Daily Current Affairs 1 February 2021 for Banking/Insurance/SSC and other related exams.
Lucknow Metro becomes first metro to use UV rays to sanitise train coaches
The Lucknow Metro has become the first metro in the country to use ultraviolet (UV) rays to sanitise train coaches.
- The step was taken in the wake of Covid pandemic to provide its passengers a safe and secure journey.
- The UP Metro Rail Corporation, UPMRC got the idea from the New York Metro’s experiment to sanitise trains with UV lamp rays.
- DRDO approved the equipment in October last year and Lucknow Metro has become the first metro to use this to sanitize the coaches. The remote operated equipment also reduces the cost by 40 times less than what comes in sanitizing the coach by sodium hypochlorite.
Centre approves release of Rs 1,751 cr to Assam, Arunachal, Odisha, Telangana & UP
The High-Level Committee under the Chairmanship of Home Minister Amit Shah approved Additional Central Assistance of over one thousand seven hundred 51 crore rupees under the National Disaster Response Fund, NDRF to five states, which were affected by floods, landslides during South-West Monsoon-2020 and hailstorm during Rabi 2019-20.
- For floods and landslides during South-West Monsoon-2020, over 437 crore rupees were approved for Assam, over 75 crore rupees to Arunachal Pradesh, nearly 321 crore to Odisha, nearly 246 crore rupees to Telangana and over 386 crore rupees to Uttar Pradesh.
- For hailstorm during Rabi 2019-20, over 285 crore rupees to Uttar Pradesh has been approved
BANKING & FINANCE
India, World Bank sign 500 million dollar Programme to improve quality of school education in India
The Government of India and the World Bank signed a 500-million US dollar Strengthening Teaching-Learning and Results for States Programme (STARS) to improve the quality and governance of school education in six Indian states.
- These include Himachal Pradesh, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, and Rajasthan. Some 250 million students (between the age of six and 17) in 1.5 million schools and over 10 million teachers will benefit from the programme.
- The STARS programme builds on the long partnership between India and the World Bank (since 1994), for strengthening public school education and to support the country’s goal of providing Education for All.
StashFin Partners with SBM Bank India to launch contactless prepaid cards
Singapore-based neobanking startup StashFin and SBM Bank India announced the launch of their co-branded contactless prepaid cards.
- With this launch, the innovation and technology-led business partnership is set to bridge the growing credit gap in India.
- The Visa powered card comes with a contactless EMV chip, offering the cardholders 24×7 access to funds. With its enhanced safety and security features, the prepaid card acts like a personal overdraft facility, allowing the customer to take loans up to Rs 5 lakh.
- This card can be used for free ATM cash withdrawals and online/offline payments at all merchant platforms and PoS terminals across India.
BUSINESS & ECONOMY
Bangladesh GDP growth rate fell to 0.5 percent in 2020: UN Agency
The GDP growth rate in Bangladesh fell to 0.5 percent in the calendar year 2020 as compared to 8.4 percent in the year 2019 due to the impact of Covid 19 pandemic.
- According to the report ‘World Economic Situation and prospects 2021’ released by the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs, the fall in GDP growth rate was cushioned to some extent by a recovery in trade and remittance in the second half of the year.
- Predicting a growth rate of 6.9 percent for South Asia in 2021, the report said that it would be inadequate to make up for the losses of 2020.
- The regional economic growth is forecast at 5.3 percent for 2022 which will allow South Asia to surpass its economic output level of 2019 but only marginally.
GDP growth for FY20 revised downwards to 4% from 4.2%
India’s economy expanded at a much slower rate than initially estimated in 2019-20, according to revised numbers released by the government, reinforcing views that economic growth had already moderated before the Covid-19 pandemic.
- The statistics office revised the growth rate for India’s gross domestic product (GDP) for fiscal 2020 to 4% from 4.2% earlier. However, the growth estimate for FY19, was raised to 6.5% from 6.1%. As per the estimates, the savings rate rose in the last two years.
- Gross savings as a percentage of gross national disposable income for 2019-20 is estimated at 30.9% against the revised estimate of 30.1% for 2018-19.
- The gross value added (GVA) grew 4.1% in 2019-20, It was previously estimated at 3.9%.
- The revised data showed that gross fixed capital formation (GFCF)- an indicator of investment- expanded by 5.4% in FY20 in contrast to the earlier estimate of a 2.8% contraction.
- However, gross capital formation-to-GDP ratio fell to 32.2% for FY20 against the revised estimate of 32.7% in FY19.
- The per capita net national income (current prices) is estimated at Rs 1.25 lakh in FY19, a tad lower than the previous estimate of Rs 1.26 lakh while that in FY20 is unchanged at Rs 1.34 lakh, according to the data.
