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Cabinet approval on October 21, 2021
i.The Union Cabinet cleared the ‘PM GatiShakti – National Master Plan (NMP) for Multi-Modal Connectivity’ to economic zones. This approval comes after a week when the PM launched Rs 100 Lakh cr Gati Shakti NMP for Infrastructure Development from New Delhi.
- An Empowered Group of Secretaries (EGOS) headed by the Cabinet Secretary (Currently Rajiv Gauba) and secretaries of 18 ministries as members will be set up to review and monitor the implementation of the PM GatiShakti NMP and to ensure logistics efficiency.
ii.The Union Cabinet also approved a proposal to hike Dearness Allowance (DA) of the central government employees and pensioners by 3%. It also decided to increase the House Rent Allowance (HRA) of the Central government employees from August 2021.
About Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB):
Anurag Singh Thakur Constituency– Hamirpur (Himachal Pradesh)
Minister of State (MoS)– Loganathan Murugan (Constituency- Madhya Pradesh)
>>Read Full News
India’s Largest Green Hydrogen Plant to be built by GAIL
- This plant will supplement GAIL’s natural gas business with carbon-free fuel.
i.GAIL has finalised 2-3 sites for the hydrogen making unit including one at Vijaipur in Madhya Pradesh.
ii.The produced hydrogen will be sold to fertilizer units because, government has mandated to use hydrogen as fuel.
iii.NTPC (formerly National Thermal Power Corporation Limited) also announced a 5MW green hydrogen plant.
iv.Notably, to achieve the target of raising the share of natural gas to 15% by 2030 from current 6.2% by India, gas consumption has to rise three and half times to 600 million standard cubic meters per day.
Pakistan to remain on ‘Grey List’ of global terror financing watchdog FATF
- This decision has been taken during the virtual meeting of the FATF Plenary which was attended by delegates from 206 members of the Global Network and observer organizations including the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the UN and the Egmont Group of Financial Intelligence Units.
- FATF also added Jordan, Mali and Turkey in its grey list.
- Mauritius and Botswana have been removed from the Grey List.
i.Grey list is also called ‘increased monitoring list’. Those countries who have failed to curb issues like money laundering and terror financing in their countries added in this category.
ii.Pakistan has two concurrent action plans with a total of 34 action plan items. It has now largely addressed 30 of the items.
iii.Pakistan was placed on the grey list by the FATF in June 2018 and was given a plan of action to complete it by October 2019. Since then the country continues to be in that list due to its failure to comply with the FATF mandates.
About Financial Action Task Force (FATF):
Executive Secretary- David Lewis
President – Dr. Marcus Pleyer(Germany)
Presidency – Germany (2020-2022)
Headquarter – Paris, France
Highlights of EAM S Jaishankar’s Visit to Israel from October 17 to 21
i.As a part of the visit, the EAM had a 1st virtual meeting with the foreign minister of Israel, the UAE (United Arab Emirates) and the US (United States) and they have decided to establish an international forum for economic cooperation, which was termed as ‘New QUAD’.
ii.India and Israel agreed to restart both the nations’ Free Trade negotiations from November 2021 and conclude by June 2022.
iii.Israel’s energy minister Karine Elharrar has officially signed the agreement on Israel’s accession to the International Solar Alliance (ISA) in the presence of Israeli Foreign minister Yair Lapid and India’s EAM S Jaishankar.
iv.Every year the Indian Army commemorates September 23 as the Haifa Day to pay respects to the three brave Indian Cavalry Regiments – Mysore, Hyderabad and Jodhpur Lancers – which helped to liberate Haifa.
v.EAM Unveils Plaque:
- EAM visited the Indian Hospice in Jerusalem and unveiled a plaque there to symbolise India’s age-old civilisational connection to the region.
- EAM also unveiled the ‘Bhoodan Grove’ plaque at the Jerusalem Forest.
vi.EAM S. Jaishankar visited Israel’s Ovda Airbase to meet the Indian contingent participating in the biennial exercise Blue Flag 2021, which involves Air Force missions from 8 countries, to share knowledge and combat experience to improve operational capabilities.
Capital – Jerusalem
Currency – Israeli Shekel
Prime Minister – Naftali Bennett
>>Read Full News
BANKING & FINANCE
IIFCL got RBI’s Approval to Finance InVITs
- IIFCL has sanctioned about Rs 1.5 trillion to 620 projects under direct lending, takeout finance and refinance, disbursing about Rs 75,000 crore till 31 December 2020.
