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Current Affairs Date: 05 October 2021

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Factoring Regulation (Amendment) Bill, 2021

⇒ Recently, Parliament passed the Factoring Regulation (Amendment) Bill, 2021, to bring changes in the legislation aimed at helping the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) sector in the availability of working capital.

The bill seeks to amend the Factoring Regulation Act, 2011 to widen the scope of entities which can engage in factoring business. The Bill has incorporated many suggestions from the U K Sinha Committee.

The Bill seeks:
    • To increase the number of NBFCs offering factoring service to over 9,500 from seven currently
    • To provide a strong oversight mechanism for the factoring ecosystem
    • Empower the Reserve Bank of India to make regulations with respect to factoring business
    • Changing the definition of “assignment”, “factoring business” and “receivables”, will bring them in consonance with international definitions
Factoring business:

» Factoring business is a business where an entity acquires the receivables of another entity for an amount. 

» Factor can be a bank, a registered non-banking financial company or any company registered under the Companies Act.

Joint Scientific Assembly of IAGA and IASPEI

⇒ Union Minister of State (I/C) Science & Technology; Minister of State (I/C) Earth Sciences; MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances, Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra Singh addressed the inaugural ceremony of Joint Scientific Assembly of International Association of Geomagnetism and Aeronomy – International Association of Seismology and Physics of the Earth’s Interior on 21 August 2021.

Host:

IAGA and IASPEI had come together to organize a joint assembly in the year 2021, which was hosted by CSIR-NGRI with the support of Ministry of Earth Sciences of the Government of India.

Key points of the Minister’s address:

» The minister said that India is going to have 35 more earthquake Observatories by end of this year and 100 more such Observatories in next five years.

He said that in the last six and a half decades since Independence, the country had only 115 Earthquake Observatories.

» The Minister expressed hope that the Joint Scientific Assembly of IAGA – IASPEI will act as a catalyst in bringing on board a greater number of researchers and practitioners from global community to work on issues related to rendering science to society.

National Webinar on ‘Role of Panchayats in bringing Zero Hunger by 2030’

⇒ As part of the Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav, the Ministry of Panchayati Raj organized a National Webinar on ‘Localization of Sustainable Development Goals and Role of Panchayats – Goal No. 2 – Zero Hunger’ on 23 August 2021.

Union Minister for Panchayati Raj and Shri Giriraj Singh addressed the National Webinar on ‘Role of Panchayats in bringing Zero Hunger by 2030’.

Participants:

In a day-long webinar, senior officials of various Ministries and State governments, The representative of World Food Programme, UNDP, presented their views on critical issues/subjects.

During the four technical sessions of webinar:

Speakers discussed and deliberated on the sufficiency of food production & food security, sustainable agricultural production, public distribution, minimization of food production and processing loss, nutritional security and leveraging of technological solutions having bearing on the attainment of Zero Hunger by 2030.

Largest floating solar PV project in Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh

⇒ The National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC ) Ltd, has commissioned the largest floating solar PV project of 25MW on the reservoir of its Simhadri thermal station in Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh. This is also the first solar project to be set up under the Flexibilisation Scheme, notified by the Government of India in 2018.

Features of Floating Solar Project:
    • Unique anchoring design of floating solar installation
    • Spread over 75 acres in an RW reservoir
    • Potential to generate electricity from more than 1 lakh solar PV modules
    • This will help to light around 7,000 households.
    • The project is also expected to save 1,364 million litres of water per annum.
    • During the lifespan, the project will also ensure that at least 46,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide should be reduced every year.
  •  About NTPC:
    • » The 2000 MW coal-based Simhadri Station is the first power project to implement an open sea intake from the Bay of Bengal.
    • » NTPC is also planning to set up a hydrogen-based micro-grid system on a pilot basis at Simhadri.
    • » With a total installed capacity of 66900 MW, NTPC Group has 71 Power stations including 29 Renewable projects.
    • » NTPC has set a target to install 60 gigawatts of renewable energy (RE) capacity by 2032.
    • » NTPC is India’s first energy company to declare its energy compact goals as part of the UN High-level Dialogue on Energy (HLDE).

'E-Shram Portal - National Database on Unorganized Workers'

⇒ Recently, Minister for Labour and Employment, Shri Bhupender Yadav formally launched ‘E-Shram Portal – National Database on Unorganized Workers’.

About Portal:
    • The portal will help to build a comprehensive National Database of Unorganized Workers (NDUW) in the country.
    • For the first time in the history of India, where more than 38 crore workers will register themselves under one portal.
    • Database authenticated with Aadhaar (97% coverage)
    • Construction Workers, Migrant Workers, Street Vendors, Domestic Workers, Milkmen, Truck Drivers, Fishermen, Agriculture Workers and similar other workers to be covered.
    • The e-SHRAM portal is totally free and workers do not have to pay anything for his or her registration at Common Service Centres(CSCs) or anywhere.

Source: PIB & Other News Reports

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