Current Affairs

8 June, 2021

International

Pakistan Retained On ‘Enhanced Follow-Up’ Status By FATF Regional Body

Pakistan was retained on “enhanced follow-up” status for sufficient outstanding requirements by the Asia Pacific Group on Money Laundering (APG) , a regional affiliate of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF). The country’s rating was improved on 21 of the 40 technical recommendations of the global watchdog against money laundering and terror financing.
About FATF MER:
i.FATF’s Mutual Evaluation Report (MER) of jurisdictions is assessed in two domains, technical compliance or legal instruments (40 FATF recommendations) and demonstration of effectiveness (11 immediate outcomes).
President– Dr. Marcus Pleyer (Germany)
Member Countries– 39
Observer– Indonesia
Headquarters– Paris,France

Germany host the 8th Global Nitrogen Conference, Focuses on UN SDGs

The 8th triennial conference of the International Nitrogen Initiative (INI) held virtually from May 31-June 3, 2021, with a main focus on the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Germany’s Federal Environment Agency (Umweltbundesamt–UBA) hosted the conference for the 1st time since its inception. The Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety is supported the UBA. UN Environment Programme, UN Food and Agriculture Organisation and UN Economic Commission on Europe, also addressed the conference. The conference was attended by over 800 scientists and other stakeholders from over 60 countries. Note – The conference was postponed from May 2020 due to COVID-19.

12th Chief Energy Ministerial 2021 & 6th Mission Innovation Ministerial hosted by Chile

Chile hosts the most important Clean Energy and Innovation Summit of the year: 12th Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM 12) 2021 and 6th Mission Innovation Ministerial (MI-6) virtually from May 31-June 6, 2021.
Theme – ‘Ambition into Action – Turning a Year of Ambition into a Decade of Delivery’. CEM is a high-level global forum that helps in promoting policies and programs which advance clean energy technology. It provides a platform for all to demonstrate clean energy leadership to a global audience.
India, UK launch new workstream to promote energy efficiency
i.During the 12th CEM, India & the United Kingdom (UK) jointly launched a new workstream for promoting industrial energy efficiency under CEM’s Industrial Deep Decarbonization Initiative (IDDI) coordinated by UNIDO (United Nations Industrial Development Organization).
About Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM)
Head of CEM Secretariat – Dan Dorner
Headquarters – Paris, France
Members – 29 (including India and European commission)

National

Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar Launched Seed Minikit Programme

Union Minister Narendra Singh Tomar, Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare(MoA&FW), launched the Seed Minikit Programme was by distributing seed mini-kits (higher-yielding varieties of seeds) to farmers. The mini-kits are being provided by the central agencies National Seeds Corporation (NCS), National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India Ltd.(NAFED), and Gujarat State Seeds Corporation. The programme was wholly funded by the Centre through the National Food Security Mission.
National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India Ltd.(NAFED):
Establishment – 2nd October 1958, under the Multi State Co-operative Societies Act
Headquarters – New Delhi
Chairman – Bijender Singh
Managing Director – Sanjeev Kumar Chadha
About Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare (MoA&FW):
Union Minister – Narendra Singh Tomar (Morena, Madhya Pradesh)
Minister of State – Parshottam Rupala (Rajya Sabha, Gujarat), Kailash Choudhary (Barmer, Rajasthan)

NMPB And CSIR-NBRI Signs MoU To Boost Production Of Medicinal Plants, Herbs

The National Medicinal Plant Board (NMPB) and the National Botanical Research Institute (CSIR-NBRI) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding(MoU) for the promotion of cultivation and production of medicinal plants and herbs in India.
Objective:
i.To facilitate the development of Quality Planting Material (QPM) of medicinal plants and herbs identified by the NMPB
ii.To establish medicinal plants and herbs nurseries for QPM.
iii.To help in development, promotion, conservation and cultivation of the appropriate medicinal plants in different agro-climatic zones including, The threatened medicinal plant species and Plants for the high-altitude regions.
About National Botanical Research Institute (NBRI):
The CSIR-National Botanical Research Institute (NBRI) is a constituent research institute of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR).Originally set up as the National Botanic Gardens (NBG) by the State Government of Uttar Pradesh, it was taken over by the CSIR in 1953.It was renamed as NBRI in 1978.
Director:S.K.Barik
Headquarters:Lucknow,Uttar Pradesh
About National Medicinal Plants Board(NMPB):
Established in – 2000
Chief Executive Officer(CEO): Dr JLN Sastry
Headquarters:New Delhi

