8th Edition of the “India Sri Lanka bilateral joint Exercise” called Mitra Shakti will be conducted from October 4 to October 15, 2021 at Combat Training School, Ampara in Sri Lanka.
7th Edition of Exercise Mitra Shakti was conducted in the year 2019 at Foreign Training Node (FTN), Pune, Maharashtra. It was conducted with the aim of building and promoting positive relations between armies of both the countries. It also incorporated the current dynamics of United Nations peacekeeping operations by means of practical & comprehensive discussions as well as tactical exercises.
Bilateral relations between India and Sri-Lanka are historic. Only 4% of Sri Lankans are having a negative view regarding India. Both the countries are also close on economic terms. India is the largest trading partner of Sri Lanka. Both the countries share a maritime border. India is separated by Sri Lanka, by the Palk Strait. They are republics within the Commonwealth of Nations.
The Indian men’s table tennis team has won bronze medal at the Asian Table Tennis Championships on October 1, 2021.
It is a biennial table tennis tournament and is regarded as continental championships by the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF). The tournament was organized by the Table Tennis Federation of Asia (TTFA) from 1952 to 1972. Asian Table Tennis Union (ATTU) started its own Asian Championships because of conflict between national table tennis associations in Asia.
ITTF is the governing body of all the national table tennis associations. It looks after the rules & regulations and seeks technological improvement for table tennis. The body is responsible for organizing numerous international competitions such as World Table Tennis Championships.
This tournament has been held since 1926. Since 1957, it is held biennially. Under the tournament, five individual events including men’s singles, women’s singles, women’s double, men’s doubles and mixed doubles, are held in odd numbered years.
The International Monetary Funds (IMF) has released its report called “Global Financial Stability Report”, highlighting how digital currency assets brings in financial stability challenges.
In its report, IMF highlights that, crypto asset technologies are a potential tool for faster and cheaper cross-border payments. Using these technologies, bank deposits can be transformed into a stable coin, allowing instant access to financial products from digital platforms. It also allows instant currency conversion. According to IMF, the decentralised finance can become a platform for more inclusive innovative and transparent financial services.
Cryptocurrencies are digital or virtual currencies where encryption techniques are used for regulating the generation of units and verifying the transfer of funds. Such systems are operating independently of any central bank.
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has mandated new auto-debit rules on October 1, 2021 in order to strengthen the safety and security of card transactions.
As per RBI’s directive, there will be no automatic recurring payment for several services like utility bills, DTH, recharge of phone and OTT because additional factor of authentication (AFA) will become mandatory onwards.
Under new directives, banks will have to inform the customers in advance regarding the recurring payments due. Transactions will not be automatic but will be done after customer has authenticated it.
Customers are required to follow a one-time registration process. After this process, further transactions can be performed without any additional factor authentication. Customers can provide the validity period for future transactions, while registering for the process.
Under the new norms, banks are required to send a one-time password to the customers for recurring payments of more than Rs 5000.
Customers will get an option to opt out from a particular transaction or mandate through a link provided in pre-debit notification.
New norms will not impact any standing instructions that have been registered using bank accounts for mutual funds, SIPs, equated monthly instalments for loans.
RBI had made AFA mandatory with the objective of making digital payments in India safe and secure. It also seeks to protect customers from fraudulent transactions.
World Bank has approved about $150 million program to support Chennai’s Sustainable Urban Services and to turn it into a “world-class city”.
Chennai City Partnership: Sustainable Urban Services Program is a $150 million programme that will help in strengthening institutions. It will also help in improving the financial health of service agencies and bring in significant improvements in quality of four key urban services:
Metropolitan Area of Chennai is home to about 10.9 million people. It is the fourth most populous metropolitan area of India. Despite being an economic powerhouse, the city has not kept pace with the growing demand for key services. This city is also highly vulnerable to natural disasters, climate change as well as to pandemics like COVID-19. Thus, this project will help in mitigating all such challenges.
