Current Affairs

29 July, 2021

International

IMF cut India’s FY22 GDP Growth Forecast to 9.5%

In its July 2021 World Economic Outlook (WEO) titled ‘Fault Lines Widen in the Global Recovery’, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has reduced India’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth forecast in FY22 to 9.5 percent from 12.5 percent (April 2021 projection) and raised the growth forecast for FY23 to 8.5 percent from 6.9 percent.

About International Monetary Fund (IMF):
Establishment – 1944
Headquarters – Washington, D.C., United States
Member Countries – 190
MD – Kristalina Georgieva
Economic Counsellor and Research Department Director – Gita Gopinath

India ranked 9th in Agricultural Produce Exporters in 2019 by WTO Report; EU Tops

A recently released World Trade Organization (WTO) report has ranked India 9th (holding 3.1% share in global agri exports) among the Top 10 list of Agricultural produce exporters in 2019. European Union (EU) with a global share of 16.1% has replaced the US as the World’s largest Agriculture produce exporter (13.8%). The report states that India holds a significant share in the export of rice, cotton, soya beans and meat. The WTO report documents the trends in World Agricultural Trade in the past 25 years (from 1995). It compares the rankings & share of global agriculture exports in 1995 to the same in 2019.

Top Global Agriculture Export Countries

Rank Country Share of Global Agriculture Exports in 2019 (%)
9 India 3.1
1 European Union 16.1
2 US 13.8
3 Brazil 7.8
About World Trade Organization (WTO)
Director-General – Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala
Headquarters – Geneva, Switzerland

National

Skylo, FISHCOPFED Tie up to Improve Fishermen Safety, Profitability

Skylo, an IoT (internet of things)-based solutions provider, collaborated with the National Federation of Fishers Cooperatives in India (FISHCOPFED) to improve the safety, productivity, sustainability, and greater profitability of fishermen through technology. Under the partnership, Skylo will work with FISHCOPFED in four main ways, safety, productivity, sustainability, and greater profitability. Skylo will provide IoT-based solutions to marine fishing and aquaculture sectors, it will also monitor and report the oxygen and pH levels of water in ponds across the states.

About National Federation of Fishers Cooperatives in India (FISHCOPFED):
It is the apex institution of the Indian Fisheries Cooperative Movement.
Establishment – 1980 (as All India Federation of Fishermen Cooperatives)
Headquarters – New Delhi
President – T. Prasad Rao Dora

Jitendra Singh Launches Multiple Initiatives on 15th Foundation Day of MoES

The Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES) celebrated its 15th Foundation Day on 28th July at its Headquarters in Prithvi Bhavan, New Delhi. The Ministry launched multiple societally beneficial initiatives on occasion of the Foundation Day. MoES came into existence through a Presidential Notification dated the 12th July, 2006. India Meteorological Department (IMD), Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM) and National Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasting (NCMRWF) come under its Administrative control.

i.The Initiatives were launched by Minister of State (Independent Charge) for MoES, Dr Jitendra Singh. He was the Chief Guest of the event. The initiatives are MoES-ESSDP (Earth System Science Data Portal), an Integrated digital web portal of MoES Institutes. New MoES Website & A New book ‘Hydrocarbon fluid inclusions in petroliferous basins’ ‘Pune Weather Live’, a new mobile app developed by India Meteorological Department (IMD).

ii.Winners of the MoES National Awards for 2021 were announced during the event.
About Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES)
MoS (I/C) – Dr Jitendra Singh (Udhampur, Jammu and Kashmir)
Headquarters – New Delhi

Economy

SVAAS Wellness, ICICI Lombard Launched Cashless Digital Health Solution

SVAAS Wellness Ltd, the wholly-owned subsidiary of Dr Reddy’s Laboratories Ltd, and ICICI Lombard General Insurance Company, collaborated for the pilot launch of a first-of-its-kind cashless outpatient digital health solution to health insurance policyholders in India. At the pilot launch, the services will be provided in the cities of Hyderabad, Telangana and Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh. Dr Reddy’s digital health solution ‘SVAAS’ (meaning ‘breath’) was launched under the partnership. ICICI Lombard will offer wellness solutions for the outpatients through its ILTakeCare app and Dr Reddy’s SVAAS will provide doctor consultations, pathology laboratories and diagnostic services, pharmacies, and insurance to the outpatients. Other benefits for the outpatients include teleconsultations, home sample collections, medicine deliveries, and digital health record management.

