Current Affairs for BANK, IBPS Exams - 06 February 2021

Bank Exam Current Affairs

Current Affairs for BANK, IBPS Exams - 06 February 2021


IRCTC launches its online bus booking services

  • The Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation Limited (IRCTC) has launched its online bus booking services that went live for the service of the nation on January 29, informed IRCTC.
  • "IRCTC under the leadership of Ministry of Railways, Ministry of Commerce and Industry and Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution is gradually moving towards firmly positioning itself as the first government 'One Stop Shop Travel Portal' of the country," read a statement issued by IRCTC.
  • "In a recent development for providing a more holistic travel experience to the customers, IRCTC that is already in the business of online rail and flight tickets booking launched its online bus booking services that went live for the service of the nation on 29th January 2021," it added.
  • The integration of this service over IRCTC Mobile-app is expected to be completed in the first week of March, which will enable the public to book bus tickets through Mobile too.

Centre’s notification on eco-sensitive zone triggers protests in Wayanad

  • The Union Environment Ministry’s draft notification on an eco-sensitive zone (ESZ) in Wayanad (north Kerala) which runs around the Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary has triggered a fresh round of protest with the Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) calling a shutdown in the district.
  • People living in fringe areas of the forest say many human settlements will come under the zone and the new announcement will cripple their lives. 
  • Workers of the ruling Left Democratic Front and UDF have burnt copies of the draft notification and staged demonstrations in the district. The Diocese of Sultan Bathery also threatened to hit the streets—since a majority of people living in the fringe areas are Christians.
  • According to the draft notification published by the ministry last week, the ESZ will cover an area of 118.59 km which includes 8.89 km of the Tirunelly reserve forest of north Wayanad and 17.67 km of Chedelaythu range in south Wayanad. Rich in biodiversity, the 344 sq km Wayanad wildlife sanctuary is a favourite habitat of elephants and tigers. 
  • Green activists have been questioning the fast depleting canopy of Wayanad, also a favourite get-away. Last month a tourist who was staying in a tent put up by a resort inside the forest was trampled by an elephant.

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Biden blocked Trump's order to withdraw US troops from Germany

  • President Joe Biden has formally stopped the planned withdrawal of U.S. troops from Germany that was ordered last year by the Trump administration but had never actually begun.
  • Speaking at the State Department on Thursday, Biden said the troop pullout would be halted until Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin does a review of America's troop presence around the globe. Austin, he said, will ensure that “our military footprint is appropriately aligned with our foreign policy and national security priorities.”
  • Last year, then-President Donald Trump announced that he was going to pull out about 9,500 of the roughly 34,500 U.S. troops that are stationed in Germany. The U.S. has several major military facilities in the country, including Ramstein Air Base, the headquarters for U.S. European Command and U.S. Africa Command, and Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, the largest American hospital outside the United States.
  • Trump's order met resistance from Congress as well as from within the military, which has long relied on Germany as a key ally and base of operations. Trump announced the troop cuts after repeatedly accusing Germany of not paying enough for its own defense, calling the longtime NATO ally “delinquent” for failing to spend 2% of its GDP on defense, the alliance benchmark.


Bitcoin rally takes crypto market value to another record

  • Bitcoin climbed toward $40,000 in a rally that helped the market value of digital tokens scale a new peak.
  • The largest cryptocurrency rose as much as 4.3% to $39,499 on Saturday, taking it closer to early January’s record of almost $42,000. The value of more than 6,000 tokens tracked by CoinGecko hit an unprecedented $1.22 trillion.
  • The jump comes after another volatile week in cryptocurrencies marked by Elon Musk’s support for Bitcoin and a record runup in Ether, the second-largest token. Billionaire Musk also posted tongue-in-cheek tweets about Dogecoin -- a Shiba Inu-themed unit that began as a joke -- stirring buying that briefly drove its market capitalization past $6 billion.
  • Bitcoin, the largest cryptocurrency, is up about 20% this week. The token may be consolidating before heading toward $50,000, which would imply a market value for it of about $1 trillion, said Mike McGlone, commodities strategist with Bloomberg Intelligence.
  • Meanwhile, Ether’s eightfold rally over the past year faces possible turbulence from the impending launch of CME Group Inc. futures next week. The contracts may open the door for bearish investors. The digital coin was at $1,688 as of 10:35 a.m. in Singapore.

Monetary policy review: Repo rate unchanged at 4%

  • Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor Shaktikanta Das has stated that the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) has decided to make no changes in the key policy rates. The banking regulator has kept the repo rate unchanged at 4 percent and reverse repo rate at 3.35 per cent, commenting that the “need of the hour is to back growth.” The policy decision was announced at the end of the first meeting of the six-member Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) after Budget 2021.
  • Since March 2020, RBI had revised the key lending rate i.e. repo rate by 115 basis points in a bid to offer support to the economy facing the challenges of coronavirus crisis. The policy rate was last cut by RBI on May 22, 2020, in an off-policy cycle, when Covid-19 brought an unprecedented challenge to the economy. 
  • Since then, the central bank is maintaing the status quo on repo rates for repo rate.  The key interest rate at which the RBI lends money to commercial banks is at a 19-year low of 4 percent. The reverse repo rate which refers to the rate at which the RBI borrows from banks is at 3.35 percent.
  • Latest data shows that in December 2020 the Retail inflation fell sharply to 4.59 percent in December 2020. Retail inflation based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI) was 6.93 percent in November.

::Science and tech::

China's space probe sends back its first image of Mars

  • China's Tianwen-1 probe has sent back its first image of Mars, the national space agency said, as the mission prepares to touch down on the Red Planet later this year.
  • The spacecraft, launched in July around the same time as a rival US mission, is expected to enter Mars orbit around February 10.
  • The black-and-white photo released late Friday by the China National Space Administration showed geological features including the Schiaparelli crater and the Valles Marineris, a vast stretch of canyons on the Martian surface.
  • The photo was taken about 2.2 million kilometres (1.4 million miles) from Mars, according to CNSA, which said the spacecraft was now 1.1 million kilometres from the planet.
  • The robotic craft ignited one of its engines to "make an orbital correction" Friday and was expected to slow down before being "captured by Martian gravity" around February 10, the agency said.


Ajay Singh was re-elected as the head of the Boxing Federation of India (BFI)

  • Ajay Singh Says focus will be on training of Tokyo Olympics-bound boxers, grassroot development and women's boxing.
  • Spicejet chairman Ajay Singh defeated Ashish Shelar in a high-profile contest to get re-elected as president of Boxing Federation India for a second term at the general elections held in Gurugram on Wednesday.
  • Singh defeated Shelar, former Maharashtra Cricket Association president, 37-27. Hemanta Kumar Kalita was elected secretary general and Digvijay Singh treasurer. The elections were held in the presence of AIBA observer Yury Zaystsev and IOA observer Rakesh Gupta.
  • “I am grateful that the general body of BFI has reposed trust in me and in my team. We are grateful that work of the last four years has been recognised and we will continue to serve for the growth of boxing,” said Singh.

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