Current Affairs for BANK, IBPS Exams - 15 June 2022

Bank Exam Current Affairs

Current Affairs for BANK, IBPS Exams - 15 June 2022


Centre clears 5G spectrum auction for 10x faster services, to be held by July

  • In a big move, Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led union cabinet has cleared the auction of 5G spectrum, which will be held the end of July. A total of 72 GHz (gigahertz) of spectrum - with a validity period of 20 years - will be put to auction. About 10 times faster than 4G, India is set to roll out the 5G services soon, the government said. “Digital connectivity has been an important part of policy initiatives of the government through its flagship programs such as Digital India, Start-up India, Make in India and others,” an official statement read.
  • "The auction will be held for spectrum in various Low (600 MHz, 700 MHz, 800 MHz, 900 MHz, 1800 MHz, 2100 MHz, 2300 MHz), Mid (3300 MHz) and high (26 GHz) frequency bands. 
  • It is expected that the Mid and High band spectrum will be utilised by telecom service providers to roll out of 5G technology-based services capable of providing speed and capacities which would be about 10 times higher than what is possible through the current 4G services," it underlined.
  • “Broadband, especially the mobile broadband, has become (an) integral part of the daily lives of the citizens. This received a big boost through the rapid expansion of 4G services across the country since 2015. Eighty crore subscribers have access to broadband today compared to ten crore subscribers in 2014,” the statement further added. New-age businesses are set to benefitted with the big move, which will also create additional revenue for enterprises.
  • The Telecom Sector Reforms - announced in September last year - are expected to benefit the auction. The requirement of submitting a financial bank guarantee equivalent to one annual instalment has also been done away with.
  • The union cabinet has also decided to enable the development and setting up of Private Captive Networks, the government said, to spur a new wave of innovations in Industry 4.0 applications such as machine to machine communications, Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI) across automotive, healthcare, agriculture, energy, and other sectors.

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China says it may have detected signals from alien civilizations: Report

  • China said its giant Sky Eye telescope may have picked up signs of life beyond Earth, according to a report by the state-backed Science and Technology Daily, which then appeared to have deleted the report and posts about the discovery.
  • The narrow-band electromagnetic signals detected by Sky Eye -- the world’s largest radio telescope -- differ from previous ones captured and the team is further investigating them, the report said, citing Zhang Tonjie, chief scientist of an extraterrestrial civilization search team co-founded by Beijing Normal University, the National Astronomical Observatory of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the University of California, Berkeley. 
  • The suspicious signals could, however, also be some kind of radio interference and requires further investigation, Zhang added.
  • It isn’t clear why the report was apparently removed from the website of the Science and Technology Daily, the official newspaper of China’s science and technology ministry, though the news had already started trending on social network Weibo and was picked up by other media outlets, including state-run ones.
  • In September 2020, Sky Eye, which is located in China’s southwestern Guizhou province and has a diameter of 500 meters (1,640 feet), officially launched a search for extraterrestrial life. The team detected two sets of suspicious signals in 2020 while processing data collected in 2019, and found another suspicious signal in 2022 from observation data of exoplanet targets, Zhang said, according to the report.
  • China’s Sky Eye is extremely sensitive in the low-frequency radio band and plays a critical role in the search for alien civilizations, Zhang is reported to have said.


RBI pulls up banks for flouting norms on infra loans to govt entities

  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) came down heavily on banks for failing to strictly comply with prudential norms for financing infrastructure and housing projects of government-owned entities.
  • It asked banks to follow the regulator’s instructions on aspects like assessing commercial viability, revenue streams, and the end use of funds in “letter and spirit”.
  • The RBI said it had come across instances where banks had not been strictly complying with instructions on assessing commercial viability and ascertaining revenue streams for debt-service obligations.
  • It also flagged the lack of adherence to rules about monitoring the end use of funds given to infrastructure/housing projects of government-owned entities.
  • Banks and financial institutions have been found to violate instructions that require that in the case of projects undertaken by government-owned entities, term loans should be sanctioned only for corporate bodies.
  • Due diligence should be carried out on the viability and bankability of the projects to ensure that the revenue stream is sufficient to take care of debt-service obligations. The repayment/servicing of debt should not be from budgetary resources, the RBI said.

