Current Affairs

20 April, 2021

International

Indian Army Chief General M M Naranvane attends ‘Army Chiefs’ Conclave’ in Bangladesh

Indian Army Chief General M M Naravane attended the Army Chiefs’ Conclave during his visit to Bangladesh. The Conclave was held on the sidelines of Multinational Military Exercise ‘Shantir Ogroshena 2021’ (Front Runner of Peace) held at Bangabandhu Senanibas (BBS), Bangladesh from April 4-12, 2021.During the conclave, Naravane delivered a keynote address on ‘Changing Nature of Global Conflicts: Role of UN Peacekeepers’.He visited Bangladesh from April 8-12 on the invitation of Bangladesh Army General Aziz Ahmed.

8th Edition of India-Kyrgyzstan Special Force Exercise ‘Khanjar’ begins in Bishkek

The 8th Edition of India-Kyrgyzstan Joint Special Force Military Exercise, ‘Khanjar’ was inaugurated on April 16, 2021. The exercise is taking place at the Special Forces Brigade of National Guards of Kyrgyz Republic in Bishkek, Capital of Kyrgyzstan.The 2-week Long exercise will focus on aspects like high-altitude, mountains and counter-extremism.‘Khanjar’ exercise has been held annually between the two countries since 2011, it intends to boost the strategic partnership between India & Kyrgyz Republic.

About Kyrgyzstan
President – Sadyr Japarov
Capital – Bishkek
Currency – Kyrgyzstani Som (KGS)

India ranked 49th in Inclusive Internet Index 2021, Sweden tops : EIU, Facebook Report

India has been ranked 49th out of 120 countries in the ‘Inclusive Internet Index 2021’ released by Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) in partnership with Facebook. India shares its rank with Thailand. The Top 3 countries are – Sweden, United States, Spain. The 120 countries which have been covered in the report represent 98% of Global GDP & 96% of Global Population. The report is commissioned by Facebook and conducted by EIU ranks countries based on Internet availability, affordability, relevance and readiness of people to use it.

Rank Country
49 India
1 Sweden
2 United States
3 Spain

National

Income-tax Settlement Commission to be replaced with the new dispute resolution system

In April 2021, the finance ministry notified the rules for winding up of the Settlement Commission which handled income tax and wealth tax disputes, effective 1 February 2021. It will be replaced by a new dispute resolution system with assessing taxable income up to Rs 50 lakh and disputed income of up to Rs 10 lakh.
Powers of Settlement Commission – It can grant immunity from prosecution from any income tax or wealth tax related offence and also from imposition of penalty under any central law.

India, Germany Signed Agreement on “Cities Combating Plastic Entering the Marine Environment”

i.The Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs(MoHUA), Government of India and German Federal Ministry of Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety signed an agreement titled “Cities Combating Plastic Entering the Marine Environment” on Technical cooperation over a virtual event in New Delhi.

ii.DeutscheGesellschaftfürInternationaleZusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH India signed the agreement on behalf of the government of Germany.

iii.The project is expected to be a collaborative effort under the Indo-German bilateral development corporation on sustainable urban transformation.

iv.This project will be undertaken at national level in selected states (Uttar Pradesh, Kerala and Andaman & Nicobar Islands) and in the cities of Kanpur, Kochi, Port Blair.

v.Project period: three and half years.
About Germany:
President– Frank-Walter Steinmeier
Capital– Berlin
Currency– Euro

8 Eastern States Highly Vulnerable to Climate Change : National Climate Vulnerability assessment

According to the National Climate Vulnerability Assessment report titled ‘Climate Vulnerability Assessment for Adaptation Planning in India Using a Common Framework’ released by the Department of Science & Technology (DST), 8 Eastern States of India have been identified as Highly Vulnerable to Climate Change. The 8 states are – Jharkhand, Mizoram, Odisha, Chhattisgarh, Assam, Bihar, Arunachal Pradesh, and West Bengal. Among all states, Assam, Bihar, and Jharkhand have over 60% districts in the category of highly vulnerable districts.

