Current Affairs

17 December, 2021

International

India’s 1st Green Hydrogen Microgrid Projects to be set up by NTPC at Simhadri, AP

National Thermal Power Corporation Limited (NTPC) has awarded a project of “Standalone Fuel-Cell based Micro-grid with hydrogen production using electrolyser in Simhadri, near Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh (AP). It is India’s 1st Green Hydrogen based Energy Storage Project and one of the largest in the world.

Note – India targets to become carbon neutral by 2070Key points:
i.According to the Ministry of Power, it would be a precursor to large scale hydrogen energy storage projects. It will be useful for studying and deploying multiple microgrids in various off grid and strategic locations of the country.

ii.The hydrogen will be produced by using the advanced 240 kW Solid Oxide Electrolyser by taking input power from the nearby Floating Solar project.
iii.The hydrogen produced during sunshine hours would be stored at high pressure and would be electrified using a 50 kW Solid Oxide Fuel Cell.
Other initiatives:
i.NTPC Renewable Energy Limited (NTPC REL) has also inked a pact with the Union territory of Ladakhfor a green hydrogen mobility project, with the company along with NVVN jointly executing the project.
ii.India plans to soon call bids for building 4 gigawatt (GW) of electrolyzer capacity as part of its energy security strategy.
About National Thermal Power Corporation Limited (NTPC):
Chairman & MD- Gurdeep Singh
Founded- 1975
Headquarters- New Delhi, India

CBDT rolls out ‘e-Verification Scheme, 2021’ for Taxpayer’s info e-verification

The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has issued new rules namely ‘e-Verification Scheme, 2021’ for faceless collection of information from taxpayers, where mismatches are detected. The scheme is notified under a provision in Income Tax Act 135A that proposes faceless information gathering aimed at imparting efficiency, transparency and accountability. It eliminates the interface between the income-tax authority and the assessee. The scheme also focuses on the optimal use of the department’s resources.
About Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT):
Parent Ministry– Ministry of Finance
Chairperson– J.B. Mohapatra
Headquarters– New Delhi, Delhi

India & Uzbekistan Pushes Cooperation to Boost Economic Ties

Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Investments and Foreign Trade of Uzbekistan Sardor Umurzakov & Indian Envoy, Manish Prabhat decided to promote cooperation & intensify interregional cooperation, especially between Andijan (Uzbekistan) and Gujarat (India). The financial-technical cooperation between India & Uzbekistan were also discussed

i.The direct interaction for the implementation of joint projects in the investment, trade and cultural-humanitarian spheres will be established between Uzbekistan’s Fergana region and Haryana, the cities of Bukhara and Hyderabad, and also between Tashkent and New Delhi.
ii.The Projects regarding infrastructure development, education, Information Technology, healthcare and education will be accelerated under Indian grants.
About Uzbekistan:
President – Shavkat Mirziyoyev
Capital – Tashkent
Currency – Uzbekistan Som (UZS)

National

MoS of S&T Dr Jitendra Singh Inaugurated 7th India International Science Festival 2021 at Panaji, Goa

Dr Jitendra Singh, Union Minister of State(MoS) (Independent Charge) Science & Technology(S&T), inaugurated the 7th edition of the India International Science festival, IISF at Panaji, Goa held from 10th December to 13th December 2021. IISF is a joint program of the Ministry of Science & Technology(MoST), Ministry of Earth Sciences(MoES) and Vijnana Bharati (VIBHA), a swadeshi science movement of Bharat. Nodal Agency for organising IISF 2021 was the National Centre for Polar and Ocean Research, an autonomous institute under the MoES.

Note:
MoST and MoES organised the first edition of the IISF in 2015 at the Indian Institute of Technology(IIT) in New Delhi.
The theme of IISF 2021 is ‘AzadiKaAmritMahotsav’ – celebrating Creativity, Science, Technology and Innovation for a prosperous India.
About Ministry of Science & Technology(MoST) & Ministry of Earth Sciences(MoES):
Minister of State(MoS) (Independent Charge)- Dr Jitendra Singh (Constituency- Udhampur, Jammu and Kashmir)

Maharashtra tops the list of states with Maximum Number of Beneficiaries assisted under ABRY

The Central Government released the list of states with maximum number of beneficiaries to be assisted under Atmanirbhar Bharat Rojgar Yojana (ABRY), as of December 4, 2021. The information was provided by the Minister of State (MoS) Rameswar Teli, Ministry of Labour & Employment in a written reply to Lok Sabha. The list has been topped by Maharashtra with 6,49,560 new employees in 17,524 Beneficiary Establishments (Estts.). The beneficiaries have been provided a total of Rs Rs 4,09,72,34,366. Maharashtra is followed by Tamil Nadu (5,35,615 New Employees) at 2nd position, and Gujarat (4,44,741 New Employees) at 3rd.

