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Important Current Affairs 21st April 2021

INTERNATIONAL

Miguel Mario Diaz-Canel has been officially sworn in as the ‘First Secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba’

•Miguel Mario Diaz-Canel has been sworn as the ‘First Secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba’, following the resignation of Raul Castro. The Secretary of the Communist Party is the most powerful position in one party ruling Cuba. Díaz-Canel now holds Cuba’s two most important positions, head of the party and president of the state.

•Raúl Castro announced that he would step down from the key position of the party and hand over the leadership to a younger generation. Díaz-Canel is almost thirty years younger than his predecessor and will now hold Cuba’s two most important positions, head of the party and president of the state. Castro had been in the post since 2011 when he took over from his older brother, Fidel Castro.

NATIONAL

Punjab Planned to ‘Har Ghar Jal’ State by 2022

•Punjab State reiterated the commitment of the State to achieve the ‘Har Ghar Jal’ target by 2022 as planned. Punjab has 34.73 lakh rural household, out of which 25.88 lakh (74.5%) have tap water supply. In 2021-22, the State plans to provide 8.87 lakh tap connections, thereby providing tap connection to every rural household. So far, 4-districts, 29 blocks, 5,715 panchayats and 6,003 villages in Punjab have been declared ‘Har Ghar Jal’, which means every rural household has access to water through the tap.

•To ensure transparency and accountability, Punjab has set up a well-equipped digital 24×7 call centre with Interactive Voice Responsive System. This analog grievance redressal system was upgraded in December 2020. Last year, the redressal rate was 97.76%. The pending complaints daily monitoring is done by sending reminders to the Executive Engineer via SMS, What’s App messages, e-mail and over the phone.

OBITUARY

American politician Walter Mondale Passed Away

•Former American politician, diplomat, and lawyer Walter Mondale, who served as the 42nd Vice President of the United States, has passed away recently.

•He served as Vice President from 1977 to 1981 under President Jimmy Carter. He also served as U.S. ambassador to Japan from 1993 to 1996 under Bill Clinton.

Former Reserve Bank of India Governor Maidavolu Narasimham passed away

•The former Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor Maidavolu Narasimham, has passed away recently. He was famously known as the “Father of Indian Banking Reforms”.

•He was the 13th Governor of RBI and served from May 2, 1977, to November 30, 1977.  He was known for being the chair of two high-powered committees on banking and financial sector reforms.

Senior BJP leader Bachi Singh Rawat Passed Away

•The senior BJP leader and former Union Minister Bachi Singh Rawat has passed away. He was a four-time MP from the Almora-Pithoragarh constituency in Uttarakhand.

•He had served as the Union Minister of State for Science and Technology in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government.

IMPORTANT DAYS

World Creativity and Innovation Day is observed globally on: 21 April

•World Creativity and Innovation Day is observed on 21 April every year. This day is celebrated to raise awareness around the importance of creativity and innovation in problem-solving with respect to advancing the United Nations sustainable development goals, also known as the “global goals”.

•The main objective of the day is to encourage people to use new ideas, make new decisions, and do creative thinking. Creativity is what makes the world go ‘round.

National Civil Services Day is celebrated on April 21 every year:

•In India, ‘Civil Services Day is celebrated on April 21 every year. It is a day to appreciate the tremendous work done by officers engaged in public administration, in various departments of the central and state governments.

•The Government of India chose April 21 as the National Civil Service Day as on this day the country’s first home minister, Sardar Vallabh bhai Patel addressed the newly appointed Administrative Services Officers in 1947. The historic occasion took place at the Metcalf House in Delhi. In his address, he called Civil Servants, the ‘Steel Frame of India’.

SPORTS

Stefanos Tsitsipas has won his first ATP Masters 1000 series

•Stefanos Tsitsipas has won his first ATP Masters 1000 series after a flawless performance against Andrey Rublev in Monte Carlo. The Greek star had lost his previous two finals at this level, with Rafael Nadal denying him in Toronto and Novak Djokovic beating him in Madrid.

•Rublev beat 11-time Monte Carlo champion Nadal in the quarter-finals. Rublev knocked out Roberto Bautista Agut, Rafael Nadal and Dan Evans en route to the final but could not find a way past Tsitsipas.

BOOKS AND AUTHORS

The new Book of JK Rowling “The Christmas Pig” released in October

•JK Rowling has a new book coming this autumn, a festive children’s story with all new characters. The story is about a boy named Jack and his toy Dur Pig, who goes missing on Christmas Eve.

•The book is set to be released worldwide on October 12. “The Christmas Pig” is Rowling’s first children’s novel since Harry Potter.

BANKING AND ECONOMY

LIC has appointed homegrown payments player Paytm to facilitate its digital payments

•State-run Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) has appointed homegrown payments player Paytm to facilitate its digital payments. Following a tie-up with another payment gateway earlier, the country’s largest life insurer has sought a new deal as the majority of its payments have moved to digital modes.

•LIC has witnessed an upsurge in e-payments following the C-19 pandemic. The PSU insurer collects premiums worth Rs 60,000 crore via digital mode, which doesn’t comprise payments made through banks.