Daily Current Affairs - 25-09-2021

Central bank of China has declared all the Cryptocurrency transactions illegal on September 23, 2021.

Key Points

Why ban was put?

According to People’s Bank of China, trading of Bitcoin and other virtual currencies had become widespread and are disrupting economic & financial order. It also gave rise to money laundering, fraud, illegal fund-raising, pyramid schemes and other illegal & criminal activities. These disruptions were seriously endangering the safety of assets of the people. Considering these facts, China has declared all the Cryptocurrency transactions illegal.

Significance of the ban for China

Crypto crackdown has opened up gates for China to introduce its own digital currency. China’s own digital currency is already in the pipeline. It will allow the central government of China to monitor transactions.


Crypto creation and trading have already been illegal in China since 2019.

About Cryptocurrency

Cryptocurrency is a binary data that have been designed to work as a medium of exchange. Here, individual coin ownership records are stored in a ledger which is existing in the form of a computerized database. Strong cryptography are used to secure transaction records, control the creation of additional coins as well to verify the transfer of coin ownership.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is set to address 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York on September 25, 2021.


Theme of UNGA Debate

Theme for General Debate for year 2021 is “Building Resilience through hope to recover from Covid-19, rebuild sustainably, respond to the needs of the planet, respect the rights of people, and revitalise the United Nations”.

Who will address the session?

According to second provisional list of speakers of General Assembly, 109 heads of state and government are going to address the General Debate in person while 60 will deliver speeches by pre-recorded video statements.

PM Modi’s address

PM Modi had addressed the UN General Assembly session in the year 2019. In the year 2021, world leaders had submitted pre-recorded video statements for the session due to the coronavirus pandemic.

United Nations General Assembly (UNGA)

UNGA is one among the six principal organs of the United Nations (UN). It serves as the main policymaking and representative organ of the UN. It is also responsible for the UN budget, appointment of non-permanent members to the Security Council, appointment of the Secretary-General of the United Nations etc. it is the only UN organ where all the member states have equal representation.

During the first leader-level meeting on energy, under the UN General Assembly, India has made commitments to increase the renewable energy installed capacity to 450 GW by 2030.

Key Points

Production Capacity of Compressed Biogas

India also announced to establish a 15 MMT production capacity of compressed biogas by 2024 and achieve 20 per cent ethanol blending in petrol by the year 2025-26. It seeks to enhance energy efficiency in agriculture, industry, buildings and transport sectors besides promoting energy-efficient appliances & equipment in a bid to reduce India’s emissions intensity of GDP by 33-35 per cent by 2030.

Commitments by other countries

About 35 countries including Small Island, Developing States and major emerging & industrialized economies have made new energy commitments in the form of Energy Compacts. They also announced partnership initiatives with the aim of providing and improving access to reliable electricity.

The first in-person meeting of the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (Quad) of India, Australia, the United States and Japan, was held in Washington on September 24, 2021.


India’s Proposal at Quad

Australia’s proposal

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison noted that, Indo-Pacific should be free from coercion in line with the international law and sovereign rights.

Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (QUAD)

It is a strategic dialogue between India, United States, Japan and Australia. This dialogue was initiated in 2007 by Prime Minister of Japan Shinzo Abe. It was paralleled by joint military exercise called ‘Exercise Malabar’.

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) allowed, on September 23, 2021, lenders to sell loans that are tagged as fraud to the asset reconstruction companies (ARCs).

Key facts

Significance of the new norm

The new norm has open significant opportunities for banks as well as asset reconstruction companies as it would allow them to probably buy these assets at a greater discount rather than regular bad loans.

How lenders sell stressed loans?

Lenders sell stressed loans to ARCs at a discount, in exchange for cash or a mix of cash & security receipts. These receipts are redeemable after ARC has recovered the specific loan. ARCs charge an asset management fee of 1.5-2% of the asset annually. Once an account is declared fraud, banks are required to set aside 100% of the outstanding loans.

Ministry of Civil Aviation released an “interactive digital airspace map” for flying drones, that demarcates areas into different zones for flying drones across India.


Zones of flying drone

Significance of Drones

Drones offer several benefits to all sectors of the economy, including agriculture, infrastructure, mining, surveillance, emergency response, geo-spatial mapping, transportation, defence, and law enforcement etc. Drones can also be significant creators of employment and economic growth because of their reach, versatility, and ease of use.

India’s potential as drone hub

Considering the traditional strengths of India in innovation, information technology, frugal engineering as well as huge domestic demand, it has the potential to become a global drone hub by 2030.

Ministry of Defence (MoD) has signed a $2.5 billion contract for the acquisition of 56 Airbus C-295 aircraft on September 24, 2021.

Key Facts

Operator of C-295

Indian Air Force will become the 35th operator of C-295 aircraft worldwide.

Order of C-295 aircraft

Airbus had obtained orders for 278 of the aircraft. Out of which 200 are already in operation.

Avro replacement programme

Under the “Avro replacement programme”, a private sector firm will build an entire aircraft in India for the first time. It will be developing an entire industrial ecosystem ranging from manufacture, assembly, testing and qualification, delivery to the maintenance of aircraft’s lifecycle.

Specification of C-295 aircrafts

C-295 aircraft is powered by two Pratt & Whitney PW-127 turbo-prop engines, which is a part of the PW-100 family. It can transport up to 71 troops or 50 paratroopers along with battle loads. It can also ferry supplies to locations which are not accessible by the heavier transport aircraft of IAF. It can also be used for medical evacuation, using basic litters or mobile intensive care units (ICU) comprising of life support equipment.

