Current Affairs

23 June, 2021


NHSRCL & IGBC partners to frame World’s 1st Green Rating System for High-Speed Rails

The National High-Speed Rail Corporation Ltd. (NHSRCL) collaborated with Indian Green Building Council (IGBC) to formulate World’s 1st Green Rating System for High-Speed Rails (HSR). Under this collaboration, MAHSR (Mumbai-Ahmedabad High-Speed Rail) corridor, which is currently under the control of NHSRC, will be included for the Green HSR Rating program of IGBC.
Objective – IGBC will frame Green HSR Rating for railway stations that provides Environmental sustainability feature to improve commuter experiences
i.NHSRCL is a special purpose vehicle that executes India’s 1st Bullet train project between Ahmedabad and Mumbai.
About National High Speed Rail Corporation Limited (NHSRCL):
Established – 2016
Chairman – Suneet Sharma (Chairman & CEO of Indian Railways Board)
About Indian Green Building Council (IGBC):
Headquarters – Hyderabad, Telangana
Chairperson – V Suresh

World not on track to reduce Suicide Mortality Rate by 2030: WHO Report

According to the report ‘Suicide Worldwide in 2019’ released by World Health Organization (WHO) – The world is not on track to reduce Suicide Mortality Rate by One-Third by 2030.
i.Some key statistics from the report. More than 7,03,000 people died by suicide in 2019 i.e. 1 in every 100 deaths. More than 58% of the global suicides have occured before the age of 50 years. Suicide is the 4th leading cause of death among 15-29 year olds after road injury, tuberculosis and interpersonal violence. The global age-standardized suicide rate was 9.0 per 1,00,000 population for 2019. The global age-standardized suicide rate was higher in males (12.6 per 100 000) than in females (5.4 per 100 000) Global suicide rate has decreased by 36% in the last 2 decades (2000-19). The suicide rates was highest in WHO Africa region (11.2) followed by Europe (10.5) and South-East Asia (10.2).
About World Health Organization (WHO)
Director-General – Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus
Headquarters – Geneva, Switzerland


Minority Affairs Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi Launched a Nationwide “JaanHaiToJahaanHai” Campaign

Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, Union Minister for Minority Affairs, launched a nationwide “JaanHaiToJahaanHai” campaign to create awareness about corona vaccination in rural and remote areas of India The campaign was launched from the Primary Health Centre, Chamraua in Rampur, Uttar Pradesh. Aim: To eliminate the rumours and apprehensions related to the ongoing vaccination drive. The Ministry of Minority Affairs along with the various socio-educational organisations, Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), and Women Self Help Groups have launched the nationwide awareness campaign. Under the JaanHaiToJahaanHai campaign various leaders, prominent people from social, educational, cultural, medical, science, and other fields spread the messages related to vaccination and street plays will be organized across India.
About Ministry of Minority Affairs:
Union Minister– Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi(Rajya Sabha – Jharkhand)
Minister of State– Kiren Rijiju(Constituency: Arunachal West, Arunachal Pradesh)

Andhra Pradesh tops new job creation under IBPS scheme: STPI

Andhra Pradesh has generated the highest employment in India under the IBPS Scheme (India Business Process Outsourcing Promotion Scheme) by creating 12, 234 new jobs. Tamil Nadu came 2nd by creating 9, 401 jobs, while the remaining jobs were spread across Punjab, Odisha, Maharashtra and others. Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh received the distinction for providing employment to a large number of youth under the IBPS scheme. The scheme has generated direct employment for more than 40, 000 people residing in Tier-II and Tier-III cities, out of which 38% are women.
About Software Technology Parks of India (STPI)
Director General – Dr. Omkar Rai
Head Office – New Delhi

Assam Government & SoI sign MoU for implementation of SVAMITVA scheme in Assam

Assam Government & Survey of India (SoI), the National Mapping Agency (NMA) of India have signed an Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for implementation of SVAMITVA scheme (Survey of Villages and Mapping with Improvised Technology in Village Areas) in Assam. The Ministry of Panchayati Raj (MoPR), Government of India & Department of Revenue and disaster management, Government of Assam will implement the scheme with support of the Panchayat & Rural Development of Assam. As Technology partner, Survey of India will take steps for survey of inhabited rural land by drone technology. The implementation of SVAMITVA scheme is aimed at reducing property related disputes and legal cases.
About Survey of India (SoI)
It is the National Survey and Mapping Organization which comes under Department of Science & Technology
Surveyor General of India – Naveen Tomar
Headquarter – Dehradun, Uttarakhand
Established – 1767 (It is the Oldest Scientific Department of Govt. of India)

