Current Affairs

11 October, 2021

International

Commerce & Industry Minister Piyush Goyal Addressed the ICRIER’s 13th Annual International G-20 Conference

Union Minister of Commerce & Industry, Consumer Affairs & Food & Public Distribution and Textiles, Piyush Goyal addressed the Inaugural Session of the ICRIER’s (Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations) 13th Annual International G-20 Conference. He called for pursuing a more inclusive and equitable agenda at the G20 and stated the COVID-19 pandemic has remodelled several G20 priorities. He called upon the G20 to play a leadership role for People, Planet & Collective Prosperity. G20 is the international forum that brings together the world’s major economies. Its members account for more than 80 percent of world GDP, 75 percent of global trade and 60 percent of the population of the planet. India is the world’s second largest manufacturer of Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs).

Note – In September 2019, the United Nations called for a Decade of Action, pledging to mobilize financing, enhance national implementation and strengthen institutions to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals by the target date of 2030.
About Ministry of Commerce and Industry:
Union Minister – Piyush Goyal (Constituency – Rajya Sabha , Maharashtra)
Minister of State – Anupriya Singh Patel (Constituency – Mirzapur, Uttar Pradesh), Som Parkash (Constituency – Hoshiarpur, Punjab)

Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) released by UNDP & OPHI; India has max multidimensional poor

i.A new analysis on global multidimensional poverty namely ‘Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI)’ 2021 was released which is produced by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI).
ii.India has a maximum number of people, 381 millions, living in multidimensional poverty. 5 out of 6 multidimensional poor people are from lower tribes or castes.
iii.The Scheduled Tribe (ST) accounts for 9.4% of the population and is the poorest with 65 million of the 129 million people living in multidimensional poverty. They account for about one-sixth of all people living in multidimensional poverty in India.
About United Nations Development Programme (UNDP):
Establishment– 1965
Administrator– Achim Steiner
Headquarters– New York, United States

National

Power Ministry Revised Policy to Use Biomass Pellets in Coal-Burning Thermal Power Plants

Ministry of Power, Government of India, has set a revised policy to use biomass pellets in coal-burning thermal power plants. This encourages the use of agricultural waste, which will be burnt by the farmers causes air pollution.

About the revised policy:
i.The revised policy has made it mandatory for 3 categories of thermal power plants to use a 5% blend of biomass pellets along with coal.
ii.The revised policy will come into force in October 2022, with a requirement to increase the proportion of biomass to 7% within 2 years of the power plant.
iii.The policy will be in force for 25 years or until the useful life of the thermal power plant.
Background:
The paddy stalks and straws burned by the farmers of North India to prepare for the lands for planting causes air pollution which results in the formation of smog over North India.
About Ministry of Power: Union Minister- Raj Kumar Singh(Constituency- Arrah, Bihar) Minister of State- Krishan Pal (Constituency- Faridabad, Haryana)

India, Croatia collaborate to improve the traditional medicine system

India’s All India Institute of Ayurveda under Ministry of Ayush and Croatia’s Kvarner Health Tourism Cluster entered into a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for academic collaboration in traditional medicine systems, especially in the field of ayurveda. Ministry of Ayush signed the MoU on behalf of AIIA in the presence of Special Secretary of Ayush Pramod Kumar Pathak and India’s Ambassador to Croatia Raj Shrivastava According to the Ministry of Ayush, the collaboration with Croatia is a significant step towards bolstering India’s ties with other countries and promoting academic research, clinical and educational activities, medical education, training, and competency building.

Objectives
i.To undertake academic activities in the field of ayurveda in collaboration with the identified institutions.
ii.To cooperation and collaboration on research, study design, developing evidence-based guidelines for integrating ayurvedic principles and practices with modern medicine.
iii.To develop academic standards and courses in accordance with the needs of the institution, end-users and stakeholders
iv.To develop ayurvedic medical education guidelines for ayurveda education in Croatia.

Govt Approved Air India Disinvestment; Tata Sons Won the Bid for Acquiring Air India for Rs 18,000 Crore

Tata Sons Private Ltd subsidiary Talace Pvt Ltd has won the final bid for acquiring the national carrier Air India by submitting Rs 18,000 crore bid. The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) – empowered Air India Specific Alternative Mechanism (AISAM) approved the highest price bid of Talace Pvt Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Tata Sons Pvt. Ltd. The bid involves sale of 100 percent stake AI (the shareholding of Government of India), 100 percent stake in AI’s subsidiary Air India Express (AIXL) and 50 percent in the joint venture Air India SATS (Air India SATS Airport Services Private Limited). The total permanent and contractual employee strength of Air India & AIXL is 13,500. The winning bid of Rs 18,000 crore as Enterprise Value (EV) does not include non-core assets including land and building, valued at Rs 14,718 crore, which are to be transferred to GoI’s Air India Asset Holding Limited (AIAHL). The AISAM comprises Union Minister for Home Affairs and Cooperation Amit Shah; Union Minister for Finance & Corporate Affairs Nirmala Sitharaman; Union Minister for Commerce and Industry Piyush Goyal and Union Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia.