Following table shows the Top 3 states:

Rank State Estts. New Employees
Benefit Amount (In Rs.)

1 Maharashtra 17,524 6,49,560 4,09,72,34,366
2 Tamil Nadu 12,803 5,35,615 3,00,46,76,607
3 Gujarat 12,379 4,44,741 2,78,63,52,624

About Atmanirbhar Bharat Rojgar Yojana (ABRY):
Amid COVID-19, the Central Government launched ABRY to incentivise employment generation in EPFO registered establishments for a period from October 1, 2020 to March 31, 2022. Under the ABRY, the government is paying both employees’ and employers’ contributions of 24% of wages (12% of wages for each) in respect of establishments having 1,000 employees and employees’ contribution of 12% of wages to establishments employing more than 1,000 employees. As on December 4, 2021, employment opportunities have been created for 39.73 lakh new employees and benefits of Rs 2612.10 crore were credited.

Raksha Mantri Rajnath Singh handed over 5 DRDO Products to Armed Forces & 6 LAToT

i.Union Minister Rajnath Singh, Ministry of Defence (MoD) handed over five Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) developed products to the Armed forces and other security agencies at an event held at DRDO Bhawan, New Delhi (Delhi) as part of Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav celebrations.ii.He also handed over six Licensing Agreements for Transfer of Technology (LAToT) to seven public and private sector companies.
iii.Prior to this event, DRDO organised a Seminar on “Preparing For The Future” where Vice Chiefs of the Armed Forces and DRDO Scientists shared their views.
About Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO)
Parent Ministry– Ministry of Defence (MoD)
Chairman– Dr G. Satheesh Reddy
Headquarter– New Delhi, Delhi

Economy

Paytm Launches EdTech Platform to Train Traders, Investors – ‘Paytm Wealth Academy’

India’s Leading online payment ecosystem Paytm launched the first of its kind Artificial Intelligence (AI) powered Educational Technology (EdTech) platform named, ‘Paytm Wealth academy’ for traders and investors. The educational platform will offer courses and webinars on trading and financial concepts according to the needs of individuals.

About Paytm Wealth Academy:
i.Paytm Wealth Academy will be initially available on the Paytm Money app, owned by Paytm’s wholly-owned subsidiary Paytm Money, to selected users (soon to every user).

ii.The platform provides an access trading community on educational content and specialized knowledge which was previously available only to institutional investors and traders. The users are able to build a strong understanding of financial markets, especially Futures & Options (F&O) and intraday traders.

iii.Paytm Wealth Academy bridges the gap through personalized learning options for every type of investor and trader.
Note – India has seen an increase in stock market participation in the past 2 years.
About Paytm:
Founder & CEO – Vijay Shekhar Sharma
Established – 2010
Headquarters – Noida, Uttar Pradesh

ADB Extends $112 Million Loan to Establish a Skill University in Assam

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a $112 million loan to strengthen skills education and training through the establishment of the Assam Skill University (ASU). The Loan will create a path for skill development to enhance the productivity and competitiveness of Assam’s economy and industries.

ADB’s Assistance:
i.The project will improve skills and provide greater paying, decent job opportunities for youth and adults (especially women and disadvantaged groups).
ii.The project will develop the ASU’s management & operating systems, Research & Development (R&D) program, business models, faculty & staff ASU supports the development of design & construction of environmentally sustainable and climate-resilient university campuses for efficient and sustainable operations.

iii.It also supports the design and delivery of industry-aligned programs like cutting-edge digital skills & career development programs.
iv.The project promotes the professional development of trainers and faculty members of technical and vocational education and training (TVET) institutions.
Additional Grants:
An additional $1 million grant from the Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction will support the introduction of technologies for smart campus management, integrated teaching, learning, and career development management.
Highlights on Assam’s Economy:
i.Assam’s economy is dominated by low value-added, natural resource-based products and is poorly integrated with global and regional value chains.
ii.Due to low growth potential and natural hazards, migration has been increased among people of Assam for jobs and education and in turn, it has also resulted in a shortage of skills.
About Asian Development Bank (ADB):
President – Masatsugu Asakawa
Established – 19th December 1966
Headquarters – Manila, Philippines
Member Countries – 68 members (49 from Asia and Pacific regions)

RBI Introduces PCA Framework for NBFC

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) issued the Prompt Corrective Action (PCA) Framework for Non-Banking Financial Companies (NBFCs) to further strengthen the supervisory tools applicable to NBFCs. The provisions of the PCA framework will be effective from October 2022 based on the financial position of NBFCs on or after March 31, 2022.

