Current Affairs

9 October, 2021


Working Conditions of teachers in Northeast, aspirational districts poor: UNESCO SOER report 2021

i.In accordance with the UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) report titled ‘The report – 2021 State of the Education Report (SOER) for India: No Teachers, No Class’, Indian teachers are facing basic amenities like toilets in northeast and aspirational districts. There are disparities for the same between urban and rural schools.
ii.This report is the 3rd edition of the SOER, an annual flagship report of UNESCO. It analysed data from the Unified District Information System for Education (UDISE) 2018-19 and the periodic labour force survey 2018-19.
About UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization):
2021 is the International Year of Creative Economy for Sustainable Development
Establishment– 1945
Director-General– Audrey Azoulay
Headquarters– Paris, France

6th Edition of India-UK Military Exercise Ajeya Warrior-2021 Held in Uttarakhand

The 6th Edition of India – UK (United Kingdom) Joint Company Level Military Training exercise Ajeya Warrior-2021 was commenced in Chaubatia, Uttarakhand on October 07, 2021, and it was scheduled to be completed on October 20, 2021.
About United Kingdom (UK):
Capital – London
Prime minister – Boris Johnson
Currency – Pound sterling


Textile Ministry signs MoU with Germany to boost Sustainable Cotton Production

The World Cotton Day, India’s Ministry of Textiles (MoT) supported by Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare (MoAFW) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Germany’s Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) to implement projects on ‘Sustainability and Value Added in the Cotton Economy’.The agreement was signed on Implementation Agreement of Indo German Technical Cooperation Project.

Objective – The objective of the project is `to increase the value addition from sustainable cotton production in India by focusing on sustainable cotton, and strengthening of downstream processing’.
Target – The partnership targets to increase cotton production on 90,000 hectares of land in 4 States (Maharashtra, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu) to increase the yield of Cotton by 10%, thereby supporting 1.5 lakh farmers.
i.The Textile Ministry will constitute a Steering committee to review its projects through Nodal officers in the 4 states.
Note- India is the World’s largest Cotton producer & the 2nd largest Consumer of cotton (5.15 Million Metric Tons)
‘Shelf to Field’ approach: Under this collaboration, projects will be implemented with strategies to link cotton consumers with cotton growers, thereby increasing transparency in the system. Sustainability Standards will be implemented to reduce water footprint in cotton production, to reduce water stress in climate change prone areas.

Signatories – Sanjay Sharan, Joint Secretary (Ministry of Textiles); Mohd.-El-Khawab, Programme Coordinator (GIZ India) and Dr. Rossitza Krueger, Programme Head, Sustainable Cotton Project, GIZ
About Germany:
President – Frank-Walter Steinmeier
In 2005, Angela Merkel became Germany’s 1st Woman Chancellor.
Currency – Euro
Capital – Berlin
About Ministry of Textiles:
Union Minister – Piyush Goyal (Rajya Sabha – Maharashtra)
Minister of State (MoS) – Darshana V Jardosh (Constituency – Surat, Gujarat)

Government Releases First Comprehensive Guidelines for the Cyber Security in Power Sector

The government of India has released 1st guidelines for cybersecurity in the power sector. These guidelines were released under the direction of Union Power and New & Renewable Energy Minister Raj Kumar Singh and the Central Electricity Authority (CEA).
Objective –
To create a cyber secure ecosystem and strengthen the regulatory framework.
About the guidelines
i.This is the first time the comprehensive guidelines for cybersecurity in the power sector were framed by the CEA.
ii.Under the provision of Section 3(10) on Cyber Security in the “Central Electricity Authority (Technical Standards for Connectivity to the Grid) (Amendment) Regulations, 2019’’, the CEA has framed the guidelines.
iii.It is mandatory to all stakeholders to focus on providing cyber hygiene, training of all IT(Information Technology) personnel on Cyber Security, constructing Cyber Testing Laboratories in the country.
iv.It will provide better facilities and solutions for tackling challenges related to cybersecurity in the power sector.
About Ministry of Power
Minister – Raj Kumar Singh (Arrah,Bihar)
Minister of State– Krishan Pal Gurjar (Faridabad, Haryana)

