Latest Current Affairs Daily Update

14th and 15th May 2021 Current Affairs in English


Delhi Police launched vehicle helpline ‘COVI Van’ for senior citizens

Delhi Police has launched a helpline number for senior citizens who are struggling with their essential needs amid Covid-19.

South District Police of the national capital has launched a COVI Van Helpline (012- 26241077) for senior citizens in the neighbourhood amid the coronavirus situation here.

The information of commencement of COVI Van has been disseminated in the Greater Kailash -1 area through beat officers and Residents Welfare Association (RWA).

All the precautions including – sanitisation, gloves, masks and social distancing – will be taken while and after every visit.

After receiving any call from COVI Van, deployed police official on COVI Van with a beat officer will go to the house of senior citizens and help them in getting their needs, including any essential item, vaccination and medicines.

Useful notes for all competitive exams: 

  • Chief Minister of Delhi: Arvind Kejriwal; Lieutenant Governor of Delhi: Anil Baijal.


Hostilities between Israel and Hamas escalated after the air strikes

The Israeli military has bombarded rockets in different areas in Gaza. It is the most intense airstrikes in Gaza since 2014. Hamas had red hundreds of rockets towards Israel on Monday. After that, Israel has carried out hundreds of airstrikes in Gaza.

The Gaza-based Palestinian group, Hamas, had red rockets towards Israel in protest of the clash between Israeli police and Palestinian protesters in the Al-Aqsa Mosque. Al-Aqsa Mosque is located in Jerusalem. It is the third holiest place for Muslims.

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • Israel Capital is Jerusalem and the currency is the Israeli shekel.
  • Benjamin Netanyahu is the Prime Minister of Israel.


PESB appoints Arun Kumar Singh as next CMD of BPCL

The Public Enterprises Selection Board (PESB), the government’s head-hunter, has picked Arun Kumar Singh as the chairman and managing director of state-run oil refining and marketing firm Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL).

Arun Kumar Singh is currently director, marketing at BPCL and holding additional charge of Director, Refineries. His selection will have to be ratified by the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet led by prime minister Narendra Modi.

Useful notes for all competitive exams: 

  • Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd Headquarters: Mumbai;
  • Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd Founded: 1952.

Manisha Kapoor joins the executive committee of ICAS

Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) announced that its general secretary Manisha Kapoor has been appointed to the executive committee of the International Council for Advertising Self-Regulation (ICAS).

Until April, ASCI served on the executive committee as a member for a two-year term.

Now, Kapoor will play a leadership role on the committee till 2023. She will be one of the four global vice-presidents on the executive committee.

Useful notes for all competitive exams: 

  • President of ICAS: Guy Parker;
  • ICAS Headquarters: Brussels Capital, Belgium;
  • Advertising Standards Council of India Founded: 1985;
  • Advertising Standards Council of India Headquarters: Mumbai.

Martin Griffiths appointed new UN Humanitarian Chief

Veteran British diplomat Martin Griffiths has been appointed as the new Chief at the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), for a period of five years.

Griffiths will replace Mark Lowcock as the new Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator (USG/ERC) of OCHA. He is currently serving as the United Nations Special Envoy for Yemen.

The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) aims to strengthen the international response to complex emergencies and natural disasters. The headquarters of OCHA is based in two locations which are New York and Geneva.

Useful notes for all competitive exams: 

  • OCHA Founded: 19 December 1991;
  • OCHA Headquarters: New York, United States and İstanbul, Turkey.


HDFC Bank projects India’s GDP growth for FY22 at 10%

HDFC Bank has cut India’s growth projection to 10 per cent from 11.5 per cent for the current financial year, citing the adverse effect of the second Covid-19 wave.

In a worst-case scenario of COVID-19, the bank has predicted the GDP rate to be at 8%.

Useful notes for all competitive exams: 

  • Headquarters of HDFC Bank: Mumbai, Maharashtra;
  • MD and CEO of HDFC Bank: Sashidhar Jagdishan;
  • The tagline of HDFC Bank: We understand your world.

Care Ratings Projects India’s GDP Forecast to 9.2% for FY22

The domestic rating agency, Care Ratings, has revised the GDP growth forecast of India for the current fiscal year 2021-2022 (FY22) to 9.2 per cent. This is lower than 10.2 per cent estimated earlier in April 2021.

Useful notes for all competitive exams: 

  • CARE Ratings Founded: 1993.
  • CARE Ratings: Mumbai, Maharashtra.
  • CARE Ratings Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer: Ajay Mahajan.

