Current Affairs

31 December, 2021

International

Women less likely to receive COVID-19 relief from government: UN Women report

In accordance with the report by United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women aka UN Women titled ‘Women and girls left behind: Glaring gaps in pandemic responses‘, women were significantly less likely to report receiving pandemic-related cash relief from governments or non-profits. The report compiled and analysed the results of Rapid Gender Assessment surveys (RGA) from April 2020-March 2021, which include 58 countries across all regions. It has been prepared in partnership with national statistical offices, governmental entities, international partners or private sector.This was calculated using data from the UNDP-UN Women Gender Response Tracker.

India Welcomes Egypt as Member of New Development Bank of BRICS

India welcomed Egypt as the fourth new member of the New Development Bank (NDB) that was established by BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South-Africa) in 2015.
About New Development Bank (NDB):
Aim – To mobilise resources for infrastructure and sustainable development projects in emerging economies.
i.Members – The NDB admitted Bangladesh, United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Uruguay as its new members in September 2021 whereas Brazil, Russia, India, China and South-Africa were admitted in July 2015.
ii.The NDB has approved about 80 projects worth USD 30 billion in member countries in areas such as transport, water and sanitation, clean energy, digital infrastructure, social infrastructure and urban development.
About BRICS:
The BRICS Countries represent 41 percent of the global population, 24 percent of the global GDP and 16 percent of the global trade.
About Egypt:
Egypt is one of the world’s fastest-growing countries, a major economy in the African continent and the Middle East region as well as a key player in development finance institutions.
President – Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi
Capital – Cairo
Currency – Egyptian Pound (EGP)
About National Development Bank (NDB):
President – Marcos Prado Troyjo
Establishment – 2015
Headquarters – Shanghai, China

National

UP’s Jhansi Railway Station Renamed As ‘Veerangana Laxmibai Railway Station’; Road Named ‘Narendra Modi Marg’ Inaugurated in Sikkim

Yogi Adityanath, Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh(UP) has announced that the government of UP has renamed the Jhansi Railway Station, in Jhansi, UP as “Veerangana Laxmibai Railway Station” after Rani Laxmibai, the Maharani consort of the Maratha princely state of Jhansi from 1843 to 1853.
Sikkim Governor Ganga Prasad Inaugurated ‘Narendra Modi Marg’, Road Named After PM Modi
Ganga Prasad, Governor of Sikkim has inaugurated the “Narendra Modi Marg” named after Prime Minister(PM) Narendra Modi. The Narendra Modi Marg is the 2nd road connecting the Tsomgo lake and Nathula border pass with Gangtok, Sikkim.
About Uttar Pradesh:
Governor– Anandiben Patel
Capital– Lucknow
Stadium– Bharat Ratna Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee Ekana Cricket Stadium; Pandit Madan Mohan Malviya Sports stadium

NITI Aayog’s AIM releases ‘Innovations for You’ & ‘The Ingenious Tinkerers’ Digi Books

Atal Innovation Mission (AIM) of NITI (National Institute for Transforming India) Aayog released the digital books – ‘The Ingenious Tinkerers’ and the 2nd edition of ‘Innovations for You’. The Digital books were released virtually in the presence of Niti Aayog Vice-Chairman, Rajiv Kumar, AIM Mission Director, Chintan Vaishnav and others.

About NITI (National Institute for Transforming India) Aayog:

Chairperson- Narendra Modi (Prime Minister of India)
Formed- 1 January 2015
Headquarters- New Delhi, Delhi

3rd ARIIA 2021: IIT-Madras tops for 3rd consecutive year as Most Innovative Educational Institute

i.Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IIT Madras) ranked 1st & recognized as the Most Innovative Educational Institute in India in the 3rd edition of Atal Ranking of Institutions on Innovation Achievements (ARIIA) 2021. It is for the 3rd consecutive year that IIT Madras has been recognized. IIT Madras won in the ‘CFTIs (Centrally Funded Technical Institutions)/Central University/Institute of National Importance (Technical)’ category.
ii.Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IIT Madras) ranked 1st in ARIIA 2021. It is for the 3rd consecutive year that it has been recognized as the Most Innovative Educational Institute in India.
iii.Seven institutions from Maharashtra have secured top 10 positions under 5 categories ARIIA 2021.
About Ministry of Education (MoE):
Union Minister– Dharmendra Pradhan (Rajya Sabha- Madhya Pradesh)
Ministers of State (MoS)– Annpurna Devi (Kodarma- Jharkhand); Subhas Sarkar (Bankura- West Bengal); Rajkumar Ranjan Singh (Inner Manipur- Manipur)

