Current Affairs 21st and 22nd May 2022 Daily GK Update
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BRICs’ New Development Bank opened India’s regional office in Gujarat’s GIFT City
- The New Development Bank (NDB), the BRICS countries’ multilateral bank based in Shanghai, will open its first regional office in India at the Gujarat International Finance Tec-City (GIFT City) to address the country’s infrastructural and sustainable development needs.
- The India office will concentrate on extending its presence in the country by developing, implementing, and monitoring new projects.
- NDB’s existing regional offices will be supplemented by the new India office. Its Africa Regional Center (ARC) opened in Johannesburg in 2017, the Americas Regional Office (ARO)in So Paulo with a sub-office in Brasil in 2019, and the Eurasian Regional Centre (ERC) in Moscow in 2020.
- The NDBwas founded in July 2015 by the BRICS countries of Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa. Since then, Bangladesh, UAE, Egypt, and Uruguay have joined the bank.
About New Development Bank (NDB):
- Founded: 15 July 2014, Fortaleza, State of Ceará, Brazil
- Headquarters: Shanghai, China
- President: Marcos Prado Troyjo
Third Advance Estimates for Production of Major Crops 2021-22 released
- The Union Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare has released the third advance estimate of the production of major agricultural crops for 2021-22.
- The food grains production in the country has been estimated at 314.51 million tonnes which is a record high and is higher by 3.77 million tonnes from the food grain production during 2020-21.
- During 2021-22, the average food grain production was higher by 23.80 million tonnes as compared to the previous five years from 2016-17 to 2020-21.
- There has been an estimated record production of maize, rice, oilseeds, pulses, rapeseed, gram, sugarcane, and mustard.
As per the 3rd Advance Estimates, the estimated production of major crops during the year 2021-22:
- Rice: 129.66 million tonnes (record production)
- Food grains: 314.51 million tonnes
- Wheat: 106.41 million tonnes
- Maize: 33.18 million tonnes. (record production)
- Coarse / Nutri Cereals 50.70 million tonnes
- Tur: 4.35 million tonnes
- Pulses: 27.75 million tonnes. (record production)
- Oilseeds: 38.50 million tonnes. (record production)
- Gram: 13.98 million tonnes. (record production)
- Soyabean: 13.83 million tonnes
- Groundnut: 10.09 million tonnes
- Sugarcane: 430.50 million tonnes (record production)
- Mustard and Rapeseed: 11.75 million tonnes (record production)
- Mesta and Jute: 10.22 million bales which are 180 kg each
- Cotton: 31.54 million bales which are 170 kg each
World Bank announced USD 30 billion fund for food security crisis
- The World Bank has announced actions it plans to take as part of a comprehensive, global response to the ongoing food security crisis, with up to $30 billion financing in existing and new projects.
- Financing will be provided in the areas like nutrition, agriculture, water, social protection, and irrigation so as to address the ongoing food insecurity across the globe over the next 15 months.
- The financing will also be including efforts that will help boost fertilizer and food production, facilitate trade, enhance the food systems, and support the vulnerable producers and households from across the globe.
- The World Bank has been working in tandem with several countries to prepare USD 12 billion worth of new projects to respond to the ongoing food crisis over the next 15 months.
- The existing portfolio of the World Bank includes undisbursed balances amounting to USD 18.7 billion for projects that have a direct link to nutrition and food-related security issues.
List of Loan approved by World Bank in 2021-22
- $125 million: for social protection services in West Bengal
- USD 150 million: Partial Guarantee Facility Agreement (PGFA) with Axis Bank for a partial guarantee programme
- USD 600 million: to Sri Lanka to make payments for essential imports
- USD 47 million: for the Mission Karmayogi, a national program to build civil service capacity
- USD 350 million: for SRESTHA-G project of Gujarat
World’s Highest Weather Station installed on Mt. Everest
- National Geographic Society has installed the “world’s highest weather station” on Mount Everest at an altitude of 8,830 metres to automatically measure various meteorological phenomena.
- Nepal’s Department of Hydrology and Meteorology (DHM)said the automatic weather station was installed a few metres below the summit point last week as the snow and ice on the summit are not suitable for fixing equipment.
- The weather monitoring system, powered by solar energy, is supposed to measure various meteorological phenomena like air temperature, wind speed and direction, air pressure, change in surface height of snow, and incoming and outgoing short and longwave radiation.
