Current Affairs

25 August, 2021


ADB releases 52nd Edition of the Key Indicators for Asia & the Pacific, 2021

Asian Development Bank (ADB) has released the 52nd Edition of the Key Indicators for Asia & the Pacific, 2021 It was prepared by the Statistics and Data Innovation Unit (EROD-SDI) within the Economic Research and Regional Cooperation Department (ERCD) at the Asian Development Bank (ADB) It contains Statistical information about 49 member countries of the Asia & the Pacific region on Population, labor force, National accounts, Production & Price indexes, Energy, Money & interest rates, Government finance, External trade, Balance of payments (BoP), International reserves, Exchange rates, and External indebtedness.

Major highlights of the report
i.In the Asia-Pacific region , the Extremely poor population has reduced from the size of 1.2 Billion in 1999 to 202.9 Million in 2017.
ii.Gross Domestic Product (GDP):
Asia-Pacific Region’s Economy grew from 27% of Global GDP in 2000 to 35% in 2019 (Exceeding the share of Europe & North America). In 2020, three in every four reporting economies posted declines in GDP due to the impact of pandemic

iii.The COVID-19 pandemic has pushed around 75 to 80 mn population in the Asia-Pacific region into Extreme poverty from 2019 levels as compared with a scenario without Covid-19.
About Asian Development Bank (ADB):
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is a regional development bank established on 19 December 1966.
President– Masatsugu Asakawa
Headquarters– Metro Manila, Philippines

India ranked 2nd in Cushman Global Manufacturing Risk Index 2021; China Tops

i.In accordance with the Cushman & Wakefield’s 2021 ‘Global Manufacturing Risk Index-Assessing Costs, Risks and Conditions Impacting Manufacturing‘, India became the world’s second most desired manufacturing destination globally surpassing the United States (US) which stood at 3rd place. The top position is retained by China.
ii.In 2020 India was ranked 3rd while the US placed at 2nd.
iii.This improvement in India’s ranking shows its ease of working conditions and cost competitiveness which grabbed the manufacturers’ interests as a preferred manufacturing hub.
About Cushman & Wakefield:
Executive Chairman & CEO– Brett White
Managing Director India and South East Asia– Ansh

32% of India’s coastline underwent erosion in 28 years, West Bengal worst affected: NCCR Report

In accordance with the recent technical report by the National Centre for Coastal Research (NCCR) under the Ministry of Earth Sciences, 32% of India’s coastline underwent sea erosion and 27% of it expanded in a time span of 28 years i.e. between 1990 and 2018. India’s coastline is 6,631.53 kilometres long in which 2,135.65 kilometres faced erosion and 1,760.06 km expanded during this period. About 2,700 km of the coastline is stable. This information was provided by Parshottam Khodabhai Rupala, Union Minister of Fisheries, Animal, Husbandry and Dairying in response to a question in the Lok Sabha.

Sea Erosion of coastline: The coastline of West Bengal is the most affected as 60% of it underwent erosion during these 28 years. It is followed by Puducherry (56%); Kerala (41%); Tamil Nadu (41%); Andhra Pradesh (28%); Gujarat including Daman and Diu (26%); Odisha (26%); Karnataka (24%); Maharashtra (22%); and Goa (19%).

Coast Expansion: The maximum expansion was seen in the coastline of Odisha with 51%. It is followed by the coast of Andhra Pradesh (48%); Karnataka (26%); West Bengal (25%); Tamil Nadu (22%); Kerala (21%); Gujarat including Daman and Diu (20%); Goa(14%); Maharashtra (10%) and Puducherry (8%).


NITI Aayog & WRI India Launched ‘Forum for Decarbonizing Transport’ in India

As a part of the Nationally Determined Contributions-Transport Initiative for Asia(NDC-TIA) project, NITI Aayog and World Resources Institute(WRI), India has jointly launched the ‘Forum for Decarbonizing Transport’ in India. The forum will act as a channel to bring in the diverse needs to adopt an integrated approach for greening the transport sector in India. Amitabh Kant, CEO of NITI Aayog inaugurated the forum over the virtual event.

