Daily Current Affairs 21 April 2020 for Banking/Insurance/SSC and other related exams.
Uttar Pradesh becomes first state to geotag community kitchens
Uttar Pradesh has become the first state in the country to geotag its 7,368 community kitchens and community shelters across 75 districts which produce 12 lakh food packets a day.
- The state government has also tied up with Google to ‘Geo-map’ the locations of all these establishments on the Google Maps app for ease of beneficiaries.
Centre forms a high-level task force on coronavirus vaccine, drug testing
The government has formed a high-level task force for vaccine and drug testing for coronavirus disease (Covid-19), as the death toll from the pandemic increased to 519 and the cases reached 16,116.
- The task force — co-chaired by Vinod Paul, member NITI Aayog, and Professor K Vijay Raghavan, principal scientific advisor to the government — will also include representatives of Ayush ministry, Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), department of biotechnology, and drug controller general of India, among others
- The objective of the task force is to speed up national and international efforts towards vaccine development to treat Covid.
Arunachal CM inaugurates ‘strategic bridge’ over Subansiri river
Arunachal Chief Minister Pema Khandu inaugurated a revamped “strategic bridge” over Subansiri river in Upper Subansiri district, which will help supply of essential items to people of remote villages and army personnel deployed along the India-China border, amid the ongoing lockdown.
- The reconstruction of the bridge was completed by the Border Roads Organisation in good time despite several challenges faced by it during the lockdown imposed to contain the coronavirus outbreak.
Himachal Pradesh rolls out “e-sanjeevani-opd”
Himachal Pradesh government has rolled out “e-sanjeevani-opd” for free online medical consultation to sick people.
- The “e-sanjeevani-opd” has been launched to provide free online medical consultation to sick people at their residence throughout the state.
- To provide the free online medical consultation, a team of 16 doctors of various medical colleges of state will be available on all working days.
BANKING & FINANCE
New Development Bank approves 1 bn dollar emergency assistance to India to combat COVID-19 pandemic
New Development Bank approved financial assistance of about five billion dollars to BRICS countries including Emergency Assistance of one billion dollar to India to combat COVID-19 pandemic.
- Addressing the 5th Annual Meeting of Board of Governors through video conference, Ms. Sitharaman also suggested that, assistance under this facility to be enhanced to 10 billion dollars.
- She also strongly encouraged NDB to take appropriate actions to join G-20 forum along with other Multilateral Development Bank and International Financial Institutions.
RBI reduces FPI investment limits in G-secs to Rs 2.34 lakh cr for FY21
RBI reduced the general category foreign portfolio investors’ (FPI) investment limit in central government securities to Rs 2.34 lakh crore for the entire fiscal year 2021 as compared to the existing limit of Rs 2.46 lakh crore. As a result, the limits have been brought down by almost $1.5 billion to just above $31 billion.
- With continuous selling in the central government securities by foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) due to persistent risk aversion following the COVID-19 crisis, general category FPI utilisation of investment limits in G-secs have fallen to 52.62% as on April 15 compared to the peaks of over 75% at the beginning of 2020.
BUSINESS & ECONOMY
FinMin sanctions Rs 46,038 cr as states share in taxes for Apr
The Finance Ministry said it has sanctioned Rs 46,038 crore for the devolution of states’ share in central taxes and duties for April.
- The Budget had projected the share of the states in taxes at Rs 7.84 lakh crore for 2020-21.
- The 15th Finance Commission had recommended the share of states at 41 per cent of the divisible pool and 1 per cent for the newly-created union territories of Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh.
Housing finance cos to see slower credit growth in FY21: Report
Housing finance companies are likely to see a slower credit growth of 9-12 per cent in the current financial year as their disbursement may be impacted by the COVID-19 related disruptions, says a report.
- The gross non-performing assets of mortgage financiers may also increase to 1.8-2 per cent by March 2021, rating agency Icra said in a report.
- The estimated housing credit growth is likely to be 9-12 per cent in FY21 (lower than the last three years’ CAGR of 16 per cent).
- The loan growth of housing financiers in the last quarter of FY2019-20 is estimated to be at 11-13 per cent as their fresh loans disbursement would have been impacted in March.
- GNPAs in the housing segment is expected to increase to 1.8-2 per cent by March 2021 from 1.4 per cent as of December 2019 while slippages in the non-housing segment could be higher with GNPAs increasing to 3-3.5 per cent in FY2021 from 2.1 per cent as on December 31, 2019.
Charles Leclerc wins Chinese Virtual Grand Prix
Ferrari Formula 1 star Charles Leclerc beat Red Bull’s Alex Albon to win the Virtual Chinese Grand Prix, his second successive win in the series.
- Due to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic, the actual F1 races are not being held. In its place, Formula 1 has announced new F1 Esports Virtual Grand Prix series. The virtual races will run instead of each delayed Grand Prix. The Virtual Grand Prix series to use the official F1 2019 PC video game, developed by Codemasters.
Kamakodi reappointed as MD & CEO of City Union Bank
The Reserve Bank of India has given its approval for the re-appointment of N Kamakodi as MD & CEO of City Union Bank (CUB) for three years with effect from May 1, 2020.
- Kamakodi has been associated with the Kumbakonam (Tamil Nadu)-headquartered CUB since 2003. He was elevated as MD and CEO in 2011.
Kapil Dev Tripathi appointed Secretary to President Ram Nath Kovind
Kapil Dev Tripathi was appointed Secretary to President Ram Nath Kovind.
- The 1980-batch retired IAS officer of the Assam-Meghalaya cadre will replace Sanjay Kothari, who was selected as the Chief Vigilance Commissioner in February.
- Mr. Tripathi, who retired as the Secretary in the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas in June 2018, was heading the Public Enterprises Selection Board (PESB) that does top-level recruitments in the central public sector enterprises.
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
NASA To Launch Astronauts To ISS From U.S. For First Time Since 2011
NASA announced that SpaceX will launch astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken on a mission to the International Space Station on May 27 at 4:32 p.m. ET. Liftoff will be from Florida’s Kennedy Space Center — marking the first time a rocket will carry astronauts into orbit from the United States since NASA’s Space Shuttle program retired in 2011.
- It will also be the first crewed mission for SpaceX since its founding 18 years ago.
- The Crew Dragon mission in May, dubbed Demo-2, will be the final test for Crew Dragon before NASA transitions to operational crewed flights to the space station using the spacecraft
Former Fiji Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase passes away
Former Fiji Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase, who was installed as leader following one coup attempt and overthrown by another, died aged 79.
- The founder of the Soqosoqo Duavata Ni Lewenivanua Party, who served as Fiji’s sixth prime minister from 2000 to 2006.
- He was a former Managing Director of Fiji Development Bank, served on the board of Fijian Holdings Limited, was a former Chairman of Fiji Television Limited and was also the Managing Director for Merchant Finance.
BOOKS & AUTHORS
Book titled “How the Onion Got Its Layers” written by Sudha Murty released
Veteran author Sudha Murty’s first book in an audio format titled “How the Onion Got Its Layers” is released.
- The book is a latest offering for children to help them in knowing answers of several questions related to the bulb like many layers of onions and why it brings tears to the eyes when cut.
- This is the second book of the chapter series by Murty, the first being “How the Sea Became Salty”