Current Affairs

18 September, 2021

International

WEF to host 5 day annual meet in Davos in Jan 2022

The World Economic Forum (WEF) announced that its next annual meeting with the theme ‘Working Together, Restoring Trust’ will be held at Davos-Klosters in Switzerland from January 17-21, 2022. It the first major in-person congregation of the world leaders in almost two years since the deadliest pandemic hit the world. The yearly gathering in 2021 was skipped due to safety and health concerns

Objective:
i.To accelerate stakeholder capitalism, harness the technologies of the Fourth Industrial Revolution and ensure a more inclusive future of work.
ii.To emphasis on rebuilding trust and shaping a more sustainable future
iii.To bring together forward-thinking leaders to drive multi stakeholder collaboration
iv.To address the world’s most pressing economic, political and societal challenges
v.To tackle climate change, build a better future for work
Note:
Ahead of the Annual Meeting 2022, the Forum will host the fifth Sustainable Development Impact Summit with the theme ‘Shaping an Equitable, Inclusive and Sustainable Recovery’, virtually from September 20-23, 2021.
About World Economic Forum (WEF)
Headquarters: Cologny, Switzerland
CEO: Jeremy Jurgens
Founder: Klaus Schwab
Founded: January 1971
Motto: Committed to improving the state of the world

World Bank discontinues “Ease of Doing Business” report

The World Bank group announced to discontinue its “Doing Business” reports after finding data irregularities in countries rankings in 2018 and 2020 reports. The law investigation agency, WilmerHale, has unveiled inconsistent with the Doing Business methodology in the 2018 report, which favoured China’s position. In Doing Business 2018 report, China was ranked 78th with a score of 65.3, but after making corrections in various indicators, its position dropped 7 places to 85th with a score of 64.5

Note – The 1st edition of the ‘Doing Business’ report was published by the World Bank in 2003.
i.The investigation has unveiled that the data irregularities in the reports were due to pressure from the then World Bank Chief Executive ‘Kristalina Georgieva’, who serves as the Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) since 2018.
ii.In the “Doing Business 2020” report, the ranking of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Azerbaijan were found to be dispositioned. Saudi Arabia jumped 30 places to 62nd in the 2020 report compared to that of 2019.

Note – India was ranked 63rd in the ‘2020 Ease of Doing Business’ index, which was topped by New Zealand
About WilmerHale:
Founder – William F. Lee
Headquarters – Washington, DC, USA
About World Bank:
President – David R. Malpass
Headquarters – Washington DC, USA
World Bank Country Director in India – Junaid Ahmad

National

Cabinet Approves Guarantee of upto Rs 30600 Crore to back Security Receipts to be issued by NARCL

i.As part of resolution of bad loans, on September 16, 2021, the Union Cabinet approved government guarantee of up to Rs 30600 crore to back Security Receipts (SRs) for 5 years that will be issued by National Asset Reconstruction Company (NARCL). The information for the same was provided by Union Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Ministry of Finance while briefing media in New Delhi.
ii.It has been incorporated under the Companies Act, 2013 and has applied to the Reserve Bank of India for license as an Asset Reconstruction Company (ARC). It is basically a government backed bad bank in the name of ARC.
iii.Along with NARCL, the government will also set up the India Debt Resolution Company Ltd (IDRCL). The IDRCL is a service company or an operational entity, which will manage assets and loop in market professionals and turnaround experts. PSBs and Public FIs will hold a maximum of 49% stake and
About Ministry of Finance:
Nirmala Sitharaman Constituency– Karnataka
Ministers of State (MoS) – Dr Bhagwat Kishanrao Karad (Constituency –Maharashtra), and Pankaj Chaudhary (Constituency – Maharajganj, Uttar Pradesh)

MoD constitutes 15-member High Level Expert Committee to review of NCC

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) constituted a High Level Expert Committee, under the chairmanship of former Member of Parliament (MP) Baijayant Panda, for a comprehensive review of National Cadet Corps (NCC). The committee will be responsible for suggesting measures to empower NCC cadets to contribute more effectively towards national development. The committee will also recommend best practices of similar international youth organizations for inclusion in the NCC curriculum.

Composition of Committee: 15 members: It has 13 members and 1 member secretary, along with Chairperson. Therefore, in total it’s a 15 member committee.

Baijayant Panda, former Member of Parliament Chairperson
Col. (Retd) Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, Member of Parliament Member
Vinay Sahasrabuddhe, Member of Parliament Member
Anand Mahindra, Chairman, Mahindra Group Member
Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Cricketer Member
Sanjeev Sanyal, Principal Economic Advisor, Ministry of Finance Member
Prof. Najma Akhtar, Vice Chancellor, Jamia Millia Islamia Member
Prof. Vasudha Kamat, Former VC, SNDT Women’s University Member
Mukul Kanitkar, National Organizing Secretary, Bhartiya Shikshan Mandal Member
Maj. Gen. Alok Raj (Retd) Member
Milind Kamble, Chairman, DICCI Member
Rituraj Sinha, MD, SIS India Limited Member
Ms. Vedika Bhandarkar, Chief Operating Officer, Water.org Member
Anand Shah, CEO, Databook Member
Mayank Tewari, JS (Trg), DoD Member Secretary
About NCC:
The NCC is the largest uniformed organisation which aims at developing character, discipline, a secular outlook and ideals of selfless service amongst young citizens.
About Ministry of Defence:
Rajnath Singh Constituency – Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh
Minister of State– Ajay Bhatt (Constituency – Nainital–Udhamsingh Nagar, Uttarakhand)

