Daily Current Affairs 21 November 2020 for Banking/Insurance/SSC and other related exams.
New building permission system ‘TS-bPASS’ launched in Telangana
A new online single window system for sanctioning approvals to new buildings based on self- certification by the applicants was launched in Telangana by Municipal Administration Minister K T Rama Rao.
- Under the Telangana State Building Permission Approval and Self-Certification System (TS-bPASS), no permission was required for constructing a house in plots area up to 75 square yards and building height up to 7 meters.
- Instant approval for buildings will be provided for plots of above 75 square yards land and up to 600 square yards land, based on self-certification.
Over 50,000 Ayushman Bharat Health & Wellness Centers set up across country
Aiming at providing Comprehensive Primary Health Care (CPHC) services to the communities closer to their homes, 1.5 lakh Ayushman Bharat – Health and Wellness Centres (AB-HWCs) are to be established by December 2022.
- With more than 50,000 having been established, one-third of the target has been met. This has led to improved access to affordable primary healthcare services for more than 25 crore people.
- Ayushman Bharat was launched in 2018 with its twin pillars of Health & Wellness Centers (HWCs) and Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PMJAY) for full range of services across the continuum of care.
Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad releases ‘My Stamp on Chhath Puja’
Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad released a “My Stamp on Chhath Puja”. My Stamp is an innovative concept initiated by the Department of Posts.
- Any common person or corporate organisation can now book order and get a personalised photograph or an image of a Postage Stamp.
- My Stamp on Chhath Puja is available in all Philatelic bureaus and major post offices across the country. A special cover on the theme ‘Chhath-A symbol of Simplicity and Cleanliness ‘was also released.
BANKING & FINANCE
Mastercard and USAID partner to launch ‘Project Kirana’ for women entrepreneurs
To enable women entrepreneurs to launch, grow and thrive, Mastercard and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) announced their partnership to launch Project Kirana.
- A two year programme, the project will first be rolled out in select cities of Uttar Pradesh – Lucknow, Kanpur and Varanasi. It will work to increase revenue streams, expand financial inclusion and digital payments adoption of kirana shops that are owned or operated by women.
- The focus will specifically be on building financial and literacy skills and the topics will include banking, digital payments, savings and credit as well as insurance.
ADB Allocates $20 Million to help developing members access vaccines for COVID-19
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has allocated $20.3 million in technical assistance to help its developing members access vaccines for Covid-19 and establish systems to enable equitable and efficient vaccine distribution.
- The funds will be available for ADB developing members to support vaccine-related health system assessments and the development of country readiness plans to strengthen the capacity to access, introduce, deploy, deliver, and monitor vaccines safely and effectively, the multilateral funding agency.
RBL Bank selects Amazon Web Services to drive digital transformation
RBL Bank has selected Amazon Web Services (AWS) as its preferred cloud service to drive digital transformation. At present, around 40 per cent of the bank’s mission-critical applications are on the cloud.
- The bank first migrated its corporate website to AWS cloud and with the experience gained initiated a 10-in-10 project (a complete migration of 10 applications in 10 days).
- The bank chose AWS for its commitment to security and highly reliable global infrastructure.
ICICI Bank partners Pine Labs to unveil ‘Cardless EMI’
Private lender ICICI Bank has launched a fully digital mode of payment at leading retail stores. Titled as ‘ICICI Bank Cardless EMI’ (Equated Monthly Instalments), the facility will help lakhs of its pre-approved customers in buying their favourite gadgets or home appliances with the help of their mobile phone and PAN.
- ICICI Bank is the first lender in India to introduce a fully digital, cardless EMI facility at retail stores.
- For this facility the bank joined hands with Pine Labs, merchant commerce platform, to offer this facility across pan-India outlets of leading retailers namely Croma, Reliance Digital, My Jio Stores and Sangeetha Mobiles.
- Buyers can simply convert the high-value transactions into easy, no-cost monthly instalments by furnishing their registered mobile number, PAN and OTP (received on mobile number) on the PoS machine at the retail outlets.
BUSINESS & ECONOMY
Indian students contributed over $7 billion to US economy in 2019-20
According to the report “Opens Doors 2020“, Indian students contributed USD 7.6 billion to the US economy in the academic year 2019-20, even though there was a 4.4 per cent drop in the total number of Indian students.
- China remained the largest source of international students in the US, with the number of Chinese students in the country increasing for the 16th consecutive year. There were over 372,000 Chinese students in the U.S. during 2019-20 year.
- According to the report, released by the US Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and the Institute of International Education (IIE), for the fifth consecutive year the United States hosted more than 1 million international students (1,075,496) in an academic year.
NASSCOM Launches New FutureSkills PRIME Platform for Reskilling
As part of its ongoing efforts to foster an ecosystem that enhances India’s digital talent with the right set of skills, the National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM) launched FutureSkills PRIME Beta Platform.
- The programme will be offered as a robust online platform to encourage remote and self-paced learning. Many awareness-building modules will be free to access, allowing the maximum number of participations.
