Current Affairs

26 August, 2021

International

NSA Ajit Doval Chairs 11th BRICS High Representatives Responsible for National Security Meeting

Ajit Doval Indian National Security Adviser(NSA) virtually chaired the 11th meeting of the BRICS (Brazil, Russia,India,China,South Africa) High Representatives Responsible for National Security . It was 15th anniversary of the BRICS as well.The adoption for an action plan for countering terrorism and terror financing was taken into consideraion.

Objective –
To review the regional, geo-political and security scenario. The main focus was the developmental processes in Afghanistan, Iran,West Asia and the Gulf.
Highlights

India pointed out the issue of cross country terrorism and activities the groups like Lashkar-e-Toiba and Jaish-e-Mohammed, which are considered as major threat at bordering areas of the country The discussion on cooperation, law enforcement, healthcare, and counter terrorism occured. As 12th BRICS Leader Summit 2020 adopted the BRICS Counter Terrorism Strategy, therefore this time the representatives have adopted and suggested the BRICS Counter Terrorism Action Plan for consideration by the BRICS Summit. Strengthening cooperation in the field of cyber security, information sharing practices and combating cyber crimes.

Additional Information:
India will host the upcoming BRICS summit under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
About BRICS:
The acronym “BRICS” was initially formulated in 2001 by economist Jim O’Neill, of Goldman Sachs, in a report on growth prospects for the economies of Brazil, Russia, India and China.
South Africa was invited to join BRIC in December 2010, after which the group adopted the acronym BRICS.
Headquarters– Shanghai, China

4thSafe Cities Index 2021: New Delhi & Mumbai named in 60 global cities; Copenhagen Tops

i.The Capital City and Financial Capital City of India i.e. New Delhi and Mumbai respectively have found place in 4th Safe Cities Index 2021 of 60 global cities, released by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) sponsored by NEC. The index report is titled as ‘Safe Cities Index 2021- New expectations demand a new coherence’.

ii.While New Delhi is placed at 48th position with 56.1 scores, the dream city Mumbai ranked at 50th with a score of 54.4.
iii.The index has been topped by Denmark’s capital Copenhagen with 82.4 making it as the world’s safest city.
About Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU)
Establishment– 1946
Managing Director– Robin Bew
Headquarter– London, United Kingdom (UK)

Indian-ASEAN Think Tanks Prepares for 30th Anniversary Celebrations

The year 2022 marks the 30th anniversary of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) – India relation and it is also designated as the ASEAN-India Friendship Year.

As an activity towards the anniversary, the Indian-ASEAN think tanks viz, ASEAN Studies Centre of ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute, New Delhi and the ASEAN-India Centre (AIC) at the Research and Information System (RIS) for Developing Countries, launched their 1st joint training and capacity building programme titled ‘ASEAN-India Development Partnership Programme’ (AIDPP) for scholars and practitioners of ASEAN countries and India.

As per the partnership years, the year 2022 will mark the 25th anniversary of the ASEAN-India Dialogue Partnership, the 10th anniversary of Strategic Partnership, and the 30th anniversary of ASEAN-India overall relation.

About ASEAN ( Association of Southeast Asian Nations ):
Establishment – 8 August 1967
Headquarters – Jakarta, Indonesia
Secretary-General – H.E. Dato Lim Jock Hoi (2018 -2022)

Sweden’s HYBRIT delivered world’s 1st fossil-free steel to Volvo AB

Sweden’s green steel venture HYBRIT had made the world’s first customer delivery of steel produced without using coal and coke, to its truck-manufacturer Volvo AB (Aktiebolaget Volvo) as a trial run. This steel is produced with 100% fossil-free hydrogen. HYBRIT stands for Hydrogen Breakthrough Ironmaking Technology.This was the raw material used to manufacture the so-called ‘green steel. Its full commercial production will begin in 2026. HYBRIT is a joint venture (JV) between Swedish steelmaker SSAB (SSABa.ST) which is a state-owned utility Vattenfall (VATN.UL) and miner LKAB (Luossavaara-Kiirunavaara Aktiebolag).
About Sweden:
It is a country in Europe.
Capital– Stockholm
Currency– Swedish krona (SEK)

National

Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan inaugurates Centre for Research & Innovation in AI at IIT-H

Dharmendra Pradhan, Union Minister of Education has virtually inaugurated the Centre for Research and Innovation in Artificial Intelligence(AI) established at the Indian Institute of Technology-Hyderabad(IIT-H) in collaboration with the Japan International Cooperation Agency(JICA) and Honeywell Technology Solutions(HTS).