Economy

IRDAI Relaxes Current Account Criteria for Insurance Intermediaries

The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) announced that insurance intermediaries and their entities can maintain current accounts in various banks to meet regulatory requirements and reinsurance business.

Note – IRDAI circular has stated that the insurance intermediaries are maintaining multiple current accounts with banks at different operational levels (branch offices, corporate offices, etc), for regulatory and other purposes.
About Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI):
Chairman – Subash Chandra Khuntia
Establishment – 1999 (Incorporated on 1st April 2000)
Headquarters – Hyderabad, Telangana

Federal Bank Signed a MoU with Schwing Stetter India to Offer Customised Financial Solutions

The Federal Bank signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Schwing Stetter (India) Ltd, a subsidiary of Schwing GMBH, Germany, one of the largest manufacturers of Concrete and Construction equipment in India. The MoU would enable both Federal Bank and Schwing Stetter to offer customised financial solutions to their customers.The MoU was signed by Harsh Dugar, Group President and Country Head, Wholesale Banking, Federal Bank, and V G Sakthi Kumar Managing Director, Schwing Stetter India Pvt Ltd.

About Federal Bank:
Establishment – April 23, 1931
Headquarters – Aluva, Kerala
MD & CEO – Shyam Srinivasan
Tagline – Your Perfect Banking Partner

RBI Extends Deadline for Periodic KYC Update till March 31, 2022

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has extended the deadline for periodic Know Your Customer (KYC) updation in bank accounts till March 31, 2022, from the previous deadline of December 31, 2021, due to the Omicron variant of the COVID-19 in India.
Periodic KYC Updation:
Periodic updation of KYC needs to be carried out at least once every 2 years for high-risk customers, once in every 8 years for medium risk customers and once in every 10 years for low risk customers from the date of opening of the account or last KYC updation.
iii.RBI has also directed that the RE is required to undertake KYC compliance in terms of the Prevention of Money-Laundering Act, 2002 and the Prevention of Money-Laundering (Maintenance of Records) Rules, 2005.
KYC requirements:
KYC is a process under which banks gather their customers’ information while opening an account including Permanent Account Number (PAN), address proof such as Aadhaar, passport etc., latest photograph and other details as requested by the bank.
About Reserve Bank of India (RBI):
Governor – Shaktikanta Das
Establishment – 1st April 1935
Headquarters – Mumbai, Maharashtra
Deputy Governors – Mahesh Kumar Jain, Michael Debabrata Patra, M. Rajeshwar rao and Rabi sankar.

RBI’s 24th FSR 2021: Banks GNPA may Rise to 8.1% by September 2022

Reserve Bank of India (RBI) released the 24th issue of its bi-annual Financial Stability Report (FSR) 2021. It estimated the Scheduled Commercial Banks (SCBs) Gross Non-Performing Assets (GNPAs) to rise from 6.9 percent in September 2021 to 8.1 percent of total assets by September 2022(under a baseline scenario) and to 9.5 percent (under severe stress scenario).
What is FSR?
It is the bi-annual collective assessment of the Sub-Committee of the ‘Financial Stability and Development Council’ (FSDC-SC) on risks to financial stability.
Financial Stability Report Key Projections:
i.SCBs’ GNPA and NNPA Ratio Projection at end-September 2021:

