Current Affairs

16 May, 2021

International

OneWeb partners with SoftBank to promote Satellite Communication Services

OneWeb (a venture backed by Sunil Mittal) has signed an Cooperative agreement with SoftBank Group Corp, a Japanese multinational holding company to promote its satellite communication services in the Global and Japan markets. The two entities will promote satellite communication services through a combination of OneWeb’s satellite services & SoftBank’s Digital Transformation (DX) platform services. They will also engage in technical and product development to enhance their competitiveness in these markets. The agreement encompasses obtaining regulatory approvals & setting up of ground stations in Japan. OneWeb currently has 182 of the 648 planned LEO satellites of its constellation in space.
About One Web
CEO – Neil Masterson
Executive Chairman – Sunil Bharti Mittal
Headquarters – London, United Kingdom
About SoftBank Group Corp
Chairman & CEO – Masayoshi Son
Headquarters – Tokyo, Japan

RBI Cancelled the Licence of United Co-operative Bank

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has cancelled the license of United Co-operative Bank Ltd., Bagnan, West Bengal in May 2021, as the bank does not have adequate capital and earning prospects to pay its present depositors in full. The bank also does not comply with the provisions of section 11(1) and section 22 (3) (d) read with section 56 of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949. Following the cancellation of the licence, the bank is prohibited from conducting the ‘banking’ business (including acceptance of deposits and repayment of deposits) (From May 13, 2021) as defined in Section 56 of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949.

aunched a Digital Platform for Gold Investment – ‘DigiGold’

Airtel Payments Bank in partnership with SafeGold, a digital gold provider, launched a digital platform called ‘DigiGold’ – for its customers to make an investment in gold.
Features of DigiGold platform:
i.Under this, Airtel Payments Bank’s saving account customers are enabled to invest in 24K gold using the Airtel Thanks app.
ii.Storage: The gold purchased under the platform will be stored by SafeGold at no additional cost.
iii.Later it could be sold through the Airtel Thanks app at any time.
Establishment – January 2017 (by Bharti Airtel)
Headquarters – New Delhi
MD & CEO – Anubrata Biswas

National

India Hosted 1st BRICS Employment Working Group Meeting in Virtual Format

The 1st BRICS Employment Working Group (EWG) Meeting in virtual format was held on 11th – 12th May 2021 in Sushma Swaraj Bhawan, New Delhi. The Meeting was hosted by India, which assumed the BRICS Presidency in 2021.
The meeting was chaired by Apurva Chandra, Secretary, Labour and Employment.
About BRICS:
Members– Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa
Current Chair– India

Environment Appraisal Committee allows Great Nicobar Plan to Advance

The Environment Appraisal Committee (EAC) – Infrastructure I of the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) has recommended NITI Aayog’s project ‘Great Nicobar Plan’ for “for grant of Terms Of Reference (TOR)” for Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) studies. The grant is one of the first steps in the environmental clearance process. Earlier, EAC had flagged concerns about the ‘Great Nicobar Plan’.
About Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC)
Union Minister – Prakash Javadekar (Rajya Sabha – Maharashtra)
Minister of State (MoS)– Babul Supriyo (Lok Sabha– Asansol, West Bengal)

Real Estate Fund SWAMIH to benefit 1.16 Lakh Home Buyers – FM Nirmala Sitharaman

Union Minister for Finance Nirmala Sitharaman has stated that the Real Estate Fund – ‘Special Window for Affordable and Mid-Income Housing (SWAMIH) Investment Fund I’ will benefit 1.16 lakh home loan borrowers, whose housing projects were stalled due to funding issues.
i.On May 13, 2021, SWAMIH Fund Completed its 1st Residential Project. The residential project – ‘Rivali Park Wintergreens’ is located in Mumbai, Maharashtra. It was also the 1st housing project in India to receive funding under the SWAMIH Fund. It was developed by CCI Projects Pvt Ltd (CCIPPL), an associate company of Cable Corporation of India Ltd.
About Ministry of Finance
Union Minister – Nirmala Sitharaman (Rajya Sabha – Karnataka)
Minister of State – Anurag Singh Thakur (Lok Sabha – Hamirpur, Himachal Pradesh)

Agriculture Ministry allocates INR 2250 Crore for Horticulture sector for FY 2021-22

The Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare (MoA&FW) has allocated INR 2250 Crore for the FY 2021-22 for ‘Mission for Integrated Development of Horticulture’ (MIDH), a centrally sponsored scheme. It aims at developing the Horticulture sector in the FY 2021-22. It will help in realizing the potential of the sector and also help in increasing Farmers income. Interventions by the Government have helped the horticulture sector to surpass agriculture production in India. During the FY 2019-20, India recorded its highest ever horticulture production of 320.77 Million Tonnes (MT) from an area of 25.66 million hectares.
About Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare (MoA&FW)
Union Minister – Narendra Singh Tomar (Morena, Madhya Pradesh)
Minister of State – Parshottam Rupala (Rajya Sabha, Gujarat), Kailash Choudhary (Barmer, Rajasthan).

