Current Affairs 7th February 2022, Daily GK Update
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Surat will become the first station to be ready for India’s 1st Bullet Train
- Surat, Gujarat is set to become the first station for India’s upcoming Bullet Train Project. The upcoming station in Surat will become the 1st station to be ready b/w Ahmedabad – Mumbai Bullet Train route for India’s 1st futuristic High-Speed Rail project, Mumbai-Ahmedabad High-Speed Rail (MAHSR) Corridor.
- The MAHSR corridor will cover 12 stations: Surat, Vadodara, Anand, Ahmedabad, Sabarmati, Bilimora, Bharuch, Mumbai, Thane, Virar, Boisar, Vapi stations.
- The Mumbai-Ahmedabad Bullet Train will run on Japanese Shinkansen Technology. National High-Speed Rail Corporation Ltd. (NHSRCL) is the implementing agency for the project.
- Capital: Gandhinagar
- Governor: Acharya Devvrat
- Chief minister: Bhupendrabhai Patel
PM Modi kickstarted the 50th Anniversary Celebrations of ICRISAT, Hyderabad
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi has inaugurated the 50th Anniversary celebrations of the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) in Patancheru, Hyderabad.
- During the occasion, PM also inaugurated two research facilities of ICRISAT, which were Climate Change Research Facility on Plant Protection and Rapid Generation Advancement Facility.
- These two facilities are dedicated to the smallholder farmers of Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. Prime Minister also unveiled a specially designed logo of ICRISAT and launched a commemorative stamp issued on the occasion.
About International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT):
- Founded: 1972
- Founders: S. Swaminathan, C. Fred Bentley, Ralph Cummings
- Headquarters: Patancheruvu, Hyderabad
IIT Hyderabad will set up Suzuki Innovation Centre on its campus
- Indian Institute of Technology, Hyderabad (IIT-H) and Suzuki Motor Corporation signed a three-year contract to start Suzuki Innovation Centre (SIC) with the vision of “creating innovations for India and Japan” by way of providing a platform for the exchange of knowledge between the two organizations.
- SIC will be operated as a platform for open innovation among Industries, Academia, and Startups and the Centre will also support skill development and exchange of human resources between India and Japan.
- As a part of this initiative, IITH has offered the necessary support for the Centre within the Technology Research Park. Prof B S Murty, Director of IITH, said the Centre is a result of cumulative success stories between Suzuki Motor Corporation and IITH over the years.
India Press Freedom Report, 2021: J&K topped in attacks on journalists in 2021
- The India Press Freedom Report, 2021 was recently released by the Rights and Risks Analysis Group.
- According to the report, 13 media houses and newspapers were targeted in the country, 108 journalists were attacked, and 6 journalists were killed.
- The highest number of journalist attacks was in Jammu and Kashmir. J&K faced more than 25 attacks. The second highest was in Uttar Pradesh with 23. UP was followed by Madhya Pradesh (16), Tripura (15), Delhi (8), Bihar (6), Assam (5), Haryana(4) and Maharashtra (4), Goa (3), Manipur (3), Karnataka (2), West Bengal (2), Tamil Nadu (2), Andhra Pradesh (1), Kerala (1), Chhattisgarh (1).
- Jammu and Kashmir had a maximum number of attacks. On the other hand, Tripura had the maximum number of attacks by non–state actors. Eight women journalists faced summons, FIR, and arrest.
- 24 journalists were attacked physically, obstructed, threatened, and harassed for doing their work. All these attacks were made by public officials. This includes police attacks as well. 17 of these attacks were police attacks. 44 FIRs were registered against journalists in 2021. Of this 21 were registered under Section 153 of IPC.
Salesforce Global Digital Skills Index 2022: India leads in Digital Skills Readiness
- Salesforce, a leading player in Customer Relationship Management (CRM), published the 2022 Global Digital Skills Index which highlights the growing global digital skills crisis and the need for action.
- India has scored 63 out of 100, leads the digital skills readiness, and has the highest readiness index among the 19 countries. The average global readiness score was 33 out of 100.
