Current Affairs

19 January, 2022


Global Unemployment to reach 207 million in 2022: ILO WESO Trends 2022

i.The International Labour Organisation (ILO) released a report namely ‘World Employment and Social Outlook (WESO) Trends 2022’ projecting global unemployment at 207 million in 2022, surpassing its 2019 level (186 million) by 21 million.
ii.This rise is due to slow economic recovery and the spread of new COVID-19 variants viz. Delta and Omicron.
iii.The global unemployment rate is projected to reach 5.9% in 2022. This figure shows an improvement from 6.2% in 2021 and 6.6% in 2020, but it is still above 5.4% in 2019 (pre-pandemic level).
About International Labour Organisation (ILO):
Director-General– Guy Ryder
Headquarters– Geneva, Switzerland
Member Nations– 187


NIRDPR & NCGG Signed MoU to Promote Good Governance Across All Programmes and Schemes

The National Institute of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj (NIRDPR), Hyderabad has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the National Centre for Good Governance (NCGG), New Delhi to promote inclusive good governance, strengthen local institutions and effective implementation of government programmes.
The MoU was signed in a virtual ceremony in the presence of Dr G Narendra Kumar, Director General of NIRDPR and V. Srinivas, Secretary, Department of Administrative Reforms & Public Grievances (DAR&PG), Government of India & Director General of NCGG along with teams of officials from NCGG and NIRDPR.
To focus on various collaborative activities by drawing upon the strengths of NIRDPR & NCGG to bring better good governance mechanisms into practice across all programmes and schemes.
Features of the MoU:
i.The MoU will help in the application of good governance principles and will also ensure the effective implementation in terms of transparency and accountability in the utilisation of public funds in an intended manner for delivering services to benefit rural communities.
ii.Under this MoU, various key mutual areas of interest were identified as actionable points. iii.This includes leveraging e-governance at the panchayat level, documenting good governance models at the panchayat level, simplification of forms among others and best practices of rural governance.
iv.NCGG has suggested identifying the benchmark of the indexing of Rural Governance at the panchayat level.

Nitin Gadkari Inaugurates ‘Madhavbaug’s Power MAP’ India’s 1st Intelligent Chronic Disease Patients Habit Tracking System

Union Minister Nitin Gadkari, Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) inaugurated Madhavbaug’s (Vaidya Sane Ayurved Labs Ltd), Power MAP, during a virtual ceremony. It is India’s first Intelligent Chronic Disease Patients Habit Tracking System.

What is Power MAP?
It is a cost effective medical analytics application for doctors which provides patient’s clinical parameters to reverse their chronic diseases effectively. It integrates various medical services like pathology labs, dietitians, exercise experts, stress counsellors and other specialized consultants through mibPULSE, an all-in-1 health monitoring app built for patients. This integration provides in-depth medical analysis of a patient’s current health status and its comparison with historical data through interactive visualizations and medical intelligence capabilities.
Doctors can quickly create PHR (Digital Patient Health Records) which makes their practice paperless, hassle-free yet highly effective.
Madhavbaug is a medical service institution that treats chronic ailments like cardiac disease, diabetes, hypertension and obesity by amalgamating technology with Ayurveda.

NeGD organizes 26th CISO Deep Dive Training Program under Cyber Surakshit Bharat initiative

The National e-Governance Division (NeGD) under the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) is organizing a 6-day long 26th CISO Deep Dive Training program under Cyber Surakshit Bharat initiative on January 17-22, 2022. It is for Chief Information Security Officers (CISOs) and frontline IT (Information Technology) officials from various Ministries & Departments, Government & Semi-Government organizations from Central and State Governments, PSUs (Public Sector Undertakings), banks, among others.

Aim of Training Program:
To provide better understanding of emerging cyber threat, and best practices in cyber security
What will be done under the Training Program?
This program will cover topics such as Governance Risk and Compliance and Data Privacy, Network Security, End Point Security, Application and Data Security, Cloud Security, Mobile Security, Cryptography, Cyber Security related provisions in IT Act, 2000.
About Cyber Surakshit Bharat initiative:
Launched by MeitY in 2018, it is the first Public-Private Partnership (PPP) of its kind to utilize the expertise of the IT industry in cybersecurity. It was launched in cooperation with NeGD and various industry partners in India like Microsoft, Intel, WIPRO, Redhat and Dimension Data. It aims to raise awareness about cybercrime and its safety measures through training sessions and awareness programs. It envisages to train 1200 CISOs and frontline IT officials across all government departments.


