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India registers 9.1% decline in Fuel Consumption in FY 21;1st Time since 1998-99According to data released by MoPNG’s (Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas) Petroleum Planning and Analysis Cell (PPAC), India’s fuel demand declined by 9.1% in FY 2020-21 due to nationwide lockdown caused by COVID-19. It is the first time since 1998-99 that India has registered a decline in fuel consumption.
- India consumed 194.63 Million Tonnes of Petroleum Products in 2020-21 compared to 214.12 Million Tonnes in 2019-20.
- The demand Contraction was led by Diesel (India’s most consumed fuel). Diesel consumption fell 12% to 72.72 Million Tonnes while Petrol demand fell by 6.7% to 27.95 Million Tonnes.
- Domestic Cooking Gas LPG (Liquefied Petroleum Gas) was the only retail fuel that registered growth.
- India’s GDP is estimated to have contracted by 7-8% in FY 2020-21.
About Petroleum Planning and Analysis Cell (PPAC):
It is an attached office of the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas.
Established year – 2002
Director-General – Praveen M. Khanooja
Location – New Delhi
>>Read Full News
Overview of India-Netherlands Virtual Summit 2021On April 9, 2021, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi & Prime Minister of Netherlands Mark Rutte co-chaired the India-Netherlands Virtual Summit 2021.
- It was the 1st High-level summit attended by PM Mark Rutte after the Netherland general elections which were held in March 2021. PM Rutte became the Prime Minister of the Netherlands for the 4th Consecutive Term.
- During the meeting, the two sides held discussions on areas of trade and economy, water management, agriculture sector, smart cities, science & technology, healthcare and space.
- They also agreed to use the emerging converging in new areas like Indo-Pacific, Resilient Supply Chains & Global Digital Governance.
Strategic Partnership on Water
- The two PMs agreed to institute a ‘Strategic Partnership on Water’ to deepen the relationship between the countries in the water related sector. They also agreed to upgrade the Joint Working Group on water to Ministerial-Level.
Trade, Commerce & Investments
- The two sides agreed to set up a bilateral Fast Track Mechanism for promoting bilateral trade.
Prime Minister – Mark Rutte
>>Read Full News
US Envoy John Kerry Visited India from 5th-8th April;US to hold ‘Leaders Summit on Climate’
John Kerry, United States(US) Special Presidential Envoy for Climate visited India from 5th to 8th April 2021 to discuss the upcoming Leaders’ Summit on Climate which will be hosted by Joe Biden, President of the US and the key climate issues in the context of COP26.
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi accepted the invitation from US President to attend the virtual Leaders’ Summit on Climate and the Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate to be held on 22nd and 23rd April 2021.
- US President has invited 40 world leaders to attend the virtual summit on climate.
Russian EAM Sergey Lavrov visits India – Discussed on Afghan Peace Process, Defence Ties
On 5th April 2021, External Affairs Minister of Russia, Sergey Lavrov visited New Delhi, where he along with External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar discussed key defence ties between the countries.
- Russia & India to enhance bilateral cooperation on Afghan Peace process.
- The countries proposed signing of a free trade pact between India and the Eurasian Economic Union.
- Russia agreed to transfer cutting edge technologies and manufacturing of weapons systems in India.
Flipkart to Set-up Asia’s Largest Fulfillment Center in Gurugram, Haryana
Haryana state govt. has approved allotment of 140 acres of land for e-commerce major, Flipkart for setting-up asia’s largest fulfillment center in Manesar, Gurugram, Haryana. Unlike traditional warehouses, the fulfilment centres will be equipped with highly automated pick, pack, and shipping processes to facilitate safe and timely processing of orders.
The land, belonging to Haryana State Industrial and Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited (HSIIDC), has been allotted at a price of ₹3.22 crore per acre.
