Daily GK Update: 19th June 2020

Formal Employment In India Grew By 28.6% In 2019-20: EPFO

  • The formal employment in India grew by a robust 28.6% in 2019-20 on the back of major policy reforms of the government, including the roll-out of GST, allowing fixed-term contracts across sectors and lower exits by EPFO subscribers because of better returns on PF deposits and services offered by the retirement fund body.
  • The top sectors which have seen over 50% increase in formalisation of workforce are hospitality and financial institutions while sectors like textiles have seen a jump of 20% as per the payroll data of the Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation, shows the payroll data of EPFO.
  • The data of EPFO shows that net additions to EPFO stood at 78.58 lakh in 2019-20 compared to 61.12 lakh added in 2018-19, a jump of over 28%, though the numbers have been on the rise since the collation of the data from September 2017, which also coincides with the roll-out of GST in the country since July 2017.

Source: India Employer Forum

Indian economy to contract by 4% in 2020-21, forecasts ADB

  • Hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Indian economy is expected to contract by 4% during the current financial year, the ADB said in a supplement to its Asian Development Outlook (ADO) on Thursday.
  • Countries in ‘Developing Asia’ will ‘barely grow’ in 2020, the ADB forecast.
  • China, however, is expected to record a positive growth of 1.8% in 2020, sharply down from 6.1% in 2019, the lender said.
  • “Growth in Indian GDP slowed to 3.1% in the last quarter…its slowest since early 2003. Economic growth slowed to 4.2% in the whole of” the last fiscal year as both exports and investment started to contract, the ADB said.

Source: The Hindu

India to send Tri-Service contingent to participate in 75th Victory Day Parade of WW II in Moscow

  • On the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the victory in the Second World War, there will be a military parade in Moscow to honour the heroism and sacrifices made by the Russian and other friendly people. It may be recalled that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had written to President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin a congratulatory message on the occasion of the Victory Day – May 9, 2020. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has also sent a congratulatory message to his counterpart Sergei Shoigu on the occasion.
  • Defence Minister of Russia has invited an Indian contingent to take part in the Victory Day Parade scheduled to be held on June 24, 2020 in Moscow.
  • Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has agreed to send a 75-member Tri-Service contingent to participate in the parade, where contingents of other countries are also expected to participate.
  • The participation in the parade will be a mark of tribute and solidarity with the people of Russia at a time when they remember their heroes of the Great Patriotic War.

Source: DD News

Turkish diplomat elected President of historic 75th UN General Assembly

  • Wearing facemasks and practicing physical distancing, ambassadors from 192 UN Member States filed into the iconic but empty General Assembly Hall to cast their ballots during pre-determined time slots: an added layer of protection in the COVID-19 era.
  • “Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have all had to work under extraordinary conditions to overcome the myriad of challenges facing us,” the current General Assembly President, Tijjani Muhammad-Bande, said ahead of the elections.
  • “Indeed,” he added, “(they) represent our common commitment to ensuring the uninterrupted continuation of the important work of the United Nations, in accordance with the values and principles of the United Nations Charter.”

Source: UN News

ICICI Home Finance launches affordable housing loan – Check Eligibility

  • ICICI Home Finance (ICICI HFC) has launched SARAL – an Affordable Housing Loan. This housing loan will be aimed to fund homes in urban and rural areas. It has been developed for women, lower-middle-income customers, and economically weaker sections who have a maximum household income up to Rs 6 lakhs annually.
  • This housing loan is offered at an interest rate starting from 7.98 per cent onwards. Under the SARAL affordable housing loan, one can opt for a loan up to Rs 35 lakhs, and for a maximum tenure of 20 years. Additionally, people with pre-existing loans can also transfer their loans to ICICI Home Finance’s SARAL affordable housing loan.

Source: Financial Express

Karnataka Bank launches COVID-19 health insurance in partnership with Universal Sompo

  • Karnataka Bank on Wednesday said it has launched a health insurance policy for COVID-19 in a tie-up with Universal Sompo General Insurance Company.
    To protect the health of common man, Karnataka Bank has launched a special health insurance policy to cover the uncertainties posed by COVID-19 pandemic, it said in a release.
  • “With the objective of providing insurance cover for individuals for COVID-19 pandemic related health expenses, the bank in association with Universal Sompo General Insurance Company Ltd has launched this health policy,” Karnataka Bank MD and CEO Mahabaleshwara M S said.
  • The private sector bank said the health cover can be availed at a nominal premium of Rs 399, inclusive of all taxes.
  • The policy will cover in-patient hospital expenses up to Rs 3 lakh, outpatient treatment expenses of Rs 3,000, and will also provide a sum of Rs 1,000 per day towards expenses incurred towards 14 days of quarantine at a government or military hospital, it said.
  • The validity of this policy is for a period of 120 days.
  • The policy is available to all the customers of the bank in the age group of 18-65 years, the release said.

