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Top Current Affairs 14 July 2022

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NATIONAL AFFAIRS

Government Formulates Strategy to promote NER as Agriculture Export HubGovernment-formulates-strategy-to-promote-NER-as-agri-export-hub

On July 12, 2022, the Central Government has formulated a strategy to boost the export of horticulture, and agricultural products grown in North-Eastern (NE) states to the international markets.
Reason Behind Formulating Strategy:
The NE region is geopolitically important as it shares international boundaries with China and Bhutan, Myanmar, Nepal and Bangladesh making it the potential hub for the export of agricultural produce to neighbouring countries as well as other foreign destinations.
i.There has been a significant increase in the export of agricultural produce from NE states like Assam, Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram, Tripura, Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim and Meghalaya in the last few years.
ii.NE saw an 85.34% growth in the export of agricultural products in the last 6 years from USD 2.52 million in 2016-17 to USD 17.2 million in 2021-22.

  • The major destination of export has been Bangladesh, Bhutan, the Middle East, the United Kingdom (UK) and Europe.

APEDA signs a MoU with Assam Agriculture University for Training Programs 
The Agricultural and Processed Food Products Development and Authority (APEDA), under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry (MoCI) signs a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Assam Agriculture University (AAU), Jorhat (Assam) to conduct various training programs on pre-harvest and post-harvest management and other research activities for the promotion of export from the region.

  • On June 24 2022,A conference on the Export Potential of Natural, Organic and Geographical Indications (GI) Agro Products was also conducted in Guwahati of Assam to tap the abundant export potential of organic agricultural products from Assam and neighbouring states.

APEDA assistance to NER:
i.APEDA assisted the Assam Govt in setting up a modern pork processing facility at Nazira with a capacity of 400 animals per day.
ii.It also planned to facilitate capacity building to officials of the Assam Agriculture Department and selected officials would be sent in batches to Karnataka, Maharashtra and Gujarat.
iii.It supported the branding and promotion of NE products such as KIWI Wine, processed foods, carrying out a wet sampling of Joha Rice Pulao, Black Rice kheer, etc.
iv.With the APEDA’s intervention, Tripura’s Jack fruit, and Nagaland’s King Chilli was through a local exporter for the first time.

  • Also, Assam’s local fruit called Leteku (Burmese Grape) was exported to Dubai and Assam’s Betel leaves have been regularly exported to London.

v.APEDA organised a training programme on the promotion of organic pork export from Sikkim.Sikkim is the first state to have an organic certification agency, which was established in 2016 with the support of APEDA.
vi.APEDA promoted GI products from NER like Bhut Jolokia,and Assam Lemon which is now exported regularly to London and the Middle East and as of now, more than 50 MT of Assam Lemon has been exported. 

Tripura: 2022 Weeklong Kharchi Festival Begins

On 12th July 2022 Tripura commenced the renowned weeklong traditional Kharchi Festival, where prayers are offered to 14 deities, in presence of thousands of devotees at Khayerpur, eastern outskirts of Tripura.

  • Ratan Chakraborty, Speaker of Tripura Legislative Assembly started off the festival with a bathing procession of the deities at River Haora, Tripura.
  • Kharchi Puja is predominantly a tribal festival but it owes its origins to Hindu religion.

Key highlights:
i.Out of these 14 deities, only 3 are worshipped throughout the year, whereas other 11 idols would be kept at the Andarmahal after the festival ends.
ii.During the festival, only heads of the 14 deities are worshipped that includes, lords Shiva, Durga, Vishnu, Lakshmi, Vani or Saraswati, Kumar or Kartikeya, Ganapa or Ganesha, Brahma, Prithivi, Abdhi or Samudra, Ganga, Sikhi or Agni, Kamadeva and Himadri.

  • It is predominantly a tribal festival but the devotees and saints from all over India and also from Bangladesh participate in the festival.

Things to know:- –

  • The literal meaning of Karachi festival stands for ‘cleaning of sins’, where Khar means sin and chi means cleaning.
  • According to Tripura royal family’s “Rajmala”, Queen Hiravati once went to take a bath in the river Maharani and noticed a wild buffalo chasing the 14 gods. With the help of the queen’s cloth the gods managed to kill the beast. Happy with Hirabati’s help, the gods visited the palace and the royal family offered puja by sacrificing wild buffaloes.