Retail inflation eases to 4.29% in April

The country’s retail inflation, measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI), eased to 4.29 per cent in the month of April.

Separately, India’s factory output, measured in terms of the Index of Industrial Production (IIP), witnessed a growth of 22.4 per cent in March, two separate data released by the Ministry of Statistics & Programme Implementation (MoSPI). The retail inflation during the month of March was at 5.52 per cent.


Google Pay users in US can now transfer money to India, Singapore

Alphabet Inc’s Google has launched international money transfer partnerships with remittances firms Wise and Western Union Co for users of its U.S. payments app.

Google Pay users in the United States can now transfer money to app customers in India and Singapore, with plans to expand to the 80 countries available via Wise, and 200 via Western Union by the end of the year.

The company has partnered with Western Union and Wise, both of which have integrated their services into Google Play.

When Google Pay users in the U.S. attempt to send money to someone in India or Singapore, they will be informed about the exact amount that the recipient will receive.

From within the Google Pay app, users also get to choose which payments provider Wise or Western Union, they wish to use and how long it would take for the recipient to receive the money.

Useful notes for all competitive exams: 

  • Google CEO: Sundar Pichai.
  • Google Founded: 4 September 1998, California, United States.
  • Google Founders: Larry Page, Sergey Brin.

RBI grants PPI authorisation to Eroute Technologies

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has granted authorisation to Eroute Technologies to operate as a prepaid payment instruments (PPI) company.

The RBI issued authorisation to Eroute Technologies Pvt Ltd with perpetual validity to commence issuance and operations of semi-closed pre-paid instruments in the country.

The company aims to serve the underserved segments that comprise almost 680 million people, by creating user-friendly payment solutions addressing the specific needs of various consumer segments of our society.

PPIs are instruments that facilitate the purchase of goods and services, including financial services, remittances, and funds transfers, against the value stored in such instruments.

Useful notes for all competitive exams: 

  • Eroute Technologies MD & CEO: Sanjeev Pandey;
  • Eroute Technologies Headquarters: Noida, Uttar Pradesh.

Summits and Conferences

India Chairs 1st BRICS Employment Working Group (EWG) Meeting Virtuall

The first BRICS Employment Working Group (EWG) Meeting was held in 2021 in virtual format. The meeting was held under the chairmanship of India, which has assumed the BRICS Presidency in 2021.

The meeting was chaired by Shri Apurva Chandra, Secretary, Labour and Employment.

The main issues discussed during the meeting were: Promoting Social Security Agreements amongst BRICS Nations, Formalization of labour markets, Participation of women in the labour force and Gig and platform workers – Role in the labour market.

Apart from the BRICS nation, the representatives of the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the International Social Security Agency (ISSA) also attended the meeting.

Useful notes for all competitive exams: 

  • Representatives of BRICS member nations include Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.

4th India-Swiss Financial Dialogue held virtually

The fourth India-Swiss Financial Dialogue was held here virtually through video conferencing. Ajay Seth, Secretary Economic Affairs led the Indian delegation.

The delegation from the Swiss side was led by Daniela Stoffel, State Secretary, and State Secretariat for International Finance, Switzerland.

The dialogue, inter-alia, covered sharing of experiences by both countries for collaboration on various aspects including investments, International Financial Services Centre Authority (IFSCA), National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF), FinTech, sustainable finance and cross border financial services.

Further, matters relating to G20, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and tax challenges arising from the digitalization of the economy were discussed along with infrastructure financing, read the release.

Useful notes for all competitive exams: 

  • Switzerland Currency: Swiss franc;
  • Switzerland Capital: Bern;
  • President of Switzerland: Guy Parmelin.

Agreements News

Geojit sign an ink pact with PNB to offer three-in-one account

Geojit Financial Services has entered into an agreement with Punjab National Bank to provide a three-in-one account to the latter’s customers.

The new service gives customers who have a savings account with PNB, a PNB Demat account and a Geojit trading account. Saving and Demat accounts can be opened online in PNB with a hassle-free approach.

The 3-in-1 account makes it easier for PNB customers to transfer funds in real-time via the payment gateway facility from their savings accounts to meet their investment needs.

The trading account, which can be opened online in 15 minutes, provides a seamless interface to invest online in the avenues offered by Geojit.

PNB clients can now open a Geojit Trading account online and start investing online in equity as well as Geojit’s Smartfolios product. This will help clients diversify their investments and manage them all through one account.

Useful notes for all competitive exams: 

  • Punjab National Bank Headquarters: New Delhi.
  • Punjab National Bank MD and CEO: S. S. Mallikarjuna Rao.
  • Punjab National Bank Founded: 19 May 1894, Lahore, Pakistan.

