Daily Current Affairs 29 October 2021 for Banking/Insurance/SSC and other related exams.
Govt reconstitutes seven-member EAC-PM for two year period
The government has reconstituted the seven-member Economic Advisory Council to the PM for a period of two years after its term came to an end last month.
- Rakesh Mohan, Poonam Gupta and TT Ram Mohan have been appointed as part-time members of the reconstituted EAC-PM while V Anantha Nageswaran has been dropped.
- Bibek Debroy continues to be the chairman of the Council. The other part-time members of the Council include Sajid Chenoy, Neelkanth Mishra and Nilesh Shah.
SC forms independent expert committee to probe Pegasus revelations
The Supreme Court set up a three-member expert committee, to be supervised by a former judge of the top court, to inquire into the alleged use of Israeli spyware Pegasus for surveillance of Indian citizens, as it noted that the issues raised directly concern “the potential chilling effect” on right to privacy and freedom of speech.
- A bench, headed by Chief Justice of India (CJI) NV Ramana, said that retired SC judge RV Raveendran will supervise the functioning of the technical committee, which will look into the “truth or falsity of the allegations” and will submit a report “expeditiously”.
- The members of the technical committee named by the court are: Dr Naveen Kumar Chaudhary, professor (Cyber Security and Digital Forensics) and dean, National Forensic Sciences University, Gandhinagar, Gujarat; Dr Prabaharan P, professor (School of Engineering), Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, Amritapuri, Kerala and Dr Ashwin Anil Gumaste, institute chair associate professor (Computer Science and Engineering), Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay, Maharashtra
Tamilnadu CM M.K.Stalin launches unique academic scheme, ‘Education at your doorstep’
Tamilnadu Chief Minister M.K.Stalin launched an unique academic scheme, Education at your doorstep at Villupuram. He also released an app related to the scheme and the theme song.
- The novel and ambitious scheme is all set to give education to every child in the State, which was badly hit by the pandemic. The scheme will be operational from 15th November.
- Registration is open to volunteers from across the state. The initiative will first begin in 12 districts. Students from government as well as private schools can attend these classes, which will be activity based and will give them an opportunity to enjoy and learn.
Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya launches 6th edition of National Formulary of India
Health Minister Dr. Mansukh Mandaviya launched the 6th edition of National Formulary of India to promote rational use of medicines in the country.
- Indian Pharmacopoeia Commission has published the National Formulary of India, NFI. Speaking at the event, Dr. Mandaviya appreciated the efforts of all the experts, doctors and researchers who contributed in the compilation of new edition.
- He said that NFI, 2021 will act as a guidance document for all the healthcare professionals such as clinicians, pharmacists, nurses and dentists. It will play a crucial role in daily clinical practices.
Centre releases Rs 44,000 crore to states, UTs to meet GST compensation shortfall
The Finance Ministry has released 44 thousand crore rupees to the States and Union Territories with Legislature under the back-to-back loan facility in lieu of GST Compensation.
- After taking into account earlier release of one lakh 15 thousand crore rupees, the total amount released in the current financial year is one lakh 59 thousand crore rupees.
- The Ministry said, this release is in addition to normal GST compensation being released every two months out of actual cess collection.
MSME Minister Narayan Rane launches ‘SAMBHAV’ programme
Union Minister of MSME Narayan Rane launched ‘SAMBHAV’ a national level awareness programme for promoting entrepreneurship leading to the economic development of the country.
- The mass outreach program will be a one-month long initiative under the Ministry of MSME in which students from different colleges/ITIs from all parts of the country will be encouraged by 130 field offices of the Ministry to take up entrepreneurship.
- During the campaign, the college students will be made aware of the various schemes being implemented by the Ministry of MSME through audio/video film presentations.
World’s largest hydrogen fuel cell power plant built in Korea
The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy announced that it held the completion ceremony of ‘Shinincheon Bitdream Fuel Cell Power Plant’ at the Shinincheon Bitdream headquarters of Korea Southern Power in Seo-gu, Incheon.
