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Current Affairs 18 June 2022

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NATIONAL AFFAIRS

UR for Persons of 15 years and above in Urban Areas declined to 8.2% in January-March 2022: 14th Quarterly PLFS by NSOUnemployment rate dips to 8.2% in Jan-Mar 2022

According to the 14th Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS) – Quarterly Bulletin [January-March 2022] by the National Statistical Office (NSO), the Unemployment Rate (UR) for persons of 15 years and above in urban areas dipped to 8.2% in January-March 2022 from 9.3% in January-March 2021. It was 8.7% in October-December 2021.

  • UR or Joblessness is defined as the percentage of unemployed persons in the labour force.
  • Labour force refers to the part of the population which supplies or offers to supply labour for pursuing economic activities for the production of goods and services and therefore, includes both employed and unemployed persons.

Key Figures representing Persons of 15 years and above in Urban Areas:
i. UR among females also declined to 10.1% in January-March 2022 from 11.8% in January-March 2021.

  • It was 10.5% in October-December 2021.

ii.Among males, the UR also declined to 7.7% in January-March 2022 compared to 8.6% in January-March 2021.

  • It was 8.3% in October-December 2021.

iii.Labour Force Participation Rate (LFPR) in CWS (Current Weekly Status) remained declined to 47.3% in January-March 2022 from 47.5% in the January-March 2021

  • It was also 47.3% in October-December 2021.

iv.Worker Population Ratio (WPR) in CWS was 43.4%  in January-March 2022, compared to 43.1% in the same period January-March 2021.

  • It was 43.2% in October-December 2021.

Sample Size:
At the all-India level, in the urban areas, a total number of 5,714 FSUs-First-Stage Sampling Units (Urban Frame Survey-UFS blocks) have been surveyed during the quarter January-March 2022. The number of urban households surveyed was 44,778 and the number of persons surveyed was 1,73,091 in urban areas.
About Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS):
It was launched in 2017 by NSO. On the basis of PLFS, a quarterly bulletin is brought out giving estimates of labour force indicators namely UR, WPR (Worker Population Ratio), LFPR, distribution of workers by broad status in employment, and industry of work in CWS. 13 Quarterly Bulletins of PLFS corresponding to the quarter ending December 2018 to quarter ending December 2021 have already been released.
Key Definitions:
LFPR: It is defined as the percentage of persons in labour force (i.e. working or seeking or available for work) in the population.
WPR: It is defined as the percentage of employed persons in the population.
CWS: The activity status determined on the basis of a reference period of last 7 days preceding the date of survey is known as the current weekly status (CWS) of the person.

PM Modi inaugurates Underground Gallery of Revolutionaries’ museum at Maharashtra’s Raj Bhavan

Prime Minister(PM) Narendra Modi inaugurated the underground ‘Gallery of Revolutionaries’ museum at Maharashtra’s Raj Bhavan in Mumbai, Maharashtra. The gallery is dedicated to the luminaries of the freedom struggle.

  • The gallery features information on the heroes and their roles in the freedom movement, sculptures, rare photographs, murals and details on tribal revolutionaries drawn by school students.
  • The underground gallery is established in the subterranean network of 13 pre-World War-I British era bunkers, discovered in the Maharashtra Raj Bhavan campus in August 2016 during the tenure of then Governor C. Vidyasagar Rao.

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

Nearly 5mn in India displaced due to Climate Change, Disasters in 2021: UNHCRNearly 5 mn in India displaced due to climate change, disasters in 2021

According to the annual Global Trends Report by the United Nations Refugee Agency, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) published in June 2022, nearly 5 million people in India were internally displaced due to climate change and disasters in 2021.

  • On the global front, over 100 million people were forced to displace in 2021 due to violence, human rights abuses, food insecurity, the climate crisis, war in Ukraine and other emergencies from Africa to Afghanistan.
  • Asylum seekers submitted 1.4 million new claims: The United States of America (USA) was the world’s largest recipient of new individual applications (188,900), followed by Germany (148,200), Mexico (132,700), Costa Rica (108,500) and France (90,200).

