1. Government to sell shares in Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Ltd
- The government will sell its shares in Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Ltd, which is India’s biggest warship builder.
- The government will bring out an initial public offer for this purpose in October.
- The government wants to increase the domestic production of defense equipment and has announced a ban on the import of 101 weapons and military platforms by 2024.
- YES Securities, Axis Capital, Edelweiss Financial, IDFC Securities and JM Financial have been hired to manage the share sale.
- Currently, Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders is building P-15B/ Visakhapatnam class destroyers, which are improved variants of Kolkata-class (Project 15A) destroyers.
- Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders also have orders for four P-17A or Nilgiri-class stealth frigates and four Scorpene-class submarines.
- The government is trying to list Mazagon Dock on the stock exchange since 2018. If listed on the stock market, Mazagon Dock will be the third government-controlled shipbuilder to be listed on the stock exchange.
- Earlier, Cochin Shipyard Ltd and Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers Ltd. have been listed on the stock exchange.
- Mazagon Dock is a public sector undertaking located in Mazagon, Mumbai. It is India’s only shipyard that builds warships and submarines for the Indian navy.
2. Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) and Dr Reddy’s Laboratories reach agreement
- Russia’s sovereign wealth fund, RDIF and Dr Reddy’s Laboratories have reached an agreement for cooperation on clinical trials and distribution of the Sputnik V vaccine in India.
- As per the agreement, RDIF will provide 100 million doses of vaccines to Dr Reddy’s Laboratories after regulatory approval in India.
- The vaccine is currently undergoing clinical trials and the supply may be started by late 2020.
- Phase-I and Phase-II trials of vaccine are complete and Dr Reddy’s Laboratories will carry out phase-III trials in India.
- Sputnik V vaccine is safe for humans as it uses human adenoviral vectors that humans repeatedly face throughout life.
- The vaccine has efficacy because it uses two different human adenoviruses sequentially.
- On 11 August 2020, the vaccine became the world’s first registered vaccine against Covid-19 based on the human adenoviral vector platform.
- Sputnik V vaccine is based on Adenovirus vectors used for delivery vaccine antigens in the host.
3. Three states make up 71% of payments due to renewable energy producers
- Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana make up 71% of payments due to renewable energy producers.
- Conventional generators all over India have Rs 1,065 billion due in July 2019 as per the report by JMK Research & Analytics, which is a firm providing advisory services in the area of renewable energy.
- The same report shows that renewable power generators have Rs 103 billion overdue.
- The report quotes the Power Ministry’s PRAAPTI (Payment Ratification and Analysis in Power procurement for bringing Transparency in Invoicing of generators) portal launched in May 2018.
- Main causes for due payments are revenue deficit of DISCOMS due to transmission losses, lack of effective billing and power theft.
- The situation of DISCOMS has not improved even after the launch of Ujwal DISCOM Assurance Yojana (UDAY) in November 2015, which allowed states to take over 75% of the debt of DISCOMS.
- In May 2020, the government has announced a liquidity infusion of Rs 900 billion Power Finance Corporation and the Rural Electrification Corporation (PFC-REC).
- The liquidity infusion was announced to help DISCOMS in paying their dues till March 2020.
4. Partnership between Singapore government and Apple for LumiHealth initiative
- Singapore government and Apple have entered into a partnership for a two-year-long LumiHealth initiative.
- The initiative will track and reward user behavior through the Apple Watch gadget and an iPhone app.
- If Singapore residents finish goals and tasks in the app, they will earn money under the initiative.
- The initiative is voluntary and all user data will be encrypted.
- Earlier, Singapore had launched a contact tracing app for the COVID-19 pandemic and distributing tokens to residents to enter certain venues.
- Apple has recently added health-tracking features to Apple Watch and collaborated with Stanford Medicine to develop research methods for medical issues.
- Apple is a US-based company. It is headquartered in Cupertino, California. It was founded by Steve Jobs, Ronald Wayne, and Steve Wozniak. Tim Cook is its CEO.
5. Disbursal of Mudra loans by PSBs and their NPAs both increase in last 3 years
- As per Finance Ministry data, the disbursal of Mudra loans by PSBs has increased from 2.12 lakh crore in 2017-18 to Rs 3.82 lakh crore in 2019-20.
- The NPAs as a percentage of total loans have also increased from 3.42 % in 2017-18 to 4.92 % in 2019-20.
- Loans worth Rs 59,192 crore have been disbursed till September 11, 2020. Nearly 9.37 crore Shishu loans worth Rs 1.62 lakh crore has not been paid till March 31, 2020.
- In June 2020, Union Cabinet has approved a scheme to provide 2% interest subsidy on interest for one year to all eligible Shishu loan account holders under Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana.
- Under Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana, the Shishu loan is provided for income-generating activities up to Rs 50,000.
- Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana (PMMY) was launched on 8 April 2015. Under the scheme, Rs 10 lakh is provided as loans to non-corporate, non-farm small/micro-enterprises. ‘Shishu’, ‘Kishore’ and ‘Tarun are three products under PMMY.