Current Affairs

18 June, 2021

International

High-level Advisory Group for Economic Recovery and Growth by World Bank & IMF

In the face of two crises COVID-19 and climate change, The World Bank (WB)and International Monetary Fund (IMF) have launched a “High-Level Advisory Group (HLAG) on Sustainable and Inclusive Recovery and Growth”. The HLAG will be jointly led by Mari Pangestu, Managing Director for Development Policy and Partnerships, World Bank Ceyla Pazarbasioglu, Director, Strategy, Policy and Review Department, IMF Lord Nicholas Stern of the London School of Economics.
About World Bank:
Establishment – 1944 as The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development
Members – 189
President – David Malpass
Headquarters – Washington D.C., USA
About International Monetary Fund (IMF):
Members – 190
Managing Director – Kristalina Georgieva
Headquarters – Washington D.C., USA
Establishment – 1944

India ranked 43 in World Competitiveness Index 2021; Switzerland tops

In the recently released World Competitiveness Index 2021 released by the Institute for Management Development’s (IMD) World Competitiveness Center, India retained its 43rd rank out of 64 nations (for the 3rd consecutive year). Switzerland topped the Index followed by Sweden in the 2nd spot & Denmark in the 3rd spot. India’s ranking in the 4 parameters are – Government Efficiency 46 (from 50 in 2020), the ranking in other 3 parameters remained unchanged compared to 2020 – Economic performance – 37, business efficiency – 32, infrastructure – 49. Botswana (61st) was added to the ranking this year 2021.

31st NATO Summit 2021 held in Brussels, Belgium

31st North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) summit happened at Brussels in Belgium, the leaders of NATO’s 30 member countries were participated in the summit. NATO is a defensive Alliance and will continue to strive for peace, security, and stability in the whole of the Euro-Atlantic area. NATO is an alliance of European and North American countries formed after World War II as a bulwark against Russian aggression.NATO 2030 agenda sets a higher level of ambition for NATO. It provides clear guidelines for further adaptation to address existing, new and future threats and challenges, building on the ongoing political and military adaptation of the Alliance.

National

India set to add 17 GW renewable capacity in 2021 and 19.3 GW in 2022: IEA

According to the ‘Renewable Energy Market Update – Outlook for 2021 and 2022’ released by the International Energy Agency (IEA), India will add 17 GigaWatt (GW) renewable capacity in 2021 & 19.3 GW in 2022. However, the total Renewable Energy Capacity will be under 140 GW in 2022. It also states that India’s Renewable Energy capacity additions declined by 50% in 2020 compared to 2019.However, the growth is expected to pick up and renewable expansion is expected to set new records by 2022. Globally, in 2020 the annual renewable capacity additions increased 45% to almost 280 GW – the highest year-on year increase since 1999.

Government to setup Committee on Energy Efficiency, Low Carbon Technology: R K Singh

Minister of State (I/C) for Power, New and Renewable Energy R K Singh stated that the Government will set up a committee/group for implementation of a roadmap on energy efficiency and low carbon technologies. It was stated during a high-level meeting held by the Ministry of Power to review the progress of energy efficiency programmes and preparedness for Climate Change Actions. The committee/Group on Energy Efficiency, Low Carbon Technology will consist of members from all relevant ministries.
High-Level Meeting: The high level meeting was held virtually to discuss activities in the field of energy efficiency across all sectors of the economy with the objective of reducing CO2 emissions.
i.Sectors like Transport, MSME (Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises) & Power plants needed more focus as they have high emissions intensity compared to other sectors.
ii.Power Finance Corporation, a CPSU under the Ministry of Power will be the nodal agency for facilitating Energy Efficiency Financing.
BEE’s Programs – ROSHANEE & UNNATEE
BEE has developed two programs namely ROSHANEE (Roadmap Of Sustainable and Holistic Approach to National Energy Efficiency) and UNNATEE (Unlocking National Energy Efficiency Potential), which lay down Sector wise action plan to address Climate change and CO2 emissions for the period 2021-2030

India’s H-Energy signs MoU with Petrobangla to supply LNG to Bangladesh

India’s H-Energy signed an Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Petrobangla (Bangladesh Oil, Gas & Mineral Corporation), a government-owned national oil company of Bangladesh for supply of R-LNG (Regasified-Liquefied Natural Gas) to Bangladesh. H-Energy will supply LNG to Bangladesh via the 250 km ‘Kanai Chatta (West Bengal) – Shrirampur (Bangladesh) Natural Gas Pipeline’, which is expected to be commissioned in 2023. H-Energy was authorized by the Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board (PNGRB), the regulatory body in India to build, own and operate the Kanai Chhata-Shrirampur natural gas pipeline. It became the only company to receive authorisation from PNGRB to lay a pipeline to the Bangladesh border.
About H Energy
MD & CEO – Darshan Hiranandani
Headquarters – Mumbai, Maharashtra
About Petrobangla
Chairman – A B M Abdul Fattah
Headquarters – Dhaka

TRAI amended Interconnection Regulations, 2017 by adding new framework for Broadcasting & Cable Services

The Interconnection Regulations, 2017 has been amended by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) by incorporating Telecommunication (Broadcasting and Cable) Services Interconnection (Addressable Systems) (Third Amendment) Regulations, 2021 in its schedule IX. This new addition provides a framework for technical compliance of conditional access system (CAS) and subscriber management system (SMS) for the broadcasting and cable sector.

