Padmakumar Madhavan Nair of State Bank of India has been appointed as the CEO of Bad Bank. The Bad Bank is a proposed entity of the National Asset Reconstruction Company (NARC).
Current Mr Nair is serving as the Chief General Manager in charge of Stressed Assets of SBI. He has been holding the post since April 2020. Prior to this, he worked as the General Manager in SARG.
Recently the Reserve Bank of India set up a Committee called the Sudarshan Sen Committee to study about the Asset Reconstruction Companies in the country.
The Reserve Bank of India had warned in its Financial Stability Report that the Non-Performing Assets are increasing. This will be the highest in 22 years.
Usually, large debtors have several creditors. In this case, Bad banks can help in solving coordination problems.
The Perseverance rover of Mars 2020 mission is to study the floor of an ancient crater of Mars. The crater once held a lake.
The Perseverance rover will use a camera called “WATSON” to capture detailed shots of the rocks. Also, it will use zoomable cameras located on its head to survey the terrain.
Scientists are still wondering if the rocks in Mars are igneous or sedimentary. Igneous rocks are formed by volcanic activity. Sedimentary rocks are formed in the presence of water from mineral fragments such as clay, sand, etc.
The rocks around Perseverance have been eroded by wind over time. And they were covered with young sand and dust. On the earth, a Geologist would break the rock sample, open it to get a better insight about its origin. The Perseverance rover on the other hand, only holds a LASER instrument called SuperCam. It will burn the rocks on the Martian surface and then will study about the vapours coming out. The question here is about accuracy. Also, with this will the scientists be able to conclude if the rocks on the Martian surface are igneous or sedimentary.
The Digital Payment service provider PayPal recently introduced Foreign Inward Remittance Advice. It is an automated process to obtain monthly foreign inward remittance advice.
Today small exporters in India are accessing more than 200 markets reaching out to 350 million consumers through PayPal. This happened after COVID crisis. Around Rs 10,000 crores of exports transactions were held through PayPal.
It is an American company operating online payments. It was established in 1998.
The Wildlife Institute of India recently conducted a “Monkey Census” in the state of Haryana.
The app was available at the Play Store for free download. The participants, that is, the residents had to just enter the count of the monkeys, their sizes and gender if possible, using the application.
The Human-Monkey conflicts in the state of Haryana have increased. Thus, the census was conducted to shed some light into the issue. The conflicts have mainly increased in the cities of Ambala, Gurgaon, Bhiwani, Faridabad, Yamnua Nagar.
This species of monkeys that are frequently indulged in Human-Monkey Conflict are protected under Schedule II of Wildlife Protection Act, 1972.
There are totally six schedules under the act. The species listed under Schedule I and Schedule II get protection against hunting and also attract maximum penalties.
It was constituted as a Statutory Body under the Wildlife Protection Act.
It is to be conducted in two parts namely Line transects survey in and around the Protected Areas and also through camera traps.
The Wildlife Institute of India was paid Rs 42 lakhs to conduct the survey. It is an autonomous institute that operates under Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change. It was established in1982.
The tensions in the Gaza strip have been escalating since the Israeli police put a barricade at the Damascus Gate. This was around the start of Ramzan, in mid-April, 2021.
It is one of the main gates to the old city of Jerusalem. It is located on the highway that connects Damascus, the Syrian capital.
The Israeli armed forces recently stormed the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Israel. This was done ahead of a March by the Zionist Nationalists.
The action of the Israeli armed forces injured more than 300 Palestinians.
In response to the attack the Hamas fired dozens of rockets. Hamas is an Islamist militant group that runs the Gaza strip. To this the Israelis launched an air strike on Gaza. This killed more than 21 Palestinians including nine children.
After the barricade incident the Palestinian families in the east Jerusalem were threatened to be evicted. This led to clashes between the Israeli police and the Palestinian protestors. During the clashes a dozen of Israeli police personnel and hundreds of Palestinians were injured.
The Israeli Government had permitted the Zionists to conduct Jerusalem Day March. It is traditionally held by the Zionists. However, the Israeli armed forces attacked the Al-Aqsa Mosque claiming that the Palestinians had camped in the mosque with stones and cocktails.
It has been at the centre of conflict between Israel and Palestine for a long time. The United Nations partition plan proposed Jerusalem to be an international city in 1947. However, the Israelis captured the Western half of the city during the first Arab Israeli war in 1948. Jordan occupied the Eastern part.
Later in 1967 Israel captured the Eastern Jerusalem from Jordan. Israel later expanded the settlements in Eastern Jerusalem. Today there are 220,000 Jews in Eastern Jerusalem.
Israel sees the entire Jerusalem city as its unified capital. This claim was even endorsed by the former US President Donald Trump when he was in power. On the other hand, Palestine is not ready to accept any compromise formula unless East Jerusalem is made as its capital.
The Union Cabinet recently approved the Production Linked Incentive scheme for Advanced Chemistry Cell Battery Storage. Around Rs 18,100 crores have been allocated to the scheme.
They are new generation storage devices that store energy in chemical or electrochemical form. They then convert it back to electric energy when required.
It was proposed by the National Mission on Transformative Mobility and Battery Storage that was launched in 2019. Both were proposed by NITI Aayog. The main objective of the programme on ACC is to produce 50 Giga Watt hour of domestic ACC manufacturing.
