Daily Current Affairs - 30-09-2021

Private sector AU Small Finance Bank (SFB) signed a pact with the National Bank for Rural and Development (NABARD) on September 29, 2021 in a bid to boost ongoing rural development initiatives in the state of Rajasthan.

Highlights

AU Small Finance Bank Limited

It is an Indian scheduled commercial bank, founded in 1996 as vehicle finance company AU Financiers (India) Ltd. It was converted to a small finance bank in April 2017. The bank serves as the low- & middle-income individuals and micro & small businesses that have limited or no access of formal banking and finance channels. It offers loans, deposits and payment products & services.

National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD)

NABARD is an apex supervisory body that supervises regional rural banks and apex cooperative banks across India. It works under the jurisdiction of Ministry of Finance. It deals with the matters of policy, planning, and operations pertaining to credit for agriculture and other economic activities in rural India.

Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has moved out the public sector lender Indian Overseas Bank (IOB) from Prompt Corrective Action (PCA) framework after its financial and credit profile improved.

Key Points

NPAs of IOB

The net NPAs of IOB have declined to 3.58 per cent, as of March 2021 from 5.68 per cent in March 2015. In financial year 2021, IOB posted a net profit of Rs 831 crore against the net loss of Rs 454.33 crore in financial year 2015. In Financial year 2021, ROA was 0.27 per cent while in 2015, it was negative at -0.16 per cent. Its closed 0.74 per cent higher on BSE at Rs 20.5 per share.

Which banks are under PCA?

In September 2021 itself, Kolkata-based UCO Bank exited the PCA framework. Now, only Mumbai-based Central Bank of India is under the PCA regime.

PCA Framework

Under the PCA framework, RBI imposes several business restrictions on banks with weak financial metrics. The nature and degree of curbs are decided on the basis of threshold and depends on the financial profile of individual bank.

Indian Overseas Bank (IOB)

IOB is a major Indian nationalised bank, under the ownership of Ministry of Finance. It is based in Tamil Nadu. It is having 3400 domestic branches. It was founded by M. Ct. M. Chidambaram Chettyar in February 1937 with the objectives of specialising in foreign exchange business as well as overseas banking.

Facebook launched the largest “creator education and enablement programme” in India on September 30, 2021.

Key Points

About creator education and enablement programme

It is the next phase of ‘Born on Instagram’. This programme would give creators in India a chance to learn through a self-paced online learning course. Programme will provide live master classes with experts, product updates, latest information on trends, and challenges in order to help creators keep up with new unfolding on Instagram. Participants will receive a course completion letter at the end of the course. The programme will also provide creators the opportunity to real monetary opportunities by means of several programmes.

Born on Instagram programme

This programme was launched in 2019. Reel feature was launched in year 2020, allowing users to create and share short videos. India was among the first countries where Reel feature was launched. India was also one among first two countries where Instagram launched Live Rooms.  Currently, Instagram is testing a new ‘Collab’ feature in India and the UK to allow users to collaborate with others people on Feed Posts and Reels.

Sahitya Akademi is going to organise an all-India poetry festival on October 2, 2021.

Key Points

Sahitya Akademi

It is National Academy of Letters in India. This organisation is dedicated towards promotion of literature in different languages. It was founded on March 12, 1954. Its headquarter is located in Rabindra Bhavan, Mandi House in Delhi. The organisation held national & regional workshops & seminars and provides research & travel grants to the authors. It also publishes books & journals as well as the Encyclopaedia of Indian Literature.

Sahitya Akademi Library

It is one of the largest multi-lingual libraries of India. It has rich collection of books on literature and allied subjects.

Books by Sahitya Academy

Sahitya academy publishes two bimonthly literary journals namely, Samkaleen Bharatiya Sahitya in Hindi and Indian Literature in English.

Background

Idea of establishing a National Academy of Letters in India was considered by the colonial British government. Proposal from the Royal Asiatic Society of Bengal to constitute a ‘National Cultural Trust’ was accepted in 1944. Original plan was to conceive three institutions, or academies for visual arts, performing arts, and letters. Independent Government of India carried this proposal and constituted a National Academy of Letters called the ‘Sahitya Akademi’ on December 15, 1952.

American Space Agency, NASA, is set to send its first spacecraft to study Jupiter’s Trojan asteroids.

Key Points

Objective of the mission

Mission Lucy will be launched with the objective of investigating the group of rocky bodies that are circling the Sun in two swarms- one preceding Jupiter and the other trailing behind it.

About the mission

Mission Lucy will go for a 12-year journey after receiving boosts from Earth’s gravity. 12-year journey will be completed across eight different asteroids including one in Main Belt between Mars & Jupiter and seven Trojans. Spacecraft will fly by its target objects within 400 kilometres of their surfaces. It will use onboard instruments and large antenna to investigate the geology of target objects. It will be the first solar-powered spacecraft at a distance of 400 kms. Total cost of the mission is $981 million.

What are Trojans?

Trojans are small celestial body or asteroids, sharing the orbit of larger one. They remain in a stable orbit, nearly 60° ahead or behind the main body. They can share the orbits of planets or large moons. Trojans are a type of co-orbital object. In Trojans, a star and a planet orbit around a common barycentre. Barycentre is close to the centre of the star as it is much more massive as compared to the orbiting planet. Most of the known trojans in solar system share the orbit of Jupiter. They are in a very small region of space but are physically different from one another. As of now, about 7000 trojans are known.

Indian Institute of technology, Hyderabad (IIT-H) developed a hydrogel from discarded corneas that can be used as an alternative to Corneal transplantation.

