Current Affairs

27 December, 2021


IEA Report: Coal Demand Forecasted to Grow by 6% in 2021; way off to Achieve Net Zero

As per the report of the International Energy Agency (IEA) titled Coal 2021 Analysis and forecast to 2024, overall global coal demand is expected to grow by 6 percent in 2021 with coal consumption to 7,906 million tonnes (Mt) and is set to rise to 8,025 Mt in 2022, the highest level ever.
Note – China is the world’s largest consumer, producer and Importer of coal followed by India being the 2nd largest producer, consumer and importer.
About International Energy Agency (IEA):
Establishment – 1974
Headquarters – Paris, France
Executive Director – Fatih Birol


MoRTH Launches ‘Intelligent Transport System’ On Delhi Expressway

Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) Nitin Gadkari launched the first Intelligent Transport System (ITS) on the six-lane Eastern Peripheral Expressway at Dasna, Ghaziabad. The ITS minimizes traffic problems, increases efficiency in infrastructure usage, enriching users with prior information about traffic, reducing travel time and enhancing the safety and comfort of commuters.
About Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH):
Union Minister – Nitin Jairam Gadkari (Constituency – Nagpur, Maharashtra)
Minister of State – Vijay Kumar Singh (Constituency – Ghaziabad, Uttarpradesh)

Centre sets up 2 Sub-Committees to lower Crop Insurance Premium under PMFBY

The Centre government has appointed 2 sub-committees with separate groups of experts comprising officials from Centre, key crop-producing states and top executives of public sector insurance companies to lower crop insurance premium under Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY).

Objective: The committee was formed to suggest suitable working models with cost-benefit analysis to lower crop insurance premium and technology in crop yield estimation under the flagship PMFBY. The sub-committees will submit their report by January 10, 2022, to the working group which was constituted in September, 2021, headed by PMFBY CEO (Chief Executive Officer)(currently Ritesh Chauhan) to examine alternate risk management mechanisms for rationalising the premiums.

About the two sub-committee:
i.1st Committee: It is a ten-member committee under scientist KR Manjunath of Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO).
ii.The committee will explore the feasibility of adoption of various technology-based approaches developed through pilot projects by ISRO and its arm National Remote Sensing Centre (NRSC) as well as Mahalanobis National Crop Forecast Centre (MNCFC) of the Union Agriculture Ministry.
iii.2nd Committee: This committee is headed by Saurabh Mishra, joint secretary in Ministry of Finance. It will conduct cost benefit analysis of all ‘accepted models – agriculture insurance pool, cup and cap 80-110 percent and co-insurance 20-80 percent’ as well as any profit-loss sharing model.
About Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY):
PMFBY scheme was launched in India by Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers welfare, New Delhi from Kharif 2016 season onwards.


GOI declares Soya Meal as an Essential Commodity up to June 2022 with Stock Limit

The Central Government has notified the order under the Essential Commodities Act to declare ‘Soya Meal’ as an Essential Commodities up to 30th June 2022 by amending the Schedule of the Essential Commodities Act, 1955, to cool down the domestic prices of Soya Meal. The decision would empower the Union Government and all States/Union Territories to regulate production, distribution etc. of Soya Meal and to smoothen the sale and availability of it in the market. As India’s Soya meal is produced from non-genetically modified sources it is in high demand in the world markets.

Note –According to the Soybean Processors Association of India (SOPA), Farmers cannot be forced to sell soybean at MSP (minimum support price) as desired by the poultry industry. Soybean farmers have the right to get remunerative prices like poultry farmers.
About Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying:
Union Minister – Parshottam Rupala (Constituency – Gujarat)
Minister of State – Sanjeev Kumar Balyan(Constituency – Muzaffarnagar, Uttar Pradesh), L. Murugan (Constituency – Madhya Pradesh)

PNB Entered into 4th Co-lending Arrangement with Lendingkart to Improve Credit Flow to Unserved

The Punjab National Bank (PNB) has entered into the 4th co-lending arrangement with Lendingkart Finance Limited (Lendingkart) as a part of its efforts to align with the reforms of the Indian Government reform agenda and to improve the credit flow to the unserved and underserved sector of the economy. The partnership under this co-lending arrangement will result in significant disbursement under Priority Sector Lending.

