26th August, 2021 – Daily News

Topics covered – 30th anniversary of India-ASEAN diplomatic relations, Centre for Research and Innovation in Artificial Intelligence , SAMRIDH, SUJALAM’, PRAGATI meeting , India-ASEAN Engineering Partnership Summit , Ayushman Bharat Sarbat Sehat Bima Yojana , Assam Micro Finance Incentive and Relief Scheme , ‘Mission Vatsalya’ , GANDIV , Multi-Mode Hand Grenades , BRICS High Representatives Responsible for National Security, world’s first fossil-free steel or green steel , UNESCAP Regional Conversation Series 2021: Ministerial Panel on Disaster, Climate and Health Resilience, Safe Cities Index 2021 , North Eastern Region (NER) District SDG Index Report and Dashboard 2021–22, ‘Urja’, an AI- chatbot, first Indian renewable energy company to get listed on Nasdaq , India’s first credit-led neobank, ‘EASE 4.0’ , Anchorage Infrastructure Investment Holding , Sahitya Akademi Award 2020, Donostia award

Bulletins

  1. 2022 marks the 30th anniversary of India-ASEAN diplomatic relations.
  2. Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan has virtually inaugurated the Centre for Research and Innovation in Artificial Intelligence at the IIT-Hyderabad.
  3. Ministry of Electronics & IT has launched ‘Start-up Accelerators of MeitY for pRoduct Innovation, Development and growth’ (SAMRIDH) programme.
  4. Ministry of Jal Shakti has begun a ‘SUJALAM’, a ‘100 days campaign’ as part of the ‘Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav’ celebrations to achieve ODF plus status for villages across the country in an accelerated manner.
  5. 37th edition of the PRAGATI meeting was chaired by PM Narendra Modi to review eight projects.
  6. India-ASEAN Engineering Partnership Summit was organised by Engineering Exports Promotion Council of India (EEPC).
  7. Punjab govt has chosen SBI General Insurance as the service partner for the Ayushman Bharat Sarbat Sehat Bima Yojana (AB-SSBY).
  8. Tripura State Electricity Corporation Limited has renewed an agreement with Bangladesh government for power export.
  9. Assam government has signed an MoU with 38 microfinance institutions and banks for the implementation of Assam Micro Finance Incentive and Relief Scheme (AMFIRS), 2021.
  10. Maharashtra has launched ‘Mission Vatsalya’ to provide a bunch of services to widows at one platform.
  11. National Security Guard (NSG) has conducted a four-day-long exercise GANDIV in Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and the National Capital Region.
  12. Nagpur-based Economic Explosives Limited (EEL) handed over the first batch of Multi-Mode Hand Grenades (MMHG) to Indian Army.
  13. Hydropower producer NHPC Limited has signed an MoU with Power Finance Corporation (PFC) for funding hydroelectric projects of NHPC.
  14. Union Cabinet has approved the signing of MoU between Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) and Institute of Professional Accountants of Russia (IPAR).
  15. 11th Meeting of the BRICS High Representatives Responsible for National Security was hosted by NSA Ajit Doval through video conferencing.
  16. Sweden’s company Hybrit has manufactured world’s first fossil-free steel or green steel and delivered it to Volvo Cars (Swedish company).
  17. Minister of State for Home Affairs, Shri Nityanand Rai attended the UNESCAP Regional Conversation Series 2021: Ministerial Panel on Disaster, Climate and Health Resilience, through video conferencing.
  18. 4th edition of the Safe Cities Index 2021 has been released by Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU HQ- London).
  19. NITI Aayog and Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region has released first edition of the North Eastern Region (NER) District SDG Index Report and Dashboard 2021–22.
  20. Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL) has launched ‘Urja’, an AI- chatbot.
  21. ReNew Power has become the first Indian renewable energy company to get listed on Nasdaq (US exchange). Its valuation is $4.5 billion.
  22. ReNew Power has signed a power purchase agreement (PPA) with the Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) for 24*7 or round-the-clock (RTC) electricity supply.
  23. Kerala based private sector lender South Indian Bank has been empanelled as an ‘Agency Bank’ by Reserve Bank of India to undertake general banking businesses of Central and State government on behalf of the RBI.
  24. Flipkart Wholesale has launched the credit programs which aim to help kiranas manage their working capital requirements and grow their business.
  25. India’s first credit-led neobank, Freo, has tied up with Equitas Small Finance Bank to launch zero-balance savings account that will offer a 7% interest rate on a minimum balance of ₹1 lakh.
  26. Ministry of Finance unveiled the framework for the 4th edition of the Public Sector Bank (PSB) Reforms Agenda ‘EASE 4.0’ or Enhanced Access and Service Excellence Reform Agenda for 2021-22.
  27. Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has cleared a FDI proposal to invest up to ₹15,000 crore in Anchorage Infrastructure Investment Holding (AIIH) Ltd.
  28. Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has announced the hike in pension payout to bank employees.
  29. RBI has approved the re-appointment of Sandeep Bakhshi as the MD & CEO of ICICI Bank with effect from October 15, 2021, till October 3, 2023.
  30. Alia Bhatt has been appointed as the brand ambassador of Samsung India
  31. Author, poet and academician Yashodhara Mishra will be awarded the Sahitya Akademi Award 2020-Odia for her book ‘Samudrakula Ghara’.
  32. Oscar-winning French actress Marion Cotillard has been chosen for a lifetime achievement award / Donostia award at Spain’s San Sebastian film festival.
  33. Indian Grandmaster Arjun Erigaisi has won the II Terras de Trás-os-Montes Chess Open in Portugal.
  34. Rolling stones (an English rock bank) drummer Charlie Watts has passed away.
  35. Chad’s former dictator Hissene Habre has passed away.

