Current Affairs

31 July, 2021


India, US to Virtually co-host 4th Annual Indo-Pacific Business Forum in October 2021

The Governments of India and the United States of America(USA) are set to virtually co-host the 4th annual Indo-Pacific Business Forum(IPBF) in October 2021. The 2-day virtual event will start from 28th October to 29th October 2021.
The 4th IPBF will be organised over a secured online conferencing platform.
Host & Sponsor:
i.The event is sponsored by the United States Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) and co-organizing with the Department of State and more than 10 other United States(US) government agencies.
ii.India and the US host the event in partnership with the Confederation of Indian Industry(CII), the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry(FICCI), US Chamber of Commerce, US India Business Council, US India Strategic Partnership Forum, and the US-ASEAN Business Council.
4th IPBF:
Aim: To promote trade, investment and economic cooperation between the United States and its partners across the Indo-Pacific region.

Report on Future of Connectivity in India Launched during US-India CEO Forum 2021

During a virtual US-India CEO Forum, hosted by the US (United States)-India Strategic Partnership Forum (USISPF), its ICT ((Information and Communications Technology) Working Group launched a report titled ‘The Future of Connectivity in India’. The report prepared by Deloitte and the ICT Working Group formulated a plan for India’s mobility business for adapting a digitized and interconnected world.

About US-India Strategic Partnership Forum (USISPF):
It is the only independent not-for-profit institution for strengthening the U.S.-India partnership in Washington, D.C. and in New Delhi. It is a trusted partner for collaborations of businesses, non-profit organizations, the diaspora, and the governments of India and the US.
Key Participants:
Mukesh Aghi, President and CEO (Chief Executive Officer) of the US-India Strategic Partnership Forum; and Dr. P.D. Vaghela, Chairman, TRAI (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India).

India Least Prepared for Automation in Asia-Pacific: Autodesk Foundation Report

A recently released report titled ‘The Future of Work is Now: Is APAC Ready?’ has ranked India 5th highest in terms of the impact from automation & 9th in terms of level preparedness among 12 Asia-Pacific (APAC) countries. The report was commissioned by Autodesk Foundation & conducted by Deloitte.

Most Prepared – Japan, Singapore and Australia are the most prepared for the coming wave of automation.

Least Prepared – India, Bangladesh and Pakistan are most at risk and are least prepared for the incoming wave of automation. It provides a quantitative estimate of Industries which will be the most affected due to automation.

About Autodesk Foundation
President and CEO – Lynelle Cameron
Headquarters – San Francisco, California, USA
About Deloitte
Global CEO – Punit Renjen
Headquarters – New York, USA


Women Unemployment Rate falls to 4.2% in 2019-20 from 5.1% in 2018-19: PLFS 2019-20

i.In accordance with the ‘Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS)- Annual Report (July, 2019 – June, 2020)’ conducted by National Statistical Office (NSO), unemployment rate for women fell to 4.2% in 2019-20 from 5.1% in 2018-19.

ii.The findings of the survey were informed by Minister of State (MoS) Rameshwar Teli, Ministry of Labour and Employment in a written reply in the Lok Sabha.
iii.The Labour Force Participation Rate (LFPR) for women has increased from 24.5% in 2018-19 to 30% in 2019-20.
About Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MoSPI):
Minister of State (MoS), Independent Charge – Rao Inderjit Singh
Constituency– Gurugram (Haryana)

PM Narendra Modi Launches New Initiatives to mark 1st Anniversary of NEP 2020

Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched several new initiatives to mark the 1st Anniversary of National Education Policy 2020 (NEP 2020), which was launched on 29th July, 2020.

i.NEP 2020 is the 1st education policy of the 21st Century, it replaces the National Policy on Education, 1986 (NPE, 1986).
ii.The 5 pillars of NEP 2020 are Access, Equity, Quality, Affordability and Accountability.
iii.Some newly launched initiatives are

Initiative Details
NDEAR (National Digital Education Architecture) & NETF (National Education Technology Forum) To provide a digital and technological framework to India.
Academic Bank of Credit System A Digital Bank that holds the credit earned by a student in any course. It will promote academic mobility and enable Multiple Entry & Multiple Exit options for students.
SAFAL (Structure Assessment For Analysing Learning) A competency-based assessment programme for Grades 3,5 & 8 to assess the progress of foundational skills and basic learning outcomes.
Vidya Pravesh A three-month play-based school preparation module for Grade 1 students. Children and parents of remote areas will have access to playschools.

