Latest Current Affairs Daily Update

05 Aug 2021 Current Affairs in English

International

IMF approves historic $650 bln allocations of Special Drawing Rights

The Board of Governors of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has approved a record general allocation of $650 billion in IMF Special Drawing Rights (SDR), to help boost global liquidity.

The $650 billion SDR allocation aims to support member countries, especially emerging and developing nations, battling the coronavirus pandemic and the economic downturn it has caused.

This allocation is the largest-ever distribution in the IMF’s 77-year history, in terms of monetary reserves assets. The allocation will become effective from August 23, 2021. The newly created SDRs will be credited to member countries in proportion to their existing quotas shareholding in the Fund.

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • IMF Headquarters: Washington, D.C. U.S;
  • IMF Managing Director and Chairman: Kristalina Georgieva;
  • IMF Chief Economist: Gita Gopinath.

Shehroze Kashif becomes world’s youngest mountaineer to scale K2

A 19-year old Pakistani climber Shehroze Kashif became the youngest person in the world to reach the summit of K2, the second-highest peak in the world.

Shehroze Kashif from Lahore achieved the feat of scaling the 8,611-metre high peak with the aid of bottled oxygen.

Before Kashif, Sajid Sadpara, the son of the legendary climber Muhammad Ali Sadpara, was the youngest person to have climbed K2 at the age of 20.

Kashif also scaled the world’s 12th-highest mountain, the 8,047-meter Broad Peak, at the age of 17. In May this year, he became the youngest Pakistani to scale Mount Everest.

Pakistan, Nepal, and China are home to the 14 highest peaks in the world, also known as the 8,000ers. Five 8,000-metre peaks, including K2 and Nanga Parbat, are in Pakistan.

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • Pakistan Capital: Islamabad;
  • Pakistan President: Arif Alvi;
  • Pakistan Prime minister: Imran Khan;
  • Pakistan Currency: Pakistani rupee.

Appointments

Mini Ipe appointed as LIC MD ahead of proposed IPO

Mini Ipe took charge as managing director of Life Insurance Corporation of India. Ipe is a post-graduate in commerce and joined LIC in 1986 as a direct recruit officer. She has a diverse experience in LIC having worked in various capacities.

LIC is India’s 2nd-largest financial services institution with a Rs 31 lakh crore balance sheet, next to the country’s largest bank, State Bank of India (SBI), with assets of Rs 39.51 lakh crore.

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • LIC Headquarters: Mumbai;
  • LIC Founded: 1 September 1956;
  • LIC Chairman: M R Kumar.

Banking

RBI Authorises IndusInd Bank to act as an ‘Agency Bank’

The IndusInd Bank has been impaneled by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to act as an ‘Agency Bank’. As an Agency Bank, IndusInd becomes eligible to carry out transactions related to all kinds of government-led businesses.

This decision is based on the RBI guideline that authorizes scheduled private sector banks as agency banks of the regulator for the conduct of government business.

IndusInd Bank now joins few other private banks of the country listed as Agency Bank of RBI, to carry out general banking business on behalf of the central and state government, apart from offering its customers the convenience of undertaking routine financial transactions through its banking platform.

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • The IndusInd Bank CEO: Sumant Kathpalia;
  • The IndusInd Bank Headquarters: Pune;
  • The IndusInd Bank Owner: Hinduja Group;
  • The IndusInd Bank Founder: S. P. Hinduja;
  • The IndusInd Bank Founded: April 1994, Mumbai.

Economy

GoI cuts Mudra loans target to Rs 3 trillion in FY22

The government has set the loans disbursement target under the PM Mudra Yojana (PMMY) at Rs 3 trillion for 2021-22 (FY22). This target is lower than the previous year. For FY21, the target was set at Rs 3.21 trillion. Experts attribute the lower target to increased allocation under the credit guarantee scheme for small businesses.

Under PMMY, credit up to Rs 10 lakh is provided by banks and non-banking financial companies for entrepreneurial activities to small business units, including for new enterprises in sectors such as manufacturing, trading, services, and activities allied to agriculture.

