Current Affairs

25 November, 2021


India & Nepal Signed MoU on Reciprocal Recognition of Covid Vaccination Certificate

India and Nepal have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for reciprocal recognition of COVID-19 vaccination certificate to ease the travel of fully vaccinated people of both India and Nepal. The MoU between the Health Ministers of India and Nepal was signed by Vinay M Kwatra, Indian Ambassador to Nepal and Secretary, Ministry of health and Population, Government of Nepal at the ministry office, Kathmandu, Nepal.This MoU is one of the COVID-19 related cooperation and coordination between India and Nepal.

2021 Global Nutrition Report: India Made No Progress on Anaemia & Childhood Wasting

According to the (GNR, 2021) 2021 Global Nutrition Report: The state of global nutrition, India is making no progress or worsening to meet the targets on Anaemia & Childhood wasting. The report also states that India is on course to meet 3 of the 13 global nutrition targets- Childhood stunting, Childhood overweight and Exclusive breastfeeding. The 2021 report indicates that India is off course in meeting the other 7 global nutrition targets. The report has stated that no country in the world is ‘on course’ to achieve the target for obesity.

About The Global Nutrition Report:
i.The annual Global Nutrition Report is the world’s leading independent assessment of the state of global nutrition.
ii.The report sets out progress towards global nutrition targets and provides a concise data-focused update on the state of diets and nutrition in the world.


India & Indonesia Navy Holds 37th edition of Coordinated Patrol 2021

The 37th edition of CORPAT (coordinated patrol) 2021 between India and Indonesia was held in International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL) as a non-contact, “at sea only” exercise amid COVID-19 pandemic. It seeks to bolster the maritime cooperation between the two navies across the Indo Pacific. This edition of CORPAT between India and Indonesia also witnessed the participation of Maritime Patrol Aircraft from both Nations.

i.Indian Naval Ship (INS) Khanjar, an indigenously built Missile Corvette along with Dornier Maritime Patrol Aircraft.
ii.Indonesian Naval Ship KRI Sultan Thaha Syaifuddin (376), a Kapitan Patimura-Class Corvette.
About Indonesia:
Capital– Jakarta
Currency– Indonesian Rupiah
Indian Ambassador to Indonesia– Manoj Kumar Bharti

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh Approves – Proposal for GSAT-7C Satellite for Air Force and AK-203 Assault Rifle Deal

The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) in its meeting which was held under the Chairmanship of Minister of Defence, Rajnath Singh, approved the procurement of GSAT (Geostationary Satellite)-7C satellite and Ground Hubs worth Rs 2,236 crore for real-time connectivity of Software Defined Radios (SDRs). DAC accorded Acceptance of Necessity (AoN) for one Capital Acquisition proposal of Indian Air Force for its modernization and operational needs under the category of ‘Make in India’. The complete design, development and launching of satellites will be in India and the procurement will enhance the ability of Indian Armed Forces to communicate beyond Line of Sight (LoS) among one another in all circumstances in a secure mode.

Rs 5,000 Crore Deal with Russia: Defence minister gave the final clearance to over Rs 5,000 crore deal with Russia to manufacture 7.5 lakh Russian-designed AK-203 assault rifles in Uttar Pradesh’s Amethi.The deal is expected to be signed by the Russian President Vladimir Putin who will visit India by December 2021.
About Russia:
Capital – Moscow
President – Vladimir Putin
Currency – Russian Rouble

NITI Aayog launched 1st SDG Urban Index 2021-22; Shimla Tops

i. NITI (National Institution for Transforming India) Aayog launched the first SDG (Sustainable Development Goal) Urban Index & Dashboard 2021-22.
ii.It was launched by Dr Rajiv Kumar, Vice Chairperson, NITI Aayog; and Prof Dr Claudia Warning, Director General, BMZ (Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development), Germany.
iii.It is a SDG progress monitoring tool at the ULB (Urban Local Body) level.
iv.According to the index, 55 out of 56 urban areas assessed under SDG 2 (Zero hunger) have 25% anaemia prevalence among women aged 15-49 years.
v.During the launch event, a Statement of Intent (SoI) was also signed between NITI Aayog and BMZ to promote cooperation between India and Germany. Under this SoI, “NITI- BMZ Dialogue on Development Cooperation” will be established for periodic bilateral discussions.
About NITI (National Institution for Transforming India) Aayog:
Establishment– 2015
Chairperson– Prime Minister of India (Currently- Narendra Modi)
Headquarters– New Delhi, Delhi


Equitas SFB ties up with HDFC Bank to offer Co-Branded Credit Cards

Equitas Small Finance Bank (SFB) partnered with HDFC (Housing Development Finance Corporation Limited) Bank to launch its new co-branded credit cards. Through this partnership, Equitas SFB will utilize the HDFC bank’s reach in the credit card market and also to provide its customers a better banking ecosystem. HDFC Bank also has over 21 lakh acceptance points, making it among the largest facilitators of cashless payments in the country.

