Daily Current Affairs 2nd April , 2021

Daily Current Affairs 2 April 2021 for Banking/Insurance/SSC and other related exams.

NATIONAL NEWS

Rajasthan Launches Health Insurance Scheme for All, Claims it to Be a First
Rajasthan began the registration for an insurance scheme under which each family in the state can claim up to Rs five lakh every year for medical expenses.

  • The state began the registration for Chiranjeevi Health Insurance Scheme, announced by Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot in the state budget 2021-22.
  • Rajasthan has become the first state in the country, where each family will get health insurance of Rs 5 lakh each year.

Rajasthan CM Gehlot approves Innovation Fund for development work in districts
The Rajasthan government will provide funds to each district for work related to public utility asset creation as per the local needs from the Chief Minister’s Innovation Fund. In this state-funded scheme, each district will be allocated Rs one crore per year.

  • The main objective of the scheme is to create employment opportunities by sanctioning work related to creation of public utility assets, incorporating their innovations in accordance with the local needs and public aspirations of the district as experienced by the district collector.

Engine of India’s First Passenger Train that Plied in 1853 to Be Installed in Thane
The steam engine of the first passenger train that plied between Mumbai and Thane in 1853 will be installed at Thane railway station premises. 

  • The first train in the country carried around 400 passengers and the journey itself then took one hour and 15 minutes.
  • Similarly, all historical monuments in the city and district would be preserved in the coming days.

South Central Railway commissions Electrification of 750 track kms in 2020-2021
The Mission Electrification of Indian Railways has received a major boost over the South Central Railway, with around 750 track kms on its rail network getting electrified during the financial year 2020-21.

  • Importantly, out of this total, 612 track kms have been electrified in the new sections, while around 64 track kms of double lines and 69 track kms of third lines have also been electrified.
  • This achievement is particularly remarkable as the works were carried across the Zone, inspite of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Govt approves Rs 780 crore project for upgradation of Kargil Zanskar road
Union Government has approved a 780 Crore rupees project for upgradation of Kargil Zanskar road.

  • The 2 lane Kargil Zanskar NH 301 road is sanctioned under EPC mode.
  • This road from Zanskar valley, also connects Suru valley, Sankoo valley of Kargil Ladakh with the Highway. The road will be a key for economic development of the remote region of Ladakh.

Punjab CM launches free travel facility for women in govt buses
Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh virtually launched free travel facility for women in government buses running within the state.

  • The free travel scheme, will benefit over 1.31 crore females across the state, irrespective of their financial status.
  • The free travel facility will be given in all intra state non-AC buses, intra-state, just by showing Aadhar or Voter card or some other valid identity card.

Rs 11,830 crore released to States under the scheme “Special Assistance to States for Capital Expenditure”
Finance Ministry has released an amount of 11 thousand 830 crore rupees to States under the scheme – Special Assistance to States for Capital Expenditure. The scheme was announced on 12th October last year as part of Aatma Nirbhar Bharat package.

  • The capital expenditure projects have been approved in diverse sectors of economy like, Health, Rural Development, Water Supply, Irrigation, Power, Transport, Education and Urban Development.
  • It is aimed at boosting capital expenditure by the State Governments who were facing difficult financial environment due to a shortfall in tax revenue arising from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Finance Ministry releases Rs 45,000 crore as additional devolution to States in FY 2020-21
Finance Ministry has released 45 thousand crore rupees as additional devolution to States in Financial Year 2020-21.

  • This is an increase of 8.2 per cent over Revised Estimates 2020-21. As per the Revised Estimates 2020-21, 5 lakh 49 thousand 959 crore rupees being 41 per cent of the shareable pool of taxes and duties were estimated to be released to the States.
  • However, Ministry of Finance has devolved an amount of 5 lakh 94 thousand 996 crore rupees, based on the initial estimates of shareable pool that would be collected in 2020-21.

Arunachal gets first formal indigenous knowledge system school
Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu has inaugurated the state’s first formal indigenous language and knowledge system school in East Kameng district. 

  • The first-of-its-kind school called ‘Nyubu Nyvgam Yerko’ was inaugurated at Rang village near Seppa.
  • CM said ₹3 crore has been earmarked for the development and upkeep of the school.


INTERNATIONAL NEWS

Hyderabad Ranks 122nd Globally in Annual Housing Price Rise; Chennai at 150th with 9%Price Slip
Hyderabad stood at 122nd position globally in terms of annual appreciation in housing prices during October-December 2020 as rates for residential properties in the city rose marginally, according to Knight Frank. 

  • As per Knight Frank’s Global Residential Cities Index Q4 2020, Bengaluru was at 129th position, Ahmedabad 143rd, Mumbai 144th, Delhi 146th, Kolkata 147th, Pune 148th and Chennai at the 150th place in the global list.
  • Globally, Ankara (Turkey) ranked first with an annual price appreciation of 30.2 per cent, followed by Izmir in Turkey and Istanbul. Auckland in New Zealand is at 4th place, St Petersburg in Russia at 5th position.