Type GNPA Ratio Net Non-Performing Assets (NNPA) Ratio
All SCBs 6.9% 2.3%
Public Sector Banks (PSBs) 8.8% 3.0%
Private Banks (PVBs) 4.6% 1.3%
Foreign Banks (FBs) 3.2% 0.6%

ii.The capital to risk-weighted assets ratio (CRAR) of SCBs increased to a new peak of 16.6 percent and their provisioning coverage ratio (PCR) stood at 68.1 per cent in September 2021.
iii.CET-1: The common equity Tier I (CET 1) capital ratio of SCBs may reach 12.5 percent by September 2022 (under the baseline scenario).
iv.Credit growth of All SCBs, PSBs, PVBs and FBs in end-September 2021 stood at 6.7 percent, 3.5 percent, 10.8 percent, and 16.0 percent (y-o-y) respectively.
About Reserve Bank of India(RBI):
Establishment – 1st April 1935
Headquarters – Mumbai, Maharashtra
Governor – Shaktikanta Das
Deputy Governors – Mahesh Kumar Jain, Michael Debabrata Patra, M. Rajeshwar Rao, T. Rabi Sankar

Sports

New Zealand’s Ross Taylor Confirms Retirement from International Cricket

Senior cricket player of New Zealand, Ross Taylor announces to retire from international cricket after playing in the Two-Test series against Bangladesh and his last ODIs (One Day Innings) against Australia and the Netherlands in March 2022. Ross Taylor was the World’s 1st player to play 100 international matches in all 3 formats of cricket.

Early life & career:
i.Ross Taylor is a 37-year-old international cricketer and former captain of the New Zealand national team.
ii.In Indian Premier League (IPL), he was a part of the Royal Challengers Bangalore season from 2008 to 2010 and then became a part of Rajasthan Royals team.
Major records:
i.Ross Taylor holds several records including scoring most runs for New Zealand in ODI (8,581) & Test (7584)
ii.He also holds the record of most catches by a New Zealand cricketer 346 catches & scored most hundreds (40) for New Zealand.
iii.He is one of the only four New Zealand cricketers to play 100 test matches, after Daniel Vettori (112), Stephen Fleming (111), and Brendon McCullum (101).

Miscellaneous

IRDAI Relaxes Current Account Criteria for Insurance Intermediaries

The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) announced that insurance intermediaries and their entities can maintain current accounts in various banks to meet regulatory requirements and reinsurance business.

Note – IRDAI circular has stated that the insurance intermediaries are maintaining multiple current accounts with banks at different operational levels (branch offices, corporate offices, etc), for regulatory and other purposes.

About Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI):
Chairman – Subash Chandra Khuntia
Establishment – 1999 (Incorporated on 1st April 2000)
Headquarters – Hyderabad, Telangana

Diplomat Anupam Ray Appointed as India’s Permanent Representative at UN Conference on Disarmament in Geneva

Senior diplomat Dr Anupam Ray, a 1994 batch of Indian Foreign Service(IFS) officer, has been appointed as India’s next permanent representative(PR)/Ambassador to the United Nations(UN) Conference on Disarmament(CD) in Geneva, Switzerland. He is currently serving as the joint secretary in the Ministry of External Affairs(MEA). He replaces Dr Pankaj Sharma, a 1991 batch IFS officer who has been serving as the Ambassador/Permanent Representative to the UN on Disarmament since 2018.

UN Conference on Disarmament (CD):
i.The Conference on Disarmament (CD), was recognized by the 10th Special Session on Disarmament (SSOD) (1978) of the United Nations General Assembly(UNGA) as single multilateral disarmament negotiating forum of the international community.
ii.The CD meets in an annual session, which is divided into 3 parts of 10, 7 and 7 weeks.
Aim: To negotiate arms control and disarmament agreements.
Members: 65 member States, including the 5 Non-Proliferation Treaty(NPT) nuclear-weapon States and 60 other States of key military significance.
About Dr Anupam Ray:
i.Dr Anupam Ray has served in the Embassy of India in Bonn, High Commissions of India in Dhaka and London, in the Permanent Mission of India to the United Nations in New York.
ii.He has also served as the Consul General of India in Houston, United States of America(USA).
Appointment of Pankaj Sharma:
Dr Pankaj Sharma has been appointed as the next Ambassador of India to Mexico. Previously he served as the Joint Secretary and Head of the Disarmament and International Security Affairs (D&ISA) at MEA between 2016 and 2018. He was on deputation to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (POCW) in The Hague, the Netherlands, from 2012 to 2016.

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Daily Current Affairs | 20th January 2022

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