- InVITs are also playing an important role in the government’s asset monetization plan.
i.InvITs are instruments (similar to Mutual Funds) that will enable direct investment of small amounts of money from a number of individual and institutional investors in infrastructure projects to earn a small portion of the income as a return.
ii.InvITs are governed by Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) (Infrastructure Investment Trusts) (Amendment) Regulations, 2016.
iii.In 2019, the minimum subscription limit for InvITs was reduced from Rs 10 lakh to Rs 1 lakh.
iv.The infrastructure projects in which InVITs invest could be such as transport (road, bridges, railways), energy (electricity generation, transmission, distribution), communication, etc.
Additional Info: In April 2021, the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) allowed insurers to invest in debt instruments that are issued by Infrastructure Investment Trusts (InvITs) and Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs).
About India Infrastructure Finance Co. Ltd. (IIFCL):
It was formed to provide long-term financial assistance to viable infrastructure projects.
Establishment – 2006
Headquarters – New Delhi, Delhi
MD – Padmanabhan Raja Jaishankar
KMBL Ties-up with Pine Labs to Expand Point-of-Sale Services
i.Through the tie-up, merchants in India will be able to get the advantage of KMBL’s PoS payment solutions along with Pine Labs’ technology stack to help grow their business.
ii.Due to increased demand for cashless payments, the PoS terminals in India have increased to around 4.7 million in August 2021 (before demonetisation PoS terminals were about 13 lakh).
iii.Pine Labs is a merchant commerce platform that provides B2C (Business to Customers) facilities such as innovative payment products, Pay Later offering, loyalty programmes, stored value solutions, and other value-added services.
iv.The network of Pine Labs is spread over 245,000 merchants across Asia and the Middle East.
About Kotak Mahindra Bank Limited (KMBL):
Kotak Mahindra Finance Ltd (KMFL), has become the 1st finance company in India to be converted into a commercial bank.
MD & CEO – Uday Kotak
Headquarters- Mumbai, Maharashtra
Founded– February 2003
ITILITE partners with ICICI to offer Commercial Credit Card for Travel Expenses to Businesses
- ITILITE is an all-in-one business travel and expense management platform.
- This partnership will enable the companies to get an ‘ICICI Bank Central Travel Account Card (CTA card)’ and make travel bookings for employees at a discounted rate on the ITILITE platform.
What is in the partnership?
ICICI bank will issue the CTA card to businesses and offer them a credit period of upto 50 days. On the other hand, ITILITE will offer a digital, automated, and cost-effective travel and expense management platform.
- Businesses can use the CTA card to recharge their ITILITE wallet. Employees can make the booking themselves using the wallet.
- ITILITE platform also allows businesses to synchronize their travel policies with their account to set a customized travel approval matrix.
Co-Founders– Mayank Kukreja, and Anish Khadiya
Headquarter– Bengaluru, Karnataka
ECONOMY & BUSINESS
Bellatrix Aerospace & Dhruva Space, each signed MoU with Larsen & Toubro
The agreements were signed during the Dubai Expo 2020.
- Bellatrix Aerospace was the first private Indian company to develop and test a hall effect thruster, a type of ion thruster in which the propellant is accelerated by an electric field.
- Dhruva Space is a developer of satellites and launch platforms.
About Larsen & Toubro (L&T):
Group Chairman– A. M. Naik
MD & CEO– S. N. Subrahmanyan
Headquartered in Mumbai, Maharashtra
>>Read Full News
AWARDS & RECOGNITIONS
Martin Scorsese, Istvan Szabo to be Honoured with 1st Satyajit Ray Lifetime Achievement award at IFFI 2021
- The winners were announced by Anurag Thakur, Union Minister of Information and Broadcasting.
- The 52nd edition which will be held in a hybrid format is organised by the Directorate of Film Festivals (DFF), Ministry of Information and Broadcasting(MIB), Government of India in collaboration with the Government of Goa and the Indian Film Industry.
- The BRICS Countries are the focus countries of the 52nd IFFI.
BRICS Film Festival:
Union Minister Anurag Thakur has also announced that for the first time, the films from all 5 BRICS nations (Brazil, Russia, South Africa, China and India) will be showcased through the BRICS Film Festival along with the IFFI 2021.
