Current Affairs

21 April, 2022

International

Russian Central Bank Registers New Payment System ‘HELLO’

The Central Bank of the Russian Federation, also known as the Bank of Russia, has included a new payment system, “Hello”, into the national register of credit institutions. Hello is a set of payment services and institutions that enable money transfer transactions. The payment system, operated by Hello LLC, was registered on 15th April 2022.

Transkapitalbank, a Russian commercial bank, will be the operator of the system’s payment infrastructure.

National

NATPOLREX-VIII – 8th Edition of National Level Pollution Response Exercise Inaugurated by Defence Secretary

Dr Ajay Kumar, Defence Secretary, inaugurated the 8th edition of two-day long National Level Pollution Response Exercise, ‘NATPOLREX-VIII’, which is being conducted by The Indian Coast Guard (ICG) off Mormugao harbour, Goa.
Objective:
i.To enhance the preparedness and response capability of all the stakeholders in combating marine spills.
ii.It also intends to validate the procedures and guidelines as contained in the National Oil Spill Disaster Contingency Plan (NOSDCP) at the national and regional levels under the aegis of South Asia Co-operative Environment Programme (SACEP) Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to which India is a member state.
About NATPOLREX-VIII :
i.The exercise show-caused the containment and marine spill recovery by side sweeping arms, deployment of booms and skimmers, streaming of single ship operated containment cum recovery system, firefighting drill, rescue operation and demonstration of surface and air oil spill dispersant systems.
ii.The exercise features table-top exercise and pollution response workshop on marine Oil and Hazardous and Noxious Substances (HNS) spill.
iii.Besides, the ICG also plans to conduct a capacity building professional training course on Marine Oil Response and Preparedness for 45 International participants from 18 countries including member states from The Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) at chennai from April 18-29, 2022.
Participants:
i.The participants of the exercise’s inauguration include Dr M Ravichandran, Secretary, Ministry of Earth Sciences, VS Pathania, Director General ICG, Dr Md Masumur Rahman, DG, SACEP.
ii.More than 85 participants from 50 agencies, including 29 observers from 22 friendly foreign countries and International Organisations, and two Coast Guard ships from Sri Lanka and Bangladesh also have participated.
Note – Recent studies on water bodies stated that the Indian ocean is the world’s second most polluted region.

President Ram Nath Kovind Assents To Chartered Accountants, the Cost and Works Accountants and the Company Secretaries (Amendment) Bill, 2021

President of India, Ram Nath Kovind has given assent to Chartered Accountants, the Cost and Works Accountants and the Company Secretaries (Amendment) Bill, 2021. Hereon, the bill will be known as “The Chartered Accountants, the Cost and Works Accountants, and the Company Secretaries (Amendment) Act, 2022,” will make significant modifications and increase transparency in the administration of the three professions’ apex institutes.
Highlights:
i.The three institutes—the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI), the Institute of Cost Accountants of India (formerly known as ICWAI), and the Institute of Company Secretaries of India (ICSI)—will retain the authority to qualify and licence people, as well as to regulate their conduct.
ii.The amendments reinforce the disciplinary process and streamline the functioning of the three professions and their self-regulators, the ICAI, the ICSI and the Institute of Cost Accountants of India. This measure is aimed at facilitating decision-making in professional disciplinary matters.

Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Package Extended for a Period of 180 days

The Central Government extended Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Package (PMGKP) for a further period of 180 days w.e.f. April 19, 2022. The focus behind this extension to continue providing the safety net to the dependents of health workers who are taking care of COVID-19 patients. In this regard, a letter has been issued to the Additional Chief Secretaries (Health)/Principal Secretaries (Health)/ Secretaries (Health) of all States/UTs (Union Territories) for giving wide publicity amongst the health workers in their respective States/UTs.
About Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Package (PMGKP):
Launched on March 30, 2020, it provides comprehensive personal accident cover of Rs 50 Lakh to 22.12 lakh health care providers including community health workers and private health workers who have been in direct contact of COVID-19 patients and are at risk of being impacted by this. Since the launch of the scheme, 1905 claims of Health workers who passed away while being deployed for Covid related duties have been settled. Private hospital staff, retired, volunteer, local urban bodies, contract, daily wage, ad-hoc, outsourced staff requisitioned by states, central hospitals, autonomous hospitals of central, states/UTs, AIIMS (All India Institute Of Medical Science) & Institute of National Importance (INI) and hospitals of specifically drafted for care of COVID-19 patients are also covered under the PMGKP.

Economy

IMF Cuts India’s FY23 Growth Forecast To 8.2% From 9%

In its latest World Economic Outlook (WEO) report, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) lowered India’s growth forecast to 8.2% for the current financial year 2022–23 (FY23), down from a previous estimate of 9% in January 2022. It cited Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has had an influence on prices and supply chains.In comparison to the IMF’s January 2022 WEO forecast, this was one of the sharpest reductions for emerging economies.

IMF’s Forecast:

India’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is expected to drop to 6.9% in 2023-24 (FY24) from 7.1%(Predicted by IMF in January 2022).
It also predicted that India’s current account deficit in FY23 will be 3.1%, compared with 1.5% expected for FY22.
The IMF’s projection of India’s retail inflation is now at 6.1%, higher than the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI’s) forecast of 5.7%.
The global growth is projected to slow from an estimated 6.1% in 2021 to 3.6% in 2022 and 2023. This is 0.8 and 0.2 percentage points lower for 2022 and 2023 than projected in January 2022.
This is attributed to the economic damage caused by the Ukraine war, which will result in a considerable slowdown in global growth in 2022, as well as an increase in inflation.
Forecast by Other Organization:

i.The World Bank had previously lowered India’s GDP forecast for FY23 to 8%.

ii.Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has slashed India’s GDP forecast to 7.2% for FY23.

iii.The Indian economy is expected to increase between 8% – 8.5 % in 2022-23, according to the Ministry of Finance.

RBI unveils Large Exposures Framework for NBFCs-UL; to Maintain CET1 Capital of at least 9% of Risk Weighted Assets

i.The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) notified Large Exposures Framework (LEF) for Non-Banking Financial Company-Upper Layer (NBFC-UL) w.e.f. October 1, 2022. These exposure limits are in lines with the commercial banks.
ii.The sum of all the exposure values of a NBFC-UL for single counterparty must not be higher than 20% of its available eligible capital base at all times. The limit can only be extended by another 5% with board’s approval.
iii.The sum of all the exposure values of a NBFC-UL for Group of Connected Counterparties must not be higher than 25% of its available eligible capital base at all times.
iv.RBI mandates NBFC-UL to maintain Common Equity Tier 1 (CET1) capital of at least 9% of Risk Weighted Assets as compared to 5.5% for banks.
About Reserve Bank of India (RBI):
Establishment– April 1, 1935
Headquarters– Mumbai, Maharashtra
Governor– Shaktikanta Das
Deputy Governors– Mahesh Kumar Jain, Michael Debabrata Patra, M. Rajeshwar Rao, T. Rabi Sankar

Sports

Mobile App for 2nd Khelo India University Games launched

In a First of its kind initiative, ‘Khelo India Uni Games 2021’ – a mobile app was launched for the 2nd edition of Khelo India University Games, which was organised by the Department of Youth Empowerment and Sports along with the Jain Deemed to be University, Bangalore, Karnataka. The Mobile app promises to be a one-stop solution for all information regarding the event, which is scheduled to be held from April 24 to 03 May, 2022.

Facts about the app:
i.The app will have information about accommodation, food, transport services, emergency contacts, maps to the venues, along with the information of important notifications of the games such as results, medal tally etc.
ii.The 2nd edition of Khelo India University Games will see over 4500 participants representing a total of about 189 universities from top honours in 20 disciplines, making it the first largest sporting gathering event post pandemic.

Miscellaneous

HDFC Ltd Inks Pact to Sell 10% Share Capital of HDFC Capital to Abu Dhabi Investment Authority

Housing Development Finance Corporation Limited (HDFC Ltd) has signed binding agreements to sell 10% of the share capital of HDFC Capital Advisors Ltd (HDFC Capital) to a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA) for around Rs 184 crore.
HDFC Capital is a wholly-owned subsidiary of HDFC Limited.
ADIA is also the primary investor in the alternative investment funds managed by HDFC Capital.
Additional info:
i.HDFC Capital, established in 2016, is the investment manager for HDFC Capital Affordable Real Estate Funds 1, 2 and 3.
ii.It was established in line with India’s goal to increase housing supply and support the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana – ‘Housing for All’ initiative.
iii.The funds managed by HDFC Capital have become one of the world’s largest private financing platforms for the development of affordable housing.
About Housing Development Finance Corporation Ltd (HDFC Ltd):
Chairman– Deepak Parekh
CEO– Keki Mistry
MD– Renu Sud Karnad
Headquarters– Mumbai, Maharashtra
About Abu Dhabi Investment Authority(ADIA):
Chairman– H.H. Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan
MD– H.H. Sheikh Hamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan
Headquarters– Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates(UAE)
Established in 1976

Patrick Achi Reappointed as the PM of Côte d’Ivoire

Alassane Ouattara, President of Côte d’Ivoire, reappointed Patrick Achi as the new Prime Minister of Côte d’Ivoire.
About Côte d’Ivoire:
Ivory Coast, also officially known as Republic of Côte d’Ivoire, is a country on the southwest coast of Africa.
De jure Capital – Yamoussoukro
President – Alassane Ouattara
Currency – West African CFA franc

SEBI Reconstitutes its Advisory Committee Under Sunil Bajpai for Leveraging Regulatory and Technology Solutions

The Securities and Exchange Board of India(SEBI) has reconstituted its Advisory Committee for Leveraging Regulatory and Technology Solutions(ALeRTS). The 7-member committee will be headed by Sunil Bajpai, former Principal Advisor (Information Technology) of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI).
Members of ALeRTS:
i.Harini Balaji, Chief General Manager(CGM), Integrated Surveillance Department (ISD), SEBI (Member Secretary of ALeRTS)
ii.Puneet Narang, Head of Corporate Banking Technology India, Deutsche Bank
iii.Girish Keshav Palshikar, Principal Scientist, TCS Research and Innovation
iv.Ratnakar Pandey, Senior Data Scientist, Amazon
v.Rohan Rao, Senior Data Scientist, H2O.ai
vi.Subir Saha, Head of Compliance, ICICI Group
Terms of reference of ALeRTS:
i.The term of the committee is to recommend future roadmaps and improvements in the various ongoing technology projects.
ii.The committee will also guide SEBI in designing and framing requirements for the various in-house systems.
iii.From the domain perspective, the committee will also guide SEBI in finding appropriate technology solutions and in ascertaining the adequacy of SupTech or RegTech tools envisaged or proposed to be used in-house for improving its capabilities.
About ALeRTS:
The SEBI constituted the seven-member ALeRTS in December 2021 chaired by Madhabi Puri Buch, who is currently serving as the Chairperson of SEBI.
About Securities and Exchange Board of India(SEBI):
SEBI was constituted as a non-statutory body on April 12, 1988
It was established as a statutory body in 1992 and provisions of the SEBI Act 1992 came into force in January 1992.
Chairperson– Madhabi Puri Buch
Headquarters– Mumbai, Maharashtra

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