Current Affairs

29 December, 2021

International

Japan introduces world’s 1st Dual-Mode Vehicle that can run on Roads and Tracks

Japan has introduced a minibus lookalike world’s first dual-mode vehicle (DMV) in its town of Kaiyo. The vehicle can run on normal rubber tyres on the road but its steel wheels, which are in its underbelly, descend when it hits the rail tracks. This feature of effectively changing into a train-like module easily on a rail track is the first of its kind. It runs on diesel.

National

Telangana tops in the Implementation of SPMRM

Telangana has secured 1st place among the 34 states and Union Territories(UTs) that implement the Shyama Prasad Mukherji Rurban Mission (SPMRM), Tamil Nadu and Gujarat has secured the 2nd and 3rd place on the list respectively. In the Ranking of the Cluster, among the 295 clusters, the Ryakal cluster of Sangareddy and the Jukkal cluster of Kamareddy in Telangana has secured the 1st and 2nd position respectively. The Aibawk cluster of Aizawl in Mizoram has secured the 3rd position.

The ranking was made based on the performance-based indicators as of 28th December 2021.
About Ministry of Rural Development (MoRD):
Union Minister– Giriraj Singh (Constituency- Begusarai, Bihar)
Minister of State– Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti (Constituency- Fatehpur, Uttar Pradesh); Faggan Singh Kulaste (Constituency-Mandla, Madhya Pradesh)

PM Modi Inaugurated & Laid Foundation Stone of Rs 11,000 crore Worth Hydropower Projects in Mandi, Himachal Pradesh

Prime Minister (PM) Narendra Modi presided over the 2nd groundbreaking ceremony of the Himachal Pradesh Global Investors’ Meet in Mandi, Himachal Pradesh(HP). He also inaugurated and laid the foundation stone of the hydropower projects worth ~Rs 11000 crore in Mandi, HP. The Meet is aimed to boost the investment in the region through projects worth around Rs 28,000 crore.

Highlights:
i.He also inaugurated the Sawra-Kuddu Hydro Power Project, a 111 MW Project which has been built at a cost of around Rs 2,080 crore.
ii.He also laid the foundation stone of the Renukaji Dam project which has been kept pending for around 3 decades. The 40 MW project will be built at a cost of around Rs 7,000 crore
iii.He also laid the foundation stone for the Luhri Stage 1 Hydro Power Project and Dhaulasidh Hydro Power Project, the first hydropower project of the Hamirpur district.
About Himachal Pradesh(HP):
Governor- Rajendra Vishwanath Arlekar
Wildlife Sanctuary– Kanwar Wildlife Sanctuary; Khokhan Wildlife Sanctuary
Airports– Kullu Manali Airport; Shimla Airport; Kangra Airport

Highlights of NITI Aayog’s 4th edition of State Health Index for 2019-20

i.The 4th edition of NITI (National Institution for Transforming India) Aayog’s State Health Index for 2019–20 was released in the report titled ‘Healthy States, Progressive India‘.
ii.It was released jointly by NITI Aayog’s Vice Chairman Dr Rajiv Kumar, CEO (Chief Executive Officer) Amitabh Kant, Additional Secretary Dr Rakesh Sarwal, and World Bank Senior Health Specialist Sheena Chhabra.
iii.This edition of the report measured and highlighted the overall performance and incremental improvement of states and UTs (Union territories) in health outcomes as well as their overall status over the period 2018–19 (base year) to 2019–20 (Reference year).
iv.Among the Larger States, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Telangana emerged among the best three performers in terms of Overall Performance at 1st, 2nd and 3rd rank respectively.

Uttar Pradesh (UP) ranked at the bottom i.e. 19th
v.The report has been prepared by NITI Aayog, with technical assistance from the World Bank (WB), and in close consultation with the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW).
About NITI (National Institution for Transforming India) Aayog:
Established– 2015
Chairperson– Prime Minister of India (Currently- Narendra Modi)
Headquarters– New Delhi, Delhi

Economy

Wholesale price inflation spikes to 12-year high of 14.23% in November 2021

As per Official data, India’s annual wholesale price index (WPI) surged to 14.23% in November 2021 as compared to last year due to base effect. This WPI inflation is dominated by the prices of mineral oils, basic metals, crude petroleum, natural gas, chemicals and food products. It was 12.54% in October 2021. WPI measures factory-gate inflation, or what producers charge wholesalers excluding taxes.

BoM & MAS Financial Services Signed a Co-lending Partnership for MSME loans

The Bank of Maharashtra (BoM) has signed a strategic co-lending partnership with MAS Financial Services Limited, a Non-Banking Financial Company (NBFC), to offer loans to Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise (MSME) borrowers. The partnership is subject to compliance laws including applicable guidelines issued by the Reserve Bank of India(RBI). This partnership will support the expansion of the portfolios of both BoM and MAS Financial Services Limited.

Features of the Partnership:
i.MAS Financial Services will originate and process loans to MSME borrowers under priority sector as per jointly formulated credit parameters and eligibility criteria.
ii.BoM will take on its books these loans under mutually agreed terms.
About Bank of Maharashtra (BoM):
MD & CEO– A S Rajeev
Head Office– Pune, Maharashtra
Tagline– Ek Parivaar, Ek Bank (One Family One Bank)
BoM was established in 1934 and later registered under the Indian Companies Act on 16th September 1935
About MAS Financial Services Limited:
Chairman & Managing Director – Kamlesh Gandhi
Director & CEO– Darshana Pandya
Headquarters- Ahmedabad, Gujarat
Incepted in 1995
Received NBFC license from RBI in 1998

IndusInd Bank launches ‘Green Fixed Deposits’ to support UN-SDGs

IndusInd Bank launched Green Fixed Deposits (FDs) where the deposit proceeds will be used to finance projects and firms supporting the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN-SDGs). With this, the bank has entered the list of few global banks which offer integrating SDG into a regular FD product. These FDs will be offered to both retail and corporate customers.

