Daily Current Affairs 25 March 2021 for Banking/Insurance/SSC and other related exams.
11 committees formed to drive transition from Linear to Circular Economy
The key to an aatmanirbhar Bharat is sustainable growth. The need of the hour is a development model that leads to the optimum utilization of resources. With a growing population, rapid urbanization, climate change and environmental pollution, India must move towards a circular economy.
- The Government of India has set up 11 committees which will be led by the concerned line ministries apart from officials from Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change and Think Tank NITI Aayog.
- The committee will expedite the transition India from a linear to a circular economy across the 11 focus areas include: Municipal Solid Waste & Liquid Waste, Electronic Waste, Scrap Metal (Ferrous & Non-Ferrous), Solar Panels, Gypsum, Lithium-Ion Batteries, Agriculture Waste, Toxic Hazardous Industrial Waste, Used Oil Waste, Tyre and Rubber Recycling and End-of-life Vehicles (ELVs).
Andhra Pradesh to launch India’s ‘first Govt-run Ambulance Network’ for animals
To further boost the animal husbandry and veterinary sector in Andhra Pradesh, the state government has now decided to set up “India’s first government-run ambulance network” for animals.
- Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy has made one of its main missions to help reach out to the distressed animals and provide them with proper animal healthcare.
- A total of 175 mobile ambulances (veterinary) clinics will be placed at Assembly Constituency Level on the lines of 108 Services for providing Veterinary services at the doorstep.
India, Japan agree for greater cooperation in patent verification
India and Japan have agreed to recognize each other’s offices to act mutually as competent International Searching and International Preliminary Examining Authority (ISA/IPEA) for any international patent application filed with them.
- The agreement was arrived at during the 4th review meeting between the department for promotion of industry and internal trade (DPIIT) and the Japan Patent Office (JPO) last week under memorandum of cooperation (MoC) on industrial property.
Niti Aayog sets up task forces for achieving policy certainty in contract enforcement, dispute resolution
Government think tank Niti Aayog said it has constituted two task forces that will recommend a policy framework for the enforcement of contracts as well as effective conciliation mechanism.
- One task force, which will suggest facilitation of speedy resolution of contractual disputes between private entities and the government, will be headed by Niti Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant.
- The second task force, which will recommend a policy framework for the enforcement of contracts, will be led by Niti Aayog Vice Chairman Rajiv Kumar and will have members from key ministries and departments.
UNOPS partners with Denmark to support Jal Jeevan Mission
The Jal Shakti Ministry entered a partnership with the United Nations Office for Project Services and the government of Denmark to help bring tap water connections to 11 water-scarce districts in Uttar Pradesh’s water-starved Bundelkhand and Vindhya regions under the Jal Jeevan mission.
- The project will include capacity building support, with the creation of village action plans, community mobilisation and grassroot water quality monitoring methods being facilitated by UNOPS.
- The project has a million dollar budget for 2021, but is likely to be scaled up in the following years, according to UNOPS.
Rajasthan universal health scheme to begin May 1: CM Ashok Gehlot
Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot has named the newly announced universal health coverage scheme CM Chiranjeevi Yojna.
- This scheme will cover annual medical insurance of up to ₹5 lakh for every family in the state beginning May 1.
- He also proposed a reform to allow lateral entry of subject experts in government departments such as mines, health and education.
- He also announced to increase the annual area development fund for MLAs from ₹2.25 crore to ₹5 crore.
Andaman & Nicobar achieves 100% Functional Household Tap Connection coverage under Jal Jeevan Mission
Andaman and Nicobar Islands Lt. Governor Admiral D K Joshi declared that the UT achieved 100 percent Functional Household Tap Connection (FHTC) coverage in Islands.
- With this, the Andaman and Nicobar Islands becomes the third state/UT in the country to achieve the target after Goa and Telangana under Jal Jeevan Mission.
- The connections were provided at 266 villages located in 9 blocks in all the three districts. All the schools, Anganwadi centers and sub-centers have also been covered under this.
India ranks 40th on International Intellectual Property Index
India ranked 40th in 2020, scoring 38.4 out of 100 on a set of 50 among 53 global economies on the latest annual edition of the International Intellectual Property (IP) Index released by the US Chamber of Commerce Global Innovation Policy Centre (GIPC). This is the ninth IP index released by the GIPC.
- The overall global IP environment improved in 2020, with positive score increasing in 32 of the 53 economies measured by the IP Index.
- Among BRICS nations, India registered the second-highest growth over nine editions of the US Chamber Index hit years with an overall improvement of over 13 per cent.
BANKING & FINANCE
Aquaconnect partners with Alliance Insurance Brokers for an insurance programme for shrimp farmers
Aquaconnect has partnered with Alliance Insurance Brokers, for an insurance program for 1.5 lakh shrimp farmers across India.
- Under this partnership, Aquaconnect will provide risk management services to the insurance partners which include farm data collection, ground validation by Aquaculture officers and AquaCRED dashboard support.
- The partnership intends to make comprehensive insurance available for shrimp farmers to mitigate weather and disease-related challenges. Farmers will also get an Aquaconnect farm advisory app and options to buy high-quality inputs from the platform.
Government hikes PF threshold limit to Rs 5 lakh for earning tax-free interest
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman raised the limit for tax exemption on interest earned on provident fund contribution by employees to Rs 5 lakh per annum in specified cases as against Rs 2.5 lakh proposed in the Budget.
- This exemption, however, is subject to condition that the up to Rs 5 lakh contribution does not include employer’s contribution beyond the statutory limit of up to 12 per cent of the basic pay.
Danish Red Cross launches world’s first volcano catastrophe bond
The Danish Red Cross has launched a catastrophe bond for volcano-related disasters with the support of several financial firms.
