Current Affairs

20 January, 2022

International

IEA Report: India’s Annual Power Consumption to Grow at 6.5% in 2022-24

As per the January 2022 ‘Electricity Market Report’ of International Energy Agency (IEA), power demand in India is expected to grow at an annual rate of 6.5 percent between 2022 and 2024 backed by rising consumption from residential and industrial segments. India clocked the highest 10 percent Y-o-Y growth in power demand during the 2021 calendar year (CY). Global electricity demand grew by 6 percent in 2021. The majority of supply growth in 2021 to 2024 is expected in China, accounting for around half of the net total increase, followed by India (12%), Europe (7%) and the United States (4%).
About International Energy Agency (IEA):
Establishment – 1974
Headquarters – Paris, France
Executive Director – Fatih Birol

National

HAL & Mauritius Government Signed Contract to Supply one ALH Mk-III

Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) has signed a contract with the Mauritius government to export one Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH Mk-III), for the Mauritius police force. The contract is in line with the vision of the Indian Government to boost the defence exports to friendly foreign countries. The contract was signed by B K Tripathy, General Manager, Helicopter Division-HAL and O K Dabidin, Secretary of Home Affairs, Prime Minister’s Office, Government of the Republic of Mauritius at the HAL’s Transport Aircraft Division, Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh(UP).

Note: Mauritius already operates ALH and Do-228 aircraft built by HAL.
About Mauritius:
President– Prithvirajsing Roopun
Capital- Port Louis
Currency– Mauritian Rupee

IMD Foundation Day: Launches India’s 1st Climate Hazard and Vulnerability Atlas; 4 New Weather Radars

India Meteorological Department (IMD), Ministry of earth Sciences celebrated its 147th Foundation Day on 14th January 2022. On the foundation day, the Minister of state (Independent Charge) Ministry of Science & Technology & Earth Sciences, Jitendra Singh, launched India’s 1st Climate Hazard & Vulnerability Atlas based on the thirteen most hazardous meteorological events, which cause extensive damages and economic, human and animal losses. 4 new Doppler weather radars (DWR) were inaugurated by Jitendra Singh, to further improve the weather forecast system in those cities/regions.

MSDE signs MoU with IGNOU to link Vocational Education & Training with Higher Education

The Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship (MSDE) signed a 10-year long Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Indira Gandhi Open University (IGNOU) to further strengthen the vocational and technical training framework.

This MoU is on the lines of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 4.4e. Increase the number of people with relevant skills for financial success; and the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 for increasing Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) in higher education including vocational education to 50 % by 2035. A Project Steering Committee with representatives from both MSDE and IGNOU to will monitor and review the progress of the programme. The MoU is subject to renewal on mutual agreement.

Aim:
To link vocational education and training with higher education, making India’s youth employable
Signatories:
Dr. B.K. Ray, Director (CBC- Capacity Building Commission), MSDE and Dr. Vidya Bhagat Negi, Registrar, IGNOU

MeitY initiated ‘Digital Government Mission’ to speed up Citizen Services Delivery

As a next phase of e-governance, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) initiated a new project namely ‘Digital Government Mission’ to speed up citizen services delivery through the help of advanced technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML). The reason behind this project is to offer government services to citizens without them having to apply or wait for it.

Economy

Federal Bank, Equirus Wealth Jointly Launches USD Offshore Fund

Federal Bank and Equirus Wealth in collaboration with SCUBE Capital, a global fund management company based out of Singapore, have launched a ‘US dollar offshore fund’ for their customers.
Features of the Fund:
i.Only the customers of Federal Bank (both NRI (Non-Resident Indian) and Resident) could invest in the fund. It offers a portfolio return (internal rate of return (IRR)) guidance of ~ USD 6.50 percent per annum with a fund tenor of 3 years from the date of fund closure with an option to extend by one year.
ii.The portfolio is managed by a highly skilled team with a cumulative experience of over 70 years in managing investments of over USD 50 billion.
iii.The fund has been jointly designed with inputs from the Equirus and the Federal Bank team.
iv.The investment strategy intends to offer superior risk-adjusted-return for investors.
What is Offshore Fund?
i.Offshore funds (often referred to as ‘international funds’) are fund schemes that make investments in international markets and multinational companies.
ii.If an Indian resident wishes to invest in offshore funds, he/she could invest only in Indian rupees.
iii.Offshore funds are required to comply with the mutual fund guidelines issued by the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) and the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).
About Federal Bank:
Establishment – April 23, 1931
Headquarters – Aluva, Kerala
MD & CEO – Shyam Srinivasan
Tagline – Your Perfect Banking Partner

SEBI launches ‘Saa ₹thi’ Mobile App for Investor Education & Awareness

The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) launched a mobile app “Saa₹thi” based on investor education in Mumbai, Maharashtra.
About the Saa₹thi app:
i.The Saa₹thi app aims to create awareness and provide education to investors about the basic concepts of the securities market.
ii.It will provide knowledge about KYC (Know Your Customer) process, trading and settlement, mutual funds (MF), market developments, investor grievances redressal mechanism, etc.
iii.The Saa₹thi app is available in Hindi and English. The Android and iOS versions of the App can be downloaded from Play Store and App Store respectively.
About Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI):
Chairman- Ajay Tyagi
Headquarters- Mumbai, Maharashtra

India offers USD 500mn LOC to Sri Lanka for Purchase of Petroleum Products

Indian Government offered a USD 500 million Line of Credit (LOC) to help Sri Lanka for purchase of petroleum products as it is struggling with fuel and energy crisis. This support is extended through a letter by Union Minister Dr. Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, India’s Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) to the Foreign Minister of Sri Lanka, Prof. Gamini Lakshman Peiris.