Aim: To reduce the peak level of GHG emission (transport sector) in Asia (in line with a well below 2-degree pathway).
About NDC TIA:
NDC-Transport Initiative for Asia(NDC-TIA), a part of the International Climate Initiative (IKI) is a joint programme of 7 organisations that engages China, India and Vietnam over the period 2020-2024.
About Niti Aayog:
CEO– Amitabh Kant
Headquarters– New Delhi
Established on– 1 January 2015

Union Ministers Dharmendra Pradhan & Virendra Kumar Jointly Launched Various Initiatives under NEP-2020

Union Education & Skill Development Minister, Dharmendra Pradhan & Union Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment, Virendra Kumar Jointly launched various initiatives under the New Education Policy (NEP)-2020. They are The booklet on the 1-year NEP-2020 Achievement document. Virtual School of the National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS) Release of ‘Priya-The Accessibility Warrior’- Accessibility booklet developed by the NCERT & the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities. National Initiative for Proficiency in Reading with Understanding and Numeracy (NIPUN) Bharat (Foundational Literacy & Numeracy) FLN tools & resources on DIKSHA (Digital Infrastructure for Knowledge Sharing) Alternate Academic Calendar of the National Council of Educational Research & Training (NCERT)

Virtual School of NIOS, a first of its kind Initiative
i.The School is a 1st of its kind Initiative in India for providing advanced digital learning platforms through Virtual live classrooms & Virtual labs
Priya-The Accessibility Warrior
i.Government’s commitment to promote accessibility led to the development of the E-Comic cum Activity Book, titled – ‘Priya- The Accessibility Warrior’.A girl named Priya who met an accident and could not walk, due to plastered leg. The story depicts how Priya managed to participate in all activities at school, and in the process learnt the importance of the accessibility.
ii.It is developed jointly by the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (Divyangjan), Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment and Department of School Education and Literacy.
About NIPUN Bharat Mission
It aims to ensure that every child in India attains foundational literacy and numeracy by the end of Grade 3, by 2026-27.
i.Purpose – To cover the learning needs of children in the age group of 3-9 years.
About Ministry of Education
Union Minister – Dharmendra Pradhan (Rajya Sabha, Madhya Pradesh)
Minister of State (MoS) – Annapurna Devi Yadav(Koderma, Jharkhand)

Lockheed Martin gets USD 328 mn Indian Contract to Support C-130J Aircraft Fleet

Lockheed Martin, US based Company has received USD 328 Million worth Contract from the Indian Government to provide comprehensive support for the Indian Air Force (IAF) fleet of 12C-130J-30 Super Hercules Aircraft for a period of 5 years. Through this contract, Lockheed Martin will provide Logistics & Engineering support elements necessary to the IAF’s Fleet. It is used to support various missions like humanitarian aid, Airlift, Natural disaster support and search & rescue operations.

About C-130J Super Hercules Aircraft
i.Lockheed Martin is the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) of these planes.
ii.It is a 4 Engine Turboprop military transport Aircraft.
iii.Government of India has purchased 6 C-130J Super hercules Airlifter in 2008 and India received additional C-130J in 2017 & 2019.
About Indian Air force (IAF)
Chief of the Air Staff – Marshal R K S Bhadauria
Headquarters – New Delhi
About Lockheed Martin
CEO – Jim Taiclet
Headquarters – Maryland , United States of America

India & Philippines conducts ‘Maritime Partnership Exercise’ in the West Philippine Sea

The Indian Navy conducts a ‘Maritime Partnership Exercise’ with the Philippines Navy in the West Philippine Sea at the South China Sea region on 23rd August 2021.

Objective: It aims to further strengthen bilateral collaboration in the maritime domain to ensure a stable, peaceful & prosperous Indo-Pacific region.

Maritime Partnership Exercise: The Indian Navy was represented by Indian Naval Ship (INS) Ranvijay and INS Kora, with the Philippine Navy’s BRP Antonio Luna, Frigate FF151. It included several Operational manoeuvres with the consolidation of Interoperability between both the Navies.

About Philippines
President – Rodrigo Duterte
Capital – Manila
Currency – Philippines Peso
About Indian Navy
Chief of Naval Staff (CNS) – Admiral Karambir Singh
Integrated Headquarters of Ministry of Defence (Navy) – New Delhi

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman Launched National Monetisation Pipeline

Minister of Finance and Corporate Affairs, Nirmala Sitharaman launched the asset monetisation pipeline of Central ministries and public sector entities named National Monetisation pipeline (NMP). The NMP report was developed by NITI Aayog (National Institution for Transforming India) in consultation with infrastructure line ministries.

