Current Affairs

13 May, 2021

International

Around 219 Endangered Species threatened by armed conflict : IUCN Report

According to the report ‘Nature in a Globalised World: Conflict & Conservation’ released by International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) – Civil unrest and military exercises pose high risk to 219 Endangered Species (out of 30, 178 species assessed as threatened on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species). Notable among them are the Critically-endangered Eastern Gorilla & Elephant populations.The report is the 1st in IUCN’s Nature in a globalised world report series. It examines the close relation between the environment and armed conflict,warning that human violence and unrest were taking a huge toll on nature.
About International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN):
President – Zhang Xinsheng
Director General – Bruno Oberle
Headquarters – Gland, Switzerland

India’s Renewable Capacity Addition falls by 50% to 5.62 GW in 2020 : IEA

According to the new report ‘Renewable Energy Market Update – Outlook for 2021 and 2022’ released by International Energy Agency (IEA), India’s Renewable Energy capacity addition declined by almost 50% to 5.62 GigaWatts (GW) in 2020 (compared to 2019).
i.The decline in capacity addition in India has been attributed to the COVID-19 pandemic.
ii.At the Global level, the annual renewable capacity additions increased 45% to almost 280 GW (up from 190 GW in 2019), which is the highest year-on year increase since 1999. China alone accounted for more than 50% of the green energy projects built in 2020. The 280 GW renewable energy capacity addition in 2020 comprised primarily Solar – 135 GW, Wind – 115 GW, Hydro – 20 GW, and 10 GW of other renewables.
About International Energy Agency (IEA)
Executive Director – Dr Fatih Birol
Headquarters – Paris, France
Members Countries – 30 member countries and 8 association countries.

National

Area of Summer Crops Increased by 21.58% in 2021

Area of Cultivation of Summer Crops increased by 21.58% in 2021 from 2020. i.e.Summer crops were Cultivated in 80.02 lakh hectares in 2021 as against 65.82 lakh hectares in 2020.
i.The Increase in the area of summer crops is mainly due to the sharp increase in cultivation of pulses area. Pulses were sowed in 17.75 lakh hectares in 2021 as against 10.49 lakh hectares in 2020, which is a rise of almost 70% in cultivation area.
ii.Cultivation area of Oilseeds increased by 12.05% from 9.58 lakh hectares in 2020 to 10.74 lakh hectare in 2021. Cultivation area of Rice increased by 15.52% from 35.13 lakh hectares in 2020 to 39.43 lakh hectare in 2021.

MNRE announces new Guidelines for Implementation of CPSU Scheme Phase-II

The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has released new guidelines for implementation of Central Public Sector Undertaking (CPSU) Scheme Phase-II (Government Producer Scheme). It has revised the Maximum Tariff & reduced the Maximum Permissible Viability Gap Funding (VGF) under the scheme.The scheme aims to set up 12, 000 MW grid-connected Solar PV power projects which will be produced by Government Producers.
About Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE)
Minister of State (Independent Charge) – Raj Kumar Singh (Lok Sabha – Arrah, Bihar)

Economy

Moody’s cut India’s growth forecast for FY21 to 9.3%; Care Ratings cut it to 9.2%

Moody’s Investors Service reduced India’s growth forecast for FY21 to 9.3 percent from 13.7 percent (February 2021’s forecast). It has increased the growth projection for FY22 to 7.9 0
i.It has a ‘Baa3’ rating on India with a negative outlook, due to the barrier over economic growth, high debt and weak financial system due to COVID1-19.
ii.The rating agency also hiked its expected general government fiscal deficit to 11.8 percent of GDP in FY22, compared with the previous forecast of 10.8 per cent.
About India’s growth forecast by Care Ratings:
The domestic rating agency, Care Ratings revised its GDP growth forecast for FY22 to 9.2 percent from 10.2 percent.
i.This is the 4th revision by the rating agency in its GDP growth forecast for FY22 since March 2021.
ii.It has stated the growth of 3.3-3.5 percent in the agriculture sector, 9.5-10 percent in the industry sector, and 9-9.5 percent in the services sector.
About Care Ratings:
Establishment – April 1993
Headquarters – Mumbai, Maharashtra
MD & CEO – Mr. Ajay Mahajan

Nomura cut India’s FY22 Growth Forecast to 10.8%; Crisil Forecasted at a range of 9.8 – 8.2%

