Current Affairs

14 May, 2021

International

World Food Price Index Increased in April, Highest since May 2014: FAO

The Food and Agriculture Organization(FAO) Food Price Index (FFPI) has averaged 120.9 points in April 2021, which is 2 points (1.7%) higher than the FFPI in March 2021 and 28.4 points(30.8%) higher than April 2020.
This marks the 11th consecutive monthly rise in the FFPI value to its highest since May 2014. The April rise of FFPI was led by the increase in the price of sugar, followed by oils, meat, dairy and cereals. FAO Sugar Price Index averaged 100.0 points in April, up 3.8 points (3.9 percent) from March 2021;Dairy Price Index averaged 118.9 points in April, up 1.4 points (1.2 percent) from March, 2021;Meat Price Index* averaged 101.8 points in April, up 1.7 points (1.7 percent) from March, 2021. FFPI is a measure of the monthly change in the international prices of a basket of food commodities which consists of the average of five commodity group price indices weighted by the average export shares of each of the groups over 2014-2016.

China’s Population growth records Lowest rate in decades: China Census

According to the 7th census conducted by China’s National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), China’s annual population growth stood at ‘0.53%’ in the last decade (2010-20), the lowest since 1953. China’s population stood at 1.41 Billion in 2020. The report also states that 12 million babies were born in 2020 (lowest number since 1961), with the number of births falling for the 4th consecutive year. The main cause of slowing growth rate has been attributed to China’s ‘one-child policy’. China’s population is expected to reach its peak in 2025.
About China’s National Bureau of Statistics (NBS)
Commissioner – Ning Jizhe
Headquarters – Beijing

India received USD 83 Billion in Remittances in 2020, tops in Remittance Inflows: World Bank Report

According to Resilience COVID-19 Crisis Through a Migration Lens report released by the World Bank, India received USD 83 Billion as Remittances in 2020, a drop of just 0.2% from 2019 (USD 83.3 Billion in 2019). It topped the list of Low- and Middle-Income Countries with maximum Remittance Inflows, India was followed by China (USD 59.5 Billion), Mexico (USD 42.8 Billion). The officially recorded remittance flows to Low-and Middle-income countries reached USD 540 Billion in 2020, just 1.6% below 2019 total of USD 548 billion. Remittance outflow was maximum from the United States (USD 68 Billion), followed by UAE (USD 43 Billion), Saudi Arabia (USD 34.5 Billion). Remittances outflow from India in 2020 was USD 7 Billion, against USD 7.5 Billion in 2019.
Top 3 Countries with Remittance Inflows in 2020
Country Remittance Inflow
India USD 83 Billion
China USD 59.5 Billion
Mexico USD 42.8 Billion
Top 3 Countries with Remittance Outflows in 2020
Country Remittance Outflow
US USD 68 Billion
UAE USD 43 Billion
Saudi Arabia USD 34.5 Billion

National

National Bamboo Mission launches MIS Module for Strengthening Agarbatti Stick Production

National Bamboo Mission (NBM) has launched an MIS Module (Management Information Systems) for strengthening the domestic Agarbatti Industry. The module will collect data on agarbatti stick production, location of stick making units, availability of raw material, functioning of units, production capacity, marketing etc. It will help in better linkage between the industry & production units, thereby plugging all the information gaps. NBM, Ministry of Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME), Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) have come together to make India Atma Nirbhar in the Agarbatti sector. Steps are being taken to make the Indian Agarbattis go global.
About National Bamboo Mission (NBM)
Mission Director – Chhavi Jha
It comes under the Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare

India adds 12.1 GW Power Generation capacity in 2021, RE contribution stands at 64%: CEEW-CEF Report

According to the Council on Energy, Environment and Water-Centre for Energy Finance (CEEW-CEF) Market Handbook 2020-21 (Annual Issue), India added 12.1 GigaWatt (GW) power generation capacity in 2020-21, of which 7.7 GW was from renewable energy sources (64%), followed by coal/lignite (3.9 GW) segment.The share of Renewable Energy (RE) in the overall energy sector in 2020 was 10.1 %, up from 9.4% in FY 2020. India’s total power generation also increased by 1.3% in FY 2021 despite COVID-19 restrictions. In FY 2021, Overall RE generation increased by 8.5% compared to 2019.
About Council on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW)
CEO – Arunabha Ghosh
Head Office – New Delh