The following developments were those that occurred since November 2020 in the PLI Scheme:
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) recently signed an agreement with Axiom Space.
Under the agreement, Axiom is to send its astronauts to International Space Station. This is the first private astronaut mission to the space station. The mission has been named as Ax-1.
The Axiom astronauts will spend eight days in the space station. They will conduct activities to coordinate with the space station on the ground. This is like a testing or learning project. Also, Axiom will purchase crew supplies, orbit resources, cargo delivery to space and storage from NASA.
The International Space Station is to retire by 2024 or 2028. Russia had already announced that it is moving out of International Space Station after the agreement ends in 2024. Russia is currently building its own space station.
With the ISS retiring, NASA is to open it up for commercial activities.
India is planning to launch its own space station in 2020. With this India will join the elite countries US, China and Russia. The Indian Space Station will be smaller, that is, of 20 tonnes. It will be used for performing microgravity experiments and not for space tourism.
The Indian Space Station is to beset up at a height of 400 km.
This project will be an extension of the Gaganyaan Mission.
Space Stations are important to collect meaningful scientific data. They are used to study about the effects of long term space flight on human body.
The President of Nepal Bidhya Devi Bhandari recently prorogued the Parliament after the Prime Minister Oli lost vote of confidence. Proroguing is to discontinue a session of parliament or legislative assembly.
A vote of Confidence was placed at the Nepali Parliament. The parliament has 271 members. Oli secured 93 votes in favour and 124 against.
Recently, the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist Centre) withdrew its support to the Government of Nepal. According to the party, Oli breached the constitution and is a threat to democracy in Nepal.
The bilateral relations between India and Nepal weakened under Oli’s leadership. Under his leadership, in May 2020, Nepal released a new political map that claimed Limpiyadhura, Kalapani and Lipulekh of Uttarakhand as a part of Nepal territory.
India and Nepal have had strong ties since the signing of 1950 Treaty of Peace and Friendship. More than 80 lakh Nepalese live in India. India is one of the largest foreign remittance sources for Nepal.
Nepali Gorkhas are the most important regiment of Indian Army.
A custom prevails between India and Nepal under which, Indian Army chief is ceremonially conferred the title of honorary General of the Nepal Army.
Indian nationals do not need Visa to reach Nepal. Indian registered vehicles can stay in Nepal for thirty days. Indian rupees is widely accepted in Nepal.
Nepalese always complain that India shows “Big Brother” attitude towards Nepal. Also, Nepal has accused India for its interventions in Nepal domestic politics. The earlier monarchs of Nepal such as King Gyanendra and King Mahendra tilted towards China to balance out India.
India raised concerns against omission of Madhesi in new constitution of Nepal. After the new constitution, Madhesi launched a six-month long blockade in India-Nepal border. This crippled Nepal economy. Nepal is highly dependent on India for its goods, especially oil. Being a land locked country, it is highly relies on Kolkata port and Vizag ports for its shipment. Thus, closing its Indian border created heavy economic losses.
Important India-Nepal ties and irritants:
Every year, the International Nurses Day is celebrated on May 12. The birth anniversary of Florence Nightingale is celebrated as the International Nurses Day. The day is celebrated to mark the contributions made by the nurses to the society.
The International Nurses Day has been celebrated by the International Council of Nurses since 1965. Every year, on International Nurses Day, the International Council of Nurses distributes educational and public information materials to be used by nurses everywhere.
She was an English social reformer and also was the founder of modern nursing. She trained and managed nurses during the Crimean War. She took care of wounded soldiers at Constantinople. Also, reputation for nurses in the Victorian culture began to increase because of her.
She was called as “The Lady with the Lamp”. This is the because she used to carry a lamp while making rounds of wounded soldiers at night.
She was the first person to lay foundation of professional nursing. She established Nursing school at St Thomas hospital in London. It was the first nursing school in the world. It is now a part of the King’s college of London.
The Florence Nightingale Medal is the highest international distinction a nurse can achieve. It is awarded by the International Committee of the Red Cross.
It is the period of reign of Queen Victoria, that is, between 1837 and 1901. This era was preceded by Edwardian period and was succeeded by the Gregorian period.
The prices of commodities from corn to crude oil to rubber, rhodium, copper, soy bean has been increasing since the beginning of 2021. This is referred to as Commodity Super Cycle.
It will increase input cost pressures.
The US Dollar has been steadily depreciating and aiding to the Commodity Super Cycle. The USD has been on depreciating path since 2001. It touched to the lowest levels in 2008 when the oil prices hit all-time high.
Or why is a depreciating USD increasing commodity prices. The raw materials are usually priced in USD. Thus, a depreciating USD means a producer has to adjust prices upwards to balance the higher production cost in local currency.
Let us assume that a person is importing crude oil from US and refining it here in India. He will then sell petrol, diesel, etc in India.
Note: Cost of 1 barrel of oil is 65 USD now (approximately). 1 Barrel of oil is 159 litres or 42 US Gallons.
Assume that he pays 60 USD for 1 barrel of oil. Now USD depreciates. This means that he has to pay 70 USD for 1 barrel of oil. This means that the cost of his raw material has increased. So his production cost will increase and eventually the price of end product increases.