Canara Bank Partners with Lendingkart to Offer Loans Online for MSMEs

Fintech company Lendingkart announced a co-lending partnership with Canara Bank to provide low-cost business loans of up to Rs. 10 lakh to micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs).
Aim – To broaden the support provided to the MSME borrowers for enhancing financial inclusion under the Reserve Bank India’s (RBIs) Priority Sector initiative.
About Co-Lending agreement:
i.The Co-Lending agreement with Lendingkart Finance Limited bears the credit needs of MSMEs falling under the Micro Units Development and Refinance Agency (MUDRA) category.
ii.The loans will be originated and sanctioned through the digital platform ‘Lendingkart 2gthr’ using ‘zero touch’ technology.
iii.Under the agreement, Canara Bank will leverage Lendingkart platforms ‘xlr8’ to originate and distribute MSME loans and ‘cred8’ to underwrite those loans.
About RBI’s priority sector initiative:
i.The Government of India and RBI has considered specific sectors in India as important for the development of the basic needs of the country and given priority to them over other sectors i.e. PS (Priority Sector). Categories under PS include Agriculture, Micro and Small Enterprises, Education, Housing, Export Credit & others.

ii.As per RBI norms, Scheduled Commercial Banks (SCBs) are required to lend 40 percent of their previous year’s adjusted net bank credit (ANBC) or credit equivalent of off-balance-sheet exposures (CEOBE), whichever is higher, to the priority sector.
iii.As of March 31, 2021, regional rural banks and small finance banks are required to lend 75 percent of ANBC to the priority sector.
iv.In 2016, trading in priority sector lending certificates (PSLCs) was introduced, which will allow buying for the shortfall and selling for overachievement of PSL targets without a corresponding transfer of loan, cash flows or risk.
About Lendingkart:
Co-founder and CEO – Harshvardhan Lunia
Headquarters – Ahmedabad, Gujarat
About Canara Bank:
CEO & MD – L V Prabhakar
Establishment – 1 July 1906
Headquarters – Bangalore, Karnataka
Tagline – Together we can

Snapdeal, BOB Financial & NPCI Launches Contactless RuPay Credit Card

E-commerce platform Snapdeal has partnered with Bank of Baroda (BOB) Financial Solutions Limited, a subsidiary of BoB, and National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) to launch a co-branded contactless RuPay credit card.

Aim – To popularise the adoption and usage of credit cards among the online buyers from India’s smaller cities and towns.
About Contactless RuPay Credit Card:
i.The Snapdeal-BoB co-branded contactless card, powered by RuPay, will be rolled out to users by March 2022.
ii.It provides reward points and other benefits to the cardholders while they shop on Snapdeal and also when they use the card at other online and offline transaction points.
Additional info: Snapdeal receives more than 86 percent of its orders from outside metro cities, with more than 72 percent buyers from Tier 2+ cities & towns, each with a population of less than 1 million.
About Snapdeal Limited:
President – Himanshu Chakrawarti
Establishment –2010
Headquarters – Gurugram, Haryana
About Bank of Baroda (BOB) Financial Solutions Limited:
It is the credit card arm of BoB
Establishment – 1994
MD & CEO – Shailendra Singh
Headquarters – Mumbai, Maharashtra

SEBI Amended Settlement Proceedings; cuts Timeline for Filing Settlement Applications to 60 Days

The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) amended the SEBI (Settlement Proceedings) Regulations, 2018, called the SEBI (Settlement Proceedings) (Amendment) Regulations, 2022 and has reduced the timeline for filing settlement applications to just 60 days from the current 180 days to make the system more efficient. Thus, a settlement application can be filed within 60 days of the date of receipt of the show-cause notice. An additional 120 days could be availed by the applicants in case they pay an additional 25 percent over the settlement charges.
Other Amendments:
i.The time period for submission of revised settlement terms form, after the internal committee (IC), has been rationalised to 15 days (from the date of the IC meeting).
ii.SEBI has rationalised the proceeding conversion factor (PCF) values range as 0.40 to 1.50 to encourage the filing of settlement applications.
iii.SEBI Amended the FPIs norms: SEBI has amended SEBI (Foreign Portfolio Investors (FPI)) Regulations, 2019 called SEBI (FPI) (Amendment) Regulations, 2022.
iv.SEBI may suo motu or on an application made by an FPI, for reasons recorded in writing, grant relaxation from the strict enforcement of any of the provisions of those regulations.
About Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI):
Establishment – 1992
Headquarters – Mumbai, Maharashtra
Chairman – Ajay Tyagi


TCS becomes new Title Sponsor & Technology Partner of ‘Toronto Waterfront Marathon’