India Joins High Ambition Coalition for Nature and People

i.India officially joined the High Ambition Coalition (HAC) for Nature and People during a ceremony between the French and Indian governments held at New Delhi, India.
ii.In this regard, Rameshwar Prasad Gupta, Secretary, Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC), Government of India handed over the signed HAC agreement to Emmanuel Lenain, Ambassador of France to India.
iii.This joining comes ahead of high-level biodiversity meeting to be virtually hosted by China on October 11-15, 2021.
About Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change(MoEF&CC):
Union Minister– Bhupender Yadav(Rajya Sabha- Rajasthan)
Minister of State– Ashwini Kumar Choubey(Constituency- Buxar, Bihar)

NTCA Declared Areas of Tamor Pingla Wildlife Sanctuary & Guru Ghasidas National Park as Chhattisgarh’s 4th Tiger Reserve

The 11th Technical Committee of the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) has approved the proposal of the government of Chhattisgarh to declare the combined areas of the Tamor Pingla Wildlife Sanctuary and the Guru Ghasidas National Park as the 4th Tiger reserve of Chhattisgarh. The proposal was approved under Section 38V(1) of The Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 which states that “The State Government shall, on the recommendations of the Tiger Conservation Authority, notify an area as a tiger reserve”.

The other tiger reserves of Chhattisgarh are Udanti-Sitanadi Tiger Reserve, Indravati Tiger Reserves, and Amarkantak – Achanakmar Wildlife Sanctuary
About Chhattisgarh:
Chief Minister– Bhupesh Baghel
Airports– Swami Vivekananda Airport; Jagdalpur Airport
Festivals– Madai Festival; Narayanpur Mela; Bhoramdeo Festival


Fitch Ratings Revised India’s FY22 GDP growth Estimate to 8.7% from 10%; FICCI Raised India’s GDP Growth in FY22 to 9.1% from 9%

Fitch Ratings, an American credit rating agency, in its latest ‘APAC (Asia-Pacific) Sovereign Credit Overview 4Q21’ has reduced India’s GDP (Gross Domestic Product) growth forecast for FY22 to 8.7 percent from 10 percent. It has increased the growth forecast for FY23 to 10 percent from an earlier estimation of 8.5 percent. It expects the APAC growth to recover to 6.3 percent in 2021 and 5.3 percent in 2022 from 0.8 percent contraction in 2020. It has also retained the India’s BBB-/Negative sovereign rating due to a sharp drop in public finances due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

PNB Launched ‘6S Campaign’ Under Customer Outreach Programme

Punjab National Bank (PNB) launched the “6S Campaign” under customer outreach programme to offer financial services at a concessional rate during festival season.
The campaign encapsulates various schemes such as Swabhiman, Samruddhi, Sampark and Shikhar, Sankalp and Swagat.
Objective: To create awareness about the development of Financial services in India. To accelerate the credit growth To improve the penetration of social security schemes and drive digital banking.

Features of “6S Campaign”:
i.Under the Swabhimaan, the bank aims to promote the financial inclusion agenda through deepening the penetration of 3 social security schemes pertaining to the insurance and pension sector. The 3 schemes are Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana, Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Yojana, and Atal Pension Yojana.
ii.Through the Samruddhi scheme, PNB aims to drive credit outreach for the agricultural sector. This will cover all the agricultural credit products like KCC, gold loans and investment credit.
iii.Under Shikhar, Sankalp and Swagat schemes, the bank has planned special rates of interest to drive credit offtake in the retail and MSME Sector.
iv.The bank has also identified focused products and customer segments for targeted outreach in line with the strategic agenda of PNB.
v.To ensure access to affordable credit for MSMEs in India, PNB has also deepened the concessions for various selected products in line with the “One District- One Product policy”.
About Punjab National Bank (PNB):
MD & CEO– S. S. Mallikarjuna Rao
Headquarters– New Delhi, Delhi
Tagline– the name you can bank upon
Founded on– 19th May 1894
Nationalized on– 19th July, 1969

SBI Extends Partnership with TCS for another 5 years

State Bank of India (SBI) extended its partnership with Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) for another five years. Under this partnership, SBI uses TCS BaNCS for which TCS maintain and enhance SBI’s application for core banking, trade finance, financial reporting, and financial inclusion. TCS BaNCS was launched in 2001.

