Current Affairs

14 April, 2021


New Zealand introduces World’s 1st Climate Change Law for Financial Sector

New Zealand becomes the 1st country in the world to introduce a Climate Change Law for regulating the Financial Sector. As per the new law, All banks, insurers, investment managers with total asset value greater than NZ$1 billion (USD 703 million) shall report the impacts of climate change on their investments to the government.
i.The law will be passed by 2022 & Companies have to submit the report by 2023.
ii.Previously, New Zealand has set targets to provide carbon-neutral public transport by 2025 & procure only zero-emissions public transport buses.
The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in its 2015 Paris Conference, introduced the “Climate Action Plan 2050” that targets reducing the global temperature by 1.5 degree Celsius.
About New Zealand:
President – Jacinda Ardern
Capital – Wellington
Currency – New Zealand dollar
Some Active Volcanoes in New Zealand: Whakaari/White Island, Mount Tarawera, Mount Tongariro

India participates in Multinational Military Exercise ‘Shantir Ogroshena 2021’ held in Bangladesh

The Indian Army participated in the Multinational Military Exercise ‘Shantir Ogroshena 2021’ (Front Runner of Peace) held at Bangabandhu Senanibas (BBS), Bangladesh from April 4-12, 2021. It is an UN-mandated Counterterrorism exercise.
About Indian Army:
Chief of the Army Staff– Manoj Mukund Naravane
Headquarters– New Delhi

Bharti Global backed OneWeb signs MoU with Kazakhstan to Accelerate connectivity services

United Kingdom (UK) based OneWeb, a Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite communications operator, co-owned by Bharti Global has signed an MoU with the Kazakhstan Government and other subsidiaries for accelerating connectivity services in the country commemorating the 60th Anniversary of Yuri Gagarin’s first human spaceflight. The MoU also aims to Digitize Kazakhstan’s economy & assist Kazakhstan to become a pioneer in the latest satellite communications technologies. OneWeb’s partnership with the Government of Kazakhstan began in 2020. The first wave of network demonstrations by OneWeb in Kazakhstan is scheduled to be held by June 2021.
About OneWeb
CEO – Neil Masterson
Chairman – Sunil Bharti Mittal
About Kazakhstan
Prime Minister – Askar Mamin
Capital – Nur-Sultan
Currency – Kazakhstani Tenge (KZT)


India approves Use of Russia’s Sputnik V Covid-19 Vaccine

Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) has approved the use of Russia’s Covid-19 vaccine, “Sputnik V” in India, to tackle the 2nd Wave of the virus spread in India. With this approval, India has 3 Covid-19 vaccines – Covaxin, Covishield and Sputnik-V. Sputnik-V is manufactured in India by Hyderabad based Dr Reddy’s Laboratories. Covishield is manufactured in India by Serum Institute of India, Pune & developed by Oxford-AstraZeneca. India’s indigenous vaccine “Covaxin” is manufactured by Bharat Biotech in collaboration with ICMR – National Institute of Virology.

VP M.Venkaiah Naidu releases commemorative postage stamp of Rajyogini Dadi Janki

Vice President(VP) M Venkaiah Naidu released a commemorative postage stamp on the memory of Rajyogini Dadi Janki, the former Chief of Brahma Kumaris commemorating her Spiritual works & fight social evils like gender discrimination, casteism and communalism at New Delhi. The VP highlighted that Brahma Kumaris are a unique religion that is headed by Women. Brahma Kumaris is one of India’s newest religions, formed as a result of the spiritual movement started in Hyderabad in the 1930’s.

NITI Aayog’s AIM & Denmark sign SoI for promoting Innovation & Entrepreneurship

Atal Innovation Mission (AIM), NITI Aayog & Embassy of Denmark signed a Statement of Intent (SoI) for promoting innovation and entrepreneurship among aspiring entrepreneurs in India. The SoI was signed at the premises of NITI Aayog in New Delhi and is part of the Indo-Danish Bilateral Green
About Denmark:
Prime Minister – Mette Frederiksen
Capital – Copenhagen
Currency – Krone


