Current Affairs for BANK, IBPS Exams - 02 August 2022
Current Affairs for BANK, IBPS Exams - 02 September 2022
India, UAE working on joint health projects in Kenya and Tanzania
India and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) are working on a joint initiative to establish health projects in Kenya and Tanzania and taking forward cooperation in food security within the I2U2 framework that includes the US and Israel.
These issues figured in the India-UAE joint commission meeting that was co-chaired by external affairs minister S Jaishankar and his UAE counterpart Sheikh Abdulla bin Zayed Al Nahyan in Abu Dhabi.
The meeting also reviewed cooperation in diverse sectors such as energy and investments.
A team comprising representatives of the Indian and UAE governments recently visited Kenya and Tanzania to identify opportunities for joint projects in the health sector, the external affairs ministry said in a statement.
Both ministers expressed happiness at the forward movement in healthcare and education cooperation. Discussions between the two countries on establishing an Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) in UAE have moved forward with the setting up of a joint working group between institutions on both sides.
The ministers reviewed ongoing discussions between the two sides in the field of food security, including within the India-Israel-US-UAE (I2U2) framework, the statement said.
The first I2U2 Summit held in July unveiled initiatives focused on food security and clean energy, including investments of $2billion by the UAE to develop a series of integrated food parks across India and a $330million hybrid renewable energy project in Gujarat.
Jaishankar and Sheikh Abdulla bin Zayed expressed satisfaction at the entry into force of the India-UAE Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) on May 1 and the organisation of activities and events for effective implementation of the pact. They reiterated their commitment to achieving the goal of $100billion in bilateral trade in the next five years.
he ministers reviewed progress in elements of bilateral cooperation identified in a Vision Statement adopted by the leaders of the two countries at a virtual summit on February 18.
The two sides have made progress in discussions on different aspects related to renewable energy and green hydrogen.
The two sides emphasised the importance of promoting start-ups and entrepreneurship in fields such as fintech, edutech, healthtech, agritech, logistics and supply chains. They also discussed the possibility of linking instant payment platforms in both countries, such as through India’s United Payment Interface (UPI).
Canada to digitise application process for those seeking permanent residency
As processing backlogs continue to bedevil the Canadian system, the country’s immigration department has announced that it will move to a fully digital application process for the majority of those seeking permanent residency.
IRCC has also proposed exempting from a mandatory medical examination for applicants already in Canada. This will apply to applicants for either permanent or temporary residence, if they meet certain criteria.
A release from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) on Thursday stated that “access to the online application portal for clients has now been expanded to the majority of permanent residence applicants. IRCC will begin transitioning to 100% digital applications for most of our permanent residence programmes on September 23, with alternative formats available for people who require accommodations”.
It also said that simplifying the medical examination requirement for those present in the country will impact about 180,000 applicants by “helping them save time and money on the medical examination process and reducing wait times on their applications”.
According to the 2021 Annual Report to Parliament on Immigration, Indians accounted for 42,876 permanent residents admitted in 2020, making for nearly a quarter of the total 184,606. The second largest source country was China, with 16,535.
Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Sean Fraser said, “As we look to strengthen our immigration system by updating our technology, people - our clients - must be at the centre of all that we do. By adding resources where they are needed, and leveraging technology to make processing faster and applying easier for our clients, we can give newcomers and new citizens the welcoming experience they deserve.”
'India to be 6th largest insurance market by 2032; premiums to grow at 14%'
India to become sixth largest insurance market in the world in the next 10 years supported by regulatory push and rapid economic expansion, a report said.
Total insurance premiums in India will grow by an average 14 per cent per annum in nominal local currency terms over the next decade, making India the 6th largest in terms of total premium volume by 2032 from 10th largest in 2021, Swiss Re Institute said in its report.
With regard to Indian life insurance industry, the report said it will grow at an exceptional rate of 6.6 per cent (in real terms) in 2022 and further grow at 7.1 per cent in 2023.
Considering the projected growth rate, the life insurance premiums in India are set to cross USD 100 billion for the first time in 2022, it said.
As far as non-life insurance market is concerned, the report said it has returned to a growth of 5.8 per cent (in real terms) in 2021 after a slight contraction in 2020.
