Current Affairs

18 November, 2021

International

India Ranks 82 in 2021 TRACE global Bribery Risk Rankings; Denmark Tops

India has slipped to 82nd position (drop by 5 slots from 2020) with a risk score of 44 in the global list of 2021 TRACE Bribery Risk Matrix (TRACE Matrix) that measures business bribery risks, which was released by TRACE International. In 2020, India ranked 77 with a score of 45.

2021 TRACE Bribery Risk Matrix Country Risk Scores:

Rank Country Total Risk Score
82 India 44
1
Top 3

Denmark 2
2 Norway 5
3 Sweden 7
192
Bottom 3

Eritrea 81
193 Turkmenistan 86
194 North Korea 94
About TRACE International:
Global Headquarters – United States
President and Founder – Alexandra Wrage

Overview of MoS V. Muraleedharan’s 5 Day Visit to Uganda and Rwanda

i.Minister of State (MoS) Vellamvelly Muraleedharan, Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs and Ministry of External Affairs paid an Official Visit to Uganda and Rwanda
ii.He paid an official visit to the Republic of Uganda on November 11-13, 2021 to consolidate India-Uganda relations on the entire gamut of bilateral, regional and international issues, and set out a road map for future engagements.
iii.During visit to Rwanda, he co-chaired the first India-Rwanda Joint Commission Meeting (JCM) in Kigali, Rwanda along with Rwanda’s Foreign Affairs Minister Vincent Biruta.
About Uganda:
Capital– Kampala
Currency– Ugandan Shilling
About Rwanda:
Capital– Kigali
Currency– Rwandan franc

4th Edition of WHO Global Report on Trends in Prevalence of Tobacco use 2000–2025

As per the 4th edition of the Global report on trends in prevalence of tobacco use 2000–2025 published by the World Health Organization (WHO) on November 16, 2021, the number of tobacco users (for both sexes combined) has decreased globally from 1.32 billion in 2015 to 1.30 billion in 2020 and is projected to further decline to 1.27 billion by 2025. Currently, tobacco use prevalence is defined as the proportion of the population aged 15 years and above who use one or more smoked or smokeless tobacco products on a daily or non-daily basis. According to the report, in 2020, 22.3 percent of the global population used tobacco, 36.7 percent of all men and 7.8 percent of the world’s women.

Global trends in the number of tobacco users aged 15 years and older:

WHO Region Estimated number of tobacco users (million) Projected
(million)
2015 2020 2025
Both Sexes Male Female Both Sexes Male Female Both Sexes Male Female
Global 1323 1069 254 1298 1067 231 1270 1062 208
South East Asia
444

350

93

432

351

81

418

350

69

Note – India is the second-largest consumer and producer of tobacco. Tobacco is the major cause of death and disease in India and accounts for nearly 1.35 million deaths every year.
About World Health Organization (WHO):
Establishment – 7 April 1948
Headquarters – Geneva, Switzerland
Director General – Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus
Member Countries – 194 (including India)

National

MHA approves new Rajya Sainik Board for Ladakh for Sainik Welfare

The Indian Air Force (IAF) and Indian Army conducted a joint airlift exercise, ‘Op Hercules’ to strengthen the logistics supply in the Northern sector and to augment winter stocking in the operational areas.

The platforms utilised for the airlift were C-17, IL-76 and An-32 aircraft, which took off from one of the forward bases of Western Air Command.

The airlift is a real-time demonstration of the Indian Air Force in ensuring the ability to quickly respond to any contingency during the past.

Note – In October 2021, India conducted its 1st Tri-Service Exercise with the United Kingdom, named as “Konkan Shakti 2021”.
About Indian Army
Headquarters – New Delhi, Delhi
Commander-in-chief – President of India (Ram Nath Kovind)
Motto- “SEVA ASMAKAM DHARMA” or “Service is our Creed”
About India Air Force (IAF)
Headquarters – New Delhi, Delhi
Chief of the Air Marshall – Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari
Motto (2021) – “Touch the Sky with Glory”

India’s 1st Fisheries Business Incubation Centre launched in Gurugram, Haryana

Union Minister of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying (FAHD) Parshottam Rupala launched the India’s first-of-its kind, dedicated business incubator known as LINAC-NCDC Fisheries Business Incubation Centre (LlFlC) in Gurugram, Haryana. The LlFlC is built at a cost of 3.23 crore to nurture fisheries start-ups under real market-led conditions. National Cooperative Development Corporation (NCDC) is an implementing agency for the LIFIC.