QCI launches ICMED Plus Scheme for Quality Certification of Medical Devices

Quality Council of India (QCI), an autonomous body under the Ministry of Commerce & Industry virtually launched the ‘Indian Certification of Medical Devices 13485 PLUS scheme (ICMED 13485 PLUS)’ for undertaking verification of the quality, safety and effectiveness of medical devices in India. It is an upgraded version of the ICMED Scheme launched in 2016 for certification of medical devices. QCI & the Association of Indian Manufacturers of Medical Devices (AiMeD) have added new features to the ICMED scheme. ICMED Plus is the 1st scheme in the world in which Quality Management Systems along with Product Certification Standards are integrated with regulatory requirements.
About Quality Council of India (QCI)
It is an autonomous body set up by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry
Chairperson – Adil Zainulbhai
Secretary General – Dr. Ravi P. Singh
Head Office – New Delhi
About Association of Indian Manufacturers of Medical Devices (AiMeD)
Forum Coordinator – Rajiv Nath
Head Office – New Delhi


Navi General Insurance Launched Monthly EMI based Health Insurance

In June 2021, Navi General Insurance Limited, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Navi Technologies, introduced an Equated Monthly Installments (EMI) subscription-based health insurance in Kerala. It enables the customers to pay affordable monthly EMIs for health insurance instead of paying the annual premium upfront. The health insurance policies could be purchased at EMIs starting as low as Rs 240 per month. The health insurance cover ranges from Rs 2 lakh to Rs 1 crore for both individuals and families.
Note – In December 2020, Navi General Insurance launched a 100 percent paperless, digital health insurance via the NaviHealth mobile app.
About Navi General Insurance Limited:
Establishment – July 5, 2016
Headquarters – Mumbai, Maharashtra
MD & CEO – Ramchandra Pandit

ICICI Bank Extended Instant ‘Cardless EMI’ Facility for Online Shopping

ICICI Bank has extended the instant ‘Cardless EMI’ facility for its pre-approved customers to make online purchases across 2,500 e-commerce platforms without using their card. The ‘Cardless EMI’ facility allows its customers to instantly buy products or services online through Equated Monthly Instalments (EMIs) by using their mobile phone and PAN up to Rs 5 lakh. ICICI Bank was India’s 1st bank and 1st in the industry to launch a fully digital payment mode, a cardless EMI facility at retail stores and online shopping.
About ICICI Bank:
Establishment – 1955(Incorporated in 1994)
Headquarters – Mumbai, Maharashtra
MD& CEO – Sandeep Bakhshi
Tagline – Hum hai na, Khayal Apka

SBI General Insurance signed Bancassurance Pact with IDFC FIRST Bank

SBI (State Bank of India) General Insurance inked a bancassurance partnership with IDFC (Infrastructure Development Finance Company) FIRST Bank for selling its non-life insurance products. In this regard, a corporate agency agreement was signed between both the entities. Through this agreement SBI general insurance will access the IDFC first bank’s larger customer base resulting in wider penetration of its insurance products through the latter’s digital first approach.
About IDFC First Bank:
Establishment– In 2018, by merging erstwhile IDFC Bank and former Capital First.
Managing Director (MD) & CEO (Chief Executive Officer)– V. Vaidyanathan
Headquarters– Mumbai, Maharashtra
About SBI general insurance:
Managing Director (MD) & CEO (Chief Executive Officer)– Prakash Chandra Kandpal
Headquarters– Mumbai, Maharashtra
Tagline– Suraksha Aur Bharosa Dono


World Test Championship Final: What is Reserve Day in WTC Final? All you need to know!

The World Test Championship (WTC) Final between India and New Zealand will be extended into the sixth day after 2 full days- Day 1 and Day 4- were washed out due to the rain. Other days were also affected by the rain and bad light in Southampton, UK.

According to the media release by the International Cricket Council (ICC), it has been confirmed that the Reserve Day is to be utilized at the final of ICC World Test Championship 2021.

The Reserve Day for WTC Final has been scheduled on June 23, 2021, to make up for any time that has been lost on the five scheduled days of play between India and New Zealand.

The final of the ICC WTC is being played from 18-22 June 2021 in England between India and New Zealand.

What is Reserve Day? Why it has been scheduled for WTC final?
As per the International Cricket Council, the Reserve Day has been scheduled to ensure five full days of play, and it will only be used if lost playing time cannot be recovered by the teams through the normal provisions of making up the lost time each day.

The council, however, added that there will be no additional day’s play if a positive result is not achieved after the five full days of play and the match will be declared a draw.

BCCI to bid for 2031 ODI World Cup, 2028 T20 World Cup and 2025 Champions Trophy

The BCCI has decided to bid for three major global ICC events including the 2025 Champions Trophy, 2028 T20 World Cup and 2031 ODI World Cup during the next eight-year tournament cycle that starts from 2024..

