Current Affairs

29 September, 2021


India, Oman inked pact to boost Maritime Security Cooperation

An agreement was signed between the Indian Navy and Royal Navy of Oman for the exchange of white shipping information and to boost maritime safety and security cooperation.
It was signed by Chief of Navy Staff (CNS) Admiral Karambir Singh and his counterpart from Oman Admiral Saif bin Nasser bin Mohsen Al-Rahbi at Maritime Security Center (MSC), Muscat during the ongoing visit of the CNS to Oman.
What is in the Agreement?
There will be facilitation of information exchange between the Indian Navy’s Information Fusion Centre (IFC) and Oman’s MSC for merchant shipping traffic.
Point to be noted:
The biennial Naseem Al Bahr is a maritime exercise between India and Oman which has been conducted since 1993. It was last conducted in 2020 off Goa and the next edition is scheduled in 2022.

India Became the 2nd Biggest Trading Partner of Dubai; China Tops

As per the Dubai government’s statement, India emerged as the 2nd biggest trading partner of Dubai in the first half (H1) of 2021 after China.Trade with India grew 74.5% year-on-year to 67.1 billion dirham from 38.5 billion dirham in H1 2020.
Top Trade Partners of Dubai:

Rank Country Trade Volume in H1 2021 (in billion dirham)
1 China 86.7
2 India 67.1
(Grew by 74.5 percent year-on-year)
3 United States 32
4 Saudi Arabia 30.5
5 Switzerland 24.8
About United Arab Emirates (UAE):
Capital – Abu Dhabi
President – Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan
Currency – UAE dirham


GST Council Sets Up 2 GoMs to Review the Rate Rationalisation of Tax Slabs & GST system reforms

Goods and Services Tax(GST) Council led by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has set up 2 group of ministers(GoM) headed by Basavaraj Bommai & Ajit Pawar to look into the rate structure and another to look at systems reforms required to plug revenue leakages.
1st GoMs:
i.1st GoMs was constituted under the head of Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai. The GoM will review the current tax slab rates and recommend changes in the same.1st GoM has 7 members(including head).
ii.The GoM will review the current rate slab structure of GST, including special rates, and recommend rationalisation measures, including merger of tax rate slabs, required for a simpler rate structure in GST.
iii.Other Members of the GoM are West Bengal finance minister Amit Mitra, Kerala finance minister K N Balagopal, Bihar deputy chief minister Tarkishore Prasad, Uttar Pradesh finance minister Suresh Khanna, Goa transport minister Mauvin Godinho and Rajasthan urban development and housing minister S K Dhariwal.
iv.The GoM has been given two months to submit its report of short, medium and long term recommendations.
About GST (Goods and Services Tax)
i.The Goods and Services Tax Act was passed in the Parliament on 29th March 2017 and came into effect on 1st July 2017.
ii.GST Day observed- 1st July.
About tax-
iThe GST is an indirect tax which has replaced various indirect taxes in India such as the excise duty, service tax, Value Added Tax (VAT) etc.
ii.GST is the single domestic indirect tax law for the entire country.

Ajay Seth Heads Task Force to Firm Up Sustainable Finance Road Map

The government of India has set up a task force under Ajay Seth, Secretary of the Department of Economic Affairs(DEA), Ministry of Finance, to strengthen the road map to enhance the sustainable finance architecture of India.
Functions of the Taskforce:
i.The task force will recommend ways to strengthen the resilience of India’s financial sector against risks posed by various climate and ESG issues.
ii.The task force will also lay out the ways to develop sustainable finance in India and set a clear timeline for their implementation.

Hardeep Singh Puri launched 7th consecutive edition of Swachh Survekshan 2022\

Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri, Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) launched the 7th consecutive edition of Swachh Survekshan (SS)-2022 themed on ‘People First’ from New Delhi. SS 2022 has incorporated specific indicators focusing on frontline workers like improvement in their working conditions and livelihood opportunities. Swachh Bharat Mission-Urban will organize a series of citizen centric activities under the overarching theme of Jan Bhagidari.The survey, flavoured with the Azaadi@75 spirit.

Other releases:
i.Launch of revamped version of the Swachhata App, the digital sanitation grievance redressal platform by MoHUA introduced in 2016.
ii.MoHUA also released a coffee table book titled ‘A Change of Heart’ featureing inspirational stories of individuals and communities related to urban India’s cleanliness drive.
iii.A short film, ‘Swachhata Se Samriddhi’ showcasing the milestones of the last seven years in the Swachhata journey was also released.


Paytm ties with Ria Money Transfer to Become India’s 1st Platform to Accept International Remittances Directly into Digital Wallet

Paytm Payments Bank has partnered with Ria Money Transfer, a cross-border money transfer firm and a business segment of Euronet. It will facilitate users to receive money from their relatives abroad.
With this partnership, Paytm Payment Bank becomes the first digital wallet in India to accept deposits from international remittances while Ria Money Transfer has become the first money transfer company that will connect with 333 million Paytm’s wallet users. Ria Money has around 490,000 retail outlets globally. It has allowed its customers to transfer cash through app or website as well.

