Current Affairs

18 December, 2021


CSB Bank, Clear ties up to Launch ITR e-filing Facility for NRI customers

Thrissur (Kerala) based Catholic Syrian Bank Limited (CSB Bank Limited) has tied up with Clear (formerly ClearTax), an online tax filing platform, to launch an online, and free of cost ITR (Income Tax Return) e-filing facility for its NRI (Non-Resident Indian) customers. This collaboration will reduce customers’ efforts and time for tax filing. This facility is also available to CSB Bank’s resident customers.


DPIIT Launched LogiXtics, Unified Logistics Interface Platform Hackathon

The Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry(MCI) has launched the Unified Logistics Interface Platform(ULIP) Hackathon – ‘LogiXtics’ with an aim to crowdsource ideas to benefit the logistics industry in India. The hackathon was launched by Amitabh Kant, CEO of NITI Aayog in the presence of Amrit Lal Meena, CEO & MD of NICDC & Special Secretary, Department of Logistics, MCI, and others. LogiXtics is organised by (National Institution for Transforming India) NITI Aayog and Atal Innovation Mission(AIM) and supported by National Industrial Corridor Development Corporation (NICDC) and NICDC Logistics Data Bank Services Limited (NLDSL).

Aim: To promote the Startup community, individuals or anyone with the strategic skills and domain knowledge of the sector.
LogiXtics Hackathon:
i.This Hackathon will provide a platform for the participants to showcase their strategic, coding and domain skills on a national level to solve the existing logistics industry issues by Ideating innovative ideas to bring transparency and visibility by automating, optimizing, and cross-utilizing India’s logistics resources/systems. Developing solution/product by leveraging the logistics-related data available with various Government systems. Contributing to India’s Ease of Doing Business and Logistics Performance Index (LPI).

ii.Hackathon is divided into 2 stages: the ideation stage & the prototype stage.
iii.The winner of the hackathon will receive a cash prize of Rs 10 Lakhs and the 1st and 2nd Runner-up will receive Rs 7 Lakhs and Rs 5 Lakhs respectively.
About ULIP:
i.ULIP is designed to increase efficiency and reduce logistics costs in India through a transparent platform that can provide real-time information to the stakeholders and remove all asymmetry information.
ii.ULIP is in line with the objective of PM Gati Shakti and is critical for achieving Aatma Nirbhar Bharat.
Cost of logistics in India:
i.Compared to developed countries like the United States(US) and Germany, India incurs one of the highest logistics costs as a percentage of GDP.
ii.The cost of logistics in India is around 14% which is higher than in other countries in the world.
iii.Reduction of logistics cost to 9% will save up to USD 50 billion.

HAL Obtains ADE-DRDO Supply Order for ‘ABHYAS’ Target Platform

Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) has obtained an order for manufacturing, assembly, integration, testing and supply of High-Speed Expendable Aerial Target (HEAT) System, named ‘ABHYAS‘ from the Aeronautical Development Establishment (ADE) of Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). HAL will be the Development-cum-Production Partner (DcPP) for supply of this target system along with private firms (50 percent of the volume). The vehicle is a fully programmed autonomous flight
About Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL):
Chairman & MD – R. Madhavan
Established – 1940
Headquarters – Bengaluru, Karnataka

Union Cabinet gives nod to raise women’s marriage age to 21 from 18 years

i.The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister (PM) of India, Narendra Modi has given its nod for proposal to bring uniformity in the marriageable age of men and women, thereby, increasing the legal age of marriage of women from 18 to 21 years.
ii.In this regard, a Bill will be introduced to amend the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act (PCMA), 2006, Special Marriage Act, 1954 and personal laws such as the Hindu Marriage Act 1955 in the ongoing winter session of Parliament (November 29- December 23, 2021).
iii.The legal age to get married for men is 21.
iv.This decision will not only boost gender equity and gender empowerment but also enable girls to complete their college studies and start earning.
About Ministry of Women and Child Development (MWCD):
Union Minister– Smriti Zubin Irani (Constituency- Amethi, Uttar Pradesh)
Minister of State (MoS)– Dr. Munjpara Mahendrabhai Kalubhai (Constituency- Surendranagar, Gujarat)


Union Bank Partners with Home First Finance to Offer Home Loans

Union Bank of India (UBI) has entered into a strategic co-lending partnership with Home First Finance Company India Ltd (HomeFirst) to offer home loans to customers at competitive interest rates. HomeFirst will retain a minimum of 20 percent of the loan while 80 percent will be retained by UBI.