DA&FW and IRRI sign a MoA on commencement of Phase -2 activities of IRRI South Asia Regional CentreDepartment-of-Agriculture-&-Farmer-Welfare-and-International-Rice-Research-Institute-(IRRI)-sign-Agreement-on-commencement-of-Phase--2-activities-of-IRRI-Sout

Department of Agriculture & Farmer Welfare (DA&FW) under the Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare, and the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) on the commencement of Phase -2 activities of IRRI South Asia Regional Centre (ISARC) to boost food and nutrition security in the South Asian region.
Signatories:
The MoA was signed by  Manoj Ahuja, Secretary, DA&FW and Dr. Jean Balié, Director General of IRRI in the presence of the Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare,  Narendra Singh Tomar.
Key points:
i.The Phase-1 of MoU was signed on August 2, 2017, between the DA&FW and IRRI for 5 years (2017-22) with a provision to extend for another 5 years.
ii.The phase-2 of the ISARC programme aims to enhance the development, dissemination, and popularization of high-yielding stress-tolerant and bio-fortified rice, high zinc and low glycemic index (GI) rice.
iii.Activities under the 2nd Phase will be carried out through a trans-disciplinary approach and leveraging cutting-edge technologies in three thematic areas over 5 years.
1.Centre of Excellence in Rice Value Addition (CERVA)
2.Centre of Excellence in Sustainable Agriculture (CESA)
3.Center for Education in Innovation and Research for Development (CEIRD).
iv.The  Agreement will help the capacity of rice-growing countries in South Asia, including India, and Africa in crop production, seed quality, and to enhance farmers’ income.

  • It will also mitigate environment and climate change challenges in rice cultivation, help fight global hunger and eradicate poverty

Programmes launched:
i.Broader Programme for Research and Partnership (BPRP) was launched for undertaking breeding for climate resilience, bio-fortification, use of geospatial technology in agriculture and women and youth empowerment, etc
ii.IRRI Research and Education Programme (IREP) was also launched for capacity development and promoting South-South cooperation and networking.
IRRI South Asia Regional Centre (ISARC):
i.The  ISARC was established in 2017  at the campus of the National Seed Research and Training Center (NSRTC) in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh (UP).

  • It is the first and biggest research Centre of the IRRI across the world.
  • It provides training on grain quality, nutritional quality and food safety.

ii.ISARC also set up a Centre of Excellence in Rice Value Addition (CERVA)  to enhance technological innovation in agriculture.

  • CERVA developed on low and one intermediate glycaemic index (GI) rice varieties: IRRI 147 (GI 55) & IRRI 162 (GI 57), respectively, through the joint efforts of the CERVA team and IRRI.

iii.The state of art Speed Breeding Facility (SpeedBreed) was launched at ISRAC in 2021.

  • It aims to expedite the plant growth cycle of crops and enable advancing rice plants for five generations per year against only one to two under normal conditions.

Uttarakhand Becomes First State to Implement NEP at Pre-Primary Level

Pushkar Singh Dhami, the Chief Minister (CM) of Uttarakhand, has inaugurated “Bal Vatikas in Anganwadi Kendras across the state to improve the pre-primary education system in Uttarakhand.

  • With this, Uttarakhand has become the first state in India to begin the process of implementing the Government of India’s (GoI) New Education Policy (NEP) 2020 at the pre-primary level.

The ‘Bal Vatikas’ will be equivalent to nursery classes at a private school and will will function at 4,457 Anganwadi Kendras of the state.

  • Following the NEP of 2020, the Uttarakhand government will educate pre-primary students —between the ages of 3 and 6 years—in 5,000 state-run primary schools.

Significance of NEP 2020
i. NEP ushers in a new age of culture-based education in India by replacing the long-standing Macaulay educational system and it lays emphasis ontotal personality development of students.

  • It enables children to pursue a choice-based education in which they can study subjects of their choice in the language they are fluent in.

ii.The NEP 2020 encompasses 12 years of education together with three years of Anganwadi/preschool.The NEP 2020 will be fully implemented in Uttarakhand by 2030.
Other Related Information:
i. Dhami also laid the foundation stone for the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) building.
ii.The Uttarakhand government has formed a committee led by retired Supreme Court Judge Ranjana Prakash Desai to draft the Uniform Civil Code (UCC), which will be enacted after consulting all the stakeholders.

University of Hyderabad inks MoU with National Institute of Animal Biotechnology

The University of Hyderabad (UoH) has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the National Institute of Animal Biotechnology (NIAB) in fundamental areas of biological sciences.
i.The MoU was signed by UoH Registrar Dr. Devesh Nigam and NIAB Director Dr. G. Taru Sharma, in the presence of UoH Vice-chancellor Prof. B J Rao, School of Life Sciences Dean Prof. N. Siva Kumar and Dr. Anand Srivastava, Scientist D is the Coordinator from NIAB.
ii.Under the agreement, the NIAB scientists would actively participate in teaching Master’s programmes at UoH in specialized areas of Animal Biology & Biotechnology and offer students the chance to undertake project work in their labs.

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

India & Madagascar Signs MoU on Tele-EducationIndia,-Madagascar-sign-MoU-on-tele-education

On 12th July 2022 India’s Telecommunications Consultants India Limited (TCIL) & Madagascar government signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for participating in the e-VBAB (e-VidyaBharati and e-AarogyaBharati) network project.

