Latest Current Affairs Daily Update

Daily Current Affairs in English – 09 Dec 2021

National

Sunil Arora invited to join the top international democracy body IDEA

Former chief election commissioner (CEC) Sunil Arora has been invited to join the board of advisers at the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance, also known as International IDEA. IDEA has a 15-member board of advisers, all of whom are eminent personalities from a wide variety of backgrounds.

The International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (International IDEA) was established in 1995. It is an intergovernmental organization based in Stockholm, Sweden. India is one of the founding members of the institute.

The key mission of International IDEA is to support sustainable democracy worldwide. It currently has 34 member countries, which include new, old, small, and large democracies from all continents.

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance Founded: 27 February 1995;
  • International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance Stockholm, Sweden;
  • International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance Secretary-General: Kevin Casas-Zamora.

International

The US announces diplomatic boycott of Beijing Winter Olympics

The Biden administration has announced that US officials will not attend the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing after China pledged unspecified “countermeasures” against any such diplomatic boycott.

The US cited that “China’s human rights ATROCITIES” is the main reason for its boycott. The US has named the boycott “Diplomatic Boycott”. It means that the US is not sending any official or diplomatic representation to participate in the Olympics.

However, the US is allowing American athletes to participate in the Olympics. The US is boycotting for the following human rights atrocities of China: Situations in Taiwan and Tibet, The crackdown in Hong Kong, and Abuse of minority Muslim Uyghurs in Xinjiang.

Appointments

Ujjivan Small Finance Bank named Ittira Davis as MD & CEO

The Board of Directors of Ujjivan Small Finance Bank appointed Ittira Davis as the MD and CEO of the bank. Davis has been appointed as the MD and CEO for a period of 3 years from the date of approval of the RBI or such other period as may be approved by RBI.

Davis was the MD and CEO of Ujjivan Financial Services Limited from July 2018 from where he resigned in 2021.

Davis has a Post Graduate Diploma in Management from the Indian Institute of Management-Ahmedabad (IIM-A) and is an international banker with over 40 years of banking experience. He worked extensively in India, the Middle East and Europe.

He was with the Europe Arab Bank from July 2008 to October 2012 initially as the Managing Director – Corporate and Institutional Banking and then as an Executive Director.

Davis has also previously worked with Citibank in India and the Arab Bank Group in the Middle East and has been associated with Ujjivan since 2015. He played a pivotal role in its transition into a Small Finance Bank.

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.

FICCI appoints Sanjiv Mehta as its President

The Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) announced that Sanjiv Mehta, the Chairman and Managing Director of Hindustan Unilever Limited (HUL), will be appointed as its President.

Mehta, presently the Senior Vice President of FICCI, will be succeeding media industry veteran Uday Shankar. Mehta is also the President of Unilever South Asia (India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka & Nepal), and is a member of the ‘Unilever Leadership Executive’ which is Unilever’s Global Executive Board.

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • FICCI Founded: 1927;
  • FICCI Headquarters: New Delhi;
  • FICCI President: Harshavardhan Neotia;
  • FICCI Secretary General: Arun Chawla.

Defence

Pune to host joint military exercise PANEX-21 with BIMSTEC countries

PANEX-21 is a Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief Exercise. It is to be held for the BIMSTEC countries. The exercise is to be held among the BIMSTEC countries: Bhutan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, India and Thailand.

The main aim of the exercise is to build regional cooperation in responding to natural disasters. It is to be conducted in Pune from December 20 to December 22.

The participants of the exercise will be divided into eight syndicates. One syndicate from the participating countries and two from India.

It will analyse the capabilities of member states in responding to natural disasters. The countries will share their best practices.

The exercise will review the procedures of preparedness and response. It will then recommend the evolution of organised structure. During the exercise, the countries will discuss military–to–military cooperation protocol.

India-Maldives joint military Exercise EKUVERIN in the Maldives

The 11th edition of Exercise EKUVERIN-21 between India and Maldives, held at Kadhdhoo Island, Maldives. Ekuverin means “Friends” in the Dhivehi language. It is an Indo – Aryan language. It is spoken in India, Lakshadweep, and Maldives.

