Daily Current Affairs 18th February, 2021

Daily Current Affairs 18 February 2021 for Banking/Insurance/SSC and other related exams.

NATIONAL NEWS

Rs 7.5 lakh crore to be spent in creating Oil and Gas infrastructure over 5 years: PM Modi
The Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi dedicated to the nation and laid the foundation of key projects of the oil and gas sector in Tamil Nadu via video conferencing.

  • Prime Minister dedicated the Ramanathapuram – Thoothukudi natural gas pipeline and Gasoline Desulphurisation Unit at Chennai Petroleum Corporation Limited, Manali.
  • He also laid the foundation stone of Cauvery Basin Refinery at Nagapattinam. Governor and Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, and Union Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas were present on the occasion.
  • Touching upon the ‘One Nation One Gas Grid’ vision, the Prime Minister said  the centre planned to spend Rs seven and a half lakh crores in creating oil and gas infrastructure over five years. A strong emphasis has been laid on the expansion of city gas distribution networks by covering 407 districts.

Union Cabinet approves production-linked incentive scheme for telecom sector
The Union Cabinet approved a production-linked incentive scheme for the telecom sector.

  • The Electronic and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said, the production-linked incentive worth Rs 12,195 Crore has been cleared for the telecom sector. He said, this will create 40 thousand direct and indirect employment.
  • Production Linked Incentive Scheme intends to promote manufacture of Telecom and Networking Products in India and proposes a financial incentive to boost domestic manufacturing and attract investments in the target segments of telecom and networking products in order to encourage Make in India. The scheme will also encourage exports of telecom and networking products ‘Made in India’.

Govt approves proposals worth over Rs 363 cr to increase level of processing & value addition of horticultural & agricultural produce
Food Processing Industries Ministry has approved proposals worth over 363 crore rupees to increase the level of processing and value addition of horticultural and agricultural produce. 

  • This will result in increase in income of the farmers and create employment at the local level.
  • The approval was given in the two Inter-Ministerial Approval Committee meetings, which were chaired by Minister of Food Processing industries Narendra Singh Tomar. The proposals were received under the Scheme for Creation for Infrastructure for Agro-Processing Cluster and the scheme for Creation and Expansion of Food Processing and Preservation.

3 crore 53 lakh rural household provided tap water connections under Jal Jeevan Mission 
The Jal Jeevan Mission has reached a new milestone by providing three crore 53 lakh rural household tap water connections.

  • The mission was announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2019 with the aim to provide tap water connection to every rural household by 2024.
  • Jal Shakti Ministry said, as on 15th August 2019, out of 18.93 crore rural households, only 17 per cent had tap water connections. The Ministry said, the untiring efforts of States and Union Territories have helped Jal Jeevan Mission to reach this milestone.

Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs launches Pilot Pey Jal Survekshan
Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs has launched a  Pilot Pey Jal Survekshan under Jal Jeevan Mission- Urban, JJM-U.

  • It  will be conducted in cities to ascertain equitable distribution of water, reuse of wastewater and mapping of water bodies with respect to quantity and quality of water through a challenge process.
  • As a first step, the Ministry has decided to launch the Survekshan in 10 cities-  Agra, Badlapur, Bhubaneswar, Churu, Kochi, Madurai, Patiala, Rohtak, Surat and Tumkur.
  • The total outlay proposed for JJM (U) is 2 lakh 87 thousand crore rupees which includes 10 thousand  crore rupees  for continuing financial support to AMRUT Mission.

WB CM Mamata Banerjee launches ‘Maa’ scheme to provide meals at ₹5 to poor people
With an eye on the upcoming Assembly polls, Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee launched “Maa” canteens for providing subsidised cooked meals for the poor and the destitute at a nominal cost of ₹5.

