Daily Current Affairs 5 March 2021 for Banking/Insurance/SSC and other related exams.
Bengaluru, Shimla ranked ‘most livable’ cities in govt’s Ease of Living Index 2020
Bengaluru topped the list of 111 cities in the government’s ‘Ease of Living Index’, followed by Pune, Ahmedabad, Chennai, Surat, Navi Mumbai, Coimbatore and Vadodra.
- According to the index released by Union Housing and Urban Affairs Minister Hardeep Singh Puri, Shimla was ranked top in the category of cities with ‘population less than million’.Shimla is followed by Bhubaneswar, Silvassa, Kakinada, Salem, Vellore, Gandhinagar, Gurugram, Davangere and Tiruchirapalli.
- New Delhi Municipal Council topped the ‘Municipal Performance Index’ list followed by Tirupati, Gandhinagar, Karnal, Salem, Tiruppur, Bilaspur, Udaipur, Jhansi, Tirunelveli in the ‘less than million population’ category.
- Indore was ranked top on the ‘Municipal Performance Index’ list followed by Surat and Bhopal in the million-plus population category.
India signs key pact with Philippines for sale of ‘defence equipment’
India signed a key pact with the Philippines for the sale of “defence material and equipment“, which are likely to include BrahMos cruise missiles.
- Philippine Defence Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, who was also present at the pact’s signing ceremony in Manila, has reportedly said that his country is buying BrahMos missiles.
2023 declared International year of Millets after UNGA adopts India-led resolution
The U.N. General Assembly adopted by consensus a resolution sponsored by India and supported by over 70 nations declaring 2023 as the International Year of Millets, aimed at raising awareness about the health benefits of the grain and their suitability for cultivation under changing climatic conditions.
- The resolution titled ‘International Year of Millets 2023’ was initiated by India with Bangladesh, Kenya, Nepal, Nigeria, Russia and Senegal and was co-sponsored by over 70 nations.
Australia is building world’s first platypus sanctuary
Australian conservationists unveiled plans to build the world’s first refuge for the platypus, to promote breeding and rehabilitation as the duck-billed mammal faces extinction due to climate change.
- The Taronga Conservation Society Australia and the New South Wales State government said they would build the specialist facility, mostly ponds and burrows for the semiaquatic creatures, at a zoo 391km from Sydney, by 2022, which could house up to 65 platypuses
BANKING & FINANCE
Central Board of EPFO recommends 8.5 pct annual rate of interest for current financial year
The Central Board of the Employees’ Provident Fund Organization has recommended 8.5 per cent annual rate of interest for the financial year 2020-21.
- The decision was taken in the 228th meeting of the Central Board of Trustees, which was held in Srinagar, under the chairmanship of Labour Minister Santosh Kumar Gangwar.
- The Minister informed that the interest rate would be officially notified in the government gazette following which EPFO would credit the rate of interest into the subscribers’ accounts. Since the year 2014, EPFO has consistently generated returns not less than 8.5 per cent.
Axis Securities’ launches new platform to make investment in bond, debenture hassle free
Axis Securities announced the launch of ‘YIELD’ – an online platform to buy and sell bonds as well as debentures in the secondary market.
- With a simple investment process, YIELD is the first-of-its-kind initiative that allows retail investors direct access to the debt instruments.
- This removes the hassle of filling up physical forms or the need for separate KYC with the bond institutions.
- To facilitate transactions only in secure options, it aggregates only ‘AAA’ to ‘A’ rated quality debt instruments available for investment in the secondary market.
SBI Mutual Fund launched SBI International Access – US Equity FoF
SBI Mutual Fund has announced the launch of SBI International Access – US Equity FoF, an open-ended Fund of Fund scheme that would invest in mutual fund scheme/ETFs that further invests in the US markets.
- The underlying scheme of investment would be Amundi Funds – US Pioneer Fund, with an investment process that fully integrates ESG (Environment, Social Governance) ethos.
- The fund will be managed by Mohit Jain. The NFO will be open for subscription till March 15.
Exim Bank inks $10.40 million soft loan pact with Eswatini
Export-Import Bank of India (Exim Bank) said it has inked a USD 10.40 million (Rs 75.99 crore) loan deal with Eswatini (Swaziland) on behalf of the Indian government.
- Exim Bank, on behalf of the Indian government, has extended a Line of Credit (LoC) of USD 10.40 million to the government of the Kingdom of Eswatini (Swaziland) for the construction of disaster recovery site.
