Current Affairs

14 June, 2021


India ranks 55th in Global Home Price Index

India was ranked 55th in the Global Home Price Index for the 1st Quarter (Q1) ie; January to March 2021, which is 12 spots lower than its Q1 ranking of 43rd in 2020. Global Home Price Index is prepared by the London-based Knight Frank, which monitors housing prices in 56 countries. The ranking was topped by Turkey with 32% year-on-year (YoY) growth, followed by New Zealand and Luxembourg .
i.Due to Covid-19 pandemic, India fell to the 56th spot in the October-December quarter of 2020
Note – In January 2021, PM Narendra Modi laid foundation stones for 6 Light House Projects (LHPs), as part of the Global Housing Technology Challenge-India (GHTC-India) initiative
About Knight Frank:
Established – 1896
Headquarters – London, United Kingdom

UNGA approves declaration to end AIDS by 2030

During the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) High-Level Meeting (HLM) on HIV/AIDS (Human Immunodeficiency Virus/Acquired ImmunoDeficiency Syndrome), the assembly approved a declaration to end AIDS by 2030.
i.The Assembly stated that COVID-19 has increased inequalities and pushed access to AIDS medicines, treatments and diagnosis off track.
Reduce annual new HIV infections to under 3, 70, 000 and annual AIDS-related deaths to under 2, 50, 000 by 2025. To eliminate all forms of HIV-related stigma and discrmination and for urgent work towards an HIV vaccine and a cure for AIDS.
Executive Director – Winnie Byanyima
Headquarters – Geneva, Switzerland


MoRTH Appointed Project Management Consultancy for Mussoorie Tunnel Project

Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) has approved the appointment of the Project Management Consultancy(PMC) for the proposed 2.74 kilometres long Mussoorie Tunnel project which will be built on the National Highway(NH) 707A with a budget of Rs 700 crore.
The PMC will analyze the area, draft a DPR and need to do the process for obtaining the environment and other required clearances and the process is set to take up to 1 year. The tunnel will offer easy and congestion-free connectivity to Mussoorie town, Mall Road, and Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration (LBSSNA), an IAS Academy. The MoRTH has also approved the preparation of a Detailed Project Report (DPR) for the 2 lane Mussoorie tunnel.

EESL partners with MECON to implement Energy Efficient Solution in Steel Industry

Energy Efficiency Services Ltd (EESL), under the Ministry of Power, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Metallurgical & Engineering Consultants (MECON) Ltd, under the Ministry of Steel, to implement Energy Efficient & Clean energy solutions in the Steel & Mining Industries.
About Metallurgical & Engineering Consultants (MECON) Limited:
Established in 1959 as a Public Sector Company (PSU) under the Ministry of Steel
Chairman & MD – Atul Bhatt
Headquarters – Ranchi, Jharkhand
About Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL):
Established in 2009 as a 100% government owned company by the Ministry of Power
Chairman – Rajeev Sharma
Headquarters – New Delhi

3 Indian SME firms selected for R&D Project under India-Russia Joint Technology Assessment

Three Indian Science & Technology (S&T)-led Small-to-Medium Enterprises (SMEs)/ Start-ups have been selected to undertake joint R&D (Research & Development) and technology transfer projects under the India-Russia Joint Technology Assessment and Accelerate Commercialization Program. The 3 Indian firms are Prantae Solutions, Jayon Implants & Ananya Technologies. Prantae Solutions & Jayon Implants are being funded under joint R&D Projects, while the 3rd company, Ananya Technologies has been funded for technology adoption from Russia.
About Department of Science & Technology (DST)
Secretary – Ashutosh Sharma
Head Office – New Delhi

SIDM, SOFF sign MoU to promote Bilateral Defence Industrial Relations

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between Society of Indian Defence Manufacturers (SIDM) and Swedish Security and Defence Industry (SOFF) during the webinar on India-Sweden Defence Industry Cooperation. Objective – The MoU aims to boost the Bilateral Defence Industrial Relations between Indian & Sweden. The Webinar held on the Theme – ‘Capitalizing Opportunities for Growth’, it was organized by the Department of Defence Production, Ministry of Defence through SIDM and SOFF. Defence Minister Rajnath was the Chief Guest, while the Defence Minister of Sweden Peter Hultqvist was the Guest of Honour.
About Society of Indian Defence Manufacturers (SIDM)
President – Jayant D Patil
Headquarters – New Delhi
About Swedish Security and Defence Industry (SOFF)
Secretary-General – Robert Limmergård
Headquarters – Stockholm, Sweden

between Indian Navy & the Royal Thai Navy. About Thailand: Capital – Bangkok Currency – Thai baht Prime Minister – Prayut Chan-o-cha