He also inaugurated the 1st Academic building of the Department of Materials Science and Metallurgical Engineering, High-Performance Computing Centre and High-Resolution Electron Microscopy Facility.

GoI launches SAMRIDH programme to support 300 IT Startups

Government of India (GoI) has launched the Startup Accelerator of Meity for Product Innovation, Development & Growth (SAMRIDH) programme to support 300 Information Technology (IT) enabled Startups for a period of 6 months. It aims to create 100 unicorns out of the selected IT Startups by providing Seed funding, Mentorship and Market access. Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology (Meity) will provide seed funds of upto INR 40 lakh & mentorship for 6 months for the selected startups. The programme has been modelled on the basis of Ycombinator, one of the successful startup accelerator programmes started in the United States.

Note: Unicorn is a term to describe tech startups that are valued at more than USD 1 billion.
MSH partners with MergerDomo to Strengthen Startup Ecosystem in India
Meity Startup Hub (MSH), an initiative by Meity focussed on building a deep tech ecosystem across India has partnered with MergerDomo, a fundraising & startup advisory platform to Strengthen startup ecosystem in India. The partnership aims to support the startups on various aspects such as Investor engagement, Corporate Connects, Pitch evaluation & Strategic Planning.

About Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology (Meity)
Union Minister – Ashwini Vaishnaw (Rajya Sabha- Odisha)
Minister of State (MoS) – Rajeev Chandrasekhar (Rajya Sabha – Karnataka)

Counter Terrorism Exercise ‘Gandiv’ Conducted by NSG in India

The 3rd Edition of the annual Counter Terrorism Exercise named ‘Gandiv’ is being conducted by the National Security Guard (NSG) across National Capital Region (NCR), Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh & Gujarat. The Exercise will be held from August 22nd-28th, 2021.

Objective: It aims to validate the planning parameters of the NSG in the event of a terrorist attack, hijack of an Aircraft or hostage situation.

About National Security Guard (NSG)
Founded in September 1986. It is an Elite Counter-terrorism unit functioning under the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).
Headquarters – New Delhi. It has 5 regional hubs in Mumbai, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Chennai & Gandhinagar.
Director General – M A Ganapathy

Economy

ReNew Power Become 1st Indian Renewable Energy Company to List on NASDAQ

ReNew Power, India’s largest renewable energy company, has become the first Indian renewable energy company to get listed on the NASDAQ, an American stock exchange based in New York, USA. ReNew Power has been listed on the NASDAQ following the merger with RMG Acquisition Corporation II (RMG II), a Nasdaq-listed special purpose acquisition company (SPAC).
The merged company has been named ReNew Energy Global Plc. As a result of the business combination, RMG II has become a wholly-owned subsidiary of ReNew Energy Global PLC. The merger has put an enterprise value of around 8 billion USD and an equity value of 4.4 billion USD on ReNew Energy Global Plc. ReNew Power will raise around 1 billion USD from the public listing on the NASDAQ.

