maggubhai

Arth Vol 24

ARTH  Vol 24 (11th JULY-20TH JULY)

1. GLOBAL MULTIDIMENSIONAL POVERTY INDEX (MPI) 2020 Released

The 2020 global Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) was recently released by the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). The data of the index is based on the study of poverty trends in 75 countries.

Keypoints-

  • Around 1.3 billion people are still living in multidimensional poverty. More than 80% are deprived in at least five of the ten indicators used to measure health, education and living standards in the global MPI.
  • Children show higher rates of multidimensional poverty.Half of multidimensionally poor people (644 million) are children under age 18. One in three children is poor compared with one in six adults.
  • About 84 % of multidimensionally poor people live in Sub-Saharan Africa (558 million) and South Asia (530 million).
  • Four countries halved their MPI value. India (2005/06–2015/16) did so nationally and among children and had the biggest reduction in the number of multidimensionally poor people (over 270 million). 
  • 65 out of 75 countries studied significantly reduced their multidimensional poverty levels between 2000 and 2019.
  • 67% of multidimensionally poor people are in middle-income countries.
  • The index emphasises on measuring and monitoring progress under the goals to reach ‘zero poverty by 2030-Goal 1 of the SDGs’.

MPI

The global Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) is an international measure of acute multidimensional poverty covering over 100 developing countries. It complements traditional monetary poverty measures by capturing the acute deprivations in health, education, and living standards that a person faces simultaneously.

2. BSNL, MTNL get sovereign guarantee for ₹15,000 crore bonds

State-owned Bharat Sanchar Nigam (BSNL) and Mahanagar Telephone Nigam (MTNL) have received a sovereign guarantee from the Department of Economic Affairs (DEA), Ministry of Finance, to issue long-term bonds of ₹15,000 crore.

Keypoints-

  • The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) had sought the sovereign guarantee of ₹15,000 crore (₹8,500 crore to BSNL and ₹6,500 crore to MTNL) for restructuring their existing debts and launching 4G services.
  • The PSUs will have to pay one per cent guarantee fee to the Government (fee charged for domestic borrowings).
  • The rate of guarantee fee would be applicable for the outstanding amount at the beginning of the year.
  • The Government will cover the principal amount and the normal interest, while DoT will review proper utilisation of guaranteed funds and also ensure that there is no risk of default.
  • In case of default, the lending agency will invoke the guarantee within 60 days.

3. Elon Musk becomes richer than Warren Buffett on Billionaires Ranking

According to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, the fortune of Tesla Inc.’s chief executive officer rose $6.1 billion. Musk is now the world’s seventh-richest person.

4. Govt announces modalities for NDRF financial contributions

The government has come out with the modalities for contributions to the National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF), through which people get financial aid and other help during natural calamities and other crises. The announcement came amid the coronavirus pandemic and floods in different parts of the country.The modalities are for receipt of contributions and grants from any person or institution for the purpose of disaster management in the National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF) as per Section 46(1)(b) of the Disaster Management (DM) Act, 2005.

5. Government sets up single-window clearance mechanism to expedite aviation sector proposals

According to a ministry order, the cell was also set up following an order from the Department of Promotion of Industry and Trade (DPIT). According to the MoCA order, the 10-member ICC will be headed by Amber Dubey, joint secretary in the aviation ministry.

Keypoints-

  • The ICC has been mandated to serve as a single-window system for attracting investment and its terms of reference include accelerating investments, bringing projects to the Empowered Group of Secretaries (EGoS) which require special incentive, policy interventions, expeditious clearances and systematic references, among others.
  • The ICC will also identify projects and report to EGoS and maintain active contacts with investors and work with the states, duly adopting ways of on-boarding the states to make them a part of the institutional set-up.

6. BHARAT Bond ETF’s second series fetches ₹10,000 cr

The Finance Ministry claimed that the second series of Bharat Bond ETF has oversubscribed by three times on the last day of the issue, estimated collection around ₹10,000 crore with wide participation across categories. With second series, the investors have the option in participating in four maturity series: 2023, 2025, 2030 and 2031. ETFs maturing in 2023 and 2030 were launched last December while 2025 (5 years) and 2031 (11 years) series have been launched now. The ETF is a basket of debt papers of Central Public Sector Undertakings, Central Public Sector Enterprises , Central Public Financial Institutions or bonds of any other government organisation. As of now, all bonds are ‘AAA’ rated, which implies highest security.

