Daily Current Affairs 15th April , 2021

Daily Current Affairs 15 April 2021 for Banking/Insurance/SSC and other related exams.

NATIONAL NEWS

HUL, Google, MyGov India Announce AI For Agriculture Hackathon To Address Issue Of Water Scarcity
Hindustan Unilever (HUL) and Google, in association with MyGov India, the Government of India’s citizen engagement program, announced a hackathon with the aim to encourage and find innovative solutions for conserving freshwater usage, and to address water scarcity problems in India.

  • In collaboration with MyGov India, Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY), this effort brings together India’s finest start-ups and experts who are participating in this Hackathon from 7-9 April 2021, in designing and deploying solutions for farmers.


INTERNATIONAL NEWS

Canada is the No. 1 Country in the World, According to the 2021 Best Countries Report
For the first time, Canada takes the top spot overall in the 2021 Best Countries Report, a ranking and analysis project by US News & World Report; BAV Group, a unit of global marketing communications company VMLY&R; and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

  • The sixth annual Best Countries report reveals the importance of social justice as a global ambition, the unexpected societal byproduct of the Covid-19 crisis and the influence of conspiracy theories.
  • Japan and Germany finish Nos. 2 and 3, respectively, while Switzerland, the previous No. 1 overall country, falls to No. 4. Australia remains as the No. 5 overall country followed by the United States, which rises one position to No. 6 overall. Canada ranks No. 1 in quality of life and social purpose.


BANKING & FINANCE

Basic Savings Account can now be opened in Post Office
Now, a beneficiary of the Government welfare scheme can open a basic savings bank account with a post office.

  • The Finance Ministry has notified changes in Post Office Savings Account Scheme, 2019. The notification has also reduced the fee for not maintain the balance in a savings account.
  • As of now, such accounts can be opened in a scheduled commercial bank or India Post Payment Bank.

Mobisafar partners with YES BANK and NPCI to launch Mobisafar Virtual RuPay Prepaid Card
Mobisafar Services Private Limited, a Ludhiana-based Fintech start-up, has launched ‘Mobisafar Virtual RuPay Prepaid card’ in partnership with YES BANK and National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI).

  • The ‘Mobisafar Virtual RuPay Prepaid Card’ provides convenient access to wallet through a mobile app and desktop with a reloadable limit.
  • It can be used to book Airline tickets, hotels, retail shopping, movie tickets, groceries etc.

WazirX launches NFT marketplace for Indian artists
India’s one of the largest crypto currency exchange, WazirX has launched India’s first marketplace for Non-Fungible Tokens (NFT)

  • WazirX claims this is the first marketplace for NFT in the country.
  • This marketplace enables the exchange of digital assets and intellectual properties such as art pieces, audio files, videos and even tweets apart from other digital goods and services.
  • WazirX ‘s NFT initiative is being spearheaded by Canada-based entrepreneur Sandesh B Suvarna with film actor and producer Vishakha Singh as an adviser.

Punjab National Bank launches digital initiative [email protected]
State-owned Punjab National Bank (PNB) launched a digitial initiative [email protected] under which every transaction undertaken by a bank branch will be initiated and authorised by customers themselves.

  • PNB @Ease outlets will be loaded with five Kiosks i.e. ATM, Bunch Note Acceptor, Account Opening Kiosk, Card Issuance Kiosk and internet-enabled Kiosk.First such multi-functional outlet was inaugurated by Panda at the Central Secretariat Metro Station, New Delhi.
  • On its 127th foundation day, PNB announced other digital initiatives such as instant opening of online saving account via video-KYC, insta pre-approved loan, insta demat account and insurance facility through internet and mobile banking services.


BUSINESS & ECONOMY

Govt’s indirect tax collections at Rs 10.71 lakh crore for FY21, 12% up vs FY20
The net indirect tax collections in 2020-21 grew 12.3 per cent to Rs 10.71 lakh crore as compared to the previous fiscal year, thereby exceeding the target set in revised estimates, the finance ministry.

  • The mop-up through indirect taxes, which include GST, Customs and excise duties, was Rs 9.54 lakh crore in 2019-20. In the Revised Estimates (RE) for 2020-21, the target was set at Rs 9.89 lakh crore.
  • In 2020-21, the net GST collection of the Centre stood at Rs 5.48 lakh crore, while Customs mop-up was Rs 1.32 lakh crore.

Atal Innovation Mission, Bayer collaborate to work on healthcare, agri innovations
Government think-tank Niti Aayog”s Atal Innovation Mission (AIM) and German drug and agrochemicals major Bayer partnered to work towards fostering innovation and entrepreneurship across agriculture and healthcare sector. 

  • A Statement of Intent (SOI) of strategic partnership between AIM and Bayer was signed.
  • This collaboration is a natural fit for AIM as both their areas of specialisation, agriculture and healthcare are areas of national priorities, especially more so in the times of the pandemic.

Indonesia emerges largest buyer of India sugar in first quarter of 2021, says AISTA
All India Sugar Traders Association (AISTA) has claimed that India has dispatched 55% of the sugar export quota introduced by the Union authorities underneath the Maximum Admissible Export Quota (MAEQ) 2020-21 scheme.

