Current Affairs

19 October, 2021


Highlights of FM Nirmala Sitharaman’s Visit to the USA in October 2021

The Union Minister for Finance & Corporate Affairs, Nirmala Sitharaman made a week-long official visit to the USA (United States of America) to attend the Annual Meetings of International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank, G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors (FMCBG) meetings, India-US Economic and Financial Dialogue, and other associated investment meetings.

About International Monetary Fund (IMF):
Establishment – 1944
Headquarters – Washington, D.C, United States (US)
Managing Director – Kristalina Georgieva
Members – 190 Countries (Including India)

Around USD 4 trillion required in clean energy investment to limit global warming: IEA

In accordance with the ‘World Energy Outlook (WEO) 2021 report’ by International Energy Agency (IEA), almost USD 4 trillion investment into clean energy is required by 2030 to meet the Paris Agreement pledge to limit the global temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius. The report is released ahead of the United Nations (UN) Climate Change Conference, or COP26, which will take place in Glasgow from October 31 to November 12, 2021. WEO 2021 will act as a guidebook to COP26.

About WEO:
Launched in 1998, it is the world’s most authoritative source of analysis and projections with respect to energy.

17th India-US Joint Military Training Exercise ‘Ex Yudh Abhyas 21’ commenced at Alaska, US

i.A 14-day long 17th Edition of India-US joint training exercise ‘Ex Yudh Abhyas 21’ was commenced on October 15, 2021 at Joint Base Elmendorf Richardson in Alaska, United States (US). It will culminate on October 29, 2021 after a 48 hours long validation.ii.350 soldiers of 7 MADRAS Infantry Battalion Group of Indian Army and 300 US Army soldiers belonging to First Squadron (Airborne) of the 40th Cavalry Regiment are participating.
iii.This is the only India-U.S. service exercise continuing in bilateral format.
About United States (US):
Capital– Washington, D.C.
Currency– United States Dollar
President– Joseph Robinette Biden Jr.


Interest Rates on ‘Small Savings Schemes’ Unchanged for Q3-FY22

The Central Government has kept the interest rates on ‘Small Savings Schemes’ (SSS) unchanged for the third quarter of Financial Year 2022, ie; from 1st October 2021 to 31st December 2021. The interest rates on SSS were altered by the Central government on a Quarterly basis & some of the rates allocated for current quarter are: Public Provident Fund (PPF) – 7.1% National Savings Certificate (NSC) – 6.8% Senior Citizens Savings Scheme – 7.4% (5-year scheme, where interest is paid quarterly) Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana account – 7.6%

i.West Bengal is India’s largest contributor in SSS, followed by Uttar Pradesh.

Devusinh Chauhan participates in Ministerial Roundtable Session of ITU Digital World 2021

The Minister of State (MoS) for Communication, Devusinh Chauhan, participated in the Ministerial Roundtable Session of the 50th-anniversary edition of International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Digital World 2021, which was held in Vietnam and hosted by the government of Vietnam. The Prime Ministers of Vietnam and Ministers of Azerbaijan, Cambodia, Costa Rica, Lao P.D.R, Myanmar and Vietnam have participated.

Topic of the Discussion: ‘Cutting the cost: can affordable access accelerate digital transformation?’

Note – In September 2020 Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the ‘Har Gaon Optical Fibre Cable’ project to provide internet services to six lakh villages through optical fibre cable in 1,000 days.
About International Telecommunication Union (ITU)
Headquarters: Geneva, Switzerland
Founded: 17 May 1865
Secretary-General: Houlin Zhao
About Vietnam
Capital: Hanoi
Currency: Vietnamese dong
Prime Minister: Pham Minh Chinh

Amit Shah launched Development Projects in Andaman and Nicobar Islands; Mount Harriet to be named Mount Manipur

i.Union Minister Amit Shah, Ministry of Cooperation inaugurated 14 projects worth Rs 299 crore and laid foundation stones of 12 projects worth Rs 643 crore from the Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose Island in Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
ii.With this, a development work of about Rs 1,000 crore is initiated in Andaman Islands.
iii.The Central Government has renamed Mount Harriet, an island peak in Andaman and Nicobar islands as Mount Manipur as a tribute to the freedom fighters of Manipur. Mount Harriet is the third-highest island peak in Andaman and Nicobar islands.
About Andaman and Nicobar Islands:
Lieutenant Governor– Admiral Devendra Kumar Joshi
Capital– Port Blair
Zoological Site– Zoological Survey of India Museum