About Credit Cards:
The credit card can be availed in two categories. The first category is the ‘Excite Credit Card’ which offers a credit limit from Rs 25,000 to Rs 2 lakh and the second category is the ‘Elegance Credit Card’ which offers credit of over Rs 2 lakh. Both the categories offer valuable rewards programs for all customers.
About Equitas Small Finance Bank Ltd:
MD & CEO– Vasudevan Pathangi Narasimhan
Headquarter– Chennai, Tamil Nadu

NPCI Bharat BillPay onboards Tata Power on ClickPay to facilitate Automated Electricity Bill Payments

NPCI Bharat BillPay has on-boarded Tata Power on its platform through which customers of Tata Power to pay their electricity bills through ClickPay payment link in a hasslefree and seamless manner. Tata Power is the first power company which will provide services on the NBBL ClickPay platform.

About Tata Power :
CEO-Praveer Sinha
Headquarters- Mumbai, Maharashtra

ADB Funds $300 Million to Improve Primary Health Care in India

The Government of India and Asian Development Bank (ADB) have signed a $300 million loan pact to improve primary health care in urban areas. The project will benefit over 256 million across 13 states, including 51 million people from slum areas. Rajat Kumar Mishra, Additional Secretary in Department of Economic Affairs, and Takeo Konishi, Country Director of ADB’s India Resident Mission, signed the agreement

i.The programme will be implemented in urban areas across 13 states: Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Haryana, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, and West Bengal.
ii.The programme is supported by a $2 million technical assistance grant from ADB’s Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction for program implementation, capacity building, innovation, knowledge sharing across the healthcare system.
iii.Delivery and health information systems for primary health care will be upgraded through digital tools, quality assurance mechanisms, and engagement and partnership with the private sector.
Schemes that are benefitted:
i.The programme supports the Government of India’s key health initiatives like, Ayushman Bharat Health and Wellness Centres (AB-HWC) and Pradhan Mantri Atmanirbhar Swasth Bharat Yojana (PM-ASBY) which has been renamed as Pradhan Mantri Ayushman Bharat Health Infrastructure Mission (PM-ABHIM) by expanding availability and access to quality primary health care services particularly for vulnerable populations in urban areas.
ii.Ayushman Bharat programme, launched in 2018, aims to improve access to comprehensive primary health which inturn achieves universal health coverage in India.
About Asian Development Bank (ADB)
President – Masatsugu Asakawa
Established – 19th December 1966
Headquarters – Manila, Philippines
Member – 68 Countries

World Bank signs $250 Million Loan to improve Educational Quality in Schools of Andhra Pradesh

The Government of India, the Government of Andhra Pradesh, and the World Bank signed a loan agreement worth $250 million, for a project aimed at improving education quality for nearly 50 lakh students in the state of Andhra Pradesh.
Benefits: The project will benefit around 40 lakh students (between the age of 6 and 14) in over 45,000 Government schools. 10 lakh children (between the age of 3 and 6) enrolled in Anganwadis (Integrated Child Development Centers) 1,90,000 teachers along with more than 50,000 Anganwadi workers will be trained to adopt a new competency-based teaching-learning approach.

Focus – The loan amount will be used for Andhra Pradesh’s newly launched Learning Transformation Project (LTP), that targets to improve the standard of Students & Teachers by implementing new pedagogy for Schools & Anganwadi.
The Learning project aims to improve foundational learning through short-term in-service training courses for Anganwadi workers and early grade (Grade 1 and 2) teachers and a one-year preschool-level course in 3,500 schools in the tribal blocks.
Government of India – Rajat Kumar Mishra, Additional Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance
Government of Andhra Pradesh – Mr Budithi Rajsekhar, Principal Secretary, Department School Education
World Bank – Mr Junaid Ahmad, Country Director, India.
About Learning Transformation Project:
The Project will transform Andhra Pradesh government schools into vibrant institutions by encouraging, Professional development of teachers Remedial learning courses for children impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic Special attention to students from marginalized groups, including children with special needs, scheduled tribes, and girls.

About World Bank
President – David R. Malpass (13th President)
Headquarters – Washington DC , USA
Director (India) – Junaid Ahmad


Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy Finals: Tamil Nadu defeats Karnataka

In cricket, Tamil Nadu has lifted the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy defeating Karnataka after chasing 152. Batsman M. Shahrukh Khan smashed a dramatic last-ball six to help Tamil Nadu defend the T-20 title with a thrilling four-wicket win in the summit clash in Arun Jaitley Stadium, Delhi. This is the third time that Tamil Nadu has won the Syed Mushtaq Ali tournament, having previously won it in 2006-07 and 2020-21. The side had also made it to the finals in the 2019-20 season and ended up suffering a loss against Karnataka.

Alexander Zverev beats Daniil Medvedev to win ATP Finals title

In Tennis, Alexander Zverev of Germany beat World No.2 Daniil Medvedev of Russia, 6-4, 6-4, in the men’s singles finals to clinch the 2021 ATP Finals title, held at Turin in Italy. This is Zverev’s second Nitto ATP Finals title, after winning the first in 2018. Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut of France clinched the men’s double title by defeating Rajeev Ram of the US and Joe Salisbury of the UK.


