Daily Current Affairs 21 January 2022 for Banking/Insurance/SSC and other related exams.
India offers $ 500 mn ‘critical support’ to Sri Lanka to purchase petroleum products
India announced a USD 500 million credit line to help Sri Lanka purchase petroleum products as the island nation struggles with a massive fuel and energy crisis.
- India is poised to provide another $1 billion in credit facility to Sri Lanka for importing food, essential items and medicines.
- India had recently extended foreign exchange support of more than $900 million to Sri Lanka
IGNOU signs MoU with Skill ministry to link vocational education with higher education
In a bid to strengthen vocational education, the ministry of skill development & entrepreneurship has signed a Memorandum Of Understanding (MOU) with the Indira Gandhi Open University (IGNOU).
- As part of the agreement, IGNOU will develop standards for quality assurance, develop counselling and trainer training programmes to facilitate students’ enrolments, train the staff of the identified centres to handle the enrolments and counselling, and mentor the management of NSTIs, ITIs, PMKKs and JSSs.
- It will also provide self-learning material (SLM) in digital form, undertake the comprehensive evaluation and conduct term-end examinations for its own components, and issue certificates to successful learners, said the ministry.
Over 76500 ‘Agri Nutri Gardens’ established under Agri Nutri Garden Week
Over 76 thousand 500 ‘Agri Nutri Gardens’ have been established under the Agri Nutri Garden Week’ as against the target of 7 thousand 500.
- Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana – National Rural Livelihood Mission (DAY-NRLM) observed this week from 10th to 17th of January. It is the Mission’s agenda to support every rural poor household to have Agri Nutri Garden to fulfill the family’s nutritional needs. Excess production can also be sold for income generation.
Indonesia names new capital Nusantara, replacing sinking Jakarta
The Indonesian Parliament has passed a law to relocate the country’s capital from Jakarta to Nusantara. This is the most significant advancement of an idea the country’s leaders have been toying with for years.
- The new state capital law, which provides a legal framework for President Joko Widodo’s ambitious $32 billion mega project, also stipulates how development of the capital will be funded and governed.
- The name of the new capital will be Nusantara, which means “archipelago” in Javanese. It will be based in the regions of North Penajam Paser and Kutai Kartanegara.
Maya Angelou becomes first Black woman to appear on US coin
Poet and activist Maya Angelou has become the first Black woman to appear on the US quarter, in a new version of the coin unveiled by the US Mint
- Angelou, author of “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings,” will also be the first figure commemorated through the American Women Quarters Program, which was signed into law in January 2021.
- The program directs the US Mint to issue quarters each year between 2022 and 2025 featuring five different female American trailblazers.The other figures set to appear on the coin in 2022 are: Sally Ride, the first American woman in space; Wilma Mankiller, first female principal chief of the Cherokee Nation; Nina Otero-Warren, a suffrage leader; and Anna May Wong, a Chinese-American film star.
BANKING & FINANCE
RBI: Digital payments up 39.6% in Sept 2021
The Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) digital payments index (DPI), which was launched in January 2021 to indicate the extent of digitisation of payments across the country, shows that the index for September 2021 stood at 304.06 against 270.59 in March. This indicates the rapid adoption and deepening of digital payments across the country.
- The RBI-DPI Index continues to demonstrate significant growth in adoption and deepening of digital payments across the country.
- According to a report by Jeffries, India, on an annual basis, sees over $2 trillion in digital payments on a combination of banking apps, cards, unified payments interface (UPI), mobile wallets and government-driven direct-benefit transfers.
Federal Bank, Equirus Wealth launch USD Fixed Maturity Fund
Federal Bank and Equirus Wealth have together launched a ‘US dollar offshore fund’ for their customers. This is in collaboration with SCUBE Capital, a global fund management company based out of Singapore.
- NRI and resident customers of Federal Bank can invest in this fund that offers a portfolio return (IRR) guidance of ~ $6.50% per annum with a fund tenor of three years from the date of fund closure with an option to extend by one year.
- The portfolio is managed by a highly skilled team with a cumulative experience of over 70 years in managing investments of over $50 billion.