Table of Content

National News

  1. 2022 marks the 30th anniversary of India-ASEAN diplomatic relations.
      • Singapore has taken over the responsibility of the country-coordinator between India and ASEAN till 2024.
  2. Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan has virtually inaugurated the Centre for Research and Innovation in Artificial Intelligence at the IIT-Hyderabad.
      • The centre has been established in collaboration with Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
  3. Ministry of Electronics & IT has launched ‘Start-up Accelerators of MeitY for pRoduct Innovation, Development and growth’ (SAMRIDH) programme.
      • Purpose – to create a conducive platform to Indian Software Product star-ups to enhance their products and securing investments for scaling their business.
      • The programme is being implemented by MeitY Start-up Hub (MSH).
      • This programme will focus on accelerating the 300 start-ups by providing customer connect, investor connect, and international immersion in next three years.
      • Also, an investment of up to ₹40 lakh to the start-up based on current valuation and growth stage of the Start-Up will be provided through selected accelerators.
      • MeitY Startup Hub has partnered with MergerDomo (fundraising and start-up advisory platform) on building a deep tech ecosystem across India.
  4. Ministry of Jal Shakti has begun a ‘SUJALAM’, a ‘100 days campaign’ as part of the ‘Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav’ celebrations to achieve ODF plus status for villages across the country in an accelerated manner.
      • Creating more and more ODF Plus villages will be done by undertaking waste- water management at village level particularly through creation of 1 million Soak-pits and also other Grey water (domestic wastewater) management activities.
SUJALAM
  1. 37th edition of the PRAGATI meeting was chaired by PM Narendra Modi to review eight projects.
      • PRAGATI stands for Pro-Active Governance and Timely Implementation.
      • PRAGATI is the multimodal platform, which was launched in 2015, to enable the PM to discuss the issues in implementation of projects with the concerned central and state officials with full information and latest visuals of the ground-level situation.
      • It has been designed by the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) team with the help of the National Informatics Centre (NIC).
  2. India-ASEAN Engineering Partnership Summit was organised by Engineering Exports Promotion Council of India (EEPC).
      • MEA also informed that an E-book on ‘India-ASEAN Engineering Trade: An Assessment’ was also released during the event.

State News

  1. Punjab govt has chosen SBI General Insurance as the service partner for the Ayushman Bharat Sarbat Sehat Bima Yojana (AB-SSBY).
      • The scheme provides cashless health insurance cover of Rs 5 lakhs annually to more than 40 lakhs eligible families in Punjab.
  2. Tripura State Electricity Corporation Limited has renewed an agreement with Bangladesh government for power export.
      • Bangladesh agreed to buy electricity from Tripura.
  3. Assam government has signed an MoU with 38 microfinance institutions and banks for the implementation of Assam Micro Finance Incentive and Relief Scheme (AMFIRS), 2021.
      • The MoU will remain in force till March 31, 2023.
      • It will help to compensate and waive microfinance loans taken by economically weaker women in the state.
      • Under the scheme, borrowers who have been repaying regularly, will be provided one-time incentive to the extent of their outstanding balance, subject to a cap of Rs 25,000.
      • Similarly, borrowers whose payments are overdue, the state government will pay the amount.
  4. Maharashtra has launched ‘Mission Vatsalya’ to provide a bunch of services to widows at one platform.
      • Women who have lost their husband due to covid are eligible under this scheme.
      • Maharashtra govt is already running the Sanjay Gandhi Niradhar Anudan Yojana to provide financial assistance to destitute people, including widows.