India hosts 30th BASIC Ministerial Meeting on Climate ChangeThe 30th Session BASIC (Brazil, South Africa, India & China) Ministerial Meeting on Climate Change hosted by India took place virtually on April 7-8, 2021. The meeting was chaired by Prakash Javadekar, Union Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change.
- The group urged developed countries to revisit their climate change mitigation targets under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Kyoto Protocol.
- It also urged the developed countries to fulfil their commitments of providing support to developing countries.
i.India highlighted the initiatives taken by it to curb climate change,
- India has already achieved its pre-2020 voluntary target with a reduction of 24% in emission intensity of GDP in 2016 as compared to 2005 levels.
- India’s forest & tree cover stayed at around 15% of total CO2 emissions in 2016.
- India has set a target of achieving 175 GigaWatts renewable energy capacity by 2022 & 450 GigaWatts by 2030.
- The group was established as a result of an agreement signed by the Four Countries – Brazil, South Africa, India & China in 2009. The main aim of the grouping is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions & raise massive funds which are needed to fight climate change.
BASIC Stands for Brazil, South Africa, India & China
Established year – 2009
>>Read Full News
BANKING & FINANCE
India’s First Municipal Green Bond was Issued by Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh Ghaziabad Municipal Corporation, a civic body in Uttar Pradesh(UP), has become India’s first municipal corporation to issue municipal green bonds.
- On April 8, 2021, Ghaziabad Municipal Corporation issued municipal green bonds in BSE and raised Rs 150 crore (Base Issue: 100 Crore with the greenshoe option of 50 Crore).
- The corporation has received Rs 19.5 crore incentive from the Union government for raising funds through municipal bonds.
- After this issuance, Ghaziabad became the 10th city in India and the 2nd city in UP to raise Municipal Bonds (Lucknow 1st in UP)
- Other 9 cities that issued municipal bonds in India – Pune, Hyderabad, Indore, Amravati, Bhopal, Visakhapatnam, Ahmedabad, Surat and Lucknow.
- The Bangalore Municipal Corporation issued municipal bonds for the first time in 1997
About the Ghaziabad’s bond:
- Purpose: Funds of these green bonds will be used for the construction of a tertiary sewage treatment plant (estimated to cost approximately Rs 239.93 crore) to benefit industries in Ghaziabad.
- The coupon rate – 8.1% per annum (The most competitive rate so far for Municipal Bonds in India)
- Rating: The bond was rated AA by India Ratings and AA(CE) by Brickworks
- Maturity – 10 years.
About the RBI’s study on Green bonds:
- Green bonds constituted only 0.7% of all the bonds issued in India since 2018.
- The bank lending to the non-conventional energy constituted about 7.9% of outstanding bank credit to the power sector, as of March 2020
- The Green Bonds have higher average coupon rates than the corporate government bonds with similar tenure of (5/10 years).
RBI Amended India’s Inflation-Forecasting Model – QPMRBI has revised the Quarterly Projection Model (QPM) to enrich the model’s analytics and to capture the interactions between the fiscal and monetary policy with real-economy elements.
- The revised model is termed QPM 2.0 and it incorporates, fiscal-monetary dynamics, disaggregated fuel pricing (oil price, exchange rate and fuel taxes), the balance of payments and exchange rate interactions.
About QPM 2.0
- The new model’s framework was described as a forward-looking, open economy, calibrated, New-Keynesian gap model
- The model consists of 3 blocks such as fiscal block, fuel block and balance of payments block
i.The fiscal block (1st block):
- It decomposes the government’s primary deficit into structural and cyclical components with shocks to the structural component impacting inflation through aggregate demand and country risk premia.
ii.The fuel block (2nd block): It includes India’s complex system of pricing, which includes the items like
- Petrol and diesel – they are priced based on international oil prices, exchange rates, and local taxes,
- Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) and kerosene prices – are determined by market
- Electricity costs – are administered by state governments.
- The cost-push implications are also incorporated in this block.
iii.The balance of payments block (3rd block):
- This block incorporates the determinants of current and capital accounts and their interaction with the exchange rate management.
