1. Government amends Insurance Ombudsman Rules 2017
- The Government of India has notified comprehensive amendments to the Insurance Ombudsman Rules, 2017, for better resolution of policyholders’ complaints regarding insurance service deficiencies, in a timely, cost-effective and impartial manner.
- This will help in facilitating the resolution of the complaints with respect to the deficiencies in insurance services in a cost-effective and impartial manner on time.
- The Ombudsman mechanism was administered by the Executive Council of Insurers. This has now been renamed as the Council for Insurance Ombudsmen.
- Earlier, the scope of complaints to Ombudsmen was limited to only disputes, but now it has been enlarged to include deficiencies in service on the part of insurers, agents, brokers and other intermediaries.
- The insurance brokers have also been brought within the ambit of the Ombudsman mechanism. The Ombudsmen has been empowered to pass awards against insurance brokers as well.
- To strengthen the timeliness and cost-effectiveness of the mechanism, policyholders will now be enabled for making complaints electronically to the Ombudsman.
- A complaints management system will be created to enable policyholders to track the status of their complaints online.
- The rules also provide that, the ombudsman can use video-conferencing to hear the cases.
2. World Bank plans $100-mn guarantee scheme for solar rooftop projects
- The World Bank plans to introduce a $100-million credit guarantee scheme to boost India’s rooftop solar programme, which has not gained enough traction.
- The scheme will allow micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) to avail concessional debt financing for setting up rooftop solar units.
- The World Bank scheme, along with the State Bank of India (SBI) and the MSME ministry to accelerate the adoption of rooftop solar units, will help MSMEs access credit of around $1 billion.
- The arrangement will be beneficial for the firms that often do not meet the lending criteria of banks and other financial institutions, with their financial woes been exacerbated by the covid-19 pandemic.
3. SBI Mutual Funds Launches First Overseas Fund
- The State Bank of India (SBI) Mutual Funds has launched its first overseas offering on 1 March 2021.
- The fund titled SBI International Access — US Equity FOF is an open-ended fund of funds scheme investing in a mutual fund scheme/ETFs that invest in US markets, which are domiciled overseas.
- The scheme will invest 95-100 per cent of its net assets generally in Amundi Funds –US Pioneer Fund (including ETFs), which invest predominantly in the US markets.
- The customers interested in the scheme are required to invest at least Rs 5,000 for the first time. However, for additional purchase, the minimum application amount is Rs 1,000.
- There is no upper cap for the investment in this fund.
4. Manpreet Vohra Appointed India’s High Commissioner To Australia
- Senior diplomat, Manpreet Vohra has been appointed as India’s next High Commissioner to Australia. Vohra, a 1988-batch Indian Foreign Service (IFS) officer, is presently Ambassador of India to Mexico.
- He is expected to take up the assignment shortly. Mr Vohra’s appointment comes at a time India-Australia ties are at an upswing and the two countries are stepping up cooperation particularly in the Indo-Pacific region.
5. Elon Musk Tops Hurun Global Rich List 2021
- The 10th Edition of Hurun Global Rich List 2021 was released, which ranked 3228 billionaires from 2,402 companies and 68 countries. The report showed that despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the world added 8 billionaires every week in 2020 and 421 in a year, taking their total number to a record 3,288.
- Tesla chief Elon Musk bagged the top spot on the Hurun Global Rich List for the first time after adding a massive $151 billion during the year 2020 to take his net worth to $197 billion.
- Asia’s richest person and Reliance Industries chairman Mukesh Ambani is ranked eighth on the Hurun Global Rich List 2021. The total wealth of Ambani surged by 24% to $83 billion (approximately Rs 6.09 lakh crore).
6. Indigenously developed “Spectrograph” commissioned in Nainital
- Indian Scientists at Aryabhatta Research Institute of observational sciences (ARIES), Nainital, have indigenously designed and developed a low-cost optical Spectrograph named as Aries-Devasthal Faint Object Spectrograph & Camera (ADFOSC).
- It has been commissioned on the 3.6-m Devasthal Optical Telescope (DOT), in the Nainital district of Uttarakhand.
- The ADFOSC spectroscope is the largest of its kind among the existing astronomical spectrographs in India.
7. Udaipur Science Centre inaugurated at Udaipur in Tripura
- The Governor of Tripura, Ramesh Bais has inaugurated the Udaipur Science Centre, at Udaipur, Tripura.
- The Udaipur Science Centre has been developed at a cost of Rs 6 crore funded jointly by the Ministry of Culture, Government of India and Department of Science, Technology and Environment, Tripura Government and with this; the National Council of Science Museums (NCSM) has now set-up science centres in all the northeastern states.
- Science Centres play a vital role in developing a scientific temper in society and inculcating a culture of Innovation among the masses, particularly among students.
8. National Safety Day: 04 March
- The National Safety Day (NSD) is celebrated every year on 4 March by the National Safety Council (NSC) of India. In 2021, we are observing the 50th National Safety Day.
- The purpose of the day is to instil a sense of safety awareness among people by providing them with safety, health and environment-related support services.
- The National Safety Day Theme 2021 is “Sadak Suraksha (Road Safety)”.
- The day is also celebrated to mark the foundation of the National Safety Council, which was set up on 4th March 1966 by the Ministry of Labour, Government of India. The first National Safety Day was observed in 1972.
- Additionally, the National Safety Week is celebrated from 4 March to 10 March by organizing week-long safety campaigns.
9. National Security Day: 04 March
- In India, March 4 is celebrated as National Security Day (Rashtriya Suraksha Diwas) every year, in the honor of the Indian Security Forces.
- The day aims to show gratitude to all the security forces, including policemen, para-military forces, commandos, guards, army officers, and other persons involved in security, who sacrifice their life in maintaining the peace and security of the people of the country.
- 4 March also marks the day when the National Security Council (NSC) of India was established, in 1966 by the Ministry of Labour under the Government of India. The first National Security Day (NSD) was held in 1972.
10. Virat Kohli becomes the first cricketer to have 100 million followers on Instagram
- India captain Virat Kohli became the first cricketer in the world to have 100 million followers on the social media platform Instagram. The 32-year-old Kohli is also the fourth most followed sportsperson on Instagram.
- Portugal football star Cristiano Ronaldo tops the chart with 265 million followers, ahead of Argentina football captain and FC Barcelona legend Lionel Messi and Brazil’s Neymar, who are second and third in the list with 186 million and 147 million followers respectively.
- The others in 100 million club are Hollywood actor and former pro-wrestler Dwayne (The Rock) Johnson, American singer-songwriter Beyonce, and Ariana Grande.