"The growth will slow down slightly in 2022 to 4.5 per cent, mainly due to high inflation. However, the sector is further expected to witness a growth of close to 8 per cent Compounded Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) between 2023 and 2032," it said.
One of the driving factors for the sectoral growth is the systematic change into India's non-life insurance sector brought by the pandemic.
It resulted in a greater risk awareness leading to higher demands in health insurance, making it the biggest Line of Business (LoB) by premium volume in 2021.
The report said, the global economy is on the brink of inflationary recessions, with policymakers facing an increasingly difficult inflation-growth trade off.
Swiss Re expects India to reign as the world's fastest-growing economy in 2022.
Rupee expected to trade in Rs 79.75-80.0/$ range in the near-term: Report
The Indian rupee is expected to trade in the range of 79.75-80.00 against the US dollar in the near term because the US Federal Reserve Chair has clearly signalled higher rates are likely to stay, the dollar index may see a further uptick, according to a Bank of Baroda (BOB) report.
This will keep global currencies, including INR under pressure. While FPI flows have remained positive in August 22, higher rates in the US along with a slowing global growth may spur a fresh bout of FPI withdrawals from the Indian market. On the positive side, oil prices may see some correction as higher rates tip the global economy into a slowdown if not recession.
In the last fortnight, rupee remained largely stable with active intervention by the central bank to prevent its free fall.
Rupee was under pressure after Powell's speech. Apart from the dollar strength, other factors have also exacerbated the fall in rupee in the last couple of days.
After the Fed Chairman Jerome Powell's speech most global currencies have declined sharply, with dollar index, which gauges the strength of dollar against a basket of six currencies, rose 2.2 per cent in the last fortnight.
As per report, the Japanese yen has seen the maximum decline as the widening policy divergence between the BoJ and other global central banks continues to weigh on the currency.
The pound has witnessed a sharp decline of 3.2 per cent amidst a worsening cost-of-living crisis which is expected to push the economy into a recession.
The euro too has been weakening against the dollar. The yuan too continues to remain under pressure amidst a deteriorating economic outlook, led by the ongoing property crisis.
::Science and tech::
James Webb Telescope captures its first image of planet beyond our solar system
Using the powerful optics system of the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), scientists have been able to take direct pictures of a planet beyond our solar system. The new image of exoplanet HIP 65426 recently released by National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is Webb’s first picture of an exoplanet, which shows the immense prowess of JWST to explore the unseen universe.
The exoplanet ‘HIP 65426 b’ is younger but bigger than Earth. It is about 6 to 12 times the mass of Jupiter and about 15 to 20 million years old, Earth is 4.5-billion-year-old. NASA says that these observations could help to determine the size and age of the planet much more precisely. Webb telescope has pictured this gas giant through four different light filters.
“This is a transformative moment, not only for Webb but also for astronomy generally,” said Sasha Hinkley, an associate professor who led these observations with a large international collaboration.
NASA’s Kepler Space Telescope has shown that the galaxy has more numbers of planets than stars. The elements of these planets are similar to the planets of our solar system, although they do not necessarily revolve around any stars, as there are some exoplanets which are free floating and orbit around the galactic centre.
Astronomers observe the wobble of stars caused by the planets orbiting it. This wobble gives a clue of the presence of planets. The wobble can be observed by the Doppler shift method - a change in the colour of light that is coming from a star, and also by astrometry method.
HS Prannoy loses in Japan Open quarter finals after valiant effort
H S Prannoy went down fighting in the men's singles quarterfinals against world championships bronze medallist Chou Tien Chen of Chinese Taipei, bringing down the curtains on India's campaign at the Japan Open.
The 30-year-old Indian played out of his skin and saved three match points, only to endure the agony of losing it in the end, as Chou emerged victorious 21-17 15-21 22-20 in a pulsating contest that lasted an hour and 20 minutes.
One of the most consistent Indian players in the circuit this season, Prannoy recovered well from an opening game reversal, and kept breathing down his opponent's neck till the last point but, in the end, Chou's perseverance saw him through in this match at the Super 750 tournament.
Coming into the match after his twin wins against Chou in the last two meetings, Prannoy engaged in a battle of attrition with his rival, and was up 12-8 in the opening game.