Banking & Finance
1. MPC decides to keep the Repo Rate unchanged at 4%
- RBI Governor Shaktikant Das announcing the Bi-monthly Policy.
- The Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) voted unanimously to keep the policy repo rate at four per cent to keep the stance accommodative.
- Marginal Standing Facility (MSF) rate and bank rate will remain unchanged at 4.25 per cent.
- The reverse repo rate will also remain unchanged at 3.35 per cent.
- The projection for real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth is retained at 9.5 per cent in 2021-22.
2. India successfully test-fires Short Range Surface to Air Missile for Navy
- India successfully test-fired Short Range Surface to Air Missile from integrated test range, Chandipur, Odisha.
- According to Defence Research and Development Organisation, DRDO, the launch was conducted from a vertical launcher against an electronic target at a very low altitude.
- The first trial was conducted on the 22nd of February this year and this is a confirmatory trial to prove the consistent performance of the configuration and integrated operation.
3. Govt inks Rs 1,132 Cr loan pact with ADB for afford. housing in Tamil Nadu
- India and Asian Development Bank signed a 150 million dollar loan agreement to provide affordable housing for the urban poor in Tamil Nadu.
- The project is aligned with the Government’s development priorities and policies on urban sector development, particularly the flagship program Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana, Housing for All.
- Headquarters: Mandaluyong, Philippines
- President: Masatsugu Asakawa
4. Sanket Mahadev Sargar wins gold medal in Men's 55 kg snatch category
- Sanket Mahadev Sargar won the gold medal in the Men's 55kg snatch category at the ongoing Commonwealth Weightlifting Championships 2021 in Tashkent.
- For the top-podium finish, the Indian lifted the weight of 113kg.
- With this lift, Sargar also created the new snatch national record.
- The Commonwealth Weightlifting Championships 2021 is currently being held concurrently in Tashkent along with World Weightlifting Championships 2021 from December 7 to 17.
5. NASA picks Indian origin doctor for future astronauts mission
- Indian-origin physician Anil Menon (45) has been selected by NASA along with nine others to be astronauts for future missions
- Menon was SpaceX's first flight surgeon, helping to launch the company's first humans to space during Nasa's SpaceX Demo-2 mission.
- Till now, Wing Commander Rakesh Sharma is the only Indian citizen to travel in space.
- Earlier, Sirisha Bandla in July became the third Indian-origin woman to fly into space after Kalpana Chawla and Sunita Williams.
6. India replaces Brazil as top food supplier to Arab League countries
- India has become the top food exporter to the 22-nation League of Arab States for the first time in 15 years, replacing Brazil.
- A Reuters report from Sao Paulo said India accounted for 8.25% of the total agribusiness products imported by the 22 Arab League members last year, higher than Brazil’s 8.15%, ending a 15-year advantage for Brazil.
- Now, India is capable of shipping fruits, vegetables, sugar, grains and meat to the Arab nations in about a week’s time.
National & International Appointments
7. Piramal Realty ropes in Farhan Akhtar as brand ambassador
Piramal Realty, the real estate arm of the Piramal Group, has roped in actor Farhan Akhtar as a brand ambassador for its portfolio of residential projects in Mumbai and Than
In September, the company had appointed cricketer Rahul Dravid as a brand ambassador for its portfolio of residential projects.
8. Indian Army to hold multi-nation exercise PANEX-21 in Pune
- The Indian Army is organising a multi-nation disaster management exercise with a special focus on relief in the backdrop of the Covid-19 pandemic.
- The exercise has been called PANEX 21 and will involve Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Thailand and India—BIMSTEC countries.
- The aim of the exercise is to foster joint planning and build regional cooperation for responding to natural disasters.
- PANEX 21 is planned to be conducted at Pune from Dec 20-22.
9. Three Indian companies among top 100 in arms sales globally
- According to a report by Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), three Indian companies are among the world’s top 100 for combined arms sales in 2020.
- The three are: Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), Indian Ordnance Factories, and Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL).
- The three were ranked among the top 100 in arms sales in 2019 as well.
- In the latest rankings, HAL is at number 42 with US$ 2.97 billion, up 1.5 per cent from 2019 sales.
10. UAE becomes first country to transition to 4-and-half day work week
- The UAE announced to change its existing five-day workweek to a four-and-a-half day starting January 1, 2022.
- Becoming the world's first country to make the employee-friendly transition as part of its efforts to improve productivity and work-life balance.
- The government's move is expected to make it come closer to timings of the US, the UK and Europe, boosting commerce.
- The Emirati govt of Dubai and Abu Dhabi have already announced the four-and-a-half day workweek.
Banking & Finance
11. RIL inks $736 mn green loan pact to fund REC Solar acquisition
- Reliance Industries has signed a $736 mn green loan agreement with 5 banks to fund its acquisition of REC Solar Holdings.
- ANZ, Credit Agricole, DBS Bank, HSBC and MUFG were the lenders on the borrowing.
- Reliance had announced the acquisition of 100% shareholding of REC Solar from China National Bluestar for $771 mn.
- Singapore-incorporated REC Solar is the borrower on the loan, while Reliance New Energy Solar, a wholly-owned subsidiary of RIL is the guarantor.
Banking & Finance
12. KVG Bank signs agreement with Liberty General Insurance
- Karnataka Vikas Grameena Bank , an RRB headquartered in Dharwad, has signed an MoU with Liberty General Insurance for selling general insurance products through 629 branches of KVGB.
- The company will provide a variety of general health insurance products to the customers with reasonably affordable cost.
- The bank has consistently enhanced its portfolio to meet the diverse financial needs of its customers and alliance in this regard is a step in that direction.
Banking & Finance
13. Microsoft launches cybersecurity skilling program in India
- In a bid to address this skills gap and empower India’s workforce for a career in cybersecurity, Microsoft, launched a cybersecurity skilling program that aims to skill over one lakh learners by 2022.
- The program is designed to provide a hands-on experience to learners in the fundamentals of security, compliance and identity.
- Microsoft will conduct these courses along with its strategic consortium of partners, including Cloudthat, Koenig, RPS, and Synergetics Learning.
Banking & Finance
14. SBI to sign MoU with Kendriya Sainik Board
- State Bank of India (SBI) will sign an MoU with Kendriya Sainik Board to support and educate the children of war veterans, ex-servicemen, and war widows.
- India’s largest bank said it will provide a grant of ₹1,000 per month to 8,333 war veterans’
- The bank has contributed ₹10 crore to the Armed Forces Flag Day Fund.
- The Armed Forces Flag Day is celebrated on December 7.
15. Indonesia to displace India as world’s No 2 stainless steel producer
- Indonesia is set to displace India as the world’s second largest producer this year with stainless steel production of 4.5 mt.
- Despite being the world’s largest producer by far, China’s production is seen constrained by State regulations; but elsewhere in the world production is set to rise.
- As a result, in 2022, world stainless steel production is forecast to set a record of 58.2 million tonnes (mt) registering a growth of 2.5 per cent.