NITI Aayog Launches Report on ‘Reforms in Urban Planning Capacity in India’; France’s Dassault Systèmes partnered with NITI Aayog

i.A report titled ‘Reforms in Urban Planning Capacity in India’ was released by NITI (National Institution for Transforming India) Aayog’s Vice Chairman Dr Rajiv Kumar, CEO (Chief Executive Officer) Amitabh Kant and Special Secretary Dr K. Rajeswara Rao.
ii.T he report has been developed by NITI Aayog over a period of 9 months, in consultation with concerned ministries and eminent experts in the domain of urban and regional planning.
iii.NITI Aayog and France’s software maker Dassault Systèmes have signed a Statement of Intent (SoI) during a virtual event to support various current and future initiatives of AIM (Atal Innovation Mission) programs and AIM beneficiaries in India.
About NITI Aayog:
Establishment– 2015
Chairperson– Prime Minister of India (Currently- Narendra Damodardas Modi)
Headquarters– New Delhi

Economy

Tata Capital launches ‘Loan Against Mutual Funds’ Scheme

Tata Capital, the financial service wing of Tata Sons, launched a 1st of its kind digital banking scheme called ‘Loan Against Mutual Funds’ (LAMF). The scheme offers instant loans ranging from ₹5 lakhs to ₹2 crores to customers on their existing Mutual Funds, maintained by various asset management companies. The loans can be availed as an overdraft facility or as a term loan to meet the personal & business loan requirements of customers.

Features of LAMF:
i.Under LAMF, Tata Capital offers end-to-end digital loans starting from onboarding of customers till loan disbursement.
ii.Auto-renewal facility can be availed after the tenure of loans exceeds 1-year
iii.The loans are customizable based on the tenure and portfolio of the Mutual fund.
About Tata Capital:
MD & CEO – Rajiv Sabharwal
Established – 2007
Headquarters – Mumbai, Maharashtra

KMBL in partnership with IISc will set up AI-ML Centre in Bengaluru

Kotak Mahindra Bank Limited (KMBL) and Indian Institute of Science (IISc) are collaborating to set up an Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning (AI-ML) ‘’Kotak-IISc AI-ML Centre’’at IISc campus in Bengaluru, Karnataka.
Aim– To boost the Research & Development and innovation in the field of AI-ML.
Highlights: It is an initiative under CSR(Corporate Social Responsibility) project on Education and Livelihood. The centre is spread across 1,40,000 square feet in the city. It will offer Bachelor’s, Master’s and short term courses in the field of AI-MI such as deep learning, fintech, reinforcement learning, image processing, computer vision, natural language processing, speech understanding, robotics, computational finance and risk management, cyber security, fraud analytics, blockchain, biomedical engineering and technology, healthcare, etc. The Centre, established under KMBL’s CSR project on Education & Livelihood.

Note- The term Artificial Intelligence (AI) was coined in 1956 by John McCarthy.
Additional Information-
i.IIT (Indian Institute of Technology) Hyderabad is the 1st Indian Educational Institute starting B Tech in AI. It is 3rd in the World after Carnegie University and MIT(Massachusetts Institute of Technology).
ii.IIIT(International Institute of Information Technology)Hyderabad has also introduced popular executive programmes on AI, Machine Learning and Blockchain.
About Kotak Mahindra Bank Limited (KBML)-
Established– February 2003
Headquarters– Mumbai, Maharashtra
Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer– Uday Kotak

Sports

Former Olympic shooter Randhir Singh appointed as acting president of OCA

Former Olympic shooter Raja Randhir Singh, 72, has been appointed as the acting president of Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) as the president Sheikh Ahmad al Fahad al Sabah stepped aside after being found guilty of forgery by a Geneva Court. Randhir Singh is currently an Honorary Life Vice-President of the OCA He served as Secretary General of OCA from 1991 to 2015. He also served as Secretary General of the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) from 1987 to 2012 He was full member of the International Olympic Committee from 2001 to 2014

In March 2021, He was appointed as the chairman of the Coordination Committee of the 2022 Hangzhou Asian Games by OCA General Assembly
About IOC
Headquarters: Lausanne, Switzerland
President: Thomas Bach

IOC bans N Korea till the end of 2022

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has suspended North Korea until the end of 2022 as it failed to send a team to the Tokyo Games. With this suspension, the country will miss the Beijing Winter Games 2022 and it will not receive financial aid during the suspension To protect its athletes from Covid-19, North Korea did not send a delegation to the Tokyo Games. IOC reserves the right to make decisions on any individual North Korean athletes who qualify for Beijing 2022 and to reconsider the duration of the country’s suspension.

