Daily Current Affairs 12 September 2020 for Banking/Insurance/SSC and other related exams.
Centre launches Climate Smart Cities Assessment Framework along with ‘Streets for People Challenge’
Housing and Urban Affairs Minister Hardeep Singh Puri launched the Climate Smart Cities Assessment Framework, CSCAF 2.0, along with the ‘Streets for People Challenge’ in a virtual event.
- The objective of CSCAF is to provide a clear roadmap for cities towards combating Climate Change while planning and implementing their actions, including investments. CSCAF initiative intends to inculcate a climate-sensitive approach to urban planning and development in India.
- The Streets for People Challenge is the response to the need for making the cities more walkable and pedestrian friendly.
Govt constitutes EGoM to guide corporatisation process of OFB
The centre has constituted an Empowered Group of Ministers (EGoM), under the headed by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, to oversee and guide the entire process of the corporatisation of Ordnance Factory Board (OFB).
- The EGoM will also deliberate on the transition support and redeployment plan of employees while safeguarding their wages and retirement benefits.
- The other ministers in the EGoM are Home Minister Amit Shah, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Minister for Law and Justice Ravi Shankar Prasad, Minister of State for Labour and Employment Santosh Kumar Gangwar and Minister of State for Personnel, Public Grievances and Pension Jitendra Singh.
Govt Releases Rs 6,195 crore to 14 States As Revenue Deficit Grant
The government released Rs 6,195.08 crore to 14 states as the sixth equated monthly instalment of the Post Devolution Revenue Deficit Grant as recommended by the 15th Finance Commission. This would provide them additional resources during the Corona crisis.
- Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Himachal Pradesh, Kerala, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Punjab, Sikkim, Tamil Nadu, Tripura, Uttarakhand and West Bengal are the 14 states to whom the grant has been released.
Gadkari approves proposal to construct Munger-Bhagalpur-Tirpety-Kahalgaon concrete road on NH80 in Bihar
Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari has approved a proposal to construct the 120 kilometre Munger-Bhagalpur-Tirpety-Kahalgaon concrete road on national highway 80 in Bihar.
- This will be a 2-lane road with paved shoulders, which will also be 4-lane wide at certain stretches.
- He also ordered release of 20 crore rupees for immediate repair works on this section.
SAROD-Ports Launched Virtually To Sort Out Dispute In Maritime Sector
Union Minister of State for Shipping (I/C) Mansukh Mandaviya launched ‘SAROD-Ports’ (Society for Affordable Redressal of Disputes – Ports) through a virtual ceremony in New Delhi to sort out a dispute in the Maritime Sector.
- Terming SAROD-Ports as a game-changer, it will become an important mechanism for delivering justice in the sector in terms of disputes.
- SAROD-Ports will resolve the disputes in fair and just manner while saving huge amount of legal expenditure and time.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh launches Aero India 2021 website, show scheduled in February
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh launched the website of Aero India 2021, https://aeroindia.gov.in in Delhi.
- The 13th edition of Aero India-21 will be held at Air Force Station, Yelahanka, Bengaluru in Karnataka from February 3 to February 7 next year.
- The Aero India 2021 website will be a contactless online interface for Asia’s largest aero show. It will host and stream all online services related to the event for both the exhibitors and visitors.
India’s largest Piggery Mission launched in Meghalaya
India’s largest piggery mission worth Rs 209 crores, was launched in Meghalaya by the Union Minister of State for Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare, Kailash Choudhary.
- It is being launched under the aegis of Meghalaya Livestock Enterprises Advancement Society (MLEADS) and funded by the National Cooperative Development Corporation (NCDC).
- The main objective of the Piggery Mission is to reduce the annual import of Pork worth Rs 150 Crore and make Meghalaya self-sufficient (“Aatma Nirbhar”) in pork production over the next 3 years.
India Post launches new scheme to ensure rural coverage of postal schemes
The Department of Posts has launched a scheme called Five Star Villages, to ensure universal coverage of flagship postal schemes in rural areas of the country.
- The scheme seeks to bridge the gaps in public awareness and reach of postal products and services, especially in interior villages.
- All postal products and services will be made available and marketed and publicized at village level, under the Five Star Villages scheme.
India drops 26 spots to 105th position in global economic freedom index, says report
India’s rank in the Global Economic Freedom Index 2020 dropped 26 spots from 79 to 105, according to the Economic Freedom of the World: 2020 Annual Report which is prepared by Canada’s Fraser Institute, was released in India in collaboration with New Delhi-based think tank Centre For Civil Society.
- Hong Kong and Singapore retain the top two positions followed by New Zealand, Switzerland, Australia, United States, Mauritius, Georgia, Canada, and Ireland.