Aim – To provide a seamless experience to retail home loan customers in the priority sector and to strengthen both companies.
What is the Co-Lending Model (CLM)?
i.The framework of co-lending was provided by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) with an objective to join the low-cost funding model of a bank with cost-efficient sourcing and servicing capabilities of Non-Banking Financial Company (NBFC) to unserved and underserved sectors of India.
ii.The co-lending bank will take its share of the individual loans on a back-to-back basis in their books, while NBFC is required to retain a minimum of 20% share of the individual loans on its books.
About Union Bank of India:
CEO & MD – Rajkiran Rai. G
Establishment – 1919
Headquarters – Mumbai, Maharashtra
About Home First Finance Company India Ltd:
Chairman & Independent Director – Deepak Satwalekar
Established – 2010
Headquarters – Mumbai, Maharashtra

ICICI Prudential Life Insurance signs the UN’s Principles of Responsible Investing

ICICI Prudential Life Insurance (IPRULIFE), became the first Indian insurance company to sign United Nations-supported Principles for Responsible Investment (UNPRI), to demonstrate commitment towards the environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues.Key Points:

i.In order to promote sustainability, IPRULIFE is integrating ESG factors into its investment management framework.
ii.IPRULIFE has also recently launched the ‘Sustainable Equity Fund’, an ESG-focused fund to maintain sustainability.
About UNPRI:
i.The UNPRI is an investor initiative in partnership with the two bodies of the United Nations – the UN Environment Programme Finance Initiative and the UN Global Compact.
Goals – To understand and integrate the investment implications of environmental, social and governance issues towards ownership decisions.
ii.Currently, it has over 4,000 signatories from 60 countries collectively representing over $120 trillion of assets committed to integrating ESG considerations into their investment practices and ownership policies.
i.IPRULIFE is a key institutional investor with Rs. 2.37 trillion assets and integrates the ESG framework.
ii.The sustainability framework is built on the three pillars of ESG, namely, leaving the planet a better place for the next generation, giving back to society and transparency in functioning.
About ICICI Prudential Life Insurance Ltd:
It is promoted by ICICI Bank Limited & Prudential Corporation Holdings Limited
Operations Commenced on – 2001
Headquarters – Mumbai, Maharashtra
CEO & MD – N. S. Kannan


Avani Lekhara wins ‘Best Female Debut’ honour at 2021 Paralympic Sport Awards

Indian shooter Avani Lekhara, who has created history by winning India’s first Gold medal in Shooting at the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics, won the “Best Female Debut” honour at the 2021 Paralympic Sport Awards. The Awards were announced by the International Paralympic Committee. She became the 1st Indian woman to win 2 Paralympic medals in a single edition of the Paralympic Games. India won an unprecedented 19 medals at the Paralympic Games including 5 Gold, 8 Silver & 6 Bronze.

About Paralympics:

The 1st ever Paralympic games were held in 1960 at Rome, Italy Paralympic Symbol consists of 3 ‘Agitos’ (meaning ‘I Move’) Motto of 2020 Tokyo Paralympics – “United by Emotion” President of International Paralympic Committee – Andrew Parsons President of Paralympic Committee of India – Deepa Malik


Union Minister Giriraj Singh launches MIS ‘Vikas Portal’ for rankings of States/UTs in Land Acquisition Projects

On the lines of Central Government’s Gati Shakti Mission, on December 16, 2021, Union Minister Giriraj Singh, Ministry of Rural Development (MoRD) launched MIS (Management Information System) portal namely ‘Vikas Portal’ for rankings of States/Union Territories (UTs) in Land Acquisition Projects under RFCTLARR Act, 2013. In this regard, awards will be conferred upon top 3 States and top 3 districts by capturing the data, figures, and speed of the development in the country. It will promote healthy competition among States/UTs. RFCTLARR is an acronym for Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement.

