Current Affairs

22 July, 2021

International

China Unveils New Maglev Train – World’s Fastest Ground Vehicle

China has unveiled a new Maglev transportation system, which is capable of achieving a maximum speed of 600 kph or 372 mph, in Qingdao, the coastal city in Shandong province of China. The Maglev train developed by China and manufactured in Qingdao is reported to be the world’s fastest ground vehicle available.

This is China’s latest scientific and technological achievement in the field of rail transit.
Note:
China has been using this technology on a limited scale for around 20 years.
Background:
i.The high-speed maglev train project was launched in October 2016.
The magnetic-levitation train prototype with a designed speed of 600 kilometers per hour(kmh) was developed in 2019 and the successful test run was conducted in June 2020.

Ariel Henry Appointed as the Prime Minister of Haiti

Ariel Henry(71 years old), a member of the political party Inite, was appointed as the new Prime Minister(PM) of Haiti. He took over the charge from the incumbent PM Claude Joseph. He was sworn in as the new PM at the ceremony held in the Port-Au-Prince, capital of Haiti. He will also serve as the Minister of social affairs and labour.

Claude Joseph has stepped down as the PM and continues as the Foreign minister of Haiti.
Background:
Late President Jovenel Moise, has designated Ariel Henry as the Prime Minister of Haiti days before his assassination.
About Ariel Henry:
Ariel Henry is a neurosurgeon and a former cabinet minister who has served in various Ministries like Minister of Social Affairs and Labor and Minister of Interior and Territorial Communities.
About Haiti:
Prime Minister– Ariel Henry
Capital– Port-au-Prince
Currency– Haitian Gourde

Biteeu India Became World’s 1st Crypto Exchange with Multi-signature and Backup in Space

Biteeu India made a partnership with SpaceChain, a space-as-a-service solution provider, to launch its digital security infrastructure into space onboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket as part of the rideshare program. Under the partnership, SpaceChain will create the space node for Biteeu and install it on a YAM-2 satellite which is carried by rocket. The mission will be executed by satellite operator Loft Orbital. Through this, Biteeu will become the 1st cryptocurrency exchange in the world to leverage the high security of space-grade infrastructure for ultra-secure Bitcoin cryptocurrency transactions, and having public satellite keys backed up on a space node.
About Biteeu:
Establishment – 2019
Co-founder and CEO – Talgat Dossanov

National

NCGTC Issues Guidelines for INR 50,000 LGSCAS to improve Health Infrastructure

National Credit Guarantee Trustee Company Ltd (NCGTC) issued operational guidelines for the INR 50,000 crore Loan Guarantee Scheme for COVID-19 Affected Sectors (LGSCAS). The LGSCAS scheme aims to improve medical infrastructure in non-metros (8 metros have been excluded). LGSCAS was announced as part of the INR 6.29 Lakh crore stimulus package announced by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in June, 2021.

Operational Guidelines

Maximum Loan & Interest Rate Maximum Loan of INR 100 crore, capped Interest rate of 7.95% and guarantee provided for 3 years.
Eligibility
Eligible for all loans sanctioned during May 7, 2021 till March 31, 2022 or till Guarantees for an amount of INR 50,000 crore are issued under the scheme.
It is open for both Greenfield (new) & Brownfield (existing) projects.
Credit Guarantee
50% for all brownfield projects & 75% to greenfield projects.
For Aspirational districts, for both brownfield & greenfield projects shall be 75%.
Guarantee Period The Guarantee for loan up to INR 100 crore per project will be valid up to 2 years

Oxfam India Report Highlighted Sharp Inequalities in Health Indicators

In accordance with the report titled ‘India Inequality Report 2021: India’s Unequal Healthcare Story’ by Oxfam India, there are sharp inequalities across different caste, religious, class and gender categories on various health indicators. As per report general category is better than the SCs (Scheduled Caste) and STs (Scheduled Tribes), Hindus are better than Muslims, rich are better than the poor, men are better than women, and the urban population is than the rural population on most health determinants, interventions and indicators. Notably, it named Kerala as a success story in handling the pandemic.

Assessment: The findings are based on the secondary analysis from rounds 3 (2005-06) and 4 (2015-16) of the National Family Health Survey (NFHS) and various rounds of National Sample Survey (NSS).

IBBI Amended Regulations for Insolvency Process to Enhance Transparency

Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (IBBI) amended the IBBI (Insolvency Resolution Process for Corporate Persons) Regulations, 2016 to enhance the discipline, transparency, and accountability in corporate insolvency proceedings.
Amendments:
i.To reorganise the CD, the interim resolution professional (IRP)/ resolution professional (RP) were directed to find out either the Corporate Debtor (CD) is subjected to avoidance transactions and required to file an opinion about that to the Adjudicating Authority.ii.IBBI amended the regulations and directed the insolvency professional (IP), who is conducting the Corporate Insolvency Resolution Process (CIRP) to disclose all former names and registered office address(es) so far changed (2 years) preceding the commencement of insolvency along with the current name and address of the CD.
iii.IBBI also allowed the IRP/ RP to appoint any professional, including registered valuers, to assist him in the discharge of his duties while conducting the CIRP.
About Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India(IBBI):
Establishment – 1st October, 2016 under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016
Headoffice – New Delhi
Chairperson – M. S. Sahoo

Gujarat HC became 1st Indian Court to allow Public Viewing of Proceedings; Launched by CJI NV Ramana

The High Court (HC) of Gujarat became the first court of India to formally start live streaming of proceedings on its YouTube channel to ensure transparency and openness in the Indian judiciary. It was launched on the eve of the 101st birth anniversary of Late Former CJI (16th) Yeshwant Vishnu Chandrachud by the Chief Justice of India (CJI) Nuthalapati Venkata (NV) Ramana. The CJI, who was the chief guest of online inaugural function, also released the Gujarat High Court (Live Streaming of Court Proceedings) Rules, 2021 in the presence of Guest of Honour Supreme Court judge Justice Dhananjaya Yeshwant (DY) Chandrachud along with Chief Justice of Gujarat HC Vikram Nath and other judges of the high court.

Economy

NSDL Payments Bank Partnered with Multilink to Provide Banking Facilities

NSDL Payments Bank has made a strategic partnership with Multilink, a fintech company to build agent points across India to boost the banking facilities in rural and semi-urban areas of India through the Neo banking system. Under the partnership, Multilink will form Agent points named NSDL-MULTILINK point/BC Agent Point. The customers would also be enabled to open a savings account and perform banking from those Agent points.

About NSDL Payments Bank:
NSDL Payments Bank is the 1st and largest depository in India
Establishment – 2018
Headquarters – Mumbai, Maharashtra
CEO – Ashutosh Singh

RBI Launched 2 Quarterly Surveys on Manufacturing, Service Sector: IOS, SIOS

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) launched the 95th round of the Quarterly ‘Industrial Outlook Survey’ (IOS), which assesses the performance of the Indian manufacturing sector. The reference period for the survey is Q2 FY22 (July-September 2021). Under IOS, RBI will assess the manufacturing sector business performance for Q2 FY22 and also the growth expectations in Q3 FY222. RBI launched the 30th round of the quarterly ‘Services and Infrastructure Outlook Survey’ (SIOS) for the reference period of Q2 FY22. RBI also released data on the performance of the private corporate sector in Q4 FY21 (January-March 2021). The data was based on the quarterly financial results of 2,608 listed non-government non-financial (NGNF) companies.

Functions of Reserve Bank of India (RBI):
i.Framing Monetary policy – RBI frames the Monetary policy of the country to meet challenges and maintain the price stability of the economy.
ii.Decides benchmark interest rate – A 6-member monetary policy committee headed by the RBI governor, decides the benchmark repo rate.
iii.Regulate Foreign Exchange(Forex) – Forex Management Act(‘FEMA’) envisages the RBI to manage Forex reserves.

HDFC ERGO Launched a Health Policy – Optima Secure

HDFC ERGO General Insurance, a non-life insurance company, launched a new health indemnity insurance policy named ‘Optima Secure’ to redefine the values of insurance plans that would be obtained by customers. The insurance plan provides guaranteeing coverage for listed non-medical expenses and it would offer up to 4 times the sum insured by customers at no additional charge within 2 years. The plan offers broad coverage from 5 Lacs to 2 Crores.

4 Benefits of Optima Secure:
i.Secure Benefit – The plan doubles the insurance cover automatically and instantly on purchase of the policy (eg. if the base cover is Rs 10 lakh it would be doubled to Rs 20 lakh).
ii.Plus Benefit – The base coverage of the policy would be increased automatically by 50 percent after 1 year and to 100 percent after 2 years.
iii.Restore Benefit – If the coverage of the customers is over, the policy would restore their base coverage up to 100 percent.
iv.Protect Benefit – The policy has ‘zero’ deduction on consumables and listed non-medical expenses.
About HDFC ERGO General Insurance:
It is a joint venture (51:49) between HDFC Ltd., the Housing Finance Institution and ERGO International AG, the insurance entity of Munich Re Group.
Headquarters – Mumbai, Maharashtra
MD & CEO – Ritesh Kumar

Sports

Viswanathan Anand wins NC World Masters of Sparkassen Chess Trophy

India’s Viswanathan Anand defeated Russia’s Vladimir Kramnik to win the ‘No-Castling (NC) World Masters’ event of the Sparkassen Trophy held at Dortmund, Germany. The ‘No-Castling Chess’ is a new format of chess conceived by Vladimir Kramnik which aims to make Chess less predictable and more dynamic. The NC World Masters is part of the 48th Dortmund Sparkassen Chess Meeting held from July 10-18, 2021. It has been held annually since 1973 and was cancelled in 2020 due to COVID-19 pandemic.

