Ministry of Tourism launches  ‘Stranded in India’ portal  to help foreign tourists stuck in various parts of India 

#GS2 #Governance 

The Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, with an aim to extend support to the foreign tourists who are stranded in India, has come up with a portal to disseminate information regarding the services that can be availed by foreign tourists who have stuck far away from their homeland 

  • The portal is titled ‘Stranded in India’ and aims to act as a support network for foreign tourists stuck in various parts of the country. 
  • The portal consists of the following information that will be useful for the tourists in their time of need: 
    • Comprehensive information around COVID-19 helpline numbers or call-centers that the foreign tourists can reach out to for help. 
    • A variety of information around the Ministry of External Affairs control centers along with their contact information. 
    • Information around state-based/regional tourism support infrastructure. 
    • Help Support section to extend help to the ones in need of further information and connect foreign tourists to concerned authorities.

Source: PIB 

ICICI Bank launches banking services on WhatsApp 

ICICI Bank has launched WhatsApp banking to assist its customers in meeting the banking needs from homes during the lockdown. 

  • Any existing ICICI Bank Savings Account customer on WhatsApp can access the new service. 
  • The customer who has only an ICICI credit card can use the service to block/ unblock the card. 
  • The Non-ICICI Bank customers can also use this service to know the nearby location of the Bank’s branches / ATMs. 

Services provided 

  • Banking services - Customers can check their Account balance, Last 3 transactions, Credit Card Limit, Block /Unblock the card, get details of  the pre-approved loan offer & also enquire about the travel, dining, shopping, discounts and more offers around the customers. 
  • Other services - Customers can Track the delivery status of the Debit Card, Credit Card, Cheque Book, and Passbook, Check nearby ICICI Bank ATMs & branches. 

Source: Indian Express 

ADB grants $60 million to Aavas financiers to improve women’s access to housing in India 

Asian Development Bank (ADB), a regional development bank, has signed a loan agreement worth  $60 million with affordable housing loan provider Aavas Financiers Ltd to provide housing finance to women in low-income communities either as primary borrowers or co-borrowers. 

  • The grant, provided under the ADB’s supporting access to housing finance for women and in lagging states project, will help increase higher rates of property ownership for women in lower-income groups. 
  • At present, India saw the acute housing shortage of 18.7 million units in the urban region & 43.7 million units in a rural region, that mostly affecting low-income groups, who are facing major problems in receiving mortgages including a lack of documents to prove their incomes. 
  • Earlier the ADB announced to invest $100 million in the Indian infrastructure sector through National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF). 

About ADB: 

  • It is a regional development bank established on 19 December 1966, headquartered — Manila, Philippines. 
  • ADB is an official United Nations Observer. 
  • The bank admits the members of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP, formerly the Economic Commission for Asia and the Far East or ECAFE) and non-regional developed countries. 

Voting rights: 

It is modeled closely on the World Bank and has a similar weighted voting system where votes are distributed in proportion with members’ capital subscriptions.  

Roles and functions: 

  • ADB defines itself as a social development organization that is dedicated to reducing poverty in Asia and the Pacific through inclusive economic growth, environmentally sustainable growth, and regional integration. 
  • This is carried out through investments – in the form of loans, grants, and information sharing – in infrastructure, health care services, financial and public administration systems, helping nations prepare for the impact of climate change or better manage their natural resources, as well as other areas. 

Source: Indian Express 

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