Current Affairs

21 October, 2021

International

WJP Rule of Law Index 2021: India Ranked 79 out of 139 Nations; Denmark Tops

India has ranked 79 out of 139 countries and jurisdictions in the World Justice Project’s (WJP) Rule of Law Index 2021 report. The WJP Rule of Law Index 2021 ranks the countries based on scores ranging from 0 to 1, with 1 indicating the strongest adherence to the rule of law. It measures how the rule of law is experienced and perceived worldwide. Pakistan has ranked lowest at 130.

Ranking of WJP Rule of Law Index 2021:

Country/Jurisdiction Overall Score Global Rank
India 0.50 79
Top 3 Countries Denmark 0.90 1
Norway 0.90 2
Finland 0.88 3
Bottom 3 Countries Venezuela, RB 0.27 139
Cambodia 0.32 138
Congo, Dem. Rep. 0.35 137

About World Justice Project (WJP):
Establishment – 2006
Co-founder & CEO – William H. Neukom

10th Global Food Security Index 2021: India ranked 71st out of 113 nations; Ireland tops

i.The 10th edition of the Global Food Security Index (GFSI) 2021 of 113 countries was released in which India ranked at 71st position scoring 57.2 overall points. The index is designed and constructed by Economist Impact and is sponsored by Corteva Agriscience.
ii.It is topped by Ireland with an overall score of 84 which is followed by Austria (81.3) and the United Kingdom-UK (81).
iii.It is premised upon 58 indicators with four overarching categories viz. Affordability; Availability; Quality and Safety; and Natural Resources and Resilience.
iv.In the region of Asia Pacific, Japan scored 1st rank with an overall score of 79.3 which is followed by Singapore (77.4), and New Zealand (76.8). India ranked 14th under Asia Pacific Region.
About GFSI:
GFSI is an annual update identifying the underlying factors affecting food insecurity around the world.

National

RBI: Govt’s Interest Burden Rise due to Unchanged Interest Rate on Small Savings Scheme

In its October 2021 Bulletin, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has pointed out the increasing interest burden on the government due to unchanged interest rates on various small savings instruments such as Public Provident Fund (PPF), National Savings Certificate (NSC), term deposits in post offices, etc from Q2 FY21 (around 6 quarters). Interest rates on small saving schemes are generally administered by the Government of India and are fixed on a quarterly basis at a spread of 0-100 basis points (bps) over and above G-sec (Government Security) yields of comparable maturities. The Government has left the interest rates unchanged (since Q2 FY21), thus the current interest rates are 47-178 bps higher than the formula-based rates for Q3 FY22.

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

MoHFW sets up Expert Panel on Tobacco Tax Policy; Headed by Vikas Sheel

i.the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) has set up an expert group headed by Vikas Sheel, additional secretary in MoHFW to develop a comprehensive tax policy for all tobacco products.
ii.The group will analyze the current tax structure of all forms of tobacco, including smokeless tobacco, and suggesting various tax rate models for the preparation of the FY23 and future Union budgets.
iii.The reason behind this is to prepare a roadmap for reducing tobacco demand according to World Health Organization’s (WHO) plans.
About Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW):
Union Minister– Mansukh Laxmanbhai Mandaviya (Constituency– Gujarat)
Minister of State (MoS)– Bharati Pravin Pawar (Constituency- Dindori, Maharashtra)

Economy

FIXAR tie up with Paras Aerospace to initiate UAV Market in India

European commercial drone and software developer FIXAR (Fixed Angular Rotor Drone) signed an agreement with Paras Aerospace Pvt Ltd., a subsidiary of Mumbai based Paras Defence on fast emerging domestic Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) in India. Paras Aerospace will be the Master Certification Compliance partner for FIXAR in India that supports Operations Setup, business development, and technical support for providing this future-ready technology. The first FIXAR 007 unmanned aerial vehicles are estimated to reach users in India by November, 2021. The initial agreement sets the mark of 150 drones to be delivered to operators in India for real-time video surveillance, laser scanning and aerial photography tasks in the sectors of government, agriculture, security, surveying and more.

Note – India is the third-largest importer of (military grade) drones, with a 6.8 per cent share of the total UAV transfers or deliveries reported across the globe in 2020, according to Stockholm International Peace Research Institute’s (SIPRIs) Arms Transfers database
About FIXAR:
FIXAR is a leading software and design developer, powering commercial autonomous UAVs for industrial applications.
Founded in – 2018
Founded by – Aerospace engineer Vasily Lukashov

Rupifi Tie-up with Muthoot Finance to Support 15 Million SMEs

Rupifi, the Digital business-to-business (B2b) payment startup for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) made a partnership with Muthoot Finance to facilitate 15 million SMEs to access instant credit over the next few years. Rupifi allows SMEs to flexibly repay their dues as and when required with a per-day interest pricing without any monthly EMIs (Equated monthly installments). Rupifi has SME customers in more than 230 small towns and cities across India and it has built strong B2B embedded infrastructure and a ‘Buy Now Pay Later’ (BNPL) feature for Indian SMEs.

