Daily Current Affairs Date 13th & 14th June 2021
- Pulitzer Prizes 2021: The New York Times, Associated Press win big for COVID-19, Black Lives Matter coverage.
- Rebecca Grynspan: 1st woman to head UNCTAD.
- AISHE 2019-20 report released by Union Education Minister.
- India: 4th largest Forex Reserves holder.
- Rescuing Gharials in Mahanadi River-
- Government of India has advanced the target for 20 per cent ethanol blending in petrol (also called E20) to 2025 from 2030.
- BharatPe marks its First Acquisition by acquiring Payback India.
- Federal Bank Expands its Collaboration with Oracle and Infosys
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Q- Who won the prize for public service 105th Pulitzer Prize 2021?
- The Hindustan Times
- The New York Times
- The Indian Express
- The Global Times
Pulitzer Prizes 2021: The New York Times, Associated Press win big for COVID-19, Black Lives Matter coverage.
- The Pulitzer Prizes 2021, the highest honour in journalism, were announced on June 11, 2021.
- The awards recognized the work of news outlets and their groundbreaking coverage of various historic events that shaped 2020, including devastating global pandemic, racial justice reckoning, or polarizing Presidential elections in the US.
- Another notable honour, the Breaking News Award went to the Star Tribune of Minneapolis for its reporting following George Floyd’s killing.
- One of the biggest contenders for the 2021 Pulitzer Prize was the New York Times investigation of the Income Tax information that the former US President Donald Trump kept from the public.
- Even though the story did not take home the prize, The Times won two honors – Public Service and Criticism Pulitzers- for its extensive and in-depth COVID-19 coverage.
- Pulitzer Prizes 2021 were originally scheduled for April 19, but the awards were postponed for the second consecutive year so that its 18 members board can deliberate in person, rather than remotely.
- Construction Corp, video surveillance firm Hikvision and China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC).
- Pulitzer Prize is awarded for outstanding public service and achievement in American journalism, letters, and music.
- It is awarded in the name of Joseph Pulitzer, a newspaper publisher who gave money in his will to Columbia University to launch a journalism school and establish the Prize.
- It was established in 1917 and is administered by Columbia University and Pulitzer Prize Board.
- Each winner receives a certificate and a US$15,000 cash award. The winner in the public service category is awarded a gold medal.
Q- Among one of these woman’s who became the First Woman to be the head of UNCTAD?
- Gülsüm Kav
- Michelle Bachelet
- Rebecca Grynspan
- Anastasiia Yeva Domani
Rebecca Grynspan: 1st woman to head UNCTAD.
- UN General Assembly (UNGA) has approved nomination of Rebecca Grynspan to head United Nations Conference on Trade and development (UNCTAD). She is an economist from Costa Rica.
- She will be the first woman and Central American to lead Geneva-based organisation, UNCTAD.
- She was nominated as secretary-general of UNCTAD by Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.
- Rebecca Grynspan has been secretary-general of Ibero-American General Secretariat since 2014.
- This secretariate supports preparations for Ibero-American summits. She has also worked as deputy administrator of United Nations Development Program (UNDP) from 2010 to 2014.
- She also served as UNDP’s regional director for Latin America and Caribbean.
United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD)
- UNCTAD was established as permanent intergovernmental body in 1964.
- It is a part of United Nations Secretariat that deals in trade, investment, and developmental issues.
- It seeks to maximize trade, investment and development opportunities in developing countries and assist them in integrating into world economy on equitable basis.
- It was established by United Nations General Assembly and it reports to UN General Assembly and United Nations Economic & Social Council.
- New charges on ATM withdrawal beyond free transaction limit:
Q-Which of the following statements is/are correct regarding the All-India Survey on Higher Education (AISHE) 2019-20?
1) The AISHE is released annually by the NITI Aayog.
2) In the last five years there has been an overall increase in female enrolment in higher education.
3) Gender Parity Index (GPI) in Higher Education in 2019-20 for females has improved as compared to males.
Select the correct answer using the code given below:
a) 1 only
b) 2 and 3 only
c) 3 only
d) 1, 2, and 3
AISHE 2019-20 report released by Union Education Minister.
- Union Education Minister has announced the release of the report of All India Survey on Higher Education (AISHE) 2019-20.
Highlights of the 2019-20 Report.
- Student enrolment grows by 11.4% from 2015-16 to 2019-20.
- 2% increase in female enrolment in Higher Education from 2015-16 to 2019-20.
- 56% Colleges are located in Rural Area.
- 75% Colleges are exclusively for Girls.
- There are 32.6% Colleges, which run only single programme, out of which 84.1% are privately managed. Among these, 37.4% colleges run B.Ed. Courses only.
- Total Enrolment in Higher Education stands at 3.85 core in 2019-20 as compared to 3.74 crore in 2018-19, registering a growth of 11.36 lakh (3.04 %).