It is developed by the National Informatics Centre (NIC) team of Department of Land Resources (DoLR), MoRD with zero cost.
Other Participants:
Ministers of State (MoS) Faggan Singh Kulaste and Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti, MoRD; Secretary Ajay Tirkey, (DoLR), among others

TiE conferred 2021 ‘Global Entrepreneur of the Year’ award to KM Birla

The Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE) conferred the 2021’s ‘Global Entrepreneur of the Year’ Award in Business Transformation on Kumar Mangalam Birla, chairman Aditya Birla Group. He was awarded with other entrepreneurs during the event that was held in Dubai, UAE. He was conferred with the award for his extraordinary leadership during the pandemic period. KM Birla is the 1st Indian industrialist to receive this prestigious award.

i.Other personalities who were awarded in 2021:

Elon Musk (Global Entrepreneur of the Year-Immigrant Entrepreneur)

Jeff Bezos (Global Entrepreneur of the Year-First Generation)

Satya Nadella (Global Entrepreneur of the Year-Entrepreneurial CEO)

Techstars (Best Global Accelerator for Startups)

MIT (Global University Promoting Student Entrepreneurship)

ii.An independent jury chaired by Tim Draper, founder of Draper University, selected the awardees.
About Aditya Birla Group:
Founder- Seth Shiv Narayan Birla
Headquarters– Mumbai, Maharashtra

PM Modi Becomes the 1st Foreigner to Receive ‘Ngadag Pel gi Khorlo’, Bhutan’s Highest Civilian Award

On the occasion of Bhutan’s 114th National Day (17th December 2021), The Kingdom of Bhutan has honoured Narendra Modi, Prime Minister(PM) of India with Bhutan’s highest civilian award Ngadag Pel gi Khorlo also known as Order of the Dragon King (Druk Gyalpo).

PM Modi becomes the first foreigner to receive the coveted award. King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck conferred the award upon PM Modi. The announcement was made by Lotay Tshering, Prime Minister of Bhutan.

Other International Civilian Honours Awarded to PM Modi:

Country Name of the Award Year
Saudi Arabia Order of Abdulaziz Al Saud 2016
Afghanistan State Order of Ghazi Amir Amanullah Khan 2016
Palestine Grand Collar of the State of Palestine 2018
United Arab Emirates(UAE) Order of Zayed 2019
Russia Order of St. Andrew 2019
Maldives Order of the Distinguished Rule of Izzuddin 2019
Bahrain King Hamad Order of the Renaissance 2019
United States(US) Legion of Merit 2020

About the Ngadag Pel gi Khorlo:
The Order of the Dragon King (Druk Gyalpo) was founded on 7 November 2008 by King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck.
The Druk Gyalpo is the official title of the head of state of Bhutan, meaning Dragon King in Dzongkha.
Aim: To recognise those who have devoted a lifetime of service to Bhutan and the people of Bhutan.
The order has two grades: First class and Second class.
Features: The award comes with a Breast Star and Sash Badge. The inaugural award was awarded to Her Majesty the Royal Grandmother, Gyalyum Ashi Kesang Choden Wangchuck and 68th Je Khenpo Chab Je Thrizur Tenzin Dendup in 2008.
About National Day of Bhutan:
The National Day is annually observed across Bhutan on 17th December to commemorate the Coronation of His Majesty the First King of Bhutan, Druk Gyalpo Ugyen Wangchuck on 17th December 1907. 17th December 2021 marks the observance of the 114th National Day.

About Bhutan:
Bhutan is officially known as the Kingdom of Bhutan.
King– Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck
Prime Minister– Lotay Tshering
Capital– Thimphu
Currency– Ngultrum

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