7. MCX to launch new trading software from July 27

The Multi Commodity Exchange (MCX) has announced that the new trading software.The upgraded software comes with the feature to accept negative bids. In order to familiarise traders and members with the the new software, MCX had conducted mock trading from July 11-18.

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8. WTO to set up dispute panels against India on Japan, Taiwan’s request

The World Trade Organization (WTO) is set to establish two more dispute settlement panels, at the requests of Japan and Chinese Taipei, against import duties on mobile phones and some other ICT products imposed by India. The Dispute Settlement Body of the WTO will consider second requests for panels made by both countries in its meeting.

9. Income Tax Dept, Ministry join hands to check and classify MSMEs

In order to identify entities eligible to be categorised as Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), the Central Board of Direct Taxes signed memorandum of understanding with MSME Ministry. CBDT is the apex policy making for Corporate Tax and Personal Income Tax. The MoU will facilitate seamless sharing of certain Income-tax Return (ITR) related information by the Income Tax Department to MSME Ministry.  According to this notification, the definition of micro manufacturing and services units was increased to ₹ 1 crore of investment and ₹5 crore of turnover. The limit of small unit was increased to ₹10 crore of investment and ₹50 crore of turnover. Similarly, the limit of medium unit was increased to ₹20 crore of investment and ₹100 crore of turnover which was later revised to ₹50 crore of investment and ₹250 crore of turnover.

10. IIT Madras launches programme to motivate UG students to take up research

Indian Institute of Technology Madras has launched IITM Young Research Fellow, a year-long programme to motivate undergraduate students to pursue a career path in research and application of deeper learning. The IITM Young Research Fellow (YRF) programme will be open to third year undergraduate and dual degree students.  According to IITM, this will be a year-long programme and up to 20 fellowships are being planned to be awarded in the first year.

11. NFRA constitutes technical advisory committee

The audit regulator, National Financial Reporting Authority (NFRA), has constituted a Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) under the Chairmanship of R Narayanaswamy, Professor, Indian Institute of Management, Bengaluru. The TAC, which comprises seven members, including the Chairman, would, among other things, aid and advise the Executive Body of the NFRA on issues related to the drafts of accounting standards and auditing standards. It will also provide inputs from the perspectives of users, preparers and auditors of financial statements.

Keypoints-

  • The terms of reference of TAC include advise on development of measures of audit quality; advise on suitable methods for promoting awareness

(a) relating to compliance with accounting and auditing standards and

(b) of the role of the NFRA in protecting investors through independent auditor regulation.

12. Great Learning, IIT Madras launch program in IoT, cloud and blockchain

EdTech company Great Learning and the Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IIT Madras) have together launched an Advanced Certification Program in Software Engineering for the Internet of Things (IoT), Cloud and Blockchain. This nine-month long online programme will be co-developed and co-delivered by faculty and industry experts from IIT-Madras and Great Learning. The programme offers 300 hours of online video learning sessions, live learning sessions, and a series of practical projects in cloud computing, blockchain and IoT. It focuses on making current and aspiring software developers job-ready by teaching them the latest technologies.

13. Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute adjudged the best research institute under ICAR

The Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI) has been adjudged as the best research institute of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR). CMFRI won the Sardar Patel Outstanding ICAR institutions award, the highest award of the ICAR with a cash prize of ₹10 lakh, in the category of the large institutions.

14. Centre issues norms for ₹1-lakh crore Agri Infra Fund scheme

The Centre has issued guidelines for financing under the recently announced ₹1-lakh crore Agriculture Infrastructure Fund (AIF) scheme, that seeks to facilitate creation and strengthening of post-harvest management and marketing infrastructure across the country.

