Current Affairs

23 October, 2021


Highlights of EAM S Jaishankar’s Visit to Israel from October 17 to 21

External Affairs Minister (EAM) S. Jaishankar made a 5-day official visit to Israel from 17-21 October 2021 to strengthen the strategic partnership between the two countries. This was S Jaishankar’s 1st visit to Israel as EAM.

About Israel:

Capital – Jerusalem
Currency – Israeli Shekel
Prime Minister – Naftali Bennett

Pakistan to remain on ‘Grey List’ of global terror financing watchdog FATF

The global terror financing watchdog Financial Action Task Force (FATF) retained Pakistan in the ‘Grey List’ until it signifies the actions being taken against Jamaat-ud-Dawah chief Hafiz Saeed and Jaish-e-Mohammed founder Masood Azhar who are listed as global terrorists by the United Nations (UN).It was announced at the fifth Plenary of the FATF under the German Presidency of Dr. Marcus Pleyer, that took place on 19-21 October. This decision has been taken during the virtual meeting of the FATF Plenary which was attended by delegates from 206 members of the Global Network and observer organizations including the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the UN and the Egmont Group of Financial Intelligence Units.

About Financial Action Task Force (FATF):

Executive Secretary- David Lewis
President – Dr. Marcus Pleyer(Germany)
Presidency – Germany (2020-2022)
Headquarter – Paris, France


India’s Largest Green Hydrogen Plant to be built by GAIL

GAIL (Formerly known as Gas Authority of India Limited) is all set to build India’s largest green hydrogen-making plant of 10MW (Mega Watt) capacity in 12-14 months. The information for the same was provided by GAIL Chairman and Managing Director (CMD) Manoj Jain during the 5th India Energy Forum by CERAWeek in a hybrid format in New Delhi. This plant will supplement ‎GAIL’s natural gas business with carbon-free fuel.

Cabinet approval on October 21, 2021

On October 21, 2021, the Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister (PM) Narendra Modi approved the following proposals and the information for the same was provided by Union Minister Anurag Singh Thakur, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) during a media briefing on the Cabinet decisions in New Delhi.
i.The Union Cabinet cleared the ‘PM GatiShakti – National Master Plan (NMP) for Multi-Modal Connectivity’ to economic zones. This approval comes after a week when the PM launched Rs 100 Lakh cr Gati Shakti NMP for Infrastructure Development from New Delhi. An Empowered Group of Secretaries (EGOS) headed by the Cabinet Secretary (Currently Rajiv Gauba) and secretaries of 18 ministries as members will be set up to review and monitor the implementation of the PM GatiShakti NMP and to ensure logistics efficiency.

ii.The Union Cabinet also approved a proposal to hike Dearness Allowance (DA) of the central government employees and pensioners by 3%. It also decided to increase the House Rent Allowance (HRA) of the Central government employees from August 2021.
About Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB):
Anurag Singh Thakur Constituency– Hamirpur (Himachal Pradesh)
Minister of State (MoS)– Loganathan Murugan (Constituency- Madhya Pradesh)


ITILITE partners with ICICI to offer Commercial Credit Card for Travel Expenses to Businesses

ITILITE has joined hands with ICICI (Industrial Credit and Investment Corporation of India) Bank to issue commercial credit cards for travel expenses to businesses in India. ITILITE is an all-in-one business travel and expense management platform. This partnership will enable the companies to get an ‘ICICI Bank Central Travel Account Card (CTA card)’ and make travel bookings for employees at a discounted rate on the ITILITE platform.
Co-Founders– Mayank Kukreja, and Anish Khadiya
Headquarter– Bengaluru, Karnataka

KMBL Ties-up with Pine Labs to Expand Point-of-Sale Services

Kotak Mahindra Bank Limited (KMBL) partnered with Pine Labs to expand its merchant acquiring and Point of Sale (PoS) services to more merchants and retailers.
About Kotak Mahindra Bank Limited (KMBL):
Kotak Mahindra Finance Ltd (KMFL), has become the 1st finance company in India to be converted into a commercial bank.
MD & CEO – Uday Kotak
Headquarters- Mumbai, Maharashtra
Founded– February 2003

IIFCL got RBI’s Approval to Finance InVITs

Government-owned India Infrastructure Finance Co. Ltd. (IIFCL) has received approval from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to finance through Infrastructure Investment Trusts (InvITs) instruments. IIFCL is planning to spend about Rs 4,000 crore in the InVITs segment in FY22.IIFCL has sanctioned about Rs 1.5 trillion to 620 projects under direct lending, takeout finance and refinance, disbursing about Rs 75,000 crore till 31 December 2020.