- Under the Programme, 4.12 lakh learners will get subsidised access to certified courses in any of the 10 identified emerging technologies (Artificial Intelligence, Internet of things, Big Data Analytics, Robotic Process Automation, Additive Manufacturing/3D Printing, Cloud Computing, Social & Mobile, Cyber Security, Augmented/Virtual Reality and Blockchain.)
Jannik Sinner Clinches Maiden ATP Tour Title In Sofia
Italian teenager Jannik Sinner has become the youngest man to capture an ATP Tour title in more than 12 years after his title win at the Sofia Open.
- Sinner defeated Vasek Pospisil of Canada 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (3) in the summit clash to win his first ATP title. Pospisil was also attempting to capture his first ATP Tour crown.
- The last player to have lifted a tour-level trophy at a younger age than Sinner was Kei Nishikori who had earned his maiden ATP Tour title as an 18-year-old at the 2008 Delray Beach Open
ACQUISITIONS & MERGERS
Reliance Retail buys Urban Ladder for $24.4 million
Reliance Retail has acquired a majority stake in furniture and decor platform Urban Ladder, making a broader push into e-commerce as the largest retail chain in India gears up to fight Amazon and Flipkart.
- In a filing to the local stock exchange, Reliance Retail said it had acquired a 96% stake in Urban Ladder for about $24.43 million.
- The Indian retail giant, which retains the option to acquire the remainder stake in the seven-and-a-half-years-old startup, said it has proposed to invest up to $10.06 million more in Urban Ladder by December 2023.
Douglas Stuart’s novel Shuggie Bain wins Booker Prize 2020
Scottish writer Douglas Stuart, whose debut novel Shuggie Bain narrates the story of a boy growing up in Glasgow in the 1980s, has won the 2020 Booker Prize for Fiction from a shortlist that included Indian-origin writer Avni Doshi’s Burnt Sugar.
- Stuart dedicated his book, which was turned down by 32 publishers before being picked up, to his mother, who died when he was 16.
- A former fashion designer based in New York, Stuart took home £50,000 as prize money.He also received a trophy, a designer-bound edition of his book, and a further £2,500 for being shortlisted for the big award.
Education Minister launches AICTE’s Lilavati Award for women empowerment
The All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) launched the Lilavati Award to acknowledge efforts undertaken to empower women in the country. The award was launched by the Minister of Education, Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank via a virtual conference.
- The awards are aimed to award the efforts taken in the field of women’s development and create ‘equality and fairness’ for women in all spheres of their lives.
- The award will be given to individuals and institutes affiliated with AICTE on their contribution in the area of women empowerment. The award will be given in sub-themes, namely, women’s health, literacy, self-defense, legal awareness, self-defense, and sanitation and hygiene. The application process has been started and interested can apply till December 31.
North Police Station in Kohima receives an ISO certification
In a major feat and a first of its kind in the state, North Police Station Kohima in Nagaland has been awarded an ISO certification.
- The Police station is located in the heart of Kohima Town which was the first established police station under Naga Hills district by the British Regime in the year 1933.Presently, the North Police station is headed by an Inspector rank officer-in-charge and 88 other ranks.
- It has been awarded ISO 9001:2015 certification on meeting the specified parameters of Quality Management System on policing and related scope of activities which includes maintenance of public peace, law and order, prevention, detection and investigation of crime and criminal activities, emergency response, VIP Security and prevention of human trafficking.
Ex-Navy Officer, Vice Admiral John Thomas Goslin Pereira passes away
Vice Admiral John Thomas Goslin Pereira (retd), Indian Navy’s former Chief of Materials, died after a brief illness. He was 97.
- Pereira was among the last surviving naval officers who served during the Second World War, Vice Adm I C Rao (retd), who served with him on board warship INS Delhi in 1958.
- ‘JTG” as he was known in Navy circles, was the Chief Staff Officer (Tech) of the Western Naval Command during the 1971 war. He was awarded the Param Vishisht Seva Medal (PVSM) for distinguished service during the war.
Former IIS officer M L Dhar passes away in Ahmedabad
M L Dhar, former IIS officer, passed away in Ahmedabad. He was 72.
- He started his career as News Editor in News Services Division of All India Radio in 1971 and worked in several media units of Information and Broadcasting Ministry including PIB, Doordarshan News and erstwhile Directorate of Field Publicity. He retired as Director.
World Television Day
November 21 marks World Television Day across continents annually. The day is celebrated as a sign to acknowledge broadcast media.
- The day marks the association of emerging and traditional forms of broadcast.
- The World Television Day theme of the 2020 edition is TV makes a difference.
World Fisheries Day
World Fisheries day is celebrated every year on November 21 throughout the world by the fisherfolk communities.
- The day highlights the importance of healthy oceans ecosystems and to ensure sustainable stocks of fisheries in the world.
- The World Fisheries Day 2020 celebrated under the theme Social Responsibility in the fisheries value chain.