About the partnership
i.The abroad based customers can now efficiently transfer money to fully KYC (Know Your Customer) verified Paytm wallet users in India through the Ria Money Transfer app or website.
ii.Every money transfer will be made on a real time basis.
About Paytm Payments Bank
Chairman– Vijay Shekhar Sharma
Incorporated– 2017
Headquarters– Noida, Uttar Pradesh
About Ria Money Transfer
Founded– 1987
Headquarters-Buena Park, California, United States

Federal Bank Tie up with NPCI Launched RuPay Signet Contactless Credit Card

Federal Bank launched the Federal Bank RuPay Signet Contactless Credit Card in partnership with the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI).
Features of the card:
i.The card has the lowest Annual Percentage Rate (APR) starting from just 5.88 percent per annum. APR is the annual interest rate accrued on a credit card if the cardholder fails to pay the bill in full. The industry average is 20-35 percent APR.

ii.Currently, the card is being offered to existing customers of the bank. The card could be availed from Federal Bank’s mobile banking application FedMobile.
iii.The card is specially designed for millennial customers and it offers an 3-2-1 rewards structure personalised for them.
Note – Earlier in September 2021, Federal Bank had partnered with fintech company OneCard to launch a mobile-based credit card.
About Federal Bank:
Establishment – April 23, 1931 (as Travancore Federal Bank Limited), changed to The Federal Bank Limited on December 2, 1949
Headquarters – Aluva, Kerala
MD & CEO – Shyam Srinivasan
Tagline – Your Perfect Banking Partner

Vistara Airlines-IndusInd Bank launched ‘Club Vistara IndusInd Bank Explorer’ credit card

TATA SIA Airlines Limited, known by the brand name Vistara, joined hands with IndusInd Bank to launch co-branded ‘Club Vistara IndusInd Bank Explorer’ credit card to enhance the travel experience of customers.
Card with full of luxurious benefits:
The credit card will offer various benefits covering travel, financial, and insurance for customers viz.
i.Complimentary ‘Gold’ class membership to Club Vistara (CV), under which individuals can earn points on every flight and can even redeem their earned CV points to avail flights.
ii.Up to 5 complimentary business class tickets on achieving spend milestones annually
iii.Complimentary access to over 600 airport lounges across the globe; and no foreign currency mark-up.
iv.Other benefits include rescheduling fee waivers on direct booking of Vistara flights.
v.Luxury gift vouchers worth Rs 25,000 or Oberoi hotel and resort gift vouchers; two complimentary movie tickets of Rs 700 each per month along with dining vouchers worth Rs 3000 twice a year.
Financial Benefits:
The financial benefits include a complete waiver on fuel surcharge at any petrol pump across India; lifetime waiver on late payment charges, cash withdrawal charges, and over-limit fees.
Complimentary personal air accident insurance cover of up to Rs 2.5 crore and insurance against loss or delayed baggage, loss of passport, ticket, among others.
About Vistara:
It is a 51:49 joint venture between Tata Sons Limited and Singapore Airlines Limited (SIA).
Chief Executive Officer (CEO)- Leslie Thng
Headquarter– Gurugram, Haryana


Pankaj Advani won IBSF 6-Red Snooker World Cup 2021 in Doha; his 24th World Title

Indian snooker player Pankaj Advani won his 24th world title by winning the International Billiards and Snooker Federation (IBSF) 6-Red Snooker World Cup2021 by defeating Pakistan player and 2017 World Team Snooker Champion Babar Masih. The IBSF 6-Red Snooker World Cup 2021 was organised by IBSF in association with Qatar Billiards and Snooker Federation held from 17th to 21st September 2021 in Doha, Qatar. The total prize money of 6-Red Snooker World Cup 2021 is 38000 USD which includes the winner’s prize of 12000 USD.

England All-Rounder Moeen Ali Retires from Test Cricket

34-year-oldEngland cricketer Moeen Alihas retired from Test cricket or red ball format and he will be continued his career in other formats of cricket.He is an all-rounder, left-handed batsman and right-arm off-spinner.
His Test Cricket Records
i.He started his test career in 2014.
ii.Ali has taken 195 wickets with his off-spin bowling and he scored 2914 runs in 64 Test at an average of 28.29.
About Moeen Ali

Ali was born in Birmingham,England.

He was named as one of five Cricketers of the Year in the 2015 Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack.
He won Warwickshire’s NBC Denis Compton Award in both 2004 and 2005 and Worcestershire’s NBC Denis Compton Award in 2009.


U.S. Successfully Flight-Tests Raytheon Hypersonic Weapon

According to the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) of United States, the country has successfully tested a Raytheon hypersonic weapon, an air-breathing hypersonic weapon,the next generation of arms that plunder the reaction time of rivals and traditional defeat mechanisms for Air Force.

i.Hypersonic Air-breathing Weapon Concept (HAWC) uses a Northrop 3D printed scramjet engine attached to a Raytheon missile and capable of speeds faster than five times the speed of soundor about 6,200 kilometers (3,853 miles) per hour.
ii.Northrop Grumman (NOC) and Raytheon Technologies (RTX) successfully completed the first powered test flight of their hypersonic weapon.
iii.Russia had also tested a Tsirkon(Zircon) hypersonic cruise missile in July 2021.

DRDO successfully Flight-Tested new version of Akash missile, ‘Akash Prime’

i.Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) successfully flight tested the new version of Akash Missile namely ‘Akash Prime’ from Integrated Test Range (ITR), Chandipur, Odisha.
ii.It was the missile’s maiden test in which an unmanned aerial target was destroyed.
iii.Akash Prime is a medium-range mobile surface-to-air missile (SAM) system developed by the DRDO and produced by Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL).
About Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO)
Parent Ministry– Ministry of Defence (MoD)
Chairman– Dr G. Satheesh Reddy
Headquarter– New Delhi

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