Daily Current Affairs 18 January 2022 for Banking/Insurance/SSC and other related exams.
Govt inaugurates country’s first coal to methanol plant built by BHEL
As part of the ongoing Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav celebrations, Hon’ble Union Minister for Heavy Industries, Dr. Mahendra Nath Pandey dedicated India’s first, BHEL-built Coal to Methanol (CTM) pilot plant which was built by the Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) in BHEL’s Hyderabad unit, to the Nation.
- The pilot project is the first that uses the gasification method for converting high-ash coal into methanol. With the capital goods industry seen as the country’s backbone, this is one more step towards making the country ‘self-reliant’ with the help of an indigenously developed CTM plant.
- Dr. Pandey also inaugurated an exhibition on ‘Products Developed under Aatmanirbhar Bharat organised at BHEL’s Hyderabad unit. In addition, an audio-visual presentation was made on the ‘Unsung Heroes of the Indian Freedom Struggle’ belonging to the Telangana Region.
Health Minister releases commemorative postal stamp to mark 1 year of vaccination programme
Health Minister Dr. Mansukh Mandaviya released a commemorative Postal Stamp on COVID-19 Vaccine to mark the first anniversary of India’s National Covid-19 Vaccination program.
- This stamp signifies the remarkable work done by the frontline healthcare workers and scientific community across the country in protecting the people against the COVID pandemic.
Ministry of Textiles clears 20 strategic projects worth Rs 30 crore
Ministry of Textiles cleared 20 strategic research projects worth Rs 30 crores in the areas of Specialty fibres and Geotextiles under the chairmanship of Union Minister of Textiles, Piyush Goyal, informed the Ministry of Textiles.
- As per the ministry, these strategic research projects fall under the Flagship Programme ‘National Technical Textiles Mission.’
- Amongst the 20 Research projects, 16 projects of Specialty fibres were cleared including 5 projects in Healthcare, 4 projects in Industrial and Protective, 3 projects in Energy Storage, 3 projects in Textile waste recycling, and 1 in Agriculture and 4 projects in Geotextiles (Infrastructure) were cleared, said the ministry.
Kerala’s Kumbalangi to Become India’s First Sanitary Napkin-free Village
A village Kumbalangi in Kerala which won acclaim as India’s first model tourism village, is set to become the country’s first sanitary-napkin-free panchayat.
- The achievement is part of a unique campaign underway in Ernakulam constituency.The initiative titled ‘Avalkayi’, meaning ‘for her’ is being implemented in the constituency, said Hibi Eden, MP, following a tie-up with HLL Management Academy’s ‘Thingal’ scheme and Indian Oil Corporation.
- In this initiative, menstrual cups, a total of 5000 will be distributed to women aged 18 and above.
India grants $ 900 mn loan to Sri Lanka to tackle forex crisis
India has announced a USD 900 million loan to Sri Lanka to build up its depleted foreign reserves and for food imports, amidst a shortage of almost all essential commodities in the island nation.
- The governor of the Central Bank Ajith Nivard Cabraal said that the island nation is negotiating a USD one billion loan from India to import goods from the country.
- The central bank mentioned reserve positions had doubled to US$3 billion by December, which has come all the way down to US$1.5 billion, or simply sufficient for a month’s value of imports. Cabral claimed that the upcoming Indian loan can be for meals imports.
Navies of India and Russia Conduct Passing Exercise in Arabian Sea
The navies of India and Russia conducted a passing exercise in the Arabian Sea, the Indian Navy said.
- Indian Navy’s indigenously designed and built guided missile destroyer INS Kochi exercised with Russian Federation Navy’s destroyer Admiral Tributs.
- The exercise showcased cohesiveness and interoperability between the two navies and included tactical manoeuvres, cross-deck helicopter operations and seamanship activities, the Indian Navy’s statement said.
BANKING & FINANCE
Marwadi Financial Services partners with NSDL Payments Bank
Marwadi Financial Services (MFS) announced a partnership with NSDL Payments Bank. This will allow MFS to offer its clients an integrated 3-in-1 savings account that combines the features of savings, demat and trading accounts.
- Using this account, investors will be able to seamlessly transfer funds in real time and execute trades in almost no time.
- Users will also be able to avail margins without actually moving funds between their savings and trading accounts.
Hyderabad-based Kling and Cosmea launch India’s first Bitcoin ETFs
Hyderabad-based blockchain startup Kling Trading India and Cosmea Financial Holdings’ joint venture Torus Kling Blockchain IFSC has signed an MoU with India INX to launch India’s first Bitcoin and Ethereum Futures ETFs and Metaverse US listed Large-cap Discount Certificates.
- This Bitcoin / Ethereum Futures / ETFs said, will be the first crypto backed futures ETF outside of the US and the first Asian Discount certificates tracking Metaverse Large Cap stocks in US and Europe markets. The ETF Futures will be launched under a Sandbox construct of IFSCA.
- Torus Kling Blockchain will be the liquidity provider to India INX by providing round the clock deep liquidity with smart order routing. The product will be distributed through Torus global distribution team and partners.
ICICI Prudential AMC partners with US-based First Trust Advisors for global FoF
ICICI Prudential Asset Management Company has entered into a collaboration with the US-based First Trust Advisors, which is into actively-managed exchange-traded funds, to launch a slew of global fund of funds.
- Under the agreement, ICICI Prudential AMC will first launch a strategic metal & energy equity fund of funds, which will invest in an offshore fund managed by First Trust Advisors, the AMC said.
BUSINESS & ECONOMY
UN forecasts lower global economic growth for 2022 and 2023
The United Nations forecast lower global economic growth for 2022 and 2023, saying the world is facing new waves of COVID-19 infections, persistent labour market challenges, lingering supply chain issues and rising inflationary pressures.
