Current Affairs

13 March, 2022

International

Bangladesh, India, Nepal finalized Enabling MoU to Implement BBIN MVA

i.The nations of India, Bangladesh and Nepal finalized an enabling Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for implementing the Bangladesh-Bhutan-India-Nepal (BBIN) Motor Vehicles Agreement (MVA) during a meeting held in New Delhi (Delhi) on March 7-8, 2022.
ii.This MVA aims to boost regional trade and people-to-people connectivity by fostering greater sub-regional cooperation.
iii.The pending ratification of the MVA by Bhutan was finalized.
About the Ministry of External Affairs(MEA):
Union Minister– Subrahmanyam Jaishankar (Rajya Sabha – Gujarat)
Ministers of State– Vellamvelly Muraleedharan (Rajya sabha – Maharashtra); Meenakshi Lekhi (Constituency- New Delhi, NCT of Delhi); Dr Rajkumar Ranjan Singh (Constituency- Inner Manipur, Manipur)

National

India’s Virtual Smart Grid Knowledge Centre in Manesar, Haryana inaugurated by Union Minister RK Singh

As a part of Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav Programme, Union Minister Raj Kumar Singh, Ministry of New & Renewable Energy (MNRE), and Minister of State (MoS) Krishan Pal Gurjar, Ministry of Power (MOP) virtually launched the India’s Virtual Smart Grid Knowledge Center (Virtual SGKC) and Innovation Park. The Virtual SGKC is located within the Power Grid Corporation of India Limited (PGCIL)/POWERGRID centre in Manesar (Haryana).
Developers:
i.It has been conceptualized and developed by the POWERGRID with support from the MOP, and National Smart Grid Mission (NSGM) for demonstration and advancement of frontier smart grid technologies.
ii.The technical assistance is provided by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

What is a Smart Grid?

Smart Grid is an Electrical Grid with Automation, Communication and IT (Information Technology) systems that can monitor power flows from points of generation to points of consumption. It can control the power flow or curtail the load to match generation in real time.

Skoch State of Governance Ranking in 2021: Andhra Pradesh Retains Top Rank for the 2nd Consecutive Year

The SKOCH Group, a delhi-based think tank released the SKOCH Governance Report Card for 2021, in New Delhi ranking the states according to their performance in various projects at state, district and municipal level.

Andhra Pradesh has retained its top position for the 2nd consecutive year and secured 1st in star state category whereas Telangana has showed good improvement by securing 6th position and entered into performer state category. The SKOCH State of Governance report also maps the shifting interests of different state governments and provides valuable insights into governance trends and opportunities.

In 2021, focus has been shifted towards Agriculture, Ease of Doing Business, Finance & Revenue, Power & Energy, Social Justice & Security, Urban Development and Water.

Top five states (Star states):

2020 (previous year rank) State 2021 (current year rank)
1 Andhra pradesh 1
3 West Bengal 2
8 Odisha 3
2 Gujarat 4
7 Maharashtra 5

About SKOCH Group:
The SKOCH Group companies include SKOCH Consultancy Services Private Limited, SKOCH Media and SKOCH Development Foundation.
Establishment – 1997
Chairman – Sameer Kochhar

Govt Creates Policy Advocacy Arm for Power and Allied Sectors

The government has set up a society, the Power Foundation, that is registered under the Societies Act, under the Power Ministry that will act as the top policy advocacy arm for the power and allied sectors which will assist states and businesses with cutting edge research along with developing ideas and solutions for India’s energy transition journey. The society will be chaired by the Power and New & Renewable Energy Minister RK Singh and the former Power Secretary Sanjiv Nandan Sahai has been appointed as the Director General by a search-cum-selection committee.

About Ministry of Power:
Union Minister – Raj Kumar Singh (Arrah, Bihar)
Minister of state – Krishan Pal (Faridabad, Haryana)

Union Minister Narayan Rane launched MSME Innovative Scheme & MSME Idea Hackathon 2022

i.Union Minister Narayan Tatu Rane, Ministry of Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises (M/o MSME) launched the MSME Innovative Scheme (Incubation, Design and IPR) along with the MSME Idea Hackathon 2022.
ii.The scheme is a combination of three existing sub-schemes viz. incubation, design, and Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) for MSMEs.
iii.The M/o MSME launch MSME Idea Hackathon to invite ideas from MSMEs, innovators and students through host institutes from March 10 to March 24, 2022.
About Ministry of Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises (M/o MSME):
Union Minister– Narayan Tatu Rane (Constituency- Rajya Sabha, Maharashtra)
Minister of State (MoS)– Bhanu Pratap Verma (Constituency- Jalaun, Uttar Pradesh)