Indian Army to participate in Multinational Military Exercise ‘Shantir Ogroshena -2021’ in Bangladesh
Indian Army will participate in Multinational Military Exercise namely SHANTIR OGROSHENA -2021 in Bangladesh.

  • The nine days exercise will be held to commemorate the birth centenary of Bangladesh Father of the Nation, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and mark glorious 50 years of liberation.
  • The theme of the exercise is Robust Peace Keeping Operations. Military observers from the USA, UK, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Singapore will also be in attendance throughout the exercise.

2000 Bangladeshi students to get Muktijoddha Scholarships
The India Bangladesh ties are historic and multi-dimensional. India is keen to support the national effort of Bangladesh for the betterment of their own people. In order to further the people to people ties between the two countries, India provides scholarship for the descendants of the Liberation War fighters of Bangladesh.

  • The government of India has announced scholarships to 2000 descendants of the Liberation War fighters of Bangladesh under its new Muktijoddha Scholarship scheme. 
  • The scholarship carries an amount of 20,000 Taka for students of Higher Secondary and 50,000 Taka to Undergraduate category students, who are direct descendants of Muktijoddhas or Liberation War fighters of Bangladesh.
  • The Govt of India has sanctioned an amount of 35 crore Taka for both schemes combined together.


BANKING & FINANCE

RBI lowers base rate by 15 basis points at 7.81 %
The Reserve bank of India lowered base rate by 15 basis points or by 0.15 percent to  7.81 per cent.

  • Last year it was 8.76 during the same period. On the last working day of every quarter, RBI advises interest rates to be charged by NBFC-MFIs to their borrowers in the ensuing quarter.
  • It is based on the average of the base rates of the five largest commercial banks.

RBL Bank & Tide, collaborate to serve banking needs of Indian SMEs
RBL Bank ties-up with Tide India, part of Tide UK, UK’s leading business banking fintech, to provide banking infrastructure for Tide’s India platform focused on the SME segment.

  • This collaboration will enable Tide to bring its platform to the Indian markets with a full-fledged launch.
  • Under the tie-up, businesses – especially small and medium-sized enterprises – have an option to open current and savings accounts at RBL Bank through Tide’s business platform.

Ujjivan Small Finance Bank aims to take local kirana stores online with nStore
Ujjivan Small Finance Bank said that it has joined hands with nStore to digitise offline retailers and small businesses in the country.

  • Under this partnership, the lender will offer a mobile application ‘nLincs’ to its current account holders who own local businesses.
  • With this new application, the merchants can sell their merchandise online.

NPCI caps market share for UPI apps at 30% of overall payment volumes
The National Payments Corporation of India has set out new guidelines for digital payment apps limiting their share in the overall volume of transactions on the unified payment interface at 30% in a bid to enforce parity in the country’s fast-growing digital payments industry.

  • The new rules, effective from the quarter beginning January 2021, also provide existing players with dominant market shares with a window of two years for compliance, in order to minimize friction for customers.

Bank Credit to Grow 10% in FY22 on Faster GDP Expansion, Policy Measures: Crisil
Banking system’s credit growth will almost double to 10 per cent in 2021-22 on the economic recovery and policy interventions, ratings agency Crisil said.

  • The quantum of gross non-performing assets (NPAs) will rise up to 10.5-11 per cent by the end of 2021-22, which is about a percentage point lower than what was initially expected.
  • The GDP growth is expected to stand at 11 per cent for the newly begun fiscal year, after a 7.7 per cent contraction in the pandemic-impacted 2020-21.


BUSINESS & ECONOMY

GST revenue collection hits new record of over Rs 1.23 lakh crore in March 2021
GST Revenue collection for March 2021 has set a new record with highest ever collection of 1 lakh 23 thousand 902 crore rupees.

  • The GST revenue collected in the last month is 27 per cent higher than that collected in March last year.
  • During the month, revenue from import of goods was 70 per cent higher and the revenues from domestic transaction are 17 per cent higher than the revenues from these sources during the same month last year.

UPI records over Rs 5 lakh crore worth transactions in March
Digital Transactions through UPI in the country crossed another milestone last month recording transaction value of 5 lakh 4 thousand crore rupees. 

  • Transactions via the Unified Payment Interface, UPI surged in March, partly driven by subscriptions for initial public offerings that opened during the month.
  • Value of transactions via the platform, launched in April 2016, rose above the 5 lakh crore mark compared to 4 lakh 25 thousand crore in February.

