Latest Current Affairs Daily Update

27th and 28th Aug 2021 Current Affairs in English

Important Days

International Dog Day 2021

International Dog Day is observed every year on August 26 to raise awareness about dog adoption and the importance of providing rescue dogs with a safe and loving environment.

The day was started as National Dog Day in the US in 2004 by pet & family lifestyle experts, animal rescue advocates, conservationists, and dog trainers Colleen Paige.

August 26 was chosen as on this day, Paige’s family had adopted their first dog “Sheltie” from an animal shelter when she was just 10 years old.

National

Ohmium launches India’s first green hydrogen electrolyzer factory

US-based Ohmium International has started India’s first green hydrogen electrolyzer manufacturing unit at Bengaluru, Karnataka. The factory will manufacture India-made Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) hydrogen electrolyzers. Green hydrogen is made from non-fossil sources as against blue hydrogen that is made from fossil sources.

Making green hydrogen in India will give a cost advantage for manufacturers rather than going for imports. The factory will manufacture India-made Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) hydrogen electrolyzers with an initial manufacturing capacity of about 500 MW per year and will scale it up to 2 GW per year.

The PEM hydrogen electrolyzer is the main equipment for the production of green hydrogen as it uses power generated from renewable resources to break water into hydrogen and oxygen.

Govt replaces Unmanned Aircraft Systems Rules 2021

Ministry of Civil Aviation has repealed the Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Rules, 2021, and replace the same with the liberalized Drone Rules, 2021.

The step has been taken as the earlier UAS Rules 2021 was perceived by academia, Startups, end-users, and other stakeholders as being restrictive in nature as they involved considerable paperwork required permissions for every drone flight, and very few “free to fly” green zones were available.

Drone promotion council to be set up by Government with participation from academia, startups, and other stakeholders to facilitate a growth-oriented regulatory regime.

Interactive airspace maps with green, yellow, and red zones shall be displayed on the digital sky platform within 30 days of the publication of these rules.

The yellow zone was reduced from 45 km to 12 km from the airport perimeter.

The maximum penalty for violations is reduced to INR 1 lakh. 

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • Union Minister of Civil Aviation: Jyotiraditya M. Scindia.

International

UAE announces the world’s tallest observation wheel ‘Ain Dubai’

The world’s largest and tallest observation wheel is set to be unveiled in Dubai, UAE on October 21, 2021. The observation wheel called ‘Ain Dubai’, is 250 m (820 ft) in height, located at Bluewaters Island.

The record-breaking wheel is 42.5 m (139 ft) taller than the current world’s tallest observation wheel, High Roller, in Las Vegas, measuring 167.6 m (550 ft).

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • UAE Capital: Abu Dhabi;
  • UAE Currency: United Arab Emirates dirham;
  • UAE President: Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

Dubai sets up specialized courts to combat money laundering

Dubai Courts announced the establishment of a specialized court, focused on combating money laundering, within the Court of First Instance and Court of Appeal.

This court ties into a string of initiatives aimed at reducing financial crimes and follows the recent establishment of the Executive Office of the Anti-Money Laundering & Countering the Financing of Terrorism.

This move will enable our stakeholders to raise their efficiency in effectively implementing the National AML/CFT Strategy and National Action Plan and achieving its goals through an empowered and sustainable system.

Appointments

RBI approves re-appointment of Sandeep Bakhshi as ICICI Bank MD & CEO

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has approved the re-appointment of Sandeep Bakhshi as the MD & CEO of ICICI Bank. This will be with effect from October 15, 2021, till October 3, 2023.

The shareholders at the Annual General Meeting held on August 9, 2019, had already approved the appointment of Mr. Bakhshi for a period effective from October 15, 2018, up to October 3, 2023.

Bakshi, who was hand-picked by his mentors- KV Kamath and N Vaghul, took over the charge in October 2018, after his predecessor Chanda Kochhar’s exit following the ICICI Bank-Videocon loan controversy.

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • ICICI Bank Headquarters: Mumbai, Maharashtra;
  • ICICI Bank Tagline: Hum Hai Na, Khayal Apka.

Carol Furtado appoints as interim CEO of Ujjivan Small Finance Bank

Ujjivan Small Finance Bank has named Carol Furtado as the interim CEO of the bank after the whole time CEO Nitin Chugh resigned recently. She has also been appointed as the officer on special duty (OSD) of the bank.

