Daily Current Affairs 16 September 2021 for Banking/Insurance/SSC and other related exams.
India to hold Global Buddhist Conference in November
The Indian Council of Cultural Relations (ICCR) announced the first edition of the ‘Global Buddhist Conference’ and an institution of the first award in Buddhist Studies in November.
- The conference’s theme, ‘Buddhism in Literature‘, is an effort to take forward Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision on India’s significance in giving the world Buddhism.
- To honour the contribution of foreign scholars/individuals/organisations for the promotion of Buddhist studies internationally, ICCR instituted the “Award for Promotion of Buddhist Studies”, which shall comprise a cash reward of $20,000, a plaque and a gold plated medallion. If there is more than one awardee, the amount would be shared equally.
Niti Aayog launches ‘Shoonya’ programme to promote zero-pollution delivery vehicles
Government think tank Niti Aayog and Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) launched an initiative to promote zero-pollution delivery vehicles by working with consumers and industry.
- The campaign, Shoonya, aims to accelerate adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) in the urban deliveries segment and create consumer awareness about the benefits of zero-pollution delivery.
- Initially, close to 30 companies including Mahindra Electric, Tata Motors, Zomato, Ashok Leyland, Sun Mobility, Lightning Logistics, Big Basket, Bluedart, Hero Electric, and Swiggy among others attended the kick-off meeting chaired by Niti Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant.
PM Modi lays Foundation of new University in Aligarh named after Freedom Fighter Mahendra Pratap Singh
Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone of Raja Mahendra Pratap Singh State University in Aligarh. The university has been named after the great freedom fighter, educationist and social reformer Raja Mahendra Pratap Singh.
- The university is being established by the Uttar Pradesh government in the memory and honour of the freedom fighter.
- The university is being set up in a total area of over 92 acres at Lodha village and Musepur Kareem Jarouli village of Aligarh’s Kol tehsil. The Raja Mahendra Pratap Singh State University will provide affiliation to 395 colleges of the Aligarh division.
Gadkari launches AI-powered road safety initiative in Nagpur
Union Minister Nitin Gadkari launched ”iRASTE”, an Artificial Intelligence-powered project, on a pilot basis in Nagpur in Maharashtra with the aim of reducing accidents by 50 per cent in Vidarbha”s biggest city.
- A collaborative effort between the government, Intel, INAI, IIIT-Hyderabad, CSIR-CRRI (Central Road Research Institute), Mahindra & Mahindra and Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC), the project will focus on vehicle safety, mobility analysis and road infrastructure safety to move towards a ”Vision Zero” accident scenario, a release said.
- Vehicles belonging to NMC will be equipped with collision avoidance technology that can reduce accidents and near misses by up to 60 percent, while sensors will help map the dynamic risk of the entire road network, which can be used by agencies to prevent and rectify accident-prone zones, also called black spots.
Climate change can force 216 million people to migrate within their own countries by 2050
Reduced agricultural production, water scarcity, rising sea levels and other adverse effects of climate change could cause up to 216 million people to leave their homes and migrate within their own countries by 2050, the World Bank has warned.
- The estimate from the Washington-based development lender released updates a 2018 report with new figures from Eastern Europe and Central Asia, North Africa and East Asia and the Pacific to provide a more complete overview of the potential toll from rising global temperatures.
- Bank researchers in 2018 released a report on the impact of climate change on migration in South Asia, Latin America and sub-Saharan Africa, and projected 143 million people in those regions could be forced to move by 2050.
India Participates in SCO Counter-terror Military Exercise in Russia
India has participated in a multi-nation counter-terror exercise in Russia’s Orenburg region that has been organised under the aegis of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO).
- India has sent a team of 200 personnel for the sixth edition of ‘Exercise Peaceful Mission’ from September 13 to 25, 2021.
- The aim of the exercise is to foster close relations between SCO member states and to enhance the abilities of the military leaders to command multi-national military contingents.
BANKING & FINANCE
RBI announces opening of third cohort under Regulatory Sandbox
The Reserve Bank of India announced the opening of the third cohort under the Regulatory Sandbox. The application for the third cohort may be submitted from October 1 to November 14, 2021, it said. The theme for the third cohort is MSME lending.
- The RBI also announced that eight entities have been selected for the ‘test phase’ of the second cohort on cross border payments. Six entities have completed the ‘test phase’ of the first cohort on retail payments.
- The six entities that have completed the test phase include Nucleus Software Exports (PaySe), Tap Smart Data Information Services (Citycash), Natural Support Consultancy Services (IND-e-Cash), Naffa Innovations (ToneTag), Ubona Technologies (BHIM Voice) and Eroute Technologies.
BUSINESS & ECONOMY
DP World inks MoU with Tamil Nadu govt for Rs 2,000-cr projects
UAE-based DP World is investing around Rs 2,000 crore for establishing a slew of projects in Tamil Nadu.
- The projects include a container terminal, cold storage and seafood processing zone, free trade zone with an integrated rail siding, minor port in the Eastern Coast of Tamil Nadu, inland container depots (ICDs) in Erode, Karur and Tiruppur.
- The projects are likely to create employment for 4,500 people including 1,500 direct and 3,000 indirect.
UNCTAD projects Indian economy to expand to 4-year high of 7.2% in 2021
The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) has pegged India’s economic growth rate to hit a four-year high of 7.2 per cent for 2021 against a contraction of 7 per cent in 2020.
- At this rate, India would be the fastest growing economy after China, which is projected to grow by 8.3 per cent. Calculations are based on GDP at constant dollars in 2015.