The decision was taken at BCCI's Emergent Apex Council meeting, which was held virtually on June 20, 2021. The cricket board is confident that it can easily host big-ticket tournaments every two years.

A senior office-bearer confirmed the news and said that the BCCI Apex Council has agreed to this principle.


ARDE & HEMRL develop CSS for safe ejection of Pilots in distress

Labs of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) namely Armament Research and Development Establishment (ARDE), Pune & High Energy Material Research Laboratory (HEMRL) have developed an Modern Canopy Severance System (CSS) for India’s Indigenous Fighter Aircraft Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas & Trainer Aircrafts like HJT-36 Aircraft & HTT-40 Aircraft. The CSS of a fighter aircraft is a life saving device that helps in safe ejection of a pilot in distress. ARDE & HEMRL are now capable of developing CSS for any Military Aircraft required by Indian Air Force (IAF). The CSS design was approved by Certifying Agency RCMA (AA), Pune, Maharashtra and CEMILAC (Centre for Military Airworthiness & Certification), Bengaluru, Karnataka. The Transfer of Technology (ToT) for production of CSS was awarded to CMD – S. Pramanik and General Manager – R Chandra of GOCL Corporation Ltd during an Certificate Award Ceremony.
About Armament Research and Development Establishment (ARDE)
Director – Dr. V Venkateswara Rao
Location – Pune, Maharashtra
About High Energy Material Research Laboratory (HEMRL)
Director – KPS Murthy
Location – Pune, Maharashtra

CCI Approved Heineken’s Additional Stake Acquisition in United Breweries

The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has approved the acquisition of an additional equity stake of about 16.40 percent shareholding of United Breweries Limited (UBL) by Heineken International BV (HIBV). HIBV is an investment holding company and it is not engaged in any business activity. It is a direct/ indirect shareholder for all non-Dutch companies that form part of the Heineken Group. Heineken Group is an international group of companies that are engaged in the production, manufacture, packaging, distribution, marketing and sale of a range of beverages. UBL is a public limited company engaged in the manufacture, sale and distribution of beer in India.
About United Breweries Limited (UBL):
Headquarters – Bangalore, Karnataka
Managing Director – Rishi Pardal
About Heineken Group:
HIBV is a subsidiary of Heineken N.V.
Headquarters – Amsterdam, Netherlands
Chairman Executive Board / CEO – Dolf van den Brink

Muthoot Fincorp acquires 54% stake in Paymatrix

Financial Service provider Muthoot Fincorp, flagship company of Muthoot Pappachan Group, has raised a majority 54% stake in Hyderabad (Telangana)-based fintech startup Paymatrix by buying out existing investors. It was acquired through a combination of primary and secondary investments. This information was provided by Muthoot Pappachan Group chairman Thomas John Muthoot. This will help Muthoot Fincorp to extend its existing lending business into new markets and new customer segments.
About Paymatrix:
Launched in 2016 to streamline online payment of property rentals, rent deposits and maintenance payments using credit cards was incubated at IIIT (International Institute of Information Technology)-Hyderabad along with Paypal accelerator programme. Since then, it has become one of the largest property rent payment and collection platforms in India with a user base of over 82,000 and having processed Rs 200 crore till date.
About Muthoot Fincorp:
It is a Non-Banking Financial Company (NBFC)
Managing Director– Thomas John Muthoot
Tagline– Jab Zindagi Badlani Ho
Headquarter– Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala

Ajai Puri re-elected as COAI chairman for 2021-22

Cellular Operators Association of India(COAI) has re-elected Ajai Puri, Chief Operating Officer of Bharti Airtel as Chairman of the industry association for 2021-22 and Pramod Kumar Mittal, President of Reliance Jio Infocomm, will be the Vice Chairman of the association. The COAI was constituted in 1995,headquartered at New Delhi.

British Lawyer Karim Khan Sworn In as ICC’s Chief Prosecutor

British human rights lawyer Karim Khan has been elected as the new chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court(ICC) by its member countries.He is elected for a period of 9-years from June,2021. He succeeded Fatou Bensouda of Gambia,as he completed his nine-year term.
About Karim Khan:
i.Karim Khan has previously served as a prosecutor, investigator and defense attorney in international courts.
ii.He is very much known for the UN investigations made into the crimes by the Islamic State.
iii.He has defended many famous persons including former Liberian President Charles Taylor and Kenya’s Deputy President William Ruto at international courts
About International Criminal Court(ICC):
The ICC is the first and only permanent international court with jurisdiction to prosecute individuals for the international crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and the crime of aggression.
President: Judge Piotr Hofmański (Poland)
Founded: 1 July 2002
Headquarters: Hague,Netherlands
Members states:123

