29 June, 2021
World Bank Approved Rs 1,860 crore Loan for Implementation of SALT Programme in Andhra Pradesh
International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), the lending arm of World Bank Group, had sanctioned a fund of Rs 1,860 crore to Andhra Pradesh for supporting the implementation of the ‘Supporting Andhra’s Learning Transformation’ (SALT) programme. Objective: To transform the state’s government schools into a vibrant and competitive one by improving their quality of teaching practices, learning outcomes, and school management in basic education. It is a 5-year project and it will be implemented from the academic year 2021-22 to 2026-27. Other important initiatives under the programme include Curriculum reforms, improved classroom practices, professional development of teachers. Mana Badi Nadu-Nedu, an initiative which is intended to improve the infrastructure facilities of the state’s Government schools is also implemented under the SALT programme.
About International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD):
Establishment – 1944
Headquarters – Washington DC, USA
Member countries – 189
Pakistan remains in FATF’s ‘Grey List’
Pakistan has been retained on the ‘Grey List’ or list of countries under ‘increased monitoring’ by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), a global terror financing watchdog. It has been retained due to its inability to prosecute the top leadership of UN Security Council-designated Terror groups. FATF also placed Malta, a member of European Union, on the ‘Grey List’ along with countries like Haiti, Philippines and South Sudan. It was announced during the 4th Plenary session of FATF held under the German Presidency of Dr. Marcus Pleyer from June 21-25, 2021.
Grey List and its consequences
Countries that are considered safe haven for supporting terror funding and money laundering are put in the FATF grey list. The consequences are problems in getting loans from IMF, World Bank and other international agencies; reduction in international trade; International Boycott. Since being placed on the ‘Grey List’ in 2018, Pakistan has reportedly faced economic losses worth USD 38 billion.
Companies (Accounting Standards) Rules 2021: MCA raised threshold turnover and borrowing limits of SMCs
In exercise of the powers conferred by section 133 read with section 469 of the Companies Act, 2013 (18 of 2013), the Central Government, after consultation with the National Financial Reporting Authority (NFRA) introduced Companies (Accounting Standards) Rules, 2021 w.e.f. April 1, 2021. The notification for the same was issued by Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA). This introduction is a supersession of Companies (Accounting Standards) Rules, 2006.
These rules also revised the definition of small and medium companies (SMCs) raising its threshold turnover and borrowing limits i.e.
i.The turnover limit has been increased from Rs 50 crore to not exceeding Rs 250 crore.
ii.The borrowing limit has been increased from Rs 10 crore to not exceeding Rs 50 crore.
About Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA):
Union Minister– Nirmala Sitharaman (Constituency- Karnataka)
Minister of State (MoS)– Anurag Singh Thakur
About National Financial Reporting Authority (NFRA):
It was constituted in 2018 by the Government of India under Sub Section (1) of section 132 of the Companies Act, 2013.
Chairperson– Rangachari Sridharan
Headquarter– New Delhi
NTPC sets Target to Install 60GW of RE Capacity by 2032
During the recently concluded Ministerial-level Thematic Forum for UN High level Dialogue on Energy 2021 (HLDE), India’s largest Power Producer NTPC Ltd unveiled its target to install 60 GW (or 60,000 MW) of renewable energy capacity (wind and solar) by 2032, as part of its plans to reduce 10% of its net energy intensity by 2032. With this, NTPC Ltd became India’s 1st energy company to declare energy compact goals as part of HLDE 2021. NTPC plans to invest INR 1 trillion between 2019 and 2024 to become a 130 GW power producer by 2032. NTPC will form 2 international alliances to facilitate clean energy research and promote sustainability in the energy value chain by 2025.
CMD – Gurdeep Singh
Headquarters – New Delhi
Established – 1975
GAME-SIDBI joined hands to revive MSMEs suffered amid Pandemic
i.In order to address the challenges faced by micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) amid COVID-19 and for their revival, a pact has been signed between Global Alliance for Mass Entrepreneurship (GAME) and the Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI).
ii.As per the agreement, at least 25% of the beneficiaries from the partnership would be women entrepreneurs.
About Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI).
