Daily Current Affairs 20 April 2021 for Banking/Insurance/SSC and other related exams.
India holds National Dialogue on UN Food Systems Summit 2021
The United Nations Secretary General has called for the first ever UN Food Systems Summit to be held in September 2021 to strategize the actions for positive change in Agri-food systems in the World to realize the vision of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
- The Summit will focus on levers and pathways to shape food systems nationally and globally to accelerate progress in the SDGs.
- The first National Dialogue on Agri-Food System was held. The National Dialogue was facilitated by the Inter departmental Group constituted by Department of Agriculture Cooperation & Farmers Welfare and the representatives from UN Agencies in Delhi.
Tourism ministry signs MoU with Cleartrip, Ease My Trip
In its ongoing effort to strengthen the hospitality and tourism industry amidst the coronavirus pandemic, the Ministry of Tourism has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Cleartrip and Ease My Trip
- The primary objective of this MoU is to provide extensive visibility to accommodation units, which have self-certified themselves on SAATHI (System for Assessment, Awareness and Training for the Hospitality Industry) on the OTA platform.
- The MoU also outlines both parties to encourage units to register on NIDHI and thereby, on SAATHI and encourage the local tourism industry with appropriate safeguards for curbing the spread of COVID-19.
Centre launches Startup India Seed Fund Scheme to create a robust startup ecosystem in the country
Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal has launched the Startup India Seed Fund Scheme (SISFS). The Fund aims to provide financial assistance to startups for proof of concept, prototype development, product trials, market entry and commercialization.
- An amount of 945 crore rupees corpus will be divided over the next 4 years for providing seed funding to eligible startups through eligible incubators across India.
- The scheme is expected to support an estimated 3,600 startups through 300 incubators.
India and Germany sign agreement on ‘Cities combating plastic entering the marine environment’
In line with objective of Swachh Bharat Mission-Urban, India and Germany signed an agreement on technical cooperation titled ‘Cities Combating Plastic Entering the Marine Environment’ at a virtual ceremony in New Delhi.
- The project’s outcomes are completely in line with the objectives of Swachh Bharat Mission-Urban focusing on sustainable solid waste management and Prime Minister’s vision to phase out single use plastic by 2022.
Ministry of Rural Development launches Gender Samvaad event
The Ministry of Rural Development recently launched the Gender Samvaad Event. It is a joint initiative between DAY-NRLM and IWWAGE.
- The main objective of Gender Samvaad event was to create awareness on gender related interventions under the DAY-NRLM(Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana National Rural Livelihood Mission)
BANKING & FINANCE
RBI sets up committee to review ARC regulations
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) constituted a committee that would examine the role of asset reconstruction companies (ARCs) in stressed debt resolution and review their business model.
- Headed by former RBI executive director Sudarshan Sen, the six-member committee will include Vishakha Mulye, executive director, ICICI Bank; P N Prasad, former deputy managing director, State Bank of India (SBI); Rohit Prasad, professor of economics, Management Development Institute (MDI), Gurgaon; Abizer Diwanji, partner, Ernst & Young; and R Anand, a chartered accountant.
- The committee will review of existing legal and regulatory framework applicable to ARCs and recommend measures to improve efficacy of ARCs. It will also review of role of ARCs in stressed asset resolution under Insolvency & Bankruptcy Code (IBC) and suggest means of improving liquidity in and trading of security receipts.
SBI Caps to be transaction advisor for privatisation of JNPT’s container terminal
State-run Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT) has hired SBI Caps Ltd to act as transaction advisor for the privatisation of the container terminal run by the port authority itself.
- The plan to privatise the terminal through the public-private-partnership (PPP) route was cleared by the port’s board of trustees in December and is currently being vetted by the standing finance committee (SFC) in the ministry of ports, shipping and waterways.
- After clearance from the SFC, the PPP project will have to be signed off by the minister after which JNPT will issue a global tender.
BUSINESS & ECONOMY
Italy launches first ever mega food park & food processing unit in India
Italy has launched its first ever mega food park project in India, comprising of food processing facilities, in a bid to further strengthen ties between the two nations.
- The pilot project named “The Mega Food Park” was launched virtually at Fanidhar Mega Food Park, in Gujarat.
- The project will develop a synergy between agriculture and industry of both countries, besides focusing on the research and development of newer, efficient technologies in the sector.
ACQUISITIONS & MERGERS
Flipkart acquires Cleartrip for $40 million
Walmart-backed e-comm giant Flipkart has acquired 100 per cent stake in Cleartrip for $40 million, which is one of the oldest online travel technology companies in India.
- The acquisition of Cleartrip will strengthen Flipkart’s digital commerce offerings for customers.
Murali Natarajan re-appointed as DCB Bank MD and CEO
Private sector lender, DCB Bank said it has received the approval form the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) for the re-appointment of Murali M. Natrajan as the Managing Director & CEO, for further period of one year from April 29, 2021.
- Natrajan was appointed as MD and CEO of DCB Bank in May, 2009. Prior to joining DCB, Natrajan has worked with foreign banks Standard Chartered and Citibank.
