1. IDBI Bank appoints Hemant Bhargava as non-executive Chairman
IDBI Bank has appointed LIC’s Hemant Bhargava as non-executive, Chairman for three years.
Currently, Mr. Bhargava is the Chairman (in-charge) and Managing Director of Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC).
The life insurer is the majority shareholder in IDBI Bank with a 51% stake.
LIC has also proposed a change of name of the bank to either ‘LIC IDBI Bank’ or ‘LIC Bank’.
In June 2018, the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) had made an exception when it allowed LIC to hold 51 per cent in IDBI Bank.
Insurance regulations state an insurer can hold only 15% equity stake in an entity to ensure there is no concentration of risks.
2. 2nd Edition of Indian Sign Language Dictionary launched
The Union Social Justice & Empowerment Minister Thawar Chand Gehlot has launched the 2nd Edition of Indian Sign Language (ISL) Dictionary in New Delhi.
The Dictionary includes six thousand words under the categories of academic, legal, medical, technical and everyday terms.
The dictionary is intended to serve as a resource for ISL teachers, ISL learners, teachers of the hearing impaired, interpreters, parents of hearing-impaired children and researchers.
The dictionary is brought out by Indian Sign Language Research and Training Centre (ISLRTC) under the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities.
The first edition of the dictionary with three thousand words was launched in March 2018.
3. Rajnath inaugurates NIA office in Hyderabad
Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh has inaugurated the new premises of the regional unit of the National Investigation Agency (NIA) in Hyderabad.
The new office cum residential complex has been constructed at Khanamet area of Madhapur in Hyderabad.
The NIA Hyderabad office has the jurisdictions in the states of Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka.
National Investigation Agency (NIA) is a central agency established by the Indian Government to combat terror in India.
The Agency came into existence with the enactment of the National Investigation Agency Act 2008 by the Parliament of India on 31st December 2008.
NIA headquarters in New Delhi.
4. HRD Ministry launches SHREYAS Scheme
The Union minister Prakash Javadekar has launched ‘Scheme for Higher Education Youth in Apprenticeship and Skills’ (SHREYAS) to provide apprenticeship opportunities to fresh graduates of 2019.
The scheme aims to cover 50 lakh students by 2022.
Courses will be available to the students from Academic year April-May 2019.
The SHREYAS Scheme is a programme basket comprising the initiatives of three central ministries (the HRD, Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, and the Ministry of Labour and Employment).
5. Govt approves Centre for Disability Sports in Gwalior
The union cabinet has approved the setting up of a Centre for Disability Sports in Gwalior, Madhya Pradesh.
It will develop a sense of belonging in Divyangjan to facilitate their integration in society.
The centre will have a Governing Body comprising a maximum of 12 members, some of them experts from “National Level Sports Federations apart from experts in para games”.
At present, no specialised sports training facilities for Divyangjan are available in the Country.
Section 30 of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (RPwD) Act, 2016 requires the government to take measures to ensure “effective participation of Persons with Disabilities in sports activities which includes the provision of infrastructural facilities for sports activities for them”.
6. NITI Aayog’s Atal Innovation Mission partners with Adobe
NITI Aayog’s Atal Innovation Mission (AIM) & Adobe signed a Statement of Intent (SOI) to enhance creativity in Atal Tinkering Labs (ATL) Schools.
Adobe will help in developing creative skills and spreading digital literacy across all Atal Tinkering Labs in India.
Adobe shall be adopting 100 schools under Atal Tinkering Labs (ATL) initiative.
ATLs are being established in more than 5,000 schools in India where students of class 6th to class 12th acquire problem-solving and innovation skills, developing innovative solutions.
Adobe Inc. is an American multinational computer software company headquartered in San Jose, California.
7. Zero Discrimination Day: 1st March
Zero Discrimination Day is an annual day celebrated by the UN and other international organisations.
The objective of the day to promote equality before the law and in practice throughout all the member countries of the UN.
Campaigners in India have used the occasion to speak out against laws that make discrimination against the LGBTI community more likely, especially Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code which criminalises homosexuality.
Science & Defence
8. India successfully test fires QRSAM missiles off Odisha coast
Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) successfully test fired indigenously developed Quick Reach Surface-to-Air Missiles (QRSAMs) from ITR Chandipur off the Odisha Coast.
QRSAM uses solid-fuel propellant and has a range of 25-30 km.
The two missiles were tested for different altitude and conditions.
QRSAM is a missile developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) in association with Bharat Electronics Limited and Bharat Dynamics Limited for the Indian Army.
Banking and Finance
9. BoB ties up with German KfW for USD 130m to Refinance solar units
Bank of Baroda has tied up with Germany’s KfW Development Bank for funding of USD 130 million to refinance solar projects.
The tie-up is part of an Indo-German Solar Energy Partnership signed in 2015.
The KfW is a German state-owned development bank, based in Frankfurt.
It was formed in 1948 after World War II as part of the Marshall Plan.
10. RBI, Bank of Japan sign Bilateral Swap arrangement
Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and Bank of Japan have signed a Bilateral Swap Arrangement (BSA).
This BSA provides for India to access 75 billion in US dollars whereas the earlier BSA had provided for USD 50 billion.
With this, India can access the agreed amount of USD 75 billion for its domestic currency, for the purpose of maintaining an appropriate level of balance of payments or short-term liquidity
The BSA provides India flexibility to use the reserves if at any point of time, in its judgment, there is a need to use the resources available under BSA.
11. Indian economy expected to grow at 7.3% in 2019-20: Moody’s
US-based Major credit rating agency Moody’s Investors Service estimated that Indian economy is expected to grow at 7.3 per cent in calendar years 2019 and 2020.
Moody’s growth estimates are based on the calendar year.
India measures its economic growth based on the fiscal year from April to March.
Moody’s said the announcement in Interim Budget 2019-20 on direct cash transfer programme for farmers and the middle-class tax relief measures will contribute a fiscal stimulus of about 0.45 per cent of GDP.
Major credit rating agencies of the world:
Moody’s Investors Service was established in 1909, headquarters in New York, USA.
Standard & Poor’s Financial Services LLC: was founded in 1860, headquarters in New York, USA, subsidiary of S&P Global.
Fitch Ratings: was founded in 1914, headquarters in New York City and London.
‘Thoughts of the day’
“You must tolerate that which you cannot change.”
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