Establishment– April 1990
Operated by– Department of Financial Services,, Ministry of Finance.
Chairman & Managing Director (CMD)– Sivasubramanian Ramann
Headquarter– Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh
About Global Alliance for Mass Entrepreneurship (GAME):
Founders– Ravi Venkatesan, Madan Padaki and Mekin Maheshwari
Headquarter– Bengaluru, Karnataka
Mastercard Partners with Instamojo to Empower MSMEs and Gig Workers
Mastercard made a strategic equity investment in Instamojo to digitize and empower Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) and gig workers by providing ‘easy to use solutions’. The solutions will support the MSMEs to get digitized by setting up online stores, that are equipped with digital payment acceptance capabilities (to reach customers under COVID-19). The virtual platform will provide a fully functional online store with in-built shipping capabilities, marketing tools and other value-added services such as logistics and credit facilities. Mastercard committed Rs 250 crores in 2020 to support small businesses in India.
Headquarters – New York, U.S.
CEO – Michael Miebach
Kotak Mahindra Bank launched ‘Pay Your Contact’ service in its Mobile app
Kotak Mahindra Bank Ltd. (KMBL) has launched a new feature namely ‘Pay Your Contact’ in its mobile banking app. This enables its customers to send money or make payments to any of their contacts across all payment apps simply by the beneficiary’s mobile number. This means there is no requirement of account number or IFSC (Indian Financial System Code) or Unified Payments Interface (UPI) IDs for transactions. Pay Your Contact service uses the UPI platform.
International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), the lending arm of World Bank Group, had sanctioned a fund of Rs 1,860 crore to Andhra Pradesh for supporting the implementation of the ‘Supporting Andhra’s Learning Transformation’ (SALT) programme. Objective: To transform the state’s government schools into a vibrant and competitive one by improving their quality of teaching practices, learning outcomes, and school management in basic education. It is a 5-year project and it will be implemented from the academic year 2021-22 to 2026-27. Other important initiatives under the programme include Curriculum reforms, improved classroom practices, professional development of teachers. Mana Badi Nadu-Nedu, an initiative which is intended to improve the infrastructure facilities of the state’s Government schools is also implemented under the SALT programme. About International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD): Establishment – 1944 Headquarters – Washington DC, USA Member countries – 189
ArcelorMittal Nippon Steel (AM/NS) India, an integrated flat carbon steel producer in partnership with ICICI (Industrial Credit and Investment Corporation of India) Bank, executed India’s 1st digitised bill discounting transaction. The end-to-end electronic transaction was held between AMNS India(Seller), Vijay Tanks(Buyer), with ICICI Bank as an intermediary between the buyer and seller. The transaction includes the digital issuance of a letter of credit (LC), advisory, and presentation of documents. ICICI Bank’s branch in Baroda, Gujarat, issued an LC for the buyer Vijay Tanks, while its branch at Hazira, Gujarat advised and negotiated for the seller AMNS India. As per the terms of the LC, AMNS India was required to present the documents digitally to ICICI Bank evidencing the transaction flow.
About ICICI Bank:
Establishment – 1955(Incorporated in 1994)
Headquarters – Mumbai, Maharashtra
MD& CEO – Sandeep Bakhshi
Tagline – Hum hai na, Khayal Apka
Laurel Hubbard: First transgender athlete to compete at Olympics
New Zealand’s Laurel Hubbard has become the first ever transgender athlete picked to compete at an Olympics, She will compete in the women’s 87-kg weightlifting category for Tokyo Olympics 2020. Hubbard has satisfied the IOC’s requirements for trans women.
Note*Those who transition from female to male are eligible to compete in the male category without restriction.
F1: Max Verstappen wins Styrian Grand Prix 2021;Fabio Quartararo wins Dutch MotoGP 2021
Red Bull Racing Honda’s Max Verstappen (Netherlands) won the Styrian Grand Prix 2021 held at Red Bull Ring race track in Spielberg, Austria. It is the Versteappen’s 14th Career victory and 4th win of the 2021 season. In MotoGP, Yamaha’s Fabio Quartararo (France) won the Dutch MotoGP 2021 held at TT Circuit Assen, Assen, Netherlands.
