Daily GK Update: 5th July 2020

SAP launches Global Bharat program to equip MSMEs with digital technologies

  • German technology firm SAP India on Monday launched the Global Bharat program, designed to enable Indian micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) become globally competitive by equipping them with digital technologies.
  • In association with Nasscom Foundation, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Pratham InfoTech Foundation, the program further compliments government of India’s vision to empower the MSME sector by providing them access to global marketplace, digital skilling for the workforce and transforming business processes, SAP India said in a statement.
  • According to SAP, 80% of the company’s customer base comprises of SMEs that have adopted digital technologies and witnessed exponential growth.

Source: Live Mint

President Ram Nath Kovind inaugurates Dharma Chakra Day

  • This day commemorates Buddha’s First Sermon to his first five ascetic disciples at the Deer Park, Rsipatana in the present day Sarnath near Varanasi, UP.
  • The day is also celebrated by Buddhists all over the world as the day of Dharma Chakra Parvattana or “Turning of the Wheel of Dharma”. This day is also aptly observed as Guru Poornima by both Buddhists and Hindus as a day to mark reverence to their gurus.
  • In keeping with the historical legacy of India being the land of Buddha’s enlightenment, his turning the wheels of Dharma, and Mahaparinirvana, President Ram Nath Kovind inaugurated the Dharma Chakra Day from the Rashtrapati Bhavan.
  • The Minister of Culture Prahlad Patel and Minister of State for Minorities Affairs, Kiren Rijiju also addressed the opening ceremony.
  • A special address by the President of Mongolia was also read out and a valuable Buddhist manuscript of Indian origin preserved in Mongolia for centuries together, was presented to the President.

Source: DD News

Irdai examining surety bonds for road contracts amid Covid-19 crisis

  • Regulator Irdai has decided to examine the feasibility of introducing surety bonds by insurance companies for road contracts in the country.
  • In the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic and its subsequent economic impact on liquidity and cash-flows in the Indian banking sector, the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) had requested the regulator to examine possible offering of surety bonds by the general insurance companies.
  • Now, the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (Irdai) has set up a nine-member working group to study the legal framework and suitability of the Indian insurance industry or any other sector to offer such bonds.
  • Headed by G Srinivasan, Director, National Insurance Academy, the group comprises members from public and private insurance companies and Irdai, the sectoral regulator said in a circular.

Source: Business Standard

E-Waste Day: 82% of India’s e-waste is personal devices

  • It is estimated that 50 million tonne of e-waste will be generated globally in 2018. Half of this is personal devices such as computers, screens, smartphones, tablets and TVs, with the remainder being larger household appliances and heating and cooling equipment. Out of this, only 20 per cent of global e-waste is recycled each year, which means that 40 million tonnes of e-waste is either placed in landfill, burned or illegally traded and treated in a sub-standard way. This is despite 66 per cent of the world’s population being covered by e-waste legislation.
  • Many identify consumers as the key to better management of e-waste. This initiative aims to encourage consumers to correctly dispose their e-waste, with increased reuse and recycling rates and adopt sustainable consumer habits to move towards a circular economy.
  • In India, the lack of an updated inventory of e-waste generated makes it difficult to quantify the e-waste recycled and disposed. According to the Central Pollution Control Board’s comprehensive inventory from 2005, India was to generate 0.8 million tonne of e-waste by 2010.

Source: Down To Earth

India’s GDP may contract by 6.4% in FY21: Care Ratings

  • Care RatingsNSE -0.88 % on Thursday revised India’s GDP growth forecast for the current financial year to (-) 6.4 per cent as economic activity continues to be under restriction due to the lockdown on account of the COVID-19 pandemic. The rating agency, in May, had projected a decline in GDP growth of 1.5-1.6 per cent in FY21.
  • It said given that the nation is into a lockdown for July too with several restrictions on resumption of services in particular as well as movement of people, the cutoff date for normalcy will spread into the latter part of the third quarter and more likely to the fourth quarter.
  • “Under these assumptions our forecast for GDP growth is now (-) 6.4 per cent for FY21 with GVA (de)growth estimated to be around (-) 6.1 per cent,” Care Ratings said in a report.

