27th October, 2021 – Daily News

Topics covered – ‘CONSULT’ mobile application , Amrit Mahotsav Podcast, First Strategic Dialogue , PM Ayushman Bharat Health Infrastructure Mission, credentials from Ambassadors of the Luxembourg, Slovenia, Israel and Egypt, largest ‘Impact Bond’ for skilling in India, ‘Go-Green’ scheme , ‘Swasth Mahila, Swasth Goa’ initiative , renewable energy certificates , Proba-1 minisatellite , Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (, BIMSTEC , State of the Climate in Asia 2020 report , We Make Websites Ltd , India Post Payments Bank (IPPB) and HDFC Limited , BeFit service , ILTakeCare app , IndiGo’s 6E rewards programme, project readiness financing (PRF) loan , National Council of Applied Economic Research , Business Confidence Index , myBillBook , Anita Anand , Vigilance Awareness Week , World Day for Audio-Visual Heritage

Bulletins

  1. ‘CONSULT’ mobile application has been launched to provide instant consultancy in 65 sectors of public interest.
  2. To celebrate the Azadi ka Amrut Mahotsav, the Ministry of Culture has launched “Amrit Mahotsav Podcast” to pay tribute to the freedom fighters and freedom movements.
  3. India and Kyrgyzstan will organize their First Strategic Dialogue in New Delhi to enhance cooperation in counter-terrorism and defence.
  4. Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya has announced that two containers with all healthcare facilities will be established under the PM Ayushman Bharat Health Infrastructure Mission.
  5. The President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind, accepted credentials from Ambassadors of the Luxembourg, Slovenia, Israel and Egypt in Ashok Hall, Rashtrapati Bhavan.
  6. National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) has launched the first-of-its-kind and the largest ‘Impact Bond’ for skilling in India.
  7. Gujarat govt has launched ‘Go-Green’ scheme and its portal to provide electric two-wheelers at subsidised rates to construction and industrial workers of the state.
  8. ‘Swasth Mahila, Swasth Goa’ initiative has been launched by YouWeCan Foundation of cricketer Yuvraj Singh, in partnership with SBI Foundation, and Goa govt.
  9. Singapore is planning to implement the renewable energy certificates (REC). These REC would verify that electricity has been generated from renewable energy only.
  10. Proba-1 minisatellite of European Space Agency has completed 20 years.
  11. 6th Annual Meeting of the Board of Governors of Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) was held.
  12. 5th summit of the BIMSTEC (Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation) will be organized in Colombo, Sri Lanka in December.
  13. State of the Climate in Asia 2020 report has been released by UN agencies, in association with World Meteorological Organization.
  14. Tech Mahindra Ltd has acquired two companies – US-based Infostar LLC (Lodestone) and London-based We Make Websites Ltd (WMW), for $105 million and 9.4 million pounds (approx. $13 million) respectively to strengthen its digital portfolio.
  15. ICICI Bank has crossed the market capitalisation of Hindustan Unilever to become the fifth largest company by market value.
  16. India Post Payments Bank (IPPB) and HDFC Limited have partnered to offer home loans to nearly 4.7 crore customers of IPPB.
  17. ICICI Lombard has launched BeFit service on its ILTakeCare app to provide individuals with the benefits of OPD services i.e. doctor consultation, pharmacy and diagnostics services, and physiotherapy sessions in a cashless manner.
  18. Kotak Mahindra Bank and IndiGo airlines have partnered to launch a co-branded credit card called Ka-ching under IndiGo’s 6E rewards programme.
  19. Central government and the Asian Development Bank has signed a $4.5 million project readiness financing (PRF) loan to improve urban mobility in Aizawl, Mizoram.
  20. National Council of Applied Economic Research (NCAER) has shown an improvement of 90% in its Business Confidence Index for the Q2 of 2021-22 (July-September), in comparison to the Q1.
  21. FloBiz (Bengaluru-based fintech) has appointed Manoj Bajpayee as its brand ambassador of its flagship product myBillBook – a GST billing and accounting software.
  22. Canada PM Justin Trudeau has reshuffled his cabinet and appointed Indian-origin Anita Anand as the new Defence Minister of the country.
  23. Vigilance Awareness Week is observed from October 26 to November 1 by Central Vigilance Commission.
  24. World Day for Audio-Visual Heritage (WDAH) is observed on October 27.

