Daily Current Affairs 7 January 2021 for Banking/Insurance/SSC and other related exams.
PM CARES Fund allocates Rs 201.58 cr for installation of 162 Medical Oxygen Generation Plants in public health facilities
The Prime Minister’s Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations (PM CARES) Fund Trust is allocating 201.58 crore rupees for installation of additional 162 dedicated Pressure Swing Adsorption (PSA) Medical Oxygen Generation Plants inside public health facilities in the country.
- The total project cost includes 137.33 crore rupees towards supply and commissioning of the plants and Management fee of Central Medical Supply Store and around 64.25 crore rupees towards Comprehensive Annual Maintenance Contract.
- The procurement will be done by the Central Medical Supply Store which is an autonomous body of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
- A total of 162 plants with a total capacity of 154.19 MT are to be installed in 32 States and UTs.
Cabinet approves signing of Memorandum of Cooperation between India, Japan on partnership in ‘Specified Skilled Worker’
The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved the signing of a Memorandum of Cooperation between Indian and Japan on a Basic Framework for Partnership for Proper Operation of the System Pertaining to ‘Specified Skilled Worker’.
- The Memorandum of Cooperation would set an institutional mechanism for partnership and cooperation between India and Japan on sending and accepting skilled Indian workers, who have qualified the required skill and Japanese language test, to work in fourteen specified sectors in Japan.
- These Indian workers would be granted a new status of residence of Specified Skilled Worker by the Government of Japan.
BANKING & FINANCE
RBI sets Rs 345 crore corpus for developing payment infrastructure in rural India
The Reserve Bank of India announced the operationalization of the Payment Investment Development Fund (PIDF) with an initial corpus of Rs 345 crore for three years – extendable up to an additional two more years.
- The objective of PIDF is to increase the number of acceptance devices multi-fold in the country.
- The Scheme is expected to benefit the acquiring banks / non-banks and merchants by lowering overall acceptance infrastructure cost.
- The fund will be used for adding 30 lakh digital payments touch points which would include 10 lakh physical and 20 lakh digital payment acceptance devices every year with a special focus on tier 3 to tier 6 regions and the north-eastern states.
MP, AP to get additional financial assistance of Rs 1,004 crore for capex
The finance ministry has provided additional financial assistance worth Rs 1,004 crore to Andhra Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh for capital expenditure after they completed three of the four citizen-centric reforms.
- The two states have completed the One Nation, One Ration Card Reforms, Ease of Doing Business Reforms, and Urban Local Bodies Reforms.
- While Madhya Pradesh has become entitled to receive Rs 660 crore for capital projects, Andhra Pradesh will get an additional amount of Rs 344 crore, it said, adding they have become the first group of states to complete three out of the four citizen-centric reforms.
Bandhan Bank to provide salary accounts for Indian Army personnel
Private lender Bandhan Bank said that it has signed an agreement with the Indian Army to provide banking services to the personnel of the force. The bank got the mandate to maintain zero-balance salary accounts of the Army personnel.
- They will be offered other preferential services such as six per cent interest on balance over Rs one lakh, unlimited free ATM transactions across ATMs, waiver of issuance and annual charge on Shaurya Visa Platinum Debit Card and unlimited free NEFT/RTGS/IMPS/DD transactions.
- Bandhan Bank Shaurya Salary Account also offers protection for self and assets. This includes free personal accident insurance of Rs 30 lakh, air accident cover of Rs one crore and free educational benefit of up to Rs one lakh per year for four years to a dependent child in case of accidental death of the account holder.
RBI to introduce LEI for large-value transactions in RTGS/NEFT from April
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has decided to introduce the Legal Entity Identifier (LEI) system for all payment transactions of value ₹50 crore and above undertaken by entities (non-individuals) using the Reserve Bank-run Centralised Payment Systems with effect from April 1.
- LEI is a 20-digit number used to uniquely identify parties to financial transactions worldwide.
- It was conceived as a key measure to improve the quality and accuracy of financial data systems for better risk management post the global financial crisis.
World Bank signs $105 million project to improve water transport in West Bengal
The Government of India, the Government of West Bengal and the World Bank signed a $105 million project to improve the inland water transport infrastructure in Kolkata, West Bengal.
- The West Bengal Inland Water Transport, Logistics and Spatial Development Project will facilitate passenger and freight movement across the Hooghly river; undertake spatial planning to improve accessibility in the Kolkata Metropolitan Area; enhance the quality of life of its residents, and contribute to the growth of the state’s logistics sector.
- The project will cover the five most populous districts of southern West Bengal, including its urban agglomeration — the Kolkata Metropolitan Area (KMA) where around 30 million people or one-third of West Bengal’s population live.
SMCB becomes first urban co-operative bank to transition to Small Finance Bank
Shivalik Small Finance Bank (SSFB) will start its banking operations from April 2021. It has received the commercial banking license from banking regulator Reserve Bank of India (RBI).
- This will mark the transition of Shivalik Mercantile Co-operative Bank (SMCB) to a Small Finance Bank (SFB).
- SMCB is the first urban co-operative bank (UCB) in India to transition to a SFB under the voluntary transition scheme. The bank had received an in-principal approval from the RBI for transitioning to a SFB in January 2020. The RBI had given an 18-month timeline to commence business.
BUSINESS & ECONOMY
Indian economy expected to contract by 9.6% in 2020-21: World Bank
The World Bank predicted India’s economy to contract by 9.6% in 2020-’21 financial year and recover to 5.4% in the next fiscal.