Source: The Economic Times

IIT Kanpur develops classroom-to-home teaching setup ‘Mobile Masterjee’

  • COVID-19 has brought the education system, particularly the classroom teaching to a standstill. The students in rural India are hit maximum by this. To solve this problem IIT Kanpur has developed a classroom-to-home teaching setup that can record the lectures or instructions by the teachers while using their available smart phones. It is named ‘Mobile Masterjee’, which is a classroom-to-home teaching setup and will be very helpful to the students in rural india.
  • AIR correspondent reports, the Imagineering Laboratory, IIT Kanpur has developed a classroom-to-home teaching setup that can record the lectures or instructions by the teachers while using their available smartphones. It is named ‘Mobile Masterjee’, who can capture the videos of the classroom lecture in many positions. The product is lightweight and has adjustments to fit sheets and book on it for delivering instructions to the kids. A set graduated scale aligns the sheet at the desired angle, followed by the rotational quick adjustment of the mobile holder.

Source: All India Radio

NPCI to set up ₹500-crore data centre to handle digital transactions

  • The National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) will set up a ‘Smart Datacentre’ in Hyderabad with an investment of ₹500 crore.
  • Telangana Information Technology and Industries Minister KT Rama Rao laid the foundation stone for the Tier-IV data centre at Narsingi here.
  • To be constructed by L&T, the centre will protect the systems from natural calamities, ensuring smooth processing of data. It will have an eight-layer security, conforming to top global standards of data centres.
  • The data centre will host data related to a number of Digital India initiatives. It will make Hyderabad one of the major hubs for processing payments. The total value of transactions is pegged at ₹15 lakh crore and the number of transactions at 4,000 millions a month.

Source: CNR India

HDFC Bank launches ZipDrive Instant Auto Loans across 1,000 Indian cities

  • HDFC bank is going to launch state-of-the-art technology-enabled ZipDrive instant auto loans to customers across 1,000 cities in India. ZipDrive is HDFC bank’s instant auto loan disbursal product, exclusively for customers with pre-approved offers. This offering will be extended to Tier 2 and 3 cities, such as Bhimavaram in Andhra Pradesh, Hardoi in Uttar Pradesh, Thalassery in Kerala, and Balasore in Odisha amongst other places, across India.
  • Social distancing has already altered consumer lifestyles and demand patterns. And ZipDrive will help bank customers to get an auto loan without paying any visit to a branch or any other physical touch points.
  • This development is going to provide customers with pre-approved loan offers using the bank’s proprietary algorithm and analytics. Customers will be able to select a car model, dealer, loan amount within eligible limits and tenure online and could also opt for on-road funding as much as 100% of the value and it’s going to be the country’s fastest online auto loan disbursement offering.

Source: Economic Times

Housing and Urban Affairs Minister launches toolkit for Swachh Survekshan 2021

  • Housing and Urban Affairs Minister Hardeep Singh Puri today launched the toolkit for Swachh Survekshan-2021, the sixth edition of the annual cleanliness survey of urban India conducted by Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs. Addressing on the occasion, Mr Puri said, every year, the Swachh Survekshan is redesigned innovatively, to ensure that the process becomes more robust, with focus on sustaining the behaviour change.
  • He said, like in the last year, keeping in mind the Ministry’s efforts towards ensuring sustainability of the sanitation value chain, the Swachh Survekshan-2021 indicators focus on parameters pertaining to wastewater treatment and reuse along with faecal ssludge. Mr Puri announced a new category of awards titled Prerak Dauur Samman as part of Swachh Survekshan-2021. The Prerak Daaur Samman has a total of five additional sub- categories -Divya (Platinum), Anupam (Gold), Ujjwal (Silver), Udit (Bronze), Aarohi (Aspiring) – with top three cities being recognized in each.

Source: All India Radio

Airtel’s Ajai Puri to chair COAI

  • The Cellular Operators’ Association of India (COAI) has elected Bharti Airtel Chief Operating Officer (India and South Asia) Ajai Puri as its chairman.
  • The apex industry body – representing telecom, Internet, technology and digital service companies – also named Reliance Jio Infocomm President Pramod Kumar Mittal as its Vice Chairman.
  • Puri has been with Bharti Airtel since 2004, and has held several senior leadership positions including Director (Market Operations) and Director and CEO–DTH. Prior to joining Airtel, he was the Business Head (Foods) at Cargill Foods India.

Source: Business Line