Current Affairs for BANK, IBPS Exams - 28 July 2022
Current Affairs for BANK, IBPS Exams - 28 July 2022
Premier higher educational institutes should expand campuses abroad: Panel
Premier higher educational institutions in the country should look to expand their campuses abroad, a government-constituted committee has recommended and pitched for the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) to take the lead on this front, officials familiar with the development said.
Tasked to prepare a framework for Indian universities to set up campuses abroad, the 16-member committee — headed by the chairman of standing committee of IIT council, K Radhakrishnan — was constituted by the Union education ministry after IIT-Delhi submitted a proposal last year for opening centres in Saudi Arabia and Egypt.
According to ministry officials, the committee has recently submitted its draft report on “structure for opening campuses abroad by higher education institutions”.
The committee has strongly supported the idea that country’s top institutes establish “residential campuses” abroad and the ministry of external affairs and the Indian envoys facilitate the process, said a senior ministry official, requesting anonymity.
“Discussions are underway on the draft recommendations submitted by the committee. It is recommended either to allow individual institutes to set up their campuses abroad or to do that in collaboration with other institutes or universities in India or in the host country,” the official said. “There is discussion that the top IITs may take the lead and start the expansion process.”
“The panel has also identified several areas in which the courses can be offered in these satellite campuses,” said another official from the ministry, also wishing not to be named. “It has also been suggested to start with postgraduate courses first and then move to five-year integrated programmes.”
While the proposal of IIT-Delhi is still pending with the ministry, IIT-Madras has also placed its proposal to set up a satellite campus in Tanzania before the committee for consideration, officials said. A senior official at the IIT-Bombay said, “Once the ministry assigned a country to us for mentoring, we will swing into action with the help of the MEA.”
Pro-Sadr protesters storm Iraqi parliament in fortified Green Zone
Hundreds of supporters of powerful Iraqi cleric Moqtada Sadr danced and sang in parliament Wednesday after storming Baghdad's high-security Green Zone in protest at a rival bloc's nomination for prime minister.
Police fired barrages of tear gas in a bid to stop the protesters from breaching the gates of the heavily fortified Green Zone, but the crowds surged forward and entered parliament.
"I am against the corrupt officials who are in power," said protester Mohamed Ali, a 41-year-old day labourer, one of the hundreds who entered the zone that is home to both government buildings and diplomatic missions, before later leaving peacefully.
The protests are the latest challenge for oil-rich Iraq, which remains mired in a political and a socioeconomic crisis despite soaring global energy prices.
Sadr's bloc emerged from elections in October as the biggest parliamentary faction, but was still far short of a majority and, nine months on, deadlock persists over the establishment of a new government.
Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhemi called on the protesters to "immediately withdraw", warning that the security forces would ensure "the protection of state institutions and foreign missions, and prevent any harm to security and order".
But it took orders issued by the Shiite leader Sadr before the crowds of protesters started to leave nearly two hours later.
"Revolution of reform, and rejection of injustice and corruption," Sadr wrote on Twitter, in support of the protesters.
Sadr's bloc won 73 seats in last year's election, making it the largest faction in the 329-seat parliament. But since the vote, talks to form a new government have stalled.
The protesters oppose the candidacy of Mohammed al-Sudani, a former minister and ex-provincial governor, who is the pro-Iran Coordination Framework's pick for premier.
The Coordination Framework draws lawmakers from former premier Nuri al-Maliki's party and the pro-Iran Fatah Alliance, the political arm of the Shiite-led former paramilitary group Hashed al-Shaabi.
Digital payments record 29% annual growth at March-end 2022: RBI data
The Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) digital payments index (DPI) rose to 349.30 as of March 2022, as against 304.06 in September 2021, thus reflecting the rapid adoption of digital payments in the country.
Launched in January 2021, the DPI index indicates the extent of digitisation of payments across the country.
“The RBI-DPI index has demonstrated significant growth representing the rapid adoption and deepening of digital payments across the country in recent years," the central bank said in a statement.
The RBI-DPI has been constructed with March 2018 as the base period, i.e. DPI score for March 2018 is set at 100.
In March 2019, the index stood at 153.47. And by September 2019 it rose to 173.49, followed by 207.94 in March 2020, 217.74 in September 2020, and 270.59 in March 2021.
RBI has said the index will be published on a semi-annual basis with a lag of 4 months.