The 31st Edition of India-Thailand Coordinated Patrol (Indo-Thai CORPAT) (Bi-Annual) between the Indian Navy and Royal Thai Navy was conducted from June 9-11, 2021 in the Andaman Sea. From the Indian side, INS Saryu, an indigenously built Naval Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV) took part in the exercise. From Thailand’s side, His Majesty’s Thailand Ship (HTMS) Krabi, an OPV took part in the exercise. Dornier Maritime Patrol Aircraft from both navies took part in the exercise. The main purpose of the exercise is to keep the Indian Ocean safe and secure for International trade. It aims to consolidate interoperability between Indian Navy & the Royal Thai Navy.
About Thailand:
Capital – Bangkok
Currency – Thai baht
Prime Minister – Prayut Chan-o-cha

UNDP Report Lauds India’s Aspirational Districts Programme

The Independent appraisal report ‘Aspirational Districts Programme: An Appraisal’ released by United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) India, has appreciated India’s Aspirational Districts Programme (ADP) as ‘a very successful model of local area development’ and stated that it can be a best practice for other parts of the world, where regional disparities in development status exist. The UNDP has appreciated ADP after analysing its 49 Indicators across 5 key sectors of ADP – health and nutrition; education; agriculture and water resources; basic infrastructure; and skill development and financial inclusion. The report is based on quantitative analysis of publicly available data, interviews with stakeholders (such as district magistrates, central prabhari officers and others)
About United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
Administrator – Achim Steiner
Headquarters – New York, USA


BSE set up Entity ‘BASL’ to Administer, Supervise Activities of SEBI-RIA

Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), Asia’s 1st & the world’s fastest Stock Exchange, has set up its wholly-owned subsidiary company named – ‘BSE Administration & Supervision Ltd (BASL)’ for carrying out the administration and supervision activities of all SEBI (Securities and Exchange Board of India)- Registered Investment Advisors (RIA). BASL has received recognition from SEBI to administer and supervise investment advisors (IAs) registered with SEBI. All existing SEBI-registered IAs and new applicants desirous of obtaining registration as investment advisor will be required to register with BASL as a member. BASL members will be supervised and administered in accordance with the capital markets regulator SEBI’s rules.
About Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE):
Establishment – 1875
Headquarters – Mumbai, Maharashtra
Chairman – Justice Vikramajit Sen
MD & CEO – Ashishkumar Chauhan

SEBI Barred Franklin Templeton AMC and Vivek Kudva From Markets

The market regulator SEBI(Securities and Exchange Board of India) barred Franklin Templeton Asset Management Company from launching certain debt schemes for two years and fined Rs.5 crore for violating regulatory norms and asked it to pay Rs 517 crore to wind up six debt schemes.
Also Vivek Kudva, former head of Asia Pacific (APAC) for Franklin Templeton, and his wife Roopa were also banned from the securities market for one year and were imposed a penalty of Rs.7 crore for redeeming units of Franklin Templeton MF schemes while in possession of non-public information.

Bank of Maharashtra Tops PSU Banks in Terms of Loan, Deposit Growth in FY21

As per the data published by the Bank of Maharashtra (BoM), it emerged as the top performer among Public Sector Undertaking (PSU) banks in terms of loan and deposit growth in FY21. BoM recorded a 13.45 percent increase in gross advances at Rs 1.07 lakh crore in FY21. Followed by BoM, Punjab & Sind Bank posted 8.39 percent growth in advances with aggregate loans at Rs 67,811 crore in FY21.
About Bank of Maharashtra (BoM):
Establishment – Incorporated in 1935, Commenced Operations in 1936
Headquarters – Pune, Maharashtra
MD & CEO – A.S Rajeev
Tagline – One Family One Bank

RBI Extended RBIA System to Select HFCs

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) extended the Risk-Based Internal Audit (RBIA) system for all deposit-taking Housing Finance Companies (HFCs), irrespective of their size, and for non-deposit taking HFCs with asset size of Rs 5,000 crore and above to enhance the quality and effectiveness of their internal audit system. The HFCs are directed by RBI to implement the RBIA framework by June 30, 2022. The RBIA system was earlier imposed on Non-Banking Financial Companies (NBFCs) and Primary (Urban) Co-operative Banks (UCBs).
About Reserve Bank of India (RBI):
i.It was established on the recommendation of the Hilton Young Commission.
ii.The First Governor of RBI was Sir Osborne Smith (1935 – 1937).
iii.The First Indian Governor of RBI was CD Deshmukh (1943 – 1949).
iv.Manmohan Singh is the only Prime Minister to have also served as the Governor of RBI ((1982 – 1985).
v.The First woman deputy Governor of RBI was KJ Udeshi.

