Daily Current Affairs 24 August 2021 for Banking/Insurance/SSC and other related exams.
India sets target to achieve 400 billion dollar merchandise exports in current financial year, says Commerce, Industry Minister
Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal has said that India is working in mission mode to achieve the target of 400 billion dollar merchandise exports in the current financial year. Mr Goyal interacted with the Industry Associates and discussed measures to enhance and increase exports.
- He said, Merchandise exports for April to August this year is up by 71 per cent as compared to 2020-21. Mr Goyal said, India is developing a SAFE ecosystem – Sustainable, Agile, Futuristic and Efficient to make India a Global Hub of manufacturing. Speaking about employment, the Minister said, more than 20 lakh jobs will be created by 50 thousand new start-ups in the next five years.
FM Nirmala Sitharaman launches ₹6 lakh crore ‘National Monetisation Pipeline
Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced a ₹6 lakh crore National Monetisation Pipeline (NMP), which is a four-year pipeline for those infrastructure assets that the government plans to monetise for generating funds.
- Projects have been identified across sectors, with roads, railways and power being the top segments.
- The planned sales are in line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s strategic divestment policy, under which the state will retain presence in only a few identified sectors with the rest privatized.
- The National Monetisation Pipeline (NMP) plan will cover a wide array of sectors ranging from road and railway assets, and airports to power transmission lines and gas pipelines.
Karnataka becomes 1st state in country to officially implement National Education Policy 2020
Karnataka has become the first state in the country to officially implement the National Education Policy (NEP)-2020. Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan virtually launched the NEP in the state. The Admission module under the new policy was also launched on the occasion.
- Under the digitisation policy, degree level students will be given iPad for digital learning. Mr. Bommai said there are 180 research and development centres in Bengaluru which can be accessed by the students under the new policy.
- The website and a helpline were also launched on the occasion for the reference of students. Those admitted to the new degree programme will be given Tablet PCs. The teaching programme will begin from 1st of October.
India emerged as 2nd most sought after manufacturing destination across world
India has emerged as the second most sought after manufacturing destination across the world.
- According to Cushman and Wakefield’s 2021 Global Manufacturing Risk Index, India has surpassed the US as the world’s second most desired manufacturing hub.
- The rising focus on India can be attributed to India’s operating conditions and cost competitiveness. It said, reforms to both land and labor laws are critical to India’s success as a global manufacturing location.
Navies of India and Philippines Conduct Military Drills in South China Sea
India carried out a naval exercise with the Philippines in the South China Sea, five days after it conducted a similar drill with Vietnam in the region that has been witnessing growing Chinese military expansionism.
- While the Indian Navy deployed its guided missile destroyer INS Ranvijay and guided missile corvette INS Kora in the exercise, the Philippine Navy was represented by its frigate BRP Antonio Luna.
World’s first fossil-free steel manufactured in Sweden
As the world looks to counter the deadly impact of greenhouse gas emissions, a Swedish company might give a fighting chance as it switches steel production away from fossil fuels. The first delivery of ‘green steel’ was done in Sweden by Hybrit to truck-manufacturer Volvo AB as a trial run.
- The full-scale production of the material will begin from 2026 as Volvo plans to start production of prototype vehicles using green steel by the end of this year.
- Owned by SSAB, Hybrit started test operations at its pilot plant for fossil-free steel in Lulea, northern Sweden, a year ago. The company aims to replace coking coal, traditionally needed for ore-based steel making, with fossil-free electricity and hydrogen.
India to host second UNWGIC in 2022
India is going to host the second United Nations World Geospatial Information Congress (UNWGIC) in October 2022, at Hyderabad with the theme“Towards Geo-enabling the Global Village.”
- Every four years, the United Nations Committee of Experts on Global Geospatial Information Management (UN-GGIM) hosts UNWGIC with the goal of improving international collaboration in geospatial information management and capacity among the member states and all the concerned stakeholders.
BANKING & FINANCE
Citibank becomes first US bank to set up unit in IFSC at GIFT City
Citibank, which is headquartered in the USA and has a strong international presence, received a license from the IFSC Authority to set up its banking unit at India’s first International Financial Services Centre at GIFT City, Gujarat.
- With this, Citibank will become the first US-based bank to set up a branch in GIFT-IFSC. Citibank will be servicing both Indian as well as its global customer base from this IFSC branch.
ICICI Bank Germany launches Blocked Account for Indian students
ICICI Bank Germany, a part of ICICI Bank, announced the launch of a digital and instant Blocked Account for students aspiring to study in Germany.
- The new ‘ICICI Bank Germany Student Blocked Account’ enables students to deposit the required amount with the bank and get the BCC. Students can open this account online from the comfort of their homes in India before their Visa applications, without visiting an ICICI Bank branch.
- This account offers students a complimentary Current Account, that they can use in Germany. It also comes with a VISA debit card which can be used anywhere in the world.