MoHFW Reserves 27% seats for OBCs, 10% for EWS in Medical Education

The Ministry of Health & Family Welfare (MoHFW) announced 27% Reservation for OBCs (Other Backward Classes) & 10% Reservation for EWS (Economically Weaker Section) in the All-India Quota Scheme (AIQ). It will be applicable for all

Medical & Dental courses (both Undergraduate & Postgraduate) from the academic year 2021-22. Around 5,500 students will benefit because of the reservation.

All-India Quota (AIQ) Scheme
Introduced in 1986 as per the Supreme Court’s direction, the main objective of the scheme was to allow merit-based opportunities to students. It allows students from any state to study in a medical college in another state. It consists of 15% of total available UG seats & 50% of total available PG seats in Government medical colleges.

About Ministry of Health & Family Welfare (MoHFW)
Union Minister – Mansukh L. Mandaviya (Rajya Sabha – Gujarat)
MoS – Dr. Bharati Pravin Pawar (Dindori, Maharashtra)

Central Govt allowed 100% FDI in oil PSUs with ‘in-principle’ nod for Strategic Divestment

i.Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) issued a press note stating that a new clause has been added to the FDI (Foreign Direct Investment) policy for oil and natural gas sector.
ii.As per the clause, Central Government has allowed 100% FDI under the automatic route for oil refiners in case an ‘in-principle’ approval for strategic disinvestment of a Public Sector Undertaking (PSU) has been granted by it.
iii.It should be noted that the government is privatizing Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd. (BPCL) and selling its entire 52.98% stake in the company.
About Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT):
It was established in the year 1995 and was reconstituted in the year 2000 with the merger of the Department of Industrial Development. The department was earlier called Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion and was renamed as DPIIT in January, 2019.
Parent Ministry– Ministry of Commerce and Industry


FTCCI, ACCI Partners to Promote Trade between Telangana and Afghanistan

The Federation of Telangana Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FTCCI) has signed an agreement with the Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Investment (ACCI) to promote the business between Afghanistan and Telangana. The partnership agreement was signed by Shafiqullah Atayee, Chief Executive Officer(CEO) of ACCI and K Bhasker Reddy, President of FTCCI at a seminar on Promotion of Business between Afghanistan and Telangana.

Features of the partnership:
i.The partnership between FTCCI and ACCI will play a major role in strengthening the trade and investment in both Telangana and Afghan.
ii.Under this partnership, FTCCI will collaborate with the business communities in Afghan to establish manufacturing units and increase the market access for afghan products in the state.
iii.This partnership will enable bilateral trade in various sectors including IT, infrastructure, mining, communication, education, energy, transport, agriculture, pharmacy and healthcare.
iv.Both FTCCI and ACCI will exchange the information required for the companies investing and operating in one or both countries.
Additional info:
i.Both the chambers will organise seminars, symposiums, conferences, workshops and meetings in cooperation with the competent authorities.
ii.They will work towards the development of bilateral economic relations by involving governmental and non-governmental organisations along with the organisations of different sectors.
iii.The chambers will hold regular consultations to eliminate the factors affecting bilateral trade and promote the establishment of joint ventures to attract investments.
About Federation of Telangana Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FTCCI):
President– K.Bhasker Reddy
Chief Executive Officer– Khyati Amol Naravane
Headquarters– Hyderabad, Telangana
Established in 1917
About Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Investment (ACCI):
Acting CEO– Shafiqullah Atayee
Headquarters– Kabul, Afghanistan

DBS, Temasek Launched US $500 Million Debt Financing Platform EvolutionX

DBS Group Ltd and Temasek Holdings jointly launched a US $500 million debt financing platform named EvolutionX Debt Capital (EvolutionX) to provide non-dilutive financing to growth stage technology-enabled companies across Asia, with a focus on China, India, and Southeast Asia. Before appointing a full-time Chief Executive Officer (CEO), the platform will be led by Joint Interim CEOs Amit Sinha, Group Head of Telecoms, Media and Technology, DBS, and Aftab Mathur, director, Investment, Temasek. EvolutionX will invest in the digital economy, across sectors such as financial services, consumer, healthcare, education, and industrial development. Growth debt is an alternative source of financing for high-growth technology companies which usually raises equity as a source of capital.

