Daily Current Affairs 19 May 2021 for Banking/Insurance/SSC and other related exams.
Haryana allows reimbursement of GST on Covid items’ donations
The Haryana government has allowed reimbursement of goods and service tax paid by companies, non-governmental organisations and individuals on purchase of 15 items including Covid vaccines, remdesivir injections, ventilators and oxygen cylinders that they have donated free of cost to the state government or state-run hospitals.
- Haryana is the first state to give such a relaxation.
- The Centre has already waived integrated GST (IGST) till June 30 on the import of Covid-related relief material donated or received from outside India for free distribution.
Gujarat: All MLAs must allot Rs 50 lakh for health infrastructure
All MLAs in Gujarat will have to allot a minimum of 50 lakh rupees compulsorily from their local area development fund to upgrade facilities at hospitals. Gujarat government took the decision at a meeting of the Core Committee for Covid Control.
- This will help to upgrade the medical facilities in civil hospitals, district hospitals, community health centres, primary health centres and hospitals run by local civic bodies.
Indian Navy sets up COVID Care Centre at Bheemunipatnam
As part of the Indian Navy’s efforts to assist the general population of Bheemunipatnam in dealing with the second COVID wave, a 60-bed COVID Care Centre has been set up at INS Kalinga, Bheemunipatnam.
- The centre has medical facilities to provide care to patients with mild to moderate symptoms. Fourteen out of 60 beds have the provision for oxygen support through cylinders and oxygen concentrators. Suitable accommodation for the doctors and nursing staff near the centre has also been provided to ensure round-the-clock services to patients.
Of world’s 100 cities at greatest environmental risk, India has 43: Report
Asian cities face the greatest risk from environmental issues including air pollution and natural disasters, according to a report by research firm Verisk Maplecroft.
- Of the 100 most vulnerable cities, 99 are in Asia, according to the report released. Of those, 37 are in China and 43 are in India, the world’s first and third biggest emitters of greenhouse gases respectively. Globally, 1.5 billion people live in 414 cities that are at high risk from pollution, water shortages, extreme heat, natural hazards and the physical impacts of climate change.
- Jakarta, the capital of Indonesia, topped the list of combined risk based on all nine factors analyzed by Verisk Maplecroft. India is home to 13 of the 20 riskiest cities in the world, a result of its extreme levels of air and water pollution.
- China’s flood-prone Guangzhou and Dongguan topped the list of cities facing threats from natural hazards, followed by Japan’s Osaka and Tokyo for being vulnerable to earthquakes and typhoons. Lima is the only city outside Asia among the top 100 most at-risk cities overall. Glasgow was ranked the safest among the 576 cities examined for that factor.
BANKING & FINANCE
Bajaj Finserv launches assistance programme for families of its deceased employees
Bajaj Finserv, the holding company for the financial services business of Bajaj Group, announced a new comprehensive family assistance programme to extend support and financial assistance to families of employees who have passed away due to the COVID pandemic.
- This programme ‘Together as One’ aims to support their children’s education till graduation, provide financial assistance to such families as well as extended medical insurance coverage.
- The initiative is being rolled out across Bajaj Finserv and its companies — Bajaj Finance, Bajaj Allianz Life Insurance, Bajaj Allianz General Insurance, Bajaj Housing Finance, Bajaj Finserv Health, Bajaj Financial Securities, Bajaj Finserv Markets and Bajaj Holdings & Investment. It will be effective retrospectively from April 1, 2020.
Bank of Baroda launches microsite to support employees amid COVID-19 pandemic
State-owned Bank of Baroda said it has launched a micro-website that will serve as an emergency networking platform for all employees amid the second wave of COVID-19.
- The microsite will offer vital data, including a network of plasma donors to employees who are in need of. Recovered employees can also enrol themselves voluntarily as donors.
- It offers a host of other facilities that include providing contact details of various SPOCs (single point of contact) across zones for help, registration facility for employees to sign up for volunteer work in their cities, reaching out under the ‘Need Help’ section to request assistance for themselves or their families.
IDRBT building next generation Digital Financial Infrastructure
The Institute for Development and Research in Banking Technology (IDRBT), an arm of Reserve Bank of India (RBI), is building next generation Digital Financial Infrastructure.
- The National Digital Financial Infrastructure (NADI) would provide a roadmap and framework for future digital financial services growth in the country.
