22nd April, 2021 – Daily News

Topics covered – Financial Bill 2021, COVIRAP, India Renewables Dashboard, uniform civil code, YSR Zero Interest Crop Loan Scheme, Mutual Recognition Agreement, Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, MOXIE, United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific, 2021 Annual Report, first cryptocurrency exchange in India, Federal Bank, first mutual fund house, Google and Amazon Web Services, Mahamat Idriss Déby Itno, World Creativity and Innovation Day, World Homeopathy Awareness Week, ICC Development Awards for 2020, “cosmic rose”, 40th Indian Scientific Expedition to Antarctica, Ahmed Hussain Lala, Sankha Ghosh

Bulletins

  1. Union Cabinet has approved the amendments to the Finance Bill 2021.

  2. IIT-Kharagpur has successfully commercialised COVIRAP – the novel diagnostic technology for infectious diseases including Covid-19.

  3. Central Electricity Authority and CEEW’s Centre for Energy Finance (CEEW-CEF) have launched the India Renewables Dashboard to provide detailed operational information on renewable energy projects in India.

  4. Goa has become the first state in India to have uniform civil code (UCC).

  5. Haryana has signed an MoU with World Trade Centre to provide a conclusive environment in the state for bringing investment through the new modes and operations.

  6. Andhra Pradesh has launched YSR Zero Interest Crop Loan Scheme under which

  7. Union Cabinet has approved the Mutual Recognition Agreement signed between Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) and Certified Practising Accountant Australia.

  8. IIT Kharagpur and the National Cooperative Development Corporation (NCDC) signed an MoU for collaboration in areas related to the development of cooperatives, agriculture and allied sectors for sustainable development.

  9. Singapore has become the first country in the world to ratify the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement.

  10. For the first time in human history, NASA has created oxygen from the thin air of Mars through its instrument named “MOXIE” which was attached to NASA’s Mars rover, Perseverance.

  11. “Beyond the pandemic: Building back better from crises in Asia and the Pacific” report has been released by United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP).

  12. U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) has released its 2021 Annual Report.

  13. Bitex (UAE based digital asset exchange) has become the first cryptocurrency exchange in India.

  14. Co-creators of Google Pay, Sujith Narayanan and Sumit Gwalani, are launching Fi, a neobank for salaried millennials in partnership with Federal Bank.

  15. SBI Funds Management Pvt. Ltd has become the first mutual fund house in India to cross the ₹5 lakh crore average assets under management (AAUM) mark.

  16. Google and Amazon Web Services have been chosen as the winners of a NIS 4 billion tender ($1.2 billion) given by Israel govt to provide cloud-based regional data services to Israel.

  17. ICRA Ratings has forecasted a 10-10.5% GDP growth rate for FY22 for India.

  18. Mahamat Idriss Déby Itno has been elected as the new President of Chad (African country).

  19. World Creativity and Innovation Day is observed on April 21 by UN.

  20. World Homeopathy Awareness Week is celebrated annually between April 10th and April 16th.

  21. Argentina, Brazil, Uganda and Vanuatu have won the ICC Development Awards for 2020 for growing cricket in emerging markets in partnership with the ICC.

  22. NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope has got the image of “cosmic rose”.

  23. 40th Indian Scientific Expedition to Antarctica (ISEA) has departed for the South Pole from Mormugao Port, Goa.

  24. Football Olympian Ahmed Hussain Lala passed away.

  25. Celebrated Bengali poet Sankha Ghosh has passed away.

Table of Content

National News

  1. Union Cabinet has approved the amendments to the Finance Bill 2021.
      • The bill provides 10 year income tax exemption for National Bank for Financing Infrastructure and Development (NBFID).
      • The bill imposes an Agriculture Infrastructure and Development Cess on Petrol and Diesel at Rs 2.5 and Rs 4 per litre respectively.
      • Around 127 amendments have been approved by the Cabinet in the Finance Bill.
      • Union Cabinet has also approved the Bangalore Metro Rail Project Phase 2A and 2B.
  2. IIT-Kharagpur has successfully commercialised COVIRAP – the novel diagnostic technology for infectious diseases including Covid-19.
      • The product is developed by lead researchers Professor Suman Chakraborty, Dr Arindam Mondal and their research group.
      • It has been licensed for commercialisation to the Rapid Diagnostic Group of Companies, India and Bramerton Holdings LLC, USA.
      • Bramerton Holdings LLC, USA has secured global rights for commercially distributing the COVIRAP technology in various geographical locations outside Indian subcontinent.
  3. Central Electricity Authority and CEEW’s Centre for Energy Finance (CEEW-CEF) have launched the India Renewables Dashboard to provide detailed operational information on renewable energy projects in India.
      • The dashboard is supported by the Shakti Sustainable Energy Foundation.
      • CEEW stands for Council On Energy, Environment and Water.