- The 2022 Global Digital Skills Index, is based on a survey on around 23000 workers across 19 countries about digital skills, including their impact on the future of work, concerns about job readiness, and the significance of continuous learning.
- Three major skills gaps identified in the 2022 global index are: The everyday skills gap, The generational skills gap, and The leadership and workforce skills gap.
Banking and Financial
ADB provided record USD 4.6 billion loans to India in 2021
- As per the data officially released by the Asian Development Bank (ADB), it provided a record USD 4.6 billion in sovereign lending to India in 2021.
- This included USD 1.8 billion towards coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic response. The ADB’s regular funding programme to India is made to support transport, urban development, finance, agriculture, and skills building.
- The ADB’s project portfolio in 2021 reflected the Indian government’s focus on transforming cities into economically vibrant and sustainable communities.
- The USD 4.6 billion was committed by ADB for 17 loans. The USD 1.8 billion COVID-19-related assistance included USD 1.5 billion for vaccine procurement and USD 300 million to strengthen primary health care in urban areas and the country’s future pandemic preparedness.
- The agency extended a USD 2.2-billion support for 12 state projects, committed to its geographically balanced programming. The ADB’s India portfolio comprised 69 projects worth USD 15.5 billion as of 31st December 2021.
List of Loan approved by ADB in 2020-21
- $100 million: to promote agribusiness network, reduce food losses in Maharashtra
- $250 million: to support India’s National Industrial Corridor Development Program (NICDP)
- $61 Million: loan under ‘Agartala City Urban Development Project’
- USD 300 million: loan to improve access to healthcare in urban areas
- USD 1.5 billion: to India for COVID-19 vaccine procurement
- $125 million: for Uttarakhand water supply and sanitation projects
- USD 500 million: to GoI for enhancing quality of school education mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on students’ learning
- USD 350 million: to improve urban services in India
- $112 million: to establish Assam Skill University
ICICI Bank raised stake in IICC at GIFT IFSC City to 9.9%
- ICICI Bank Limited has bought an additional stake in India International Clearing Corporation (IICC) at International Financial Services center (IFSC) in Gujarat International Finance Tec-City (GIFT City), Gujarat for Rs 4.43 crore, raising to 9.90%.
- Around 44,262,356 equity shares at Rs. 1 per share were allotted to ICICI Bank on 2nd February 2022 for a cash consideration of Rs 44.3 million (Rs 4.43 crore).
- After this investment, ICICI Bank’s shareholding increased from 7.61% to 9.90% of the equity share capital of IICC.
- IICC is the 1st international clearing corporation set up at GIFT IFSC, Gujarat in September 2016.
About ICICI Bank:
- Founded: 1955 (Incorporated in 1994)
- Headquarters: Vadodara
- MD & CEO: Sandeep Bakhshi
- Chairperson: Girish Chandra Chaturvedi
- Executive Director: Anup Bagchi
- Tagline: Hum Hai Na, Khayal Apka
Airtel Payments Bank partnered with ICICI Lombard to offer cyber insurance solutions
- Airtel Payments Bank has partnered with ICICI Lombard General Insurance to offer Cyber Insurance Solutions to customers.
- The cyber insurance solution from ICICI Lombard provides financial protection to customers against potential financial fraud relating to banking, credit or debit card; identity theft; phishing or email spoofing, and more.
- Airtel Payments Bank customers can purchase this cyber insurance policy using the Airtel Thanks app.
About Airtel Payments Bank:
- Founded: January 2017
- Headquarters: New Delhi
- Managing Director & CEO: Anubrata Biswas
Axis Mutual Fund launched Axis Crisil SDL 2027 Debt Index Fund
- Axis Mutual Fund has launched Axis Crisil SDL 2027 Debt Index Fund. It is a target maturity scheme with a benchmark maturity of 31 May 2027.
- The new scheme will track the Crisil IBX SDL Index – May 2027and the portfolio is designed to invest predominantly in a portfolio of state development loans (SDLs) maturing between 1 December 2026 and 31 May 2027. The index will be managed by Crisil Indices Ltd.
