Daily Current Affairs 31 July 2021 for Banking/Insurance/SSC and other related exams.
Govt proposes to set up National Research Foundation
Union Minister of Education Dharmendra Pradhan said that the Government is proposing to set up a National Research Foundation (NRF) to strengthen the research ecosystem in the country.
- The total proposed outlay of National Research Foundation is Rs 50,000 crore over a period of five years.
- The NRF is being envisaged as an umbrella structure that will improve linkages between R&D, academia and industry.
Govt aims to create national farmers database using digital land records: Narendra Singh Tomar
Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said the government aims to create a national database of farmers and is also in the process of bringing out a data policy for the farm sector.
- The government aims to create a federated National Farmers Database and the digitised land records will be used as data attributes for creating this database.
- To bring dynamism to the farmer”s database, the linkage with digital land record management system is essential.
Govt nod to 100% FDI in oil PSUs approved for stake sale
The Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) issued an executive order to allow 100 per cent foreign direct investment (FDI) under automatic route for oil and gas PSUs, in case an in-principle approval for strategic disinvestment has been approved by the government.
- The development was followed by the Union Cabinet’s approval regarding the same on July 22. The move will expand the scope for FDI in the privatisation of Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL) and enable the sale of the government’s 52.98 per cent stake in the company to a foreign buyer.
- It will also open the door for FDI in other public sector companies in the oil sector put up for privatisation.
Goa Govt Offers AI-based Learning for Students, Ties Up With Jio Embibe
The Goa government has signed an MoU with edu-tech platform Jio Embibe for adaptive learning based on Artificial Intelligence for students, Chief Minister Pramod Sawant told the Legislative Assembly.
- Sawant stated the MoU covers students of classes 6 to 12 with an exclusive portal for learning subjects like mathematics and science.
36th Edition of India-Indonesia Coordinated Patrol held in Indian Ocean
The 36th edition of CORPAT between India and Indonesia is held in the Indian Ocean region. The Indian Naval Ship (INS) Saryu, an indigenously built Offshore Patrol Vessel and Indonesian Naval Ship KRI Bung Tomo is undertaking coordinated patrol (CORPAT).
- Besides this, Maritime Patrol Aircraft from both nations are also participating. The exercise is being conducted as a ‘non-contact, at sea only’ exercise in view of the COVID-19 pandemic.
BANKING & FINANCE
FamPay partners with Visa to launch India’s first Doodle card
FamPay, a fintech start-up focused on online and offline card payments for teenagers, has launched India’s first Visa prepaid card — FamCard Me — for teenagers with personalised doodles on it.
- The card will allow teens to make NFC-enabled contactless payments on the Visa network in India.
- The card will be available in two different designs – the FamCard and FamCard Me. Teens will be able to design their own card to reflect their personality, playing with names, fonts and doodles.
Yes Bank, Indiabulls Housing Finance sign co-lending agreement
Yes Bank and Indiabulls Housing Finance have entered into a co-lending agreement for home loans.
- The partnership aims at synergising capabilities to provide an efficient and seamless experience to retail home loan customers.
- The partnership is in line with Yes Bank’s strategy of expanding its retail franchise through a mix of organic and partnership-led origination models.
RTGS, NEFT payment systems opened up for non-banks in phases: RBI
The Reserve Bank of India said that it has allowed non-banks to participate in its Centralised Payment Systems (CPS) through Real Time Gross Settlement (RTGS) and National Electronic Fund Transfer (NEFT) systems, in a phased manner.
- To be sure, RBI in April had already said that non-banks would be allowed access to CPS viz. RTGS, NEFT in a phased manner.
- Till now, only banks were allowed to use RTGS and NEFT payments facilities.
Hughes to connect 1,800 Bank of India sites with satellite broadband
Satellite broadband services firm Hughes Communications India Pvt Ltd (HCIPL) has bagged a deal to connect 1,800 branches of Bank of India across the country.
- The project will provide satellite connectivity to Aryavart Bank, Madhya Pradesh Gramin Bank (MPGB), Vidharbha Konkan Gramin Bank (VKGB), and Bank of India (BoI) branches that serve rural customers.
- The network will be provided through Hughes Jupiter system, including routers, gateways and network management designed for high performance and efficiency, using capacity on the GSAT11 and NSS12 satellites.
DBS, Temasek team up for $500 m debt financing platform
DBS and Temasek announced an agreement to jointly launch a $500 million growth stage debt financing platform EvolutionX Debt Capital or EvolutionX.
- Headquartered in Singapore, EvolutionX will provide non-dilutive financing to growth stage technology-enabled companies across Asia, with focus on China, India, and Southeast Asia.
- The growth debt capital space presents a significant opportunity and EvolutionX will invest in opportunities arising from an increasingly digital economy, across sectors such as financial services, consumer, healthcare, education and industrial development, to accelerate growth and build the next generation of technology leaders.
LIC CSL launches Co-branded RuPay Credit Cards powered by IDBI Bank
LIC Cards Services Limited (LIC-CSL) and IDBI Bank announced that they’ve launched two new co-branded RuPay Credit Cards.
- This LIC card will be designated as the LIC CSL ‘Eclat’ Select Credit Card and the ‘Lumine’ Platinum Credit Card. As per the release, the credit cardholder will apparently be able to gain access to a range of new benefits that have been termed, ‘the best in class’.
- LIC Credit cardholders of the Lumine and Eclat cards will have a credit limit that is tailored to their needs. With every Rs 100 spent on the Lumine card, cardholders will get 3 ‘delight’ points, and on the Eclat card, they will receive 4 points. They have a validity of 4 years and an interest-free credit period of up to 48 days.
