Current Affairs

26 May, 2021

International

India & Israel sign three-year Work Program for development in Agriculture cooperation

India & Israel have signed a three-year 5th Indo-Israel Agriculture Action Plan (IIAP) 2021-23 agreement for development in Agriculture cooperation. Under the work program, both countries will implement two initiatives namely ‘Indo-Israel Agricultural Project Centre of Excellence’ & ‘Indo-Israel Villages of Excellence (IIVoE)’.It will benefit local farmers both through the Centers of Excellence and the Villages of Excellence. Till now 4 action plans have been completed successfully.
Objective – To grow existing Centres of Excellence (CoE), establish new centers, increase CoE’s value chain, bring CoE into the self-sufficient mode, and encourage private sector companies and collaboration.
Implementing partners – National Horticulture Mission (NHM) under the Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare (MoA&FW), India, and Israel’s Agency for International Development (MASHAV) and CINADCO under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

INDO-ISRAEL Agricultural Project Centres of Excellence

Under the IIAP, 29 CoEs have been established across India in 12 states.The COEs established under these Israeli-based action plans are playing an important role in doubling farmers’ income. The exchange of technology between India and Israel will greatly improve the productivity and quality of horticulture.
Indo-Israel Villages of Excellence (IIVoE)
i.It is a new concept aimed at creating a model ecosystem in agriculture across 8 states in India (alongside 13 already existing CoE in 75 villages).
ii.The CoEs will generate knowledge, demonstrate best practices and train farmers and will focus on Modern Agriculture Infrastructure, Capacity Building, and Market linkage.
About Israel
Prime Minister – Benjamin Netanyahu
Capital – Jerusalem
Currency – Israeli Shekel

National

Ministry of Power to set up a National Mission on the use of Biomass in Thermal Power Plants

The Ministry of Power is set to establish a National Mission on the use of Biomass in coal-based Thermal Power Plants.
i.It will address the issue of air pollution caused by farm stubble burning and reducing carbon footprints of thermal power generation. It will help India’s energy transition & help in meeting India’s Clear energy targets (450 Gigawatts of Renewable Energy by 2030). The proposed National Mission will have a minimum duration of 5 years & will also contribute to the National Clean Air Programme (NCAP).
About Ministry of Power
Minister of State (Independent Charge) – Raj Kumar Singh (Lok Sabha – Arrah, Bihar)

Cheetah to be re-introduced into India at Kuno National Park, MP

Cheetah, declared extinct in India in 1952 is set to be re-introduced into India in November, 2021 at the Kuno National Park, Madhya Pradesh (MP). It is the 1st time in the world that a large carnivore will be relocated from one continent to another. As per the plan, 10 African Cheetahs will be brought from South Africa & Namibia and reintroduced in India. The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) has approved a budget of INR 1, 400 Lakh for the 2021 Fiscal under ‘Project Cheetah’. National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) will release money for the project to Madhya Pradesh and the Dehradun-based Wildlife Institute of India (WII) in June, 2021.
About Wildlife Institute of India (WII)
An Autonomous Institution of the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC)
Chairman – Secretary, MoEFCC (R P Gupta)
Headquarters – Dehradun, Uttarakhand

TRIFED, NITI Aayog partner to Implement Van Dhan Vikas Kendra in 39 Tribal Districts

TRIFED (Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation of India), Ministry of Tribal Affairs is set to partner with NITI Aayog for implementation of Van Dhan Vikas Kendra (VDVK) initiative under Van Dhan Yojna in 39 Tribal Aspirational districts identified by NITI Aayog.
Van Dhan tribal start-ups or VDVK is a programme for value addition, branding & marketing of Minor Forest Produces by establishing Van Dhan Kendras to facilitate the creation of sustainable livelihoods for the forest-based tribes.
Van Dhan Yojna or Van Dhan Scheme
i.It was launched on 14th April 2018 and is implemented by TRIFED.Van Dhan startups help the socio-economic development of the tribal population of the country by establishing Van Dhan Kendra.
ii.It is a component of the ‘Mechanism for Marketing of Minor Forest Produce (MFP) through Minimum Support Price (MSP) & Development of Value Chain for MFP’.
iii.The idea is to set up tribal community owned Van Dhan Vikas Kendra Clusters (VDVKCs) in predominantly forested tribal districts.
About TRIFED
It comes under the Ministry of Tribal Affairs
Managing Director – Pravir Krishna
Head Office – New Delhi

