Banking, Financial and Economic Awareness

Topic: Infrastructure and Energy

1. First CoE for Skill Development in Power Sector at National Institute of Solar Energy established.

  • First Centre of Excellence (CoE) for Skill Development in Power Sector at National Institute of Solar Energy (NISE), Gurugram, has been established by Skill India.
  • The CoE at NISE, Gurugram, has been established in partnership with the French Government.
  • More specifically, Ministry of National Education and Youth, Government of the French Republic, Schneider Electric and Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship have started the CoE.
  • It is an effort to create a pool of trainers and assessors that will be highly skilled and will further train candidates to increase their employability in electricity, automation and solar energy sectors.
  • Skill India refers to the National Skills Development Mission. It was launched in 2015.
  • National Institute of Solar Energy (NISE), Gurugram, is an autonomous centre of excellence of the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy. It was formed in 2013.
  • Government is also having National Institute of Wind Energy (NIWE) in Chennai. It was established in 1998.

Topic: Miscellaneous

2. YouTube launches first-ever regional language Ads Leaderboard.

  • YouTube has launched its first-ever regional language Ads Leaderboard, showing top ten regional language advertisements watched on YouTube.
  • The leaderboard includes 10 most-watched ads in the second half (July-December) of 2020 in six regional Indian languages. Some ads included in top 10 are given below:
    • An ad by Amul in Tamil
    • Malayalam ad ‘#MassEntri with Entri App!’ by Entri App  
    • An ad in Bengali by Goodknight
  • YouTube is a video sharing platform. It is owned by Google. It was founded by Chad Hurley, Steve Chen and Jawed Karim in 2005.

Topic: Miscellaneous

3. Global Sustainability Award 2020 won by Kerala-based ESAF SFB.

  • Global Sustainability Award 2020 has been won by Kerala-based ESAF (Evangelical Social Action Forum) SFB (Small Finance Bank).
  • Global Sustainability Awards are provided by Energy and Environment Foundation, a not-for-profit and independent non-governmental organization (NGO).
  • ESAF SFB (Small Finance Bank) was chosen for Global Sustainability Award 2020 for its efforts and steps towards positively impacting the environment.
  • Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL) has won Global Sustainability Award 2020 in Platinum Category.
  • Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL) is a Maharatna oil refining and marketing company. Its headquarters are located in Mumbai.
  • Currently, it is owned by the Government of India (52.98%). But, the government wants to privatize BPCL and has invited bids for selling its 52.98% stake in March 2020.
  • ESAF SFB is a Kerala based Small Finance Bank (SFB). SFBs offer basic banking services (deposits and lending) only with the aim of financial inclusion. They are governed by RBI only and need minimum paid-up equity capital of Rs. 100 crore.

Topic: Miscellaneous

4. Government signs $1 billion loan agreement with New Development Bank (NDB).

  • Government has signed $1 billion loan agreement with New Development Bank (NDB).
  • The loan has tenor of 30 years. This includes a 5-year grace period. The purpose of loan is to create durable rural infrastructure assets relating to Natural Resource Management (NRM).
  • It also intends to generate employment under Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) for rural poor.
  • It aims to generate employment especially for migrant workers returned due to Covid-19 pandemic. The funding will increase demand and help economic recovery.
  • World Bank Board of Executive Directors has given approval to four projects worth over $800 million. These projects include $400-million social protection response programme for poor and vulnerable households severely hit by Covid.
  • New Development Bank:
    • It was earlier named as BRICS Development Bank.
    • It was established by BRICS states in July 2014.
    • It is headquartered in Shanghai, China.
    • Its President is Marcos Prado Troyjo.

Topic: Infrastructure and Energy

5. Government signs $300 million loan agreement with ADB to improve rural power distribution network in UP.

  • Government has signed $300 million loan agreement with ADB to improve rural power distribution network in Uttar Pradesh.
  • Officials of ADB and Ministry of Finance were signatory to tranche (portion) 1 of this loan for Uttar Pradesh Power Distribution Network Rehabilitation Project.
  • Overall, the $430 million multi-tranche financing facility (MFF) was approved for the project. The project will also improve capacity of Uttar Pradesh Power Corporation Limited (UPPCL).
  • A $ 2 million technical assistance (TA) grant from ADB’s TA Special Fund and the Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction will be added to MFF.
  • Asian Development Bank (ADB):
    • It is a regional development bank established in 1966.
    • Members: 68 countries (49 members are from Asia pacific region)
    • It is headquartered in Mandaluyong, Philippines.
    • Masatsugu Asakawa is the current president of ADB. Ashok Lavasa has recently become Vice-President of ADB.

Topic: Infrastructure and Energy

6. Ministry of Road Transport and Highways issues draft notification for adoption of E20 fuel.

  • Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has issued a draft notification for the adoption of the E20 fuel.    
  • The Ministry has invited public comments for the adoption of E20 fuel. The adoption of E20 fuel will reduce vehicular emissions and India’s oil import bill.
  • Currently, 10% ethanol blending is permitted. India has achieved 5.6% of blending as of 2019.  E20 fuel is a mixture of 20% ethanol and 80% gasoline.

 

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