Daily Current Affairs - 22nd Jun 2020

Additional funds sought for Jal Jeevan Mission

  • Faced with a financing shortfall for the Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM), the Jal Shakti Ministry is pitching for additional funding of Rs. 82,000 crore from the 15th Finance Commission for the project to provide drinking water tap connections to every rural household by 2024. Only 18% of households are currently covered.
  • The Ministry also wants to control the flow of the Commission’s funds to panchayats for water and sanitation.
  • The Ministry stated that there had been a 45% shortfall in financing the JJM by both the Centre and the States in its first year of 2019-20. The planned Central share for the year was Rs. 20,798 crore, but actuals were only at Rs.12,000 crore. The share due from States was Rs.8,329 crore, but the shortfall was more than Rs.4,200 crore.

Annular solar eclipse with majestic Ring of Fire, witnessed in several parts of India

  • The country witnessed a rare celestial event, an annular solar eclipse on June 21. The annular ‘ring of fire’ solar eclipse, wherein the Sun appears like a ring of fire, is visible in different parts of the country. The solar eclipse took place on the summer solstice, which is the longest day in the Northern Hemisphere.
  • The rare celestial event occurs, when the Moon comes between the Sun and the Earth and the shadow falls on the surface of the Earth.

Cash prizes galore for World carrom challenge

  • The president of the International Carrom Federation (ICF), Josef Meyer of Switzerland, has announced a purse of Rs. 140,000 for the World carrom challenge to be contested online from June 25. The men’s and women’s champions will get Rs.30,000 and Rs.20,000 respectively. The runner-up and third position in the men’s event will get Rs.20,000 and Rs.15,000 respectively. It will be Rs.15,000 and Rs.10,000 for the second and third spots in the women’s event.
  • With India being a superpower in the game, and expected to sweep the honours.

COVID19 cases cross 87 lakhs globally; death toll rises to over 4.6 Lakh

  • Global confirmed COVID-19 cases have crossed 87 lakhs and the death toll rose to 4 lakh 61 thousand 206. According to Johns Hopkins University, 87 lakh 16 thousand 985 cases of novel coronavirus have been reported across the world.
  • The US has suffered the most from the pandemic, with 22 lakh 38 thousand 65 cases and one lakh 19 thousand 342 deaths. Brazil's total cases have surpassed 10-lakh, only second to the US case load. Other countries with over two lakh cases include Russia, India, Britain, Spain, Peru, Italy, Chile and Iran.

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh to attend Victory Parade in Russia

  • Defence Minister Rajnath Singh will pay a visit to Moscow to attend the Victory Parade on 24th of this month to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the victory in the Second World War. The Parade is organised to honour the heroism and sacrifices made by the Russian and other friendly people.
  • A Tri-Service 75- Member Indian Military Contingent has already reached Moscow to participate in the Victory Parade along with Russian contingent and other invited contingents.

DHFL Q4 loss widens to Rs.7,635 crore on fair value changes in loan portfolio

  • The net loss of scam-hit Dewan Housing Finance Corporation Ltd (DHFL) widened in the fourth quarter of FY20 to Rs.7,635 crore, against Rs.2,223 crore in the year-ago quarter. The net loss in the reporting quarter was mainly due to the net loss on fair value changes jumping about five-fold to Rs.12,403 crore (Rs.2,383 crore in the year ago quarter).
  • As of March-end 2020, the company’s housing and other loans portfolio declined 32 per cent year-on-year to stand at Rs.66,203 crore (Rs.97,978 crore).

Gopi Chand recommends Prannoy for Arjuna Award

  • Indian shuttler H.S. Prannoy has been recommended for the Arjuna award by chief National badminton coach P. Gopi Chand after the Badminton Association of India ignored him for a second successive year due to disciplinary issues.
  • BAI had recommended Satwiksairaj Rankireddy, Chirag Shetty and Sameer Verma for Arjuna award, leaving out Prannoy which prompted the shuttler to express his displeasure on Twitter.