Anurag Singh Thakur launches 1st Phase of ‘MCA21 Version 3.0’ Portal

Minister of State for Corporate Affairs Anurag Singh Thakur virtually launched the 1st phase of the ‘Ministry of Corporate Affairs 21 Version 3.0 (MCA21 V3.0)’ portal. MCA21 online portal is providing easy and secure access to Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA) services to corporate entities, professionals, and the public. It helps companies to submit various documents as part of compliance requirements under the company act 1956. The MCA21 V3.0 portal is being updated in two phases, the fully revamped MCA21 portal is expected to be launched within the FY 2021-22. The first phase of MCA21 V3.0 comprises a newly rebuilt website, new email services for MCA Officers, and 2 new modules e-Book and e-Consultation.
About Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA)
Union Minister – Nirmala Sitharaman (Rajya Sabha – Karnataka)
Minister of State – Anurag Singh Thakur (Lok Sabha – Hamirpur, Himachal Pradesh)

Economy

Shree Malani Foams Won the Star Export House Award 2021 from the MoCI

Shree Malani Foams Private Limited, Hyderabad in Telangana won the Star Export House Award 2021 from the Ministry of Commerce and Industry(MoCI). The certification is valid for 5 years between 2021 to 2026. Shree Malani Foams became the first and only mattress and mattress components company to win the award in the past 5 years. Shree Malani Foams is the only company with AEO Tier 2 compliance for Supply Chain Security and Process Management. Shree Malani Foams is the largest exporter of mattresses and mattress components from India with supplies to Russia, Europe, the United States, the Middle East, South Korea and others. The company is in line with the Make in India initiative of the government of India.

SBI Reported India’s Real GDP for Q1FY22 to Grow in the Range of 10-15%; Icra Forecasted Q4FY21 GDP Growth at 2%

State Bank of India’s (SBI) research report ‘Ecowrap’ stated India’s Real gross domestic product (GDP) growth for Q1 FY22 to be in the range of 10-15 percent as against RBI’s forecast of 26.2 percent. It also forecasted Real GDP loss in the range of Rs 4-4.5 lakh crore for Q1 FY22. SBI has developed a ‘nowcasting model’ with 41 high-frequency indicators associated with industry activity, service activity, and global economy in collaboration with State Bank Institute of Leadership (SBIL), Kolkata
About ICRA Limited (Investment Information and Credit Rating Agency of India Limited):
Establishment – 1991
Headquarters – New Delhi
MD & CEO – N. Sivaraman

India Records Highest Ever FDI Inflow of US$81.72 Billion in FY21

As per the data released by the Ministry of Commerce & Industry, India has attracted the highest ever total Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) inflow of US$81.72 billion during FY21, which is 10 percent more than FY20 of US$74.39 billion. FDI equity inflow grew by 19 percent in FY21 (US$ 59.64 billion) compared to FY20 (US$ 49.98 billion).
i.Top Investing countries in FY21:
Singapore is the top investing country with 29 percent of total investment, followed by the U.S.A with 23 percent and Mauritius with 9 percent.
ii.Top Investment Sectors in FY21:
Sector Share of FDI Equity inflow
Computer Software & Hardware 44 percent
Construction (Infrastructure) Activities 13 percent
Services Sector 8 percent
iii.Top Recipient States in FY21:
Gujarat is the top recipient state with a 37 percent share of the total FDI equity inflows followed by Maharashtra 27 percent and Karnataka 13 percent.
About Ministry of Commerce & Industry:
Union Minister– Piyush Goyal (Rajya Sabha – Maharashtra)
Minister of State (MoS) Independent Charge (I/C) – Hardeep Singh Puri(Rajya Sabha – Uttar Pradesh),

PayNearby, Centrum Microcredit tie-up to Offer Unsecured SMB Loans to Retailers

PayNearby, branchless banking and digital payments network, tie-up with Centrum Microcredit, wholly-owned subsidiary of The Centrum Group to offer unsecured Small Medium Business (SMB) loans to its retailers.
Objective: Aimed to strengthen the business growth of PayNearby’s retailers (who often need small short-term working capital) under COVID-19 by providing credit facilities to them at affordable interest rates.
About PayNearby:
Establishment – April 2016
Headquarters – Mumbai, Maharashtra
Founder, MD & CEO – Anand Kumar Bajaj
About Centrum Microcredit Limited:
Headquarters – Mumbai, Maharashtra
Executive Director & CEO – Prashant Thakker

Flexiloans Ties With Up Vivriti Capital To Disburse Rs 300 Crore Loans To MSMEs

Fintech lender FlexiLoans.com has partnered with financial services company Vivriti Capital to provide working capital financing to micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) by disbursing loans worth Rs 300 crore.
About FlexiLoans:
FlexiLoans was launched in 2016 by Abhishek Kothari, Deepak Jain, Manish Lunia and Ritesh Jain.
Headquarters: Mumbai, Maharashtra.