- The Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Zimbabwe, Republic of Congo, Algeria, Iran, Angola, Libya, Sudan and Venezuela are among the ten lowest‐rated countries.
- One other key disappointment was India’s rating on “regulation”, the place it stood 122nd in 2018, in opposition to 114th a yr earlier.
- Nevertheless, the nation gained one place to 88th on “sound money” within the newest report, in opposition to 89 within the earlier one. It retained its place at 79th on “legal systems and property rights”.
- On the scale of the federal government, a significant declare of the Narendra Modi authorities, the nation’s rating declined to 54th in 2018 from 36th the earlier yr.
BANKING & FINANCE
Asian Development Bank and Suguna Foods Sign $15 Million Financing Deal
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) said it has signed a pact for a USD 15-million debt financing through the subscription of non-convertible debentures for Suguna Foods, to help sustain poultry farming operations, rural livelihoods and food security in India during the Covid-19 pandemic.
- DB’s assistance will provide essential liquidity support to Suguna’s operations during this Covid-19 crisis, help the company build inventory buffers and make timely payments to contract farmers and suppliers.
- The Bank’s assistance comprises two-year amortising senior secured non-convertible debentures in three tranches.
ADB, ENGIE sign ₹466-crore loan for developing solar project in Gujarat
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and France’s ENGIE group have signed a long-term loan of up to ₹ 466 crore for setting up a 200-MW solar power project in Gujarat.
- The project will be developed in the Raghanesda Solar Park.Electro Solaire Private Limited (ESPL), a special purpose vehicle owned by the ENGIE group, will implement the project.
- ESPL is collaborating with the Gujarat government to construct the project and has signed a power purchase agreement for 25 years with the State government.
ICICI Bank introduces iStartup2.0 as a ‘one-stop-shop’ for early and growth stage needs of startups
ICICI Bank announced the launch of a programme for startups, ‘iStartup2.0’, to take care of aspects such as regulatory assistance, analytics, staffing, accounting, customer acquisition and digital outreach to customers, among others.
- ‘iStartup2.0’ offers customers an eponymous Current Account which is available in three variants Platinum, Gold and Silver-the widest range by any Bank for start-ups. New businesses (up to 10 years old) including partnerships, private and public limited companies as well as limited liability partnerships can opt for the Current Account.
- Further, startups can seamlessly open an account and get the account number instantly at the time of incorporation as the Bank has integrated its APIs with the website of the Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA).
BUSINESS & ECONOMY
Moody’s Projects Indian Economy to Contract by 11.5% This Fiscal
Moody’s Investors Service slashed India’s growth projection for the current fiscal to (-) 11.5 per cent, from (-) 4 per cent estimated earlier.
- At the same time, it raised its expectations of the economy’s performance in the coming fiscal to 10.6% from 8.7% earlier, but said this was largely due to the strong statistical base effect.
- It said India’s credit profile is increasingly constrained by low growth, high debt burden and weak financial system. These risks have been exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic.
CRISIL expects India’s GDP to contract 9% in FY21
The Indian economy will contract by 9 per cent in 2020-21 as the coronavirus infections are yet to peak and the government is not providing adequate direct fiscal support, ratings agency Crisil said.
- This cut in GDP estimate for FY21 comes on the heels of a sharp contraction in Indian economy during the April-June quarter, when the GDP plunged to 23.9 per cent on year-on-year (YoY) basis.
- Crisil said the 9 per cent contraction will be the highest since the 1950s.
CARE Ratings Projects Sharper GDP Contraction of 8-8.2 per cent for FY21
Domestic rating agency CARE Ratings said the country’s economy is likely to see a sharper contraction of 8-8.2 per cent in the current financial year compared to a decline of 6.4 per cent it had projected earlier.
- The decline in GDP growth by around 8 per cent would also be associated with a decline in the gross fixed capital formation.
- The rating agency had a projection of 6.4 per cent de-growth in GDP for FY21. It was based on the expected progress of the lockdown and unlock processes which were prevalent in the country at that time.
EPFO hikes Employees’ Deposit Linked Insurance benefits to up to ₹7L
The Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) has increased the maximum assurance benefit under the Employees’ Deposit Linked Insurance scheme to up to ₹7 lakh from ₹6 lakh.
- The EDLI scheme is a mandatory insurance cover provided to to all subscribers of EPF scheme. A nominee gets a lump sum payment of up to ₹7 lakh in the event of death due to natural causes, illness or accident.
- All organisations covered under EPF and Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 1952 get enrolled for EDLI automatically.