Economy

EAMPL Signs MoU with Beowulf Mining to Set Up JV in Finland

Epsilon Advance Material (EAMPL), a subsidiary of Epsilon Carbon, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Beowulf Mining plc to set up a Joint Venture(JV) company in Finland.
Objective: The main objective of this JV is to become a prominent player in the European Lithium-ion Battery ecosystem And to become a potential future supplier of the raw materials that Finland and Europe need for manufacturing lithium-ion batteries
About Beowulf Mining:
Beowulf Mining plc is an exploration and development company, listed on the AIM market of the London Stock Exchange and the Spotlight Exchange in Sweden.
Chief Executive Officer:Kurt Budge
Headquarters:London,United Kingdom
About Epsilon Advance Materials Pvt Ltd (EAMPL):
EAMPL ,subsidiary of Epsilon Carbon,has been formed to develop and manufacture innovative, high performance and quality carbon products for anode components of lithium-ion Batteries (LIB).
Managing Director(MD):Vikram Handa
Headquarters:Mumbai,Maharashtra

RBI Excluded Lakshmi Vilas Bank from the Second Schedule of the RBI Act

Reserve Bank of India(RBI) has excluded Lakshmi Vilas Bank Ltd.(LVB) from the Second Schedule of the RBI Act, 1934 after it was merged with DBS Bank India Ltd (DBIL) in 2020.
Background:
i.On November 17, 2020, the Government(Govt) (on the advice of RBI), imposed a 30-day moratorium for LVB with restricted cash withdrawal at Rs 25,000 per depositor.
ii.RBI appointed the former non-executive chairman of Canara Bank, T N Manoharan as an administrator of LVB for those 30 days.
iii.On November 27, 2020, Govt allowed the merging of LVB (bank under crisis) with DBS Bank India Ltd. (under Section 45 of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949), and removed the restrictions imposed over LVB. On the same day, it was excluded from the Second Schedule of the RBI Act, 1934.
About Second Schedule of RBI Act:
i.All banks which are included in the Second Schedule to the Reserve Bank of India Act, 1934 are Scheduled Banks. It includes Scheduled Commercial Banks and Scheduled Co-operative Banks.
ii.Paid-up Capital requirement: Commercial banks with paid-up capital and reserves not less than Rs.5 lakhs are eligible for inclusion under the Second Schedule of RBI Act 1934.
Note – In 2020, LVB became the second private sector bank under moratorium after Yes Bank which was rescued by Govt through State Bank of India’s Rs 7,250 crore capital infusion and 45 percent stake acquisition from the bank.
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

IOB Got Shareholders’ nod for Rs 4,100 crore Infusion by Govt

Indian Overseas Bank (IOB) obtained approval from its shareholders through an Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) for the issuance of 246,54,23,932 equity shares to the Government of India (GoI) on a preferential basis for a capital infusion of Rs 4,100 crores by GoI in the bank.
About Indian Overseas Bank (IOB):
Establishment – 10th February 1937
Headquarters – Chennai, Tamil Nadu
Tagline – Good people to grow with
MD&CEO -Shri Partha Pratim Sengupta

Sports

Kazakhstan Tennis player Roman Khassanov given 10-year ban for corruption

The International Tennis Integrity Agency announced that Roman Khassanov a tennis player who represented Kazakhstan in the Davis Cup has been banned for 10 years after admitting to a string of corruption charges. the offenses that took place from 2014 through 2018. He has been banned from attending any official tennis events and fined $100,000, with all but $25,000 of that sum suspended.

Manchester City Won Premier League 2020-21 Defeating Manchester United

Manchester City won the 2020-21 Premier League by defeating Manchester United. 2020-21 Premier League is the 29th edition of Premier League, the top English professional league for association football clubs.

i.It is Manchester City’s 5th Premier League title and 7th English league title.It was also the Manchester City’s third title in the last four seasons.
ii.With this victory, Manchester City Football Club equalled the number of Aston Villa Football Club’s win & was behind Manchester United Football club, Liverpool Football Club & Arsenal Football Club.