About ICICI Lombard General Insurance Company:
Headquarters – Mumbai, Maharashtra
MD & CEO – Bhargav Dasgupta
About Dr Reddy’s Laboratories Ltd:
Establishment – 1984
Headquarters (India) – Hyderabad, Telangana
Whole Time Directors – Satish Reddy, G V Prasad

SWIFT Launched ‘SWIFT Go’ Service for Low-value Cross-border Payments

Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications (SWIFT) has launched a new solution for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs) named ‘SWIFT Go’ to enable seamless Low-Value Cross-Border Payments anywhere in the world, directly from their bank accounts.

Features of SWIFT Go:
i.It will enable businesses and consumers to make instant and frictionless cross-border transactions with transparency and security.
ii.It would enable SMEs to make fast, easy, predictable, secure and competitively priced cross-border payments. It would ease the SMEs’ low-value transactions to overseas suppliers.
iii.It will strengthen the capabilities of banks to serve their customers under payments segments.
About Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications (SWIFT):
SWIFT’s network connects more than 11,000 institutions and 4 billion accounts across 200 countries worldwide.
Headquarters – La Hulpe, Belgium
CEO – Javier Pérez-Tasso

SBI Tops List of PSBs Writing-Off NPAs in FY21 Followed by UBI

State Bank of India (SBI) topped the list of Public Sector Banks (PSB) writing off loans in FY21 followed by Union Bank of India (UBI).

Top 3 list of PSBs wrote off bad loans in FY21:
S.no Public Sector Bank Written off value
1 SBI Rs 34,402 crore
2 UBI Rs 16,983 crore
3 Punjab National Bank (PNB) Rs 15,877 crore
Note – As per the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) report, the reduction in NPAs through write-off by PSBs in FY21 stood at Rs 1,31,894 crore from Rs 1,75,877 crore in FY20. The NPAs of banks in FY21 declined by Rs 61,180 crore to Rs 8.34 lakh crore.
About State Bank of India (SBI):
Establishment – 1st July 1955
Chairman – Dinesh Kumar Khara
Headquarters – Mumbai, Maharashtra
Tagline – The Banker to Every Indian

Sports

India at Tokyo Olympics 2020, July 29 Highlights: PV Sindhu, Satish Kumar, Men's Hockey Team advance into quarterfinals

India at Tokyo Olympics 2020, July 29 Highlights: India's Day 7 at Tokyo Olympics 2020 has been an eventful one with star players like PV Sindhu, Manu Bhaker, Atanu Das and Satish Kumar in action. Mary Kom will also face Colombia's Ingrit Valencia Victoria in Women's flyweight round-of-16 later today.

PV Sindhu stormed into the quarterfinals of the women's event after defeating Denmark's Mia Blichfeldt in the Round of 16 match. The Indian men's hockey team also defeated defending Olympic Champions Argentina by 3-1, booking their berth in the Hockey quarterfinals.

Pramod Bhagat Named as Differently Abled Sportsman of the Year by Indian Sports Honour

World No. 1 Para-shuttler Pramod Bhagat was named as the Differently Abled Sportsman of the Year by Indian Sports Honour for 2019 (the award was delayed due to COVID-19).

About Indian Sports Honour:
It is an annual award founded in 2017 by the RPSG Group and the Virat Kohli Foundation to recognize and honour the outstanding sports personalities of India.
About Pramod Bhagat:
i.He is a professional Para-badminton player from Odisha, he has been ranked as world No 1 in para-badminton men’s singles SL3.
ii.He won 2 gold medals and a bronze at the Dubai Para-Badminton Tournament in 2021.
iii.He will be participating in singles and mixed doubles events at the 16th Summer Paralympic Games, which are scheduled to be held in Tokyo, Japan between 24 August and 5 September 2021.
iv.In 2019, he received Arjuna Awards and Biju Patnaik Sports Award Odisha for Outstanding Performance in Sports and Games.

Miscellaneous

MWCD Launched Web-based Portal ‘pmcaresforchildren.in’

The Ministry of Women and Child Development (MWCD) launched the web-based portal ‘pmcaresforchildren.in’ to identify the children who are eligible to receive support under the ‘PM CARES for Children’ scheme. The portal will facilitate the submission and processing of applications for securing benefits. ‘PM CARES for Children’ scheme was announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to support the orphan children who have lost both parents/legal guardian/adoptive parents due to COVID-19. The scheme will enable their wellbeing through health insurance, empower them through education and equip them for self-sufficient existence with financial support of Rs. 10 lakh, on reaching 23 years of age.