- With the signing of this agreement, Exim Bank, till date has extended three LoCs to Eswatini, taking the total value to USD 68.30 million.
- Exim Bank said the Indian government’s soft loan to Eswatini covers projects in sectors including information technology, disaster management and agriculture.
BUSINESS & ECONOMY
India’s unemployment rate recovers to pre-Covid level of 6.9% in February: CMIE
India’s unemployment rate in February stood at 6.9 per cent, much lower than 7.8 per cent clocked in February 2020, suggesting the unemployment rate has recovered to pre-Covid levels.
- However, the rate of labour participation and employment rate last month continued to be low, reflecting an exodus of labour from the labour markets in the face of lack of jobs, the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy said.
- CMIE data shows the labour participation rate was 40.5 per cent in February 2021, slightly lower than the 40.6 per cent recorded in January 2021 and 42.6 per cent in February 2020.
- India’s employment rate dropped to 37.7 per cent in February compared to 39.4 per cent in 2019-20.
Ind-Ra upgrades FY21 credit growth estimates to 6.9%
India Ratings and Research (Ind-Ra) has upgraded its FY21 credit growth estimates to 6.9 per cent from 1.8 per cent, given the improved economic environment in 2H FY21 and the government’s focus on higher — spending especially on infrastructure.
- Amid the pandemic, the credit offtake in banking system remained muted, which led to lesser issuances of certificates of deposits (CDs).
- The CD issuances for January 2021 increased for public sector banks but remained muted for private banks. Concurrently, the CD yield across maturities was confined to a narrow range amid subdued issuances.
India receives highest ever FDI of over USD 67 billion during April-December 2020
India received the highest ever Foreign Direct Investments of over USD 67 billion for the first nine months of a financial year, last year.
- During the period of April to December 2020, FDI equity inflow grew by 40 per cent as compared to the corresponding period in the last financial year.
- As per Ministry of Commerce & Industry, these trends are an endorsement of India’s status as a preferred investment destination amongst global investors.
ACQUISITIONS & MERGERS
Wipro to acquire UK-based IT consultancy Capco for $1.45 billion
Wipro Ltd. announced that it had agreed to acquire Capco, a London-based technology consultancy, for $1.45 billion.
- The deal, once completed, is expected to help the Indian IT services provider gain a firmer foothold and presence in the European market, especially in the financial services industry where the U.K. firm has an established clientele.
- The Capco purchase, which will be the Indian company’s biggest-ever acquisition, comes barely eight months after Wipro hired Mr. Delaporte from Capgemini to help the company recover its erstwhile position among India’s top three IT services providers.
Bihari Puraskar 2020 to be awarded to Mohankrishna Bohara
The 30th Bihari Puraskar for 2020 will be given to Mohankrishna Bohara for his Hindi book of Criticism, titled Taslima: Sangharsh aur Sahitya. The K.K. Birla Foundation announced this in New Delhi. The book was published in 2016.
- Bihari Puraskar carries an award money of two lakh 50 thousand rupees, a Citation and a Plaque.
- The award is one of the three literary awards instituted by the K.K. Birla Foundation in 1991.
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Udaipur Science Centre inaugurated at Udaipur , Tripura
The Governor of Tripura Ramesh Bais has inaugurated the Udaipur Science Centre, at Udaipur, Tripura.
- The Udaipur Science Centre has been developed at a cost of Rs 6 crore funded jointly by the Ministry of Culture, Government of India and Department of Science, Technology and Environment, Tripura Government and with this; National Council of Science Museums (NCSM) has now set-up science centres in all the north eastern states.
- Science Centres play a vital role in developing a scientific temper in society and inculcating a culture of Innovation among the masses, particularly among students.
Work on India’s 1st dolphin research centre to start soon in Patna
India’s and Asia’s first National Dolphin Research Centre (NDRC) will come up on the bank of the Ganges in the premises of Patna University.
- Proposed in 2011 the project to set up the national dolphin research centre continued hanging in balance for next eight years, however, the state government has finally expedited the work.
Digital platform ‘Jagrut Tripura’ launched to boost e- governance in Tripura
The Tripura government has come up with a digital platform ‘Jagrut Tripura’ to help people get benefits from various schemes of the Centre and the state government.
- At least 102 schemes of various departments of both the governments are available on the platform.
- The digital platform is one of the many proactive initiatives undertaken by the state government to spur a technology-led innovation ecosystem to make ”Atmanirbhar” (self-reliant) Tripura.