Current Affairs

29 March, 2021

International

COVID-19 pushes back India’s USD 5 Trillion GDP goal by 3 years to FY 2031-32-BofA Securities Report

According to a Bank of America(BofA) Securities Report, COVID-19 pandemic is expected to delay India’s ambitious target of becoming the 3rd Largest Economy by 3 years to FY 2031-32 from FY 29-30.(i.e.Indian Government has set a target of becoming a USD 5 Trillion economy by 2030). The pandemic has already shaved off 15.7% of India’s GDP from 2020. According to the IMF’s World Economic Outlook released in February 2020, India is the 5th Largest economy in the world.
About Bank of America (BofA):
CEO – Brian Moynihan
Headquarters – Charlotte, North Carolina, USA

Stad Ship Tunnel-World’s 1st Ship Tunnel to be constructed at Norway

i.The World’s 1st Ship Tunnel, ‘Stad Ship Tunnel’ is to be constructed in Norway. The tunnel will run underneath the mountains in Norway’s Stadhavet peninsula and will help ships to cross the Stadhavet sea.
ii.It will be constructed by Norwegian Coastal Administration.The works on the bridge will commence in 2022 and are expected to get completed by 2025-26.
iii.The tunnel project is part of the Norwegian government’s National Transport Plan for the period 2014-2023, which aims to identify projects to transfer 25% of all goods transported by road to sea and rail modes.
iv.It measures 1, 700 metres long, 37 metres high & 26.5 metres wide.Capacity of Tunnel:It is capable of holding ships of up to 16,000 tonnes (16,000 long tons; 18,000 short tons).Fund Allocation: The Estimated cost for building the ship tunnel is 2.8 billion Norwegian kroner (~ USD 330 million).The Tunnel will connect the Kjødepollen bay and Vanylvsfjorden.
About Norway:
Prime Minister – Erna Solberg
Capital – Oslo
Currency – Norwegian Krone (NOK)

Only 11% Low-income countries make their data open: WDR 2021 Report

According to the ‘World Development Report 2021 : Data for better lives’ (WDR 2021) released by World Bank Group, Most countries across the globe shy away from an Open-data policy. It states that only 11% low-income countries made available a license classifiable as ‘open’.
Gaps in Data on women & Girls
The report has provided an assessment of openness of data, by income group
Indicator Low-Income Lower-middle-income Upper-middle-income High-income
Openness Score (0-100) 38 47 50 66
Open terms of Use/License (%) 11 19 22 44
Indian e-commerce rules biased: WDR report
According to the World Bank’s World Development Report titled ‘Stronger Data Systems Needed to Fight Poverty’, India’s e-commerce regulations may be biased towards local companies, thus failing to provide a level playing field to foreign platforms.
About World Bank Group
President – David Malpass
Headquarters – Washington DC, USA

National

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Economy

Saurabh Garg Appointed as CEO of UIDAI; Sanjeev Kumar Appointed as Chairman of AAI

As a part of the Bureaucratic reshuffle, the Appointment Committee of the Cabinet approved the appointment of Saurabh Garg, as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI).Sanjeev Kumar appointed as Chairman of Airports Authority of India (AAI).

BharatPe launched D2R Finance to provide instant liquidity for SMEs

BharatPe, a fintech company for merchants launched its lending product- Distributor to Retailer (D2R) Finance, to provide instant liquidity to empower Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs). It will offer collateral-free loans of up to Rs. 50 lakhs for a period of 7 days to 30 days and the loan is available at a low-interest rate, with zero processing to distributors, wholesalers, traders and dealers.
About Bharat Pe:
Establishment – 2018
Headquarters– New Delhi
Chief Executive Officer – Ashneer Grover

Karnataka Bank joined with IIFL Securities to launch ‘KBL Smart Trade’

Karnataka Bank made a tie-up with IIFL Securities, a broking and advisory firm and introduced ‘KBLSmart Trade’, a solution for its customer’s capital market needs by providing a facility to access IIFL Securities Demat and trading account.
Features of ‘KBLSmart Trade’: It will provide a two-in-one account facility that the Karnataka Bank Savings Bank Account holders can open a Demat & Trading a/c with IIFL Securities instantly. Customers will be able to directly open an account under the KBL Smart Trade arrangement.
About Karnataka Bank:
Establishment – 1924
Headquarters – Mangalore, Karnataka
Tagline – Your Family Bank Across India
MD&CEO– Mahabaleshwara M.S,

Japan finalises Loans & Grant worth 232.86 Billion Yen for Infrastructure Projects in India