Fixation of Nutrient Based Subsidy Rate for P&K for 2021-22

The CCEA chaired by PM Modi has approved the proposal of the Department of Fertilizers for fixation of Nutrient Based Subsidy Rates (NBS) for P&K Fertilizers for the year 2021-22.The estimated additional subsidy would be around Rs 14,775 crore.
Per Kg Subsidy rate in INR
N (Nitrogen) P (Phosphorus) K (Potash) S (Sulphur)
18.789 45.323 10.116 2.374

Cabinet Approvals on June 16, 2021

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi accorded approvals to the proposals of Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES) & Department of Fertilizers, Ministry of Chemicals & Fertilizers. They are, Proposal of the MoES for Deep Ocean Mission Proposal of the Department of Fertilizers for Nutrient Based Subsidy (NBS) rates for Phosphatic & Potassic (P&K) Fertilisers for the year 2021-22.

Union Cabinet approves restructuring of OFB into 7 new Corporate entities

The Union Cabinet approved a plan for the restructuring of the 246-year old Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) which has 41 factories, into 7 fully government owned corporate entities on the lines of Defence Public Sector Undertakings (DPSU). The move to replace OFB with 7 corporate entities will enable the companies to have more autonomy and also improve their accountability and efficiency. The 7 entities will produce ammunition and explosives, vehicles, weapons and equipment, troop comfort items, opto-electronics gear, parachutes and ancillary products. OFB is being restructured as part of India’s vision to achieve self-reliance in the defence sector. In September 2020, an Empowered Group of Ministers (EGoM) under the chairmanship of Defence Minister Rajnath Singh was set up to decide on matters related to restructuring of OFB.
About Ordnance Factory Board (OFB)
Director General – C S Vishwakarma
Headquarters – Kolkata, West Bengal

MoC Signed MoU with MoPSW for Cooperation in Development of NMHC at Lothal, Gujarat

The Ministry of Culture (MoC) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways (MoPSW) for Cooperation in Development of National Maritime Heritage Complex (NMHC) at Lothal, Gujarat.
Prahlad Singh Patel, Union Minister of State (IC) for Culture and Mansukh Mandaviya, Union Minister of State (IC) for Ports, Shipping and Waterways were present during the signing ceremony held in Transport Bhawan, New Delhi.
National Maritime Heritage Complex:
i.National Maritime Heritage Complex is India’s first of its kind facility dedicated to the legacy of Maritime Heritage of India. It will be developed at the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) site of Lothal, Gujarat.
About Ministry of Culture:
Minister of State– Prahlad Singh Patel (Constituency: Damoh, Madhya Pradesh)
About Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways (MoPSW):
Minister of State– Mansukh Mandaviya (Constituency: Gujarat)

Economy

CII Projects India’s GDP Growth for FY22 to 9.5%

The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) has projected that India’s Gross Domestic Product(GDP) is set to increase at 9.5% in the current Financial year 2021-2022(FY22) which will be higher than the GDP of FY20. The growth in the 2nd half will be supported by the external demand and large scale coverage of vaccination which allows the resumption of economic activities. CII estimates that the Indian economy requires a Rs 3 lakh crores fiscal stimulus including the cash transfer to households through Jan Dhan accounts.

IndusInd Bank Launched IndusEasyCredit, a Digital Lending Platform

IndusInd Bank launched the “IndusEasyCredit”, a comprehensive digital lending platform to enable the customers to meet their financial needs from their home.
About IndusEasyCredit:
i.IndusEasyCredit is a first of its kind platform which will offer a digital end to end process by utilising Indiastack, the public digital infrastructure of India, to offer personal loans and credit cards in a paperless, presence-less and cashless manner.
ii.This will enable both the existing and non-IndusInd Bank customers to avail of personal loans or credit cards on a single platform in a completely paperless and digital manner.
iii.The stack uses around 35 interfaces to digitally verify the Know Your Customer (KYC), employment information and analyse the bank statements.
About IndusInd Bank:
Managing Director & CEO– Sumant Kathpalia
Headquarters– Pune, Maharashtra
Established in 1994