Fitch sees another 100 bps policy rate hike by Dec, cites rising inflation

  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) could increase policy rate by another 100 basis points to 5.9 per cent by December 2022, said Fitch Ratings.
  • “With the inflation rate on the rise, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) turned hawkish in April by introducing the new Standing Deposit Facility (SDR), which replaced the reverse repo rate to set a new, higher floor for the interest rate corridor. In May, in an unscheduled policy announcement, the RBI raised rates by 40bp to 4.4%, and subsequently to 4.9% in June. Given the deteriorating outlook for inflation, we now expect the RBI to lift rates further to 5.9% by December 2022 and to 6.15% by the end of 2023 (vs. previous forecast of 5%) and to be unchanged in 2024,” it said in its latest Global Economic Outlook.
  • Fitch last week upgraded India’s sovereign rating outlook to stable from negative, keeping sovereign rating unchanged at the lowest investment grade.
  • Economic growth will improve in the June quarter of FY23 from 4.1 per cent in the March quarter of FY22 on a rebound in consumption, citing Covid-19 cases falling in end-March. “We see consumer spending sustaining the economy in 2022 given the potential for catch-up, as an easing in restrictions allows for greater spending on sectors such as retail, hotels and transport,” it said.

::Science and tech::

'Really, really dramatic': Satellite spots methane burst from Russia coal mine

  • A private company that uses satellites to spot sources of methane emissions around the globe said Wednesday that it detected one of the largest artificial releases of the potent greenhouse gas ever seen, coming from a coal mine in Russia earlier this year.
  • Montreal-based GHGSat said one of its satellites, known as ‘Hugo,’ observed 13 methane plumes at the Raspadskaya mine in Siberia on Jan. 14. The incident likely resulted in about 90 metric tons of methane being belched into the atmosphere in the space of an hour, the company calculated.
  • “This was a really, really dramatic emission," Brody Wight, GHGSat's director of energy, landfills and mines told The Associated Press.
  • GHGSat said the plumes detected at Raspadskaya may have been released intentionally, as a safety measure, since the gas can seep out of mines and ignite with potentially deadly outcomes. Two methane explosions and a fire killed 91 people at this mine in 2010, one of the worst such disasters in post-Soviet times.
  • Companies can prevent the uncontrolled release of methane through best practices. Captured gas can be burned as fuel, lessening its global-warming impact.
  • GHGSat said it measured further plumes over the mine during subsequent flyovers the following weeks, though these didn't reach the same “ultra emission” scale seen on Jan. 14.


Neeraj Chopra's national record-breaking better than Olympic gold throw

  • With a capacity crowd cheering and clapping, Olympic champion Neeraj Chopra ran in with his locks of hair flowing in the breeze. The javelin appeared light in his strong arms. The momentum that he gathered with his short yet smooth run up was perfec. In fact, better than the throw that earned him an Olympic gold in men's javelin throw event last year. A hard release and then a roar. Chopra knew he had thrown something special. Again. A stunning 89.30m shattering his national record and placing him second in a star-studded field at the PaavoNurmi Games in Turku, Finland.
  • In his first competitve event since the Tokyo Olympics 10 months ago, Chopra nearly the touched the coveted 90-metre mark. He took another step toward establishing himself as one of the greatest athletes the country has ever produced.
  • Chopra's earlier national record was 88.07m which he had set in Patiala in March last year. He had won the Tokyo Olympics gold with a throw of 87.58m on August 7, 2021.
  • He opened with an impressive 86.92m before sending the spear to 89.30m. His next three attempts were fouls while he came up with 85.85m in his sixth and final throw.

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