World bank project will benefit all the 11 districts in Meghalaya. It will also benefit health sector staff across the primary and secondary levels by strengthening planning and management capabilities. It will help in building the clinical skills of staff and enable women to utilise healthcare services in better manner at the community level.
Union Minister Piyush Goyal inaugurated India’s Pavilion at Dubai Expo 2020, on October 1, 2021.
India Pavilion at Dubai Expo has been conceived as a hi-tech structure. It is a civilisational confluence of ancient India as well as future India. It is a massive four-floor structure that has been designed to attract anyone who walks in with the popular exports in India including yoga, literature, Ayurveda, heritage, arts, cuisine and space technology. Exterior of the pavilion is real showstopper.
Innovative facade comprises of 600 individual kinetic blocks. Each of the facade can turn on its own axis in order to construct a picture on the basis of multiple themes. Pavilion has been installed under the overarching theme of ‘India on the move’ and ‘India the diverse’. Facade on both the sides of the pavilion comprise of face of Mahatma Gandhi while metamorphosing front will showcase “constant change” and “timeless endurance” to mark the 75-year-old journey of India.
Zones in the pavilion are identified on the basis of 11 primary themes namely, Climate & Biodiversity; Urban & Rural Development; Space; Tolerance & Inclusivity; Knowledge & Learning; Golden Jubilee; Travel & Connectivity; Health & Wellness; Global Goals; Food Agriculture & Livelihoods and Water.
India pavilion is being viewed as long-term strategic investment. About 490 crore rupees has been invested on it. Pavilion design is so flexible that it can be used for offices and a space for trade or cultural event.
American Space Agency, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) recently decided to stop sending active commands to its missions on the MARS for next few weeks till the time “Mars solar conjunction” remains in effect.
No, this period would not halt the work on the red Planet completely because, engineers have already sent the list of simple commands to spacecrafts to carry works few weeks.
Presently, NASA has its Perseverance rover, Curiosity Rover, Ingenuity helicopter, stationary InSight lander stationed on the MARS apart from three orbiters. During the Mars solar conjunction period, these missions will work on different commands, sent to them beforehand. Perseverance rover will take weather measurements with the help of its Mars Environmental Dynamics Analyzer (MEDA) sensors. Rover will look for dust devils with its cameras and capture new sounds with the help of microphones.
According to US Fish and Wildlife Services, the American bumblebee population has decreased by 89% in past 20 years, and it could be declared as “endangered species”.
This announcement was made in the backdrop of a petition of August 2021 that was filed in support of listing made by “Center for Biological Diversity (CBD)” and Albany Law School student group named as “Bombus Pollinator Association of Law Students”.
As per CBD, the American bumblebee has completely vanished across eight states namely Rhode Island, Maine, New Hampshire, Idaho, Vermont, North Dakota, Wyoming and Oregon in the North America. Its population has also declined by 99% in New York. In other 19 states in Southeast & Midwest, its population has declined by 50%.
According to CBD, population of American bumblebee has decline due to habitat destruction, climate change, exposure to disease & pesticides, loss of genetic diversity along with competition with the non-native bees.
This species is scientifically called as Bombus pensylvanicus. It is a threatened species of bumblebee and is a native to North America. It is also found in eastern Canada, eastern United States, and Mexico. The species live and nest in open farmland & fields. It feeds on food plants like favouring sunflowers & clovers.
India and United States (US) held their Industrial Security Agreement (ISA) summit between September 27 to October 01, 2021 at New Delhi.
The joint working group will meet periodically to align the policies and procedures that will allow the defence industries in collaborating on cutting edge defence technologies.
ISA is the part of India-U.S. General Security of Military Information Agreement (GSOMIA). It was signed at the second 2+2 dialogue in Washington in December 2019. The agreement will provide a framework to exchange and protect the classified military information between the defence industries of both the countries. It allows sharing of classified information from US government as well US companies with the Indian private sector. Till the signing of agreement, sharing of information was limited to the Indian government and defence public sector undertakings. Thus, ISA will give a boost to Indian private sector seeking a greater role in defence manufacturing.