Note – Union Minister Rupala also inaugurated Sardar Patel Auditorium at the LINAC premises.
About Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying (FAHD):
Union Minister – Parshottam Rupala (Constituency- Gujarat)
Minister of State – Sanjeev Kumar Balyan (Constituency – Muzaffarnagar, Uttarpradesh)
About National Cooperative Development Corporation (NCDC)
Established – 1963
Headquarters – New Delhi, Delhi
Managing Director – Sundeep Kumar Nayak

President Ram Nath Kovind Promulgates 2 Ordinances extending tenure of CBI and ED Directors for up to 5 years

President Ram Nath Kovind signed two ordinances promulgated by the Ministry of Law and Justice amending the Delhi Special Police Establishment (DSPE) Act, 1946 with Delhi Special Police Establishment (Amendment) Ordinance 2021; and Central Vigilance Commission Act, 2003 with Central Vigilance Commission (Amendment) Ordinance, 2021 to extend the tenure of Directors of probe agencies Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and Enforcement Directorate (ED) up to five years from current 2 years. Both ordinances will come into effect immediately. With the above amendments, the Central government also amended the Rule 56(d) Fundamental Rules (FR), 1922 to bring them in sync with above amendments. It should be noted that the DSPE Act is the parent law for the CBI, and the Central Vigilance Act covers the appointment of the ED director.

What is in the ordinances?
As per the ordinances, the central Government can extend the Directors’ tenure of CBI and ED by a year for three consecutive years once they complete their fixed two year term. Means their tenures can now be up to a maximum of five years from the present two years.

Note – Current ED Director is Sanjay Kumar Mishra(Set to Retire on November 17, 2021) & Current CBI Director – Subodh Kumar Jaiswal

Economy

TPCI signs MoU with Spain’s Navarra for Trade Promotion

The Trade Promotion Council of India (TPCI) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Department of Economy and Business Development of the Government of Navarra, Spain towards mutual promotion of trade and investments, thereby enhancing the country’s commercial relationship.
About Trade Promotion Council of India (TPCI):
TPCI is India’s apex trade and investment promotion organization, supported by the Department of Commerce, Govt. of India.
Objective – To facilitate Global investment & trade opportunities for the growth of Indian Industries.
Founder Chairman – Mohit Singla
Headquarters – Pragati Maidan, New Delhi
About Spain:
Capital – Madrid
Prime Minister – Pedro Sánchez Pérez-Castejón
Strait of Gibraltar, that connects the Atlantic Ocean with the Mediterranean Sea, is located in Spain.

IndusInd Bank Launches Mobile App for Merchants – ‘Indus Merchant Solutions’

IndusInd Bank has launched a comprehensive mobile application (app), named the ‘Indus Merchant Solutions’ to enable merchants, retailers, and professionals to carry out banking transactions digitally, on a single platform. The Indus Merchant Solutions app currently has English as its default language and very soon the app will be available in multiple languages including Hindi, Marathi, Bengali, Gujarati, Telugu, Tamil, Kannada, Malayalam, Punjabi and more.

Who can avail:
Any current account holder of IndusInd Bank can instantly download the ‘Indus Merchant Solutions’ app and even a non-customer can open a current account with the Bank through a fully digitised process to get themselves registered as a merchant.
Features:
i.Tracking Payments: The app will enable merchants or retailers to view, collect and reconcile payments on a single platform
ii.Payments at ease: Merchants can accept digital payments through multiple modes at any time, from anywhere.
iii.Exclusive Point-of-Sale (Pos): Merchants can collect payment from the buyer during home deliveries, as well as payment-on-delivery instances where the seller and buyer may not be physically present at the same location.
iv.Paperless Transactions: Merchants can also apply as well as avail small ticket business loans and also provides a consolidated view of all banking relationships across deposits and loans held by the merchant
v.Banking Services Online: Merchants can even place service requests including, cheque book requests, reset debit card pins, report discrepancies among others.
About IndusInd Bank
MD & CEO – Sumant Kathpalia
Established – 1994
Headquarters – Mumbai, Maharashtra
Tagline – We Make You Feel Richer

SBI signs Co-lending Agreement with U Gro Capital to finance MSMEs

The State Bank of India (SBI) signed a Co-lending agreement in line with RBI (Reserve Bank of India) guidelines with the U GRO Capital, the Non-Banking Financial Company (NBFC). Through this collaboration, SBI and U GRO Capital will disburse up to Rs 500 crore loans to MSME sector by March 2022.

Objective:
It aims to offer strategic financing solutions to the unserved and underserved (Micro Small and Medium Enterprises) MSMEs of the country.

About State Bank of India (SBI):

Chairperson- Dinesh Kumar Khara
Motto – Pure Banking Nothing Else
Headquarters- Mumbai, Maharashtra
About U GRO Capital
Chairman and Managing Director- Shachindra Nath
Headquarters– Mumbai, Maharashtra

SBI & Tata Steel signs Agreement to Jamshedpur Football Club

The State Bank of India (SBI) signed a strategic agreement with Jamshedpur Football Club (JFB), a fully owned subsidiary of Tata Steel, to promote and support football in India. This is the first of its kind of agreement by SBI in the game of football.