- The NADI will consist of modern network infrastructure which includes 5G/Edge Cloud with SDNs (software defined networking) for connecting to the critical data centre infrastructure at the back-end.
SBI, EIB to invest up to Euro 100 mln in Indian SMEs focused on climate change, sustainability
The European Investment Bank and the country’s largest lender SBI entered into a pact to jointly pump Euro 100 million in equity financing into Indian small businesses focused on climate change and sustainability.
- An agreement got signed on the margins of the European Union-India leaders meeting in Portugal, where both the financial institutions agreed to back the initiative.
- SBI already invests in a vehicle called Neev Funds for its impact investing objectives, and the two entities have created ‘Neev Fund II’ for taking ahead this partnership. This is one of the EIB’s first private equity investments in India.
BUSINESS & ECONOMY
Reliance Jio tops in 4G download speed, Vodafone in upload: TRAI
Reliance Jio topped the 4G speed chart with data download rate of 20.1 megabit per second, while Vodafone was ahead of others in upload speed at 6.7 Mbps in April, according to the latest data from telecom regulator Trai.
- Jio has almost three times higher download speed compared to its closest competitor Vodafone.
- Vodafone topped the chart in the upload segment, with network speed of 6.7 Mbps. It was followed by Idea with upload speed of 6.1 Mbps, Jio 4.2 Mbps and Airtel 3.9 Mbps.
Credit Suisse gives USD 1 million in COVID medical aid to India
Credit Suisse has extended USD 1 million (Rs 7.5 crore) to two non-profits to procure emergency drugs and other medical equipment in major cities to support India’s fight against COVID-19 that has killed nearly 2.75 lakh people and infected about 2.5 crore so far.
- The funds will be utilised to procure critical medical supplies, oxygen concentrators, and ICU equipment in Mumbai, Pune, New Delhi and Bengaluru.
- The bank has also raised an additional Rs 2.8 crore through internal staff fundraising for GiveIndia’s COVID response fund.
WPI hits 11-year high of 10.49% in April
India’s wholesale price inflation hardened to an almost 11-year high in April on the back of a sharp rise in prices of basic metals, fuel and power, indicating retail inflation may firm with a lag in response to this cost push pressure.
- Data released by the commerce ministry showed wholesale price index (WPI) based inflation at 10.49% last month, up from 7.39% in March.
- Inflation in fuel and manufacturing items rose to 20.94% and 9.01%, respectively, in April compared with 10.25% and 7.34% last month.
- The WPI inflation in primary food articles rose to a six-month high of 4.9% in April, driven by fruits, non-vegetarian protein items and items such as tea.
CCI extends deadline for comments on proposed changes to confidentiality regime
Competition Commission has extended the deadline for submission of comments on the proposed changes to norms pertaining to confidentiality requests made by parties concerned during proceedings under the competition law.
- Public comments on the proposed changes were sought till May 12 and now, the deadline has been extended till June 12.
- Under the competition law, there is a statutory restriction on disclosure of certain information during a proceeding in order to maintain sanctity of the information relating to any enterprise.
Vedanta’s Anil Agarwal pledges Rs 150 Cr to support India in tackling COVID-19 Crisis, Accenture pledges USD 25 million
Mr. Anil Agarwal, Chairman of Vedanta, India’s leading producer of metals and oil & gas, has pledged Rs. 150 Cr to help the country in its fight against the rapidly spreading second wave of COVID-19. This is over and above Rs. 201 Cr that was spent by the Vedanta group last year.
- Meanwhile, Hindustan Zinc, ESL and Sesa Goa iron ore business have stepped in to augment oxygen supplies to COVID patients as part of the Vedanta Cares initiative.
- Global IT and professional services company Accenture said it has pledged USD 25 million (about Rs 185 crore) for pandemic relief efforts in the country.This is in addition to the company’s ongoing investments in people and communities.
Ashleigh Barty wins the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix
Ashleigh Barty won the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix 2021. The world number one defeated Aryna Sabalenka 3: 6, 6: 0 and 6: 3 in the final.
- For Barty it was the second title on clay (after the French Open 2019) and the third comeback victory in a row in Stuttgart.