Punjab National Bank launches digital initiative PNB@Ease

Punjab national bank(PNB) launched a digital initiative PNB@Ease to commemorate 127 years of their service to the nation. This service is set to be activated across 165 identified locations across India.
About PNB@Ease:
i.This new initiation will bring a “Banking-on-the-Go” model. Using this, customers themselves can make every transaction undertaken by a bank branch.
ii.All kinds of services can be availed such as from opening a savings account to apply for various kinds of loans without visiting a branch.
iii.PNB @Ease outlets will be loaded with five Kiosks i.e. ATM, Bunch Note Acceptor, Account Opening Kiosk, Card Issuance Kiosk, and internet-enabled Kiosk.
About Punjab National Bank(PNB):
Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer: S.S.Mallikarjuna Rao
Headquarters: NewDelhi
Tagline: The Name you can bank upon

SEBI has Revised the Reporting Formats for Mutual Funds

Based on the consultation from the industry, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has revised the reporting formats for mutual funds with new guidelines. The guidelines are for the reports which will be submitted by asset management companies (AMCs) to trustees, by AMCs to SEBI, and by trustees to the SEBI. SEBI has discontinued the bi-monthly and half-yearly basis submission of the compliance certificate by an AMC to the trustees and added both the reports in their quarterly report.
About Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI):
Establishment – On April 12, 1992, in accordance with the Securities and Exchange Board of India Act, 1992.
Headquarters – Mumbai, Maharashtra
Chairman – Ajay Tyagi

Beneficiaries of Government Welfare Scheme Can Open ‘Basic Savings Account’ in Post Office

In exercise of the powers conferred under Section 3A of the Government Savings Promotion Act 1873(5 of 1873) Finance Ministry has amended the Post Office Savings Account Scheme, 2019 & the Scheme was named as “Post Office Savings Account (Amendment) Scheme, 2021″. Under this amendment, the government had reduced the Account Maintenance Fee from ₹100 to ₹50 and also announced the facility for a beneficiary of the Government welfare scheme to open a Basic Savings Account in the Post office which is similar to “Basic Savings Bank Deposit Account” (BSBDA). Until now BSBDA will be opened in a scheduled commercial bank or Indian Post Payment Bank.

YES Bank implemented its first SOFR linked trade transaction

YES Bank executed its first Secured Overnight Financing Rate (SOFR) linked trade borrowing transaction from an American Lender Wells Fargo Bank. The borrowing is intended to provide further impetus to the bank’s export finance business. This is an on-balance sheet transaction and the first onshore foreign currency borrowing on the SOFR benchmark. This transaction is a part of YES bank’s benchmark transition management plan and this borrowing will support the bank for a transition to the new Alternate Reference Rates (ARRs) as the USD LIBOR (London Inter-Bank Offered Rate), is going to be phased out by the end of 2021.


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NITI Aayog launches India Energy Dashboards Version 2.0

In April 2021, National Institution for Transforming India (NITI) Aayog launched the 2nd Version of India Energy Dashboards (IED) to strengthen India’s Central Energy database. IED is a single-window portal for India’s Energy data, it provides comprehensive data on sector wise energy supply & demand.

Piyush Goyal launches ‘e-SANTA’ Web Portal for Aqua Farmers

Union Minister of Commerce & Industry Piyush Goyal virtually inaugurated the web portal called ‘e-SANTA’ (Electronic Solution for Augmenting NaCSA farmers’ Trade in Aquaculture). It is an electronic marketplace providing a platform to connect Aqua Farmers and the Buyers (both at National & International levels). e-SANTA is a completely paperless and end-to-end trade platform. It is an initiative of NaCSA (National Centre for Sustainable Aquaculture) which is an extension of the Marine Products Export Development Authority (MPEDA), Ministry of Commerce & Industry. The portal will help farmers to get a better price for their products & will enable exporters to directly purchase quality products from the farmers. One of the major aims behind the launch of the portal is to eliminate middlemen.
About National Centre for Sustainable Aquaculture (NaCSA):
Established Year – 2007
CEO – K. Shanmukha Rao
Location – Kakinada, Andhra Pradesh

China opens 5G Signal base at Ganbala radar station, World’s Highest Radar Station

China opened its 5G Signal base at the World’s Highest Radar Station, “Ganbala radar station” which is located at a height of 5,374 meters, in the remote Himalayas of China’s Tibet autonomous region.
i.Stable high-speed 5G connectivity can be accessed by Soldiers of Chinese army, which will help them to be in-touch with the global information society.
ii.People’s Liberation Army of China constructed the 5G signal station at Ganbala, which is located in Tibetian border with India & Bhutan.
About China:
President – Xi Jinping
Capital – Beijing
Currency – Yuan or Renminbi

