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NITI Aayog & Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) ensures success of the FAME II Scheme
Under the Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Electric Vehicles II (FAME II) scheme, the NITI Aayog and Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) have released a report titled ‘India’s Electric Mobility Transformation: Progress to Date and Future Opportunities’. The report is based on opportunities for the automobile sector and government.
i. The Indian and global non-profit organisation, Rocky Mountain Institute is focused on making effective use of the resources by making a total expenditure of Rs. 10,000 crore from three years i.e. 2019 to 2022.
ii. In February 2019, the FAME II scheme was notified by the Union Cabinet. The objective of the scheme is to enhance the government’s commitment to a clean mobility future with a major focus on electric automobiles.
iii. The FAME II is a vital part of the National Electric Mobility Mission Plan.
iv.The report under the scheme defines:
- the direct oil and carbon savings that the FAME II vehicles will bring.
- the FAME II incentivized vehicles and the other steps could encourage the Electric Vehicle (EV) market.
- In case the FAME II scheme is successful, EV sales penetration of 30% of private cars, 70% of commercial cars, 40% of buses and 80% of two and three-wheelers by 2030, has been approximated in India.
v. The lifetime cumulative oil and carbon savings deployed through the FAME II scheme will be much smaller than the ones deployed through electric automobiles which could amount to a total savings of 846 million tonnes of carbon dioxide. The electric buses covered under FAME II scheme would be able to travel for 3.8 billion vehicle kilometres (e-vkt) over their entire lifetime.
Indian Navy inked a pact with CSIR
On 5th April, 2019, Indian Navy and Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) have signed Memorandum of understanding to tackle joint research and development of advanced technologies for the Indian Navy.
i. The agreement will facilitate a formal framework for interaction between Indian Navy and CSIR.
ii. This will be a collaborative arrangement between labs of Indian Navy and CSIR to facilitate joint R&D activities in diverse fields of Mechanical, Electronics, Communication, Computer Science, etc.
About Indian Navy:
♦ Chief of the Naval Staff: Admiral Sunil Lamba
♦ Navy Day: 4th December
♦ Motto: Sham No Varunah (May the lord of the water be auspicious unto us)
First Global Conference on Synergies between the 2030 Agenda and Paris Agreement in Copenhagen, Denmark
The first global multi-stakeholder conference on synergies is summoned by (UN DESA) the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs and the (UN FCCC) United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change between the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Agreement on climate change, was held in Copenhagen, Denmark. It was hosted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Energy, Utilities and Climate.
i. Before the UN High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) provides a detailed analysis and review of SDG (Sustainable Development Goal) 13 on climate change in 2019, the conference will serve as an Expert Group Meeting (EGM) on SDG 13 (climate action).
ii. The objective of the Climate and SDGs Synergy Conference is to encourage action around the Sustainable Development Goals and provide strategies for boosting up the connection between the SDGs and climate action. It also focuses on maximising co-benefits by encouraging action from global, regional and country-level stakeholders.
iii. On 2nd April, 2019, (UNSCN) the United Nations System Standing Committee on Nutrition had hosted an event titled ‘Sustainable diets for healthy people and healthy planet’ . The event proffered a platform for sharing experiences and challenges in upgrading to healthy and sustainable diets. This in turn extends to the alignment of climate and 2030 agendas, namely, SDG 2 and SDG 13.
♦ Conference dated: 1st April to 3rd April, 2019
♦ Location: UN City, Copenhagen, Denmark
♦ Organizations involved: UNDESA, UN Climate Change
♦ Language: English
♦ Official website: https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/hlpf/2019
♦ Country: Denmark
♦ Capital: Copenhagen
♦ Currency: Danish krone (symbol: kr.)