AIBA World Boxing Championship for men to be held in Oct-Nov in Belgrade
The International Boxing Association (AIBA) announced that the world championship of boxing for men will be held from 26 October to 6 November in Belgrade, Serbia
- The event was to be held in India originally but the country lost the hosting rights after failing to pay the hosting fee last year. An irate AIBA then awarded the competition to Serbia.
- The previous edition of the championship was hosted by Ekaterinburg, Russia in 2019.
Samir Seksaria Takes Over as CFO of TCS
Tata Consultancy Services has announced that Samir Seksaria will take over as the company’s Chief Financial Officer on May 1, 2021.
- He replaces V Ramakrishnan, who will be retiring from the services of the company.
Classical musician Pandit Rajeev Taranath, scientist Dr K Kasturirangan to get Basavashree awards
Sarod Maestro Pandit Rajeev Taranath of Mysuru and renowned Space Scientist Dr. K. Kasturirangan have been selected for the prestigious Basavashri Award for the year 2019 and 2020 respectively , given by Chitradurga’s Murugha Mutt. The award carries a cash prize of Rs.5 lakh and a citation.
- Pt. Taranath is a renowned Sarod Maestro, who has achieved big in Hindustani music through sheer excellence. Dr. Kasturirangan headed the country’s premier Space Agency Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) for more than nine years and also served as a Member of the Planning Commission.
Brit Awards 2021
The 2021 Brit Awards were held recently and aimed to celebrate the best in British and international music. It is considered the UK’s first major indoor live music event in more than a year.
- The glamorous event saw Taylor Swift emerging as the first woman and first non-British star to accept the Global Icon Award and Dua Lipa bagging the coveted British Album of the Year prize, she was also the best female solo artist.
The complete list of winners:
- British Male: J Hus
- British Female :Dua Lipa
- British Group :Little Mix
- Breakthrough: Arlo Parks
- British Album :’Future Nostalgia’ – Dua Lipa
- International Female :Billie Eilish
- International Male :The Weeknd
- International Group: Haim
- British Single ‘Watermelon Sugar’ – Harry Styles
- Rising Star :Griff
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Manipur CM launches ‘MOMA Market’ for vegetable
Manipur Chief Minister, N Biren Singh launched a mobile application named ‘MOMA Market’ for home delivery of fresh vegetables, for day to day consumption, amid COVID pandemic.Currently the application can be downloaded from www.momamarket.com and will be available on Google Play Store soon.
- The application has been introduced by Manipur Organic Mission Agency (MOMA), Department of Horticulture and Soil Conservation, Manipur.
- The initiative will help to prevent vegetable losses and curb the distress sales of farm produces during lockdown due to COVID-19 pandemic.
IIT Ropar develops portable eco-friendly mobile cremation system
Indian Institute of Technology, Ropar has developed a prototype of a moveable electric cremation system which claims to be using first of its kind technology that involves smokeless cremation despite using wood. It uses half of the wood otherwise required for the cremation and still is eco-friendly because of the technology that uses a combustion air system.
- It is based on wick-stove technology in which the wick when lighted glows yellow. This is converted into a smokeless blue flame with the help of a combustion air system installed over the wicks.
- The disposal of the body is completed within 12 hrs including cooling time as against 48 hours required in the normal wood-based cremation.
Suzuki Motorcycle India appoints Satoshi Uchida as Company Head
Suzuki Motorcycle India Pvt. Ltd. (SMIPL), the two-wheeler subsidiary of Suzuki Motor Corporation (SMC), has announced that it has appointed Satoshi Uchida as the new company head.
- The decision comes as a part of the SMC’s global revamp strategy. Satoshi Uchida has succeeded Koichiro Hirao with effect from 1st May 2021.
Ex-union minister & BJP leader Chaman Lal Gupta passes away
Veteran Bharatiya Janata Party leader and former Union Minister Chaman Lal Gupta died after a prolonged illness at his Gandhi Nagar residence, days after undergoing successful treatment for COVID-19 at a hospital. He was 87.
- The deceased leader had an illustrious political career spanning over five decades after he became a member of the J&K Legislative Assembly for the first time in 1972. He was again a member of J&K Legislative Assembly between 2008 and 2014.
- He was the Union Minister of State, Civil Aviation Ministry between October 13, 1999, and September 1, 2001, Union Minister of State (independent charge), Food Processing Industries Ministry (September 1, 2001, to June 30, 2002), and the Union Minister of State for the Defence (July 1, 2002, to 2004).