The central government allocates annual targets for sanctioning of loans under the scheme. In FY22, loans worth Rs 3,804 crore have been sanctioned by 13 public sector banks (PSBs) as of June 25.

Defense

Ordnance Factory launches new weapon ‘Trichy Carbine’

The Ordnance Factory Tiruchirappalli (OFT) in Tamil Nadu launched a new high-tech and low sound weapon called TriCa (Trichy Carbine), a mini version of the Trichy Assault Rifle (TAR). It was unveiled by General Manager of OFT Sanjay Dwivedi, IOFS (Indian Ordnance Factories Service) during a function.

The lighter and compact weapon, carbine TriCa is designed for the infantry combat vehicle, helicopter crew, and security personnel for operations that call for a compact and relatively powerful individual automatic weapon.

The weapon is also for paratroopers, police, and security personnel guarding highly secure facilities such as airports, and for use by the Special Operation Forces.

IAF inducts 2nd squadron of Rafale aircraft at West Bengal’s Hasimara

The Indian Air Force (IAF) has formally inducted the second squadron of Rafale jets at West Bengal’s Hasimara airbase in Eastern Air Command (EAC). The event included a fly-past heralding the arrival of Rafale to Hasimara, followed by a traditional water cannon salute.

Recalling the glorious history of 101 Squadron, which bestowed upon them the title of ‘Falcons of Chamb and Akhnoor’, Bhadauria urged the personnel to combine their zeal and commitment with the unmatched potential of the newly inducted platform.

The multi-role Rafale jets, built by French aerospace major Dassault Aviation, are known for air superiority and precision strikes.

European missile maker MBDA’s Meteor beyond visual range air-to-air missile and Scalp cruise missile will be the mainstay of the weapons package of the Rafale jets.

Ranks and Reports

7 Indian Companies Feature in Fortune Global 500 list for 2021

Seven Indian companies have found a place in 2021 Fortune’s Global 500 list. The Fortune Global 500 is an annual ranking of the top 500 enterprises globally, as measured by business revenues.

Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries Ltd is the highest-ranked Indian company on the list in terms of revenue, with revenues of nearly $63 billion. It is placed at 155th spot globally.

Globally, Walmart has topped the list in terms of revenue for the eighth consecutive year and the 16th time since 1995.

China has dominated this year’s list for the highest number of companies featuring in the list at 143, including those from Taiwan. This is followed by the U.S. with 122, and Japan with a total of 53, respectively.

Indian Companies in the list:

  • Reliance Industries (155)
  • State Bank of India (205)
  • Indian Oil (212)
  • Oil & Natural Gas (243)
  • Rajesh Exports (348)
  • Tata Motors (357)
  • Bharat Petroleum (394)

Mumbai, Bengaluru lose top-100 spots in QS Best Student Cities Ranking

Mumbai and Bengaluru are out of the global top-100 list and are currently ranking at 106 and 110, respectively in the latest edition of the QS Best Student Cities Ranking.

While Mumbai lost 29 places, Bengaluru fell by 21 places in the ninth edition of the rankings brought out by global higher education analysts QS Quacquarelli Symonds.

Globally, the results, which enable students to compare 115 premier educational destinations, see London retain its status as the world’s best student city for the third consecutive edition. It is followed by Munich, which rises from 4th to 2nd.

Seoul, which jumps from 10th to joint-3rd, shares the bronze-medal position with Olympic hosts Tokyo.

Awards

DBS clinches global accolade for innovation in digital banking

DBS has been honored as the global winner for Most Innovative in Digital Banking by Financial Times publication, The Banker, in its 2021 Innovation in Digital Banking Awards.

The bank was also recognized as the Asia-Pacific winner and won in the Cyber Security category for its Secure Access and Remote Working Solution.

The Banker’s Innovation in Digital Banking Awards recognizes the most innovative banks across the world for their digital banking initiatives, strategy, and overall commitment to digital transformation.

These awards, now in their second year, are the evolution of The Banker’s Technology Projects of the Year Awards. DBS is named Asia’s Best Bank & Asia’s Best Digital Bank in the Euromoney Regional Awards.

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • DBS Bank Headquarters: Singapore;
  • DBS Bank CEO: Piyush Gupta.