Due to lockdowns under COVID-19, Nomura revised India’s GDP growth forecast on May 11, 2021, for the FY22 fiscal to 10.8 percent from 12.6 percent following a contraction of 7.6 percent in FY21. It stated the further decline in the activity levels of India to 64.5% of the pre-pandemic levels.
About CRISIL’s forecast on India’s Growth:
CRISIL (Credit Rating Information Services of India Limited) has estimated India’s growth estimation to be “firmly tilted downwards” in the range of 9.8-8.2% in FY22 from 11 percent. (Due to the second wave of Covid-19, Crisil estimated the 9.8 percent growth in May-end and 8.2 percent in June-end). It has retained the revenue growth estimate for India at 15 percent for FY22. Projected the CPI inflation to cool down to 5 percent in FY22.
About CRISIL (Credit Rating Information Services of India Limited):
CRISIL is an Indian analytical company providing ratings, research, and risk and policy advisory services
MD & CEO – Ashu Suyash
Headquarters – Mumbai, Maharashtra
Parent Company – Standard & Poor’s (S&P)

India’s GDP to grow 7.5% in 2021, 10.1% in 2022: UN

In its mid-year report of the World Economic Situation and Prospects (WESP), United Nations(UN) has increased India’s GDP growth forecast for the calendar year 2021 to 7.5 percent, a 0.2 percent increase from its earlier projection (January 2021 projection – 7.3 percent) following a contraction of 6.8 percent (-6.8) in 2020. The report forecasted India’s GDP to grow at 10.1 percent in 2022, becoming the fastest-growing major economy in the world.
About United Nation(UN):
Headquarters – Newyork, United States
Members states – 193
Secretary-General – Antonio Manuel de Oliveira Guterres

Farmizo Khata-Small Farm Accounting App by SBI Yono and Shivrai Technologies

Shivrai Technologies partnered with leading digital banking platform, Yono SBI to launch a B2C Farm accounting mobile application, Farmizo Khata. This free-of-cost application helps to make wiser purchase, harvest, and production decisions. This will allow them to focus on their costs incurred, as well as the bookkeeping of total profits that are in line. The aim to help farmers across the country to manage their accounts efficiently, thus cutting down on losses

Google Pay launches International Money Transfers for US users

Google Pay has launched International Money Transfers for its United States (US) users, it has launched the initiative in partnership with remittance firms – Wise, and Western Union Co. Using the feature, Google Pay users in the US can transfer money to app customers in India & Singapore. Google is planning to expand the feature to around 80 countries through Wise, and around 100 through Western Union by the end of 2021. Google Pay has 150 million users in 40 countries, and this initiative is seen as a step to expand its financial services offering, and increase competition in the digital payments sector.
About Wise
Co-Founder & Chairman – Taavet Hinrikus
Co-Founder & CEO – Kristo Käärmann
Headquarters – London, UK
About Western Union
CEO – Hikmet Ersek
Headquarters – Denver, Colorado, US
About Google
Headquarters– California, United States
CEO – Sundar Pichai

SEBI Issued Disclosure Norms on BRSR Reporting for Top 1000 Listed Companies

Under Section 11(1) of the Securities and Exchange Board of India(SEBI) Act, 1992 read with Regulation 101 of the Listing of Obligations and Disclosure Requirements (LODR), SEBI issued new disclosure norms over the Business Responsibility and Sustainability Report (BRSR), for the top 1,000 listed companies (by market capitalisation) by FY23.
Background:
i.On November 04, 2015, SEBI has prescribed the format for the Business Responsibility Report (BRR)in respect of reporting on ESG (Environment, Social and Governance) parameters.
ii.On May 05, 2021, SEBI amended the Listing of Obligations and Disclosure Requirements (LODR) rules and decided to introduce new reporting requirements on ESG parameters called – BRSR (sustainability-related reporting).
About Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI):
Establishment – 1992
Headquarters – Mumbai, Maharashtra
Chairman – Ajay Tyagi

Geojit Partners with PNB to Provide 3-in-1 Account

Geojit Financial Services has entered into an agreement with the Punjab National Bank (PNB) to provide the advantage of a three-in-one account to the customers of PNB. (The Three Accounts are, Savings Account,a Demat Account and a Trading Account).
About Geojit Financial Services
Headquarters:Kochi,Kerala
Managing Director(MD) & Chief Executive Officer(CEO):C.J.George
About Punjab National Bank(PNB):
Establishment:May 19,1894 (Commenced Banking Operation from 12 April, 1895)
Managing Director(MD) & Chief Executive Officer(CEO):S.S.Mallikarjuna Rao
Headquarters:New Delhi
Tagline:The name you can bank upon