BANKING & FINANCE
RBI alters LCR norms to enhance cash position of banks
RBI has altered the LCR (Liquidity Coverage Ratio) norms to offer an additional 2% window to lenders. The central bank has brought in this alteration in order to improve the cash position of banks by harmonising liquidity requirements and giving away extra money to lenders.
i. For computing the liquidity coverage ratio systematically, banks are allowed to consider an extra 2% of government securities within the compulsory SLR requirement as the Facility to Avail Liquidity for Liquidity Coverage Ratio (FALLCR).
ii. For ensuring the bank’s ability to meet short-term contract, the amount of highly liquid assets acquired by banks is termed as LCR.
iii. The Central Bank has lengthened the deadline for joining the floating interest rates on home, personal, auto and MSEs (Micro and Small Enterprises) loans to external benchmarks.
iv. As the growth of credit is taking a faster pace than deposit growth, banks are facing a resource crunch. So much so that at the sector level, banks have been unshipping extra government bonds to fund for the loan demands.
v. Since mid-September, banks have sold 2 percentage points of their additional bond holdings. Currently the investment to deposit ratio in government bonds is 27.5%, while the compulsory requirement is 19.25%.
vi. In order to improve the process of undertaking foreign-exchange transactions, the non-banking financial companies and non-deposit holding companies (NBFCs-NDSI) in the category of Investment and Credit Companies (ICCs) will be eligible to apply for Authorised Dealer Category II licence.
BUSINESS & ECONOMY
NIIF and ROADIS on a joint venture to invest $2 billion in Road Projects
The National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF) and global private infrastructure operator ROADIS (owned by Public Sector Pension Investment board abbreviated as PSP investment) have jointly set up a platform for investing up to $2 billion in road projects in India.
i. The platform will target 3 things, namely,
- The TOT (Toll-Operator-Transfer model)
- Acquisition of existing road concessions
- prospective investment opportunities in the India’s road-sector, with the sole objective of creating large roads platform in the nation.
ii. For the monetisation of publicly-funded highways, the TOT model was introduced by the government of India in 2016. Supported by a sound tolling system, under the TOT model, the investors make a one-time payment in return for long-term toll collection rights.
iii. ROADIS is by far the largest European highway concession manager in India with 710 km of highways within its ownership and management. ROADIS presently manages 1,892 kilometres of highways which are divided among 10 concessions among the countries, namely, Mexico, Brazil, Spain, Portugal and India.
iv. NIIF, harboured by the Indian government, is a fund manager that invests in infrastructure and related sectors in India. NIIF presently manages capital invested through three funds, namely,
- NIIF Master Fund, which majorly focuses on core infrastructure and operating assets.
- NIIF Fund of Funds, which focuses on investing in funds managed by third-party managers in infrastructure and associated sectors.
- NIIF Strategic Fund which focuses on an expanded investment strategy inclusive of debt platforms and green-field projects.
i. Compared to the previous times, the national highways are numbered differently now. All of the North-South highways are numbered with even numbers(i.e. 2,4, 6, 8 etc) starting in the East and increasing in number towards the West.
ii. The Crisil report states that India has 75 operational stretches summing up to 4,500 km which would be taken up by the TOT model.
AWARDS & RECOGNITIONS
An Overview of ESPN India Awards 2018
The Indian subsidiary of ESPN (Entertainment and Sports Programming Network), India (espn.in) declared the ESPN India awards for 2018 in which PV Sindhu was conferred with the sportsperson of year award in female category and Neeraj Chopra was conferred with the sportsperson of the year award in Male category.
|Sportsperson of the Year (Male)||Neeraj Chopra (Javelin throw)|
|Sportsperson of the Year (Female)||PV Sindhu (Badminton)|
|Emerging Sportsperson of the Year||Saurabh Chaudhary (Pistol Shooting)|
|Coach of the Year||Jaspal Rana (Pistol Shooting)|
|Comeback of the Year||Saina Nehwal (Badminton)|
|Match of the Year||Amit Panghal (Boxing)|
|Team of the Year||Women Table Tennis team|
|Differently-abled Athlete of the year||Ekta Bhyan (Para-athletics)|
|Lifetime Achievement award||Pradip Kumar ‘PK’ Banerjee (Football)|
|Moment of the Year||Women’s 4*400m relay team|
APPOINTMENTS & RESIGNS
David Malpass has been elected as World bank President
On 5th April, 2019,Davis Malpass senior Treasury official and staunch supporter of President Donald Trump, was unanimously chosen as the next president of the World bank. He will succeed Jim Yong-Kim.
i. He was born on 8th march 1956 in Michigan.
ii. Kristalina Georgieva,chief executive officer of the bank, has been acting as the interim President. Malpass is nominated by Donald Trump.
iii. He is currently serves as Under Secretary of the Treasury for International Affairs and Previously held a senior role in the US State Department for Latin American Affairs.
