Daily Current Affairs 22 April 2021 for Banking/Insurance/SSC and other related exams.
Rs 30,000 cr of disaster funds given to states in one year
Probably in one of the highest yearly spend towards disaster mitigation, the central government has released more than Rs 30,000 crore of disaster funds to states and Union Territories since the beginning of the pandemic last year.
- Up to 50% of this fund has been allowed to be used for Covid-19 containment measures that may include setting up of quarantine centres, buying of medical equipment, providing for ambulances and expenditure towards testing and tracing of cases.
- Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and West Bengal have got the highest share of the State Disaster Relief Management Fund (SDRMF), including Rs 8,257 crore contribution made from the National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF).
- The total funds released to 28 states/Union territories is more than Rs 31,500 crore during the just concluded 2020-21 financial year.
Jal Jeevan Mission: Punjab all set to become ‘Har Ghar Jal’ State by 2022
Punjab State reiterated the commitment of the State to achieve ‘Har Ghar Jal’ target by 2022 as planned. Punjab has 34.73 lakh rural household, out of which 25.88 lakh (74.5%) have tap water supply.
- In 2021-22, the State plans to provide 8.87 lakh tap connections, thereby providing tap connection to every rural household.
- Punjab has 1,634 habitations, which are Arsenic, Fluoride and other contamination affected. Out of these 558 habitations have been covered by the State, while for the remaining habitations, as a short-term measure, the State will provide potable water in all the quality-affected habitations.
India elected to 3 bodies of UN Economic and Social Council
India has been elected to three key bodies of the United Nations’ Economic and Social Council (UN ECOSOC). These bodies are the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice (CCPCJ), Executive Board of UN Women, Executive Board of the World Food Programme.
Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice:
- India was elected by acclamation to the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice for a three-year term beginning January 1, 2022.
- Established in 1992, it is the principal policy-making body of the UN in the field of crime prevention and criminal justice.
- Chair (at the 30th session) – Alessandro Cortese of Italy | Headquarters – Vienna, Austria.
Executive Board of the UN Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women):
- India was elected by acclamation to the Executive Board of the U.N. Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (U.N. Women) for a three-year term beginning on January 1, 2022.
- It became operational in 2011, it is a United Nations entity working for the empowerment of women.
- Executive Director – Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka | Headquarters – New York, USA.
Executive Board of the World Food Programme
- India was elected to the Executive Board of the World Food Programme, along with France, Ghana, the Republic of Korea, Russia and Sweden by acclamation for a three-year term beginning on January 1, 2022.
- Established in 1961, WFP is the food assistance branch of the United Nations.
- Executive Director – David Beasley | Headquarters – Rome, Italy.
BANKING & FINANCE
LIC collects highest ever new premium at Rs 1.84 lakh crore
Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) collected new premiums of Rs 1.84 lakh crore in FY21 as per its provisional figures. It also paid out Rs 1.34 lakh crore as claims during the year.
- The insurer said that this is its highest ever new premium collection.
- The life insurance industry as a whole collected Rs 2.78 lakh crore of new premiums, showing a 7.5 percent YoY growth in FY21. Here, private life insurers collected new premiums of Rs 94,103 crore, showing YoY growth of 16.3 percent.
ADB, Habitat for Humanity to support housing microloans for India’s vulnerable communities
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has teamed with Habitat for Humanity International to help microfinance institutions (MFIs) deliver housing loans to low-income families in rural and peri-urban areas of India, Bangladesh, Indonesia, and the Philippines.
- The collaboration will expand ADB’s microfinance risk participation and guarantee programme to include microloans for housing, home improvement, and water and sanitation for vulnerable and climate change-exposed communities.
Airtel Payments Bank increases day-end balance limit to Rs 2 Lakh
In line with the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) guidelines, Airtel Payments Bank announced that it has become the first payments bank in the country to enable Rs 2 lakh day-end balance account limit.
