Current Affairs

8 October, 2021


UN warns water shortage can hit five billion people by 2050

The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) warns that the number of people affected by water scarcity is expected to rise as climate change increases the global risk of water-related hazards like floods and droughts. According to the report ‘The State of Climate Services 2021: Water’, 3.6 billion people had inadequate access to water at least one month per year in 2018. The situation is expected to rise to more than five billion by 2050. Terrestrial water storage (TWS) dropped at a rate of 1 cm per year in 20 years (2002-2021). There is only 0.5 per cent of water on Earth which is usable and available freshwater. India is the topmost hotspot of TWS loss with the northern part of the country experiencing the maximum loss. If the loss of water storage in Antarctica and Greenland is excluded, India has recorded the highest loss in terrestrial water storage.

About WMO
It stands for World Meteorological Organization
Secretary-General – Prof. Petteri Taalas
Headquarters – Geneva, Switzerland
Founded – 1950

5th India-Japan Maritime Bilateral Exercise JIMEX 2021 held at Arabian Sea

i.The 5th edition of India-Japan Maritime Bilateral Exercise, ‘JIMEX 2021’ between Indian Navy (IN) and the Japan Maritime Self-Defence Force (JMSDF) is being held in Arabian Sea from October 6-8, 2021.
ii.IN is represented by indigenously built INS (Indian Naval Ship) Kochi and Guided Missile Frigate Teg, under the command of Rear Admiral Ajay Kochhar, Flag Officer Commanding Western Fleet (FOCWF).
iii.Japan is represented by JMSDF ships Kaga, an Izumo Class Helicopter Carrier and Murasame, a Guided Missile Destroyer, led by Rear Admiral IkeuchiIzuru, Commander Escort Flotila – 3 (CCF-3).
About Japan:
Prime Minister– Fumio Kishida
Capital– Tokyo
Currency– Yen


NTPC & Électricité de France Signed MoU for Cooperation in International Power Project

NTPC Limited, formerly known as National Thermal Power Corporation Limited, signed a Memorandum of Understanding(MoU) with the Électricité de France(EDF), a French energy company, for cooperation in the development of International Power Projects in the Middle East, Asia, Europe and Africa. Under this partnership, NTPC and EDF will jointly explore the possibilities of power projects development in the countries of mutual interest. This MoU is in line with the NTPC’s roadmap for the development of clean energy projects across the globe.

Features of the MoU:
i.Under this collaboration NTPC aims to expand its portfolio of power generation assets across the globe.
ii.NTPC and EDF will collaborate in knowledge sharing, Research & Development(R&D), technical services and consultancy assignments.
iii.The collaboration between NTPC and EDF will increase competitiveness in the international market.

Cabinet approves Productivity Linked Bonus to Railway Employees for FY21; Setting up of 7 MITRA parks approved

The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi approved the following, i.Cabinet approves Productivity Linked Bonus to railway employees for the financial year 2020-21 ii.Government has approved setting up of 7 Mega Integrated Textile Region and Apparel.
i.Cabinet approved the Productivity Linked Bonus (PLB) for FY2020-21 that is equivalent to 78 days’ wages. It is for all eligible non-gazetted Railway employees excluding RPF (Railway Protection Force) /RPSF (Railway Protection Special Force) personnel.
iii.On the lines of the Union Budget 2021-22 announcement, the Union Cabinet approved the setting up of 7 Mega Integrated Textile Region and Apparel (PM MITRA) parks with a total outlay of Rs 4,445 crore for five years period. This decision has been taken to make India at par with the global textiles.
About Ministry of Textiles:
Piyush Goyal Constituency– Maharashtra
Minister of State (MoS)– Darshana Vikram Jardosh(Constituency- Surat, Gujarat)

NHA hiked HBP Rates under Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana

The National Health Authority (NHA) revised the Health Benefit Package (HBP 2.2) of Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (AB PM-JAY) under which the rate of around 400 procedures increased by 20% to 400%. The AB PM-JAY scheme is implemented by NHA. This revision saw an addition of a new medical package related to black fungus management. The categories involved in this revision include radiation oncology procedures (for cancer), medical management procedures, and other procedures like right/left heart catheterisation, arthrodesis, cholecystectomy, appendicectomy etc.