The exercise enhances synergy and inter-operability between the Armed Forces of both nations in terms of understanding transnational terrorism both on land and at sea, conducting Counter-Terrorism and Counter-Insurgency Operations, and sharing best military practices and experiences.

The exercise helps the militaries to understand each other’s drills and procedures. It helps to overcome language barriers. It aids in weapon familiarization which is essential in war or humanitarian aid such as disaster – relief. It is also essential in disaster relief operations.

Business

Paytm partnered with AWS to offer startup Toolkits for entrepreneurs

Paytm, a leading digital ecosystem for consumers and merchants has partnered with Amazon Web Services (AWS) to offer Paytm Startup Toolkit with exclusive payment services to early-stage Indian startups.

Paytm will help entrepreneurs to grow businesses with payment, distribution, and growth solutions who are operating in India in the AWS Activate.

To help startups enhance brand visibility and grow their customer base, the Paytm Startup Toolkit also provides access to Paytm Mini Apps, which enables developers to set up low-cost, quick-to-build mini-apps which can be built using Open Source technologies like HTML and JavaScript.

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • Paytm Founded: August 2010;
  • Paytm Headquarters: Noida, Uttar Pradesh, India;
  • Paytm CEO: Vijay Shekhar Sharma.

Economy

RBI Monetary Policy: Repo rate unchanged for the 9th consecutive time

The Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) headed by Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor Shaktikanta Das kept the repo rate unchanged at 4 percent for the ninth consecutive time while maintaining an ‘accommodative stance’ as long as necessary.

The central bank had last revised the policy rate on May 22, 2020, in an off-policy cycle to perk up demand by cutting the interest rate to a historic low.  The meeting was held between December (6 to 8). The remaining will take place in February (7 to 9, 2022).

The Marginal Standing Facility (MSF) rate and bank rates remain unchanged:

  • Policy Repo Rate: 4.00%
  • Reverse Repo Rate: 3.35%
  • Marginal Standing Facility Rate: 4.25%
  • Bank Rate: 4.25%
  • CRR: 4%
  • SLR: 18.00%

RBI Monetary Policy Highlights & Key Decisions:

  • The projection for real GDP growth is retained at 9.5% in 2021-22, consisting of 6.6% in Q3, & 6% in Q4. Real GDP growth is projected at 17.2% for Q1 of 2022-23 and at 7.8% for Q2 of 2022-23.
  • The inflation projection was retained for FY22 at 5.3%, 5.1% for Q3, 5.7% for Q4, and 5% for Q1 FY23.

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • RBI 25th Governor: Shaktikanta Das; Headquarters: Mumbai; Founded: 1 April 1935, Kolkata.

Banking

PNB launched the “PNB Pride-CRMD module” app for differently-abled employees

Punjab National Bank (PNB) launched the PNB Pride-CRMD module tool, an android-based application for differently-abled employees to monitor and effectively follow up with the special mention account (SMA) borrowers.

The Pride-CRMD module has built-in TalkBack software that allows the visually impaired to access the system freely and to interact with customers by tapping on their phones.

Punjab National Bank emphasized the abilities of differently-abled staff members and the utilization of their skills in the conceptualization of PNB warriors and implementation of PNB Pride.

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • Punjab National Bank Founded: 1894;
  • Punjab National Bank Headquarters: New Delhi;
  • Punjab National Bank MD & CEO: S. S. Mallikarjuna Rao;
  • Punjab National Bank Tagline: The Name You Can Bank Upon.

City Union Bank & NPCI launched ‘On-the-Go’ wearable keychain

City Union Bank (CUB), in collaboration with National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) and its manufacturing partner Seshaasai, has announced the launch of RuPay On-the-Go contactless wearable keychain for its debit card customers.

This contactless wearable keychain will be part of their daily lifestyle and enable customers to tap and make cashless payments securely.

This On-the-Go solution allows the bank’s customers to carry payment cards on their keychains, making for fast and convenient payments up to ₹5,000 at all Rupay-enabled point of sale devices (PoS) without entering a PIN.