State News

  1. Goa has become the first state in India to have uniform civil code (UCC).
      • Uniform Civil Code means one law governing marriage, divorce, inheritance, and adoption laws.
      • Article 44 in the Constitution of India provides for the Uniform Civil Code in India.
  2. Haryana has signed an MoU with World Trade Centre to provide a conclusive environment in the state for bringing investment through the new modes and operations.
      • Purpose – to promote and facilitate trade and investment in Haryana.
  3. Andhra Pradesh has launched YSR Zero Interest Crop Loan Scheme under which
      • Under the scheme, an amount of ₹128.47 crore was directly credited into the bank accounts of the 6.27 lakh farmers who had availed themselves of crop loan of up to ₹1 lakh during the 2019-20 rabi season and repaid the amount within stipulated time.

Memorandum of Understanding

  1. Union Cabinet has approved the Mutual Recognition Agreement signed between Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) and Certified Practising Accountant Australia.

  2. IIT Kharagpur and the National Cooperative Development Corporation (NCDC) signed an MoU for collaboration in areas related to the development of cooperatives, agriculture and allied sectors for sustainable development.
      • The scope of the MoU will involve the advancement of training, action research, studies, policy analysis, policy advice, consultancy, monitoring, evaluation, system development and technology development.
      • Besides, internship opportunities will be provided to students or alumni under the SAHAKAR MITRA -NCDC Scheme on Internship Programme (SIP).
      • A Joint Working Group will also be set up to monitor various activities under the MoU and suggest necessary measures for its development.
      • Both IIT and NCDC will provide facilities to Farmer Producer Organizations.

International News

  1. Singapore has become the first country in the world to ratify the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement.
      • RCEP is a trade pact between 10 ASEAN economies as well as Australia, China, Japan, New Zealand and South Korea.
      • The RCEP, an initiative led by China, is the world’s largest free trade agreement.
      • The RCEP agreement will enter into force after six ASEAN member states and three ASEAN FTA partners have ratified it.
  2. For the first time in human history, NASA has created oxygen from the thin air of Mars through its instrument named “MOXIE” which was attached to NASA’s Mars rover, Perseverance
      • MOXIE stands for Mars Oxygen In-Situ Resource Utilisation Experiment. It is developed by Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
      • The rover landed on Mars’s surface in February 2021.
      • At present, MOXIE produced only 5 gm of oxygen, equivalent to roughly 10 minutes’ worth of breathing for an astronaut.
      • Recently, Ingenuity helicopter also ride a flight in Mars’ thin air.

Reports and Indices

    1. “Beyond the pandemic: Building back better from crises in Asia and the Pacific” report has been released by United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP).
        • As per the report, the average debt to GDP ratio in Asia and Pacific countries is likely to rise to 49% in 2021 from 41% in 2019 and 47% in 2020.
        • Asia Pacific countries are likely to borrow more against their public assets to the extent to around $3 trillion a year by 2024.
        • Kerala is mentioned as the best state for its public health service during the pandemic.
    2. U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) has released its 2021 Annual Report.
        • In the report the USCIRF has made recommendations to the US Congress.
        • USCIRF recommendations are non-binding on the US govt.

Recommendations for India:-

        • Put India on the list of Countries of Particular Concern (CPC) for a second year in a row for religious violations.
        • US administration should impose targeted sanctions on Indian individuals and entities for ‘severe violations of religious freedom’.
        • US administration should promote inter-faith dialogue and the rights of all communities at bilateral and multilateral forums such as the ministerial of the Quadrilateral [the Quad].
        • Last year, the Trump administration had rejected the USCIRF recommendation to designate India a CPC.
        • Problems in India – Citizenship Amendment Act 2019, National Register of Citizens, Detention Camps for refugees in Assam, prohibition on interfaith marriage (UP and MP), hateful rhetoric targeting Muslims in India (particularly by govt officials).

Global Scenario:

      • In addition to India, Russia, Syria and Vietnam have also been pointed out as CPC by USCIRF.
      • Countries already on the CPCs list and recommended by USCIRF for re-designation were Burma, China, Eritrea, Iran, Nigeria, North Korea, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan.
      • Afghanistan, Algeria, Azerbaijan, Egypt, Indonesia, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Turkey and Uzbekistan were recommended for a ‘Special Watch List’, along with Cuba and Nicaragua, both of which were already on the list for 2019.
(USCIRF) has released its 2021 Annual Report.
  1. World Economic Forum has released the Global Energy Transition Index 2021.
      • Partner – The report is prepared in collaboration with Accenture.
      • Total – 115 countries
      • Top – Sweden
WEF has released the Global Energy Transition Index 2021.
    • India’s rank – 87
        • India’s ETI Score (2012 to 2021) is 53.
        • India’s score on System Performance (SP) – 58.2
        • India’s score on Transition Readiness (TR) – 47.3
    • Bottom – Zimbabwe
    • 2021 Global average score is 59.
    • Parameters – System performance and transition readiness (see the picture below).
System performance and transition readiness

