Current Affairs for BANK, IBPS Exams - 25 August 2022
Current Affairs for BANK, IBPS Exams - 25 August 2022
Ghulam Nabi Azad says 'national space conceded to BJP', opens up on G-23
Ghulam Nabi Azad’s exit from the Congress on Friday is being viewed as a huge setback to the party at a time when it is set to launch a mass-contact program ahead of the 2024 national elections in a bid to revive its fortunes. While the parting of ways may have been anticipated for long, Azad - in a scathing resignation letter- shredded the party policies and unleashed an attack on Rahul Gandhi. He said it was unfortunate that the Congress had conceded “national political space to the BJP”, and “state level space to regional parties”.
“This all happened because the leadership in the past eight years has tried to foist a non-serious individual at the helm of the party,” Azad underlined, without naming Rahul Gandhi.
In his letter, which comes two years after 23 senior leaders - including Azad - wrote to Sonia Gandhi on the dire need of restructuring within the party, Azad also opened up on the group of the leaders, who came to be known as “G-23”.
“The only crime committed by the 23 senior leaders who wrote that letter out of concern for the party is that they pointed out both the reasons for the weaknesses in the party and the remedies thereof. Unfortunately, instead of taking those views on board in a constructive and cooperative manner we were abused, humiliated, insulted and vilified in an specially summoned meeting of the extended CWC meeting,” the 73-year-old leader recalled.
Calling the entire organizational election process “a farce and a sham,” Azad also said that “at no place anywhere in the country have elections been held at any level of the organisation”.
“Handpicked lieutenants of the AICC (All India Congress Comittee) have been coerced to sign on lists prepared by the coterie that runs the AlCC siting in 24 Akbar Road. At no place in a booth, block, district or state was an electoral roll published, nominations invited. scrutinised, polling booths set up and elections held. The AICC leadership is squarely responsible for perpetrating a giant fraud on the party to perpetuate ifs hold on the ruins of what once was a national movement that fought for and attained the Independence of India.”
US July 4 shooting plot suspect pleads to immigration charge
A Guatemalan immigrant whom police accused of helping to plot a mass shooting in Virginia's capital on July 4 pleaded guilty Thursday to an immigration charge.
A federal judge accepted RolmanBalcarcel-Bavagas’ plea to a charge of reentering the U.S. after deportation and set sentencing for Nov. 10, the Richmond Times-Dispatch reported. Balcarcel-Bavagas, 38, faces up to two years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
Neither Balcarcel-Bavagas nor a co-defendant, Julio Alvarado-Dubon, have been charged in direct connection with the alleged plot, and a federal prosecutor made no mention of it Thursday, according to the newspaper.
At a July 6 news conference, police said an Independence Day shooting had been thwarted and announced the men's arrest. Chief Gerald Smith said a “hero citizen” contacted police after overhearing a conversation about an attack being planned.
Officers seized two assault rifles, a handgun and hundreds of rounds of ammunition from the home where police said the men lived.
The U.S. Attorney's office took over the case earlier this month at the request of Richmond Commonwealth’s Attorney Colette McEachin.
According to the government’s statement of facts in Balcarcel-Bavagas’ immigration case, he is a Guatemalan citizen residing illegally in the U.S. who was previously removed twice from the country. He was allowed to depart voluntarily in 2013 and then deported in 2014, according to the court documents.
Alvarado-Dubon has been charged with possession of a firearm by a non-U.S. citizen. Court records do not indicate when he will next be in court.
Bank credit growth accelerates to 14.2% in June quarter: RBI data
Bank credit growth accelerated to 14.2 per cent in the quarter ended June 2022 from 6 per cent in the same period of the previous year, RBI data showed on Thursday.
In the quarter ended March 2022, bank credit had expanded by 10.8 per cent.
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Thursday released the 'Quarterly Statistics on Deposits and Credit of SCBs for June 2022'. This data is collected from all scheduled commercial banks (SCBs), which include regional rural banks (RRBs), small finance banks (SFBs) and payments banks (PBs).
"Credit growth has been broad-based: all the population groups (i.e., rural, semi-urban, urban and metropolitan), all the bank groups (i.e., public/private sector banks, foreign banks, RRBs and SFBs) and all the regions of the country (i.e., central, eastern, north-eastern, northern, southern and western) recorded double-digit annual credit growth in June 2022," as per the data.
Aggregate deposit growth (year-on-year) has remained in the range 9.5 - 10.2 per cent during the last five quarters.
Metropolitan branches continue to account for over half of the bank deposits and their share increased marginally over the last one year.
The share of current account and savings account (CASA) deposits in total deposits has been increasing over the last three years (42 per cent in June 2020, 43.8 per cent in June 2021 and 44.5 per cent in June 2022).