RS Sharma to take over as CEO of National Health Authority
Senior bureaucrat and former TRAI chairman Ram Sewak Sharma is the new Chief Executive Officer of the National Health Authority (NHA), an autonomous body which is responsible for implementing India’s $1.43 billion public health insurance / assurance scheme Ayushman-Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojaya (AB-PMJAY).
- Sharma succeeds Indu Bhushan as his three-year-term comes to an end in January 2021.
- Sharma had recently been named as the chairperson of an empowered committee for COVID-19 vaccine delivery technology platform (Co-WIN). He was also inducted into the high-level vaccine administration panel headed by VK Paul, a member of the National Institution for Transforming India, the NITI Aayog, where he leads the health and nutrition verticals.
Jay Shah takes over as Asian Cricket Council President
The Board of Control for Cricket in India’s (BCCI) Secretary Jay Shah was unanimously elected as the President of the Asian Cricket Council (ACC).
- Shah replaces Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) chief Najmul Hasan Papon.The position is rotated among full members of the Asian boards every two years.
- At 32, Shah is the youngest administrator to be appointed as the ACC president.
DR Congo PM Ilunga resigns after no-confidence vote
The prime minister of the Democratic Republic of the Congo has resigned, a move that will enable President Felix Tshisekedi to appoint his own prime minister supported by a new parliamentary majority.
- Prime Minister Sylvestre Ilunga Ilunkamba was constitutionally required to resign after being censured by the National Assembly.
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Isro to launch Coimbatore college’s academic satellite
A private engineering college in the city has designed and developed a satellite that could perform all Internet of Things (IoT) right from detecting an underground pipeline leakage to fire in forest or multi-storeyed buildings.
- Named SriShakthiSat, the satellite is developed by the Sri Shakthi Institute of Engineering and Technology at Chinniyampalayam.
- The Indian Space Research Organization (Isro) is expected to launch this satellite, along with two other satellites built by JPR Institute of Technology in Chennai and GH Raisoni College of Engineering at Ahmednagar in Maharashtra, through PSLV-C51 from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota on February 28.
Navy’s fast attack craft T-81 decommissioned
Indian Naval Fast Attack Craft (IN FAC) T-81 of the Super Dvora MK II class, was decommissioned on 28 January 2021 at Naval Dockyard, Mumbai after having served the nation successfully for more than 20 years.
- The 25 meter long vessel with 60 tonnes displacement was built at Goa Shipyard Ltd. in collaboration with M/s Ramta of Israel.
- The ship, specially designed for shallow waters, could achieve speeds up to 45 knots and had the capability of day/night surveillance and reconnaissance, Search & Rescue, beach insertion, extraction of Marine Commandoes and high speed interception of intruder craft.
Animals guitarist Hilton Valentine passes away
Guitarist and founding member of The Animals, Hilton Valentine has died. He was 77.
- The British band’s version of blues standard The House of The Rising Sun topped the UK and US charts in 1964.
- The Animals’ record label ABKCO Music described Valentine as a “pioneering guitar player influencing the sound of rock and roll for decades to come”.
- Valentine co-founded the Animals in Newcastle in 1963 alongside singer Eric Burdon, bassist Chas Chandler, organist Alan Price and drummer John Steel.
Cloris Leachman, Oscar and Emmy-winning actress, passes away
Oscar winner and multiple Emmy-winning actor Cloris Leachman has passed away. She was 94.
- Leachman, best remembered for playing Phyllis Lindstrom on ‘The Mary Tyler Moore Show’, has won an Academy Award, a Golden Globe, and eight Primetime Emmy Awards.
- Leachman also won a supporting actress Oscar for a far different character, an embittered small-town housewife in Peter Bogdanovich’s ‘The Last Picture Show’. She later reprised the role in the film’s less successful sequel ‘Texasville’. Both films were based on the writings of Larry McMurtry.
Nobel Prize Winner Paul Crutzen passes away
The Nobel Prize-winning chemist Paul J. Crutzen, has passed away. He was 87.
- He won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1995, jointly with Mario J. Molina and F. Sherwood Rowland, for their work in atmospheric chemistry, particularly concerning the formation and decomposition of ozone.
- He was known for his work on the ozone layer and climate change and for popularizing the term ‘Anthropocene’ to describe a proposed new era when human actions have a drastic effect on the Earth.
World Leprosy Day
World Leprosy Day is observed on the last Sunday in January to increase the public awareness of Leprosy or Hansen’s Disease. In 2021, the day is fall on January 31 .
- The theme of the 2021 World Leprosy day is “Beat Leprosy, End Stigma and Advocate for Mental Well-Being”.
National Immunization Day
The National Immunisation Day (NID), commonly known as the Pulse Polio Immunisation programme, was scheduled for January 17 across India.
- This year due to Covid-19 vaccination drive, the National Polio Immunisation Programme, as part of which children in the age group of 0-5 years are administered polio drops, has rescheduled to January 31.