Daily Current Affairs 15 February 2021 for Banking/Insurance/SSC and other related exams.
Odisha govt to construct ‘COVID Warrior Memorial’ at Biju Patnaik Park in Bhubaneswar
In order to recognize the sacrifice and services rendered by the Covid warriors who lost their lives fighting the pandemic, the Odisha government has decided to construct a Covid Warrior Memorial in Odisha.
- The Biju Patnaik Park in Bhubaneswar has been selected for this purpose. The memorial will be completed in the next five months and be ready for inauguration on August 15.
- The Works department has been made the nodal department for construction. It will engage architect to finalise the design and structure of the memorial.
Bihar signs MoU with UNEP for climate resilience and low carbon development
The Bihar government has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) for climate resilience and low carbon development strategy formulation.
- The UNEP will provide technical assistance to Bihar to prepare its greenhouse gas inventory and carry out climate impact scenario and vulnerability assessments.
- It will also suggest revisions to the State Action Plans on Climate Change.
Centre, Uttarakhand govt sign MoU on ₹173 cr science city project in Dehradun
A memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed between Central government and Uttarakhand government for setting up of ₹173 crore science city in Dehradun in presence of chief minister Trivendra Singh Rawat.
- The MoU was signed between Uttarakhand State Council for Science & Technology (UCOST) and National Council of Science Museums (NCSM), an autonomous organisation under the Indian Ministry of Culture.
- The project will take four years to complete. The Centre will provide ₹88 crore while the state government will contribute ₹85 crore for the ambitious project.
J&K joins hands with UK Space Agency’s programme for collaborative projects on Impact Based Flood Forecasting
In a significant move to put an impact based flood forecasting mechanism in place, the Union Territory of J&K is joining hands with the UK Space Agency’s programme for collaborative projects on ‘Impact Based Flood Forecasting using Earth Observation (EO) based Information’.
- The National Space Innovation Programme (NSIP) is a new programme established by the UK Space Agency which supports collaborative projects between UK organisations and international partners.
- The project will be undertaken by HR Wallingford in collaboration with Oxford University, Sayers & Partners (SPL), and D-Orbit (UK).
India to fund NR 142 million to rebuild 3 cultural heritage in Nepal
India will provide Nepalese Rupees(NR) 142 million to Nepal for the restoration and conservation of three cultural heritage sites in the Kathmandu Valley.
- The three sites are part of cultural heritage projects being taken up by India for post-earthquake conservation and restoration under an MoU signed between the two countries.
- The projects are being implemented under USD 50 million grant assistance committed by India for post-earthquake reconstruction of the cultural heritage sites across eight districts of Nepal.
BANKING & FINANCE
Sri Lanka settles $400 million currency swap facility with India
Sri Lanka has settled a USD 400 million currency swap facility with India, the Indian High Commission said.
- The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) had concluded the USD 400 million currency swap agreement in July last year under the SAARC currency swap framework.
- This swap facility was drawn by CBSL on July 31, 2020 for an initial period of three months. A three-month rollover was provided at CBSL’s request till February 1, 2021.
Finance Ministry to infuse Rs 3,000 crore in general insurance companies this quarter
The Finance Ministry will infuse Rs 3,000 crore capital into state-owned general insurance companies during the current quarter in a bid to improve their financial health.
- The cabinet had also decided to increase the authorised share capital of National Insurance Company Limited (NICL) to Rs 7,500 crore and that of United India Insurance Company Limited (UIICL) and Oriental Insurance Company Limited (OICL) to Rs 5,000 crore each to give effect to the capital infusion decision.
- The capital infusion will enable the three public sector general insurance companies to improve their financial and solvency position, meet the insurance needs of the economy, absorb changes and enhance the capacity to raise resources and improve risk management.
Equitas Small Finance Bank launches country’s first FASTag powered truck terminal
Equitas Small Finance Bank said it has launched a FASTag powered truck terminal at Khalapur, in Maharashtra.
- Equitas Small Finance Bank (Equitas SFB) has partnered with Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation Limited (MSRDC) and Ocean Highway Facilities and Solutions Pvt Ltd for launching country’s first FASTag powered truck terminal at Khalapur, Maharashtra on the Yashwantrao Chavan Mumbai – Pune Expressway.
- The terminal has a capacity of 160 trucks, which can be parked at any given point in time. At this juncture more than 350 trucks visit the terminal in a day.
ICICI Prudential Life Insurance launches new product ‘ICICI Pru Guaranteed Income for Tomorrow’
ICICI Prudential Life Insurance has launched a new goal based savings product – ‘ICICI Pru Guaranteed Income for Tomorrow’ (GIFT), which provides guaranteed income to policyholders to help them achieve their long-term financial goals.
- This non-participating savings product can enable customers to eliminate the uncertainty of future income streams to a large extent.
- The life cover provides financial security to the family, which is essential for a robust financial plan.
CREDAI, IPPB ink pact to open bank accounts for construction workers
Realty developers’ body, the Confederation of Real Estate Developers’ Associations of India (CREDAI) has entered into a memorandum of understanding(MoU) with Indian Payments and Postal Bank (IPPB) to facilitate opening of bank accounts for construction workers.
- This labour welfare initiative is aimed at ensuring financial literacy and digital inclusion of construction workers in the long run and would make financial services accessible to them.
- At present, around 3 crore workers are engaged in construction activities across real estate projects in the country. The pact aims to cover around 10 lakh workers under this initiative in a year.
BUSINESS & ECONOMY
BHEL bags order to supply 2 Super Rapid Gun Mounts for Indian Navy frontline ships
State-run engineering firm BHEL said it has bagged an order from the Indian Navy for supplying two Super Rapid Gun Mounts (SRGM), main guns standardised for all warships of the Indian Navy.