Objective: To list out the government’s (govt) infrastructure assets that are to be sold in the next 4 years. The aggregate monetisation potential under NMP through core assets of the central govt over the 4-year period (i.e. from FY22 to FY25) is estimated at Rs 6 lakh crores.

Monetisation: It is the process of earning revenue from an asset business by converting the assets into cash or a form that is easily convertible into cash.

About NITI Aayog:
Establishment – January 1, 2015
Headquarters – New Delhi
Chairperson – Prime Minister (Current – Narendra Modi)
CEO – Amitabh Kant


RBI Imposes Rs 27.5 Lakh Penalty On Dhanlaxmi Bank

The Reserve Bank of India(RBI) has imposed a penalty of Rs 27.5 Lakh on Dhanlaxmi Bank, Thrissur, Kerala for the violation of certain provisions of the Depositor Education and Awareness Fund Scheme. The Statutory Inspection for Supervisory Evaluation (ISE) was conducted by RBI with reference to its financial position as of 31st March 2020. The penalty was imposed for the violation of a section of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949 read with a paragraph of The Depositor Education and Awareness Fund Scheme, 2014.

The RBI has also imposed a penalty of Rs 20 lakh on the NE and EC Railway Employees’ Multi-State Primary Co-operative Bank, Gorakhpur, Uttar Pradesh for the violation of directions under the Supervisory Action Framework (SAF).

SEBI Approved Bajaj Finserv to Launch MF Business

The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) provided the in-principle approval to Bajaj Finserv Ltd for launching the mutual fund (MF) business. As per the SEBI’s regulations, the company would now set up an Asset Management Company (AMC) and the Trustee Company directly or indirectly (i.e. by itself or through its subsidiary) to sponsor MF.

i.In December 2020, SEBI has eased the MF business regulations and allowed the sponsors who do not fulfill profitability criteria at the time of making an application will also be considered to be eligible to sponsor a MF. This regulation has enabled the fintechs to take part in the MF business.

ii.To sponsor MF, the fintech company should have a net worth of Rs 100 crore for contribution towards the net-worth of the AMC. The AMC should maintain this networth till it has profits for 5 consecutive years.
Note – Earlier in August 2021, Samco Securities also received SEBI’s approval to launch its MF business.
About Bajaj Finserv Ltd:
Bajaj Finserv Limited is a part of Bajaj Holdings & Investments Ltd
Headquarters – Pune, Maharashtra
Chairman & Managing Director – Sanjiv Bajaj

RBI Released Recommendations of Expert Committee on UCBs; RBI to Launch GAAR Regulations for Round-Tripping

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) released the recommendation report of the Expert Committee on Primary (Urban) Co-operative Banks (UCBs) under the chairmanship of N. S. Vishwanathan, which was constituted by RBI to review the issues of UCBs and to provide a road map for strengthening the sector.
Committee’s Recommendation:
To ease the regulatory process, the committee has recommended a 4-tier structure for the UCBs, based on their capital availability and other factors.

Tier 1 – All unit UCBs and salary earner’s UCBs (irrespective of deposit size), and all other UCBs having deposits up to Rs 100 crore

Tier 2 – UCBs with deposits between Rs 100 crore – Rs 1000 crore

Tier 3 – UCBs with deposits between Rs 1000 crore – Rs 10,000 crore

Tier 4 – UCBs with deposits more than Rs 10,000 crore

RBI issued Draft Regulations for Round Tripping : RBI has made changes in the existing regulation of foreign investment and released the draft rule to discourage round-tripping. As per the draft, the investment made in an entity outside India, which in turn invests in India to avoid tax will be treated as ‘round-tripping’.

About Reserve Bank of India (RBI):
Establishment – 1st April 1935
Headquarters – Mumbai, Maharashtra
Governor – Shaktikanta Das
Deputy Governors – Mahesh Kumar Jain, Michael Debabrata Patra, and M Rajeshwar Rao, T. Rabi Sankar


Manika Batra and G Sathiyan win Mixed Doubles Final in Table Tennis at WTT Contender 2021

The Indian duo of table tennis players Manika Batra and G Sathiyan defeated Hungary’s Dora Madarasz and Nandor Ecseki with 3-1 in the final match of World Table Tennis (WTT) Contender 2021 which held at Budapest,capital of Hungary.With this achievement, they became the first table tennis players from India to win a WTT Contender title. The duo played together in the 2018 Commonwealth Games, and defeated the 94th ranked players of Hungary’s Dora and Nandor . The duo will also take part in the upcoming Paris Olympics 2024 and next year’s Asian Games. Manika and Sathiyan achieved 400 points and a total amount of $1200 from this victory

WTT Contender-
WTT Contender Series is a part of the revamped International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) scheduled event which launched in 2021 and features two tiers of events such as WTT Star Contender and WTT Contender.