Vodafone-Idea Joined Hands With L&T For Testing 5G Based Smart City Solutions

Vodafone Idea Limited (VIL), a Telecom operator and Larsen and Toubro (L&T), an Indian Multinational conglomerate company have joined hands for a pilot project to test 5G-based smart city solutions.
Internet of Things (IoT) and 5G network IoT is the network of physical objects or devices (things) that are embedded with sensors, software and other technologies to exchange and transfer data over the internet. IoT is transforming the way businesses operate by reinventing processes, operations, customer experiences and developing newer business models and revenue opportunities IoT is crucial to the roll-out of 5G as it will enable connecting billions of devices under the service.

Tata AIG launches ‘RPAS Insurance’ & appoints ‘TropoGo’ as its Distribution partner

Tata AIG General Insurance Co. Ltd. launched a ‘Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (RPAS)’ Insurance for drone owners & operators. It also announced TropoGo, a deep tech startup on the drone ecosystem, as its distribution partner for the RPAS insurance scheme.
RPAS Insurance:
i.Tata AIG has launched the RPAS Insurance after satisfying the recommendations made by IRDAI’s Working Group on RPAS Insurance, and other valuable inputs from the Drone Federation of India (DFI).
ii.RPAS Insurance Products cover both Hull and Third-Party Liability risks on Drones, optional coverage for Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS)operations, night flying, data loss liability, etc.
iii.India’s Ministry of Civil Aviation targets over Rs 5,000 crore investments in the drone manufacturing industry and an annual sales turnover of over Rs 900 crore by FY24. It also targets to make India a drone hub by 2030.
Note – India has made relaxations to the rules for owning and operating drones along with inclusion of drones in Production Linked Incentive (PLI) Scheme
About TropoGo:
Founder – Sandipan Sen
Headquarter – Bangalore, Karnataka
About Tata AIG General Insurance Company:
MD & CEO – Neelesh Garg
Founded – 2001
Headquarters – Mumbai, Maharashtra

IndiaFirst Life Introduces ‘Saral Bachat Bima’ Insurance Plan

IndiaFirst Life Insurance Company Limited (IndiaFirst Life) ,a joint venture of Bank of Baroda and Union Bank of India introduced ‘’IndiaFirst Life Saral Bachat Bima Plan’’. It is a savings and protection cover plan for the entire family.
About IndiaFirst Life Insurance Company Limited (IndiaFirst Life)
MD & Chief Executive Officer(CEO): R. M. Vishakha
Headquarters: Mumbai, Maharashtra
Founded: 16 November 2009

NSE Tie-up with Chainflux and Launched Blockchain Platform ‘NOSE-Shine’ for Gold Bullion

National Stock Exchange of India (NSE) in collaboration with Chainflux has launched a blockchain platform for gold bullion named ‘NSE-Shine’. The platform was inaugurated by the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI)’s Executive Director, VS Sundaresan. The platform will provide a data framework for bullion bar integrity for settlement of Gold derivatives contracts. Indian Bullion and Jewellers’ Association (IBJA) and the India Gold Policy Centre (IGPC) at the Indian Institute of Management – Ahmedabad (IIM-A) have worked along with the NSE and Chainflux to develop NSE-Shine.

About National Stock Exchange of India (NSE):
Establishment – 1992
Headquarters – Mumbai, Maharashtra
MD & CEO – Vikram Limaye


Nagaland to host SACCC 2022 & 56th NCCC

The Associate Vice President (AVP) of Athletics Federation of India (AFI), Abu Metha has allocated the ‘South Asian Federation Cross Country Championship 2022( SACCC 2022)’ to Nagaland. It will be held in Kohima,capital of Nagaland on 15th January 2022.
The 56th National Cross Country Championships (NCCC) which is also being hosted by Nagaland will be clubbed with the South Asian Federation Cross Country Championships.
About Athletics Federation of India (AFI)
President -Adille J Sumariwalla
Founded- 2018
Headquarters– New Delhi, Delhi
Note – Dr. Lalit Bhanot is the president of South Asian Athletics Federation (SAAF).

