Current Affairs for BANK, IBPS Exams - 19 April 2022
Current Affairs for BANK, IBPS Exams - 19 April 2022
BJP banking on women-centric policies to retain power in Tripura: CM Biplab Deb
As it begins preparations for the 2023 assembly elections in Tripura, the BharatiyaJanata Party sounded confident of retaining power in the northeastern state on the basis of its women-centric policies such as reserving 33% of all jobs for women and strengthening law and order. The party also asserted that the elections will be a bipolar contest between the BJP and the Communist Party of India (Marxist) or the CPI(M).
chief minister Biplab Deb, who is in the national Capital, was dismissive of the Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress (TMC) emerging as a threat to the ruling dispensation, and said while the BJP is confident of “winning comfortably” in the 60-member assembly, whatever opposition it will face will be from the CPI(M). “There is hardly any opposition in Tripura…whatever remains of it is the CPM,” Deb said.
The party is also readying to face an electoral battle in an upcoming bypoll for four assembly seats, the schedule for which is awaited. Two of these seats fell vacant after BJP legislators switched sides to the Congress in February.
The chief minister said the work done by the government for empowering women in the state tops the list of achievements and will put it ahead of the opponents. “We have announced 33% reservation in all jobs and also ensured that women are in key administrative and judicial positions and stakeholders in maintaining law and order. There has been a conscious effort to enroll them in the police or as magistrates since we wanted to control crime against women and strengthen law and order,” Deb said during an interaction.
In Tripura, 50% of the seats and posts have been reserved for women in local bodies as well.
In addition to focusing on women’s health and education, the state also offers coaching for competitive exams, reservation in all higher education institutions, including general degree colleges, and a 3% interest subvention scheme for girl students getting admitted to institutions of national importance, the CM said.
To encourage women start-ups, efforts are made to provide collateral free loans up to ₹2 crore with the support of credit guarantee fund trust for micro and small enterprises and earmarking 50% of funds for women entrepreneurs in the venture capital funds being set up by the state government.
The need to focus on women-centric issues was underlined by Prime Minister NarendraModi following the favourable outcome for the BJP in the assembly elections held in February-March in Uttar Pradesh, Manipur, Goa and Uttarakhand where women voters were said to have voted decisively for the party.
Israel strikes Gaza after rocket attack amid rising tensions in Jerusalem
Israel carried out its first air strikes on the Gaza Strip in months early Tuesday in response to a rocket fired from the Palestinian enclave as tensions soar after a weekend of violence around a Jerusalem holy site.
Warning sirens sounded in southern Israel Monday night after the rocket was fired from the enclave controlled by the Islamist group Hamas, the first such incident since early January.
The projectile crashed into the sea off Tel Aviv.
"One rocket was fired from the Gaza Strip into Israeli territory. The rocket was intercepted by the Iron Dome Air Defense System," the Israeli military said in a statement.
Hours later the Israeli air force said it had hit a Hamas weapons manufacturing site in retaliation.
Hamas claimed to have used its "anti-aircraft defence" to counter the air raids, which caused no casualties, according to witnesses and security sources in Gaza.
No faction in the crowded enclave of 2.3 million inhabitants immediately claimed responsibility for the rocket but it comes after a series of attacks in Israel and a weekend of tensions at a holy site in Jerusalem.
The incident, the first of its kind since January, comes after a weekend of Israeli-Palestinian violence in and around Jerusalem's flashpoint Al-Aqsa Mosque compound that wounded more than 170 people, mostly Palestinian demonstrators.
Diplomatic sources said the United Nations Security Council was to hold a session on Tuesday to discuss the spike in violence.
Similar violence in Jerusalem around the same time last year triggered repeated Hamas rocket fire into Israel which escalated into an 11-day war.
Indian economy not immune to negative externalities, says RBI report
India is facing the tremors from the shocks emanating from geo-political tensions that have choked supplies and increased commodity prices, especially food and energy, and has stoked inflationary pressures, the monthly State of the Economy of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said on Monday.
“The fallout of the war and retaliatory sanctions is already evident in inflation prints and balance of payments developments,” the report said on the domestic impact of the Russia-Ukraine war.
“The Indian economy is not immune to these negative externalities. The surge in commodity prices is already posing inflation risks, especially through the conduit of surging imports,” it said.