About DBS Group Ltd:
It is the largest lender in Southeast Asia (by market capitalisation and assets)
Headquarters (Global) – Singapore
CEO – Piyush Gupta
About Temasek Holdings:
Headquarters – Singapore
Executive Director & CEO – HO Ching

RBI Cancelled the License of Madgaum Urban Co-operative Bank

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) cancelled the license of Madgaum Urban Co-operative Bank Limited, Margao, Goa due to its inadequate capital and earning prospects to pay its present depositors in full.

The bank is also prohibited from conducting the ‘banking’ business (including acceptance of deposits and repayment of deposits) as defined in Section 56 of the Banking Regulation (BR) Act, 1949. RBI imposed a monetary penalty of Rs 5 crore on Axis Bank for non-compliance with various regulatory provisions of directions issued by the RBI on Cyber Security Framework in Banks, Financial Inclusion- Access to Banking Services – Basic Savings Bank Deposit Account, Frauds – Classification and Reporting, etc.
About Reserve Bank of India(RBI):
i.RBI was established in 1935 on the recommendation of the Hilton Young Commission
ii.It was nationalised in 1949
iii.The 1st headquarters of RBI was located in Kolkata

LIC CSL Launched 2 Co-branded RuPay Credit Cards Powered by IDBI Bank – Lumine, Eclat

LIC Cards Services Ltd (LIC CSL) in partnership with IDBI Bank launched 2 variants of co-branded RuPay Credit Cards powered by IDBI Bank such as LIC CSL ‘Lumine’ Platinum Credit Card and LIC CSL ‘Eclat’ Select Credit Card. At first, the cards were targeted to LIC Policyholders, LIC Agents, and Employees of LIC of India and its subsidiaries/Associates. Both the cards have a validity of 4 years and an interest-free credit period of up to 48 days with a credit limit. It facilitates the users to convert the transactions of over Rs 3000 to Equated monthly instalment (EMI) with zero processing and foreclosure fee. The EMI tenure has options of 3, 6, 9 or 12 months.
About LIC Cards Services Ltd (LIC CSL):
It is the wholly-owned subsidiary of Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) of India
Establishment – 2008
Headquarters – New Delhi

NABARD Approves Around Rs.446 crores for Drinking Water Projects in Punjab

National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) has sanctioned around Rs.446 Crore (i.e.Rs 445.89 Crore) for five large surface based drinking water projects in Ferozpur, Fazilka, Hoshiarpur and Rupanagar districts of Punjab.
i.The funds have been sanctioned under the Rural Infrastructure Development Fund (RIDF).
ii.The project will benefit a rural population of 10.39lakh in 700 villages by providing 70 litres per capita per day of potable drinking water through household tap connections.
iii.The Punjab government is leveraging Centre’s assistance under “Jal Jeevan Mission” with support under RDIF for the benefit of larger sections of the society.

The Government of India had created RIDF in 1995-96 and is maintained by NABARD At present, there are 37 eligible activities under RIDF as approved by Government of India The main objective of the Fund is to provide loans to State Governments and State-owned corporations to enable them to complete ongoing rural infrastructure projects

Jal Jeevan Mission:
i.It was launched on August 15th 2019.
ii.JJM envisages supply of 55 litres of water per person per day to every rural household through Functional Household Tap Connections (FHTC) by 2024.
iii.The Ministry of Jal Shakti is responsible for its implementation.
A statutory body established in 1982
It is fully owned by Government of India
Chairman – G.R.Chintala
Headquarters – Mumbai


India at Tokyo Olympics 2020, July 31 Highlights: Women's hockey team keep quarterfinal hopes alive

India at Tokyo Olympics 2020, July 31 Highlights: India's biggest clash today would be PV Sindhu's semi-final match against Taiwan's Tai Tzu-ying, it is a must win for Sindhu to assure herself an OLympic medal.