Economy

CRISIL Retains India’s GDP Growth at 7.8% in FY23

CRISIL Ratings Limited, a domestic rating agency and a subsidiary of CRISIL Limited has reiterated its december 2021 forecast of India’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) at 7.8% for FY23 despite the Russia-Ukraine war.
Highlights:
i.The war is pushing the oil and commodity prices upwards which affects global growth and also India’s growth. The Brent crude has been traded as high as USD 139 per barrel and as low as USD 105 per barrel recently.
ii.CRISIL also highlighted that the average Consumer Price Index (CPI) based inflation will be at 5.4% in FY23 if the price of crude oil averages USD 85-90per barrel.
iii.The higher price of crude oil will widen India’s Current Account Deficit (CAD) to 2.2 % in FY23 (i.e.) $10 increase in prices of crude oil increases the CAD to GDP ratio by about 40 basis points.
Additional Info- Morgan Stanley has lowered its GDP growth forecast for India by 50 basis points to 7.9 per cent for FY23 and has raised the CPI inflation forecast to 6 per cent.
About CRISIL ratings Limited:
Establishment – 1987
Headquarters – Mumbai, Maharashtra
Managing Director (MD) – Gurpreet Chhatwal

Karnataka Bank Signs MoU with SELCO Solar to Provide Energy Access

Karnataka Bank Limited has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with SELCO Solar Light Private Limited to provide energy access to the underserved population.
About the MoU:
i.Karnataka Bank will provide financial support through loans with a competitive interest rate for installing SELCO Solar energy products for both household and commercial use. It provides financial support to individuals/Hindu Undivided Family (HUF)/Farmers, Traders, Businessmen, Proprietorship concerns, Professionals, Salaried Persons, Institutions etc,. to purchase the solar energy products of SELCO Solar Light in India.

ii.The partnership also promotes the use of renewable energy (RE) products which in turn increases the usage of solar energy by reducing carbon emissions.
About Karnataka Bank Limited:
Establishment – 1924
Headquarters – Mangalore, Karnataka
Managing Director (MD) & CEO – Mahabaleshwara MS
About SELCO Solar Light Private Limited:
SELCO Solar Light has been engaged in the business of designing, assembling, selling and servicing of solar energy products for the last 27 years with the main objective of providing energy access to the underserved population.
Establishment – 1995
Headquarters – Bangalore, Karnataka
CEO – Mohan Bhaskar Hegde

Sports

Indian Fast-Bowler Sreesanth Retires From Indian Domestic (First class and All formats) Cricket

Indian fast bowler, Shanthakumaran Nair Sreesanth has retired from Indian domestic (first class and all formats) cricket. Being born in Kerala, Sreesanth has represented India in 27 – International (Intl) Tests, 53 – One Day Internationals (ODI) and 10 – Twenty20 Internationals (T20I) and secured a total of 169 Intl wickets. Sreesanth was also on the winning sides of 2007 T20I World Cup and 2011 International Cricket Council (ICC) Cricket World Cup.
i.Sreesanth is the first fast bowler from Kerala to take a Hat-Trick in Ranji Trophy games 2004-05.
ii.He has also played for Kings XI Punjab, Kochi Tuskers Kerala and Rajasthan Royals in Indian Premier League (IPL).

Indian Shooters Topped The ISSF World Cup 2022 Cairo With The Total Of 7 Medals

The International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) World cup 2022 ‘Rifle and pistol’ took place at Cairo, Egypt, from 26 february 2022 till 8 March 2022. Indian shooters have topped the medals tally with a total of 7 medals. India Led the medal tallywith 7 medals including 4 gold, 2 silver, 1 bronze.Norway Secured the Second position and France secured the third.