NPCI Onboards PayCore to Develop SoftPoS Solutions for RuPay

The National Payments Corp. of India (NPCI), has onboarded PayCore, Turkey’s global payment solutions company as one of the certified partners for ‘RuPay SoftPOS’ to drive cashless payments across the country.
Objective: Along with PayCore, NPCI aims to reduce the investment cost required by banks to reach over the MSMEs (Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises) and intends to increase the spread of ‘RuPay SoftPOS’ across India with its network of banks.
About National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI):
It is an organisation for operating retail payments and settlement systems in India, it is an initiative of Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and Indian Banks’ Association (IBA) under the provisions of the Payment and Settlement Systems Act, 2007 for creating a robust Payment & Settlement Infrastructure in India.
Establishment – 2008
Headquarters – Mumbai, Maharashtra
MD & CEO -Dilip Asbe

RBI Issued Guidelines for Amalgamation of District Central Co-op Banks with State Co-op Banks

The Reserve Bank of India(RBI) notified the guidelines for the Amalgamation of one or more District Central Co-operative Banks (DCCBs) in a State with State Co-operative Bank (StCB) or amalgamation of one DCCB with another. RBI issued the guidelines as some of the State governments approached RBI for amalgamation of DCCBs with the StCB as a two-tier Short-term Co-operative Credit Structure (STCCS).
Background:
i.On December 23, 2020, the Government of India has notified the Banking Regulation(BR) (Amendment) Act, 2020 (39 of 2020) for the DCCBs and StCBs with effect April 1, 2021, onwards.
ii.As per the notification, the amalgamation of the DCCBs and StCB has to be sanctioned by RBI in terms of the provisions of Section 44-A read with Section 56 of the BR Act, 1949.
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

Sports

Casper Ruud wins Men’s Singles title at Geneva Open tennis

Norway’s Casper Ruud has won the ATP Geneva Open final with a 7-6 (8/6), 6-4 victory over Denis Shapovalov. Victory in Geneva means the Norwegian world number 21 is going to be among the top 16 seeds in Paris. A second career title lifted Ruud’s record to 2-2 in finals, all at clay-court events. The 22-year-old Norwegian’s previous title was at Buenos Aires last year.

Palak Kohli And Parul Parmar Became The First Indian Para Shuttlers To Qualify For Tokyo Paralympics 2021

Indian women’s pair of Palak Kohli and Parul Parmar have qualified for the Tokyo Paralympics 2021. They are the first Indian para shuttlers to qualify for the Tokyo Paralympics. Palak Kohli is ranked no.11 in the world and she is becoming the youngest para-badminton player in the world to qualify for Tokyo 2021 Paralympics
Key points:
i.The pair is currently ranked number 6 in the world and has won a total of four titles together since 2019. The top six pairs in the BWF ranking are qualified for the event.
ii. They achieved the qualification for the SL3-SU5 women’s doubles event that is making its debut in the Tokyo Games.
iii. Palak Kohli will represent India in the two Paralympics events. Along with the doubles event, she will also represent the SU5 singles category.
Asia Cup 2021 Postponed to 2023 by ACC
The 2021 edition of the Asia Cup has been postponed by the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) to be held in 2023 due to COVID-19.

Miscellaneous

BAI President Himanta Biswa Sarma Elected As BWF Council Member

The Badminton Association of India (BAI) president Himanta Biswa Sarma was elected to the Badminton World Federation(BWF) council for the period of four years i.e 2021-25.
i.Himanta Biswa Sarma is an Indian politician and the current Chief Minister of Assam.
ii.He is also the vice president of Badminton Asia.
Note: BWF President Paul-Erik Hoyer was re-elected unopposed. Similarly, Deputy President Khunying Patama of Thailand and Vice President Paul Kurzo of Switzerland were also elected unopposed.
About Badminton World Federation (BWF):
It’s the Governing body of Badminton recognized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
Founded – 1934
Headquarters – Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
President – Poul-Erik Høyer Larsen

Fiame Naomi Mataʻafa Became the 1st Female PM of Samoa

Fiame Naomi Mataʻafa, the leader of Faʻatuatua i le Atua Samoa ua Tasi (Fast) party was sworn in as the first female Prime Minister(PM) of Samoa at a ceremony conducted in a makeshift tent outside the parliament. She replaces Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi of Human Rights Protection Party (HRPP) the incumbent Male PM of Samoa.
General Election of Samoa:
i.The General Election of Samoa conducted in April ended in a 25-25 tie between Fast party and HRPP with one independent candidate who chose to side with FAStT party which made the results 26-25.
ii.The electoral commissioner appointed another HRPP candidate to conform to the gender quotas.
About Samoa:
Prime Minister– Fiame Naomi Mataʻafa
Capital– Apia
Currency– Samoan Tālā

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