Boxer Pooja Rani will also clash against China's Li Qian in women's middleweight quarterfinal. The match is also a must-win as the winner will assure herself of a medal.

The Indian women's hockey team has kept India's quarterfinal hopes alive by defeating South Africa 4-3 in their final Pool A match.

India will hope and pray that this is a day of medals, as some of the biggest hopes are rested on the clashes today.

Tokyo Olympics 2020: Complete list of Indian athletes qualified for Summer Olympics 2020Tokyo Olympics 2020: Complete list of Indian athletes qualified for Summer Olympics 2020

Tokyo Olympics 2020 started on July 23, 2021. The games will see a participation of a total of 127 Indian athletes, including two alternate players and one reserve goalkeeper in the men’s and women’s hockey squad respectively. The qualified athletes in Olympics, across 18 sporting categories, will be part of India’s Olympic contingent for the rescheduled Tokyo Olympics. The international multi-sport event will conclude on August 8, 2021. The total size of the Indian contingent, including the coaches, officials, and supporting staff, counts to 228. The number of Indian athletes participating in the Summer Olympic Games has seen a rise in each of its past 3 editions and the finest athletes of India are expected to continue this trend during Tokyo 2020.
Check the list of Indian athletes qualified for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, sorted by their discipline, sport, and category.
Men’s Recurve individual and team event
1.Tarundeep Rai
2. Atanu Das
3. Pravin Jadhav
Women’s recurve individual
Deepika Kumari


JSW Energy Partnered with FFI for Green Hydrogen

JSW Future Energy Ltd, the wholly-owned subsidiary of JSW Energy, made a framework agreement with Australian Fortescue Future Industries (FFI) Pty Ltd to produce green hydrogen fuel. Both firms will investigate the potential of green hydrogen for green steel making, hydrogen mobility, green ammonia, and other mutually agreed industrial applications in

Objective: To increase the renewable energy share in JSW Energy’s portfolio from the current 30 percent to 85 percent (20 GW) by 2030. Currently, India consumes ~6 million tonnes of hydrogen annually.

About Fortescue Future Industries (FFI) Pty Ltd:
Headquarters – East Perth, Australia
CEO – Julie Shuttleworth
About JSW Energy:
Headquarters – Mumbai, Maharashtra
Joint MD & CEO – Prashant Jain

NASSCOM enters into partnership with UK Government and UK India Business Council

The National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM), The IT industry body, has partnered with the UK Government’s Department for International Trade (DIT) and the UK India Business Council (UKIBC) to address the Digital Skills Gap in the United Kingdom.
i.It includes a 2 day virtual tour covering most of the UK’s top universities such as University of Nottingham, University of Glasgow and others.
ii.The initiative made the companies have a closer look at infrastructure facilities at the universities, understand their methodology for developing skills, explore joint R&D projects internships, tie-ups, hiring and so on.
iii.NASSCOM members like Cigniti, HCL, Hexaware, Infosys, L&T, Mastek, Tech Mahindra, Wipro and others participated in the 2 day virtual programme
Future Skills Prime
It is a skill building programme by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, NASSCOM and the IT industry.
President – R. Chandrasekhar
Headquarters – NewDelhi

Cochin Shipyard Ltd launches 5 Vessels; IAF Inducts Rafalae into Eastern Air Command

Cochin Shipyard Ltd (CSL) launched 5 vessels – 3 Floating Border Outpost Vessels (FBOP) for Border Security Force (BSF) & 2 Mini General Cargo Ships for JSW Group from its dock in Cochin, Kerala. The 3 FBOPs designed & built indigenously by CSL for BSF will act as Strategic base stations at the borders. They will be deployed on the Eastern & Western borders and will strengthen BSF’s water wing. The 2 Mini General Cargo Ships will boost JSW’s business through coastal and inland waterways in India.

IAF Inducts Rafale Aircraft into 101 Squadron of EAC
Indian Air Force (IAF) formally inducted the Rafale Aircraft into the 101 Squadron of the Eastern Air Command (EAC) at Hasimara Air Force, West Bengal.
About Cochin Shipyard Ltd (CSL)
It is a fully owned Government of India company
CMD – Madhu S Nair
Location – Cochin, Kerala

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