The report reflects the period of January 2021 to December 2021.
Key Points:
i.According to the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC), in 2021, there were 23.7 million new internal displacements globally due to disasters. This represented a decrease of seven million, or 23%, compared to the previous year.
ii.The largest displacements due to disasters in 2021 occurred in China (6.0 million), the Philippines (5.7 million) and India (4.9 million).
iii.By the end of 2021, those displaced by war, violence, persecution, and human rights abuses stood at 89.3 million, up 8% on a year earlier.

  • It includes 27.1 million refugees, 21.3 million refugees under UNHCR’s mandate, 5.8 million Palestine refugees under United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East’s (UNRWA) mandate, 53.2 million internally displaced people, 4.6 million asylum seekers and 4.4 million Venezuelans displaced abroad.

About UNHCR’s Global Trends report:
It presents key statistical trends and the latest numbers of refugees, asylum seekers, internally displaced and stateless persons worldwide as well as numbers of people who have returned to their countries or areas of origin.
Click Here for Official Report 

India Ranks 3rd In the World in Terms of Total Renewable Additions In 2021: Renewables 2022 Global Status ReportIndia ranks 3rd globally for total renewable additions in 2021

According to the Renewables 2022 Global Status Report (GSR 2022) published by the global renewable energy community REN21, India placed third in the world for total renewable power capacity additions in 2021, with 15.4 GW (giga watts), following only China (136 GW) and the United States (US) (43 GW).

  • The GSR 2022 report is the 17th in a series of annual reports that tracks global renewable energy deployment.

The GSR 2022 presents a world map of renewable energy shares by country for the first time, highlighting progress in some of the leading countries.
i. According to the report, India installed 843 MW (mega watts) of hydropower capacity in 2021, bringing the overall capacity to 45.3 GW.
ii.India was the second-largest market for new solar PV (Photovoltaic) capacity in Asia and the third-largest globally (13 GW of additions in 2021).
>> Read Full News

BANKING & FINANCE

IBBI amends its Regulations for Insolvency Resolution Process for Corporate Persons; Complaint Handling; Inspection and Investigation; & Information Utilities Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India amends theIBBI

On June 14, 2022 the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (IBBI) has amended its following regulation for certain revision:
i.IBBI has amended the IBBI (Insolvency Resolution Process for Corporate Persons) Regulations, 2016 with new IBBI (Insolvency Resolution Process for Corporate Persons) (Second Amendment) Regulations, 2022.
ii.IBBI also amended the (Grievance and Complaint Handling Procedure) Regulations, 2017 with IBBI (Grievance and Complaint Handling Procedure) (Amendment) Regulations, 2022 to have expeditious redressal and also to avoid placing undue burden on the service providers.
iii.IBBI amended the  (Inspection and Investigation) Regulations, 2017 with IBBI (Inspection and Investigation) (Amendment) Regulations, 2022 to provide mechanism for carrying out inspections and investigations on IPAs, insolvency professionals and information utilities and passing orders by Disciplinary Committee.
iv.IBBI amended the (Information Utilities) Regulations, 2017 with the IBBI (Information Utilities) (Amendment) Regulations, 2022.
About Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (IBBI):
Establishment– 2016
Chairperson– Ravi Mittal
Headquarters– New Delhi, Delhi
>> Read Full News

RBI Approves Shriram Group’s Merger of Financial Services BusinessesShriram Group receives RBI nod for merger of financial services business

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has approved Shriram Group’s composite scheme of arrangement and amalgamation of financial services businesses. The scheme was announced in December 2021.