The DPI index comprises five broad parameters that enable the measurement of deepening and penetration of digital payments in the country over different time periods. The parameters include payment enablers, with a weightage of 25 per cent in the index, followed by demand-side and supply-side payment infrastructure factors, with a weightage of 10 per cent each, payment performance, with 45 per cent weightage, and consumer centricity, with 5 per cent weightage. Each of the parameters has sub-parameters which, in turn, consist of various measurable indicators.
Among the digital modes of payments, the number of transactions using Real Time Gross Settlement (RTGS) increased by 30.5 per cent during 2021-22. In terms of value, RTGS transactions registered an increase of 21.8 per cent; transactions through the National Electronic Funds Transfer (NEFT) system also witnessed an increase of 30.6 per cent and 14.3 per cent in volume and value, respectively, reflective of the increase in large value corporate transactions, in line with rising economic activity, RBI’s annual report said.
Payment transactions carried out through credit cards increased by 27 per cent and 54.3 per cent in terms of volume and value, respectively and transactions through debit cards decreased by 1.9 per cent in terms of volume, though in terms of value, it increased by 10.4 per cent.
Board-level engagement in banks on climate risk inadequate: RBI survey
Banks in India have begun taking steps in the area of climate risk and sustainable finance, yet the Board-level engagement on this count is inadequate. In about a third of the banks, responsibility for overseeing initiatives related to climate risk and sustainability was yet to be assigned, according to a Reserve Bank of India (RBI) survey.
Furthermore, only a few banks have included climate risk/sustainability/environmental, social and governance (ESG) related Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) in the performance evaluation of their top management, RBI survey said.
The central bank undertook survey on Climate Risk and Sustainable Finance in January 2022, covering 12 public sector banks, 16 private sector banks and six foreign banks. The survey was carried out to assess the approach, level of preparedness and progress made by leading scheduled commercial banks in managing climate risk.
It provides useful insights and the feedback from this exercise will help in shaping the regulatory and supervisory approach of the RBI to climate risk and sustainable finance.
RBI’s discussion paper on climate finance suggested Regulated Entities (REs) may have a committee/sub-panel at the Board level comprising experts from sustainability and risk domain with the following responsibilities. This panel could guide climate-related policy, strategy, objective-setting, and performance monitoring. It could mandate processes to identify and manage climate-related and environmental risks and opportunities.
::SCIENCE AND TECH::
Russia tells International Space Station pull out less imminent
Russian space officials have informed U.S. counterparts that Moscow would like to keep flying its cosmonauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS) until their own orbital outpost is built and operational, a senior NASA official told Reuters.
aken together with remarks from a senior Russian space official published on Wednesday, the latest indications are that Russia is still at least six years away from ending an orbital collaboration with the United States that dates back more than two decades.
A schism in the ISS program seemed to be closer at hand on Tuesday, when Yuri Borisov, the newly appointed director-general of Russia's space agency Roscosmos, surprised NASA by announcing that Moscow intended to withdraw from the space station partnership "after 2024."
Kathy Lueders, NASA's space operations chief, said in an interview that Russian officials later on Tuesday told the U.S. space agency that Roscosmos wished to remain in the partnership as Russia works to get its planned orbital outpost, named ROSS, up and running.
"We're not getting any indication at any working level that anything's changed," Lueders told Reuters, adding that NASA's relations with Roscosmos remain "business as usual."
The space station, a science laboratory spanning the size of a football field and orbiting some 250 miles (400 km) above Earth, has been continuously occupied for more than two decades under a U.S.-Russian-led partnership that also includes Canada, Japan and 11 European countries.
It offers one of the last vestiges of cooperation between the United States and Russia, though its fate has been called into question since Russia invaded Ukraine in February, straining bilateral relations on a variety of fronts as the Biden administration imposed economic sanctions on Moscow.
Tony Finau wins 3M Open by three with late surge, Scott Piercy collapse
After reading he was the betting favorite for the 3M Open, Tony Finau felt the pressure surprisingly mount in his mind as he sought to extend the momentum he has built this summer.
Playing catch-up proved to be the right formula for his third PGA Tour victory.
Finau shot a 4-under 67 to win the 3M Open by three strokes Sunday, erasing a five-stroke deficit with 11 holes left as Scott Piercy tumbled out of the lead down the stretch at windy TPC Twin Cities.