Daily Current Affairs 4 June 2021 for Banking/Insurance/SSC and other related exams.
Govt reconstitutes 6 empowered groups into 10 to manage Covid-19 issues
The Centre reconstituted the six empowered groups set up for Covid-19 management to make 10 panels, expanding their ambit to look into issues like availability of oxygen, vaccination, emergency response and economic welfare measures.The Centre has also formed a panel for vaccination and to monitor medical oxygen requirements.
- Niti Aayog (health) member Dr VK Paul will lead the panel on vaccination which has 10 other members who will oversee procurement, manufacturing, logistics, daily supply and utilisation and will also oversee amount of vaccine wastage.
- Giridhar Aramane, Union secretary, ministry of road transport and highways has been appointed convener of the empowered group to see the nation’s requirements related to medical oxygen. He along with 11 others will oversee production, import, logisitics, matters related to equipment meant for transporting oxygen, PSA plants and conversion of industrial oxygen to medical oxygen.
Kerala Retains Top Rank in Niti Aayog’s SDG India Index 2020-21; Bihar Worst Performer
Kerala has retained the top rank in Niti Aayog’s SDG India Index 2020-21, while Bihar has been adjudged as the worst performer, according to a report released by Niti Aayog Vice Chairman Rajiv Kumar. The country’s overall SDG score improved by 6 points — from 60 in 2019 to 66 in 2020-21.
- Kerala retained its rank as the top state with a score of 75. Both Himachal Pradesh and Tamil Nadu took the second spot with a score of 74. Bihar, Jharkhand and Assam were the worst performing states in this year’s index.
- Further, Chandigarh maintained its top spot among the union territories (UTs) with a score of 79, followed by Delhi (68). Mizoram, Haryana and Uttarakhand were the top gainers in 2020-21 in terms of improvement in score from 2019, with an increase of 12, 10 and 8 points, respectively.
- Under the health sector goals, Gujarat and Delhi were the top performers among the states and the UTs, respectively.Under the goal of quality education, Kerala and Chandigarh were the top performers among the states and UTs, respectively.
- Under the goal of reduced inequalities, Meghalaya and Chandigarh (Achiever, with Index score of 100) emerged as the best performers among the states and UTs. Under the goal of no poverty, Tamil Nadu and Delhi were the best performers among the states and UTs, respectively.
Cabinet approves MoC between India, Japan in field of sustainable urban development
Cabinet approved Memorandum of Cooperation ( Moc) between India and Japan in the field of sustainable urban development.
- A Joint Working Group (JWG) will be constituted to strategize and implement programmes on cooperation under the framework of the MoC. The Joint Working Group will meet once in a year, alternately in Japan and in India.
- The cooperation under this MoC will commence on the date of its signature and continue for a period of 5 years.
Thaawarchand Gehlot launches SAGE project to support India’s elderly
Social Justice and Empowerment Minister Thaawarchand Gehlot launched the Senior care Ageing Growth Engine, SAGE project to select, support and create a one-stop access of elderly care products and services by credible start-ups.
- The SAGE project is shaped on the recommendations of the empowered expert committee report on start-ups for elderly. Start-ups can apply for being a part of SAGE through a dedicated portal, which also launched.
- The start-ups will be selected on the basis of innovative products and services, which they should be able to provide across sectors such as health, housing, care centres, apart from technological access linked to finances, food and wealth management and legal guidance.
Karnataka HC to resume hearing of five independent MLAs
Karnataka HC to resume hearing of five independent MLAs. The Karnataka High Court will commence this afternoon the final hearing on the petition filed by five Independent MLAs challenging their disqualification from the state Assembly.
- They were disqualified by the Assembly Speaker K G Boppaiah along with 11 BJP MLAs for anti party activities on October 10 just before the first floor test of Yeddyurappa Government.
- Thereafter, just a day before the second floor test on October 14, the court ruled that the outcome of the trust vote of the B S Yeddyurappa Government would be subject to its final decision on the petition.
Govt sets up expert group on fixation of minimum wages & national floor wages
The government has set up an expert group on fixation of minimum wages and national floor wages. The Expert Group will be chaired by Director of Institute of Economic Growth Professor Ajit Mishra.
- Term of the Expert Group will be three years and it will provide technical inputs and recommendations.
- The expert group will look into the international best practices on the wages and evolve a scientific criteria and methodology for fixation of wages to arrive at the wage rates.
Cabinet approves MoU between India & Maldives on cooperation in field of sustainable urban development
The Union Cabinet was apprised of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, Government of India and Ministry of National Planning, Housing and Infrastructure, Government of Maldives on cooperation in the field of Sustainable Urban Development.