PM Modi addressed the World Environment Day event organized by MoPNG & MoEFCC

Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the World Environment Day event virtually on June 5, 2021, jointly organized by the Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas(MoPNG), and the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change. Event’s Theme: ‘promotion of biofuels for a better environment’. Released the report – ‘Report of the Expert Committee on Road Map for ethanol blending in India 2020-2025’ Launched 3 E-100 pilot project in Pune, Maharashtra 1st EV city to be developed in Kevadia, Gujarat
About Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas (MoPNG)
Union Minister – Dharmendra Pradhan (Member of Parliament – Rajya Sabha, Constituency – Madhya Pradesh)

CSE’s State of India’s Environment Report, 2021: India Ranked 117 on achieving SDGs

As per the State of India’s Environment Report, 2021, which was released by the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), India’s rank has dropped by 2 places from last year’s 115 to 117 on the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which are adopted as a part of the 2030 agenda by 193 United Nations(UN) member states in 2015. The overall SDG score of India is 61.9 out of 100 and it ranks below four South Asian countries viz, Bhutan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh.
About Centre for Science and Environment (CSE):
It is a public interest research and advocacy organisation, that researches into lobbies for and communicates the urgency of development that is both sustainable and equitable.
Headquarters – New Delhi
Founder – Director – Anil Kumar Agarwal
Director General – Sunita Narain

NTPC Ltd joined UN Global Compact’s CEO Water Mandate for Water Conservation and Management

NTPC Limited, India’s leading power utility under the Ministry of Power signed with UN Global Compact’s CEO Water Mandate, an initiative to mobilize business leaders on water security and sanitation as part of the Sustainable Development Goals. This partnership brings NTPC chairman Gurdeep Singh to be working with a select group of business leaders who recognize the importance of water stewardship and have been working to save water resource throughout the world.
About CEO Water Mandate:
It is designed to assist the companies in the development, implementation and disclosure of comprehensive water strategies and policies.
About NTPC Ltd:
NTPC Limited, formerly known as National Thermal Power Corporation Limited
CMD– Gurdeep Singh
Headquarters– New Delhi
Established in 1975

TN, Punjab, Kerala, A & N Islands, Chandigarh perform better in School Education: PGI 2019-20

According to the Performance Grading Index (PGI) 2019-20 for States & UTs released by Department of School Education and Literacy (DoSEL), Ministry of Education, the states of Punjab, Chandigarh, Tamil Nadu, Andaman & Nicobar Islands (A&N Islands) and Kerala occupied the highest grade (Grade I ++) for 2019-20 (i.e Scores are between 901-950).
i.Performance Grading Index measures the progress made by States/UTs with regard to school education such as learning outcomes, access and equity, infrastructure and facilities, and governance and management processes. For this, it uses around 70 Indicators. The PGI 2019-20 is the 3rd edition of the report, the 1st report was published in 2019. DoSEL has designed the PGI, the main objective of PGI is to speeden up transformational change in the field of school education.
Top 5 Ranking States & Scores
State Score Grade
Punjab 929 Grade I ++
Chandigarh 912 Grade I ++
Tamil Nadu 906 Grade I ++
Kerala 901 Grade I ++
Andaman & Nicobar Islands 901 Grade I ++
About Ministry of Education
Union Minister – Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ (Haridwar, Uttarakhand)
Minister of State – Dhotre Sanjay Shamrao (Akola, Maharashtra)

Economy

May 2021: India’s Exports Jump to $32.21 billion; Trade Deficit at $6.32 billion; Import at $38.53 billion

As per the data of the Ministry of Commerce, India’s merchandise exports in May 2021 increased by 67.39 percent to USD 32.21 billion, against USD 19.24 billion in May 2020, due to healthy growth in sectors such as engineering, pharmaceuticals, petroleum products, and chemicals. (May 2019 export – USD 22.86 billion).
Imports: It was rose by 68.54 percent to USD 38.53 billion in May 2021, from USD 22.86 billion in May 2020. In May 2019, imports stood at USD 46.68 billion.
Oil imports: It was USD 9.45 billion in May 2021, as compared to USD 3.57 billion in May 2020. In May 2019, it stood at USD 12.59 billion.
The trade deficit: It was about USD 6.32 billion in May 2021, an increase of 74.69 percent over trade deficit USD 3.62 billion in May 2020 and reduction by 62.49 per cent over trade deficit USD 16.84 billion in May 2019

SBI Sanctions Rs.3725 Crore For Noida International Airport

Country’s largest lender State Bank of India (SBI) has sanctioned a loan of Rs.3725 crore with a tenure of 20 years for the development of Noida International Airport (NIA) which is being developed by Yamuna International Airport (YIAPL).Zurich Airport International AG (ZAIA) which is the main shareholder of YIAPL, is providing Rs.2005 crore into development of NIA. NIA will be the second airport in the National Capital Region (NCR).