Miscellaneous

Spacex launches Earth-circling private trip with no professionals

For the first, A SpaceX launched Falcon 9 rocket, with all amateur and tourist crew, from Kennedy Space Centre at Cape Canaveral in Central Florida on September 15, 2021. The crew included 38-year-old billionaire Jared Isaacman, who sponsored the trip, Hayley Arceneux, 29, Sian Procotor, 51, and Chris Sembroski, a 42-year-old who claimed his seat through an online raffle. Jared Isaacman is leading the flight The Dragon capsule aimed for an altitude of 575 km, just beyond the Hubble Space Telescope. The Dragon capsule in which they are boarded will circle around the planet for three days expected to reach earth on September 18 (Saturday).
Note: Arceneaux is the first youngest American in space and the first person with prosthesis, a titanium rod in her left leg
About Dragon Capsule
i.It is a class of reusable cargo spacecraft developed by SpaceX
ii.It is also known as the pressurised section, allows the transport of people as well as environmentally sensitive cargo
About SpaceX
i. Space Exploration Technologies Corp is an American aerospace manufacturer, space transportation services and communications company
ii. Founder and CEO: Elon Musk
iii. Founded: 6 May 2002
iv. Headquarters: Hawthorne, California, United States

South Korea, 1st nation to successfully test launch SLBM without nuclear weapons; North Korea tested rail-launched ballistic missiles

i.After North Korea, now South Korea successfully test-fired a submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) becoming the 7th country in the world to do so. It also became the first country without nuclear weapons to develop such a system.
ii.The SLBM was fired underwater from its newly commissioned 3,000 ton class Dosan Ahn Chang-ho submarine.
iii.North Korea successfully test fired two short-range ballistic missiles from a train for the first time during a drill of its Railway Mobile Missile Regiment.
About South Korea:
Capital– Seoul
Currency– South Korean won

Joshna Chinappa Appointed as Brand Ambassador of ASICS; Virat Kohli as Athlete Investor & Brand Ambassador of Hyperice

The Japanese Sports equipment company Asics announced Indian squash player Joshna Chinappa as its new brand ambassador. It will bring positive change by spreading awareness about sports among the youth.
i.Asics has been working with several other athletes from various sports such as Manika Batra, Bajrang Punia, Ravindra Jadeja, Sakshi Malik, along with international athletes like Novak Djokovic etc to support youth and improve their performances.
About Joshna Chinappa: Joshna is an Indian professional squash player born in Chennai, Tamil Nadu.Currently she is ranked as number 10 worldwide. She is a two- time Asian Championship gold medalist. At the 2014 Commonwealth Games Joshna, along with Dipika Pallikal Karthik, won the squash women’s doubles gold medal, India’s first-ever Commonwealth Games medal in the sport.
About Hyperice
Founder– Anthony Katz
CEO – Jim Huether
About ASICS:
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (CEO)-Motoi Oyama
Managing Director, ASICS India and South Asia – Rajat Khurana

British writer Susanna Clarke won the Women’s Prize for Fiction 2021 for Piranesi

British author Susanna Clarke won the Women’s Prize for Fiction 2021 for her 2nd book, a fantasy novel titled “Piranesi”, a mystery about a man living alone in a labyrinthine house.
The book was published by Bloomsbury Publishing.
She published her debut novel “Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell” in 2004.

Home Minister Amit Shah Presented Rajbhasha Kirti & Rajbhasha Gaurav Awards

On the occasion of Hindi Diwas 2021, Amit Shah, Union Minister of Home Affairs and Minister of Cooperation presented the Rajbhasha Kirti and Rajbhasha Gaurav Awards to Ministries, Departments, and Undertakings who have done excellent work in the official language during 2018-19, 2019-20, and 2020-21.
He also released the 160th issue of the “Rajbhasha Bharati” booklet.
PNB & UBI received Rajbhasha Kirti Puraskar:
i.Punjab National Bank (PNB) has won the 1st prize of Rajbhasha Kirti Puraskar for 2020-2021 for the 4th consecutive time.
ii.Union Bank of India (UBI) won 5 awards – Rajbhasha Kirti Puraskar for excellent implementation of Hindi during the year 2018-19, 2019-20 & 2020-21. Under the National Bank Category, UBI’s e-Corporation Bank won the 1st prize for the 2019-20 ‘C’ region, and Union Bank of India won the 3rd prize for the year 2020-21. Under the House Magazine Category, UBI won the 2nd prize for “Union Srijan” for the years 2018-2019 and UBI’s e-Andhra Bank won the 2nd prize for “Rajbhasha Sarita” for the years 2018 and 2019. Under Town Official Language Implementation committee (TOLIC) Category (C Region), TOLIC, Vishakhapatnam of UBI’s E-Andhra Bank won the 2nd Prize for the year 2019-2020.
iii.Bank of Maharashtra, and Punjab & Sind Bank have also won the Rajbhasha Kirti Puraskar.

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