- The $3 million bond will enable the disaster relief agency to get aid quickly to those suffering following the eruption of 10 named volcanoes, in Cameroon, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Guatemala, Indonesia and Mexico.
BUSINESS & ECONOMY
India’s e-commerce market to be worth $99 billion by 2024: Report
The e-commerce sector in India is predicted to grow at a 27% CAGR over 2019-24 and is expected to reach $99 billion by 2024, according to a report released by EY-IVCA Trend Book 2021.
- Grocery and fashion/apparel are said to be the key drivers of this growth.
- The report revealed that India will have 220 million online shoppers in India by 2025.
- The penetration of retail is expected to be 10.7% by 2024, compared to 4.7% in 2019. It stated that the government is aiming to build a trillion-dollar online economy by 2025, through its programme.
India continues to stay out of Kearney’s 25-country 2021 FDI Confidence Index, US tops
India continued to stay out of the Kearney FDI Confidence Index for the second year in a row, a report by the global consultancy firm showed with only three developing economies- China, the UAE, and Brazil-making it in the top 25.
- The US retained its top position for investment attractiveness and was followed by Canada, Germany, the UK and Japan.
- However, investors are “likely monitoring closely” India’s data privacy bill with implications for data rules. India was ranked 16th in the 2019 list, while it occupied 11th spot the year prior. In 2017, India made the top ten and was ranked eighth.
- As per the report, investors in Asia are particularly concerned about data protection regulations, with 43 % citing high costs associated with data privacy rules versus 41 % of investors in the Americas and 38 % in Europe.
Govt reintroduces clause on 5% withholding tax for FPIs
The Finance Ministry has reintroduced the clause within the Earnings tax act that offered for preferential 5% withholding tax relevant to overseas portfolio buyers (FPIs).
- As part of amendments to the Finance Invoice 2021 launched in Lok Sabha on 22 March, the federal government has put again the deleted clause of Part 151 which referred to the 5 per cent withholding tax charge for FPIs in case of curiosity earned from debt securities.
Govt garners Rs 30,369 crore as dividend from PSUs so far this fiscal
The government has collected Rs 30,369 crore as dividend from Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSEs) so far in the current fiscal.
- In the revised budget estimate, the government significantly lowered the dividend receipt from the CPSEs to Rs 34,717.25 crore from Rs 65,746.96 crore estimated earlier for this financial year.
‘Girl Gang’ confirmed as official song of ICC Women’s World Cup 2022
As the countdown for the ICC Women World Cup 2022 begins, the ICC has released an official song ‘Girl Gang’ by Gin Wigmore for the tournament.
- The lyrics are all about hitting and running hard to become a champion.
- The project spanned eight months with five new singles dropped monthly. The songs were supported by the five different creations from Gin’s chosen female artists — among them a highly esteemed tattooist, cartoonist, and skateboarder.
The Indian Style Wrestling Association of India receives government recognition
The Indian Style Wrestling Association of India (ISWAI) has been recognized as a National Sports Federation (NSF) by the Sports Ministry, making it eligible to receive funding and support from the government.
- The ISWAI was formed in 1958 and has been in existence for about 60 years.
FIFA collaborates with United Nations to tackle menace of match-fixing
FIFA announced its collaboration with the United Nations on Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) to launch the Global Integrity Programme –– a comprehensive international programme aimed at providing all 211 member associations with enhanced knowledge and tools to fight and prevent match manipulation.
- The FIFA Global Integrity Programme is designed to improve education and build integrity capacity within all 211 member associations by sharing advanced know-how and resources with integrity officers.
- The programme also reflects the UNODC’s objective of supporting governments and sports organisations in their efforts to safeguard sport from corruption and crime.
Government exits from Tata Communications, nets Rs 8,846 crore
The government has exited Tata Communications Ltd. by selling about 26% stake in the company for about Rs 8,846 crore as part of the disinvestment plan.
- Public sector company VSNL was privatised in 2002 by disinvesting 25% shareholding along with transfer of management control to Panatone Finvest Ltd., the strategic partner.
- Subsequent to the strategic disinvestment, the name of the company was changed to TCL.
ITC, Karnataka govt join hands for watershed development
Diversified conglomerate, ITC Limited has entered into a partnership with the Government of Karnataka to execute a Watershed Development Programme covering over 1 million acres and 100 watersheds across the State.
- It is part of the State’s “Watershed Development for Drought Proofing” programme which aims at covering 1.16-million acres of watershed area in 29 districts.
- ITC will create a consortium of experts to train government officials to apply the company’s drought proofing framework for planning, implementation and monitoring of the programme.
Hindi Writer Prof. Sharad Pagare to be conferred with Vyas Samman – 2020
PicsWell known Hindi writer Prof. Sharad Pagare will be conferred with the prestigious Vyas Samman – 2020 for his novel ‘Patliputru Ki Samragi.’
- The Vyas Samman, started in 1991, is given by K K Birla Foundation for an outstanding literary work in Hindi authored by an Indian citizen published during the last 10 years. It carries an award of four lakh rupees along with a citation and plaque.
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Indian Coast Guard Ship ‘Vajra’ commissioned to the Indian Coast Guard
Indian Coast Guard Ship ‘Vajra’ was commissioned by General Bipin Rawat, Chief of Defence Staff at Kattupalli in Chennai. This is the sixth in the series of seven Offshore Patrol Vessel constructed by M/s Larsen & Toubro Ltd
- The 98 meter ship has been designed and built by M/s Larsen & Toubro Ltd at Kattupalli, Chennai and is fitted with state-of-the-art Navigation and Communication Equipment, Sensors and Machinery.
- The Ship is equipped with state of the art facility and is designed to carry one twin-engine helicopter and four high speed boats including two Rigid Hull Inflatable Boats for swift Boarding Operations.