  • The e government will give a subsidy of ₹15 and people will have to pay ₹5. The kitchens will be run by self-help groups.
  • The canteens will be open from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. everyday. People will get a plate of rice, dal, a vegetable and egg curry.
  • The Budget tabled by the Chief Minister earlier this month had allotted ₹100 crore for the scheme


BANKING & FINANCE

Mastercard and Razorpay partner to make digital payments more accessible for MSMEs and startups
Mastercard and Razorpay have launched a strategic partnership to drive digital payments acceptance by small businesses and startups in India.

  • This combines Razorpay’s payment processing capabilities with Mastercard’s digital banking solutions and card services.
  • The partnership will enable Indian micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in digitising their operations, maintaining business continuity in the challenging environment and preparing for the future beyond cash.

ADB, Medanta sign debt financing to support Covid-19 response
Asian Development Bank (ADB) has signed a Rs 100 crore debt financing agreement with Global Health Private Ltd (Medanta) to provide essential health care services and medical equipment to help combat the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic.

  • The project will support the purchase of personal protective equipment, basic hygiene products and patient care equipment like ventilators and beds.
  • It will also support staff training programmes on infection prevention and control.

Bank credit growth at 90% of FY20 level: RBI
Bank credit growth in FY21 so far (up to January 29) has reached about 90 per cent of the year-ago level, going by the Reserve Bank of India’s data on Scheduled Banks’ Statement of Position in India. 

  • This is probably an indication that credit demand is limping back to normalcy after the economy was ravaged by the Covid-19 pandemic in the first six months of FY21.
  • Year-to-date (YTD) credit growth of all scheduled banks at ₹3,39,147 crore was about 90 per cent of the year-ago YTD credit growth of ₹3,74,938 crore.
  • On a year-on-year basis, credit growth has slowed to 5.92 per cent as of January-end 2021 against 7.41 per cent as of January-end 2020.

Mastercard and Razorpay partner to make digital payments more accessible for MSMEs and startups
Mastercard and Razorpay have launched a strategic partnership to drive digital payments acceptance by small businesses and startups in India.

  • This combines Razorpay’s payment processing capabilities with Mastercard’s digital banking solutions and card services.
  • The partnership will enable Indian micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in digitising their operations, maintaining business continuity in the challenging environment and preparing for the future beyond cash.


BUSINESS & ECONOMY

India’s GDP to grow 13.5% in FY22: Nomura
Japanese brokerage Nomura said that economic activity is on the ‘verge of normality’ after being severely hit by the coronavirus pandemic. The firm said that India GDP will grow at 13.5 per cent in FY22.

  • Nomura’s estimates are higher than the growth rate pegged by the Reserve Bank of India. The apex bank expects GDP to jump by 10.5 per cent in FY22, after contracting by 7.7 per cent in FY21.
  • The brokerage said that it expects real GDP to contract by 6.7 per cent in FY21 and grow by 13.5 per cent in FY22.

Tata Communications Announces Partnership With Google Cloud to ‘Transform’ Indian Businesses
Tata Communications announced partnership with Google Cloud to drive cloud adoption and transform Indian businesses.

  • The partnership will enable organisations to deploy and access Google Cloud services through Tata Communications’ IZO managed cloud.
  • As a Google Cloud India Partner, Tata Communications will support organisations with services across infrastructure modernisation, data centre transformation, application modernisation, smart analytics, multi-cloud deployments and more.

HCL Tech signs MoU with IIT-K for cybersecurity 
HCL Technologies announced it has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur (IITK) to collaborate in the area of cybersecurity.

  • As part of the MoU, HCL will work with C3iHub, a specialised cybersecurity research center at IITK.
  • This collaboration will bring together the country’s brightest minds, advanced research capabilities and global resources to develop advanced solutions in the area of cybersecurity.


APPOINTMENTS

India’s Usha Rao-Monari Appointed as Under Secretary General and Associate Administrator of UNDP
India’s Usha Rao-Monari, a leading investment professional, has been appointed by UN chief Antonio Guterres as Under-Secretary-General and Associate Administrator of the UNDP, joining a growing list of women from the country appointed to helm key agencies of the global organisation.

