Daily Current Affairs 1 May 2021 for Banking/Insurance/SSC and other related exams.
Punjab cabinet approves hike in Ashirwad Scheme aid from ₹21,000 to ₹51,000
The Punjab Cabinet approved a hike in financial assistance under the Ashirwad scheme from Rs 21,000 to Rs 51,000 per beneficiary, with directions to clear all payment backlog under the scheme.
- The hike will come into effect from July 1, a government statement said after a virtual meeting of the Council of Ministers.
- This is the second hike in the scheme amount by the present government, which had earlier enhanced the assistance from Rs 15,000 to Rs 21,000 soon after it took over in 2017, while renaming the Shagun scheme as Ashirward scheme
Madhya Pradesh govt launches Corona Warriors Scheme
In Madhya Pradesh, the state government has launched the Corona Warriors Scheme.
- The government will take the responsibility of family members of health workers who have passed away while on Corona duty.
- Their families will be given honorarium of Rs 50 lakhs by the government.
Govt releases over Rs 8,873 cr for State Disaster Response Fund to all States for COVID-19 containment measures
As a special dispensation, Centre has released in advance over 8873 crore rupees for State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF) to all the States.
- The States can use up to 50 percent of the released amount for COVID-19 containment measures, that include meeting the cost of oxygen generation and storage plants in hospitals, ventilators, strengthening ambulance services, COVID-19 hospitals, thermal scanners, personal protective equipment, testing laboratories and testing kits.
Finance Ministry decides to provide additional amount of upto Rs 15,000 cr to States
The Finance Ministry has decided to provide an additional amount of upto 15 thousand crore rupees to States as interest free 50 year loan for spending on capital projects.
- The Department of Expenditure has issued fresh guidelines in this regard on the Scheme of Financial Assistance to States for Capital Expenditure for the financial year 2021-22.
- This helped to sustain state level capital expenditure in the pandemic year. In view of the positive response to the scheme and considering the requests of the State Governments, the Government has decided to continue the scheme in the year 2021-22.
BRO’s Project DANTAK completes 60 years in Bhutan
The Border Roads Organisation (BRO) said that one of its oldest project — DANTAK commemorated its Diamond Jubilee in Bhutan.
- Project DANTAK was established on April 24, 1961 as a result of the visionary leadership of His Majesty the Third King and then Prime Minister Jawahar Lal Nehru. Identifying the utmost importance of connectivity in spurring the socio-economic development and growth of Bhutan, DANTAK was tasked to construct the pioneering motorable roads in the Kingdom.
India needs $401 bn capex to fight climate change: Report
The country needs over USD 400 billion in capital investment which could save over 100 GW of energy and 1.1 billion tonne of greenhouse gasses between 2015 and 2030, if it goes ahead with the measures to control pollution under the Paris climate agreement, says a report.
- Since the country is set to far exceed most of its 2015 Paris Agreement targets on climate change, analysts are keenly watching whether India raises its pollution curtailment targets or signals a ”net carbon neutrality” deadline at the two-day Climate Summit.
- The report expects India to step up its emission curtailment targets by 2047 and announce the same at the summit. Several large global economies have committed to be carbon neutral by 2050; and China has set a 2060 target. The US has rejoined the Paris Agreement under Biden and could make major announcements at the summit.
UK Government approves Self-Driving Cars at slow speeds on public roads
The UK government became the first country to announce it will regulate the use of self-driving vehicles at slow speeds on motorways, with the first such cars possibly appearing on public roads as soon as this year.
- The government said the use of Automated Lane Keeping Systems (ALKS) would be restricted to motorways, at speeds under 37 miles (60 km) per hour.
Norway announces $2.4 million aid towards Covid relief in India
Norway announced a contribution of USD 2.4 million to support medical services for coronavirus affected people in India.
- Announcing the assistance, the Norwegian government said it stands with India in its fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.
NATO military exercises launched in Albania
NATO has launched joint military exercises in Albania with thousands of military forces from the United States and other countries in the Western Balkans.
- Albania is playing a critical part in the Defender-Europe 21 exercise with Joint Logistics Over-the-Shore operations taking place “for the first time in Europe since World War II at the Port of Durres.
BANKING & FINANCE
Axis Bank board reclassifies NIACL as ‘public investor’ from ‘promoter’
Public sector insurer The New India Assurance Co Ltd (NIACL) has been reclassified as a ‘public shareholder’ of Axis Bank from being a ‘promoter’ earlier.
- Last week, the country’s third-largest private sector lender had received a request from NIACL to reclassify it to public category from promoter category investor.
Indian Bank signs MoU with BSNL
Indian Bank signed an MoU with Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited(BSNL) to provide seamless telecom services to the bank at a competitive rate.
- The bank is already using services of BSNL and Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited for its Wide Area Network across the country.
RBI joins network for ‘greening the financial system’
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said it has joined the Central Banks and Supervisors Network for Greening the Financial System (NGFS) as a member.
- The RBI said it expects to benefit from the membership of NGFS by learning from and contributing to global efforts on green finance, which has assumed significance in the context of climate change.
BUSINESS & ECONOMY
Pandemic has household savings jumping to 22.5% of GDP: Report
As people were forced to remain indoors for most of the year due to the lockdowns, there was an unlikely winner in the pandemic-ravaged year — household savings — which rose to 22.5 per cent of GDP from 19.8 per cent in 2019, according to a report.
- But households’ physical savings fell to a low 5.8 per cent of GDP in the April-June period — when the whole nation was under a strict lockdown — and almost half of the pre-pandemic levels, according to an analysis by brokerage Motilal Oswal Financial Services.
- However, the same recovered strongly to reach a multi-year high of 13.7 per cent of GDP by the December quarter.
India’s organic food products exports rise 51% to USD 1bn in 2020-21
The country’s exports of organic food products rose by 51 per cent year-on-year to USD 1 billion (Rs 7,078 crore) in 2020-21, the commerce ministry said.
- The main goods which recorded healthy growth in exports include oil cake meal, oilseeds, fruit pulps and purees, cereals and millets, spices and condiments, tea, dry fruits, sugar, pulses, coffee, and essential oil.
- India’s organic products have been exported to 58 countries including the USA, European Union, Canada, Great Britain, Australia, Switzerland, Israel, and South Korea.
Unemployment rate likely to be 8% compared to 6.5% in March in India: CMIE
The unemployment rate in India has shot up in the primary two weeks of April and the month-to-month unemployment rate is likely to be shut to 8% compared to 6.5% in March with decrease absorption of labour in the market, says the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy.
- As per CMIE information, unemployment charges in India in April stood at 8.2%, 8.6%, 8.4% and seven.4% in the primary 4 weeks of the month.
- The unemployment rate has dropped in the third and fourth week. Nevertheless, it is likely to be close to 8% during the month of April after closing March at 6.5%.
ACQUISITIONS & MERGERS
Tata Digital gets CCI nod to acquire 64.3% stake in BigBasket
The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has approved Tata Digital’s acquisition of 64.3 per cent of BigBasket’s B2B arm Supermarket Grocery Supplies.
- The commission said Supermarket Grocery Supplies may acquire sole control of Innovative Retail Concepts that operates BigBasket’s online retail unit.
Niraj Bajaj named Bajaj Auto Chairman; Rahul Bajaj to be Chairman Emeritus
Nearly 50 years after he took over the reins of the company, Rahul Bajaj stepped down as Chairman of Bajaj Auto. His cousin, Niraj Bajaj, has been named the Chairman with effect from May 1.
- Considering his tremendous experience and in the interest of the company and to continue to benefit from his experience, knowledge and wisdom from time to time in an advisory role and as a mentor, the board of directors, at its meeting held and as recommended by Nomination and Remuneration Committee, has approved the appointment Rahul Bajaj as Chairman-Emeritus of the company for five years with effect from May 1, 2021.
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
World’s most powerful weather, climate-change forecasting supercomputer to be built in UK
Microsoft and UK’s Met Office have teamed up to build the world’s most powerful supercomputer to forecast weather and climate-change.
- Likely to be operational in 2022, the supercomputer will provide accurate warnings on severe weather and help protect from impact of increasingly extreme storms, floods and snow in the UK.
NCW launches WhatsApp helpline number for pregnant women
The National Commission for Women has launched a WhatsApp helpline number for providing emergency medical assistance to pregnant women. The number is 9354954224. The move came after NCW noticed that pregnant women were facing difficulty in accessing medical aid.
- Expectant mothers from across the country can reach out to the Commission through this number which will be functional round the clock.
- The commission can also be reached on the email firstname.lastname@example.org.
India’s first 3D printed house by IIT Madras startup
Tvasta, a startup by alumni of IIT Madras, constructed India’s first 3D printed house. The house was inaugurated by Finance Minister Nirmala Sithraman.
- The startup devised ‘Concrete 3D Printing’ technology to build a single storey house with functional space of about 600 square feet and comprising a single bedroom, hall, and a kitchen.
- The team printed the structure using a specialty concrete that it had developed to print large-scale 3D structures in short periods.
NASA’s Apollo 11 mission astronaut Michael Collins passes away
American astronaut Michael Collins, who piloted the Apollo 11 command module while his crewmates became the first people to walk on the Moon, died after battling cancer.
- Collins’ first spaceflight was on the Gemini 10 mission, where he made a then record-breaking two spacewalks.
- But he is best known for being a member of the Apollo 11 mission when, on 20 July 1969, his crewmates Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin took their giant leaps for mankind.
International Labour Day
International Workers’ Day, also known as Labour Day in most countries, is celebrated on May 1 every year.
- The day is a celebration of labourers around the world. The day has its origins in the labour union movement, specifically the eight-hour day movement.