This would increase digital payment behavior among customers, especially the younger generation and students, by enabling faster check out and less waiting in queue with features to set the spending limit, enable/disable usage through net banking, and CUB’s All-in-One mobile app.

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • City Union Bank Headquarters: Kumbakonam;
  • City Union Bank CEO: Dr. N. Kamakodi;
  • City Union Bank Founded: 1904.

Summits and Conferences

PM Modi holds India-Russia Summit 2021

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin held the 21st India-Russia Annual Summit to discuss the entire gamut of relations, including regional and global issues. During his visit, India and Russia signed 28 agreements.

The leaders discussed on International North-South Transport Corridor and also the Chennai – Vladivostok Eastern Maritime Corridor (which is under the proposal).

The countries agreed to extend the military-technical cooperation by another ten years. Currently, the indigenous production under this cooperation includes T – 90 tanks, MiG 29K aircraft, Su – 30 MKI, upgrade of MiG, and supply of Multi Barrel Rocket Launcher Smerch.

Both India and Russia are currently developing fifth-generation Fighter Aircraft and Multi-Role Transport Aircraft.

Union Minister S Jaishankar addressed the 5th Indian Ocean Conference

Union Minister of External Affairs (EAM) Subrahmanyam Jaishankar has visited Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (UAE) to attend the 5th Indian Ocean Conference on December 4-5, 2021.

The theme of the conference was ‘Indian Ocean: Ecology, Economy, Epidemic’.

The Conference is chaired by Sri Lankan President, Gotabaya Rajapaksa & Vice Chairs are S.Jaishankar, Vivian Balakrishnan, Sayyid Badr Bin Hamad Bin Hamoud Al Busaidi.

The conference is being organized by India Foundation in collaboration with the RSIS Singapore, Institute of National Security Studies (INSS), Sri Lanka, and the Emirates Centre for Strategic Studies and Research (ECSSR), UAE.

Awards News

Nilmani Phookan Jr and Damodar Mauzo receive Jnanpith Award

Assamese poet Nilmani Phookan Jr won the 56th Jnanpith Award and Konkani novelist Damodar Mauzo won the 57th Jnanpith Award. The country’s highest literary award, the Jnanpith is bestowed on writers for “their outstanding contribution to literature”.

Jnanpith Award is a literary award presented by the Bharatiya Jnanpith organization to Indian writers every year. This was instituted in 1961 and is given only to Indian writers who write in Indian languages and English.

Schemes and Committees

She is a Changemaker program launched by National Commission for Women

National Commission for Women (NCW) has launched a pan-India capacity building program, ‘She is a Changemaker’ for women representatives at all levels, gram panchayats to parliament members and political workers including office bearers of National/State political parties.

The program was launched by Ms. Rekha Sharma, Chairperson of the National Commission for Women. To improve leadership skills of grassroots women political leaders.

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • National Commission for Women Formed: 1992;
  • National Commission for Women Headquarters: New Delhi.

Sports

Russia defeated Croatia to win the Davis Cup tennis tournament 2021

The Davis Cup 2021 was won by the Russian Tennis Federation by a 2-0 lead over Croatia in the Davis Cup final in Madrid. Medvedev defeated Marin Cilic in the second singles match to give Russia an insurmountable 2-0 lead over Croatia and its first Davis Cup title since 2006.

Croatia also was seeking its third title after triumphs in 2005 and 2018. Andrey Rublev was named the Most Valuable Player. The Russian team is officially being called RTF (Russian Tennis Federation) in the competition amid its ongoing doping suspension in international sport.

Obituary

World’s Oldest Test Cricketer, Eileen Ash passes away

World’s oldest Test Cricketer, former English legend, Eileen Ash passed away at the age of 110.

The right-arm seamer made her debut to the national side in 1937 against Australia and in a career spanning till 1949, she took 10 wickets in the seven matches she played.

Her career was interrupted by the Second World War – she was seconded to MI6, the UK’s intelligence service – and retired from the sport in 1949.

Eileen Ash was given the honor of ringing the bell at Lord’s in the Finals of the 2017 ICC Women’s World Cup where the host, England has crowned the champions after beating India in a thrilling Finals.


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