SBI Launched ‘Kavach Personal Loan’ – Scheme for COVID-19 Treatment

State Bank of India (SBI) has introduced a collateral-free offering scheme called ‘Kavach Personal Loan’ to provide financial assistance to its customers to manage the COVID-19 treatment-related expenses. Under the term loan, the customers could avail collateral-free personal loan ranging from Rs 25,000 to Rs 5 lakh at an interest rate of 8.5 percent per annum for 60 months which is inclusive of 3 months moratorium. The loan covers expenses of COVID-19 treatment of self and family members of the customer who are found COVID-19 Positive on or after April 1, 2021 The scheme also has no processing fee and the loan has to be repaid in 57 EMIs (equated monthly installments), including interest charged during Moratorium.
About State Bank of India(SBI):
Establishment – 1st July 1955
Headquarters – Mumbai, Maharashtra
Chairman – Dinesh Kumar Khara
Tagline – The Banker to Every Indian

RBI’s New Rules over ATM: Hike in Interchange Fee, Customer Charge

As per the recommendations of the Committee on automated teller machines (ATM) Pricing headed by VG Kannan, under Section 10(2) read with Section 18 of the Payment and Settlement Systems Act, 2007 (Act 51 of 2007), the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has made certain modifications over the ATM interchange fee, Free transaction limit and Customer charges.
RBI’s Modifications in Brief:
i.Interchange Fee: RBI has increased the interchange fee that banks could charge on ATM per transaction from Rs 15 to Rs 17 for financial transactions, and from Rs 5 to Rs 6 for non-financial transactions in all centres. This could be effective from August 1, 2021.
About Automated Teller Machine (ATM):
i.An ATM is a computerised machine that provides customers of banks the facility of accessing their accounts for dispensing cash and to carry out other financial & non-financial transactions without the need to visit the bank branch.
ii.Types of ATM: White Label ATMs (WLAs), Green Label ATMs, Orange label ATMs, Pink Label ATMs, Yellow Label ATMs, Brown Label ATMs, Biometric ATM, Onsite ATMs, Offsite ATMs.


French Open 2021 Final: Novak Djokovic claims 19th Grand Slam, defeats Stefanos Tsitsipas

Novak Djokovic won a 19th Grand Slam title and became the first man to win all four majors twice after coming back from two sets down to win against Stefanos Tsitsipas in the French Open final on June 13, 2021.

The 34-year-old Djokovic beat Tsitsipas 6-7 (6_, 2-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-4 in the French Open final. The 22-year-old Tsitsipas had a good start early maybe because Djokovic was drained from the semi-final with 13-time French Open champion Nadal that lasted for more than four hours on Friday, June 11.

Djokovic is now only major away from reaching the record of 20 that Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer both hold.

ICC inducts 10 cricketers in ICC Hall of Fame: Check out Full List

The International Cricket Council inducted ten new cricketers into the ICC Hall of Fame on June 13, 2021. The new inductees include four special inductees.

Each of the ten cricketers belong to a different era in cricket. Legendary Indian cricketer Vinoo Mankad is among the ten ICC Hall of Fame inductees for 2021. He was the first Indian to score 1000 test runs and take 100 test wickets.
ICC Hall of Fame 2021 Inductees: Check Full List
1. Aubrey Faulkner: The great South Africa all-rounder, Aubrey Faulkner was the first Hall of Fame inductee. He has played 25 tests for the Proteas and scored 1,754 runs and taken 82 wickets. He was known as one of the pioneers of googly. He was the only cricketer to head both the MRF Tyres ICC Batting and Bowling rankings in Test cricket.

2. Learie Constantine: The West Indies Legend, Sir Learie Constantine, played 18 Tests, scored 635 runs and took 58 wickets. He is regarded as one of the first great West Indies all-rounders.

