Daily Current Affairs 12th January, 2021

Daily Current Affairs 12 January 2021 for Banking/Insurance/SSC and other related exams.

NATIONAL NEWS

Road ministry to spend over ₹1,200 cr for wildlife passes on highways: Gadkari
Union Minister Nitin Gadkari recently said the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) is spending over Rs 1,200 crore to create dedicated corridors that would enable safe passage of wild animals crossing highways that pass through green belts.

  • There have been concerns over the impact of highways on wildlife in recent years, and requests have been repeatedly made to emulate global experiences where dedicated corridors are created for animals’ safe movement.

“Period Room” set up for women at a public toilet in Maharashtra
In a bid to help the women, residing in congested slums, during their menstruation days, a ‘period room’ has been set up at a public toilet in Maharashtra’s Thane city.

  • Equipped with several basic facilities, the period room aims to facilitate menstrual hygiene among women dwelling in slums.
  • The much-needed facility has been set up by the Thane Municipal Corporation in collaboration with an NGO, at a slum in Shanti Nagar locality of Wagle Estate area in Thane.

Panel to study NFHS-5 findings formed 
The Health and Family Welfare Ministry has set up a technical expert group to examine the adverse findings from the National Family Health Survey-5 and “recommend programmatic and policy interventions to improve” indicators pertaining to malnutrition, stunting, anaemia, and C-section.

  • The committee is chaired by Joint Secretary Preeti Pant and includes experts from medicine and nutrition. There are also State programme officers from Karnataka, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh.

RS Sharma, former Trai chief, to head empowered panel for Covid-19 vaccine
The Union government has appointed RS Sharma, former Trai chief, as the chairperson of an empowered committee for administration of Covid-19 vaccine.

  • This has come days ahead of the mega vaccination drive is to start in India.
  • A ten member team has been constituted to be headed by Sharma. Top health ministry and UIDAI officials are part of the empowered committee.
  • The panel can invite eminent persons as and when required to ensure delivery of the vaccine through the Co-Win technology platform, according to a government notification.

Nitin Gadkari launches eco-friendly, non-toxic paint developed by KVIC
Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari launched an innovative new paint developed by Khadi and Village Industries Commission.

  • The eco-friendly, non-toxic paint, called “Khadi Prakritik Paint” is a first-of-its-kind product, with anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties. 
  • Based on cow dung as its main ingredient, the paint is cost-effective and odorless, and has been certified by Bureau of Indian Standards.
  • Khadi Prakritik Paint is available in two forms – distemper paint and plastic emulsion paint.


INTERNATIONAL NEWS

Indonesia Sriwijaya Air Boeing 737 crashes 
A Sriwijaya Air plane crashed into the sea minutes after taking off from Indonesia’s capital Jakarta on a domestic flight with 62 people on board, and their fate was not known.

  • The Boeing 737-500, en route to Pontianak in West Kalimantan, disappeared from radar screens after taking off.

Germany passes bill mandating large companies to appoint women in executive boards
Germany’s Cabinet approved legislation requiring some larger companies to ensure that at least one woman serves on their management boards.

  • The bill mandates that companies with over 2,000 employees that are listed on the stock exchange and have boards with more than three members have at least one woman and one man on their boards.
  • The legislation requires parliamentary approval before it becomes law. It adds to existing rules requiring leading German companies to ensure that women make up at least 30 percent of their supervisory boards.


BUSINESS & ECONOMY

Banks Gross NPA May Rise to 13.5% by September 2021: RBI Financial Stability Report
Banks’ gross non-performing assets may rise to 13.5 per cent by September 2021, from 7.5 per cent in September 2020 under the baseline scenario, according to Financial Stability Report (FSR) released by the Reserve Bank of India.

  • If the macroeconomic environment worsens into a severe stress scenario, the GNPA ratio may escalate to 14.8 per cent, the report said.
  • Among the bank groups, public sector banks’ (PSBs) GNPA ratio of 9.7 per cent in September 2020 may rise to 16.2 per cent by September 2021 under the baseline scenario.
  • The gross non-performing asset (GNPA) ratio of private sector banks (PVBs) and foreign banks (FBs) may increase from 4.6 per cent and 2.5 per cent to 7.9 per cent and 5.4 per cent, respectively, over the same period.

India’s Real GDP to Expand by 10.1 Percent in FY22, Says Icra
Domestic rating agency Icra Ratings said it expects the country’s real gross domestic product (GDP) to grow by 10.1 per cent in FY2022. It, however, said the value of GDP in the next financial year will only mildly surpass the level that had been recorded in FY2020.

