Current Affairs

9 September, 2021

International

NPCI partners with Fiserv to launch RuPay API Platform – “nFiNi”

the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) partnered with fintech firm ‘Fiserv’ to launch “nFiNi”, a RuPay based Application Programming Interface (API) platform to boost Credit card-based products in India. nFiNi is a BaaS (banking-as-a-service) programme, that will provide a wide variety of services to Indian fintech companies & banks to distribute RuPay credit cards.

Services under nFiNi – Support for digital user experience in Mobile apps, SMS notifications, instant digital card provisions and other immediate transaction features.
About Fiserv:
General Manager (India & Sri Lanka) – Rishi Chhabra
Headquarter – Brookfield, USA
About National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI):
In 2012, NPCI launched ‘RuPay’ – an Indian Multinational Payment System
MD & CEO – Dilip Asbe
Established – 2008
Headquarters – Mumbai, Maharashtra

El Salvador Becomes First Country to Adopt Bitcoin an Official Currency

A Central American country El Salvador becomes the first country to adopt bitcoin as a national currency. The country has passed a resolution to make Bitcoin as a legal currency alongside the US dollar on last June 2021 and bill was the approved by President Nayib Bukele. San Salvador is the capital of El Salvador.

i.200 Bitcoin teller machines are being installed across the country for currency conversions to access Bitcoin.
ii.The country launched the digital wallet called “Chivo” or “Cool” which offered $30 of free Bitcoin for the adaption.
iii.El Salvador had purchased its first 400 Bitcoins. Bitcoin will help to prevent the remittance of banking transactions which will be processed by 1.5 million citizens living in other countries send money home.
Impacts of Bitcoin adoption: As per the survey by Central American University (UCA), around 68% of the people in the country are unaware of this technology. According to University of Cambridge estimates that the El Salvador is not a large hub for mining Bitcoin and not in the top 10 mining countries. As a result of the sudden adoption of the volatile currency, it may affect the economic stability of the country.

About Bitcoin :-
Bitcoin (₿) is a decentralized digital currency, without a central bank or single administrator, that can be sent from user to user on the peer-to-peer bitcoin network without any intermediaries.
It is world’s largest cryptocurrency which was invented in 2008 by an unknown person or group of people using the name Satoshi Nakamoto of Japan.

National

Govt sets up three BARs to help with tax matters

The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has set up three Boards for Advance Rulings (BAR) which will offer help on tax implications of transactions, which in turn will help avoid income tax disputes. This will replace Authority for Advance Rulings (AAR), which was set up in 1993, w.e.f. September 1, 2021. This decision to replace was taken to fast-track disposal of cases. Out of the three BARs, two will be in Delhi and one in Mumbai, Maharashtra. Each BAR will consist of two members not below the rank of a Chief Commissioner.

MoC constitutes Task Force Under Vinod Kumar Tiwari & Expert Committee Under R.K Malhotra for Coal-based Hydrogen Production

The Ministry of Coal(MoC) constituted a Task Force under the Chairmanship of Vinod Kumar Tiwari, Additional Secretary of the Ministry of Coal and the Expert Committee under the Chairmanship of R.K Malhotra, Director General of the Federation of Indian Petroleum Industry.
i.Objective– Contribution in Hydrogen Economy in a clean manner.
ii.Task Force will Monitor activities towards achieving coal based Hydrogen production and usage; Setting up sub committees to achieve the objective; To coordinate with the Coal Gasification Mission and NITI Aayog.
iii.Expert Committee will Prepare a road map for coal based Hydrogen production and usage including economic viability, environmental sustainability and policy enablers required; Identifying activities for implementation of coal based hydrogen production and usage.
iv.A Memorandum of Understanding ( MoU) was signed between Ayana Renewable Power, majority of the holdings controlled by National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF) and Greenstat Hydrogen India, a Norwegian organization. The aim is to collaborate building projects for green hydrogen. This initiative would support the National Hydrogen Mission and decarbonise the environment.
About Ayana Renewable Power
Managing Director and CEO-Shivanand Nimbargi
Headquarter – Bengaluru, Karnataka

AIIA Signed MoU with NICM Western Sydney University Australia to Appoint Academic Chair in Ayurveda

All India Institute of Ayurveda (AIIA) of Ministry of Ayush has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with NICM Western Sydney University Australia to appoint an Academic Chair in Ayurveda.
Signatories
It was signed between Professor Tanuja Nesari, Director, All India Institute of Ayurveda, Ministry of Ayush and Vice-Chancellor and President, Western Sydney University, Australia, Professor Barney Glover.
The appointment of the chair is jointly funded by the Ministry of Ayush and Western Sydney University and anticipated to commence early in 2022.
Roles and Functioning-
i.It will facilitate academic and research collaboration activities in Ayurveda, which includes herbal medicine and yoga. It will design short/medium term courses and educational guidelines.
ii.Chair will conduct academic workshops related to the Ayurveda system and promote its effective usage in Australia.
iii.The Ayurveda Academic Chair will be based at West mead campus, Western Sydney University NICM health and research institute for 3 years tenure.
About Ministry of Ayush
Minister- Sarbananda Sonowal
Minister of State- Dr. Munjpara Mahendrabhai Kalubhai (Surendranagar, Gujarat)