Jasprit Bumrah Became The Brand Ambassador For OnePlus Wearables

Indian Cricketer Jasprit Bumrah has been appointed as the Brand Ambassador of OnePlus wearables which includes the OnePlus Watch and OnePlus Band. As the Brand Ambassador of OnePlus wearables,Jasprit Bumrah will do 360-degree campaigns starting with a digital film on OnePlus India YouTube and Instagram.
In the view of resonating with OnePlus’s brand philosophy of ‘Never Settle’ and the company’s pursuit towards perfection, Jasprit Bumrah has been chosen as he seems to believe in constantly becoming better.
About Jasprit Bumrah:
i.Jasprit Bumrah is a right arm fast bowler, who plays for the Indian national cricket team in all formats of the game.
ii.He has been selected in the ICC ODI Team of the Year (2017, 2018)and ICC Test Team of the Year (2018)
iii.He has also been placed in ICC Men’s T20I Team of the Decade: 2011-20

Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan wins General Election

In June 2021, Civil Contract – a political party led by Nikol Pashinyan, the serving Prime Minister of Armenia won the country’s Parliamentary election with 53.97% of the votes polled. While the opposition Armenia Alliance led by former Armenian President Robert Kocharyan trailed on 21.06% votes.
i.The 46-year-old Nikol Pashinyan is serving as the Prime Minister of Armenia since 2018. He was facing various political criticisms for ceding territories to Azerbaijan.
ii.This election comes after the “Six Week War” between Armenia & Azerbaijan that took place in the Nagorno-Karabakh region in November-December 2020.
iii.At the backdrop of the bloody war, Armenia backed by Russia signed a Peace agreement with Azerbaijan. As per the agreement, Territories lost by Azerbaijan in the 1990 war were reinstituted.
About Armenia:
Capital – Yerevan
Currency – Armenian dram
President – Armen Sargsyan

Upasana Kamineni named ‘Ambassador of Forest Frontline Heroes’ by WWF India

The Managing Director of Apollo Life (Lifetime Wellness Rx International Limited), Upasana Kamineni Kondinela, has been named as an ‘Ambassador of Forest Frontline Heroes’ by WWF (World Wide Fund for Nature) India. Her appointment was made to recognize the efforts of frontline workers or field level forest staff protecting wildlife and habitats.
About forest field staff:
A forest field staff work 24/7 in extreme conditions and on an average, they walk up to 15-20 km a day to patrol the forests, facing the dangers of encountering wild animals or poachers. They have hardly any access to emergency medical facilities in the line of duty.
About WWF India:
Establishment– 1969 as World Wildlife Fund India
President– Arvind Wable
Headquarter– New Delhi

INS Sahyadri Adjudged as Best Ship of Eastern Fleet: Fleet Awards Function 2021

Indian Navy Ship(INS) Sahyadri was adjudged as the Best Ship of the Eastern Fleet at the Fleet Awards Function 2021, which was held to mark the culmination of the Operational Cycle of the Eastern Fleet and to recognize the achievements of the ‘Sword Arm’ of the Eastern Naval Command (ENC).
The program was hosted by Rear Admiral Tarun Sobti, Flag Officer Commanding Eastern Fleet.
The chief guest of the event was Vice Admiral Ajendra Bahadur Singh, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief ENC. INS Kamorta was recognized as the most spirited ship. INS Kiltan and INS Khukri won the best corvette trophy among the corvettes and similar classes of ships.

NTPC won 38th Position among Top 50 Great Place to Work; Got Recognition of India’s Best Employers

National Thermal Power Corporation(NTPC) Ltd. a Maharatna CPSU (central public sector undertaking) under the Ministry of Power has been recognised as a ‘Great Place to Work’ for the 15th year in a row by the Great Place to Work (GPTW) Institute. It was the only PSU to feature consistently among India’s Top 50 Best Workplaces. Under the category of ‘India’s Great Place to Work’ it ranked at 38th position from its 47th position of 2020, it also won its first-ever recognition of – ‘India’s Best Employers among Nation-Builders 2021’ from GPTW. Great Place to Work Certification: It is the most definitive ‘Employer-of-Choice’ recognition that organizations aspire to achieve, it is considered the ‘Gold Standard’ in identifying and recognizing Great Workplaces with High Trust and High-Performance Cultures. The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) Human resources (HR) Excellence Role model award, the highest award in the field of People Management in the country was also received by NTPC in March 2021.
About National Thermal Power Corporation(NTPC) Ltd.:
Establishment – 1975
Headquarters – New Delhi
CMD – Gurdeep Singh

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