Cabinet Approvals on March 12, 2021

The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved several initiatives. They are
i.Production Linked Incentive (PLI) Scheme – ‘National Programme on Advanced Chemistry Cell (ACC) Battery Storage’ with an Total Outlay of INR 18, 100 Crore.
Objective – To incentivise battery makers to manufacture locally, cut import dependence, and also boost Electric Vehicle (EV) adoption.
Target – To achieve manufacturing capacity of 50 GigaWatt hour (GWh) of ACC and 5 GWh of ‘Niche’ ACC Proposed by Department of Heavy, Ministry of Heavy Industry & Public Enterprises.
It is expected to bring an investment of around INR 45, 000 Crore in ACC Battery storage manufacturing projects.
ii.Transfer of Land of ITBP (Indo Tibetan Border Police) at Mussoorie to Government of Uttarakhand for construction of Aerial Passenger Ropeway System. It will connect Dehradun & Mussoorie, estimated cost – INR 285 Crore.
About Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP)
Director General – S S Deswal
Head Office – New Delhi
About Qatar Financial Centre Authority (QFCA)
Board Member & CEO – Yousuf Mohamad Al-Jaida
Headquarters – Doha, Qatar

Economy

PayPal Introduced Digital FIRA

PayPal, the Digital payments provider, introduced an automated process to receive monthly Foreign Inward Remittance Advice (FIRA), allowing Indian merchants to download their monthly digital FIRA issued by banks.
What is FIRA?
i.It is a document that acts as proof for all inward remittances and payments received from abroad.
ii.It will be issued by Indian banks and it is required by exporters of all sizes, individual or a business (such as a limited company, partnership firm, sole proprietorship firm etc).
Benefits under Digital FIRA:
i.The digital FIRA process will be issued at zero cost and reduces time, saves money, removes friction, and eliminate the need to visit branches, thereby reducing the chances of the Covid-19.
ii.The monthly digital FIRA could be downloaded by merchants from their PayPal account. It enables Indian sellers to apply for bill closure and get tax benefits at a much faster rate.
iii.Once the FIRA is made available, the sellers will be notified via email.

Central Govt in consultation with RBI issued Sovereign Gold Bonds in 6 tranches between May and September 2021

The Government of India(GoI), in consultation with the Reserve Bank of India, has decided to issue Sovereign Gold Bonds FY22. The Sovereign Gold Bonds will be issued in 6 tranches from May 2021 to September 2021.
Channels that sell bonds:
i.The Bonds will be sold through Scheduled Commercial banks (except Small Finance Banks and Payment Banks), Stock Holding Corporation of India Limited (SHCIL), designated post offices.
ii.It will also be sold through recognised stock exchanges viz., National Stock Exchange of India Limited and Bombay Stock Exchange Limited.

RBI Extended Restrictions on Millath Co-operative Bank to August 7, 2021

Under Section 35A read with Section 56 of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949, the Reserve Bank of India(RBI), extended the restriction on Karnataka-based Millath Co-operative Bank, for 3 months i.e up to August 7, 2021.
Background:
Initially, RBI issued the restrictions (All-inclusive directions Under Section 35A) on the bank on April 26, 2019, and have been extended thereafter. It was last extended till May 7, 2021.
Restrictions:
i.Without prior approval of RBI, the bank was not allowed to make any investment, renewing of loans and advances, accepting of fresh deposits, borrowing of funds, and dispose of any of its properties or assets.
ii.A withdrawal of sum not exceeding Rs 1000 of the total balance, in current account/ other deposit account was allowed with conditions.
About Reserve Bank of India(RBI):
Establishment – 1st April 1935
Headquarters – Mumbai, Maharashtra
Governor – Shaktikanta Das
Deputy Governors – Mahesh Kumar Jain, Michael DebabrataPatra, M Rajeshwar Rao, and T Rabi Sankar

Sports

ICC Test Rankings 2021: India retains top spot in ICC Test Team Rankings, New Zealand ranks second

ICC Test Rankings 2021: India retains top spot in ICC Test Team Rankings, New Zealand ranks second Indian skipper Virat Kohli is ranked fth in the ICC Test Batting Rankings with 814 rating, followed by Rishabh Pant at sixth place with 747 rating.

Manchester City crowned 2020-21 Premier League champions

Manchester City has crowned Premier League champions for the third time in four seasons after Manchester United crashed to a 2-1 defeat against Leicester. United started the century dominating English football, now City is the force with five titles in 10 seasons and the biggest spenders on transfers and salaries.City has now won three Premier League titles and eight major trophies under Guardiola, who last year signed a new two-year contract to remain at the club until 2023.