3. Ted Dexter: The England cricketer played 62 Tests, scored 4,502 runs and took 66 wickets. He was known as Lord Ted because of the way he imposed himself on the crease. His most memorable innings was when he scored 70 off 75 balls against the West Indies at the Lord's in 1963 when he almost dismantled the formidable West Indian bowling unit.

4. Vinoo Mankad: The Indian cricketer played 44 Tests and scored 2,109 runs and took 162 wickets. He was an opening batsman and slow left arm orthodox bowler. He is known as one of India’s greatest all-rounders and finest left-arm spinner ever. He is one of the only three players in the history of test cricket to have batted in all 11 positions. His most memorable innings was when he scored 72 and 184 runs and bowled almost 97 overs in the match against England at Lord's in 1952.

5. Desmond Haynes: The West Indies cricketer played 116 Tests and scored 7,487 runs. He is one of the very few cricketers to have scored a century on an ODI debut. His highest Test innings was 184 runs against England in 1980. The magnificent player formed one-half of the most prolific opening batting partnership in Test history alongside Gordon Greenidge. In the era of

6. Andy Flower: The Zimbabwe cricket legend played 63 Tests and scored 4,794 runs and took 151 catches with nine stumpings. He was a left-handed wicket-keeper batsman. He is the best batsman that Zimbabwe has ever seen. He is also known as the Bradman of Zimbabwe. He was a part of the Zimbabwe group of players, who took their nation's cricket to the next level. He was ranked no.1 batsman in the world at one point. He is the first Zimbabwe player to be inducted in the ICC Hall of Fame.

ICC Hall of Fame 2021 Special Inductees
1. Monty Noble: The Australian legend played 42 Tests and scored 1,997 runs and took 121 wickets. He was known as one of the greatest Australian all-rounders. He was called by Wisden as a batsman of great style and execution almost without any weaknesses. He still holds the record of being the fastest Australian to achieve 1,000 runs and 100 wicket Test double.

2. Stan McCabe: The Australian cricketer played 39 Tests and scored 2,748 runs and took 36 wickets. He was only 28 when he played the last of his test matches in 1938. He is one of the most players whose career would have been astonishing had it not been interrupted by the Second World War, as per ICC. He played three memorable test inning, which are still talked about 90 years down in glowing terms.

3. Bob Willis: The England cricketer played 90 Tests and took 325 wickets.He is known as one of the best fast bowlers in the world. He spearheaded the English bowling attack during some of their most memorable moments.He had a very unusual runup. He along with Ian Bothom made a lethal combination of fast bowlers. His most memorable innings came in Headingley in 1981 when he took 8 wickets for 43 runs.

4. Kumar Sangakkar: The veteran Sri Lankan wicketkeeper-batsman played a total of 134 tests, 404 ODIs and 56 T20Is and scored 28,016 runs across all formats in a career that spanned 15 years. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest wicketkeeper-batsman in the history of cricket. He has been one of the top 3 batsmen in ICC rankings across all 3 formats of the game at various stages during his international career. At retirement, he was the second-highest run-scorer in ODI cricket, next only to Sachin Tendulkar, and the sixth-highest run-scorer in Test cricket.


NII Gets Trademark For India’s First Indigenous Tumor Antigen SPAG9

A New Delhi-based National Institute of Immunology (NII), an Autonomous Institute of Department of Biotechnology (DBT) has received the ASPAGNIITM trademark for India’s First Indigenous Tumor Antigen SPAG9 In 1998,The SPAG9 antigen was discovered by Dr Anil Suri who heads the Cancer Research Programme at the NII. At present, ASPAGNIITM is being used in dendritic cell(DC) based immunotherapy in cervical, ovarian cancer and it will also be used in breast cancer.

Firmina – World’s Longest undersea cable built by Google

Google announced its plan of connecting the United States of America (USA) with South American countries by constructing an Open subsea cable. The subsea cable was named as “Firmina” honouring Brazil’s 1st poet ‘Maria Firmina dos Reis’.
i.It is the World’s longest subsea cable, which is capable of fully operating through a single power source, in case if other power sources become temporarily unavailable
ii.Firmina will be connecting the East Coast of the USA with Las Toninas, Argentina, and additional landings in Praia Grande, Brazil, and Punta del Este, Uruguay.
About Google:
Alphabet is the parent company of Google
Established – September 1998
Founders – Larry Page & Sergey Brin
CEO – Sundar Pichai