Keypoints-

  • Under the scheme, ₹1-lakh crore will be provided as loan by banks and financial institutions to farmers, Farmer Producer Organisations (FPOs), Primary Agriculture Co-operative Societies, agri-entrepreneurs, start-ups, and marketing co-operatives.
  • The scheme will be operational from the current financial year till 2029-30. Disbursements will be made in the first four years — ₹10,000 crore in the current fiscal, and ₹30,000 crore each over the next three years.
  • The moratorium for repayment under this scheme may vary from six month to two years.
  • All loans under this financing facility will have an interest subvention of 3 per cent per annum up to a limit of ₹2 crore.
  • This subvention will be available for a maximum period of seven years. For loans above ₹2 crore, the subvention will be limited to ₹2 crore.
  • A Credit Guarantee coverage will be available for eligible borrowers from this financing facility under the Credit Guarantee Fund Trust for Micro and Small Enterprises for loans up to ₹2 crore. The fee for this coverage will be paid by the government.
  • Tentatively six states — Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and West Bengal, are being allocated over half of this ₹1-lakh crore fund. The state-wise allocation has been worked out on the basis of the total value of agriculture and allied sectors of the states.
  • The Agri Infra Fund will be managed and monitored through an online MIS platform, and 24 per cent of the total grant-in-aid under the scheme should be utilised for SC/ST entrepreneurs.

15. Odisha partners with Coursera to upskill 50,000 unemployed youth

The Odisha Skills Development Authority has partnered with online learning platform Coursera to train 50,000 unemployed youth during the Covid-19 crisis. Launched on the World Youth Skills Day, the partnership is part of the global rollout of Coursera’s Workforce Recovery Initiative, where any state and country can provide unemployed workers with free access to online learning.

Keypoints-

  • The programme aims to build in-demand skills like data science, cloud computing, and the Internet of Things. These courses will also offer professional certificates like the Google IT Support Professional Certificate, designed to train people with no tech background for high-demand jobs.
  • The workforce initiative is part of the Coursera for Government offering launched in 2017 to equip government employees and citizens with in-demand skills.
  • With this launch, Odisha joins many US states and countries around the world that are using Coursera to offer job-relevant online learning to unemployed workers.

16. Actual inflation 90 bps higher than imputed inflation of NSO: SBI’s Ecowrap

The actual headline inflation for June 2020 is almost 90 basis points higher at 6.98 per cent than the imputed inflation of the National Statistical Organisation (NSO), going by the State Bank of India-computed COVID Consumer Price Index (CPI).

Keypoints-

  • SBI’s Economic Research Department (ERD), in its report titled ‘Ecowrap’, observed that the Covid-19 pandemic has also introduced an outlet bias, as a large share of total spending moved online that is charging a mark-up over offline prices.
  • The ERD has assessed that the proportion of non-discretionary to discretionary card spends that was 65:35 in the pre-lockdown period is now approximately 80:20, with a pronounced downward bias for discretionary spends.

17. ARCs asked to frame fair practices code for transparency in sale of secured assets

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has asked asset reconstruction companies (ARCs) to put in place a Fair Practices Code (FPC) to ensure transparency in the process of sale of secured assets, and non-harassment of debtors. The Code requires ARCs to follow transparent and non-discriminatory practices in acquisition of assets. The companies need to maintain arm’s length distance in the pursuit of transparency.

Keypoints-

  • In order to enhance transparency, the Code requires invitation for participation in auction to be publicly solicited by ARCs. This is to enable participation of as many prospective buyers as possible.
  • As per the Code, the terms and conditions of such sale may be decided in wider consultation with investors in the security receipts as per SARFAESI (The Securitisation and Reconstruction of Financial Assets and Enforcement of Securities Interest Act), 2002.
  • The RBI said ARCs may follow the spirit of Section 29A of Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC), 2016 in dealing with prospective buyers. The section specifically precludes specified classes of persons from participating in the resolution process.
  • ARCs have to release all securities on repayment of dues or on realisation of the outstanding amount of loan, subject to any legitimate right or lien for any other claim they may have against the borrower.

ARC

An Asset Reconstruction Company is a specialized financial institution that buys the NPAs or bad assets from banks and financial institutions so that the latter can clean up their balance sheets. Or in other words, ARCs are in the business of buying bad loans from banks. ARCs clean up the balance sheets of banks when the latter sells these to the ARCs. This helps banks to concentrate in normal banking activities. Banks rather than going after the defaulters by wasting their time and effort, can sell the bad assets to the ARCs at a mutually agreed value. The Securitization and Reconstruction of Financial Assets and Enforcement of Security Interest (SARFAESI) Act, 2002; enacted in December 2002 provides the legal basis for the setting up ARCs in India. Section 2 (1) of the Act explains the meaning of Asset Securitization. Similarly, ARCs are also elaborated under Section 3 of the of the Act.