Table of Content

National News

  1. ‘CONSULT’ mobile application has been launched to provide instant consultancy in 65 sectors of public interest.
      • The app has been launched by Raghav Chandra (former chairman of the National Highways Authority of India) in the presence of Minister of Road Transport and Highways, Nitin Gadkari.
      • The app not only provides information in the road sector but it also contains information for the other sectors like banking etc.
  2. To celebrate the Azadi ka Amrut Mahotsav, the Ministry of Culture has launched “Amrit Mahotsav Podcast” to pay tribute to the freedom fighters and freedom movements.
      • The first in this series of podcasts is Zara Yaad Karo Qurbani.
  3. India and Kyrgyzstan will organize their First Strategic Dialogue in New Delhi to enhance cooperation in counter-terrorism and defence.
      • They will discuss the situation of Afghanistan.
  4. Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya has announced that two containers with all healthcare facilities will be established under the PM Ayushman Bharat Health Infrastructure Mission.
      • These containers can be rushed to any place in case of an emergency.
      • These containers, with a capacity of about 200 beds each, will be placed in Delhi and Chennai.
      • The PM Ayushman Bharat Health Infrastructure Mission has been launched with an investment of Rs 64,000 crore.
  5. The President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind, accepted credentials from Ambassadors of the Luxembourg, Slovenia, Israel and Egypt in Ashok Hall, Rashtrapati Bhavan.
      • The President congratulated the ambassadors for their appointment and wished for friendly relations with these countries.
      • The new ambassadors are:
        • H.E. Ms. Peggy Frantzen, Ambassador of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg
        • H.E Ms. Mateja Vodeb Ghosh, Ambassador of the Republic of Slovenia
        • H.E. Mr. Naor Gilon, Ambassador of Israel
        • H.E. Mr. Wael Mohamed Awad Hamed, Ambassador of the Arab Republic of Egypt
  6. National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) has launched the first-of-its-kind and the largest ‘Impact Bond’ for skilling in India.
      • The Skill Impact Bond (SIB) is the first impact bond involving public, private partners and a public private partnership organisation, NSDC.
      • The bonds are worth USD 14.4 million to benefit 50,000 youth in India by making them employment ready.
      • The tenure of the bond is 4 years.
      • Through these bonds, the aforementioned investors will be able to provide working capital to the service providers to implement the Impact programme. The service providers will then use this money to impart skills to the youth.
        • Training Institutes / Service Providers – The training will be imparted through NSDC’s affiliated training partners, including Apollo Medskills Ltd, Gram Tarang Employability Training Services Pvt Ltd, Learnet Skills Ltd, Magic Bus India Foundation and PanIIT Alumni Foundation.
      • Target groups – of 50,000, 60% should be females
What are Impact Bonds?
Impact bonds are innovative financing instruments that attract investment from the private investors for social projects, in lieu of the government, and donors.
Such investment holds more accountability, and is focused on achieving outcomes.
The private investors (risk investors) initially finance the initiative and are repaid by 'outcome funders', only if agreed-upon outcomes are achieved.
The underlying principle of the Impact Bond is Outcome Funding. Impact bonds draw their money from investors and outcome funders pay back the principle and return to the investors, only when the pre-determined outcomes are achieved.
What is Outcome Funding?
Outcome Funding refers to financing the projects with the purpose of achieving outcomes.
Outcome funders can be the govt, private entity, or an NGO, who pay back to the investors (their principle and return amount) after the outcomes are achieved.
If the pre-determined outcomes, in this case – skilling of the youth (that too, with 60% females), are achieved and the impact they created in the society is reasonable, the investors’ money gets paid back.
If the outcomes are not achieved, the investors don’t get their money back. Therefore, it is a risk investment on the part of the investors. Still, the investors do it for the social good and outcome funders pay back to the investors due to their philanthropy.
Outcome funding is not limited to achieving the quantifiable outcomes only, rather the focus is on the impact created by their funding. In this case, merely skilling is not the return; the impact created via this funding i.e., improvement in the female labour force participation rate in India, improvement in the lifestyle of the females and enhanced opportunities for the unemployed, is the true return for the investors.
Who is funding this Bond?
• The bond has been launched by a consortium of public, private, public-private organization. It consists of - ⚬ Risk investors – NSDC and Michael & Susan Dell Foundation (MSDF); $4 million investment; if outcome is achieved, this funding will be reinvested each year.
⚬ Outcome Funders –
■ HRH Prince Charles's British Asian Trust (convenor)
■ The Children's Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF)
■ HSBC India
■ JSW Foundation
■ Dubai Cares
⚬ Technical Partners –
■ FCDO (UK Government)
■ USAID