- It also recognizes the costs associated with a sudden increase in volatility of the exchange rate which is induced by the sudden surges or reversals in capital flows.
About Reserve Bank of India(RBI):
Establishment – 1st April 1935
Headquarters – Mumbai, Maharashtra
Governor – Shaktikanta Das
Deputy Governors – Mahesh Kumar Jain, Michael Debabrata Patra, and M Rajeshwar Rao
>>Read Full News
RBI Announced its First OMP for Rs 25,000 crore under G-SAP 1.0On April 8, 2021, The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) announced its first purchase of government securities for an amount of Rs 25,000 crore under the G-sec Acquisition Programme (G-SAP 1.0), the purchase was planned to be held on April 15, 2021.
- On April 7, 2021, the RBI had announced the introduction of a secondary market Government Securities Acquisition Programme (G-SAP 1.0) for the financial year 2021-22(FY22) to enable an orderly evolution of the yield curve.
- On April 8, 2021, RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das announced the RBI’s open market purchase(OMP) of government securities (G-secs) ofRs 1 lakh crore under the G-SAP 1.0 in the first quarter (Q1) of FY22.
The first purchase:
- Under the OMP On April 15, the RBI planned to purchase 5 different types of government securities with different maturities for a total of ₹25,000 crores through a multi-security auction.
- The maturity dates may vary from November 2, 2023, to March 16, 2035.
About the G-SAP:
- G-SAP will run alongside RBI’s regular operations, including Liquidity Adjustment Facility (LAF), open market operations (OMOs) and Operation Twist.
- The programme is built into the RBI’s liquidity planning framework for FY22 as a whole.
About Government securities:
Government securities are government debt issuances used to fund daily operations, and special infrastructure and military projects. They guarantee the full repayment of invested principal at the maturity of the security and often pay periodic coupon or interest payments.
>>Read Full News
FlexiLoans.com Partnered with PayPal to Offer Collateral Free Loan to MSME’s & FreelancersOn 6th April 2021, FlexiLoans.com, a digital lending platform focused on Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises (MSME) partnered with PayPal, a leading digital payments company to offer collateral-free business loans to MSMEs, freelancers, women entrepreneurs and sole proprietors.
- This partnership is in line with PayPal’s commitment to provide innovative credit solution capabilities to Indian merchants who sell cross-border using PayPal.
To offer MSMEs with working capital for business expansion, purchasing stock, inventory and other expenditures related to business.
i.This partnership enables the borrowers to access term loans from Rs 50000 to Rs 1 crore.
ii.This benefits the merchants across more than 1500 cities and towns in India.
iii.The loan tenure ranges from 6 months to 36 months.
President & CEO– Dan Schulman
Founded in – 1998
Headquarters- San Jose, California
Founders– Manish Lunia, Ritesh Jain, Deepak Jain & Abhishek Kothari
Headquarters– Mumbai, Maharashtra
Bharti Axa Life Entered into Bancassurance Partnership with Fincare SFBi.On 7th April 2021, Bharti Axa life insurance and Fincare Small Finance Bank(SFB) Limited joined hands for a bancassurance partnership under which the bank will sell insurance policies to its customers.
ii.This partnership will enable the Fincare SFB to offer need-based financial protection products suitable for the major segment of the population who are not aware of the benefits of insurance.
About Fincare Small Finance Bank:
MD & CEO– Rajeev Yadav
Headquarters– Bengaluru, Karnataka
About Bharti Axa Life Insurance:
MD & CEO– Parag Raja
Headquarters- Mumbai, Maharashtra
Formed in– 2006
>>Read Full News
IMF Policy Panel endorses USD 650 Billion Increase in SDR AllocationThe International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) Policy Panel has authorized a USD 650 billion expansion of its International Reserve Asset (known as Special Drawing Rights (SDR)). It is the largest ever increase of reserves in IMF’s history.