Other SBI-TCS collaborations:
i.TCS is helping build Bharat Craft– an omnichannel, online B2B (Business to Business) e-commerce platform which would serve as a marketplace for MSMEs (Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises), jointly driven by SBI and the Government of India.
ii.Prior to that, TCS collaborated with SBI to plan and execute the merger of SBI’s five associate banks and Bharatiya Mahila Bank.
About Tata Consultancy Services (TCS):
Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director (CMD)– Rajesh Gopinathan
Headquarter– Mumbai, Maharashtra


India wins Bronze at Asian TT Championships

The Indian men’s table tennis team has won bronze medal at the Asian Table Tennis Championships on October 1, 2021. Highlights Indian team won bronze after losing to South Korea by 0-3 in the semi-finals. Team was assured of winning a medal after beating Iran by 3-1 in the quarterfinals on September 29.

Anshu Malik:1st Indian woman wrestler to reach World Championship final

Anshu Malik has become the first Indian woman wrestler to reach the final of 2021 World Wrestling Championships. Key facts She created this history after outclassing junior European champion Solomiia Vynnyk. The 19-year-old wrestler from India and reigning Asian champion, Anshu, controlled the semi-final from the beginning.


HAL Delivers Heaviest Semi-Cryogenic Propellant Tank, ‘SC120-LOX’ to ISRO

Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) delivered the ‘heaviest’ Semi-Cryogenic Propellant tank named ‘SC120-LOX’ to Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). It is a Semi Cryo-liquid Oxygen (LOX) tank, which will be a part of SC120 stage of ISRO’s GSLV Mark III launch vehicles, replacing the existing L110 stage.
i.M K Mishra, General Manager (GM) of Aerospace Division of HAL delivered the propellant tank to T.K.B. Kumaresh Babu, GM (LHWC), ISRO.
ii.Notably, HAL’s Aerospace Division has delivered 244 propellant tanks & 95 water tanks for various space missions of ISRO, which includes PSLV, GSLV Mk-II and GSLV Mk-III missions.
iii.Previously, in November 2020, HAL delivered the biggest ever cryogenic Liquid Hydrogen tank (C32-LH2), which is 4m in diameter & 8m in length, to ISRO.
iv.HAL is currently working with ISRO’s Human space mission ‘Gaganyaan’, for supplying hardware components to GSLV Mk-III launch vehicle and various supports to Crew Module Atmospheric Re-entry Experiment, PAD Abort test for Crew Escape.
About Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL):
HAL was established on 1st October 1964, by the merger of Hindustan Aircraft Limited & Aeronautics India Limited
Chairman & MD– R Madhavan
Headquarter– Bengaluru, Karnataka

Guinea’s new interim govt appointed Mohamed Béavogui as new PM

The Interim Government of Guinea led by Colonel Mamady Doumbouya has appointed Mohamed Béavogui(68 years old), a former civil servant and expert in agricultural finance as the New Prime Minister(PM) of Guinea. Mohamed Béavogui will serve as the PM during the transition period of Guinea. He replaces Ibrahima Kassory Fofana, who served as the PM of Guinea from 2018 to September 2021.

About Mohamed Béavogui:
i.Mohamed Béavogui has served as the first African General Manager of the African Risk Capacity(ARC).
ii.He has also served as the Director of Partnerships and Resource Mobilization and Senior Advisor to the President of the United Nations International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD).
iii.He worked as the Senior Project Management Officer at the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS), New York.
iv.He has also served as the Chief Technical Adviser at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in Burundi and in Rome.
About Guinea:
Interim President– Mamady Doumbouya
Prime Minister– Mohamed Béavogui
Capital– Conakry
Currency– Guinean Franc

Journalists Maria Ressa & Dmitry Andreyevich Muratov won the Nobel Peace Prize 2021

The Norwegian Nobel Committee has decided to award the Nobel Peace Prize 2021 to Maria Ressa, journalist from Philippines and Dmitry Andreyevich Muratov, journalist from Russia for their efforts to protect the freedom of expression, the precondition of democracy and lasting peace.
Maria Ressa is the 18th woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize. The Nobel Peace Prize 2021 was announced by Berit Reiss-Andersen, Chair of the Norwegian Nobel Committee. The prize carries a gold medal and a cash prize of 10 million Swedish krona (~Rs 8.5 crore) which will be shared equally between the 2 laureates.

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