Current Affairs

16 September, 2021

International

BLS International partners with NHA to process Ayushman Bharat cards

BLS International, an IT Service Management company, was authorised by the National Health Authority (NHA) for digital processing of ‘Ayushman Bharat cards’ under Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (AB-PMJAY). The cards will enable beneficiaries for cashless & paperless access to health services in Hospitals covered under AB-PMJAY. Under AB-PMJAY, Indian government provides a health insurance cover of upto Rs 5 lakhs per family per annum.

ASEAN India Economic Ministers Consultation co-chairs India and Brunei, Ensures support for Post Pandemic Efforts

The 18th Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)- India Economic Ministers Consultation organized under the chairmanship of Anupriya Patel, Minister of State for Commerce and Industry and H.E. DatoDr. Amin Liew Abdullah, Minister of Finance and Economy, Brunei Darussalam. India and Brunei co-chaired the meeting virtually .
Participants– It was attended by the Economic Ministers of all 10 ASEAN countries- Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

About Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)
Headquarters– Jakarta, Indonesia
Established– 8 August 1967, Bangkok, Thailand

National

NITI Aayog’s AIM in collaboration with ISRO & CBSE launches ATL Space Challenge 2021 for Indian school students

National Institution for Transforming India (NITI )Aayog’s Atal Innovation Mission (AIM), in collaboration with the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) launched the Atal Tinkering Lab (ATL) ‘Space Challenge 2021’ for all school students across the country.To celebrate the contribution of space science and technology, the ATL has aligned with the World Space Week 2021(4-10 October) at global level.
Objective
Enable school students to create innovations for space technology.
Theme-
ATL Space Challenge 2021 aligns with this year’s theme of celebrating 75 years of India’s independence “Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav”
Participants
It is being conducted for all the school students, mentors and teachers across the country. Those who do not have ATL labs are also associated with the challenge. The challenge will allow the students from class 6-12 to innovate and enable them to solve digital space technology problems.
About Atal Innovation Mission (AIM)
Atal Innovation Mission (AIM) is a flagship initiative set up by the NITI Aayog to promote a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship in the country.
Mission Director– Chintan Vaishnav

MoT sanctions Rs 200 cr for tourism development in NE region

Ministry of Tourism (MoT) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Indian Railways Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) to promote domestic tourism and development of new tourism products at two-day Conference of Tourism and Culture Ministers of North Eastern States held in Guwahati, Assam on September 13 and 14 Under the ‘Pilgrimage Rejuvenation and Spiritual Augmentation Drive’ (PRASAD) scheme, Union Minister for Tourism G Kishan Reddy sanctioned Rs 200 crore for the tourism development in the North Eastern Region. Rs 68,020 crore had allocated to north eastern states in the Union budget of 2021-22 for the development of North Eastern Regions.

Objective – Under various schemes and flagship initiatives, the tourism ministry is taking an effort to provide branding and marketing assistance to the northeast region.
Other notable initiatives:-
Around 16 projects were sanctioned by the Ministry for the region under Swadesh Darshan
Scheme.Projects includes
In Manas Wildlife Circuit – Pobitora ,Nameri, Kaziranga ,Pani, Dihing, Dibru, Saikhowa.
In Tezpur Heritage Circuit – Tezpur , Majauli , Sibasagar
About the Schemes
i.Swadesh Darshan Scheme focuses on the integrated development of theme-based tourist circuits.
ii.PRASAD Scheme aims at integrated development of pilgrimage destinations in a prioritised, planned, and sustainable manner in order to provide a complete religious tourism experience.

