Current Affairs

25 October, 2021

International

The G7 or Group of Seven countries finalised a set of principles that will govern cross-border data usage & digital trade. The principles named ‘G7 Digital Trade Principles’, were adopted by the respective Trade Ministers of G7 members (UK, USA, France, Germany, Italy, Canada, Japan) during the G7 Trade Summit that was held at Mansion House, in London, Britain. Principles – Open Digital Markets; Cross border data flows; Safeguards for workers, consumers & businesses; digital trading systems; Fair & inclusive Global governance. i.Key obstacles under consideration were on data localisation & cross-border data flows, thereby protecting intellectual property rights, and security of users. Note- Google India became the 1st technology company which is qualified as ‘Significant Social Media Intermediaries (SSMIs)’ to publish a Transparency report under India’s new IT Rules ii.The principles were established in consideration of the highly regulated data protection rules of European countries and the more open ones of the United States. iii.These new principles will liberalise hundreds of billions of dollars worth international trade. Note- G7 countries have introduced a Global Minimum Corporate Tax rate of at least 15% on Multinational Companies(MNCs). About G7: Founded – 1975 Members – 7 (U.S., U.K., France, Germany, Italy, Canada, and Japan and additionally EU) 2021 Presidency – United Kingdom

The new comprehensive assessment report titled “From Pollution to Solution: a global assessment of marine litter and plastic pollution” released by the United Nations(UN) Environment Programme (UNEP) has stated that without proper efforts to reduce ocean plastic pollution, the amount of plastic waste entering the aquatic ecosystem is estimated to triple from 9-14 million tons per year in 2016 to 23-37 million tons per year by 2040.
With another approach, plastic pollution is estimated to double from 19-23 million tons in 2016 to around 53 million tons by 2030. At present, the amount of plastics in the oceans is estimated to be around 75-199 million tons.

Note: This report will inform the discussion at the 5th session of the UN Environment Assembly(UNEA 5.2) in 2022.
About United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP):
Executive Director– Inger Andersen
Headquarters– Nairobi, Kenya
Incepted in 1972

G7 Countries launches ‘G7 Digital Trade Principles’ to facilitate Digital Trade

The G7 or Group of Seven countries finalised a set of principles that will govern cross-border data usage & digital trade. The principles named ‘G7 Digital Trade Principles’, were adopted by the respective Trade Ministers of G7 members (UK, USA, France, Germany, Italy, Canada, Japan) during the G7 Trade Summit that was held at Mansion House, in London, Britain.
Principles – Open Digital Markets; Cross border data flows; Safeguards for workers, consumers & businesses; digital trading systems; Fair & inclusive Global governance.
i.Key obstacles under consideration were on data localisation & cross-border data flows, thereby protecting intellectual property rights, and security of users.
Note- Google India became the 1st technology company which is qualified as ‘Significant Social Media Intermediaries (SSMIs)’ to publish a Transparency report under India’s new IT Rules
ii.The principles were established in consideration of the highly regulated data protection rules of European countries and the more open ones of the United States.
iii.These new principles will liberalise hundreds of billions of dollars worth international trade.
Note- G7 countries have introduced a Global Minimum Corporate Tax rate of at least 15% on Multinational Companies(MNCs).
About G7:
Founded – 1975
Members – 7 (U.S., U.K., France, Germany, Italy, Canada, and Japan and additionally EU)
2021 Presidency – United Kingdom

National

4th General Assembly of ISA held virtually; Inaugurated by Raj Kumar Singh

.The 4th General Assembly of the International Solar Alliance (ISA) held virtually which was inaugurated and presided over by Union Minister Raj Kumar Singh, Ministry of Power and the President of the ISA Assembly.
ii.ISA approved the ‘One Sun’ political declaration for the launch of Green Grids Initiative-One Sun One World One Grid (GGI-OSOWOG) at COP26 (Conference of the Parties) to be held in Glasgow, Scotland from October 31-November 12, 2021.
iii.During the assembly, two new programs of ISA were launched viz. Management of Solar PV panels & battery usage waste; and Solar Hydrogen programme.
About International Solar Alliance (ISA):
ISA co-founded by India and France during the 2015 climate change conference in Paris, France
Director General– Dr. Ajay Mathur
Headquarters– Gurugram, India

Indian Railways Ordered to Dissolve Indian Railway Station Development Corporation

The Railway Board issued the letter stating that the Indian Railways has ordered to dissolve the Indian Railway Station Development Corporation(IRSDC), an organisation under the Ministry of Railways. This is the 2nd organisation under the Ministry of Railways to be dissolved in 2021.