Sports

Boria Majumdar and Gautam Bhattacharya Authored a Book titled “1971: The Beginning of India’s Cricketing Greatness”

A Book titled “1971: The Beginning of India’s Cricketing Greatness” by Boria Majumdar and Gautam Bhattacharya will be published by HarperCollins. It is the story of a young country (India)ready and eager to make an impression on the world stage.
About the Book:
This Book is a thrilling account of the 1971 twin tours, that brings to life the on-field excitement and the backroom drama and it is against a canvas that features legends: Pataudi and Wadekar, who captained India to the two sensational series victories abroad
About the Authors:
i.Boria Majumdar, a Rhodes Scholar, is the author of multiple books on Indian sport and its history, and the co-author of Sachin Tendulkar’s autobiography Playing It My Way.
ii.Gautam Bhattacharya, currently the Joint Editor of Kolkata’s leading daily Sangbad Pratidin, has been a longstanding cricket writer and commentator and is the author of several books. He is the co-author of Sourav Ganguly’s book A Century is Not Enough.

Shakuntala Haraksingh Thilsted, 1st woman of Asian heritage won the World Food Prize 2021

Indian Descent Dr Shakuntala Haraksingh Thilsted, a native of Trinidad and Tobago and a citizen of Denmark, won the 2021 World Food Prize for her research, insights and innovations in developing holistic, nutrition-sensitive approaches to aquaculture and food systems. She was born in 1949 on the Caribbean island of Trinidad. She becomes the first woman of Asian heritage to receive this award. The award carries a cash prize of 250,000 USD (around Rs 1.8 crore). The award was announced by Barbara Stinson, President of the World Food Prize Foundation.
About World Food Prize Foundation:
President – Ms. Barbara Stinson
Headquarters – Des Moines, Lowa, United States of America.

Miscellaneous

NASA Spacecraft OSIRIS-REx Heads for Earth With Sample of Asteroid Bennu

National Aeronautics and Space Administration(NASA)’s Spacecraft Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security, Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx), started its 2-year long journey towards earth with the samples- rocks and dust -collected from the Asteroid Bennu. The Spacecraft will orbit the sun twice before delivering the samples to the Earth in September 2023. The Asteroid Bennu is located around 200 million miles (around 1.9 Astronomical Units) away from Earth.

CCI Approved IBM’s Restructuring Plan

The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has approved the green channel notice filed by Kyndryl Holdings LLC and Grand Ocean Managed Infrastructure Services Private Limited in relation to the internal restructuring of International Business Machines Corporation (IBM Corporation).
About IBM:
Chairman & CEO– Arvind Krishna
Headquarters– New York, United States

Bay Tree India Holdings sells over 2% stake in Yes Bank

Bay Tree India Holdings I, owned by Tilden Park has sold over 2 percent stake in YES Bank through open market transactions. Bay Tree India Holdings I LLC now has a stake of 40 percent in YES Bank.

Padmakumar Nair to Take Charge as CEO of NARCL

Padmakumar Madhavan Nair, Chief General Manager of Stressed Assets Resolution Group at State Bank of India(SBI) was selected to take charge as the Chief Executive Officer(CEO) of the National Asset Reconstruction Company Ltd (NARCL). (At present, he will be joining the company on deputation basis). NARC (the name coined for the bad bank) is expected to be operational in June,2021. It will be created in collaboration with both public and private sector banks.

IREDA Won the “Green Urja Award 2021”

Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency Limited (IREDA) under the Ministry of New & Renewable Energy (MNRE) won the Green Urja Award 2021 for its developmental role towards the Green Energy Financing. IREDA won the award for being the Leading Public Institution in Financing Institution for Renewable Energy. The award was conferred by the Indian Chamber of Commerce (ICC). Pradip Kumar Das, Chairman & Managing Director (CMD), IREDA received the award from Dr. Ajay Mathur, Director General, International Solar Alliance(ISA). IREDA is the only dedicated institution for financing Renewable Energy (RE) & Energy Efficiency (EE) projects in India.
About IREDA:
IREDA is a Mini Ratna (Category – I) Enterprise under the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE).
CMD– Pradip Kumar Das
Headquarters– New Delhi

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