Current Affairs for BANK, IBPS Exams - 17 August 2022

Bank Exam Current Affairs

Current Affairs for BANK, IBPS Exams - 17 August 2022


India reduced child mortality rate between 2014 and 2019: Union minister Pawar

  • India has reduced the child mortality rate from 45 deaths in 2014 to 35 deaths in 2019 per 1,000 live births, union minster Dr Bharati Pravin Pawar said on Tuesday while launching the Early Childhood Development Conclave, Paalan 1000 National Campaign and Parenting App.
  • “The child health programme under the National Health Mission (NHM) comprehensively integrated interventions which improved child survival and addressed factors contributing to infant and under-five mortality,” she said.
  • The union minister noted the importance of emphasising during early phases of children’s life.
  • “The process of a baby’s brain development begins during pregnancy and is influenced by the mother’s health, nutrition and environment. After birth, apart from physical growth, a human baby’s brain development paves the way for its future level of intelligence and quality of life. Each day of this journey is special and influences the way a baby develops, grows and learns - not just now, but for her entire life,” she said.
  • Whereas, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Bhutan succeeded in reaching lower IMR than India.
  • The Centre’s Sample Registration System (SRS) discovered that IMR in rural India is much higher than in urban places in the country. It pointed out the major reasons for IMR are prematurity and low birth weight, pneumonia, birth asphyxia and birth trauma, diarrheal disease, congenital anomalies, injuries and acute bacterial sepsis among others.
  • Over 57% of adolescent girls and women in the age group of 15 to 49 are vulnerable to anaemia which contributes to the high percentage of IMR, according to the latest National Family Health Survey (NFHS) survey.
  • IMR or child mortality rate is defined as the number of infant deaths per thousand live births in a given time period. This is used to measure the country’s overall health situation.
  • Paalan app is aimed at the cognitive development of children in the first two years. It combines early years coaching for parents, families and other caregivers.

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China wants military outposts in Pakistan to safeguard its investments

  • Having made significant investments in the conflict-prone Pakistan-Afghanistan region as part of its hugely ambitious Belt and Road Initiative, China is planning to protect its interests in the two countries by stationing its own forces in specially created outposts, according to top diplomatic sources.
  • China has been keen to expand its influence to central Asia through the Pakistan-Afghanistan route and has made strategic investments in the two countries.
  • Pakistan, where according to some estimates the Chinese investments have risen above USD 60 billion, is largely dependent on China not only for financial but also military and diplomatic support.
  • Given the huge imbalance of power in its favour, China has begun to put pressure on Pakistan to allow building of outposts where it would station its armed personnel.
  • Afghanistan, where Taliban are ruling now, however, is yet to meet the expectations of both China as well as Pakistan on many counts.
  • Top diplomatic and security sources in Islamabad who requested anonymity for this report, believe that China's People Liberation Army is working at a war scale to establish military outposts in Afghanistan and Pakistan for what it claims would be smoother operations and expansion of its Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).
  • Ambassador Rong has not been in Pakistan since the end of March 2022 this year, only just arrived recently in the country.
  • However, the meeting in which he demanded the creation of outposts for Chinese forces was perhaps the first formal meeting of ambassador Rong with the new government and state representatives.
  • The Chinese ambassador has been continuously insisting on the security of Chinese projects and the safety of its citizens, the source informed.
  • According to a source, Pakistan's Chief of Army Staff, General Bajwa, had already nursed anxieties about a Taliban takeover, but he was opposed by his intelligence chief Faiz Hamid and by powerful Corps Commanders.
  • China also has viewed the developments in Afghanistan with some concern. The Chinese have their own set of worries. The Taliban and Haqqanis show no interest in handing over Uyghur insurgents to the Chinese authorities.
  • China also considers them not serious towards the development of its BRI network in the Afghanistan. China wants access to central Asia and Europe through the CPEC and Afghanistan, the diplomatic source said.