Source: Outlook India

Tata AIA Life ties up with East Consultancy Services for paperless e-KYC service

  • Tata AIA Life Insurance (Tata AIA Life) on Wednesday said it has tied up with East Consultancy Services to offer Aadhaar-based paperless offline e-KYC service.
    The e-KYC (Know Your Customer) service will provide seamless customer on-boarding during online application process for the company”s life insurance solutions, Tata AIA Life said in a release.
  • This will make Tata AIA Life”s end-to-end digital sales system, which enables remote purchase of its life insurance solutions, more efficient.
  • The move is also in line with the measures to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, the release said.
  • “The e-KYC technology is especially helpful in the current scenario of maintaining physical distancing. It further underlines our continuous effort to enhance consumer experience without compromising on their security and safety,” Tata AIA Life Executive Vice President & Head of Operations Yusuf Pachmariwala said.
  • The company said it has already introduced several measures like bank KYC, digital pre-submission calling, tele and video medical examination report, online Permanent Account Number and bank account validation, robotic process automation and optical character recognition that has made the process of buying life insurance simple, convenient and paperless.

Source: Outlook India

‘Air-Venti’ App to provide information on ICU beds, ventilators in Mumbai

  • In Maharashtra, amid the COVID-19 crisis, Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM) has launched a mobile application “Air-Venti” to help residents in the city to know about the availability of the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) beds and Ventilators in both government and private hospitals around them. Octaware Technologies Limited, in partnership with Probity Soft Pvt Ltd, has developed this mobile application for MCGM and the data regarding the ICU beds and Ventilators vacant status is d continuously.
  • AIR Correspondent reports, the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the acute shortage of ventilators for the ‘Respiratory Intensive Care Unit’ for severely ill patients. Many times valuable time is lost, and the patient’s lives are unnecessarily endangered in search of hospitals having vacant ICU beds and ventilators.
  • However, the mobile app ‘Air-Venti’ launched by the civic body in Mumbai aims to provide overall statistics of ICU beds and ventilators that are occupied and vacant in both govt and private hospitals besides location map, ability to contact hospital through telephonic call and email is also available.

Source: All India Radio

CCI approves acquisition of Metso Oyj’s minerals business by Outotec Oyj

  • The Competition Commission of India (CCI) approves the acquisition of Metso Oyj’s (“Metso”) minerals business by Outotec Oyj (“Outotec”) under Section 31(1) of the Competition Act, 2002, here today.
  • The Proposed Combination relates to acquisition of Metso’s minerals business (“Metso Minerals”) by Outotec. All such assets, rights, debts, and liabilities of Metso that relate to, or primarily serve, its minerals business (comprising the mining, aggregates, minerals consumables, minerals services, pumps, and recycling businesses) will be acquired by Outotec (“Proposed Combination”).
  • The Proposed Combination will be achieved by way of a partial demerger of Metso Minerals pursuant to the Finnish Companies Act. In return for the transfer of Metso Minerals to Outotec, the shareholders of Metso will receive newly issued shares in Outotec and hold the majority of the new entity’s shares (about 78%). The remainder of the shares will be held by the shareholders of Outotec. The combined entity will operate under the name Metso Outotec. The remainder of Metso’s business, i.e., Metso’s flow control business (essentially valves for process industries) will continue to exist independently under the name ‘Neles’.

Source: Ministry of Corporate Affairs

Union Minister Dr. Jitendra Singh inaugurates an International Workshop

  • Union Minister of State for Personnel, PG and Pensions Dr. Jitendra Singh today said that “Awareness not Anxiety” is key to fight the global pandemic of COVID-19 and international collaboration is the need of the hour. He was speaking after inaugurating an international workshop here through a webinar, jointly organized by Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC), Ministry of External Affairs and National Centre for Good Governance (NCGG), Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances.
  • Dr. Singh reiterated that the roadmap ahead for Nations in winning the battle against the COVID-19 pandemic lies in restarting the economy and strengthening cooperative federalism. He said that the thrust is for stronger institutions, stronger e-Governance models, digitally empowered citizens and improved healthcare.

Source: Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions

Aizawl’s Rajiv Gandhi Stadium to be upgraded as KISCE under Khelo India Scheme

  • The Union Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju yesterday announced that Aizawl’s Rajiv Gandhi Stadium will be upgraded as Khelo India State Centre of Excellence under the Khelo India Scheme. The Ministry plans to establish one KISCE in each state and union territory, with an effort to create a robust sporting ecosystem in the entire country.
  • Chief Minister Zoramthanga in a tweet said he is happy with the Sports Ministry’s decision to set up Khelo India State Centres of Excellence (KISCE) under #KheloIndia at Rajiv Gandhi Stadium, Aizawl. He said this will be a platform for multiplying existing talents in the region towards India’s dream of excellence in the Olympics.
  • The sports Minister Robert Romawia Royte has also conveyed his sincere appreciation of the new initiative made by the Union Youth Affairs and Sports Ministry.

Source: All India Radio

Malayalam screenwriter-director Sachy passes away

  • Malayalam screenwriter and director K R Sachidanandan, popularly known as Sachy, passed away in Thrissur on Thursday. He was 48.
  • Following a cardiac arrest, Sachy was admitted to Jubilee Mission Medical College Hospital in Thrissur on Tuesday. He remained critical and was on ventilator support.
  • Sachy gave up practicing law to follow his passion for cinema. He entered the film industry as a screenwriter in collaboration with writer Sethu. Sachy made his debut as a screenwriter with 2007 film Chocolate, which he co-wrote with Sethu. The writer duo went on to pen films like Robin Hood, Makeup Man, Seniors and Doubles.

Source: The Indian Express