Current Affairs

19 November, 2021


India Becomes World’s Largest Recipient of Remittances; Received USD 87 bn in 2021:WB Report

i.In accordance with the latest report by the World Bank (WB) titled ‘World Bank’s Remittance Prices Worldwide Database’, India became the world’s largest recipient of remittances by receiving USD 87bn in 2021. The United States (US) was its biggest source, accounting for over 20% of these funds.
ii.India is followed by China, Mexico, the Philippines, and Egypt.
iii.In India, remittances are projected to grow 3% in 2022 to USD 89.6 billion.
About World Bank:
The World Bank was created at the 1944 Bretton Woods Conference, along with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
President– David Robert Malpass (13th President)
Headquarters– Washington DC, United States of America

Petroleum Minister Hardeep S. Puri Visited UAE To Attend ADIPEC

The Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas, and Housing and Urban Affairs, Hardeep Singh Puri, visited UAE (United Arab Emirates) from 15 to 17 November 2021 by leading a business delegation to attend the Abu Dhabi International Petroleum Exhibition & Conference (ADIPEC). The minister visited UAE on the invitation of H. E. Suhail Mohamed Faraj Al Mazrouei, Minister of Energy and Infrastructure of UAE. ADIPEC event is hosted by the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), to provide Indian companies a world-class environment for showcasing their success stories across the industry’s value chain.
About Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas:
Union Minister – Hardeep Singh Puri (Constituency – Uttar Pradesh)
Minister of State – Rameswar Teli (Constituency – Dibrugarh, Assam)

UNESCO’s 75th Anniversary 2021

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation(UNESCO) celebrated its 75th anniversary on 12th November 2021 with a special ceremony organised at the UNESCO headquarters in Paris, France.
i.Around 26 heads of state and government and an impressive list of artists, singers and musicians have participated in the special ceremony.
ii.The Eiffel Tower in Paris, France displayed “75 years” along with the UNESCO logo to celebrate the 75th anniversary of UNESCO.
i.The United Nations Charter that came into effect 16th November 1945, created a specialized agency in the fields of education and culture to be named the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization(UNESCO).
ii.In November 1945, a Conference to establish this Organization was held in London and the Constitution of UNESCO was signed by 41 States.
iii.The constitution came into force on 4th November 1946 after the ratification by 20 signatories.
Initiative of UNESCO:
The initiatives of UNESCO are focused on 5 program areas: education, natural sciences, social and human sciences, culture, and communication and information.
UNESCO has several designating projects and places of cultural and scientific significance.
UNESCO’s Global Geoparks:
i.UNESCO Geoparks are territories presenting a unique geological heritage of international value.
ii.The Global Geoparks is a network of 169 countries from 44 countries across the globe.
UNESCO Creative Cities Network (UCCN)
i.UCCN created in 2004 aims to promote cooperation with and among cities that have identified creativity as a strategic factor for sustainable urban development.
Recently, Srinagar, Jammu & Kashmir has been added to the UCCN list of 295 creative cities network across 90 countries.
ii.There are 6 Indian cities on UCCN: Srinagar, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Chennai, Jaipur & Varanasi.
City of Literature:
i.City of Literature, a part of Creative Cities Network, that aims to promote the social, economic and cultural development of cities in both the developed and the developing world.
ii.City of literature is a network of 39 cities from 28 countries.
About United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation(UNESCO):
Director-General– Audrey Azoulay
Members– 193 Members and 11 Associate Members
Governed by – The General Conference and The Executive Board
Headquarters– Paris, France


BDL inks Export Contract worth USD 21 million with Airbus Defense & Space for CMDS

Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL) signed an export contract under which it will supply Counter Measures Dispensing System (CMDS) to Airbus Defense & Space, Spain. The contract value is estimated at USD 21 million.