- The size of reserves has been increased with an aim of providing financial assistance to vulnerable countries which are struggling with recessions caused by the Pandemic.
- It will also help them to obtain & administer millions of doses of COVID-19 vaccines.
- The first distribution of the fresh USD 650 Billion SDR is expected to start in August 2021.
- By comparison, during the 2008 Financial Crisis IMF agreed to an increase of USD 250 Billion in IMF’s SDR.
G20 Supports Fresh SDR issue
- The Finance Ministers of G20 supported the IMF’s decision to issue fresh SDR worth USD 650 Billion to member countries.
- India was the only country to oppose the move. It has stated that money might be used for ‘extraneous purposes’ (not related to the intended purpose of maintaining domestic monetary and financial stability).
About International Monetary Fund (IMF):
Members – 190
Managing Director – Kristalina Georgieva
Headquarters – Washington D.C., USA
>>Read Full News
ECONOMY & BUSINESS
FDI Equity Inflows grew 28% to $54.18 billion in April-January 2020-21As per the Commerce and Industry Ministry data released on April 4, 2021, the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) equity inflows into the country during April-January 2020-21(first ten months of FY21) grew up by 28% to $54.18 billion in comparison with the April-January of FY20 which stood at $42.34 billion.
- Total FDI flow (which includes reinvested earnings) during April-January in FY21 increased by 15% to $72.12 billion over the FY20.
- It is the highest ever for the first ten months of a financial year.
- In terms of top investor countries, Singapore is at the top with 30.28%of the total FDI equity inflow followed by the US (24.28 per cent) and the UAE (7.31 per cent).
- Computer software and hardware has emerged as the top sector during the first ten months of 2020-21 with 45.81% of the total inflows. It was followed by construction (infrastructure) activities (13.37%) and services sector (7.80%) respectively.
- The measures taken by the government such as FDI policy reforms, investment facilitation and ease of doing business have resulted in increased FDI inflows into the country.
FDI: FDI is an investment in the form of a controlling ownership in a business in one country by an entity based in another country.
About Ministry of Commerce and Industry:
Union Minister – PiyushGoyal (Constituency- Rajya Sabha, Maharashtra)
Minister of State -Hardeep Singh Puri (Constituency- Uttar Pradesh), SomParkash (Constituency- Hoshiarpur, Punjab)
APPOINTMENTS & RESIGNATIONS
World Bank Economist Poonam Gupta Appointed as 1st Woman DG of NCAER
On 5th April 2021, Poonam Gupta, economist of World Bank(WB) was appointed as the first woman Director General(DG) of the National Council of Applied Economic Research (NCAER). She will succeed Shekhar Shah, DG of NCAER since 2011, and assume office as the new DG of NCAER on 1st July 2021.
- Poonam Gupta has been working with the World Bank since 2013.
- She has served as the Reserve Bank of India Chair Professor at the National Institute of Public Finance and Policy(NIPFP) and professor of Macroeconomics at the Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations(ICRIER), an autonomous economic think tank.
About National Council of Applied Economic Research (NCAER):
Director-General– Shekhar Shah
Established in 1956
Location– New Delhi
ACQUISITIONS & MERGERS
Axis Bank becomes Co-promoter of Max Life Insurance Axis Bank along with its subsidiaries Axis Capital Limited & Axis Securities acquired 12.99% stake in Max Life Insurance company to become a co-promoter of the insurance provider. The Axis Entities – Axis Capital Limited & Axis Securities still have the right to acquire 7% in the life insurance company.
i.In February 2021, Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) gave approval for the acquisition.
Note- Axis bank is also the bancassurance partner of Max Life Insurance.
ii.Out of the 12.99% stakes, 9% was acquired by Axis Bank.