  • The MoU was signed by Elia Beatrice Assoumacou, Minister of Higher Education of Madagascar in presence of the Ambassador of India to Comoros and Madagascar Abhay Kumar at the premises of the Ministry of Higher Education in Antananarivo, Madagascar.

Key highlights:
i.Under the MoU, various online degree or diploma courses will be offered to the citizens of Madagascar, free of cost with certain eligibility criteria.
ii.Around 26 Indian universities, including Andhra University, Chandigarh University, Amity University, and Indira Gandhi National Open University will be a part of this project.

  • These universities will offer more than 300 courses in the field of Management, Computer Science, Commerce, Science, Health care, Humanities and Arts.

iii.Eligible students can register in the iLearn portal (www.ilearn.gov.in) and start the course. After completing the course, soft copies of degree certificates will be provided to the students and the hard copies will also be sent by post.
Background:
In 2015, India rolled up in technology up-gradation and extended the Pan-Africa e-Network Project (PAeNP) under which e-VBAB (e-VidyaBharati and e-AarogyaBharati) projects were successfully implemented in Africa’s 48 countries including the Republic of Madagascar.
Note – e-VBAB project was launched on 7th October 2019 and was fully funded by the Government of India (GOI) for its entire duration.

2.3 billion people severely or moderately hungry in 2021: UN2.37bn People Severely or Moderately Hungry in 2020: Report by 5 UN Agencies

According to the 2022 edition of “The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World (SOFI) – Repurposing Food and Agricultural Policies to Make Healthy Diets More Affordable”, 2.3 billion people, an estimated 29.3 percent of the global population were moderately or severely food insecure, and 11.7 percent (923.7 million people) faced severe food insecurity.

  • This report is on progress towards meeting SDG 2 targets of ending hunger and ensuring access to adequate food for all (SDG Target 2.1) and of eliminating all forms of malnutrition (SDG Target 2.2).
  • In 2021, 31.9 percent of women in the world were moderately or severely food insecure compared to 27.6 percent of men, a gap of more than 4 percentage points, compared with 3 percentage points in 2020.
  • The number of people unable to afford a healthy diet around the world rose by 112 million to almost 3.1 billion, reflecting the impacts of rising consumer food prices during the (COVID-19) pandemic.

Report Prepared by:
The report was jointly established by five UN agencies viz. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), World Food Programme (WFP), and World Health Organization (WHO).
About United Nations (UN):
Establishment– 1945
Secretary-General– António Manuel de Oliveira Guterres (9th)
Headquarters– New York, United States
>> Read Full News

Croatia to become 20th country to adopt Euro as Currency
Croatia will become the 20th member of the eurozone to adopt Euro currency from 1 January 2023, replacing the current currency Croatian Kuna.The European Union’s (EU) finance minister formally approved the adoption of the euro single currency.
Key points:Croatian
i.It is the first expansion of the currency bloc in almost eight years since the euro has dropped to its lowest level against the US dollar in 20 years.

  • Croatia’s currency Kuna has comparatively low inflation and low-interest rates, a stable currency regime.

ii.In 2015, Lithuania joined the European single-currency regime.
About Croatia:
Capital– Zagreb
President-Zoran Milanović
Official language– Croatian

BANKING & FINANCE

RBI allows Trade transactions with Sri Lanka may be Settled outside ACU; Imposes Fines on 3 co-operative banks for Non-ComplianceTrade-transactions-with-Lanka-may-be-settled-outside-ACU

i.The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has allowed all eligible current account transactions including trade transactions with Sri Lanka to be/may be settled in any permitted currency outside the Asian Clearing Union (ACU) mechanism with immediate effect.
ii.This provision has been made after reviewing clause b of sub-Regulation 2 of Regulation 3 and clause c of sub-Regulation 2 of Regulation 5 of Foreign Exchange Management (Manner of Receipt and Payment) Regulations, 2016.

  • Currently, ACU settlements are done in three currencies: US dollar, the euro, and the Japanese yen.

iii.On July 11, 2022, the RBI imposed penalty on three cooperatives banks for deficiencies in regulatory compliance by exercising its powers conferred under provisions of Section 47 A (1) (c) read with Section 46 (4) (i) and Section 56 of the Banking Regulation (BR) Act, 1949.
iv.The banks are Nasik Merchant’s Co-operative Bank Ltd in Nashik (Maharashtra); Maharashtra State Co-operative Bank Ltd in Mumbai (Maharashtra); and National Central Cooperative Bank Limited in Bettiah(Bihar).
About Reserve Bank of India (RBI):
Establishment– April 1, 1935
Headquarters– Mumbai, Maharashtra
Governor– Shaktikanta Das
Deputy Governors– Mahesh Kumar Jain, Michael Debabrata Patra, M. Rajeshwar Rao, T. Rabi Sankar
>> Read Full News

ReNew Power Becomes First Indian RE Firm to Refinance Dollar-Denominated BondsReNew-becomes-first-Indian-renewable-energy-firm-to-refinance-dollar-denominated-bondsReNew Power (“ReNew”), India’s leading Renewable Energy (RE) company, has successfully refinanced its 2024 maturity dollar-denominated bonds with amortising project debt from an Indian nonbank financial company.

