Daily Current Affairs 16 December 2021 for Banking/Insurance/SSC and other related exams.
Govt gives in-principle nod to 21 Greenfield Airports: Civil Aviation Ministry
The government has accorded in-principle approval for setting up 21 Greenfield Airports across the country so far.
- Minister of State for Civil Aviation Dr. V. K. Singh said this in a written reply to a question in Rajya Sabha. He said, the government has formulated a Greenfield Airport Policy, 2008 which provides Guidelines for the establishment of new Greenfield Airports in the country.
- Dr. Singh said, Airports Authority of India has taken up development of new airports and up-gradation of existing airports at an estimated cost of around 25 thousand crore rupees in the next 4 to 5 years.
India’s first Green Hydrogen Microgrid Projects to be set up in Andhra Pradesh
India’s first Green Hydrogen Microgrid Projects to be set up at Simhadri near Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh.
- National Thermal Power Corporation Limited, NTPC said, the projects will be a precursor to large-scale hydrogen energy storage projects and would be useful for studying and deploying multiple microgrids in various off-grid and strategic locations of the country.
- The hydrogen produced during sunshine hours will be stored at high pressure and electrified using a 50 Kilo Watt Solid Oxide Fuel Cell.
- This unique project for India, will open doors for decarbonising the far-off regions of the country like Ladakh and Jammu and Kashmir.
Centre approves Treaty on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters between India and Poland
Cabinet has approved the Treaty on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters between India and Poland.
- The Treaty will enhance capability and effectiveness of both countries in investigation and prosecution of crimes, including crimes related to terrorism through mutual legal assistance.
- It aims to enhance effectiveness of both the countries in investigation and prosecution of crime, through cooperation and mutual legal assistance in criminal matters.
Centre approves incentive scheme for promotion of RuPay Debit Cards and low-value BHIM-UPI transactions
Cabinet has approved an incentive scheme for promotion of RuPay Debit Cards and low-value BHIM-UPI transactions.
- Union Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw said, banks will be incentivized for low-value BHIM-UPI transactions by way of paying a percentage of value of transactions. This initiative will facilitate acquiring Banks in building robust digital payment ecosystem. It will promote RuPay debit cards and Bhim UPI digital transactions.
- The scheme will deepen digital payments in the country and make accessible digital modes of payments to unbanked and marginalized populations.
Union Cabinet approves implementation of Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana for 2021-26
Cabinet has approved implementation of Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana for 2021-26. The scheme will benefit about 22 lakh farmers, including 2.5 lakh Scheduled Caste and two lakh Scheduled Tribe farmers.
- Information and Broadcasting Minister Anurag Thakur said, an outlay of over ninety three thousand crore rupees will be spent.
- Terming the decision as historic, the Minister said, out of ninety three thousand crore rupees, thirty seven thousand four hundred fifty four crore rupees will be central assistance to States.
Govt approves Rs 76,000 crore scheme to boost semiconductor and display manufacturing in country
The government approved a Rs 76,000-crore scheme to boost semiconductor and display manufacturing in the country in an bid to position India as a global hub for hi-tech production, and attract large chip makers.
- The move would further India’s ambitions to be self-reliant in electronics manufacturing, bring massive investments and result in 35,000 specialised jobs apart from indirect employment for one lakh people.
- The scheme would provide fiscal support of up to 50% of the project cost for setting up semiconductor and display fabrication units. In addition, the Centre would work with the States to set up high-tech clusters with the necessary infrastructure such as land and semiconductor-grade water, the government clarified.
India, Uzbekistan push state to state co-operation to boost economic ties
India and Uzbekistan have decided to promote interregional cooperation between their respective states with an eye on improving overall economic partnership.
- The two sides commended Eximbank of India for allocating US$ 448 million to fund the implementation of essential projects in Uzbekistan in infrastructure development and education and agreed to collaborate on their practical implementation. It was also decided that work on the development for projects in IT, healthcare and education under Indian grants will be accelerated.
- The two sides have also agreed to strive towards the Preferential Trade Agreement and the Investment Encouragement and Mutual Protection Agreement. The suggestion to form a joint working group on trade and economic problems was supported by the Uzbek side.
Andhra govt ties up with ICAR, FAO for developing sustainable agri systems
Andhra Pradesh government is joining hands with the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), and Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), to help farmers take up sustainable agri-food systems.
