBI) via electronic e-mail, SMS, and WhatsApp. RBI’s Framework: In 2019, RBI has issued additional norms for Banks to be followed for processing of e-mandate under recurring payments such as Additional Factor Authentication (AFA), additional one-time password (OTP), Prior notifications, etc.
About Razorpay Software Private Limited:
Establishment – 2014
Headquarters – Bangalore, Karnataka
CEO – Harshil Mathur

Drip Capital Joins with SBM Bank India to Empower MSME Exporters

Drip Capital, a fintech company, has collaborated with SBM Bank India to offer customised trade financing solutions to empower Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises (MSME) exporters in India. Under the partnership, Drip Capital will provide collateral-free working capital to MSME exporters at competitive rates through its invoice discounting facility. Unlike traditional financial institutions, Drip Capital leverages data analytics and technology to underwrite its transactions, allowing it to provide a seamless financing experience to MSME businesses. Since its inception, Drip Capital has partnered with over 1,500 sellers and buyers of multiple local and international banks across 80 countries to offer its financing solutions to SMEs. Recently, it has financed over $1 billion in cross-border transactions.
Note – The MSME sector is one of the largest exporters in India.
About Drip Capital:
Headquarters – Palo Alto, California, US
Headquarters (India) – Mumbai, Maharashtra
CEO and Co-Founder – Pushkar Mukewar
About SBM Bank (India) Ltd:
i.It is the 1st bank to receive a universal banking license from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to set up and operate as a Scheduled Commercial Bank under Wholly Owned Subsidiary (WOS) mode offering banking services in India.
ii.1st December 2018, it became the 1st foreign bank in India to operate as a new Indian bank.
Establishment – 1994
Headquarters – Mumbai, Maharashtra
MD & CEO – Sidharth Rath

Bajaj Allianz Tie-up with Bank of India for Distribution of Insurance Products

Bajaj Allianz General Insurance, private general insurers, and Bank of India have entered into a ‘corporate agency agreement’ for distribution of Bajaj Allianz General Insurance’s products through the Bank of India’s vast network across the country. Under the agreement, Bajaj Allianz General Insurance will offer a number of personal lines of products such as – motor insurance, health insurance, home insurance, travel insurance to the bank’s customers. It will also offer the commercial line of products such as – engineering insurance, marine insurance, etc. The agreement will enhance the distribution of Bajaj Allianz’s products to remote areas of the country.
Establishment – 2001
Headquarters – Pune, Maharashtra
MD & CEO – Tapan Singhel
About Bank of India:
Establishment – 1906
Headquarters – Mumbai, Maharashtra
MD & CEO – Atanu Kumar Das
Tagline – Relationship Beyond Banking

RBI Modified norms for Interest on Unclaimed Amount after TD Matures

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) modified the rules on applicable interest on unclaimed term deposits (TDs) after maturity in all commercial banks, small finance banks, local area banks, and cooperative banks. Now, unclaimed TDs will attract rates of interest applicable to savings accounts or the contracted interest on the matured deposit, whichever is lower.

FREO tie-up with HDBFS to Offer Lending Solutions

FREO, India’s 1st credit-led Neobank, made a partnership with HDB Financial Services (HDBFS), a Non-Banking Financial Company (NBFC), to provide 2 credit products such as a ‘credit line’ and a ‘high-ticket personal loan’ for its customers across multiple cities in India. High ticket personal loans: Under the partnership, a high-ticket personal loan of up to Rs 10 lakh would be offered for the customer which could be used for their bigger expenses such as home renovation, buying a vehicle, trip, etc. Credit Line: The credit line, which is the flagship program of FREO, will enable consumers to get access to credit anywhere, anytime via a smartphone. The personalized amount approved under the credit line could be used by the customers at once.

NABARD Sanctioned Rs 2891.15 lakh to Goa under RIDF Scheme

National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) has sanctioned a loan worth Rs 2891.15 lakh under the Rural Infrastructure Development Fund (RIDF) to the Government of Goa for the Construction of Phase II Building of Goa Dental College and Hospital in Bambolim, Goa. The construction of the sanctioned social infrastructure will be the State of the Art ‘Dental Hospital’ for dental treatment and for overall improvement in the health standards of the people in the state.
Establishment – 12 July 1982
Headquarters – Mumbai, Maharashtra
Chairman – Govinda Rajulu Chintala


Maana Patel 1st Indian Female Swimmer at Tokyo Olympics 2020

Maana Patel became the 1st Indian female ever to qualify for the Olympics. Maana Patel who hails from Ahmedabad, Gujarat will compete in the Women’s 100m backstroke event of Tokyo Olympics 2020. Along with 2 others, she is the 3rd swimmer to qualify for the Summer Olympics, the other two being Srihari Nataraja (100m Backstroke) and Sajan Prakash (Men’s 200m Butterfly).

