Daily Current Affairs 14 June 2021 for Banking/Insurance/SSC and other related exams.
UN body lauds success of Centre’s Aspirational Districts Programme
The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has lauded the Centre’s Aspirational Districts Programme (ADP), saying that it should serve as a “best practice” for other countries where regional disparities in development status persist for many reasons.
- The report, Aspirational Districts Programme: An Appraisal, was presented by UNDP India Resident Representative Shoko Noda to NITI Aayog Vice-Chairman Rajiv Kumar and CEO Amitabh Kant.
- In a report, the UNDP said, “Overall, ADP is a very successful model of local area development. It is aligned to the principle of “leave no one behind” – the vital core of the SDGs.”
UNGA Adopt Political Declaration Pledging Urgent, Transformative Action to Stop Global AIDS Epidemic by 2030
World leaders in the General Assembly committed to “urgent and transformative action” to end the gender inequalities, restrictive laws and multiple forms of discrimination that perpetuate the global AIDS epidemic, adopting a lengthy Political Declaration that spells out measures to stop the disease in its tracks by 2030.
- The text — titled “Political Declaration on HIV and AIDS: Ending Inequalities and Getting on Track to End AIDS by 2030” passed by a recorded vote of 165 in favour to 4 against (Belarus, Nicaragua, Russian Federation, Syria), with no abstentions, following charged attempts by the Russian Federation to excise contentious provisions through three proposed amendments, all of which failed by recorded vote under intense scrutiny.
India Slips 12 Spots To 55th Position In Global Home Price Index
India has moved down 12 places in the global home price index in Q1 of 2021 to 55th position from 43rd rank during the same quarter last year, shows the latest report by global property consultancy Knight Frank.
- Turkey remains at the top with a 32 per cent rise in prices during January-March 2021 compared to the first quarter of the 2020 calendar year.
- After Turkey, New Zealand saw a 22.1 per cent rise in prices on a year-on-year (YoY) basis, followed by Luxembourg (16.6 per cent). “Spain was the weakest-performing territory in Q1 2021, where home prices fell by 1.8 per cent YoY, followed by India with -1.6 per cent,” Knight Frank added.
- The report highlighted that the United States witnessed the highest annual price growth rate since 2005, with a 13.2 per cent increase on a year-on-year basis.
BANKING & FINANCE
IDFC FIRST Bank Launches Customer COVID Relief Ghar Ghar Ration Program
IDFC FIRST Bank has announced the launch of “Ghar Ghar Ration” Program, an Employee-funded program for its low-income customers whose livelihoods are affected by COVID-19.
- “Ghar Ghar Ration” is a unique program where employees have contributed from their personal income to set up a Customer COVID Care Fund to provide relief to 50,000 COVID affected low-income IDFC FIRST Bank customers. Employees of the Bank contributed one day to one month’s salary for the purpose.
- The program involves supply of ration kits to such 50,000 low-income customers whose livelihood have been impacted by the pandemic.
- The Bank also announced a comprehensive program for the families of employees who unfortunately lost their lives due to COVID-19, and a number of other social response initiatives aimed at controlling the spread of the virus.
Reserve Bank extends risk-based internal audit system to HFCs
The Reserve Bank extended the risk-based internal audit (RBIA) system to select housing finance companies to enhance the quality and effectiveness of their internal audit system.
- In February this year, the RBI had issued a circular mandating the RBIA framework for select non-banking financial companies (NBFCs) and urban co-operative banks by March 31, 2022.
- The provisions will apply to all deposit-taking HFCs, irrespective of their size, as well as non-deposit-taking HFCs with asset size of Rs 5,000 crore and above, the central bank said.
Bank of Maharashtra tops PSU banks in terms of loan, deposit growth
State-owned Bank of Maharashtra (BoM) has emerged as the top performer among public sector lenders in terms of loan and deposit growth during financial year 2020-21.
- The lender recorded 13.45 per cent increase in gross advances at ₹1.07 lakh crore in 2020-21, as per the published data of BoM.
- It was followed by Punjab & Sind Bank which posted 8.39 per cent growth in advances with aggregate loans at ₹67,811 crore at the end of March 2021.