About Department of Science & Technology (DST)

It is an department within the Ministry of Science & Technology
Secretary – Professor Ashutosh Sharma
Headquarters – New Delhi

Economy

Adani Group Became 3rd Indian Conglomerate To Cross 100 Billion USD mcap

Adani Group became the 3rd indian conglomerate to cross 100 billion USD in market capitalization(mcap). On 6th April the total mcap of the 6 listed companies of Adani Group at the close of trading was Rs.7.84 lakh crore(106.8 billion USD).
The other 2 indian conglomerates to cross 100 billion mcap are Tata Group and Reliance Industries limited.

Amazon Sambhav Summit 2021 : Amazon India Launched $250 Million Venture Fund’

Amazon India has organized the second edition of its annual summit called ‘Amazon Smbhav Summit 2021’ virtually from April 15 to 18, 2021. In which Amazon has launched a $250million Amazon Smbhav Venture Fund to support the digitization of small and medium businesses (SMBs), Agriculture, and Healthcare in India.
About Amazon India:
Establishment – June 2013
Manager (Country Head of India) – Amit Agarwal
Headquarters – Hyderabad, Telangana

JNPT Hired ‘SBI Caps’ as a Transaction Advisor for Privatization of JNPCT

Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT) has hired SBI Capital Markets Ltd. (SBI Caps), subsidiary of State Bank of India (SBI) to act as transaction advisor for the privatization of the J N Port Container Terminal (JNPCT).

Background:
JNPT has planned to privatize the JNPCT through the public-private-partnership (PPP) route in December 2020, and it was evaluated by the standing finance committee(SFC) in the ministry of ports, shipping, and waterways(MoPSW).
SBI Caps as the transaction advisor:JNPT has appointed SBI Caps as the transaction advisor for the PPP project which is estimated to cost Rs 863.31 crores.
About SBI Capital Markets Ltd. (SBI Caps)
Establishment – August 1986
Headquarters – Mumbai,Maharashtra
MD & CEO -Shri Arun Mehta

Currency Chest Theft From Axis Bank in Chandigarh’s Sector 34

Rs 4.04 crore has been stolen by a private security guard from the Currency chest of Axis Bank in Chandigarh’s Sector 34. It is the first time in Chandigarh where such a huge amount was stolen from inside a bank.
What is a Currency chest?
It is a depositary of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), in which it stocks the money meant for banks and ATMs. Whenever, RBI prints new currency notes, first it delivers to currency chests and then currency chests deliver these new currency notes to banks. They are usually situated on the premises of different banks but administered by the RBI.

Gramcover partners with AICIL to enhance insurance penetration in rural India

A rural insurtech startup Gramcovers and the Agriculture Insurance Company of India Limited(AICIL) have partnered to develop the insurance penetration in rural India.
Objective:
i.The main objective of this partnership is to identify and develop useful rural insurance products that could help farmers.
ii.It also aims to increase the insurance coverage in rural parts of India.
Note:
Under this partnership they have planned to reach around 25 million farmers.
About Agriculture Insurance Company of India Limited (AICIL):
Establishment: 20th December 2002 under the Indian Companies Act 1956
Chairman and Managing Director: Malay Kumar Poddar
Headquarters: New Delhi
About Gramcover:
Chief Executive Officer: Dhyanesh Bhatt
Headquarters: Noida, Uttar Pradesh

LIC Partners with Paytm for handling e-payments

India’s Largest Insurer, Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) of India has appointed Paytm to carry out its digital transactions.The partnership aims to hope with the increasing demand of digital payment.

Objective – To provide an easy payment process, a broader range of payment options, and more players (wallets, banks, etc) in payment channels to the customers of LIC.
Note – LIC collects premiums worth Rs 60,000 crore via digital mode, (exclusion of Bank Payments) & there are ~ 8 crore digital transactions.
About Life Insurance Corporation:
Establishment:1st September 1956
Chairman: M.R.Kumar
Headquarters:Mumbai,Maharashtra.
About Paytm:
Chief Executive Officer: Vijay Shekhar Sharma
Headquarters: Noida,Uttar Pradesh

Market Share in IHLs Remains Higher in Banks than HFCs: NHB

As per the National Housing Bank’s (NHB) report “The Trend and Progress of Housing in India” April 2021.The market share of banks in individual housing loans(IHLs) has gone up to 67% in 2019-20 from 62% in 2017-18 and housing finance companies (HFCs) has come down to 33%( 2019-20) from 38% (2017-18).