Defence News

  1. National Security Guard (NSG) has conducted a four-day-long exercise GANDIV in Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and the National Capital Region.
      • It is the first time when an exercise on this scale has been conducted by National Security Guard at the national level.
  2. Nagpur-based Economic Explosives Limited (EEL) handed over the first batch of Multi-Mode Hand Grenades (MMHG) to Indian Army.
      • For the first time, hand grenades from private sector were procured by the Indian Army.

Memorandum of Understanding

  1. Hydropower producer NHPC Limited has signed an MoU with Power Finance Corporation (PFC) for funding hydroelectric projects of NHPC.
  2. Union Cabinet has approved the signing of MoU between Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) and Institute of Professional Accountants of Russia (IPAR).
      • Both organizations will cooperate in the areas of professional accounting training, technical research, professional ethics, advancement of accounting knowledge, and professional & intellectual development.

International News

  1. 11th Meeting of the BRICS High Representatives Responsible for National Security was hosted by NSA Ajit Doval through video conferencing.
      • India holds the Chairmanship of BRICS this year which coincides with the 15th anniversary of the BRICS grouping.
      • At the 12th BRICS Leaders’ Summit in 2020, BRICS Counter Terrorism Strategy was adopted.
  2. Sweden’s company Hybrit has manufactured world’s first fossil-free steel or green steel and delivered it to Volvo Cars (Swedish company).
      • The full-scale production of the material will begin from 2026.
      • The steel has been manufactured by using hydrogen fuel.
  3. Minister of State for Home Affairs, Shri Nityanand Rai attended the UNESCAP Regional Conversation Series 2021: Ministerial Panel on Disaster, Climate and Health Resilience, through video conferencing.
      • The conference was also attended by ministers from Australia, China, Indonesia, Japan, the Maldives, Papua New Guinea and Thailand.

Reports & Indices

  1. 4th edition of the Safe Cities Index 2021 has been released by Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU HQ- London).
      • Total – 60 cities
      • Top – Copenhagen, followed by Toronto.
      • India’s rank – New Delhi at 48th rank (with a score of 56.1), followed by Mumbai at 50th (with a score of 54.4).
      • Indicator-wise ranking of India –
        • PERSONAL SECURITY – New Delhi: Rank 41 (Score 52.8), Mumbai: Rank 50 (Score 48.2)
        • DIGITAL SECURITY – New Delhi: Rank 48 (Score 47.5), Mumbai: Rank 53 (Score 45.4)
        • HEALTH SECURITY – New Delhi: Rank 40 (Score 63.6), Mumbai: Rank 44 (Score 60.8)
        • INFRASTRUCTURE SECURITY – New Delhi: Rank 44 (Score 59.8), Mumbai: Rank 48 (Score 57.3)
        • ENVIRONMENT SECURITY – New Delhi: Rank 49 (Score 56.8), Mumbai: Rank 46 (Score 60.1)
      • Parameters – 76 indicators divided into five domains, which are, personal security, infrastructure, health, digital and environmental security
      • Score – All data were normalised to a scale of 0 to 100, where 100 = best health.
      • Overall and Indicator-wise rank and scores –
Safe Cities Index 2021
  1. NITI Aayog and Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region has released first edition of the North Eastern Region (NER) District SDG Index Report and Dashboard 2021–22.
      • This first of its kind index has been done with technical support from UNDP.
      • The Index measures the performance of the districts of the eight States of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim and Tripura on the Sustainable Development Goals.
      • Categories under SDG India Index (base of SDG NER district index): states and Union Territories are classified in four categories based on their SDG India Index score:
        • Aspirant (0–49),
        • Performer (50–64),
        • FrontRunner (65–99),
        • Achiever (100).
Top-10 Districts Bottom-10 Districts
75.87 East Sikkim 59.07 Longleng
75.73 Gomati, North Tripura 58.60 Shi Yomi(Arunachal)
75.67 West Tripura 58.27 East Kameng(Arunachal), Phek
74.87 Serchhip (Mizoram) 57.40 Kamle (Arunachal)
74.80 South Sikkim 56.87 North Garo Hills(Meghalaya)
73.47 Unakoti Tripura 55.93 Mon
72.87 Lunglei (Mizoram) 55.87 Tuensang
72.60 Dhalai(Tripura),Sepahijala (Tripura) 55.60 kra daadi (Arunachal)
72.40 South Tripura (Tripura) 54.53 Zunheboto
72.27 Kolasib (Mizoram) 53.00 Kiphire

