Current Affairs for BANK, IBPS Exams - 01 August 2022
Current Affairs for BANK, IBPS Exams - 01 September 2022
President Murmu to visit Brahma Kumaris headquarters in Mount Abu on Sept 11
President Droupadi Murmu will on September 11 visit the headquarters of Brahma Kumaris, a spiritual organisation she has been associated with since 2009, in Rajasthan’s Mount Abu for the first time after taking over as India’s head of the state.
She will address a session at a global summit the organisation is hosting. Union ministers minister Ashwini Vaishnaw and G Kishan Reddy will be among those who will attend the summit.
Ratna Behan, who has been associated with the organisation for 48 years, said Murmu last visited the headquarters around five or six years back. “We did not exchange many words but a simple Om Shanti [greetings]. She seemed so grounded..she ate lunch with everyone in the common dining hall.”
RS Singh, who has been associated with Brahma Kumaris for 55 years, said Murmu came to the organisation when she felt lost. “She was searching for something within and she found it here.”
Murmu would accompany three sisters to serve at the local Brahma Kumari ashram in the remote Rairangpur village when she was a legislator in Odisha.
Murmu joined Brahma Kumaris after she lost her husband and two sons. A person associated with the organisation said she came to them when she was in a bad shape.
“This place helped her find her place in the world.” Murmuorganised camps and events in remote tribal villages to spread the philosophy of Brahma Kumaris, the person added.
Murmu is also likely to visit the organisation’scentre in Odisha, where she has donated two homes to Brahma Kumaris.
She is among prominent political, religious, and industry leaders, who have been associated with the organisation. Prime Minister NarendraModi visited its headquarters when he was the Gujarat chief minister. The organisation has a presence in over 140 countries.
New York to restrict gun carrying as the new state law goes into effect
Amid the bright lights and electronic billboards of New York's Times Square, city authorities are posting signs proclaiming the bustling crossroads a “Gun Free Zone”.
The sprawling Manhattan tourist attraction is one of scores of “sensitive” places — including parks, churches and theatres — that will be off-limits for guns under a sweeping new state law going into effect.
The measure, passed after a US Supreme Court decision in June expanded gun rights, also sets stringent standards for issuing concealed carry permits.
New York is among a half-dozen states that had key provisions of its gun laws invalidated by the high court because of a requirement for applicants to prove they had “proper cause” for a permit.
Gov. Kathy Hochul said on Friday that she and her fellow Democrats in the state Legislature took action the next week because the ruling “destroyed the ability for a governor to be able to protect her citizens from people who carry concealed weapons anywhere they choose”.
“They seem to be designed less towards addressing gun violence and more towards simply preventing people from getting guns — even if those people are law-abiding, upstanding citizens, who according to the Supreme Court have the rights to have them,” said Jonathan Corbett, a Brooklyn attorney and permit applicant who is one of several people challenging the law in court.
A federal judge let the new rules go forward on Wednesday evening, hours before they were to take effect.
Despite writing that the arguments for granting a preliminary injunction to stop the rules were persuasive, Judge Glenn Suddaby said the plaintiffs — an upstate New York resident and three gun rights organisations — didn't have standing to bring the legal action.
HDFC Bank partly recoups market share in credit card spends lost to embargo
The country’s largest credit issuer, HDFC Bank, has regained a large chunk of the market share in credit card spends that it had lost after an embargo was imposed on it for issuing new credit cards. The ban was subsequently lifted by the Reserve Bank of India in August 2021.
The latest RBI data shows that HDFC Bank has 28.4 per cent market share in spends as of July 2022, up 190 basis points since last August.
Pre-embargo, HDFC Bank’s market share was 30.67 per cent. While it has recouped some of the market share it lost in card spends, the bank has some distance to cover when it comes to cards-in-force market share.
Pre-embargo HDFC Bank’s market share of cards in force was 25.59 per cent. This dropped to 23.1 per cent last August, and now stands at 22.4 per cent.
The biggest gainer during this period was ICICI Bank, which added over four million credit cards between November 2020 and July 2022, followed by SBI Card (3.24 million cards), and Axis Bank (3.05 million cards).
During this period, HDFC Bank added 2.56 million cards. However, after the embargo was lifted, HDFC Bank began topping the charts on new card issuances, with 3.21 million cards. It was followed by Axis Bank (2.62 million cards), ICICI Bank (2.27 million cards), and SBI Card (2.13 million cards).
