Current Affairs

11 December, 2021

International

India Assumed the Chairmanship of Council of Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure of SCO

India assumed the Chairmanship of Council of Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure of Shanghai Cooperation Organization (RATS SCO) for 1 year from October 28, 2021.
The National Security Council Secretariat (NSCS), Government of India, in association with Data Security Council of India (DSCI), as a Knowledge Partner, organized a 2-day Practical Seminar on ‘Securing Cyberspace in the Contemporary Threat Environment’ ( on December 7 and 8, 2021) for delegates from SCO member States. The seminar is the 1st event to be hosted by India during its Chairmanship of Council of RATS SCO. This is the second time India is hosting such the Seminar event. At 1st time the seminar was held in Hyderabad, India in August 2019 and it was not held in 2020 due to COVID-19.

Participants: The representatives from the Executive Committee (EC) of RATS SCO and all SCO member countries participated in the Seminar.
About the Council of Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure of SCO (RATS SCO):
i.The RATS, which is headquartered in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, is a permanent organ of the SCO. It serves to promote cooperation of member states against terrorism, separatism and extremism.
ii.Each member state also sends a permanent representative to RATS. The SCO Secretary General and the Executive Director SCO RATS are appointed for a term of 3 years
iii.Director of the RATS SCO EC is Jumakhon Giyosov

UNGA granted Observer Status to International Solar Alliance

i.The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) granted Observer Status to International Solar Alliance (ISA) by adopting resolution 76/123. This decision has been taken based on the UNGA’s Sixth Committee report.ii.In November 2015, ISA was jointly launched by India and France during the 21st session of the United Nations Climate Change COP-21 in Paris, France to promote solar energy among its Member Countries.

About United Nations General Assembly (UNGA):
It is the policy-making body of the United Nations (UN).
President– Abdulla Shahid (76th)
India’s Permanent Ambassador to UN– T S Tirumurti

World Malaria Report 2021: Worldwide Malaria Cases in 2020 Estimated at 241 million

According to WHO’s (World Health Organisation) latest World Malaria Report 2021, globally there were an estimated 241 million malaria cases and 627000 malaria deaths in 85 malaria-endemic countries in 2020, increasing from 227 million in 2019. As per the report, there are about 14 million more cases in 2020 compared to 2019 and 69000 more deaths.

About World Health Organisation (WHO):
Establishment – 1948
Headquarters – Geneva, Switzerland
Director-General – Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus

National

NEDFi Introduced Atmanirbhar Hastshilpkar Scheme for North-Eastern Artisans

The North Eastern Development Finance Corporation Ltd. (NEDFi), a premier financial institution in the North-Eastern (NE) Region, has introduced a new scheme named Atmanirbhar Hastshilpkar Scheme to the grass-root Artisans of the NE region under the Ministry of Doner (Development of NE Region).

Objective: To develop the petty artisans of the NE Region by providing financial assistance in the form of term loans for income-generating activities for setting up/expansion/modernization/working capital requirement and other activities related to the sector.

About North Eastern Development Finance Corporation Ltd. (NEDFi):
Headquarters – Guwahati, Assam
Chairman and Managing Director – PVSLN Murty

NITI Aayog releases reports on Country level status of Emergency & Injury Care in India

National Institute of Transforming India (NITI Aayog) released two comprehensive reports titled – Reports on current status on Country level (secondary & tertiary level) and district level emergency and injury care in India. These reports were launched in the presence of Dr V K Paul, Hon’ble Member (Health) NITI Aayog and Dr Rakesh Sarwal, Additional Secretary, and other dignitaries. These studies were carried out by the department of Emergency Medicine, Jai Prakash Narayan Apex Trauma Centre (JPNATC), All India Institute of Medical Science (AIIMS), New Delhi in collaboration with NITI Aayog.

Highlights – Prevailing gaps in ambulance services, health infrastructure, human resources and equipment in the provision of optimal care.
Report Analysis:
Domains – Ambulance services, Infrastructure, Human resources, Equipment status, Essential medicines, Definitive care and burden of various diseases.
i.It highlights the need for nation-wide standardized protocols for intensive care, world-class ambulance services along with effective paramedics and expansion of blood banks.
ii.Premature death and Disability Adjusted Life Years (DALYs) can be prevented by establishing robust integrated emergency care systems with definitive care.
iii.The reports provide policy inputs to improve and strengthen the emergency care services at all tiers of the healthcare facilities in India.
About National Institute of Transforming India (NITI Aayog):
Chairperson – Narendra Modi
Vice-Chairperson – Rajiv Kumar
CEO- Amitabh Kant
Headquarters – New Delhi, Delhi