Science and Technology

ESA launched ‘Eutelsat Quantum’ revolutionary reprogrammable Satellite

European Space Agency (ESA) launched ‘Eutelsat Quantum’, the world’s 1st commercial reprogrammable satellite into space aboard Ariane 5 rocket from French Guiana. It is a fully flexible software-defined satellite.

The satellite has been developed under a European Space Agency partnership project with satellite operator Eutelsat, Airbus & Surrey Satellite Technology.

Eutelsat Quantum is a UK flagship project with most of the satellites developed and manufactured by British industry.

Airbus is the prime contractor and was responsible for building the satellite’s innovative payload, while Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd manufactured the new platform. The innovative phase array antenna was developed by Airbus in Spain.

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • European Space Agency is an intergovernmental organization of 22 member states;
  • European Space Agency was established in 1975 and headquartered in Paris.

Sports

Tokyo Olympics 2020: Boxer Lovlina Borgohain Claims Bronze Medal

Indian Boxer, Lovlina Borgohain has failed to reach the gold medal final match. She settles for a bronze medal. This is India’s third medal of the ongoing Tokyo Olympics. She lost to Busenaz Surmeneli of Turkey by unanimous decision in the women’s welterweight (69 kg) semifinal at Tokyo 2020.

Lovlina had already assured India of their first boxing medal at the ongoing Olympic Games when she upstaged former world champion, Nien-Chin Chen of Taiwan, to enter the semis.

Anurag Thakur Launches Paralympic Theme Song “Kar De Kamaal Tu”

Union Minister for Youth Affairs and Sports, Anurag Singh Thakur launched the theme song for the Indian Paralympic contingent in New Delhi. The song is titled “Kar De Kamaal Tu”.

The composer and singer of the song is Sanjeev Singh, a Divyang cricket player from Lucknow. 54 para-sportspersons across 9 sports disciplines are participating in Paralympic Games in Tokyo, beginning August 24, 2021.

Books and Authors

A book on Leopard titled ‘Leopard Diaries – the Rosette in India’ by Sanjay Gubbi

Wildlife Biologist, Sanjay Gubbi authored a book about Leopard titled ‘Leopard Diaries – the Rosette in India’, in which he says about the food habits, ecological context, and conservation of Leopard along with the suggestions to overcome leopard–human conflict.

The book also details Sanjay Gubbi’s practical engagement as a conflict manager, adviser to the State government, and leopard PR (Public Relations) person. The book was published by Westland.

Leopard is one of the five extant species in the genus Panthera, a member of the cat family, Felidae. As per the government’s report, Madhya Pradesh has the highest number of leopards, about 26 percent of the total number estimated in the country.

A new book titled “My Own Mazagon” by Captain Ramesh Babu

A new book titled “My Own Mazagon” has authored by Captain Ramesh Babu. The book published by Indus Source Books features the history and story of Mazagon, the island which was merged into a single entity as Bombay.

The Book will be jointly released by Vice Admiral R. Hari Kumar, Flag Officer Commanding in Chief, Western Naval Command, Vice Admiral Narayan Prasad, (Retd.), CMD Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited. 

The Book rediscovers the forgotten history of Mazagon and resurrects the identity of Maza Gaon, or ‘My own Village’. Captain Ramesh Babu retired from Mumbai after serving the Indian Navy at Mazagon Dock. Other books authored by Capt. Babu: “After You Sir: A Collection of School Stories” and “Calicut Heritage Trails”.

Miscellaneous

World’s largest star sapphire cluster found in a Sri Lankan backyard

World’s largest star sapphire cluster has been found in Ratnapura, Srilanka. The stone is pale blue in color. It was found by laborers while digging a well in a gem trader’s home.

Ratnapura is known as the gem capital of the country. The sapphire cluster weighs around 510kgs or 2.5 million carats. It has an estimated value of up to $100 million in the international market.

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • Sri Lanka Capitals: Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte; Currency: Sri Lankan rupee.
  • Sri Lanka Prime Minister: Mahinda Rajapaksa; Sri Lanka President: Gotabaya Rajapaksa.

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