Ranks and Reports

World Bank report: India was the largest recipient of remittances in 2020

India was the largest recipient of remittances in 2020, as per the report, “Migration and Development Brief “ released by the World Bank. India has been the largest recipient of remittances since 2008.

However, the remittance received by India in 2020 was over USD 83 billion, which is a drop of 0.2 per cent from 2019 (USD 83.3 billion). Globally, the remittance flow was USD 540 billion in 2020, which is 1.9% lower as compared to that of 2019, when it was USD 548 billion. 

The top five remittance recipient countries in 2020, in current US dollar terms, were India, China, Mexico, the Philippines, and Egypt.

The top five recipients in 2020, as a share of gross domestic product (GDP), were, by contrast, smaller economies: Tonga, Lebanon, Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, and El Salvador.

Useful notes for all competitive exams: 

  • World Bank Headquarters: Washington, D.C., United States.
  • World Bank Formation: July 1944.
  • World Bank President: David Malpass.

Awards News

Shakuntala Hark Singh of Indian origin receives World Food Award 2021

Indian-origin global nutritionist, Dr Shakuntala Hark Singh Thilstad has received the “World Food Award” of the year 2021.

She developed a holistic and nutritionally sensitive approach to seafood and food systems and has received an award for his research.

The award is also known as the Nobel Prize for Food and Agriculture. Every year, the committee selects a person who will be awarded the $ 250,000 title and prize money.

The World Food Award stated on its website that research conducted by Dr Shakuntala on the small fish species of Bangladesh will prove helpful in developing a nutritionally sensitive approach to the seafood system at all levels.

With this help, millions of poor people living in Asia and Africa will get a very nutritious diet.

Useful notes for all competitive exams: 

  • World Food Programme Headquarters: Rome, Italy;
  • World Food Programme Founded: 1961.


Manchester City crowned 2020-21 Premier League champions

Manchester City has crowned Premier League champions for the third time in four seasons after Manchester United crashed to a 2-1 defeat against Leicester.

United started the century dominating English football, now City is the force with five titles in 10 seasons and the biggest spenders on transfers and salaries.

City has now won three Premier League titles and eight major trophies under Guardiola, who last year signed a new two-year contract to remain at the club until 2023.


Freedom fighter Anup Bhattacharya passes away

Freedom fighter and Swadhin Bangla Betar Kendra musician, Anup Bhattacharya passed away. During the liberation war of Bangladesh, he worked as the composer and music director at Swadhin Bangla Betar Kendra. He is also a founder member of the Rabindra Sangeet Shilpi Sangstha.

His ever-present liberation songs including “Teer Hara Ei Dheu-er Sagor,” “Rokto Diye Naam Likhhechhi,” “Purbo Digonte Surjo Utheche,” and “Nongor Tolo Tolo” inspired the liberation war fighters during 1971. Swadhin Bangla Betar Kendra was the medium for radio broadcasting in 1971.

Sahitya Akademi Award-Winning Journalist Homen Borgohain passes away

Noted Assamese litterateur and journalist, Homen Borgohain has passed away. He was associated with several newspapers and was most recently working as the editor in chief of Assamese daily Niyomiya Barta until his death.

He was also the President of Assam Sahitya Sabha. He was awarded Sahitya Akademi Award in 1978 for the Assamese language for his novel ‘Pita Putra’. He has written several novels, short stories and poetry.

Arjuna-winning veteran paddler Chandrasekar passes away

Three-time National table tennis champion and former International paddler V. Chandrasekar passed away due to COVID-related complications. He was the current president of Tamizhaga Table Tennis Association (TTTA).

The 63-year-old Chandrasekar, a 1982 Arjuna Award winner. Chandra’s autobiography with Seetha Srikanth, My fightback from Death’s Door published in 2006.


Harley-Davidson launches all-electric motorcycle brand ‘LiveWire’

Harley-Davidson Inc. has launched an all-electric motorcycle brand “LiveWire,” the latest effort by the company to ramp up bets on the rapidly growing electric vehicle market.

The company would create a separate electric vehicle-focused division, as it aims to attract thext generation of younger and more environmentally conscious riders.

Named after Harley’s first electric motorbike, which was unveiled in 2019, the “LiveWire” division is slated to launch its first branded motorcycle in July.

Useful notes for all competitive exams: 

  • Harley-Davidson Inc. CEO: Jochen Zeitz (Mar 2020–);
  • Harley-Davidson Inc.  Founded: 1903.

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