- The NatGeo team, led by climate scientist Baker Perry from the Appalachian State University in the US, consisted of climbers and scientists, many of whom scaled the world’s highest peak while installing the weather station.
About National Geographic Society:
- Founded: 13 January 1888
- Headquarters: Washington, D.C., United States
- Chairman: Jean M. Case
- CEO: Jill Tiefenthaler
- President: Michael Ulica
Banking and Financial
RBL Bank tied up with Amazon Pay to offer UPI payment services
- RBL Bank has tied up with Amazon Pay, and Amazon Web Services (AWS) to deliver universal payments interface (UPI) payments, which will include peer-to-peer and peer-to-merchant transactions.
- Amazon Pay would grant RBL Bank a UPI ID with the handle @rapl from the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), resulting in a simplified payments experience using RBL Bank’s cloud-based processing infrastructure.
- With its AWS-hosted payment processing technology, RBL strengthens its footprint in the UPI arena, allowing the bank to interact with Amazon Pay’s growing client base and transaction volumes.
About RBL Bank Ltd:
- Founded: 1943 (Under Indian Companies Act, 1913)
- Headquarters: Mumbai, Maharashtra
- CEO & MD: Rajeev Ahuja
- Additional Director: Yogesh Dayal
- Tagline: Apno Ka Bank
UN projected India’s GDP growth at 6.4% in 2022-23
- United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN-DESA) in its ‘World Economic Situation and Prospects (WESP) Mid-year Update 2022’has declined India’s GDP (Gross Domestic Product) growth projections from 6.7% to 6.4% for 2022-23.
- For 2023-24, 6% GDP growth forecasted for India as against 6.1%. In 2021, India economy grew at 8.8%.
- The growth outlook for South Asia is also downgraded by 0.4 percentage points to 5.5% in 2022.
Note: India GDP projected for FY23 (2022-2023)
- Word Bank: 8.0%
- ADB: 8%
- Crisil: 7.8%
- OECD: 8.1%
- Fitch Ratings: 8.5%
- RBI: 7.2%
RBI approved Rs 30,307 crores dividend payment to centre for FY22
- The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) board has approved a dividend payment of 30,307 crores to the Centre for the fiscal year 2021-22.
- The bank’s central board of directors also decided to maintain the contingency risk buffer (CRB) at 5.50%. CRB, which comes from the contingency fund, is risk provisioning made from economic capital to cover monetary, credit, fiscal stability, and operational risks.
- In the 2022 budget, the government had estimated that it would receive 73,948 crores as dividend from the RBI and state-owned banks for FY22. The budgeted dividend is 27% lower than the ₹1.01 trillion the centre received in FY22.
About Reserve Bank of India (RBI):
- Founded: April 1, 1935
- Headquarters: Mumbai, Maharashtra
- Governor: Shaktikanta Das
- Deputy Governors: Mahesh Kumar Jain, Michael Debabrata Patra, M Rajeshwar Rao, T Rabi Sankar
Paytm announced a JV ‘Paytm General Insurance Ltd’, plans to invest ₹950 crores in 10 years
- Paytm has announced a Joint Venture (JV) general insurance company named as Paytm General Insurance Ltd (PGIL).
- Paytm has announced plans to infuse ₹950 crore in PGIL in tranches, over a period of 10 years and to hold upfront equity stake of 74% in JV. Following the investment, Paytm General Insurance will become a subsidiary of Paytm.
- Incorporated in 2018, PGIL plans to register for and undertake general insurance business defined under Section 2(6B) of the Insurance Act, 1938 (“Insurance Act”). Notably, PGIL is yet to commence its general insurance business which is currently subject to receipt of the certificate of registration from IRDAI.
- At present, One 97 holds a 49% stake in PGIL, while the remaining 51% is held by VSS Holdings Private Limited (“VHPL”), a company owned and controlled by Vijay Shekhar Sharma.
- Post the completion of the transaction, PGIL will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Paytm where the latter will hold about 74% shareholding, and the remaining 26% stake will be held by VHPL.
- Founded: August 2010
- Headquarters: Noida, Uttar Pradesh, India
- CEO: Vijay Shekhar Sharma
Phonepe will acquire wealth management platforms Wealthdesk & OpenQ
- Flipkart’s PhonePe, an Indian payments business backed by Walmart Inc., is acquiring two wealth management firms for $75 million in total.
