Current affairs (22ND JANUARY)
NITI AAYOG RELEASED INDIA INNOVATION INDEX 2.0
- NITI Aayog released the second edition of the India Innovation Index on 20 January 2021, along with the Institute for Competitiveness. India Innovation Index 2.0 or 2nd edition has released by NITI Aayog Vice-Chairman Rajiv Kumar.
- The index demonstrates the government’s continued commitment towards transforming the country into an innovation-driven economy. The report examines the innovation capabilities and performance of the states and union territories.
The innovation index ranking is based on five enabler parameters:
- Human Capital
- Knowledge Workers
- Business Environment
- Safety and Legal Environment
Two performance parameters:
- Knowledge Output
- Knowledge Diffusion
- In the India Innovation Index-2020, the States and Union Territories have been divided into the 17 Major States, 9 City-States and Union Territories, and 10 North-East and Hill States.
- Karnataka retained its first position in the Major States category. Maharashtra moved one position higher and stood at 2nd spot while Tamil Nadu slide to 3rd position.
- In the North East and Hill States category, Himachal Pradesh stands at first position followed by Uttarakhand and Manipur. Delhi stands at the first position while Chandigarh retained its second spot in the Union Territories and small States category.
ICICI BANK LAUNCHED 'INSTA FX' MOBILE APPLICATION
- ICICI Bank has launched a new mobile application ‘InstaFX’ for authorised money changers to help customers of any bank get ‘ICICI Bank Forex Prepaid Card’ swiftly.
- ICICI is the first bank in the country to offer such facility to money changers. A money changer is a person or organization whose business is the exchange of coins or currency of one country, for that of another.
- The ‘InstaFX’ app will enable the authorised money changers, who are partners of the Bank, to complete the KYC verification and validation of customers digitally and on a real-time basis.
- The ‘ICICI Bank Forex Prepaid Card’ gets activated swiftly within a few hours, as against the industry practice of up to two-days, thus it will significantly improve customer convenience, even if they are not customers of ICICI bank.
- ICICI Bank Headquarters: Mumbai, Maharashtra.
- ICICI Bank MD & CEO: Sandeep Bakhshi.
AIRTEL PAYMENT BANKS LAUNCHES AIRTEL SAFE PAY
- To protect Airtel customers from the growing incidents of online payment frauds, Airtel Payments Bank has launched ‘Airtel Safe Pay’, a safe way to pay digitally.
- With ‘Airtel Safe Pay’, Airtel customers making UPI or net banking-based payments through Airtel Payments Bank, no longer have to worry about money flowing out of their accounts without their explicit consent.
- An India-First innovation, ‘Airtel Safe Pay’ leverages Airtel’s ‘telco exclusive’ strength of network intelligence to provide an additional layer of payment validation, compared to the industry norm of two-factor authentication.
- This offers the highest level of protection from potential frauds such as phishing, stolen credentials or passwords, and even phone cloning that catches customers unaware.
- Using ‘Airtel Safe Pay’, Airtel Payments Bank customers can make secure digital payments across millions of merchants, online retailers and utilities, and even send money.
- Airtel Payments Bank CEO: Anubrata Biswas.
- Airtel Payments Bank Headquarters Location: New Delhi.
INDIA & FRANCE CONDUCTED EX DESERT KNIGHT-21
- Indian Air Force and French Air and Space Force are conducting a bilateral Air exercise, Ex Desert Knight-21 in Jodhpur, Rajasthan.
- The exercise marks an important milestone in the series of engagements between the two Air forces. It is unique as it includes fielding of Rafale aircraft by both sides and is indicative of the growing interaction between the two premiers Air Forces.
- The French side will participate with Rafale, Airbus A-330 Multi-Role Tanker Transport, A-400M Tactical Transport aircraft and approximately 175 personnel.
- The Indian Air Force aircraft participating in the exercise will include Rafale, Mirage 2000, Sukhoi-30 MKI among other aircraft.
UNION CABINET APPROVED RATLE HYDROPOWER PROJECT
- The Union Cabinet has approved 850 megawatts (MW) Ratle hydropower project worth an Rs. 5281.94 crore on Chenab river in Kishtwar district of Jammu and Kashmir.
- The project is being implemented under the Centre’s plan to expedite strategically important hydropower projects in the union territory post its reorganization.
- The project will be developed by a new joint venture company between state-run National Hydroelectric Power Corporation (NHPC) Ltd and Jammu & Kashmir State Power Development Corporation Ltd (JKSPDC), where NHPC will have a 51% stake in the JV firm, while the balance will be held by JKSPDC.
INDIAN ARMY TO CONDUCT MILITARY EXERCISE 'KAVACH'
- The Indian Army is to conduct a large scale joint military exercise Kavach in the Andaman Sea and Bay of Bengal.
- The exercise is to be held under the aegis of Andaman and Nicobar Command. The Joint Military Exercise Kavach will involve Indian Navy, Indian Army, Indian Air Force and Indian Coast Guard.
- During the exercise, the joint forces will execute high-density offensive and defence measures in the Andaman sea and Bay of Bengal.
- Also, they will carry out amphibious landing operations, helicopter-borne insertion of special forces from sea culminating in tactical follow-on operations on land.
- The exercise is to fine-tune the joint war capabilities of all the three forces of India. Kavach Exercise will also involve coordinated air and maritime strikes, synergized application of maritime surveillance assets, air defence and landing operations.
- Along with Kavach Exercise, the Joint Intelligence Surveillance Reconnaissance (ISR) Exercise will also be held. The ISR will validate the capabilities of intelligence gathering. Also, it will validate the capabilities of information sharing from space, land, air and sea.
KARNATAKA CM LAUNCHES 'AVALOKANA SOFTWARE'
- The Karnataka Chief Minister, BS Yediyurappa recently launched Avalokana software. The software will enable the state government to access data on expenditures and sanctions incurred on 1,800 programmes.
- The software provides a focused eye view on Sustainable Development goals, Scheduled Caste Sub-Plan, Tribal Sub-plan and Centrally Sponsored Schemes.
- It is a transparent e-governance tool that will provide Assembly constituency-wise release of government grants and allocations to different government programmes.
- This will help the government to decide on releasing funds based on the expenditure incurred by the department.
- It will eventually increase the government hold over resources. The software provides a focused view on scheduled caste sub-plan, sustainable development goals and tribal sub-plan and centrally sponsored scheme.