The US Fed policy action, RBI rate decision and foreign fund flows are some of the major factors that will guide the equity markets in the near-term, analysts said on Wednesday.
Besides these, September quarter earnings announcements would also pave the way for the markets, whose overall structure remains bullish, they added.
From its 52-week low of 50,921.22 quoted on June 17 this year, the Sensex has jumped 16.91 per cent till now. The Nifty has climbed 16.96 per cent from its 52-week low of 15,183.40 on June 17 this year.
So far in 2022, the BSE Sensex has climbed 2.20 per cent and the Nifty has advanced 2.33 per cent.
"We believe that the underlying market is bullish. Given India's stance as a high-performing economy, there are many reasons for India to be an excellent performer as we advance," said Sunil Damania, Chief Investment Officer, Markets Mojo.
He said the rupee has stabilized after hitting an all-time low level.
The rupee is currently hovering at 79.50 against the US dollar. It had touched an all-time low of 80.15 against the US dollar in intra-day trade on Monday.
"We are of the opinion that irrespective of whether the market touches a record high in September, market sentiments will stay bullish by Diwali," Damania said, adding that the BSE benchmark Sensex and the NSE Nifty have picked up since mid-June 2022.
At the moment, investors might be skeptical of the current market rally, Damania said, adding that "We maintain the Sensex could touch 65,000 by December 2022, and our short-term Nifty target is 19,000 by December 2022."
Factors that could influence the direction of global markets include geopolitical issues, commodity prices, inflationary trends, interest rate trajectory followed by central banks and recessionary conditions, experts said.
According to Deepak Jasani, Head of Retail Research, HDFC Securities, Indian markets could get impacted by the turn in global sentiments and as more investors turn risk averse ahead of the historically down month of September.
::Science and tech::
US approves updated Covid booster vaccine targeting newest omicron variants
The U.S. on Wednesday authorized its first update to COVID-19 vaccines, booster doses that target today’s most common omicron strain. Shots could begin within days.
The move by the Food and Drug Administration tweaks the recipe of shots made by Pfizer and rival Moderna that already have saved millions of lives. The hope is that the modified boosters will blunt yet another winter surge — and help tamp down the BA.5 omicron relative that continues to spread widely.
“These updated boosters present us with an opportunity to get ahead" of the next COVID-19 wave, said FDA Commissioner Dr. Robert Califf.
Until now, COVID-19 vaccines have targeted the original coronavirus strain, even as wildly different mutants emerged. The new U.S. boosters are combination, or “bivalent,” shots. They contain half that original vaccine recipe and half protection against the newest omicron versions, BA.4 and BA.5, that are considered the most contagious yet.
The combination aims to increase cross-protection against multiple variants.
“It really provides the broadest opportunity for protection,” Pfizer vaccine chief Annaliesa Anderson told The Associated Press.
The updated boosters are only for people who have already had their primary vaccinations, using the original vaccines. Doses made by Pfizer and its partner BioNTech are for anyone 12 and older while Moderna's updated shots are for adults — if it has been at least two months since their last primary vaccination or their latest booster. They're not to be used for initial vaccinations.
There’s one more step before a fall booster campaign begins: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention must recommend who should get the additional shot. An influential CDC advisory panel will debate the evidence — including whether people at high risk from COVID-19 should go first.
Neelam makes it to World Championships after winning retrial
It was almost a turnaround in fortunes for young wrestler Neelam after a 48-hour disappointment on Wednesday. Despite having a good lead in the 50kg bout, she was declared the loser by Ankush on Monday, and her hopes of competing for India at the World Championships next month were dashed.
Though Neelam's protest during the bout was not taken seriously by the mat officials, the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) decided on a rematch on Wednesday at the SAI's regional center in Lucknow, despite announcing the 10-member tea on Monday evening.
On Wednesday, the six-minute bout ended with Neelam picking up two vital points in the second period after trailing 1-3. She was adjudged the winner on criteria.
"I was nowhere after being declared a loser on Monday despite leading by 5-3, but I was right about my protest," said Neelam, who was quite disappointed after seeing the scoreboard flash an 8-5 verdict in Ankush's favor.