- WealthDesk will cost roughly $50 million, while OpenQ will cost nearly $25 million, including debt.
- Customers may invest in equities and exchange-traded funds through WealthDesk, which was formed in 2016 and is based in Mumbai, India’s financial hub. OpenQ also provides trading baskets and investing analytics to consumers and institutional customers.
- PhonePe, managed by Sameer Nigam and started in 2015, was partially split out from Flipkart in 2020. Walmart directly owns around 10% of PhonePe, while the e-commerce behemoth owns roughly 87 percent.
- Founded: 2015
- Headquarters: Bangalore, Karnataka
- Founder & CEO: Sameer Nigam
Appointment and Resignation
Aruna Singh given additional charge as CMD of RCIL
- Aruna Singh presently working as Additional Member (Telecom) in the Railway Board took over additional charge of the post of Chairman & Managing Director (CMD) of RailTel Corporation of India Limited (RCIL).
- Singh was an officer of 1985 batch of Indian Railway Service of Signal Engineers (IRSSE). Had also started her career from Northern Railway zone, she has held many important assignments in different zones & wings of Indian Railways.
- RCIL is an Indian public sector enterprise focusing on providing broadband and VPN services.
About RailTel Corporation of India Limited (RailTel):
- Founded: September 2000
- Headquarters: Gurgaon, Haryana
Salil Parekh re-appointed MD & CEO of Infosys
- IT major Infosys announced that its Board of Directors has reappointed Salil S. Parekh as Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director (CEO & MD) of the Company effective from July 1, 2022 for a period of five years till March 31, 2027, subject to the approval of shareholders.
- Salil Parekh, has been the Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Infosys since January 2018 and has successfully led Infosys over the last 4 years.
- Founded: 2 July 1981, Pune
- Headquarters: Bengaluru
Vijay Shekhar Sharma re-appointed as MD and CEO of Paytm
- Vijay Shekhar Sharma has been re-appointed as the Managing Director (MD) and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Paytm for another 5 years term. His tenure will be from December 19, 2022, to December 18, 2027.
- One 97 Communications which is listed under the Paytm brand, also announced the appointment of Madhur Deora as Additional Director of the company for a tenure of 5 years from May 20, 2022, to May 19, 2027.
- Further, the Board has also approved the appointment of Deora as the Whole-time director designated as “Whole-time Director and Chief Financial Officer” of the Company. Deora is the President and Group Chief Financial Officer of the Company.
Geniusenergy Critical Innovation Pvt Ltd won the Start-up of the Year award at Amazon Smbhav Entrepreneurship Challenge 2022
- An innovator from Rajasthan who has developed the technology of saving energy in boilers by recycling steam, Subhash Ola has won the 1st prize for the Amazon Smbhav Entrepreneurship Challenge 2022 and his enterprise “Geniusenergy Critical Innovation Private Limited” has won the Start-up of the Year award.
- The technology was first developed to make khoya and other milk products, and the portfolio of applications was later extended to textile, milk and food, pharma, plywood, paper mills, leather industry, chemical industry, hot water boiler generator, plastic recycle, laundry, hospitals and so on.
- Geniusenergy Critical Innovation, a start-up recognized by Govt. of India, was incubated by the National Innovation Foundation (NIF), an autonomous body of the Department of Science and Technology (DST), Govt. of India.
DRDO & Indian Navy successfully test-fired first indigenous naval anti-ship missile
- Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and Indian Navy successfully conducted the flight test of the indigenously-developed Naval Anti-Ship Missile.
- It is the first indigenous air launched anti-ship missile system for the Indian Navy. The missile was launched from a Seaking 42B Helicopter from Integrated Test Range, Chandipur off the coast of Odisha.
- The missile is fitted with many new technologies such as an indigenously developed launcher for the helicopter, Missile Guidance System, a State-of-the-art navigation system and integrated avionics.
About Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO):
- Headquarters: DRDO Bhavan, New Delhi
- Chairman: G Satheesh Reddy
Railway Ministry approved Rs. 8.34 crores collaborative project with IIT Madras on Hyperloop technology
- The Ministry of Railways and Indian Institute of Technology, Madras has entered into an Rs 8.34 crore collaborative project on Hyperloop Technology, proposing a high-speed transportation system.