>>Read Full News
APPOINTMENTS & RESIGNATIONS
Sandra Mason Elected as the 1st ever President of Barbados; replaced Queen Elizabeth II as Head of State
- She will swear in as the President of Barbados on 30th November 2021, which marks the 55th anniversary of Barbados’s independence from Britain.
- Barbados will remove the Queen as its Head of state and gain the status of a republic.
About Sandra Prunella Mason:
i.Sandra Mason has been serving as the Governor-General of Barbados since 2018.
ii.She was the first woman to be appointed Appeals Judge on the Barbados Court of Appeals.
At present, Queen Elizabeth II is the head of the State of 15 Commonwealth countries (including Barbados) in addition to the United Kingdom(UK).
Prime Minister– Mia Mottley
Currency– Barbados Dollar
>>Read Full News
SAI Appointed Commodore PK Garg as CEO of TOPS
The Sports Authority of India (SAI) has appointed Arjuna Awardee Commodore Pushpendra Kumar Garg (PK Garg), as the new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of SAI’s Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS). He will replace the incumbent CEO Commander Rajesh Rajagopalan and take over on 25th October 2021.
- PK Garg has served as a High-Performance Director with SAI till June 2021.
About PK Garg:
i.Commodore PK Garg joined the Indian Navy in 1984 and has handled several assignments during his 34-year career.
ii.He is a former athlete who represented India in 5 Asian games between 1986 and 2002 in the Enterprise Class Sailing Event and he has also won 5 National championships.
iii.He won the gold at the Enterprise Class Sailing World Championships in 1993 in Zimbabwe and won bronze in 1997 in Goa.
iv.From 2014 to 2017, he served as the secretary of the Services Sports Control Board of the Indian Armed Forces.
v.He has served as the Joint Secretary of the Yachting Association of India for four years.
- Arjuna Award(Sailing) in 1990.
- Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Award 1993–1994.
About Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS):
TOPS is a flagship program of the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports.
Aim: To improve India’s performance in the Olympics and Paralympics.
Started in 2014.
About Sports Authority of India (SAI):
Director-General– Sandip Pradhan
Headquarters– New Delhi
Established in 1984
Realme Roped KL Rahul as Brand Ambassador; Adidas Roped in Deepika Padukone as Global Brand Ambassador
- The association of realme with KL Rahul will reinstate the brand ideology of being youth-oriented.
- The primary target of this partnership is the millennials in India.
i.Realme was established in 2018 by Sky li and Madhav Sheth in India.
ii.It is the 6th Largest smartphone brand in the smartphone category globally.
About KL Rahul:
i.K Lokesh Rahul(KL Rahul) hails from Bangalore, Karnataka.
ii.He is an Indian International cricketer who represents Karnataka in domestic cricket.
iii.He is the captain of the Punjab Kings in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021.
iv.In the Indian team, he is a right-handed batsman and a wicket-keeper.
Adidas signed Bollywood actor Deepika Padukone as Global Brand ambassador
Adidas, a German sportswear major, has appointed Bollywood actress Deepika Padukone as its global brand ambassador. She will endorse Adidas women globally.
The appointment was announced during the unveiling event of Adidas’s first flagship store in India in Delhi.
- The other brand ambassadors of Adidas in India include Olympic medalists Mirabai Chanu and Lovlina Borgohain, Indian boxers Nikhat Zareen and Simranjeet Kaur; sprinter Hima Das and squash player Dipika Pallikal.
1st Flagship store:
The store offers digital touchpoints and the store is curated to encourage the movement and support the women in sports and fitness.
About Deepika Padukone:
i.Deepika Padukone, the daughter of former Indian badminton player, Prakash Padukone – the first Indian to win the All England Open Badminton Championships.
ii.Some of the other brands endorsed by Deepika Padukone are,
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
South Korea launched its first domestically-developed space rocket – “Nuri”
- Although the mission was incomplete, as the third-stage engine stopped burning about 50 seconds earlier than expected , South Korea would press ahead by being the 10th nation to send a satellite into space on its own technology.
South Korea is hoping to send an explorer to the moon by 2030. The plans to launch communication satellites and military satellites demonstrate the country’s progress towards “Korea Space Age”.
