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Important Current Affairs 19th February 2022

NATIONAL

Water taxi services between Mumbai and Belapur flagged off

• Union Minister of Ports, Shipping and Waterways & AYUSH, Sarbananda Sonowal virtually flagged off the ‘Most Awaited’ Water Taxi for citizens of Mumbai, Maharashtra. The Water Taxi services will commence from the Domestic Cruise Terminal (DCT) and will also connect nearby locations at Nerul, Belapur, Elephanta island and JNPT. The service promises a comfortable, stress-free journey, is time-saving and promotes eco-friendly transport.”

• The Ministry also informed that the newly constructed Belapur jetty, built at a cost of Rs. 8.37 crore was funded in the 50-50 model under the Sagarmala scheme of the Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways. “The new jetty will enable movement of vessels to locations like Bhaucha Dhakka, Mandwa, Elephanta and Karanja.

Caravan tourism kick-starts in Kerala with first park in Vagamon

• Kerala’s first Caravan park is all set to come up in Vagamon, a scenic hill station located in the Idukki district. The park, as part of the state governments new Caravan Tourism policy, would be thrown open to travellers. Caravan Tourism was introduced by the state Tourism department as a safe means for holidaying at a time when people are unable to step out or travel due to the outbreak of COVID-19.

• To meet the rising demands and preferences of tourists in the post-pandemic world, Kerala had announced a comprehensive, stakeholder-friendly Caravan Tourism Policy, promising the visitors safe, customized and closest-to-nature travel experience. Under the initiative, there will be two types of caravans. In one model, two guests shall be accommodated, while the other is for a family of four, department sources said.

India’s Largest Career Counselling Project Paramarsh Launched In Bikaner

• Minister of State for Culture & Parliamentary Affairs, Arjun Ram Meghwal has launched ‘Pramarsh 2022’, a mega career counselling workshop, for the students of the Bikaner District region in Rajasthan. More than one lakh students from thousands of private & government schools of Bikaner district and mainly from rural areas participated in this workshop. It is the first such incidence in India that more than 1 lakh students participated in Career Counselling in one Workshop.

• The “Pramarsh 2022” workshop is an extension of the effort to bridge the industry-academia gap and impart the knowledge about various choices available to the student, to help them make a more informed decision.

• The Workshop was organised jointly by The National Institute of Career Services (NICS), under the Ministry of Labour & Employment and Bengaluru-based educational start-up Edumilestones, with support from the Directorate of Education, Rajasthan.

IMPORTANT DAYS

World Pangolin Day 2022 : 19th February

• World Pangolin Day is celebrated on the “Third Saturday of February” every year. In 2022, the annual World Pangolin Day is being celebrated on 19 February 2022. It marks the 11th edition of the event. The day aims to raise awareness about these unique mammals and speed up conservation efforts. Pangolin numbers are rapidly declining in Asia and Africa.

AWARDS & RECOGNITION

IBA's 17th Annual Banking Technology Awards 2021

• Indian Banks’ Association (IBA) has announced the IBA’s 17th Annual Banking Technology Awards 2021. In total South Indian Bank has won 6 awards in the event. This year’s IBA Awards celebrating “Next Gen Banking” has recognized technologies and practices in the banking industry that have demonstrated a high degree of innovation over the past year.

Karnataka Bank bags awards at tech conference

• Karnataka Bank has bagged three awards at the 17th Annual Banking Technology Conference and Awards: 2020-21 Next-Gen Banking, instituted by Indian Banks’ Association (IBA). The bank has won the awards under categories: Best Technology Bank of the Year; Best Fintech Adoption; and Best Use of AI/ML & Data Analytics — all runner-ups.

• With this focus on technology and digital transformation, the bank endeavours to emerge as ‘Digital Bank of Future’ all the while retaining its core values and identity built on more than 98 years of purposeful banking history.

BOOKS & AUTHOR

Book titled “Dignity in a Digital Age: Making Tech Work for All of Us” authored by Ro Khanna

• A new book titled “Dignity in a Digital Age: Making Tech Work for All of Us” has authored by Ro Khanna released. The book highlights the effects of changing lifestyle patterns of Americans due to technological progress. It also mentioned about the digital divide i.e., unequal access to technology and revenue, as it is one of the most pressing issues faced by the United States. Ro Khanna is an Indian-American who is a US Congressman representing the California district that includes the Silicon Valley region.

BANKING AND ECONOMY

India's FY22 GDP Growth Seen At 8.8% Says SBI Ecowrap

• State Bank of India (SBI) Research Report, Ecowrap, has revised downwards the gross domestic product (GDP) growth rate of India for FY22 (2021-22) to 8.8 percent. Earlier this was estimated at 9.3 per cent. The report projects the GDP to grow at 5.8 per cent in the third quarter (Q3) of FY2021-2022 (October-December).

• The country’s economy expanded by 8.4 per cent in the second quarter of 2021-22, to cross pre-pandemic levels. However, the GDP growth in the July-September period was slower than the 20.1 per cent expansion in the previous quarter.

RBI allows NBFCs time till September 30 to comply with new NPA norms

• Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has extended the deadline for non-banking financial companies (NBFCs) to comply with new Non-Performing Assets (NPAs) classification norms (the norms are issued by RBI in November 2021) to September 2022 from the earlier deadline of March 2022. As per the ‘Prudential norms on Income Recognition, Asset Classification and Provisioning pertaining to Advances – Clarifications’, which was issued by RBI on November 15, 2021, the loan accounts that are classified as NPAs could be upgraded as ‘standard’ assets only if entire arrears of interest and principal are paid by the borrower.

• Currently, RBI has clarified that, the definition of ‘out of order’ as applicable to all loan products being offered as an OD facility, including those not meant for business purposes and/or which entail interest repayments as the only credits.

• The ‘90 days period’ for determination of the ‘out of order’ status of a Cash credit/Overdraft (CC/OD) account should be inclusive of the day for which the day-end process is being run.

JP Morgan is first bank to enter the metaverse with virtual lounge

• JPMorgan has become the world’s first bank to set up shop in the metaverse. The largest bank in the US has opened a lounge in the blockchain-based world Decentraland. Users can create their virtual avatars, build virtual spaces and roam in the lounge christened ‘Onyx Lounge’ after its suit of Ethereum-based services. The lounge also features a digital image of the bank’s CEO Jamie Dimon.

• Metaverse is a virtual universe where users can do multiple activities like socialising, shopping or even attending events through their avatar. Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) headsets are becoming more pocket-friendly, and both technologies have together contributed to a significantly enhanced user experience.

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