Ashok Kumar Gupta, General Manager (MSME) of PNB signed the co-lending agreement in the presence of Surendra Kumar Dixit, Chief General Manager of PNB and Arun Sharma, General Manager(Agriculture) of PNB.
About the Co-Lending Arrangement:
i.This arrangement will focus on digital underwriting and cash flow based lending.
ii.The beneficiaries will be the Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises(MSME) borrowers who will get funds at an affordable rate with greater outreach with a lower cost of funds from banks and the greater reach of the Non-Banking Financial Company (NBFC).
i.According to the Reserve Bank of India’s Co-Lending Model(CLM), Bank and NBFC will co-lend the customers in the ratio of 80% and 20% respectively.
ii.The NBFC will act as the single point of interface for the customers and will service the loan throughout its tenure.
About Punjab National Bank(PNB):
MD & CEO– S. S. Mallikarjuna Rao
Headquarters- New Delhi, Delhi
Tagline– The Name You Can Bank Upon

SIDBI Signs MoU to Develop MSME Ecosystem in West Bengal

The Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the government of West Bengal to develop the Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) ecosystem in the state. According to the MoU, a project management unit (PMU) of SIDBI will work with the state government.

About Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI):
Chairman & MD – Sivasubramanian Ramann
Establishment – April 1990
Headquarters – Lucknow, Uttarpradesh
Operated by – Department of Financial Services, Ministry of finance.


Pankaj Advani wins 2021 National Billiards Title

Pankaj Advani defended his National Billiards Title— to win his 11th one—after defeating his PSPB teammate Dhruv Sitwala in a 5-2 game final that was held in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh (MP). He represented the Petroleum Sports Promotion Board (PSPB) team in the National Billiards Championship. The 88th National Billiards and Snooker Championships 2021, held at Bhopal, MP. It was organised by Billiards and Snooker Federation of India (BSFI), the governing body for cue sports in India.

About Pankaj Advani:
i.Pankaj Arjan Advani is an Indian billiards and snooker player, who was the only cueist to win the Asian and World Championships in all formats of billiards and snooker.
ii.List of Championships –
He has won the IBSF World Billiards Championship – 15 times, The World Team Billiards Championship – 1 time, among others
iii.Awards – Arjuna Award in 2004, Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Award in 2006, Padma Shri in 2009 and Padma Bhushan in 2018
About Billiards and Snooker Federation of India:
Established – 1926
Head Office – Bangalore, Karnataka

Indian Skier – Aanchal Thakur wins Bronze at FIS Alpine Skiing Competition

Ace Indian skier Aanchal Thakur has won a Bronze medal at the FIS Alpine Skiing Competition in Montenegro. Aanchal has become the first Indian Ski athlete to win two medals at international level. She is also the 1st Indian to win a medal in the International Ski competition, when she won Bronze in 2018.

About FIS Alpine World Ski Championships:
i.The FIS Alpine World Ski Championships is an alpine skiing competition held biennially organized by the International Ski Federation (FIS).
ii.The championship was inaugurated in 1931
About International Ski Federation / Fédération internationale de ski (FIS):
Headquarters – Oberhofen, Switzerland
Founded – 1924, Chamonix, France (during the 1st Winter Olympics)
President – Johan Eliasch

WADA restores accreditation to India’s National Dope Testing Laboratory

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) restored the accreditation of National Dope Testing Laboratory (NDTL) in accordance with the International Standard for Laboratories (ISL), which had been suspended since August 2019.
Note – Recently ‘The National Anti-Doping Bill 2021’ was introduced in the winter session of the Parliament.
i.In February 2020, when the six-month suspension period elapsed, some outstanding non-conformities resulted in a second six-month suspension which began on 17 July 2020.
Note-The National Dope Testing Laboratory, New Delhi is functioning under the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports.
World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA):
Formation: November 10, 1999
Headquarter: Montreal, Canada
President – Witold Banka


CII Dx award for ‘Most Innovative Best Practice’ 2021 received by HDFC Bank

HDFC Bank, an Indian banking and financial service company has selected under ‘Most Innovative Best Practice’ at the coveted Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) Digital Transformation Award 2021 or CII DX Award 2021. It will be recognized for the HDFC’s efforts in world class financial inclusion in Village Level Executive (VLE) centres along with Government of India’s Common Service Centres (CSC).

Gist About CII Dx Award:-
The key objective of Award is to recognize excellence in Digital Transformation in India and facilitate sharing of information on Best Practices & Technologies.
About Confederation of Indian Industry (CII)
President,CII (2021-22) – Mr. T V Narendran ,CEO & MD of Tata Steel Ltd.,
Director General, CII – Mr. Chandrajit Banerjee
Headquarters – New Delhi

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