PSU Banks Sanction 95% Of Total Loans Under PM Svanidhi Scheme

Public sector(PSU) banks have sanctioned 95 percent of the total loans under PM SVANidhi scheme to Street Vendors.PSU Banks have sanctioned 23,16,207 loans under this scheme as on 31st May 2021. The Government of India launched the PM Street Vendors’ Atma Nirbhar Nidhi (PM SVANidhi) scheme on June 1,2020. Under the scheme, collateral-free working capital loan of up to Rs 10,000 of one-year tenure is being provided. The scheme aims at financing approximately 50 lakh street vendors. A collateral free loan is a loan provided to the borrower without any security.

BSE StAR MF Signed MoU with GUMCCSL to Deepen its Network

Bombay Stock Exchange’s (BSE) Mutual Funds(MF) Platform, BSE StAR MF, India’s largest MF distributor platform, has signed a memorandum of understanding(MoU) with Godavari Urban Multi State Credit Co-Op Society Ltd (GUMCCSL) to deepen its network of over 70,000 registered distributors. Objective: To promote the cooperation between BSE StAR MF and rural markets in areas like financial inclusion, investment goals and wealth creation. BSE StAR MF intends to promote investment behaviour by spreading awareness and onboarding new investors among prospective customers, especially in rural areas that are served by GUMCCSL. BSE launched its BSE StAR MF platform on December 4, 2009.
About Bombay Stock Exchange(BSE): It is Asia’s first & the Fastest Stock Exchange in the world with a speed of 6 microseconds.
Establishment – 1875
Headquarters – Mumbai, Maharashtra
Chairman – Justice Vikramajit Sen
MD & CEO – Ashishkumar Chauhan

Sports

ICC Expands Men’s T20 & 50 over ODI World Cup for Upcoming Events; India’s Shafali Verma tops in ICC T20 Rankings

The International Cricket Council (ICC) announced the Global Cricketing Calendar for 2024-2031, which includes key changes to world cricket tournaments.ICC also announced an eight-team Champions Trophy will be hosted in 2025 and 2029.
ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup(50 Over):- ICC expanded the participating teams from 10 to 14 teams with 54-match events for the 2027 and 2031 Men’s ODI Cricket World cup. ICC reduced the number of qualifying teams to 10 from the usual 14 during the 2011 ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup.
About The International Cricket Council (ICC):
Establishment – 1909
Headquarters – Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Chairman – Greg Barclay
CEO – Manu Sawhney

Sergio Perez wins F1’s Azerbaijan Grand Prix; Miguel Oliveira wins Catalunya MotoGP

Red Bull Racing’s Sergio Perez (Mexico) won the Formula One Azerbaijan Grand Prix 2021 held at Baku City Circuit, Baku, capital of Azerbaijan. Aston Martin’s Sebastian Vettel (Germany) finished 2nd in the race, followed by AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly (French). The F1 Championships are organised by Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA).
About Federation Internationale de Motocyclisme (FIM)
President – Jorge Viegas
Headquarters – Mies, Switzerland
About Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA):
President – Jean Todt
Headquarters – Paris, France

Miscellaneous

US President Joe Biden nominates Arun Venkataraman

U.S. President Joe Biden has announced Indian American Arun Venkataraman as a nominee for Director General of the United States and Foreign Commercial Service and the Assistant Secretary for Global Markets in the Department of Commerce. Recently, the US Senate has confirmed that Christine Wormuth will be the first female secretary of the Army. She is the second woman named to a top Pentagon role after Kathleen Hicks(Deputy Secretary of Defense).

Kuwait’s Husain Al-Musallam Elected As President Of FINA

Kuwait’s Husain Al-Musallam has been elected as the President of the International Swimming Federation (FINA) at the FINA General Congress held in Doha,Qatar.He was previously serving as the first Vice President(VP) of FINA.(FINA has 2 VPs namely First VP and Second VP) South Africa’s Sam Ramsamy has been appointed as the first vice-president of FINA. Also America’s Brent Nowicki has been appointed as Executive Director of FINA. With this 16 members of the new FINA Bureau are athletes who have competed in the Olympic Games, World or Continental Championships.

Virendra Nanavati , First Indian elected as a member of FINA Bureau.

Vice-President of Indian Olympic Association, Virendra Nanavati was elected as a member of International Swimming Federation (FINA) Bureau at the FINA General Congress held at Doha,Qatar. He is the first Indian to be elected as a Bureau member of the FINA.He is elected for the term of 2021-2025.
About Virendra Nanavati:
i.Virendra Nanavati is currently the Vice-President of Indian Olympic Association and executive director of Swimming Federation of India (SFI).
ii.He is the Vice Chairman of FINA Technical Swimming Committee.
iii.He is also serving as the senior vice president of Asia Swimming Federation.
iv.He is also a former general secretary of SFI.
About International Swimming Federation (FINA):
Headquarters : Lausanne, Switzerland
President : Husain Al Musallam
Establishment : 19 July 1908

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Daily Current Affairs | 25th September 2021

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