Monthly Beepedia May 2022

(General Awareness Digest for Regulatory Body Exams)

RBI, Banking and Economy

  • RBI asks for option of interoperable card-less cash withdrawal at ATMs
    • RBI recently asked banks, ATM networks, white label ATM operators, and the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) to provide the option of interoperable card-less cash withdrawal at cash machines.
    • The RBI, after its April monetary policy committee meeting, announced the introduction of interoperable card-less cash withdrawal facility across all banks and all ATM networks.
    • In the circular issued, RBI said the NPCI has been advised to facilitate Unified Payments Interface (UPI) integration with all banks and ATM networks.
  • Prices of food items continuing to increase in May, says RBI report
    • RBI recently released State of the Economy report.
    • As per that report, prices of food items like cereals, pulses, and edible oils rose or remained steady in May.
    • However, it observed that the Monetary Policy Committee’s (MPC’s) surprise move to increase interest rates bodes well for its credibility.
  • RBI-constituted panel to review customer service standards in banks, NBFCs
    • RBI has set up a committee to evaluate the efficacy, adequacy and quality of customer service in banks, NBFCs, and other entities regulated by it.
    • The six-member committee headed by former RBI deputy governor B P Kanungo has been asked to submit a report within three months from the date of its first meeting.
    • It will also review the emerging and evolving needs of the customer service landscape, especially in the context of evolving digital/ electronic financial products and distribution landscape and suggest suitable regulatory measures.
  • Airtel to set up digital tech hub in Pune
    • Bharti Airtel is planning to set-up a new technology centre in Pune to support digital services in the Western region and will be hiring around 500 digital engineering professionals by the end of the current fiscal.
    • This will be Airtel's fourth digital technology hub in India and first in the Western region to support its strategy to pivot to a digital services company, especially as 5G services are on the horizon.
    • The upcoming facility in Pune will initially be home to 500 digital engineering professionals.

SEBI & Financial Awareness

  • SEBI to auction properties of MPS group firms, 4 others to recover investors’ money
    • To recover investors’ money, capital markets regulator Sebi on Monday said it will auction properties belonging to companies of MPS Group, Vibgyor Group, Prayag Group, Pailan Group and Multipurpose BIOS India Group for a reserve price of nearly Rs 64 crore.
    • The 20 properties put on the block, which include land parcels, storied buildings, an office space, a commercial space and a flat, are situated across West Bengal.
  • Assets of AIF industry grow 42% in the past year: SEBI
    • The assets of alternative investment funds (AIF) touched Rs 6.41 trillion at the end of the January-March quarter, a growth of 5.2 per cent over the previous quarter, reveals the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) data.
    • Assets of the AIF industry have grown 42 per cent in the past year, as an increasing number of wealthy investors turned to such funds to derisk their portfolios and maximise returns.
  • SEBI allows mutual funds to float passively managed equity-linked savings schemes
    • SEBI recently allowed mutual funds to launch passively managed Equity-Linked Savings Schemes (ELSS).
    • However, it said that mutual funds can have either an actively-managed ELSS scheme or a passively-managed one but not in both categories.
    • The passive ELSS scheme should be based on one of the indices comprising equity shares from top 250 companies in terms of market capitalisation, SEBI said in a circular.

NABARD & Agriculture

  • Post export ban, India asked to supply over 1.5 mn tonnes wheat
    • India has received requests for the supply of more than 1.5 million tonnes of wheat from several countries that need the staple to overcome shortages triggered by the invasion of Ukraine by Russia.
    • More than half a dozen countries have approached India for more than 1.5 million tonnes of wheat.
  • Third Advance Estimates for Production of Major Crops 2021-22 released
    • The third advance estimates of production of major agricultural crops for the year 2021-22 have been released by the Union Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare.
    • The production of Foodgrains in the country is estimated at record 314.51 million tonnes which is higher by 3.77 million tonnes than the production of foodgrain during 2020-21.
    • The production during 2021-22 is higher by 23.80 million tonnes than the previous five years’ (2016-17 to 2020-21) average production of foodgrains.
  • National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) is planning to create a farmer distress index (FDI)
    • NABARD is planning to create a farmer distress index (FDI) with the aim of tracking, identifying, and supporting the real distressed and needy farmers of India.
    • Depending on the distress level, the financial institutions and the government can decide on an appropriate support package instead of handing out a distress package to all the farmers as is the current practice.
    • This index won’t be uniform across the nation as it will be changing depending upon the place’s stress levels.

