Current Affairs

31 March, 2022

International

India and Australia inks MoU for joint exploration of Lithium and Cobalt mineral resources

The Government of India and Australia has committed to invest USD 6 million jointly to explore Lithium and Cobalt mines in Australia in the next six months.
About Lithium policy in India:
i.Lithium is a key component in the battery used in Electric Vehicles (EV).
ii.India, through the Production Linked Incentive (PLI) Scheme, is offering Rs 18,100 crore incentives for companies to build battery cells locally for Electric Vehicles (EV).
iii.China and Hong Kong are the biggest lithium battery suppliers to India.
About Khanij Bidesh India Limited (KABIL)
i.KABIL is a joint venture company set up with the participation of three Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSEs) namely, National Aluminium Company Limited (NALCO), Hindustan Copper Limited (HCL) and Mineral Exploration Company Limited (MECL).
ii.The objective is to ensure a consistent supply of critical and strategic minerals to the Indian domestic market and ensuring mineral security of the Nation by Import substitution.
Headquarters – New Delhi
About Critical Minerals Facilitation Office (CMFO)
i.CMFO is the Australian Government’s central coordination point to help grow the critical minerals sector. It comes under the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources (DISER), Government of Australia.

National

India TB cases up 19%: India TB Report 2022; Delhi Tops in TB Prevalence: National TB Prevalence Survey in India 2019-2021

According to the India TB Report 2022 – Coming Together to End TB Altogether, India has recorded a 19% increase in Tuberculosis(TB) cases in 2021 over 2020 & as per ‘National TB Prevalence Survey in India 2019-2021’ Report, Delhi has topped the TB Prevalence in India(among the population aged above 15 years and among all age groups) with 534 cases per 1 lakh population and 747 per 1 Lakh population (highest in India) respectively.

i.The report was released by Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya during the “STEP Up to End TB 2022” Summit organised on the occasion of World TB Day 2022.
About Ministry of Health and Family Welfare(MoHFW):
Union Minister– Mansukh Mandaviya (Rajya Sabha- Gujarat)
Minister of State (MoS)– Dr Bharati Pravin Pawar (Dindori, Maharashtra)

Indian Navy Commissions Second P-8I squadron INAS 316 ‘Condors’ at INS Hansa, Goa

i.The Chief of Naval Staff (CNS) Admiral Radhakrishnan Hari Kumar commissioned second P-8I aircraft squadron of four aircraft named ‘Indian Naval Air Squadron (INAS) 316’ at the INS (Indian Naval Ship) Hansa Naval air base in Goa.
ii.INAS 316 has been christened ‘The Condors’, one of the world’s largest flying birds with a large wingspan. It will operate four P-8I aircraft procured as part of the optional clause in 2016 in a deal worth over $1 bn.
iii.The new air squadron will be commanded by Cdr Amit Mohapatra, an accomplished Boeing P-8I pilot.
About Indian Navy:
Founded- 26 January 1950
Headquarters-New Delhi, Delhi

MoD & BEL Signs Contracts Worth Rs 3,102 Crore For Procurement of Advanced Electronic Warfare suite & IEWR

Ministry of Defence (MoD) Signed a Contract with Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) Bengaluru, Karnataka and BEL Hyderabad, Telangana for supply of Advanced Electronic Warfare (EW) suite for Fighter aircraft & for Instrumented Electronic Warfare Range (IEWR) for the Indian Air Force (IAF) respectively with a total outlay of Rs.3,102 Crore.

MoD & BEL Bengaluru:

i.MoD and BEL, Bengaluru, Karnataka signed a Contract worth Rs.1993 Crore for supply of Advanced Electronic Warfare (EW) suite for Fighter aircraft of Indian Air Force.

ii.The EW suite has been indigenously designed & developed by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).

iii.Benefit: The supply of advanced EW systems will significantly enhance the battle-survivability of IAF fighter aircraft while undertaking operational missions against adversaries’ ground-based as well as airborne fire control and surveillance radars.

MoD & BEL Hyderabad:

i.A contract has been signed between the MoD and BEL, Hyderabad, Telangana for the development of an Instrumented Electronic Warfare Range (IEWR) for the Indian Air Force (IAF) at a cost of ~Rs 1,109 crore.

ii.IEWR will be used to test and evaluate airborne electronic warfare (EW) equipment and validate their deployment in an operational scenario.

iii.The contract is a significant step towards enhancing the capabilities of the IAF to prepare for future warfare and also caters towards the initiatives of Atmanirbhar Bharat.