  • With this, ReNew has become the first Indian renewable energy firm to refinance dollar-denominated bonds.
  • ReNew issued bonds worth USD 525 million in 2019, which were set to mature in 2024.

Key Highlights:
i. ReNew has demonstrated strong and continued access to domestic debt capital and the capacity to proactively manage refinancing risk by refinancing the dollar-denominated bonds ahead of time.
ii.Due to this refinancing, the INR (Indian Rupee)interest rate on the bonds was reduced by 200 basis points, fixed for three years, and the maturity date was extended to the end of the fiscal year 2027.
iii. The rate reduction, rate fixing, and tenor extension have taken place against the backdrop of a rising interest rate environment in the broader markets.
iv.This pre-emptive refinancing mitigates near-term refinancing risk for bonds and provides liquidity to bond investors.
ReNew Power:
i. ReNew’s gross total portfolio has recently increased by more than 25% to 12.8 GW (gigawatt), up from 10.2 GW at the start of 2022.

  • ReNew Power headquartered at Gurugram in Haryana founded in 2011.It is a subsidiary of ReNew Energy Global PLC.
  • Founder, Chairman & CEO of ReNew Power – Sumant Sinha

Star Health & MeitY Partners towards Health Insurance to Reach Rural IndiaStar-Health-partners-with-MeitY-to-reach-rural-marketsStar Health and Allied Insurance Company Limited and Common Services Centres (CSC), under the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY), have partnered to take health insurance to rural India.

  • Aim – To increase awareness of health insurance and to increase its penetration in rural India with the help of additional distribution networks which further increase market share and strengthen its presence across India.
  • The partnership provides around 5 lakh CSCs to a range of Star Health insurance products that would meet the needs of rural customers across the tier-II, tier-III cities, and rural markets across India.

About Common Services Centres (CSC):
i.The CSCs will provide features such as e-services through a single-delivery platform, localised help-desk support, and sustainability for village level entrepreneurs (VLEs) through a maximum commission sharing model of operation.
ii.These 5 Lakh CSCs in Gram Panchayats are being managed by VLE’s and delivers easy access to the health insurance products to the unreached.
About Star Health and Allied Insurance Company Limited:
Chairman & CEO – V. Jagannathan
Establishment – 2006
Headquarters – Chennai, Tamil Nadu

RBI sets up mechanism to Settle International Trade Payments in RupeesRBI-sets-up-mechanism-to-settle-international-trade-payments-in-rupees

On July 11, 2022, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) unveiled a rupee settlement system i.e. invoicing, payment, and settlement of exports/imports in INR for international trade INR under Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999 (FEMA), with immediate effect.

  • It aims to promote growth of global trade with emphasis on exports from India.
  • However, the banks interested in this system need to seek prior approval from the Mumbai based Foreign Exchange Department of RBI.
  • The directions have been issued under sections 10(4) and 11(1) of the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA), 1999 (42 of 1999).

What is in the new system?
The framework for International Trade Settlement for cross border trade transactions in INR include the following
i.Invoicing: All exports and imports under this arrangement will be denominated and invoiced in INR.
ii.Exchange Rate: Exchange rate between the currencies of the two trading partner countries may be market determined.
iii.Settlement: The settlement of trade transactions under this arrangement will be in INR.
iv.In terms of Regulation 7(1) of Foreign Exchange Management (Deposit) Regulations, 2016, AD (Authorized dealer) banks in India have been permitted to open Rupee Vostro Accounts.

  • Exporters and importers can now use a Special Vostro account linked to the correspondent bank of the partner country for receipts and payments denominated in rupees

v.The bank guarantee, setting-off export receivables, advance against exports, use of surplus balance, approval process, documentation, etc., related aspects would be covered under FEMA rules,
vi.Letter of Credit (LC) and other trade related documentation will be decided mutually between banks of the partner trading countries under the overall framework of Uniform Customs and Practice for Documentary Credits (UCPDC) and incoterms(International Commercial Terms).