Applicability: The PCA framework will be applicable to All Deposit-Taking NBFCs (NBFCs-D) and All Non-Deposit Taking NBFCs (NBFCs-ND) in the Middle, Upper and Top Layers. Capital and Asset Quality would be the key areas for monitoring in PCA Framework.

About PCA Framework:
What is PCA?
i.PCA is a framework under which banks with weak financial metrics are put under watch by the RBI. Under the Framework, the supervised Entity will be required to initiate and implement remedial measures in a timely manner to restore its financial health.
ii.The RBI introduced the PCA framework in December 2002 as a structured early-intervention mechanism to supervise and regulate the banks that become undercapitalised due to poor asset quality, or vulnerable due to loss of profitability.
About Reserve Bank of India (RBI):
Establishment– April 1, 1935
Headquarters– Mumbai, Maharashtra
Governor– Shaktikanta Das
Deputy Governors– Mahesh Kumar Jain, Michael Debabrata Patra, M. Rajeshwar Rao, T. Rabi Sankar

Sports

AIBA Adopted Comprehensive Set of Governance Reforms; Changed its Acronym to ‘IBA’

The International Boxing Association (AIBA) Extraordinary Congress 2021 adopted a comprehensive set of governance reforms developed by independent experts and changed its acronym from AIBA to IBA.
The new acronym marks a new chapter in the sport’s history focused on upholding the highest standards of integrity and ensuring every boxer has the chance for a fair fight. 107 national federations of the IBA were present to approve the adopted reforms. The year 2021 marks the 75th anniversary of IBA.

Background:
i.The International Boxing Association (IBA) is a non-profit international organization that succeeded the former Fédération Internationale de Boxe Amateur (Association Internationale de Boxe Amateur- AIBA) in 1946.
ii.IBA changed its full name to “International Boxing Association” in 2007, maintaining its previous acronym of AIBA.
Changes adopted at the 2021 congress:
i.From now on the Ordinary Congress will take place annually.
ii.On the recommendation of the Governance Reform Group, the creation of a new Boxing Independent Integrity Unit(BIIU), included among the amendments was the creation of a new Boxing Independent Integrity Unit, which is set to become fully operational in the course of 2022.
iii.The number of Board of Directors will be reduced from 28 members to 18 following elections which will be held by June 30.
Additional info:
IBA has also started its work towards defining the weight categories and developing the Olympic qualification system, subjected to the International Olympic Committee(IOC) approval, for Paris 2024.
About International Boxing Association (IBA):
President– Umar Kremlev
Headquarters– Lausanne, Switzerland

SJFI Honoured Former Indian Cricketer Sunil Gavaskar with SJFI Medal 2021

The Sports Journalists’ Federation of India (SJFI) has decided to honour former Indian Cricketer and cricket commentator Sunil Manohar Gavaskar with its prestigious ‘SJFI Medal 2021’ at SJFI Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Guwahati, Assam.SJFI Medal is the highest honour of SJFI.

Other SJFI Awards:

Award Winner
SJFI Sportsman of the year 2021 Neeraj Chopra(Javelin)
SJFI Sportswoman of the year 2021 Mirabai Chanu(Weightlifting)
SJFI Team of the Year 2021 Indian Men’s Hockey team
SJFI Parathletes of the year 2021(Men) Pramod Bhagat (Badminton)
Sumit Antil(Javelin)
SJFI Parathletes of the year 2021(Women) Avani Lekhara(rifle shooter)
SJFI Special Recognition Award Olympic Gold Quest(OGQ)
About Sports Journalists’ Federation of India (SJFI):
SJFI was founded on 27th February 1976 at the Eden Gardens, Calcutta (now Kolkata), West Bengal.
President– A Vinod

Miscellaneous

Official website of Multinational Naval Exercise MILAN 22 Launched

Rear Admiral Sanjay Sadhu, Chief Staff Officer(Technical), Eastern Naval Command(ENC) launched the official website of the forthcoming Multinational Naval Exercise – MILAN 2022, a biennial multilateral naval exercise hosted by the Indian Navy. The theme of MILAN 22 is ‘Camaraderie, Cohesion, Collaboration’. MILAN 22 is scheduled to be held at Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh from 25th February to 4th March 2022. Around 46 countries have been invited to participate in the exercise. International Maritime Seminar, Subject Matter Expertise Exchange(SMEE), Demonstration of Submarine Rescue capability, Maritime Expo Showcasing ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ were also held during the Exercise “MILAN 22”.

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