Assam and Meghalaya signed a pact to resolve 5 decade old border dispute in six places

The Chief Minister of Assam Himanta Biswa Sarma and the Chief Minister of Meghalaya Conrad Sangma in the presence of Union Home Minister Amit Shah had signed a pact to resolve the protracted border dispute in six out of twelve places along the 884.9 Kilometre border between the two states.
About Assam:
i.Assam shares a 2743 kilometre boundary with Manipur, Mizoram, Tripura, Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland and West Bengal.
ii.Assam has border disputes with Nagaland, Mizoram, Meghalaya and Arunachal Pradesh.
Capital – Dispur
Governor – Jagadish Mukhi
Chief minister – Himanta Biswa Sarma (Constituency – Jalukbari)
About Meghalaya:
Capital – Shillong
Governor – Satya Pal Malik
Chief minister – Conrad Sangma (Constituency – South Tura)

Economy

HDFC ERGO Launches VAULT, an Industry’s First Digitally-enabled Rewards based Program

HDFC ERGO General Insurance Company launched its VAULT program. It is India’s first industry based digital customer engagement and rewards program. This program is an experiment to test a new idea under the Regulatory Sandbox of IRDAI (Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India ) The testing period will be till 14th May 2022 and further continuance of the product beyond the testing period will be subject to IRDAI approval.
What is the VAULT program?
i.It is a customer engagement-based membership program.
ii.Under the program, eligible customers will be incentivized by way of reward points on meeting the specified criteria or actions. Various criteria such as staying insured under the policy for more than two years, holding two active HDFC ERGO retail policies etc.

iii.The reward points will be equivalent to cash and can be redeemed against wellness offers such as pharmacy vouchers, doctor consultations, etc. No new customers will be enrolled after 14th May 2022. More points can be earned and redeemed by enrolled customers up to14th May 2023.

iv.Maximum customer enrolments under this program will be 10,000. This reward program will cover Optima Restore health insurance customers.
About Regulatory Sandbox:
It is created by the IRDAI that allows the insurance company to conduct field tests to collect evidence on the benefits and risks of new products and services.

Central Bank of India Ties up with Kwik.ID to ​Digitize Customer Onboarding

Central Bank of India (CBI) partnered with Kwik.ID to implement digital Know Your Customer (KYC), video KYC and eKYC for its network across India.
Objective:
To bring seamless onboarding and provide efficient digital facilities to the customers across India.
Highlights:
i.The partnership will support the implementation of its digital transformation agenda and also help in digital finance initiatives.
ii.Kwik.ID is India’s fastest and first ever AI-based fully compliant Video KYC solution and a flagship product by Think360.ai. It has the target to digitize 10 million customers’ onboarding annually and streamline their end-to-end processes. Earlier, it collaborated with Bank of Baroda, RBL Bank, Bajaj Finserv and Spice Money, among others.
What is the Know Your Customer (KYC) process in banks?
It is the process of verifying the identity of customer. The objective of KYC guidelines is to prevent banks from being used by criminal elements for money laundering activities.
About Central Bank of India (CBI):
Headquarters– Mumbai, Maharashtra
Founded-1911
MD & CEO- M. V. Rao

Sports

India Wins 3rd Edition Of The SAFF U-18 Women’s Championship 2022 In Jharkhand

India wins 3rd edition of South Asian Football Federation (SAFF) Under – 18 (U-18) Women’s Championship 2022 by defeating Bangladesh women’s football U-18 team, which took place in JRD Tata Sports Complex, Jamshedpur, Jharkhand.
i.India lost to Bangladesh in the final match for (0-1).
ii.Because India and Bangladesh topped the table with 9 points respectively, the Winner was decided by the superior goal difference in which India scored +11 goals and Bangladesh scored +3 goals.
iii.Thomas Dennerby is the coach of Indian Women’s football U-18 team.
About South Asian Football Federation (SAFF) U-18 Championship 2022:
i.The three-nation tournament consists of India, Bangladesh and Nepal.
ii.India wins the tournament in 2022 for the first time.
iii.Lynda kom Serato representing India, was adjudged the Most Valuable Player of the tournament and the highest goal scorer, scoring 5 goals.
iv.Bangladesh team was honoured for Fair Play.
South Asian Football Federation (SAFF) U-18 Championship
President – Kazi MD. Salahuddin
Established – 1997
Headquarters – Dhaka, Bangladesh
Champions of 2018 and 2021 – Bangladesh