Rugby World Cup-New Zealand to Hold Women’s Rugby on October 2022

World Rugby announced that, New Zealand is set to host the Women’s Rugby Tournament, Rugby World Cup from 8th October 2022 to 12th November 2022. The Tournament was originally to be held in 2021, but was officially postponed by a year in March 2021 due to COVID-19. The tournament has been extended from 35 to 43 days, allowing all teams a break of at least five days between matches. Venues-Auckland’s Eden Park, Northlands Events Centre in Whangarei and Waitakere Stadium.

Miscellaneous

NASA, Axiom sign pact to send 1st Private Astronaut Mission to ISS

US Space Agency NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) has signed an agreement with Axiom Space to send the 1st private astronaut mission to the International Space Station (ISS) by January 2022. The mission has been designated as ‘Axiom Mission 1 (Ax-1)’. The mission will consist of a crew of 4 astronauts, they will be launched from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, Florida, US. SpaceX’s Crew Dragon Capsule will carry the crew to the ISS.
About National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
Administrator – Bill Nelson
Headquarters – Washington DC, USA
About Axiom Space
President, CEO – Michael T. Suffredini
Headquarters – Texas, USA

NITI Aayog set up CovAid – portal to track COVID-19 related aid

NITI Aayog has set up the CovAid portal, a dedicated platform to monitor all the COVID-19 aid received by the Government of India. The portal will enable donors to do end to end tracking till the ultimate beneficiary.
Objective: To track all the relief aids coming through the missions and individual organisations.
About CovAid:
i.The Indian Red Cross Society is financially responsible for all the consignments of donations from foreign countries which are received through the mission.
ii.HLL Lifecare Limited and Concor has been engaged to provide logistical support.
iii.HLL Lifecare acts as the customs agent for the processing of customs and other regulatory clearances.
iv.The mission forwards the list of aid to the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) which is also shared with the ministry of Health for allocation of aid.
Features:
i.CovAid is a transparent system to distribute foreign aid with a detailed SOP (standard operating procedure).
ii.The SOP ensures that the states with high active cases will receive supplies on a priority basis.
About NITI Aayog:
National Institution for Transforming India, also called NITI Aayog was formed via a resolution of the Union Cabinet on January 1, 2015.
CEO– Amitabh Kant
Headquarters– New Delhi

Groww Acquired Indiabulls MF for Rs 175 crore

Groww, an online investment platform, operated by Nextbillion Technology Pvt. Ltd made an agreement with Indiabulls Housing Finance Ltd (IBHFL) to acquire the mutual fund(MF) business of its subsidiaries Indiabulls Asset Management Company Ltd (IAMCL) and Trustee Company of IAMCL, for Rs 175 crore (including cash and cash equivalents of Rs 100 crore). By this deal, Groww became one of the 1st fintech companies to enter the Rs 32-trillion Asset Management Business. Groww’s agreement with Indiabulls MF will be limited only to the mutual fund part of the business, Alternate Investment Fund (AIF) and Portfolio Management Service (PMS) businesses will be demerged from the existing IBAMC structure, and remain under Indiabulls Housing Finance.
About Indiabulls Mutual Fund:
Indiabulls Mutual Fund has been established as a Trust with Indiabulls Housing Finance Limited
Headquarters – Mumbai, Maharashtra
Whole-time Director & CEO – Ambar Maheshwari
About Groww:
Commenced Operation– 2017
Headquarters – Bangalore, Karnataka
Co-founder & CEO – Lalit Keshre

K P Sharma Oli Re-appointed as Prime Minister of Nepal

KP Sharma Oli, (69 years old) Chairman of the Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist-Leninist) (CPN-UML) was re-appointed as the Prime Minister(PM) of Nepal by President Bidhya Devi Bhandari. KP Sharma Oli has previously served as the PM of Nepal from 2015 to 2016 and from 2018 to 2021.
About Nepal:
Currency– Nepalese Rupee
Capital– Kathmandu
The Flag of Nepal is the world’s only non-quadrilateral flag that acts as both the state flag and civil flag of a sovereign country.

Nepali Mingma Tenji Sherpa Sets World Record by climbing Mount Everest Twice

Nepali mountain guide, Mingma Tenji Sherpa, a 43-year-old, had created a world record by climbing 8848.86-meter-high Mount Everest(world’s highest peak) twice in the shortest span of just four days. Previously, Indian mountaineer Anshu Jamsenpa had held the record for fastest dual ascents on Mount Everest in 118 hours and 15 minutes in 2017 and still holds the record for fastest dual ascent on Mount Everest by a woman On May 8, Nepali mountain guide Kami Rita Sherpa broke his own record of the most ascents of the world’s highest peak for the 25th time.

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