Daily Current Affairs 16 August 2021 for Banking/Insurance/SSC and other related exams.
PM Modi announces national infrastructure plan worth Rs 100 lakh crore
Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a Rs 100 lakh crore Gati Shakti National infrastructure master plan aimed at bringing employment opportunities to the youth and helping develop new economic zones across the country.
- Modi also did not disclose the time span in which the Gati Shakti plan will be implemented nor the funding sources. However, he said the contours of the scheme will be announced in the coming days.
- This will also develop possibilities of new future economic zones, he said, adding that the focus will be on holistic development of infrastructure and transport.
PM announces setting up of National Hydrogen Mission with aim of becoming new global hub of Green Hydrogen
Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the launch of the National Hydrogen Mission (NHM) on India’s 75th Independence Day, saying that the aim is to make the country a global hub for the production and export of green hydrogen.
- The potential of hydrogen as as a game changer in the energy arena has long been known — its versatility allows it to be utilised in transportation, power generation and industry — and increasing concerns around climate change are driving efforts by countries to quickly induct it into their energy mix to achieve the target of becoming a low-carbon economy.
- The announcement marks another step in India’s transition from fossil fuels like petroleum to renewable energy sources. As part of the 2015 Paris Agreement, India has pledged to generate 40 per cent of its power through renewable energy — an aim it seeks to fulfil by 2030.
Ministry of Social Justice And Empowerment launches TAPAS to offer MOOC courses
The Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment has launched an online portal Training for Augmenting Productivity and Services, or TAPAS, to offer massive open online courses (MOOC).
- TAPAS has been developed by the National Institute of Social Defence (NISD).The online medium of learning will enable the Ministry in reaching out to an even larger number of people working in this area of social defence.
- The main objective of introducing the course modules, the statement added, is to impart training and enhance the knowledge and skills for the capacity building of the participants. It can be taken up by anyone who wishes to enhance his or her knowledge on the topics and there is no fee for joining.
Odisha & Telangana pollution control boards ranked best in transparency index: Study
Odisha, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Madhya Pradesh and West Bengal pollution control boards have been rated the most transparent in disclosing key environment and governance-related information in the public domain.
- In sharp contrast, the Andaman & Nicobar Islands Pollution Control Committee has been ranked the worst in sharing information. Some other poor performers include pollution control boards of the northeastern states Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh.
- These are some key findings of a unique study, titled ‘TRANSPARENCY INDEX: Rating of pollution control boards on public disclosure’, conducted by by Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), a New Delhi-based research and advocacy organisation, which has assessed and ranked the level of transparency in sharing information maintained by 29 state pollution control boards and six pollution control committees in the country.
MoHUA launches one brand -‘SonChiraiya’ – for Urban SHG products
The Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) y launched ‘Son Chiriya’ – a brand and logo – for marketing the products of Urban Self Help Groups (SHGs).
- Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana-National Urban Livelihoods Mission (DAY-NULM) under the aegis of MoHUA has focused on equipping urban poor women with adequate skills and opportunities to promote sustainable micro enterprises.
- It mobilizes women from urban poor families into SHGs and their associations to form a support system for these women. As per MoHUA, more than 5.7 lakh SHGs have been formed in various states/UTs with around 60 lakh members.
WHO forms new expert group to continue studies into origins of Covid-19
The World Health Organization (WHO) has said that the next step in the search of the origins of Covid-19 will be the creation of a new advisory group that will develop a global framework to study pathogens with pandemic potential.
- The International Scientific Advisory Group for Origins of Novel Pathogens, or SAGO, is a new advisory group for WHO, which will be responsible for advising WHO on the development of a global framework to systematically study the emergence of future emerging pathogens with pandemic potential. For SARS-CoV-2, it will support the rapid undertaking of recommended studies outlined in the March 2021 report.
- WHO last month proposed a second phase of studies into the origins of the coronavirus in China, including audits of laboratories and markets in the city of Wuhan. Beijing, meanwhile, had rejected WHO’s proposal.
BANKING & FINANCE
KreditBee launches ‘KreditBee Card’, a New Age Card for the New India
KreditBee, one of India’s leading digital lending platforms, today entered into the card segment with the launch of ‘KreditBee Card’. The card provides the unserved and underserved banking customers, quick and secured access to short-term liquidity with multiple repayment options, eliminating the need to avail a separate loan.