Features & Benefits of Green FD:
i.Higher rate of interest up to 6% per annum
ii.Deposits backed by insurance for up to Rs 5 lakh
iii.Low pre-mature withdrawal charges of only 1%
About IndusInd Bank:
Managing Director & CEO– Sumant Kathpalia
Headquarters– Mumbai, Maharashtra
Tagline– We Make You Feel Richer

RBL Bank Extends Co-branded Credit Cards Partnership with Bajaj Finance for 5 years

RBL Bank partnered with Bajaj Finance Ltd (BFL) for the extension of the partnership of co-branded credit cards for 5 years till December 2026. The Bank had entered into a partnership with Bajaj Finance in 2018 launching a series of co-branded credit cards.

About RBL Bank Ltd:

Incorporated in – 1943 (Under Indian Companies Act, 1913)
CEO & MD – Rajeev Ahuja
Headquarters – Mumbai, Maharashtra
Tagline – Apno Ka Bank

Sports

Bangladesh Won the SAFF U19 Women’s Football Championship 2021

Bangladesh Under-19 Women’s Football team won the South Asian Football Federation (SAFF) U-19 Women’s Football Championship 2021 defeating India (runner ups). Mohammad Zahid Ahsan Russel, State Minister for Youth and Sports, Bangladesh Presented the prizes as the Chief Guest. SAFF U-19 Women’s Football Championship 2021 hosted by Bangladesh was held at the Bir Shreshtha Shaheed Shipahi (BSSS) Mostafa Kamal Stadium, Dhaka, Bangladesh. This is an international football competition for women’s under-19 national teams organized by SAFF.

Participants:
i.The Under 19 Women’s National Team of India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Bhutan and Nepal participated in the championship.
ii.Pakistan did not participate in the championship since the Pakistan Football Federation was suspended by FIFA (Fédération Internationale de Football Association) in April 2021 and the Maldives withdrew from the tournament.
Awards:
i.Shahada Akter Ripa of Bangladesh, who scored the highest number of Goals (5) was honoured with the Most Valuable Player of the Game Award.
ii.The Nepal National football team were awarded the Fair Play.
About South Asian Football Federation(SAFF):
President– Kazi Md. Salahuddin(Bangladesh)
Headquarters– Dhaka, Bangladesh
Formed in 1997

Miscellaneous

Centre appoints Atul Kumar Goel as new MD & CEO of PNB

Atul Kumar Goel was appointed as the Managing Director (MD) & Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Punjab National Bank (PNB). The appointment comes after the approval from the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC). Atul Kumar Goel will serve as PNB chief until December 31, 2024. He will succeed Mallikarjuna Rao, the incumbent MD & CEO of PNB, who will retire on 31st January 2022. Until 31st January 2022, he will serve as Officer on Special Duty (OSD) in PNB.

About Punjab National Bank (PNB):
Headquarters- New Delhi, Delhi
Founder- Dyal Singh Majithia (1st Chairman)
Started operation-1895
About UCO Bank:
Headquarters– Kolkata, West Bengal
Founded- 1943

Harmony Foundation Felicitated the 17th Mother Teresa Memorial Awards for Social Justice 2021

The Harmony Foundation hosted the 17th annual Mother Teresa Memorial Awards (MTMA) for Social Justice 2021 and felicitated the winners. The award was given by Dr Abraham Mathai, the founder chairman of the foundation.

Recipients of the MTMA for Social Justice 2021:
i.Dr Anil Prakash Joshi (The environmentalist, who was conferred upon the Padma Bhushan in 2021) – Awarded for his efforts as a changemaker in the environmental sustainability sector by impacting over 10,000 villages in the Himalayan region through the Himalayan Environmental Studies & Conservation Organisation.
ii.Vidyut Mohan (the winner of the Earth shot Prize) – Awarded for his efforts in combating air pollution through social enterprise Takachar.
iii.Ridhima Pandey (young environmental activist from Uttarakhand) – Awarded for her involvement in national participation to stop climate change.
iv.Tulsi Gowda (A Padma Shree awardee) – Awarded for conservation of trees and her traditional knowledge of the same.
v.Aadya Joshi (Recipient of the Children’s Climate Prize 2020) – The founder of the Right Green initiative, an initiative that spreads awareness by educating children and municipal authorities about using native plants to create biodiversity-rich ecosystems in urban environments.
vi.Paani Foundation – Awarded for the mission to create a drought-free Maharashtra.
vii.Subojit Mukherjee – Awarded for his efforts to amplify the green cover in and around Mumbai, and rainwater harvesting initiatives.
The other recipients of the award include – Vinisha Umashankar (youth environmental activist); Jamuna Tudu (for preserving the forests of Jharkhand); WeForest; Pollution Coalition;
About Harmony Foundation: Harmony Foundation is an international NGO that focuses on the field of Social Justice. The MTMA is bestowed as an honour to individuals or organisations who aim to promote peace, harmony and social justice.

Establishment –2005
Headquarter – Mumbai, Maharashtra

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