Daily Current Affairs 31 May 2021 for Banking/Insurance/SSC and other related exams.
India’s first city-wide environmental surveillance platform for COVID launched
With the number of cases of COVID-19 surging across the county in the second wave of the pandemic, the Government of Karnataka is introducing a city-wide sewage surveillance system in Bangalore as the India’s first city-wide initiative that will help officials track the virus at an early stage, even among asymptomatic individuals.
- Assisting this effort is the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Skoll Foundation-supported COVIDactionCollab (CAC), an India-wide collaborative of over 300 organizations and networks working together to provide COVID-19 relief and recovery services to the country’s most vulnerable communities.
Andhra Pradesh Govt Switches Liquor Policy from Prohibition to Restriction
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy announced a major shift in his government’s liquor policy, moving away from prohibition (nishedham) to restriction (niyantrana). The state will implement restrictions on liquor in a phased manner to protect the families from the evil.
- The government had taken over the liquor business in the state to “curb liquor sale” since earning profits was not the motive. It claimed that the number of retail liquor outlets has been reduced from 4,380 to 2,934 in the last two years.
- Now that the government has escrowed revenue from liquor sale and borrowed more than Rs 10,000 crore from various banks, the policy has ostensibly been changed from prohibition to restriction.
Govt announces scheme to provide pension for dependents of Covid victims
The government announced a string of measures, including a pension for dependents of those having lost their lives due to COVID-19, among other benefits for the families who lost their earning members to the pandemic.
- Besides family pensions, insurance benefits under the Employees’ Deposit-Linked Insurance (EDLI) scheme have been enhanced and liberalised.
- Dependent family members of such persons will be entitled to the benefit of pension equivalent to 90 per cent of the average daily wage drawn by the worker as per the existing norms.
- This benefit will be available retrospectively with effect from March 24 last year and for all such cases till March 24, 2022.
PM-CARES for Children scheme: Govt announces Rs 10 lakh fund, free education for kids orphaned due to COVID
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, announced a special “PM-CARES for Children” scheme for all those orphaned due to COVID-19, which will include a corpus of ₹10 lakh for each child till he or she reaches 18.
- Children who have lost both parents or their lone surviving parent or their legal guardian or adoptive parent due to COVID-19 will be supported under the scheme.
- When a child turns 18, he or she will draw a monthly stipend from the corpus of ₹10 lakh in order to meet expenses for personal needs and higher education. On reaching 23, the child will get the entire ₹10 lakh.
- The government will also assist such children with school education. They will be given admission in the nearest Kendriya Vidyalaya or in a private school as a day scholar.
Panel formed to define offences of speech, expression
A panel constituted by the Union Home Ministry to suggest reforms to the British-era Indian Penal Code (IPC) is likely to propose a separate Section on “offences relating to speech and expression.”
- As there is no clear definition of what constitutes a “hate speech” in the IPC, the Committee for Reforms in Criminal Laws is attempting for the first time to define such speech.
- The committee is expected to submit its report soon. The suggestions received by the Committee for Reforms in Criminal Laws will be examined by the Ministry before the changes are adopted.
- The committee was formed in the wake of Section 66A of the Information Technology Act, 2000, that provided punishment for sending offensive messages through communication services being scrapped by the Supreme Court in 2015.
Nato conducts massive war games
As tensions with Russia simmer, thousands of NATO troops, several warships and dozens of aircraft are taking part in military exercises stretching across the Atlantic, through Europe and into the Black Sea region.
- The war games, dubbed Steadfast Defender 21, are aimed at simulating the 30-nation military organization’s response to an attack on any one of its members.
- It will test NATO’s ability to deploy troops from America and keep supply lines open.
BANKING & FINANCE
Crypto-exchange ZebPay launches lending platform
ZebPay launched a lending platform where investors can lend their coins to the cryptocurrency exchange and earn returns depending on the token and the time period it is loaned for. Lending facility will be available in two options — open term and fixed term.
- The exchange has started off the facility with bitcoin (BTC), ether (ETH), tether (USDT) and dai (DAI).
- Depending on the term of deposits, users will be able to generate returns of up to 3% on bitcoin, up to 7% on ether, up to 7% on dai and up to 12% on tether.
- This can help provide investors an opportunity to earn a passive income by adding on to the returns gained from rise in crypto prices.
BUSINESS & ECONOMY
Centre expands scope of Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme to aid MSME sector amid disruption caused by 2nd wave of COVID-19
The Centre further expanded the scope of the Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme (ECLGS) amid the economic disruption caused by the second wave of COVID-19 pandemic to aid Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) sector.
- The ministry said, Under ‘ECLGS 4.0’, 100 percent guarantee cover will be extended to loans of up to two crore given to hospitals, nursing homes, clinics, medical colleges for setting up on-site oxygen generation plants.