HDFC MF launches banking and financial services NFO
HDFC Asset Management Company has launched the New Fund Offer of HDFC Banking and Financial Services Fund, which aims to invest in the banking and financial services sector across segments and market capitalisation.The NFO, which opened on June 11, will close on June 25.
- The fund will invest in companies that are leaders and are gaining market shares due to superior execution, scale and better adoption of technology.
- The fund will also focus on opportunities in new listings, including pre-IPO participation in lending, insurance, capital market businesses and fintechs.
BUSINESS & ECONOMY
India Ties With Russia As 4th Largest Forex Reserves Holder
India’s foreign exchange reserves crossed $600 for the first time. As on June 4, the foreign exchange reserves stood at $605 billion, almost tying with Russia as the fourth largest reserve holder in the world.
- While India’s forex reserve was $605.008 billion, Russia’s was $605.2 billion.
ACQUISITIONS & MERGERS
NCLT gives approval to Piramal’s resolution plan for DHFL
The National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) has approved the overall resolution plan of Piramal Group for Dewan Housing Finance Ltd (DHFL). The NCLT pronounced the order on the resolution plan submitted by Piramal Capital & Housing for the stressed DHFL.
- Piramal Capital has already received approval from the Competition Commission of India (CCI) and Reserve Bank of India for its ₹34,250 crore bid to take over DHFL.
- The bid amount will enable lenders to recover around 40% of their dues, out of the total admitted claims at ₹87,082 crore.
Novak Djokovic Wins French Open Tennis Title 2021
Novak Djokovic defeated Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-7(6-8), 2-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-4 to lift the French Open title for the second time in his career.
- Djokovic, with his 19th Grand Slam title, has closed in on Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal on the all-time Grand Slam titles list. Both the players have won 20 Grand Slams each.
- Djokovic has also become the first man in the Open Era to complete the career Grand Slam twice. He has become the first man in 52 years, after Rod Laver, to win all the four Grand Slams twice.
IAMAI appoints Justice Sikri to chair Digital Publisher Content Grievances Council’s grievance redressal board
The Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) has appointed former Supreme Court Justice (Retd.) Arjan Kumar Sikri to chair the grievance redressal board (GRB), formed as a part of the digital publisher content grievances council (DPCGC).
- The GRB will address content grievances pertaining to any of the DPCGC member’s video streaming services.
- The council will function as an independent body and act as the second-tier within the three-tier grievance redressal mechanism as envisioned by the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021.
Henri Marie Dondra named Central African Republic prime minister
Henri Marie Dondra has been named prime minister of the Central African Republic (CAR), the country’s presidency said.
- The appointment of the former finance minister came a day after former Prime Minister Firmin Ngrebada announced his resignation and that of his government following legislative elections.
Biotech firm Mylab signs Akshay Kumar as brand ambassador
Biotechnology company Mylab Discovery Solutions has appointed actor Akshay Kumar as its brand ambassador.
- The Pune-based firm, which has a presence across many verticals like diagnostics, food safety, agriculture, veterinary medicine, has recently launched the country’s first COVID-19 self-test kit, CoviSelf.
Naftali Bennett sworn-in as new Prime Minister of Israel
Naftali Bennett was sworn in as Israel’s new Prime Minister, ousting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu from power after an uninterrupted 12 years at the helm of affairs.
- Bennett, the 49-year-old leader of the right-wing Yamina party, took oath of office after the Knesset (Parliament) elected him as the 13th Prime Minister of Israel by a 60-59 vote in the 120-member house.
2021 Pulitzer Prize Winners
The Pulitzer Prize is the top US journalism award presented annually for excellence in newspaper, magazine and online journalism, literary achievements, and musical composition.
- Pulitzer prizes are awarded in twenty-one categories. Each winner receives a certificate and a USD 15,000 cash award in 20 categories, while in one of the category namely, public service category, the winner gets a gold medal.
Winners of Pulitzer Prizes for the year 2021 :
Public Service:The New York Times
Breaking News Reporting:Staff of the Star Tribune, Minneapolis, Minn.