About World Bank
♦ Headquarters : Washington, D.C.,United States
♦ Founded : 1944
♦ Founders : John Maynard Keynes, Harry Dexter White
Vikram Kirloskar was designated as president of Confederation of Indian Industry(CII)
On 5th April 2019,Chairman and Managing Director of Kirloskar Systems Ltd, and Vice Chairman of Toyota Kirloskar Motor, Vikram Kirloskar was appointed as the president of Confederation of Indian Industry(CII) for the period of 2019-20.
i. He succeeded Rakesh Bharti Mittal, who is Vice Chairman of Bharti Enterprises.
ii. He was associated with CII for three decades and has been chairman of Global Innovation and Technology Alliance Board since its inception in 2012-13.
i. Uday Kotak, the founder, MD & CEO of Kotak Mahindra Bank was appointed as the President-Designate, at the same time CEO & MD of Tata Steel, TV Narendran was designated as the Vice President for 2019-20.
About Confederation of Indian Industry(CII):
♦ Founded: 1895
♦ Motto: Charting Change Enabling Development
♦ Headquarters: New Delhi
Keshav Murugesh takes over as Nasscom Chairman
On 5th April, 2019, NASSCOM (National Association of Software and services companies), an IT industry body has appointed Keshav Murugesh, CEO of WNS Global Services Group as its Chairman for 2019-20. Nasscom also designated Pravin Rao, Infosys COO UB as its Vice Chairman for 2019-20.
i. Currently, he was on the positioned as Vice Chairman of Nasscom, and has succeeded Rishad Premji.
ii. These appointments have been done through an election process by the Executive Council.
♦ Headquarters: Noida, Uttar Pradesh
AIFF President, Praful Patel elected as member of FIFA Executive Council
Praful Patel, President of All India Football Federation (AIFF) has been designated to be the FIFA Executive Council member. He has become the first Indian to enter the elite panel of the game’s global governing body.
i. A total of five candidates, including Patel, was elected in addition to the AFC president, and one female member.
ii. Patel was one of the 8 candidates vying for the spot in the election, which was held during the 29th AFC (Asian Football Confederation) Congress.
Sheikh Salman designated to be president of Asian Football Confederation
On 6th April, 2019, Gianni Infantino, President of FIFA (Federation Internationale de Football Association) hailed the re-election of Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa, Asian football chief to help the region move forward in stability.
i. Sheikh Salman will extend his term as president until at least 2023.
ii. He has returned unopposed in the election after Mohammed Khalfan Al Romaithi and Saoud Al Mohannadi withdrew last month.
Asian Football Confederation:
♦ Headquarters: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
♦ President: Salman Bin Ibrahim Al-Khalifa
♦ Headquarters: Zurich, Switzerland
♦ President: Gianni Infantino
Lori Lightfoot elected as first Black Women Mayor of Chicago
Lori Lightfoot, a 56 year old former federal Prosecutor and practicing lawyer has been elected as Chicago’s first Black Women Mayor.
i. Lightfoot is an African American Women who has worked in private legal practice partner at Mayor Brown
ii. Lightfoot is also the first lesbian Leader for the City.
iii. She will succeed Rahm Emanuel,who previously served as chief of staff under former US President Barack Obama.
About Chicago :
♦ State: Illinois
♦ Nick name: Windy City
Anwar Haleem appointed as the next Ambassador of India to the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan
Shri Anwar Haleem, IFS (Indian Foreign Service, batch of 1991 is appointed as the next Ambassador of India to the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. He will succeed Mrs. Shubhdarshini Tripathi.
i. Anwar Haleem is currently working as the Senior Directing Staff in the National Defence College.