Major Investors:
i.Major investors of ReNew Power are Goldman Sachs, CPP Investments, Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, GEF SACEF and JERA.
ii.The shareholding of Goldman Sachs has gone down from 49% to 33%, CPP Investments and Abu Dhabi Investment Authority have gone down from 17% each to around 13%.
iii.The RMG Corp II will own around 20% of ReNew Power.
ReNew Power Signs PPA with SECI for India’s 1st RTC Renewable Energy Project
ReNew Power has signed a power purchase agreement (PPA) with the Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) for Round-The-Clock (RTC) electricity supply, the first-of-its-kind in India.
ReNew won the bid to supply Round-The-Clock power in 2020 through an auction conducted by SECI The estimated cost of the project is around 1.2 billion USD (around Rs 8913 crore). ReNew Power will require around 1,300 MW hybrid capacity (900 MW wind capacity and 400 MW of solar capacity), supplemented with battery storage, to supply power from the 400 MW RTC project at 80% utilisation rate.
About ReNew Power:
Chairman and Managing Director– Sumant Sinha
Headquarter– Gurugram, Haryana

RBI Empaneled South Indian Bank as Agency Bank

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has empanelled South Indian Bank, the Kerala based private sector lender, as an ‘Agency Bank’ to facilitate transactions related to Central and State government on behalf of the RBI.

Background: In February 2021, RBI removed the ban imposed (in 2012) over ‘Appointing the Scheduled Private Sector Banks as Agency Banks of RBI’ and further, it revised the guidelines and authorised Scheduled Private Sector Banks as agency banks of RBI for conducting govt businesses.

Flipkart Wholesale Launches New Credit Program to Support Kiranas & Retailers

Flipkart Wholesale, the digital B2B marketplace of Flipkart group has launched a new credit program to assist Kiranas and retailers in managing their working capital requirements and promote their business. The new credit program has been designed to solve the local challenges faced by the kiranas in India and to help them manage their cash flow and improve their purchase experience on Flipkart wholesale, thereby ensuring that the benefits of digitisation reach the entire B2B retail ecosystem.

Features of Credit Program:
i.The credit offering of Flipkart wholesale, including the ‘Easy Credit’ in partnership with IDFC FIRST Bank can help kiranas to get credit at zero cost through digital onboarding.
ii.The credit line under the program will range from Rs 5000 to Rs 2 Lakh with an interest-free period of up to 14 days.
iii.The kiranas will also be able to avail flexible repayment options through cash and online transfer
About Flipkart Group:
Flipkart Group is an Indian e-commerce company, that includes group companies such as Flipkart, Myntra, Flipkart Wholesale and Cleartrip.
Flipkart is a major shareholder of PhonePe, a leading payment app in India.
CEO of Flipkart – Kalyan Krishnamurthy
Headquarters– Bengaluru, Karnataka

FREO Launched Savings Account ‘Freo Save’ in Partnership with Equitas SFB

FREO, India’s 1st credit-led Neobank, made a partnership with Equitas Small Finance Bank (SFB) and launched a zero-balance savings account named ‘Freo Save’ for its customers. The account will offer a 7 percent interest rate on a minimum balance of Rs 1 lakh. The account will also provide seamless integration with UPI (United Payment Interface) to make easier funds transfer and bill payments. It would also help the customers to build a better credit score. To date, Freo has disbursed loans of more than Rs 4,400 crore to its users under its MoneyTap service. MoneyTap offers a credit line of up to Rs 5 lakh; its services include Freo Pay, which offers a Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) feature.

What is Neobank?
i.It is a kind of digital bank without any branches. It works entirely online instead of being present physically at a specific location.
ii.Nowadays Neobanks are being launched by financial technology (fintech) startups. They provide better banking solutions in partnership with traditional banks by using artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML).
About FREO (formerly known as Money Tap):
i.FREO’s parent company started its operations in India with the launch of Money Tap in 2016.
ii.Money Tap is India’s 1st App-based credit line, it will provide a personal loan through the app in partnership with banks and Non-Banking Financial Companies (NBFCs).
Headquarters – Bangalore, Karnataka
About Equitas Small Finance Bank Ltd:
Headquarters – Chennai, Tamil Nadu
MD and CEO – Vasudevan Pathangi Narasimhan (P N)
Tagline – It’s Fun Banking

Sports

Odisha Extended Sponsorship to Hockey India by 10 More Years

Naveen Patnaik, Chief Minister of Odisha, has announced that the government of Odisha has decided to continue the sponsorship of Hockey India for 10 more years (the current sponsorship ends in 2023).
In 2018, after Sahara India withdrew its sponsorship, the government of Odisha signed a deal with Hockey India to sponsor the men’s and women’s hockey teams for a period of 5 years (2023).