- A Joint Working Group (JWG) will be constituted to strategize and implement programmes on cooperation under the framework of the MoU. The Joint Working Group will meet once in a year, alternately in Maldives and in India.
- The MoU will promote strong, deep and long-term bilateral cooperation in the field of Sustainable Urban Development between the two countries.
Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar launches Seed Minikit Programme
Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar launched Seed Minikit Programme by distributing Seed Minikits, higher yielding varieties of seeds to farmers.
- The mini kits are being provided by the Central Agencies, National Seeds Corporation, NSC, NAFED and Gujarat State Seeds Corporation and it is fully funded by the Government of India through the National Food Security Mission.
- The distribution of seeds will continue till 15th of this month so that the seeds reach the farmers before the Kharif sowing commences.
Railways achieves highest freight loading of 1233 million tonnes in 2020-21
Railway Board Chairman Suneet Sharma has said that despite COVID-19 challenges, Railway had achieved nine consecutive months of record freight loading from September last year to May this year.
- Mr Sharma said, the highest ever loading of 1233 million tonnes was achieved in 2020-21.
- The chairman said, 738 Kisan Rail services have been operated on 59 routes so far carrying around 2.33 lakh tonnes of agriculture products.
- He said, the major commodities transported are onion, potato, Banana, capsicum, orange and other fruits and vegetables.
Country to soon get 8 new Flying Training Academies under liberalised FTO policy of AAI
Country will soon get eight new Flying Training Academies under the liberalised Flying Training Organisation (FTO) policy of the Airports Authority of India (AAI). These academies will be set up at Belagavi, Jalgaon, Kalaburagi, Khajuraho and Lilabari.
- The set-up of these eight FTOs is aimed at making India a global flying training hub. It will also prevent the exodus of Indian cadets to foreign FTOs.
Britain hosted Health Ministers from G7 countries in Oxford for two-day summit
Britain will host the Health Ministers from the Group of Seven (G7) countries in Oxford for a two-day summit.
- A G7 report on progress in efforts to improve health in developing countries published. British Foreign Minister Dominic Raab said that equitable access to Corona virus vaccines will be at the top of the agenda during the meeting.
- British Health Minister Matt Hancock said, he would agree with G7 counterparts on a system to share data on any early warning signs of the next pandemic. He added that globally we are only as strong as the weakest link in the health security chain and that no one is safe until everyone is safe.
United Nations (U.N.) bodies set up “One Health” expert-panel to advise on animal disease risks
The World Health Organization (WHO) announced that WHO along with three other international bodies has put together a team of experts to launch a new One Health High-Level Expert Panel to formulate a global plan for the prevention of the spread of diseases from animals to humans.
- The One Health High-Level Expert Panel is a team of experts put together by the World Health Organization (WHO), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).
- The One Health panel will advise the World Health Organization (WHO), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) on establishing good practices to prepare and prevent zoonotic diseases and developing surveillance networks and risk assessment about infectious diseases originating from animals.
BANKING & FINANCE
RBI keeps key rates unchanged in its bi-monthly monetary policy
Reserve Bank of India (RBI) kept the benchmark interest rates unchanged amid COVID-19 uncertainty and fears over inflation. While making the policy statement, RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das said that the projected Gross Domestic Product growth rate will be 9.5 per cent for the current fiscal year.
- RBI has kept repo rate unchanged at 4.25 per cent, sixth time in a row. The RBI reverse repo rate or RBI’s borrowing rate also remains unchanged at 3.35 per cent. RBI has also maintained accommodative monetary policy stance to support growth and kept inflation at targeted level.
- India’s forex reserves may have exceeded 600 billion US dollars and to extend special liquidity facility of 16,000 crore rupees to SIDBI for on lending and refinancing. He further said that a separate liquidity window of 15,000 crore rupees to be opened
- About inflation, he said, GDP growth forecast for FY 22 has been cut from 10.5 per cent earlier to 9.5 per cent. The recent fall in inflation provides elbow room and policy support from all sides required to regain growth momentum.
Public Sector Banks To Offer Unsecured Loans Up To ₹ 5 Lakh For Covid Treatment
Public Sector Banks (PSBs) have announced to provide unsecured loans from ₹ 25,000 to ₹ 5 lakh to individuals to meet their and family members’ COVID-19 treatment cost. This comes in the wake of the ongoing second wave of the pandemic that has swept across the country unleashing untold miseries on families across income groups.