About InvITs:
i.InvITs are instruments (similar to Mutual Funds) that will enable direct investment of small amounts of money from a number of individual and institutional investors in infrastructure projects to earn a small portion of the income as a return.
ii.InvITs are governed by Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) (Infrastructure Investment Trusts) (Amendment) Regulations, 2016.
iii.In 2019, the minimum subscription limit for InvITs was reduced from Rs 10 lakh to Rs 1 lakh.
iv.The infrastructure projects in which InVITs invest could be such as transport (road, bridges, railways), energy (electricity generation, transmission, distribution), communication, etc.
Additional Info: In April 2021, the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) allowed insurers to invest in debt instruments that are issued by Infrastructure Investment Trusts (InvITs) and Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs).
About India Infrastructure Finance Co. Ltd. (IIFCL):
It was formed to provide long-term financial assistance to viable infrastructure projects.
Establishment – 2006
Headquarters – New Delhi, Delhi
MD – Padmanabhan Raja Jaishankar


FIFA Ranking 2021: India Rise One Spot to 106th; Belgium Tops

India has ranked 106th in the FIFA (Fédération Internationale de Football Association) Rankings 2021, the position of team India was increased to one spot.
i.After the victory in SAFF (South Asian Football Federation) Championship 2021 of team India led by Sunil Chhetri, it has secured the 106th position. The team has defeated Nepal in the summit clash.
ii.Under the FIFA Rankings, Belgium is at 1st position. Brazil holds 2nd position, it is only 12 points behind Belgium. France holds 3rd position.
FIFA Rankings 2021:

Rank Countries
106 India
1 Belgium
2 Brazil
3 France
4 Italy
5 England

About FIFA (Fédération Internationale de Football Association):
President: Gianni Infantino
Headquarters: Zurich, Switzerland
Founded: 21 May 1904

Ridhima Veerendra Kumar breaks 7-year National record and bags gold medal in swimming

Karnataka swimmer Ridhima Veerendrakumar bagged the gold medal in 50m backstroke for group II girls, in Bengaluru, a record-breaking performance at the 37th Sub Junior and 47th Junior National Championships. Ridhima led with powerful strokes to clock 29.94 seconds and broke the 7-year National record of Maana Patel’s record (30.37 seconds) created in 2014. Shalini Dixit of Karnataka bagged the silver medal while Sri Nitya Sago of Telangana took bronze. Maharashtra’s Apeksha Fernandes created a new national record in the 50m breast stroke for group I girls.


Sandra Mason Elected as the 1st ever President of Barbados; replaced Queen Elizabeth II as Head of State

The Governor-General of Barbados, Dame Sandra Prunella Mason, has been elected as the first-ever President of Barbados, a Caribbean island. She will replace Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II as the new head of Barbados. She will swear in as the President of Barbados on 30th November 2021, which marks the 55th anniversary of Barbados’s independence from Britain. Barbados will remove the Queen as its Head of state and gain the status of a republic.

About Sandra Prunella Mason:
i.Sandra Mason has been serving as the Governor-General of Barbados since 2018.
ii.She was the first woman to be appointed Appeals Judge on the Barbados Court of Appeals.
At present, Queen Elizabeth II is the head of the State of 15 Commonwealth countries (including Barbados) in addition to the United Kingdom(UK).
About Barbados:
Prime Minister– Mia Mottley
Capital– Bridgetown
Currency– Barbados Dollar

Martin Scorsese, Istvan Szabo to be Honoured with 1st Satyajit Ray Lifetime Achievement award at IFFI 2021

American Director Martin Scorsese & Hungarian Director Istvan Szabo will be honoured with the first-ever Satyajit Ray Lifetime Achievement Award at the 52nd International Film Festival of India (IFFI 2021) which is to be held from 20th to 28th November 2021 in Goa. The winners were announced by Anurag Thakur, Union Minister of Information and Broadcasting The 52nd edition which will be held in a hybrid format is organised by the Directorate of Film Festivals (DFF), Ministry of Information and Broadcasting(MIB), Government of India in collaboration with the Government of Goa and the Indian Film Industry.

BRICS Film Festival:
Union Minister Anurag Thakur has also announced that for the first time, the films from all 5 BRICS nations (Brazil, Russia, South Africa, China and India) will be showcased through the BRICS Film Festival along with the IFFI 2021.

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