Daily Current Affairs and GK | 14 January 2021

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Topic: MoUs/Agreements

1. Union Cabinet approved an MoU between India and UAE in the field of scientific and technical cooperation.

  • Cabinet has approved an MoU between United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES), India, for scientific and technical cooperation.
  • The MoU will help both countries in sharing the knowledge, data and operational products for meteorological, seismological and oceanic services.
  • This MoU will enable both countries to cooperate on sharing real-time seismic data in the field of Seismology, Deployment of Meteorological observation networks, Tsunami Early Warning Centre, Early warnings for Sand and Dust storms, etc.
  • United Arab Emirates:
    • It is located in Western Asia at the northeast end of the Arabian Peninsula.
    • Abu Dhabi is the capital and UAE Dirham is the currency of UAE.
    • Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum is the Prime Minister of UAE.

sharing of real-time seismic data

Topic: Government Schemes and Initiatives

2. New Foreign Trade Policy will come into effect from 1 April.

  • The Government has announced that “New Foreign Trade Policy 2021-26” will come into effect from 1 April 2021. This new trade policy will be effective for the next five years.
  • It has been announced after the meeting of the Parliamentary Consultative Committee of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry.
  • It will help India in becoming a leader in international trade. It will also help in increasing the export of products and in the generation of employment.
  • District Export Hubs initiative will be an important pillar of the new trade policy. It will aim to convert each District of the country into an export hub by identifying products with export potential in the District.
  • It will play a vital role in achieving the goal of becoming a $ 5 trillion economy.
  • FTP 2015-20 was effective from 2015 to 2021.
  • Hardeep Singh Puri is the current Minister of State for Commerce and Industry.
 

Topic: Defence News

3. Government cleared the purchase of 83 ‘Tejas’ fighter jets.

  • The Cabinet Committee on Security, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has cleared the purchase of 83 Tejas fighter jets for Indian Air Force worth about 48 thousand crores.
  • The Government will purchase the Light Combat Aircraft, Tejas, from Hindustan Aeronautics Limited.
  • This deal will foster the manufacturing of indigenous aircraft and will help India in becoming self-reliant in this sector. It will help to meet the goals of Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyaan.
  • Under this deal, all 83 fighter jets will be delivered in the period of 2024 to 2028.
  • Hindustan Aeronautics (HAL) is working with more than 500 MSME to deliver the order on time.
  • Tejas:
    • It is an indigenously designed light combat aircraft by the Aircraft Development Agency (ADA), built by the Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) and Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL).
    • It is the lightest and smallest aircraft of its kind.
    • Its range is 3000 km and weight is 6500 kg.

83 fighter jets will be delivered in the period of 2024 to 2028

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: Government Schemes and Initiatives

4. CBSE, NIC will launch CollabCAD Software for Engineering students.

  • Central Board of Secondary Education and National Informatics Centre will jointly launch a CollabCAD Software to help engineering students and faculties.
  • It will help students and faculties in Engineering Graphics subject and help them in creating and modifying 3D digital designs.
  • An e-book on CollabCAD 3D modeling will be jointly released by National Informatics Centre, CBSE, and Atal Innovation Mission. It will help in understanding and using of CollabCAD Software.
  • It will also enable students to collaborate over designs across the network and concurrently access the same design data for storage and visualization.
  • National Informatics Centre (NIC):
    • It was established in 1976.
    • It is the attached office of the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY).
    • It is responsible for providing ICT infrastructure and services for the government in different aspects of Governance.
  • Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE):
    • It is a national level board of education in India for public and private schools.
    • It works under the Ministry of Education.
    • Manoj Ahuja is the current chairman of CBSE.

Topic: International News

5. Donald Trump becomes the first U.S. President to be impeached twice.

  • US President Donald Trump will be impeached by the US House for the second time. He is facing the charge of “incitement of insurrection" for the siege of the Capitol hills.
  • The House of Representatives has passed the impeachment resolution with the vote of 232-197.
  • He will be the only US president to be impeached twice.
  • Only three presidents, Andrew Johnson (1868), Bill Clinton (1998) and Donald Trump (2019), have been impeached till now.
  • Earlier, he was impeached by the House of Representatives based on the charges of abuse of power and obstruction to the Congress.

Donald Trump impeached twice

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: Personality in News

6. Social activist D Prakash Rao passed away at the age of 63.

  • Padma Shri awardee and renowned social activist D Prakash Rao has passed away at the age of 63.
  • He will be remembered for the work in the field of education of slum children and orphans.
  • He had received Padma Shri award in 2019.
  • He was from the state of Odisha.
  • Prime Minister and other dignitaries have expressed their grief on the demise of D Prakash Rao.  