GSOMIA was signed between India and US in 2002. It allows militaries to share intelligence gathered by them.
New species of blind freshwater eel has been by four scientists from the Zoological Survey of India (ZSI).
The species was discovered by four scientists namely, Anil Mohapatra, Tejas Thackeray, Praveenraj Jayasimhan and Annam Pavan Kumar. This discovery is the most remarkable one till date. Scientists had collected the hypogean species a few years ago. They continued working on it, even in the ongoing covid-19 pandemic situation.
According to scientists, an extensive study regarding the species and habitat systems of the Hypogean and cavernicolus would help in formulating conservation strategies for the species. Factors such as distribution pattern, level of endemism, biographic barriers causing speciation can also be studied now.
One of the scientists, Anil Mohapatra, is also among the co-authors of ‘Rakthamichthys mumba’ that was published in Aqua International Journal of Ichthyology. The word ‘mumba’ has been derived from the Marathi language to honours a deity worshipped in Mumbai called “Mumba Aai”.
It is a genus of swamp eels and are endemic to India. Three species are known from Western Ghats while one is known from Northeast India. These species live underground. One species is having a fossorial lifestyle while three species are troglobitic in nature.
International Financial Services Centres Authority (IFSCA) has constituted an Expert Committee in a bid to recommend approach towards development of Sustainable Finance Hub.
IFSC visualises GIFT-City as a global hub for sustainable finance and a gateway to channelize foreign capital into India. This committee was set up because, raising financial resources for climate change adaptation and its mitigation needs active participation of international investors. Committee would help in developing the required ecosystem.
Government of India has set up the International Financial Services Centres Authority (IFSCA) in 2020 in order to develop and regulate international financial services centres in India. Primary goal of IFSCA is to promote ease of doing business across IFSC and to provide a world class regulatory environment. Presently, there is only one IFSC called “Gift City” in Gandhinagar, Gujarat.
GIFT-City stands for “Gujarat International Finance Tec-City”. It is located in Gandhinagar and is the first International Financial Services Centre of India. Main purpose of the GIFT city is to provide high quality physical infrastructure such as electricity, gas, water, district cooling, telecoms, roads and broadband in order to relocate operations of finance and tech firms in it.
Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment operationalised the “SACRED portal” on the occasion of International Day of Older Persons on October 1, 2021. Portal has been developed in order to provide a platform for senior citizens in India seeking employment opportunities.
Citizens aged 60 and more can register on this portal and find jobs & work opportunities.
An amount of Rs. 10 crores were provided to fund the development of platform besides a maintenance grant of Rs. 2 crores will be provided per year, over a period of 5 years.
Elderly population in India has been steadily increasing. As per Longitudinal Ageing Study of India (LASI), by 2050, India will have more than 319 million elderlies. Furthermore, the joint family system is declining gradually because of which elders are being exposed to lack of physical, social and financial support. Thus, there is a need to provide a platform for their economic and health needs and to create an ecosystem supporting their needs more holistically.
This day was observed on October 1, 2021 under the Theme- “Digital Equity for All Ages”. United Nations General Assembly has also declared 2021-2030 the “Decade of Healthy Aging”.
NITI Aayog released its “State Nutrition Profile” report on October 1, 2021. In the report, nineteen States and Union Territories received their nutrition profiles.
The State Nutrition Profiles (SNPs) report comprises of a comprehensive compilation of crucial data that can positively affect policy decisions and facilitate research in that area. It analyse data on wasting (low weight-for-height), stunting, underweight, overweight and anaemia, besides diabetes and high blood pressure.
IFPRI was founded in 1976 and it stands for “International Food Policy Research Institute”. It is a non-profit international research centre with its headquarter in Washington DC, USA. It releases Global Food Policy Report.
NFHS is a large-scale, multi-round survey conducted throughout India, in a representative sample of households. It is conducted by Ministry of Health and Family Welfare in association with the International Institute for Population Sciences (IIPS) Mumbai. Till date, five rounds of survey have been conducted: