Daily Current Affairs and GK | 18 November 2021

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Topic: Banking System

1. RBI directed NBFCs to appoint Internal Ombudsman.

  • RBI has directed Non-Banking Finance Companies (NBFCs) to appoint Internal Ombudsman within six months.
  • RBI has directed Deposit-taking NBFCs with more than 10 branches and non-deposit-taking NBFCs with an asset size of a minimum of 5 thousand Crore rupees to appoint an internal ombudsman within 6 months.
  • It will be the apex body for their internal grievance redress mechanism. All complaints that are partly or wholly rejected by the NBFC will be reviewed by the Internal Ombudsman.
  • The Internal Ombudsman will not take any complaints directly from the public.
  • The person appointed as the IO shall be either a retired or a serving officer, not below the rank of Deputy General Manager.
  • The NBFC may appoint more than one IO depending on the number of complaints received per branch.

NBFCs to appoint Internal Ombudsman

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: Personality in News

2. Renowned writer Wilbur Smith passed away at the age of 88.

  • Renowned author Wilbur Smith died at the age of 88 at his home.
  • His first novel When the Lion Feeds was published in 1964.
  • He had written more than 49 books and had sold more than 140 million copies.
  • Ghost Fire, The Burning Shore, The Leopard Hunts in Darkness are some famous books of Wilbur Smith.
  • In 2018, he published his autobiography On Leopard Rock.
 

Topic: Environment and Ecology

3. India’s first 'Grass Conservatory' set up in Uttarakhand's Almora district.

  • India's first 'Grass Conservatory' has been inaugurated by the research wing of the Uttarakhand forest department in Ranikhet of Almora district.
  • According to the Officials, grasslands are facing various types of threats and areas under grasslands are shrinking so conservation of grass has become important for the ecosystem.
  • It has been established in an area of 2 acres. The project has been funded under the central government's CAMPA scheme.
  • Grasses are economically the most important flowering plants. Grasses are key for 'Carbon Sequestration' as it stores most of the absorbed carbon.
  • Around 90 different grass species will be conserved in this 'Grass Conservatory'. The conservation area has seven different sections of grasses- aromatic, medicinal, fodder, ornamental, of religious importance, agricultural grasses and miscellaneous.
  • Thysanoleanamaxima also called Tiger grass / Broom grass is an important grass of 'Grass Conservatory'.

Topic: Summits/ Conferences/ Meetings

4. 7th edition of Indian Ocean Naval Symposium (IONS) Conclave of Chiefs was hosted by French Navy.

  • The 7th edition of the Indian Ocean Naval Symposium (IONS) Conclave of Chiefs has been hosted by French Navy at Paris from 15 - 16 November 2021.
  • The Conclave of Chiefs is being attended by Chiefs of Navies/ Heads of Lead Maritime Agencies of IONS nations.
  • Many other bilateral interactions will be also conducted on the side-lines of the Conclave.
  • Indian Ocean Naval Symposium (IONS) Conclave was formed by the Indian Navy in 2008 to enhance the maritime co-operation among Navies of the Indian Ocean Region.
  • The first edition of IONS was held in Feb 2008 in New Delhi. France is currently holding the chair of IONS.
  • Navies of the Indian Ocean Region discussed relevant maritime issues and developed a common understanding on the way ahead.

7th edition of Indian Ocean Naval Symposium

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: Important Days

5. World Philosophy Day 2021: 18 November

  • World Philosophy Day is celebrated on the third Thursday of November. This year it is being observed on 18 November.
  • The theme of this year’s World Philosophy Day is based on the objective of better understanding the contribution of philosophy in contemporary societies.
  • The main objective of the day is to raise awareness about the importance of philosophical analysis, research, and studies on major contemporary issues.
  • World Philosophy Day was introduced in 2002 by UNESCO. In 2005, UNESCO General Conference announced that World Philosophy Day will be observed every third Thursday in November.
  • Philosophy is the study of the nature of existence, knowledge, truth, and ethics. The Greek word phílosophía, meaning 'the love of wisdom.' It is one of the most important fields of human thought.

Topic: International News

6. United States designated Pakistan and China as 'nations of concern' for violation of religious freedom.

  • The United States has designated Pakistan, China, Iran, North Korea, and Myanmar as countries of particular concern for violation of religious freedom.
  • The United States has also kept Algeria, Comoros, Cuba, and Nicaragua on a Special Watch List for governments for violation of religious freedom.
  • The United States has also designated al-Shabaab, Boko Haram, Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, the Houthis, ISIS, ISIS-Greater Sahara, ISIS-West Africa, Jamaat Nasr al-Islam wal Muslimin and the Taliban as 'Entities of Particular Concern'.
  • US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that religious freedom in the world is one of the biggest challenges of contemporary times.

