Daily Current Affairs 24 March 2021 for Banking/Insurance/SSC and other related exams.
Cabinet approves MoU between UPSC, Afghanistan’s IARCSC
Union Cabinet has approved the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Union Public Service Commission (UPSC), India and Independent Administrative Reforms and Civil Services Commission (IARCSC), Afghanistan.
- The MoU will strengthen the relationship between IARCSC and UPSC.
- It will facilitate sharing of experience and expertise of both the institutions in the area of recruitment.
UP, MP sign agreement with Centre for Ken-Betwa river interlinking project
The governments of Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh signed a memorandum of agreement with the Union Jal Shakti Ministry to implement the Ken-Betwa river interlinking project.
- The project’s purpose is to carry water from surplus regions to drought-prone and water-scarce areas through interlinking of rivers.
- The project involves the transfer of surplus water from the Ken river in Panna district in Madhya Pradesh to Betwa river in Uttar Pradesh. This will be done through the construction of the Dhaudan Dam and a 221 km-long canal.
Nagaland Health Minister launches ‘i-Learn’ for Community Health Officers
Nagaland Health and Family Welfare Minister S Pangnyu Phom launched i-Learn, a capacity building and performance tracking application for Community Health Officers, CHOs in the state at his office chamber in Kohima.
- The state government launched i-Learn application in partnership with USAID-NISHTHA/Jgpiego which will cater across the 189 Health & Wellness centers in the state.
- i-Learn is a learning management system for CHOs with self facilitated learning for improving and learning new skills in clinical and non clinical areas.
Himachal Pradesh CM virtually launches e-Office, e-Heli Service, e-Aagman, e-Lahaul for Lahaul-Spiti district
Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur virtually launched e-Office, e-Heli Service, e-Aagman and e-Lahaul for Lahaul-Spiti district from Shimla.
- All these services would go a long way in providing people friendly services to the people of Lahaul-Spiti district on click of button.
Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal inaugurates Shaheed Bhagat Singh Smarak in New Delhi
The Union Minister of Education, Shri Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’, virtually inaugurated the Shaheed Bhagat Singh Smarak in New Delhi.
- The inauguration took place on the occasion of a programme organised by the University of Delhi on ‘Shaheed Diwas’ to pay homage and commemorate 90 years of martyrdom of our national icons of the Indian National Movement –Shaheed Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev Thapar and Shivaram Rajguru.
- The existing collection of books on freedom fighters in the Bhagat Singh Smarak has been announced to be converted into “Shaheed Smriti Pustakalaya” by the Union Minister of Education.
India, Pakistan, China to participate in SCO joint anti-terrorism exercise this year
India, Pakistan, China and other members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) will hold a joint anti-terrorism exercise this year.
- The decision to hold the joint exercise “Pabbi-Antiterror-2021” was announced during the 36th meeting of the Council of the Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure (RATS) held in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.
- At the meeting, representatives of the SCO member states also approved the draft program of cooperation for 2022-2024 to counter-terrorism, separatism and extremism.
BANKING & FINANCE
ICICI Bank launches instant EMI facility on its internet banking platform, first bank to do so
ICICI Bank announced the launch of an instant EMI (Equated Monthly Instalments) facility on its internet banking platform.
- Called ‘EMI @ Internet Banking’, the facility aims to offer increased affordability to millions of pre-approved customers, as it enables them to convert their high-value transactions up to ₹5 lakh into easy monthly instalments.
- It also brings in enhanced customer experience as customers get the benefit of EMIs instantly and in a fully digital manner.
- ICICI Bank is the first in the industry to introduce an instant EMI facility on its internet banking platform. The Bank has tied up with BillDesk and Razorpay, leading online payment gateway companies to offer this facility.
Nabard arm appointed as trustee for credit guarantee fund by Govt.
Nabard”s wholly-owned subsidiary NABSanrakshan Trustee Pvt Ltd (NTPL) has been appointed by the government as a trustee for Rs 750 crore Credit Guarantee Fund under Animal Husbandry Infrastructure Development Fund (AHIDF).
- The government has set up AHIDF with a corpus of Rs 15,000 crore as part of the Aatmanirbhar package. The Credit Guarantee Fund will provide credit guarantees to eligible entities assisted under AHIDF.
- The fund shall be operationalised under a trust – Credit Guarantee Fund Trust for Animal Husbandry and Dairying.
Banks’ NPAs Declined To Rs 5.70 Lakh Crore At December-End, Says Anurag Thakur
Non-performing assets of banks declined to Rs 5.70 lakh crore in December 2020 and the recovered amount stood at Rs 2.74 lakh crore following a slew of measures taken by the government, Union Minister Anurag Singh Thakur told.
- The incidents of frauds reduced to 0.23% from 1.01% in 2013-14, the minister added.
- Under the present regime, banking has vastly improved, from phone banking to digital banking, which has resulted in transparency and accountability.
IRDAI increases max cover under Arogya policy to Rs 10 lakh
To bring more people under the ambit of health insurance, Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (Irdai) has hiked the maximum cover under the standard health insurance plan — Arogya Sanjeevani Policy — from Rs 5 lakh earlier to Rs 10 lakh.
- The insurance regulator has made it mandatory for insurers to offer a sum insured between Rs 50,000 to Rs 10 lakh under the Arogya Sanjeevani policy as against the previous range of Rs 1 -5 lakh.