The export contract was inked by NP Diwakar, Director (Technical) BDL and Arnal Didier Dominique, Sr Vice President Airbus Defense and Space, at Bengaluru (Karnataka).
Point to be noted:
BDL is also offering Akash Weapon System (surface-to-air missile), Astra Weapon System (air-to-air missile), Smart Anti-Airfield Weapon & Helina (air-to-surface weapon), Light Weight Torpedo and Heavy Weight Torpedo (underwater weapons), Counter Measures Dispensing System among others to friendly foreign nations.
About Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL):
Chairman & Managing Director (CMD)– Commodore Siddharth Mishra (Retd)
Headquarter– Hyderabad, Telangana

India’s 1st LIGO Project to come up in Hingoli, Maharashtra

Maharashtra’s Hingoli revenue department allotted 225 hectares of land at Dudhala in Aundha Nagnath town for setting-up India’s 1st Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) project.
Aim – To Study Gravitational waves arriving to earth from cataclysmic events in the distant universe, and carry out experiments on them.
i. LIGO_India project will be built by by the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) and the Department of Science and Technology (DST)

Ministry of FPI Signs MoU with DAHD, Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying

The Ministry of Food Processing Industries (MoFPI) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Department of Animal Husbandry and Dairying (DAHD) under the Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying (MoFAH&D) to provide benefits to beneficiaries of various schemes of MoFPI and DAHD. The beneficiaries will get credit support in establishing dairy processing, meat processing, animal feed plants etc.

The agreement was signed in the presence of Union Minister of MoFPI, Pashupati Kumar Paras, Union Minister of MoFAH&D, Prahlad Singh Patel and other ministers.
To achieve the goal for income generation, sustainable development of the rural poor & their economic empowerment through the extension of various schemes of MoFPI and DAHD.
What is in the MoU?
i.Under this agreement the MoFPI and DAHD will work together and facilitate the beneficiaries to avail the benefits under the Prime Minister (PM) Kisan Sampada Yojana and PM Formalisation of Micro food processing Enterprises Scheme of the MoFPI and dairy development schemes of DAHD.
Note- India is the world’s largest producer and consumer of milk & milk products.
ii.The help will be provided in the form of financial assistance for strengthening of quality controls, value addition,infrastructure development and technology assistance.
iii.It will also encourage beneficiaries to avail benefits with facilitation for various activities which include Food Safety and Quality Assurance, dairy processing and value addition, meat processing & value addition, and animal feed, etc.
About Ministry of Food Processing Industries (MoFPI)
Union Minister– Shri Pashupati Kumar Paras (Hajipur, Bihar)
Minister of State- Shri Prahlad Singh Patel (Damoh, Madhya Pradesh)
Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying (MoFAH&D)
Union Minister– Parshottam Khodabhai Rupala (Gujarat)
Minister of State- Sanjeev Kumar Balyan (Muzaffarnagar, Uttar Pradesh), Dr Loganathan Murugan (Tamil Nadu)

Cabinet Approval on November 17, 2021

The Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has approved – the 4G mobile services in over 7,000 uncovered villages of 44 Aspirational Districts across 5 states and continuation of the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY)-I and PMGSY-II up to September 2022 & approved continuation of Road Connectivity Project for Left Wing Extremism Affected Areas (RCPLWEA) upto March, 2023.

About Ministry of Rural Development

Union Minister – Giriraj Singh (Constituency – Begusarai, Bihar)
Minister of State – Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti (Constituency – Fatehpur, Uttar Pradesh), Faggan Singh Kulaste (Constituency – Mandla, Madhya Pradesh)


Mswipe ties with OneCard to Offer No-Cost EMIs at POS

Mswipe announced the partnership agreement with OneCard, a mobile-first credit card company. It will provide no-cost or low-cost EMIs (Equated Monthly Installments) to its retail customers while purchasing at Mswipe POS (Point of Sale) terminals
About the Partnership:
i.Through this partnership, the users of OneCloud are now able to access no or low interest EMIs while availing mid and high value purchases at retail outlets of Mswipe terminals.
ii.Mswipe is empowering OneCard to increase sales by providing attractive offers to their customers. The ‘Pay Later offering’ is provided by Mswipe. It will reduce the check out process by reducing the time taken to complete the process.

iii.OneCard through its ‘OneCard App’ is providing its card users both offline and online transactions, other services such as paying the bill, locking the card, domestic and international transactions etc.
About Mswipe
Founder & Managing Director– Manish Patel
Founded– 2011
Headquarters– Mumbai, Maharashtra
About OneCard
CEO- Anurag Sinha
Headquarters- Pune, Maharashtra

HDFC Launches Micro-Credit Facility for Street Vendors

HDFC Bank launched a micro-credit facility for the street vendors under PM Street vendor’s Atma Nirbhar Nidhi (PM SVANidhi), with common service centers (CSC). PM SVANidhi provides a collateral-free affordable loan of Rs 10,000 along with an interest subsidy of 7 percent.

i.HDFC Bank facilitates the PM SVANidhi for its Village-Level Entrepreneurs (VLEs) on the digital Sewa portal where vendors can complete the entire process via online method.
ii.The facility provides a special micro-credit facility to all the small street vendors through CSC VLEs for their holistic development & economic upliftment.
iii.HDFC Bank capitalizes for facilitating small ticket loans of Rs 10,000 for vendors along with VLEs to identify the opportunities for other products & maximize their incentives.
About PM SVANidhi Scheme
i.It was launched by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs ( MoHUA) on June 01, 2020 to provide affordable working capital loans to street vendors to continue their livelihoods that have been affected due to lockdown.
ii.The scheme is a Central Sector Scheme (i.e. fully funded by MoHUA) will (i)facilitate working capital loan up to Rs 10,000; (ii) To incentivize regular repayment; and (iii) To reward digital transactions.
iii.The Scheme is available for beneficiaries belonging to only those States/UTs which have notified Rules and Scheme under Street Vendors (Protection of Livelihood and Regulation of Street Vending) Act, 2014.
About HDFC Bank
CEO & MD – Sashidhar Jagdishan
Established – 1994
Headquarters – Mumbai, Maharashtra
Tagline – We Understand Your World

SIDBI and Google Collaborates to Support MSMEs

Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) collaborated with Google India Pvt Ltd (GIPL) for piloting a social impact lending programme with financial assistance up to Rs 1 crore at subsidised interest rates to MSMEs. The collaboration brings a corpus of $15 million (about Rs.110 crore) to MSMEs as a crisis response related to Covid-19 for reinvigoration.

About Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI)
Chairman & Managing Director – Sivasubramanian Ramann
Established – 1990
Headquarters – Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh
About Google
CEO – Sundar Pichai
Established – 1998
Headquarters – Mountain View, California, United States

NSDL e-Governance Received RBI’s Approval to Operate as AA

NSDL e-Governance Infrastructure Ltd, IT (Information Technology)-enabled services provider, has received in-principle approval from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to set up an Account Aggregator (AA) business under its wholly-owned subsidiary, NSDL e-Governance AA Ltd. AA is a first-of-its-kind consent framework that empowers an individual with control over their data, and the ability to securely and digitally access and share the same. Over the last two decades, NSDL e-Governance has created strong interventions impacting multiple sectors, such as modernising the direct tax infrastructure, promoting financial inclusion and enabling the Banking, financial services and insurance (BFSI) sector by providing Aadhaar-based identity authentication and e-Sign services.

What is an AA?
i.AA are data access fiduciary. It will be used for the exchange of financial information from Financial Information Providers (FIP) to Financial Information Users (FIUs) in a safe manner with due customer consent.
ii.AA network will not store/read the customers data in turn it will act as a pipeline between FIPs and FIUs. Click here to know more
About NSDL e-Governance Infrastructure Ltd:
Establishment – 1995
Headquarters – Mumbai, Maharashtra
MD & CEO – Suresh Sethi


BWF gives Prakash Padukone lifetime achievement award

Indian badminton legend Prakash Padukone has been selected for the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award for 2021 by the Badminton World Federation (BWF) Council. The former world no 1 has already been honoured with the Badminton Association of India’s (BAI) Lifetime Achievement Award in 2018. Padukone is the first-ever Indian to win a medal at World Championships in the 1983 Copenhagen tournament.
Important takeaways for all competitive exams:
Badminton World Federation President: Poul-Erik Høyer Larsen;
Badminton World Federation Headquarters: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia;
Badminton World Federation Founded: 5 July 1934.