About Axis Bank:
- Founded: 3 December 1993
- Headquarters: Mumbai
- MD & CEO: Amitabh Chaudhary
- Chairperson: Shri Rakesh Makhija
- Tagline: Badhti Ka Naam Zindagi
Appointment and Resignation
Santishree Pandit appointed 1st woman Vice-Chancellor of JNU
- Santishree Dhulipudi Pandit has been appointed as Vice-Chancellor of Jawaharlal Nehru University.
- She is currently the Vice-Chancellor (VC) of Savitribai Phule University. Ms. Pandit will be the first woman Vice-Chancellor of JNU.
- Her appointment is for a period of five years. Jagadesh Kumar, who was holding the charge of acting VC at JNU after his five-year term ended last year, was last week appointed as the chairman of the University Grants Commission (UGC).
Urjit Patel resigned as non-executive and independent director of Britannia
- Former Reserve Bank of India (RBI) governor, Urjit Patel has resigned from the post of non-executive and independent director of Britannia Industries Limited, citing a full-time work assignment starting next month.
- He was a part of the Board of the Company. Patel was recently appointed vice president for investment operations in South Asia at the Beijing-based Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB). His appointment is effective from 1 February.
- As the 24th governor of RBI, Patel had succeeded Raghuram Rajan and served as the governor of RBI from 2016-2018. Prior to that, he was RBI’s deputy governor in charge of monetary policy.
Karnataka Bank awarded DX 2021 Award from CII for Best Practice in Digital Transformation
- Karnataka Bank was awarded the Digital Transformation Award (DX 2021 Awards), in recognition of the “innovative” best practice ‘KBL VIKAAS’, by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) for Best Practice in Digital Transformation.
- KBL VIKAAS, is a digital service launched by Karnataka Bank in 2017, to provide a better digital experience to customers including Asset & Liability products & enhanced customer services.
- In 2021, Karnataka Bank also launched the digital transformation journey ‘KBL NxT’ as part of ‘KBL VIKAAS 2.0’, with the objective of taking the digital initiatives more efficiently.
About Confederation of Indian Industry (CII):
- Founded: 1895
- Headquarters: New Delhi, India
- President: V. Narendran
- Director General: Chandrajit Banerjee
- Motto: Charting Change Enabling Development
IIT-Hyderabad launched India’s first AI-based job platform for persons with disabilities named “Swarajability”
- The Indian Institute of Technology, Hyderabad (IIT-Hyderabad) has launched the beta version of ‘Swarajability’, a job portal powered by AI that helps people with disabilities acquire relevant skills and find jobs.
- The institute has developed the platform in association with Youth4Jobs, Visual Quest, and Kotak Mahindra Bank Ltd. The project is funded by Kotak Mahindra Bank, while IIT-H provided AI expertise, Visual Quest developed the platform, and Youth4Jobs provided skilling services.
- The platform will analyse the profiles of the job seekers and suggest the skills they would require to become eligible.
About Kotak Mahindra Bank (KMB):
- Founded: 2003
- Headquarters: Mumbai, Maharashtra
- MD & CEO: Uday Kotak
- Tagline: Let’s make money simple
World’s third-largest cricket stadium’s foundation stone laid in Jaipur
- World’s third-largest cricket stadium is going to be built in Jaipur, Rajasthan.
- Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and BCCI president Sourav Ganguly laid the foundation stone of the project virtually. Rajasthan Cricket Association (RCA) officials performed a ‘bhoomi pujan’.
- It will be the second-largest cricket stadium in India and the third-largest in the world. It would seat 75,000 spectators.
About Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI):
- Founded: 1928
- Headquarters: Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
- President: Sourav Ganguly
- Vice president: Rajeev Shukla
- Secretary: Jay Shah
- Men’s coach: Rahul Dravid
- Women’s coach: Ramesh Powar
Former BJP Lok Sabha MP from Telangana, Chandupatla Janga Reddy passed away
- The first Lok Sabha MP for the BJP from south India Chandupatla Janga Reddy passed away.
- Reddy was one of the only two BJP Lok Sabha MPs elected in the 1984 general elections, conducted after the assassination of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.
- The other BJP MP was A K Patel, who was elected from Mehsana in Gujarat.
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