Current Affairs

20 September, 2021

International

Piyush Goyal Addresses the G-33 Virtual Informal Ministerial Meeting; Hosted By Indonesia

Minister of Commerce and Industry, Consumer Affairs & Food & Public Distribution and Textiles Piyush Goyal addressed the G-33 Virtual Informal Ministerial Meeting .The informal Ministerial Meeting was organized by Indonesia & chaired by Muhammad Lutfi, Minister of Trade, Republic of Indonesia.
Objective -To discuss the ‘Agricultural Priority Issues of G-33’ and the Way Forward for the 12th Ministerial Conference (MC-12) scheduled to be held from 30th November to 3rd December 2021.

About Agreement on Agriculture (AoA)
The Agreement on Agriculture (AoA) is a WTO treaty that was negotiated during the Uruguay Round of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) and formally ratified in 1994 at Marrakesh, Morocco.
About G-33
The grouping is called Friends of Special Products in agriculture. It is a coalition nif developing countries. It was established in the Cancun ministerial conference, Doha Round of WTO. The G33 has proposed special rules for developing countries at WTO negotiations, like allowing them to continue to restrict access to their agricultural markets.
Member Countries – 47
About Ministry of Commerce and Industry (MCI)
Minister- Piyush Vedprakash Goyal (Maharashtra)
Minister of State- Anupriya Patel (Mirzapur, Uttar Pradesh), Som Parkash (Hoshiarpur, Punjab)

‘Dushanbe Declaration’ adopted during 21st Summit of SCO Council of Heads of State

Prime Minister Narendra Modi virtually participated in the 21st Meeting of the Council of Heads of State of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) that was held for the first time through hybrid format from Dushanbe, Tajikistan. During the meeting, SCO member countries adopted the ‘Dushanbe Declaration’ to promote counter terrorism & stability in Afghanistan. External Affairs Minister, S. Jaishankar represented India in the meeting at Tajikistan, which was chaired by Tajikistan President – H.E. Emomali Rahmon.

About Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO):
Secretary-General – Vladimir Norov
Headquarters – Beijing, China
Chairship of 2021 – Tajikistan
Members – 8 (India, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan)

Highlights of MoS MEA Meenakshi Lekhi visit to Portugal and Spain

From September 12-17, 2021 the Minister of State (MoS) Meenakshi Lekhi, Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) visited Portugal and Spain to enhance bilateral ties with the two countries.
Visit to Portugal: Agreement on Indian Citizens Recruitment Signed
On September 12-14, 2021 she visited Portugal where a bilateral agreement on the recruitment of Indian citizens was signed after the review meeting of bilateral relations with her counterpart, Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Francisco Andre. With this pact, Portugal becomes the first European country with which India has signed a dedicated agreement on labour mobility. This is also the first agreement signed by Portugal outside the EU. The agreement will strengthen the socio-economic aspect between both nations as it sets out the procedures for recruitment of Indian workers and professionals in Portugal.

Other Meetings:
i.She called on the Spanish Foreign Minister, Jose Manuel Albares; and had consultations with the Secretary of State for International Affairs, Ms. Pilar Cancela Rodriguez. ii.Cooperation with the Cervantes Institute of Spain along with cooperation in Film making, Sports and Science and Technology was also discussed.
About Portugal:
Capital– Lisbon
Currency– Euro
About Spain:
Capital– Madrid
Currency– Euro

National

Govt to cover 36 Thousand Villages under PM Adarsh Gram Yojna announced by the Union Tribal Minister

The Union Tribal Affairs minister Arjun Munda announced to start Pradhan Mantri Adarsh Gram Yojna (PMAGY) covering 36 thousands villages across the country. Villages with 50 percent tribal population will be given priority.
Highlights: 1,700 tribal villages in Assam will be covered under PMAGY and converted into modern villages. It would benefit around 60,000 people. 184 Van Dhan Kendra will be set in Assam.

About Pradhan Mantri Adarsh Gram Yojana (PMAGY)

Pradhan Mantri Adarsh Gram Yojana (PMAGY) has been implemented since 2009-10 to enable an area based development approach for Scheduled Caste persons.

Objective-
i.It aims to provide ‘Housing for All’ by 2022, by providing financial assistance to beneficiaries.
ii.Integrated development of villages having population of Scheduled Castes (SC) people is more than 50%.
iii.Taking up identified activities that are not covered under the existing Central and State Government Schemes, through ‘Gap-filling’ funds from the centre. In October, 2018, the Scheme was revised to bring focus on important and critical monitorable socio-economic indicators under 10 domains namely, Drinking Water & Sanitation, Education, Health & Nutrition, Social Security, Rural Road and housing, Electricity and clean fuel, Agricultural practices etc., Financial inclusion, Digitization, Livelihood and Skill Development.