Miscellaneous

IDBI Bank to Sell 25% Stake in Ageas Federal Life Insurance Company

Industrial Development Bank of India (IDBI Bank) announced to offload its 25% stake in Ageas Federal Life Insurance Company (AFLI) to Ageas Insurance International NV. The board of directors of the IDBI Bank approved to sell its 200 million equity shares in AFLI to Ageas pursuant to exercise of Call Option by Ageas.
Highlights:
i.In December 2020, IDBI Bank also sold a 23% stake in an insurance joint venture (JV) to Ageas Insurance International for Rs 507.10 crore, following this the insurer’s name was changed from IDBI Federal Life Insurance to Ageas Federal Life Insurance company limited. This raised Ageas stake to 49% in the insurance company.

ii.The approval was also given for divestment of the bank’s stake up to 11.10% of paid-up share capital of the National Securities Depository (NSD) through market-driven process.
About Industrial Development Bank of India (IDBI):
Headquarters- Mumbai, Maharashtra
CEO & MD– Rakesh Sharma
Tagline– Bank Aisa Dost Jaisa

Chief of the Army Staff presents ‘President’s Colours’ to two battalions of Dogra regiment

General Manoj Mukund Naravane, Chief of the Army staff presented the prestigious ‘President’s Colours’ also known as ‘Nishaan’ to two battalions of the Dogra Regiments namely 20 DOGRA and 21 DOGRA during a colour presentation parade held at the Dogra Regiment Centre, Faizabad Uttar Pradesh.
General Nirmal Chander Vij (retd) former Chief of the Army Staff & Honorary Colonel of The Dogra Regiment was also attended the Colour Presentation Parade.
About Dogra Regiment:
i.The Dogra Regiment is an infantry regiment of the Indian Army.
ii.The regiment traces its roots directly from the 17th Dogra Regiment of the British Indian Army.
Regimental Centre – Faizabad, Uttar Pradesh
Nickname – Gentlemen Warriors
Mascot – Tiger
About President’s Colours:
i.The President’s Colour Award is the highest honour that can be bestowed upon any military unit of India.
ii.It is also known as ′Nishaan′ which is an emblem that will be worn by all unit officers on the left-hand sleeve of their uniform.
iii.The presentation of the award or standards by the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces of India (President of India) is an acknowledgement of the unit’s meritorious service.
iv.The ‘Standards’ are awarded to Heavy Cavalry and the ‘Guidons’ are awarded to Light Cavalry.

Central Bank of Chile Governor Mario Marcel won Governor of the year Award 2022: 9th Central Banking Awards 2022

Mario Marcel Cullell (Mario Marcel), the Governor of Banco Central de Chile(BCCh – Central Bank of Chile) has won the Governor of the year Award 2022 at the 9th edition of the Central Banking Awards 2022. The award recognises all-around achievements in the job. The annual Central Banking Awards 2022 is made up of 17 central bank categories and 14 partner and service provider categories.
About Mario Marcel:
i.Mario Marcel served as the Governor of the BCCh from 2016 to January 2022.
ii.He resigned his post as governor in January 2022, and become finance minister under the new administration of Gabriel Boric, President of Chile.
iii.He has also served as a consultant for international organizations and governments of different countries such as Mexico, Colombia, Peru and Vietnam
iv.He has also served as a researcher for the Corporation for Latin American Studies (Cieplan).
Central Banking Awards:
The inaugural Central Banking Awards were presented in 2014.
The annual award recognises. Extraordinary examples of public service. Pioneering activities in the central banking community. Best practice in policy, governance, economics, digitalisation, infrastructure and management. Innovative and best practice in the provision of operational, technological, financial and advisory services

Central Banking Publications:
Central Banking is firmly established as the industry’s leading information resource. It is a financial publisher owned by Infopro Digital specialising in public policy and financial markets.
Editor-in-chief– Christopher Jeffery
About Banco Central de Chile (Central Bank of Chile):
Governor– Rosanna Costa (first female governor)
Headquarters– Santiago, Chile
Founded in August 1925

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