Jabir 1st Indian Male to participate in 400m hurdles in Olympics; Maana Patel 1st ever Indian Female Swimmer at Olympics

Indian Navy’s athlete MP Jabir will be 1st Indian male athlete to participate in the 400m hurdles in Olympics when he competes at the Tokyo Olympics 2020. He qualified for the 400m hurdles event after clocking 49.78s to win Gold at the Inter-State Athletics Championships held at Patiala, Punjab. Jabir hails from Malappuram, Kerala and is currently ranked 34th in the World Athletics’ Road to Olympics rankings, where 40 athletes qualify. India’s PT Usha had competed in the 400m hurdles at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics.

Harika Dronavalli becomes runner-up in Women’s Speed Chess Championship

Indian Grandmaster Harika Dronavalli finished 2nd with 15-13 points in the Women’s Speed Chess Championship finals after losing to China’s Hou Yifan, the current World No.1 player. The 2021 Women’s Speed Chess Championship is conducted in online mode by FIDE
i.Arjuna Award winner Harika Dronavalli has previously won 3 Bronze Medals in Women’s World Chess Championship, on 2012, 2015 and 2017

Mumbai & Pune to host 2022’s AFC Women’s Asia Cup football tournament

Asian Football Confederation (AFC) has changed the host cities of 2022’s Women’s Asia Cup tournament from the previously selected Bhubaneswar & Ahmedabad to newer venues at Mumbai & Pune both from Maharashtra. This move was taken by AFC to minimise the travel time and maintain an optimum bio-secure bubble for the players.
i.The tournament set to take place from 20th January to 6th February, 2022 will be held at 3 Football Stadiums: Andheri Sports Complex – Mumbai D Y Patil Stadium – Navi Mumbai Chhatrapati Sports Complex – Pune
ii.The 4 spots for the finals were topped by India, Japan, Australia, China. While 28 other teams will compete for the remaining 8 spots.
About Asian Football Confederation (AFC):
Founder – 1954
President – Salman Bin Ibrahim Al-Khalifa (Bahrain)
Headquarters – Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia


PVSLN Murty Appointed as the New Chairman & Managing Director of NEDFi

PVSLN Murty was appointed as the Chairman and Managing Director(CMD) of North Eastern Development Finance Corporation Limited (NEDFi). He took charge as the new CMD on 1st July 2021 succeeding B. Paul Muktieh, who served as the CMD of NEDFi from 2010 to June 2021.
About PVSLN Murty:
i.Prior to his appointment as the CMD of NEDFi, PVSLN Murty served as the Chief Strategy Officer(CSO) at State Bank of India (SBI), based at the Corporate Office, Mumbai.
ii.He has served as the Chief General Manager (CGM) and CSO of the SBI.
iii.He has also served a the CGM and Regional Head of SBI during 2015-2018.
iv.He has served as a member of the Board of Directors of NEDFi from June 2016 to November 2018.
v.He has also served as a member of the Boards of the Indian Institute of Bank Management (IIBM), ATTF and other industrial corporates.
vi.He played a major role in bringing up the APONGHAR(housing loan scheme) for the employees of the Government of Assam in collaboration with the Govt of Assam.
About North Eastern Development Finance Corporation Ltd. (NEDFi):
NEDFi is a Public Limited Company registered under the Companies Act 1956 on 9th August 1995.
Headquarters– Guwahati, Assam

ICAI BOS: ICAI launched mobile application on CA Day i.e. July 1, 2021

On the occasion of Chartered Accountants'(CA) Day i.e. on July 1, 2021, the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) Board of Studies-BoS (Academics) launched a mobile application ‘ICAI BOS’ for students of foundation, intermediate and final CA course. It is a single platform to provide interactive learning and coaching facilities along with features of getting study material without internet connection, and ad-free learning while viewing lectures.
About Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI):
It is a statutory body established by an Act of Parliament, viz. The Chartered Accountants Act, 1949 (Act No.XXXVIII of 1949)
President– CA. Nihar N Jambusaria
Headquarter– New Delhi

Giriraj Singh Launches ‘Matsya Setu’ for Aqua Farmers

Union Minister for Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying, Giriraj Singh launched an Online Course Mobile App ‘Matsya Setu’ to spread latest freshwater aquaculture technologies to aqua farmers of India. The app has been developed by ICAR-CIFA (Indian Council of Agricultural Research-Central Institute of Freshwater Aquaculture) with funding support from the National Fisheries Development Board (NFDB), Hyderabad.
Objective – To educate the fish farmers in India about the latest freshwater aquaculture technologies. The app will spearhead the Technology-led Aquaculture Development in India.
About Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying
Formed – May 2019
Union Minister – Giriraj Singh (Begusarai, Bihar)
Minister of State – Dr. Sanjeev Kumar Balyan (Muzaffarnagar, Uttar Pradesh), Pratap Chandra Sarangi (Balasore, Odisha)

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