About Tata Sons Private Ltd:
Headquarters – Mumbai, Maharashtra
Executive Chairman – N Chandrasekaran

I-Sprint’21: IFSCA’s Global FinTech Hackathon Series ‘Sprint01: BankTech’ Launched

The International Financial Services Centres Authority (IFSCA) and GIFT (Gujarat International Finance Tec) City launched I-Sprint’21. It is a global FinTech Hackathon Series of IFSCA to be conducted virtually. The first Sprint of the series is ‘Sprint01: BankTech’ which is focused on FinTechs for the Banking sector. It will be co-hosted by IFSCA and GIFT city in collaboration with NITI (National Institution for Transforming India) Aayog. This hackathon is first under the I-Sprint series focusing on the Banking Sector.

Partners:
The Partners to the Hackathon are ICICI (Formerly Industrial Credit and Investment Corporation of India) Bank, HSBC (Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited) Bank, iCreate (International Centre for Entrepreneurship and Technology), Zone Startups and Invest-India.

About International Financial Services Centres Authority (IFSCA):
It is a unified authority vested with the powers of all four financial sector regulators in India viz. Securities & Exchange Board of India (SEBI), Reserve Bank of India (RBI), Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) and Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA). It encourages the promotion of financial technologies across banking, insurance, securities and fund management in Indian IFSC.
Chairperson– Injeti Srinivas
Headquarter– Gandhi Nagar, Gujarat

Economy

Highlights of the Fourth Bi-Monthly Monetary Policy of FY21-22

The Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) 6-members Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) had met on 6th, 7th and 8th October 2021 and released its fourth bi-monthly monetary policy statement for FY22 (April 2021 – March 2022).

Policy Rates: RBI kept the rates unchanged (maintains status quo) for the 8th consecutive time i.e it decided to continue with the accommodative stance to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on the economy

Growth: The MPC has retained India’s real gross domestic product (GDP) growth projection for FY22 at 9.5 percent with 7.9 percent in Q2; 6.8 percent in Q3; and 6.1 percent in Q4 of 2021-22. Real GDP growth for Q1 FY23 is projected at 17.2 per cent.

Inflation: Consumer Price Index (CPI) inflation was projected at 5.3 percent in FY22, with 5.1 percent in Q2; 4.5 percent in Q3; and 5.8 percent in Q4. CPI inflation for Q1 FY23 was projected at 5.2 percent.

About the Reserve Bank of India (RBI):
Establishment – April 1, 1935
Headquarters – Mumbai, Maharashtra
Governor – Shaktikanta Das
Deputy Governors – Mahesh Kumar Jain, Michael Debabrata Patra, M. Rajeshwar Rao, T. Rabi Sankar

Federal Bank Upgraded its Mobile Banking App ‘FedMobile’

Federal Bank has upgraded its mobile banking app ‘FedMobile‘ with an investment platform equipped with superior wealth management capability for the convenience of its users. The upgraded module was launched in association with Equirus Wealth. The app allows a user to open an investment account in less than 2 minutes and start executing transactions instantly. The module offers an entire range of MFs across different categories such as equity, debt, hybrid and solution-oriented funds from all the leading asset management firms in the country. It enables customers to set up a Systematic Investment Plan (SIP), a tool to invest money at regular intervals and accumulate wealth over the long term.

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
Managing Director & CEO – Shyam Srinivasan
Tagline – Your Perfect Banking Partner

Federal Bank Authorised by RBI for Collection of Direct and Indirect Taxes; Upgraded its Mobile Banking App ‘FedMobile’

The Federal Bank has been authorised by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), based on the recommendation of Controller General of Accounts, Ministry of Finance, for collection of Direct and Indirect Taxes, on behalf of CBDT (Central Board of Direct Taxes) and CBIC (Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs). Through the authorisation would make it convenient for the customers to pay their Direct and Indirect taxes through the Bank’s various digital platforms such as FedMobile (Mobile Banking app), FedNet (Net Banking), Fedebiz (Corporate Digital Banking) and through a wide branch network.