About State Bank of India (SBI):

Chairperson- Dinesh Kumar Khara
Founded– 1 July 1955
Headquarters- Mumbai, Maharashtra
About Tata Steels:
Tata Steels is known for developing India’s first industrial city at Jamshedpur, Jharkhand.
CEO- T. V. Narendran
Founded- 25 August 1907
Headquarters- Mumbai, Maharashtra

Sports

India to Host 2029 ICC Men’s Champions Trophy and Co-Host 2026 ICC T20 WC & 2031 50-over WC

The International Cricket Council (ICC) has announced the 14 host countries of the ICC men’s white-ball events from 2024-2031. India is set to host the 2029 Champions Trophy and co-host the 2026 ICC Men’s Twenty20(T20) World Cup(WC) with Sri Lanka and 2031 ICC Men’s 50-over World Cup with Bangladesh.

Pakistan is set to host the 2025 ICC Men’s Champions Trophy. This will be the first major global cricket tournament played in Pakistan since 1996. The ICC has named the United States of America(USA) the co-host of the 2024 ICC Men’s T20 World Cup with West Indies and Namibia as the co-host of 2027 Men’s 50 over the World Cup with South Africa and Zimbabwe. This is the first time for the USA and Namibia to host an ICC World Cup event.

Host countries of ICC Events 2024-2031:Hosts & Events:

Event Host(s)
2024 ICC Men’s T20 World Cup USA & West Indies
2025 ICC Men’s Champions Trophy Pakistan
2026 ICC Men’s T20 World Cup India & Sri Lanka
2027 ICC Men’s 50 over World Cup South Africa, Zimbabwe & Namibia
2028 ICC Men’s T20 World Cup Australia & New Zealand
2029 ICC Men’s Champions Trophy India
2030 ICC Men’s T20 World Cup England, Ireland & Scotland
2031 ICC Men’s 50 over World Cup India & Bangladesh

Miscellaneous

Secretary of DoT K. Rajaraman Inaugurated Public Procurement Policy Portal for Telecom Product

K. Rajaraman, Secretary, Department of Telecommunications (DoT) and Chairman, Digital Communication Commission (DCC), inaugurated the Public Procurement Policy (Make In India) portal for Telecom Product. The portal will enable the manufacturers/vendors and other stakeholders to register their grievances and track the status of their complaints.

Other Inaugurations:
i.He released the technical report on ‘Emerging Communication Technologies and Use Cases in the Internet of Things (IoT) Domain’, Concept paper on ‘Optical Fibre & Cable in Indian Telecom Network’, and the ‘TEC (Telecommunication Engineering Centre) Handbook-2021’ documented by IoT, Regional TECs and Regional Coordination (RC) Division of TEC respectively.
ii.He inaugurated the Nationwide Mandatory Testing and Certification of Telecom Equipment (MTCTE) Helpdesk and Evaluation Centre infrastructure and Control Lab, situated in TEC premises.
iii.K. Rajaraman along with DCC Member Deepak Chaturvedi, Member ( Services) and other senior officers of DoT visited the TEC labs such as IoT Experience Centre, IPV6 (Internet Protocol version 6), and Green Passport lab.
About Ministry of Communications:
Union Minister – Ashwini Vaishnaw (Constituency – Odisha)
Minister of State – Devusinh Chauhan (Constituency – Kheda, Gujarat)

BRO Bags Guinness Record for World’s Highest Altitude Road – Umling La Pass

The Border Roads Organisation (BRO) has received the Guinness World Record(GWR) for constructing & blacktopping the world highest motorable road passing through the 19,024 feet 0.73 inches (5798.251m) high Umlingla Pass in the Union Territory(UT) of Ladakh. The 52-kilometre long Chisumle to Demchok tarmac road was developed under Project HIMANK (93RCC/753 BRTF) of BRO. The Umlingla Pass road is another landmark in resurgent India’s achievement as it has been constructed at an altitude higher than the North and South Base Camps of Mount Everest which are at an altitude of 16,900 feet and 17,598 feet respectively. Lieutenant General Rajeev Chaudhry, Director General Border Roads (DGBR), received the Guinness World Records certificate on 16th November 2021. Previously the record was held by the road in Bolivia, which connects volcano Uturuncu at 18,953 feet.

Pochampally of Telangana Selected as One of the UNWTO Best Tourism Villages

The Pochampally village in the Yadadri Bhuvanagiri district of Telangana has been selected as one of the Best Tourism Villages by the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).

Pochampally village located around 50 km away from Hyderabad which is well known for its handloom waved Ikat sarees is often referred to as the Silk City of India. The award will be presented during the 24th session of the UNWTO General Assembly which will be held in Madrid, Spain, from 30 November to 3 December 2021.

Note:
Three Indian villages, namely Ladhpura Khas, Madhya Pradesh; Kongthong village, Meghalaya; and Pochampally village, Telangana, were nominated for UNWTO’s “Best Tourism Villages.”
About United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO):
UNWTO is responsible for the promotion of responsible, sustainable and universally accessible tourism.
Secretary-General– Zurab Pololikashvili
Headquarters– Madrid, Spain

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