The report observed that rapidly widening trade and current account deficits co-existing with portfolio capital outflows weigh on external sustainability; although the strength of underlying fundamentals and the stock of international reserves provide buffers.
Rising food and beverages prices drove retail inflation closer to 7 per cent in March — above the central bank’s upper tolerance zone of 6 per cent.
The report highlighted that the near-term global outlook appears grim, caught up in a vortex of geo-political risks materialising rapidly, strained supply chains and the quickening pace of monetary policy normalisation. “Emerging market economies are bracing up to contend with swift shifts in risk sentiments and tightening of global financial conditions that could produce real economic consequences which may thwart incipient recoveries,” it said.
Another area of concern, according to the report, is the currently raging heat wave. “Temperatures are breaking all-time records in many pockets of the country. The country as a whole saw the hottest March (average maximum temperature) in the last 122 years,” the report said, adding that the increasing frequency of these unseasonal fluctuations reveals the impact of climate change and underscores the urgency of reductions in carbon footprints and integrating the relevant climatic variables in the development strategies.
SBI raises $500 million through three-year syndicated loan at fine pricing
India’s largest lender State Bank of India has raised $500 million through a three-year syndicated loan at very fine pricing. This is the first offshore Secured Overnight Financing Rate-linked loan by SBI through its IFSC Gift City branch.
SBI said strong presence in international markets helped it to get a very fine pricing amid ongoing turbulence in financial markets due to geopolitical tensions and rate hike expectations by the US Federal reserve and other central banks across the globe.
The facility is for $400 million with a green shoe-option of $100 million. However, the lender did not disclose the details of pricing.
"The successful launch of syndicated loan at such a fine pricing demonstrates the kind of reputation SBI has created for itself in offshore financial markets," said Ashwini Kumar Tewari, managing director, SBI.
In a statement, the bank said this was another step towards developing IFSC Gift City as an international financial hub while SBI's Gift City branch had become the largest branch in IFSC.
MUFG, Bank of America and JP Morgan were joint lenders for this offering, whereas First Abu Dhabi Bank acted as facility agent.
::Science and tech::
After failed tests, NASA's Moon rocket heads back to workshop
NASA's Space Launch System rocket is heading back to its assembly building for repairs next week, pushing the earliest possible launch date for its uncrewed test flight to the Moon to later this summer, officials.
Since April 1 the space agency has been unsuccessfully attempting a key "wet dress rehearsal" test, so dubbed because it involves loading liquid propellant.
The procedure is meant as a run-through of launch operations, including a final countdown to within ten seconds before blast off, but without actually firing the engines.
But NASA teams have encountered several technical hitches.
These included a leak involving flammable liquid hydrogen, a faulty valve that prevented fueling of the upper stage and running low on supply of nitrogen that is used to purge oxygen from the rocket prior to tanking operations, for safety reasons.
The rocket, which is 322 feet (98 meters) tall with the Orion crew capsule fixed on top, will begin its slow journey back from Kennedy Space Center's Launch Complex 39B to the vehicle assembly building on April 26, where it will be repaired.
Asked what this might mean for the earliest opportunity to launch the Artemis-1 test flight to the Moon and back, senior official Tom Whitmeyer said: "I think the early June window would be challenging."
NASA had previously envisaged a test flight as early as May.
There are subsequent launch windows in July and in August. These depend on factors like the relative positions of the Earth and Moon, as well as how long the rocket will have to fly in an eclipse, since it requires the Sun to keep it powered and thermally regulated.
A delay in Artemis-1 will have a cascading effect on subsequent missions -- Artemis-2, the first uncrewed test flight around the Moon, and Artemis-3, which will see the first woman and first person of color touch down on the lunar south pole.
Overseas player of DC tests Covid positive, squad's travel to Pune delayed
An overseas player in the Delhi Capitals team has tested positive for COVID-19, forcing the franchise to delay its travel to Pune for its next IPL match against Punjab Kings.
It is understood that an Australian all-rounder showed some symptoms and a Rapid Antigen Test was performed which came positive.
"DC were supposed to travel to Pune today but the entire squad members have been told to retire to their respective rooms and as per protocol RT PCR is being done to ascertain whether there is an outbreak in the camp or it is an isolated case like Patrick Farhart," a BCCI source told PTI.