19. FSSAI to scale up `Eat Right Campus’ programme over next two years

The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) is gearing up to scale up its ‘Eat Right Campus’ programme over the next two years, with the aim of promoting healthy and safe food across educational institutes, corporate offices, hospitals and government offices.

Keypoints-

  • Eat Right Campus certificates are given to corporate offices and educational institutes after conducting third-party audits to check if they meet the parameters of the programme.
  • The parameters include food safety measures, steps to ensure provision of healthy and environmentally sustainable food, and building awareness among the individuals in the campus to make the right food choices.
  • Once enrolled in the programme, a campus or office premise undergoes a self-assessment or third-party audit by an FSSAI-empanelled agency, to identify gaps and areas of improvement based on a check-list. The campus administration is then given some time to address the gaps which may include training of food safety supervisors and on safe food practices.
  • Once these improvements are made, the campus undergoes a third-party audit and is given a rating on a five-star scale.
  • If a campus scores three or more stars, it is certified as an Eat Right Campus, and the certification is valid for two years.

20. Fighting Covid-19: IIT Alumni Council launches Engineered Biomolecule Mega Incubator, to invest ₹500 crore in phase 1

The IIT Alumni Council has launched Engineered Biomolecule Mega Incubator (EBMI), an initiative to align start-ups in India’s offensive against the Covid-19 pandemic. The council will make a direct investment of ₹500 crore in phase 1 of EBMI, and an ecosystem investment upwards of ₹10,000 crore. The National Capital Region will be developed as a global hub for biologics manufacturing. Engineered biomolecules play a key role in molecular diagnostics, genetic testing as well as biotherapeutics, besides a host of applications in sectors from water treatment and agriculture to advanced genetics. The IIT Alumni Council is the largest global body of alumni, students and faculty, spread across all the 23 IITs and partnering TieNet.

21. CBSE, IBM introduces AI curriculum in 200 schools

The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) announced that the integration of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the high school curriculum for Grade XI and XII for the current academic year (2020 – 2021) has been developed in collaboration with IBM.

Keypoints-

  • The curriculum is part of CBSE’s Social Empowerment through Work Education and Action (SEWA) program. The initiative is aimed at helping students to learn AI skills for social good.
  • The AI curriculum will be introduced in approximately 200 schools across 13 States in India including Delhi-NCR, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Orissa, Kerala, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Punjab.
  • The curriculum is built around a framework focused on base strands of knowledge (basics, history, applications), skills (design thinking, computational thinking, data fluency, critical thinking) and values (ethical decision making, bias) in AI.
  • IBM has co-developed the curriculum with Australia’s Macquarie University and Indian implementation partners – Learning Links Foundation and 1M1B to meet CBSE requirements.
  • The IBM AI Curriculum was launched in collaboration with CBSE. As part of this curriculum, AI skill training was provided to 5,000 Grade XI students and 1,000 teachers across India.

22. BSE, IIT Alumni Council ink pact for listing of start-ups

The BSE has signed a memorandum of understanding with IIT Alumni Council to encourage listing of start-ups and develop ‘high investor depth’ in its start-ups platform. The alliance will ensure entity transparency, improvement in governance, market discovery of share price, provide liquidity for private equity investors and enable retail participation. The alliance will help reduce listing time, complexity and cost for SMEs and start-ups by streamlining, automating and standardising the documentation processes. Besides, Category-I merchant banks will be empanelled to help automate the listing process to reduce time and cost of listing on the start-up platform of the exchange.

23. NHB provides ₹25,000 crore to housing fin cos as refinance assistance in last 4 months

The National Housing Bank (NHB) has in the last four months (March to June 30, 2020) provided a total refinance assistance of over ₹25,000 crore to the housing finance companies (HFCs) alone. Total refinance disbursements during July-June 2020 grew 24 per cent year -on-year to touch ₹31,250 crore under its various refinance schemes.Under the Aatmanirbhar Package announced by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, the NHB was provided a Special Liquidity Facility of ₹10,000 crore by the Reserve Bank of India to address the pandemic related liquidity issues of housing finance sector.

24. India will revisit existing business models to propel growth: NITI Aayog tells UN

The NITI Aayog, in its second Voluntary National Review (VNR) at the United Nations titled ‘Decade of Action: Taking SDGs from Global to Local’,said that India will review its existing business models to propel growth. The report said maintaining a high growth trajectory will be difficult due to the economic blows caused by Covid-19.The report said the pandemic has thrown up several challenges and these will be addressed in the shortest possible time. India is a signatory to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and participates in the international review. The VNRs are presented at the UN’s High-Level Political Forums (HLPF). India had submitted its first VNR in 2017, one year after the system came into being.