RBI Cancels Certificate of Registration of Four NBFCS; Fined Ola Financial Services Rs. 1.67 Crore for Violating Norms

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI), in exercise of powers conferred on it under Section 45-IA (6) of the Reserve Bank of India Act, 1934, has cancelled the Certificate of Registration (CoR) of the following four Non-Banking Financial Companies (NBFCs) and mandated them to not transact the business of an NBFC, as defined in clause (a) of Section 45-I of the RBI Act, 1934.
The four NBFCs are:
i. Kanva Shree Credit Private Limited(formerly known as MCI Leasing Private Limited) in Bengaluru, Karnataka.
ii.Williamson Magor & Co. Ltd inKolkata, West Bengal
iii. Galaxy Capital Finance Limited in Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh
iv.SRS Finance Limited in Faridabad, Haryana

  • The RBI issued cancellation order for Kanva Shree Credit Private Limited (formerly known as MCI Leasing Private Limited) on June 8, 2022.
  • For the other three NBFCs the cancellation order was issued on June 29, 2022.

Note – Further, three more NBFCs – PKC Credit Pvt Ltd, Gajanand Lefin Pvt Ltd and Harita Malini Private Limited — surrendered their certificate of registration to the RBI.

RBI Fined Ola Financial Services Rs. 1.67 Crore for Violating Norms
The RBI issued a monetary penalty of Rs. 1,67,80,000/- (Rupees One Crore Sixty-Seven Lakh Eighty Thousand Only) on Ola Financial Services Private Limited (the entity) in accordance with Section 30 of the Payment and Settlement Systems Act of 2007.

  • The entity was non-compliant with the directions issued by RBI on Know Your Customer (KYC) requirements and has been fined for failing to follow certain provisions in the Master Directions on PPIs dated August 27, 2021 (as updated from time to time) and the Master Direction – Know Your Customer (KYC) Direction, 2016 dated February 25, 2016 (as updated from time to time).

This course of action is based on regulatory compliance shortcomings and is not meant to pronounce on the validity of any transaction or agreement the company has made with its customers.
About Reserve Bank of India (RBI):
Governor – Shaktikanta Das
Deputy Governors – Mahesh Kumar Jain, Michael Debabrata Patra, M. Rajeshwar Rao, T. Rabi Sankar
Establishment – 1st April 1935
Headquarters – Mumbai, Maharashtra

Arohan launches digital lending app expects to raise loan portfolio by Rs 600cr by FY23

Non-Banking Financial Companies – Microfinance Institutions (NBFC-MFIs) Arohan Financial Services launched a digital lending app for its existing customers having a good repayment track record to provide them an experience equivalent to that of privilege banking and to raise collection efficiency ratio.
i.The app, ApnaArohan, will help its customers make repayments and other transactions through the digital mode and reduce physical interaction with the loan officers of the MFI.
ii.The AI-powered app will provide the microfinance company the “first mover advantage” and help increase the outstanding portfolio (by Rs 600cr) from Rs 4,500 crore, as on June 2022, to around Rs 5,100 crore by the end of the current FY 2022-23.

AMFI to launch mutual funds distributor recruitment campaign “Karein Shuru?”

The Association of Mutual Funds in India (AMFI) has launched a mutual fund (MF) distributor recruitment campaign, “Karein Shuru?” (Can we start?).

  • The comprehensive campaign includes commercial films to reinforce the need and attractiveness of MF distribution as a career option with long-term earning potential for individuals with entrepreneurial aspirations.

ECONOMY & BUSINESS

Nomura cuts 2023 India GDP forecast to 4.7% amid recession fearsNomura-cuts-2023-India-GDP-forecast-to-4

Nomura has cut India’s gross domestic product (GDP) forecast to 4.7% from its earlier projection of 5.4% amid recession fears and rising interest rates
Reason behind lowering the forecast
Higher inflation, monetary policy tightening, dormant private capex growth, the power crunch and the global growth slowdown pose medium-term headwinds.
Key Highlights:
i.There are upside risks to inflation due to higher input costs, services reopening pressures, pending electricity tariff revisions and elevated inflationary expectations.
ii.India’s Consumer Price Index (CPI) retail inflation rate is at 7.01% in June 2022 versus 7.04% in May 2022.

  • This is the sixth consecutive month that the CPI inflation has remained above the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI’s) comfort zone of 2–6%.
  • Recently, Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) raised the repo rate by 50 basis points to 4.90% which is the biggest in more than a decade.

iii.Nomura expects headline inflation in India to average 6.9 per cent in 2022, and 5.9 per cent in 2023 .
iv.There is current CPI inflation estimate of 7% for F23.
v. Indian economy is rising above the pre-pandemic level, led by a sharp recovery in the services sector, easy financial conditions, a public capex push and a rise in real bank credit growth.
vi.The Index of Industrial Production (IIP) increased to 19.6% in May 2022, as compared to 6.7% in April 2022. 