D Prakash Rao

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: Miscellaneous

7. Different Harvest festivals celebrated across the country.

  • People of India are celebrating harvest festivals with different names across the country.
  • In Tamil Nadu, it is celebrated as Pongal and in north Indian states, it is celebrated as Makar Sankranti.
  • Lohri is celebrated as a festival of harvesting in the states of Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Delhi, Jammu and Chandigarh. It also represents the end of winter.
  • It is also celebrated as Uttarayan in Gujarat, Bhogali Bihu in Assam and Poush Sangkranti in West Bengal.

Festival

States

Pongal

Tamil Nadu

Lohri

Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Delhi, Jammu and Chandigarh

Makar Sankranti

Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh

Uttarayan

Gujarat

Bhogali Bihu

Assam

Poush Sangkranti

West Bengal

 

Harvest festivals celebrated across the country

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: Corporates/Companies

8. Tesla registered its India subsidiary in Bengaluru for electric vehicles.

  • Tesla, World’s leading electric car company, will set up its subsidiary in Bengaluru.
  • It has registered itself as Tesla India Motors and Energy Pvt Ltd with the Ministry of Corporate Affairs.
  • David Jon Feinstein, Vaibhav Taneja and Venkatrangam Sreeram are the board members of Tesla India Motors and Energy Pvt Ltd.
  • Tesla will set up its research and development (R&D) centre in Bengaluru for the manufacturing of Electric vehicles.
  • Recently, Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla, has become the richest person in the world.
  • Tesla:
    • It is an American electric vehicle and clean energy company.
    • Elon Musk is the founder and CEO of Tesla.
    • Its headquarters is located in California.

Tesla registered its India subsidiary in Bengaluru

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: Reports and Indices

9. World's most powerful passports ranking has been released.

  • Henley Passport Index 2021 has released the list of the world’s most powerful passports.
  • Japan has topped the list of being the most powerful passport in the world. A Japanese citizen can travel 191 countries without a prior visa.
  • Singapore is in the second position and South Korea and Germany share third place of the ranking.
  • India has been ranked in the 85th position. It has got a visa-free score of 58, which means that Indian citizens can visit 58 countries without the prior visa. India was in the 84th position in the Henley Passport Index 2020.
  • The United States, the United Kingdom, New Zealand and Switzerland are in the seventh position in the Henley Passport Index for 2021.
  • Pakistan and Nepal are on the 107th and 104th rank respectively. Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan are on the bottom list of this ranking.
  • Henley Passport Index:
    • It was launched in 2006.
    • It provides a ranking of the 199 passports of the world.
    • It is based on the data collected from the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

2021 rank

Country

Visa- Free Destinations

1

 Japan

191

2

 Singapore

190

3

 Germany

189

 South Korea

189

Topic: Banking System

10. As per FSR released by RBI, GNPA ratio of SCBs may increase to 13.5% by September 2021.

  • As per the Financial Stability Report (FSR) released by RBI, Gross Non Performing Assets (GNPA) ratio of Scheduled Commercial Banks (SCBs) may increase to 13.5% by September 2021.
  • RBI has released Financial Stability Report (FSR), January 2021. This is the 22nd issue of FSR.
  • The report says that both GNPA and net NPA (NNPA) ratios continued to decline. In September 2020, GNPA ratio stood at 7.5%. NNPA ratio stood at 2.1% in September 2020.  In March 2020, NNPA ratio was 3%.
  • The report says that GNPAs may increase to 13.5% by September 2021 under the baseline scenario. GNPA ratio may increase to 14.8% by September 2021 under the severe stress scenario. 
  • In July 2020 FSR, collective assessment of FSDC sub-committee was an increase in GNPA ratio from 8.5 % in March 2020 to 12.5 % by March 2021. As per July 2020 FSR, GNPA ratio was to increase to 14.7% under severe stress scenario. 
  • FSR released in January 2021 says that banks have sufficient capital at an aggregate level. It says that at an individual level, capital with banks may come down below regulatory requirement in case of a severe stress scenario. 
  • 22nd issue of FSR shows an increase in capital to risk-weighted assets ratio (CRAR) of SCBs from 14.7% in March 2020 to 15.8% in September 2020.
  • Stress tests are carried out to know effects on the asset quality of banks under hypothetical scenarios. In addition to the baseline scenario, RBI carries out stress tests under medium, severe and very severe scenarios.
  • FSR was for the first time released in May 2010. It is released biannually in June and December every year.
  • GNPA and NNPA: GNPA shows the absolute value of NPAs. NNPA is calculated by subtracting provisioning made by banks from GNPA. 
 

 

 

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