Piyush Goyal launches DGFT ‘Trade Facilitation App’ for promoting Ease of Doing Business

Union Minister of Commerce & Industry Piyush Goyal launched the DGFT (Directorate General of Foreign Trade) ‘Trade Facilitation’ Mobile App for promoting Ease of Doing Business (EoDB) in India and providing quick access to information to importers/exporters. It is an initiative of DGFT.
i.The app has been developed by Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) as per directions of DGFT.
ii.Piyush Goyal stated that the Trade Facilitation App is READY for Industry 4.0, as it provides Real-time trade policy updates, notifications, application status alert, tracking help requests Explore item-wise Export-Import policy & statistics, Track IEC (Importer-Exporter Code) Portfolio Artificial Intelligence (AI) based 24X7 assistance for trade queries
About Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT):
It is an attached office of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry and is responsible for formulating and implementing the foreign trade policy of India.
Director-General – Amit Yadav
Headquarters – New Delhi

CCI Approved the Acquisition of 60% Stake in Magma Fincorp by Rising Sun Holdings

Competition Commission of India (CCI) approved the acquisition of 60% stake holdings in Magma Fincorp Limited (Magma Fincorp) by Rising Sun Holdings Private Limited (Rising Sun) and Sanjay Chamria and Mayank Poddar has acquired an additional 4.68 percent stake.
This Rs.3456 crore deal enables the Rising Sun to acquire the controlling stakes in Magma Fincorp.
Note: The Rising sun holdings ltd is a part of the Rising Sun Group of Companies of Adar Poonawalla, the CEO of Serum Institute of India(SII). The rising sun is in the financial service sector through its subsidiary, Poonawalla Finance Private Limited, a non-deposit taking non-banking finance company (NBFC).

ACC approves to Extend the Tenure Arun Kumar DG of DGCA By 6 Months

The Appointment Committee of the Cabinet(ACC) headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has approved the extension in the tenure of Arun Kumar, IAS as the Director General(DG)of Directorate General of Civil Aviation(DGCA) for a period of 6 months beyond 20th April 2021 or until further orders.
About Directorate General of Civil Aviation(DGCA):
i.Directorate General of Civil Aviation(DGCA), an attached office of MoCA, is the regulatory body in the field of Civil Aviation that deals with safety issues.
ii.It is also responsible for the regulation of air transport services to, from or within India.
Director-General– Arun Kumar
Headquarters– New Delhi

Former Banker Guillermo Lasso won the Presidential Election of Ecuador

Guillermo Lasso(65-year-old) former banker won Ecuador’s 2021 presidential election after his opponent Andrés Arauz, a socialist economist conceded. He will become the 47th President of Ecuador. Lasso had won around 52 percent of the vote and Andrés Arauz got around 47 percent
He will take over the presidency from the incumbent Lenín Moreno and assume office on 24th May 2021.
About Ecuador:
President- Lenín Moreno
President-Elect– Guillermo Lasso
Currency- United States Dollar
Capital- Quito

President Ram Nath Kovind Appointed Sushil Chandra as 24th CEC of India

i.President Ram Nath Kovind appointed Senior-most Election Commissioner, Sushil Chandra as the 24th Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) of India. He succeeds Sunil Arora whose tenure ended on 12th April 2021. Sushil Chandra will assume charge on April 13, 2021. His tenure will end in Mid 2022.
ii.He was appointed in pursuance of clause (2) of Article 324 of the Constitution of India.
iii.Prior to the appointment, Sushil Chandra was serving as the Election Commissioner from February 15, 2019 after retiring as the chairman of the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT).
About Election Commission of India:
Formation: 25 January 1950
Headquarters: New Delhi

HAL Won ISTD’s National Award for Innovative Training Practices

i.Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), a central public sector undertaking based in Bengaluru, Karnataka has won the National Award for Innovation Training Practices 2019-2020 at the 30th National Award Ceremony organized by the Indian Society for Training and Development(ISTD) in New Delhi.
ii.The award recognizes the HAL’s effort to achieve excellence in the area of training and development.
iii.The National Award for Innovative Training Practices is an annual award instituted by the ISTD to recognize the organisations which have adopted innovative practices on human resources development in their organisation.
About Indian Society for Training and Development(ISTD):
President- Dr Nataraj Ray
Established in– 1970
Location– New Delhi

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