Daily Current Affairs 28 May 2021 for Banking/Insurance/SSC and other related exams.
WHO, Switzerland to launch facility for sharing pathogen samples
The World Health Organization (WHO) and the Swiss Confederation will launch the first facility to share rapidly virus and pathogen samples between laboratories worldwide, as the WHO BioHub Facility was approved through a Memorandum of Understanding.
- The BioHub laboratory will store and analyse pathogens from across the globe and enhance the rapid sharing of information between labs around the world.
- The facility will be hosted at the Swiss defence ministry’s biological safety laboratories in the lakeside town of Spiez.
India to launch mobile tech platform for UN peacekeepers in August
Underlining the role of technology in the safety of UN peacekeepers, India has told the world body’s top organ that plans are afoot to launch a mobile tech platform in August this year that will provide terrain-related information to the Blue Helmets in the line of duty.
- Infusion of appropriate technology can play a significant role in improving the safety and security of the peacekeepers.
- Use of field-focused, reliable and cost-effective new technologies in peacekeeping operations that are driven by practical needs of end users on the ground is the need of the hour
BANKING & FINANCE
ICICI’s pockets become the first e-wallet to be linked to UPI network
ICICI Bank announced the launch of a unique facility of linking a UPI (Unified Payments Interface) ID to its digital wallet ’Pockets’, marking a departure from the current practice that demands such IDs be linked with a savings bank account.
- New users, including those who are not customers of ICICI Bank, can now instantly get a UPI ID, which is automatically linked to ‘Pockets’. Further, customers who already have a UPI ID, will get a new ID when they log on to the ‘Pockets’ app.
- This initiative enables users to undertake small value everyday transactions directly from their ‘Pockets’ wallet using UPI in a safe and secure manner.
Punjab National Bank and PNB Housing Finance enter new brand agreement
PNB Housing Finance has executed a revised Trademark Agreement (Agreement) with Punjab National Bank.
- The existing brand arrangement dated 07 December 2009 will continue to govern use of PNB trademark until PNB’s shareholding in the Company is 30% or more.
- Upon PNB’s shareholding falling below 30%, the new Agreement will replace the existing Agreement.
YES Bank implements TransUnion’s onboarding solution
Private sector lender YES Bank announced the implementation of TransUnion’s onboarding solution, which will enable it to onboard its credit card customers seamlessly.
- The solution has been uniquely designed to enable a digital, streamlined onboarding process that delivers the experience consumers prefer such as fewer customer information fields to input, no physical paperwork, and comparatively lesser time required for completing the credit card application.
- An in-person interaction with customers for physical documentation and processing is now replaced with a digital process wherein a digital application link is sent to the customer, which the customer can complete along with a video KYC.
PayNearby ties up with Centrum Microcredit to facilitate Unsecured Business Loans to Retailers
PayNearby, India’s leading branchless banking and digital payments network, has tied up with Centrum Microcredit Limited, the micro finance arm of the Centrum Group, to facilitate unsecured business loans to its retail partners.
- As part of the tie-up, loan requirements will be sourced through PayNearby’s vast network of retailers and will be disbursed by Centrum Microcredit Limited.
- The solution is aimed at fortifying and driving the business growth of PayNearby’s retail partners, especially in these challenging times where businesses are struggling to stay afloat due to the economic fallout of COVID 19.
BUSINESS & ECONOMY
FlexiLoans ties-up with Vivriti Capital to disburse Rs 300 crore to MSMEs
Fintech startup FlexiLoans has partnered with Vivriti Capital to disburse working capital loans of more than Rs 300 crores to micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs).
- Businesses will be able to apply for these loans online and receive in-principal approval within 24- 48 hours digitally without any manual intervention.
- FlexiLoans said that the partnership has targeted reaching out to over 10,000 MSMEs in the next 12-18 months.
SBI research projects Q1FY22 real GDP growth at 10-15%
India’s real GDP growth would be in the range of 10-15 per cent as against the Reserve Bank of India’s forecast of 26.2 per cent for Q1 (April-June) FY22, according to a State Bank of India (SBI) report.
