Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 18 September 2021

Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 18 September 2021


National Cadet Corps

  • Ministry of Defence has constituted a High-Level Expert Committee for a comprehensive review of National Cadet Corps (NCC). 


  • NCC is a youth development movement that came into existence in 1948.
  • NCC aims at developing character, comradeship, discipline, a secular outlook, spirit ofadventure and ideals of selfless service amongst young citizens.
  • NCC is open to all regular students of schools and colleges on a voluntary basis.
  • MoD deals with NCC at National level and Ministry of Education in all states.

Key highlights:

  • Committee to suggest measures to empower NCC cadets to contribute more effectively towards nation building.
  • To propose ways for gainful engagement of NCC Alumni for betterment of the organisation.
  • To recommend best practices of similar international youth organisations for inclusion in NCC curriculum.

Quality Council of India

  • Recently, the Quality Council of India (QCI) launched the SK Joshi Laboratory Excellence Award topromote Laboratory Quality and improve their performance.


  • QCI is an autonomous body of Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion which has beencreated jointly with Indian industry represented by ASSOCHAM, CII and FICCI.
  • QCI has been established to create a mechanism for independent third party assessment of products, services and processes.
  • By developing accreditation schemes specific to the field of education and healthcare QCI helpsorganisations in these fields in their journey for excellence.


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United in Science report 2021

  • World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) released a report named United in Science 2021.
  • The Report is a multi-organisation compilationof thelatest climate science information and givesa unified assessment of the state of Earthsystem.

Key highlights of the report:

  • Concentrations of the major greenhousegases - carbon dioxide (CO2), methane(CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O) continued toincrease in 2020 and the first half of 2021.
  • CO2 emissions have largely bounced backto pre-pandemic levels.
  • An excess of 103 billion potential workhours were lost globally in 2019,compared to 2000 due to heat-relatedmortality and work impairment, caused byrising temperatures.
  • Average global temperature for the pastfive years (2017-2021) was among thehighest on record.
  • Global mean sea levels rose 20 cm from1900 to 2018.

Euro-denominated greenbonds

  • The €300 million 7-year Euro Green Bond were issued by Power Finance Corporation Ltd (PFC), theleading non-banking finance corporation(NBFC) in power sector.
  • In green bonds, the money raised by the issuer are earmarked towards financing green projects like renewable energy,clean transportation etc.
  • In 2007, green bonds were launched by development banks such as European Investment Bankand World Bank.
  • For India, Yes Bank was the first bank to come out with green bonds in 2015.


Bad Bank

  • Government setting up of the National Asset Reconstruction Company Limited (NARCL), a proverbial “bad bank”, was proposed by FinanceMinister in her Budget speech in February 2021.


  • It aims to help clean up banks’ books by taking over Rs 2 lakh crore bad loans. 
  • Bad Bank may help cut system-wide bank NPAs (non-performing assets) by over 1%, and help recover some of bad debts too, analysts say. 
  • The National Asset Reconstruction Company (NARCL), as it is officially named, will acquire banks’ bad debt to resolve or liquidate. 
  • It will buy these stressed assets for a mix of cash, and government-guaranteed security receipts.

What is NARCL? Why is it needed?

  • It will function as an asset reconstruction company set up by banks to resolve stressed assets for smoother functioning. Public sector banks will have 51% ownership in NARCL. 
  • The bad bank intends to resolve stressed loan assets above Rs 500 crore each.

How the Bad Bank will work

  • Bad loan transfer: NARCL will take over bad loans worth Rs 2 lakh crore from banks, of which Rs 90,000 crore will be taken over in the first phase. 
  • Provision write-back: These loans are fully provided in the books of the bank. The upfront cash received, 15% of the written-down value, would be reversed while the provisions for the balance (value of security receipts) are unlikely to be reversed even if it is fully provided.
  • Government guarantee: The security receipts issued by NARCL are backed by the Union government guarantee. The government guarantee will cover any shortfall between the face value of the receipts and the actual realisation value of the bad loan.


Low-carbon bricks

  • Researchers have developed a technology to produce energy-efficient walling materials usingconstruction and demolition (C&D) waste and alkali-activated binders.


  • The team of researchers developed low embodied carbon bricks from CDW waste through an alkali activation process using fly ash and ground slag and characterising the thermal, structural, and durability characteristics of Low-C bricks and their masonry.
  • These low-carbon bricks do not require high-temperature firing, and avoid the use of high-energy materials such as Portland cement.
  • It will also solve the disposal problems associated with C&D waste mitigation.
  • Project was undertaken by IISC Bangalore with funding from Department of Science andTechnology.


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