India Skills Report 2022: Maharashtra Retains Top Position for most Employable Talent

As per the 9th edition of India Skills Report (ISR) 2022, released by Wheebox, Maharashtra has retained the top position in the list of states with the highest poll of employable talent followed by Uttar Pradesh and Kerala. The theme of ISR 2022 – ‘Rebuilding and Reengineering the Future of Work’. States with Maximum Hiring Activity: Maharashtra, Karnataka, and Tamil Nadu are the 3 states that have a higher job demand. Pune is the city with the most highly employable resources with 78% of the test takers scoring above 60 percent. As per the current edition, the overall employability in India has improved with 46.2% of the youth being found to be highly employable compared to last year’s employability standing at 45.97%.

Top 5 States with Highest Employability:

Rank State Employability %
1 Maharashtra 66.1
2 Uttar Pradesh(UP) 65.2
3 Kerala 64.2
4 West Bengal (WB) 63.8
5 Karnataka 59.3

About ISR 2022:
ISR is a full-fledged report about the future of work, education, and skilling to match the talent demand and supply in a growing India.
The India Skills Report 2022 was provided by Wheebox in partnership with AICTE (All India Council for Technical Education), AIU (Association of Indian Universities) ,Taggd, CII (Confederation of Indian Industry), Sunstone Eduversity, and UNDP (United Nations Development Program),Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE), Additional Skill Acquisition Programme (ASAP) Kerala were also part of the report, so mention it.

Economy

Federal Bank entered into Bancassurance Partnership with Star Health Insurance

Federal Bank entered into a Bancassurance partnership with Star Health and Allied Insurance Co Ltd as a corporate agent to provide health insurance products for the Bank’s 8.90 million customers across India.Key Points:
The Bank’s customers can avail benefits of Star Health’s retail products and group affinity products through the bank’s various distribution channels which help the customers to address their complete financial needs under one roof.
Bancassurance – It is a partnership between a bank and an insurance company that would enable them to offer insurance products to the bank’s customers.
About Federal Bank:
Establishment – April 23, 1931
Headquarters – Aluva, Kerala
Managing Director & CEO – Shyam Srinivasan
Tagline – Your Perfect Banking Partner
About SBI Life Insurance:
MD & CEO– Mahesh Kumar Sharma
Headquarters– Mumbai, Maharashtra

Bank of Baroda signs MoU with Centrum Housing Finance for Housing Loans

Bank of Baroda (BoB) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Centrum Housing Finance Limited (CHFL) for sourcing and financing housing loan borrowers under Co-Lending Model (CLM) mechanism.
Signatories – Harshadkumar T. Solanki, General Manager, Mortgage and Other Retail Assets, Bank of Baroda, and Sanjay Shukla, MD & CEO of CHFL.
About Centrum Housing Finance Limited (CHFL):
MD & CEO – Sanjay Shukla
Headoffice – Mumbai, Maharashtra
About Bank of Baroda (BoB):
Managing Director (MD) & CEO – Sanjiv Chadha
Headquarters – Vadodara, Gujarat
Amalgamated Banks – Dena Bank & Vijaya Bank in 2019

ADB approves USD350mn loan to Improve Urban Services in India

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) approved ~Rs.2653.05 crore (USD 350 million(mn)) policy-based loan to improve urban services in India. This loan supports the policies formulated by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) to benefit the urban poor, economically weaker section and low-income groups.
How will this loan be utilized?
ADB will help MoHUA to select low-income states and urban local bodies to implement its policy reforms viz. universal coverage of piped water supply and improved sanitation under the Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) 2.0, to provide affordable housing to all under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY). ADB will also provide knowledge and advisory support to MoHUA in program implementation, monitoring and evaluation. ADB will also provide recommendations on cross-cutting issues like climate change, environmental and social safeguards assessment, and gender equality and social inclusion.

Points to be noted:
India’s current estimated urban population is 460 million which is second-largest in the world and is projected to reach nearly 600 million by 2030. It is growing at an annual rate of over 2%.
About Asian Development Bank (ADB)
Headquarters– Manila, Philippines
President– Masatsugu Asakawa
Members Countries– 68

RBI granted Scheduled Payment Bank Status to Paytm Payments Bank Limited

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) granted a scheduled payment bank status to the Paytm Payments Bank Limited (PPBL) by including it into the Second Schedule to the RBI Act, 1934. With this approval, PPBL becomes the 3rd Scheduled Payments Banks This status will help PPBL to explore new business opportunities, including participation in government and other large corporations issued request for proposals (RFP), primary auctions, fixed-rate and variable rate repos, and reverse repos. This will also enable the PPBL to offer more financial services and products.