About Sri Lanka:
i.India’s High Commissioner in Sri Lanka- Gopal Baglay
ii.In July 2021, the world’s largest sapphire cluster ‘Serendipity Sapphire’ was found from Ratnapura also known as gem city, and has entered the Guinness Book of World Records. It weighed around 510 kg carats.

Sports

RIL Picks 54% stake in robotics startup Addverb Technologies for $132 millio

Reliance Retail Ventures Limited(RRVL), the retail unit of Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) has acquired a 54% stake (majority stake) in Addverb Technologies Private Limited, a Noida based robotics startup, for USD 132 million (~Rs 983 crore).

With this investment, RIL has become a strategic partner of Addverb Technologies. This is in line with RIL’s vision to automate its businesses. With this funding, Addverb technology plans to deploy robots across hospitals and airports.

Following the funding, Addverb Technologies is valued at USD 270 million.
The co-founders of the company hold around 24-25% stake and the remaining stakes are held by Jalaj Dani of Asian Paints.
Additional info:
Previously, Addverb Technologies has raised around USD 11 million in Series A and pre-series funding round led by Jalaj Dani, co-promoter of Asian Paints, which made the total funding since inception to USD 143 million.
This will accelerate the expansion of Addverb in Europe and the United States(US) and enable the company to establish a large robotic manufacturing facility.
Addverb also plans to establish an innovation lab with bases in Europe, the US and India.
About Addverb Technologies Private Limited:
Co-founder & CEO– Sangeet Kumar
Headquarters– Noida, Uttar Pradesh
Founded in June 2016

Miscellaneous

Paytm’s Vijay Shekhar Sharma appointed as Ambassador Universal Acceptance Steering Group

The Universal Acceptance Steering Group appointed Vijay Shekhar Sharma, founder of Paytm, as its UA Ambassador.
What is ICANN?
ICANN is responsible for Internet Protocol (IP) address space allocation, protocol identifier assignment etc.
Headquarters- Los Angeles, California, United States
Founded- 1998
About Paytm:
CEO-Vijay Shekhar Sharma
Headquarters-Noida, Uttar Pradesh

Roberta Metsola Elected as the New President of EU Parliament

Roberta Metsola from Malta was elected as the new President of the European Union (EU) Parliament, she is also the youngest-ever President & only the third woman to head the EU Parliament. She succeeded David Sassoli, who passed away at the age of 65.

About European Union (EU):
i.The European Union is a political and economic union of 27 member countries located primarily in Europe.
ii.The EU is a single market that trades globally and between its member countries.
6 Founding Members- Germany, France, Italy, Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg

Senior Bureaucrat Vikram Dev Dutt Appointed as CMD of Air India

The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) has approved the appointment of Vikram Dev Dutt, a 1993-batch IAS officer of AGMUT (Arunachal Pradesh, Goa, Mizoram and Union Territory) cadre as the Chairman and Managing Director(CMD) of Air India. He has been appointed in the rank and pay of Additional Secretary, in the Ministry of Civil Aviation. Vikram Dev Dutt will succeed Rajiv Bansal, Secretary, Ministry of Civil Aviation, who was holding the additional charge of Air India CMD. Vikram Dev Dutt is serving as the Principal Secretary- Tourism in the Government of Delhi.

Additional info:
i.In October 2021, the Competition Commission of India (CCI) approved the acquisition of 100% equity shares of Air India and Air India Express along with its 50% stake in ground-handling company AISATS by Talace Private Limited, a subsidiary of Tata Sons, investment holding company and promoter of Tata companies, for Rs 18000 crore.
ii.The company would pay Rs 2700 Crore cash and takeover Rs 15300 crore of airline debt.
Other Appointments:
i.Chanchal Kumar, a 1992 batch IAS officer of Bihar cadre, presently Principal Secretary of Bihar’s Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has been appointed as the Managing Director(MD), National Highways & Infrastructure Development Corporation Ltd(NHIDCL), under the Ministry of Road Transport & Highways(MoRTH). He is appointed in the rank and pay of Additional Secretary.
ii.The ACC has also approved the extension in the central deputation tenure of Ashutosh Jindal, Additional Secretary, Cabinet Secretariat for 1 year beyond 16th February 2022 to 16th February 2023.
About Air India:
CMD– Vikram Dev Dutt
Headquarter– New Delhi, Delhi

USA’s Shaylyn Ford wins Mrs World 2022

Shaylyn Ford from the United States of America (USA) was chosen as the winner of Mrs World 2022. She was crowned by the 2020 Mrs World – Kate Schneider from Ireland. Mrs Jordan – Jaclyn Stapp & Mrs UAE – Debanjali Kamstra were named as the runners up of the competition. The event was organized in Las Vegas, Nevada, United States (US)

Highlights:
i.Shaylyn Ford is a 37 years old contestant, represented America in the pageant and fought with 57 contestants.
ii.She became the 8th American woman to win the title of Mrs. World.
Shaylyn Ford hails from Granville, Ohio, USA. In 2021, she won the annual Mrs America pageant .
iii.She is a professional makeup artist by profession. She also serves as a charitable director and performs volunteer services for poor families.
About India in Beauty Pageant: Harnaaz Sandhu was named as the 2021’s Miss Universe. Reita Faria became the first Asian to be crowned as Miss World.

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