  • The approval has been given for the merger of Shriram City Union Finance (SCUF) and Shriram Capital Ltd. (SCL) with Shriram Transport Finance Company (STFC), to form India’s largest non-banking financial company (NBFC).

i. Apart from RBI’s approval, the Shriram Group must also secure approvals from Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDAI) and other regulators.
ii.The merger will enable the Shriram group to consolidate all of its lending products under one roof, including commercial vehicles, two-wheeler loans, gold loans, personal loans, auto loans, and small business finance.
About Reserve Bank of India (RBI):
Governor – Shaktikanta Das
Establishment – 1st April 1935
>> Read Full News

Equitas Small Finance Bank Launches Exclusive Savings Account for Kids: ENJOIEquitas Small Finance Bank to launch exclusive savings account for kids ENJOIOn 16th June 2022 Equitas Small Finance Bank Limited announced the launch of an exclusive savings account for kids,  ‘ENJOI’ with effect from 19th June 2022 to coincide with Father’s Day.

  • The ENJOI account holders will also have access to exclusive deals from Education – Technology (ed-techs) and online learning providers.
  • Aim – To introduce young kids to the financial world and encourage them to develop the saving habit early.

Highlights:
i.ENJOI will allow kids of 0-18 years to open savings accounts under the supervision of their parents and also minors aged 10 and above will get the option for a personalised debit card.
ii.The account will offer best-in-class 7 percent interest for savings balances between Rs. 5 lakh to Rs.2 crore to promote higher growth in savings.
iii.The account will offer flexibility to choose the mode of savings, either as a Savings Account with balance starting as low as Rs. 1,000, Recurring Deposit (RD) for Rs.500 monthly; or Fixed Deposit (FD) for Rs.10,000.

  • The personalised debit cards will be complimentary for the 1st year and can be enjoyed free for a lifetime by maintaining the required balances.

About Equitas Small Finance Bank Limited:
Managing Director (MD) & CEO – Vasudevan P N
Headquarters – Chennai, Tamil Nadu

SEBI: Forms Building Advisory Committee; Imposed Penalty on 7 EntitiesSebi forms Building Advisory Committee

Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), capital markets regulator, has formed a Building Advisory Committee to advise and assist on premises related matters like planning, acquisition and furnishing.
Formation:
i.This is a seven-member committee, headed by B K Katyal, former Chief General Manager at Reserve Bank of India (RBI)
ii.The other members of the committee are K.V.Krishna Rao, former head of department (HOD) of Civil Engineering at Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Mumbai; Rajiv Mishra, Principal of Sir JJ College of Architecture, Mumbai; K.M. Soni, former ADG,  Central Public Works Department, Delhi; and Rajesh Bhagwani, Senior Engineer (Electrical), Central Public Works Department, Mumbai.

  • Jitendra Aggarwal, VP, National Institute of Securities Market (NISM) and SP Garg, Executive Director at SEBI are the other members of the committee.

SEBI Imposes Penalty on Seven Entities
SEBI imposed a penalty totalling Rs 10.80 crore on 7 entities, including Zenith Steel Pipes & Industries (erstwhile Zenith Birla (India) Ltd and Yash Birla) in the matter of irregularities in the global depository receipts (GDR) issued by Zenith Birla.

  • The order came after the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) conducted an investigation into the alleged irregularities in the GDRs issued by ZBIL during the period from May 2010 to June 2010.

Key Points:
i.The penalty includes Rs 10 crore on Zenith Birla India Ltd (ZBIL), Rs 20 lakh each on PVR Murthy (director) and Arun Panchariya (director of Pan Asia Advisors Ltd, lead manager to the issue).Others, including Yashovardhan Birla (director of ZBIL), MS Arora (managing director of ZBIL), AP Kurias (director of ZBIL), and Mukesh Chauradiya, have been levied a penalty of Rs10 lakh each and need to pay within 45 days.

  • PVR Murthy, Yashovardhan Birla, MS Arora and AP Kurias were on the board of the directors of ZBIL during the entire process of issue of GDRs.