Football: India Won Ooredoo SAFF Championship 2021 Held in the Maldives; 8th SAFF title of India

Indian Football team (nicknamed: The Blue Tigers) won the 2021 South Asian Football Federation (SAFF) Championship, known as Ooredoo SAFF Championship 2021 for sponsorship reasons, against the Nepal national football team (nicknamed: The Gurkhas) at the National Stadium in Male, Maldives.
SAFF Championship 2021 is the 13th edition of the SAFF Championship. The 2021 championship title marks the 8th SAFF Championship title of India. India (winners) received a cash prize of 50000 USD (~Rs 37.6 lakhs) and Nepal (Runners) received a cash prize of 25000 USD(~Rs 18.8 lakhs).

This is the first time for Nepal to reach the SAFF Championship finals.
About Ooredoo SAFF Championship 2021:
i.SAFF Championship 2021 was held from 1st to 16th October 2021 at the National Football Stadium in Male’ City, Maldives.
ii.The teams that participated in the SAFF Championship 2021 were India, Maldives, Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.
Record of Sunil Chhetri:
i.During the SAFF Championship 2021, Sunil Chhetri broke legendary Brazilian football player Pele’s record of 77 International goals.
ii.With the 5 goals scored during the SAFF Championship, Sunil Chhetri increased his international goal tally to 80 and became the 2nd highest goal scorer equaling Lionel Messi(80) of Argentina.
About South Asian Football Federation (SAFF):
President– Kazi Md. Salahuddin(Bangladesh)
Founding members– Bangladesh, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka
Members– 7 (Bhutan, Bangladesh, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka)
Motto– Unity in Strength
Formed in 1997


Sahdev Yadav appointed as President of Indian Weightlifting Federation

Sahdev Yadav, former Secretary General of IWLF, was unanimously elected as the President of the Indian Weightlifting Federation (IWLF). The election also saw the appointment of S.H. Anande Gowda and Naresh Sharma as the new Secretary General & Treasurer of IWLF.
i.10 new Vice Presidents, 4 Joint Secretaries & 7 executive committee members were also elected, in the election conducted by Returning Officer Narinder Paul Kaushik, Delhi District Court. Rakesh Gupta, Joint Secretary, Indian Olympic Association (IOA) was the IOA observer for the election.

RBI Approves Appointment of Pradeep Kumar Panja as Part-Time Non-Executive Chairman of Karnataka Bank

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) approved the appointment of Pradeep Kumar Panja as the part-time non-executive Chairman of the Karnataka Bank Limited for a period of 3 years. The appointment will come into effect from 14th November 2021. He has been serving as a board member of Karnataka Bank since 19th August 2020. He will succeed P Jayarama Bhat, whose tenure as Part Time (Non-Executive) Chairman of Karnataka Bank ends on 13th November 2021. RBI has approved the appointment under Section 10B(1A)(i) of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949.

Note:As a non-executive Chairman, he will take a salary of Rs 15 lakhs per annum, which is subjected to the approval of the shareholders at their annual general meeting to be held in 2022-2023.
About Pradeep Kumar Panja:
i.Pradeep Kumar Panja, a career banker, hails from the Panja Village, Dakshina Kannada, Karnataka.
ii.Pradeep Kumar Panja is the former Managing Director(Corporate Banking) of the State Bank of India(SBI).
iii.He has also served as the MD of the State Bank of Travancore.
iv.At present, he is a member of the Banks Board Bureau(BBB) and serves as a director on the board of 7 companies, engaged in the business of asset reconstruction, cement, real estate, Non-Banking Financial Company (NBFC), Alliance for Financial Inclusion(AFI), etc.
v.The 7 companies include 3 listed companies including the Karnataka Bank.
About Karnataka Bank:
MD & CEO– Mahabaleshwara M.S
Tagline– Your Family Bank across India
Headquarters– Mangaluru, Dakshina Kannada, Karnataka.
Incorporated on February 18th, 1924

India’s Vidyut Mohan wins Inaugural ‘2021 Earthshot Prize’ under ‘Clean Our Air’ Category

An Indian Social Enterprise ‘Takachar’, under the leadership of Vidyut Mohan was named as the winner of inaugural ‘2021 Earthshot Prize’ that was created by the United Kingdom’s Prince William to reward people fighting to save planet earth. Takachar won the ‘Earthshot Prize’, also known as ‘Eco Oscars’, under the “Clean Our Air” category for its invention to recycle agricultural waste.
Takachar Invention – A Cheap, small-scale, portable technology that attaches to tractors and converts crop residues to bio-products like fuel & fertilizers.

About United Kingdom:
Prime Minister – Boris Johnson
Currency – Pound sterling
Capital – London
The Thames river flows through the capital city of London.

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