NABARD extends Rs 24.90 lakh grant for fishing project in TN
The National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) has extended a grant of ₹24.90 lakh for a project on Integrated Mangrove Fishery Farming System (IMFFS) in Cuddalore district.
- The project is being implemented by the M.S. Swaminathan Research Foundation (MSSRF) and is aimed at enhancing the adaptive capacity of the fishing community.
- The project is being implemented on 2.10 hectares of land in Mudasalodai village by involving traditional and Irula fishers from Mudasalodai and Kalaignar coastal hamlets in Pichavaram.
- Under the Integrated mangrove fishery farming system, mangroves are integrated with fish culture.
Paytm, HDFC Bank tie up to develop payment products for new online ventures
IPO-bound digital payments firm Paytm and India’s largest private sector bank, HDFC Bank, announced a strategic partnership to build comprehensive solutions across payment gateway, point of sale machines and credit products including Paytm Postpaid which is Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) solution, Eazy EMI and Flexi Pay.
- The partnership will aim to empower new businesses which have recently ventured online, and enable them to scale up.
- Paytm and HDFC Bank are coming together for two broad PoS offerings. In the first, HDFC Bank will drive merchant partnerships across India, to whom Paytm will offer its existing range of Android POS devices.
- Secondly , Paytm and HDFC Bank will jointly launch a co-branded PoS product in the retail segment, which Paytm will have the option to offer it to its own customer base.
India, Asian Development Bank sign loan agreement of 500 million dollar to expand metro rail network in Bengaluru
India and the Asian Development Bank have signed a loan agreement of 500 million dollar to expand the metro rail network at Bengaluru in Karnataka.
- The project will construct two new metro lines, along Outer Ring Road and National Highway 44 between Central Silk Board and Kempegowda International Airport with 30 stations.
- This will help decongest traffic in the city area and provide seamless connectivity to the airport.
BARC India appoints Nakul Chopra as CEO
Broadcast Audience Research Council India (BARC), the industry TV viewership measurement body, announced the appointment of Nakul Chopra as its new Chief Executive Officer effective August 25.
- This announcement comes as Sunil Lulla has decided to resign from the position of CEO to pursue his entrepreneurial ambitions.
- Chopra had joined the BARC India Board in 2016 and had been elected as the Chairman during 2018-19. In January 2020, he was appointed as a member of BARC’s Oversight Committee.
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
IIT Madras develops India’s first indigenous motorised wheelchair vehicle
Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IIT-M) has developed India’s first indigenous motorised wheelchair vehicle, NeoBolt, that can be used even on uneven terrains.
- NeoBolt has a maximum speed of 25 kmph and travels up to 25 km per charge. It empowers wheelchair users with a convenient, safe and low-cost mode of outdoor mobility when compared to cars, auto rickshaws or modified scooters.
- It is powered by a lithium-ion battery that will give 25 kms for every charge, says a release from IIT Madras.
- NeoBolt was developed by a team led by Sujatha Srinivasan, Department of Mechanical Engineering, IIT Madras, and has been commercialised through a start-up called ‘NeoMotion.’
Govt launches new geospatial planning portal, ‘Yuktdhara’
The Government has launched a new geospatial planning portal, ‘Yuktdhara’, that will help in facilitating new MGNREGA assets using remote sensing and geographic information system-based data. The portal was launched by Union Minister of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj, Giriraj Singh.
- This portal integrates wide variety of thematic layers, multi-temporal high resolution earth observation data with analysis tools. Planners will analyse previous assets under various schemes and facilitates identification of new works using online tools. Plans prepared will be evaluated by appropriate authorities under State Departments.
- Yuktdhara based plans will be prepared by grassroot functionary and verified by appropriate authorities for relevance and resource allocation.
Olympian and FIFA referee Syed Shahid Hakim passes away
Olympic footballer and former National coach Syed Shahid Hakim passed away in Kalaburagi. He was 82.
- Hakim, son of the legendary football coach S.A. Rahim, was part of the Indian squad for the 1960 Rome Olympics where it finished sixth.
- The Hyderabadi, besides playing for nearly 25 years, was also a qualified FIFA referee, officiating in 33 international games including the 1988 AFC Asian Cup in Qatar.
- Hakim became the second footballer, after Shabbir Ali, to win the Dhyan Chand Award for lifetime achievement in 2017 and also served as the chief project director at Sports Authority of India (SAI).
BOOKS & AUTHORS
‘Battlefield’ book by Vishram Bedekar
The book titled ‘Battlefield’ written by Vishram Bedekar, translated from the Marathi original Ranaangan by Jerry Pinto.
- The book is the story of a shipboard romance between an Indian man and a German-Jewish woman, both fleeing Europe before the Second World War.
World Water Week 2021
The 26th World Water Week organized from 23 to 27 August 2021 virtually with a theme Building Resilience Faster.
- It will be focused on concrete solutions to the world’s greatest water-related challenges, starting with the climate crisis and including water scarcity, food security, health, biodiversity, and impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic.