Current Affairs

27 September, 2021

International

India, Bhutan sign a pact for Joint Development of Small Satellites

Scientific Secretary of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), R Umamaheswaran and Jigme Tenzing, Director of the Department of Information Technology and Telecom (DITT), Royal Government of Bhutan, virtually signed an Implementing Arrangement (IA) to co-operate in the development of a joint small satellite. Participants: Ambassador of India to Bhutan Ruchira Kamboj, Ambassador of Bhutan to India Major General Vetsop Namgyel have participated in the event.

Highlights: i.The current agreement was in the line of MoU signed between Bhutan and India on Collaboration in Peaceful Uses of Outer Space under the purview of the Ministry of Information and Communication (MoIC) in 2020. The DITT and ISRO will develop joint satellites.
ii.It will enhance the innovation, development and technology transfer between the countries.
iii.It is the new area of bilateral partnership in the space sector between India and Bhutan.
Committee on Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS):
It was set up under the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in 1959 to govern the exploration and use of space for the benefit of humanity. It has two subsidiary bodies such as Scientific and Technical Subcommittee and Legal Subcommittee.
About ISRO (Indian Space Research Organization):
Founded- 15 August 1969
Headquarters – Bengaluru, Karnataka
Chairman – Kailasavadivoo Sivan
About Bhutan:
Capital – Thimphu
Prime Minister – Lotay Tshering
Currency – Bhutanese ngultrum

WMO Report: Rising CO2 concentration affects all 17 SDGs

i.The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) published a new report titled ‘Climate Indicators and Sustainable Development: Demonstrating the Interconnections’ stating that climate change effects not only obstruct the Sustainable Development Goal-13 (SDG13- Climate Action) but impede all 17 SDGs.
ii.It was released in coincide with the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) annual session; and the opening of the virtual SDG Action Zone to accelerate action on the SDGs.
About World Meteorological Organization (WMO):
It is a specialized agency of the United Nations (UN)
Secretary-General– Prof. Petteri Taalas
Members– 193 nations
Headquarters– Geneva, Switzerland

National

ZSI Signed MoU with Natural History Museum of UK

Zoological Survey of India (ZSI) and the Natural History Museum (NHM), London, United Kingdom (UK), signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to formulate strategies for long term scientific documentation and conservation of faunal diversity through international exchange. The MoU was signed by Dhriti Banerjee, the first lady Director of ZSI and Douglas Gurr, Director, NHM, London for 5 years. Under the MoU both ZSI and NHM, London are committed to implement the 1973 Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), the 1992 Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), and relevant national and regional laws and regulations. India holds 2.4 percent of the world’s land with 8.1 percent of species diversity, which makes India one of twelve mega diversity countries of the world.

About Zoological Survey of India (ZSI):
Establishment – July 1, 1916
Headquarters – Kolkata
Director – Dhriti Banerjee

MeitY Startup Hub inks pacts with AISPL to promote startups

Amazon Internet Services Pvt Ltd (AISPL) has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with MeitY Startup Hub, an initiative of the Ministry of Electronics and IT (MeitY), to promote technology innovation and the sustainable growth of start-ups in India. AISPL undertakes the resale and marketing of Amazon Web Services (AWS) Cloud services in India.

Aim of the collaboration: MeitY Startup Hub and AWS will work together to identify start-ups with deep technology capabilities and empower them to find solutions to address the biggest problems in India. Through the AWS Startup Ramp programme, the start-ups will gain access to AWS Credits, a community of experts, technical training and support covering cloud architecture, cost optimisation, security, and scalability readiness. The MeitY Startup Hub will organise government-backed innovation challenges to help start-ups focused on the public sector scale their solutions. Initially, the collaboration will focus on start-ups addressing healthcare, agriculture, public safety, transportation, smart cities and citizen engagement. It will provide mentoring, technical expertise, cloud credits, skill enhancement programming, and other resources provided to start-ups.

About MeitY Startup Hub
It is an initiative of the Ministry of Electronics and IT (MeitY)
CEO: Jeet Vijay
About Amazon Web Services (AWS)
i.CEO: Adam Selipsky
ii.Headquarters: Seattle, Washington, United States

MoD partnered with Spain for acquisition of 56 C-295MW aircraft

On the lines of the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) approval, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) signed a contract with M/s Airbus Defence and Space, Spain worth Rs.22,000 Crore on September 24, 2021, for acquisition of 56 C-295MW transport aircraft for the Indian Air Force (IAF). MOD also inked an offset contract with M/s Airbus Defence and Space through which Airbus will discharge its offset obligations through direct purchase of eligible products and services from Indian Offset Partners. Notably, this is the first project of its kind in which a military aircraft will be manufactured in India under technology transfer by the private sector.

About C-295MW:
The induction of C-295 MW will modernize the transport fleet of IAF as it will succeed ageing Avro HS-748 aircraft of IAF that were procured in the 1960s. It will boost the tactical airlift capability of IAF, especially in the Northern and North-Eastern sector and Andaman & Nicobar Islands. Following are its key features: It is used for tactical transport of up to 71 troops or 50 paratroopers, and for logistic operations to locations that are not accessible to current heavier aircraft. It has 5-10 tonne capacity with contemporary technology. It is capable of operating from semi-prepared strips and has a rear ramp door for quick reaction and para dropping of troops & cargo.

Points to be noted:
i.Of the 56 aircraft, 16 will be delivered in flyaway condition from Spain within 48 months.
ii.The remaining 40 will be manufactured in India by Tata Advanced Systems Limited (TASL), in partnership with Airbus and will be installed with indigenous Electronic Warfare Suite.
iii.With this, IAF becomes the 35th C295 operator worldwide.This partnership will also enhance the ‘Make in India’ initiative and the contract will be signed for 10 years.
About Ministry of Defence (MoD):
Union Minister- Rajnath Singh (Constituency- Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh)
Minister of State– Ajay Bhatt (Constituency- Nainital–Udhamsingh Nagar, Uttarakhand)

Economy

RBI Issued Master Directions on Securitisation of Standard Assets, Transfer of Loan Exposures

the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) issued the master directions of RBI (Securitisation of Standard Assets) Directions, 2021, and RBI (Transfer of Loan Exposures) Directions, 2021.
Master Directions on Securitisation of Standard Assets:
i.Eligibility: Loans with tenor up to 24 months extended to individuals for agricultural activities (where both interest and principal are due only on maturity) and Trade receivables with tenor up to 12 months (discounted/purchased by lenders from their borrowers) will be eligible for securitisation.
ii.Minimum Retention Requirement (MRR): For loans with maturity of 24 months or less, the MRR should be 5 percent of the book value of the loans being securitised. For loans with original maturity of more than 24 months and loans with bullet repayments, the MRR shall be 10 percent of the book value of the loans being securitised.

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

HPCL Collaborates with ICICI Bank for Fuel Payments through FASTags

Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL) collaborated with ICICI Bank, to enable the ICICI bank customers to use their ICICI Bank FastTag to pay for fuel and lubricants at HPCL’s 19,000 retail outlets across India. HPCL is the first Oil Marketing Company (OMC) to provide a cashless facility to enable FastTag for fuel purchases by retail and commercial customers.

Electrical Vehicle (EV) Projects of HPCL:

i.It has launched its first-ever EV charger named ‘ChargeGrid Flare’ in collaboration with Magenta EV Systems under its start-up development programme.
ii.It has proposed 5,000 electric vehicles (EV) charging stations in the coming 3 years.
iii.Convergence Energy Services Ltd (CESL), Tata Power, and Magenta EV Systems are helping for setting up charging infrastructure at its retail outlets.
About Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL):
Chairman and Managing Director-Mukesh Kumar Surana
Headquarters– Mumbai, Maharashtra
About ICICI Bank:
Establishment – 1955(Incorporated in 1994)
Headquarters – Mumbai, Maharashtra
MD& CEO – Sandeep Bakhshi
Tagline – Hum hai na, Khayal Apka

Sports

Lewis Hamilton wins the Russian Grand Prix 2021

Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes-Great Britain), has won the F1 Russian Grand Prix 2021. This is his 100th Grand Prix win. It was Hamilton’s fifth win of the season and his first since the British Grand Prix in July. Max Verstappen (Red Bull–Netherlands) came second while Carlos Sainz Jr. (Ferrari-Spain) came third in the Russian Grand Prix 2021.

Mastercard joins Meltwater Champions Chess Tour, appoints Magnus Carlsen as Ambassador

Mastercard joins the Meltwater Champions Chess Tour as an official partner and names Magnus Carlsen as Mastercard global brand ambassador. Carlsen joins the company’s all-star line-up of ambassadors, which includes Lionel Messi, Naomi Osaka, Crystal Dunn and Dan Carter. With this ,Mastercard owners will be able to join Carlsen for a live, virtual event, where he will speak about his passion for chess and take questions from the live audience.

About Meltwater Champions Chess Tour
The Champions Chess Tour 2021 is a 10-month long series of 10 online chess tournaments featuring the world’s top players, playing for a prize money pool of US$1.5 million
Hosted by: Play Magnus Group
About Magnus Carlsen
i.He is Norwegian chess grandmaster who is the current World Chess Champion, World Rapid Chess Champion, and World Blitz Chess Champion.
ii.He is highest-rated chess grandmaster in history.
iii.He was the highest-paid esports player in 2020.
About Mastercard
It is a multinational financial services corporation
CEO: Michael Miebach
Founded: 16 December 1966
Headquarters: New York, United States

Miscellaneous

India’s CAG GC Murmu elected as external auditor for IAEA

India’s Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) GC Murmu was elected as the external auditor of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) at the General Conference of the IAEA in Vienna, Austria . His tenure will be for six years, from 2022 to 2027.
About GC Murmu
i.Murmu assumed office as the Comptroller and Auditor General of India on August 8, 2020.
ii.Prior to that, he served as the first Lt Governor of the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir.
iii.He also served in various capacities in the Government of India, such as secretary of the department of expenditure, special and additional secretary in the department of financial services and department of revenue.
About (IAEA)
It stands for International Atomic Energy Agency. It promotes the peaceful use of nuclear energy
Headquarters: Vienna, Austria
Director General: Rafael Mariano Grossi
Founded: 1957
Kuwait’s Ambassador, H.E. Sadiq M. Marafi elected as President of 65th Conference
The IAEA’s General Conference elected Kuwait’s Ambassador, H.E. Sadiq M. Marafi, as President of the 65th regular session of the Conference.
About H.E. Sadiq M. Marafi
i.Marafi is Kuwait’s Ambassador to Austria and Permanent Representative to the international organisations in Vienna, including the IAEA, since September 2013.
ii.He has been a career diplomat since 1993 at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Kuwait.
iii.At Kuwait’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Marafi’s assignments included an appointment to the Permanent Mission to the United Nations Office in Geneva, from July 1996 to August 2012.
iv.Prior to that, he served as a diplomatic attaché at the Department of Asia and Africa.

Union Mansukh Mandaviya virtually presented ICC Annual Awards 2020

i.On September 24, 2021, Union Minister Mansukh Laxmanbhai Mandaviya, Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers (MoC&F) virtually presented the ICC (Indian Chemical Council) Annual Awards for the year 2020.
ii.He also released the latest edition of the Members Directory that contains detailed information of all the members of the council.
iii.Held in the month of September/October annually, ICC presents prestigious annual National Awards to encourage excellence of achievements in various fields of chemicals.
About Indian Chemical Council (ICC):
Establishment– 1938
President– Ravi Goenka
Headquarter– Mumbai, Maharashtra

President Ram Nath Kovind presents NSS Awards 2019-20

The President of India, Ram Nath Kovind presented the National Service Scheme (NSS) Awards for the year 2019-20 at Rastrapathi Bhawan,New Delhi Virtually. Union Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports Shri Anurag Thakur and Minister of State for Youth Affairs & Sports Shri NisithPramanik also attended the ceremony from Sushma Swaraj Bhawan, New Delhi. A total of 42 awardees in 3 different categories like University or +2 Councils, NSS Units and their Programme Officers and NSS Volunteers were conferred with the awards under the NSS Awards 2019-20

Objective of the NSS Awards
To recognise and reward outstanding contributions towards voluntary community service made by the Universities/ Colleges, (+2) Councils and Senior Secondary, NSS Units/ Programme Officers and NSS Volunteers. These awards are conferred every year. The ideological orientation of the NSS was inspired by the principles of Mahatma Gandhi.

About National Service Scheme (NSS)
i.NSS is a Centrally Sector Scheme with the primary objective of developing the personality and character of the student, youth through voluntary community service.
ii.It was launched by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports in 1969 during the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhiji.

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