- KreditBee has partnered with RuPay and RBL Bank for the launch of this product. KreditBee Card is a credit-line backed prepaid card for the end consumer, where the amount is loaded into the KreditBee card account once the user sends a purchase or drawdown request.
- KreditBee intends to offer 1 million cards by the end of FY22. It offers versatility and flexibility in terms of ticket size and repayment options. The customer can avail credit limit of up to ₹ 10,000 that can be repaid within a single billing cycle not going beyond 45 days.
RuPay launches campaign to encourage contactless payments
RuPay has launched strategic campaign to promote contactless payments, National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) said.
- The campaign titled #FollowPaymentDistancing asks consumers to start ‘payment distancing’ and switch to contactless digital payments with RuPay Contactless Cards.While it emphasises ‘payment distancing’ is a key measure, the campaign also captures all safety norms for social distancing.
- RuPay Contactless cards show the synergy between technology and innovation with multiple unique features, Rai added. The campaign tries to persuade people to pay safely and timely from a distance.
Indian Bank signs Memorandum of Understanding with Paralympic Committee
Public sector Indian Bank stated that ihas signed an MOU with Paralympic Committee of India to become one of the Banking Partners ahead of the Paralympic Games, Tokyo 2020.
- The Paralympic Games are scheduled to start from the 24th of August, 2021.
20-year old Harshit Raja becomes India’s 69th grandmaster
India got its 69th Grandmaster in Harshit Raja. The 20-year-old Harshit, who is pursuing a dual degree in economics and finance from the University of Mizzou in the US, got his third and final GM norm at the Biel Masters Open after a draw with Dennis Wagner.
- The 20-year-old Harshit Raja from Pune has several notable achievements spanning over his professional years. He won silver in U-13 National Chess Championship in Jamshedpur in 2014 and gold in the SGFI Nationals held in Tamil Nadu the same year.
- He represented India in World Youth Chess Championship U-14 in Greece in 2015. The next year, he was honoured with ‘Best Upcoming Player’ in Maharashtra Chess League in Pune. Raja became an International Master in 2017 and was the honorary recipient of the Shiv Chhatrapati award in 2019.
World Archery Youth Championships: India wins 15 medals
India finished Archery Youth World Championships with a record haul of 15 medals including eight gold at Wroclaw in Poland.
- Reigning under-18 world champion Komalika Bari made a perfect transition to the under-21 age group, winning the junior title in the Archery Youth World Championships to become the second Indian after Deepika Kumari to achieve the feat.
- Komalika ended with two gold medals including one with Parth Salunkhe in junior mixed team as India returned with a record haul of eight gold, two silver and five bronze from the tournament.
- Indian archers won all their matches in the recurve under-18 section to grab two gold and three bronze medals and continue their record-breaking spree in the Youth World Championships here. The men’s team defeated their French rivals 5-3, while the mixed pair followed suit with a 6-2 win over Japan to continue their winning run on the country’s 75th Independence Day.
- India also bagged three bronze medals in the women’s team, individual and men’s individual events for a perfect show by the U-18 (cadet) archers. India are also in the hunt for three gold and a bronze in the under-21 (junior) section.
- Priya Gurjar, who had topped the qualification round and the team set for a world record, narrowly missed the individual gold, going down to Selene Rodriguez by three points (136-139) to settle for a silver.
- Parneet Kaur bagged a bronze, defeating Hallie Boulton of Great Britain 140-135. Overall, Priya returned with two gold medals (team and mixed) and an individual silver to become the first Indian compound archer to win three medals at any Youth World Championships.
Adi Godrej to step down from Godrej India board, Nadir Godrej to take over as Chairman
Godrej Industries Limited (GIL) Chairman Adi Godrej will step down from the board of Godrej Consumer Products Limited, the company said in a regulatory filing. He will continue to serve as the Chairman of the Godrej Group and Chairman Emeritus of GIL, the company added.
- Nadir Godrej, who is currently the GIL MD, will replace Adi Godrej as the new chairman. The changes will come into effect from October 1, 2021.
Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani resigns amid Taliban takeover
Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani fled the country after he stepped down from his post following Taliban’s advancement in Kabul. Meanwhile, Vice President Amrullah Saleh has maintained that he will stay in the country.
- The Taliban have carried out a lightning sweep of the country, with government forces collapsing without the support of the US military, which is finalising its withdrawal in alignment with an August 31 deadline set by President Joe Biden.