- The bank has increased the day-end balance limit to Rs 2 lakh from Rs 1 lakh.
- With this step, customers having an account with the Airtel Payments Bank will be able to save more with the increased limit.
Indiabulls partners with HDFC Ltd to offer home loans
Indiabulls Housing Finance Ltd (IBH) said it has entered into a strategic co-lending partnership with housing finance major HDFC Ltd to offer housing loans to homebuyers at competitive rates.
- IBH will originate retail home loans as per jointly drawn up credit policy and retain 20% of the loan in it’s books and 80% will be on HDFC books. IBH will service the loan account throughout the life cycle of the loan.
- A Co-lending partnership with HDFC Ltd will act as a cornerstone to IBH’s new balance-sheet light growth business model.
FirstRand becomes second global bank after Citigroup to exit India
South Africa’s second-largest lender FirstRand Bank exited India 12 years after setting shop in the country. The announcement comes close on heels of a similar decision by another global banking giant Citigroup’s announcement to exit its retail operations in India.
- The South African lender started operations in 2009 and began lending to retail customers and small and medium enterprises only in 2012.
- The bank had plans to ramp up operations and open more branches and eventually set up a wholly-owned subsidiary but those plans did not materialise.
BUSINESS & ECONOMY
Care Ratings revises India s GDP growth forecast to 10.2 pc for FY22
With economic activities getting affected across the country due to curbs imposed by states amid surge in COVID-19 cases, Care Ratings has revised down its forecast for GDP growth to 10.2 per cent in 2021-22 from earlier projection of 10.7-10.9 per cent.
- This is the third revision by the rating agency in the last one month.
- The rating agency had projected GVA (gross value added) to increase from Rs 124.11 lakh crore (FY21) to Rs 136.82 lakh crore (FY22) which was an increase of 10.2 per cent.
ACQUISITIONS & MERGERS
Tech Mahindra acquires DigitalOnUS for $120 million
IT major Tech Mahindra has acquired the entire stake in US-headquartered hybrid cloud and DevOps services provider DigitalOnUS for $120 million, including retention bonus and earnout payments.
- The acquisition will strengthen Tech Mahindra’s cloud-native development, hybrid cloud infrastructure and site reliability engineering automation. The transaction is expected to close by May 15.
Former Sri Lanka cricketer Lokuhettige banned for eight years under ICC Anti-Corruption code
Former Sri Lanka cricketer Dilhara Lokuhettige was banned from all cricket for eight years after being found guilty of breaching the ICC Anti-Corruption Code.
- The ban for Lokuhettige, a right-arm fast-medium bowler and lower-order batsman, is backdated to April 3, 2019 when he was provisionally suspended.
Miguel Díaz-Canel to succeed Raúl Castro as President of Cuba
Miguel Díaz-Canel will succeed Raúl Castro as the Cuban Communist Party’s first secretary, the most powerful position on the island. He is the first person without the surname Castro to run Cuba since the 1959 revolution.
- Díaz-Canel now holds Cuba’s two most important positions, head of the party and president of the state.
Puma ropes in Washington Sundar, Devdutt Padikkal as brand ambassadors
Global sportswear brand Puma has signed long-term endorsement deals with cricketers Washington Sundar and Devdutt Padikkal.
- The duo will be joining the company’s roaster of brand ambassadors that include Indian captain Virat Kohli; wicketkeeper-batsman KL Rahul; women’s national cricketer, Sushma Verma and veteran cricketer Yuvraj Singh.
CAG GC Murmu chosen as external auditor by OPCW
India’s Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) GC Murmu has been chosen as the external auditor by a prestigious intergovernmental organisation working for the elimination of chemical weapons.
- External Affairs Ministry said, the Hague-based Conference of State Parties of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) selected the CAG as its external auditor for a three-year term starting 2021.
- India was also selected as a member of the Executive Council of the OPCW representing Asia Group for another two-year term during the OPCW Conference of State Parties.