Miscellaneous

British Diplomat Martin Griffiths Appointed as UN Humanitarian Chief

United Nations(UN) Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has appointed veteran British diplomat Martin Griffiths as the new UN humanitarian Under Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator(Chief).He succeeds Mark Lowcock, a Briton who has served as undersecretary-general for humanitarian affairs and emergency relief coordinator for four years.

Yoweri Museveni was sworn in for 6th term as the President of Uganda

Yoweri Museveni(76-year-old) of the National Resistance Movement party has sworn in for the 6th term as the President of Uganda. He took the oath of office at the ceremony held in Kampala, Uganda. He is expected to serve as the President of Uganda till 2025. He won the re-election in January 2021 with 58.6% of the vote.
About Yoweri Museveni:
i.Yoweri Museveni has been serving as the leader of Uganda since 1986. He is one of the world’s longest-serving leaders.
ii.He led the rebellion against the dictator Idi Amin in 1979.
iii.He won Uganda’s first direct presidential election and became the President in 1996.
About Uganda:
President– Yoweri Museveni
Capital- Kampala
Currency– Ugandan Shilling

CERC gives approval to start India’s 3rd Power Exchange

Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) has approved the registration to start India’s 3rd Power Exchange. The Power Exchange will be established by Pranurja Solutions Ltd, a company promoted by BSE Investments, PTC Ltd & ICICI Bank. The Power Exchange is expected to be operational by the end of 2021. The other two power exchanges in India are Indian Energy Exchange (IEX) & Power Exchange of India Ltd (PXIL). The commencement of operation of power exchange is subject to approval of laws, rules & technology in accordance with various provisions of the Power Market Regulations (PMR) 2010. PTC India & BSE Investments Lts own 22.62% each in Pranurja solutions, while ICICI Bank holds 9.04%. Rest is held by other investors like Jindal Power and others.An Power exchange facilitates sale & purchase of power through several types of contracts – day-ahead, term-ahead, renewable energy certificates, and real-time electricity market.
About Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC)
Chairperson – P.K.Pujari
Headquarters – New Delhi

Rs 455 Cr Raised by SBI Cards by Issuing Bonds

Rs 455 crore has been raised by SBI Cards and Payment Services (SBI Card) by issuing bonds.These bonds will offer coupons at 5.70 percent per annum which will mature on May 10, 2024 4,550 unsecured Non-Convertible Debentures(NCD’S) that have a fixed-rate and are taxable and redeemable has been allocated by SBI cards
About SBI Cards and Payment Services(SBI Cards):
Establishment: October 1998
Managing Director(MD) & Chief Executive Officer(CEO): Rama Mohan Rao Amara
Headquarters: Gurgaon,Haryana

SEBI Mandated Dividend Distribution Policy for Top 1,000 Listed Companies:

To strengthen the corporate governance practices and disclosure requirements, SEBI has made it must for the top 1,000 listed firms to formulate a dividend distribution policy(DDP).
About Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI):
Establishment – On April 12, 1992, in accordance with the SEBI Act, 1992.
Headquarters – Mumbai, Maharashtra
Chairman – Ajay Tyagi

SEBI Amended AIFs, Added Start-up Definition; Mandated Dividend Distribution Policy for Top 1,000 Listed Companies

Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI)has amended the alternative investment funds (AIF) norms called SEBI (AIFs) (Second Amendment) Regulations, 2021 on May 2021 to add – definition of Start-up for the investment by Angel Funds and regulations over the AIFs.
Amendments over the AIFs:
Definition of Start-up: It means a private limited company or a limited liability partnership which fulfils the criteria for a startup as specified by the Department of Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Government of India.
Exisitng Regulation Amended Regulation
Category I and II AIFs investmen is capped at 25 percent in 1 Investee Company Category I and II of AIFs investment is capped at 25 percent in an investee company directly or through investment in the units of other AIFs
Note – (Rules have been broadened to include indirect holding through another AIF)
Category III AIFs should not invest more than 10 percent in an Investee Company Category III of AIFs should not invest more than 10 percent in an Investee Company directly or through investment in units of other AIFs
Angel funds shall invest in “venture capital undertakings” Angel funds shall invest in “startups”
SEBI has also stated the scope of responsibilities of managers and members of investment committees, and prescribed a code of conduct for AIF, trustee and directors of the trustee/directors of the AIF, manager, members of the investment committee and key management personnel of AIF and manager.

Eroute Technologies Gets PPI Authorization From RBI

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has granted permission to Eroute Technologies to operate as a Prepaid Payment Instruments (PPI) company.
About Eroute Technologies
Headquarters: Noida,UttarPradesh
Managing Director(MD) and Chief Executive Officer(CEO): Sanjeev Pandey

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