About Space Rocket – Nuri
i.Nuri is the country’s first space launch vehicle weighing 200 tons and 47.2 meters’ long, with 6 liquid-fuelled engines, was completely developed and built with South Korean technology.
ii.It is a three-stage rocket powered by five rocket engines to complete its first and second stages. Another engine is used during the rocket’s final stage.
iii.The Rocket carries a payload of up to 1.5 tons to low earth orbit (600 to 800 kilometers above Earth)
About South Korea:
President : Moon Jae-In , assisted by Prime Minister – Kim Boo-Kyum
Capital : Seoul
Official Language : Korean
Ridhima Veerendra Kumar breaks 7-year National record and bags gold medal in swimming
- Ridhima led with powerful strokes to clock 29.94 seconds and broke the 7-year National record of Maana Patel’s record (30.37 seconds) created in 2014.
- Shalini Dixit of Karnataka bagged the silver medal while Sri Nitya Sago of Telangana took bronze.
- Maharashtra’s Apeksha Fernandes created a new national record in the 50m breast stroke for group I girls.
FIFA Ranking 2021: India Rise One Spot to 106th; Belgium Tops
i.After the victory in SAFF (South Asian Football Federation) Championship 2021 of team India led by Sunil Chhetri, it has secured the 106th position. The team has defeated Nepal in the summit clash.
ii.Under the FIFA Rankings, Belgium is at 1st position. Brazil holds 2nd position, it is only 12 points behind Belgium. France holds 3rd position.
FIFA Rankings 2021:
About FIFA (Fédération Internationale de Football Association):
President: Gianni Infantino
Headquarters: Zurich, Switzerland
Founded: 21 May 1904
BOOKS & AUTHORS
Gulzar authors a new Book titled “Actually… I Met Them: A Memoir”
- In this memoir, Gulzar has shared interesting facts about legends like Kishore Kumar, Bimal Roy, Ritwik Ghatak, Hrishikesh Mukherjee and Mahasweta Devi and many others.
i.Sampooran Singh Kalra is professionally known as ‘Gulzar’ or ‘Gulzar Saab’.
ii.He was born on 18 August 1934 in Dina, Pakistan.
i.He has won Padma Bhushan in 2004 for his contribution to the arts, Sahitya Akademi Award in 2002, Dadasaheb Phalke Award 2013, and National Film Award for Best Lyrics.
ii.Gulzar and AR Rahman won an Oscar(2009) for Best Original Song for ‘ Jai Ho’ at the 81st Academy Awards.
International Stuttering Awareness Day 2021 – October 22
The stuttering awareness campaign has used the sea green colour ribbon as the symbol since 2009.
i.In 1998, the 22nd October was established as the International Stuttering Awareness Day.
ii.The initiative was spearheaded by Michael Sugarman, Oakland, California.
iii.The first ISAD was observed on 22nd October 1998.
ISAD online conference 2021:
i.The ISAD online conference 2021 (1st to 31st October 2021) marks the 24th ISAD online conference.
ii.The theme of ISAD online conference 2021 is “Speak the change you wish to see”.
>>Read Full News
Goa Govt Signs MoU with Tech Firms for Skill Training
Objective – This initiative will provide skills to college and school students & it will empower them with employability skill sets.
With this collaboration, they launched the 1st program named, “Kaushlya Saptak”, which will be launched for a week from 8th November, 2021 to 13th November.
i.The programme is implemented in two phases.
- In the First phase, the programme imparts training in various skills including communication, computational thinking, coding etc to students
- In the second phase, the initiative tilts towards schools in the State where students will be introduced to various skill sets.
The programme benefits around 1100 students in the first phase and provides employment opportunities through TCS youth employment programme (YEP) in the second phase.
ii.The programme ensures youth, especially the weaker sections, are exposed to employment opportunities by upgrading them to the new skill set.
iii.The DHE has taken steps to achieve goals laid down in National Education Policy (NEP) through these tech MOU.
Wildlife Sanctuaries : Mhadei wildlife sanctuary, Netravali wildlife sanctuary.
Heritage sites : cultural – Churches and convents of Goa .
Bird Sanctuary : Dr. Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary
Tamil Nadu CM Stalin Launches IT Dept Portals and Tamil Computing Software
The Chief Minister (CM) of Tamil Nadu Muthuvel Karunanidhi (M K) Stalin has launched a web portal named ‘e-munnetram’ to review the progress of all important infrastructure projects in the state.
- The portal was developed by the Tamil Nadu e-Governance Agency (TNeGA), Information Technology (IT) Department. Currently, the portal will work as a private portal.
- The portal will allow all IT/ITES (Information Technology/Information Technology Enabled Services) companies to interact with the government and contribute to planning and policymaking.