  • So far, in the course of the first three months for the reason that scheme grew to become relevant, Indonesia has emerged as the highest importer of Indian sugar accounting for 38% share of the whole sugar dispatched.
  • The prime 6 export locations for India sugar until April are Indonesia (38.5%), Afghanistan (12.3%), Srilanka (9.9%), UAE (9%), Somalia (7.6%) and Bangladesh (5.6%).

Goldman Sachs lowers India growth forecast to 10.5%
Goldman Sachs, Wall Street brokerage has reportedly lowered India’s GDP forecast for the full year from 10.9% to 10.5% coupled with pegging down of the stock indices valuation and earnings.

  • Thus, the firm has flagged concerns about the surging COVID-19 caseload that has been hitting new records daily, coupled with the rising partial lockdowns.

During COVID-19 pandemic, India’s debt to GDP ratio increased from 74% to 90%, says IMF
India’s debt to GDP ratio increased from 74% to 90% during the COVID-19 pandemic, the International Monetary Fund has said, noting that it expects this to drop down to 80% as a result of the country’s economic recovery.

  • In the case of India, the debt ratio at the end of 2019, prior to the pandemic, was 74 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), and at the end of 2020, it is almost 90 percent of GDP said by Paolo Mauro, Deputy Director, IMF’s Fiscal Affairs Department.

At 7.2%, India blends record ethanol with petrol in first 4 months
Ethanol blending in India has reached more than 7.2 per cent — the first time it has reached this level — in the first four months of the ethanol supply year 2020-21 (December to November), putting the country on course to meet the target of 10 per cent blending by 2022. 

  • In states such as Goa, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Punjab, Delhi, Uttarakhand, and Himachal Pradesh (and Daman and Diu, a Union Territory), 9.5-10 per cent ethanol is being blended with petrol. This means these states are close to the 2022 target.

Bharat Petroleum partners Accenture for digital transformation of sales, distribution network
Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL), India’s second-largest oil marketing company, has collaborated with Irish multinational company Accenture to transform its sales and distribution network. 

  • Through artificial intelligence (AI) and cloud technologies to build, design and implement a digital platform called Iris, Accenture will integrate real-time data from across BPCL’s countrywide network, including more than 18,000 fuel retail outlets, 25,000 tank trucks, 75 oil installations, and depots, 52 liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) bottling plants and 250 additional industrial and commercial locations, to provide a consolidated view of BPCL’s sales and distribution network.


SPORTS

World Table Tennis Championships confirmed for Houston from Nov 23
The World Table Tennis Championships will be held as per schedule from November 23 to 29 in Houston, USA, the game’s governing body ITTF has said.

  • The decision was made at a meeting of the ITTF executive committee on April 11.


APPOINTMENTS

Govt appoints Anil Kumar Sharma on central board of SBI with immediate effect
State Bank of India said the government has nominated Anil Kumar Sharma, the executive director of the RBI, on its board with immediate effect.

  • SBI’s central board of directors comprises a total of 13 members, headed by its chairman Dinesh Kumar Khara.

SportzXchange ropes in Prithvi Shaw as brand ambassador
SportzXchange, one of the newest and fastest-growing addition to the fantasy sports landscape in India, has roped in Prithvi Shaw, a powerhouse of energy and potential as its brand ambassador.

  • SportzXchange will create engaging content featuring Prithvi Shaw as part of an integrating campaign with a theme “Yahaan Hai Kuch Xtra” that will help build awareness about the differentiated offerings and amplify the reach of the brand during upcoming IPL/Fantasy matches.

Former banker Guillermo Lasso wins Ecuador’s presidential election
Former banker Guillermo Lasso has declared victory in the Ecuadorean presidential election, after his challenger, left-wing economist Andres Arauz, conceded defeat in a poll that took place against a COVID-19 pandemic that has devastated an already struggling economy.

  • Lasso said he accepted the “challenge” of governing after winning the runoff with 52.5 percent of the vote from 97 percent of the ballots had been counted, according to figures published by the National Electoral Council.

Government extends tenure of DGCA chief Arun Kumar by six months
The government has extended the tenure of Arun Kumar, chief of the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) by six months.

  • The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet, headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has approved the extension for a period of six months beyond 20 April, or until further notice, whichever is earlier, as per a circular.


AWARDS

HAL bags Indian Society for Training & Development award for innovative training practices
Bengaluru-based Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) has bagged the first place for Innovative Training Practices 2019-20 at the 30th National Award ceremony held recently at New Delhi by Indian Society for Training & Development (ISTD).

  • This is a recognition of our relentless efforts to strive for excellence in the area of training and development.


OBITUARIES

Pakistan human rights icon I.A. Rehman passes away
Pakistani Human rights crusader and former journalist Ibn Abdur Rehman, who won the Ramon Magsaysay award for his work on fostering India-Pakistan relations, passed away in Lahore aged 90.

  • Rehman, who was born in 1930 in Haryana in the pre-partitioned India, worked as an editor for various newspapers in his journalistic career spanning more than 65 years and was a founding member of the Pakistan-India People’s Forum for Peace and Democracy.


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