25. HRD Ministry releases eight-step guideline, Pragyata, for online education

The Human Resource Development (HRD) Minister released eight-step digital education guidelines, Pragyata. Pragyata, meant for faculty and students guidelines cover plan-review-arrange-guide-yak(talk)-assign-track-appreciate steps for planning and implementation of digital education with examples.

Keypoints-

  • They have been developed from the perspective of learners, with a focus on online/blended/digital education for students who are presently at home due to lockdown and provide a roadmap or pointers for carrying forward online education to enhance the quality of education.
  • These guidelines place a cap on duration and number of online sessions in a day for students from Class I to XII.
  • It recommends that for students from class I to VII, online synchronous learning may be undertaken for not more than two sessions of 30-45 minutes each on the days the States/UTs decide to have online classes for primary sections.
  • For class IX to XII, online synchronous learning may be undertaken for not more than four sessions of 30-45 minutes each on the days as decided by States/UTs.

26. Nabard helps digitise SHG records in Karnataka

The National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (Nabard) in Karnataka has disbursed ₹2.51 crore of grant assistance to Self Help Groups (SHGs) for promotion, skill development and digitisation of records. The project E-Shakti for digitisation of SHGs is under implementation in seven districts. So far, 1.17 lakh SHGs are digitised. The cumulative grant assistance of ₹6.47 crore was released for SHG promotion.

27. Agri Ministry issues new guidelines for new Farmer Producer Organisations

As per the new guidelines issued by the Agriculture Ministry, the Farmer Producer Organisations (FPOs), which were formed under a recently-announced scheme, will be given a maximum of ₹18 lakh in the formative years, apart from an equity grant of up to ₹15 lakh and a kitty for meeting administrative expenses, including salaries of key personnel.

Keypoints-

  • Each FPO, barring those in hilly areas and North-Eastern States, should have a minimum of 300 farmer members and 50 per cent of them should be small, marginal and landless tenant farmers with maximum possible representation from women farmers.
  • The FPOs founded in hilly areas and North-Eastern States, on the other hand, can have a minimum of 100 members.
  • The government has also made provisions from financially supporting CEOs and accountants appointed by these FPOs for a maximum of three years.

28. 2% interest subvention on Shishu loans operationalised via SIDBI

The Department of Financial Services (DFS) said that SIDBI will provide funds to Member Lending Institutions (MLIs) upfront under the government-approved 2 per cent interest subvention for SHISHU loans borrowers under the Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana outstanding as on March 31, for a period of 12 months to eligible borrowers.

PMMY

Launch Date- 2015

Features-

  • These loans are classified as MUDRA loans under PMMY. These loans are given by Commercial Banks, RRBs, Small Finance Banks, MFIs and NBFCs.

Maximum Loan Amount: Rs. 10 lakh

Collateral: Not required

Age Criteria: Minimum 18 years and Maximum 65 years

Repayment Tenure: Up to 5 years 

  • Types of Schemes under Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana – Loan amount offered- PM Mudra loan scheme has three categories under which loans are disbursed:

Shishu – For loan amount up to Rs. 50,000

Kishor -For loan amount from Rs. 50,001- Rs 5 lakh

Tarun – For loan amount more than 5 lakhs and up to Rs 10 lakh

29. Ficci survey estimates FY21 GDP growth to be in negative territory
Industry body Ficci said its Economic Outlook Survey has projected the country’s annual median GDP growth for 2020-21 at (-) 4.5 per cent. With the rapid spread of COVID-19 pandemic manifesting into an economic and healthcare crisis globally, the latest forecast marks a sharp downward revision from the growth estimate of 5.5 per cent reported in the January 2020 survey. As per the survey, the quarterly median forecasts indicate GDP growth to contract by (-) 14.2 per cent in the first quarter of 2020-21, with a minimum estimate of (-) 25 per cent and a maximum estimate of (-) 7.4 per cent.