- BHEL has indigenised these guns and has established dedicated, intricate manufacturing and inspection facilities at its Heavy Electrical Equipment Plant, Haridwar for production, installation & commissioning and lifecycle support of these guns.
- Standardisation of these guns by the Indian Navy for all major warships has resulted in optimisation of cost and consolidation of expertise and self-reliance. BHEL is also working on an upgraded version of these guns, with enhanced range, to cater to future requirement of warships.
ISRO, MapMyIndia Join Hands to Take on Google Maps/Earth With Made-in-India Alternative
Indian Space Research Organisation and location and navigation technology solutions provider MapmyIndia announced an initiative to partner together to offer India’s best, and fully indigenous, mapping portal and geospatial services.
- It combines the power of MapmyIndia’s digital maps and technologies with ISRO’s catalogue of satellite imagery and earth observation data.
- Under the partnership, the combined geospatial expertise of the DoS and CE Info Systems would be leveraged through their respective Geoportals.
- The collaboration will enable them to jointly identify and build holistic geospatial solutions utilising the earth observation datasets, ‘NavIC’, Web Services and APIs (application programming interface) available in MapmyIndia, ‘Bhuvan’, ‘VEDAS’ and ‘MOSDAC’ geoportals.
Mario Draghi sworn in as Italy’s new prime minister
Former European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi was formally sworn in as Italy’s new prime minister, against the backdrop of the deadly coronavirus pandemic and a crippling recession.
- The appointment of the 73-year-old known as “Super Mario” capped weeks of political instability for the country still in the grips of the health crisis that has killed more than 93,000 people.
- Draghi was parachuted in by Mattarella after the previous centre-left coalition under premier Giuseppe Conte collapsed, leading Italy rudderless at a critical time.
Tata Motors appoints Marc Llistosella as new CEO & MD
Tata Motors Limited said that it has appointed Marc Llistosella as chief executive officer and managing director effective 1 July 2021.
- Marc Llistosella will replace current CEO of Tata Motors Guenter Butschek, who had expressed his desire to to relocate to Germany at the end of the contract for personal reasons.
- Prior to being appointed as CEO of Tata Motors, Llistosella had joined Einride’s board of directors. He was also associated with Mitsubishi Fuso Truck & Bus Corporation as CEO between 2015-2018 and Daimler Trucks Asia as its head between 2008-2014.
SERB announces Women Excellence Award 2021 in Science on the International Day of Women
The SERB Women Excellence Award that has been conferred on them provides a grant of Rs. 15 lakhs for a period of three years to the awardees to pursue their research ideas.
- The award given by the Science and Engineering Research Board (SERB). It is a one-time award given to women scientists below 40 years of age who have received recognition from any one or more of the National Academies such as Young Scientist Medal, Young Associateship, etc.
List of winners
The women scientists selected for the awards include
1.Dr. Shobhna Kapoor, Assistant Professor at Indian Institute of Technology Bombay
2.Dr. Antara Banerjee, Scientist B National Institute For Research In Reproductive Health, Mumbai, Maharashtra
3.Dr. Sonu Gandhi Scientist D from National Institute Of Animal Biotechnology, Hyderabad 4.Dr. Ritu Gupta, Assistant Professor at Indian Institute Of Technology Jodhpur, Rajasthan.
Muthalankurichi Kamarasu wins Tamil Semmal award
From a bus conductor to a writer, Muthalankurichi Kamarasu has come a long way in his life.And, when he started following his passion, honour came calling.
- Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami handed over Tamil Semmal award to Kamarasu during a function held at the secretariat in Chennai.
- Kamarasu has penned 53 books including two novels.His writings focus mainly on the history of composite Tirunelveli and Thoothukudi, feudal systems of Zamins, historical cities like Korkai and archaeological sites along river Thamirabarani and the spirituality associated with the river.
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
China’s Tianwen-1 probe successfully enters Mars orbit
An uncrewed Chinese spacecraft Tianwen-1 successfully entered orbit around Mars after a 6-1/2-month journey from Earth, China’s space agency said, in the country’s first independent mission to the red planet.
- The robotic probe initiated and completed a 15-minute burn of its thrusters, the China National Space Administration said in a statement, slowing the spacecraft to a speed at which it could be captured by the pull of Mars’ gravity.
- In about three months, the Tianwen-1 will attempt to send a landing capsule carrying a 240-kilogram rover in a rapid seven-minute descent onto a massive plain in the northern hemisphere of Mars known as Utopia Planitia.
First in 50 years: Isro opens its satellite centre to private firms
The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has decided to open up its ‘space’ to the private sector after being a closed government organisation for over 50 years.
- The first move came when ISRO allowed two satellites developed by private companies to be tested at the UR Rao Satellite Centre (URSC).
- The satellites from Tamil Nadu-based Space Kidz India and Bengaluru-based Syzygy Space Technologies have undergone testing. In both cases, we found problems with solar panels and our team is helping them fix them. URSC also tested UNITYsat, which had problems with the separation system which are setting right.
BOOKS & AUTHORS
Priyanka Chopra Jonas’ memoir named ‘Unfinished’
Actor-producer Priyanka Chopra Jonas officially turned author with the release of her first book, “Unfinished: A Memoir”.
- The book is published by the Michael Joseph imprint, which covers her dual-continent 20-year-long career as an actor and producer and her work as a Unicef Goodwill Ambassador
National Productivity Day
National Productivity Day is observed every year in India on February 12.
- The objective of National Productivity Council is stimulating and promoting productivity and quality consciousness across all sectors in the country.
- The main observance of the day is to encourage all stakeholders in the implementation of productivity tools and techniques with contemporary relevant themes.