Furtado is currently serving as the CEO of Ujjivan Financial Services, the holding company of the bank. The appointment is subject to the approval of the Reserve Bank of India.

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • Ujjivan Small Finance Bank Headquarters: Bengaluru;
  • Ujjivan Small Finance Bank Founder: Samit Ghosh;
  • Ujjivan Small Finance Bank Founded: 28 December 2004.

RBI approves appointment of Hitendra Dave as CEO of HSBC India

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has approved the appointment of Hitendra Dave as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of HSBC Bank (India).

RBI has accorded the approval for a period of three years with effect from August 24, 2021. In June 2021, HSBC had announced the appointment of Hitendra Dave as the Chief Executive Officer of HSBC India.

Dave succeeds Surendra Rosha who, after three years, is moving to Hong Kong as the Co-Chief Executive of HSBC, Asia-Pacific. Hitendra Dave, formerly Head of Global Banking & Markets of HSBC India.

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • HSBC Bank India Headquarters: Mumbai;
  • HSBC Bank India Founded: 1853.

Defense

India Pavilion inaugurated at ‘ARMY-2021’

The International Military and Technical Forum ‘ARMY 2021’ has been organized in Moscow, Russia from August 22 to 28, 2021, at Patriot Expo, Kubinka Air Base, and Alabino military training grounds.

The ARMY 2021 is the 7th edition of the annual International Military-Technical Forum. The forum is being organized by the Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation since 2015.

The International Military and Technical Forum ‘ARMY’ is the world’s leading exhibition of armament and military equipment and the authoritative platform for discussing innovative ideas and developments for the armed forces by various foreign exhibitors, delegations, and visitors.

5th India-Kazakhstan Joint Training Exercise “KAZIND-21”

The 5th edition of Indo- Kazakhstan Joint Training Exercise, “KAZIND-21” will be held from August 30 to September 11, 2021, at Training Node, Aisha Bibi, Kazakhstan. The joint training exercise will boost the bilateral relations between India and Kazakhstan Armies.

The Exercise is also a platform for the Armed Forces of India & Kazakhstan to train for Counter Insurgency/ Counter-Terrorism operations in the mountainous, rural scenarios under UN mandate.

The Indian Army contingent represented by a battalion of the Bihar Regiment consists of a total of 90 personnel led by a Contingent Commander. The Kazakhstan Army will be represented by a company group.

The scope of Joint Exercise includes professional exchange, planning & execution of the operation in counterterrorism environment at sub-unit level and sharing expertise on skills at arms, combat shooting and experiences in Counter Insurgency/ Counter-Terrorism operations.

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • Kazakhstan PM: Askar Mamin, Capital: Nur-Sultan, Currency: Kazakhstani Tenge.

Business

BharatPe launches P2P lending app ‘12% Club’

BharatPe has launched a “12% Club” app that will allow consumers to invest and earn up to 12 per cent annual interest or borrow at a similar rate. BharatPe has partnered with LenDenClub (RBI-approved NBFC) for this app and lending arrangement.

Consumers can invest their savings anytime by choosing to lend money on the “12% Club” app. Apart from this, consumers can avail of collateral-free loans of up to Rs 10 lakh on the 12 per cent Club app for a tenure of 3 months. 

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • Chief Executive Officer of BharatPe: Ashneer Grover;
  • Headoffice of BharatPe: New Delhi;
  • BharatPe Founded: 2018.

Schemes and Committees

Ministry of Electronics & IT launches SAMRIDH program

Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology has launched the “Start-up Accelerators of MeitY for Product Innovation, Development and growth (SAMRIDH)” program.

The program was launched by Shri Ashwini Vaishnav, Union Minister MeitY. The objective of the SAMRIDH program is to create a conducive platform for Indian Software Product start-ups to enhance their products and securing investments for scaling their business.

The program is being implemented by MeitY Start-up Hub (MSH). It will focus on accelerating the 300 start-ups by providing customer connect, investor, connect, and international immersion in the next three years. Investment of up to Rs. 40 lakh will be provided to the start-up through selected accelerators.

Ministry of Jal Shakti launches ‘SUJALAM’ Campaign

Ministry of Jal Shakti has launched a ‘100 days campaign’ named SUJALAM to create more and more Open Defecation Free (ODF) Plus villages by undertaking wastewater management at the village level.