India’s GM Arjun Erigaisi wins Ⅱ Terras de Tras-os-Montes Chess Open 2021

Indian Chess GrandMaster (GM) Arjun Erigaisi won Ⅱ Terras de Tras-os-Montes Chess Open 2021 held in Braganca, Portugal. The tournament was held from August 19th-24th, 2021. He remained unbeaten throughout the tournament, by winning 8 games & 1 draw match. Arjun was born in 2003 at Warangal, Telangana. He is the 54th GM from India. Grandmaster (GM) is a title awarded to chess players by the world chess organization FIDE (World Chess Federation Fédération Internationale).

Other Indian players Performance
i.Chennai based Indian GM Gukesh finished in 2nd place by winning 8 games & losing 1 match against GM Erigaisi.
ii.Indian Chess player Moksh Amit Doshi was the next best Indian performer by finishing at the 15th place.
iii.A total of 5 Indians participated in the tournament comprising 146 players.
About All India Chess Federation (AICF)
President – Sanjay Kapoor
Founded- 1951
Headquarters – New Delhi

Miscellaneous

Indian Army Receives 1st Batch of MMHG from EEL

Indian Army received the delivery of 1st batch of Multi-Mode Hand Grenade (MMHG) manufactured by Nagpur based private company Economic Explosives Limited (EEL). MMHG has been designed by Chandigarh based Terminal Ballistic Research Laboratories (TBRL) of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) & is manufactured by EEL, Nagpur. In October 2020, Ministry of Defence (MoD) has signed a contract with EEL for supply of 10 lakh MMHG to Indian Army at cost of around INR 409 crore

Multi-Mode Hand Grenade (MMHG)
i.With distinctive design, the grenades can be used in both Offensive and Defensive mode.
ii.It has highly accurate delay time, very high reliability in usages & safe for carriage.
About Economic Explosives Limited (EEL)
EEL is a wholly owned subsidiary of Solar Industries
Chairman & Executive Director – Satyanarayan Nandlal Nuwal
Headquarters – Nagpur, Maharashtra
About Indian Army
Chief of the Army Staff – General Manoj Mukund Naravane
Headquarters – New Delhi

Pakistan Successfully Testfires ‘Fatah-1’-Guided Multi Launch Rocket System

Pakistan has successfully test-fired Fatah-1, an Indigenously developed Guided Multi Launch Rocket System (MLRS) which has the capability of precision target engagement deep into the enemy territories It is capable of carrying conventional warheads & has a range of 140 km. The Guided MLRS is capable of hitting targets without leaving behind the unexploded ordnance. Fatah-1 is a variant of the guided MLRS family which has an extended range of upto 150 km. This launch marked the 2nd flight of Fatah-1, after its first launch in January 2021.

Pakistan’s Other Missiles
i.Ghaznavi-Nuclear capable Surface-to-surface ballistic missile of range upto 290km.
ii.Babur-Short range surface-to-surface cruise missile of range 450 km.
iii.Shaheen-Ⅲ – Nuclear capable surface-to-surface ballistic missile which can target upto 2750 km.
About Pakistan
PrimeMinister – Imran Khan
Capital – Islamabad
Currency – Pakistani Rupee

HDFC Bank diverts 2.21% stake in CDSL for Rs 222.71 crore

HDFC Bank has diverted 2.21% stakes in Central Depository Services(India) Limited(CDSL) for Rs 222.71 crore over a period from 22nd June 2021 to 24th August 2021.
HDFC Bank has sold around 2311000 equity shares of the face value of Rs 10 each.
CDSL is India’s leading and only listed depository, which provides depository service to market participants. Operating services of CDSL: Depository, data entry and record keeping of KYC documents of capital market investors, and repository.

