1. Wipro CEO and MD Abidali Z Neemuchwala steps down.

Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Managing Director Abidali Z Neemuchwala of Wipro Limited has decided to step down due to family commitments. Neemuchwala will continue to hold the office of CEO and Managing Director until a successor is appointed for a smooth transition and to ensure that business continues as usual.
Abidali Z Neemuchwala has served as the CEO & MD of Wipro since February 2016. For over four years, Abid helped build a strong execution mindset, drove key acquisitions, and scaled the Digital business globally. Previously, he worked as the CEO of the BPO division of Tata Consultancy Services Limited.
Wipro is a leading global information technology, consulting, and business process services company. It has over 175,000 employees serving clients across six continents.

2. Global Energy Review of IEA states 15 percent decline in electricity demand.

The report stated that decline in the electricity demand is due to lockdown imposed because of the COVID-19 pandemic in countries such as India, Italy, France, UK.
The International Energy Agency (IEA) released the Global Energy Review in 2020. The report stated that 15% of the daily electricity demand has been reduced. It highlighted the carbon dioxide emissions and the global energy demand in the year 2020.

Report Highlights:
1. The report was based on the survey collected from 30 countries including India and China.
2. The report stated that decline in the electricity demand is due to lockdown imposed because of the COVID-19 pandemic in countries such as India, Italy, France, UK.
3. The pandemic has reduced fossil-fuel based power generation. In India, the production of electricity has declined by 32.2% as compared to the 2019 level.
4. It also stated that the oil demand was reduced by 5% and Carbon Dioxide Emissions have declined by 8% as compared to 2019.

3. DGCI approved drug trial of phytopharmaceutical, favipiravir to treat COVID-19 patient.

The Drug Controller General of India (DGCI) approved the clinical trials of the drugs namely, phytopharmaceutical and favipiravir for the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR).

Highlights:
1. With this approval, CSIR will begin the clinical trial of two drugs to treat COVID-19 patients. The drug trial will begin soon. CSIR has already been working with pharmaceutical companies for the solution to control COVID-19.
2. Favipiravir is a proven anti-influenza drug used in Japan, China, and other countries .

CSIR is also exploring a native herb as a biological medicine or phytopharmaceutical. It is already being tested as medicine for dengue for its efficacy to combat COVID-19. It is a herbal medicine extracted from plants.

4. TN govt. forms high-Level Committee to assess impact of COVID-19 pandemic

The committee will assess the additional costs and implications due to social distancing and other precautionary measures
The Tamil Nadu government has constituted a high-Level Committee to assess the overall immediate and medium-term impact of COVID-19 on the state’s economy. The committee will be headed by Dr. C Rangarajan, former Reserve Bank of India Governor.

Highlights:
1. The committee will access the impact of the lockdown imposed to prevent spread of the coronavirus.
2. The committee will also assess the additional costs and implications due to social distancing and other precautionary measures.
3. It will also assess the opportunities and threats in the short and medium-term, apart from seeking measures to help the important sections of the economy to overcome the impact of the pandemic.
4. The High-level Committee will identify specific reform measures to be taken by the state government to support and promote the growth of important sectors of the economy and assess the impact of the crisis on the state government’s fiscal situation and way forward to improve the fiscal position, including increasing the tax: GDP ratio and diversifying revenue sources and re-prioritizing expenditure.
5. It will also identify possible sources of financing and funding for different sectors.

5. SC places cooperative banks under Sarfaesi Act on a par with other lenders

The Supreme Court (SC) brought cooperative banks under the Securitization and Reconstruction of Financial Assets and Enforcement of Security Act of 2002 (Sarfaesi Act) that empowers lenders to seize and sell defaulters’ assets.

Sarfaesi Act:
1. The move by the apex court aims to boost the cooperative banks that play a vital role in financial inclusion across large swathes of India.
2. The cooperative banks come under the category of banks as defined under Section 2(1)(c) of the Sarfaesi Act. Hence, the recovery procedures mentioned under the law will be applied to the cooperative banks as well.
3. Under Sarfaesi Act, the secured creditors can take possession of the assets of a borrower who fails to pay dues within 60 days of demanding repayment.
4. The judgment stated that cooperative banks were bound by the provisions of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949, and all the other legislation applicable to banks under the RBI Act. Now, the cooperative banks will have to comply with these rules.
5. Cooperative banks will now be involved in banking activities that are covered u/s 5(c) & 56(a) of the Banking Regulation Act.
6. As per the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) report, as of 31 March 2018, there are 1,551 urban cooperative banks (UCBs), and 96,612 rural cooperative banks (as on 31 March 2017). The rural cooperative banks account for 65.8% of the total asset size of all cooperative banks.

Source- Wikipedia, The Hindu, The Economic Times etc.

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