Current Affairs

30 December, 2021

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Indian Army Established Quantum Lab at MCTE, Mhow in Indore, MP

The Indian Army has established the Quantum Lab at the Military College of Telecommunication Engineering(MCTE), in Military Headquarters Of War(Mhow), Indore, Madhya Pradesh(MP). The Quantum Lab was established with the support of the National Security Council Secretariat (NSCS) to spearhead research and training in this key developing field. This is a part of the Indian army’s development in the field of Emerging Technology domain. Indian Army has also established an Artificial Intelligence (AI) Centre at the MCTE, Mhow with more than 140 deployments in forward areas and active support of industry and academia. Through the state of the art cyber range and cyber security labs, training on cyber warfare will be provided.

Background:
The ideation of the involvement of the Army in Electromagnetic Spectrum Operations was done during the seminar on Electromagnetic Spectrum and National Security organised by National Security Council Secretariat in October 2020.
Since then the Indian Army’s Technology Institutions has been driven to invest in AI, Quantum and Cyber.
Quantum Technology:
The researches undertaken by the Indian Army in the field of Quantum Technology will advance into next generation communication and transform the current system of cryptography in the Indian Armed Forces to Post Quantum Cryptography (PQC).
Key Areas: Quantum Key Distribution, Quantum Communication, Quantum Computing Post Quantum Cryptography
About Indian Army:
Chief of the Army Staff– General Manoj Mukund Naravane

PM Narendra Modi inaugurates Kanpur Metro Rail Project & Bina-Panki Multiproduct Pipeline Project in Kanpur, UP

i.Prime Minister (PM) of India Narendra Modi visited Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh (UP) to inaugurate the completed section of Kanpur Metro Rail Project; Bina-Panki Multiproduct Pipeline Project; and to attend the 54th Convocation Ceremony of IIT (Indian Institute of Technology) Kanpur.
ii.The PM inaugurated the completed 9 km long priority section of Corridor-1 of the project from IIT Kanpur to Moti Jheel (9 elevated stations). All the 9 stations of this have been certified with platinum rating of Green Building Council because the entire 9Km stretch has been developed in accordance with the green building codes.
iii.The PM also inaugurated the 356 Km long Bina (Madhya Pradesh-MP)-Panki (Kanpur, UP) Multiproduct pipeline project with an outlay of Rs 1524 crore (Rs. 1227 crore in UP and Rs. 297 crore in MP).
iv.The PM attended the 54th Convocation of IIT Kanpur as Chief Guest. During the convocation, all the students were issued digital degrees through an in-house blockchain-driven technology.
About Uttar Pradesh (UP):
Airport– Kushinagar International Airport, Gorakhpur airport, Agra Airport (Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Airport)
Heritage site – Agra fort (1983) , Taj Mahal (1983), Fatehpur Sikri (1986)
Bird Sanctuary– Nawabganj Bird Sanctuary, Sur Sarovar (Keetham) Bird Sanctuary

Economy

RBI Extends Direction for PMC Bank till March 2022

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) extended the restrictions for Punjab and Maharashtra Cooperative (PMC) Bank for another three months from January 1 2022 to March 31 2022.

In exercise of the powers conferred on it by Sub–section (4) of Section 45 read with Section 56 of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949, the Reserve Bank of India had prepared a draft scheme of amalgamation of The Punjab and Maharashtra Cooperative (PMC) Bank with Unity Small Finance Bank Ltd. (USFB). The draft scheme was placed in public domain on November 22, 2021 inviting suggestions and objections, till December 10, 2021, from members, depositors and other creditors of transferor bank (PMC) and transferee bank (USFB) in terms of Section 45(6)(b) of the Act ibid. Further action with regard to sanction of the scheme is under process.

Background:

i.Punjab and Maharashtra Cooperative (PMC) Bank Limited, Mumbai, Maharashtra, a Multi-State Urban Cooperative Bank was placed under All-Inclusive Directions under Sub-section (1) of Section 35-A read with Section 56 of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949 with effect from close of business on September 23, 2019.

Amount Distribution:
Under the scheme, the depositors will get their full amount back over a period of 10 years. In the initial phase, the bank will pay an amount insured under DICGC (Deposit Insurance and Credit Guarantee Corporation) of up to Rs 5 lakhs to depositors. Later, at the end of two years, the Bank will pay up to Rs 50,000, and up to Rs 1 lakh at the end of three years, upto Rs 3 lakhs at the end of four years, upto Rs 5.5 lakhs at the end five years and the full amount will be paid after ten years. The interest on any of the interest bearing deposits with the Bank will not accrue after March 31, 2021.

