Daily Current Affairs 20 November 2021 for Banking/Insurance/SSC and other related exams.
Indian Navy conducts security exercise ‘Prasthan’ in Offshore Development Area off Mumbai coast
The Indian Navy conducted a security exercise, called “Prasthan“, in the Offshore Development Area (ODA) off the coast of Mumbai.
- The exercise, conducted by the Headquarters Western Naval Command, is held every six months.
- The exercise aims to integrate maritime stakeholders, including the Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, ONGC, Port Trust, Customs, State Fisheries department and Marine Police, towards refining standard operating procedures for response to various contingencies that could occur in the ODAs.
Govt to procure Jaguar simulators from Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd
The government has signed a contract for procurement of two simulators at a cost of Rs 357 crore for imparting training to pilots of Jaguar fighter jets, the defence ministry said.
- It said the simulators will help the Indian Air Force in enhancing the quality of its flying training to higher standards by exposing the pilots to various contingencies in the entire operating envelope.
- The ministry said the commissioning of the first FBFMS with associated equipment shall be completed within 27 months from the signing of the contract at Air Force station Jamnagar.
Barbados to establish world’s first metaverse embassy
Barbados has broken new ground as it prepares to become the first sovereign country with an embassy in the metaverse.
- The tiny Caribbean island nation signed an agreement on November 14 with Decentraland, one of the largest and most popular crypto-powered digital worlds, to “outline the baseline development elements for its metaverse embassy.”
India re-elected to Unesco executive board for 2021-25 term
India has been reelected to the UNESCO Executive Board, one of the three constitutional organs of the United Nations, for the 2021-25 term.
- In Group IV Asian and Pacific States, Japan, Philippines, Vietnam, Cook Islands and China were also elected.
BANKING & FINANCE
NPCI, Network International sign MoU for UPI payments in UAE
Network International, the leading enabler of digital commerce across the Middle East and Africa, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with NPCI International Payments Ltd (NIPL), the international arm of National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), to discuss their collaboration on acceptance of NIPL’s mobile-based real-time payment system, Unified Payments Interface (UPI), in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
- This announcement follows Network’s continued strategy to boost digital payment acceptance across the UAE.
- Since its inception, Network International has contributed significantly to developing the national payment ecosystem and support for UAE merchants through collaborations with prominent international payments schemes and partners.
AIIB approves USD 150 million loan for Chennai Metropolitan Area project, another 27 projects worth 5 billion USD in pipeline for India
The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) has approved USD150 million loan to the Government of India for implementation of the Sustainable Urban services program for Chennai metropolitan area (CMA).
- The bank has so far approved 29 projects for India worth 6.8 billion USD. The energy and transport sectors have received the highest amount of AIIB’s financing.
- Another 27 projects worth 5 billion USD are in pipeline for India including Haryana Orbital Railway project which will be a circular railway to national capital Delhi, multi corridor transport project in Mumbai and digital education project in Gujarat. AIIB has also given 1.75 billion USD support to India in three projects to assist in fight against COVID-19.
BOB Financial, NPCI to launch Bank of Baroda credit cards on RuPay platform
BOB Financial Solutions Limited (BFSL), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Bank of Baroda (BoB) has partnered with National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) to launch BoB Credit Cards (Easy and Premier variants) on the RuPay platform.
- Launched on the JCB International network, both cards support global acceptance. These cards come with various attractive benefits for the customers such as 5X Reward Points on select merchant categories, fuel surcharge waiver, pre and post purchase EMI offers, upto 3 complimentary add-on credit cards for family members and several exciting merchant offers enabled both by BFSL and NPCI.
- BFSL and NPCI have utilized FirstVisionTM from Fiserv, a core card processing platform for cards and transaction management, with a set of APIs and micro-services for seamless digital enablement.
Mahindra Finance launches Quiklyz, a car leasing and subscription business
Mahindra & Mahindra Financial Services (Mahindra Finance) announced the launch of a lease-based vehicle subscription business for the urban centres, eyeing a business of Rs 10,000 crore in the next 3-5 years.