State News

  1. Gujarat govt has launched ‘Go-Green’ scheme and its portal to provide electric two-wheelers at subsidised rates to construction and industrial workers of the state.
      • Under the scheme, a worker of the organised sector, such as an industrial labourer, would get a subsidy of 30% on the vehicle’s price or Rs 30,000, whichever is less.
      • For workers in the construction sector, the criteria is 50% subsidy or Rs 30,000, whichever is less.
      • In the initial phase, the state government aims to provide such battery-powered two-wheelers to 1,000 construction workers and 2,000 organised sector workers.
  2. ‘Swasth Mahila, Swasth Goa’ initiative has been launched by YouWeCan Foundation of cricketer Yuvraj Singh, in partnership with SBI Foundation, and Goa govt.
      • Under the initiative, free breast cancer screening will be done for 1 lakh women in Goa to ensure that 50% of the age-eligible female population in the state is screened.
      • The initiative is sponsored by Indian Institute of Banking and Finance and SBI Foundation.
      • ‘iBreast’ devices will be used for screening, which will be done over a period of two years.
      • Free treatment will be provided for all positive cases with the support of the Government of Goa.
      • iBreast Exam, which will be used for screening under the ‘Swasth Mahila, Swasth Goa’ initiative, is a hand-held, fully wireless mHealth point-of-care solution for breast lesion detection.
Swasth Mahila, Swasth Goa Campaign

International News

  1. Singapore is planning to implement the renewable energy certificates (REC). These REC would verify that electricity has been generated from renewable energy only.
      • One certificate represents that one megawatt-hour (MWh) of electricity was generated from a renewable energy source and delivered to the grid.
      • This will help Singapore in decarbonising its power sector and develop a regional grid.
  2. Proba-1 minisatellite of European Space Agency has completed 20 years.
      • Proba-1 was launched as a technology demonstration satellite, and subsequently became an Earth observation mission.
      • Proba-2 was launched in 2009 to observe Sun.
      • Proba-V mission was launched in 2013 for tracking vegetation.
      • Probe-3 is planned to be launched in 2023 to study the corona of the Sun.
  3. 6th Annual Meeting of the Board of Governors of Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) was held.
      • This year’s annual meeting has been jointly organized by AIIB and the Government of the United Arab Emirates on the theme of “Investing Today and Transforming Tomorrow”.
      • Union Minister of Finance and Corporate Affairs Nirmala Sitharaman participated in the meet. She shared her thoughts in the Governor’s Roundtable Discussion on the theme “COVID-19 Crisis and Post-COVID Support”.
      • India was among the AIIB’s 57 founding members in 2016.
  4. 5th summit of the BIMSTEC (Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation) will be organized in Colombo, Sri Lanka in December.
      • Secretary-General of BIMSTEC Tenzin Lekphell announced that BIMSTEC Charter will be signed during the summit.
      • The Summit at Colombo will also sign three legal instruments on –
        • Mutual legal assistance in criminal matters,
        • MoU on cooperation in Diplomatic academies and training institutions and,
        • Establishment of the BIMSTEC technology transfer facility
      • Besides, the Sec-gen announced that the member states have ratified the BIMSTEC Convention on Cooperation in Combating International terrorism, Transnational Organized crime and Illicit Drug Trafficking. The convention came into force on March 16, 2021.
      • Also, the BIMSTEC Free Trade Agreement (FTA) is at an advanced stage of negotiations.
      • BIMSTEC countries are negotiating on the Coastal shipping agreement, Motor Vehicle agreement and Grid interconnection master plan.
  5. About BIMSTEC:

      • Established – 1997
      • Members – Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Myanmar and Thailand.

Reports & Indices

  1. State of the Climate in Asia 2020 report has been released by UN agencies, in association with World Meteorological Organization.
      • The report has been prepared by WMO, United Nations agencies, including the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) and the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (UNSCWA).
      • As per this report, China experienced the highest average annual loss of $238 billion, followed by India ($87 billion) and Japan ($83 billion) due to floods, drought, and cyclones.
      • The average annual loss for Tajikistan can be equal to 7.9% of its GDP, 5.9% of GDP for Cambodia, and 5.8% of GDP for Lao People’s Democratic Republic.
      • Much of the disaster-related displacement recorded globally in 2020 took place in China, Bangladesh and India, which recorded some of the highest figures (about 4 to 5 million new displacements each).
      • In 2020, 48.8 million people in South-East Asia, 305.7 million in South Asia and 42.3 million in West Asia are estimated to have been undernourished. Asia accounts for more than half of the global total.
      • Compared with 2019, the number of undernourished people in 2020 increased by 6% in South-East Asia and West Asia, and by 20% in South Asia.

