Current Affairs – Daily Current Affairs 2020
May 22 – International Day for Biological Diversity:
- The United Nations celebrates International Day for Biological Diversity on 22 May every year to raise awareness about the issue of significant reduction in biological diversity due to certain human activities.
- Theme – “Our solutions are in nature”.
RBI’s MPC reduces Policy Repo Rate to 4.00%:
- In view of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Reserve Bank of India’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) decided to advance the Bi-monthly Monetary Policy meet which was scheduled to be held on 03rd June 2020 and the announcement was meant to be made on 05th June 2020.
- The meeting was advanced to 20th, 21st and 22nd May 2020.
- During the Monetary Policy meet, the MPC reduced the policy repo rate to revive growth as well as to mitigate the impact of COVID-19.
- The repo rate under the liquidity adjustment facility (LAF) has been reduced by 40 basis points from 4.40% to 4.00%.
- The reverse repo rate under the LAF has been reduced by 40 basis points from 3.75% to 3.35%.
- The marginal standing facility (MSF) rate and the Bank Rate have been reduced from 4.65% to 4.25%.
Fino Payments Bank To Partner With NBFCs To Source Loans In Rural Areas:
- Fino Payments Bank (FPB) is planning to partner with two-three non-banking finance companies (NBFCs) to source loans for them in rural areas.
- The bank is expecting good appetite for loans from rural India, where 80 per cent of its 4-odd lakh touch-points are located.
ICICI Bank Launches Special FD Scheme For Senior Citizens:
- Private sector lender ICICI Bank announced a special fixed deposit scheme for senior citizens, which offers a higher interest rate.
- Named ‘ICICI Bank Golden Years FD’, the scheme offers senior citizens an interest rate of 55 per annum for deposits up to Rs.2 crore with tenure of more than five years to 10 years.
Uttar Pradesh governement rolls out ‘UP Start-up Fund’:
- Uttar Pradesh government has set up ‘UP Start-up Fund’ to support the registered start-up ventures present across different verticals in Uttar Pradesh.
- An MoU has been signed between the Uttar Pradesh government and the Small Industries Development Bank of India, and the fund will be managed by SIDBI.
- Initial contribution of Rs 15 crore has been made to the fund. This fund will take part in Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) approved Alternative Investment Funds and would not be invested directly into start-ups.
NTPC & ONGC partners to set up JVC for Renewable Energy Business:
- A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has been signed by NTPC Limited, and Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Limited (ONGC) to form a Joint Venture Company for Renewable Energy business.
- This partnership will enable both the companies to accelerate their mark in the field of Renewable Energy as the two companies will explore the setting up of offshore wind and other Renewable Energy Projects in India as well as overseas.
- This tie-up will increase NTPC’s Renewable Energy capacity addition program and also the presence of ONGC in the Renewable Power business.
Airtel Africa & UNICEF partners to support children & families affected by COVID-19:
- UNICEF and Airtel Africa has partnered to support children & families affected by COVID-19.
- The partnership aims to provide children with access to remote learning and enable access to cash assistance for their families through mobile cash transfers.
- Airtel Africa will zero-rate the selected websites which are hosting educational content and will provide children with remote access to digital content at no cost.
- The partnership will benefit the children and families in 13 countries in sub-Saharan Africa namely: Zambia, Congo, Nigeria, Gabon, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Niger, Rwanda, Tanzania, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Uganda and Chad.
Tata Capital Launches Voicebot ‘TIA’ On Whatsapp:
- Tata Capital has launched the voicebot “TIA” on WhatsApp.The voicebot offers a range of services to its customers like opting for a new loan or getting queries resolved etc.TIA, the Voicebot is also available on Alexa and also as a Chatbot.
Swiggy, Zomato Start Alcohol Delivery In Jharkhand, Amazon Starts Food Delivery In Bengaluru:
- Amazon is now joining India’s online food-delivery market and will now compete with the likes of Swiggy and Zomato.
- Swiggy & Zomato have started alcohol delivery in India. The service is currently only available in Ranchi, Jharkhand but is expected to roll out to other major cities in the state within a week.
“iTurmeric Fincloud” platform launched by Intellect Design Arena:
- “iTurmeric FinCloud” is a cloud-ready, API-first, microservices-based platform which has been launched by the Intellect Design Arena Ltd, a full spectrum banking and insurance products company.
- This platform has been launched through IBM public cloud and enable the new digital banks’ systems to be tested and run in isolation or in parallel with core legacy systems.
- The platform comprises of various facilities such as retail banking, lending, origination, and corporate banking API.
IGNOU’s “Online Master’s Programme in Hindi” launched by HRD Minister:
- Union HRD Minister Shri Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ has launched the IGNOU’s Online Master’s Programme in Hindi via Facebook Live session.
- This programme is expected to strengthen “Padhe India Online” initiative.
- IGNOU has also launched various other programmes namely: MA in Gandhi and Peace Studies, BA in Tourism Studies, certificate course in Arabic, certificate in information technology, certificate programme in Library and Information Science.
“Rajiv Gandhi Kisaan Nyay Yojana” launched in Chhattisgarh:
- Chhattisgarh government has launched “Rajiv Gandhi Kisan Nyay Yojana”, a farmer centered scheme that aims to stimulate the rural economy in the state, amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Under the “Rajiv Gandhi Kisaan Nyay Yojana”, Chhattisgarh government will inject Rs 5100 crore into the state’s rural economy by directly transferring the grant amount into the farmers’ accounts via Direct Benefit Transfer.
Centre launches scheme to solarise Konark sun temple & Konark town:
- A scheme has been launched by the central governemnt for complete solarization of Konark Sun Temple and Konark town in Odisha to develop the historical Sun Temple town of Konark as Surya Nagri.
- As a part of scheme, 10 Mega Watt grid connected solar project along with various solar off-grid applications such as solar trees and solar drinking water kiosks would be set up in the area.
- For the execution of project, Government of India will provide a 100% Central Financial Assistance (CFA) support of around Rs 25 Crores through Ministry of New & Renewable Energy.
Cabinet Approves Rs 20,050cr Scheme For Fisheries Sector – Blue Revolution:
- The total investment under the ”Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana” (PMMSY), the central share would be Rs 9,407 crore, state share of Rs 4,880 crore and beneficiaries” share of Rs 5,763 crore,
- The objective of PMMSY is to create direct employment opportunities to 15 lakh people in the sector, double income of fish farmers and workers by 2024 besides addressing the critical gaps in the fisheries sector and increase fish production to 22 million tonne by 2024-25 through sustainable and responsible fishing practices.
Cabinet Approves Rs 3 Lakh Cr Emergency Credit Line For MSME; Loans At 9.25% Rate:
- The Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved additional funding of up to Rs 3 lakh crore at a concessional rate of 9.25 per cent through the Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme (ECLGS) for the MSME sector hit hard by the coronavirus crisis.
- Under the scheme, 100 per cent guarantee coverage will be provided by National Credit Guarantee Trustee Company (NCGTC) for additional funding of up to Rs 3 lakh crore to eligible MSMEs and interested MUDRA borrowers, in the form of a guaranteed emergency credit line (GECL) facility.
AndhraGreens Portal To Facilitate E-Commerce Of Fruits And Vegetables In Andhra Pradesh:
- Andhra Pradesh government launched a website to procure & sell fruits online as part of supporting the horticulture farmers in the state.
- Through Kalgudi digital platform,com is a farmer-to-consumer e-commerce portal specialized in fruits, vegetables & spices.
Saudi Arabia Replaced Iraq As Top Oil Supplier To India In April:
- Saudi Arabia replaced Iraq as the top oil supplier to India in April after a gap of three months as refiners in Asia’s third largest economy were drawn by deep discounts on Saudi crudes.
- UAE retained the No.3 spot followed by Nigeria. India’s oil imports in April totalled 63 mn. barrels per day.