NSDL e-Governance developing World’s 1st Cab-Hailing Platform enabled by Open-Source Tech

NSDL e-Governance Infrastructure Ltd is developing the World’s 1st cab-hailing platform enabled by Open-Source specifications. It will allow enterprises, cab companies, and individual players to access the platform on their own pacts using open-source technologies. NSDL is using the open protocol ‘Beckn’ for building the platform. The protocol will enable local commerce across industries to be discovered and engage in business. An Open source powered cab-hailing platform will decentralize the market, and will ensure that the market is free & inclusive.

NSDL e-Gov’s cab-hailing project was launched in full scale by the Kerala Government for the Kochi Metropolitan Transport Authority. Over 950 drivers and 5 Taxi associations in Kochi have been trained under the project.

Impact of Private Cab-Hailing platforms
Private cab-hailing platforms such as Uber, Ola and other private companies act as Central Aggregators. Cab drivers who use their platform to get customers need to pay high commission to use the platform. They have also put the individual cab companies or taxi associations out of competition.
About NSDL e-Governance Infrastructure Ltd
MD & CEO – Suresh Sethi
Headquarters – Mumbai, Maharashtra

Ladakh Received RBI Approval to Acquire 8.23% Stake in J&K Bank

The government of Union Territory(UT) of Ladakh has got the Reserve Bank of India(RBI)’s approval to acquire 8.23% of the paid-up equity capital of Jammu and Kashmir Bank (J&K bank) as of the date of enforcement of Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act 2019, i.e, 31st October 2019.
Background:
i.The board of Jammu and Kashmir Bank (J&K Bank) has approved to transfer the ownership of 8.23% stake, around 4.58 crore equity shares, out of its shareholdings in J&K Bank to Ladakh.
ii.This is in line with the provisions of the Banking Regulation Act 1949, RBI Master Directions: prior approval for the acquisition of shares or voting rights in private sector banks (directions, 2015) and Ownership in Private Sector Banks (Directions, 2016).
iii.As of December 2020, the Government of Jammu and Kashmir was the majority shareholder, owning a 68.18% stake in the bank.

Basavaraj S Bommai takes charge as the 23rd Chief Minister of Karnataka

Basavaraj S Bommai, who belongs to Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) took charge as the 23rd Chief Minister of Karnataka. He will succeed BS Yediyurappa who resigned on July 26, 2021. He was administered the oath of office & Secrecy by Governor Thaawar Chand Gehlot

Basavaraj Bommai

Basavaraj is a 3-time MLA from Shiggaon Constituency, he has been representing the constituency since 2008 in the Karnataka Legislative Assembly.
He has also served as a member of the Karnataka Legislative Council during the period of 1998 – 2008.
He held the Home Ministry portfolio under Yediyurappa’s Ministry. In the past, he has held several other portfolios such as Irrigation, Law, Parliamentary Affairs & others.
Article 164
Article 164 of the Indian constitution deals with appointment of Chief Ministers and other Ministers Article 164(1)- Chief Minister shall be appointed by the Governor and the other Ministers shall be appointed by the Governor on the advice of the Chief Minister. 164(3)- Oaths of Office & of Secrecy administered by Governor
About Karnataka:
Governor – Thaawar Chand Gehlot
Capital – Bengaluru

3 Indian SMEs Among UN’s Winners of the Best Small Business of ‘Good Food for All’

3 Indian Small and Medium-sized Enterprises(SMEs) have won the United Nations (UN) Food Systems Summit competition ‘Best Small Business: Good Food for All’, which aims to showcase innovative solutions in improving access to healthy and sustainable food.
The 3 Indian SMEs: Edible Routes Private Limited, Oorja Development Solutions India and Taru Naturals were among the 50 SMEs which were announced as the winners of the Best Small Businesses of the Good Food for All competition held in conjunction with the UN Food Systems Summit.
UN Food Systems Summit:
UN Secretary-General António Guterres convened the Food Systems Summit 2021 as part of the Decade of Action to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030.
Winners:
i.50 winners were from across 42 countries from Europe & Central Asia (10); Africa & Middle East (13); East Asia & Pacific (10); South Asia (8); and North and Latin America (9) were announced as the Best Small Businesses of the Good Food for All competition.
ii.Each winner will share 100,000 USD in cash prizes.
iii.Half of the winners were youths and around half were women.
About United Nations(UN):
Secretary-General- António Guterres
Headquarters- New York, United States

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