Current Affairs

26 November, 2021


FAO’s (SOFA) 2021 Report States the Need to Make Agri-Food Systems Resilient to Address Food Security

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)’s The State of Food and Agriculture (SOFA) 2021 Report entitled “Making agrifood systems more resilient to shocks and stresses” states the need to enhance the resilience of the agri-food systems to address food security. The report provides an assessment of the ability of national agrifood systems to respond to or recover readily from shocks and stressors This flagship publication(SOFA 2021) is part of The State of the World series of the FAO.

SOFA 2021:
i.The State of Food and Agriculture 2021 presents country-level indicators of the resilience of agri-food systems.
ii.The indicators measure the robustness of primary production and food availability, as well as physical and economic access to food.
iii.It discusses options to minimize trade-offs that building resilience may have with efficiency and inclusivity
Click here for the complete report – SOFA 2021
About The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO):
Director General– QU Dongyu
Headquarters– Rome, Italy

2021 Access to Seeds Index: India is among Top 6 Countries in Asia Attracting Investments in Seed Sector

As per the 2021 Access to Seeds Index (3rd Edition), which is launched as part of World Benchmarking Alliance (WBA), India is one among the 6 South and South-East Asian countries that attracts most investments in the domestic seed sector from the global seed industry. The Access to Seeds Index measures and compares the efforts of the world’s leading seed companies to enhance the productivity of smallholder farmers. The 2021 Access to Seeds Index ranks 31 seeds companies (13 global and 18 regional companies selling vegetable and field crop) in South and South-East Asia on six measurement areas for increasing access to quality seeds of improved varieties to reach smallholder farmers with quality seeds in 14 countries.

2021 Access to Seeds Index: South and South East Asia:

Company Name Rank (Out of 31) Total Score/100
East-West Seed 1 81.9
Advanta 2
(two positions higher than in 2019) 77.2
Bayer 3 76.1
Mahyco Grow (India) 4
(ranked 19th in 2019)

Acsen HyVeg 5 64.6

2021 About Access to Seeds Index :
i.Access to Seeds Index benchmarks 67 seed companies on their efforts to make their products available to smallholder farmer in 3 regions: South and South-east Asia, Eastern and Southern Africa, and Western and Central Africa. All the 67 companies report their presence in 54 of 55 index countries.
ii.2021 Access to Seeds Index is the 3rd index after 2016 and 2019 index.
iii.The index also evaluates seed companies’ contributions to achieving Sustainable Development Goal 2: Zero Hunger.


Rail Ministry Introduced Bharat Gaurav Policy; Enable Private Players to Run Theme Based Circuits Trains

Ashwini Vaishnaw, Union Minister of Railways, introduced the Bharat Gaurav policy – Bharat Gaurav Trains (Theme- based Tourist Circuit trains) under which private players or state owned operators can operate theme based circuit trains on the lines of the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC).The Bharat Gaurav policy aims to promote and attract tourism. The theme based circuit trains are aimed to take tourists to experience the cultural heritage sites of India.

About Ministry of Railways:
Union Minister– Ashwini Vaishnaw (Rajya Sabha- Odisha)
Minister of State– Danve Raosaheb Dadarao (Constituency- Jalna, Maharashtra) & Darshana Jardosh(Constituency- Surat, Gujarat)

Cabinet Approvals on November 24, 2021

The Union Cabinet headed by Prime Minister (PM) Narendra Modi approved the following important initiatives on November 24, 2021.


Moody’s Projected India’s GDP Growth in FY22 at 9.3% and FY23 at 7.9%

Moody’s Investors Service has fixed India’s GDP (Gross Domestic Product) growth projection for financial year 2021-22 (FY22) at 9.3 percent and for FY23 at 7.9 percent. It has expected a growth in Indian economy due to increasing rate of vaccination against the COVID-19 in India, which supports a sustained recovery in economic activity. Consumer demand, spending and manufacturing activity is recovering. If a new wave of the COVID-19 occurs in India, it will lead to subdued Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation, and Amortisation (EBITDA) growth of less than 15-20 percent for Indian companies over the next 12-18 months. To boost India’s economic growth, Moody’s suggested increased government spending on infrastructure to support demand for cement and steel.
About Moody’s:
Headquarters – New York, United States
President & CEO – Rob Fauber

BFSL and OneCard Launches Co-branded Credit Card powered by mobile app

BOB Financial Solutions Ltd (BFSL), a wholly owned subsidiary of Bank of Baroda (BoB), has partnered with OneCard, to launch a co-branded mobile-first credit card. The internationally valid credit card will be issued by BFSL and managed by OneCard on VISA’s Signature platform. The virtual credit card which is powered by a mobile app will be delivered in under three minutes and the metal card will be delivered in three to five days.

