Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 04 September 2021

Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 04 September 2021


Peer to Peer (P2P) lending

  • Peer to Peer (P2P) investments industry in India estimates state that it will grow to $5 billion by 2023, and globally it is expected to be worth nearly $1 trillion by 2050.


  • P2P is an online framework that connects lenders and borrowers on an online platform without the presence of intermediaries.
  • It offers borrowers lower interest rates and enables higher returns for investors due to fewer overhead expenses.
  • P2P products in India are regulated by the RBI as a type of NBFCs.

Key highlights:

  • The India P2P Lending market is analysed as fragmented as the relatively new market, RBI regulations and lack of significant investment as compared to global market limits the growth of players.
  • Online Peer to Peer lending holds majority of market share in the global P2P lending market, owing to advantages such as faster loan approvals and disbursals.
  • Additionally, the operational costs involved in physical establishments is one of the reasons for P2P companies to operate in offline pattern. Regulations surrounding offline lending in India limit the market.

Saath Initiative

  • Saath was recently inaugurated by the Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor.


  • It is a Rural Enterprises Acceleration Programme for women associated with Self Help Group(SHGs).
  • It will stress on mentoring and market linkages of products created by women associated withSHGs.
  • Also, these women would be imparted knowledge about marketing, packaging and branding.
  • This initiative aims to impart skills and convert such women’s’ businesses into Higher OrderEnterprises.


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State of the World’s Trees 2021

  • It has been released by London-based Botanic Gardens Conservation International (BGCI).


  • BGCI is an independent UK charity established in 1987 to link the botanic gardens of the world in a global network for plant conservation.
  • It is a membership organisation, representing botanic gardens in more than 100 countries around the world.
  • According to the report, India’s 18% tree species are threatened with extinction. India is also home to 650 endemic tree species that are not found anywhere else.

Key highlights of the report:

  • Extend protected area coverage for threatened tree species that are currently not-well represented in protected areas.
  • Ensure that all globally threatened tree species, where possible, are conserved in botanic garden and seed bank collections.
  • Increase availability of Government and corporate funding for threatened tree species
  • Expand tree planting schemes, and ensure the targeted planting of threatened and native species.
  • Increase global collaboration to tackle tree extinction, by participating in international efforts such as the Global Conservation Consortia.


  • A new analysis of data from the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and BirdLife International found that 30% of 557 raptor species worldwide are considered near threatened, vulnerable or endangered or critically endangered.


  • Eighteen species are critically endangered, including the Philippine eagle, the hooded vulture and the Annobon scops owl.
  • Threats are result of habitat loss, pollution, human-wildlife conflicts and climate change.
  • Indonesia had most raptor species, followed by Colombia, Ecuador and Peru.
  • India has signed Raptor MoU for conservation of Migratory Birds of Prey in Africa and Eurasia that covers 76 species of birds of prey, of which over 50 occur in India, including critically endangered vulture.
  • MoU is not legally binding.


Special Drawing Rights

  • The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has made an allocation of Special Drawing Rights (SDR) 12.57 billion to India.
  • The SDR is an international reserve asset,created by the IMF in 1969 to supplement its member countries’ official reserves.

Its value is based on a basket of five currencies:

  • The U.S. dollar, the euro, the Chinese renminbi, the Japanese yen, and the British pound sterling.
  • It is neither a currency nor a claim on the IMF.
  • Rather, it is a potential claim on the freely usable currencies of IMF members.


Blue stragglers

  • Blue stragglers, a class of stars on open or globular clusters that stand out as they are bigger and bluer than the rest of the stars, have intrigued scientists who have for long probed their origin.


  • Carrying out the first-ever comprehensive analysis of blue stragglers, Indian researchers found that half of the blue stragglers in their sample are formed through mass transfer from a close binary companion star, one third are likely formed through collisions of 2 stars, and the remaining are formed through interactions of more than 2 stars.
  • This first-ever comprehensive analysis of blue stragglers is published in the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.
  • The researchers compared the mass of the blue stragglers to the mass of the turnoff stars (which are the most massive ‘normal’ stars in the cluster) and predicted the formation mechanisms.
  • India’s first dedicated space observatory, as well as the 3.6 m Devasthal Optical Telescope in Nainital.


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