Banking & Economy

  1. Tech Mahindra Ltd has acquired two companies – US-based Infostar LLC (Lodestone) and London-based We Make Websites Ltd (WMW), for $105 million and 9.4 million pounds (approx. $13 million) respectively to strengthen its digital portfolio.
      • The acquisitions will strengthen the digital engineering services of Tech Mahindra.
  2. ICICI Bank has crossed the market capitalisation of Hindustan Unilever to become the fifth largest company by market value.
      • ICICI Bank becomes the second lender after HDFC Bank to enter into the top five companies on the BSE in terms of m-cap.
      • Reliance Ltd is at the top position.
  3. India Post Payments Bank (IPPB) and HDFC Limited have partnered to offer home loans to nearly 4.7 crore customers of IPPB.
  4. ICICI Lombard has launched BeFit service on its ILTakeCare app to provide individuals with the benefits of OPD services i.e. doctor consultation, pharmacy and diagnostics services, and physiotherapy sessions in a cashless manner.
  5. Kotak Mahindra Bank and IndiGo airlines have partnered to launch a co-branded credit card called Ka-ching under IndiGo’s 6E rewards programme.
      • The credit card provides exclusive travel benefits to the holders.
      • Available in two variants, 6E Rewards, and 6E Rewards XL, the new Ka-ching credit cards will provide varied benefits to card-holders both on domestic and international travel.
  6. Central government and the Asian Development Bank has signed a $4.5 million project readiness financing (PRF) loan to improve urban mobility in Aizawl, Mizoram.
      • The loan support project preparation and design activities to enhance sustainable and planned urbanization.
      • Project Readiness Financing (PRF) refers to financing the project from planning to preparation stage. In PRF, the financing agency also provides funds for conducting the feasibility studies on the project.
  7. National Council of Applied Economic Research (NCAER) has shown an improvement of 90% in its Business Confidence Index for the Q2 of 2021-22 (July-September), in comparison to the Q1.

Appointments

  1. FloBiz (Bengaluru-based fintech) has appointed Manoj Bajpayee as its brand ambassador of its flagship product myBillBook – a GST billing and accounting software.
      • The ‘Business Ko Le Seriously’ campaign highlights how digital solutions can improve performance and power growth in a small business.
  2. Canada PM Justin Trudeau has reshuffled his cabinet and appointed Indian-origin Anita Anand as the new Defence Minister of the country.

Important Days

  1. Vigilance Awareness Week is observed from October 26 to November 1 by Central Vigilance Commission.
      • Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel’s birth anniversary falls on October 31.
      • Theme – Independent India @75: Self Reliance with Integrity
  2. World Day for Audio-Visual Heritage (WDAH) is observed on October 27.
      • Theme – ‘Your Window to the World.’
      • In 1980, the 21st General Conference of the Recommendation for the Safeguarding and Preservation of Moving Images adopted the World Day for Audio-Visual Heritage.
Audio-Visual Heritage Day

Start Quiz of 27th October 2021

Q.1) Which of the following app has been launched by Raghav Chandra (former chairman of the National Highways Authority of India) to provide instant consultancy in 65 sectors of public interest?
Q.2) Recently, National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) has launched the first-of-its-kind and the largest 'Impact Bond' for skilling in India. What is the total corpus of this bond?
Q.3) Which state has launched ‘Go-Green’ scheme and its portal to provide electric two-wheelers at subsidised rates to construction and industrial workers of the state?
Q.4) Which organization has launched the 'Swasth Mahila, Swasth Goa' initiative to tackle the problem of breast cancer in the state?
Q.5) Which country has announced to launch the renewable energy certificates (REC) to verify that electricity has been generated from renewable energy only?
Q.6) Which edition of the BIMSTEC Summit will be organized in 2021?
Q.7) What is the average annual loss of India due to floods, drought, and cyclones, as per the State of the Climate in Asia 2020 report?
Q.8) Indian-origin Anita Anand has become the only Indian-origin woman minister in Canada PM Justin Trudeau’s cabinet. Which portfolio does she hold?
Q.9) In which month is the Vigilance Awareness Week observed?
Q.10) For which state have the Central government and the Asian Development Bank signed a $4.5 million project readiness financing (PRF) loan to improve urban mobility in the state capital?
CEO of Anujjindal.in


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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