Govt Opens Defence Sector to 74% FDI via Automatic Route
The Union Cabinet approved a policy for raising the cap on foreign direct investment (FDI) through automatic approval in the defence sector to 74% from 49% while affixing a ‘national security’ clause to it.
- Foreign investment in the defence sector shall be subject to scrutiny on ground of national security and the government reserves the right to review any foreign investment in the defence sector that may affect national security.
- Under the existing policy, the defence industry is allowed to bring FDI up to 49% under the automatic route. Beyond this, it can get FDI under government route, in cases resulting in access to modern technology or for other reasons to be recorded.
UNICEF appoints Ayushmann Khurrana as celebrity advocate for children’s rights campaign
UNICEF India announced Ayushmann Khurrana as its celebrity advocate for children’s rights campaign, For Every Child. Khurrana will support UNICEF towards ending violence against children. He will work towards this initiative in India and joins the likes of former football star David Beckham, who works on this campaign globally.
India announces the states’ startup ranking list – Gujarat gets the best performer, while Karnataka and Kerala are top performers
Karnataka and Kerala have emerged as the top performers, while Gujarat was ranked as the best performer in second edition of States’ Startup Ranking 2019, as per the results announced by Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT).
- The states in the leader category are Maharashtra, Odisha, Rajasthan, Bihar, and Chandigarh.
- In the aspiring leaders category, states like Telangana, Uttarakhand, Haryana, Jharkhand, Punjab, and Nagaland were included.
- In the Emerging Startup Ecosystem category, states included are Andra Pradesh, Assam, Chhattisgarh, Delhi, Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Sikkim, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh.
- In the Best Performers category – Andaman and Nicobar Islands (among UTs and north eastern states)Gujarat (among all other states).
UK Magazine Names Kerala Health Minister KK Shailaja as World’s ‘Top Thinker’ For COVID-19
British magazine Prospect has named Kerala health minister K. K Shailaja as the ‘top thinker 2020’ in the world. K. K Shailaja, a teacher turned politician, fondly called as Shailaja teacher is the only Indian found place in the list.
- Prospect magazine has selected ‘top 50 thinkers 2020’ including philosophers, intellectuals, artists, scientists and writers through voting by the readers and based on the opinion of the panel of experts and editors.
- K.K Shailaja is followed by New Zealand prime minister Jacinda Ardern at the second position in the Prospect list.
- Some of the other known names in the list include French economist and Nobel prize winner Esther Duflo, writer and several time Booker Prize winner Hilary Mantel and environmentalist David Attenborough.
West Bengal govt wins WSIS award 2020 for its Sabuj Sathi scheme in WSIS Price Contest
After Kanyashree scheme, another West Bengal government project Sabuj Sathi has received a global prize at the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) through a virtual ceremony.
- The Sabuj Sathi Project Started in 2015, bicycles are given to students of state-run, state-sponsored, aided schools and madrasas studying between classes 9 and 12 in a bid to reduce the issue of dropping out of school, especially in rural Bengal and also to ensure they continue school education till at least class 12.
Arya Samaj leader, Social activist Swami Agnivesh passes away
Arya Samaj leader and social activist Swami Agnivesh passed away at the Institute of Liver and Biliary Sciences, ILBS in New Delhi. He was 80.
- Agnivesh was elected to Haryana Legislative Assembly in 1977 and served as a Cabinet Minister for Education in the state in 1979.
- He founded Bonded Labour Liberation Front in 1981 and worked against bonded labour. He also led numerous movements against alcoholism.
- Swami Agnivesh also served as president of the Sarvadeshik Arya Pratinidhi Sabha, World Council of Arya Samaj.
Biryani king of Mumbai Jaffer Bhai Mansuri passes away
Jaffer Bhai Mansuri, fondly known as the ‘Biryani King of Mumbai’ who was instrumental in setting up the famous Delhi Darbar restaurant in 1973, passed away due to cardiac arrest while being treated for COVID-19. He was 83.
- Jaffer Bhai”s Delhi Darbar chain of restaurants got famous for its Mughlai cuisine with full of Awadhi flavours ranging from kababs, daal gosht, various types chicken, mutton dishes and biryanis, including its signature dish ”mutton biryani”.
‘Game of Thrones’ & Bond star Diana Rigg passes away at 82
Actress Dame Diana Rigg, famous for roles including Emma Peel in TV series The Avengers and Olenna Tyrell in Game of Thrones, has died at the age of 82.
- Dame Diana also played the only woman who became Mrs James Bond.
- She played Tracy, who married George Lazenby’s 007 in the 1969 film On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.She has won Emmy, Tony and Bafta awards.