- The proposal was approved by Ashwini Vaishnaw, Union Minister for Railways, Communications, Electronics and Information Technology at IIT-M.
- The Collaboration is made after the submission of the research proposal by IIT-M to indigenously develop and validate Hyperloop technology based transportation systems and its subsystems.
- The collaboration also involves setting up a Centre for Excellence for Hyperloop Technology at IIT-M.
Germany’s Eintracht Frankfurt won UEFA Europa Football League title
- German club Eintracht Frankfurt has won their first European trophy in 42 years after defeating the Rangers by 5-4 on penalties in Seville, Spain.
- Goalkeeper, Kevin Trapp has saved at the end of extra time and another in the shootout to help give Frankfurt the 5-4 win on penalties.
- Scottish club Rangers was also trying to win its first European title since the Cup Winners’ Cup in 1972.
- Kevin Trapp (Eintracht Frankfurt) was Man of the Match.
20 May: World Metrology Day
- World Metrology Day is celebrated globally on May 20 to create awareness about the Metrology.
- World Metrology Day is an annual celebration of the signature of the Metre Convention on 20 May 1875 by representatives of seventeen nations.
- Metrology, the science of measurement, plays a central role in scientific discovery and innovation, industrial manufacturing and international trade, in improving the quality of life and in protecting the global environment.
- Theme 2022: Metrology in the Digital Era.
21 May: Anti-Terrorism Day
- Anti-Terrorism Day is observed on May 21 in India with an aim to mitigate terrorism; promote national harmony, and unity among people of all caste, creed and sex.
- It was on this day in the year 1991 that former Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated in Sriperumbudur, Tamil Nadu, in a suicide bombing, by a woman from the Liberation of Tamil Tigers Eelam (LTTE), a terrorist group.
- 2022 commemorates Rajiv Gandhi’s 31t death anniversary as India observes Anti-Terrorism Day.
21 May: World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development
- World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development is observed globally on 21 May every year.
- The day aims to celebrate the richness of the world’s cultures and highlight the significance of its diversity as an agent of inclusion and positive change for achieving peace and sustainable development.
- In the year 2001, The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) adopted the ‘Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity’ as a result of the destruction of the Buddha statues of Bamiyan in Afghanistan in 2001.
- Then in December 2002, the UN General Assembly (UNGA) in its resolution 57/249, declared 21 May to be World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development.
21 May: International Tea Day
- International Tea Day is celebrated on 21st May annually.
- The assembly stated that the day will promote and nurture collective initiatives to carry out activities in support of sustainable tea production and consumption, as well as raise awareness of tea’s relevance in the battle against hunger and poverty.
- The United Nations General Assembly has designated May 21 as International Tea Day based on a proposal moved by India at the FAO Intergovernmental Group (IGG) on Tea in October
- Before 2019, December 15 is celebrated as International Tea Day in tea producing nations such as Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Vietnam, Indonesia, Kenya, Malawi, Malaysia, Uganda, India and Tanzania.
- The first International Tea Day was held in Delhi, India in It was in 2015 that the Indian government proposed the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation to expand this day globally.
- The UNGA in the year 2019 marked 21 May as International Tea Day.
21 May 2022: US Armed Forces Day
- In the United States, Armed Forces Day is marked on the third Saturday of May. This year, the day will be marked on 21 May.
- This day is celebrated to pay tribute to the men and women who served the US Armed Forces.
- Armed Forces Day honours people who have served, or are currently serving, the United States in uniform in times of peace and war. The day also honours individuals who are part of the US Coast Guard, National Guard and Reserve units.
22 May: International Day for Biological Diversity
- International Day for Biological Diversity or World Biodiversity Day is observed on 22nd May every year to increase awareness and understanding of the issues of biodiversity.
- When first created by the Second Committee of the UN General Assembly in late 1993, 29 December (the date of entry into force of the Convention of Biological Diversity), was designated the International Day for Biological Diversity.
- In December 2000, the UN General Assembly adopted 22 May as IDB, to commemorate the adoption of the text of the Convention on 22 May 1992 by the Nairobi Final Act of the Conference for the Adoption of the Agreed Text of the Convention on Biological Diversity.
- Theme 2022: “Building a shared future for all life.”
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