About Unity Small Finance Bank (USFB):
USFB is promoted by Centrum Financial Services with Resilient Innovation Pvt Ltd as the ‘joint investor’.
Started operation-2021

Central Bank of India & NPCI Jointly Launches RuPay Debit Card for Corporates

Central Bank of India has partnered with the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) to launch ‘RuPay Business Platinum Debit Card’ for corporates.

Domestic – The card offers an ATM withdrawal limit of Rs.1 lakh along with a purchase of up to Rs.3 lakh at Point on Sale (POS) or E-Commerce.

International – The card users can also withdraw up to Rs. 75,000 at ATMs abroad and perform purchases globally worth up to Rs. 3 lakh at Point On Sale (POS) or E-Commerce and international online merchants.

Other Benefits:
i.Purchase Protection coverage of Rs. 2 lakh
ii.Accidental death coverage worth Rs. 10 lakh
iii.Air accident coverage Rs. 20 lakh
Note – The cardholders will earn reward points on every purchase.
About National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI):
CEO & MD – Dilip Asbe
Established – 2008
Headquarters – Mumbai, Maharashtra
About Central Bank of India:
CEO & MD – M.V. Rao
Established – 1911
Headquarters – Mumbai, Maharashtra
Tagline – ‘Central’ to you since 1911

SEBI Board approves Changes to IPOs & Preferential Issues

The board of the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) met in Mumbai, Maharashtra under the Chairmanship of Ajay Tyagi. The Part-Time Members joined the meeting through video conferencing. Following decisions has been taken during the meeting.

1.Amendments to SEBI ICDR Regulations, 2018
2.Appointment of persons who had failed to get elected as Directors
3.Amendments to SEBI (Alternative Investment Funds) Regulations, 2012
4.Amendments to MF (Mutual Fund) Regulations
5.Amendments to SEBI {KYC (Know Your Client) Registration Agency} Regulations, 2011
6.Amendments to the SEBI (Stock Brokers) Regulations, 1992 and SEBI (Depository and Participants) Regulations, 2018
7.Amendments to SEBI (Listing Obligations and Disclosure Requirements) Regulations, 2015
8.Amendments to SEBI (Foreign Portfolio Investors) Regulations, 2019
9.Amendments to SEBI (Settlement Proceedings) Regulations, 2018
About Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI):
Establishment– 1992
Headquarter– Mumbai, Maharashtra

RBI’s Report on Banking in India 2020-21: GNPAs of Banks dipped to 6.9% by September 2021

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) released the ‘Report on Trend and Progress of Banking in India 2020-21’, which presents the performance of the banking sector, including co-operative banks, and non-banking financial companies (NBFCs) during FY21 and FY22 (till December 2021).
About Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI):
Establishment – April 1, 1935
Headquarters – Mumbai, Maharashtra
Governor – Shaktikanta Das
Deputy Governors – Mahesh Kumar Jain, Michael Debabrata Patra, M. Rajeshwar Rao, T. Rabi Sankar

Sports

Nitesh Kumar wins double gold at 4th Para-Badminton National Championship

Nitesh Kumar won doubled gold at the 4th Para-Badminton National Championship, which concluded in Bhubaneswar, Odisha. Haryana’s Nitesh along with his partner Tarun Dhillon defeated World No. 1 Paralympic Games gold medallist Pramod Bhagat and Manoj Sarkar in straight sets 21-19, 21-11 in the Men’s doubles finals to win the gold.
Earlier, Nitesh also won the gold medal in the Men’s singles category. World No 1 SL3 Para-Badminton player Parul Parmar from Gujarat also secured gold while Mandeep Kaur from Uttarakhand won Silver and Mansi won bronze.

Miscellaneous

Russia Launched 1st Versatile Nuclear Powered Icebreaker ‘Sibir’ to Boost India’s Arctic Plans via NSR