Topic: Sports

7. England’s Janette Brittin, South Africa’s Shaun Pollock and Sri Lanka’s Mahela Jayawardene inducted into ICC Cricket Hall of Fame.

  • England’s Janette Brittin, South Africa’s Shaun Pollock and Sri Lanka’s Mahela Jayawardene have been inducted into ICC Cricket Hall of Fame.
  • England cricketer Janette Brittin played 27 Tests and 63 ODIs for England. She is the highest run-scorer, century-maker and most-capped player in women’s Test history.
  • She was the oldest woman to score a Test hundred. She was second-oldest to score an ODI hundred.
  • She scored the most Test runs in a calendar year and she has the most 50-plus scores in women's Tests.
  • Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene played 652 international matches, which include 149 Tests, 448 ODIs and 55 T20Is. He is Test cricket’s ninth greatest run-scorer.
  • South Africa all-rounder Shaun Pollock played 108 Tests, 303 ODIs and 12 T20Is. Pollock scored 7386 runs and took 829 wickets in international cricket, which is the seventh most of all time.

ICC Cricket Hall of Fame recognises the achievements of the legends of the game from cricket's long and illustrious history. It was launched in 2009.

International Cricket Council: is the global governing body of cricket. It was established in 1909. It is headquartered in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Its chairman is Greg Barclay.

Topic: Banking System

8. Payments Infrastructure Development Fund (PIDF) corpus currently stands at ₹614 crore.

  • Reserve Bank of India has announced that total PIDF corpus currently stands at ₹614 crore.
  • RBI has also announced that over 2.45 lakh physical devices and over 55.36 lakh digital devices were deployed for payment acceptance under the PIDF as at end-September 2021.
  • PoS, mPoS (mobile PoS), GPRS (General Packet Radio Service), PSTN (Public Switched Telephone Network) are physical devices.
  • Digital devices include inter-operable QR code-based payments such as UPI QR, Bharat QR, etc.
  • RBI has contributed ₹ 250 crore and authorised card networks have contributed ₹153.72 crore in this fund. Card issuing banks have contributed ₹210.17 crore to total corpus.
  • From 26 August 2021, it also covers PM Street Vendor’s AtmaNirbhar Nidhi (PM SVANidhi Scheme) beneficiaries in tier-1 and tier-2 centres.

Payments Infrastructure Development Fund (PIDF):

RBI operationalized PIDF scheme in January 2021. It provides subsidises for deployment of Points of Sale infrastructure in Tier-3 to Tier-6 centres and north-eastern States of India.

PIDF scheme will remain operational for 3 years from January 1, 2021. It may be extended for two more years based upon the progress.

The aim of PIDF scheme is to increase payments acceptance infrastructure by adding 30 lakh touch points – 10 lakh physical and 20 lakh digital payment acceptance devices every year.

Topic: Summits/ Conferences/ Meetings

9. 'WePOWER India Partnership Forum' was held on 9 November.

  • The WePOWER India Partnership Forum was held through a virtual platform on November 9, 2021.
  • 'WePOWER India Partnership Forum' is an initiative of World Bank and Asian Development Bank to increase the participation of women in energy sector.
  • It has been attended by 68 key energy sector stakeholders. The event has been organized by the World Bank and Asian Development Bank in association with the India Smart Grid Forum (ISGF).
  • World Bank is committed to promote gender equality in the Indian electricity sector.
  • Women can help in filling the skills gap required for the energy transition. At present, the participation of women in the energy sector is very low.
  • In the coming months, WePOWER will host a meeting to increase the participation of women in the energy sector.
  • ‘WePOWER India Partnership Forum' is a network of 28 energy sector utilities and organizations.
  • India is committed towards promoting clean energy, grid modernization, and digitalisation of its utilities.