Japan finalised loans and a grant totalling around 232.86(~233) Billion Japanese Yen (~ INR 15433 Crores) for development of several key infrastructure projects in India. The funds will be provided through the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). The notes on Loan & grant were exchanged between Suzuki Satoshi, Ambassador of Japan to India & Dr. C.S. Mohapatra, Additional Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance, Government of India. The grant of 4.01 Billion Yen (INR 265 Crores) is Japan’s 1st ever Official Development Assistance (ODA) to a project in the Andaman & Nicobar Islands. India became the top recipient of Japan’s financial aid under ODA since 2003, surpassing China.
Between 2010 and 2020, Japan has committed a total of JPY 3.1 Trillion for infrastructure in India including connectivity projects in India’s Northeastern region.
Overview of Projects & Grants
Project Amount
Bengaluru Metro Rail Project (Phase 2) 52.036 Billion Yen
(~INR 3445 crores)
Delhi Mass Rapid Transport System Project (Phase 4) (I) 119.978 Billion Yen
(~INR 8000 crores)
Himachal Pradesh Crop Diversification Promotion Project (Phase 2) 11.302 Billion Yen
(~INR 748 Crores)
Rajasthan Rural Water Supply and Fluorosis Mitigation Project (Phase 2) 45.816 Billion Yen
(~INR 3036 Crores)
Project for Improvement of Power Supply in Andaman and Nicobar Islands 4.016 Billion Yen
(~INR 266 Crores)
About Japan:
Capital– Tokyo
Currency– Japanese yen
Prime Minister– Yoshihide Suga

Tata Motors inked an MoU with SBI for Financial Assistance

Tata Motors, a commercial vehicle manufacturer has signed a three-year MoU (Memorandum of Understanding) with the State Bank of India(SBI) to offer financial assistance for the commercial vehicle (CV) customers for the purchase of the Tata Motors’ range of small and light commercial vehicles.
About Tata Motors:
Establishment– 1945
MD&CEO – Guenter Butschek
Headquarters – Mumbai, Maharashtra

Sports

India Legends won 1st edition of 2020-21 Road Safety World Series T20 against Sri Lanka Legends

India Legends cricket team won the 1st Edition of the 2020-21 Road Safety World Series T20 tournament against Sri Lanka Legends in the Finals. Tillakaratne Dilshan, captain of Sri Lanka Legends won the Player of the series.Sachin Tendulkar was the captain of India Legends. 7 Countries Participated in the series viz, India Legends, Sri Lanka Legends, South Africa Legends, West Indies Legends, England Legends, Bangladesh Legends, Australia Legends. The 2020-21 Road Safety World Series T20 cricket tournament was organized by the Road Safety Cell of Maharashtra to raise awareness about road safety.

Football-2022 AFC Women’s Asian Cup Venue – Mumbai, Ahmedabad & Bhubaneswar

The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) & the AFC Women’s Asian Cup India 2022 Local Organising Committee (LOC) announced the 3 final venues for the 2022 AFC Women’s Asian Cup that will be held in India from January 20 to February 6, 2022.
Tournament Venues: D.Y. Patil Stadium – Navi Mumbai, Maharashtra
TransStadia (EKA Arena) – Ahmedabad, Gujarat
Kalinga Stadium – Bhubaneswar, Odisha
About Asian Football Confederation (AFC):
President – Shaikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa
General Secretary – Dato’ Windsor John
Headquarters – Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Founded – 1954

Miscellaneous

New Book Titled “1232 km: The Long Journey Home” by Vinod Kapri is set to release

to mark the first Anniversary of lockdown due to COVID-19, HarperCollins India publication announced the release of Vinod Kapri’s new book titled “1232 km: The Long Journey Home”.
The book published by HarpersCollin India is set to release in May 2021.
About the Book:
i.The book is the true account of the migrants journey from Ghaziabad, Uttarpradesh to Saharsa, Bihar which spans around 1232 kilometers.
ii.1232 km is about one such journey that seven migrants from Bihar-Ritesh, Ashish, Ram Babu, Sonu, Krishna, Sandeep, and Mukesh-undertook on their bicycles that lasted for seven days and seven nights. Accompanying them was National Award-winning filmmaker Vinod Kapri.
iii.The book is the story of the courage and desperation of 7 men who faced the lathis and insults from police, and battled against hunger and exhaustion to reach their homes.
iv.The documentary based on this, directed by Vinod Kapri was released on Disney+ Hotstar.

Pakistan test-fires Nuclear-capable Ballistic Missile ‘Shaheen-1A’

Pakistan conducted a successful flight test of ‘Shaheen 1-A’ (Hatf IV) a Nuclear capable Surface-to-Surface ballistic missile. It has a range of 900 Kilometres. The test was aimed at re-validating various design and technical parameters of the weapon system including the Advanced Navigation System. The missile is jointly designed and developed by the Joint venture of NESCOM (National Engineering & Scientific Commission) & the National Defence Complex (NDC).
About Pakistan
Prime Minister – Imran Khan
Currency – Pakistani Rupee
Capital – Islamabad

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