The Campaign would help in the management of the wastewater and in turn, would help to revive the water bodies through the creation of 1 million Soak-pits and also other Greywater management activities. The campaign started on August 25, 2021, is part of the ‘Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav’ celebrations.

The three focus areas of the SUJALAM campaign are:

  • Construction of 1 million soak pits;
  • Retrofitting of toilets and
  • Access to toilets for new households.

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • Minister of Jal Shakti: Gajendra Singh Shekhawat.

Summits and Conferences

Ajit Doval chairs 11th BRICS NSA Virtual Meeting

The 11th Meeting of the BRICS High Representatives Responsible for National Security was held, via video conferencing. The National Security Advisor of India Ajit Doval hosted the meeting since India is the chair for the 2021 BRICS summit.

The 15th BRICS Summit is scheduled to be held in September 2021. The BRICS meeting of the NSA provided a platform for the five countries to strengthen political-security cooperation.

The BRICS NSA meeting adopted and recommended the BRICS counter-terrorism action plan for consideration by the BRICS Summit.

NSA Ajit Doval and other top security officials of the BRICS discussed the Afghanistan scenario, and developments in Iran, West Asia, and the Gulf region.

The Action Plan aims to further strengthen existing mechanisms of cooperation in areas such as financing and combating terrorism, misuse of the internet by terrorists, curbing the travel of terrorists, border controls, protection of soft targets, information sharing, capacity building, and regional and international cooperation.

Agreements

India & Maldives ink pact on mega Greater Male Connectivity Project

The Government of India and Maldives inked the contract for the mega Greater Male Connectivity project (GMCP). The Greater Male Connectivity project (GMCP) is the largest-ever civilian infrastructure project in the Maldives.

The Government of India is funding the implementation of GMCP through a USD 400 million Line of Credit (LoC) and USD 100 million grant. The USD 400 million LoC will be provided by the Export-Import Bank of India (Exim Bank).

The project will be developed by Indian construction and engineering firm, AFCONS, based in Mumbai, Maharashtra.

The Greater Male Connectivity Project (GMCP) comprises of 6.74 km long bridge and causeway link that will connect the national capital Male with three neighboring islands namely: Villingili, Gulhifahu, and Thilafushi.

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • President of the Maldives: Ibrahim Mohamed Solih;
  • Capital of Maldives: Male; Currency of the Maldives: Maldivian Rufiyaa.

NITI Aayog and Cisco launch “WEP Nxt” Women Entrepreneurship Platform

NITI Aayog in partnership with Cisco has launched the next phase of the Women Entrepreneurship Platform (WEP) titled “WEP Nxt” to foster women entrepreneurship in India.

WEP, which was launched by NITI Aayog in 2017, is a first-of-its-kind, unified portal that brings together women from diverse backgrounds and offers them access to a multitude of resources, support, and learning.

WEPNxt Platform is the next phase of this WEP and will be driven by evidence-based decision-making based on a focused study of Indian women entrepreneurs and their most urgent needs across six key verticals – community and networking, skilling and mentorship, incubation and acceleration programs, and financial, compliance, and marketing assistance.

Banking

RBI extends card payment tokenization facility to laptops, wearable devices

In 2019, RBI had permitted authorized card payment networks to offer card tokenization services to any token requestor (i.e., third-party app provider) through mobile phones and tablets.

Now RBI has extended the scope of tokenization to include consumer devices – laptops, desktops, wearables (wristwatches, bands, etc.), Internet of Things (IoT) devices, etc.

The permission for tokenization extends to various channels [e.g., Near Field Communication (NFC) / Magnetic Secure Transmission (MST) based contactless transactions, in-app payments, QR code-based payments, etc.] or token storage mechanisms (cloud, secure element, trusted execution environment, etc.

The ultimate responsibility for the card tokenization services rendered rests with the authorized card networks.

Tokenisation refers to the replacement of actual card details with a unique alternate code called the “token”, which shall be unique for a combination of card, token requestor, and device (referred hereafter as “identified device”).

Government approves increase of Bank Employees Family Pension to 30%

Central Government has approved the Indian Banks’ Association’s (IBA) proposal to increase the family pension to 30% of the last salary drawn.

The immediate benefit of this approval will be an increase of 30,000 to 35,000 in the family pension of public sector bank employees from a maximum of 9,284 per month, depending on the last drawn salary of the deceased bank employee.