- SBI’s economic research department (ERD) has estimated real GDP loss in the range of ₹4-4.5 lakh crore. The impact of the second wave will be more from health channel than the mobility channel.
- The report observed that had the country’s growth rate crossed 1.7 per cent in Q4FY21, India would have been the second fastest country after China in terms of GDP growth, and going by ERD’s estimate of 1.3 per cent GDP growth India would still be the 5th fastest growing country amongst 25 countries (that have released their GDP numbers so far).
Germany’s FIFA World Cup-winner Sami Khedira announces retirement
Germany’s World Cup-winning midfielder Sami Khedira said he will retire following his club Hertha Berlin’s final match of the Bundesliga season against Hoffenheim.
- Khedira, 34, began his career at VfB Stuttgart and helped them win the league title in the 2006-07 season before moving to Real Madrid, where he won the league and Champions League in a trophy-laden spell.
- Khedira went on to win five Serie A titles at Juventus after joining them in 2015 and he played 77 games for Germany scoring seven goals and helped them win the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
BAI president Himanta Biswa Sarma elected to BWF Council
The Badminton Association of India (BAI) president Himanta Biswa Sarma was elected to the BWF council for the period 2021-25.
- Sarma, who is also the Vice President of Badminton Asia, got 236 votes in his favour as the 20 council members were elected from 31 contestants at the virtual AGM and Council election of Badminton World Federation (BWF).
- BWF President Paul-Erik Hoyer was re-elected unopposed, so were Deputy President Khunying Patama of Thailand and Vice President Paul Kurzo of Switzerland.
Samoa swears in its first female PM
Samoa’s first female prime minister took office in an unconventional ceremony outside a locked Parliament, underlining the pacific island’s ongoing constitutional crisis.
- Fiame Naomi Mata’afa, 64, had to be sworn in with her FAST Party inside a makeshift tent because the doors of Parliament were locked to keep lawmakers from entering.
- While Fiame emerged from the country’s April 9 election with a narrow margin of support, outgoing Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi of the HRP Party has refused to accept the results and step down from his position, which he has held for 22 years.
IB and RAW chief get one year extension
The Appointments committee of the Cabinet has approved a one year extension to both Chief of the country’s premier intelligence agency – Intelligence Bureau ( IB) and Research & Analysis Wing ( R&AW).
- IB Director Arvinda Kumar’s tenure has been extended by one year till June 30 next year.
- Similarly, R&AW Secretary Samant Kumar Goel will also continue in office till June 30 next year. Both the officers had tenure till 30th June this year.
Prof CNR Rao receives Eni Award 2020 for renewable energy research
Bharat Ratna Professor C.N.R. Rao has received the International Eni Award 2020 for research into renewable energy sources and energy storage. It is also called the Energy Frontier award. This is considered to be the Nobel Prize in Energy Research.
- The Energy Frontiers award has been conferred for his work on metal oxides, carbon nanotubes, and other materials and two-dimensional systems.
- Professor Rao has been working on hydrogen energy as the only source of energy for the benefit of all mankind.
Robert Lewandowski wins Europe’s Golden Shoe award
For the first time in his career, Robert Lewandowski has won the European Golden Boot. The Bayern Munich striker scored an incredible 41 goals in 29 Bundesliga appearances to claim the top scorer spot in Europe.
- It’s truly been an incredible campaign from Lewandowski who was also able to break Gerd Muller’s 49-year single-season scoring record en route to becoming the European Golden Boot winner.
- In second place was Lionel Messi who registered 30 goals during Barcelona’s La Liga campaign. Right behind Messi in third place was Cristiano Ronaldo.
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh launches SeHAT OPD Portal
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh launched the ‘Services e-Health Assistance & Tele-consultation (SeHAT) OPD Portal via video conferencing.
- The Portal will help the Armed Forces in providing tele-medicine services.
- The minister complimented all the Armed forces for serving the people with utmost dedication during this second wave of Covid-19.
Manipur CM launches MHIM Mobile App for home isolation patients
Manipur Chief Minister N. Biren Singh launched Manipur Home Isolation Management (MHIM) Mobile Application for home isolation patients. The Mobile App can be downloaded from mhim.in from the midnight will also be available on Google Play Store soon.