About Ayushman Bharat PM-JAY:
Launched in 2018 with HBP 1.0 covering 1,393 packages, it aims to achieve the target of universal health coverage and provide access to free and affordable healthcare services to the citizens residing in the remotest of the areas. It aims to provide free and cashless healthcare services up to Rs 5 lakh per family per year to over 10.74 crore poor and vulnerable families (over 53 crore beneficiaries) as per Socio-Economic Caste Census (SECC)-2011 database.


World Bank Retained India’s GDP Growth Forecast for FY22 at 8.3%

World Bank released its report on South Asia Economic Focus titled ‘Shifting Gears: Digitization and Services-Led Development’ and has unchanged India’s GDP growth forecast for FY22 to 8.3 percent from its earlier estimate in June 2021. As per the report, the Indian economy is South Asia’s largest economy, and its growth in FY22 is expected to be aided by an increase in public investment and incentives to boost manufacturing.

About World Bank:
The World Bank Group consists of 5 organizations:
i.The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD)
ii.The International Development Association (IDA) (Together, IBRD and IDA make up the World Bank)
iii.The International Finance Corporation (IFC)
iv.The Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA)
v.The International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID)

RBI Approved BSE Tech to Set up, Operate TReDS

BSE Technologies Private Limited (BSE Tech), the wholly-owned subsidiary of BSE, has received an in-principle approval from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) for setting up and operating Trade Receivables Discounting System (TReDS) under the Payments and Settlement Systems Act, 2007.
About TReDS:
i.It is an electronic platform for facilitating the financing/invoice discounting of trade receivables of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) through multiple financiers from corporates and other buyers, including Government Departments and Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs). The TReDS platform will bring all the participants together for facilitating uploading, accepting, discounting, trading, and settlement of the invoices/bills of MSMEs.

ii.Participants: TReDS platform involves three participants viz, Sellers – Only MSMEs; Buyers – Corporates, Government Departments, PSUs and any other entity; Financiers– Banks, NBFCs (Non-Banking Finance Companies), and other financial institutions as permitted by RBI.
iii.Eligibility: Entities that wish to set up and operate the TReDS need to have a minimum paid-up equity capital of Rs 25 crore.
iv.By obtaining the approval, the BSE Tech will have the capability to provide an option to MSME to manage their working capital more efficiently through the TReDS platform.
Note – Ordnance Factory Board (OFB), an industrial organisation, functioning under the Department of Defence Production of Ministry of Defence, Government of India (GoI), is the 1st government entity to adopt TreDS.
About Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE):
Establishment – 1875
Headquarters – Mumbai, Maharashtra
Chairman – Justice Vikramajit Sen
MD & CEO – Ashishkumar Chauhan

Visa Launched India’s 1st CoF Tokenization Service for Merchants

Global payments technology firm, Visa in partnership with Juspay launched India’s 1st Card-on-File tokenization (CoFT) services for e-commerce players such as Grofers, BigBasket, and MakeMyTrip. The CoFT service will provide a safe, secure and seamless environment for digital payments. It was launched in line with Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) recently issued CoFT guidelines which mandated replacing actual card data with encrypted digital tokens.

What is Tokenization?
Tokenization refers to the process of replacing the card’s actual sensitive information like card number, expiration date, security code with a unique alternate code called the ‘token’ to improve the safety and security of the payment system.
i.In September 2021, RBI extended the scope of tokenization from device-based tokenization to card-on-file tokenization (CoFT) services.
ii.It permitted card issuers also to act as token service providers (TSP) (Earlier card networks were only allowed to act as TSPs).