Mohammad Azam from Karimnagar district in Telangana awarded National Youth Award
Mohammad Azam from Karimnagar district in Telangana has been awarded the National Youth Award recently by the Union Youth Affairs and Sports Minister Anurag Singh Thakur in Delhi for displaying exemplary leadership qualities.
- He informed that he has been providing skills to youth and conducting personality development camps for them from Chintakunta and Rekurthy villages in his district.
4 more Indian sites added to Ramsar list as wetlands of international importance
Four more Indian sites – two each from Haryana and Gujarat – have been recognised as wetlands of international importance under the Ramsar Convention, taking the number of such sites in the country to 46, the Union Environment Ministry said.
- For the first time, two wetlands in Haryana – Sultanpur National Park in Gurgaon and Bhindawas Wildlife Sanctuary in Jhajjar – have been included in the Ramsar list.
- The Thol Lake Wildlife Sanctuary in Gujarat lies on the Central Asian Flyway and more than 320 bird species can be found here.The Wadhvana Wetland in Gujarat is internationally important for its birdlife as it provides wintering ground to migratory waterbirds, including over 80 species that migrate on the Central Asian Flyway.
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Union Minister Dr. Jitendra Singh released “IndiGau’, India’s first Cattle Genomic Chip
Union Minister Dr.Jitendra Singh released “IndiGau’, India’s first Single Nucleotide Polymorphism (SNP) based chip for the conservation of pure varieties of indigenous cattle breeds like Gir, Kankrej, Sahiwal, Ongole etc.
- This indigenous chip was developed by the concerted efforts of scientists of National Institute of Animal Biotechnology (NAIB), Hyderabad, an autonomous institution under the aegis of the Department of Biotechnology.
- IndiGau is purely indigenous and the largest cattle chip of the world. It has 11,496 markers (SNPs) more than that placed on 777K Illumina chip of US & UK breeds.
- NIAB has also entered into a MoU with private industry to generate capability within India for designing and making our own SNP chips.
Kaziranga becomes India’s first national park to be equipped with satellite phones
The Kaziranga National Park and Tiger Reserve (KNP &TR) of Assam, globally feted for being a sanctuary to the one-horned rhino, has become the first national park in the country to equip its forest guards with satellite phones as an anti-poaching measure.
- An official of the Kaziranga National Park said that the step to equip the forest personnel with satellite phones would boost anti-poaching measures in the park. The official further said the satellite phones will be used in the park’s six ranges with no wireless or poor mobile connectivity.
- The Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA) procured the ten satellite phones for the National Park at an estimated cost of Rs 16 lakh. BSNL will be the service provider and the park authorities will bear the monthly expenses.
Kerala Police comes up with country’s first Drone Forensic Lab & Research Centre
At a time when drones emerge as a major security threat in the country, the Kerala police launched a first-of-its-kind Drone Forensic Lab and Research Centre with an aim to address the rising concerns in this regard.
- Besides addressing the threat aspects of the drones, the lab-cum-research centre is also envisaged to look at the utility part of the unmanned aerial vehicles.
August 14 will be observed as ‘Partition Horrors Remembrance Day’, declares PM Modi
A day before he addresses the nation from the ramparts of the Red Fort on India’s Independence Day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi declared that August 14 will be observed as Partition Horrors Remembrance Day. Pakistan celebrates August 14 as its Independence Day.
- The day is to acknowledge the horrors of Partition and the violence that ensued after India and Pakistan were carved out as two countries in 1947.
Puducherry celebrates its De Jure Transfer day
Puducherry celebrated its De Jure Transfer day on August 16,2021. Speaker of the Puducherry Assembly, R. Selvam, paid floral tributes at the memorial erected in Kizhur, a remote hamlet in Puducherry, where the transfer of power took place on the same day in 1962.
- Puducherry first became free de facto in 1954 and the Treaty of Cession inked between the then French and Indian governments was ratified leading to the de jure transfer of the French establishments to the Indian Union in 1962.
1st World Prediabetes Day
To spread awareness about Prediabetes and flatten the curve of diabetes, renowned experts & doctors in the field of Endocrinology & Diabetology will come together to mark a first-time global event on August 14 as World Prediabetes Day.
- This event has been strategically chosen 90 days ahead of Diabetes day, (November 14)as scientifically it takes 90 days to mend the lifestyle to reverse Prediabetes and prevent progression to diabetes.