J&K Bank director Rigzian Sampheal resigns; PNB Housing re-appoints Nilesh S Vikamsey
State-owned Jammu & Kashmir Bank said non-executive non-independent director Rigzian Sampheal has resigned from its board.
- PNB Housing Finance in a separate filing informed that it has reappointed independent director Nilesh S Vikamsey for a second term with effect from April 22, 2021, subject to approval of shareholders of the company. He has been on the company’s board for nearly five years which expires on April 21.
Maharashtra’s Priyanka Mohite becomes first Indian woman to scale Mt Annapurna
Priyanka Mohite from Satara in western Maharashtra has scaled Mt Annapurna, the 10th highest mountain peak in the world, becoming the first Indian woman climber to achieve the feat.
- Priyanka has also climbed the world’s highest peak Mount Everest (8,849 metres) in 2013, Mount Lhotse (8,516 metres) in 2018, Mount Makalu (8,485 metres) and also Mount Kilimanjaro (5,895 metres) in 2016.
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
First unit of indigenously-built ALH Mk III aircraft commissioned into Indian Navy
Indian Naval Air Squadron (INAS) 323, the first unit of the indigenously built ALH Mk III aircraft, was commissioned into the Indian Navy in the presence of Rajya Mantri Shripad Naik and Vice Admiral R Hari Kumar, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief of Western Naval Command, at INS Hansa, Goa.
- The indigenously designed and developed Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH-DHRUV) is a twin engine, multi-role, multi-mission new generation helicopter in the 5.5 ton weight class.
- The squadron will operate three state-of-the-art ALH Mk III, a multirole helicopter with Shakti engine manufactured by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL).
Former Delhi Minister AK Walia passes away
Senior Congress leader and former Delhi minister AK Walia passed away due to Covid-19 in Delhi. He was 72.
- Walia was MLA for four consecutive terms. He was a member of the first, second, third and fourth Legislative Assemblies of Delhi. Walia won from Geeta Colony Assembly seat thrice.
- He represented the Laxmi Nagar Assembly seat in the Assembly during his fourth term. The Geeta Colony seat ceased to exist after 2008 delimitation.
Islamic Scholar Maulana Wahiduddin Khan passes away
Islamic scholar and Padma Bhushan-awardee Maulana Wahiduddin Khan passed away. He was 96.
- Khan was known to have urged the Muslim community to forgo its claims on the land in Ayodhya over the Babri Masjid conflict.
- Khan was awarded the Padma Bhushan, the third-highest civilian honour, in 2000. The Government of India had announced in January 2021 that he would be conferred with the Padma Vibhushan.
- Through the course of his lifetime, Khan wrote as many as 200 books that advocated spirituality and prophetic wisdom.
Bengali Poet And Sahitya Akademi Awardee Shankha Ghosh passes away
Eminent Bengali poet and Padma Bhushan awardee Shankha Ghosh passed away at his Kolkata residence after testing positive for Covid-19. He was 89.
- Ghosh, a prominent voice of the civil society in Bengal, was awarded the Padma Bhushan in 2011 and the Jnanpith award in 2016. He received the Sahitya Academy award in 1977 for his book ‘Baborer Prarthana’.
- He also penned books such as ‘Murkho Boro Samajik Nay’ and ‘Adim Lata-Gulmomay’. He was considered to be an authority on the works of Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore.
International Girls in ICT Day
The International Girls in ICT Day is celebrated every year on the 4th Thursday of April to highlight the need to promote technology career opportunities for girls and women in the world’s fastest growing sector. This year it is observed on 22nd April, 2021.
- The International Girls in ICT Day 2021 theme is “Connected Girls, Creating Brighter Futures”.
International Mother Earth Day
Every year April 22 is celebrated as Earth Day, an international event celebrated around the world to pledge support for environmental protection.
- The year 2021 marks the 51st anniversary of the annual celebrations. This year’s theme for Earth Day is ‘Restore Our Earth’.