Investigative Reporting:Matt Rocheleau, Vernal Coleman, Laura Crimaldi, Evan Allen and Brendan McCarthy of The Boston Globe
Explanatory Reporting:Andrew Chung, Lawrence Hurley, Andrea Januta, Jaimi Dowdell and Jackie Botts of Reuters and Ed Yong of The Atlantic
Local Reporting:Kathleen McGrory and Neil Bedi of the Tampa Bay Times
National Reporting:Staffs of The Marshall Project; AL.com, Birmingham; IndyStar, Indianapolis; and the Invisible Institute, Chicago
International Reporting:Megha Rajagopalan, Alison Killing and Christo Buschek of BuzzFeed News
Feature Writing:Mitchell S. Jackson, freelance contributor, Runner’s World
and Nadja Drost, freelance contributor, The California Sunday Magazine
Commentary:Michael Paul Williams of the Richmond (Va.) Times-Dispatch
Criticism:Wesley Morris of The New York Times
Editorial Writing:Robert Greene of the Los Angeles Times
Editorial Cartooning:No award
Breaking News Photography:Photography Staff of Associated Press
Feature Photography:Emilio Morenatti of Associated Press
Audio Reporting:Lisa Hagen, Chris Haxel, Graham Smith and Robert Little of National Public Radio
Books, Drama, and Music
Fiction: The Night Watchman, by Louise Erdrich (Harper)
Drama :The Hot Wing King, by Katori Hall
History Franchise: The Golden Arches in Black America, by Marcia Chatelain (Liveright/Norton)
Biography:The Dead Are Arising: The Life of Malcolm X, by the late Les Payne and Tamara Payne (Liveright/Norton)
Poetry : Postcolonial Love Poem, by Natalie Diaz (Graywolf Press)
General Nonfiction:Wilmington’s Lie: The Murderous Coup of 1898 and the Rise of White Supremacy, by David Zucchino (Atlantic Monthly Press)
Music:Stride, by Tania León (Peermusic Classical)
Special Citations:Darnella Frazier
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Google to Build Undersea Cable Firmina to Connect Latin America and the US
Alphabet’s Google said it was building an undersea cable that would connect the United States, Brazil, Uruguay, and Argentina, to bolster Internet connection capacity between these regions.
- The cable, called Firmina, will be the longest cable in the world, Google said in a blog post, adding that it will run from the East Coast of the United States to Las Toninas, Argentina, with additional landings in Praia Grande, Brazil, and Punta del Este, Uruguay.
- Firmina will be the longest cable in the world. It will improve access to Google services for users in South America.
National Institute of Immunology receives trademark for India’s first indigenous tumor antigen SPAG9
The SPAG9 antigen developed by the National Institute of Immunology (NII) has received the ASPAGNIITM trademark, the Department of Biotechnology (DBT) said.
- India’s first indigenous tumour antigen SPAG9 was discovered in 1998 by Dr Anil Suri who heads the Cancer Research Programme at the NII, a DBT institute.
- Currently, ASPAGNIITM is being used in dendritic cell (DC) based immunotherapy in cervical, ovarian cancer and will also be used in breast cancer.
European Space Agency To Launch ‘EnVision’ Mission To Venus In 2030
Following the steps of NASA, the European Space Agency (ESA), is now developing its own probe to study Venus, for holistic view of planet from its inner core to upper atmosphere..
- The mission dubbed as EnVision, will probably be launched to the planet in the early 2030.
- EnVision probe of ESA will determine how and why Venus and Earth evolved so differently, even while being in the habitable zone to the Sun. ESA will undertake this mission with contributions from NASA.
Padma Shri recipient Dr Ashok Panagariya dies of post-Covid complications
Prominent neurologist and Padma Shri recipient Dr Ashok Panagariya died of post-Covid complications. He was 71.
- Dr Pangariya was the first Indian doctor to become DM in Neurology. In 2002 the Medical Council of India gave him the prestigious Dr. BC Roy award. In 2014 he was awarded the Padma Shri.
- He has had more than 90 research papers published in national and international journals. Giving his medical and social commitments, he was also given the UNESCO award apart from several lifetime achievement awards by leading organisations of the country.
World Blood Donor Day
World Blood Donor Day is celebrated every year on June 14.
- This day is celebrated every year to spread awareness about the significance of blood donation and to recognise the contribution of voluntary unpaid blood donors in saving lives.
- For 2021, the World Blood Donor Day slogan will be “Give blood and keep the world beating”. The message highlights the essential contribution blood donors make to keeping the world pulsating by saving lives and improving others’ health.