- Under the agreement, FAO will provide training to farmers, Rythu Bharosa Kendram (RBK) staff, officials, and scientists on new technologies in agricultural allied sectors and training to farmers on best cultivation management practices.
- The state government had launched Rythu Bharosa Kendras (RBKs) or farmer support centers across the state last year, to provide agricultural supplies to agriculture, aquaculture, and horticulture farmers. More than 10,000 RBKs are to be set up at village secretariats.
BANKING & FINANCE
FSS and CSB Bank Launch Smart Cash to Boost Financial Inclusion
FSS and CSB Bank have partnered to deliver hyperlocal banking services to financially underserved segments.
- Under the aegis of this partnership, CSB Bank and FSS plan to open 1,000 Smart Cash franchisees in semi-urban and rural areas across India to expand financial services adoption among underserved segments.
- Modelled on a Branch-in-a-Box service concept, Smart Cash franchisees, equipped with a kiosk or micro-ATM device, would offer affordable banking, investment, credit, and insurance products to target segments.
Paytm introduces ‘Paytm Wealth Academy’ for traders and investors
Paytm announced the launch of Paytm Wealth Academy, a tech-powered educational platform. The launch of the wealth academy is initially on the Paytm Money app, the wealth management app owned by Paytm’s wholly-owned subsidiary Paytm Money.
- The Paytm Wealth Academy is a first-of-its-kind initiative to allow users to learn trading and financial concepts at their own pace at their level of comfort.
- The platform offers a wide catalogue of courses and webinars along with personalized recommendations for users, curated to complement their existing knowledge.
Madhabi Puri Buch to head newly set up Sebi committee on technology
Madhabi Puri Buch, Former Whole Time Member of Sebi will head a new committee constituted by the market regulator to technology. The name given to the committee is ‘Advisory Committee for Leveraging Regulatory and Technology Solutions (ALeRTS)’.
- The seven-member expert group will guide Sebi on ways to “enhance technological capabilities and explore appropriate technology solutions for early detection of market anomalies.”
- Some of the other members of the committee are Puneet Narang, Head of Corporate Banking Technology India, Deutsche Bank; Girish Keshav Palshikar, Principal Scientist, TCS Research and Innovation and Ratnakar Pandey Senior Data Scientist, Amazon.
- The panel will recommend improvements on the various on-going technology projects and help Sebi design in-house technological systems.
ADB extends $112 mn loan for skill development varsity in Assam
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved $112 million loan for Assam to strengthen skill education and training through establishment of Assam Skill University (ASU).
- The ADB said the project will help develop the ASU’s management and operating systems, business models, and faculty and staff, and support the design and construction of environmentally sustainable and climate-resilient university campus and facilities to ensure efficient and sustainable operations.
- It will also support the design and delivery of industry-aligned and flexible skills education and training programs, including cutting-edge digital skills programs, career development programs and services, and continuing education programs.
RBI unveils PCA framework for NBFCs effective Oct 2022
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has decided to put in place a prompt corrective action (PCA) framework for troubled non-banking finance companies to restore their financial health. Until now, the RBI had imposed PCA only on banks.
- The move comes in the wake of large NBFCs such as IL&FS, DHFL, SREI Group and Reliance Capital getting into financial trouble over the last few years.
- Referring to the mushrooming of NBFCs and their links to other segments of the financial system, the RBI said the PCA framework will further strengthen the supervisory tools.
- The PCA framework for NBFCs comes into effect from October 1, 2022, based on their financial position on or after March 31, 2022.
BUSINESS & ECONOMY
Meta, CBSE expand partnership to enable over 10 million students to embrace immersive tech
Meta (formerly Facebook) said it will expand its partnership with the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) to provide a curriculum on digital safety and online well-being and augmented reality (AR) for over 10 million students and 1 million educators in the country over the next three years.
- Additionally, in line with the government’s vision of universalizing education, Meta and CBSE will democratise the high school curriculum by allowing students access to quality educational content online through modules which would be made available on CBSE’s website.
CBDT rolls out scheme for taxpayer info e-verification
The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has issued new rules for faceless collection of information from taxpayers, where mismatches are detected.
- The e-Verification Scheme, 2021 notified, covers faceless information collection from assessees and its verification.
- The scheme is notified under a provision in Income Tax Act 135A that proposes faceless information gathering aimed at imparting efficiency, transparency and accountability by eliminating the interface between the income-tax authority and the assessee. It also seeks to optimize use of the department’s resources.