- The bank said India’s expected contraction is due to a sharp decline in household spending and private investment as the coronavirus pandemic badly hit the informal sector that accounts for four-fifths of employment.
- The bank pointed out that non-performing loans in the financial sector were “already high” even before the coronavirus crisis. However, it added that the services and manufacturing sectors were recovering fast.
Tata Power, SIDBI join hands for rooftop solar financing for MSMEs
Tata Power announced its partnership with SIDBI to provide a finance scheme to the MSME players in the rooftop solar segment.
- The scheme will also be complimented with a sanction time of seven days and disbursal of money in four days.
- The benefits of the scheme can be availed by both off-grid and on-grid solar connections.
AIFF appoints former India striker Abhishek Yadav as Deputy General Secretary
The All India Football Federation (AIFF) is set to appoint former India international Abhishek Yadav as its Deputy General Secretary.
- It is a rare instance in Indian football to see a former player appointed to such a high-ranked position. Even in European football history, it is not that common to see former players been given such key roles.
Lt Gen Shantanu Dayal takes charge as Deputy Chief of Staff
Indian Army has undergone a major reshuffle at the top within the Army Headquarters and at the various other formations including the Corps Commanders, administrative and training institutions witnessing the change of guard.
- Lt Gen Shantanu Dayal has taken charge as the new DCOAS assuming the position from January 1, 2021. Lt Gen Dayal was the Corps Commander of the Tejpur based 4 Corps and is taking place of Lt Gen SS Hasabnis who superannuated on December 31.
- The other significant change is in the newly-created Department of Military Affairs (DMA) with Chief of Defence Staff as its first Secretary. Lt Gen Taranjit Singh, the first Army officer to join as the Additional Secretary in the Department of Military Affairs (DMA) under the Ministry of Defence, superannuated, December 31.
Ashish Pethe elected as the New Chairman OF GJC
The All India Gem &Jewellery Domestic Council (GJC), the national apex body of the gems and jewellery industry, has appointed Ashish Pethe as Chairman and Saiyam Mehra as its Vice Chairman for a period of two years.
- Pethe has been closely associated with GJC and was the Zonal Chairman West, which he will continue even after this new position.
Sanjay Kapoor elected AICF President
Sanjay Kapoor was elected president of the All India Chess Federation (AICF) while Bharat Singh Chauhan retained the secretary’s post in the polls held online.
- Kapoor, representing Uttar Pradesh Chess Association, defeated incumbent P R Venketrama Raja in a close contest. Kapoor received 33 votes as against 31 of Raja.
- Naresh Sharma, belonging to the Chauhan faction, was elected as treasurer, beating Kishore Bandekar 34-30.
- The AICF has been split into two factions, one led by Raja and the other by Chauhan. The two have been at loggerheads for some time over various issues, including the conduct of the elections
Central African Republic President Touadera re-elected
Central African Republic President Faustin-Archange Touadera has won five more years in power by securing more than 53% of votes in an election that was marred by violence, according to provisional results announced.
- Touadera, 63, has struggled to wrest control of vast swathes of the country from armed militias since first winning power in 2016, three years after former President Francois Bozize was ousted by another rebellion.
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
India, Israel successfully test cutting edge MRSAM air and missile defence system
India and Israel have successfully tested a Medium-Range Surface-to-Air Missile (MRSAM) defence system jointly developed by the two countries in a boost to their combat capabilities aimed at providing ultimate protection from enemy aircraft.
- The test was conducted at an Indian facility and validated all components of the weapons system.
- The MRSAM is an advanced path-breaking air and missile defence system that provides ultimate protection against a variety of aerial platforms. It can shoot down enemy aircraft at a range of 50-70 kms.
DRDO Signs MOU with MAHA-METRO for implementation of Advanced Biodigester Mk-II Technology in Metro Rail Network
Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), Government of India’s premier research agency and Maharashtra Metro Rail Corporation (MAHA –METRO), a joint venture company of the GoI and Government of Maharashtra are working together to conserve water and protect the environment by installing DRDO’s eco-friendly biodigester units (a non-sewered sanitation technology) in its facilities.
- A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was inked between MAHA-METRO and DRDO through which DRDO will render technical support for the implementation of its advanced biodigester Mk-II technology for the treatment of human waste (night soil) in the metro rail network.
Former Mali PM Modibo Keita passes away
Mali’s former prime minister Modibo Keita has died at the age of 78.
- Keita, who served as prime minister from 2015 to 2017. He was one of six prime ministers to serve under President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, who was ousted in a coup in August.
- From 2014 until his appointment as prime minister, Modibo Keita had been the president’s representative for peace talks between the government and Tuareg rebel groups waging an insurgency in the country’s conflict-ravaged north.
Marathi Journalism Day being celebrated across Maharashtra
Marathi Journalism Day is being celebrated across Maharashtra.
- On 6th January 1832, Balshastri Jambhekar, who is known as the Father of Marathi Journalism, started the first newspaper “Darpan’ and since then this day is being celebrated as the Marathi Journalism Day in the state.
World Day Of War Orphans
The World Day of War Orphans is observed on January 6 every year. The day aims to raise awareness about children who have been orphaned due to wars.
- The objective of the day is to spread awareness about the predicament of war orphans and highlight the emotional, social, and physical challenges they face while growing up.