F1 Styrian Grand Prix 2021 Mercedes drivers Lewis Hamilton (Britain) & Valtteri Bottas (Finland) finished 2nd and 3rd respectively. With this victory, Verstappen has increased the lead over Lewis Hamilton in the 2021 F1 Drivers Championship to 18 points. Verstappen had also finished 1st in the French GP 2021 held on June 22, 2021. So Far, Verstappen has taken 49 podiums. The F1 Championships are organised by Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA).
About Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA)
President – Jean Todt
Headquarters – Paris, France
About Federation Internationale de Motocyclisme (FIM)
President – Jorge Viegas
Headquarters – Mies, Switzerland
DRDO Test Fires ‘Agni-P’ – Advanced Variant of Agni Class of Missiles
The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) successfully test-fired the nuclear capable, Surface-to-Surface Missile ‘Agni-P (Prime)’ from Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam island, Balasore, Odisha. Agni-P is a new generation advanced variant of the Agni class of missiles. It is a canisterised missile and has a range capability between 1,000 and 2,000 kms. The missile has been designed and developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). Canisterisation of missiles (processing of putting firepower into metal containers) reduces the time required to launch the missile, while improving its storage and mobility.
Agni Class of Missiles
Agni is a family of medium to intercontinental range ballistic missiles developed by DRDO.
About Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO)
Chairman – Dr G Satheesh Reddy
Headquarters – New Delhi
Thawaarchand Gehlot Launches Website for Nasha Mukt Bharat Abhiyaan
On occasion of the International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking (26th June), Union Minister for Social Justice & Empowerment Thawaarchand Gehlot launched a website for the Nasha Mukt Bharat Abhiyaan (NMBA) scheme.
i.To commemorate the International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, MoSJE organized a 6-day Nasha Mukt Bharat Summit from June 21-26, 2021. The website for NMBA contains detailed information about the scheme and its activities, it provides IEC (Information, Education & Communication) resource material and information on institutions set up by the Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment (MoSJE) with the aim of Drug Demand reduction. Several initiatives like special Nasha Mukt Bharat Summit Edition of Monthly newsletter, short film on NMBA depicting the activities undertaken for the Abhiyaan were also launched during the summit.
About Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment (MoSJE)
Union Minister – Thaawarchand Gehlot (Madhya Pradesh)
Minister of State – Shri Krishan Pal Gurjar(Faridabad, Haryana); Shri Ramdas Athawale (Maharashtra); Shri Rattan Lal Kataria (Ambala, Haryana)
Hdfc Bank Acquired 7.4% Stake in Virtuoso Infotech
HDFC Bank, India’s largest private sector bank and its subsidiary HDFC Securities Limited has acquired a 7.4 percent stake in Virtuoso Infotech Pvt. Ltd., an enterprise software solutions company. The acquisition was held through Virtuoso Infotech’s 1st announcement of investment fundraising on June 28, 2021.
About Virtuoso Infotech Pvt. Ltd.:
Establishment – 2011
Headquarters – Pune, Maharashtra
CEO – Preeti Nahar
About HDFC Bank:
MD & CEO – Sashidhar Jagdishan
Headquarters – Mumbai, Maharashtra
Tagline – We understand your world
Chatbot – Eva
Central Govt Extended Attorney General KK Venugopal’s Term by 1 Year
The Central Government extended the tenure of Attorney General (AG), K K Venugopal by 1 year till June 30, 2022.
About KK Venugopal:
i.He became the 15th AG of India by replacing AG Mukul Rohatgie on July 1, 2017. His actual term was about 3 years and this was the second time that the centre is extending the tenure of AG as his tenure was extended by 1 year in June 2020.
ii.He was being the incharge of the central govt’s legal defence in several sensitive cases pending in the Supreme Court such as the constitutional challenge to dilution of Article 370 of the constitution and Citizenship Amendment Act, the central govt’s management of the COVID-19, the case challenging Section 124-A of the penal code that criminalises sedition, etc.
iii.Recently he represented the Government of India (GoI) in a case which led to the cancellation of Class 12 exams due to COVID-19 and the framing of an internal assessment scheme for the CBSE and the ICSE to evaluate the marks of students.
iv.Awards: Padma Bhushan in 2002, and Padma Vibhushan in 2015.