Union Minister Pralhad Joshi inaugurates E-portal for Mineral Exploration in 5th National Conclave on Mines and Minerals

The Union Minister of Coal, Mines and Parliamentary Affairs, Pralhad Joshi inaugurated the E-portal of accreditation scheme for minerals exploration and handed over 52 mines blocks to 15 state government’s representatives in 5th National Conclave on Mines and Minerals at New Delhi. The first National Conclave on Mines and Minerals was held at Raipur (Chhattisgarh) in 2016. The Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Amendment Act, 2015 (MMDR) governs auction and accreditation of mines and minerals in the country.

Highlights of the event:
i.The E-portal- it will simplify the application process for mining blocks exploration and enhance transparency during the auction through the portal.
ii.Mining blocks-The Minister handed over 52 mines blocks to 15 states including two northeast states. These blocks have been approved by the Geological Survey of India(GSI) for minerals mining. Out of 14 States that received the mining block reports , Madhya Pradesh received a maximum number of 21 reports, followed by Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh, nine reports each.

iii.Award for 5-Star rated mines-it was initiated in 2016 by the Ministry of Mines. The scheme of ‘Star Rating of Mines’ for awarding the mining lease owners for their efforts and initiatives .
iv.The govt. has allowed participation of private parties in exploration by amending the MMDR Act to increase the pace of exploration and to bring in advanced technology in mineral exploration.
5th National Conclave on Mines & Minerals:
The Ministry of Mines awarded 5 Star Ratings to companies that include Sustainable Mining practices.
i. 2 Iron ore mines of SAIL (Steel Authority of India Ltd) – Kiriburu Iron Ore Mines and Meghahatuburu Iron Ore Mines, where awarded with 5-star rating under Iron Ore category.
ii. National Mineral Development Corporation Ltd. (NMDC), under the Ministry of Steel received a total of nine 5-star ratings for three years for all its operating iron ore mines.
About Ministry of Mines:
Minister– Pralhad Joshi (Dharwad, Karnataka)
Minister of State- Raosaheb Patil Dadarao Danve (Jalna, Maharashtra)

NASA Launches World’s 1st Planetary Defense Mission ‘DART’ on SpaceX Rocket

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) launched the world’s first planetary defense mission, the Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) to intentionally smash a spacecraft into an asteroid Didymos at 15,000 miles per hour. A Falcon 9 SpaceX rocket has carried the DART spacecraft from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California, United States. NASA’s Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) will be the first-ever space mission to demonstrate asteroid deflection by kinetic impactor

Goal – To slightly alter the trajectory of Dimorphos, a ‘moonlet’ around 525 feet (160 metres, or two Statues of Liberty) wide that circles a much larger asteroid called Didymos (2,500 feet in diameter). The Didymos-Dimorphos pair orbit the Sun together.
About National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
Established – 1st October 1958
Headquarters – Washington DC, USA
Administrator – Bill Nelson (14th Administrator)

CCI Approves FedEx India to Acquire a Minority Stake in Delhivery

Competition Commission of India (CCI) has approved the acquisition of a minority stake in Delhivery Limited, India’s largest B2B & C2C Logistics Courier Service Provider, by FedEx Express Transportation and Supply Chain Services (India) Private Limited (FedEx India), logistics solutions in India under the American transportation giant FedEx Corp. CCI has also approved the acquisition of certain operating assets to the domestic business of FedEx India and TNT India Private Limited (TNT India) by Delhivery.

CCI approves acquisition of stake by Veolia in SUEZ
CCI has approved the acquisition of stakes in French-based utility company SUEZ (S.A) by Veolia Environnement S.A (Veolia), a French transnational company engaged in water management, waste management and energy services. CCI has also approved the acquisition of stake in New Suez by Meridiam, Global Infrastructure Management(GIM), LLC, La Caisse des dépôts et consignations(CDC) and CNP Assurances.

About Competition Commission of India (CCI):
Chairperson– Ashok Kumar Gupta
Director General– Dr Atul Verma
Established on 14th October 2003
Headquarters– New Delhi, Delhi

JPMorgan Chase named world’s most systemically important bank; topped the FSB’s 2021 list of G-SIB

JPMorgan Chase topped the 2021 List of Global Systemically Important Banks (G-SIBs) and has been named the world’s most systemically important bank for the 3rd time.
The 2021 list of G-SIBs was identified by the Financial Stability Board (FSB), in consultation with Basel Committee on Banking Supervision (BCBS) and national authorities. The list is made based on the end-2020 data and the updated assessment methodology published by the BCBS in July 2013. Previously, JPMorgan Chase had been named the world’s most systemic bank in 2019 and in 2020, it shared the title with HSBC and Citigroup. The number of banks identified as G-SIBs is 30.

Highlights of 2021 list of G-SIB:
i.The 30 banks are divided into 4 buckets in order of how systemic, international, interconnected and complex they are. Bucket 5 is empty.
ii.Compared to the 2020 list of G-SIB, the JP Morgan Chase has moved from bucket 3 to bucket 4, which was empty in 2020.
iii.BNP Paribas has moved from bucket 2 to bucket 3 and shares the bucket with Citigroup and HSBC.
iv.Goldman Sachs has also moved up one bucket up (from bucket 1 to bucket 2)

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