NABARD sanctions Rs 446 crore for drinking water projects in Punjab
National Bank For Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) Punjab regional office has sanctioned Rs 445.89 crore under the Rural Infrastructure Development Fund (RIDF) for five large surface based drinking water projects in Ferozpur, Fazilka, Hoshirapur and Rupnagar districts of Punjab.
- These projects envisage to provide 70 litre per capita per day potable drinking water at the consumer-end through functional household tap connections covering a rural population of 10.39 lakh in 700 villages.
BUSINESS & ECONOMY
Nasscom partners with UK government, UK India Business Council
IT industry body Nasscom said it has collaborated with the UK Government’s Department for International Trade (DIT) and the UK India Business Council (UKIBC) to address the digital skills gap in that country.
- IT business physique Nasscom mentioned it has collaborated with the UK Government‘s Division for Worldwide Commerce (DIT) and the UK India Enterprise Council (UKIBC) to deal with the digital abilities hole in that nation. A two-day digital college tour, specializing in expertise acquisition for the Indian tech business, was organised.
- Nasscom has developed a large-scale skill-building programme, Future Skills Prime in India, which is a partnership between Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, Nasscom and the IT industry.
FTCCI enters agreement with Afghanistan Chamber for trade promotion
The Federation of Telangana Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FTCCI) has entered into an agreement of cooperation with the Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Investment (ACCI).
- During the seminar the State industry body entered into an agreement of cooperation with Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Investment (ACCI).
- The FTCCI and ACCI partnership will play a key role in building bilateral trade and investment.
India possesses 501.83 million tonnes of gold reserves: Union govt
India has an estimated 501.83 million tonnes of gold reserves or resources of gold ore, as per the National Mineral Inventory data.
- Out of these, 17.22 million tonnes have been placed under the reserves category and the remaining 484.61 million tonnes under remaining resources category, Union Minister of Mines, Coal and Parliamentary Affairs Prahlad Joshi said.
- The largest resources of gold ore are located in Bihar (44%) followed by Rajasthan (25%), Karnataka (21%), West Bengal (3%), Andhra Pradesh (3% ), and Jharkhand (2 %).
- The remaining 2% resources of ore are located in Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Kerala, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu.
Graphic artist Anand Radhakrishnan wins prestigious Eisner award
Mumbai-based visual artist and illustrator Anand Radhakrishnan won the Will Eisner Comic Industry Award.
- Radhakrishnan shared the award with another UK-based colourist John Pearson.
- The Indian artist won the Best Painter/Multimedia Artist (interior art) award for his work in UK-based author Ram V’s graphic novel Blue In Green.
Asha Bhosle to be honoured with ‘Maharashtra Bhushan’
The Maharashtra government honored singer Asha Bhosle with Maharashtra Bhushan award, the State government’s highest honour for the year 2020.
- The award, instituted in 1996 by the State government to recognise distinguished work and achievements of eminent persons from the State, representing different walks of life, carries a cash prize of ₹10 lakh and a citation.
India’s 14 Tiger Reserves get Global CA/TS recognition for good Tiger Conservation
On the occasion of International Tiger Day, Union Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change Bhupender Yadav announced that 14 tiger reserves in India have received accreditation of the Global Conservation Assured Tiger Standards (CA|TS).
- The 14 tiger reserves, which have been accredited, are Manas, Kaziranga and Orang in Assam; Satpura, Kanha and Panna in Madhya Pradesh; Pench in Maharashtra; Valmiki Tiger Reserve in Bihar; Dudhwa in Uttar Pradesh; Sunderbans in West Bengal; Parambikulam in Kerala; Bandipur Tiger Reserve in Karnataka; and Mudumalai and Anamalai Tiger Reserves in Tamil Nadu.
- CA|TS is a globally accepted conservation tool that sets best practice and standards to manage tigers and encourages assessments to benchmark progress.
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
China plans to build the first ‘clean’ commercial nuclear reactor
China has unveiled plans to build the first-of-its-kind experimental nuclear reactor that will not require water for cooling and is expected to be safer than traditional reactors.
- The molten-salt nuclear reactor, which runs on liquid thorium rather than uranium, is expected to be safer because the molten salt cools and solidifies quickly when exposed to the air, insulating the thorium. Hence, any potential leak would spill much less radiation into the surrounding environment in comparison to leaks from traditional reactors.
- The prototype reactor is expected to be completed next month, with the first tests beginning in September. This will pave the way for the construction of the world’s first commercial reactor. It is expected to be constructed by 2030.
SRI Spinout Wingsure develops AI-driven mobile insurance app for small farmers
SRI International announced that its insurtech venture spinout, Wingsure, is expanding its artificial intelligence (AI) and augmented reality (AR) capabilities to deliver instant access to personalized insurance products for underserved small farmers and communities worldwide.
- Wingsure noted that the application is aided by SRI’s computer vision, geospatial and AR technology, which can confirm crop damage, identify the validity of insurance claims, and make the settlement.
- The app features voice prompts and natural language processing, which allows farmers to speak in their native language.
BOOKS & AUTHORS
“The Most Incredible Olympic Stories” book by Luciano Wernicke
The book titled “The Most Incredible Olympic Stories”written by Argentinian writer Luciano Wernicke has been released recently.
- In The Most Incredible Olympic Stories, writer Wernicke curates the oldest sporting legends – a tale that becomes the narrative of a modern civilisation.