MoA&FW signs 5 MOUs with private companies to initiate pilot projects for Digital Agriculture

i.Union Minister Narendra Singh Tomar, Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare (MoA&FW) signed Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) with 5 private companies at KrishiBhavan, New Delhi for pilot projects.
ii.The companies are CISCO, Ninjacart, Jio Platforms Limited, ITC (formerly India Tobacco Company Limited) Limited and NCDEX e-Markets Limited (NeML).
iii. The above MoUs are on the lines of the Digital agriculture mission that has been initiated for 2021 -2025 by the Central government for projects based on new technologies.
About Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare
Narendra Singh Tomar Constituency– Morena, Madhya Pradesh),
Minister of State– Sushri Shobha Karandlaje (Udupi Chikmagalur, Karnataka), Kailash Choudhary (Barmer, Rajasthan)

Skyroot Aerospace, a 1st spacetech startup to sign Framework MoU up with DOS

Skyroot Aerospace, a Space technology startup, becomes the first private company to formally sign a Framework Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Department of Space (DOS). Under this agreement, the startup company can undertake multiple tests and access facilities at various ISRO (Indian Space Research Organisation) centers. ISRO will also provide technical expertise for testing and qualifying their Space launch vehicle systems and subsystems,

Signatories: The agreement for the same was inked by R Umamaheswaran, scientific secretary at ISRO (Indian Space Research Organisation), and chairman at Interim IN-SPACe Committee, and Pawan Chandana, CEO of Skyroot Aerospace. IN-SPACe is an authorization and regulatory body under DOS for enabling private entities to undertake space activities in India.
About Skyroot Aerospace
Establishment– 2018
Headquarter– Hyderabad, Telangana

Female Candidates allowed to attend NDA Exams

Indian Armed Forces allowed the entry of female candidates into the armed forces through National Defence Academy (NDA) after the intervention of the Supreme Court(SC) of India. Previously, a Supreme Court bench of justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Hrishikesh Roy, questioned the gender bias followed in the recruitment of candidates for the Indian Armed Forces.
i.The NDA Exams that was set to be held on 5th September was postponed to 14th November after the intervention of the Supreme Court, and now female candidates were allowed to appear in the examination.
ii.Previously, In February 2020, Female candidates serving in Short Service Commission (SSC) were permitted for Permanent Commission after similar intervention by the Supreme Court.
Note – During 2021 Republic Day, Bhawana Kanth & Swati Rathore became the 1st women pilots to participate in the Republic Day parade.
Selection through NDA:
NDA annually recruits candidates to the Indian armed forces, through examinations conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC). Currently, Only Male candidates who have cleared Class 12 or equivalent & in the age group of 16-and-a-half and 19 were eligible to apply. On Clearing the exam, candidates will be trained in NDA for getting posted in Indian Army, Navy or Air Force wings of NDA.

About National Defence Academy (NDA):
Headquartered – Pune, Maharashtra
Established – 1954
President of India is the Supreme Commander of Armed Forces
About Supreme Court of India:
Established – 26 January 1950
The Supreme Court of India is a Constitutional body, established under the provisions of Article 124
Total Strength of Judges – 34 (including Chief Justice of India(CJI) but Currently there are 33 judges including CJI in SC)

Economy

SEBI levied Rs 1 lakh fine on Employee of Titan for disclosure lapses

Securities and Exchange Board of India(SEBI), the regulatory body for securities and commodity market, has levied a monetary penalty of Rs 1 lakh on Chandan Gupta, an employee of Titan Company Limited for disclosure lapses, in violating the insider trading norms. He transacted in the firm’s securities on two occasions in the calendar quarter ending on September 30, 2018. The total value traded was more than Rs 10 lakh.

IndusInd Bank & Escorts Ltd Partnered to Offer Finance to Farmers

IndusInd Bank has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Escorts Limited (Escorts Agri Machinery), one of India’s leading automotive engineering companies, to offer financial services to farmers and to make its range of tractors and farm equipment more accessible.
The financial services will be provided in the form of loans or Agri finance solutions. The partnership was formalised by Shenu Agarwal CEO of Escorts Agri Machinery and Shiban Kaul, Executive Vice President of IndusInd Bank.