- In its Trade and Development report released, UNCTAD projected India’s economy to outpace all other major economies in the next year even though the growth would be slower, at 6.7 per cent, than this year’s projected figure.
Infosys launches Equinox platform to boost clients’ e-commerce sales
Infosys launched ‘Equinox’ platform to help enterprises securely deliver hyper-segmented, personalized omnichannel commerce experiences for B2B and B2C buyers.
- The platform’s future-ready architecture offers unprecedented flexibility for enterprises to pick and choose out-of-the-box microservices and pre-built experiences to build curated digital journeys that enhance their digital commerce or launch it grounds-up in a matter of weeks.
Tata Steel commissions India’s first plant for CO2 capture from blast furnace gas
Tata Steel commissioned a 5-tonne per day (TPD) carbon capture plant at its Jamshedpur Works, making it the country’s first steel company to adopt such a carbon capture technology that extracts CO2 directly from the blast furnace gas. Tata Steel will reuse the captured CO2 on site to promote circular carbon economy.
- This carbon capture and utilisation (CCU) facility uses amine-based technology and makes the captured carbon available for onsite reuse.
- The depleted CO2 gas is sent back to the gas network with increased calorific value. This project has been executed with technological support from Carbon Clean, a global leader in low-cost CO2 capture technology.
Asian Games 2022 will feature 8 esports titles as medal events
The 2022 Asian Games is set to be held in Hangzhou, China and will mark the 19th anniversary of the event. The Olympic Council of Asia revealed that eight esports titles will make their debut at the Asian Games.
- This will be the first time that an esports, let alone eight, will be a medal event in the event. Last year, esports were played as a ‘demonstration’ sport though have since been upgraded to a fully recognized sport.
- The eight esports titles included in the 2022 Asian Games are Arena of Valor, Dota 2, Dream Three Kingdoms 2, EA Sports FIFA, Hearthstone, League of Legends, PUBG Mobile, and Street Fighter V. The Asian Games will have their own version of Arena of Valor and PUBG Mobile to be played competitively.
South Africa’s Lizelle Lee Takes Joint First Position with Mithali Raj in ODI Rankings
India skipper Mithali Raj was joined at the top by South Africa opener Lizelle Lee, whose unbeaten 91 in the opening match against the West Indies helped her take joint-first position in the latest ICC women’s ODI rankings. Australia’s Alyssa Healy in third place, India opener Smiriti Mandhana also held on to her ninth spot.
- Indian teen star Shafali Verma held on to her top rank in the T20 rankings with 759 points, ahead of Australian Beth Mooney (744) and India T20 vice-captain Mandhana (716). There was no movement for Sharma (sixth) and Yadav (eighth) in the T20 bowling rankings with the former also retaining her fourth spot in the all rounders’ list.
- In T20 rankings for bowlers, England’s Sarah Glenn has moved up a slot to second position while New Zealand off-spinner Leigh Kasperek (up seven places to 15th) and all-rounder Jess Kerr (up eight places to 58th) have also moved up the table.
Former Olympic shooter Raja Randhir Singh appointed Olympic Council of Asia’s acting president
India’s Raja Randhir Singh has taken over as acting president of the Olympic Council of Asia after Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah, former President, appeals a guilty verdict in a Swiss forgery trial.
- A five-time Olympic shooter and an Asian Games gold medalist in 1978, Singh was promoted to the role from his position as an honorary life vice president.
PM Modi, Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee, SII’s Adar Poonawalla on Time’s 100 most influential people list
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee and the chief executive officer of the Serum Institute of India (SII) in Pune Adar Poonawalla were listed in the Time magazine’s 100 most influential people of the year, according to the list released by the magazine.
- Among global leaders, US President Joe Biden, US Vice President Kamala Harris, Chinese President Xi Jinping, Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi, Israel’s Naftali Bennett, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi were also listed among the 100 most influential people this year. Former US President Donald Trump and the Taliban government’s deputy PM Abdul Ghani Baradar of Afghanistan also were among the leaders.
- Taliban’s Abdul Ghani Baradar, the current deputy PM of Afghanistan, was called “a charismatic military leader and a deeply pious figure,” by the magazine.
UNESCO Literacy Prize awarded to NIOS for Innovation in Education
The National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS) of India won the prestigious UNESCO King Sejong Literacy Prize 2021 for ‘enabling education of persons with disabilities through technology-enabled inclusive learning materials, with a specific focus on Indian Sign language-based content’ in an award function organised at UNESCO’s New Delhi office.
- Every year, the UNESCO International Literacy Prizes focus on a specific theme. This year, the spotlight was on inclusive distance and digital literacy learning.
- The award-winning programme focuses on the use of digital tools and local language to help persons with disabilities the option to access Indian Sign Language (ISL)-based content.
Gujarat Nurse Bhanumati Gheewala to get Florence Nightingale Award for service amid COVID
The Florence Nightingale Award will be given to a nurse, Bhanumati Gheewala, from Sir Sayajirao General Hospital.
- She has been in charge of COVID-19 positive pregnant women’s deliveries as well as infant care. She worked in the gynaecology department as well in the paediatric ward.
- The Florence Nightingale Award is given by the Indian Nursing Council. This is a statutory agency under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, to recognise the contributions of healthcare workers.
International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer
World Ozone Day or International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer , celebrated worldwide on September 16, is a commemoration of that eventful day of agreement, that reminds us to be responsible individuals to ensure ozone layer preservation.
- This year’s theme is ‘Montreal Protocol – Keeping us, our food, and vaccines cool.’