Daily Current Affairs

Prelims Prominence - September 26, 2018

Economic Reforms

Web portal www.psbloansin59minutes.com
A transformative initiative in MSME credit space, which will enable in principle approval for MSME loans up to Rs. 1 crore within 59 minutes from SIDBI and 5 Public Sector Banks (PSBs)


  • The Union Minister of Finance and Corporate Affairs Arun Jaitley launched a transformative initiative in MSME credit space.

What the portal will provide

  • The web portal www.psbloansin59minutes.com will enable in principle approval for MSME loans up to Rs. 1 crore within 59 minutes from SIDBI and 5 Public Sector Banks (PSBs).

Connect to the initiative

  • It is a strategic initiative of SIBDI led PSB consortium incubated under the aegis of Department of Financial Services (DFS), Ministry of Finance.
  • The Portal sets a new benchmark in loan processing and reduces the turnaround time from 20-25 days to 59 minutes.
  • Subsequent to this in principle approval, the loan will be disbursed in 7-8 working days.

Connect to the portal

  • A first in MSME banking credit space, www.psbloansin59minutes.com is one of its kind platform in MSME segment which integrates advanced fintech to ensure seamless loan approval and management.
  • The loans are undertaken without human intervention till sanction and or disbursement stage.
  • A User Friendly Platform has been built where MSME borrower is not required to submit any physical document for in-principle approval.
  • The solution uses sophisticated algorithms to read and analyse data points from various sources such as IT returns, GST data, bank statements, MCA21 etc. in less than an hour while capturing the applicants basic details using Smart analytics from available documents.
  • The system simplifies the decision making process for a loan officer as the final output provides a summary of credit, valuation and verification on a user-friendly dashboard in real time.

Connect to the features of the contactless platform

  • Majority stake of SIDBI & big 5 PSBs- SBI, Bank of Baroda, PNB, Vijaya and Indian Bank.
  • A first for MSME borrowers-Connect with multiple banks without visiting the branch.
  • Advanced Digital Platform for MSME Financing with Services Driven Architecture and highest level of Information Security.

Bilateral Relations

India - Uzbekistan: Dialogue of Cultures inaugurated


  • The exhibition "India - Uzbekistan: Dialogue of Cultures" at National Museum, New Delhi has been inaugurated
  • The Exhibition was dedicated to the state visit of the President of the Republic of Uzbegistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev to the Republic of India that will begin early next week.

Connect to the exhibition/ Kushan era

  • National Museum, Ministry of Culture, Government of India in Collaboration with the Embassy of Uzbekistan in New Delhi; Rampur Raza Library, Rampur; Khuda Baksh Oriental Public Library, Patna and the National Association of Electronic Mass Media of Uzbekistan for the first time has exhibited a collection of "Kushan coins, Archaeological artifacts related to Kushan, manuscripts and paintings of shared cultural heritage of India and Uzbekistan made in different time epoch covering religious and scientific subjects.

Kushan period

  • This exhibition " India - Uzbekistan: Dialogue of Cultures “ showcases original artifacts from the National Museum collection which include coins from the royal mints of Kushans including coins depicting portraits of Kanishka, Huvishka , alluring sculptures from the Kushan period
  • The intricate manuscripts including miniature paintings from Baburnama, manuscripts of the Holy Quran, Timurnamah, Bukharisharif, Bayaz, Tuzk-i-Jahangiri and others.

Ministry of Earth Science

2 Air pollution mitigation devices inaugurated in Delhi WAYU(Wind Augmentation Purifying Unit)


  • The ministry of science and tech inaugurated air pollution control device WAYU(Wind Augmentation Purifying Unit) for traffic junctions at ITO intersection and Mukarba Chowk in Delhi

Connect to WAYU

  • WAYU is developed by Council of Scientific and Industrial Research – National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (CSIR-NEERI) as a part of Technology Development Project being funded by Department of Science and Technology.
  • It has been indigenously developed and has the capacity to purify air in an area of 500 meter square.
  • The device consumes only half a unit of electricity for 10 hours of running and has a maintenance cost of only Rs. 1500 per month.
  • The device works on two principles mainly Wind generation for dilution of air pollutants and Active Pollutants removal.
  • The device has filters for Particulate Matter removal and activated carbon (charcoal) and UV lamps for poisonous gases removal such as VOCs and Carbon Monoxide.
  • The device has one fan and filter for sucking and removing Particulate Matter.
  • There are two UV lamps and half kg of activated carbon charcoal coated with special chemical Titanium Dioxide.
  • By 15th of October, the ministry plans to install 54 more WAYU devices at various traffic intersections across Delhi.