- Total enrolment was 3.42 crore in 2014-15.
- Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER)-the percentage of students belonging to the eligible age group enrolled in Higher Education, in 2019-20 is 27.1% against 26.3% in 2018-19 and 24.3% in 2014-2015.
- Gender Parity Index (GPI)- in Higher Education in 2019-20 is 1.01 against 1.00 in 2018-19 indicating an improvement in the relative access to higher education for females of eligible age group compared to males.
- Pupil Teacher Ratio in Higher Education in 2019-20 is 26.
- In 2019-20: Universities: 1,043(2%); Colleges: 42,343(77%) and stand-alone institutions: 11,779(21%).
- 8 crore Students enrolled in programmes at under-graduate and post-graduate level.
- Out of these, nearly 85% of the students (2.85 crore) were enrolled in the six major disciplines such as Humanities, Science, Commerce, Engineering & Technology, Medical Science and IT & Computer.
- The number of students pursuing PhD in 2019-20 is 2.03 lakh against 1.17 lakh in 2014-15.
- The Total Number of Teachers stands at 15,03,156 comprising of 57.5% male and 42.5% female.
- One such institution is Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalaya residential schools.
Q- Which of the following statement is or are correct in reference to Forex Reserves holder?
1) India equals Russia as the fourth largest reserve holder worldwide.
2) Forex are assets on reserves which are held by central bank in foreign currencies
3) Foreign Currency Assets is the largest component of forex reserve and is expressed in dollar terms.
Select the correct answer:
a) 1 and 3 only
b) 2 and 3 only
c) 3 only
d) 1 , 2 , 3.
India: 4th largest Forex Reserves holder.
- India’s forex reserves crossed $600 mark for the first time and as on June 4, it stood at $605 billion. With this, India equals Russia as the fourth largest reserve holder worldwide.
- India’s forex reserve was $605.008 billion while for Russia it was $605.2 billion.
- It took a year for reserves to rise by $100 billion.
- Huge forex reserves have improved India’s import cover substantially.
- By December 2020, foreign exchange reserves cover of imports increased to 18.6 months.
- Foreign exchange or Forex reserves
- Forex are assets on reserves which are held by central bank in foreign currencies.
- It includes bonds, treasury bills and other government securities.
- Most of the foreign exchange reserves are held in U.S. dollars.
- These reserves serve several purposes and ensure that central bank has backup funds in case national currency rapidly becomes insolvent or devaluate.
- India’s Forex Reserves include- Gold, Foreign Currency Assets, Special Drawing Rights and Reserve position with International Monetary Fund (IMF).
Foreign Currency Assets
- Assets which are valued on the basis of currency other than own currency of any country are called as foreign currency assets.
- It is the largest component of forex reserve and is expressed in dollar terms.
Special Drawing Rights
- These international reserve assets are created by International Monetary Fund (IMF) in 1969.
- These are neither a currency nor a claim on IMF, but a potential claim on freely usable currencies of members of IMF.
Q- Consider the following statements regarding Gharials:
- The Ghagra river is the primary habitat of Gharials
- Gharials are listed as critically endangered in the IUCN Red List.
Which of the statements given above is/are not correct?
a) 1 only
b) 2 only
c) Both 1 and 2
d) Neither 1 nor 2
Rescuing Gharials in Mahanadi River-
- Odisha introduced a money award of Rs. 1,000 to preserve gharials in Mahanadi River Basin. Gharials, now and again called gavials, are a kind of Asian crocodilian individual by their long, skinny snouts. Crocodilians are a team of reptiles that consists of crocodiles, alligators, caimans, and more.
- India has three species of Crocodilians namely:
- Gharial (Gavialis gangeticus): IUCN Red List- Critically Endangered
- Mugger crocodile (Crocodylus palustris): IUCN- Vulnerable.
- Saltwater crocodile (Crocodylus porosus): IUCN- Least Concern.
- All the three are listed on Appendix I of CITES and Schedule I of the Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972.
- Exception: Saltwater Crocodile populations of Australia, Indonesia and Papua New Guinea are included in Appendix II of CITES.
Habitat of Gharials:
- Natural Habitat: Fresh waters of the northern phase of India. Primary Habitat: Chambal River (a tributary of Yamuna).
- Secondary Habitat: Ghagra, Gandak river, Girwa river (Uttar Pradesh), the Ramganga river (Uttarakhand) and the Sone River (Bihar).
- Importance: Population of Gharials are a properly indicator of clean river water.
- Conservation Efforts: Breeding Centres of Kukrail Gharial Rehabilitation Centre in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, National Chambal Sanctuary (Gharial Eco Park, Madhya Pradesh).
- The Mahanadi River machine is the 3rd biggest of peninsular India after Godavari and Krishna, and the biggest river of Odisha state.
- The catchment region of the river extends to Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Jharkhand and Maharashtra.