- The Shinincheon Bitdream Fuel Cell Power Plant is a power plant with a total capacity of 78 MW constructed in four stages since 2017 by using fuel cells supplied by POSCO Energy and Doosan Fuel Cell. It is the world’s largest fuel cell power plant currently in operation.
- Unlike other power generators, hydrogen fuel cell emits very little nitrogen oxides (NOX) and sulfur oxides (SOX) as it does not produce electricity through high-temperature combustion.
16th East-Asia Summit hosted by Brunei
The 16th East Asia Summit (EAS) was held via video conference. The Summit was chaired by His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam.
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi reaffirmed India’s focus on a free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific and support for ASEAN’s centrality in the region.
- The Prime Minister also recalled India’s support of USD 1 million to the ASEAN COVID-19 Recovery Fund. He also raised the idea of developing global standards on cyber security.
- India remains committed to strengthening respect for shared values of multilateralism, rules-based international order, international law and sovereignty and territorial integrity of all nations,” he added.
Over 80% Indians live in climate vulnerable districts: study
More than 80 per cent Indians live in districts vulnerable to climate risks, while Assam, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Bihar are states which are most vulnerable to extreme climate events such as floods, droughts and cyclones in India, said the Climate Vulnerability Index released by the Council on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW).
- The report has cited Dhemaji and Nagaon in Assam, Chennai in Tamil Nadu, Khammam in Telangana, Gajapati in Odisha, Vizianagaram in Andhra Pradesh and Sangli in Maharashtra among India’s most climate vulnerable districts. Overall, 27 Indian states and Union Territories are vulnerable to extreme climate events which often disrupt the local economy and displace weaker communities.
- CEEW study also highlighted that states in North East are more vulnerable to floods, while the ones in the south and central are most vulnerable to extreme droughts. Further, 59 and 41 per cent of the total districts in the eastern and western states, respectively, are highly vulnerable to extreme cyclones.
- Only 63 per cent of Indian districts have a District Disaster Management Plan (DDMP).
BANKING & FINANCE
Govt, ADB sign 100 million US dollar loan to promote agribusiness network to boost farm incomes
Government of India and Asian Development Bank, ADB signed a 100 million US dollar loan to promote agribusiness network to boost farm incomes and reduce food losses in the State of Maharashtra.
- The project supports agribusiness development in Maharashtra with holistic support to on-farm improvement in productivity, up-gradation of post-harvest facilities, and establishing efficient marketing structures.
India, ADB sign 251 million dollar loan for integrated urban flood management in Chennai
The Government of India and the Asian Development Bank signed a 251 million dollar loan for climate-resilient, integrated urban flood protection and management in the Chennai-Kosasthalaiyar basin to strengthen resilience of Chennai city to floods.
- The project interventions will help reduce the vulnerability of Chennai-Kosasthalaiyar basin residents to frequent floods. The building disaster-resilient infrastructure will help communities cope with intensifying rainfall, a higher sea level rise, and a storm surge caused by cyclones and protect lives, economy and the environment.
HDFC, India Post Payments Bank tie up to offer home loans
India Post Payments Bank (IPPB) and HDFC has entered into a strategic alliance to offer home loans to nearly 4.7 crore customers of the payments bank.
- The partnership aims to facilitate HDFC’s home loans to customers, especially in unbanked and underserved areas with many of them having little or no access to finance, to fulfill their dream of owning a home.
IndiGo, Kotak Mahindra Bank tie up for co-branded credit card
Budget carrier IndiGo and private sector lender Kotak Mahindra Bank announced a strategic partnership for a co-branded credit card, Ka-ching, under the 6E Rewards programme.
- Managed and operated by IndiGo, the Rewards Programme is linked to a co-branded card wherein members can earn rewards by using such card on IndiGo and other merchants and redeem them for availing the benefits. 6E is the airline code for IndiGo.