As credit growth is outpacing deposit growth in the recent period, credit-deposit (C-D) ratio has been on the rise, the data showed.
In June 2022, C-D ratio stood at 73.5 per cent at all-India level (70.5 per cent a year ago) and 86.2 per cent for metropolitan branches of banks (84.3 per cent a year ago).
HDFC Bank to invest Rs 120 crore in Go Digit Life for 9.94% stake
HDFC Bank said it has entered into an indicative and non-binding term sheet with Go Digit Life Insurance, wherein the bank is looking to invest around Rs 120 crore in the company for a 9.94 per cent stake.
Go Digit Life has applied to the insurance regulator for a license to carry out life insurance business in the country and is awaiting certificate of registration by the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (Irdai).
KamleshGoyal-backed Go Digit is looking to bag a life insurance as well as reinsurance license from the regulator.
Recently, Go Digit General Insurance filed draft papers with the market regulator to raise around Rs 5,000 crore through an initial public offering (IPO) that will include fresh issuance of equity shares and an offer-for-sale.
Post the merger of HDFC Ltd into HDFC Bank, the bank will become the promoter of HDFC Life Insurance as well HDFC Ergo General Insurance.
As per Irdai regulations, a bank can’t promote more than one insurance company in the same segment. An entity holding over 10 per cent in an insurance company is categorised as a promoter while one holding below that limit is termed as an investor.
::Science and tech::
Are synthetic human embryos a possibility?
Scientists have created “synthetic” mouse embryos from stem cells without a dad's sperm or a mom's egg or womb.
The lab-created embryos mirror a natural mouse embryo up to 8 ½ days after fertilization, containing the same structures, including one like a beating heart.
A study published Thursday in the journal Nature, by Magdalena Zernicka-Goetz at the California Institute of Technology and her colleagues, was the latest to describe the synthetic mouse embryos. A similar study, by Jacob Hanna at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel and his colleagues, was published earlier this month in the journal Cell. Hanna was also a coauthor on the Nature paper.
“We are undoubtedly facing a new technological revolution, still very inefficient … but with enormous potential,” said LluísMontoliu, a research professor at the National Biotechnology Centre in Spain who is not part of the research. “It is reminiscent of such spectacular scientific advances as the birth of Dolly the sheep” and others.
Zernicka-Goetz, an expert in stem cell biology, said one reason to study the early stages of development is to get more insight into why the majority of human pregnancies are lost at an early stage and embryos created for in vitro fertilization fail to implant and develop in up to 70% of cases. Studying natural development is difficult for many reasons, she said, including the fact that very few human embryos are donated for research and scientists face ethical constraints.
Building embryo models is an alternative way to study these issues.
To create the synthetic embryos, or “embryoids,” described in the Nature paper, scientists combined embryonic stem cells and two other types of stem cells – all from mice. They did this in the lab, using a particular type of dish that allowed the three types of cells to come together. While the embryoids they created weren’t all perfect, Zernicka-Goetz said, the best ones were “indistinguishable” from natural mouse embryos. Besides the heart-like structure, they also develop head-like structures.
”This is really the first model that allows you to study brain development in the context of the whole developing mouse embryo,” she said.
The roots of this work go back decades, and both Zernicka-Goetz and Hanna said their groups were working on this line of research for many years. Zernicka-Goetz said her group submitted its study to Nature in November.
US Open Men's singles draw: Nadal, Medvedev favourites in Djokovic's absence
The 2022 Grand Slam calendar ends the way it started. The only difference being that Novak Djokovic's fate wasn't a surprise. America's Covid-19 protocols denied the Serb an entry into the country for the US Open 2022, forcing him to withdraw from the tournament just hours before the men's singles draw was announced, leaving Rafael Nadal the only multiple US Open winner on the list.
This also implies that the remainder of the draw is wide open, leaving an opportunity at hand for defending champion Daniil Medvedev, rising star Carlos Alcaraz, a rejuvenated Nick Kyrgios along with StefanosTsitsipas, MatteoBerrettini and Taylor Fritz.
A year back Medvedev stunned Djokovic in straight sets to claim his much-awaited maiden Grand Slam title. But the next 12 months haven't been in favour of the Russian. Going two sets up against Nadal in the Australian Open final, Medvedev conceded the lead and subsequently the title.
Despite a Wimbledon ban for Russian players, Medvedev was part of the grass-court season where he suffered two unexpected defeats in the Rosmalen and Halle final. He was expected to get his season back on track in the North American summer swing where he has excelled in the last three years, but lost to Kyrgios in the first round of Canadian Open and to Tsitsipas in Cincinnati Masters semis. Medvedev will begin his campaign against 110th-ranked Stefan Kozlov before a potential Kyrgios meeting awaits in the pre-quarters.