India’s Medal Tally in ISSF World Cup 2022
POSITION CATEGORY EVENT WINNERS
Gold Women’s Team 25metre (m) pistol Rahi Sarnobat, Esha Singh and Rhythm Sangwan
Gold Men’s Individual 10m air pistol Saurabh Chaudhary
Gold Women’s Team 10m air pistol team Esha Singh, Nivetha Paramanantham, Ruchira Vinerkar
Gold Mixed Team 25m rapid fire pistol Rhythm Sangwan and Anish Bhanwala
Silver Women’s Individual 10m air pistol Esha Singh
Silver Men’s Team 25m rapid fire pistol Gurpreet Singh, Anish Bhanwala and Bhavesh Shekhawat
Bronze Mixed Team 50m rifle 3 positions Shriyanka Sadangi and Akhil Sheoran

About International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF):
President – Vladimir Lisin
Secretary General – Alexander Ratner
Headquarters – Munich, Germany

Miscellaneous

Former Finance & Revenue Secretary AB Pandey appointed as NFRA Chairperson

The Government of India (GoI) has appointed Ajay Bhushan Pandey, former Finance & Revenue secretary of India, Ministry of Finance, as new Chairperson of the National Financial Reporting Authority (NFRA).
i.The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) has approved his appointment for a period of three years from the date of assumption of charge or till he attains the age of 65 years.
ii.The ACC has also appointed 2 full-time members for NFRA, Praveen Kumar Tiwari, former Deputy Comptroller and Auditor General, a retired Indian Audit and Accounts Service official. Smita Jhingran, Principal Director General at Central Board of Direct Taxes, an Indian Revenue Service officer.

About Ajay Bhushan Pandey:
i.He was the Finance Secretary, Ministry of Finance, Government of India from March 2020 – February 2021.
ii.He was the Revenue Secretary, Ministry of Finance, Government of India from November 2018 – February 2021.
iii. Prior to becoming the Finance & Revenue Secretary of India, he was acting as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) from September 2015 – October 2019.
iv.As Finance Secretary of India and CEO of UIDAI, he was credited with executing three major reforms in India – Aadhaar, GST, and Direct Tax reforms.
v.After retirement he headed a three-member committee constituted by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment (MoSJ&E) to review the criteria for Economically Weaker Section (EWS) reservations.
About the National Financial Reporting Authority (NFRA):
An independent regulatory body set up by the Government of India as envisaged under the provisions of Section 132, Companies Act, 2013 to oversee the quality of accounting and auditing standards in India.

Establishment – 01st October, 2018
Present Chairperson – Ashok Kumar Gupta, Chairperson of Competition Commission of India (CCI) – given additional charge as Chairperson to NFRA in October 2021, till a new appointment to the post is made.

6 Indian Airports Won the ACI World’s ASQ Awards 2021 – Best Airports by Size & Region

Airports Council International(ACI) World has honoured Six Indian Airports with the Airport Service Quality (ASQ) Awards 2021 under the Asia Pacific Category. The 6 airports were adjudged as the Best Airports by Size and Region based on data from ASQ’s Departures and Arrivals Surveys. The Chandigarh Airport (Chandigarh) has been adjudged as the Best Hygiene Measures by Region under the Asia Pacific Category. The ASQ Awards were presented by ACI World in partnership with global travel technology company Amadeus.

About Airports Council International (ACI) World:
Director General– Luis Felipe de Oliveira
Headquarters– Montréal, Québec, Canada

MoRD Honoured J&K Bank with National Award for SHG Bank Linkage

Giriraj Singh, Union Minister of Rural Development, honoured the Jammu and Kashmir Bank (J&K Bank) with the“National Award for Outstanding Performance for FY 2020-21” in recognition of its best performance in Self-Help Group Bank Linkage. Kirti Sharma, Zonal Head, Delhi, J & K Bank, accepted the award on the bank’s behalf from Union Minister Giriraj Singh. The award was presented during the event organised as a part of International Women’s Day (8th March 2022) at Vigyan Bhavan, New Delhi, Delhi.

J&K bank Commissions 4 Business Units:
In line with the Bank’s commitment to extend banking facilities and financial services into the under-banked areas of Jammu and Kashmir, J&K Bank has commissioned 4 Business Units (BUs) in the region. Baldev Prakash, Managing Director(MD) and Chief Execuitve Officer(CEO) of J&K Bank, inaugurated Business Unit Pattan Village in Baramulla. He also virtually inaugurated the business units Model Town Sopore, Bakura Ganderbal, and Narakara Budgam.

These BUs will be resourced and equipped to provide the best financial services and state-of-the-art banking facilities to the people.
About Jammu and Kashmir Bank (J&K Bank):
J&K Bank is a Scheduled Commercial Bank and one of the oldest private sector Bank in India, incorporated in 1938.
MD&CEO- Baldev Prakash
Headquarters– Srinagar, Jammu & Kashmir(J&K)
Tagline– Serving to Empower

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