BHEL launches India’s 1st High Ash Coal to Methanol conversion plant in Hyderabad

Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) has developed India’s 1st High ash Indian Coal to Methanol conversion plant in Hyderabad, Telangana under plot basis. The plant is developed using indigenous technology, to promote the adoption of clean technology. Methanol produced through the plant will be blended with crude oil to reduce emission through transportation fuel.
i.The project has been initiated by NITI Aayog and funded by the Department of Science and Technology (DST) under Clean Energy Research Initiative.
ii.Generally, low ash coals are used for methanol conversion due to challenges faced in the amount of heat required for high ash coals.
iii.BHEL has developed the fluidized bed gasification technology for converting high ash Indian coals to methanol with between 98 and 99.5 percent.
iv.Hyderabad’s plant is a pilot project that has a methanol generation capacity of 0.25 metric tons/day.It will create 0.25 TPD Methanol from high ash Indian coal using a 1.2 TPD Fluidized bed gasifier.
About Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL):
Chairman & Managing Director – Nalin Shinghal
Established – 1964
Headquarter – New Delhi

BYJU’S Partners with NITI Aayog To Provide Learning Material to School Students; BYJU’S acquires K-12 coding company Tynker

NITI(National Institution for Transforming India) Aayog Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Amitabh Kant launched an initiative in collaboration with edutech company BYJU’S to provide free access to the company’s “Premium Learning’’ resources to students of class 6-12 in government schools across 112 ‘Aspirational Districts’ .

About NITI Aayog

Established- 2015
Chairperson– Prime Minister of India ( Currently- Narendra Modi)
Headquarters– New Delhi
About BYJU’s
Founder and Chief – Byju Raveendran

Manipur’s Sirarakhong Chilli & Tamenglong Orange get GI tag

Manipur’s Sirarakhong Chilli (Hathei Chilly) and Tamenglong Orange have received the Geographical Index (GI) tag.The Chief Minister of Manipur, Nongthombam Biren Singh, announced it during the inaugural ceremony of the Van Dhan Vikas Kendra (VDVK) Mela, 2021, organised by the State Forest Department. Sirarakhong Chilli (Hathei Chilly) found in Manipur’s Ukrul district and Tamenglong orange, widely grown across the Zeliangrong Naga – dominated district.

About Manipur
Governor: La Ganesan
Festivals
i.Heikru Hitongba – a boat race festival celebrated in September
ii.Ningol Chak-kouba – It is a social festival celebrated on the second day of the new moon in the month of Hiyangei (November)
iii.Chumpha- festival of the Rangkhul Nagas celebrated after harvest in December

Ashwini Vaishnaw launched Rail Kaushal Vikas Yojana (RKVY) under PMKVY from New Delhi

i.Union Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw, Ministry of Railways launched Rail Kaushal Vikas Yojana (RKVY) under the aegis of Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY) from Rail Bhavan, New Delhi.
ii.The program envisages empowering youth viz. 50000 candidates with industry relevant skills over a period of three years under the Apprentice Act 1961 through 75 Railway training institutes. It will be free of cost.
iii.The program curriculum has been developed by Banaras Locomotive Works, Uttar Pradesh.
About Ministry of Railways:
Union Minister – Ashwini Vaishnaw (Constituency- Odisha)
Ministers of State (MoS)– Danve Raosaheb Dadarao (Jalna, Maharashtra), Darshana Vikram Jardosh (Surat, Gujarat)
Railway Board Chairman– Suneet Sharma

Economy

TMB Launched Initiatives on its 100th Anniversary

Tamilnad Mercantile Bank(TMB) Limited launched various initiatives to mark its 100th anniversary. The bank launched the “TMB Mobile DigiLobby” to support its customers with banking services and a Mobile Vaccination Drive to create awareness on Covid-19 vaccination. Nirmala Sitharaman, Union Minister of Finance launched the postal stamp and a specialised ‘postal card’ to mark the TMB’s centennial celebration in Tuticorin, Tamil Nadu.

About Tamilnad Mercantile Bank(TMB) Limited:
TMB Limited was established in 1921 as Nadar Bank Limited.
MD & CEO– K V Rama Moorthy
Tagline– Be a Step ahead of life
Headquarters– Tuticorin, Tamilnadu

RBI Imposed Rs 5 lakh Fine on Kuppam Co-operative Town Bank over Regulatory Violation

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has imposed a fine of Rs 5 lakh on Kuppam Cooperative Town Bank, Chittor, Andhra Pradesh, over the violation of provisions of the directions issued by RBI in the Master Circular on Income Recognition, Asset Classification, and Provisioning and Master Circular on Board of Directors for urban co-operative banks. The penalty was imposed in the exercise of power vested in RBI under the provisions of Section 47 A (1) (c) read with Section 46 (4) (i) and Section 56 of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949. The RBI imposed a Rs 2.44 lakh fine on Spice Money Limited for non-compliance of provisions of the RBI’s master direction on issuance and operation of prepaid payment instruments (PPIs) in India. The penalty was imposed in the exercise of the power vested in RBI under the provisions of Section 30 of the Payment & Settlement Systems Act 2007.