Features of the MoU:
i.This partnership between IndusInd Bank and Escorts Agri Machinery will enable the farmers to invest in modern farm machinery to increase their farm productivity and income.
ii.Under this partnership with IndusInd bank, Escorts aims to provide a transparent, hassle-free, and quick mechanism for farmers to purchase its Agri based products like tractors.
About Escorts limited
CMD– Nikhil Nanda
CEO of Escort Agri Machinery– Shenu Agarwal
Headquarters– Faridabad, Haryana
About IndusInd Bank:
MD & CEO- Sumant Kathpalia
Headquarters– Pune, Maharashtra
Commenced operations in 1994

UNDP, HDFC and Greater Noida Authority Signed a pact for Dry Waste Management Facility in Noida

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), HDFC Bank and the Greater Noida Industrial Development Authority (GNIDA) signed an agreement to provide facilities to manage up to 300 metric tonnes of dry waste in Noida, Uttar Pradesh.

HDFC Bank is providing financial assistance of Rs 3 crore in setting up of Material Recovery Facility (MRF) in Greater Noida.
Highlights Plastic waste management programme of UNDP will bring a sustainable Infrastructure to dispose waste material and reuse it for different purposes. The waste management programme is aligned with ‘’Swachh Bharat Mission’’( Clean India Mission), Solid Waste Management Rules 2016 and Plastic Waste Management ( Amendment) Rules 2018. It will enhance India’s efforts to become a low- carbon economy and achieve Paris Agreement targets. The Paris Agreement sets out a global framework to avoid dangerous climate change by limiting global warming to well below 2°C and pursuing efforts to limit it to 1.5°C.

New rules- Plastic Waste Management Amendment Rules 2021 The manufacture, import, stocking, distribution, sale and use of the identified single-use plastic will be prohibited with effect from the 1st July, 2022. The ban will not apply to commodities made of compostable plastic. The permitted thickness of the plastic bags, currently 50 microns, will be increased to 75 microns from 30th September, 2021, and to 120 microns from the 31st December, 2022.

About United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
Chairman- Achim Steiner
Headquarters- Newyork, United States
Established- 22 February 1965

Punjab & Sind Bank ties up with Indiabulls; PNB to sell its 23% stake from CHOICE

i.Punjab & Sind Bank (PSB) signed a strategic co-lending alliance with Indiabulls Commercial Credit and Indiabulls Housing Finance Limited (IHFL) for MSME (Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises) and Priority Sector Housing Loans respectively.

ii.PNB is all set to sell its entire stake (23%) in its Canara HSBC OBC Life Insurance (CHOICE). In CHOICE, PNB is the promoter after the amalgamation of Oriental Bank of Commerce (OBC) and United Bank of India (UBI) in it in April 2020. Prior to this amalgamation, OBC held a 23% stake in CHOICE.
About Punjab and Sind Bank (PSB):
Establishment- 1908
Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer– S. Krishnan
Tagline– Where service is a way of life
Headquarter– New Delhi

RBI-MAS to link UPI and PayNow; RBI imposes Rs 1 Lakh penalty on Kosamba Mercantile Cooperative Bank

i.In order to ease cross-border payments between India and Singapore, on September 14, 2021, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) are all set for linkage project under which their respective fast payment systems viz. Unified Payments Interface (UPI) and PayNow will be linked by July 2022.
ii.The apex bank has imposed a monetary penalty of Rs 1 Lakh on the Kosamba Mercantile Co-operative Bank Ltd. located in Kosamba district of Surat, Gujarat after exercising its power under the provisions of section 47 A (1) (c) read with sections 46 (4) (i) and 56 of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949.
About Reserve Bank of India (RBI):
Subsidiaries of RBI:
i.Deposit Insurance and Credit Guarantee Corporation of India (DICGC),
ii.Bharatiya Reserve Bank Note Mudran Private Limited (BRBNMPL),
iii.Reserve Bank Information Technology Private Limited (ReBIT),
iv.Indian Financial Technology and Allied Services (IFTAS)

Sports

Former Zimbabwe captain Brendan Taylor retires from International Cricket

Brendan Taylor, the former Zimbabwe captain retired from international cricket during the ongoing One Day International (ODI) series against Ireland. The 34-year old batsman has scored 6677 runs from 204 ODI matches in his 17-year-old career since his debut in 2004. Brendan Taylor is currently the 2nd highest run scorer for Zimbabwe only 112 runs short of Andy Flower. Taylor has also scored a massive 2,320 runs from 45 Tests and 934 runs from his 45 T20I appearances.