Points to be noted:
i.Apart the PPBL, other payment banks that are in the List of Second Schedule of the RBI Act are India Post Payments Bank Limited (IPPBL), and Fino Payments Bank Limited (FPBL).
ii.Currently, the list of Scheduled Commercial Banks (SCBs) include 12 Public Sector Banks (PSBs), 22 Private Sector Banks, 11 Small Finance Banks (SFBs), 3 Payments Banks, 43 Regional Rural Banks (RRBs), and 46 Foreign Banks in India. Click here for Official List
About Paytm Payments Bank:
Parent Company– One97 Communications
MD and CEO- Satish Kumar Gupta
Headquarter– Noida, Uttar Pradesh

Sports

India won 41 medals at Asian Youth Para Games 2021

India claimed 41 medals (12 Gold, 15 Silver, 14 Bronze) at the 4th Asian Youth Para Games (AYPG), Asia’s biggest event held at Riffa city, Bahrain. The event is organized by the National Paralympic Committee (NPC) of Bahrain with the support of the local government. Over 700 athletes from around 30 countries participated in the event from 2ndto 6th December 2021. The 5th edition of the Asian Youth Para Games 2025 will be hosted by Tashkent, Uzbekistan.
About the Asian Youth Para Games 2021
Over 700 athletes from around 30 countries participated in the continental youth showpiece event that took place from December 2 to 6. The athletes competed across nine sports – Para athletics, Para badminton, boccia, goalball, Para powerlifting, Para swimming, Para table tennis, Para taekwondo, and wheelchair basketball.

Miscellaneous

Architect Balkrishna Doshi to be honoured with the Royal Gold Medal 2022

Acclaimed Indian architect Balkrishna Vithaldas Doshi (94) has been named for the Royal Gold Medal 2022 which is one of the world’s highest honours for architecture. The announcement for the same was made by Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA). Notably, worked under Le Corbusier (Designed Chandigarh) and Louis Kahn, he is a pioneer of modernist and brutalist architecture in India. In 2018, he became the first Indian architect to receive the Pritzker Architecture Prize.

About Royal Gold Medal:
It recognizes lifetime’s work of person or group of people in the advancement of architecture. The medal is personally approved by the Queen Elizebth II. It is awarded annually by RIBA on behalf of the British monarch. 2022 Honours Committee was chaired by RIBA President Simon Allford and comprised of architects Alison Brooks and last year’s Royal Gold Medal recipient Sir David Adjaye OBE, architect and academic Kate Cheyne and cultural historian and museum director Dr Gus Casely-Hayford OBE selects the Royal Gold Medallist.

About Balkrishna Doshi:
Born in 1927 in Pune, he studied at the JJ School of Architecture, Bombay (Mumbai, Maharashtra). He worked for four years with Le Corbusier as Senior Designer (1951-54) in Paris and four more years in India to supervise projects in Ahmedabad (Gujarat). He also worked with Louis Kahn as an associate to build the Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Ahmedabad. His career spanned in seven decades, with over 100 built projects, across India. Many of his iconic works include Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore(Karnataka); Sangath, his studio in Ahmedabad; Ahmedabad School of Architecture (renamed CEPT University in 2002); and Aranya Low Cost Housing (1989), Indore, which won the Aga Khan Award for Architecture in 1995. He is also an awardee of Padma Shri and the Padma Bhushan.

IMO Award for Exceptional Bravery at Sea to Indian Navy, ICG & Master

The International Maritime Organisation (IMO) has established an annual Award to provide international recognition for individual’s and team’s exceptional bravery at sea. For 2021, IMO awarded Certificate of Commendation to the Indian Navy, Indian Coast Guard and Master along with crew members of tugboat Ocean Bliss.
i.They were awarded for exceptional and courageous efforts towards the rescue operation of M/T New Diamond ship that was caught in fire at the Sri Lankan Coast.
Recognition – To those who, at the risk of losing their own life, perform acts of exceptional bravery, displaying outstanding courage in attempting to save life at sea or in attempting to prevent or mitigate damage to the marine environment. The act of bravery involves extraordinary seamanship skills in very difficult conditions or any other display of outstanding courage.
About International Maritime Organisation (IMO):
Secretary-General – Kitack Lim (Republic of Korea)
Headquarters – London, United Kingdom

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