Daily Current Affairs 2nd January, 2021

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

NATIONAL NEWS

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

INTERNATIONAL NEWS

WHO clears Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for emergency use
The World Health Organization says it has cleared the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine for emergency use. This means poorer countries may soon get access to the shot already available in Europe and North America.

  • Every country that has a drug regulatory body will have to issue its own approval for any COVID-19 vaccine, but countries with weak systems usually rely on WHO to vet the shots.
  • The global body said that the decision to issue its first emergency use validation for a COVID-19 vaccine opens the door for countries to expedite their own regulatory approval processes to import and administer the vaccine.

IFSCA becomes member of International Organization of Securities Commissions
International Financial Services Centres Authority (IFSCA) said that it has become an associate member of the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO).

  • The IOSCO works closely with the G20 nations and the Financial Stability Board (FSB), in setting up the standards for strengthening the securities marke. ts
  • The IOSCO Objectives and Principles of Securities Regulation have been endorsed by FSB as one of the key standards for sound financial systems.

India begins its two-year tenure as a Non-Permanent Member of the UNSC
India is beginning its two-year tenure as a Non-Permanent Member of the United Nations Security Council, UNSC.

  • India will sit in the 15-nation United Nations Security Council for the 2021-22 term as a non-permanent member—the eighth time that the country has had a seat on the powerful horseshoe table.
  • India, Norway, Kenya, Ireland and Mexico will join non-permanent members Estonia, Niger, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Tunisia and Vietnam and the five permanent members China, France, Russia, U.K. and the U.S.


BANKING & FINANCE

India and ADB sign USD 10 million PRF to help expand horticulture production and farm household income in Himachal Pradesh
India and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) have signed a USD 10 million project readiness financing (PRF) to help finance piloting activities and design and capacity building for an ensuing project that aims to expand horticulture production and farm household income in Himachal Pradesh. 

  • The PRF project will support advance actions to achieve a high level of project readiness through detailed design activities. The ensuing project, to be designed by the PRF, will support development of subtropical horticulture, including cultivation of fruits and vegetables, in the state’s southern region which is currently lagging due to limited access to perennial water sources.

India and ADB sign USD 231 million loan to augment electricity generation capacity in Assam
India and Asian Development Bank (ADB) have signed a USD 231 million loan to augment electricity generation capacity in the State of Assam through construction of a 120 MegaWatts hydroelectric power plant that will enhance availability of electricity for households.

  • This is the third tranche loan for the ongoing Assam Power Sector Investment Programme that was approved by the ADB Board in July 2014.
  • The proposed hydroelectric project is run-of-the-river project over Kopili river which will help increase electricity supplied from clean energy by 469 GigaWatt Hour by 2025 and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 3,60,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide annually.

No Charges on Transaction Through UPI Platforms: National Payments Corp
National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) said transaction through Unified Payment Interface platform would continue to be free.

  • Presently, no charges are levied on transaction done through UPI. NPCI continues to perform uninterrupted and convenient UPI transactions.


BUSINESS & ECONOMY

J&K signs MoU with NAFED to take horticulture produce to global market
To promote the state’s horticulture produce and take it to the global market, the Jammu and Kashmir government signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India Ltd (NAFED).

  • The MoU with the NAFED, an apex organization of marketing cooperatives for agricultural produce in the country, is seen as a game-changer for the horticulture sector in the union territory.
  • After signing the MoU, the NAFED will cover 5,500 hectares at a cost of Rs 1,700 crore in the next five years with a major focus on apple, walnut, cherry, pear and other significant horticulture produce.


APPOINTMENTS

Soma Mondal takes charge as SAIL chairperson
Soma Mondal has taken over as Chairman of Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL). She was the Director (Commercial) of SAIL prior to this.

  • She replaces Anil Kumar Chaudhary, who superannuated on 31 December 2020.
  • Before joining SAIL as a Director, Mondal was the Director (Commercial) at fellow Central public sector enterprise, National Aluminium Company Limited (NALCO).


AWARDS

South runway of Bengaluru airport now CAT III B compliant
Kempegowda International Airport in Bengaluru now has a CAT IIIB compliant South runway that can be used by aircraft even during inclement weather and foggy conditions.

  • The South runway in the airport has installed an advanced instrument landing system, airfield ground lights, meteorological equipment, automatic weather observation station, surface movement radar and other navigational aids for the smooth operations during low visibility.
  • The Bengaluru airport is the only airport in South India and sixth in the country to have CAT IIIB compliant runway.


SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY 

Punjab CM launches mobile app ‘DigiNest’ to ensure digital access to state govt directory
To bring in more automation and efficacy in the functioning of the state Public Relations department, Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh virtually launched a mobile application ‘DigiNest’, to give people digital access to the state government’s directory, which can be synced with the smart phone with the click of a button.

  • The Chief Minister also rolled out an online Punjab Advertisement Release Order System to bring transparency and efficiency in the entire process of releasing State Government’s advertisements and payments to media houses.
  • The two initiatives would be instrumental in creating synergy between the PR department and the stakeholders concerned, especially the common people


OBITUARIES

New Zealand Test Great John Fulton Reid passes away
Hailed as one of New Zealand’s finest Test batsmen – John Fulton Reid breathed his last as he lost a long-battle to cancer at the age of 64.

  • Reid, who made his Test debut against Pakistan in 1979, represented Black Caps in 19 Tests and 25 ODIs.
  • Playing between 1979 and 1986, he mostly batted at No. 3 and finished his Test career with a noteworthy average of 46.28, which included six hundreds. Interestingly, Reid’s average is only second behind Kane Williamson among compatriots to play more than 20 innings.

Senior Congress leader Buta Singh passes away
Former Union minister and senior Congress leader Buta Singh passes away. He was 86.

  • Singh fought his first elections as an Akali Dal member and joined the Indian National Congress in the 1960s. He was first elected to the third Lok Sabha in 1962 from the Sadhna constituency in Rajasthan.
  • He subsequently held many positions including those of the Union home minister and Union agriculture minister.
  • He was the chairperson of the National Commission For Scheduled Caste from 2007 to 2010. He also authored a collection of articles on Punjabi literature and Sikh history and wrote a book Punjabi Speaking State: A Critical Analysis.


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