- The finance ministry said, interest rate has been capped at 7.5 percent for the same. It said, Civil Aviation sector to be eligible under ECLGS 3.0. The ministry said, Validity of ECLGS extended to September 30 this year or till guarantees for an amount of 3 lakh crore rupees are issued. Disbursement under the scheme has been permitted up to December 31 this year.
European Shooting Ch’ship: Tejaswini Sawant tops MQS section of 50-m rifle prone event
In the European Shooting Championship in Croatia, former world champion Tejaswini Sawant topped the Minimum Qualification Score section of the 50-m rifle prone event.
- The 40-year-old Tejaswini shot 622.7 to finish ahead of three other compatriots and six Iranians. She will represent India in the 50-m rifle 3 positions event at the Olympic Games — her maiden Olympics — in July-August.
- Aishwary Pratap Singh Tomar shot 620.3 to finish second in the field of nine shooters while Sanjeev Rajput scored 619.7.
UAE to host remainder IPL 2021 tournament in September-October
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has announced that the remaining matches of Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 will be played in the United Arab Emirates in September-October this year.
- The dates for the IPL are yet to be announced. There are 31 remaining matches in this year’s IPL.
Novak Djokovic clinches Belgrade Open title
In Tennis, world number one Novak Djokovic clinched the Belgrade Open title after defeating Slovakia’s Alex Molcan in Serbia. Serbian maestro Djokovic outclassed first-time ATP Tour finals Molcan 6-4, 6-3 in 88 minutes.
- With this win, Djokovic has so far captured three titles at his home nation and over all he secured 83 singles titles in his career.
Mary Kom settles for silver medal at 2021 Asian Boxing Championships
Indian pugilist Mary Kom, lost to two-time world champion Nazym Kyzaibay of Kazakhstan, to settle for silver medal at the 2021 ASBC Asian Boxing Championships in Dubai.
- The five-time Asian Championships gold medallist Mary Kom was competing in high-octane 51kg final.
- This is the second silver for Mary Kom at the Asian Championships who has previously won silver in 2008.
Chelsea win the Champions League 2021
Chelsea clinched the Champions League title for the first time in almost a decade after winning the 2020-21 final 1-0 against Manchester City in Porto.
- Chelsea have won the UEFA Champions League for a second time and the first of Tuchel’s managerial career.
Mali court appoints Assimi Goita as interim president
Mali’s constitutional court in Bamako, announced that colonel Assimi Goita, interim VP and leader of a military coup will be the new interim President of Mali.
- Goita, 38, will be ‘President of the transition, head of state’ after Ndaw and Ouane had to resign during their detention.
Sanjay Dutt receives UAE’s golden visa
Bollywood star Sanjay Dutt said he has received a golden visa for the UAE.
- The Golden Visa system essentially offers long-term residency to people with outstanding talents.
- In 2019, UAE implemented a new system for long-term residence visas enabling foreigners to live, work & study there without the need of a national sponsor & with 100% ownership of their business.
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
IFFCO to launch Nano Urea in the market next month
Indian Farmers Fertiliser Cooperative (IFFCO) will launch Nano Urea in the market next month.
- 500-ml Nano Urea, which costs 240 rupees, is equivalent to 45kg of normal urea. Besides reducing the cost of cultivation, it increases the yield.
- Chemicals and Fertilizers Minister DV Sadananda Gowda said, the Nano Urea will be a game changer for farming sector as it is expected to reduce the consumption of normal urea substantially thus saving a huge sum on subsidy and forex. It is also eco friendly.
DRDO develops near-isothermal forging technology for aero-engines
The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has announced a modest step towards achieving the ultimate aeronautical challenge, one that even resource-rich China is struggling to achieve: Developing a jet engine with the thrust to power a fighter in combat.
- The DRDO established the near-isothermal forging technology to produce all the five stages of high-pressure compressor (HPC) discs out of difficult-to-deform, titanium alloy, using its unique 2000 MT (metric tonne) isothermal forge press.
- With this development, India has joined the league of limited global engine developers to have the manufacturing capabilities of such critical aero engine components.
BOOKS & AUTHORS
“Languages of Truth: Essays 2003-2020” BOOK by Salman Rushdie
The book titled “Languages of Truth: Essays 2003-2020” BOOK written by Salman Rushdie has been released.
- In this book, Rushdie attempts to perform a defensive castling move.
- He suggests his work has been misunderstood and mistreated because the literary culture has turned from brio-filled imaginative writing toward the humbler delights of “autofiction,” as exemplified by the work of Elena Ferrante and Karl Ove Knausgaard.
World No-Tobacco Day
Every year on May 30, the World Health Organization (WHO) observes World No Tobacco Day to spread awareness about the dangers of using tobacco.
- For this year, the world health body has launched a campaign, ‘Commit to Quit,’ to observe the day. While launching the campaign, it urged all countries to play their part by joining and creating tobacco-free environments by giving people the information, support, and tools they need to quit and quit for good.