- This forms part of three new loan products announced by them to provide fresh lending support to vaccine manufacturers, hospitals/dispensaries, pathology labs, manufacturers and suppliers of oxygen, ventilators, importers of vaccines & COVID related drugs logistics firms and individuals suffering from COVID-19.
- The repayment tenure is 5 years and SBI would charge interest of 8.5% per annum. Other banks are free to decide their interest rate.
ADB Inks $2.5 Million Loan Pact with Govt to Upgrade Road Infrastructure in Sikkim
Asian Development Bank (ADB) has inked a pact with the union government for USD 2.5 million (approx Rs 18.23 crore) loan assistance to upgrade road infrastructure in the north-eastern state Sikkim.
- The USD 2.5 million project readiness financing (PRF) loan will support project preparation and design activities to upgrade major district roads in Sikkim, ADB said.
- The pact will help improve connectivity to important towns, rural areas, and pilgrimage and tourist destinations in the north-eastern state.
BUSINESS & ECONOMY
GST Council meet: FM announces ‘Amnesty Scheme’ for small taxpayers, allows filing of returns with reduced late fee
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman recommended the ‘Amnesty Scheme’ for reducing late fees on returns in the 43rd GST Council meeting. The FM said that small taxpayers can file pending returns via the Amnesty Scheme.
- The finance minister added that the taxpayers will now be able to file their pending returns and avail the benefits of this Amnesty scheme with reduced late fees.
- The FM said that the late fees have also been rationalised, and the decision to reduce the maximum amount of late fee for small taxpayers will come into effect for future tax periods.
Defence Ministry Signs Contract with Mahindra Telephonics for 11 Airport Surveillance Radars
The Ministry of Defence signed a contract with Mahindra Telephonics to procure 11 airport surveillance radars for the Indian Navy and the Indian Coast Guard.
- Installation of these radars will increase the air domain awareness around airfields and enhance safety and efficiency in flying operations of the Navy and the Coast Guard.
- The procurement, at a cost of Rs 323.47 crore, will be made under the ‘Buy and Make’ category.
Ranjitsinh Disale appointed as Advisor to World Bank
Ranjitsinh Disale, the first Indian teacher to receive the Global Teacher Award has been appointed by the World Bank as an Advisor to the World Bank.
- World Bank has recently launched the Global Coach Program, a new initiative focused on accelerating learning by helping countries improve in-service teacher professional development (TPD) programs and systems. This program forms part of the World Bank’s broader agenda to tackle the global learning crisis (WDR, 2018).
- Disale’s work through the Advisory Board will impact the work World Bank on the ground, currently supporting over 18 million teachers around the world. He will be an advisor to the World Bank till December 2024.
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Dept of atomic energy to build India’s 1st reactor on PPP model
The department of atomic energy (DAE) announced that it will be constructing the country’s first research reactor on public-private partnership (PPP) model. DAE is shortlisting the private enterprises for a partnership in the project.
- The research reactor, which will be designed by Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC), will produce radioisotopes, and is expected to bring down the costs of nuclear medicine that is used in cancer treatment in India.
- DAE will provide the upfront capital and build the plant through its subsidiary – Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd
AYUSH ministry operationalises its Covid-19 counselling helpline
A dedicated community support helpline has been operationalised by the Ministry of Ayush to provide Ayush-based approaches and solutions for the challenges posed by COVID-19.
- The toll-free number is 14443. The helpline is operational pan-India from 6 a.m. to 12 midnight – all seven days of a week.
BOOKS & AUTHORS
Cricket legend Ravi Shastri’s book ‘Stargazing’ to release this year
Cricket legend, commentator and one of Team India’s most successful coaches, Ravi Shastri has penned a book titled ‘Stargazing: The Players in My Life’. The news was announced by publisher HarperCollins India on Ravi Shastri’s birthday.
- In ‘Stargazing: The Players in My Life’, Shastri writes about some 60 extraordinary talents he has met from across the world who have inspired him.
- The book is co-authored by Shastri and Ayaz Mem onand it is expected to be out in 2021.
Global Day of Parents
Global Day of Parents is a United Nations (UN) observance that is celebrated on June 1 each year to honor parents and their commitment to children worldwide.
- The theme for Global Parents Day 2021 is ‘appreciate all parents throughout the world’. The theme puts a spotlight on the struggles, sacrifices and efforts made by parents for their children worldwide.
World Bicycle Day
The United Nations officially designates June 3 as World Bicycle Day to highlight the longevity and uniqueness of cycling.
- The day highlights the attention towards the benefits of using the bicycle which is a simple, affordable, clean, and environmentally fit sustainable means of transportation.