Defence Ministry announces ‘Delegation of Financial Powers to Defence Services (DFPDS) 2021’

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh announced the ‘Delegation of Financial Powers to Defence Services (DFPDS) 2021’, providing enhanced Revenue Procurement provisions to Indian defence forces to strengthen India’s security infrastructure.
i.To formulate quicker decision making at all levels, the DFPDS 2021 has empowered Field Commanding officers with higher financial procurement powers.
ii.Competent Financial Authorities (CFA) were provided with twice of the usual financial assistance, in certain field formations the enhancement ranges from 5 to 10 times. Vice Chiefs of the Services, got an enhancement of 10% of their usual financial power, with an overall ceiling of Rs. 500 crores.

About Ministry of Defence:
Union Minister – Rajnath Singh (Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh)
Minister of State – Ajay Bhatt (Nainital-Udhamsingh Nagar, Uttarakhand)

Economy

1st Hurun India Future unicorn List 2021: India became world’s 3rd largest startup ecosystem, after US & China

In accordance with the first Hurun India Future unicorn List 2021′ released by Hurun Research Institute, India became the third largest Unicorn ecosystem in the world after the United States (US) and China as India have 51 Unicorns worth $168 billion, and 32 Gazelles and 54 Cheetahs. This list is a ranking of India’s startups founded in the 2000s, having a value of US$200 million-mn (Rs 1,500 crore), and have not yet been listed on the stock exchange. Number of Unicorns in the US and China is at 396 and 277 respectively. The United Kingdom (UK) is at 4th position with 32 unicorns and Germany at 5th spot with 18.

About Hurun India:
It is a research, media and investments group.
Chairman– Rupert Hoogerwerf
Managing Director– Anas Rahman
Headquarter– Mumbai, Maharashtra

Jana Bank Extends the Banking Service to Karnataka’s Namma Shaale Nanna Koduge Programme

Jana Small Finance Bank made tie up with Karnataka Government to provide the payment gateway service for Namma Shaale Nanna Koduge (My School, My Contribution) programme which launched by Chief Minister of Karnataka, Shri Basavaraj Bommai during Teacher’s Day.

Namma Shaale Nanna Koduge is an initiative to create a platform for the donors who are willing to donate money to government schools of Karnataka in the motive of strengthen the public education system.

The donation amount will be received in single account of Karnataka Text Book Society – Department of Public Instruction and then it will be sent to respective school account. Jana SFB provide its complete payment ecosystem of RTGS, NEFT, UPI, IMPS, Debit card, NACH etc. to donor to make their donations effectively.

About Jana Small Finance Bank
MD & CEO – Ajay Kanwal
Established in – 2008
Headquarters – Bengaluru,Karnataka
Tagline – ‘Paise ki Kadar’ (value for money)

SEBI to allow T+1 settlement cycle on an optional basis from January 1, 2022

The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) will initiate the T+1 (today plus one) settlement cycle for equity transactions from January 1, 2022 under which Indian stock markets can transfer shares and money into client accounts in under 24 hours. It is not mandatory for the stock exchanges to go with the T+1 settlement cycle. They are flexible to offer either T+1 or T+2 settlement cycle. Currently stock markets follow a T+2 settlement cycle which takes 48 hours or more for the shares to be transferred into the client account in case of purchase deals. This means a seller cannot demand payment for at least two days.

IPPB, LICHFL signed MoU for Home Loans

India Post Payments Bank (IPPB) and LIC Housing Finance Ltd (Life Insurance Corporation of India-HFL) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to provide home loans to over 4.5 crore customers of the former. While LICHFL will be responsible for home loans’ credit underwriting, processing, and disbursement, IPPB will look after for sourcing.

About LICHFL Loans:
i.It offers home loans starting from 6.66% for loans up to Rs 50 lakh for salaried individuals.
ii.It also has home loan product GrihaVarishtha for retired or serving employees of PSU (Public Sector Undertaking) insurers, Central/State government, railways, defence, banks etc. entitled to pension under Defined Benefit Pension Scheme. For this loan, the age of the borrower at purchase can be up to 65 years and the loan tenure is till the attainment of 80 years of age or maximum up to 30 years, whichever is earlier.

