Current Affairs for BANK, IBPS Exams - 29 April 2022

Bank Exam Current Affairs

Current Affairs for BANK, IBPS Exams - 29 April 2022


Very few recombinant variants found in India, says central body INSACOG

  • Very few recombinant variants of the coronavirus have been found in India and none of those have shown increased transmission, nor were they associated with severe disease or hospitalisation, according to a report of the Indian SARS-COV-2 Genomics Consortium (INSACOG).
  • A recombinant is a variant created by the combination of genetic material from two different variants of the virus, according to the United States’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “Based on genome sequencing analysis, very few recombinant variants have been discovered in India. So far, none showed either increased transmission (locally or otherwise) or associated with severe disease or hospitalization,” said the report, suggesting that even if there is a new wave, it is unlikely to be as devastating as the one India registered in April last year.
  • The consortium, however, stated that it is monitoring the mutations in the virus through 52 laboratories in its network.
  • “Incidences of suspected recombinants and the possible public health relevance are being closely monitored,” said the researchers in the report.
  • The report that has been uploaded by INSACOG after nearly three months, is based on 240,570 samples sequenced till April 8. Of the 118,569 variants of concern or interest, 44,100 belong to Omicron variant, 43,925 are of Delta, 4266 of Alpha, 5,607 of B.1.617.1 and B.1.617.3, 20,448 of AY series, 220 of Beta, and 3 of Gamma so far.
  • Recent reports suggest some labs in New Delhi have detected a new Omicron family variant, the BA.2.12.1, triggering concerns that it could be linked to the rise in cases being recorded in Delhi.
  • Experts say that panic over these detections may be premature, and while there are Omicron variant sub-lineages with growth advantage over their predecessor, this is largely expected and represents a typical evolutionary trajectory. “The mutations are common in an RNA virus and not all mutations are of serious nature. Largely in India it is still BA.2 and the rest are still being monitored and don’t seem to have caused serious disease, higher hospitalisations or death. The changes that we are seeing are not anything major,” said an INSACOG member on condition of anonymity, reiterating that there was no need to panic.

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US reports first human H5 bird flu case in Colorado resident

  • The United States reported its first known case of H5 bird flu in a human with the virus appearing in a person in Colorado.
  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said the person tested positive for avian influenza A(H5) virus and was involved in the culling of poultry presumed to have had H5N1 bird flu. However, the case does not change the human risk assessment for the general public, which the CDC considers to be low.
  • This is the second human case associated with this specific group of H5 viruses across the globe. The first one was reported in Britain in December 2021.
  • The CDC said the Colorado patient reported fatigue for a few days as the only symptom and has since recovered. The patient was being treated under isolation and with the influenza antiviral drug oseltamivir.
  • H5N1 viruses have been found in US commercial and backyard birds in 29 states and in wild birds in 34 states since the CDC started monitoring for illness among people exposed to the viruses in late 2021.
  • "The CDC has tracked the health of more than 2,500 people with exposure to H5N1 virus-infected birds and this is the only case that has been found to date. Other people involved in the culling operation in Colorado have tested negative for H5 virus infection, but they are being retested out of an abundance of caution," it said.


'Dollar is king' mantra rings across currencies as yen drops to 20-year low

  • The ascendant US dollar headed for its best month in a decade, as renewed yen selling cemented the greenback’s strength against major peers.
  • A Bloomberg gauge of the greenback climbed to its highest level in nearly two years and has risen 4.5 per cent this month, set for its best performance since May 2012. The yen fell further against the dollar, tumbling to a two-decade low, after the Bank of Japan (BOJ) kept interest rates at rock-bottom levels and defended its easy monetary policy. That contrasts with a Federal Reserve that has signalled aggressive rate hikes to combat inflation.
  • “It’s clearly a ‘US dollar is king’ world,” said Mingze Wu, a currency trader in Singapore at StoneX Group. “The dollar will continue to strengthen globally as long as rest of the world does not keep up in matching interest-rate hikes.”
  • The US currency has seen broad gains against Group-of-10 counterparts this week, hitting a five-year high versus the euro and the strongest level since July 2020 against the pound, ahead of next week’s Fed meeting. Policy makers are expected to deliver a 50-basis-point rate increase, following a quarter-point hike in March.