LIC launches ‘PRAGATI’ mobile app for Development Officers

Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) launched its new mobile app – ‘PRAGATI’ (Performance Review Application, Growth And Trend Indicator) for exclusive performance analysis of the company by development officers.
i.PRAGATI has provisions for real-time performance analysis by analysing various information related to Premium collection, Policy activation, NACH validation among others.
LIC launches AI based app – “Jeevan Saakshaya”
“Jeevan Saakshaya”, an Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology based application, was launched by LIC that offers retired employees for online submission of life certificates.
About Life Insurance Corporation (LIC):
Chairman – M R Kumar
Established – 1956
Headquarters – Mumbai, Maharashtra

Sports

MS Dhoni to Mentor T20 Team

MS Dhoni to Mentor T20 Team
5 days ago
MS Dhoni to Mentor T20 Team BCCI announced that the former India captain MS Dhoni will mentor the team for the tournament, which will be played in UAE & Oman in October and November. Background: MS Dhoni announced his retirement from worldwide limited-overs cricket on August 15, 2020. Dhoni remained to play for India in the 2019 ICC World.

Virat Kohli steps down as T20 captain, to remain captain for ODI/ Test formats

Indian skipper Virat Kohli has announced that he will step down as the T20 captain of the Indian cricket team after the men's T20 World Cup in Dubai in October 2021. He will remain the captain for the ODI and Test formats.

Miscellaneous

UNESCO declares MDD in ‘Amazon of Europe’ as World’s 1st 5-country Biosphere Reserve

i.UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) declared Europe’s Mura-Drava-Danube (MDD), the largest riverine protected area on the continent known as ‘Amazon of Europe’ as the world’s first five-country biosphere reserve.
About UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization):
2021 is the International Year of Creative Economy for Sustainable Development
Establishment– 1945
Director-General– Audrey Azoulay
Headquarters– Paris, France

Alka Nangia Arora Takes Additional Charge as CMD of NSIC

Alka Nangia Arora, an Indian Defence Accounts Service (IDAS) officer of the 1991 batch has assumed the additional charge as the Chairman and Managing Director(CMD) of the National Small Industries Corporation Limited(NSIC) with effect from 14th September 2021. She is currently serving as Joint Secretary(JS) in the Ministry of Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises(MoMSME). She succeeds Vijayendra, IAS who served as the CMD of NSIC from 2019 to 2021.

About Alka Nangia Arora:
i.Alka Nangia Arora has served at various major positions such as Additional Commissioner Handicrafts, Ministry of Textiles, Managing Director, Cottage Emporium, and Integrated Financial Advisor to the Western Air Command (Subroto Park) & FA Army Hospital (R & R).
ii.She has also served as Financial Advisor Naval Dockyard & Joint Controller Defence Accounts Mumbai & as FA to Eastern Command Army Kolkata.
About National Small Industries Corporation Limited(NSIC):
NSIC, a Mini Ratna government agency, was established by the MoMSME in 1995.
CMD– Alka Nangia Arora
Headquarters– New Delhi

Nobel Peace Laureate Kailash Satyarthi appointed as one of 17 SDG Advocates by UN

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has appointed 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Advocates, ahead of the 76th General Assembly. Nobel Peace Laureate Kailash Satyarthi, STEM activist Valentina Munoz Rabanal, Microsoft President Brad Smith and K-pop superstars Blackpink were named in the list.

Objective
i.SDG Advocates will work on the key issues like climate action, bridging the digital divide, gender equality and the promotion of the rights of children
ii.They will use their influence to reach new constituencies to act and keep the promise of SDGs for the people and the planet.
About Kailash Satyarthi
i.He is a child rights activist.
ii.Received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014.
iii.Founder of Bachpan Bachao Andolan.
iv.His role as SDG advocate is to focus on protecting and promoting the rights of children around the world.
About United Nations
Headquarters: New York, United States
Secretary General: Antonio Guterres

Yoshihide Suga to step down as Japan’s Prime Minister

Japan’s prime minister, Yoshihide Suga, is set to step down as the Prime Minister(PM) of Japan. He took over as the Prime Minister of Japan succeeding Shinzo Abe who resigned in September 2020.
Yoshihide Suga is the leader of Japan’s Liberal Democratic Party (LDP)
Note:
The winner of the LDP leadership election will become the prime minister due to the party’s majority in the lower house of the parliament.
About Yoshihide Suga:
i.Yoshihide Suga was first elected to the Yokohama City council in 1987.
ii.He was elected to Japan’s parliament, The Diet, in 1996.
iii.He has served as a cabinet minister under former Prime Ministers Junichiro Koizumi. and Shinzo Abe.
iv.He served as the Chief Cabinet Secretary under Shinzo Abe for eight years, becoming the longest-serving chief cabinet secretary.
Parliament of Japan:
The Parliament of Japan, called ‘The National Diet of Japan’, is a bicameral legislature consisting of a lower house, called the House of Representatives (465 members) and an upper house, the House of Councillors (245 members).
About Japan:
Emperor– Naruhito (126th Emperor of Japan)
Capital– Tokyo
Currency– Japanese Yen

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