Additional info:
i.As per RBI(the Reserve Bank of India) data, banks’ lending to micro and small businesses has increased by 1.1 percent in August 2021 to Rs 11.10 lakh crore from Rs 10.98 lakh crore in August 2020.
ii.As per the CRIF High Mark Credit Information Services report, in FY21, the MSME loans’ value increased by 52 percent from 16.2 percent in FY17, the MSME loan value in commercial loans also increased to 24.6 percent in FY21.
About Rupifi:
Headquarters– Bangalore, Karnataka
Co-Founder and CEO– Anubhav Jain
About Muthoot Finance:
Headquarter– Kochi, Kerala
Managing Director (MD)– George Alexander Muthoot

Sports

Fencing: Bhavani Devi won Charlellville National Competition 2021 in France

India’s top-ranked fencer Bhavani Devi has won the Women’s Sabre Individual event at the Charlellville National Competition (National Seniors Circuit) organised by the Charleville-Mézières Fencing Circle in France on 17th October 2021.
About Bhavani Devi:
i.Chadalavada Anandha Sundhararaman Bhavani Devi (C A Bhavani Devi), who hails from Tamil Nadu(TN), became the first fencer from India to qualify for the Olympics Games (Tokyo 2020).
ii.At present, according to the International Fencing Federation (FIE– Fédération Internationale d’Escrime) rankings, Bhavani devi is ranked 50th under the sabre category(women). The list(Sabre) is topped by Kharlan Olga(Ukraine) followed by Velikaya Sofya (Russia) and Brunet Manon(France) in 2nd & 3rd rank.

Fencing:
i.Fencing is a group of 3 related combat sports. The 3 disciplines of modern fencing are the foil, the épée, and the sabre.
ii.Fencing was included in the first Olympics, which was held in 1896 in Athens.
About International Fencing Federation(FIE):
FIE is recognized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) as the world governing body of fencing.
President– Alisher Usmanov
Headquarters– Lausanne, Switzerland

Miscellaneous

A.Balasubramanian Elected as the Chairman of AMFI

A.Balasubramanian, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Aditya Birla Sun Life Asset Management, was elected as the Chairman of Association of Mutual Funds in India (AMFI), by the board members of AMFI. Earlier he served as the Chairman of AMFI from 2017 to 2019. Balasubramanian has succeeded Nilesh Shah, Managing Director of Kotak Mutual Fund. He will also hold the office of ex-officio Chairman of the AMFI Financial Literacy Committee.

Association of Mutual Funds in India (AMFI):
i.It is the association of all the Asset Management Companies of SEBI-registered mutual funds in India.
ii.Members: So far, the 45 Asset Management Companies that are registered with SEBI are members of AMFI.
Chief Executive Officer- N. S. Venkatesh
Headquarters– Mumbai, Maharashtra
Founded– 1995

NMDC Bags Two Prestigious Environment Awards

National Mineral Development Corporation Ltd. (NMDC), the country’s largest iron ore producer and also a Navratna CPSE under the Ministry of Steel, received a “Gold Award” in the Environmental Sustainability category and NMDC’s Kumaraswamy Iron Ore Mine received a “Platinum Award” in the Environmental Management category. NMDC is selected for the awards based on its contribution towards implementation of Sustainable Development Goals and Environment Management initiatives at its production projects.

ASI Confers Aryabhata Award to Secretary DDR&D and Chairman DRDO, Dr G Satheesh Reddy

Secretary DDR&D ( Department of Defence Research and Development) and Chairman DRDO(Defence Research and Development Organisation) Dr G Satheesh Reddy has been conferred the prestigious ‘Aryabhata Award’ by the Astronautical Society of India (ASI) for his outstanding life-time contribution to the promotion of astronautics in India. The award ceremony was held at UR Rao Satellite Centre Bangalore, Karnataka with participants (joined virtually) from across the ISRO (Indian Space Research Organisation), DRDO and other academic institutions.

Highlights:
i.The award is given for his contribution to helping the country become self-reliant in critical defence technology such as strategic and tactical missile systems.
ii.He is an institution builder and has set up mechanisms to establish robust defence development and production ecosystems.
About ASI (Astronautical Society of India): It promotes the interests of other developing countries in the field of astronautics through the International Astronautical Federation (IAF), Paris in which the ASI is a voting member.

President– Dr K Sivan
Founded-1990
About DRDO (Defence Research and Development Organisation):
Chairman: G Satheesh Reddy
Headquarters: DRDO Bhavan, New Delhi
Founded: 1958

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