What is TSP? – It is an entity that tokenizes the actual card details and de-tokenizes them whenever required.

iii.The facility of tokenization could be offered by the TSPs only for the cards issued by / affiliated to them.
About Visa:
Establishment – 1958
Headquarters – California, United States
Chairman and CEO – Alfred F. Kelly, Jr.

NABARD Sanctioned Rs 303 Crore to Odisha for 24 Bridge Construction

the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) sanctioned assistance of Rs 303 crore under the Rural Infrastructure Development Fund (RIDF) to the Government of Odisha for the construction of 24 bridges in the state. The rural infrastructure projects will improve connectivity for 24.13 lakh people in 823 villages across 13 districts of the state. The assistance was provided based on the priority fixed by Odisha for developing rural infrastructure for drinking water supply, irrigation, and connectivity. The bridge construction will support the rural economy by improving the livelihoods of people. So far, NABARD has sanctioned around Rs 1,796 crore under the RIDF 2021-22.

About RIDF:
It was set up by the Government of India in 1995-96 for providing low-cost finance support to State Governments and State-owned Corporations for developing critical infrastructure in the agriculture & allied sector, the social sector and rural connectivity. It is maintained by NABARD.
About National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD):
NABARD was established on the recommendations of the B.Sivaraman Committee (by Act 61, 1981 of Parliament) to implement the NABARD Act 1981.
Establishment – 12 July 1982
Headquarters – Mumbai, Maharashtra
Chairman – Govinda Rajulu Chintala

SEBI Revised – Norms of MFs on RFQ; REITs, InvITs Regulations on Exit Option

As per the recommendation of the Mutual Fund Advisory Committee (MFAC), the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has revised the norms pertaining to minimum percentages of monthly trades to be carried out by mutual funds (MFs) on the Request For Quote (RFQ) platform of stock exchanges. SEBI has directed MF to undertake (on monthly basis) at least 25 percent of their total secondary market trades by value in Corporate bonds and 10 percent of their total secondary market trades by value in Commercial papers by placing/seeking quotes through one-to-many mode on the RFQ platform of stock exchanges.

SEBI Modified REITs, InvITs Regulations on Exit Options:
i.SEBI has also modified REITs (Real Estate Investment Trusts) and InvITs (Infrastructure Investment Trusts) regulations with respect to exit options for dissenting unit holders in various scenarios, including acquisition and change in sponsors.
ii.Under different cases, the exit option price would be enhanced by an amount equal to a sum determined at the rate of 10 per cent per annum for the period between the first notice date and the second notice date.
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

Federal Bank Tie-up with CredAvenue for Securitisation platform

Federal Bank has partnered with CredAvenue for Portfolio management of their Securitization Book and implemented CredPool, an institutional debt platform of CredAvenue. Through the technology platform of CredAvenue, Federal bank could digitally monitor their asset-backed securities (ABS) and mortgage-backed securities (MBS) pool assets efficiently. Through the partnership, the bank has automated the end-to-end processes for direct assignments of retail portfolios. The platform helps banks and Non-Banking Financial Companies (NBFC’s) to meet existing and new regulatory guidelines pertaining to securitisation and direct assignment. CredAvenue provides customized solutions based on each bank/lender’s requirements for their portfolio management.

About Federal Bank:
Establishment – April 23, 1931 (as Travancore Federal Bank Limited), changed to The Federal Bank Limited on December 2, 1949
Headquarters – Aluva, Kerala
MD & CEO – Shyam Srinivasan
Tagline – Your Perfect Banking Partner


Fire-Boltt Appointed Indian Cricketer Virat Kohli as its Brand Ambassador

Fire-Boltt, India’s leading smart wearable brand, has appointed Indian cricketer Virat Kohli as its brand ambassador. As the brand ambassador he will take part in the various marketing, advertisement and endorsement campaigns of the brand. The products of Fire-Boltt range from smartwatches, Bluetooth earphones, Bluetooth headphones, true wireless earbuds, Bluetooth speakers, soundbars and lifestyle shoes.