APPOINTMENTS & RESIGNATIONS   

RBI Approves Appointment of Meena Hemchandra as Part-Time Chairman of KVB RBI-approves-Meena-Hemchandra-as-part-time-chairman-of-Karur-Vysya-Bank

On 12th July 2022 Reserve Bank of India (RBI) approved the appointment of former RBI executive Meena Hemachandra as part-time chairman of Karur Vysya Bank (KVB), a private sector lender, for 3 years with effect from taking charge.

  • She held the position of an Additional Director in KVB under Independent Category from 26th May 2022.

About Meena Hemachandra:
i.Meena Hemachandran has an experience of 35 years in banking in various departments of RBI.
ii.Previously, she held various positions that also included Executive Director of RBI from June 2015 to November 2017 and was the Principal of the RBI’s College of Agricultural Banking.

  • Post retirement, she also held directorial positions with Suryoday Small Finance Bank Limited and CFM ARC Private Limited.

iii.She has 9 years of experience in banking boards that includes Boards of Union Bank of India, Canara Bank and ECGC and is an expert in the field of treasury management, foreign exchange regulations.
iv.She also headed the Department of External Investment and Operations that manages India’s forex between 2005 and 2011.
About Karur Vysya Bank (KVB):
MD & CEO – B. Ramesh Babu
Establishment – 1916
Headquarters – Karur, Tamil Nadu (TN)

NIACL appointed Madhulika Bhaskar as CMD for Three Months

On 12 July 2022,New India Assurance Company Ltd (NIACL) appointed its General Manager Madhulika Bhaskar as the Chairman-cum-Managing Director (CMD) for a period of three months with effect from the date of assumption of charge. She was given additional charge.

  • She succeeded  Atul Sahai as the CMD ,whose tenure ended on February 28, 2022 following his superannuation.

The proposal of the Department of Financial Services for entrusting financial and administrative powers and functions of the post of CMD of NIACL was approved by the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC).

About Madhulika Bhaskar: 

  • Madhulika Bhaskar worked as general manager, financial advisor and chief of internal audit, with GIC Re.
  • She joined the GIC Re as a direct recruit officer in March 1988.
  • For 25 years of her over 33 years of continuous service with the corporation, she has worked in reinsurance operations, aviation and technical department.

About New India Assurance Company Ltd (NIACL):
Headquarters- Mumbai, Maharashtra
Founded-1919

GoI Appoints 29 Non-Official Members from Various Sectors to The Board of Trade

The Government of India (GoI) has nominated 29 non-official members from large and small enterprises with diverse sectoral and geographical representation to the Board of Trade (BOT),the advisory body on foreign trade policy.The chairperson of the board Union Minister of Commerce and Industry.

  • The BOT, which is chaired by Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal, advises the GoI on policy initiatives to boost India’s foreign trade.

Non-Official Members
Rajesh Gopinathan, CEO and MD of Tata Consultancy Services (TCS); Sanjay Nayyar, Chairman, KKR India; Praveen Khandelwal, Secretary General, Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT); Pankaj Mahindroo, Chairman, India Cellular & Electronics Association; RS Sodhi, MD, Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation (GCMMF), (Amul); Om Prakash Mittal, Executive Member, Laghu Udyog Bharati; Pasha Patel, former member of Maharashtra Legislative Council; B S Nagesh, chairman, Shoppers Stop Ltd.
Official Members
The official members will include secretaries of the Department of Revenue, Department of Commerce, Ministry of Health, Agriculture, Deputy Governor of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), and the Chairman of the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC), among others.
Functions of The BOT
i. The GoI amalgamated the Council of Trade Development and Promotion with the Board of Trade (BOT) in 2019 to improve consistency in the consultation process with all stakeholders, both at the Central and State levels, for promoting exports and imports.
ii.The responsibilities of the non-official members of the BOT include identifying and promoting identified products, acting as a facilitator in the implementation of District Export Hub events like sensitization workshops, and giving States/Union Territories a platform to showcase state-oriented perspectives on trade policy.
iii. They would also assist states in making export strategies that aligns with the national foreign trade strategy, facilitating a discussion mechanism on the operationalization of the trade infrastructure, reviewing import and export procedures, and proposing ways to rationalize their use.
iv.They will also provide policy recommendations to the government for the formulation and implementation of both short and long-term plans to boost exports.     

ACQUISITIONS & MERGERS  

CCI approves acquisition of Solenergi Power Private by Shell Overseas Investments B.V from Actis Solenergi LtdCCI-approves-acquisition-of-Solenergi-Power-Private-Limited-by-Shell-Overseas-Investments-B.V

The Competition Commission of India (CCI) approved the acquisition of Solenergi Power Private Limited by Shell Overseas Investments B.V.  from Actis Solenergi Limited under Section 31(1) of the Competition Act, 2002.
Target -Solenergi Power Private Limited
Acquirer-Shell Overseas Investments B.V.
Key points:
i.Under the acquisition contract, Shell Overseas Investments B.V.  will acquire  100% shareholding and sole control of the Solenergi Power Private Limited
ii.Acquirer is a part of the Shell Group. Shell Plc is a public limited company with a primary listing on the London Stock Exchange and secondary listings on Euronext Amsterdam and the New York Stock Exchange.
CCI approves acquisition by Shrem InvIT from Dilip Buildcon Limited
The Competition Commission of India (CCI) also approved acquisition of equity in 10 road infrastructure projects  by Shrem InvIT from Dilip Buildcon Limited (DBL) and its associates under Section 31(1) of the Competition Act, 2002.
i.According to the acquisition agreement,  Shrem InvIT will acquire 100% of the equity  in ten road infrastructure projects (Special Purpose Vehicle) of DBL  and its associates
ii.Shrem InvIT is a trust registered under the Indian Trusts Act, 1882 and with SEBI (Securities and Exchange Board of India) under InvIT Regulations 2014.

  • The Target SPVs are undertaking the road projects in the state of Karnataka, Jharkhand, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh.

About Competition Commission of India (CCI):
Founded- 2003
Headquarters- New Delhi, Delhi
Chairperson-Ashok Kumar Gupta      

SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

Ola unveils India’s first indigenously made lithium ion-cell

The Bengaluru-based Electric two-wheeler maker Ola Electric launched India’s first indigenously developed lithium-ion cell, NMC 2170 and the mass production of its cell will begin at its upcoming Chennai-based Gigafactory by 2023.
i.The use of specific chemistry and materials enables the cell to pack more energy in a given space and also improves the overall life cycle of the cell. The cell has been developed keeping the indigenous conditions at the core.
ii.SoftBank-backed Ola Electric launched its first electric vehicle in August 2021 and has set up the world’s largest 2W manufacturing facility in India. The Ola Electric is currently developing its first electric 4W.

SPORTS

The Wimbledon Championships 2022: The 3- time Defending Champion Novak Djokovic won 2022 Wimbledon Gentlemen’s Singles Title Wimbledon2022-starts-by-Jun-20-and-ends-by-Jul-10,-2022

The 135th edition of the oldest Tennis Grand Slam event “The Wimbledon Championships (Wimbledon) 2022” began on June 27 and ended on July 10, 2022 in London, United Kingdom (UK). Novak Djokovic (Serbia) won 2022 Gentlemen’s Singles Title against Nick Kyrgios (Australia) which took place in Centre court.This was Novak Djokovic’s 7th Wimbledon title and 4th straight Wimbledon men’s singles title.

  • Wimbledon usually takes place in Grass Outdoor Courts and every player must follow the dress-code of Whites.
  • Elena Rybakina (Kazakhstan) won 2022 women’s singles final Wimbledon,claiming her first grand slam title and the first for Kazakhstan.She defeated Ons Jabeur (Tunisia).

Achievements:
Novak Djokovic
Novak Djokovic became the first player in history to win 80 matches in all four Grand Slams when he defeated Kwon Soon-woo on Centre Court and registered his 80th win.

  • Nadal stands 1st with 22 Grand Slams, Djokovic Stands 2nd with 21 Grand Slams and Roger Federer stands 3rd with 20 Grand Slams.

About Wimbledon:
Chairman  Ian Hewitt
Founded – 1877
Court – Grass Outdoors
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NMDC and Hyderabad Runners launch the NMDC Hyderabad Marathon 2022

The NMDC Limited (formerly National Mineral Development Corporation) and Hyderabad Runners Society along with IDFC First Bank and Government of Telangana launched the logo and race t-shirt for the 2022 edition of the NMDC Hyderabad Marathon.
i.NMDC has taken up the Title Sponsorship of the Hyderabad Marathon to be held on 27th and 28th August 2022.
ii.The Face of NMDC Hyderabad Marathon 2022 is Indian Boxer Ms Nikhat Zareen, won the gold medal at the 2022 IBS Women’s World Boxing Championships, virtually connected to the event.
iii.The NMDC Hyderabad Marathon 2022 and curtain-raiser will run with 15,000 runners, health and fitness enthusiasts taking part, and will engage 3500 volunteers, 250 medical personnel, city officials and the police force.

OBITUARY

Noted social worker Padma Shri Avdhash Kaushal Passed Awaysocial-worker-Padma-Shri-Avdhash-Kaushal-dies-at-84

Renowned social worker and Padma Shri awardee Avdhash Kaushal passed away at the age of 87 years due to prolonged illness.
About  Avdhash Kaushal:
i.Avdhash Kaushal, born in Dehradun , Uttarakhand, was a native of Meerut, Uttar Pradesh (UP). He was an Indian academic, environmentalist and activist by profession.
ii.He served as an Associate professor for seven years in Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration (LBSNAA) in Mussoorie, Uttrakhand.
iii.He headed an NGO named Rural Litigation and Entitlement Kendra (RLEK) that fought for human rights and the conservation of the environment.