- The UN said that after expanding by 5.5 per cent in 2021 — the highest rate of global economic growth in more than four decades — the world economy is projected to grow by only 4 per cent in 2022 and 3.5 per cent in 2023.
Reliance signs agreement with Gujarat to invest Rs 5.95 lakh crore in green energy
Reliance Industries has signed a preliminary agreement with Gujarat to invest Rs 5.95 lakh crore, mainly in green energy, in the state.
- Aimed at making Gujarat ‘net zero’ and carbon free, RIL proposes to invest Rs 5 lakh crore in the state over the next 10-15 years to set up 100 gigawatts (GW) of renewable energy power projects and develop green hydrogen eco-system.
ACQUISITIONS & MERGERS
Tech Mahindra Acquires European Firm, 25% Stake in 2 Tech Platforms for 330 Mn Euros
IT company Tech Mahindra announced acquisition of 100% stake in Europe-based Com Tec Co IT (CTC) and 25% stake in two insurtech platforms for a total of EUR 330 million (about Rs 2,800 crore).
- The company said the acquisitions will strengthen its digital engineering and insurance technology businesses.
- The acquisition of CTC is the second-largest acquisition that the company has made after scam-hit Satyam in April 2010.
India set to host football AFC Women’s Asian Cup India 2022 from 20th Jan
India is all set to host the football AFC Women’s Asian Cup India 2022. Addressing a virtual press conference, AIFF President Praful Patel said, the tournament will help in building women’s football in India.
- The tournament, which will be held in Mumbai, Navi Mumbai, and Pune, will witness 12 teams competing for the trophy. The AFC Women’s Asian Cup India will also be the final stage of Asian qualification for the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.
Aslan Karatsev wins Sydney Tennis Classic final
Former world number one Andy Murray’s quest for a first ATP title in over two years ended in defeat at the hands of top seed Aslan Karatsev at the Sydney Tennis Classic, with the Russian easing his way to a 6-3 6-3 win.
- The women’s single title was won by Spanish world number nine Paula Badosa, who defeated Barbora Krejcikova 6-3 4-6 7-6(4), to capture her third career title.
Narendra Kumar Goenka appointed as new chairman of AEPC
Textile Ministry has said that Narendra Kumar Goenka has been appointed as new chairman of Apparel Export Promotion Council, AEPC.
- Former chairman Padma Dr A Sakthivel handed over the charge to him. Ministry said, Mr. Goenka has been associated with the Council for more than two decades.
- He was the Vice Chairman of the apex body of Indian apparel exporters before taking charge as Chairman of AEPC.
Harshaali Malhotra honoured with Bharat Ratna Dr. Ambedkar Award
Actor Harshaali Malhotra recently received the Bharat Ratna Dr Ambedkar National Award for her performance in the 2015 film Bajrangi Bhaijaan. She received the award from Maharashtra governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari.
- Harshaali Malhotra played the role of Munni in the Salman Khan starrer Bajrangi Bhaijaan. Her role of a mute young girl from Pakistan who gets lost in India was loved by the audience.
Former president of Mali Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta passes away
Former President of Mali, Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta, who was elected during a historic election following a destabilising coup and only to be deposed seven years later by another military coup, passed away at the age of 76.
- Keïta, commonly known as IBK to Malians by his initials, served as President from the year 2013 until the military pushed him out in 2020.
- Since his forced resignation in August 2020, his health had deteriorated, and he had received medical care in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
Eminent theatre personality Saoli Mitra passes away
Saoli Mitra, eminent theatre personality and daughter of legendary actor Sombhu Mitra and Tripti Mitra died at her residence in South Kolkata. He was 73.
- Mitra, who was the recipient of Sangeet Natak Akademi in 2003, Padma Shri in 2009, and Banga Bibhusan in 2012 would be remembered by her fans and critics alike for her solo performance as Draupadi in Naathvati Anaathbat (which she also wrote and directed), and as Sita on Sitakatha or Bitata Bitangso.
- She acted as “Bangabala” in Ritwik Ghatak’s avant-garde film “Jukti Takko Aar Gappo” (Reason, Debate, and a Story).
Noted Environmentalist M K Prasad Who Spearheaded Silent Valley Movement in Kerala Passed away
Noted environmentalist Prof M K Prasad, a prominent figure in the historic grassroot level movement to save the evergreen tropical rain forests in Kerala’s Silent Valley from destruction, passed away. He was 89.
- Prof Prasad also played a key role in the setting up of the Integrated Rural Technology Centre at Mundoor in Palakkad. He was associated with the UN’s Millennium Ecosystem Assessment Board for five years. The World Wide Fund of Nature’s operations in Kerala was part of this association. He was also the Chairman of MS Swaminathan Research Foundation’s Programme Advisory Committee in Wayanad.
- A prolific writer, Prof Prasad has written several books on environment-related topics including Silent Valley Hydro Electric Project.
Noted Lyricist Alleppey Ranganath Passes Away At 73
Noted lyricist and director Alleppey Ranganath passed away. He was 73.
- The eldest among six children of Alappuzha Vezhappra Kunjukunju Bhagavathar and Gana Bhushanam M G Devammal, Ranganath has directed 42 plays and 25 dance dramas.
- He wrote and composed music for a play by the Kanjirapally People’s Arts Club at the age of 19 and first composed music for the song Hosanna from the 1973 film, Jesus.
- Ranganath recently wrote 10 keerthanas, composed in Carnatic music, based on Bible verses.He had also penned numerous Lord Ayyappa devotional songs and received this year’s Harivarasanam Award.