The other big announcement is an increase in the employer banks’ contribution to the pension fund of employees under the NPS (National Pension System) from the existing 10 percent to 14 percent. Approximately 60% of public sector bank employees are covered under NPS

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • Indian Banks’ Association Chairman: Rajkiran Rai G;
  • Indian Banks’ Association CEO: Sunil Mehta;
  • Indian Banks’ Association Headquarters location: Mumbai;
  • Indian Banks’ Association Founded: 26 September 1946.

Economy

RBI includes PM SVANidhi Scheme beneficiaries under PIDF Scheme

The Reserve Bank of India has announced to include street vendors of tier-1 and tier-2 centers, identified as part of the PM Street Vendor’s AtmaNirbhar Nidhi (PM SVANidhi Scheme) as beneficiaries under the Payments Infrastructure Development Fund (PIDF) Scheme.

Payments Infrastructure Development Fund (PIDF) Scheme was launched by RBI to encourage the deployment of Points of Sale (PoS) infrastructure (both physical and digital modes) in tier-3 to tier-6 centers and northeastern states.

So now RBI has specifically allowed street vendors of Tier-1 and Tier-2 centers, to be part of PIDF Scheme. The street vendors in tier-3 to tier-6 centers will continue to be covered under the Scheme by default. PIDF presently has a corpus of Rs. 345 crore.

Nirmala Sitharaman unveils Public Sector Bank Reforms Agenda (EASE 4.0)

Union Minister of Finance and Corporate Affairs, Nirmala Sitharaman has unveiled the fourth edition of the Public Sector Bank (PSB) Reforms Agenda ‘EASE 4.0’ for 2021-22.

The major theme for EASE 4.0 is “Technology-enabled, simplified, and collaborative banking.” EASE stands for Enhanced Access & Service Excellence (EASE).

EASE 4.0 aims to further the agenda of customer-centric digital transformation and deeply embed digital and data into PSBs’ ways of working.

EASE 4.0 sets the agenda and roadmap to transform all PSBs into digital-attacker banks working hand-in-hand with key constituents of the financial services ecosystem to offer industry-best customer experience.

Important Initiatives under EASE 4.0:

  • Smart Lending for Aspiring India
  • New Age 24×7 banking with resilient technology
  • Collaborative banking for synergistic outcomes
  • Tech-enabled Ease of Banking
  • Institutionalizing Prudent Banking
  • Governance and Outcome Centric HR

Awards

EASE Reforms Index Award 2021 announced

Union Minister of Finance and Corporate Affairs, Nirmala Sitharaman has announced the EASE 3.0 Awards. State Bank of India is the Overall winner of the EASE Reforms Index Award 2021 (EASE 3.0 Awards).

Bank of Baroda is second and Union Bank of India is third. Indian Bank won the award for the best improvement from the baseline performance.

SBI, BoB, Union Bank of India, Punjab National Bank, and Canara Bank won the top awards in different themes of the PSB Reforms Agenda EASE 3.0.

There were awards for various themes and the winners of these themes are given below:

S.NoThemeWinner
1.Smart Lending for Aspiring IndiaBank of Baroda
2.Tech-enabled ease of BankingSBI
 3.Institutionalized Prudent BankingBank of Baroda
4.Governance and Outcome centric HRUnion Bank of India
5.Deepening FI and Customer ProtectionUnion Bank of India

Books and Authors

A book title ‘Accelerating India: 7 Years of Modi Government’ by K J Alphons

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has received a book titled ‘Accelerating India: 7 Years of Modi Government’ by former Union Minister, K J Alphons.

The book is about all the areas of India’s reform journey, written by Mr. Alphons. K J Alphons is the former Minister of State for Culture and Tourism (Independent Charge), in office from 3 September 2017 to May 2019.

Obituary

Former England and Sussex captain Ted Dexter passes away

Former England and Sussex captain Ted Dexter has passed away. Dexter, nicknamed “Lord Ted”, was an aggressive batsman and part-time seam bowler who played 62 tests for England after making his debut in 1958 against New Zealand and was captain between 1961-1964.

After retiring, he helped devise a ranking system for Test players and was chairman of selectors for England. Dexter was also a regular on the BBC’s TV coverage of England home Test matches and was a newspaper columnist.

The ranking system was adopted by the International Cricket Council (ICC) and formed the basis of today’s system.


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