NATIONAL

  • ONGC first Indian Exploration & Production company to trade domestic gas on Indian Gas Exchange
    • Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Ltd. (ONGC) has become the first Exploration and Production (E&P) company in India to trade domestic gas on Indian Gas Exchange.
    • After the deregulation in gas pricing ecosystem in 2000-21, ONGC has prepared itself to reap the benefits.The quantity sold by ONGC through the Gas Exchange will be enhanced slowly.
  • Digilocker services on MyGov Helpdesk via WhatsApp
    • To make government services more accessible and inclusive, MyGov announced that citizens will be able to use the MyGov Helpdesk on WhatsApp, to access the Digilocker service.
    • A flagship initiative under Digital India programme, DigiLocker aims to strengthen digital empowerment of people by providing access to authentic digital documents, in their digital document wallet. The issued documents in DigiLocker system are deemed to be at par with original physical documents.
  • Revision of premium rates of Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana (PMJJBY) and Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana (PMSBY)
    • In view of the long-standing adverse claims experience of the schemes, Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana (PMJJBY) and Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana (PMSBY), and in order to make them economically viable, the premium rates of the schemes have been revised by making it Rs 1.25 per day premium for both schemes that includes revising PMJJBY from Rs. 330 to Rs. 436 and PMSBY from Rs. 12 to Rs. 20.

INTERNATIONAL

  • Andy Jassy will become Amazon’s CEO on July 5th
    • Amazon Founder Jeff Bezos has announced that Andy Jassy, the current CEO of Amazon Web Services (AWS), will take over as the CEO of the commerce giant on July 5.
    • On this date Amazon was incorporated in 1994, exactly 27 years ago.
    • About half of the company's revenue comes from AWS, which is the Cloud arm of Amazon, logged $54 billion annualised run rate -- a 32 per cent year-over-year growth -- in March quarter this year.
  • Gotabaya appoints Ranil as Sri Lanka Prime Minister
    • Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa appointed former PM Ranil Wickremesinghe as Premier, in a bid to restore stability in the island nation in the midst of a political impasse and stifling economic crisis.
    • This is the sixth time Mr. Wickremesinghe, 73, has been appointed to the office .he has never finished a full term.
    • Mr. Gotabaya’s older brother Mahinda Rajapaksa resigned as Prime Minister after his supporters violently attacked anti-government protesters.
  • Former Louvre Director Charged In Antique Trafficking Case
    • Former Louvre director Jean-Luc Martinez, who led the world’s largest and most-visited museum,Louvre, from 2013 until last year, has been charged in connection with the trafficking of antiquities from the Middle East.
    • Martinez was indicted with complicity of “gang fraud and laundering“ of antiquities smuggled from Egypt and then purchased by the Louvre Abu Dhabi, which opened in 2017.

STATES

  • Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel launched the Chief Minister Mitan Yojana
    • Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel launched the Chief Minister Mitan Yojana in a virtual ceremony on May 1 on the occasion of International Labor Day.
    • All the applications received under this scheme will be processed on priority basis without any delay through Mukhyamantri Mitan Yojana. The certificates will be provided to the concerned applicants by "MITAN" at their home.
  • Andaman to get Gas based Power Plant
    • Gas powered plants are to be set up on the Andaman and Nicobar islands.
    • The Island Coastal Zone Regulation (ICRZ), 2019, limits infrastructure development on vulnerable coastal stretches.
    • It is being done to meet the energy requirement of the islanders while reducing the dependence on highly polluting energy sources such as conventional diesel generator (DG) sets.
  • Inauguration of Takshashila Sports Complex at Viman Nagar in Pune
    • Union Minister for Youth Affairs and Sports Shri Anurag Thakur inaugurated the Takshashila Sports Complex built by the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) at Viman Nagar.
    • Pune Municipal Corporation has developed Takshashila Sports Complex with the investment of around Rs 2.1 cr.