National award winning Bollywood Actor, Vicky Kaushal, was appointed as the first ever brand ambassador of Fire-Boltt.
About Virat Kohli:
i.Virat Kohli was born on 5th November 1988 in Delhi.
ii.The government of India honoured him with Padma Shri(Sports) in 2017, Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award in 2018, and Arjuna Award in 2013.
iii.Some of the other brands endorsed by Virat Kohli are, Hyperice, a global high-performance wellness brand Digit Insurance, a general insurance company Vivo, a Chinese smartphone brand Audi AG, a German automotive manufacturer

India sweeps 2021 FIH Hockey Star Awards

For the first time ever, India swept the eight 2021 International Hockey Federation’s (FIH) annual Hockey Star Awards with drag-flickers Harmanpreet Singh and Gurjit Kaur claiming the Player of the Year honours in men and women. However, world no. 1, Tokyo Olympics champions expressed disappointment over the voting system and the outcome of FIH Hockey Star Awards after none of their players won any award.

The awards

Award Men Women
Player of the Year Award Harmanpreet Singh Gurjit Kaur
Goalkeeper of the Year Award PR Sreejesh Savita Punia
Rising Star of the Year Award Vivek Sagar Prasad Sharmila Devi
The Best Coach Award Graham Reid Sjoerd Marijne
President – Dr Narinder Dhruv Batra
Headquarters – Lausanne, Switzerland


Starscapes unveils second observatory in Uttarakand

Starscapes, India’s first and only chain of observatories has launched a second public observatory, ‘Stargate Observatory Bhimtal’, in Bhimtal, Uttarakhand.
i.To provide a holistic astronomical experience to the people with number of activities.
ii.It includes activities like–sun observations, audio visual show of the night sky, stargazing safari, astrophotography among others.
iii.The observatory will also offer merchandise related to astronomy.
About Starscapes Experiences Pvt Ltd
CEO and Co-founder – Paul Savio
Headquarters – Gurugram, Haryana
About Uttarakand
Chief Minister – Pushkar Singh Dhami
Wildlife Sanctuaries – Sonanadi wildlife sanctuary, Nandhaur Wildlife Sanctuary.

Col Mamady Doumbouya, Guinea junta leader, Sworn in as Interim President of Guinea

Colonel Mamady Doumbouya, the Junta leader of Guinea sworn in as the Interim President of Guinea at the ceremony held at Mohamed V Palace in Conakry, capital of Guinea, after leading a coup against President Alpha Condé in September 2021. He was sworn in by Supreme Court head Mamadou Sylla for a transition period of unspecified length. He is the 2nd youngest leader in Africa after Colonel Assimi Goïta, President of Mali. Junta is a military or political group that rules a country after taking power by force.

About Mamady Doumbouya:
i.Mamady Doumbouya (41 years old) is a former member of the French Foreign Legion.
iiiMamady Doumbouya is from the Malinké community, from the Kankan border region near Côte d’Ivoire and Mali.
iii.During his 15-year military career, He has served in Afghanistan, Ivory Coast, Djibouti, Central African Republic and close protection in Israel, Cyprus, the UK and Guinea.
About Guinea:
Interim President– Mamady Doumbouya
Capital– Conakry
Currency– Guinean Franc

CCI chief Ashok Kumar Gupta gets Additional Charge as the Chairperson of NFRA

The chairperson of the Competition Commission of India (CCI), Ashok Kumar Gupta was given additional charge as the chairperson of the National Financial Reporting Authority (NFRA)
He will succeed Rangachari Sridharan, who served as the chairperson for 3 years.
i.Ashok Kumar Gupta will serve the office only for 3 months as an additional charge or till the appointment of a regular officer or till further orders.
ii.The decision was approved by the Minister of Corporate Affairs (MCA) Nirmala Sitharaman.
About Competition Commission of India (CCI)
Founded- 14 October 2003
Headquarters– New Delhi, Delhi
About National Financial Reporting Authority (NFRA)
Founded- 1 October 2018
Headquarters– New Delhi, Delhi

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