Note:
The Indian Railways Organisation for Alternative Fuel (IROAF) under the ministry of railways was dissolved on 7th September 2021.
About the closure of IRSDC:
i.The board ordered to initiate all necessary procedural formalities for the closure of IRSDC.
ii.The stations managed by IRSDC and the projects related documents shall be handed over to respective Zonal Railways. The zonal railways will take over the station’s projects.
Background:
The IRSDC has been dissolved in line with the recommendation of Sanjeev Sanyal, Principal Economic Advisor of the Finance Ministry for the rationalisation of railway bodies by closing down or merging multiple organisations.
About Indian Railway Station Development Corporation(IRSDC):
IRSDC, a Joint Venture company of Rail Land Development Authority (RLDA) and Ircon International Limited (IRCON) is a Special Purpose vehicle.
MD&CEO– Sanjeev Kumar Lohia
Incorporated on 12th April 2012
Headquarters– New Delhi

MoS Devusinh Chauhan chaired 7th Meeting of BRICS Communications Ministers 2021

Minister of State (MoS) Devusinh Chauhan chaired the 7th meeting of BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) Communications Ministers 2021 through video conferencing.
About BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa):
2021 Chair– India
Theme for India’s Chairship– ‘BRICS @ 15: Intra-BRICS Cooperation for Continuity, Consolidation and Consensus

Economy

‘Razorpay TokenHQ’: Razorpay launches Tokenization Solution

On the lines of the guidelines issued by Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in September 2021, on October 22, 2021, Fintech firm Razorpay launched a tokenization solution namely ‘Razorpay TokenHQ’. It will work across all major card networks including Mastercard, RuPay and Visa. This tokenization solution for businesses will allow their customers to have the convenience of saved card transactions with added security.

What are RBI Guidelines for tokenization?
RBI mandated to store customer’s card information in the form of an encrypted form i.e. Card-On-File (COF) tokenization to secure transactions. COF turns sensitive cardholder data into randomly generated numbers called “token” with no meaningful value, if breached. These tokens then allow payments to be processed without disclosing any customer details. Therefore this mandate disallows businesses, payment aggregators, and acquiring banks from storing customers’ credit/debit/prepaid card information. All stakeholders are required to ensure full compliance with the tokenization framework by December 31, 2021.

About Razorpay:
Headquarters– Bengaluru, Karnataka
CEO & Co-Founder– Harshil Mathur

AU Small Finance Bank launches QR Sound box for payment alerts

India’s Largest Small Finance Bank AU Small Finance Bank has launched QR (Quick Response) Code Sound Box to boost its digital payments, while making it the first bank to launch such a product. The QR Sound Box will help small merchants to run their operations smoothly without the hassle of reading SMS every time when a customer makes a payment.
Features :
i.QR Sound box will provide instant voice-based payment alerts to merchant partners that provide hassle free transactions and services to customers.
ii.The sound box has a portable speaker, equipped with a SIM slot for data connectivity, which also gives voice notification.
iii.It will be made available in five languages – Hindi, English, Punjabi, Guajarati and Marathi.
About AU small finance bank
i.AU Small Finance Bank provides paperless services including opening savings accounts through WhatsApp, offers deposit account variants, such as current account and fixed deposit, on tablets, and end-to-end loan process on two-wheeler loans.
ii.It is the first and only small finance bank to have launched credit cards.
Headquarters : Jaipur, Rajasthan
Managing Director & CEO : Mr. Sanjay Agarwal

Sports

Bhavani Devi Wins Charleville National Competition

Bhavani Devi made history at the Tokyo Olympics by becoming the first Indian to compete in Fencing.
♦ Now She has won the Charleville National Competition in France in the individual women’s sabre event.
♦ She is currently ranked 50th in the world and is the top-ranked fencer from India.
♦ She also holds promise for a good show at the 2022 Asian Games
♦ She has started preparing for the multi-discipline sporting extravaganza in advance.