  • He fought for the rights of Van Gujjar tribe of Uttarakhand therefore he is also considered a messiah of Van Gujjar tribe living in the forests of Rajaji and Corbett Tiger reserves.

iv.He  played a significant role in preparing the drafts of different Acts, Bonded Labour System (Abolition) Act of 1976, Environment Conservation Act of 1986, and the Narcotics and Psychotropic Substances Act of 1988.

  • He also contributed to the enactment of India’s Bonded Labour System (Abolition) Act of 1976, Environment Conservation Act of 1986, and the Narcotics and Psychotropic Substances Act of 1988 etc.

Award- Padma Shri award in 1986 for social work.

STATE NEWS

J&K Signs Agreement with Sikkim to Boost CultivationJammu-and-Kashmir-inks-pact-with-Sikkim-to-boost-cultivation-of-saffron-other-crops

On 12th July 2022 Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) signed an agreement with Sikkim to boost cultivation of saffron and other crops.The agreement was signed in the presence of Lieutenant Governor of J&K Manoj Sinha and Ganga Prasad, Governor of Sikkim.

  • This collaboration will strengthen Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Ek Bharat, Shrestha Bharat’ ,an initiative was launched on 31st October, 2015 on the occasion of the 140th birth anniversary of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel.
  • Objective of Ek Bharat, Shrestha Bharat- knowledge of the culture, traditions and practices of different states & UTs will lead to an enhanced understanding and bonding between the states, thereby strengthening the unity and integrity of India.

Key highlights:
i.As per the agreement, both sides collaborate on areas such as training, technology, capacity building and other activities to boost cultivation of saffron and other temperate crops.
ii.Another tripartite agreement has been signed by the agriculture department of J&K, Sikkim government and Sikkim University to further boost the growth of agriculture and horticulture sector.
iii.Sikkim is the 1st organic state in India and through this collaboration it would help J&K in providing solutions towards organic farming.

  • Additionally, agriculture universities of Sikkim are also playing a major role in promoting agriculture and horticulture by providing solutions to farmer’s requirements.

About Sikkim:
Governor – Ganga Prasad
Bird Sanctuary – Kitam Bird Sanctuary
Festivals – Maghe Sankranti, Losar, Sonam Lochar

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Current Affairs Today (AffairsCloud Today)

S.no Current Affairs 14 July 2022
1 Government Formulates Strategy to promote NER as Agriculture Export Hub
2 Tripura: 2022 Weeklong Kharchi Festival Begins
3 DA&FW and IRRI sign a MoA on commencement of Phase -2 activities of IRRI South Asia Regional Centre
4 Uttarakhand Becomes First State to Implement NEP at Pre-Primary Level
5 University of Hyderabad inks MoU with National Institute of Animal Biotechnology
6 India & Madagascar Signs MoU on Tele-Education
7 2.3 billion people severely or moderately hungry in 2021: UN
8 Croatia to become 20th country to adopt Euro as Currency
9 RBI allows Trade transactions with Sri Lanka may be Settled outside ACU; Imposes Fines on 3 co-operative banks for Non-Compliance
10 Renew Becomes First Indian RE Firm to Refinance Dollar-Denominated Bonds
11 Star Health & MeitY Partners towards Health Insurance to Reach Rural India
12 RBI sets up mechanism to Settle International Trade Payments in Rupees
13 RBI Cancels Certificate of Registration of Four NBFCS; Fined Ola Financial Services Rs. 1.67 Crore for Violating Norms
14 Arohan launches digital lending app expects to raise loan portfolio by Rs 600cr by FY23
15 AMFI to launch mutual funds distributor recruitment campaign “Karein Shuru?”
16 Nomura cuts 2023 India GDP forecast to 4.7% amid recession fears
17 RBI Approves Appointment of Meena Hemchandra as Part-Time Chairman of KVB
18 NIACL appointed Madhulika Bhaskar as CMD for Three Months
19 GoI Appoints 29 Non-Official Members from Various Sectors to The Board of Trade
20 CCI approves acquisition of Solenergi Power Private by Shell Overseas Investments B.V from Actis Solenergi Ltd
21 Ola unveils India’s first indigenously made lithium ion-cell
22 The Wimbledon Championships 2022: The 3- time Defending Champion Novak Djokovic Defends his Gentlemen’s Title for the Fourth time
23 NMDC and Hyderabad Runners launch the NMDC Hyderabad Marathon 2022
24 Noted social worker Padma Shri Avdhash Kaushal Passed Away
25 J&K Signs Agreement with Sikkim to Boost Cultivation

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