HDFC Bank to raise Rs.50,000 crore via debt securities

  • HDFC Bank said its board has approved proposal to raise up to Rs.50,000 crore in the next twelve months by issuing various debt securities. The Board of Directors has approved the issue of perpetual debt instruments (part of additional tier I capital), tier II capital bonds and long term bonds (financing of infrastructure and affordable housing) up to a total amount of Rs.50,000 crore

Hyderabad firm gets DCGI nod for generic Remdesivir

  • Hetero, drug-maker with headquarters in Hyderabad has received approval from the Drug Controller-General of India (DCGI) to manufacture and sell a generic version of Gilead’s Remdesivir drug for the treatment of COVID-19 patients in the country. The company's generic version of Remdesivir will be marketed under the brand name 'Covifor' in India.
  • The drug has been granted approval by DCGI for the treatment of suspected or laboratory-confirmed cases of COVID-19 in adults and children, hospitalised with severe symptoms of the disease

MSP for MFP Scheme in 16 states hits a record-breaking high with procurement touching Rs 79.42 crore

  • The ongoing procurement of Minor Forest Produces under the Minimum Support Price for MFP Scheme in 16 states has hit a record-breaking high with the procurement touching Rs 79.42 crore. With this, the total procurement for the year, both government and private trade, has crossed more than Rs 2000 crore.
  • Among the States, Chhattisgarh has taken the lead by procuring 20,270 Metric tonnes of Minor Forest Produces worth Rs 52.80 crore. Chhattisgarh has emerged as a Champion State for its commendable efforts.

MSP for MFP Scheme in 16 states hits a record-breaking high with procurement touching Rs 79.42 crore

  • The ongoing procurement of Minor Forest Produces under the Minimum Support Price for MFP Scheme in 16 states has hit a record-breaking high with the procurement touching Rs 79.42 crore. With this, the total procurement for the year, both government and private trade, has crossed more than Rs 2000 crore.
  • Among the States, Chhattisgarh has taken the lead by procuring 20,270 Metric tonnes of Minor Forest Produces worth Rs 52.80 crore. Chhattisgarh has emerged as a Champion State for its commendable efforts.

Pension fund FDI cap proposed at 49%

  • The Union finance ministry has proposed limitations on foreign investment in pension funds while explicitly suggesting additional checks on Chinese investment. The Draft Pension Fund (Foreign Investment) Rules, 2020, stated that government approval will be required for investments from bordering countries “including China”.
  • Foreign investment in pension funds is governed by the Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority and is capped at 49% via the automatic route .
  • This move comes amid heightened tensions between the Indian and Chinese armies at the Galwan Valley and other points in Ladakh. According to experts the latest proposal is aimed at preventing hostile investments in a sensitive and socially important financial instrument.

Rajinder Goel passes away

  • Rajinder Goel, the highest wicket-taker in the history of the Ranji Trophy with 637 strikes, has passed away at the age of 77 after a prolonged illness. In all, the left-arm spinner took 750 wickets - most of them for Haryana - in 157 first-class matches from 1958-59 to 1984-85. He bagged an incredible 53 five-fors and 17 ten-wicket match hauls.
  • In 2017, Goel received the CK Nayudu Lifetime Achievement Award. He is one of the four non-Test players to have got the BCCI's Lifetime Achievement Award.

Saudi Arabia to lift nationwide curfew, resume economic activities from June 22

  • Saudi Arabia is lifting a nationwide curfew and resuming all economic and commercial activities from June 22. However, Umrah and international travel will continue to remain suspended for now. Gathering of more than 50 people are not allowed. People have also been advised to wear masks at public places.
  • Saudi Arabia has also announced the opening of all mosques in Makkah from June 22. Due to the current Covid-19 situation in the country, mosques in Makkah had been closed for nearly three months.

SBI records 3-fold jump in frauds

  • The State Bank of India (SBI) reported 3.60 times jump in total frauds at Rs.44,622 crore in FY20 against Rs.12,387 crore in the preceding financial year, according to its annual report. The number of cases in which the aforementioned frauds occurred rose 2.66 times to 6,964 cases against 2,616 case in the preceding year, it added.

With USD 157.4 billion, India becomes 12th largest holder of US govt securities at April end

  • India became the 12th largest holder of US government securities at the end of April 2020, with holding worth USD 157.4 billion. The data from the US Treasury Department showed that after significantly reducing the exposure in March to USD 156.5 billion, India marginally hiked the holding by USD 0.9 billion to USD 157.4 billion the next month.
  • At the end of April, Japan remained the country with the maximum exposure at USD 1.27 trillion, followed by China at USD 1.1 trillion and the UK at USD 368.5 billion.