Daily Current Affairs 9 October 2021 for Banking/Insurance/SSC and other related exams.
Health benefit package under Ayushman Bharat revised
In a first of its kind move, Ayushman Bharat, the health insurance scheme, will now offer a healthcare cover to transgender people and support sex-change operations. The addition is part of the National Health Authority’s (NHA) revised Health Benefits Package, or HBP 2.2.The HBP 2.2 is expected to be rolled out from November, 2021.
- Under the revised HBP 2.2, rates of health packages have been increased by 20 per cent to 400 per cent. Rates have been revised for radiation oncology procedures, management procedures for dengue, acute febrile illness, black fungus, heart catheterisation, PDA closure, arthrodesis, cholecystectomy, and appendectomy. Rates for ICU with ventilator are revised by 100 per cent, ICU without ventilator by 136 per cent, HDU by 22 per cent while prices for routine ward changed by 17 per cent.
- Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PM-JAY) gives a medical cover of Rs 5 lakh per family per year for free treatment at all public and empanelled private hospitals for 53 crore beneficiaries. This benefit will now be extended to transgender people under the government’s new scheme, Support for Marginalised Individuals for Livelihood and Enterprise (SMILE). The health cover will include medical support and medical intervention for transgender persons.
Textiles Min inks MoU with Germany’s GIZ to boost cooperation in sustainable cotton
The textiles ministry said it has signed a pact with Germany”s GIZ to increase the value addition from sustainable cotton production in India by focusing on sustainable cotton and strengthening downstream processing.
- The objective of the project is to increase the value addition from sustainable cotton production in India by focusing on sustainable cotton, and strengthening downstream processing”.
- It is focussing on 4 majorly cotton-producing states – Maharashtra, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.
India, UK begin two-week military exercise in Uttarakhand
India and the UK kickstarted a two-week military exercise at Chaubatia in Uttarakhand to further strengthen bilateral defence cooperation between the two countries, the Indian Army said.
- The 6th edition of the ‘Ajeya Warrior’ exercise is part of an initiative to develop interoperability and sharing of expertise. The exercise will culminate on October 20.
- Both armies would familiarise with each other’s weapons, equipment, tactics and procedures for carrying out joint military operations.
Danish PM Mette Frederiksen arrives in India for 3-day visit
Prime Minister of Denmark Mette Frederiksen arrived in New Delhi on a three-day visit to India.
- Ms Frederiksen hold bilateral talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. She is also scheduled to call on President Ram Nath Kovind at Rashtrapati Bhavan.
- The visit by the Danish Prime Minister will give both sides an opportunity to discuss the entire gamut of bilateral relations and review the progress in implementation of the Green Strategic Partnership. Both sides will also discuss regional and multilateral issues of mutual interest.
Indian Passport slips by 6 places to 90th in the world’s ranking
India’s rank has slipped by six places from last year to 90 on the Henley Passport Index, which lists the world’s most travel-friendly passports.The rankings are based on the survey of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) data.
- Now, Indian passport holders are allowed to travel visa-free to 58 countries. India shares this rank with countries like Tajikistan and Burkina Faso.
- Japan and Singapore ranked on top of the list with their passport holders allowed to travel visa-free to 192 nations, while Germany and South Korea share the second spot. Japan has been ranked on top of the index for the third year consecutively. Meanwhile, Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Pakistan, Yemen are among the least powerful passports.
5 billion people could face water shortage by 2050: UN
More than five billion people globally are expected to face a shortage of water by 2050, a United Nations (UN) agency report has warned.
- The World Meteorological Organization (WMO), said that climate change increases the global risk of water-related hazards like floods and droughts, and the number of people affected by water scarcity is also expected to soar.
- According to figures cited in the report, 3.6 billion people had inadequate access to water at least one month per year in 2018. By 2050, this is expected to rise to more than five billion,” the report titled “The State of Climate Services 2021: Water” said.
- It further highlighted the need for urgent action to improve cooperative water management, embrace integrated water and climate policies and scale up investment in this precious commodity which underpins all the international goals on sustainable development, climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction.
BANKING & FINANCE
Nabard sanctions Rs 303 Crore for construction of 24 bridges in Odisha
The National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (Nabard) said it has sanctioned an assistance of Rs 303 crore to the Odisha government for the construction of 24 bridges in the state.
- The rural infrastructure projects will improve connectivity for 24.13 lakh people in 823 villages across 13 districts.
Federal Bank partners CredAvenue for securitisation platform
Private sector lender Federal Bank said it has tied up with CredAvenue for portfolio management of its securitisation book and implemented CredPool, an institutional debt platform of CredAvenue.
- This arrangement, will help the bank digitally monitor its asset-backed securities (ABS) and mortgage-backed securities (MBS) pool assets more efficiently through the technology platform.
- The partnership entails CredAvenue providing post-transaction fulfilment services and portfolio management for their direct assignment portfolio.
Visa launches India’s first card-on-file tokenization service
Visa has launched card-on-file (CoF) tokenization services in India, in line with the recently issued Reserve Bank of India (RBI) guidelines.
- Launched in partnership with mobile-based payments firm, Juspay, the CoF tokenization service will be available across ecommerce companies such as Grofers, Bigbasket, and MakeMyTrip.
- As per Visa, the devaluation of sensitive card details alleviates risk and reduces vulnerability of sensitive data, as only tokens are present in transit, across the ‘in-rest’ and ‘in-use’ phases.
