Topic: Infrastructure and Energy
1. Defence minister unveiled driverless metro car for Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA).
- Defence Minister unveiled driverless metro car for Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA).
- It is India’s first indigenously designed & developed driverless metro car. Indigenously designed & developed Driverless Metro trains are being made at BEML Bangaluru Complex.
- Defence Minister also unveiled Aerospace Assembly Hangar and first indigenously manufactured Tatra Cabin by BEML.
- Defence Minister said that driver-less metro project would, in turn, fulfill 5 Billion US Dollar (about Rs 35,000 crore) defence export target by 2025. He also mentioned Defence Production and Export Promotion Policy 2020.
- Government’s defence export target of 5 Billion US dollars was announced by PM Modi while inaugurating DefExpo in February 2020.
- In February 2020, five day long biennial DefExpo was held in Lucknow with the theme “India: The Emerging Defence Manufacturing Hub”.
2. An Innovation Factory launched by NASSCOM in partnership with Telangana Artificial Intelligence Mission (T-AIM) to promote AI in agriculture.
- An Innovation Factory has been launched by NASSCOM in partnership with Telangana Artificial Intelligence Mission (T-AIM) to promote AI in agriculture.
- Innovation Factory is the name of an innovation challenge launched by NASSCOM and T-AIM to identify innovative Artificial Intelligence (AI) solutions for the agriculture sector.
- Start-ups, companies and institutions operating within India can participate in the challenge.
- In July 2020, T-AIM was launched by the Telangana government in partnership with NASSCOM under 2020 Year of AI initiative. 2020 Year of AI is an initiative of Telangana government.
- National Association of Software and Service Companies (NASSCOM) is an association of the software industry. It was established in 1988. Keshav R Murugesh is its chairperson.
Topic: Infrastructure and Energy
3. Only State’s Power Distribution Companies (DISCOMS) authorized to implement rooftop solar scheme.
- Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has made it clear that only the State’s Power Distribution Companies (DISCOMS) are authorized to implement rooftop solar scheme.
- MNRE has also clarified that only State’s Power Distribution Companies (DISCOMS) are authorized to empanel vendors.
- Rooftop Solar Panel Scheme is going through 3rd phase. Central government provides 40% subsidy for capacity up to 3kWp in the residential sector. 20% subsidy is provided for capacity of 4kW to 10 kW.
- Grid connected solar rooftop programme of MNRE aims to develop cumulative capacity of 40,000 MW from rooftop solar projects by 2022.
Topic: Banking System
4. RBI conducts 14-day variable rate reverse repo auction under the revised Liquidity Management Framework.
- RBI conducted a 14-day variable rate reverse repo auction under the revised Liquidity Management Framework.
- The auction was carried out on 15 January 2021. The notified amount for auction was ₹2, 00,009 crores. It received offers of ₹3, 05,816 crores at the auction.
- Revised Liquidity Management Framework was issued by RBI in Statement of Developmental and Regulatory Policies in February 2020. But, its implementation was temporarily suspended.
Topic: Banking System
5. Export-Import Bank (Exim Bank) of India listed its foreign currency bonds on India International Exchange (India INX).
- Export-Import Bank (Exim Bank) of India lists its foreign currency bonds aggregating $1 billion on India International Exchange (India INX).
- State Bank of India has also listed its foreign currency bonds aggregating $600 million on India INX.
- Earlier, $6.65 billion bonds were listed by Exim Bank on India INX. They were listed by Exim Bank under its Global Medium Term Note (GMTN) programme.
- India International Exchange (IFSC) Limited (India INX):
- It is the first international stock exchange of India.
- It is a subsidiary of the Bombay Stock Exchange.
- Location: International Financial Services Centre, GIFT City, Gujarat
6. Kotak Securities’ report says that establishing a bad bank would have been most fruitful 3-4 years ago.
- A report by Kotak Securities Ltd (KSL) says that the establishment of a bad bank would have been most fruitful 3-4 years ago.
- The report is based on two key reports of the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) and IMF. As per the report, the establishment of a bad bank may have been most fruitful just after Asset Quality Review (AQR).
- AQR was conducted by RBI in 2015-16 (August-November). KSL analyst has said that today banking systems is stronger with high provision coverage ratio.
- Provision coverage ratio has improved from nearly 40% to nearly 70% in the past three-four years. The proposal for the establishment of a bad bank was submitted to Finance Ministry and RBI by Indian Banks Association (IBA) in May 2020.
- In 2018, Former PNB Chairman Sunil Mehta led panel on stressed assets in public sector banks proposed idea of Sashakt India Asset Management, an asset management company for resolving large bad loan.
7. Piramal Capital and Housing Finance Ltd’s debt resolution proposal wins the bid to acquire DHFL.
- Piramal Capital and Housing Finance Ltd’s debt resolution proposal has won the bid to acquire Dewan Housing Finance Corporation Ltd (DHFL).
- Piramal Capital and Housing Finance Ltd’s proposal got 94% of lender’s votes. Oaktree capital’s proposal perhaps got 45% of the votes.
- DHFL administrator R Subramaniakumar had not yet disclosed the official number of votes. Oaktree capital was the highest bidder in terms of value in the first round of bidding.
- But, the first round was cancelled. RBI and NCLT will now ratify Piramal Capital and Housing Finance Ltd.’s proposal. This is likely to take 90 days under normal circumstances.
- DHFL is the first finance company that was referred by RBI to NCLT. If Oaktree challenges the bidding, the case will go to the Supreme Court.
8. Union Cabinet approves amendment in Mines and Mineral (Development and Regulation) Act 1957 under blueprint to reform mining sector.
- Union Cabinet has approved an amendment in Mines and Mineral (Development and Regulation) Act 1957 under blueprint to reform mining sector.
- The cabinet has also approved the development of the National Mineral Index under the blueprint to reform mining sector.
- National Mineral Index will be developed for various statutory payments and for future auctions. Presently, statutory payments are calculated on the basis of the Average Sale Price (ASP).
- Section 10A (2)(b) and 10A (2)(c) of the MMDR Act will be amended. Government will present the blueprint to reform the mining sector before Parliament during the coming Budget session.
- The removal of distinction between captive and merchant mines and amendment in District Mineral Fund (DMF) are other proposals under the blueprint. Local Member of Parliament (MP) will be a member of DMF Governing Council.
- The issue of double taxation will be examined by a Committee. Indian Stamp Act, 1899 will also be amended to bring uniformity in stamp duty calculation in various States.
- India’s effective tax rates (64%) on mining are the highest in the world. Geological Survey of India (GSI) has identified 0.571 million sq. km area as total Obvious Geological Potential (OGP) area. Out of this area, only 1.5% is being mined as of now.