NABARD to raise Rs 3.5 trn in FY23; bond issuance seen at Rs 45,000 cr

  • The National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (Nabard) is planning to raise Rs 3.5-3.6 trillion, including Rs 45,000 crore through long-term bonds, in FY23.
  • The balance will be from the shortfall in priority sector lending (PSL) and short-term instruments. G R Chintala, chairman, Nabard, said the scale of fund raising in FY23 was similar to what the institution did in FY22.
  • “While the average costs of funds came down sharply to 4.86 per cent in FY22 from 5.24 per cent in FY21, this year (FY23) we do not know how it is going to be,” he said.
  • The yield on long-term paper has hardened in markets in tandem with the change in the rate cycle and inflation. Outstanding long-term borrowing rose to Rs 2.8 trillion in March 2022 from Rs 2.18 trillion in March 2021.
  • Short-term borrowing declined from Rs 2.41 trillion in March 2021 to Rs 1.14 trillion in March 2022.
  • But PSL shortfall deposits swelled from Rs 99,000 crore in March 2021 to Rs 2.52 trillion in March 2022.
  • Banks have to keep amounts equivalent to their shortfall in PSL targets in the Rural Infrastructure Development (RIDF) with institutions like Nabard.

::Science and tech::

SpaceX launches 4 astronauts for NASA after private flight

  • It’s the first NASA crew comprised equally men and women, including the first Black woman making a long-term spaceflight, Jessica Watkins. “This is one of the most diversified, I think, crews that we’ve had in a really, really long time," said NASA's space operations mission chief Kathy Lueders.
  • SpaceX launched four astronauts to the International Space Station for NASA on , less than two days after completing a flight chartered by millionaires.
  • It’s the first NASA crew comprised equally men and women, including the first Black woman making a long-term spaceflight, Jessica Watkins.
  • “This is one of the most diversified, I think, crews that we’ve had in a really, really long time," said NASA's space operations mission chief Kathy Lueders.
  • The astronauts arrived at the space station Wednesday night, just 16 hours after a predawn liftoff from Kennedy Space Center that thrilled spectators.
  • “Anyone who saw it realized what a beautiful launch it was,” Lueders told reporters. After an express flight comparable to traveling from New York to Singapore, the crew will move in for a five-month stay.
  • SpaceX has now launched five crews for NASA and two private trips in just under two years. Elon Musk's company is having an especially busy few weeks: It just finished taking three businessmen to and from the space station as NASA’s first private guests.
  • Both SpaceX and NASA officials stressed they're taking it one step at a time to ensure safety. The private mission that concluded Monday encountered no major problems, they said, although high wind delayed the splashdown for a week.
  • SpaceX Launch Control wished the astronauts good luck and Godspeed moments before the Falcon rocket blasted off with the capsule, named Freedom by its crew.
  • “Our heartfelt thank you to every one of you that made this possible. Now let Falcon roar and Freedom ring,” radioed NASA astronaut Kjell Lindgren, the commander. Minutes later, their recycled booster had landed on an ocean platform and their capsule was safely orbiting Earth. “It was a great ride,” he said.


Liverpool boss Klopp signs new contract until 2026

  • Liverpool manager JuergenKlopp has signed a two-year contract extension that will keep him at Anfield until 2026, the Premier League club said.
  • Klopp, whose previous contract was due to expire in 2024, has helped Liverpool win the Champions League and Premier League titles since arriving on Merseyside in 2015.
  • "There is a freshness about us as a club still and this energises me," Klopp said in a statement. "There are so many words I could use to describe how I am feeling about this news… delighted, humbled, blessed, privileged and excited would be a start.
  • "For as long as I have been here, our owners have been unbelievably committed and energetic about this club and it is clear that right now this applies to our future as much as I’ve ever known.
  • "There is just so much to love about this place. I knew that before I came here, I got to know it even better after I arrived and now I know it more than ever before."

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