Issue:
i.ZBIL had issued 1.81 million GDRs (amounting to $22.99 million) equivalent to its 5,43,57,060 equity shares of Rs.10 each, which was subscribed by only Vintage FZE (now known as Alta Vista International FZE).
ii.The subscription amount was paid by Vintage by entering into a Loan Agreement with European American Investment Bank AG (EURAM Bank) dated 12th May 2010.
Note –In another order, the regulator slapped a fine of Rs 30 lakh on Anand Rathi Share and Stock Brokers Ltd for misutilisation of clients’ securities.
About Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI):
Chairperson – Madhabi Puri Buch
Establishment  1992
Headquarters – Mumbai, Maharashtra

ECONOMY & BUSINESS

India’s Merchandise Exports Likely to Be at USD 117.2 Billion In Q1 FY23: Exim Bank

The Export-Import Bank of India (India Exim Bank) has forecasted India’s total merchandise exports to reach USD 117.2 billion, growing at 22.7% in the first quarter (Q1) of FY23.

  • As a result, India’s overall merchandise exports will continue to cross USD 100 billion for the fourth consecutive quarter in a row.

In the same quarter of FY22, total merchandise exports amounted to USD 95.5 billion.
Key Statistics:
i.Non-oil exports continued to expand by double digits (12.6 %) in the Q1 (April-June) FY23, reaching USD 93 billion, but the non-oil exports was USD 82.6 billion in Q1 FY22.

ii.The continuous rise in global commodity prices, caused by supply shocks, enhanced price competitiveness due to exchange rate movements, and benefits from possible trade diversion can all be ascribed to India’s increased exports.
iii. The growth forecast may be affected by commodity price volatility and global economic uncertainty, which are mostly driven by present geopolitical tensions. 
Key Points:
The Exim Bank has created an in-house model to establish an Export Leading Index (ELI) for India to track and forecast the movement in India’s exports on a quarterly basis.
India’s Overall Exports Jump 24% In May 2022
India’s overall exports (Merchandise and Services combined) are estimated to reach USD 62.21 billion in May 2022, an increase of 24.03 % over May 2021.

  • In May 2022, merchandise exports totalled USD 38.94 billion, up from USD 32.30 billion in May 2021, representing a 20.55 % increase.
  • In May 2022, the estimated value of services exported is USD 23.28 billion, exhibiting a positive growth of 30.32 % from May 2021 (USD 17.86 billion).

Key Statistics:
i.In April-May 2022, India’s total exports (merchandise and services combined) increased by 25.90 % to USD 124.59 billion, compared to the same period in 2021.

  • Overall imports, which include both merchandise and services, climbed by 59.19 % to USD 77.65 billion year-on-year (YOY).

ii.India’s trade deficit in May 2022 increased to USD 24.29 billion, up from USD 6.53 billion in May 2021.

  • Imports increased by 62.83 % YOY to USD 63.22 billion, while exports increased by 20.55 % to USD 38.94 billion, pushing up the trade deficit in May 2022.
  • The high trade deficit in May 2022 was caused by higher merchandise imports in terms of value due to global supply chain disruptions, inflation, and domestic manufacturers stockpiling to protect themselves from potential supply shocks.

iii. The merchandise exports for April-May 2022 were USD 78.72 billion, up from USD 63.05 billion in April-May 2021, representing a positive growth of 24.86 %.
iv.Meanwhile, total imports (merchandise and services combined) are estimated to reach USD 77.65 billion in May 2022, up 59.19 % over the same period in 2021.

  • Overall imports are estimated to reach USD 151.89 billion in April-May 2022, representing a 45.44 % increase over the same period in 2021.

AWARDS & RECOGNITIONS       

Burgundy Private Hurun India 500-SR: RIL becomes India’s most valuable company followed by TCS & HDFC BankRIL India’s most valuable company

According to the Burgundy Private Hurun India 500 Special Report(SR), Reliance Industries Limited(RIL) has become India’s most valuable company with a value of Rs 18.9 lakh crore followed by Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) with Rs 12.9 lakh crore and HDFC Bank with Rs 7.7 lakh crore.

  • The report states that the value of the top 500 companies in India has increased by 2% to Rs 232 lakh crore from Rs 221 lakh crore as on 30th October 2021.

