Daily Current Affairs 9 March 2022 for Banking/Insurance/SSC and other related exams.
Govt sanctions Rs 3,274 cr for freedom fighters pension scheme till 2026
The Centre has approved an allocation of Rs 3,274.87 crore for the continuation of the Swatantrata Sainik Samman Yojana (SSSY), under which freedom fighters and their eligible dependents are given pension and other financial benefits, till 2025-26.
- There are 23,566 beneficiaries across the country covered under this scheme.
- The decision shows the commitment of the government to remember the sacrifices of freedom fighters and take inspiration from them during the year of ‘Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav.
CM Stalin inaugurates India’s maiden floating power plant in Thoothukudi
Tamil Nadu chief minister M K Stalin inaugurated what is said to be India’s biggest floating solar park in Thoothukudi, Tamil Nadu with a capacity to produce 42 million units of electricity per annum.
- The park, established at a cost of Rs 150.40 crore, is part of SPIC’s Environment, Social and Governance (ESG) Progress towards commitment to producing renewable energy.
- The chief minister said the floating solar park would produce more power than the traditional land-based solar parks because water cools the panels while producing power. It also prevents evaporation of water. It conserves 60% of water and makes the environment free of pollution.
Sikkim CM promises Rs 20,000 each to all non-working mothers, free sanitary napkins to girl students
The Sikkim government will give Rs 20,000 each to all non-working mothers and free sanitary napkins to all girl students of class 9 and above in the state, Chief Minister P S Tamang has said.
- The CM announced that the state government will implement the ‘Aama Yojna’ for non-working mothers and Bahini scheme for girl students.
- Under the ‘Aama Yojna’ scheme all non-working mothers in the state will receive Rs 20,000 each annually in their bank accounts, Tamang said, adding that only those whose names are in the electoral roll of the state will get the money.
Chhattisgarh govt launches ‘Kaushalya Matritva Yojana’
Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel launched the Kaushalya Matritva Scheme by handing over cheques worth Rs 5,000 each to five beneficiaries to bringing up their second girl child.
- At the state level women’s conference, the Chief Minister honoured Anganwadi employees who have done outstanding work in Anganwadi services, as well as self-help groups that have helped women become financially independent by utilising the Chhattisgarh Mahila Kosh.
- Similarly, he recognised officers who have excelled in the field of women’s protection as part of the ‘Sakhi One Stop Center‘ and ‘Nava Bihaan Yojna.’
- On the occasion, he also released the Kanya Vivah Yojana Coffee Table Book, the Sakhi One Stop Centre Telephone Directory, and booklets for women empowerment programmes.
India ranked ‘partly free’ again in Freedom House report
For the second consecutive year, India has been termed ‘partly free’ in terms of democracy and free society, according to the annual report of Freedom House, a US-based NGO that ‘assesses political rights and civil liberties’.
- India scored 66 out of 100 this year. It had scored 67 in 2021; and 71 in 2020, which is classified as ‘free’.India’s freedom scores are similar to that of Bolivia, Hungary and Albania.
- While India is a multiparty democracy, the government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has presided over discriminatory policies and a rise in persecution affecting the Muslim population, said the report titled “Freedom in the World 2022 – The Global Expansion of Authoritarian Rule”.
- Neighbouring Pakistan and Sri Lanka have scored 37 and 55 points, respectively. Countries with lowest freedom points are South Sudan (which scored 1 out of 100, ‘not free’), Somalia, Syria, and Saudi Arabia.
- At the same time, there is an increase in free countries from 82 to 85, compared to 2021. In this category, Finland, Sweden and Norway have achieved a perfect 100, besides New Zealand, Canada, Uruguay, Netherlands, Luxembourg, Ireland and Denmark.
Germany to host virtual meeting of G7 agriculture ministers
In Germany, the government has announced that it will host a virtual meeting of agriculture ministers from the G7 countries to discuss the impact of the Russia-Ukraine conflict on world food security.
- The German Minister of Agriculture and Food, Cem Özdemir, said that the meeting would also focus on how to stabilize food markets.
Russia becomes world’s most sanctioned country
Due to its war on Ukraine, Russia has become the most sanctioned in the world, according to a New York-based sanctions watchlist site.
- Castellum.AI said that sanctions were first imposed by the US and its allies on Russia on February 22 a day after President Vladimir Putin declared the two Ukrainian rebel regions of Donetsk and Luhansk as “independent states”.
- The site said that 2,754 sanctions were already in place against Russia before February 22 and 2,778 additional were imposed in the days following the assault, bringing the total to 5,532.
BANKING & FINANCE
RBI launches UPI for feature phones ‘UPI123Pay’ and 24*7 helpline ‘DigiSaathi’
RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das launched UPI for feature phones called UPI123Pay. He also launched 24×7 helpline for digital payments – DigiSaathi. UPI on feature phones will help people in rural areas who cannot afford a smartphone.
- The UPI123pay will provide the users of feature phones the option to use Unified Interface Payments (UPI) for making payments. For this, UPI123 pay presently offers four mediums/options to the users of feature phones to make UPI payments. The name UPI123pay denotes that the UPI payment can be done in three (123) easy steps i.e. 1. Call 2. Choose and 3. Pay Presently the option available for feature phone users for digital payments is of USSD which is a bit cumbersome and not popular.
- DigiSaathi service will provide users with automated responses on information related to digital payment products and services. Presently it is available in English and Hindi language.
Zeta partner Mastercard to power next-gen credit processing for banks, fintechs
Zeta, a banking tech unicorn and provider of next-gen credit card processing to banks and fintechs, and Mastercard announced a 5-year global partnership.
- As part of the agreement, the firms will go-to-market jointly to launch credit cards with issuers worldwide on Zeta’s modern, cloud-native, and fully API-ready credit processing stack.
- Mastercard has underscored the partnership by making a financial investment in Zeta, said a statement issued by Zeta.
HDFC Mutual Fund launches #LaxmiForLaxmi, financial empowerment initiative
HDFC Mutual Fund has launched a women-led financial empowerment initiative ‘LaxmiForLaxmi’ which will connect women investors to a woman financial expert near them through a unique missed call service. The female financial expert will guide and address queries of the woman investor.
- The initiative is based on the fact that it is very easy for a person to understand a concept when it is taught by someone who understands them and is like-minded.
- The #LaxmiForLaxmi initiative is a financial empowerment campaign for women, by women. Through this initiative, HDFC Mutual Fund aims to support women investors in their journey to become financially independent while making mutual fund investments accessible to them.
Star Health introduces women-centric medical insurance policy
This International Women’s Day, health insurance company Star Health and Allied Insurance Co. Ltd., announced the launch of Star Women Care Insurance Policy, a woman-centric comprehensive health cover specially designed to protect the health-care needs of women at every stage of their lives.
- The Star Women Care Insurance Policy is available as both an individual policy and a floater policy to all females from 18 years up to 75 years of age. Women need not undergo any premedical tests to avail this policy. Customers can purchase the policy through premiums that can be paid in quarterly or half-yearly instalments, and this policy can also be taken for 1 year, 2 year or 3-year terms.
- Through this policy, mothers can also provide health cover for their new-born child / children. Under the policy, a new-born will gain health cover of up to 25% of the Sum Insured from day 1 and 100% of sum insured from the next subsequent year onward. The policy’s Star Mother Cover feature even covers the hospital room rent of the insured mother if the insured child is less than 12 years old and is hospitalized in the ICU.
Axis Bank rolls out ‘HouseWorkIsWork’ initiative
Urban educated women’s participation in the workforce still not at desired levels, Axis Bank has kicked off the ‘HouseWorkIsWork’ initiative, offering opportunities to those who want to rejoin the professional space.
- The intent behind this initiative is to give these women the confidence that they are employable, they have skills and they can fit in various job roles in a bank and it is about getting these women back to work.