  • The agency expects the headline CPI inflation to decline to 4.6 per cent in FY2022 from 6.4 per cent in FY2021, while exceeding the mid-point of the Monetary Policy Committee’s (MPC’s) medium target of 4 per cent, for the third consecutive year.
  • A favourable base would moderate the retail food inflation to an average of 4.7 per cent in FY2022 from 8 per cent in FY2021, despite the pressures from edible oils, and protein items such as pulses

Digital evolution scorecard: India among top “Break Out Economies” in 2020
Rapidly digitalising India was ranked highly among “Break Out Economies” in the third edition of the Digital Evolution Scorecard developed by Tufts University’s Fletcher School in partnership with Mastercard.

  • Third rank Indonesia, and India, which ranks number four in momentum, have displayed increasing digital momentum suggesting the potential to rapidly digitalise for both post-COVID economic recovery and longer-term transformation. India which doubled its internet connectivity in the last four years being the best example. The country is on track to add 350 million smartphones by 2023.
  • China which leads the countries in the “Break Out Economies” group is more evolved digitally due mainly to its combination of rapidly growing demand and innovation.
  • South Korea, Singapore and Hong Kong emerged as the leading “Stand Out Economies“, the top performing group, in the study.Other consistently top performers in the index in this group include Estonia, Taiwan, and the United Arab Emirates. These economies have all displayed both adaptability and institutional-led support for innovation. Interestingly, the US also shows remarkable momentum for an economy of its size and complexity, scoring second in digital evolution after Singapore.


SPORTS

Dhaka Marathon 2021: SPO from Ladakh wins 4th position
Jigmet Dolma from India secured fourth position in the Dhaka Marathon 2021 organised. Jigmet Dolma is an SPO of Ladakh police. Two more women runners from India and a total of 8 athletes participated in the marathon

  • In the marathon, Hicham Lakohi of Morocco came first in the elite competition of the marathon in men’s category while Angela Jim Asunde from Kenya won the women’s category in the same event.
  • The marathon was organized to commemorate the return of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman from Pakistan jail to Bangladesh in 1972.


APPOINTMENTS

Jay Shah named BCCI’s representative on ICC Board
Jay Shah has been named as the official representative of  Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) for the International Cricket Council (ICC) Board meetings.

  • Shah is the Secretary of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).
  • He will replace BCCI president Sourav Ganguly, who was currently representing India at the ICC Board.

Airtel appoints Pradipt Kapoor as chief information officer
Bharti Airtel (Airtel), said it has appointed Pradipt Kapoor as Chief Information Officer (CIO).

  • Kapoor takes over from Harmeen Mehta, who has moved to London for her future endeavours.
  • In his new role, Kapoor will drive Airtel’s overall Engineering strategy and be a key player in helping realise the company’s digital vision.


OBITUARIES

Renowned astrophysicist Professor Shashikumar Madhusudan Chitre passes away 
Renowned astrophysicist Professor Shashikumar Madhusudan Chitre passed away in Mumbai.He was 84.

  • Prof Chitre’s scientific research is focused on solar physics, astrophysics and gravitational lensing.He has done extensive research on the Sun’s magnetic activity cycle, the solar dynamo theory, and the role of neutrals in the solar atmosphere.
  • A recipient of Padma Bhushan, he retired as a senior professor from TIFR in Mumbai in 2001. He  was the former president of Astronomical Society of India and was a member of multiple committees in recent decades which shaped India’s science policy.


BOOKS & AUTHORS

“Gazing Eastwards: Of Buddhist Monks and Revolutionaries in China” Book by Romila Thapar
The book titled “Gazing Eastwards: Of Buddhist Monks and Revolutionaries in China”by renowned Indian historian Romila Thapar is set to be released soon.

  • Gazing Eastwards is a lively and arresting account of Romila Thapar’s first visit to China in 1957. She went as a research assistant to the Sri Lankan art historian Anil de Silva, and worked on two major Buddhist sites in Maijishan and Dunhuang. It was a period of deceptive calm in the country, just prior to traumatic events such as the Cultural Revolution and the Great Leap Forward that churned and transformed Chinese society.


IMPORTANT DAYS

National Youth Day
India celebrates January 12 as the “National Youth Day” to honour the ideals of Swami Vivekanand on his birth anniversary.

  • The day is also referred to as Swami Vivekanand Jayanti and was designated as the National Youth Day in 1984.
  • The Theme of 2021 is “YUVAAH – Utsah Naye Bharat Ka”. The main objective behind the celebration is to make a better future of the country by motivating the youths and spreading the ideas of the Swami Vivekananda.

National Road Safety Month 2021
According to an official notification by the Government of India, Ministry of Transport and Highways, the ministry has decided to observe Road Safety Month from 18 January to 17 February 2021 instead of National Road Safety Week.

  • During this period, various nation-wide activities have been planned to be conducted throughout the country in association with the state governments/ UT administrations, OEMs and other stakeholders.
  • The month-long event will see awards being given to best performance in road safety to a state as well as Swacchta Award, road safety activities by NHIDCL (National Highways and Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited), HOAI (Highway Operator Association of India), NHAI among others.


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