SBI launches its first dedicated branch to support start-ups in Bengaluru

  • State Bank of India (SBI) announced the launch of its first "state-of-the-art" dedicated branch for start-ups in the country here, to facilitate and support them.
  • The branch launched by SBI Chairman Dinesh Khara is located in Koramangala, which alongside neighbouring HSR Layout and Indiranagar are the biggest start-up hubs in the city.
  • "...overall we are in a position to provide end-to-end services to start-ups, with that in mind this particular start-up branch is the first start-up branch we are starting, from the capital city of start-ups- Bengaluru. I'm sure it will further enhance the start-up potential," Khara said.
  • Speaking to reporters here, he said, based on the experience which the bank gathers from here, it will keenly evaluate the opportunity that exists in other cities for such a start-up initiative.
  • "After Bengaluru, the next branch we will be opening in Gurgaon and third one will be in Hyderabad- these are the three locations where start-up activities are there and we will be covering them....we will do it in next six months," he added.
  • Further stating that SBI has already funded 104 start-ups through the debt route, Khara in response to a question said, "cumulatively it should be aggregating to Rs 250 crore."
  • Stating that the bank has some equity allocations, which is both for listed and unlisted space, he said, "it is not specifically for start-ups, it is for both space, which is as per RBI regulated norms. We have already done some investment, it is over all around Rs 5,000 to 6,000 crore."
  • According to SBI, the branch would act as a hub with various stakeholders assisting in providing solutions acting as spokes and supporting the hub branch in enabling the startups to avail end-to-end financial and advisory services.
  • It will leverage the large presence of the bank in the market by bringing the synergy among all the entities and various departments of the State Bank group to offer one-stop solution to these corporates and start-ups starting from the formation of the entity till IPOs and FPOs of the companies.
  • Noting that the branch will serve as the vital 'go-to-place' for meeting any business needs emanating from the start-up ecosystem, officials said, besides the banking services, the branch would also have specialist teams for capital markets assisting in equity raise and registration facilities.

Dollar firm vs Aussie, euro, Chinese yuan on heightened recession worries

  • The safe-haven U.S. dollar hovered near a one-week high on Tuesday while the Aussie, euro and Chinese yuan remained under pressure as weak global economic data regnited recession fears.
  • The dollar index, which measures the greenback against six major peers, held steady at 106.51, just below the previous session's peak of 106.55, the strongest since Monday of last week.
  • The euro, the most heavily weighted currency in the dollar index, was little changed at $1.0158 after earlier dipping to the weakest since Aug. 5 at 1.0154.
  • Sterling was 0.1% down at $1.2040, the lowest since Aug. 5.
  • Against the yen, a much sought after haven currency, the dollar eased 0.09% to 133.19.
  • The global safety bid was driven by a raft of weak world economic indicators. On Monday, data showed U.S. single-family homebuilders' confidence and New York state factory activity fell in August to their lowest levels since near the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • That followed surprisingly weak Chinese activity data spanning industrial output, retail sales and fixed-asset investment as a nascent recovery from draconian COVID-19 lockdowns faltered.
  • Against the offshore yuan, the dollar rose 0.07% to 6.8174, heading back toward Monday's high of 6.8200, a level last since in mid-May.
  • The Australian dollar sank as low as $0.70005, threatening to drop below the psychological 70 cent mark for the first time since Wednesday.
  • New Zealand's kiwi dipped to $0.6349, also the lowest since Wednesday.
  • The Reserve Bank of New Zealand is widely expected to raise rates by half a point again on Wednesday, with the focus on whether policymakers follow the Federal Reserve and Reserve Bank of Australia in shifting to a more data-driven approach.
  • "The weakness in the U.S. and Chinese economies is typically a bad sign for commodity currencies," including Aussie and kiwi, Commonwealth Bank of Australia strategist Joseph Capurso wrote in a note to clients.
  • "The path of least resistance for NZD is lower until the Reserve Bank of New Zealand's policy meeting tomorrow."


Gokulam write to PM after women’s team stranded in Tashkent due to FIFA ban

  • With the All India Football Federation (AIFF) currently facing a FIFA ban, Gokulam Kerala women's team are currently stranded at Tashkent in Uzbekistan and won't be allowed to participate in the upcoming AFC Women's Club Championship, starting on August 20. Taking to Twitter, the team revealed that they have written a letter to Prime Minister NarendraModi, requesting for his help and intervention to revoke the FIFA ban.
  • The letter read, "Our club Gokulam FC is the current champion of India women's football. Having earned the distinction of becoming the champion club of India on May 26, 2022, we automatically qualified to play in the AFC women's championship on August 23 at Qarshi Uzbekistan."
  • "Our team reached Tashkent from Kozhikode in the early hours of August 16. On arrival, we learned through various media outlets that FIFA has banned AIFF and the clubs are therefore no longer entitled to take part in any international competition until the suspension is lifted."
  • "Our first match is scheduled against Iran on August 23. We trained for 60 days to take part in this prestigious tournament. AFC sent a letter to AIFF stating that our club is no longer eligible to take part in the AFC Women's Club Championship. However, AIFF hasn't any e-mail of letter to our club anticipating that the ban will be lifted within a couple of days."

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