  • Rao-Monari previously served as Chief Executive Officer of Global Water Development Partners, a Blackstone portfolio company, and held several senior positions, including Director of the Sustainable Business Advisory Group at the International Finance Corporation, part of the World Bank Group.
  • She currently serves on the Boards of several organisations in the field of sustainable development and has held various Board and advisory positions in the areas of water, natural capital, biodiversity and environment.

Jean-Michel Sama appointed new PM of Congo 
Congo”s president has appointed a new prime minister, further strengthening his control of the government over which his predecessor used to hold considerable influence.

  • President Felix Tshisekedi appointed the 43-year-old Jean-Michel Sama Lukonde Kyenge to be the new prime minister ay. Lukonde had been head of the state mining company.
  • Lukonde succeeds Sylvestre Ilunga Ilunkamba, who resigned on Jan. 28 after a no-confidence vote in the parliament. Ilunkamba was a close ally of former president Joseph Kabila, the strongman who governed the impoverished Central African nation for 18 years.

Actor Darshan roped in as Agriculture Ambassador by Karnataka Govt
Actor Darshan Toogudeepa has been appointed as the ambassador of Agriculture Department to popularise programmes meant for farmers’ welfare.

  • His work would involve creating awareness among farmers about the programmes taken up by the department and also to inspire farmers.
  • Incidentally, Mr. Darshan is also the ambassador for the Forest Department.

CEAT signs Rana Daggubati as brand ambassador
Tyre maker CEAT has roped in actor Rana Daggubati as its brand ambassador for promoting the ‘Puncture Safe’ range of bike tyres.

  • As part of an integrated marketing campaign across all five southern states, Daggubati will feature in the new commercial for these tyres to be aired across TV and digital platforms.


SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY 

Indian Navy gets third Scorpene submarine, to be commissioned as INS Karanj
The Indian Navy has got its third Scorpene-class submarine, which will be commissioned as INS Karanj.

  • The submarine, which is docked in Mumbai’s Mazagaon, was launched in 2018 for sea trials.
  • The fourth such submarine – Vela – is currently undergoing sea trials, while Vagir – the fifth – has just started harbour sea trial. The sixth one is still being worked upon.
  • All  six submarines are being constructed under Project P-75. With these, India will be further strengthening its position as a submarine-building nation.

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh launches e-Chhawani portal
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh launched e-Chhawani portal.

  • e-Chhawani project aims to provide online municipal services to more than 20 lakh citizens across 62 Cantonment Boards through a multi-tenancy central platform.
  • Through this portal, online application for renewal of leases, online registration of births and deaths and   online application for water and sewerage connection will be very simpler.


OBITUARIES

Former Union Minister Captain Satish Sharma passes away
Veteran Congress leader and former Union Minister Captain Satish Sharma passed away in Goa. He was 73.

  • A Union Petroleum Minister (1993-1996) in the P.V. Narasimha Rao government, Capt. Sharma was known to be a long-time Gandhi family loyalist and a personal friend of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi.
  • Capt. Sharma, a former airline pilot, had represented the Amethi Lok Sabha constituency in 1991 after the assassination of the former Prime Minister.


BOOKS & AUTHORS

Award-winning author Irwin Allan Sealy’s new novel “ASOCA: A Sutra”
The prize winning writer Irwin Allan Sealys annouced his stunning new novel, titled “ASOCA: A Sutra”. The book will be published by Penguin Random House India.

  • An imagined memoir of Ashoka The Great, the emperor who ruled most of the Indian Subcontinent and played a pivotal role in the spread of Buddhism from India to other parts of Asia in the 3rd century BC.
  • Asoca”, tells the story of the emperor who went from masterminding one of the biggest and deadliest wars to becoming one of the most profound advocates of non-violence.


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