Daily Current Affairs 8 February 2021 for Banking/Insurance/SSC and other related exams.
A target of Rs. 16.50 lakh crore for Ground Level Credit (GLC) has been fixed for 2021-22
Reiterating that the Government was committed to the welfare of farmers, Finance Minister, Nirmala Sitaraman made a slew of announcements for the agri-sector in the Union Budget 2021-22 that included enhanced credit for the sector, higher allocation for micro-irrigation and raising duties on some farm products to protect the domestic growers.
- The Agriculture Credit target for 2021-22 has been enhanced to ₹16.5 lakh crore, an increase of 10 per cent over the previous year’s ₹15 lakh crore. Similarly, the corpus for micro-irrigation has been doubled to ₹10,000 crore from ₹5,000 crore.
- Also the allocation for the Rural Infrastructure Development Fund has been increased from ₹30,000 crore to ₹40,000 crore.
- The Operations Greens Scheme, currently applicable for Tomato, Onion and Potato value chain will be expanded to 22 more perishable products to encourage value addition.
India-US joint military exercise ‘Yudh Abhyas 20’ commences in Rajasthan
The India-US joint military exercise “Yudh Abhyas 20” commenced in Mahajan Field Firing Range of Bikaner district in Rajasthan.
- This is the 16th edition of annual bilateral joint exercise of both the armies. The previous version of the joint exercise was held at Seattle in the United States.
- About 250 US and 250 Indian army soldiers are participating in the exercise. Both the armies will share their war-related techniques, skills and experience with each other during this exercise.
Fin Min releases monthly PDRD Grant of over Rs 6195 cr to States
Ministry of Finance has released the monthly Post Devolution Revenue Deficit, PDRD Grant of over 6 thousand 1 hundred 95 crore rupees to the States. This was the 11th instalment of the PDRD grant released to the States.
- So far, over 68 thousand 1 hundred 45 crore rupees have been released to eligible States as Post Devolution Revenue Deficit Grant in the current financial year.
- The Post Devolution Revenue Deficit Grants are provided to the States under Article 275 of the Constitution. The grants are released in monthly instalments as per the recommendations of the Fifteenth Finance Commission to meet the gap in Revenue Accounts of the States post devolution. The Commission has recommended PDRD grants to 14 States.
Himachal Pradesh becomes first State to implement e-cabinet
Himachal Pradesh has become first State in the country to make the end to end processing of the cabinet paperless by implementing e-cabinet application.
- Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur inaugurated first e-cabinet at Shimla . The entire process from initiation of a cabinet memo, approval of the cabinet memo through concerned Secretary, Chief Secretary, concerned Minister and finally by Chief Minister to place in the cabinet has been made online.
- It will also be possible to monitor the status of implementation of cabinet decision more effectively through this application.
- The e-cabinet application is also available as a Mobile App on android devices.
Haryana, Switzerland agree to share expertise in skill training, tourism
Haryana and Switzerland have agreed to share their expertise in fields of tourism, dairying and skill development training, a state government statement said after Swiss Ambassador Ralf Heckner called on Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar.
- Besides exploring the possibilities of signing MoUs for the teacher-student and cultural exchange programmes to further strengthen the bilateral ties between Switzerland and India, particularly with Haryana.
- During the meeting, Ambassador Heckner praised the state government for providing a conducive atmosphere to entrepreneurs in the state and evinced interest in making further investment in Haryana.
Goa govt inks MoU with CII for model career centre
To address the challenge of unemployability and the skill gap among Goan youth, the state government inked an agreement with the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) to operate the model career centre on a public-private partnership basis.
- The model career centre will not only help find youth find jobs but will also help workers to upskill.CII has already established 39 Model Career Centres across India with the Goa facility being the 40th.
- The model career centre will connect job seekers with private sector companies, provide career counselling and guidance, train youth and provide placement.
$43 billion deal for ‘world’s biggest’ offshore wind farm in South Korea
A $43 billion deal was signed to build what the South Korean government said will be the world’s biggest offshore wind power complex, as it seeks to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050.
- The agreement involves 33 different entities, among them regional governments, the electricity generator KEPCO, and major private firms including Doosan Heavy Industries & Construction and SK E&S.
- South Korea has few energy resources of its own and relies on imported coal, a cheap but dirty fuel — for around 40 percent of its electricity.
BANKING & FINANCE
RBI to set up expert committee for urban co-op banks to strengthen sector
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has decided to set up an expert committee on Urban Co-operative Banks (UCBs) involving all stakeholders in order to provide a medium-term road map to strengthen the sector, enable faster rehabilitation/resolution of UCBs, as well as examine other critical aspects relating to these entities.
- This follows the provisions of the Banking Regulation (Amendment) Act, 2020 becoming applicable to Primary (Urban) Co-operative Banks (UCBs) with effect from June 26, 2020.
- The amendments have brought near parity in supervisory and regulatory powers between UCBs and commercial banks in respect of regulatory powers, including those related to governance, audit, and resolution.
ICICI Bank signs MoU with MUFG Bank to cater banking requirements of Japanese corporates in India
ICICI Bank announced it has signed a Memorandum of Understanding(MoU) with Japan’s MUFG Bank for collaboration towards catering to the banking requirements of Japanese corporates present in India.
- The MoU establishes a framework of partnership between the banks across various domains including trade, investment, treasury, corporate and retail banking.
- It also paves way for the two banks to cater to the banking requirements of Japanese corporates operating in India.
Zoho’s Sridhar Vembu appointed to National Security Advisory Board
Zoho founder and Padma Shri recipient Sridhar Vembu has been appointed to the newly reconstituted National Security Advisory board (NSAB) headed by National Security Advisor Ajit Doval.
- Vembu is currently working from his company’s office in Tamil Nadu’s Tenkasi district.
- The other members of the NSAB are former ISRO Chairman K Radhakrishnan, IIM Bangalore faculty Anshuman Tripathy and former ambassador to France and United Nations Arun K Singh.
Google Cloud appoints Bikram Singh Bedi as Managing Director for India business
Google Cloud has appointed Bikram Singh Bedi as the new managing director for India. Bedi, with over 26 years of leadership experience, will succeed Karan Bajwa, who was appointed the leader for APAC cloud operations at Google Cloud last month.
- At Google, Bikram Bedi will be responsible for leading Google Cloud’s sales and operations teams in this dynamic market.
- Prior to that, he set up the AWS business in India and was the head of India and South Asia for six years. He also held various leadership positions at IBM and Oracle.
India’s ‘Pebbles’ Wins Top Prize At International Film Festival Rotterdam
Indian drama “Pebbles”, directed by filmmaker Vinothraj PS, has won the top honour, the Tiger Award for best film, at the 50th International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR).
- The Tamil language film follows an alcoholic abusive husband who, after his long-suffering wife runs off, sets out with his young son to find her and bring her back.
- The Tiger Award is accompanied by a Euro 40,000 cash prize, to be shared between the director and producer of the winning film.
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Square Kilometre Array Observatory launched
The Square Kilometre Array Observatory (SKAO) Council held its maiden meeting and approved the establishment of the world’s largest radio telescope.
- The development of the telescope is expected to take nearly a decade at a cost of over £1.8 billion.The SKAO telescope will be an array of antennas located in two continents, i.e. Africa and Australia.
- The telescope will enable astronomers to monitor the sky in unprecedented detail and survey the entire sky much faster than any system currently in existence.
- SKAO is a new intergovernmental organisation dedicated to radio astronomy and is headquartered in the UK. At the moment, organisations from ten countries are a part of the SKAO. These include Australia, Canada, China, India, Italy, New Zealand, South Africa, Sweden, the Netherlands and the UK.
NASA picks SpaceX for mission to study history of the universe
The United States National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) announced the selection of Elon Musk’s Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) to provide launch services for its SPHEREx mission.
- The SPHEREx or the Spectro-Photometer for the History of the Universe, Epoch of Reionization, and Ices Explorer mission is meant to help scientists gather data to help them understand the history of the universe among other cosmic questions.
- SPHEREx is a planned two-year astrophysics mission to survey the sky in the near-infrared light, which, though not visible to the human eye, serves as a powerful tool for answering cosmic questions involving the birth of the universe, and the subsequent development of galaxies.
- The mission will also include search for essentials for the existence of life, i.e. water and organic molecules in regions where stars are born from gas and dust, known as stellar nurseries along with disks around stars where new planets could be forming.
Balasore to get country’s first thunderstorm research testbed
Odisha’s Balasore will get the country’s first thunderstorm research testbed, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) has said.
- The objective of setting up the thunderstorm testbed is to minimalise human fatalities and loss of property due to lightning strikes.
- The thunderstorm testbed will be established in a collaboration between the Ministry of Earth Sciences, IMD, Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).
- A first-of-its-kind monsoon testbed is also being planned near Bhopal.Both the projects are in the planning stage and detailed project reports are being made.
Oscar-winning actor Christopher Plummer, known for ‘Sound of Music’ passes away
Oscar-winning actor Christopher Plummer, who rose to prominence for his critically-acclaimed film ‘Sound of Music’, has passed away. He was 91.
- The Canadian born actor has bagged two Tonys and two Emmys, along with the Oscar.
- Apart from ‘Sound of Music’, Plummer is also known for ‘All the Money in the World’ and ‘The Last Station’, in an almost seven-decade-old career encompassing acting opportunities from some of dramatic literature’s greatest works to some of commercial entertainment’s crassest exploitations.
Tony Trabert, 10-time tennis Grand Slam champion, passes away
Tony Trabert, a five-time Grand Slam singles champion from the United States who produced one of the greatest seasons in tennis history in 1955, died. He was 90.
- Trabert captured the 1953 US Open, the 1954 French Open and the 1955 US and French Opens and Wimbledon.
- Trabert served as the Hall of Fame’s president from 2001 to 2011 and spent 30 years as a television analyst. He also served as an author and coach and captained the US Davis Cup team from 1976-1980, guiding the squad to titles in 1978 and 1979.
BOOKS & AUTHORS
Vice President releases the book titled – “Parliamentary Messenger in Rajasthan”
The Vice President, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu has released the book titled “Parliamentary Messenger in Rajasthan” at a virtual event.
- The book is written by Dr K.N. Bhandari and focuses on the health and education initiatives undertaken through the MPLAD Scheme on the recommendation of Dr Abhishek Singhvi in Rajasthan over 12 years from 2006 to 2018.