- Its basin is bounded by using the Central India hills on the north, by the Eastern Ghats on the east & south and by means of the Maikala range on the west.
Q- With reference to ‘Ethanol Blending’, consider the following statements:
- Government of India targets 20% ethanol blending in petrol by 2025.
- Increased use of ethanol can help reduce the oil import bill.
- It results in increasing the emissions of carbon monoxide (CO) and hydrocarbons (HC).
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?
a) 1 and 3 only
b) 2 only
c) 1 and 2 only
d) 1, 2 and 3
Government of India has advanced the target for 20 per cent ethanol blending in petrol (also called E20) to 2025 from 2030.
- The Indian Sugar Mills’ Association (ISMA) has said that to achieve the target of 8-8.5% ethanol blending, it is important to increase the blending level to at least 12% in surplus States and adjoining ones.
- The current supply is about 7.56% annually.
- The current demand is about 346.52 crore litres.
- In this context we will read about the purpose and importance of ethanol blending.
What is ethanol?
- Ethanol (also called ethyl alcohol, grain alcohol, drinking alcohol, or simply alcohol) is an organic chemical compound.
- It is a volatile, flammable, colorless liquid with a slight characteristic odor.
- It is a psychoactive substance, recreational drug, and the active ingredient in alcoholic drinks.
- Ethanol is naturally produced by the fermentation of sugars by yeasts or via petrochemical processes such as ethylene hydration.
- It has medical applications as an antiseptic and disinfectant.
- It is used as a chemical solvent and in the synthesis of organic compounds.
- It is a fuel source.
What is ethanol blending?
- It means blending of ethanol with other relevant fuels to make them more energy efficient.
- Ethanol can be mixed with gasoline to form different blends.
- As the ethanol molecule contains oxygen, it allows the engine to more completely combust the fuel, resulting in fewer emissions and thereby reducing the occurrence of environmental pollution.
- Since ethanol is produced from plants that harness the power of the sun, ethanol is also considered as renewable fuel.
- Ethanol Blended Petrol (EBP) programme was launched in January, 2003.
- The programme sought to promote the use of alternative and environment friendly fuels and to reduce import dependency for energy requirements.
Q- Which Company has acquired 100 percent stake of multi-brand loyalty platform PAYBACK India from American Express and ICICI Investments Strategic Fund?
c) Google Pay
BharatPe marks its First Acquisition by acquiring Payback India
- Digital Payment application BharatPe has acquired 100 percent stakes of multi-brand loyalty platform PAYBACK India from American Express and ICICI Investments Strategic Fund which hold 90 percent and 10 percent stake respectively in the entity.
- This is the first-ever acquisition by Bharatpe.
- Payback India becomes a wholly-owned subsidiary of BharatPe
- To provide digital credit to customers and launch
- ‘Buy Now Pay Later’ services
- To build India’s largest and most engaged merchant network of over two crore small merchants by 2023.
- Suhail Sameer and Gautam Kaushik (Group Presidents at Bharatpe) along with Sumeet Singh, General Counsel of BharatPe, have joined the Board of Payback India.
- About Payback:
- Payback India is a multi-brand loyalty programme launched in 2010.
- It has a network of more than 100 offline and online partners and allows its customers to earn and redeem points on every transaction at its partner merchant outlets.
- Managing Director (MD): Pramod Mahanta Chief Executive Officer(CEO): Rijish Raghavan
- Founded: 2018
- Co-Founder & Chief Executive Officer (CEO): Ashneer Grover
- Headquarters: New Delhi
Q- Which Bank expanded its collaboration with Oracle and Infosys to provide improved customer experience?
a) Indian Bank
b) DBS Bank
c) Bank of Baroda
d) Federal Bank
Federal Bank Expands its Collaboration with Oracle and Infosys
- On June 10, 2021, Federal Bank expanded its collaboration with Oracle and Infosys to provide improved customer experience through the Oracle CX (Customer Experience) platform.
- Under the collaboration, an integrated Customer Relationship Management (CRM) solution across marketing, sales, customer service, and social listening will be created to improve Federal Bank’s operations and to deliver customer experiences across touchpoints.
- To achieve a ‘Single Source of Truth’, Federal Bank plans to launch a single application with a 360-degree view of the customer portfolio for its users.
- Oracle will co-innovate the application by partnering with the ecosystem of Infosys.
About Federal Bank:
- Establishment – April 23, 1931 (as Travancore Federal
- Bank Limited), changed to The Federal Bank Limited on December 2, 1949
- Headquarters – Aluva, Kerala
- Managing Director & CEO Shyam Srinivasan
- Tagline – Your Perfect Banking Partner
- Headquarters Texas, United States
- Chief Executive Officer – Safra A. Catz
- Headquarters – Bengaluru, Karnataka
- CEO & MD Salil Parekh