About BOB Financial Solutions Ltd (BFSL):
MD & CEO -Shailendra Singh
Headquarter – Mumbai, Maharashtra

Bajaj Allianz General Insurance Partners with TropoGo for Drone Insurance

Bajaj Allianz General Insurance announced its partnership with deep-tech startup TropoGo for the distribution of a drone Insurance product.With this Bajaj Allianz General Insurance becomes the 4th insurer to offer drone cover. HDFC Ergo was the first insurer to launch a drone insurance cover in June 2020, followed by ICICI Lombard in August 2021, and Tata AIG in October 2021.

Insurance Coverage:
The drone insurance product will cover,
i.Damage to the Drone and Payload it carries
ii.Third Party Liability
iii.BVLOS (Beyond Visual Line of Sight) Endorsement and Night Flying Endorsement
Eligible Insurers:
i.Drone owners and drone manufacturing companies can avail an annual third-party and comprehensive coverage for accidental damage, theft, and disappearance
ii.Companies can also avail customised insurance coverage for fleet requirements.

Note – The civil aviation ministry foresees an investment of over Rs 5,000 crore in the drone manufacturing industry over the next three years leading to annual turnover of over Rs 900 crore by FY24.
About TropoGo
TropoGo is India’s First Drone Marketplace and an Insurtech startup that provides on-demand Micro Drone Insurance
Founder – Sandipan Sen
Established – 2018
Headquarters – Bangalore, Karnataka
About Bajaj Allianz General Insurance
CEO & MD – Tapan Singhel
Established – 2001
Headquarters – Pune, Maharashtra

Union Bank of India, CGCL Announced a Co-lending Partnership to Finance MSMEs

Union Bank of India has entered into a co-lending partnership with Capri Global Capital Ltd (CGCL), a NBFC (Non Banking Finance Company) focused on MSMEs (Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises), to enhance last-mile finance and drive financial inclusion to MSMEs by offering loans between Rs 10 lakh to Rs 1 crore. The partnership with CGCL is part of the bank’s strategy to support the MSMEs by providing tailor-made financial solutions and accelerating the growth of MSMEs in tier II and III markets. The loan disbursement under this arrangement would start from December 2021. The partnership agreement was signed under the co-lending guidelines issued by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in November 2020 for co-lending to the priority sector.

About RBI’s Framework over Co-lending:
i.The RBI issued the the Co-lending framework under which banks will be permitted to co-lend with all registered NBFCs (including Housing Finance Companies) based on a prior agreement.
ii.Objective: To improve the flow of credit to the unserved and underserved sector of the economy and make available funds at an affordable cost.
About Union Bank of India:
Establishment – 11 November 1919
Headquarters – Mumbai, Maharashtra
MD & CEO – Rajkiran Rai G.
Tagline – Good People to Bank with


India wins 7 medals at 2021 Asian Archery Championships

At the Asian Archery Championships in 2021, India won seven medals in Dhaka, Bangladesh. At the Asian Archery Championships in 2021, India won seven medals in Dhaka, Bangladesh.
Dhaka, Bangladesh hosted the Asian Archery Championships in 2021. Indian archers took home seven medals at the competition, placing them second in the medal table.
One gold, four silver, and two bronze medals were awarded. South Korea took home 15 medals to take first place in the medal standings, while Bangladesh finished third with three medals


China Successfully Launches new Shiyan-11 Satellite for Testing

China successfully launched the Shiyan-11 satellite aboard a Kuaizhou-1A carrier rocket from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre in the Gobi Desert in Inner Mongolia.The satellite entered its predetermined orbit.
About the satellite:
i.Shiyan-11 is built for testing. Another series of Chinese satellites called ‘Shijian’ is used for technology verification.
ii.The latest Shijian satellite, the Shijian-21, was launched in October 2021 to test and verify space debris mitigation technologies. The satellite was launched by a Long March-3B carrier rocket and it entered the planned orbit successfully. It was launched from the Xichang Satellite Launch Centre in southwest China’s Sichuan Province.

iii.Kuaizhou-1A is a general-purpose, small-sized rocket series. It is designed and manufactured by the China Aerospace Science and Industry Corporation (CASIC) for commercial launches.
Other Space Expedition of China:
BeiDou-3 Navigation Satellite System (BDS)-
In 2020 China has formally launched full global services of its BeiDou-3 Navigation Satellite System (BDS). The navigation satellite system was completed in three steps: BDS-1 which provided services to China, BDS- 2 to provide services to the Asia-Pacific region and BDS-3 which provides services worldwide. It will be the fourth global satellite navigation system after the USA GPS (Global Positioning System), Russia’s GLONASS and European Union’s Galileo.