Background:
i.HDFC Bank sold 2036000 shares of CDSL around 1.95% stakes at an average price of Rs 937.46 per piece on 22nd June 2021.
ii.The bank sold 213481 shares at Rs 1168.94 apiece on 23rd August 2021 and has sold 61519 shares for Rs 1119.31 apiece on 24th August 2021.
Eldeco Group & HDFC Capital Set Up Rs 150cr Fund to Build Housing Projects:
i.Eldeco Group has partnered with HDFC Capital Advisors Limited, a subsidiary of HDFC Limited, to set up a Rs 150 crore platform to build housing projects.
ii.Eldeco Infrastructure and Properties Limited, a part of Eldeco Group has partnered with HDFC Capital Affordable Real Estate Fund 1 (H-CARE 1), a fund managed by HDFC Capital to form a platform to develop low rise and plotted development projects.
iii.The developments will be undertaken by Eldeco Greens Infrastructure Private Limited, a special purpose vehicle.
About Central Depository Services(India) Limited(CDSL):
Chairperson– Balkrishna V. Chaubal
MD & CEO– Nehal Vora
Headquarters– Mumbai. Maharashtra
About HDFC Bank:
MD & CEO– Sashidhar Jagdishan
Headquarters– Mumbai, Maharashtra
Tagline– We understand your world
Established in 1994
Chatbot– Eva

RBI Approves Reappointment of Sandeep Bakhshi as MD& CEO of ICICI Bank

The Reserve Bank of India(RBI) has approved the reappointment of Sandeep Bakhshi as the Managing Director(MD) and Chief Executive Officer(CEO) of ICICI Bank with effect from 15th October 2021 to 3rd October 2023.
He was appointed as the MD & CEO of ICICI Bank in 2018 following the resignation of Chanda Kochhar on 4th October 2018.
Background:
i.In August 2019, the ICICI bank’s Shareholder meeting approved the appointment of Sandeep Bakshi as the MD & CEO for a period of 5 years with effect from 15th October 2018 to 3rd October 2023.
ii.The RBI approved his appointment for a period of 3 years against the 5-year term sought by the ICICI bank.
About Sandeep Bakhshi:
i.Sandeep Bakhshi joined the ICICI group in 1986 and has served in various capacities at ICICI Limited, ICICI Lombard General Insurance, ICICI Bank and ICICI Prudential Life Insurance.
ii.He has served as the MD and CEO of ICICI Prudential Life Insurance Company between 2010 and 2018.
iii.He has also served as the Deputy Managing Director of ICICI Bank and MD & CEO of ICICI Lombard General Insurance.
About ICICI Bank:
MD & CEO– Sandeep Bakhshi
Headquarters– Mumbai, Maharashtra
Incorporated in 1994
Tagline– Hum Hai Na, Khayal Apka

Alia Bhatt Appointed as Brand ambassador of Samsung India

Bollywood actress Alia Bhatt has been appointed as the brand ambassador of Samsung India to endorse Galaxy Z, a series of foldable smartphones, in India. Samsung India is set to launch its Galaxy Z Fold3 5G and Galaxy Z Flip3 5G smartphones in India from 10th September 2021. As the brand ambassador of Samsung India, Alia Bhatt will drive the adoption of the Galaxy Z series among young Gen Z and millennial consumers.

Sunpure appoints Sonu Sood as brand ambassador:
Sunpure, an edible cooking oil brand based in Karnataka has appointed Actor Sonu Sood as its brand ambassador. Sunpure is sold by MK Agrotech Pvt. Ltd
Sunpure has launched a campaign #EkRishtaShudhtaKa, featuring Sonu Sood released in Hindi, Malayalam and Kannada.
As a part of the association with Sunpure, Sonu Sood will also lead various brand campaigns.
About Samsung:
Samsung is a South Korean company headquartered in Samsung Town, Seoul, South Korea.
Chairman– Jae-Wan Bahk
Vice-Chairman and CEO– Ki-Nam Kim

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