Banking & Economy

  1. Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL) has launched ‘Urja’, an AI- chatbot.
      • Urja speaks in 13 languages.
  2. ReNew Power has become the first Indian renewable energy company to get listed on Nasdaq (US exchange). Its valuation is $4.5 billion.
      • For the purpose of enlistment, the Indian company merged with the Nasdaq-listed RMG Acquisition Corp II.
      • The merged company is known as the Renew Energy Global Plc.
  3. ReNew Power has signed a power purchase agreement (PPA) with the Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) for 24*7 or round-the-clock (RTC) electricity supply.
      • For this, ReNew Power will set up this capacity through wind and solar farms across Karnataka, Maharashtra and Rajasthan at a cost of around $1.2 billion.
  4. Kerala based private sector lender South Indian Bank has been empanelled as an ‘Agency Bank’ by Reserve Bank of India to undertake general banking businesses of Central and State government on behalf of the RBI.
      • MD and CEO of South Indian Bank – Murali Ramakrishnan
  5. Flipkart Wholesale has launched the credit programs which aim to help kiranas manage their working capital requirements and grow their business.
  6. India’s first credit-led neobank, Freo, has tied up with Equitas Small Finance Bank to launch zero-balance savings account that will offer a 7% interest rate on a minimum balance of ₹1 lakh.
      • This new product is called as the Freo Save.
      • It will allow customers to make informed financial decisions and strengthen their credit profile in the process.
  7. Ministry of Finance unveiled the framework for the 4th edition of the Public Sector Bank (PSB) Reforms Agenda ‘EASE 4.0’ or Enhanced Access and Service Excellence Reform Agenda for 2021-22.
      • EASE 4.0 will assess the performance of public sector banks on their banking indicators and smart banking parameters.
Ministry of Finance unveiled the framework
Key initiatives
EASE
    • In the EASE 3.0, SBI, Bank of Baroda and Union Bank have emerged as the top three banks respectively.
    • Public Sector Banks banks have reported a profit of Rs. 31,817 Crore in FY21 as compared to a loss of Rs. 26,016 Crore in FY20.
    • This is the first year when PSBs have reported profit after five years of losses.
    • Total gross NPAs stood at Rs. 6.16 lakh crore as of March 2021 – a reduction of Rs. 62,000 Crore from March 2020 levels.
  1. Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has cleared a FDI proposal to invest up to ₹15,000 crore in Anchorage Infrastructure Investment Holding (AIIH) Ltd.
      • AIIH is a firm incorporated to invest in India’s infrastructure and construction development sectors.
  2. Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has announced the hike in pension payout to bank employees.
      • Family members of deceased PSB bankers will now get pension of 30% of last drawn salary as against earlier Rs 9,284.

Appointments

  1. RBI has approved the re-appointment of Sandeep Bakhshi as the MD & CEO of ICICI Bank with effect from October 15, 2021, till October 3, 2023.
  2. Alia Bhatt has been appointed as the brand ambassador of Samsung India

Awards

  1. Author, poet and academician Yashodhara Mishra will be awarded the Sahitya Akademi Award 2020-Odia for her book ‘Samudrakula Ghara’.
      • Malayalam author Omchery NN Pillai has won the Sahitya Akademi Award 2020 for his autobiography, ‘Akasmikam: Omcheryude Ormakkurippukal’.
  2. Oscar-winning French actress Marion Cotillard has been chosen for a lifetime achievement award / Donostia award at Spain’s San Sebastian film festival.
      • Along with her, Hollywood star Johnny Depp will also get this award.

Sports

  1. Indian Grandmaster Arjun Erigaisi has won the II Terras de Trás-os-Montes Chess Open in Portugal.

Miscellaneous

  1. Rolling stones (an English rock bank) drummer Charlie Watts has passed away.
  2. Chad’s former dictator Hissene Habre has passed away.

Start Quiz of 26th August 2021

Q.1) Which country has taken over the responsibility of the country-coordinator between India and ASEAN till 2024 from Thailand?
Q.2) At which IIT has the Centre for Research and Innovation in Artificial Intelligence been recently established?
Q.3) How many startups will be supported under the ‘Start-up Accelerators of MeitY for pRoduct Innovation, Development and growth’ (SAMRIDH) programme in the next three years?
Q.4) Recently, 37th edition of the PRAGATI meeting was chaired by PM Narendra Modi. Which of the following is the correct objective of holding Pragati meetings?
Q.5) Which state has launched 'Mission Vatsalya' to provide a bunch of services to widows at one platform?
Q.6) Which of the following force has conducted the four-day long exercise named GANDIV?
Q.7) Which country has manufactured world’s first fossil-free steel or green steel?
Q.8) Which of the following is the safest city in India as per the 4th Safe Cities Index 2021?
Q.9) Which district has topped in the North-Eastern Region (NER) District SDG Index Report and Dashboard 2021–22?
Q.10) Which bank has topped in the EASE 3.0 rankings?
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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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