Topic: Government Schemes

10. Cabinet has approved continuation of Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY)-I and II.

  • Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi chaired the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs to give approval to the proposals of Department of Rural Development, Ministry of Rural Development for rural road connectivity schemes.
  • During the presiding the committee, PM Modi approved  for continuation of Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana-I and II upto September, 2022 for completion of balance road and bridge works.
  • The CCEA also approved continuation of Road Connectivity Project for Left Wing Extremism Affected Areas (RCPLWEA) upto March, 2023.
  • The Government of India launched PMGSY-I in the year 2000 to connect unconnected habitations with populations of 500 or more in plain areas and 250 or more in the North-East and Himalayan states.
  • Only 2,432 habitations are balance out of total 1,84,444 habitations. Out of the total sanctioned 6,45,627 km of road and 7,523 bridges, 20,950 km and 1,974 bridges are balanced for completion.
  • A 50,000-kilometer rural road network was to be upgraded under PMGSY-II. PMGSY-II was launched in May, 2013.
  • Total 49,885 Km road length and 765 LSBs have been sanctioned, of which only 4,240 Km road length and 254 bridges are balance. Thus, these tasks will now be accomplished.
  • The Road Connectivity Project for Left Wing Extremism Affected Areas (RCPLWEA) was launched in 2016 to promote connectivity in 44 LWE-affected districts across nine states.
  • 5,714 Km road length 358 bridge works are balance for completion and another 1,887 Km road length and 40 bridges are being sanctioned.
  • The scheme has been extended until March 2023 in order to complete these projects, which are vital in terms of communication and security.
  • PMGSY-III was begun by the government in 2019 with the goal of consolidating 1,25,000 kilometres of road by March 2025. Under PMGSY-III, around 72,000 kilometres of road have been sanctioned, of which 17,750 kilometres have been finished.
  • From 2021-22 to 2024-25, a total of Rs 1,12,419 crore, including state contribution, is expected to be spent to complete all of PMGSY's ongoing activities.

Topic: National News

11. PM Modi urged all democratic countries to collaborate on crypto-currency at the Sydney Dialogue.

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi has urged all democratic nations to collaborate on cryptocurrency and to ensure that it does not fall into the wrong hands.
  • Modi stated that as a democracy and a digital leader, India is ready to collaborate with others for our common prosperity and security.
  • Mr Modi stated that India's digital revolution is rooted in the country's democracy, population, and economic magnitude, and is powered by the country's youth's entrepreneurial spirit and innovation.
  • Modi stated that the digital age is changing everything as it has redefined politics, economies and societies and raised new questions on sovereignty, governance, ethics, rights and security.
  • Mr. Modi noted that India is investing in creating indigenous capabilities in a variety of areas, including 5G and 6G for the telecom sector.
  • Mr. Modi stated that India is constructing the world's largest public information infrastructure, that has over 1.3 billion Indians have a unique digital identity, and the country is on its way to connecting 6 lakh villages to broadband.
  • According to the Prime Minister, India is the world's third largest and fastest-growing start-up eco-system, with new unicorns emerging every few weeks, providing solutions in health and education to national security.
  • The Sydney Dialogue is taking place from the 17th to 19th November. It is an initiative of the Australian Strategic Policy Institute.

PM Modi urged to collaborate on crypto-currency at the Sydney Dialogue

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: Books and Authors

12. Debashish Mukerji's 'The Disruptor: How Vishwanath Pratap Singh Shook India' will be published by HarperCollins.

  • On December 8, 2021, HarperCollins India will publish 'The Disruptor: How Vishwanath Pratap Singh Shook India'.
  • Debashish Mukerji has written this book. It is a comprehensive account of Vishwanath Pratap Singh's exceptionally eventful life, written in the context of his time.
  • VP Singh was Prime Minister of India for around eleven months, but his short tenure had a huge impact on the country's development.
  • His career is particularly interesting in the context of today's politics as a leader who took on a party with an overwhelming majority in Parliament.
  • November marks the anniversary of both his death (in 2008) and the fall of his regime (in 1990).
  • His brief tenure as Prime Minister was both consequential and controversial and he played a key role in the building of the United Front and the United Progressive Alliance governments.

Topic: Important Days

13. Naturopathy Day: 18 November

  • National Naturopathy Day is celebrated in India on 18 November every year.
  • Its aim is to promote positive mental and physical health through drugless system of medicine, called as Naturopathy.
  • The Ministry of AYUSH celebrated the 4th edition of Naturopathy Day.
  • On November 18, 2018, the Ministry of AYUSH (Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy) of the Government of India declared the day.
  • On this day in 1945, Mahatma Gandhi became the lifetime chairman of the All India Nature Cure Foundation Trust and signed the deed with the object of making the benefits of Nature Cure available to all classes of people.
 

 

 

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