Sports

Magnus Carlsen won the first Melt water Champions Chess Tour 2021

Magnus Carlsen, the Norwegian chess grandmaster, won the inaugural Melt water Champions Chess Tour 2021, which started in November 2020 and concluded in October 2021. Magnus Carlsen secured the victory and clinched the world’s first (non-fungible token)NFT chess trophy. Teimour Radjabov of Azerbaijan finished the tour in 2nd place and Levon Aronian of Armenia finished in 3rd place. The first prize of the Meltwater Champions Chess Tour 2021 title carries a cash prize of 100000 USD.

Melt water Champions Chess Tour
i.The Champions Chess Tour 2021, known for sponsorship reasons as the Melt water Champions is a 10-month long series of 10 online chess tournaments featuring the world’s top players, was the most viewed online chess event in history.
ii.The total prize money for the championship is 1.5 million USD.

India Won 3 Bronze Medals in 2021 Asian Table Tennis Championships in Doha, Qatar

For the first time in the history, Indian table tennis contingent has won 3 Bronze medals in the 2021 Asian Table Tennis Championship organised by the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) at Doha, Qatar between 28th September and 5th October 2021. Two of the Three medals came from Men’s Doubles event, while the 3rd medal was won by the Indian Men’s Team.
Medal Winning Teams: Indian Men’s Team – Sharath Kamal, Sathiyan Gnanasekaran and Harmeet Desai Men’s Doubles Team – Sharath Kamal Achanta & Satihyan Gnanasekaran Men’s Doubles Team – Manav Thakkar & Harmeet Desai

i.Indian Men’s Team composed of Sharath Kamal, Sathiyan Gnanasekaran and Harmeet Desai lost to the top seeded South Korean team in the Semi-final.
ii.Two Men’s Doubles teams reached the semi-finals in the tournament for the 1st time. The Team of Sharath Kamal & Sathiyan Gnanasekaran was defeated in the semi-finals by Japan’s Yukiya Uda & Shunsuke Togami in a 3-0 game. While the other team of Manav Thakkar & Harmeet Desai lost to South Korea’s Woojin Jang & Jonghoon Lim in a close 3-2 match.

Terms related to Table Tennis – Twiddle or Twirl, Sidespin, Backhand, Racket or Paddle, Chop
About International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF):
CEO – Steve Dainton (Australia)
Founded – 1926
Headquarter – Lausanne, Switzerland
Top ranked Indians in ITTF World Ranking: Men’s Singles – Sharath Kamal Achanta (33rd) Women’s Singles – ManikaBatra (58th)

Miscellaneous

Adani Finserv buys 10% stake in CSC Grameen eStore

The Adani Finserv, a financial services arm of Adani group has acquired 10% equity stake in the government’s rural ecommerce venture CSC Grameen eStore. CSC (Common Service Centre) Grameen eStore is a wholly-owned subsidiary of CSC e-Governance Services, a joint venture between the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (Meity) and industry.

Aveek Sarkar re-elected as the Chairman of PTI

Aveek Sarkar, the Editor Emeritus and Vice Chairman of the Ananda Bazar Group of Publications, has been re-elected as the Chairman of Press Trust of India (PTI) for a period of 2 years.
Aveek Sarkar was the founding Managing Director of Penguin India and the founding editor of Business Standard. KN Shanth Kumar, Director of The Printers(Mysore) Private Limited, has been elected as the Vice-Chairman of PTI.

CoinSwitch Kuber names Ranveer Singh as its brand ambassador

Crypto platform CoinSwitch Kuber has roped in Bollywood actor Ranveer Singh as its first-ever brand ambassador. With this collaboration, Ranveer Singh will be featured in three ad films for CoinSwitch Kuber’s ongoing ‘KuchToh Badlega’. The objective is to connect with millennials and Gen-Z users by featuring Ranveer through its ‘KuchToh Badlega’ campaign.

Note: Earlier, actor Amitabh Bachchan was appointed as the brand ambassador of Indian crypto exchange CoinDCX.
Additional information
i.The platform recently turned into a unicorn after raising $260 million from major private equity players like Andreessen Horowitz, Coinbase Ventures Paradigm, Ribbit Capital, Sequoia Capital and Tiger Global at a valuation of $1.9 billion.
ii.With this investment, CoinSwitch became the 30th unicorn startup in India, with a valuation of $1.9 billion.
About CoinSwitch Kuber
Founder & CEO- Ashish Singhal
Headquarters – Bengaluru, Karnataka
Founded– 2020

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