BUSINESS & ECONOMY
NSE remains the largest global derivatives market for 3rd straight year
India’s National Stock Exchange (NSE) has been named as the world’s largest derivatives market place for 2021, for the third year in a row.
- NSE is the largest global exchange in terms of number of contracts traded, the Futures Industry Association (FIA) said.NSE has also been ranked as the fourth largest exchange in the world for trading cash equities for 2021.
- In terms of sheer value traded, the NSE has a monopoly over equity derivatives in India and the only competitor to it is BSE, which has less than 5 per cent share in the derivative segment. FIA data shows that NSE was the global leader in trading equity index options and currency options in terms of number of contracts.
FDI flows to India slip 26% in 2021: UN report
Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) flows to India in 2021 were 26% lower, mainly because large M&A deals recorded in 2020 were not repeated, the UN trade body has said.
- The UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) Investment Trends Monitor published said global foreign direct investment flows showed a strong rebound in 2021, growing 77 per cent to an estimated USD 1.65 trillion, from USD 929 billion in 2020, surpassing their pre-COVID-19 level.
- The report said developed economies saw the biggest rise by far, with FDI reaching an estimated USD 777 billion in 2021 – three times the exceptionally low level in 2020. FDI flows in developing economies increased by 30 per cent to nearly USD 870 billion, with a growth acceleration in East and South-East Asia (+20 per cent), a recovery to near pre-pandemic levels in Latin America and the Caribbean, and an uptick in West Asia.
- FDI flows to South Asia decreased 24 per cent to USD 54 billion in 2021 from USD 71 billion in 2020. FDI in the United States — the largest host economy — increased by 114 per cent to USD 323 billion, and cross-border M&As almost tripled in value to USD 285 billion.
Ind-Ra estimates India’s GDP growth at 7.6 per cent
India Ratings & Research (Ind-Ra) expects gross domestic product (GDP) to grow 7.6 per cent in fiscal year 2022-23 (FY23), helped partly by continued government spending and a favourable global trade outlook, the ratings agency said.
- After a gap of two years, the Indian economy will show a meaningful expansion, as the real GDP in FY23 will be 9.1% higher than the FY20 (pre-Covid level) GDP level, the agency said.
- However, the size of the Indian economy in FY23 will be 10.2% lower than the FY23 GDP trend value. A continued weakness in private consumption and investment demand is estimated to contribute 43.4% and 21.0%, respectively, to this shortfall.”
GJEPC gets land to set up jewellery park in Maharashtra
The Gem and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) said it has signed a draft agreement with the Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC) for granting the possession of land for 95 years to set up the India Jewellery Park Mumbai (IJPM).
- The India Jewellery Park Mumbai is an integrated gem and jewellery industrial park with manufacturing units, commercial areas, residences for industrial workers and commercial support services.
- It will provide effective support to jewellery manufacturers and traders who are interested in expanding in Maharashtra to initiate new business or strengthen their existing Ventures.
Senior bureaucrat Vikram Dev Dutt takes over as CMD of Air India
Senior bureaucrat Vikram Dev Dutt has been appointed as the chairman and managing director (CMD) of Air India Limited, the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions said.
- Dutt is an Indian Administrative Services (IAS) officer from the 1993 batch officer of the Arunachal Pradesh-Goa-Mizoram and Union Territory (AGMUT) cadre.
Dileep Sanghani elected as IFFCO chairman
Dileep Sanghani has been elected as chairman of the Indian Farmers Fertiliser Cooperative (IFFCO).
- The elections were held due to the demise of incumbent Chairman Balvinder Singh Nakai earlier on October 11, 2021.
- He was earlier serving as the IFFCO vice-chairman. Sanghani was elected as the vice-chairman of IFFCO in the year 2019.
Roberta Metsola elected as new President of European Parliament
Roberta Metsola, Centre-right Maltese lawmaker, was chosen to head the European Union Parliament. Metsola has become the only third woman to hold the position. She is also viewed as a political moderate despite the controversy over her anti-abortion stance.