The US International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) have jointly decided to sponsor a $55 million credit guarantee programme in India. This announcement was made on September 24, 2021.

Key Points

Technical Assistance

This Financial support will be complemented by the technical assistance led by the Rabo Foundation. Technical assistance will focus on areas of business management and help in building stronger linkages for markets.

Who are the lenders?

Loans to farmer producer organizations will be provided by three lenders of India namely- Samunnati Financial, Avanti Finance and Maanaveeya.

Why this initiative was launched?

This initiative was launched because, USAID believe that providing farmers with access to cleaner and affordable technology will improve livelihood and climate resilience of the community. Clean technologies also offer a sustainable alternative in order to meet the agricultural demand, to address food insecurity as well as to improve nutritional outcomes. This support initiative will address the health and economic needs of vulnerable farmer communities.

Italy has recognised Covishield vaccine against the Coronavirus on September 24, 2021.


Health Minister’s visit to Italy

Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya was on the visit to Rome in Italy, for the G20 health ministers’ meeting. He held talks with Health Minister of Italy on September 6. During the meeting he discussed prioritising travel for vaccinated Indian students along with other issues.

Which countries have recognised Covishield?

16 countries from the European Union (EU) have recognised the India’s Covishield vaccine, so far. This recognition would make it easier for citizens to avail the benefits of EU Digital Covid Certificate or “green pass”. Besides Italy, countries such as Switzerland, Austria, Iceland, Bulgaria, Finland, Greece, Germany, Latvia, Hungary, Ireland, Slovenia, Netherland, Spain, Sweden, Estonia have recognised the vaccine.

About Green Pass

Green Pass aims to facilitate free movement amidst the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. This pass exempts individuals from travel restrictions within the EU region. The EU provided the freedom to 27 member-states to decide which vaccines they want to include on their approved list.

Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) has started a historic initiative to set up first ever Tussar Silk Yarn Production Centre at Choudwar in Cuttack district in Odisha.

Key Points

Silk production in Odisha

Odisha has been known for exquisite Silk production, particularly the Tussar variety. This industry provides livelihood to thousands of tribal people, particularly women in the state. But the Silk weavers were totally dependent on states such as West Bengal, Karnataka and Jharkhand for the Silk yarn. This in turn, increased the cost of the Silk fabric here.

Significance of the Production centre in Odisha

Opening up of the Tussar Silk Yarn Production Centre in Odisha is of great significance because Silk comprises nearly 75% of the total Khadi fabric production in the State alone. This production centre will be creating direct employment for 50 artisans including 34 women. It will also provide livelihood support to more than 300 tribal farmers engaged in cocoon farming. This centre will also create indirect employment for weavers. Every kilo of raw silk produced will create employment for 11 artisans of which 6 are women.

World’s highest EV charging station was opened at Kaza town, which is located in of Lahaul and Spiti district of Himachal Pradesh.


India’s EV ecosystem

India is gaining good momentum in the electric vehicle (EV) ecosystem. There is a good response for battery-operated small electric vehicles such as e-scooter, e-rickshaws, electric three-wheelers, e-carts, and e-bikes in India. Currently, road ministry is planning to run railway, metro, and long-run intercity buses on green hydrogen fuel. Battery electric vehicle as well as fuel cell vehicle technologies are complementary to each other. These technologies are all set to overtake fossil-run automotive by 2050 in India.

Kaza Town

Kaza Town is the sub-divisional headquarters of Spiti Valley. It is located in western Himalayas in Lahaul and Spiti district of Himachal Pradesh. Spiti is a high altitude or cold desert which is having close similarities to the neighbouring Tibet and Ladakh regions with respect to the terrain, climate and the Buddhist culture. Kaza is situated along the Spiti River, at the elevation of 3,650 metres. It is the largest township and commercial center in Spiti valley.

Union Government notified regarding the Production Linked Incentive (PLI) Scheme for Automobile & Auto components on September 23, 2021.


Investments in Automobile sector

According to an estimate, the Automobile and Auto Components Industry will lead to investments of more than Rs 42,500 crores over a period of five years. It will also lead to an incremental production of about Rs 2.3 lakh crore and create additional employment opportunities of 7.5 lakh jobs. As a result, India’s share in global automotive trade will increase.

About the PLI scheme for auto sector

PLI Scheme for Auto sector is open to existing Automotive companies and new non-Automotive investor companies. It has two components namely, Component Champion Incentive Scheme and Champion OEM Incentive Scheme. This scheme will be implemented for a period of five years starting from Financial Year 2022-2023. Financial Year 2019-20 will be treated as Base Year for calculation of Eligible sales.

  1. Champion OEM Incentive Scheme: This scheme is a ‘sales value linked’ scheme. It is applicable on Battery Electric Vehicles and Hydrogen Fuel Cell Vehicles of all segments.
  2. Component Champion Incentive Scheme: This scheme is a ‘sales value linked’ scheme. It is applicable on pre-approved Advanced Automotive Technology components of all vehicles.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi met his Japanese counterpart Yoshihide Suga in-person on September 23, 2021.

Key Points

SCRI Initiative

SSW agreement

To operationalise the Specified Skilled workers (SSW) agreement Japanese side will undertake skill and language tests in India from early 2022.  SSW agreement was signed between India and Japan in April 2019.

MAHSR project

Both the sides reaffirmed their commitment to advance efforts towards facilitate the smooth and timely implementation of Mumbai-Ahmedabad High Speed Rail (MAHSR) project.