BUSINESS & ECONOMY
Flipkart enters strategic alliance with Google Cloud to improve innovation
Google Cloud and e-commerce firm Flipkart, have entered into a multi-year strategic partnership to help fast-track Flipkart’s innovation and cloud strategy.
- The partnership will propel Flipkart into its next phase of growth and advance its vision of onboarding India’s next 200 million shoppers and lakhs of sellers. The companies didn’t reveal the value of this deal.
SEBI raises public debt investment limit via UPI to ₹5 lakh
The Securities and Exchange Board of India(Sebi) has increased the investment limit for retail investors applying in public issues of debt securities through unified payments interface (UPI) mechanism to ₹5 lakh from the current limit of ₹2 lakh.
- The move comes following NPCI’s decision to enhance the per transaction limit for UPI-based application supported by blocked amount (ASBA) initial public offer.
- The new investment limit would be applicable to public issues of debt securities from May 1, 2022.
BSE partners with Tamil Nadu govt’s M-TIPB to promote listing of MSMEs
Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) has collaborated with Tamil Nadu government to promote awareness among micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) of the state about the benefits of listing.
- To facilitate this, BSE will partner with MSME Trade and Investment Promotion Bureau (M-TIPB). As part of the collaboration, BSE will provide the capacity building and soft support to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Tamil Nadu for fulfilling listing requirements.
- Further, the BSE will also provide all intellectual and manpower support to create awareness among SMEs across Tamil Nadu, about benefits of listing.
IPC bans athletes from Russia, Belarus to participate in Beijing Winter Paralympics
Russian and Belarusian athletes will not be able to compete at the Winter Paralympics in Beijing, the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) said, following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine for which Belarus has been a key staging area.
- Beijing 2022 Winter Paralympics is scheduled to take place from 4th to 13th March 2022 & it marks the 13th Winter Paralympic Games.
National shooter Arushi selected to represent India at Climate Force Antartika Expedition to be held in March 22
Aarushie Verma, a national level shooter in Pistol & trap shooting, a multi – time State& Northern India Champion & National medalist, and an active environmentalist,has been selected to represent India at the 2041 Climate Force Antarctica Expedition to be held in March 2022.
- 2041 Climate Force Antarctica Expedition is a global initiative to train and develop the next generation of sustainability champions and to help corporations with their sustainability solutions.
- This carbon negative’ expedition also aims to inspire, develop and train the next generation of leaders to promote a more sustainable future. This also includes the ‘Leadership on the edge’ program.
Lupin signs boxing champion Mary Kom as brand ambassador for Shakti campaign
Global pharma major Lupin Limited (Lupin), announced that it has signed on six-time world boxing champion, Mary Kom as the brand ambassador for its Shakti campaign.
- The campaign is aimed at increasing the awareness on heart diseases among women.
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Iran carries out military launch with Qased rocket and Noor-2 satellite
Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) has successfully put a second military satellite, the Noor 2, into orbit.
- Noor 2 is orbiting at an altitude of 500 kilometers (311 miles). The first military satellite, launched by the Islamic Republic in April 2020, placed the Noor, or “light” in Persian, at an orbit of 425km (265 miles) above the earth’s surface.
- The three-stage Qased, or “Messenger,” carrier launched the Noor 2, from the Shahroud space port, it added. The same type of rockets, which use a combination of liquid and solid fuels, carried the first military satellite.
Former Pakistani President Rafiq Tarar passes away
Former Pakistani President Muhammad Rafiq Tarar after protracted illness at a local hospital in the provincial metropolis. He was 92.
- Muhammad Rafiq Tarar was currently serving as Chairman Nazria Pakistan Trust.
- lawyer by profession, Muhammad Rafiq Tarar served as the 28th Chief Justice of the Lahore High Court (1989-91). He served as the Supreme Court judge from 1991-94. In politics, he served as a Senator, and was later elected President of Pakistan in 1998. He was forced to resign as President in 2001 by the military dictator Pervez Musharraf.