Football: Forward Bala Devi and Defender Sandesh Jhingan Named the AIFF’s Footballer of the Year 2020-2021

Indian women’s football team forward Bala Devi (31 years old) from Manipur and Indian Men’s football team’s defender Sandesh Jhingan (28 years old) from Chandigarh, has been named the Women’s Footballer of the year 2020-2021 and Men’s Footballer of the Year 2020-2021 respectively at the annual All India Football Federation(AIFF) Awards 2020-2021. This is the 3rd time for Bala Devi to receive the honour. Previously she received the award in 2014 and 2015. Bala Devi is playing for the Rangers Women’s FC in Scotland, she is the first Indian women footballer to sign a professional contract in Europe. 2020 Arjuna awardee Sandesh Jhingan has previously won the AIFF Men’s Emerging Footballer of the Year in 2014.

Selection of Winners:
i.The winners of women’s awards were chosen by Maymol Rocky, national team head coach in consultation with Savio Medeira, interim Technical Director of AIFF.
ii.The winners of the men’s awards were voted by the club coaches of Hero Indian Super League and the Hero I-League.
Other Awards at the annual AIFF Awards 2020-2021:

Award 2020-2021 Winner
AIFF Men’s Emerging Footballer of the Year Suresh Singh Wangjam(midfielder)
AIFF Women’s Emerging Footballer of the Year Manisha Kalyan(midfielder)
AIFF Awards for the Best Referee Tejas Nagvenkar (Goa)
AIFF Award for Best Assistant Referee Sumanta Dutta(Assam)

Miscellaneous

BDL flags off 1st MRSAM Missile for Delivery to IAF

Bharat Dynamic Ltd (BDL) officially started the delivery of the 1st Missile of the 1st Firing unit of Medium Range Surface to Air Missile (MRSAM) for delivery to the Indian Air Force (IAF). It was flagged off by MSR Prasad, Director General (Missiles & Strategic Systems) of BDL. MRSAM is a high response, quick reaction, vertically launched supersonic missile. It has been jointly developed by Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO) & Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI). MRSAM is manufactured by Bharat Dynamics Ltd (BDL). MRSAM has a range of 70 kms & a speed of Mach 2. It is capable of neutralizing Aerial targets like missiles, aircraft, guided bombs, helicopters.

Russia Successfully Tests S-500 Air Defence Missile System

Russia successfully test-fired its new S-500 Air Defence Missile Systems in a Kapustin Yar Training ground, Russia. The missile, considered as the most advanced anti-missile system, successfully hit a high-speed ballistic target. S-400 Triumf is a Long-range Surface-to-Air Missile Defence System. It is an interceptor-based missile system which can destroy incoming hostile aircraft, missiles, and drones at ranges of up to 600 kms. It is manufactured by Almaz-Antey (Russian State-owned company).

S-400 System
i.In 2018, India signed a USD 5 billion deal with Russia to buy 5 units of the S-400 air defence missile systems. India is set to receive the 1st batch of S-400 System from Russia between October-December, 2021.
About Russia
President – Vladimir Putin
Capital – Moscow
Currency – Russian Rouble

CCI Approves Acquisition of 16.57% Stakes in Mukand Limited by Bajaj Group Entities

The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has approved the acquisition of around 16.57% equity shares in Mukand Limited(ML) by Bajaj Sevashram Private Limited (BSPL), Bachhraj & Company Private Limited (BCOPL), Bachhraj Factories Private Limited (BFPL) and Sanraj Nayan Investments Private Limited (SNIPL). BSPL, BCOPL, BFPL and SNIPL are a part of the Bajaj Group of companies. The acquisition was approved under Section 31(1) of the Competition Act, 2002. The acquisition of 16.57% equity shareholding is in addition to around 57.70% of issued and paid-up equity share capital of ML currently held by the Bajaj group.

About Mukand Limited(ML):
Mukand Limited(ML) is involved in the business of manufacturing, marketing, selling, exporting distribution of specialty steel long products and heavy machinery.
Chairman and Managing Director– Niraj R Bajaj
Co-Chairman and Managing Director– Rajesh V Shah
Headquarters– Mumbai, Maharashtra

Government of India launched National Logistics Excellence Awards

The government of India has announced the launch of the National Logistics Excellence Awards to appreciate the logistics service providers and to recognise the best practices in the Logistics sector including consolidation, process standardisation, technological upgrade, digital transformations and sustainable practices. The awards will be presented in 2 categories: Logistics Services Provider Excellence Awards and Industry Excellence Awards The winners of the award will be announced on 31st October 2021. The case studies of the best practices in logistics will be showcased as a “Logistics Excellence Gallery” hosted by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry.

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