About the report:
Burgundy Private, a private banking platform of Axis Bank, and Hurun India launched “Burgundy Private Hurun India 500 Special Report(SR)” a 6-month update(from 30th October 2021 to 30th April 2022) of the 2021 Burgundy Private Hurun India 500, a list of 500 most valuable non-state-owned companies in India, released in December 2021.
Highlights of Adani Group:
i.Adani Group Companies made the maximum gain during the review period and surpassed all others by a huge margin.
ii.9 companies in the Adani Group have a combined value of Rs 17.6 lakh crore which constitutes 7.6% of the total value of 500 top companies.
>> Read Full News

Four Indian Companies Join Apple, Google & Amazon as World’s Top 100 BrandsTCS, HDFC Bank, Infy and LIC among Kantar's global 100 most valuable firms

As per Kantar Brandz, 2022 ‘Most Valuable Global Brands report’, 4 Indian companies namely, Tata Consultancy Service (TCS), HDFC Bank, Infosys and Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) were featured among the top 100 global biggest brands.Apple retains its 1st position to become the first trillion-dollar brand with a brand value of USD 947.1 billion followed by Google, Amazon and Microsoft.

  • The combined value of the world’s Top 100 most valuable brands has increased by 23 percent to USD 8.7 trillion compared to the 2021 report.
  • French luxury Cartier  became the fastest-rising brand across all categories, growing its value by 88% to $10bn. 
  • 11 new entrants joined the 2022 Global Top 100 ranking, led by Aramco (No.16), India’s Infosys (No.64), Mercado Libre (No.71) and Kuaishou (No.82).
  • The brands which doubling their brand value over the past year include: YouTube (No.24, $86bn), Google (No.2, $819bn), Tesla (No.29, $75bn) and Hermès (No.27, $80bn).

Indian Brands:

Rank BrandValue (in USD)
46TCS50 billion
61HDFC Bank35 billion
64Infosys33 billion
92LIC23 billion

About Kantar:
CEO – Chris Jansen
Global Headquarters – London, United Kingdom
>> Read Full News 

ENVIRONMENT

Glischropus meghalayanus: New Species of Bamboo-Dwelling Bat Found in MeghalayaNew species of bamboo-dwelling bat found in Meghalaya

A new species of thick-thumbed, bamboo-dwelling bat have been discovered by the Indian Zoologist Uttam Saikia in the forest of Nongkhyllem Wildlife Sanctuary in Ri Bhoi district of Meghalaya.

  • It is the first report of a thick-thumbed bat not only from India but also from South Asia that has been named Glischropus meghalayanus in honour of Megalaya’s 50th statehood year.
  • The new species was published in the journal Zootaxa, titled ‘Out of Southeast Asia: A new species of thick-thumbed bat (Chiroptera: Vespertilionidae:  Glischropus) from Meghalaya, north-eastern India’.
  • With this new discovery, there are a total 131 bat species known from India and Meghalaya harbours the highest bat diversity with 67 species that approximates to 51% of total bat species in India.
  • So far, this species has only been reported in a few localities in Southern China, Vietnam, Thailand and Myanmar.

Scientists Involved in Discovery:
Uttam Saikia from Zoological Survey of India (ZSI) along with two other European bat taxonomists Gabor Csorba of the Hungarian Natural History Museum and Manuel Ruedi of the Natural History Museum of Geneva.
Features:
i.The Bamboo-dwelling bats are small in size, dark brown colour with sulphur yellow belly that lives in the internodes of bamboo with specialised morphological characters that help them to adapt to the life inside a bamboo.
ii.Thick-thumbed bats of the genus  Glischropus are currently composed of 4 recognised species from Southeast Asia.
Note – Another species of disk-footed bat Eudiscopus denticulus have been discovered in India.
About Meghalaya:
Chief Minister – Conrad Sangma
Dance – Nongkrem, Dorsegata, Pomelo or ‘Chambil Mesara’
Lakes – Umiam Lake, Ward’s Lake, Thadlaskein Lake