Tata Consultancy Services Ltd. (TCS) signed a partnership agreement with Canada Running Series to become the new title sponsor & official technology consulting partner of Toronto Waterfront Marathon and Virtual Race through November 2026.
About Tata Consultancy Services Ltd. (TCS):
CEO-Rajesh Gopinathan
Headquarters-Mumbai, Maharashtra


MoCI data on India’s Trade in December 2021: Exports rise to USD 37.81 billion; Trade Deficit Increase to USD 21.68 billion

As per the data of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry (MoCI) India’s merchandise exports in December 2021 increased to 38.91 percent on an annual basis to USD 37.81 billion, the highest-ever monthly figure. Imports in December 2021 also increased by 38.55 percent to USD 59.48 billion. The trade deficit was widened to USD 21.68 billion during December 2021.

Trade during December 2021 & April-December 2021:
i.Overall Trade in April-December 2021: Export: India’s overall exports (Merchandise and Services combined) in April-December 2021 are estimated to be USD 479.07 Billion, exhibiting a positive growth of 36.31 percent over April- December 2020 and a positive growth of 20.25 percent over April-December 2019.

Imports: Overall imports of India in April-December 2021 are estimated to be USD 547.12 Billion, exhibiting a positive growth of 57.33 percent over April- December 2020 and a positive growth of 18.57 percent over April-December 2019.

ii.Merchandise and Service Trade:

Trade Exports
(USD Billion) Imports
(USD Billion) Trade Balance/Net of Services
(USD Billion)
Merchandise December 2021 37.81 59.48 -21.68
April-December 2021 301.38
(increased by 49.66%) 443.82
(increased by 68.91%) -142.44
(Estimated value) December 2021 20.07 12.87 7.20
April-December 2021 177.68 103.30 74.39

iii.Additional Info:
In December 2021, exports of engineering goods grew 38.41 percent to USD 9.8 billion, followed by petroleum products (151 percent to USD 5.88 billion), gems and jewellery (16.4 percent to about USD 3 billion), chemicals (26.86 percent to USD 2.66 billion) and ready-made garments of all textiles (22.63 percent to USD 1.46 billion).
The petroleum and crude oil imports increased by 67.89 percent to USD 16.16 billion and Gold imports expanded by 5.43 percent to USD 4.72 billion in December 2021.
About Ministry of Commerce and Industry (MoCI):
Union Minister – Piyush Goyal (Rajya Sabha Maharashtra)
Minister of State – Anupriya Patel (Mirzapur, Uttar Pradesh) ; Som Parkash (Hoshiarpur, Punjab)

SIDBI sanctions financial assistance of ₹650 crore to AUSFB and JSFB

Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) sanctioned financial assistance of around ₹650 crore to AU Small Finance Bank (AUSFB) and Jana Small Finance Bank (JSFB). The Small Finance Banks will use this assistance to support small-sized non-banking financial companies (NBFCs) and micro finance institutions (MFIs) and micro entrepreneurs.
i.The move will help to overcome covid-19 pandemic impacted businesses of MSMEs and provide support to income generation activities.
ii.The financial assistance will also boost the demand in the informal MSME sector, especially new to credit businesses, small retail trade, micro credit and other small household businesses in the remote areas.
About Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI):
Chairman and MD– Sivasubramanian Ramann
Headquarters- Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh
Founded- 1990
About AU Small Finance Bank (AUSFB):
MD and CEO- Sanjay Agarwal
Headquarters- Jaipur, Rajasthan
About Jana Small Finance Bank (JSFB):
Headquarters- Bengaluru, Karnataka
CEO-Ajay Kanwal

MobiKwik & Bharat BillPay launch ClickPay Services for Bill Payments

MobiKwik, a mobile wallet Fintech company, partnered with NPCI Bharat BillPay Ltd. (NBBL) to launch ‘ClickPay’ service to its customers. With this, the customers of MobiKwik can pay recurring online bills, such as mobile, gas, water, electricity, DTH, insurance and loan EMIs using their mobile phone.
i.ClickPay is a two-factor authentication payment feature wherein the billers generate a unique payment link within the bill-pay message and allow customers to make payments directly on the payment page.
Note – Previously, RBI has mandated two-factor authentication for every recurring payment of over Rs 5,000
About MobiKwik:
i.In 2019 MobiKwik received authorization from the RBI to operate as a Bharat Bill Payment Operating Unit.
ii.It comprises more than 60 banks and non-banks on the Bharat Bill Payment Services platform.
Co-Founder and CEO-Chandan Joshi
NPCI Bharat BillPay Ltd (NBBL):
CEO-Noopur Chaturvedi
Headquarters- New Delhi, Delhi

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