What is ‘e-munnetram’:
i.It contains key details of projects such as agreement dates, start dates, cost estimates, project progress on both financial and physical parameters on a monthly basis, location data, and photographs of the site on a periodic basis.
ii.Under the portal, the head of the departments could update the progress periodically and cite major issues when delaying in process.
iii.Earlier the High-level committee chaired by the Chief Secretary will monitor the progress of about 200 major infrastructure projects costing more than Rs 1 lakh crore. Now the portal will overcome the process costs.
The TNeGA has also conceptualized an interacting platform named ‘IT Nanban’, which will interact with the IT industry and enable all IT/ITES companies in Tamil Nadu to interact with the State government over policymaking. It will also provide a feedback service mechanism.
Tamil Nadu computing software:
The CM has also launched 2 Tamil computer software with advanced features, which were developed by the Tamil Virtual Academy (TVA).
i.The Keezhadi – Tamizhinaiya keyboard works with 3 types of keyboards: Tamil’99 keyboard, Phonetic keyboard and Old Typewriter keyboard.
ii.The Tamizhi – Tamizhinaiya Unicode Converter will convert the text, file and folder that are typed in Vanavil and other fonts into doc, docx, rtf, xls, xlsx, and pptx formats.
About Tamil Nadu:
Wildlife sanctuary-Sathyamangalam Wildlife Sanctuary, Megamalai Wildlife Sanctuary, Kodaikanal Wildlife Sanctuary
Airport-Tiruchirappalli International Airport, Madurai International Airport, Tuticorin Airport or Thoothukudi Airport
Heritage-Group of Monuments at Mahabalipuram
STPI Finblue, Signs Memorandum of Understanding with AFIN
STPI (Software Technology park of India) FinBlue, chennai, signed an MoU (Memorandum of Understanding) with ASEAN(The Association of Southeast Asian Nations) Financial Innovation Network Ltd (AFIN) to explore cross border collaboration.
i.The MOU will strengthen collaboration to develop “world class products” with expertise and knowledge that enables the start- ups to incubate at STPI FinBlue, chennai.
ii.STPI FinBlue, is a domain specific facility for start-ups working in FinTech (Financial Technology) in Chennai.
iii.It is set up by STPI, which has an incubation center as well as SandBox and API Exchange access and provides support like training, mentoring, marketing, access to funding resources
About Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN):
Founded : August 8, 1967, by Bangkok declaration
Headquarters : Jakarta, Indonesia
Secretary General : H.E. Dato Lim Jock Hoi
2021 Chair – Brunei Darussalam with theme “We Care, We Prepare, We Prosper”
Current Affairs Today (AffairsCloud Today)
|S.no||Current Affairs 23 October 2021|
|1||Cabinet approval on October 21, 2021|
|2||India’s Largest Green Hydrogen Plant to be built by GAIL|
|3||Pakistan to remain on ‘Grey List’ of global terror financing watchdog FATF|
|4||Highlights of EAM S Jaishankar’s Visit to Israel from October 17 to 21|
|5||IIFCL got RBI’s Approval to Finance InVITs|
|6||KMBL Ties-up with Pine Labs to Expand Point-of-Sale Services|
|7||ITILITE partners with ICICI to offer Commercial Credit Card for Travel Expenses to Businesses|
|8||Bellatrix Aerospace & Dhruva Space, each signed MoU with Larsen & Toubro|
|9||Martin Scorsese, Istvan Szabo to be honoured with Satyajit Ray Lifetime Achievement award at IFFI 2021|
|10||Sandra Mason Elected as the 1st ever President of Barbados; replaced Queen Elizabeth II as Head of State|
|11||SAI Appointed Commodore PK Garg as CEO of TOPS|
|12||Realme Roped KL Rahul as Brand Ambassador; Adidas Roped in Deepika Padukone as Global Brand Ambassador|
|13||South Korea launched its first domestically-developed space rocket – “Nuri”|
|14||Ridhima Veerendra Kumar breaks 7-year National record and bags gold medal in swimming|
|15||India rise One Spot to 106th & Belgium hold onto top position in FIFA Rankings|
|16||Gulzar authors a new Book titled “Actually… I Met Them: A Memoir”|
|17||International Stuttering Awareness Day 2021 – October 22|
|18||Govt signs MoU with tech firms for skill training|
|19||Tamil Nadu CM Stalin Launches IT Dept Portals and Releases Tamil Computing Software|
|20||Stpi Finblue, Signs Memorandum of Understanding with AFIN|