Rays Power Infra inks pact with Rajasthan govt to build 500 MW solar park
Rays Power Infra has inked a pact with the Rajasthan government to build a 500 MW solar park.
- Rays Power Infra has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Rajasthan government for constructing an avant-garde PV Photovoltaic (PV) Power Station (commonly referred to as solar power plant) and generating 500 MW of green electricity.
- Apart from the MoU signed, the company has already started construction of 500 MW of solar energy, with expected commissioning in the next nine months to offset the power requirements of 50 per cent for corporate customers and 50 per cent for utility projects.
UNESCO adds Durga Puja to its Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity
Durga Puja in Kolkata has been inscribed on the Intangible Heritage list by UNESCO.
- In an important announcement, the Intergovernmental Committee of UNESCO’s 2003 Convention on Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage has inscribed ‘Durga Puja in Kolkata’ on the Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity during its 16th session being held at Paris, France.
- The Committee commended Durga Puja for its initiatives to involve marginalized groups, and individuals as well as women in their participation in safeguarding the element.
Neeraj Chopra, Sunil Gavaskar honoured at SJFI AGM
The Sports Journalists’ Federation of India (SJFI) at its Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Guwahati decided to confer the prestigious SJFI Medal to legendary cricketer Sunil Gavaskar.
- Neeraj Chopra, who won India’s lone gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics, was adjudged the recipient of the SJFI Sportsman of the Year award while weightlifter Mirabai Chanu, who won silver at the quadrennial extravaganza, was voted as the SJFI Sportswoman of the Year.
- The Indian men’s team that won the hockey bronze in Tokyo – its first hockey medal in 40 years – was declared the SJFI Team of the Year.
- Sumit Antil and Pramod Bhagat, the stars of India’s Paralympics campaign, will share the SJFI Parathlete of the Year in men’s category while shooter Avani Lekhra will receive the SJFI Parathlete of the Year woman award.
- Olympic Gold Quest (OGQ) , which has been doing pioneering work to support Indian athletes at Olympics for over a decade, is to be given the SJFI Special Recognition Award.
- The AGM also elected A. Vinod (Kerala) as the new SJFI President, Prashant Keni (Mumbai) as the Secretary and Bidyut Kalita (Assam) as the Treasurer. The other Executive Committee members are: Vice Presidents: Devendra Pandey (Mumbai), Vikas Pandey (Indore), Sambit Mohapatra (Odisha) and Saraju Chakraborty (Tripura).
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
NTA launches ‘National Test Abhyas’ Mobile App for aspirants to access mock tests online
National Testing Agency (NTA), has launched a Mobile App namely ‘National Test Abhyas’ to facilitate candidates’ access to high-quality mock tests online free of cost.
- In a written reply in the Lok Sabha, Minister of State for Education Dr. Subhas Sarkar said, over 14 lakh NEET students and more than 9 lakh JEE students have registered in the app and over 81 lakh Sessions of Mock Test for NEET and over 50 lakh for JEE have been conducted.
- Government has also launched Study Webs of Active Learning for Young Aspiring Minds, which offers interactive course content such as video lectures, reading material, self-assessment through tests and quizzes, and online discussion forum for clearing doubts for students from Class 9 to Post-Graduation. He added, The content can be accessed free of cost by anyone, anywhere at any time.
BOOKS & AUTHORS
Assam Governor releases book Principles and Practice of Oncology
Assam Governor Jagdish Mukhi released a book titled ‘Principles and Practice of Oncology’ at Raj Bhavan in Guwahati.
- Hailing Dr. B Borooah Cancer Institute which has published the book, the Governor said that the institute being one of the oldest cancer centres has immensely contributed to the prevention, early detection, treatment and palliation of cancer in the Northeast.
- This book will also benefit students and practicing clinicians across the country, the Governor added.
Vice President Launches Rahul Rawail’s Book On Raj Kapoor On Showman’s 97th Birth Anniversary
Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu released the book “Raj Kapoor: The Master At Work” and remembered the late showman for his invaluable contribution to making Indian cinema “a vehicle of cultural diplomacy” across the world.
- Published by Bloomsbury India, the book is written by filmmaker Rahul Rawail, who served as an assistant director to Raj Kapoor on films like “Bobby”, as told to Pranika Sharma.