AICF & CPAI Joined hands to Administer the Chess Games in India

All India Chess Federation (AICF), India’s Chess Administrative body and the Chess Players Association of India (CPAI) has announced their Merger plan to administer the chess games in the country at a joint press conference in Lucknow, Uttar pradesh. The merger plans will bring together many Chess factions at both the National & State levels under the umbrella of AICF. The new body will address the concerns of every member & bring them together for the development of Chess.

About All India Chess Federation (AICF)
i.Founded in 1951 at Chennai, Tamil Nadu. It is the Central Administrative body for Chess in India.
ii.AICF is affiliated to the International Chess Federation (FIDE), the World body for Chess
President – Sanjay Kapoor
About Chess Players Association of India (CPAI)
Founded in June 2004 at Kolkata, West Bengal
i.It is formed to protest a 10% cut in prize money by AICF on the chess players.
ii.CPAI protects the rights & needs of the chess players by forming as a group.


Microsoft India collaborates with Invest India to support Tech Start-Ups

Microsoft India has entered into a partnership with Invest India to support the tech startups in India. Under this partnership, Microsoft will work with Invest India and Accelerating Growth of New India’s Innovations(AGNIi) Mission to support the ‘Microsoft for Startups’ programme. This collaboration combines the reach of AGNii Mission with the tech and business resources of Microsoft for Startups to boost the startup ecosystem in India.

About AGNIi Mission: AGNIi Mission, a programme of the Office of the Principal Scientific Adviser to the Government of India and a Mission under the Prime Minister’s Science, Technology, and Innovation Advisory Council (PM-STIAC). AGNIi Mission is housed and executed by Invest India.

Features of the Partnership:
i.Under this partnership, the 11 selected startups will be able to utilise Microsoft technology including Azure, GitHub, and M365, which will allow them to build and run their business.
ii.They will able to utilise Microsoft’s Azure Marketplace, enterprise sales team, and the ecosystem to develop and execute their go-to-market strategies.
Selected Startups:

11 selected startups are Amplearth Packaging and Systems; Arishti CyberTech; Daybest Research; Go Buzzr (Dev BeeTech); Prkruti (Jal Technologies); Sandbird Research and Development; Vasudhaika Digital (Kalgudi Digital); Vecmocon Technologies; Whrrl Fintech Solutions; YCLEPT 4E Labs; and Yuktix Gidabits. The11 startups belong to various sectors such as agriculture, defence & security, Information Technology (IT) / Information Technology Enabled Services (ITES), e-mobility, waste management, and financial services.

About Invest India:
MD & CEO– Deepak Bagla
Headquarters– New Delhi
About Microsoft:
Chairman and CEO– Satya Nadella
Headquarters– Redmond, Washington, United States

Govt. Launched New Geospatial Planning Portal ‘Yuktdhara’ for MGNREGA Assets

The Government of India had launched a new geo-spatial planning portal ‘’Yuktdhara’’ under Bhuvan. It would enable MGNREGA (Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act) assets planning by using remote sensing and Geographic Information System (GIS) data. The portal Yuktdhara was launched by Giriraj Singh, Minister of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj.
Objective– Yuktdhara platform will serve as a repository of assets and facilitate the Gram Panchayat level planning of MGNREGA activities across India.
i.It is an initiative of Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) along with the Ministry of Rural Development . By providing the support in rural areas for decentralized decision making using these G2G services.
ii.Dr.Jitendra Singh , a Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for the Ministry of Science and Technology; Ministry of Earth Sciences;Ministry of State in Department of Atomic Energy and Department of Space had participated in the launching event.
About Ministry of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj
Minister : Giriraj Singh (Begusarai, Bihar)
Minister of State(MoS): Kapil Moreshwar Patil (Bhilwandi, Maharashtra)

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