About India Post Payments Bank (IPPB):
It was set up under the Department of Post, Ministry of Communication. It was launched as a pilot project in Ranchi (Jharkhand) and Raipur (Chhattisgarh) on January 30, 2017.
Managing Director (MD) and Chief Executive Officer (CEO)– Venkatram Jayanthy
Tagline– Aapka Bank, Aapke Dwaar
Headquarter– New Delhi, Delhi
About LIC Housing Finance Ltd (LICHFL):
Establishment– 1989
MD & CEO– Y Viswanatha Gowd
Tagline– Where Dreams come HOME
Headquarter– Mumbai, Maharashtra

Sports

India at Tokyo Paralympics: Check full List of Indian Paralympic Medal Winners and India’s final Medal Tally

India's medal tally at Paralympics 2020: India won a total of 19 medals at Tokyo Paralympics 2020, including 5 gold, 8 silver and 6 bronze. Check full list of Indian Paralympic Medal Winners here.

Noida DM Suhas LY becomes 1st IAS officer to win Paralympic medal

Noida DM Suhas LY became the 1st IAS officer to win a medal in Badminton at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics Games.

Miscellaneous

Bhupender Yadav Launched Portal “PRANA” to Monitor Air Pollution in 132 cities; Inaugurated India’s 1st functional Smog Tower

Bhupender Yadav, Union Minister of Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) launched “PRANA” – Portal for Regulation of Air-pollution in Non-Attainment Cities(NACs), a portal to monitor the implementation of India’s National Clean Air Programme (NCAP). The portal was launched during the event organised as a part of the United Nations(UN)’s 2nd International Day of Clean Air For Blue Skies. The Union Minister Bhupender Yadav virtually inaugurated India’s 1st functional Smog Tower at Anand Vihar, Delhi during the event.The tower has been built over 20metre Height by Tata Projects Limited with NBCC (India) Ltd. as the project management consultant.

About PRANA:
i.The portal will track the physical and financial status of the implementation of the air action plan across the 132 Non-Attainment Cities under NCAP.
ii.The portal will also disseminate information on the air quality management efforts under NCAP.
iii.The information related to activities and their progress under NCAP by stakeholders will be available on the portal.
iv.The action plans for improving the air quality across the 132 NACs targeting specific air polluting sources such as Soil & Road Dust, Vehicles, Domestic Fuel, MSW Burning, Construction materials and Industries have been prepared and are being implemented.
Funding for action plans:
i.Around Rs 375.44 crores has been released to 114 cities during the FY 2019-20 & 2020-21 for initiating actions under the city action plan.
ii.As per the recommendations of the 15th Finance Commission report for FY 2020-21, 4400 crores have been released to 42 cities with a million-plus population.
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)

Byju’s Acquired Gradeup; Rebranded as Byju’s Exam Prep

Ed-Tech Unicorn Byju’s has acquired the online exam preparation platform Gradeup to boost the ed tech’s presence in the online competitive exam preparation category.
Following the acquisition of Gradeup, it has been rebranded as Byju’s Exam Prep. This marks the 8th acquisition by Byju’s in 2021. Gradeup headquartered in Noida, Uttar Pradesh was established in 2015 by Shobhit Bhatnagar, Sanjeev Kumar, and Vibhu Bhushan.

Atul Bhatt Appointed as the New CMD of RINL

The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) has approved the appointment of Atul Bhatt as the new Chairman and Managing Director(CMD) of the Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Limited(RINL)(also known as Visakhapatnam steel plant), the steel produced based in Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh. He has been serving as the CMD of MECON, a state-owned consultancy firm Public Enterprises Selection Board (PESB) recommended Atul Bhatt for the post of CMD of RINL following the retirement of incumbent Pradosh Kumar Rath (PK Rath) on 31st May 2021.

Nirlep Singh Rai Appointed as a new CMD of NFL

Nirlep Singh Rai is appointed as the new Chairman and Managing Director (CMD) of National Fertilizer Limited (NFL). The NFL is a Miniratna Public Sector Undertaking (PSU) under the Department of Fertilizer.He takes over from Virendra Nath Datt, who serves as the additional charge as CMD of NFL after the superannuation of Manoj Mishra.

Highlights: The appointment was approved by the Appointment Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) for the tenure of two years. Previously, Nirlep Singh was serving as Director (Technical) of NFL and prior to this he was the Executive Director in the organisation.