IMPORTANT DAYS

World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought 2022 – June 17 World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought

The United Nations(UN)’s World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought is annually observed across the globe on 17th June to create awareness about Drought, one of the most destructive natural disasters in terms of loss of life, arising from impacts like wide scale crop failure, wildfire and water stress.
The day also encourages finding achievable solutions for combating desertification.
The theme of World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought 2022 is “Rising up from drought together”. 
Host of 2022:
The global observance of the Desertification and Drought Day(DDD) 2022 is hosted by the Government of Spain. The events will take place in Madrid, Spain.
About United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD):
Executive Secretary– Ibrahim Thiaw
Headquarters– Bonn, Germany
>> Read Full News

World Sea Turtle day 2022 – June 16World Sea Turtle Day - June 16 2022

World Sea Turtle Day is annually observed on 16th June to create awareness about the sea turtles and their conservation. The day also aims to bring focus on the ways to reduce the destruction of marine life and the ways to save them from extinction.
World Sea Turtle Day, 16th June, also marks the birth anniversary of Dr Archie Carr, the founding scientific director of Sea Turtle Conservancy (STC). Dr Archie Carr is known as the “father of sea turtle biology.”

  • The day also commemorates the achievement and contributions of Dr Archie Carr in developing the measures to protect sea turtles across the world.

Sea Turtle Week – 13th to 17th June 2022
i.Sea Turtle Week, a week-long celebration of the conservation is centred around World Sea Turtle Day (June 16).
ii.The 2022 Sea Turtle Week highlights the impacts of climate change on sea turtles and how sea turtles hear and the importance of their hearing.
Sea Turtles:
i.There are 7 different species of sea turtles in the ocean waters from the Indian Ocean to the Eastern pacific.
ii.These highlight migratory species that spend most of their lives in the ocean and periodically come ashore to bask or nest.
iii.The efforts of the World Wide Fund for Nature(WWF) toward sea turtles focus on 5 species among them: Hawksbill Turtle (Critically Endangered), Loggerhead Turtle(Vulnerable), Leatherback Turtle(Vulnerable), Green Turtle(Endangered), and Olive Ridley Turtle(Vulnerable).
Threats to sea turtles:
i.The effects of climate change such as severe storms, hotter sands, rising sea levels, and changing currents, have critical implications for sea turtles.
ii.Coastal development, pollution, direct harvest, invasive species and vessel strikes are also the major threat to sea turtles.

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S.noCurrent Affairs 18 June 2022
1UR for Persons of 15 years and above in Urban Areas declined to 8.2% in January-March 2022: 14th Quarterly PLFS by NSO
2PM Modi inaugurates Underground Gallery of Revolutionaries’ museum at Maharashtra’s Raj Bhavan
3Nearly 5mn in India displaced due to Climate Change, Disasters in 2021: UNHCR
4India Ranks 3rd In the World in Terms of Total Renewable Additions In 2021: Renewables 2022 Global Status Report
5IBBI amends its Regulations for Insolvency Resolution Process for Corporate Persons; Complaint Handling; Inspection and Investigation; & Information Utilities
6RBI Approves Shriram Group’s Merger of Financial Services Businesses
7Equitas Small Finance Bank Launches Exclusive Savings Account for Kids: ENJOI
8SEBI: Forms Building Advisory Committee; Imposed Penalty on 7 Entities
9India’s Merchandise Exports Likely to Be at USD 117.2 Billion In Q1 FY23: Exim Bank
10Burgundy Private Hurun India 500-SR: RIL becomes India’s most valuable company followed by TCS & HDFC Bank
11Four Indian Companies Join Apple, Google & Amazon as World’s Top 100 Brands
12Glischropus meghalayanus: New Species of Bamboo-Dwelling Bat Found in Meghalaya
13World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought 2022 – June 17
14World Sea Turtle day 2022 – June 16