Centre rolls back interest rate cut on small savings schemes, calls it oversight
The finance ministry has withdrawn its decision to slash interest rates on small savings schemes like the Public Provident Fund and the National Savings Certificate (NSC), terming it an “oversight”.
The rates on such schemes will continue to remain as they were during the January-March quarter, reversing the cut on interest rates of up to 110 basis points or 1.1 percentage points announced on 31st March.
Rates for April – June Quarter:

  • Public Provident Fund (PPF) – 7.1%
  • National Savings Certificates (NSC) – 6.8%
  • Senior Citizen Savings Scheme – 7.4%
  • Five-year recurring deposits – 5.8%
  • One-year to three-year time deposits – 5.5%
  • Savings deposits – 4% interest
  • Five-year time deposits – 6.7%
  • Kisan Vikas Patra – 6.9%
  • Sukanya Samriddhi Account scheme – 7.6%


APPOINTMENTS

Lt Gen Manjinder Singh takes over as Chief of Staff, Western Command
Lieutenant General Manjinder Singh, Yudh Seva Medal, Vishist Seva Medal took over as the Chief of Staff, Headquarters Western Command.

  • In an illustrious career spanning over a period of more than 34 years, the General has tenanted important Command appointments in varied sensitive operational sectors and High Altitude terrains.

Mukhmeet S Bhatia takes over as ESIC DG
Mukhmeet S Bhatia has assumed charge as Director General of Employees’ State Insurance Corporation (ESIC). Bhatia is an IAS officer of 1990 batch of Jharkhand cadre.

  • Earlier, he has worked as Additional Secretary in Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance.

In a first, private sector specialist Mallika Srinivasan appointed chief of govt headhunter PESB
Mallika Srinivasan, Chairman and Managing Director of Tractors and Farm Equipment (TAFE) Limited has been appointed as the chairperson of the Public Enterprises Selection Board (PESB).

  • This is for the first time that a private sector specialist has been appointed as the head of the PESB, responsible for appointment of top management posts in the Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSEs).


AWARDS

Rajnikanth to be honoured with Dada Saheb Phalke Award for the year 2019
The prestigious 51st Dadasaheb Phalke Award will be honoured to superstar Rajinikanth for the year 2019, Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar announced. He will receive the award on May 3.

  • Rajinikanth is the 12th South Indian to get this award. Legends like Dr Rajkumar, Akkineni Nageshwar Rao, K Balachander have been awarded before.
  • The Dadasaheb Phalke Award is India’s highest honour in cinema, presented by the Directorate of Film Festivals for the recipient’s contribution to the growth and development of Indian cinema.The recipient receives a Swarna Kamal (Golden Lotus) medallion, a shawl and a cash prize of Rs 10 lakh.


SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

DRDO lab develops light weight Bullet Proof Jacket
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has congratulated DRDO and DMSRDE Kanpur for developing a Light Weight Bullet Proof Jacket.

  • DMSRDE Kanpur, a DRDO laboratory has developed a Light Weight Bullet Proof Jacket weighing 9 kg meeting the qualitative requirements of Indian Army.
  • The Front Hard Armour Panel jacket was tested successfully at TBRL Chandigarh and met relevant BIS standards.

Facebook, Google plan new undersea cables to connect Southeast Asia and America
Facebook said it planned two new undersea cables to connect Singapore, Indonesia and North America in a project with Google and regional telecommunication companies to boost internet connection capacity between the regions.

  • “Named Echo and Bifrost, those will be the first two cables to go through a new diverse route crossing the Java Sea and they will increase overall subsea capacity in the trans-pacific by about 70%,”.
  • “Echo” is being built in partnership with Alphabet’s Google and Indonesian telecommunications’ company XL Axiata and should be completed by 2023.
  • Bifrost, which is being done in partnership with Telin, a subsidiary of Indonesia’s Telkom, and Singaporean conglomerate Keppel is due to be completed by 2024.


ENVIRONMENT

New Plant Species Found in South Maharashtra Named After Sharad Pawar
A new species of flowering plants belonging to the genus `Argyreia’, recently discovered in south Maharashtra’s Kolhapur district, has been named for NCP chief Sharad Pawar.

  • The species has been named ‘Argyreia sharad chandrajii’ in recognition of Pawar’s contribution as Union agriculture minister.
  • Kolhapur district falls in the famous Western Ghats ecological zone, known for its rich biodiversity. The new species was found in the Alamprabhu `Dev-raai’ (sacred grove).


OBITUARIES

Former President of Madagascar Didier Ratsiraka passes away
Madagascar’s longtime former leader Didier Ratsiraka, a naval officer and instigator of a socialist revolution on the Indian Ocean island, died. He was 84.

  • Nicknamed “Deba”, Malagasy for ‘bad guy’ and ‘boss’, Ratsiraka was in power from 1975 until 1991 and returned for another stint from 1997 to 2002.


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