About Nirlep Singh Rai
i.He is a graduate in engineering from Thapar University, Patiyala, Punjab. He has the experience of more than three and a half decades working in different units of the organisation.
ii.He is also the Nominee Director on the Board of Joint venture Company of NFL, Ramagundam Fertilizers and Chemicals Ltd (RFCL). As CEO of RFCL, he is credited with the commissioning of the project.
About National Fertilizer Limited (NFL)
Headquarters– Noida, Uttar Pradesh

Vaidyanathan appointed as MD & CEO of IDFC FIRST Bank

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) approved the re-appointment of V. Vaidyanathan as the Managing Director (MD) & Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of IDFC FIRST Bank for a period of 3-years, with effect from 19th December 2021 till December 18, 2024.
About V. Vaidyanathan:
i.V. Vaidyanathan took charge as the MD & CEO in 2018 after the merger of IDFC Bank with Capital First Bank.

ii.Prior to that he served in ICICI Groups, becoming the board member of ICICI Bank in 2006, and later appointed as the MD & CEO of ICICI Prudential Life Insurance Company in India in 2009.
iii.He was awarded with the “Entrepreneur of the Year” Award at Asia Pacific Entrepreneurship Awards 2017, “Most Promising Business Leaders of Asia” 2016 by Economic Times among others.
About IDFC FIRST Bank:
Established – 2015
Headquarter – Mumbai, Maharashtra

Harsha Bangari Takes Charge as MD of India EXIM Bank

The government of India has appointed Harsha Bhupendra Bangari as the Managing Director(MD) of Export-Import Bank of India (India EXIM Bank) for a period of 3 years or until further orders. She took charge as the MD on 8th September 2021. She succeeds David Rasquinha, whose tenure as MD of Exim Bank ended in May 2021. Prior to this appointment, she has been serving as the Deputy Managing Director of the India EXIM Bank.

Background:
Harsha Bangari was appointed as the MD of India Exim Bank following the recommendation of the Banks Board Bureau(BBB).
About Harsha Bangari:
i.Harsha Bangari is a Chartered Accountant, who joined the India Exim Bank in 1995.
ii.She has served in various capacities such as Chief General Manager and the Chief Financial Officer of the Bank.
About Export Import Bank of India (India EXIM Bank):
India EXIM bank is regulated by the Reserve Bank of India(RBI).
MD- Harsha Bhupendra Bangari
Headquarter– Mumbai, Maharashtra
Established in 1982

Neeraj Chopra Made His First Brand Partnership with TATA AIA Insurance

Tata AIA Life Insurance signed a multi-year brand partnership with Subedar Neeraj Chopra, an Indian athlete and Olympic gold medallist as its brand ambassador. This marks the company made very first brand partnership with the Neeraj Chopra. He will promote the health and wellness among policyholders, and going deeper into the tier II and III markets across the country. Neeraj Chopra who won the gold medal in Javelin Throw at recently concluded 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.

About Neeraj Chopra: –
i.Subedar Neeraj Chopra hails from Haryana, India. As of August 2021, he is ranked second internationally by World Athletics.
ii.In 2016 he achieved a world under-20 record throw of 86.48 m, becoming the first Indian athlete to set a world record.
iii.Indian Army named a stadium after Subedar Neeraj Chopra at the Army Sports Institute, Pune Cantt. to honour his victory at 2020 Tokyo Games.
About TATA AIA Insurance
Tata AIA Life Insurance Company Limited (Tata AIA Life) is a joint venture company, formed by Tata Sons Pvt. Ltd. and AIA Group Ltd. (AIA).
MD & CEO – Mr. Naveen Tahilyani

Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan Conferd AICTE- Visvesvaraya Best Teacher Award 2021

Dharmendra Pradhan, Minister of Education(MoE) presented the AICTE-Visvesvaraya Best Teacher Awards 2021 to 17 faculty members of engineering and technical education and the AICTE-Dr. Pritam Singh Best Teacher Awards 2021 to 3 faculty members of management education, at the function held in New Delhi on the occasion of National Teachers Day 2021(September 5). The winners of the awards were nominated by the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), the technical education regulator of India.

Dr Rajkumar Ranjan Singh, Minister of State for Education was also present during the event.
Other Awards:
i.The Union Minister also presented the Chhatra Vishwakarma Award 2020 to 24 teams of students and the Clean and Smart Campus Award 2020 to 12 selected institutions from across India.
ii.The theme of the Chhatra Vishwakarma Awards 2020 is India’s Economic Recovery Post Covid; Reverse Migration and Rehabilitation Plan to support “Atmanirbhar Bharat” Chhatra Vishwakarma Award honours and recognises the innovative students. Smart Campus Awards are presented to recognise the sustainable and eco-friendly AICTE approved institution. Click here for the complete list of the awardees

About the Awards:
i.The Visvesvaraya Best Teacher Award, Dr Pritam Singh Best Teacher Award, Chhatra Vishwakarma Award and Clean and Smart Campus Award were instituted by the AICTE to identify and felicitate extraordinary teachers, recognize their excellence, best practices, innovativeness and creativity among students and environmental sensitivity among institutions.
ii.Dr Pritam Singh Best Teacher Award has been introduced in 2021 to honour the faculty member of management education.
About All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE):
Chairman– Prof. Anil D. Sahasrabudhe
Headquarters– New Delhi, Delhi
Established in November 1945

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