Banking, Financial and Economic Awareness

2020-07-18

1. India's performance in poverty alleviation best in a decade

  • Recently released UNDP and OPHI data shows that India's performance in poverty alleviation was best in a decade.
  • United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI) have recently released data about poverty alleviation.
  • During the decade between 2005-06 and 2015-16, nearly 273 million Indian people came out of multi-dimensional poverty.
  • The data shows that out of 75 countries, 65 countries lowered the levels of multidimensional poverty during 2000 to 2019.
  • Out of these 65, 50 countries also lowered the number of poor people and India has achieved largest reduction (273 million) in the number of people facing multidimensional poverty.
  • India is also one among four countries that halved their Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) value in 5.5-10.5 years. Other three countries are Armenia, Nicaragua and North Macedonia.
  • As per the data, nearly 1.3 billion people currently face multidimensional poverty and nearly 84.3% of them live in sub-Saharan Africa.
  • Multidimensional poverty takes into account multiple dimensions of poverty such as lack of health, education, good living standards etc.

2. Farmers angry over agriculture ministry's notification banning Glyphosate

  • Farmers are angry over agriculture ministry's notification banning Glyphosate, which is used for killing weeds.
  • On July 7, Ministry of agriculture has issued draft notification to ban Glyphosate.
  • Some experts say that the notification has been issued to control illegal plantation of Herbicide-Tolerant Bt (HTBt) cotton as Glyphosate is used to control weeds in HTBt cotton fields.
  • Earlier, India has seen pest attacks by desert locusts and fall armyworms. But, government has brought a notification to ban 27 agrochemicals. Some agrochemicals are needed in dealing with new pests.
  • Glyphosate is a broad-spectrum herbicide that kills plants non-selectively. This means that it can kill most of the plants in the crop fields. 
  • Herbicide-Tolerant Bt (HTBt) cotton plants are tolerant to herbicide and pesticide both.
  • But, BT cotton plants are resistant to pesticide only. So, HTBt allows farmers to kill weed with the help of herbicide. 

3. 1.03 lakh private sector subscribers added to NPS

  • During first quarter (April-June) of 2020, nearly 1.03 lakh private sector individual subscribers were added to the National Pension System (NPS).
  • During the same period, NPS has also added 206 corporates. This increased the number of corporate subscribers in the 18-65 age group to 10.13 lakh.
  • Government has started National Pension system for government employees in 2004 and opened it to all sections in 2009.
  • NPS is under regulation of Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA).

4. A special spot e-auction scheme launched for coal importers

  • A special spot e-auction scheme has been launched by Coal India Ltd (CIL).
  • The scheme is intended for coal importers and will help company in increasing its sales and lower India's import dependence.
  • The cut off for the scheme is March 2018. Indian buyers, including traders, importing coal after March 2018 would be eligible for the scheme.
  • Other eligibility condition for the scheme is minimum bid quantity depending upon the mode of transport by road or rail.

5. Two COVID-19 control technologies transferred to Kolkata-based private firm

  • Two COVID-19 control technologies have been transferred to a Kolkata-based private firm, Paulmech Infrastrucutre Pvt Ltd.
  • The technologies have been transferred by National Research Development Corporation (NRDC).
  • The transferred technologies include an active respirator mask and long-lasting nano-sanitiser.
  • The products will be produced and marketed by Paulmech Infrastrucutre Pvt Ltd.
  • NRDC comes under Department of Scientific and Industrial Research. It was formed in 1953.
  • Its aims include promotion, development and commercialisation of the technologies developed by national level institutions.

6. India and US sign MoU for cooperation on strategic petroleum reserves

  • India and US have signed MoU for beginning cooperation to operate and maintain strategic petroleum reserves
  • The MoU was signed at the meeting of the US-India Strategic Energy Partnership.
  • As per the MoU, both countries will also exchange information and best practices.
  • Currently, hydrocarbons trade between India and US accounts for 10% of the total bilateral trade between two countries.

7. Roshni Nadar appointed as new chairperson of HCL Technologies 

  • Roshni Nadar has been appointed as the new chairperson of HCL Technologies.
  • She is the daughter of company's founder and chairman, Shiv Nadar.
  • She has also become first woman, who is heading a listed Indian IT company.
  • She has also become India's richest woman. She has joined HCL technologies in 2013 and was serving as Vice Chairperson.
  • She will still remain CEO of HCL Corporation. Shiv Nadar will no longer be the chairperson of HCL Technologies.
  • But, he will remain MD of the company. His designation will be Chief Strategy Officer.

8. Contracts to construct and supply two autonomous electric ferries signed by CSL

  • Contracts to construct and supply two autonomous electric ferries to ASKO Maritime have been signed by Cochin Shipyard Ltd (CSL).
  • CSL is largest commercial shipbuilder of India. It is based in Kochi. 
  • ASKO Maritime AS is the subsidiary of Norges Gruppen ASA. It is based in Norway.
  • Norway lies in northern Europe. Sweden lies to its east.  Finland and Russia lie to its north-east. Skagerrak strait lies to south of Norway. Its capital is Oslo.

 

 

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