Additional Facts:

    • China (68) and India (87), which collectively account for a third of global energy demand, have both made strong improvements over the past decade, despite coal continuing to play a significant role in their energy mix.
    • India has achieved improvements in energy transitions through subsidy reforms and rapidly increasing energy access, with a strong political commitment and regulatory environment for the energy transition.
    • As per the report, 92 out of 115 countries have increased their aggregate score over the past 10 years, which indicates their steady performance towards the global energy transition.
    • Energy transition investment is concentrated in a handful of economies, with China and the United States (US) accounting for the large share of investments.
energy transition investment Graph

Source: Bloomberg New Energy Finance

Banking And Economy

  1. Bitex (UAE based digital asset exchange) has become the first cryptocurrency exchange in India.
      • The exchange will provide detailed reports for all its retail and institutional investors in compliance with Companies Act, 2013.
      • These reports will detail about the money made or lost in cryptocurrency by investors.
      • Bitex was initially launched in 2018.
  2. Co-creators of Google Pay, Sujith Narayanan and Sumit Gwalani, are launching Fi, a neobank for salaried millennials in partnership with Federal Bank.
  3. SBI Funds Management Pvt. Ltd has become the first mutual fund house in India to cross the ₹5 lakh crore average assets under management (AAUM) mark.
  4. Google and Amazon Web Services have been chosen as the winners of a NIS 4 billion tender ($1.2 billion) given by Israel govt to provide cloud-based regional data services to Israel.
  5. Under this project, cloud data services will be provided to public entities in Israel while the data will be kept within the bounds of Israel.
  6. The project is named as Nimbus. It is one of Israel’s biggest information technology projects.

GDP Forecasts

  1. ICRA Ratings has forecasted a 10-10.5% GDP growth rate for FY22 for India.

Appointments

  1. Mahamat Idriss Déby Itno has been elected as the new President of Chad (African country).
      • Capital: N’Djamena
      • Currency: Central African CFA franc

Important Days

  1. World Creativity and Innovation Day is observed on April 21 by UN.
      • 2021 is the UN International Year of the Creative Economy for Sustainable Development.
  2. World Homeopathy Awareness Week is celebrated annually between April 10th and April 16th.
      • World Homeopathy Day is observed on April 10.

Awards

  1. Argentina, Brazil, Uganda and Vanuatu have won the ICC Development Awards for 2020 for growing cricket in emerging markets in partnership with the ICC.
      • ICC Development Initiative of the Year has been awarded to Cricket Argentina.
      • Cricket Brazil has been awarded the 100% Cricket Female Cricket Initiative of the Year.
        • ICC Digital Fan Engagement of the Year has been awarded to the Vanuatu Cricket Association.
      • Uganda Cricket Association has won the Cricket 4 Good Social Impact Initiative of the Year.

Miscellaneous

  1. NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope has got the image of “cosmic rose”.
      • The post features Interacting Galaxies Arp 273, which is a combination of spiral galaxy UGC 1810 and its companion galaxy below, known as UGC 1813.
  2. 40th Indian Scientific Expedition to Antarctica (ISEA) has departed for the South Pole from Mormugao Port, Goa.
      • India has two stations on the polar continent of Antarctica — Maitri and Bharati — which are being operated under the National Centre for Polar and Ocean Research (NCPOR), Union Ministry of Earth Sciences.
      • Bharati base operations and Maitri base operations share a common goal of rewriting the success story of the Indian Antarctic Programme under this year’s special circumstances.
  3. Football Olympian Ahmed Hussain Lala passed away.

  4. Celebrated Bengali poet Sankha Ghosh has passed away.

Start Quiz of 22nd April 2021

Q.1) Which IIT has successfully commercialised COVIRAP - the novel diagnostic technology?
Q.2) How much is the Agriculture Infrastructure and Development Cess on Petrol?
Q.3) Which has become the first state in India to have uniform civil code?
Q.4) Which state has signed an MoU with World Trade Centre to provide a conclusive environment in the state for bringing investment through the new modes and operations?
Q.5) With which IIT has National Cooperative Development Corporation (NCDC) signed an MoU for collaboration in areas related to the development of cooperatives, agriculture and allied sectors for sustainable development?
Q.6) Which has become the first country in the world to ratify the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement?
Q.7) What is the name of the instruments used by NASA to generate oxygen on Mars?
Q.8) Which of the following country has been recommended as the Countries of Particular Concern by U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF)?
Q.9) What is the 2021 Global average score in the World Economic Forum’s Global Energy Transition Index 2021?
Q.10) What is India’s rank in the Global Energy Transition Index 2021?
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About Anuj Jindal

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Anuj Jindal, the founder, is an ex-manager from SBI, with an M.Com from Delhi School of Economics. He also has a JRF in Commerce & Management and NET in HRM, along with more than 4 years of experience in the field of Education.

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