Note – AG is the highest law officer in India he will be assisted by Solicitor General of India, the 2nd law officer of the country, and the Additional Solicitor General of India.
About Attorney General (AG):
i.Appointment: AG, who is the chief legal adviser of GoI will be appointed by the President of India on the advice of the Union Cabinet under Article 76(1) of the Constitution.
ii.Tenure: No fixed term, AG will hold office during the pleasure of the President (i.e. He could be removed by the President at any time).
iii.Eligibility Criteria: He must have been a Judge of a High Court or two or more than two such courts for at least 5 years (or) an advocate of some high court for 10 years, or an eminent jurist in the opinion of the President.
iv.Functions: Need to advise the GoI upon legal matters that are referred by the President. Need to represent the GoI in supreme court (in reference by President).
Former Infosys CEO SD Shibu Lal to head task force for bureaucratic reforms
The Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions (MoPP&P) named former Infosys Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Sarojini Damodaran (SD) Shibu Lal as a chairperson of three-member task force which is formed to help the government in bringing major bureaucratic reforms through Mission Karmayogi. The task force will submit its recommendations in the form of periodic/interim reports within a period of six months.
Other members of task force:
i.Govind Iyer, Consultant at global management consulting group Egon Zehnder
ii.Pankaj Bansal, Co-founder and Group CEO of HR tech company PeopleStrong
iii.Adil Zainulbhai, chairman designate, Capacity Building Commission, Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) will act as a special invitee to the discussions of the task force.
What is Mission Karmayogi?
It is a Central Government’s National Programme for Civil Services Capacity Building (NPCSCB). It aims to upgrade the post-recruitment training mechanism of the civil servants at all levels by transforming rule-based training to role-based capacity development in order to enhance citizen experience for government services. For the effective roll out of this mission, a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV), namely Karmayogi Bharat, would be set up as a not-for-profit company under section 8 of Companies Act, 2013 as a 100% government-owned entity.
Responsibilities of task force:
i.It will make recommendations on organisational structure for the above mentioned SPV, policy frameworks for HR (Human Resource), compensation, IT (Information Technology), procurement and oversight functions, and staffing plans for top management.
ii.The task force is free to constitute working groups, co-opt additional members/experts/special invitees, and can consult relevant national and international leaders.
Suresh N Patel Appointed as Central Vigilance Commissioner
Vigilance Commissioner Suresh N Patel has been appointed as acting Central Vigilance Commissioner in the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) with effect June 24, 2021, until the appointment of the central vigilance commissioner. He succeeded Sanjay Kothari whose term ended on June 23,2021.
About Suresh N Patel:
i.Suresh N Patel is currently serving as the Vigilance commissioner in CVC.
ii.Prior to this,he served as the Managing Director and CEO of Andhra Bank in 2015.
iii.Also he worked as the executive director in Oriental Bank of Commerce.
iv.He had been a member of the management committee of Indian Banks’ Association and member of Bankers’ Institute of Rural Development at NABARD.
About Central Vigilance Commission (CVC):
The commission is headed by the Central Vigilance Commissioner and can have a maximum of two vigilance commissioners.
Formed: February 1964
Headquarters: New Delhi
Cochin International Airport Won ACI’s Roll of Excellence Honour in ASQ
The Cochin International Airport Limited (CIAL) has won the Airport Council International (ACI) Director General’s Roll of Excellence honour in Airport Service Quality (ASQ) for 2021.
About Cochin International Airport Limited (CIAL):
Location – Cochin, Kerala
Chairman – Pinarayi Vijayan, Chief Minister of Kerala
Managing Director – S. Suhas
About Airport Council International (ACI):
It is the only global trade representative of the world’s airports.
Establishment – 1991
Headquarters – Montreal, Canada
Director General – Luis Felipe de Oliveira
Delhi Metro Won Japan Society of Civil Engineers Award
Delhi Metro’s Phases I, II and III projects have won the ”Outstanding Civil Engineering Achievement Award” for the year 2020 by Japan Society of Civil Engineers (JSCE).