About Axis Bank:
Axis Bank is India’s 3rd largest Private sector bank. (only after HDFC & ICICI banks)
Headquarters – Mumbai, Maharashtra
MD & CEO – Amitabh Chaudhry
Tagline – “Badhti Ka Naam Zindagi”
About Max Life Insurance:
MD & CEO – Prashant Tripathy
Headquarters – New Delhi
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Ramesh Pokhriyal Launches ‘NanoSniffer’, World’s 1st Microsensor based Explosive Trace Detector (ETD)On April 9, 2021, Union Education Minister, Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ launched ‘NanoSniffer’ – World’s 1st Microsensor (or MEMS, Micro-Electro Mechanical Systems) based Explosive Trace Detector (ETD) developed by NanoSniff Technologies, an IIT Bombay incubated Startup.
- The ETD is capable of detecting explosives in less than 10 seconds, it can also identify and categorize explosives into different classes.
- It can detect all classes of military, conventional and homemade explosives.
- It is being marketed by Vehant Technologies, a spin-off from a former IIT Delhi incubated startup Kritikal Solutions.
- The ETD is 100% Made in India.
- The ETD device is expected to reduce the dependency on imported explosive trace detector devices.
About NanoSniff Technologies:
Chairman – Professor V. Ramgopal Rao
Location – Mumbai, Maharashtra
>>Read Full News
Three Banded Rosefinch New Species Discovered In Arunachal Pradesh; Indian Avian Species Count Reached 1340A team of researchers from Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS), spotted a new avian species – Three-banded Rosefinchat a higher altitude coniferous Forests of Arunachal Pradesh. This belongs to the family – Fringillidae, seed-eating passerine birds with a conical bill.
- The total number of avian species reported from India has reached 1340.
- The findings of the research team are published in the journal – ‘Indian Birds’.
i.The team was led by Dr Girish Jathar, Assistant Director, BNHS.
ii.The other members of the team are, Atharva Singh and Himadri Shekar Mondal.
The discovery is a part of the BNHS’s intensive survey of finches across the Eastern Himalayas, a part of the study funded by Oracle.
i.The pair of three-banded rosefinch was sited at the Sela Pass (between Tawang and West Kameng) in Arunachal Pradesh at an altitude of 3852 meters above sea level.
ii.The altitude record of the species in India is higher than its known altitude records from China.
iii.This is the 5th new species recorded in India during 2021.
Britains’ Prince Philip, Duke Of Edinburgh Passed Away At 99 On 9th April 2021, Britain’s Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, husband of Queen Elizabeth II, the longest-serving royal consort in the history of British passed away at the age of 99 in Windsor Castle, London, United Kingdom. He was born as the Prince of Greece and Denmark on 10th June 1921 in Greece.
About Prince Philip:
i.Prince Philip joined the British Royal Navy in 1939 and served in the Mediterranean and Pacific during World War 2.
ii.He renounced his Greek title and became a British citizen and took his mother’s anglicised name, Mountbatten.
iii.King George VI bestowed the title of His Royal Highness on Philip and he was created Duke of Edinburgh, Earl of Merioneth and Baron Greenwich.
iv.He married Queen Elizabeth II on 20th November 1947 in Westminster Abbey.
v.He retired from public life in August 2017.
Noted Shooting Coach & Dronacharya Awardee Sanjay Chakraverty Passed Away at 79On 3rd April 2021, Sanjay Chakraverty, the noted Shooting coach and the recipient of the Dronacharya Award, passed away at the age of 79 in Mumbai, Maharashtra. He hails from Uttar Pradesh.
About Sanjay Chakravarty:
i.He has trained many Indian shooters like AbhinavBindra, GaganNarang, Anjali Bhagwat and Suma Shirur, Deepali Deshpande, Anuja Jung and Ayonika Paul.
ii.He has served as India’s National Coach for around 4 decades.
i.He received the Dronacharya Award in 2017 for his contribution in producing medal winners in the shooting.
ii.He was honoured with the DadojiKonddev Award by the Government of Maharashtra.