Alexander Zverev won Vienna Tennis Open 2021

Alexander “Sascha” Zverev, a German professional tennis player, won the fifth ATP title of the season (2021) and 18th overall at the Vienna Open 2021 or Erste Bank Open 2021 defeating Frances Tiafoe of the United States of America (USA). At present, Alexander Zverev is ranked 3rd in the ATP World Ranking.Robert Farah and Juan Sebastian Cabal of Colombia have won the doubles competition at Erste Bank Open 2021 defeating Joe Salisbury of the United Kingdom (UK) and Rajeev Ram of the USA.


Scientists discover exoplanets ‘TOI 1789b’ bigger than Jupiter

The exoplanet search and study group at the Ahmedabad (Gujarat)-based Physical Research Laboratory (PRL) discovered a new exoplanet orbiting too close to an evolved or aging star with a mass of 1.5 times that of the Sun and located 725 light years away. The information for the same was provided by Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).The study was led by Abhijit Chakraborty. The star is known as HD 82139 as per the Henry Draper catalogue and TOI (TESS Objects of Interest) 1789 as per the TESS (Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite ) catalogue. Hence, the planet is known as TOI 1789b or HD 82139b as per the IAU (International Astronomical Union) nomenclature. This discovery work has been published in the refereed journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, titled ‘Discovery of an inflated hot Jupiter around a slightly evolved star TOI-1789’. About the Planet – Mass – 0.7 Jupiter Mass ; Radius – 1.4 Jupiter Radius; Surface Temp-2000 K; Orbital Period – 3.2 days; Bulk Density – 0.31; Distance from Earth – 725 Light Years.

India re-elected to UNESCO Executive Board for 2021-25 term

India got re-elected to the Executive Board of the UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) with 164 votes for a 4-year term, starting from 2021-25. The General Conference of UNESCO elects members of the Executive Board. India was re-elected to Group IV of Asian and Pacific States, where Japan, Philippines, Vietnam, Cook Islands and China also got elected.

About UNESCO Executive Board:
UNESCO Executive Board is one of three constitutional organs of the UN agency. The other two are the General Conference and the Secretariat. India is currently present in the UNESCO’s Executive Board & General Conference

Composition of Executive Board :
i.The executive board consists of 58 member-states, each with a four-year term.
ii. Acting under the authority of the General Conference, the board examines the programme of work for the organisation and corresponding budget estimates submitted to it by the Director-General.
About UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization):
Members – 193 countries
Director-General– Audrey Azoulay
Headquarters– Paris, France
Founded– 16 November 1945

Govt extends tenure of ED Director S K Mishra by 1-year

On 17th November 2021 The Central Government through the Department of Revenue under the Ministry of Finance extended the tenure of Director of Enforcement Directorate (ED) S K Mishra by 1-year, till 18th November 2022 which was supposed to end on 18th November 2021. The order was passed after the government brought in two ordinances to ensure that the Directors of the Enforcement Directorate (ED) & the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) could have tenures of up to five years (2-years & can be extended by 3 more years). The extension of the term should not exceed 5 years.

Mishra, 61, was first appointed the ED director for a period of two years by an order on November 19, 2018. Later, by an order of November 13, 2020, the appointment letter was modified retrospectively by the Central government and his term of two years was replaced by three years.
i.Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) Act is amended which governs the appointment and tenure of the ED Director.
ii.Delhi Special Police Establishment Act, which deals with the appointment and tenure of the CBI Director (Subodh Kumar Jaiswal).
Note – ED enforces the criminal provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) and the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA).
About Enforcement Directorate (ED):
Director-Enforcement – Sanjay Kumar Mishra (IAS)
Parent Agency – Department of Revenue under Ministry of Finance
Established – 1956
Headquarters – New Delhi, Delhi

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