BUSINESS & ECONOMY
Fitch Ratings revises India’s growth estimate to 12.8% for next fiscal
American credit rating agency Fitch has revised India’s GDP growth estimate to 12.8% for next fiscal from the previous 11% on the back of a stronger carryover effect, a looser fiscal stance, and better virus containment.
- The ratings agency, in its latest Global Economic Outlook GEO, anticipates the level of the country’s GDP to remain well below its pre-pandemic forecast trajectory. Fitch also expects GDP growth to ease to 5.8% in Fiscal Year 2023.
Central PSU Power Grid Corporation of India Limited established e-Tendering Portal-PRANIT
Power Grid Corporation of India Limited, a central PSU, has established an e-Tendering Portal-PRANIT.
- This will lead to less paperwork, ease of operation and make the tendering process more transparent.
- Power Ministry has said that with this, POWERGRID is now the only organization in India to have an eProcurement solution on SAP Supplier Relationship Management, complying with all applicable requirements relating to security and transparency.
India’s Software Services Exports Surge 9.1% In FY20 Says RBI
Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has released the data related to the 2019-20 round of its annual survey on exports of computer software and information technology enabled services.
- India’s export of software services stood at US$ 128.6 billion during 2019-20, registering 9.1% growth over the previous year. Exports of computer services and ITES/BPO services contributed 66.6 per cent and 33.4%, respectively, of the total software services exports.
- Private limited companies accounted for more than half of the total export of software services.
- The USA was the major destination for software exports with 56.6% share. Europe had 27.6% share, nearly half of which was in the UK.
India Legends win 2020–21 Road Safety World Series
Yuvraj Singh and Yusuf Pathan struck quickfire fifties as India Legends beat Sri Lanka Legends by 14 runs to win the inaugural Road Safety World Series T20 2020-21at the Shaheed Veer Narayan Singh International Stadium in Raipur.
Full List of Award Winners
- Winners – India Legends
- Runners-up – Sri Lanka Legends
- Cracking Player of the Match (FINAL) – Yuvraj Singh – $ 1000
- Player of the Match (FINAL) – Yusuf Pathan – Rs 1.25 lakh
- Player of the Tournament – Tillakaratne Dilshan – Rs 2 lakh.
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Russia launches 38 satellites for 18 countries
Russia put 38 foreign satellites from more than a dozen countries, including South Korea, Japan, Canada, Saudi Arabia, Germany, Italy and Brazil into orbit after a succesfull launch from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan following delays due to technical issues.
- The Soyuz-2.1a carrier rocket with the Fregat upper stage and 38 spacecraft from 18 countries took off from the Baikonur cosmodrome.
- Among them was the Challenge-1, the first satellite made completely in Tunisia, which was created by the Telnet telecommunications group.
ISRO demonstrates India’s first free space quantum communication
The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) recently demonstrated free-space quantum communication over a distance of 300 m for the first time.
- The demonstration included live video conferencing using quantum-key-encrypted signals.
- This is a major achievement for unconditionally secured satellite data communication using quantum technologies.
UP CM Yogi Adityanath launches UPFPO Shakti Portal to benefit farmers at grassroot level
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath launched UPFPO Shakti Portal as part of Kisan Kalyan Mission at an event in Gorakhpur.
- The portal, which is the first of its kind in the country, is aimed at benefitting the farmers at the grassroots level.
- The Farmer Producer Organization-centric (FPO-centric) portal will bring farmers, producer groups, traders and the agriculture and other allied departments of the UP government on one platform.
Egyptian feminist icon and author Nawal el-Saadawi passes away
Egyptian writer, activist, and physician Nawal El Saadawi has died. She was 89.
- Saadawi devoted her life and work to exposing the oppression of patriarchy, imperialism, and classism as underlying causes of women’s physical and psychological trauma in her country and around the world.
- She was the founder of feminist magazine المواجهة (Confrontation) and The Arab Women’s Solidarity Association, which she formed in the Qanatir Women’s Prison where she was held for criticizing the Egyptian government.
BOOKS & AUTHORS
Vice President of India M Venkaiah Naidu launches book “Bringing Governments and People Closer”
Book “Bringing Governments and People Closer” A velopment practitioner’s prescription was launched through virtual mode by the Hon’ble Vice President of India, Sri M. Venkaiah Naidu.
- The book was authored by Dr. M. Ramachandran, IAS (Retd.), Chancellor, The ICFAI University, Dehradun The ICFAI Group has facilitated the book launch ceremony.
World Tuberculosis Day
Every year on March 24, we observe World Tuberculosis Day to spread awareness regarding this fatal disease.
- The theme of World Tuberculosis Day 2021 is ‘The Clock is Ticking’.
- On World Tuberculosis Day, ‘Mask for the Masses’ campaign was launched at the Government Stanley Medical College Hospital to promote the use of masks and prevent the spread of tuberculosis and COVID-19.Health Secretary J. Radhakrishnan released two booklets on latent tuberculosis infections and the difficulty in treating cases.
World Puppetry Day
Every year on March 21st, World Puppetry Day seeks to recognize puppetry as a global art form. It’s also a day to honor puppeteers around the world.
International Nowruz Day
The United Nations’ (UN) International Day of Nowruz celebrates the start of the Persian spring festival March 21 ever year. It occurs on or around the time of the March equinox.
- It also encourages values of peace and solidarity among generations and within families hence contributing to cultural diversity and friendship among peoples as well as in different communities.