Analysis of IHLs market share:
Market Share on IHLs (2019-2020 ) Market Share on IHLs (2018-2019) Market Share on IHLs (2017-2018)
Banks 67 per cent 64 per cent 62 per cent
HFCs 33 per cent 36 per cent 38 per cent
Outstanding IHLs: The total outstanding IHLs of HFCs and banks combined was around Rs 20-lakh crore at the end of March 2019-20 compared to around Rs 18-lakh crore in 2018-19 and it has a year-on-year growth of 8.5 per cent.
About National Housing Bank(NHB):
Establishment – July 9, 1988 under the National Housing Bank Act, 1987.
Headquarters– New Delhi
Managing Director – Sarada Kumar Hota

Sports

Formula One : Max Verstappen wins Emilia Romagna Grand Prix 2021

Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen (Netherlands) won the 2021 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix held at Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari Circuit in Imola, Italy. Mercedes Driver Lewis Hamilton (Britain) finished in Second Place while Mclaren’s Lando Norris finished Third Place. This is Max Verstappen’s 1st race victory of the Formula One 2021 season. It is the 2nd race of the 2021 Formula One Championships. The F1 Championships are organised by Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA).
About Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA):
President – Jean Todt
Headquarters – Paris, France

Wrestling : India bags 14 Medals in Asian Wrestling Champions 2021 at Almaty, Kazakhstan

ndia bagged 14 Medals (5 Gold, 3 Silver, 6 Bronze) in the 2021 Asian Wrestling Championships held at Almaty, Kazakhstan from April 13-18, 2021. It is the 34th edition of the Asian Wrestling Championships. Iran & Kazakhstan both finished at the Top Position with 17 Medals each. The championships took place across 3 disciplines of wrestling – Men’s Freestyle, Men’s Greco-Roman & Women’s Wrestling (Freestyle). It is organized by the United World Wrestling (UWW).
About United World Wrestling (UWW)
President– Nenad Lalovic
Headquarters– Corsier-sur-Vevey, Switzerland

Miscellaneous

Iran Launched Advanced IR-6 Uranium Enrichment Centrifuges

Iran launched IR-6 Uranium Enrichment centrifuges in Natanz as a part of its National Day of Nuclear Technology (10th April 2021) event held in Tehran and other nuclear sites of Iran. Hassan Rouhani, President of Iran inaugurated the 3 cascades of 164 IR-6 semi industrial centrifuges, 30 IR-6S centrifuges and 30 IR-6 devices at the uranium enrichment plant in Natanz, Iran.

Quess Corporation acquires 30% stake in Conneqt for INR 208 Crore

Bangalore based Business Services Provider Quess Corporation is set to acquire the remaining 30% equity stake in Conneqt Business Solutions Ltd from Tata Sons Pvt Ltd for INR 208 Crore. With this transaction, Conneqt will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Quess Corporation.
i.Quess had acquired 51% of Conneqt in 2017, and further increased its stake in Conneqt from 51% to 70% in May 2019 (through infusion of primary capital).

About Quess Corporation
MD & Group CEO – Suraj Moraje
Headquarters – Bengaluru, Karnataka
About Conneqt Business Solutions Ltd
Formerly known as Tata BSS
CEO – Arjun Ramaraju
Headquarters – Hyderabad, Telangana

Alfred VainoAho, Jeffrey David Ullman Bagged 2020 ACM A.M. Turing Award

The Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) has named Alfred VainoAho and Jeffrey David Ullman as the recipients of the 2020 ACM A.M. Turing Award. The award was presented to them for fundamental algorithms and theory on programming language implementation.The award is also referred to as the Nobel Prize of Computing.

About ACM A.M. Turing Awards:
i.The A.M. Turing Award, named in honour of Alan Mathison Turing, a British mathematician and computer scientist, is the most prestigious technical award instituted by ACM in 1966.
ii.The award recognises the major contributions of lasting importance to computing.
iii.The award carries a prize money of USD 1 million with financial support provided by Google, Inc.
Note:
The first recipient of the AM Turing Award in 1966 was Alan J Perlis (American) who wrote the compiler for ALGOL computer programming language.

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Daily Current Affairs | 18th May 2021

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