About International Cricket Council(ICC):
Chairman–Greg Barclay
Acting CEO–Geoff Allardice
Headquarters– Dubai, UAE

Sri Lankan Pacer Lashith Malinga retires from all formats of cricket

Sri Lankan fast bowler Lasith Malinga announced his retirement from all forms of cricket.He retired from Test cricket in 2011 and ODI in 2019.

Contribution to Sri Lanka
Malinga played 30 Tests, 226 ODIs and 84 T20Is.
He picked 546 wickets (101 in Tests, 338 in ODIs and 107 in T20Is) across formats.
Achievements
i.He led Sri Lanka T20 team to victory in the 2014 World Cup.
ii.He is the only bowler to take 4 wickets in 4 balls in a row on two occasions in international cricket and to take 3 ODI hat-tricks and two in T20I cricket.
iii.First bowler to take 100 and 150 wickets in the history of Indian Premier League.
Additional information
i.He represented Mumbai Indian since 2008 in Indian Premier League (IPL)
ii.He also represented in Melbourne Stars, Kent Cricket Club, Rangpur Riders, Guyana Warriors, Maratha Arabians and Montreal Tigers.
iii.He will be called to his nickname “Slinga Malinga”.
Source: India Today, Starsports

Miscellaneous

SpaceX launches 51 Starlink broadband satellites

SpaceX launched its first full stack of 51 Starlink broadband (internet) satellites on falcon 9 rocket from Space Launch Complex 4E at Vandenberg Space Force Station in California on September 14.

It is the 22nd Falcon 9 mission for SpaceX so far in 2021 and it was the 90th successful landing to date.
Aim of Starlink programme
i.To provide high-speed internet access to users around the world and the service is targeted to users in remote areas that have little to no connectivity
ii.To help fund its deep-space ambitions.
Additional information
i.The Starlink satellites are equipped with laser crosslinks to communicate with each other and reducing the constellation’s reliance on Earth
ii.SpaceX began satellite launches in November 2019 and opened its $99 per month beta programme for select customers around a year later
iii.The company aims to launch around 30,000 Starlink satellites into orbit, and expand its user pool to millions of customers.
About SpaceX
Space Exploration Technologies Corp is an American aerospace manufacturer, space transportation services and communications company
Founder and CEO: Elon Musk
Founded: 6 May 2002
Headquarters: Hawthorne, California, United States

Satish Parekh Appointed as president of International Road Federation-India

Ashoka Buildcon Managing Director (MD) and promoter Satish Parekh has taken over as the president of International Road Federation (IRF)-India.He Succeeded Subhmay Gangopadhyay, former director of Central Road Research Institute (CRRI). IRF headquarter is located in Geneva, Switzerland and IRF-India’s Headquarter is located in New Delhi, Delhi.

Ayaan Shankta from Mumbai Named as “2021 International Young Eco-Hero”

Ayaan Shankta, a 12-year-old environmental activist from Mumbai, Maharashtra has been named as “2021 International Young Eco-Hero”. He won the 3rd prize under the Age Group: 8-14 for his project “Conservation and Rehabilitation of Powai Lake” and became one of the 25 global winners of the Young Eco-Hero Award 2021. The award presented by “The Action for Nature”, San Francisco based NGO, recognize young people (8 to 16 years old) for their environmental achievements.

Writer Namita Gokhale receives 7th Yamin Hazarika Woman of Substance Award 2021

Writer Namita Gokhale Receives the 7th Yamin Hazarika Woman of Substance Award for the year 2021 during the virtual ceremony.She is the co-founder and co-director of the Jaipur Literature Festival, Gokhale also mentors Himalayan Echoes and the Kumaon Festival of Literature and the Arts. The award was presented by a collective of women professionals from the year 2015, the annual award honours Yamin Hazarika, the first woman from Northeast India to be selected for DANIPS, a federal police service that administered Delhi and the Union Territories in 1977.

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