REPORTS AND INDEXES

  • EY Survey 2022
    • EY is a globally connected, multidisciplinary professional services organization driven by purpose: building a better working world – for our clients, our people and communities.
    • The survey canvassed the views of more than 1,500 business leaders and more than 17,000 employees across 22 countries and 26 industry sectors.
    • In India, the responses are captured by more than 100 business leaders and more than 500 employees.
  • States gained Rs 49k crore when fuel prices rose, have room to cut VAT: SBI Report
    • VAT charged by states is ad-valorem, which means their VAT collections rise when petrol and diesel prices increase and get reduced automatically when the Centre cuts excise duty.
    • This implies that gains still outstrip the revenue forgone by Rs 34,208 crore and hence states can further cut the oil prices. Maharashtra has gained the most, followed by Gujarat and Telangana.
    • States on an average can still cut diesel price at least by Rs 2 per litre and petrol price by Rs 3 per litre each without impairing their VAT revenue from oil.
  • India, fastest-growing major economy, projected to grow 6.4% in 2022: UN
    • The UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs has come up with its World Economic Situation and Prospects (WESP) report.
    • As per the report, India is projected to grow by 6.4 per cent in 2022, slower than the last year’s 8.8 per cent but still the fastest-growing major economy, with higher inflationary pressures and uneven recovery of the labour market curbing private consumption and investment.

SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

  • CCMB develops Indian mRNA vaccine platform
    • The Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) has established the “proof of principle” of the first indigenous mRNA vaccine technology coming from a scientific institution in India.
    • It is based on the Moderna model, but has been built with the information available in the open and our own technology and materials.
    • “Robust immune response” had been observed against the COVID-19 spike protein in mice upon administration of two doses of the mRNA vaccine.
  • IIT-Madras, Railways Collaborate To Develop Made-In-India Hyperloop System
    • The Ministry of Railways will collaborate with IIT Madras for the development of an "indigenous" Hyperloop system and will also help set-up a Centre of Excellence for Hyperloop Technologies at the premier institute.
    • A team comprising 70 students, named "Avishkar Hyperloop", formed by IIT Madras in 2017, has been applying scalability and frugal engineering concepts for development of Hyperloop based transportation system with an aim is to make India proud by showcasing its technologies to the world.
  • PARAM PORUL Supercomputer inaugurated at NIT, Tiruchirappalli
    • PARAM PORUL, a state-of the art Supercomputer at NIT Tiruchirappalli dedicated to the nation under National Supercomputing Mission (NSM) - a joint initiative of Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) and Department of Science and Technology (DST), was inaugurated on May 25, 2022.
    • A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between NIT Tiruchirappalli and Centre for Development in Advanced Computing (C-DAC) on 12th October 2020 to establish this 838 TeraFlops Supercomputing Facility under NSM.

DEFENCE

  • Indigenous anti-ship missile test-fired
    • An indigenously developed naval anti-ship missile was successfully test-fired for the first time from a naval helicopter from the Integrated Test Range (ITR) in Chandipur off the Odisha coast.
    • It is the first indigenous air-launched anti-ship missile system for the Indian Navy.
    • The test was carried out from a Seaking-42B helicopter.
  • INS GOMATI DECOMMISSIONED AFTER 34 YEARS OF SERVICE
    • Having served the nation and the Indian Navy with great distinction for 34 years, INS Gomati was decommissioned at the Naval Dockyard in Mumbai on 28 May 2022.
    • INS Gomati derives its name from the vibrant river Gomti and was commissioned on 16 April 1988 by then Raksha Mantri, Shri KC Pant, at Mazagon Dock Ltd, Bombay.
    • The third ship of the Godavari class guided-missile frigates, INS Gomati was also the oldest warrior of the Western Fleet when decommissioned.
  • Indigenous warships Surat and Udaygiri to be launched
    • Surat, the fourth ship is Project 15B Destroyer and Udaygiri, a Project 17A Frigate will be launched at the Mumbai based Mazgaon Docks Limited (MDL).
    • Warships under Project 75 B class are the next generation stealth guided missile destroyers which are being built at the MDL.
    • In 2021 the first ship of this class was commissioned and the second and the third ship of this class are at various stages of outfitting/trials after being launched.