India Extends 100 million USD LoC to support Sri Lanka’s Solar Power Coverage

India has signed an agreement to extend a 100 million USD Line of Credit (LOC) to Sri Lanka for projects in the Solar Energy Sector. The agreement was signed between the Government of Sri Lanka and the Export-Import Bank of Indi. The agreement was exchanged between Gopal Baglay High Commissioner of India and S.R. Attygalle, Secretary to the Treasury, Government of Sri Lanka and in the presence of Gotabaya Rajapaksa, President of Sri Lanka. India became the first country to partner with Sri Lanka to ensure that 70% of Sri Lanka’s national power requirements are fulfilled by renewable energy sources by 2030.
About Sri Lanka:
President– Gotabaya Rajapaksa
Judicial capital– Colombo
Legislative capital– Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte
Currency– Sri Lankan Rupee

GoI inked $484mn loan pact with ADB for CKIC project in TN

Government of India (GoI) virtually signed a $484 million (Rs 3,616 cr) loan agreement with the Asian Development Bank to improve transport connectivity and facilitate industrial development in the Chennai–Kanyakumari Industrial Corridor (CKIC) in Tamil Nadu (TN).
i.In this regard, Seven-year contracts are provided for long-term maintenance of road projects.
About Asian Development Bank
Establishment– 1966
Members– 68
Headquartered– Manila, Philippines
President– Masatsugu Asakawa

Sports

World Test Championship Final 2021: India vs New Zealand WTC Final to begin today at 3.30pm

India is all set to take on New Zealand in the World Test Championship Final, which is scheduled to start from today, June 18, 2021 at the Ageas Bowl Stadium in Southampton, United Kingdom.

All eyes will be on the highly anticipated clash, as the team that wins will create history by becoming the first-ever team to lift the World Test Championship trophy.

Yuvraj Singh Becomes Brand Ambassador of PUMA Motorsport in India

Global sports brand PUMA extended its partnership with former Indian Cricketer Yuvraj Singh by signing him as the Brand Ambassador of PUMA motorsports in India. He has been associated with the brand for over a decade. Besides Yuvraj Singh ,PUMA’s other global brand ambassadors are Thierry Henry, Boris Becker and Usain Bolt.Globally, PUMA is associated with Scuderia Ferrari, Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team, Aston Martin Red Bull Racing, BMW M Motorsport and Porsche Motorsport.

Miscellaneous

Arjun Munda inaugurates 3-day long “Capacity Building Training of Master Trainers For ST PRI Members”

i.Tribal Minister also launched a 3-day long training program on “Capacity Building Training of Master Trainers For ST PRI Members” from 16th -19th June 2021
ii.The program is conducted specially for the members of Scheduled Tribes (ST) Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRI).
iii.The program was jointly organised by National Tribal Research Institute and Madhya Pradesh government
About Ministry of Tribal Affairs:
Eklavya Model Residential Schools are built across India in rural areas to provide quality education to the Tribal population
Union Minister – Arjun Munda (Constituency – Khunti, Jharkhand)
Minister of State – Renuka Singh Saruta (Constituency – Surguja, Chhattisgarh)

ADI PRASHIKSHAN portal launched by Ministry of Tribal Affairs in collaboration with UNDP

Union Minister of Tribal Affairs, Arjun Munda launched “Adi Prashikshan” portal, a unique online portal to provide quality training to Tribal population. The portal was jointly developed by the Ministry of Tribal Affairs, Tribal Research Institute (TRI) – Odisha and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
Objective – To provide quality skill development and capacity building programs to Tribal population across India, and improve their socioeconomic status
The portal includes all training programs conducted by National Society for Education of Tribal Students (NESTS), Centre of Excellences (CoE’s) funded by Ministry of Tribal Affairs, TRIs across India and National Tribal Research Institute.

Mukund Gosavi Becomes Brand Ambassador of Corona Vaccination Program in Maharashtra

The Maharashtra government has appointed Mukund Gosavi as a brand ambassador of the Corona vaccination program for speedy implementation of Corona vaccination in the Jalgaon district, Maharashtra due to his selfless service Mukund Gosavi is a person with 80 percent who assisted disabled people and senior citizens in remote areas by providing medical care facilities,arranging essential items to at least 1000 people and reducing fear among COVID positive patients by counselling them.

Microsoft appointed CEO Satya Nadella as Chairman

Microsoft Corporation appointed its Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Satya Nadella as its Chairman. He will succeed John Thompson who will now serve as lead independent director. Notably, Satya Nadella backed billion dollar acquisitions like LinkedIn, Nuance Communications and ZeniMax. Satya Nadella was appointed the CEO of Microsoft in 2014, succeeding Steve Ballmer.

Sumant Sinha recognised as a SDG Pioneer of the Year by UNGC

During the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) Leaders Summit 2021, 10-Global leaders were named as the SDG Pioneers 2021. Sumant Sinha, the Chairman and Managing Director of ReNew Power was recognised as one of the Global leaders working towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) through the implementation of the UN Global Compact Ten Principles on human rights, environment, labor, and anti-corruption.
About United Nations Global Compact (UNGC):
Established – July 2000
CEO & Executive Director – Sanda Ojiambo
About ReNew Power:
Founded – 2011
Chairman – Sumant Sinha
Headquarters – Gurugram, Haryana

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