Mars Mission-Tianwen-1-

It lifts off on a Long March 5 rocket, from the Wenchang launch centre and carries 13 payloads (seven orbiters and six rovers) that will explore the planet. It is an all-in-one orbiter, lander and rover system

Lunar Mission- Chang’e-5-

The Chang’e-5 was launched on Nov. 24 2020. The objective of the mission was to bring back lunar rocks, the first attempt by any nation to retrieve samples from the moon in four decades.
About China:
President- Xi Jinping
Currency– Renminbi
Capital- Beijing

Indian Navy Commissions 4th Scorpene-class submarine INS Vela in Mumbai

The Indian Navy commissioned Scorpene-class submarine INS Vela at the naval dockyard in Mumbai, in the presence of the chief of naval staff Admiral Karambir Singh. INS Vela is the fourth of six Scorpene-class submarines to be commissioned under Project 75. It was built by Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Ltd in collaboration with M/s Naval Group of France.

It also commissioned INS Visakhapatnam, an indigenously designed P15B stealth-guided missile destroyer into the Indian Navy in the presence of Defence Minister Rajnath Singh at the Naval Dockyard, Mumbai.
About Indian Navy
Chief of Naval Staff (CSS) – Admiral Karambir Singh.
Integrated Headquarters – New Delhi, Delhi
About Ministry of Defence (MoD)
Union Minister – Rajnath Singh (Lucknow – Uttar Pradesh)
Minister of State – Ajay Bhatt (Nainital-Udhamsingh Nagar, Uttarakhand)

Skyroot Aerospace Test-Fired Dhawan-1 India’s 1st Privately Built Cryogenic Rocket Engine

Skyroot Aerospace, a space technology startup based in Hyderabad, has successfully test-fired Dhawan-1, India’s first privately developed fully cryogenic rocket engine. This will power the upper stages of its upcoming Vikram-2 orbital launch vehicle. The rocket engine Dhawan-1 is named after Satish Dhawan, an Indian rocket scientist.

About Dhawan-1:
i.Dhawan-1 is a completely ‘Made-in-India’ cryogenic engine, developed using 3D printing with a superalloy.
ii.The usage of 3D printing has reduced around 95% of manufacturing time.
iii.The engine is fuelled by liquefied natural gas and liquid oxygen—a high-performance, low-cost and clean rocket fuel
About Skyroot Aerospace:
Co-Founder, CEO & CTO– Pawan Kumar Chandana
Co-Founder, COO– Naga Bharath Daka
Headquarters– Hyderabad, Telangana

Kuwait Reappoints Sheikh Sabah Al-Khalid as Prime Minister

Kuwait reappointed Sheikh Sabah Al-Khalid Al-Sabah as the Prime Minister (PM) of the country, he has already been the PM since 2019. He was reappointed by an Emiri order (Head of the State) issued by Crown Prince Sheikh Meshal al-Ahmad al-Sabah. Kuwait is an emirate, the Emir is the head of state and the Al Sabah is the ruling family which dominates the country’s political system.

i.Recently, Emir Sheikh Nawaf al-Ahmed al-Sabah temporarily handed over some of his main constitutional duties to the crown prince, his designated successor, including naming the PM and swearing in the cabinet.
ii.Kuwait is a Western Asia country. It borders Iraq and Saudi Arabia.
It is the founding member of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).
About Kuwait:
Capital- Kuwait City
Currency- Dinar

Century LED appoints Sourav Ganguly as Brand Ambassador for Magik

Century LED Limited appointed renowned cricketer and 39th BCCI (Board of Control for Cricket in India) president, Sourav Ganguly as brand ambassador for its Magik range of LED (Light Emitting Diode) lighting products.

About Century LED Ltd.
Managing Director-Anirudh Kajaria
Headquarters -Kolkata, West Bengal

Delhi’s Sadar Bazar Police Station Ranked as India’s Best Police Station: India’s Top 10 Police Stations for 2021

Sadar Bazar Police Station(PS) in Delhi has topped the annual list of India’s Top 10 Police Stations for 2021 released by the Ministry of Home Affairs(MoHA). Gangapur PS in Ganjam, Odisha is adjudged as 2nd best followed by Bhattu Kalan PS, Fatehabad, Haryana as the 3rd best. Union Home Minister Amit Shah presented the trophies to the Station House Officers(SHOs) of the top 3 stations at the Directors General of Police (DGP) conference organised by the Intelligence Bureau (IB) in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh.

The other PS on top 10: Valpoi PS in North Goa, Goa; Manvi PS in Raichur, Karnataka; Kadmat Island PS in Lakshadweep; Shirala PS in Sangli, Maharashtra; Thottiyam PS in Tiruchirappalli, Tamil Nadu; Basantgarh PS in Udhampur, Jammu & Kashmir; and Rampur Chauram PS in Arwal, Bihar.

The ranking process assesses the performance of police stations on parameters like handling of property offences, crime against women, crime against weaker sections, missing persons cases, infrastructure, approachability of personnel and feedback of citizens etc

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