National Cross Country Championship Hosted By Nagaland

The 2022 South Asian Federation Cross Country Championships will be held on January 15, 2022, in Kohima, Nagaland.
♦ Besides, the 56th National Cross Country Championships will also be clubbed with the South Asian Federation Cross Country Championships.
♦ This will be the first-ever national athletics event hosted by Nagaland.
♦ Top athletes from the eight South Asian countries will take part in the day-long international sports event.
♦ The championship will involve running on different types of terrain, including sprint over dirt, jogging downhill and mounting uphill.
♦ Chief Minister of Nagaland is Neiphiu Rio and Governor of Nagaland is Jagdish Mukhi.

Miscellaneous

“Invest India” Elected As The President Of WAIPA

Invest India, a young ‘start-up’ within the Government of India has been unanimously elected as the President of the World Association of Investment Promotion Agencies (WAIPA) for 2021-2023.
Leader : Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The Committee :
The President – Narendra Modi.
Two Vice Presidents – Egypt and Switzerland.
Nine Regional Directors- Brazil, South Korea, Finland, Kuwait, Costa Rica, Cyprus, Azerbaijan, Ghana, and Samoa.
About WAIPA :
i.WAIPA is the primary nodal global agency for Investment Promotion Agencies(IPA), representing 105 countries.
ii.WAIPA council members are United Nations organisations including the UNCTAD, WTO (World Trade Organisation), ILO (International Labour Organisation), UNIDO (United Nations Industrial Development Organisation), the World Bank, the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), the OECD and the International Economic Development Council (IEDC).
iii.As WAIPA President, Invest India shall be guided by Prime Minister Modi’s vision of Vasudaiva Kutumbakam (‘the whole world is my family’ in Sanskrit) to promote prosperity for all through sustainable investment.
Established in : 1995, Under UNCTAD (United Nations Conference on Trade and Development)
Headquarters : Geneva, Switzerland

RBI Introduced Revised Regulatory Framework for NBFCs – ‘SBR’

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has introduced a revised regulatory framework for Non-Banking Finance Companies (NBFCs) named ‘Scale Based Regulation’ (SBR) to regulate the NBFCs based on their size, activity, complexity, and interconnectedness within the financial sector. All the guidelines over SBR would come into effect from October 01, 2022, whereas the instructions related to the ceiling on IPO (Initial Public Offer) funding would come into effect from April 01, 2022.

About SBR Regulatory framework in Brief:
i.Structure of NBFCs: Under the SBR framework, NBFCs are categorised into 4 layers as Base Layer (NBFC-BL), Middle Layer (NBFC-ML), Upper Layer (NBFC-UL), and a possible Top Layer (NBFC-TL) based on the size, activity, etc.

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

RBI Issued Draft Directions to Implement Basel III framework for AIFIs

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) issued draft directions for implementing the Basel III capital adequacy norms for All India Financial Institutions (AIFIs) that are regulated by RBI viz, Exim Bank, NABARD (National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development), National Housing Bank (NHB), and SIDBI (Small Industries Development Bank of India). The draft directions have consolidated the existing guidelines on exposure norms, classification, valuation and operation of an investment portfolio and resource raising norms issued to the AIFIs. RBI has issued the directions in the exercise of the powers conferred by Section 45 L of the RBI Act, 1934. Basel III strengthens the institution-level i.e. micro-prudential regulation, with the intention to raise the resilience of individual financial institutions in periods of stress. Limits on an AIFI’s Investments: An AIFI’s investments in the capital instruments issued by banking, financial and insurance entities should not exceed 10 percent of its capital funds.

About Reserve Bank of India (RBI):
Subsidiaries of RBI:
i.Deposit Insurance and Credit Guarantee Corporation of India (DICGC),
ii.Bharatiya Reserve Bank Note Mudran Private Limited (BRBNMPL),
iii.Reserve Bank Information Technology Private Limited (ReBIT),
iv.Indian Financial Technology and Allied Services (IFTAS)

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