China launches Four Satellites into Planned Orbits

China launched 4 satellites into planned orbits aboard the Long March-2D rocket from the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center in Northern Shanxi Province. The satellites will be used for ecological environment monitoring, asteroid resource exploration, disaster prevention and mitigation among others. The 4 satellites are Beijing-3 (BJ-3), HISEA-2 (HS-2), Yangwang-1 (YW-1) and Tianjin (TJ). It was the 373rd flight mission of the Long March rocket series.
About China National Space Administration (CNSA):
Administrator – Zhang Kejian
Headquarters – Beijing, China

PCHFL Received NCLT Approval To Acquire DHFL

Piramal Capital and Housing Finance (PCHF), a subsidiary of Piramal Enterprises (PE), received approval from the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) to acquire Dewan Housing Finance Corporation Ltd. (DHFL) for Rs 37,250 crore with certain conditions. Earlier in February 2021, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) approved the resolution plan of PE to acquire DHFL through PCHF with a total payment of around Rs 35,000 crores and it further referred DHFL to NCLT.
Note – PCHF also got approval from the Competition Commission of India (CCI) in May 2021.

UNGA President-elect Appointed Indian Diplomat K Nagaraj Naidu as Chef de Cabinet

Abdulla Shahid, Foreign Minister of Maldives and the president-elect of the 76th United Nations General Assembly(UNGA) appointed Indian Diplomat Kakanur Nagaraj Naidu, India’s Ambassador/Deputy Permanent Representative of Permanent Mission of India to the United Nations(UN) as his Chef de Cabinet. He has also appointed Maldives Diplomat Thilmeeza Hussain as the Special Envoy of the President of the General Assembly (PGA).

Akshay Kumar Becomes Brand Ambassador of Mylab Discovery Solutions

Bollywood Actor Akshay Kumar has been appointed as the Brand Ambassador of Biotechnology firm Mylab Discovery Solutions. As an ambassador, Akshay Kumar will educate people about the use, safety, and efficacy of products and make them equipped to fight against COVID. The popularity of Akshay Kumar among people will help in creating awareness about the company’s instruments and kits for laboratories and individuals.
Note: Akshay Kumar is also the brand ambassador of various companies like Honda, PolicyBazaar, Livguard Energy, Harpic, Dollar, etc
About My lab Discovery Solutions:
My lab Discovery Solutions is a Indian molecular biology company,which has a presence across many verticals like diagnostics, food safety, agriculture, veterinary medicine.
It had recently launched India’s first COVID-19 self-test kit, CoviSelf.
Managing director and co-founder: Hasmukh Rawal

Henri Marie Dondra Appointed as Prime Minister of Central African Republic

Former finance minister Henri Marie Dondra has been appointed as Prime Minister of the Central African Republic(CAR).He will succeed Firmin Ngrebada .
About Henri Marie Dondra:
i.Henri Marie Dondra has a good knowledge of international finance and aid programmes and played an important role in the development of CAR.
ii.He served as the finance minister of CAR and was working with President Faustin Archange Touadera
About Central African Republic(CAR):
President: Faustin Archange Touadera
Currency: Central African CFA franc

IAMAI Appointed Former Justice Arjan Kumar Sikri to Chair GBR for Online Curated Content

The Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) has appointed former Supreme Court Justice Arjan Kumar Sikri to chair the Grievance Redressal Board (GRB), a part of the Digital Publisher Content Grievances Council (DPCGC).
Purpose: To address the content grievances related to the video online streaming services of the council members.
Council members of DPCGC: At present, the DPCGC has 14 publishers of online curated content as council members which include Amazon Prime Video, Alt Balaji, Apple, BookMyShow Stream, Eros Now, Firework TV, Hoichoi, Hungama, Lionsgate Play, MX Player, Netflix, Reeldrama, Shemaroo and Ullu.
About Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI):
The Internet & Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) is a not-for-profit industry body registered under the Societies Registration Act, 1860
Chairman– Amit Agarwal
President– Subho Ray
Headquarters– Mumbai, Maharashtra

Winners of 2021 Pulitzer Prizes Announced: The Night Watchman, Malcolm X biography won Arts Pulitzer

The winners of the 2021 Pulitzer Prizes for Journalism, Books, Drama and Music were announced over a virtual ceremony.
The winners of the 2021 Pulitzer prize constitute the 105th class of Pulitzer Prize winners.
Aminda (Mindy) Marqués González and Stephen Engelberg were the co-chair of the Pulitzer Prize board.

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