- She has also become the youngest president ever to run the chamber. Metsola takes over as the President of the European Parliament at a time of mourning for the legislature on the sudden demise of its speaker David Sassoli.
Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla awarded $1 million Genesis Prize for 2022
Albert Bourla, chairman and CEO of Pfizer, has been awarded the 2022 Genesis Prize for his “leadership, determination and especially for his willingness to assume great risks” in developing a coronavirus vaccine in record time.
- The Genesis Foundation recognises individuals for their contribution to humanity and commitment to Jewish values.
- Bourla received the largest number of votes in an online campaign in which 200,000 people in 71 countries participated. The award comes with a $1m prize.
Rhapsody wins global Reimagine Education Award
Rhapsody Music Foundation has won the prestigious Reimagine Education Award, which is is given by Wharton School’s Alfred West Jr.
- Founded by classical pianist-turned-education innovation entrepreneur Anil Srinivasan, Rhapsody has been ranked Number 1 in Asia and Number 1 worldwide in the Arts and Humanities category ahead of more than 1,500 education innovators.
Smriti Mandhana named in ICC T20I Women’s Team of the Year
Star India opener Smriti Mandhana was named in the ICC T20 women’s Team of the Year for her superlative show in the format in 2021 but no Indian made the men’s side.
- The stylish Southpaw, who is the Indian team’s vice-captain in the format, was the country’s highest scorer in the format in 2021 with 255 runs at an average of 31.87.
- England’s Nat Sciver was named the captain of the ICC Women’s T20 Team of the Year 2021. Other England players include wicketkeeper-batter Amy Jones, left-arm spinner Sophie Ecclestone, openers Tammy Beaumont and Danni Wyatt. The eleven announced by the ICC also has three South Africa players in batter Laura Wolvaardt and pacers Shabnim Ismail and Marizanne Kapp apart from off-spin all-rounder Gabby Lewis of Ireland and off-spin bowler Loryn Phiri of Zimbabwe.
- There was no Indian representation in ICC Men’s T20I Team of the Year 2021, which featured three Pakistanis including skipper Babar Azam, who has been named captain.Apart from Azam, opener Mohammad Rizwan and Shaheen Afridi, who had a sensational T20 World Cup were named in the squad.
- Veteran India players Mithali Raj and Jhulan Goswami were named in the Women’s ODI Team of the Year for 2021 by the International Cricket Council. England’s Heather Knight has been named as the captain of the team that was announced.
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
BrahMos supersonic cruise missile successfully test-fired with enhanced capability
India successfully test fired an advanced version of the Brahmos missile with enhanced capabilities, adding to a series of tests conducted from Integrated Test Range, Chandipur off the coast of Odisha by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).
- The launch was conducted by the Brahmos Aerospace in close coordination with Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) teams. In this textbook flight, the missile followed the predicted trajectory, meeting all mission objectives.
BOOKS & AUTHORS
Maharashtra Governor releases Tuhin Sinha’s book ‘The Legend of Birsa Munda’
Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari released the book ‘The Legend of Birsa Munda’ authored Tuhin A Sinha and Ankita Verma at Raj Bhavan, Mumbai.
- The book based on true events is a tribute to Birsa Munda who in a very short life mobilized the tribal community, rebelled against forced conversions, envisioned a fair and just society and died fighting for it.
- The Legend of Birsa Munda is the story of a subaltern tribal hero whose contribution to India’s struggle for independence must never be forgotten.
JK Lt Governor releases book titled “Prakrtik, Vaidik avem Jaivik Kheti”
Lieutenant Governor, Manoj Sinha released a book titled “Prakrtik, Vaidik avem Jaivik Kheti- Graameen Udyamita Ka Naya Swaroop” at the Raj Bhavan, Jammu.
- The book was published by Chudamani Sanskrit Sansthan, Basohli, Kathua and was released as a souvenir after the successful conduct of the Annual Festival and foundation day celebrations.
- The celebrations were held under the aegis of Chudamani Sanskrit Sansthan Vishwasthali; SKUAST Jammu; Central Sanskrit University, Shri Ranbir Campus, Jammu, and Shri Kailakh Jyotish & Vedic Sansthan Trust.