Current Affairs for BANK, IBPS Exams - 03 February 2021
Current Affairs for BANK, IBPS Exams - 03 February 2021
UP launches e-cabinet training for ministers and officers
Yogi Adityanath has also directed the distribution of tablets among MLAs before the state legislature’s budget session commenced on February 18.
The Uttar Pradesh government held an e-cabinet training for ministers and senior officers to make state cabinet proceedings paperless, while efforts have begun for presentation of a paperless budget for the year 2021-2022, inspired by the Central government’s tabling of a paperless budget on February 1.
Chief minister Yogi Adityanath, who attended the e-training session at his official residence in Lucknow, asked for more such training sessions for ministers.
He also directed the distribution of tablets among MLAs before the state legislature’s budget session commenced on February 18. He said training sessions should also be organised for legislators on the use of tablets.
Those aware of the developments, said about 60 ministers and officers attended the e-training session and added that more intensive training sessions will be organised for ministers at their offices and residences to ensure that future meetings of the state cabinet were held through the e-cabinet system.
Wetland Conservation and Management Center to be set up in Chennai
The Centre on Tuesday announced setting up a new Centre for Wetland Conservation and Management (CWCM) in Chennai to address specific research needs and knowledge gaps in conservation and management of wetlands, which occupy 15.26 million hectares, or nearly 4.6 per cent of Indian landmass.
The Union government has announced to establish India’s first Centre for Wetland Conservation and Management (CWCM) on the occasion of World Wetland Day on Tuesday.
The CWCM would be annexed to the National Centre for Sustainable Coastal Management (NCSCM), Chennai, an institution under the Ministry of Forest and Climate Change (MoF&CC).
Supriyo highlighted the importance of wetlands in providing various ecosystem services.
Sri Lanka Retracts from Agreement with India and Japan at Colombo Port Terminal
Sri Lanka scrapped a deal to develop a major port terminal with India and Japan amid weeks-long protests by trade unions and opposition parties while India called on its neighbor to honor the agreement.
Sri Lanka had previously agreed to develop the strategic East Container Terminal at the Colombo port with India and Japan. Under the deal, India and Japan were to own 49% of the terminal's shares while Sri Lanka’s Ports Authority would retain the majority stake.
But on Tuesday, Sri Lanka's government declared the East terminal “a wholly owned container terminal of the Sri Lanka Ports Authority.”
The government said it would instead develop the port's West Container terminal with investment from India and Japan.
The Indian embassy in Colombo said India expects the timely implementation of the agreement the three countries signed in 2019.
“The commitment of Government of Sri Lanka in this regard has been conveyed several times in the recent past, including at the leadership level. Sri Lanka cabinet also took a decision three months ago to implement the project with foreign investors.
The facility is part of Beijing’s plan for a line of ports stretching from Chinese waters to the Persian Gulf. China has also agreed to provide a $989 million loan to Sri Lanka to build an expressway that will connect its tea-growing central region to the Chinese-run seaport.
Banks’ NPAs decline to Rs 8.08 lakh cr in September 2020 from Rs 10.36 lakh cr in March 2018: Govt
Non-performing assets (NPAs) or bad loans of the banking sector came down from a high of Rs 10.36 lakh crore at the end of March 2018 to Rs 8.08 lakh crore at the end of September 2020 due to various initiative of the government, Minister of State for Finance Anurag Thakur informed the Rajya Sabha.
As a result of the Asset Quality Review (AQR) and subsequent transparent recognition by banks, stressed accounts were reclassified as NPAs and expected losses on stressed loans not provided for earlier under flexibility given to restructured loans were provided for, he said in a written reply. Further, he said, all such restructuring stressed loans were withdrawn.
Primarily, as a result of transparent recognition of stressed assets as NPAs, gross NPAs of scheduled commercial banks as per the RBI data on global operations rose from Rs 3,23,464 crore as on March 31, 2015 to Rs 10,36,187 crore as on March 31, 2018, he said.
Government’s streategy of recognition, resolution, recapitalisation and reforms have resulted in decline of NPAs by Rs 2,27,388 crore to Rs 8,08,799 crore as on September 30, 2020, he added.
Replying to another question, Thakur said government borrowings from market increased by 57 per cent in Q 1, 90 per cent in Q 2 and 48 per cent in Q 3 for completed quarters of 2020-21 as compared to 2019-20.
Coal India closes ₹2,900 crore deal for procurement of 96 dumpers
For CIL, whose 95% of the entire coal output is through opencast mines, dumpers of such high capacity are pivotal in ferrying Over Burden (OB) from mine working face to dump yard.
State-owned CIL said it has entered into a pact worth ₹2,900 crore with a Belarus-based mining equipment manufacturer for purchase of dumpers. The pact is for purchase of 96 dumpers of 240 tonne capacity each, Coal India Ltd (CIL) said in a statement.
''CIL formally signed a major procurement pact worth ₹2,900 crore, for purchase of 96 dumpers of 240 tonne capacity each with Belaz, the Belarus-based mining equipment manufacturer," the PSU said. In August last year, the CIL board had given its nod for the procurement of these dumpers. The entire ₹2,900 crore investment would be funded through CIL’s own finances and includes the cost of equipment along with the spares and consumables for eight years.
For CIL, whose 95% of the entire coal output is through opencast mines, dumpers of such high capacity are pivotal in ferrying Over Burden (OB) from mine working face to dump yard. OB is the extraneous material that overlays the coal seam, removal of which makes the dry fuel’s production easier. The batch of 96 dumpers would be deployed in two of the large opencast mines of South Eastern Coalfields Ltd (SECL), the highest coal producing subsidiary of CIL, namely Gevra and Kusmunda.
::Science and tech::
Study explores which microfossils sign 'early life'
A new study could help settle arguments over which microfossils are signs of early life and which are not.
The study was published in the journal 'Geology'. The new experiments by geobiologists Julie Cosmidis, Christine Nims, and their colleagues have shown that fossilized spheres and filaments--two common bacterial shapes--made of organic carbon (typically associated with life) can form abiotically (in the absence of living organisms) and might even be easier to preserve than bacteria.
"One big problem is that the fossils are a very simple morphology, and there are lots of non-biological processes that can reproduce them," Cosmidis said.
"If you find a full skeleton of a dinosaur, it is a very complex structure that is impossible for a chemical process to reproduce," he added.
It's much harder to have that certainty with fossilized microbes. Their work was spurred by an accidental discovery a few years back, with which both Cosmidis and Nims were involved while working in Alexis Templeton's lab.
While mixing organic carbon and sulfide, they noticed that spheres and filaments were forming and assumed they were the result of bacterial activity. But on closer inspection, Cosmidis quickly realized they have formed abiotically.
The researchers noted that very early they "noticed that these things looked a lot like bacteria, both chemically and morphologically."
Serena Williams keeps rolling in tuneup for Australian Open
It's a rare thing for Serena Williams to play a tournament the week leading into one of the tennis Grand Slams.
Now that she's at Melbourne Park, though, she's making the most of her time in the Yarra Valley Classic to prepare for next week's Australian Open.
The 23-time major champion beat Tsvetana Pironkova 6-1, 6-4 on Wednesday to advance to the quarterfinals. She's still on track for a semifinal match against top-ranked Ash Barty.
Williams had a tough win over Pironkova at last year's U.S. Open, and then withdrew from their scheduled match at the French Open because of an Achilles injury.