Highlights

Corneal Scarring

Till date, no solution is available to prevent corneal scarring due to an injury. But, researchers of IIT-H demonstrated that this hydrogel can be applied immediately after injury. It will help in regenerating cornea without scarring. Till date, only partial donor corneal graft or corneal transplantation is available as treatment for scarring.

Corneal disease

Corneal disease is a main cause of blindness and visual impairment in countries where there is a huge shortage of donor corneal tissue.

About cornea

Cornea is the transparent front part of the eye, covering iris, pupil, and anterior chamber. Cornea refracts light and accounts for about two-thirds of the eye’s total optical power. Refractive power of the cornea is 43 dioptres in Humans. Cornea can be reshaped by surgical procedures like LASIK.

Union Cabinet has approved the continuation of PM POSHAN scheme in Schools, which is a Centrally Sponsored National Scheme.

Key facts

Who will be covered under the scheme?

This Centrally-Sponsored Scheme will cover all school children who are studying in Classes 1st to 8th in government schools as well in government-Aided Schools.

PM-POSHAN scheme

PM POSHAN is a revamped version of “Mid-Day Meal Scheme”, which stands for “PM Poshan Shakti Nirman”. With the new nomenclature, Centre has initiated a major political push towards ‘child nutrition’. This scheme will cover around 24 lakh students, who are receiving pre-primary education at government schools and government-aided schools, from the year 2022.

Mid-day meal scheme

Under this scheme, hot cooked food is provided to students from Classes 1 to 8, benefitting about 11.80 crore children across all the government and government-aided schools. This scheme was launched by the Narasimha Rao government in the year 1995. It was launched to increase school enrolment and improve nutritional status undernourished children in India.

Najla Bouden Romdhane has become the first female prime minister of Tunisia on September 29, 2021.

Highlights

What challenges she will face?

Who is Najla Bouden Romdhane?

Romdhane is a professor of geology at the National School of Engineers in Tunis. She was born in the year 1958 in Tunisia’s central Kairouan province. Before appointed as prime minister, she was assigned to implement programmes with the World Bank, by the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research. In 2011, she worked as the director-general in charge of quality at Ministry of Higher Education.

About Tunisia

Tunisia is the northernmost country of Africa. It is bordered by Algeria, Libya and the Mediterranean Sea. It also comprises eastern end of the Atlas Mountains and northern reaches of the Sahara Desert.

Ministry of road transport and highways announced the detailed procedure of setting “Registered Vehicle Scrapping Facility (RVSF)” under the “vehicle scrapping policy”.

Vehicle Scrapping Policy

About the rules

Motor Vehicles (Registration and Functions of Vehicle Scrapping Facility) Rules, 2021 were released on March 15, 2021 by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MORTH). Provisions under the rules lay down the procedure of establishing Registered Vehicle Scrapping Facility (RVSF). Provisions will be applicable to all vehicles and their last registered owners, recyclers, Automotive Dismantling, Automobile collection centres and Scrapping & Recycling Facilities.

Provisions of the rules

Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare, Mansukh Mandaviya and Minister of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying, Parshottam Rupala released the “National Action Plan for Dog Mediated Rabies Elimination by 2030 (NAPRE)” on the occasion of “World Rabies Day” on September 28, 2021

Key Points

About National Action Plan for dog Mediated Rabies Elimination (NAPRE)

The NAPRE was drafted by the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) in association with the Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry, and Dairying. Its approach for elimination of rabies is based on recommendations of several international agencies WHO and the Global Alliance of Rabies Control (GARC). It was prepared on the basis of 5 major pillars- political will, intersectoral planning, sustained funding, community planning, coordination & review, and operational research.

Aim of the NAPRE

NAPRE has been launched with the aim of reducing human deaths, caused due to dog-mediated rabies, to zero by 2030. This aim will be achieved through sustained mass dog vaccination and appropriate post-exposure treatment.

Status of Rabies in India

Rabies is a vaccine-preventable viral disease. It occurs in more than 150 countries and territories. Primary source of the Rabies are Dogs. Human rabies deaths contribute up to 99% of all rabies transmissions in humans. India is endemic for rabies, accounting for 36% of total deaths across the world.

Right Livelihood Award 2021 was conferred to Delhi-based environmental organisation “Legal Initiative for Forest and Environment (LIFE)”. This award is also known as “Sweden’s alternative Nobel Prize”.

Highlights

  1. Cameroonian women rights activist Marthe Wandou,
  2. Environmental activist from Russia, Vladimir Slivyak and
  3. Indigenous rights defender from Canada, Freda Huson.

About Right Livelihood Award

Right Livelihood Award was established by Ole von Uexkull who happens to be the executive director of Right Livelihood. The award honours and supports people in solving global problems. It comprises of a cash prize of 1 million Swedish crowns and a long-term support that highlights and expands Laureates’ work.

How Awardees are shortlisted?

Awardees are shortlisted by the jury of Stockholm-based Right Livelihood.

Why LIFE received this award?

LIFE received the Award for its innovative legal work of empowering communities to protect their resources following the “environmental democracy in India.” According to Right Livelihood, despite a robust environmental protection law framework in India, access to justice for those planning to protect remaining forests and biodiversity in India is often limited. Thus, to bridge this gap, LIFE was founded.

About LIFE

LIFE was founded in 2005 by lawyers Ritwick Dutta and Rahul. It has been fighting against India’s most significant environmental threats. Some of the examples of environmental threats include construction of a large-scale bauxite mine in the Odisha and hydro-power project in Arunachal Pradesh. LIFE helps in stopping such construction.