Monthly BeePedia January 2021

(General Awareness Digest for Regulatory Body Exams)

FINANCE AND BANKING

  • RBI launches composite Digital Payments Index (DPI)
    • The Reserve Bank of India has come up with a composite Digital Payments Index (DPI) to measure the extent of digitisation of payments in India.
  • RBI operationalises payment infra development fund
    • The RBI announced the operationalisation of the payment infrastructure development fund (PIDF) scheme.
  • RBI fines Bajaj Finance for use of coercive means of recovery
    • The RBI imposed a monetary penalty of Rs 2.50 crore on Bajaj Finance for using coercive methods of recovery from its borrowers, and violation of general guidelines and one specific direction issued by the regulator.

ECONOMY

  • FPIs invest record Rs 62,016 crore in equities in December
    • Foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) remained net buyers for the third month in a row by investing Rs 68,558 crore in Indian markets as global investors continued betting on emerging markets.
  • Digital currency Bitcoin rallies above $30,000 for first time
    • Digital currency Bitcoin recently touched $30,000 point for the first time.
    • Bitcoin advanced more than 300% in 2020, and with the latest leg higher has added more than 50% since crossing $20,000 just two weeks ago.
  • Govt extends benefits of tax refund scheme to all export goods
    • The Central Government has decided to extend the benefit of tax refund scheme RoDTEP to all goods, with effect from 1st January 2021.

NATIONAL

  • PM Modi lays foundation stone of Light House Projects on New Years Day
    • Prime Minister Narendra Modi on January 1, virtually laid the foundation stone of Light House Projects (LHP) under the Global Housing Technology Challenge (GHTC), India, conceptualised by the Union Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs.
  • India to be a co-chair of regional forum to conserve wildlife habitats
    • India will be the co-chair of the IUCN-supported Asia Protected Areas Partnership (APAP) for three years and it would, in this capacity, assist other Asian countries in managing their protected areas.
  • Delhi Metro's 59-km-long Pink Line to be driverless by the mid of 2021
    • The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) has announced that the 59 km long Pink Line is expected to have driverless operations by the mid of 2021.
    • Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently inaugurated driverless services of metro train on the 37 km long Magenta Line (Janakpuri West - Botanical Garden).

INTERNATIONAL

  • UNICEF launches tool to track developments in Covid-19 vaccine market
    • UNICEF has launched an interactive tool to help track the developments in the rapidly evolving Covid-19 vaccine market as the designated procurement coordinator and procurement agent for COVAX.
  • US Congress passes 'Malala Yousafzai Scholarship Act' for Pakistani women
    • The US Congress has passed the 'Malala Yousafzai Scholarship Act' which will expand the number of scholarships available to Pakistani women to receive higher education under a merit and needs-based programme.
  • Indian-American Becomes US Army's First Chief Information Officer
    • Indian-American Dr Raj Iyer has taken over as the first Chief Information Officer of the US Army, after the Pentagon created the position in July 2020.

STATES

  • Odisha launches career portal for students in collaboration with UNICEF
    • The Department of School and Mass Education, Government of Odisha in collaboration with UNICEF has launched a career portal for Secondary and Higher Secondary students to help them with expert advice on their future careers.
  • Gujarat Government Announces New Solar Power Policy
    • Chief Minister Vijay Rupani unveiled the "Gujarat Solar Power Policy 2021".
    • The Gujarat government announced a new solar power policy comprising provisions to encourage small and medium scale solar projects on residential, commercial and industrial premises.
  • Assam cabinet approves Bill to make Bodo associate official language of state
    • The Assam cabinet approved the Assam Official Language Amendment Bill for making Bodo (in Devanagari script) an associate official language of the state.

REPORTS AND INDEXES

  • Digital Evolution Scorecard 2020
    • The third edition of the Digital Evolution Scorecard is published by Tufts University's Fletcher School in partnership with Mastercard.
    • The Index shows the level of digitisation in various countries.
  • Bloomberg Billionaires Index
    • The Bloomberg Billionaires Index is prepared by Bloomberg.
    • It is a daily ranking of World's 500 richest people.
    • The electric automaker- Tesla's shares surged 7.9%, boosting Elon Musk past Amazon.com Inc. founder Jeff Bezos on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.
  • Indian Cities in the Post-Pandemic World: WEF study
    • The WEF report, titled Indian Cities in the Post-Pandemic World, highlights the country's most pressing urban challenges that were further exacerbated by the pandemic. The report also provides insights for translating the lessons learned from the pandemic into an urban reform agenda.

SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

  • DRDO facility develops Quantum Random Number Generator
    • Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has achieved another milestone in quantum technology by successfully developing a Quantum Random Number Generator (QRNG).
  • Japan to launch the first wood-based satellite by 2023 to reduce space debris
    • Japan's Sumitomo Forestry company and Kyoto University aims to launch the world's first wood-based space satellite to combat the problem of space junk.
  • ISRO to set up its regional centre at IIT-BHU
    • Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) will set up its Regional Academic Center for Space (RAC-S) at IIT-BHU under a memorandum of understanding (MoU) which IIT-BHU and ISRO signed to pave the way for advanced research in the future technology of the Indian space program.

AGRICULTURE AND RURAL DEVELOPMENT

  • UP Govt launches Kisan Kalyan Mission
    • The UP Government has launched an initiative 'Kisan Kalyan Mission' dedicated to the farmers' welfare and growth.
  • Mobile ATM Van Sanctioned by NABARD Goa for Demonstration of Banking Technology
    • NABARD, Goa RO has sanctioned a mobile ATM van was sanctioned to Goa State Cooperative Bank Ltd. (Goa StCB) for a Demonstration of Banking Technology under Financial Inclusion fund (FIF) on 01 January 2021.
  • ATRIFED Signs MoU with Day-NRLM to Foster Tribal Livelihood Development Through Synergies
    • TRIFED has tied up with Deen Dayal Antyodaya- National Rural Livelihood Mission (DAY-NRLM) to undertake economic support programmes that will help boost livelihoods especially that of the SHG women, including those from tribal populations of the country.

DEFENCE

  • India, Israel test medium-range surface-to-air missile defence system
    • India and Israel have successfully tested a Medium-Range Surface-to-Air Missile (MRSAM) defence system jointly developed by the two countries in a boost to their combat capabilities aimed at providing ultimate protection from enemy aircraft.
  • NIO, Navy to ink MoU, work on ocean studies
    • The Indian Navy and the National Institute of Oceanography (NIO) will be signing a Memorandum of Understanding to collaborate and exchange expertise in the field of ocean studies.
  • Larsen & Toubro has been awarded the coveted green channel status
    • The defence arm of Larsen & Toubro has been awarded the coveted green channel status for major naval weapon delivery systems from the Directorate General Quality Assurance (DGQA) under the Ministry of Defence.
  • BEML bags order for the supply of high mobility vehicles to Indian Army
    • BEML Limited, one of the Defence equipment manufacturer and a Company under the Ministry of Defence (MoD) received orders from MoD for supply of High Mobility vehicles, at an approximate value of 758 crore.

EVENTS

  • India to Hold Global Media and Film Summit In 2021
    • The Union Information and Broadcasting Minister, Prakash Javadekar announced that India will hold a Global Media and Film Summit in 2021 and it will also set up a special pavilion at Cannes in 2022 on the occasion of the Cannes Film Festival's 75 years celebrations.
  • National Metrology Conclave 2021
    • Prime Minister Narendra Modi delivered the inaugural address of the National Metrology Conclave 2021 through video conferencing.
  • International Akhand Conference 'EDUCON-2020'
    • Central University of Punjab, Bethesda (CUPB) & Global Educational Research Association (GERA) successfully organised the two-day virtual International Akhand Conference EDUCON-2020.

AWARDS AND REWARDS

  • FIICC's 'Global Visionary of Sustainable Business and Peace' award
    • Veteran industrialist Ratan Tata was conferred the title of "Global Visionary of Sustainable Business and Peace" by the Federation of Indo-Israel Chambers of Commerce (FIICC) for epitomising "unity, peace and sustainability".
  • Indian Railways bags awards at the 'National Energy Conservation awards 2020'
    • Indian Railways begged 13 awards in three prestigious categories of National Energy Conservation Awards (NECA) for the year 2020, organized by the Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE), Ministry of Power.
  • Patna Meteorological Observatory gets centennial observing station status
    • The World Meteorological Organisation (WMO), Geneva has awarded the status of Centennial observing station to the Patna meteorological observatory in recognition to its long-term meteorological observation exceeding over 100 years.

SPORTS

  • Claire Polosak becomes first female match official in men's Test match
    • Australia's Claire Polosak became the first female match official in a men's Test match when she took up the fourth umpire's role in the third Test between India and Australia.
  • Goa's 14-year-old Leon Mendonca becomes India's 67th Grandmaster
    • Goa's 14-year-old Leon Mendonca has become India's 67th chess Grandmaster by winning the third and final norm at a tournament in Italy.
    • Red Bull's Max Verstappen finished second.
  • Indian men to finish 2020 in 4th position, women in 9th in FIH rankings
    • The Indian men and women hockey teams finished 2020 in fourth and ninth positions, respectively.

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