- The new venture would be called ‘Quiklyz’ and would target both individuals as well as corporate buyers.
- The venture is a digital platform for vehicle leasing and subscription, that aims to provide convenience, flexibility and choice to customers across cities, the company said.
AB de Villiers announces retirement from all forms of cricket
Former South Africa captain and superstar batter AB de Villiers has announced his retirement from all forms of cricket, thus ending his 10-year-long association with the Indian Premier League franchise, Royal Challengers Bangalore.
- De Villiers, who had retired from international cricket in 2018, joined RCB in 2011 and enjoyed a successful career, scoring 4491 runs from 28 matches and was instrumental in the franchise reaching the IPL Playoffs five times.
- Besides scoring over 5000 runs in the IPL, de Villiers holds the record for the second and third highest individual scores in the IPL courtesy his knocks of 133 not out against Mumbai Indians in 2015 and 129 not out against Gujarat Lions in 2016. De Villiers is the second all-time leading run-scorer for RCB, behind Virat Kohli.
Sourav Ganguly replaces Anil Kumble as ICC Cricket Committee chairman
BCCI president Sourav Ganguly has been appointed as the Chairman of the ICC men’s Cricket Committee, the game’s governing body said.
- Ganguly will replace fellow Indian Anil Kumble, who stepped down after serving a maximum of three, three-year terms.
- Johnny Grave, CEO of Cricket West Indies has been appointed to the ICC Women’s Cricket Committee.
Government extends tenure of ED Director S K Mishra by a year
The government extended the tenure of ED Director Sanjay Kumar Mishra by a year till November 18, 2022, days after the Centre brought ordinances to allow ED and CBI directors to occupy the office for up to five years.
- Mishra, 61, was first appointed the ED director for a period of two years by an order on November 19, 2018. Later, by an order of November 13, 2020, the appointment letter was modified retrospectively by the Central government and his term of two years was replaced by three years.
Jason Mott, Tiya Miles Win National Book Awards
Jason Mott’s Hell of a Book, a surreal meta-narrative about an author’s promotional tour and his haunted past and present, has won the National Book Award for fiction — a plot twist Mott did not imagine for himself.
- Hell of a Book is a satirical take on a Black writer’s adventures on the road for a promotional tour — Mott himself had his share of experiences while talking up such previous works as his debut novel The Returned — and a stark and disorienting tale of racial violence and identity, drawing on recent headlines and the author’s childhood.
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
West Bengal launches Food & Supplies chatbot on WhatsApp
West Bengal’s Food & Supplies department has launched a dedicated WhatsApp chatbot to make it easier for the citizens of the State to apply for a ration card, lodge grievances and get access to other critical resources.
- The chatbot will also help farmers with verified information pertaining to paddy related procurement. The bot is free to use and is available in English and Bengali.
- Claiming it to be ‘first in India’, the State government said the chat-bot is built with full service capabilities and eliminates the need for people to visit ration office in person to get their queries addressed or submit requests.
Indian scientists discover an exoplanet bigger than Jupiter
Scientists at the Ahmedabad-based Physical Research Laboratory (PRL), under the Department of Space, have discovered a new exoplanet orbiting too close to an evolved or aging star with a mass of 1.5 times that of the Sun and located 725 light years away. The exoplanet’s mass is found to be 70% and size about 1.4 times that of Jupiter.
- The discovery was made using PRL’s advanced radial-velocity abu-sky search (PARAS) optical fiber-fed spectrograph, the first of its kind in India, on the 1.2-metre telescope situated at Mount Abu observatory.
- The discovery team includes Prof Abhijit Chakraborty, students and his team members, and international collaborators from Europe and the US, an Isro statement stated.
BOOKS & AUTHORS
Smriti Irani turns author with debut novel Lal Salaam
Union Minister Smriti Zubin Irani has turned author with her debut novel “Lal Salaam”, announced publishing house Westland.
- “Lal Salaam” is the story of a young officer, Vikram Pratap Singh, and of the challenges he faces against a system that is steeped in backroom politics and corruption.