Russia has launched its first in the series Project 22220 versatile nuclear-powered icebreaker known as ‘Sibir’, which will support the growing fleet of icebreakers to keep the Northern Sea Route open for year-round shipping through the Arctic and enable a wider presence of India in the arctic region.Project 22220 nuclear-powered icebreakers are the most powerful and the largest in the world.
About ‘Sibir’:
i.The construction of Sibir was started in 2015 and the icebreaker was floated on 22nd December 2017.
ii.Sibir was handed over to the Rosatom State Atomiс Energy Corporation for exploitation; the Delivery-Acceptance Act was signed on 24th December at Baltic Shipyard, St. Petersburg, Russia.
Project 22220:
i.The icebreaker is 173.3 meters (568.6 feet) long and 34 meters broad with a 33,500-tonne displacement.
ii.Project 22220 icebreakers will help to unleash the traffic potential of the Northern Sea Route.
India-Russia collaboration in the Arctic:
India expressed its interest in collaborating with Russia on the Northern Sea route during the 21st India Russia Summit held on 6 December 2021, in New Delhi.
Note:
The Barents area in the Arctic region has some of the best-known mineral deposits and the world’s best deep harbours.
Russia’s nuclear-powered icebreakers:
i.At present Russia has a fleet of 6 nuclear power icebreakers namely, ‘Taymyr’, ‘Vaygash’, ‘50 Let Pobedy’, ‘Yamal’, ‘Arktika’ and ‘Sibir’.
ii.Russia also has a nuclear-powered cargo Ship named “Sevmorput” which belongs to the Rosatomflot’s fleet based in Murmansk, Russia.
ii.Nuclear icebreakers, Ural, Yakutia, and Chukotka, are now being built in St. Petersburg.
About Arctic Council:
Current Chair– Russia
Members– 8 Arctic states, 6 indigenous permanent participants, 6 Working Groups & 38 Observers
Established on 19th September 1996
Headquarters– Tromsø, Norway

EaseMyTrip Appointed Actors Vijay Raaz & Varun Sharma as Brand Ambassadors

EaseMyTrip.com (Easy Trip Planners Ltd), an online travel company of India has appointed bollywood actors Vijay Raaz and Varun Sharma as its brand ambassadors. This is the first time for EaseMyTrip to appoint any brand ambassador. EaseMyTrip founded by Nishant Pitti and Rikant Pitti in 2008 was started as the Business-to-Business (B2B) portal and entered into the business to consumer(B2C) segment in 2011.

About Vijay Raaz:
i.Vijay Raaz is an Indian actor, director, film narrator and comedian from Delhi.
ii.He made his debut as a director in 2014 with the film ‘Kya Dilli Kya Lahore’.
iii.He has worked in different languages like Hindi, Tamil, and Malayalam.
iv.He has won the Jury Prize for Best Actor, for the film Raghu Romeo, in the Dhaka International Film Festival 2004.
About Varun Sharma:
Varun Sharma is an Indian actor from Punjab, who has starred in several hindi movies such as Fukrey, chhichhore, Roohi among others.
About EaseMyTrip:
CEO– Nishant Pitti
Headquarters– New Delhi, Delhi
Founded in 2008

Vasudevan reappointed as MD & CEO of Equitas Small Finance Bank for 3 years

The Board of Directors (BoD) of Equitas Small Finance Bank Limited (ESFBL) reappointed Vasudevan Pathangi Narasimhan (PN) as the Managing Director (MD) & Chief Executive Officer (CEO) for three years (from July 23, 2022 to July 22, 2025).
About Vasudevan Pathangi Narasimhan (PN):
i.Vasudevan PN is currently serving as the MD and CEO of the bank. Earlier he was working as the MD of Equitas Holdings Limited.
ii.He is a science graduate (physics) from University of Madras and a qualified company secretary from the Institute of Company Secretaries of India (ICSI).
iii.He has the experience of 20 years in Cholamandalam Investment and Finance Company Limited.
Related information:
In December 2021, Equitas Small Finance Bank Limited signed a partnership agreement with the Government of Maharashtra to offer banking services to the state government employees.
About Equitas Small Finance Bank Limited:
Part Time Chairman- Arun Ramanathan
Headquarters– Chennai, Tamil Nadu

PETA India has Named Actress Alia Bhatt as “Person of the Year 2021”

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India has named Indian Bollywood actress Alia Bhatt as the ‘Person of the Year’ 2021 to celebrate her work in supporting the animal-friendly fashion industry and her advocacy for dogs and cats in need.
Efforts of Alia Bhatt:
i.Alia Bhatt has invested in Phool.co, an Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kanpur-backed biomaterial startup, that develops ‘fleather’ – bio-degradable vegan leather.
ii.She has also launched her vegan kidswear line, Ed-a-Mamma, which won the PETA India’s Best Vegan Kidswear Brand 2021.
iii.In 2017 she launched Coexist, an animal welfare platform to educate communities to build a future where humans and nature can live in harmony.
Other PETA Titles:
PETA has recognised actors Akshay Kumar and Bhumi Pednekar as the ‘Most Beautiful Vegetarian celebrity’ of 2021.
About People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India :
Launched in 2000
Headquarters– Mumbai, Maharashtra

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