♦ Country: Jordan, officially the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan (Located on the East Bank of the Jordan River in Western Asia; Jordan is an Arab country)
♦ Capital: Amman
♦ Currency: Jordanian dinar
ACQUISITIONS & MERGERS
Lakshmi Vilas Bank got merge with Indiabulls Housing Finance
On 5th April, 2019, The board of Lakshmi Vilas Bank (LVB), has approved the merger of private sector lender with Indiabulls Housing Finance Ltd, mortgage financier in an all-stock deal.
i. The merged entity will be known as ‘Indiabulls Lakshmi Vilas Bank’.
ii. This merged bank will be among the top 8 private banks in India by size and profitability.
iii. As per the share swap ratio, for every 100 shares of Lakshmi Vilas Bank shareholders will get 14 shares of Indiabulls Housing Finance.
About Laxmi Vilas Bank:
♦ Headquarters: Chennai
♦ CEO: Parthasarathi Mukherjee
Earth’s CO2 levels reached 410 ppm, highest in 3 million years
Germany scientists have warned that there is more Carbon dioxide (CO2) in our atmosphere than in the past three million years. The amount of CO2 in the atmosphere has gone “unnatural”. The study was led by Matteo Willeit of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research.
i. Research was made by using a new computer simulation at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research in Germany. It is published in the journal Science Advances, a publication of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
ii. CO2 levels should not be higher than 280 ppm without human activity, but currently it’s 410 ppm and rising.
Padma Shri awardee Viharidas Gopaldas Patel, noted economist and ‘Father of Entrepreneurship Movement’ passed away at the age of 79 in Ahmedabad, Gujarat
An eminent economist and father of entrepreneurship movement in India, Dr. Viharidas Gopaldas Patel was passed away at the age of 79 in Ahmedabad, Gujarat.
i. He was the Founder & Director of Entrepreneurship Development Institute of India (EDII).
ii. He was honoured with the Padma Shri in 2017 for his contribution to development of entrepreneurship in India.
Books written/edited by him:
- The Seven Business Crisis & How to Beat Them.
- Entrepreneurship Development Programme in India and its Relevance to Developing Countries.
- Managing India’s Small Industrial Economy: The Catalytic Role of Industrial Counsellors and Policy Makers.
International day of Sport for development and Peace observed on April 6
The United Nations’ (UN) International day of Sport for Development and Peace (IDSDP) is observed annually on April 6 to recognize the power of sport in promoting peace and erasing cultural barriers worldwide.
i. The date commemorates the inauguration of the first ever Olympic games of the modern era in Athens, Greece in 1896.
ii. The day is an annual celebration of the power of sport to drive social change, community development and to foster peace and understanding.
iii. April 6 was declared as the IDSDP by United Nations in 2013 and has been celebrated each year ever since 2014.
T B N Radhakrishnan to be new Chief Justice of Calcutta
On 4th April, 2019, Justice Thottathil Bhaskaran Nair Radhakrishnan sworn-in as the new Chief Justice of Calcutta High Court. He was transferred from Telangana high court to Calcutta High court. He succeeded Biswanath Somadde.
i. West Bengal Governor K N Tripathi has administered the oath of office to Justice T B N Radhakrishnan in a ceremony at the Calcutta high court.
ii. He was earlier the Chief Justice of the High Court of Hyderabad for the states of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.
About West Bengal:
♦ Capital: Kolkata
♦ Chief Minister: Mamata Banerjee
♦ Governor: Keshari Nath Tripathi
Eminent Tamil scholar and orator Silamboli Su. Chellappan passed away at the age of 91 in Thiruvanmiyur, Tamil Nadu
On 6th April 2019, Veteran Tamil Scholar and orator Silamboli Su. Chellappan passed away at the age of 91 in Thiruvanmiyur, Tamil Nadu.
Posts he hold earlier:
i. He was designated as the director of Tamil Development.
ii. He was the founder-director of World Tamil Research Centre.
iii. He was given the title as Silamboli by the Tamil scholar R.P.Sethupillai.
Some of his famous books are:
♦ Silamboli, Silapathikara Sinthanaigal, Sanga Ilakiya Thaen