BUSINESS & ECONOMY
World Bank retains India’s GDP forecast at 8.3% for current fiscal
Buoyed by an increase in public investment and incentives to boost manufacturing, India’s economy is expected to grow by 8.3 per cent in the fiscal year 2021-22, less than the previous projection early this year before the country was hit by the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, the World Bank has said in its latest report.
- India’s economy, South Asia’s largest, is expected to grow by 8.3 per cent in the fiscal year 2021-22, aided by an increase in public investment and incentives to boost manufacturing,” the Wold Bank said in its update on South Asia, titled ‘Shifting Gears: Digitization and Services-led Development.’
- For the next fiscal (FY 2022-23), the projection is 7.5 per cent, while for FY 2023-24, it is 6.5 per cent.
Fitch cuts India’s FY22 GDP growth forecast to 8.7%
Fitch Ratings slashed its FY22 growth forecast for India from 10% to 8.7%, citing the severe second COVID-19 wave, which it said would ‘delay rather than derail’ economic recovery.
- Accordingly, it raised the growth forecast for FY23 to 10% from 8.5% estimated earlier.
- The ratings agency has also retained the negative outlook on India’s sovereign rating BBB-, citing greater uncertainty over the country’s debt levels due to a sharp deterioration in public finances triggered by the pandemic shock.
ACQUISITIONS & MERGETS
Tata Group wins bid for acquiring national carrier Air India
After 68 years, Air India is all set to return to the Tata fold. Tata Sons subsidiary Talace Pvt Ltd emerged as the winning bidder for the debt-laden national carrier after quoting an enterprise value of ₹18,000 crore. The government will take a hit of ₹28,844 crore.
- The Tatas will own 100% stake in Air India, as also 100% in its international low-cost arm Air India Express and 50% in the ground handling joint venture, Air India SATS. Apart from 141 planes and access to a network of 173 destinations including 55 international ones, Tatas will also have the ownership of iconic brands like Air India, Indian Airlines and the Maharajah.
R. Sheikh assumes charge as first Director General of the Ordnance Directorate
Senior official ER Sheikh assumed charge as the first director general of the Ordnance Directorate, the newly-created entity to replace the Ordnance Factory Board (OFB).
- An Indian Ordnance Factory Service (IOFS) officer of the 1984 batch, Sheikh served in various ordnance factories and is credited for setting up a modern production line for the manufacture of small arms and ammunition at Varangaon.
Journalists Maria Ressa, Dmitry Muratov win Nobel Peace Prize
The Nobel Peace Prize awarded to journalists Maria Ressa of Philippines and Dmitry Muratov of Russia for their fight for freedom of expression in their countries.
- The pair were honoured for their efforts to safeguard freedom of expression, which is a precondition for democracy and lasting peace, said the chairwoman of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, Berit Reiss-Andersen.
- 58 years old Ressa and 59 years old Rappler have also documented how social media is being used to spread fake news, harass opponents.
USIBC to present Global Leadership Humanitarian Awards to CEOs of Microsoft, IBM and Accenture
The US-India Business Council (USIBC) has presented the 2021 Global Leadership Humanitarian Awards to top leaders of Accenture, IBM and Microsoft, for forming the Global Task Force on Pandemic Response (GTF) that helped India fight a brutal second wave of covid-19 infections earlier this year.
- Julie Sweet, CEO and chair, Accenture; Arvind Krishna, chairman and CEO, IBM; and Brad Smith, president and vice-chair, Microsoft, would be presented the prestigious award during the India Ideas Summit.
KVG Bank bags two PFRDA awards
Karnataka Vikas Grameena Bank (KVGB), sponsored by Canara Bank, has bagged two national awards (‘APY Big Believers’ and ‘Leadership capital’) for significant enrolment under the Atal Pension Yojana (APY) from the Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA).
- So far, the bank has enrolled (cumulative) 2,30,432 accounts under APY. During 2020-2021, the bank has enrolled 68,961 accounts against the target of 38,160.
- The bank with jurisdiction over nine district has a business turnover of ₹28,410 crore with a clientele base of nearly 90 lakh.
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
HAL Delivers ‘Heaviest’ Ever Semi-Cryogenic Propellant Tank to ISRO
State-run aerospace behemoth Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) said the “heaviest” Semi-Cryogenic propellant tank (SC120- LOX) ever fabricated by it has been delivered to Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).
- The semi cryo-liquid oxygen (LOX) tank the first developmental welded hardware is a part of the SC120 stage, intended for payload enhancement by replacing the L110 stage in the existing Mk-III launch vehicle.
- HAL said, till date, its Aerospace Division has delivered 244 propellant tanks and 95 water tanks to ISRO for the space programmes of PSLV, GSLV Mk-II and GSLV Mk-III of diameter 2.1, 2.8 and 4 meters where the length of the tank varies from 2.5 metres to 8.0 metres.
Chhattisgarh gets new Tiger Reserve
The National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) approved the Chhattisgarh government’s proposal to declare the combined areas of the Guru Ghasidas National Park and Tamor Pingla Wildlife Sanctuary as a Tiger Reserve.
- The new Reserve is located in the northern part of the state, bordering Madhya Pradesh and Jharkhand. This will be the fourth Tiger Reserve in Chhattisgarh, after the Udanti-Sitanadi, Achanakmar, and Indravati Reserves.