- The Mobile App has been developed with a mission to avail real time health data and information of Home Isolation COVID-19 patients at monitoring level.
- With this App, patients can upload their health status including Pulse rate, SPo2, Body Temperature and Blood Pressure among others using fixed parameters at fixed intervals as set by the Health Department from time to time.
IIT Ropar develops unique detector ‘FakeBuster’ to detect imposters attending a virtual conference
The Indian Institute of Technology in Punjab’s Ropar said that the institute along with Australia based Monash University has developed a unique detector named ‘FakeBuster’ to detect imposters attending a virtual conference without anybody’s knowledge.
- The detector can also find out faces manipulated on social media to defame or make joke of someone.
- In the present scenario of pandemic when most of the official meetings and work is being done online, this standalone solution enables a user to detect if another person’s video is manipulated or spoofed during a video conferencing.
Nasa joins hands with Isro to develop Earth Observatory to mitigate climate change, better disaster management
As India prepares to tackle the upcoming Cyclone Yaas, disaster management has emerged as a critical part of the global agenda as climate change leads to increased cyclonic storms, wildfires and major forest fires.
- Now, a new system to be developed by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (Nasa) aided by radar systems from the Indian Space & Research Organisation (Isro) will provide key information to guide efforts related to climate change and disaster mitigation.
- As part of the Earth System Observatory, each satellite will be designed uniquely to work together and create a 3D, holistic view of Earth, from bedrock to atmosphere.
- The observatory follows recommendations from the 2017 Earth Science Decadal Survey by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine, which lays out ambitious but critically necessary research and observation guidance.
India to re-introduce cheetahs from Africa in November
Cheetah, the world’s fastest land animal which was declared extinct in India in 1952, is expected to be re-introduced into the country in November this year at the Kuno National Park in Madhya Pradesh, state Forest Minister Vijay Shah said.
- The country’s last spotted cheetah died in Chhattisgarh in 1947 and it was declared extinct in the country in 1952. The Wildlife Institute of India (WII) some years back prepared a cheetah re-introduction project.
- The Supreme Court had earlier given its approval to introduce African cheetahs to a suitable habitat in India on an experimental basis.
Former Union Minister Babagouda Patil passes away
Babagouda Rudragouda Patil, farmers leader and former union minister, died in Belagavi. He was 80.
- He had represented the Belagavi Lok Sabha constituency in 1998 as a BJP nominee and served as the rural development minister in Atal Behari Vajpayee’s cabinet.
- Mr. Patil was at the forefront of the farmers agitation against the new farm laws. He gave a call to farmers to defeat the BJP that had passed `anti farmer laws’.
Vir Chakra awardee Panjab Singh passes away
Col Panjab Singh, Vir Chakra awardee and a decorated veteran of the 1971, war passed away at the Command Hospital in Chandimandir, in Haryana due to post-COVID complications. He was 79.
- Col. Singh was commissioned into the 6th Batallion of the Sikh Regiment on December16, 1967. He went on to command the Battalion from October 12, 1986 to July 29, 1990.For his brave act, Col. Singh was awarded the third highest wartime gallantry award, the Vir Chakra, on December 24, 1971.
- After his retirement, Col. Singh was the Director of Sainik Welfare, Himachal Pradesh, and was also the Vice-President, Indian Ex-Service League, Himachal Pradesh of Southern area.
BOOKS & AUTHORS
“7 Lessons from Everest; Expedition Learnings for Life and Business” book by Aditya Gupta
A Delhi-based entrepreneur and mountaineer aims to raise Rs 1 crore for COVID-19 relief from the sale proceeds of his recently released book ‘7 Lessons from Everest – Expedition Learnings from Life and Business’.
- The coffee-table book, with 350 stunning images spread over 250 pages, is written by Aditya Gupta. It narrates the author’s experience of scaling Mt Everest at the age of 50 in 2019 and shares the virtues of ‘preparation, passion, perseverance, mental toughness, and resilience’.
- The proceeds from the book will be given to NGO Child Rights and You (CRY).