EVENTS

  • China, Russia, Pak. to attend SCO anti-terror meet in Delhi
    • Counterterrorism teams from Russia, China, Pakistan and Central Asian countries will gather in Delhi ahead of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation’s Regional Anti-Terror Structure (SCO-RATS) meeting hosted by India from May 16 to 19.
    • These are the first such official discussions to be held in India since the stand-off along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) where Chinese PLA troops transgressed in 2020.
  • 250th Birth Anniversary of Raja Ram Mohan Roy
    • Under the aegis of Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav (AKAM), the Ministry of Culture is commemorating the 250th Birth Anniversary of Shri Raja Ram Mohan Roy from 22nd May 2022 to 22nd May 2023.
    • An iconic statue of Raja Ram Mohan Roy will be unveiled by the Minister of Culture, Shri G. Kishan Reddy in a virtual mode at Raja Ram Mohan Roy Library Foundation, Kolkata.
  • QUAD Summit 2022
    • Second-in-person Quad leader summit took place in Tokyo, Japan on 24th May 2022.
    • There are total 4 member countries in QUAD namely: India, Australia,Japan and The US.
    • Next QUAD summit will be held in Australia in 2023.

AWARDS AND REWARDS

  • Royal Gold Medal awarded to architect Balkrishna Doshi
    • Acclaimed architect Balkrishna Doshi was conferred the prestigious Royal Gold Medal 2022, one of the world’s highest honours for architecture, by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA).
    • Doshi, 94, is the only one from India and to have been awarded both the Royal Gold Medal and the Pritzker Architecture Prize, often referred to as the Nobel Prize of architecture.
    • He is credited with designing some of the most iconic structures in Ahmedabad.
  • International Booker Prize 2022
    • Geetanjali Shree’s ‘Tomb of Sand’ has become the first Hindi novel to win the International Booker Prize.
    • ‘Tomb of Sand’ was originally published in Hindi as Ret Samadhi later translated into English by Daisy Rockwell.
    • ‘Tomb of Sand’ is the story of an 80-years old woman who experiences a deep depression after the death of her husband. Eventually, she overcomes the depression and decides to visit Pakistan to finally confront the past that she had left behind during partition.
  • International Panorama Golden Award
    • Tirupati-based writer K.V. Raghupathi has been chosen for the International Panorama Golden Award for his book, The Mountain is Calling, published in 2019 by the White Falcon Publishing.
    • Mr. Raghupathi, an English professor who retired from the Central University of Tamil Nadu, Tiruvarur, has been writing since the 1980s.

SPORTS

  • PV Sindhu won bronze at Asian Badminton Championships
    • Double Olympic medallist P V Sindhu ended her Badminton Asia Championships campaign with a bronze on April 30.
    • This is Sindhu's second medal in the tournament -- she had claimed a bronze in the 2014 Gimcheon edition.
    • With Sindhu's defeat, India's challenge at the individual continental championship has ended.
  • Khelo India University Games 2021
    • The Khelo India University Games 2021 started in Bengaluru on April 24 and ended on May 3.
    • The hosts Jain University won the KIUG 2021 title with 20 gold medals. They also won seven silvers and five bronze, taking their overall medal tally to 32.
    • Lovely Professional University ended up with the most medals (51).
    • Panjab University finished third (15 gold, 9 silver, 24 bronze).
  • The Indian Premier League (IPL) 2022
    • The Indian Premier League (IPL) 2022, was the 15th edition of the professional Twenty20 cricket league established by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).
    • Gujarat Titans (GT) won by defeating Rajasthan Royals (RR) at the Narendra Modi Stadium, Ahmedabad on May 29.

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