Renewable Energy/ Summits

First assembly of ISA, Second ministerial of IORA and Second REINVEST meet to be held in India


The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy is organising

  • The First Assembly of International Solar Alliance (ISA)
  • The 2nd Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) Renewable Energy Ministerial Meeting and
  • The 2nd Global Renewable Energy Investment Meeting and Expo, (REINVEST- 2018)


  • from 2nd to 5th October 2018 in New Delhi.

The events

  • The three events will be inaugurated in a common function by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, in the presence of Mr Antonio Guterres, Secretary General, United Nations on 2ndOctober 2018

Connect to ISA

  • The International Solar Alliance (ISA), an Indian initiative, was launched jointly by the Prime Minister of India and H.E. François Hollande, President of France on 30 November 2015 in Paris, France on the side-lines of the 21st Conference of Parties (CoP 21) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
  • The Alliance, recognising that solar energy provides potential member solar resource rich countries lying fully or partially between the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn, with an unprecedented opportunity to bring prosperity, energy security and sustainable development to their peoples, opened ISA Framework Agreement for signature on 15 November 2016 in Marrakech, Morocco, on the side-lines of COP-22.
  • In conformity with the ISA Framework Agreement, 30 days after ratification by the 15th country, on 6 December 2017, ISA became the first full-fledged treaty based international intergovernmental organization headquartered in India.
  • Through this initiative, the countries, inter alia, share the collective ambition: (i) to address obstacles that stand in the way of rapid and massive scale-up of solar energy; (ii) to undertake innovative and concerted efforts for reducing the cost of finance and cost of technology for immediate deployment of competitive solar generation, mobilise more than 1000 Billion US Dollars of investments by 2030.
  • The Government of India has committed Rs.175 crore for setting up of ISA and till date released a sum of Rs 140 crore for creating a corpus fund, building infrastructure and meeting day to day recurring expenditure.

Founding Conference of the ISA

  • On 11 March 2018, the Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi and the President of France, H.E. Emmanuel Macron co-hosted the Founding Conference of the International Solar Alliance (ISA).
  • Forty eight countries, including India participated in this conference.
  • In addition, there were representations from the United Nations, Multilateral Development Banks, energy-related think tanks, corporate sector and civil society.
  • The Delhi Solar Agenda, adopted in the Founding Conference of the ISA, states that the ISA member States inter-alia have agreed to pursue an increased share of solar energy in the final energy consumption in respective national energy mix

The first Assembly of ISA

  • Consequent to the Founding Conference, the first Assembly of ISA will be held from 2nd to 5thOctober 2018.
  • Till date, out of 121 prospective member countries that lie either fully or partially between the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn, 68 countries have signed the Framework Agreement of the ISA.
  • Out of 68 countries that have signed Framework Agreement of the ISA, 44 countries have deposited the instrument of ratification.

Connect to the first assembly

  • It will lay the foundation for global Solar Agenda.
  • The Assembly, as supreme decision making body of the ISA, will steer the process to significantly harness solar energy for achieving universal energy access at affordable rates.
  • The Assembly will adjudicate upon various administrative, financial and programme related issues.

Connect to Indian Ocean Rim Association

  • The Indian Ocean Rim Association was set up with the objective of strengthening regional cooperation and sustainable development within the Indian Ocean Region with 21 Member States and 7 Dialogue Partners.
  • The last Renewable Energy Ministerial Meeting was held on 21st January, 2014 in Abu Dhabi, UAE.
  • Subsequently, during the meeting of IORA Council of Ministers, held in October, 2016 in Bali, Indonesia, it was decided that the next conference will be held in India.
  • In line with the commitment made, India will be hosting 2nd IORA Renewable Energy Ministerial meet from 2nd to 4th October, 2018.
  • In this meeting, Ministers and delegates from all 21 member-countries are expected to participate.
  • India, Australia, Iran IR, Indonesia Thailand, Malaysia, South Africa, Mozambique, Kenya, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Bangladesh, Singapore, Mauritius, Madagascar, UAE, Yemen, Seychelles, Somalia, Comoros and Oman are members of IORA.

Connect to the 2nd RE-INVEST

  • The 2nd RE-INVEST aims at accelerating the worldwide effort to scale up renewable energy and connect the global investment community with Indian energy stakeholders.
  • 2nd RE-INVEST will include a three-day Conference on renewables, cleantech and future energy choices, and an Expo of renewables-related manufacturers, developers, investors and innovators.
  • The 2nd RE-INVEST will provide a great opportunity to various organisations to showcase their business strategies, achievements and expectations.
  • It would facilitate collaboration and cooperation with key stakeholders in India, which has today emerged as one of the world’s largest renewable energy markets.
  • The 2nd RE-INVEST is expected to be attended by Ministerial Delegations from across the world, including ISA and IORA Member Countries, over 600 global industry leaders, and 10,000 delegates.

Parliamentary Affairs

Two-day National Orientation workshop on National e-Vidhan Application (NeVA)


  • Union Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs and Statistics and Programme Implementation,Vijay Goel presided over the Valedictory Session of the two-day National Orientation workshop on National e-Vidhan Application (NeVA), organized by Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs
  • This was the first workshop amongst a series of workshops planned by Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs for effective roll-out of NeVA.

Connect to NeVA

  • NeVA, an initiative by Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs, aims to make all the Legislatures of the country paperless by making the proceedings of the Houses digital.
  • It is an attempt to provide the information about the functioning of House to the common citizen at the click of a button.
  • The iOS and Google app of NeVA along with the NeVA Website, will act as a repository of data related to the business of all Legislatures in the country in a uniform manner.
  • The NeVA aims to live up-to its potential of being ‘One Nation, One Application’.
  • This uniformity of database will lead to easy and effective engagement of citizens with the Government, which will lead to efficient delivery of services and ensure reliability, efficiency, transparency and accountability of all the stakeholders.
  • NeVA will bring Legislatures closer to citizens, thereby taking a decisive step in achievement of substantive democracy.
  • Once the programme is operational, details of 5,379 Members from the 40 Legislatures will be uploaded on the portal.
  • A total of 1,13,337 questions, 25,662 notices, 1,708 Bills, 515 committee reports and 10,043 papers from the Legislatures will become available in public domain on NeVA app and website.

NITI Aayog

NITI Aayog to Organize Conference on Empowerment of Women SHGs &Organic Farmers Co-operatives


  • NITI Aayog is organizing a Conference on Empowerment of Women SHGs & Organic Farmers Co-operatives from Dantewada, Bastar Region on September 26 at NITI Aayog in collaboration with the Tribal Affairs Ministry and Tribal Co-operative Marketing Development Federation of India, TRIFED.
  • The conference is a part of the visit of the team of entrepreneurs from Dantewada to New Delhi to identify markets opportunity for their products in urban areas.


The Financial Inclusion Index The Single Composite Index to give a snap shot of level of financial inclusion that would guide Macro Policy perspective


  • The Union Minister of Finance and Corporate Affairs, Shri Arun Jaitley launched the Financial Inclusion Index
  • Ministry of Finance will release an Annual Financial Inclusion Index (FII) which will be a measure of access and usage of a basket of formal financial products and services that includes savings, remittances, credit, insurance and pension products.

Connect to the Index

  • The index will have three measurement dimensions; (i) Access to financial services (ii) Usage of financial services and (3) Quality.
  • The single composite index gives a snap shot of level of financial inclusion that would guide Macro Policy perspective.
  • The various components of the index will also help to measure financial services for use of internal policy making.
  • Financial Inclusion Index can be used directly as a composite measure in development indicators.
  • It enables fulfilment of G20 Financial Inclusion Indicators requirements. It will also facilitate researchers to study the impact of financial inclusion and other macro-economic variables.

Sources – PIB , The Hindu , Indianexpress