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
DRDO develops Supplemental Oxygen Delivery System
Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has developed a system, which is of great value not only to the Indian Army soldiers fighting in the Extreme High Altitudes Areas but also would be a boon to the country in this extreme crisis of Covid 19 pandemic.
- The Defence Bio-Engineering and Electro Medical Laboratory (DEBEL), Bengaluru of DRDO has developed SpO2 – Blood Oxygen Saturation supplemental Oxygen Delivery System.
- This automatic system delivers supplemental oxygen based on the SpO2 levels and prevents the person from sinking into a state of Hypoxia, which is fatal in most cases, if sets in.
NASA’s helicopter makes history with successful flight on Planet Mars
NASA’s Mars helicopter makes history with successful flight on the Red Planet.
- This is the first powered, controlled flight by an aircraft over the surface of another planet.
- The robot rotorcraft was programmed to ascend 10 feet (3 meters) straight up, then hover and rotate in place over the Martian surface for half a minute before settling back down on its four legs.
Cyclone Amphan of 2020 resulted in $14 bn economic losses in India: UN report
Cyclone Amphan, which made landfall in May last year near the India-Bangladesh border, was the costliest tropical cyclone on record for the North Indian Ocean, with reported economic losses in India of approximately USD 14 billion, a flagship UN report has said.
- The State of the Global Climate 2020′ report, released, said that extreme weather combined with COVID-19 dealt a double blow for millions of people in 2020.
- However, the pandemic-related economic slowdown failed to put a brake on climate change drivers and accelerating impact.
- The year 2020 was one of the three warmest years on record, despite a cooling La Nia event. The global average temperature was about 1.2 degree Celsius above the pre-industrial (1850-1900) level. The six years since 2015 have been the warmest on record. 2011-2020 was the warmest decade on record.
NASA aims to land first woman, person of colour on Moon by 2024 under ‘Artemis’ mission
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the US space agency, has said that in addition to landing the first woman on the Moon, it also plans to send the first person of colour to the lunar surface as part of its ambitious international spaceflight programme, ‘Artemis’.
- The mission, endorsed by the Biden-Harris administration, aims to land the astronauts on the lunar south pole by 2024 and and create sustainable missions to the earth’s natural satellite by 2028.
- The ‘Artemis’ program is so named after the Greek goddess of the Moon and the twin sister of Apollo, the inspiration behind Nasa’s first moon landing mission.
Former Assam CM Bhumidhar Barman passes away
Former Assam chief minister Bhumidhar Barman passed away at a Guwahati hospital after a prolonged illness. He was 89.
- The Congress veteran was Chief Minister for 23 days from April 22, 1996, after the death of his predecessor Hiteswar Saikia. He had held key portfolios such as Education, Health and Revenue.
National Award Winner Filmmaker Sumitra Bhave passes away
Renowned 7-time National Award winner Marathi film-maker and writer Sumitra Bhave passed away in Pune due to age-related ailments. She was 78.
- Sumitra Bhave was popular as a duo with filmmaker Sunil Sukthankar in Marathi cinema and Marathi theatre. She was known for her out-of-the-box content and also for the way she handled social issues in her films.
- They have won National Film Awards in Best Non-Feature Film on Family Welfare, Best Educational / Motivational / Instructional Film, Best Film on Other Social Issues, Best Feature Film categories.
Centenarian Lexicographer Prof G Venkatasubbaiah passes away
Centenarian Kannada writer and lexicographer Prof Ganjam Venkatasubbaiah passed away due to old age complications. He was 107.
- Primarily known for his contribution to the world of Kannada lexicography, Venkatasubbaiah was known as a walking encyclopedia of Kannada language and culture.
- He published 70 books, 14 dictionaries and authored four seminal works on dictionary science in Kannada. He also translated into Kannada eight important works from other languages.
- He is a recipient of the Kannada Sahitya Akademi, Pampa and Rajyotsava awards. He was honoured with the Nadoja award of Kannada University, Hampi and the Kendra Sahitya Akademi’s Bhasha Samman Puraskar.
Charles Geschke, Adobe co-founder and developer of PDF, passes away
Charles Geschke, the co-founder of software giant Adobe Inc, passed away aged 81.
- Geschke co-founded Adobe company in 1982 with fellow mate John Warnock. Geschke, who was widely known as Chuck, also helped in developing the popular Portable Document Format (PDF).
BOOKS & AUTHORS
J.K. Rowling children’s story ‘The Christmas Pig’ to be released in October
Author JK Rowling announcement on her website that her latest children’s book is entitled “Christmas Pigs”.
- This book will be released worldwide on October 12th.“Christmas Pig” is Rolling’s first children’s novel since Harry Potter.
22-year-old J-K author Soliha Shabir adds her name in India’s World Records
Soliha Shabir from Dalgate in Srinagar added her name in “India’s World Records” as the youngest and first author in Jammu and Kashmir “who has recreated the life of Habba Khatoons poetry.”
- 22-year-old Shabir has so far written three books, ‘In the lawn of dark’, ‘Obsolete- The poem Market’, ‘Zoon — The heart of Habba Khatoon’.
UN Chinese Language Day
The United Nations (UN) observes the UN Chinese Language Day every year on or around April 20.
- The contribution of Chinese literature, poetry and language in world culture is highlighted on this day.