- Scheduled to be launched next month, the co-branded card will be available in two variants– 6E Rewards and 6E Rewards XL — offering exclusive travel benefits to the cardholders keen on domestic or international travel.
BUSINESS & ECONOMY
Facebook changes its company name to Meta
Facebook Inc. is re-christening itself Meta, decoupling its corporate identity from the eponymous social network mired in toxic content, and highlighting a shift to an emerging computing platform focused on virtual reality.
- The decision by Facebook to change its name to Meta reflects the company’s perceived growth opportunities beyond its namesake social-media platform.
BSE signs MoU with Chhattisgarh govt to promote listing of SMEs
Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Government of Chhattisgarh to spread awareness about the benefits of listing SMEs in the state. This is expected to help in the healthy growth of SMEs.
- Through the MoU, BSE will provide training and capacity building support to District Industries Centre officials of Government of Chhattisgarh.
Athletics Federation of India signs 3-year partnership with IOS Sports
In a first of its kind move, the Athletics Federation of India (AFI) has signed a 3-year exclusive partnership with sports management firm IOS Sports and Entertainment.
- As commercial partners to AFI, IOS Sports will work towards building the federation’s brand in the country and unlock commercial assets and partner with top brands
Govt Appoints K V Kamath as Chairperson of Newly Set Up Rs 20,000-crore NaBFID
The government announced the appointment of veteran banker K V Kamath as chairperson of the newly set up Rs 20,000 crore National Bank for Financing Infrastructure and Development (NaBFID).
- Kamath, the first head of the New Development Bank (NDB) set up by the BRICS group of emerging market economies, had completed his five-year tenure last year.
RBI Gives Nod to Appointment of Baldev Prakash as J&K Bank MD & CEO
Jammu & Kashmir Bank said the Reserve Bank has approved the appointment of Baldev Prakash as its next Managing Director and CEO of the bank for a period of three years from the date of taking charge or April 10, 2022, whichever is earlier, J&K Bank said in a regulatory filing.
- Prakash has over 30 years of experience in banking in various roles at small and large size branches at SBI. He had joined SBI as a probationary officer in 1991 and he is currently the Chief General Manager (Digital and Transaction Banking Marketing Department) at SBI, Mumbai.
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Indian Coast Guard Ship ‘Sarthak’ dedicated to the nation
In a boost to the maritime safety and security of the nation, the Indian Coast Guard (ICG) got a new indigenous ship, named ‘Sarthak’. It was commissioned and dedicated to the nation in Goa by Director General of ICG K Natarajan.
- ICGS Sarthak will be based at Porbandar in Gujarat and operate on India’s Western Seaboard under the Operational and Administrative Control of the commander of Coast Guard Region (Northwest).
- ICGS Sarthak is commanded by Deputy Inspector General MM Syed and has a complement of 11 Officers and 110 men.
India successfully test fires surface to surface ballistic missile, Agni-5
Surface to surface ballistic missile, Agni-5 was successfully launched from APJ Abdul Kalam Island in Odisha.
- Agni-5 is capable of striking targets at ranges up to 5,000 kilometers with a very high degree of accuracy. It uses a three-stage solid-fuelled engine.
- The successful launch is in line with India’s policy to have ‘credible minimum deterrence’ that underpins the commitment to ‘No First Use’.
Eminent Kerala oncologist M Krishnan Nair passes away at 81
Eminent oncologist and Padma Shri awardee Dr M Krishnan Nair, the founding director of the famed Regional Cancer Centre, died in Thiruvananthapuram following age-related ailments. He was 81.
- He played a key role in the opening of the paediatric wing at RCC in the 1980s, also led the setting up of a Community and Preventive Oncology Department there aiming to create awareness about the disease. He also served as a member of the Expert Advisory Panel of the World Health Organisation (WHO) regarding cancer and the National Cancer Control Plan.
- Besides Padma Shri, the medical expert also received several other honours including Pasupathy Nath Wahi Cancer Award, Bhishmacharya Award and so on.