BOOKS & AUTHORS
PM Modi Released Hindi Version of ‘Odisha Itihaas’ by Dr Harekrushna MahtabOn 9th April 2021, Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India, released the Hindi translation of the book “Odisha Itihaas” authored by Dr Harekrushna Mahtab. The book available in Odia and English was translated into Hindi by Shankarlal Purohit.
- The book was released at the event organised by Harekrushna Mahtab Foundation at Ambedkar International Center, Janpath, New Delhi.
Dharmendra Pradhan, Union Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas; and Minister of Steel and Parlimentarian Bhartruhari Mahtab (Lok Sabha – Cuttack) were present during the release.
About “Odisha Itihaas”:
The book “Odisha Itihaas” was authored by Dr Harekrushna Mahtab when he was imprisoned at the Ahmednagar fort Jail in 1942-1945.
About Dr.Harekrushna Mahtab:
i.Dr. Harekrushna Mahtab is one of the notable personalities in India’s Independence movement.
ii.He has served as the Chief Minister(CM) of Odisha for 2 terms, from 1946 to 1950 and 1956 to 1961.
World Homeopathy Day 2021 – April 10 i.World Homeopathy or Homoeopathy Day is annually celebrated across the globe on 10th April to mark the importance of Homeopathy and its contribution to the field of medicine.
10th April 2021 marks the 266th Birth anniversary of Dr Christian Friedrich Samuel Hahnemann, a German physician and the founder of Homeopathy, He was born on 10th April 1755 in Paris, France.
ii.Aim:To create awareness about the benefits of Homeopathic treatment and medicines.
iii.The Central Council for Research in Homeopathy (CCRH) under the Ministry of AYUSH has organised a 2-day conference on the theme “Homeopathy – Roadmap for Integrative Medicine” from 10th – 11th April 2021 at VigyanBhawan, New Delhi.
>>Read Full News
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Current Affairs Today (AffairsCloud Today)
|S.no||Current Affairs 11 & 12 April 2021|
|1||India registers 9.1% decline in Fuel Consumption in FY 21;1st Time since 1998-99|
|2||Overview of India-Netherlands Virtual Summit 2021|
|3||US Envoy John Kerry’s India Visit from 5th-8th April; PM Modi Accepts Invite To Attend Climate Summit|
|4||Russian External Affairs Minister visits India – Discussed on Afghan Peace Process, Defence Ties|
|5||Flipkart to Set-up Asia’s Largest Fulfillment Center in Gurugram, Haryana|
|6||India hosts 30th BASIC Ministerial Meeting on Climate Change|
|7||India’s First Municipal Green Bond was Issued by Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh|
|8||RBI Amended India’s Inflation-Forecasting Model – QPM|
|9||RBI Announced its First OMP for Rs 25,000 crore under G-SAP 1.0|
|10||FlexiLoans.com Partnered with PayPal to Offer Collateral Free Loan to MSME’s & Freelancers|
|11||Bharti Axa Life Entered into Bancassurance Partnership with Fincare SFB|
|12||IMF Policy Panel endorses USD 650 Billion Increase in SDR Allocation|
|13||FDI Equity Inflows grew 28% to $54.18 billion in April-January 2020-21|
|14||World Bank Economist Poonam Gupta Appointed as 1st Woman DG of NCAER|
|15||Axis Bank becomes Co-promoter of Max Life Insurance|
|16||Ramesh Pokhriyal Launches ‘NanoSniffer’, World’s 1st Microsensor based Explosive Trace Detector (ETD)|
|17||Three Banded Rosefinch New Species Discovered In Arunachal Pradesh; Indian Avian Species Count Reached 1340|
|18||Britains’ Prince Philip, Duke Of Edinburgh Passed Away At 99|
|19||Noted Shooting Coach & Dronacharya Awardee Sanjay Chakraverty Passed Away at 79|
|20||PM Modi Released Hindi Version of ‘Odisha Itihaas’ by Dr Harekrushna Mahtab|
|21||World Homeopathy Day 2021 – April 10|