30. U.S. remains India’s top trading partner in 2019-20

According to the data of the commerce ministry, in 2019-20, the bilateral trade between the US and India stood at USD 88.75 billion as against USD 87.96 billion in 2018-19. The US remained India’s top trading partner for the second consecutive fiscal in 2019-20, which shows increasing economic ties between the two countries. The US is one of the few countries with which India has a trade surplus. The trade gap between the countries has increased to USD 17.42 billion in 2019-20 from USD 16.86 billion in 2018-19. In 2018-19, the US first surpassed China to become India’s top trading partner.

31. India’s population may peak by 2047

When this century ends, India may no longer be a country of a billion, says a projection that appears in the online edition of the Lancet. At the current rate of growth, India’s population is likely to peak by 2047 at about 1.61 billion and then decline to 1.03 billion by 2100.  This scenario will lead to a sharper reduction in the Total Fertility Rate, a metric that shows on average how many children a women must have to keep replenishing population. A TFR lower than 2.1, it is said, leads to a decline in a country’s population. Seen this way, they argue, world population is expected to peak by 2061 at 9.73 billion and by 2100 reach 8.79 billion.India will, however, remain the most populous country. The five largest countries in 2100 (are projected) to be India, Nigeria, China, the U.S. and Pakistan.

32.  India’s maternal mortality ratio dips to 113 in 2016-18, Assam has highest and Kerala lowest

According to the Sample Registration System’s (SRS) estimate released by the Registrar General of India India’s maternal mortality ratio (MMR) has dropped by 7.4 per cent in 2016-18, but it is still almost double the Sustainable Development Goal target set by the World Health Organization (WHO). India’s MMR in 2016-18 has been 113, which was 122 in 2015-17. Maternal mortality ratio is the number of maternal deaths per 1,00,000 live births. Since it is considered rare, deaths of three years are pooled together to get an estimate.Also, since maternal deaths are mostly preventable, a high number of maternal deaths indicate inequities in accessing quality healthcare.WHO’s Sustainable Development Goal is to reduce the global MMR to less than 70 by 2030. 

33. NITI Aayog’s Atal Innovation Mission launches ATL App Development Module for school students nationwide

In a major step towards revving up the Indian Mobile App Development innovation ecosystem,in line with the clarion call for Aatmanirbhar initiatives, NITI Aayog’s Atal Innovation Mission (AIM) today launched the ATL App Development Module’ for school children all across the country. The ATL App Development modules have been launched in collaboration with Indian homegrown startup Plezmo with an aim to hone the skills of school students and transforming them from App users to App makers in the times to come under AIMs flagship Atal Tinkering Labs initiative. The ATL App Development module is an online course is completely Free. Through 6 project-based learning modules and online mentoring sessions, young innovators can learn to build mobile Apps in various Indian languages and showcase their talent.

38. Google to invest $10 billion in India

Google  said that it plans to invest $10 billion in India over next five to seven years as the search giant looks to help accelerate adoption of digital services in the key overseas market. Sundar Pichai,  chief executive of Google, unveiled Google for India Digitization Fund through which the company will be making investments in the country.

Keypoints-

  • Investments will focus on four areas: First, enabling affordable access and information for every Indian in their own language, whether it’s Hindi, Tamil, Punjabi or any other.

Second, building new products and services that are deeply relevant to India’s unique needs.

Third, empowering businesses as they continue to embark on their digital transformation.

Fourth, leveraging technology and AI for social good, in areas like health, education and agriculture

39. Nabard to organise ‘Digital Choupal’ on its 39th foundation day

The National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (Nabard) said it will conduct its first ‘Digital Choupal’ with participants of various projects initiated by it, to share their experiences about the projects they are involved in. Nabard is organising Digital Choupal on July 13 to mark its 39th foundation day. The development finance institution, through an array of projects implemented in various parts of the country, has developed models that address underlying issues of productivity and marketing, overarching issues of climate change and sustainability, and farmer centric issues such as their collectivisation, their livelihoods and their income.

40. Indian Railways hopes to become world’s first ‘Green Railway’ by 2030; to be more planet-friendly

If everything goes as planned, Indian Railways will be transformed into ‘Green Railways’ by 2030. The railways has taken a number of initiatives toward combating climate change and mitigation of global warming to achieve this goal. Stating some of the steps taken as part of the strategy to achieve net-zero carbon emission. The measures include electrification of the railways, improving energy efficiency of locomotives, trains, and fixed installations, acquiring green certification for stations/installations, fitting bio-toilets in coaches, and switching to renewable sources of energy.